one year ago today

A year ago today I was packing to go visit my parents and family for Christmas.

A year ago today I decided to use a 2-year old pregnancy test on a whim instead of throwing it away.

A year ago today I got the most amazing surprise that changed my life forever...

Jude was coming to be our very own tiny son!

Well, of course we didn't yet know that it was Jude who was causing that shock-inducing little pink line, but that was our first indication that he was going to be a part of our lives forever. And what a part he has already played! My life is vastly different than it was a year ago today; it's fuller, tired-er, more responsible, and so much richer than I imagined it could or would be.

A year ago today I didn't know what it felt like to have my son's (MY son!) big blue eyes blink up at me and then see his whole face break into a huge grin. A whole new compartment of my heart has been opened... I didn't know I could love a tiny person so very much! Welcome to our crazy lives, Jude... we're going to have so many fun adventures!



Christmasey fun

It's definitely starting to feel like Christmas! Yesterday I spent the day baking and cooking for our small group Christmas party, and when I got home last night I made 10 dozen shortbread cookies for a cookie exchange party today. For a girl who doesn't love to cook, that was a lot. I had a really good time doing it, too. I think I figured out a theory: I like to make superfluous and "fun" stuff, but I don't like to do the day in, day out dinners. Haha, convenient, huh? Actually, I *have* been cooking and stuff a lot more in the last few weeks, I feel like I'm getting more on top of things in life so I have more time to meal plan and execute.

So, last night's small group party was load of fun! We ate delicious noms, did the traditional gift exchange (I was the only one who "played dirty" and stole-- a gift card to Caribou from Kyle! Heh, sorry, Kyle!). We played a rousing game of Buzzword and the ladies lost by just a few points. Next year, guys... you're goin' down! But there was also kind of a sadness behind the fun because Kyle and Johanna are moving to help start a small group in their area, starting January 5th. K&J have been such awesome supporters of our small group endeavor; the first time we mentioned the possibility of starting one, they immediately said they'd join us. It's been such a huge morale boost to have them behind us all the way, it will be such a huge change to not have their comments, input, and support each week. Uh oh... I'd better not think too much about it or I might cry! We're excited about what the Lord has ahead of them in their own town, and know that they will be a huge blessing to everyone they're involved with. And anyway, we'll see them for church on Saturday nights starting soon. So it's all so good.

The ladies

Our hot honeys + Cory

Although it's usually a bit more like this:

And this:

Lots of love in this group. Oh yes.

The cookie exchange this morning was all kinds of awesome, too... fun meeting new friends and re-connecting with others. And the cookies? Can I just say *ahhh-may-zing*? I ended up with way too many cookies for two people to legally consume- russian tea cookies, ginger-chocolate chip, sugar cookies, spicy crinkle things, peanut butter balls, gingersnaps, chocolate chip, peanut butter with the chocolate kiss on tip, shortbread, and some fudge thrown in for good measure! I'm sure I'm missing some, too. the table was positively creaking under the weight.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the event, so I'll just have to wait for Jo or someone to load some up on Facebook so I can steal them, just like I nicked those ^ small group ones from Kyle and a few from Jessica. Cuz that's how I roll. Hey, at least I'm giving credit, right? ;)

And now the little Jude-man is down for his final nap of the day and I'm just finishing a russian tea cookie and some hot tea, with Chesterton curled up by my feet. Mmm, so cozy!


congrats, Rob!

So I keep thinking that I'm going to blog. That thought is immediately followed by the ideas that I need to be 1) eloquent, 2)have something deep and insightful to say, 3)cool and witty. I then give up on my blog post before it even had the chance to see the light of day.

A good friend of mine recently told me that all she does is post little snippets of things that are a part of her day, so I'm gonna give that a try. Who knows... I just may resurrect this poor lonely blog after all.

So for starters:

Rob and are taking off for Chicago on Friday morning. He is going to walk with his graduating class at Moody Bible Institute on Saturday morning! Yes, yes... he IS in his second year of his master's at TBI (which is now BCS, but I can't call it that yet) but this is for his undergrad work. Rob likes to joke that he "crammed a 4-year degree into 8 years!", but also during those 8 years he worked full-time, moved across the country three times, got married, started grad school, and had a baby (well, technically *I* had the baby, but you get the point). All that to say that I'm immensely proud of my hard-working husband! Way to go, Babes... it won't be long until late-night exam cramming is a thing of the past!

Anyone have any cool spots we shouldn't miss in Chicago?