Thursday, January 28, 2010

Casey as a baby

My mom keeps sending me pics of me as a little person to compare to Claire. What do you think? Think she looks like me? I think she just looks like herself, but we're trying to figure out which parts she got of each of us...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Guilty as Charged

Chris Tomlin and Corpus Christi, never would have paired the two. But since our mayor did, I am convicted. I definitely complain about living here way more than I pray for this place. I know that if I switched the percentages of prayers and complaints, my heart would grow for this place. It is my 'desert,' a la the Israelites, not a place I would have chosen, nor will I stay... but I can meet God here as they did.

Marathons for the rest of us...

So I'm not a Kenyan. Nothing about my frame says 'distance runner' on it. But I have the unfortunate (or fortunate?) circumstance to be the daughter of a career marathoner and wife of a burgeoning distance runner. So not only did I grow up at marathons around the country, but now (incredulously) I am watching Los "just go out for a quick 15-miler." Amazing. When we lived in Jacksonville, FL, he went out just to see how long he could run (ironically, NEVER a question I have wondered about myself). He came back TWO HOURS LATER. I thought he was dead on the side of the road somewhere. Nope, he was just seeing what his body was made of. Yeah, two WEEKS later, he ran his first Half-Marathon. WITHOUT TRAINING. And he got something like a 1:37. Disgustingly good. He is the kind of guy that makes running look pretty.

I am not one of those people. Since I grew up at marathons, I could tell you all about what your stride is supposed to look like. I know who is running efficiently, and who is wasting time with their arms or head wagging around with too much lateral motion.

But I don't put it into practice. I can't run half a mile without panting:) I love to sprint, I was a soccer player after all, but running the same pace for minutes on end just doesn't do it for me. Without a ball in front of me to chase, block or pass, what is the point of running?

But here's my problem. Now that I'm a mom, I don't really want to take the time to go to the gym. Too much of a hassle, and there's not one that I'm in love with close by. Plus the gym day-care kind of creeps me out with germs. Getting out on the road with our BOB stroller and Burly seems a lot more time efficient. And let's be honest, that pregnancy weight-gain (and pre-pregnancy weight gain, who am I kidding?) is not going ANYWHERE by itself. So I have to do something...

So a couple of months ago, I was talking with my friend Kiesha, who has also done a lot of Half-Marathons. And for the first time it dawned on me that someone like me could complete one. Because she isn't one of those front of the pack finishers that I've always seen at races. She taught me that it doesn't matter what your time is, but the goal is to finish and feel proud of yourself. Maybe that seems very elementary, but it was revolutionary for me.

So in November, I printed out an Easy Half-Marathon Training Plan. I taped it up in our kitchen, so I would look at it (or have to try hard to ignore it) every day. I started out just walking/jogging 3 miles, 3 times a week. Gradually I increased the weekend walk by a mile a week. At Thanksgiving, I did my first 10K, which was something I never knew I'd do, but it was so fun. And this past weekend, I did my longest training day, which was a 12-miler. I was so proud (and stinky) afterwards, because I know that if I saw someone that looked like me, I would not guess they could do a Half-Marathon. But I did it! And it was mostly easy. So my big day is coming up in 2.5 weeks, the Austin Half-Marathon, on Valentine's Day. I can't wait. I think it will be so awesome to do something for myself like that. To celebrate health and go out and see what I can do. I won't finish first. In fact, my prayer is just that I don't finish last. But even if I do, it doesn't matter. I am doing it, and I am stoked.

Too many milestones...

We just started getting used to Claire crawling this past week. She's only 7 months old. So when I saw her pulling up and STANDING today, I about had a heart attack. Especially since her method of getting down is crashing head-first against the wooden crib and bursting into tears. No matter how many times I laid (i.e. body-slammed) her back down, she keeps getting back up on her feet. I am not prepared for this so soon, she just learned about getting on her knees a week ago. Why can't she develop more slowly? She's already over 21 lbs, the weight I thought she'd be at one year! My little baby has disappeared. I am equal parts sad/shocked/stressed/proud. I will try to embrace it, but holy cow, this happened way too fast for my taste.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Advice: Domestic and International Plane Travel with a Baby

This started out as an email to my dear friend in Malawi, Africa; but I thought I would post it here for anyone else who wants to read it. By no means is it finished, please add your 2 cents if you have more advice!

The best lesson I've learned in parenthood is to be easy-going about itineraries. It started in labor, and still proves true....

So how that translates to traveling with a baby: relax. Be confident. And KNOW that something won't always go 'ideally,' but that you'll make it. Some flights, the baby will be the perfect angel you know and love. Some flights, you may have the spawn of Satan:) Kidding, but you may have a crying baby, you may not. But the good news is: the plane will land. The trip will end. And likely you'll never see all those people again:)

My advice:
1) bring a new toy for him (something novel- a small, colorful rattle, or something) and something comforting (a familiar, small blanket)

2) Request the bulkhead, IF you are going to be in a 767 or 777, as they oftentimes have bassinets. This was a life-saver for us on the Hawaii-Texas flight. Even if he's "too long" according to their standards, request it anyway, if he's sleeping on his tummy/side or even back, his legs can bend at the knee, and it gives him his own space for a bit. Also, he can sit and play with a toy or book for a bit there.

3) EXPECT that naps will be shorter. Claire sleeps 2 hours frequently for naps, and takes 3 naps a day still at 7.5 months. (some babies are down to two by now, but this girl loves her some sleep!) In a car or plane, in a carseat or our arms, she only sleeps MAX 45 minutes, more likely 1/2 an hour. As someone who likes to sleep at least 16 hours a day normally. This used to stress me out. But it's okay. After the trip, he can recover and get back to his norm. It's all about reading their tired cues and comforting them when they exhibit them.

4) Jet lag. He may have it, he may not; babies can surprise you with how adaptable they are. Claire has been in 5 different time zones in the US and done fine in all of them. Give yourself and him grace.

5) Feeding: we make her own food at home, but it's much easier for plane flights to buy some pre-packaged (Gerber or whatever they sell in Africa) baby food. Pack extra, you never know what could go wrong.

6) Germs: Planes are FULL of them. Especially international flights where you get people from different parts of the world, and the air is recycled for hours. Try to be diligent with cleaning your hands/face and baby's hands and face. En route to Seattle, I had to change Claire on the FLOOR, right outside the bathroom, most disgusting place in the plane, but there was no alternative. You deal with it the best you can.

7) Drugs: There are different thoughts about "knocking the baby out" for the duration of flights. I've never done it, but to each their own, do what feels right to you.

8) Wine: however, we have bought the red wine on a flight (free little bottle in international flights) and rubbed our finger around Claire's gums with wine we put on our finger. It helped her relax.

9) Air pressure: Some babies react to it, some don't. If Easton takes a paci, give him one, or feed him a bottle or breast feed during take-off and final approach. Even if you give him a bottle of water, that is a good distraction and the sucking motion helps with their ears.

10) when traveling by yourself, ask for HELP! I flew to NYC by myself, with a baby, carseat, stroller, and carry on, and diaper bag. A lot to juggle. People are usually gracious with single parents, and will help you stow your carry on while you get the babe situated. And when you have to go to the bathroom, flight attendants can hold your babe. I don't know how you feel about passing your baby around to other passengers (especially in light of swine flu, etc.), but one time to Houston, I really needed a break, and a sweet Korean couple took Claire for 15 minutes. She ate it up, and it was a gift to me. Use your judgment.

11) Layovers: if you have a long one, try to find a quieter part of a terminal that you can stroll around in, to cut out stimulation and get Easton a nap. We walked over a mile in Denver, just circling the empty B terminal so Claire could sleep. Plus, walking is good for your legs too, to counterbalance all the sitting.

12) Miscellaneous:
*bring a plastic bag or two for wrapping up poopy dipes that you can't dispose of right away. Even if you normally do cloth diapers, when traveling, disposable is the way to go.
*Bring bottles for water, and have the attendants refill them with water as you use them.
*on almost every airline, the stroller, car seat and diaper bag don't count as luggage. Gate check them, and if there is an open seat in a row, maybe ask the attendants if you can carry your car seat on? We prefer not to, as Claire would rather sit, lay, or stand on the airplane seat, but when they're more mobile, it's nice to have a place to secure them.
*Bring your Ergo, or Baby Bjorn or whatever carrier you use on board- your arms will get tired from holding Easton and walking around:) Give them a break.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot, but lastly, travel as much as you can before you have to pay for them to travel with you, at 2 years old. Claire has been to 10 states so far, and will be at 13 by one year old. Never again will she travel so much, traveling with a baby is a dream, compared to a toddler, who wants to run everywhere and assert their own will. So go for it, have a positive attitude, and you guys can accomplish anything! Remember, no matter how hard it may be, the plane will land:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We've Got a Crawler, Folks!!

And just like that, our lives got a wee bit busier, and our floors should get a wee bit cleaner!

Claire crawled a ton tonight toward her Grammy on the computer on Skype, we had to circle the computer around the living room a few laps:) She is so funny, she goes nuts for my mom; and now that she can do something about her exuberance she grabbed at the computer til we put it out of her reach! Ahh, parenting in the 21st century. Gone are the days where the norm is for the Grammy to just come over and watch baby crawl... How a 7 month old totally knows her Grammy on the computer is beyond me, but it's pretty amazing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Passion 2010- Jan.2-5, Atlanta, GA. 23,000 hearts united as one

This was my past week.

Thoughts to follow...

Official Santa

I've been traveling the past 3 weeks... Better late than never!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Reposting this from Louie Giglio, the totals raised this past week for people in need in Atlanta and around the world. Over a million dollars raised, praise God.

While the worship at Passion is vital, it is not an end in itself. Rather, our songs and anthems are fuel for our journey to the nations. Thus, Do Something Now is front and center in all we do, a major component of every gathering.

At Passion 2010 we introduced 12 partner organizations with causes totaling $500,000. Our goal was not pledges for the future, but giving on site together in four days. In the end (and this number will continue to grow), the total passed on to our 12 partners includes:

Building an education center for the Dalit people of India through Operation Mobilization. Goal–$75,000. Given–$92,753.91.

Small business loans for women in Haiti through Hope International. Goal–200 x $200 loans. Given–$64,412.34 for 322 loans.

Bible translation for Shatika and Rom People of SE Asia with OneVerse. Goal–translate 4000 verses at a cost of $100,000. Given–3134 verses/$78.359.

Sponsor 100 seminary students in the Middle East with E3 Partners. Goal–$30,000. Given–$45,318/151 students.

Build 10 wells in Guatemala with Living Water. Goal–$50,000. Given–$113.865/22 wells built.

Provide 100 cleft palate surgeries for children in Afghanistan with Cure International. Goal–$55,000. Given–$68,160.54/111 children get surgeries.

Package and send Bibles to unreached people in Asia through Bibles Unbound. Goal–3000 Bibles packaged and $3000 to cover cost. Given/Done–3000 Bibles packaged/$9,530.56 given to send more.

Build a border outpost in Nepal to intercept sex trafficking victims through Not For Sale. Goal–$25,000. Given–$86,516.72 for 3+ border outposts.

Support a Child Survival project in Indonesia through Compassion International. Goal–100 students x $20 a month for one year = $24,000. Given–205 students x $20 a month for one year = $50,170. (The 12 month commitment represents pledges for this cause).

Package meals through our partner Feed My Starving Children. Goal–package 100,000 meals atPassion 2010 and give $17,500 to cover costs. Given/Done–108,432 meals packaged and $17,533.32 given.

Sponsor children affected by HIV/AIDS in Mozambique with World Vision. Goal–200 students x $35 monthly/package 1000 Caregiver kits. Given–174 students x $35 monthly/1000 caregiver kits assembled.

Drink coffee and fund projects in Ethiopia through our partner Gobeana Coffee. Given–$24,548.

Total given at Passion 2010 = $724,480.42.

IN ADDITION, a family at Passion 2010 matched the total as of Tuesday morning with a gift of $668.597.00.

For a Passion 2010

As well, 14,820 towels and 72,600 pairs of socks were given to assist the homeless shelters of Atlanta.

Obviously, it’s not all about the money. But we know the verse, “where your money is your heart is also,” applies here, and believe many lives have been captured by His global purposes in these days.

Thanks to everyone who joined this amazing cause. Let’s continue to give everything until His grace, hope ad healing are extended to all.


You can still give $5 by texting OMC to 20222 and by supporting the causes at All monies given by text after Passion 2010 will go to onemillioncan causes.