Wednesday, September 30, 2009

God spoke to me today...

Being A Mom {Part 1} from christy nockels on Vimeo.

Being A Mom {Part 2} from christy nockels on Vimeo.

I watched this on another's blog post today (it's borrowed) but thought it was really worth the 11 min (or something like that) it takes for you to watch it. More than 10 min is a lot in a mom's world. My favorite part was the reminder to see the glorious in the mundane. Can I just say that I am amazed at the way God so intimately knows us and never fails to send just what we need for the day. The past 2 days I have seen God show up in the most mundane ways, but somehow they now seem glorious.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chatting with Titus

Titus has started to babble more. I'm loving it. Something about hearing my son's little voice for the first time (other than him crying) makes me giddy. I love each stage. I'm honored by the privilege of getting to be his Mom.

I'm not sure if this really counts as his "first word" but we'll just pretend he's a child prodigy and is talking. My blog, my child, my imagination. Ok, only kidding here...


Dad...aka... "Papa" this is for you!! I think Titus can't handle the distance and needs you and Mimi to come visit him.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

a great saturday.

Friday could not have come sooner this week. Some weeks are just like that eh?! I kind of feel like Satan has been on the prowl in the most random of ways. Just little spurts of discouragement in the midst of a busy life def calls for more time in the word, prayer, and additude checks. Help me Lord! Last nights we were able to veg and rest which was greatly needed. Sometimes the best thing we can do to give God glory is to simply rest. Thank you Jesus.

Some wonderful things God has blessed us with here are great friends. It's a rare season we're in and to have friends that are in the same boat is huge. If only we all had the time to hang out as much as we wish AND if only we would be able to live in the same town forever..... gold nugget relationships, as my sis-in-law Sarah says.

So yes, today we went to a SPECIALTY grilled cheese place with dear friends. Yum. It was delish. Thank God our friends not only know great places to eat but have a great sense of direction (today not only did we, but our gps got lost too). After that our little family headed to the Pearl (a super trendy part of dt) for some icecream and photo taking. We ran into a couple Ryan went to college with that he had not seen in years. They are married now and live close by. How random! :)

Now... we're home for a relaxing night of Ryan studying (boo) BUT dinner is ready in the crock pot. Hello 75 degree weather and sunny skies. Pull up a chair and PLEASE stay awhile. I love Saturdays when we're together all day as a family during the haven of Portland's BEST time of the year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eliza has arrived!!!






Sweet Elizabeth Anne (Eliza) graced the world with her arrival today at 2:32 PM. She is 5lbs.15oz and absolutely precious. I don't see how this auntie is going to make it until Christmas. Maybe I should go buy a baby doll and skype! Ha, ok so this is totally not about me, but just wanted to celebrate sweet Eliza's debut!! I can't get over how gorgeous she is. She looks a lot like her big sister with her mommy's eyes. That's my prediction, but granted, she's only a few hours old. My family is praising Jesus for a healthy baby girl that is bigger than expected! We are so grateful for this child already. Congrats Julie and Kevin!!

Ok, is it just me or do these babies look alike (minus the Epp chin)? Big shout outs to the other cousins.. whether they look alike or not! ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


We had a great Saturday for multiple reasons, but the first is that today it is Ryan's third day 5 weeks. Between his Army training school, drill weekends, every day work it's been busy times for him. Good, but busy. Somehow his head is still attached and he is still quite pleasant. Oh yea, he's taking a full load of school and working with a youth group. I just pray that God will sustain and use us in spite of ourselves and over-committed busy life. I have a feeling we'll look back on these years as some of the best years of our lives. Of course we could build margin, and most likely will at some point, but for the time... we're thankful to be getting to do what want.

So we enjoyed a picnic halfway in the rain, but it was fun all the same. Then Titus went down for a nap while Ryan studied and I got coffee with my friend, Callie. We also went to an adorable/hip fabric store. Everything in the store made me want to become a pro sewer. Too bad I can't sew a straight line to save my life. I am using one of my m-in-law's machines and having a blast.

I've wanted to sew for a while now.sidenote--- I am always hesitant on my grand hobby ideas since 3rd grade when I collected pogs and then in 5th when I was positive that if I collect
ed enough TY beanie babies I would be able to pay for my entire college. I even had the Princess Diana beanie baby. Too bad they're rotting in a box in a closet somewhere. Do you remember the craze? I know it wasn't just me, but I won't mention any names here!! :)

so.. yes.. since I've wanted to learn for more than a week.. I'm going for it. I sewed tonight after a fun date with my hubby. Thank you dear friend for babysitting. We enjoyed some sushi and $1 cones from Ben and Jerry's! YUM! Below is the clutch, but you just can't look too hard at it.. I'm just a beginner. Big.Time!

Is a baby sleeping not the sweetest thing ever? I've been missing Titus a ton when I put him down at 7:30 PM and I don't go to sleep until almost midnight. Probably pathetic, but I can't resist going in and rocking him just a tad. Here's the lastest way he likes to sleep. You'd think he'd be crawling if he can sleep on his knees...nop..we'll work on it, but I'm sure he'll just do it when he's good and ready!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crazy Love

Francis Chan... I certainly respect this man and am challenged by what he says in Chapter 2 of Crazy Love. It's a popular book out right now, and def worth the read. Not because it's popular, but because it's a great book to give some fresh perspective on what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. Not a sub for my Bible, but just a great read.

I don't want to take away from what he says by trying to sum it up on my own so here it is..... but first, he is talking here about how our lives are just a vapor...

"We have only our two-fifths-of-a-second-long scene to live. I don't know about you, but I want my two-fifths of a second to be about my making much of God. First Corinthians 10:31 says, 'So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.' That is what each of our two-fifths of a second is about.

So what does that mean for you?

Frankly, you need to get over yourself. It might sound harsh, but that's seriously what it means.

Maybe life's pretty good for you right now. God has given you this good stuff so that you can show the world a person who enjoys blessings, but who is totally obsessed with God.

Or maybe life is tough right now, and everything feels like a struggle. God has allowed hard things in your life so you can show the world that your God is great and that knowing him brings peace and joy, even when life is hard. Like the psalmist who wrote, 'I saw the prosperity of the wicked...Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure...When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; (Psalm 73:3, 13, 16-17). It is easy to become disillusioned with the circumstances of our lives compared to others. But in the presence of God, he gives us a deeper peace and joy that transcends it all.

To be brutally honest, it doesn't really matter what place you find yourself in right now. Your part is to bring Him glory---whether eating a sandwich on a lunch break, drinking coffee at 12:04 a.m. so you can stay awake to study, or watching your four-month-old (or six month) take a nap. The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is HIS. It is HIS movie, HIS world, HIS gift."

-pages 45 & 46

Wow, what a good reminder....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

YM-- can I use abbreviations for everything now?

Ryan and I are helping out with a youth ministry at a local church here. We are getting in somewhat of a groove amidst the craziness of Ryan's life. It's a blast and each week we are blessed by the relationships that are being formed.

Funny story.. so the first week I went I was chatting with some of the gals when one of them looked at me and asked what high school I went to. I'm pretty sure that since it was the week after high school promotion she was "reaching out to the little freshman." Bless her heart. Wait, Bless my heart for looking 14! Maybe by the time I turn 25 I'll pass as a junior in high school!

It's a fun and fruitful ministry. I love getting to watch first hand God taking hold of these kid's hearts and radically changing their lives. It's just a bonus that it just happens to be tons of fun! Titus and I tie dyed shirts Sunday night with the girls. Thankfully, someone helped me with ours. We all wore ours tonight to youth group... aka.. Wednesday Night Lights. Fun times.

A Wednesday in the life of a SAHM

I just figured out what a SAHM is... Stay at home mom. All the baby/mom forums I read here and there just started to make a ton more sense. Ha! Clearly, I'm a smart one. Just in case you aren't catchin' the social cues this morning via blogger that is sarcasm...I don't really think I'm a smart one. I feel like I just caught up with the rest of the mom's in the world. It's a monumental day in the Epp house!! I'm surprised I didn't figure it out a couple months ago when the light came on with what a LO is (little one). Babycenter has their own lingo... crazy.

I digress.. Have a super day and enjoy our video!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy 1/2 Birthday

Titus is 6 months old today. I can feel a gasp, sniffle, and a big smile erupting from my heart. Six months ago at this very moment I was looking into the eyes of my first born son. So proud, completely scared, and extremely grateful he was healthy and out of my body. As much as I long to relive the moment I first laid eyes on him I love the stage he is now at. For the sake of the scrapbook I have yet to start, here is some random information about Titus.

At 6 months he is...

- on a 4 hr. schedule...Hallelujah!
- eating step 1 baby food. He likes his fruits more than his veggies.
- still nursing (I hoping to get him through or almost through cold/flu season and then start to wean...I love nursing for many reasons, but at the same rate this mama is ready to not feel so much like a machine or food group).
- rolling over and over and over.....
- smiles all the time.. he will go from crying to smiling all in the same breath.
- loves his jumperoo,
- loves little toys and rattles to hold.
- can sit up, but still is a little wobbly. He would rather be rolling to get closer to a toy.
- takes 2 naps a day and one cat nap.
- has made awesome progress since starting solids on his sleep patterns. He is no longer waking up once a night to nurse, which I DEF am loving.
- wears size 6-9 months in most things, or just 9 months.
- weighs almost 18 lbs, but somehow doesn't seem to have a ton of chub..
- likes to snuggle when he is tired.
- his best friends are his paci and burp cloth. The child loves to suck his paci and hold his burp cloth when falling asleep. I still take it out of the crib after he is asleep.
- is a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of guy!

I'm starting to brainstorm themes and ideas for his first birthday. I really want to make it memorable. In all honesty he'd probably love it just as much if we watched baby einstein and played peek-a-boo. My guess is that the first birthdays are probably more for the over-zealous moms than anything! I'm ok with that! We'll see what I come up with, but I'm kind of thinking a Circus theme would be fun....who knows! I think Ryan would be a great clown! Don't you?! ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello Fall!

While I was in Charleston I hit a garage sale and found a cute little lion costume for Titus for Halloween. Halloween has never been a big thing in my family, but I always loved getting to dress up and get candy! I bought the costume and tried Titus in it. Very quickly I realized by the end of October there would be no way this child would be fitting in this! Plan change! While at a wonderful consignment store in town (if there is a once upon a child in your town you can find some awesome deals.. like $3 and $4 outfits) I found the cutest costume I have ever laid eyes on!! Moms of boys will be quick to attest that there is just not as much out there for little boys compared to little girls! I snatched up that sweet scarecrow costume and raced home to try him in it! I'm planning on doing a little photo shoot at a pumpkin patch with him in it. I can't wait to take a trip to the pumpkin patch this year with my baby!! Since I'm awful at surprises I'll just share a quick peek!!! I think I'll paint his nose black and we'll be set!

Happy Fall!!! I am far too excited about the pumpkin spice lattes now available at Starbucks along with a pumpkin air freshener in my car and pumpkin lotion!! It's def one of my favorite times of the year! My love for school is getting lived through my husband during this season. I found great joy in buying him new pens and highlighters! Organizing my school supplies and binders was probably my favorite thing about going to school! Happy Fall and back to school!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A little bit of kindness goes a long way..

I have the most bizarre story. When I think back and wonder how in the world this man's face stuck in my mind for 3 months it is simply because he was above and beyond nice. I was in the Seattle airport trying to pull my belongings together before Titus and I made the long trip to SC. My mind was on everything but meeting people. Coming right off the plane from Atlanta was a cute set of grandparents so very excited to see their first born grandson in Seattle. They walked up to me beaming from ear to ear and announced that they were about to meet their grandbaby who had just been born and still at the hospital. They ooooed and ahhed over Titus like they had known us for years instead of .2 seconds. I thought to myself, wow, they are really nice. Of course with your kids there is an extra measure of caution, but seriously there were no hidden agendas here, just plain kindness in it's purest form. It's not like they were trying to be syrupy, it was evident that their kindness was an outpouring of their life.

So fast forward THREE months and I am boarding my plane in Atlanta to fly back to Seattle on the same airline I always fly and lo-and-behold the same couple is sitting in the first seats on the plane. I know they didn't recognize me, but immediately they launched into how precious Titus was and how excited they were to see their grandbaby who is now a little over 3 months old. The man said to me, if he gets fuzzy or you need a break, bring him to me and I will hold him. I didn't, but the offer was kind. I sat in my seat during my trip and tried to place the face. By the time we arrived in Seattle I realized where and how I knew them... the nice airport grandparents!!! I calculated the dates in my mind on how old Titus is..was.. verses their grandbaby and I am certian it's the same couple. Since I was in the very back of the plane I never saw them again at the baggage claim. People, I talked to this couple for less than 30 seconds but still remembered them.

It's a good reminder of what going "above and beyond" to be nice can do...even for a stranger. They totally didn't have to be nice to me, or talk to me for that matter. No one would have ever known the difference, but they did! Maybe I'll see them again on a flight and will get the opportunity to thank them. Or maybe, I'll thank them in heaven. :) I have a feeling they know him too.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

back in ptown

We are B-A-C-K.. and functioning (right now). Titus was a champ. It did get a little chilly on the plane and like a good little gentleman he wanted to make sure mommy was staying nice and warm so he wet right out of his diaper and all over my jeans. Nothing like a little peepee!! Those jeans seriously get some kind of bodily substance on them each time I wear them! The guy next to me was about my age and we were talking about kids and he said right before Titus wet me how he is looking forward to when he and his wife start having babies. Hopefully it's not another 10 years because of us! Aside from that it was the easiest trip back home we've had! Thank you Lord!!

I left yesterday with my nerves a wreck. My sister is having some end of pregnancy related issues and we are so eager to get Eliza here safe and sound! My heart loves that baby already. Please pray-pray-pray for a safe, healthy baby girl and Mom!! You can learn more about the situation here. Thanks!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Auntie fun

Our trip to Charleston has been a blast and I'm sad to see it end. Does goodbyes ever get easy? Doubtful. Plain bittersweet in so many ways.

I have gotten to hang more with the little niece and nephews during my trip home because the big kids are in school. The two partners in crime (Jackson and Ella) never left us with a dull moment. Too cute those two. The babies were sweet and fun to watch interact. I don't think they knew what to do with one another, but cute all the same. Addie and Landon (the oldest 2) although in school, shared some fun times as well getting ice cream and goofing off at the house. Man, I love those kiddos. It seems that my nieces have a similar love as their auntie.. hair. We played spa and straightened a ton. This same conversation cracks me up even though I've had it.. count.. 30 times! :)

Ella: Guess, Guess (Jess, Jess)
Me: Yes...
Ella: Hairrrrrrrrrrr, Hairrrrrrrr
Me: Ella, Do you want me to do your hair?
Ella: Hairrr state, Hair state (Hair straight)
Me: Do you want me to straighten your hair?
Ella: AHhhhhhhh-kay (she says ok like it was my idea).
Me: (I proceed to do her hair)
Ella: Peeeety.. peetty (pretty).
Ella: Pappppa, Papa (she then gets down to go show Papa her pretty hair)

Seriously, how in the world does a 2 year old love getting her hair done soo much? The other day she started patting my Dad (aka her fav person ever) and said "Sweet Ole Papa. That girl doesn't lack for spunk!

In other news...I'm wishing a very happy birthday to the cutest pirate/cowboy around..

Happy 4th Birthday Jack-a-roo!! I love you!

I love being an auntie... all 18 of them!