Saturday, October 31, 2009

Operation part-time job

I got a job! I know you must be thinking...I thought she was a sahm. I am, I am, but will now be working 2 days a week at a local christian recovery home for women and children. It is an amazing organization. From the times I have visited, I have been nothing but impressed with this organization. Lives are being transformed by the redeeming work of Christ, and I am so excited to get to be apart of that! I will be working in Titus' class with the other kiddos and will also get to interact some with their moms. Titus gets to come with me...for free..yippee!

I start... THIS MONDAY! :) It will be a bit busier for me, but I feel ready for more on my plate (if it was Ryan, it would be a different story). I cannot think of a more ideal working situation for me than this... I am just praying that God will protect T from getting sick all the time! I am starting to think about what all it will take to be loaded and driving in the car by 8:00 AM. I have been spoiled a bit the past 8 months of "working full time at home" in my pjs! Someone wise once told me..."proper planning prevents poor performance." Say that 10 times. Since being on time is not my strong suit, (thankfully my husband is "actively coaching" me in this area because on time is late to him) I will be working extra hard in the mornings to get out the door. Heaven help was hard enough to get myself out the door for work without adding a baby!

It will be a good growing experience for me I think, AND it will force me to get out this winter. I need that! Have I mentioned that I love this organization?!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Little Scarecrow

our gang...
The "Little People Big World" pumpkin patch... (i think this is a repeat)

Over at Kelly's Korner, she is hosting "Show Us How You Live"-- Halloween costumes! How fun! I can't get enough of my little man in his scarecrow just cracks me up!! I think little kids dressed up is quite funny, but adorable all at the same time!! I think it's even more fun getting to be the parent on Halloween and getting to watch your little cuteness in their attire! Who woulda known?! Enough rambling...enjoy my little man scarring off the birds..... nice job Titus!
(excuse the repeat... i'm shameless... I just can't get enough here. I promise I will retire the scarecrow costume after Saturday)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Best Day...

Titus is just like his parents in one way. He doesn't waste time and gradually go through change like well planned individuals... He does it all at once! 2 teeth, picking up puffs (snack that dissolves in his mouth) and eating them, basically weaned, and crawling all in a 7 day period. Why don't you just take off walking too T?! Tonight after a little family celebration I began realizing how much my baby has changed. I'm so happy for him though. He is having a blast and thriving! I could sit and be sad that my baby boy is becoming more independent, but there are many wonderful and sweet times here too.

Tonight, I'm not concerned about the mile high pile of clean laundry that needs to be shoved into drawers (I did manage to wash it) and I'm refusing to guilt myself into thinking I'm less of a mom bc Titus weaned himself at 7.5 months because I especially enjoyed playing and laughing a lot with my child and man today. Nothing extremely out of the ordinary, but it was just a really blessed day all the way around and I will remember this day forever.

(excuse some of the pics showing up 2x and then some too quick to see...I'm learning...and not the most tech friendly person!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I've always really enjoyed taking pictures. Last year I spotted a great camera and my gracious husband encouraged me to get it. In an effort to make the money back I spent on it, I began taking beach pictures in Charleston! It was fun and I am thankful for the experience. Since having Titus, it has become my little hobby. If there is one piece of advice I recommend to parents looking to buy a camera it would be to buy one that reacts fast without delays. Most of the time mine cooperates accordingly and it really helps to not miss the candid moments. Let's hope I keep this hobby up during all of our parenting years or else the other kiddos will greatly miss our on pictures of themselves compared to T.

We got the opportunity to get Photoshop so in the next 50 million years I will start learning that. As of late, it confuses the life out of me. I will def be purchasing photoshop for dummies! If all I do is learn how to take awesome pics of my family, i'm good with that, but it eventually evolves into something else, that's great too. Just trying to leave it open and allow God to do what he wishes in this area. So.. here's some of my fav recent shots..


Oh yea, how awesome is it that 3 of my good friends are pregnant! SO MUCH FUN!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the pumpkin patch

This was from the other day...
their house..
we tired him out...

this picture reminds me so much of Ryan.. I just can't seem to put my finger on what it is...

I am that mom. Ya know the one who risks life and limb, ruins every pair of jeans she has, bends over backwards AND looks a fool while doing it to get her child to look at the camera and smile. Today at the pumpkin patch was no different. It might have been the height of my looking ridiculous career, but I couldn't care less. I find beauty in getting down and dirty for my kid. It's about the memories right?

Here Ryan and I were... both LAYING in a field with some kinds of plants next to us with hundreds of cars at a stand still....watching us. But we had a good time, fun pictures, and kept the pumpkin patch tradition alive. For the second year in a row we headed to the Burgerville drive through for some food and especially a pumpkin milkshake to share and off to the Roloff Farm we went. We saw Matt, one of the twins, and their friend Rob (I think that's his name) who is also on the show sometimes. Oh yea, I'm talking about the Little People Big World show on TLC just in case you are lost here. It was b-u-s-y but every bit as fun. We opted out of the hayride around the property this year due to lines, but still had a great time. I think we will def have to do the hayride to the western playground for the Titus to play next year. There was a camera crew filming for TLC so that's always interesting.

It was such blast to have Titus there with us in his scarecrow costume...last year I felt slightly ridiculous going to the pumpkin patch with just my husband! Although, we had a great time then as well!

It was a good day, although it kind of made me want to get cable to see what the show is like these days! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

These boots were made for walking....

Ok, so here are some facts you probably know without me saying if you've read my blog for 2 seconds. I struggle with the winter weather. Besides loving the sun I am not a huge fan of feeling cold, wet, dreary skies etc. I also struggle with the uncertianty of work during the rainy season. (Prayers would be appreciated) In an effort to combat these things I am

1. Praying, 2. embracing the beauty of fall. Driving throughout the city I love to talk to Titus and tell him how God made the glorious colors we see. 3. Resting in the Lord's goodness, faithfulness and peace. 4. Being proactive as a family and 5. Loving BOOTS this season.

Seriously, I feel like I have a new friend. I don't care if I look ridiculous or if people start thinking I need to find new shoes because my feet are warm and dry. It's heavenly. I happen to like how they look, but that is secondary. It's a big step up from the black mudding boots I use to sport in college when it was raining and flooding on campus. I got them my freshman year when I was pledging my club for "rough night." I def got my $10 out of them! So here's a really glamourous picture of my dearest college roomate and I two years later on "rough night" when we got to be the scary club members intimidating the pledge class. I think this week jus happens to be happening at Harding tomorrow night.

I promise I was nice the entire time...I think I laughed more than anything.. good college times. Oh the good ole days and hello to stepping up the "boot area." Yes, there is weave in our hair, but that's another story for another day (or not). I've chased enough rabbits today already!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Change can be really good. The changing season here is absolutely breathtaking. The colors on the trees look like something out of a magazine. Although, I know that rain is fast approaching after the glorious fall, I'm enjoying the beautiful leaves. Seriously, I need to take some pictures...the reds, purples, oranges, yellows remind me why I love October so much.

Other changes are coming our way in the baby world.......

Ok, so maybe I should leave you hanging here, but clearly I already know where you mind is. Isn't that evil of me?! No, I'm not pregnant... BUT... my baby is changing... he is..

-cutting a tooth (I can see it..bless his heart).
-on the very brink of crawling.
-so over nursing.

Excited to watch little changes, but a fast reminder that his baby days will be looking a little different. I'm not ready for him to be done nursing. Well, actually I have mixed emotions. For his sake, I wish this wouldn't end, and partly for my sake I'm sad to see this being over in the near future. I love how simple it prep necessary. All that aside, the child will not nurse for more than 5 min anymore. Maybe 7 if he is half asleep. Mostly we make it 2. I really don't know what to do but supplement. After trying to pump with very little avail, I am realizing that this lack of interest has taken it's toll on my supply. I had my suspicions. I am preparing myself for this chapter to end, but holding on to some hope that it will last maybe a little longer. Aside from the benefits for him I know it will put a hurting on the pocketbook! I am really thankful though that I have been able to nurse him this long...I guess I might just not make the 3rd goal until 9 months. Since it's most likely happening I am trying to focus on the positives... final shed of the last extra lbs and a return of non-machine mode.

Here's to a new chapter and season beginning. I've loved every bit of the last, and would do it all over in a heartbeat. I guess that's what brother and sisters are for! Have I mentioned that I am not pregnant and have ZERO intentions *AND WANT* a healthy break. ;)

Farewell, gummy smile. Hello, active, laughing, full of joy, crawling, toy playing, adorable pre-toddler! Pictures to come at a later date!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


So after a few takes on the isight camera, Ryan and I have decided it's better if you don't see how awful we look this late! We look rough. So.... 2 things...

HAPPPPPPY Birthday to my brother-in-law and Ryan's older brother Kurt!


Congrats to Addie and Landon on their baptism this Sunday! We are praying for you, we are so so proud of you and we love you dearly! Oh yea, we really really wish we could be there to watch you take the big dip AND see your littlest bro dedicated.

It's a big weekend in our 2 fams! We are celebrating each of you today!


Ryan, Jessica, and Titus

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our days in pictures

Happy Birthday Grandma!
If I take one Grandma's bag and fly to the east coast will that mean both my grandmas are with me at the same time? Mommy thinks so!
I love my cousins!

Ok, so Mom's out there... Titus is drooling and breaking out some around his face....does this look anything like a tooth might be coming?? It does look kind of different in person compared to the pictures, but heaven only knows what's going on down there!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

7 months...

Dear Titus,

This morning your Daddy went to see you in your crib and you were sitting up playing with your paci, "rag," and bumper. I could hardly believe it and I am so excited for the little changes that take place each day. On Friday you started making a "m" sound, and I am super pumped that mama might be coming soon. That will be my second most favorite thing I've ever heard... I think the first is when your Daddy said "I do!" You are getting to show your cute personality more every day. You love to laugh when we tickle and kiss on you and you are enjoying playing with your toys more.

You have figured out how to roll to your toy basket, turn it over and get your books and toys out. I can't believe how fast things are changing in the Titus world. Can we just go back and start all over again? I'll even take the nights without sleep! As much as I say that, I love you even more now and love each new stage with you. You have a big appetite, but sometimes seem less interested in the whole nursing/bottle thing. I still feel like you are pretty happy-go-lucky, but I must say I've seen some of your little will come out this month. I pray God will use that will for his glory. You kind of just want what you want when you want it! Hmm...where do you get that from!?!

You are a champion roller and still have the most fun when you're in your jumperoo and Mommy is on the floor singing a song to you. You take off in that thing ready to soar. I think crawling is on the horizon soon, but no can be mobile the rest of your life!

Oh, little man, you are every bit as precious as the moment I first laid eyes on you. Even on the bummer days when I am convinced a tooth is coming through THAT day because you are cranky pants, I wouldn't trade you for the world! I love you my little peanut head (I'm sorry if you have to go to therapy one day bc I call you that... I promise it's just a term of endearment)!


Mama J

(just in case you're wondering.. you don't have a tooth yet)

p.s Happy 59th Birthday to your wonderful Grandma Epp!!!

--excuse the 2 post in one day.. I've had some time to think this weekend while Dad-e-o studies!

sunday evening....

It's Sunday evening and my heart is very glad I am watching (and praying) while my husband takes a big Theology test. I am really trying hard to be positive, but it looks like this week we will have some time together hopefully by Friday night. I'm not sure whether to cry or just be thankful that at least he's not overseas in Iraq. Monday evenings he's in school and the next 2 nights are spent prepping and youthing and Thursday he is hoping to catch up on his online class. At the end of some days I find myself longing to just sit and talk to Ryan. Our hearts dream of what life would be like beyond this point, but we realize that God is teaching us valuable lessons during this season. Lessons that don't come without challenging times and tough decisions.

On a public domain like this it's best not to go into details, but I since God calling us to look to him as our source of strength as well as bringing the desires of our hearts to his table.

Looking back on last fall, we were completely stripped of our own security. We used much of our savings to move out here, no jobs, no definite long term place to live, and a baby on the way. It give me a jump in my stomach when I think of the risk involved. I am reminded of those times tonight knowing that the God of peace completely went before us and worked things out. In a slumping economy Ryan got a job within 24 hours of arriving. Mind you, he had no contacts and used the phone book to call around. Housing, a job for me came 2 weeks post move. I know the same Christ is still interceding on our behalf and in the craziness of the week ahead we are asking him to make himself evident this week and be our God. If only it was cut and dry. Maybe this week it will be moment by moment, hour by hour holding onto the hope that "God's plans for us really are not to bring us harm, but hope and a future." Jer. 29:11 (Jessica paraphrased)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tired, Thankful, and Busy..Oh my!

Titus had his first sleepover at his Aunt Rebecca and Uncle James' house (minus Uncle James bc he was traveling on business). I packed his cute little red backpack and off we went. He was staying there because Ryan and I were chaperoning a lock-in for the youth group he is interning with. Leaving her house I felt like I was walking outside naked or something. Excuse the extreme, but leaving at dark in my car has always involved a baby in the back seat for 7 months. That was the first time in 17 months (remember you are prego for 10 months, lest we forget) he has not been within 6 feet of my body for more than 3 hours. Crazy to think, but true! It was fun to be able to focus on the students instead of having diverted attention. Thank you Aunt Bec!! I think she does 4 kids like a pro!

Thankfully, both were a success. Well, actually the youth thing is still going on with a hike in the gorge followed by a corn maze tonight. 30 Hours of Mayhem. Yes, we were using our brains in the planning. Our goal was to connect in a fun, non-threatening way with students in the group and their friends. It was awesome to see tons of kids pour in the doors after the rival football game across the street. Sure, they probably were coming for the free pizza, but what else they found was people who care and were interested in their lives. I was able to talk to quite a few kids and invite them to Wednesday night. If anything, I hope they will correlate the church across the street with generosity and love. Perhaps that will echo in their minds for a long time.

As I sit here today and drink my coffee I am saying a prayer for Ryan.... a paper and take home test is in order for the weekend....all that after a lock in! Can seminary be over already?!? I want my husband back!! I know the reality and I'm thankful for his hard work... it just gets a little foggy mid-semester with all the hats he's wearing. It's probably time for our fall semester getaway!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

that time of year again!

Fall is here... the blogs, weather, and clothing says it! I LOVE the freshness of fall, but what I love more is Christmas. So yes, I'm excited once again about Christmas this year. Surprise, Surprise. I'm excited about putting a cute little tree in Titus' room with his own special ornaments. (I've been waiting all year to pull them out thanks to after Christmas sales). I'm excited about getting to play Santa. Who ever knew it would be way more fun as parents! I'm excited about getting to go to the Christmas Eve service with my entire family....the one I've gone to since I was three at the same church. But there's more....

Last year I loved getting to envision what Mary endured on new levels with my very pregnant belly with none other than my sweet baby boy. Christmas was so sweet in it's own way. It was the first time my family got to see me REALLY pregnant and I loved getting to share that part of my life with them even though we're 3000 miles apart.

This year, on the other side of becoming a mother Christmas is once again taking on new meaning. Every bit as tender, but thinking about the birth of the Christ child stirs me in a different way. I've been thinking more about how completely humbling it was for him to step down from heaven to this trashed out earth, coming as a baby. He could have come as a king, but the humanity of a baby speaks volumes. Having had a child myself only 7 (gasp) months ago, the reality of how UN-glamorous the labor experience still sits in my scarred mind! So here, the prince of heaven, came, lived, and died----- that we may have life.

hmm... life. The. Christian. Life. Like so many of you believers, I sometimes feel really misunderstood out of the Christian realm. Careful to not come across as judgmental, because truly God alone is the judge, but sometimes feeling trapped. Knowing God alone draws a man's heart, but taking our commandment to share every bit as serious. At the end of the day I just want so many I love to get it. To get the Christmas story to the fullest and see that it's not bound to a season, but a lifestyle. This lifestyle, relationship or whatever you want to call it is the most fulfilling thing known to man when lived in the fullness God intends.

Who even knows who read this blog besides my 4 relatives, but it's my prayer today that you come to a place where you can pray and ask the one True God to come and really show himself to you. He so will. I dare you to ask.

So there's my heart this afternoon. No silver platter, but just a free moment during someone's afternoon nap!

P.S. As Kelly's Korner stated, the new Chris Tomlin Christmas CD came out today. It's a good one!

Monday, October 5, 2009

coupons, coupons.

I hate when I over think things. It's wise in many ways and appropriate for many things, but I love it when I can just make a decision and be done with it. I must say that in the area of couponing I have thought way too much about it. First of all, I hate newspapers because it gets my fingers dirty. Second off, I hate having little pieces of paper cluttering my house. I guess it just cramps my style! Although, I don't like coupons I do like saving money so I am 100% prepared to get over it and learn to wash my hands and organize those little coupon cut-outs into a lovely binder!

I tried it last December. It gave me great joy having to have the manager come to let my transaction go through because I was saving so much money. The sad thing was that I was saving money on things I did not need. Let's just say we JUST finished off the onion soup mix from last year. Things I didn't need, but bought because it was such a good deal.

So here I am again wondering if it's an endeavor I'd like to jump into. I'm pretty pleased with our grocery budget and ability to meet it shopping mostly at Trader Joe's and Winco. If I had a larger family it would be a different story, but there are some things I'd love to save on. I usually buy meat every couple of months and divide and freeze so we're good on that end. Diapers, other toiletries are little things that add up! It pains me to pay as much as I do for toilet paper! My mom said that she went to a conference in which the lady said she never has to pay for her toiletries. Oh my, I have my work cut out! In my over thinking I forgot to buy the Sunday paper. Just like my never ending diet....I guess I'll just start next week!

So my question..... is it really worth it to coupon for toiletries, diapers, and cleaning supplies?!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In every season...

I love this song. I love the different seasons of the Christian journey it mirrors. The desert and the harvest. My fav line (besides the whole song) is

"all of my life
in every season you are still God
I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship."

I was excited today in church when we sang it. I came home determined to listen to it more and found this story on youtube. This lady leads worship with Hillsong. What a beautiful story. I am amazed at her love for Christ and willingness to worship him and see him despite her pain.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

baby favs

Over at Kelly's Korner she is hosting "Show us your Life- Baby Gear." Oh baby gear, how I love thee. As cluttery as it can sometimes look, I love the fact that baby stuff fills my home and I find great joy in tripping over toys all day long. Ok, maybe not the tripping part!

So... here were some things that I'm convinced helped. A lot.

1. His boppy swing. Titus loved his swing. We used it until 6
months. He probably took most of his naps in it. It was a beautiful thi
ng and would immediately put him to sleep. I now feel like it's extended family. Thanks, Bec for letting us borrow it!

..oh man my arms crazy him being so small! :)

2. His swaddle blanket. He would not go to sleep the first few months unless he was swaddled in these or in his swing. I always swaddled him until about 5 month. I just bought the kidopotamus kind from Babys R Us.

3. Sleep positioner. I kinda guess everyone uses one of these, but it really helped him sleeping.

4. Angel Care monitor. I know it's just a monitor, but it really helped the level of sleep I got because I was able to know that throughout the night he was breathing. It was a level of reassurance that helped me more than anything. Just in case you don't what this is, it's a monitor that goes under the mattress to make sure the baby is breathing. If it doesn't detect the child has taken a breath, an alarm will sound.

5. Gas drops. Sometimes after some of his feedings Titus would start to pull his legs up and fuss. These seemed to help him. I still use them when we fly because he always seems to get a little gassy.

6. Johnson and Johnson lotion (pink bottle). I still use this along with J and J head to toe wash. Nothing smells better than a clean baby.

7. Bassinet mobile. Crazy as it is, that really helped him sleep.

8. Paci. He loves it. Whatever, I guess I'll make him give it up before he goes to college!

9. Chicco travel system. It's pretty compact and easy to carry and fold up. I'm hoping it will last for all of our kiddos!

10. Jumperoo. He love love loves it!