Thursday, December 31, 2009

{What a Difference a Year Makes}


This morning I woke up and thought about how today is the last day in 2009. This morning, as I mentioned in my Facebook status, I was feeling good & ready to say goodbye to 2009. It didn't start out a great year... I thought.

But then on the way home, as I waited in the car for Justin while Eisley slept {we stopped to rent the movie "9", Chinese food, and some champagne to ring in the New Year}, I thought about how a lot of great things have actually come to us this year. I just wasn't looking at it the right way.

I'll put it this way...

At the beginning of 2009: Justin and I were in a bad state financially, just barely getting by.
As 2010 starts tomorrow: We are experiencing, by the grace of God, one of the most lucrative months of our married life thus far. {And I've come to the realization that we're probably better prepared to handle this now - after learning many financial lessons the hard way - than we would have been prior.} It's comforting, after feeling the effects of our suffering economy for so many months now.

At the beginning of 2009: We knew we were facing a rough year. Very tough changes were in store for us, and we knew it. There were days I just wanted to find a dark hole and stay there for a while..
As 2010 starts tomorrow: The outlook is bright. Sure, things can always change. But we're much more hopeful. And also relieved.

At the beginning of 2009: Justin was employed by a company that was obviously taking him nowhere. He'd been in sales for 6 months at that job and hadn't earned a dime in commission.
As 2010 starts tomorrow: New job since March, and we couldn't be happier with it. We're so excited Justin finished December selling $15k over his monthly goal. I'm so proud of him!

At the beginning of 2009: We were needing change on certain aspects of our marriage. Without going into detail {the inner workings of our marriage is our business, and our business only}, we were somewhat weary.
As 2010 starts: God answered the prayers on needing change. I feel we've definitely been enlightened this year. And that's all I'll say...

In the beginning of 2009: Eisley was the brightest star in our lives on earth.
As 2010 begins: Eisley is still the brightest star in our lives on earth. We're so lucky she's our daughter.

The start of 2009: Was a time of sheer anxiety and stress over my business, Lark & Lola. I wanted so badly to do the shows this year, but I was so very scared of failing.
As 2010 rings in: I'm starting a new year of shows and I *know* people like my work, and am facing this year with new confidence, better prepared, and bigger, better ideas. It's a joy.

So, you see, 2009 wasn't so bad after all. If I could go back in time and confront Heather of January 2009 I'd tell her not to worry. "There will be a lot of positive growth this year," I'd say. "So don't worry so much."

I hope
this post doesn't sound too braggy. I would hate to give the impression that I want you to think our lives are perfect and we're just "oh so great". In actuality, 2009 was mostly about HUMILITY {click} for Justin and I. As for the blessings, those are God's to take credit for. And I hope, if you're having the sort of New Year that we had last year... well, I hope maybe you can find hope in my message? God takes care of His children. The rough spots in life often end up being sources of growth that, in the end, we're quite grateful to have experienced.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

{The Day Eisley Had a Big Sister}

Last week we had the pleasure of having Eisley's cousin, Moriah {or Mo} along with us for an outing.

Mo is so motherly and sweet to Eisley. We had lunch at the mall {see above pic, and we will return to this one in a minute}, played at Monkey Bizness, went to Costco:

{They even got to sit side-by-side in the gargantuan Costco carts. All Mo asked of us was that she get to try the samples. Fair enough.}

Finally, they conked out in the car together on the way home. How cute is this???

Mo, you can come hang with us anytime! Eisley adores her big cousin and is very entertained by her presence - which makes running errands a lot easier for all of us.


Now, I would like to return to this image {a clipping of the first photo in this post}.
We cannot, for the life of us, figure out why Eisley has black lips in this photo? Our camera has a "beauty shot" which evens out skin tone, perhaps this is the "goth mode" we didn't know about?

No, but really... she was eating apples and french fries... there is no explanation for this.

{Cue Twilight Zone theme music.}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Yesterday we got most of our Christmas shopping done at Park Meadows.

True to my gender, I love shopping.
To Justin it was probably more of a chore.
To Eisley it was probably pretty darn boring.

Except when Daddy threw her on his shoulders and skipped around like a horsey.
That part was pretty cool.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

MWAH!

A few days ago Eisley got a letter in the mail. It was from her Great Grandma Erwin, and enclosed was some money just for her, with instructions to find her something special for Christmas.

I tucked the bills away in my purse and made a mental note to myself to think of something special Eisley would like for Christmas.

A couple days later, after a family portrait session and lunch at Aspen Grove, Justin and I spotted Build A Bear Workshop.

"Do you think that's something Eisley would like to spend her Christmas money on?" Justin asked.

"I'm not sure..." I said.

We hesitated, after all, Eisley is only 16 months old and she cannot tell us herself what she would like and what she wouldn't. But we ended up entering the colorful store anyway, just to see {we told ourselves} if Eisley reacted to anything in the store.

Justin held her up to look at all the un-stuffed bear & animal skins to see if she took to any of them. A gray kitty made her smile so we decided to go with it.

Eisley watched as the employee used a huge machine to stuff fluff into the kitty and then sewed the kitty up.

Eager to see how she would react to her new stuffed friend, we handed over the kitty and...

"MWAH!" {The air kiss noise we taught her recently.}

Eisley kissed the kitty on the face, hugged kitty, and then kept going...

"MWAH! MWAH! MWAH!"

And we didn't even prompt her. She did it on her own whim.

Any doubts we had had about Eisley being old enough to enjoy Build A Bear were long gone. It was clear she had a new, and very dear, feline friend.

We dressed kitty in a Mrs. Claus outfit for kicks, paid {Eisley's Christmas gift money was exactly enough for the experience}, and left happy.

She still kisses that kitty...

Last night we put Eisley to bed with her kitty, and heard her kiss kitty. "MWAH! MWAH!"

Again this morning, I was downstairs and heard Eisley waking up...

"MWAH! MWAH! MWAH!"

She *really* loves her Christmas gift, Grandma, thank you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Car Rides

Dear Eisenheimer,
{as your Pappa Erickson calls you}

Gone are the days of relaxed reclining in the rear-facing car seat. The lovely Chicco model we brought you home from the hospital in will go into storage until Violet or Paxton arrives {No, I am not pregnant. Yes, we have the names of the next children picked out}. This photo is not of you on the day you were born, but last week in King Soopers, where they give free cookies to the kids:
Now you ride in a forward facing seat. Much to our joy. Because unlike the day you were born, you now know how to get attention by throwing your milk, food, and toys over the edge of your seat to get attention and make the car messy. Also frustrating is driving while reaching one hand way back desperately searching for some way to stop your screaming. And finally, we can make use of that DVD player the previous owner of our car installed. If any kid deserves it, it's you, as you currently spend too much time each week riding in the car. So mom & dad are more than willing to give up listening to their new Glee CD so that you can watch Yo Gabba Gabba.

We're just SO happy your favorite show happens to be this one, and that we don't have to listen to Elmo's shrill voice or Barney talking down to children. Oh no, this we can put up with:




Love,
Mama & Jsuhshen
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