Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving in St. Louis this year with Christine's extended family. Dana's parents and Ana's in-laws also joined us (not pictured) ... so it was extra special!

There were 19 of us in all - Everts, Galofres, Smiths, and Allens. Mia, Skylar, Larkin, and Reese were the young ones. Mary, Christine, Dana, Ana, and Justin were next. And then Alberto, Nancy, Gary, Maggie, Ken, Marilynn, Ron, Judy, Don and Frieda. We ate yummy pizza at Pi, brunch at Half and Half and crepes at the City Coffeehouse and Crepierie in Clayton. We took a beautiful walk around Washington University, enjoyed meaningful visits and a sweet memorial service for my grandfather, ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Whitmore House thanks to Robert "Tata" Evert, visited the zoo, and had great times just being together and watching Skye and Larkin play "mommy" to little Reese (who they basically thought was their new doll)! Thanks to mom for making it all happen, to Mary for delicious food, and Alberto for the wonderful family photos!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Many praises

Here's an update on the things below that I was struggling with a couple of weeks ago...

1. Dana hasn't been traveling so that's been wonderful. Our first family plane trip is next week to St. Louis so wish us luck in transit!

2. My nightmares have ended and there's a part of me that's actually excited to diving back into my work. I'm so thankful!

3. Our church Community Group is getting together for a holiday lunch this weekend so we'll get to see this group of special people that we love : )

4. My skin cancer is not the fatal kind so there are no big worries about this at this time.

5. Reese is NOT going to need a physical therapy! She had an extensive evaluation this week and the therapist just gave us some tips of small things to change around the house. Overall she thinks we can get rid of her flat spot on her head fairly easily and that she is not headed towards getting a helmet.

Lots to be thankful for as you can see. Perfect heading into Thanksgiving week! : )

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweet Celebrations

Last week was my last official week of maternity leave. It was bittersweet knowing that my days with Reese are limited, but it was made infinitely better by the visit of my BF Kristie. Kristie flew in to meet Reese and we had a blast while she was here. We ate at our favorite restaurants (TruFire, Whiskey Cake with Nicole and Charlotte, Seasons 52 with Angie), went shopping and enjoyed a fabulous spa day at the Stonebriar Spa (where we had such a good time that we almost went back the next day!). It was a terrific week and I am so blessed to have her in my life!

Saturday night Dana and I had our first night out without the baby. We went to go see the Zac Brown band and celebrate our dear friend Kelley Loredo's birthday with about 15 other people. It was a beautiful night to be outdoors as Texas is still in the 70s/80s. We had a great time and I was so grateful not to spend one moment worrying about Reese since we were able to get her school teacher from daycare to come watch her for the evening.

This weekend I also attended a baby shower for Nichole Wilson and a birthday party for Janelle's sweet little girl Maya who turned three. The conversation at Nichole's shower was hilarious (as some of the attendees had teenage girls/dating they were dealing with), and it warmed my heart seeing both Janelle and Maya so happy at this stage in their lives. So glad there is much to celebrate in life!

Reese also had a chance to debut her fancy bloomers at the party, courtesy of Auntie Kelley.

Today we applied for a passport for Reese. The process was NOT fun. In fact, the post office is so inefficient that it was the exact opposite of fun. However, Dana reminds me that this is a high-class problem as we now can travel the world and experience memorable adventures with our little one.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, I have to say I have mixed feelings after posting the message below. One the one hand, it reminded me that I have wonderfully supportive friends and family, as many people reached to me with their concerns and prayers.

On the other hand, it made me a little uncomfortable because I really try not to focus on the not-so-perfect things in life and I'm seriously not that bothered by all of it. Remember that book "Don't sweat the small stuff"? Well, I think it's all small stuff if you treat it that way. It's all how you look at it. So thank you everyone for your love. But believe me when I say that I'm okay and loving life and still feeling very blessed : )

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting real...

I recently joined a new bible study that I LOVE at Providence Church. This week, one of the things we discussed was how we often compare ourselves to others (our marriage, our finances, our children, our spiritual walk), when really we need to compare ourselves to Jesus. For instance, one might say: why don't I have as much as my friends? Then you might say, well I donate more to the needy/the church than they do... and you might feel better and go on your way. But really Jesus called us to sell everything we have and give it all to the poor.. that is the true bar.

The other thing that happens when we compare ourselves to others, is that we often look only at the good at their lives... we rarely see the whole picture. And what we forget, is that no one's life is perfect. Blogs and Facebook often compound this problem, as people typically only share the best parts of their lives.

This discussion compelled me to write a "not-so-perfect" blog post about what I am currently struggling with in my life.

1. Dana is traveling for most of the next 5 days. While I'm thrilled that he's off joining the Board of Partners International, it is hard to be a single mom while he's away. And Reese and I miss him : )

2. I've been having nightmares lately that I'm pretty sure are due to some subconscious anxiety around maternity leave coming to an end in 2 weeks. It will be quite hard to go back to work and leave my little one.

3. Our church Community Group just "broke up" due to geographic differences compounded by small children and their schedules. While I think it's the right thing to do at this time, it breaks my heart. These people have been my family for 6 years.

4. I was diagnosed with skin cancer last week. What can I say? I love the sun. Oh how I wish spray tanning had existed when I was a teen. I hear my mother in my head saying "I told you so" on this one... and she's right. Luckily, this cancer is easily treated and doesn't spread.

5. Reese is going to need a physical therapist (and we have to pay out of pocket for this therapy). Her neck is tight on one side so she only sleeps on one side and thus is developing a head that is 1/2 flat. While I'm thrilled she doesn't have a life-threatening illness, this is not fun for a newborn.

So that's it. I normally choose to focus on my blessings and all that is positive because I like that outlook in life, but sometimes it IS good to share the dirty laundry if it helps others who might be comparing their life to ours.