Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Eyes of the Soul

I really do have an amazing job.

When I tell people what I do they usually give me an amazed or sad face often followed by a, "I don't think I could ever do that." And while I agree that many people can't do such, I also don't think they know what a blessing it is to my life.

So I work at The Nurturing Center ( is a family-focused therapeutic treatment center for child abuse and neglect. My "official" title is a Individual and play therapist and I have been there now for over six years.

Yes, I have seen a lot of painful things. And yes, there is so much sin in the world that sometimes it seems overwhelming and hopeless. And yes, it is hard at times when you hear the unimaginable things that have happened to theses souls.....

But it has taught me so much. So much about who I am, so much about my Savior and the hope he brings, so much about what lies beneath the surface, so much about how similar we all are -except for a few variables that seem to cause so much division and so much of the pain that is out there.

I'm blessed that theses women (and sometimes men) are willing to share there heartaches with me. There are times I want to just wrap my arms around them to show them Christ's love...but much of the time all I can do is hand them a tissue and lift them up in my prayers. How I wish I could see them grab onto the hope that is there for us all, the only true thing that is going to make a difference in their life. The restorer and redeemer that waits for us. I wish they could receive the hope that I have been so graciously given. Until then, I will continue to plant seeds that may one day be enlightened by the SON.

Weekend without Him

So my husband is amazing and I never give him enough props for all that he does to support me in so many ways. BUT I did know that I was not looking forward to this couple weekends in a row with him out of town (glad for him though!).

While still nursing and pumping it can be hard to get other things done. Add to that a dog that keeps throwing up (what I woke up to and stepped in one morning) AND stomach cramps AND paperwork that needs to be done, AND a baby that just does not appear happy and keeps screaming (yes she got kicked out of the nursery at the gym, again, sigh) AND a dirty dirty house that begs to be cleaned before a visit from a friend I haven't seen in FOREVER = Much scrambling, crying, carpet cleaner, fresh air, and anticipation of my husband's return.

In deciding to go to a fall fest a few minutes before it started (that and the fact that the cute little monkey outfit that I bought Zoe at Tot Trade swallowed her whole), I was scrambling knowing what to put on her. So I threw on this cute TuTu that my friend made for Zo from her extra supplies (Thanks Dianne) and a Black onies from NY (it used to have a cute saying on it but thanks to a wash before wear policy - they all came off - Thanks for the thought though Shalai), and off we went.
I did enjoy the fun, although, felt somewhat silly going with just me and my baby. However, it was a good time and I got a couple of cute pics out of the deal.

So thankful to have my Beach back though!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Creepy Farm Fun

Ahhh, Saturday, a day to catch up all the things that I have let slack throughout the week, but yet it was so pretty outside. So in having a good friend message me this morning about hanging out, I repressed my responsible self and to do list for the great outdoors, pumpkins, adult talk and things that I did not know that existed so close to home.

Off to a farm in Lexington that my friend knew of. I found it interesting that when we pulled up the sign advertised the pumpkins, hayrides, hunted house, and oh, yes, 25% off their bridal gowns. Ok....

So busting out the strollers on the dirt road, we pass up the scary looking hunted house and, drum roll please, Goat town.
Where all goats need tree houses, pulley systems and ramps.

Yes, it says (or did at one time) The Hilton Goatel.

What kind of other animals could they have here you wonder?

You can tell Zoe is thrilled.

Theses were next to the "yellow" water (Eli's, age 2, description of the pond for the animals).

After the excitement of so many animals, it was good to find an outhouse looking sink area with marble sinks....hummm.....

We also found a pretty scary playground, which we saw a sign for later that stated that it was free for children under two.....thank goodness!

Dianne was brave enough to let her daughter try out the unstable looking swing. More thrills.

Let's see what else can we get into......

No how about those pumpkin shots that I have been wanting? Lets try some of those. friends.
Then the jewelry war began.....gotta have the necklace...
"This is to traumatic for me."
"Oh, no you don't....I will take your eye out!"
Ok, perhaps it didn't happen quiet like that but it's always fun to wonder what babies could be thinking.

Gotta love it.....just don't get to used to the orange you pretty girl!

Some lessons I learned on our outing:
1. Another route in Lexington (a town that always seems to confuse me).
2. Marble sinks can be put in even the rustic of areas.
3. Pumpkins are very durable (Eli proved this by throwing, dropping, and rolling the many that he saw! Most of this was done in front of the huge line that was waiting for the Hayride. We provided much entertainment for the folks looking so desperate for it).
4. Bring an extra camera battery so when I do find the perfect shot for a picture it won't die on me before I get it shoot.
5. Need to make time for sun, friends, and fun on Saturday!

Nap time!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pass the peas Please

So after a rough first try with food (the rice cereal didn't agree with Zoe and we paid for it with three nights of a crying baby) we are trying again. Of course I found some great deals on organic baby food when it was on sale (and I had some coupons) so I stocked up in a variety of flavors...all for this moment.

Time to bust out the green. I plopped some out in a bowl and sat down for dinner with the family. When Beach saw the the lovely green and asked what it was in disgust, I told him guacamole (for babies). He seemed surprised but the trusting soul that he is didn't respond to such. When I confessed it was peas, he really didn't want to give it to Zoe. Now granted I hate peas, too, but know that they are good for us and my daughter should get a fare chance of making her own decision. So here we go....

However, Beach proceeded to go on and on about how gross they were, making faces and telling me how everyone in his family hated peas.
Beach: The Lovelands just don't like peas.
Jessica: Everyone??
Beach: Well maybe not my dad
Jessica:What about your mom?
Beach: She might like them.
Jessica: So you mean just you and your brother.
Beach: Well my uncle too. He wrote a poem about how much he hated them.

Ok, I got it... Beach didn't like them. However, Zoe seemed not to mind and even seemed to enjoy them the next night. Does that look like a face that isn't having a good time!

The ironic part came at the end of the dinner, though, when I asked Beach if he liked our veggs (it was one of those Green Giant mixes that you steam). With a shrug, he stated that it was alright. Doing my best to hide my "I told you so smile," I asked him what he thought the green things were in the mix. "Green beans," he replied. Nope.....that's right....they are peas (now believe it or not this was not planned!). He didn't believe me until I broke open one of the pods and showed him.
Not so much talk about hating peas anymore.

Lets Make a Deal

I am sucker for good deals. It's like I get a high off of what I can find, the coupons that area there and what I can get for free. That's probably why most of the clothes I have bought for myself and my daughter have come from thrift stores (thanks to the awesome ones in MI full of treasures that the wealthy have discarded). It's also why we don't ever go out to eat without a coupon, and those times are not that often. I often get told I should teach a class about it, but that idea seems overwhelming to me, although I'm always up to sharing what I've found.

I also love routine. So for the past several weeks, on Tues. we have hit up Brugger's bagel (something I would have never done pre-baby due to the carbs) and get their 5 dollar meal deals (which really is a good deal considering their normal high high prices). But the kicker is how we pay for it, with gift cards. Gift cards that we earned by standing in line early one morning for their grand opening. At 100 dollars a pop, it was a five AM wake up that has been well worth it as we have stretched it into months worths of dinners!

Oh, and I have found a fun new store, Miss Cocky, which is full of really cute USC gear I cannot afford. But thanks to Bid Columbia I bought several 50$ gift certificates for 15 $ each (It was the minimal bid and since no one else bid on it, guess who won). I will be heading back there at the end of the season to see if I can find anything else that is on clearance, stretching just a bit further!
Oh, how I love a good deal. Extra bonuses from the weekly deals of grocery and drug stores!