Thursday, December 2, 2010

Malachi's first trip to Florida

Oh, how I love vacation!! We were able to bring Malachi on his first trip to Florida for Thanksgiving! While flying alone with him to Florida was daunting, prayers were answered as he was a gem the entire way down! He slept the first flight. The second flight he seemed to be on speed or something as he was jumping up and down, up and down, squealing, cooing and making everyone laugh around us for about an hour. Then, within a couple of minutes, he snuggled his face into mine and fell fast asleep...crashed is more like it...for the next hour and a half! It was wonderful!
We were able to meet up with my parents at the airport and spend the first few days in LaBelle with my grandparents. I can not say enough good about my grandparents. They are the sweetest grandparents anyone could ask for as their love for the Lord, generosity, love for us, service, hospitality and humor pour out of them. I cherish the life time of memories gathered from spending time with them. It was so fun to share Malachi with them and laugh how it seems like just yesterday I was a little runt, running around their house, jumping in the pool and acting crazy. How time flies!

It's also so special to share Malachi with our parents. I'm sure it has got to be strange for them to see us with a baby. Actually, it's still kind of strange for me too...Either way, we just love him and love sharing him with Grandma and Grandpa Stoller & Rocke (how funny that sounds!). Not to mention, how WONDERFUL it was to have the extra help with caring for and entertaining Malachi! It's exciting to think of all the memories we'll be developing with Malachi and the grandparents/ mom & dad!! Thanks mom and dad for flying down from GA to see us!!
Upon the arrival of the Rockes to LaBelle, Malachi was quite a hit! He was certainly not lacking attention! We are so proud of him:) Grandpa gave everyone a horticultural tour around the yard prior to the big trip to the grove...Malachi's first trip to the grove:)
Next, was Malachi's first trip to Marco! Boy howdy, was he smothered with attention and he loved it! At times it was like playing hot potato as he was passed all around to the point of me wondering where exactly my son had gone. Time by the pool, walking on the beach with him, boat rides, fun family time and lots of good food packed the week. I can't wait until the next trip!

Time has flown by. As I was just getting better at blogging, life sure got busy. We've been able to have both moms down for a visit, have the Marti's visit on the way back from Mexico, and take Malachi on his first flight down to Florida! So many good times and now I find myself with Christmas just around the corner! How does time go so quickly!
During this time Malachi has continued to keep life interesting as he's had a few firsts. about 3 weeks ago, he discovered his toes and they have become his favorite new toy. That boy is flexible! Seeing him suck on his toes makes me laugh every time!
Our first night in Florida, he also started to sleep through the night between 8-9 hours without a middle of the night feed!! He has ever since, which makes me think that we just may need to go on vacation more! Maybe next vacation he'll start sleeping 10-12 hours...maybe I'm asking too much. Either way, it makes for one happy momma!
Teething has begun! While in Florida, many people told me that Malachi looking like he was teething. Upon our return, I asked the doctor to look while she was doing his 4 month physical. She let me know it was highly unlikely, but then started laughing as she looked and exclaimed he did in fact have 2 teeth! One has broken through and the other one is just about to! Craziness! He's handled it well and I hope he continues to do so!
Grab, grab, grab...anything that comes close he tries to grap and put in his mouth! Yesterday, I was trying to eat a snack while holding him. Every chip that came close to my mouth initiated a knock-down drag-out for who's mouth was going to get it. He's quick! Needless to say, that snack didn't last long as he showed his skills were too close for comfort. Next, we went to the office so I could work on the computer. He was in his bumbo, reached way out, picked up a huge mug of coffee (cooled) and poured it all over brent's desk! I had no idea he was that strong! He keeps life interesting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Fun

We had our first "Fall Cookout" last Saturday. It was a blast! God blessed us with perfectly beautiful weather and a wonderful group of friends to share it with. What started out as me asking Brent if it would be ok if I had a few people over for dinner, ended up as 24 total (including kids) for dinner. Woops! We had crochet, grilled out food, foot ball, little boys playing with legos, toy cars and chasing each other around the yard, sweet conversation, yummy food and wonderful memories made.
The night was absolutely fabulous and a true blessing for me. I was thrilled to have an evening to host such an event and more importantly such wonderful people to share it with. While Malachi had a COMPLETE melt down for the first 30 min, he finally fell asleep and awoke a happy baby. Brent was a wonderful hubby as he carried Malachi around for the rest of the evening in the Bjorn (a must have item!!). By the end of the evening, Malachi was worn out and we realized he had fallen asleep in the Bjorn. It was sooo cute! He was a trooper!

After the night, we were able to reflect on how wonderfully God has provided. We absolutely love where He has us right now. While Brent's call schedule is seemingly torture at times, I can't help but smile at the rest: our marriage, a man that loves me even though my continual failings and flaws, our wonderful church and it's amazing community it provides, our dear friends, wonderful women in my life that love God, sweet son, great home and more. I am blessed. Thank you Lord.

Here are a few more images from the night. Unfortunately, I was too busy to take more, which I was disappointed in myself, but oh time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Toilet Seat or High Chair?

Food for thought:

Would you rather eat of a toilet seat or high chair?

As gross as it sounds, I guess I'd rather eat off a toilet seat. After seeing the research that compared how dirty both are in restaurants, toilet seats are found to be much cleaner! Can you believe it?!? N.A.S.T.Y!!!! NASTY...NASTYYYY!!

The study found the following:
"Toilets had an average of eight bacteria per square centimeter. High chairs had 147. Ready for the kicker? The study was done in the United States, not England."

While I don't think I'll find myself feeding Malachi off the toilet seat (rest assured mom and Eva), I do think I'll be buying one of those high chair covers from etsy that I can bring along and wash after. Wow! I understand that people say you can't be too clean for your baby, but really?...I think this is just too far!

If you want to read the article, here it is:

I think I'll go wash my hands, just for the sake of it now!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Church History Can Enrich Our Faith

Brent showed me the article that I'm about to link you to. I'll admit I was a bit leery of thinking I'd find it interesting. I'm terrible. I say that I think history is important, but I'm often not a fan of reading and to get me through a history course was grueling to say the least. I'm growing into the desire to read. My mom said that I'd probably like it when I grew up...I guess I'm still growing up, but getting closer none the less:)
After reading this article, I am motivated to learn more of church history...something else to put on my plate. Hope Malachi likes to listen to it because it sounds like this will enter into our reading list together:)

Check it out:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

new wave of urbanization

"The human future is an urban future. In one of the greatest social shifts of all human history, over half of all living humans now inhabit cities...
Will the church rise to this challenge?"

“The twenty-first century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city,” writes Parag Khanna of the New America Foundation. “In an age that appears increasingly unmanageable, cities rather than states are becoming the islands of governance on which the future world order will be built.”

As this occurs, how and where does that impact our lives of ministry, our responsibility to reach the lost and the distribution of the gospel? The following is a great, thought provoking article.

"The grass is always greener...where you water it"

While we've all heard the saying, " the grass is always greener on the other side." How does that correlate to marital problems? It's kinda obvious that one could look at it as the rampage of and problem with our society's infidelity. Today, however, Brent and I were discussing ways to strengthen our marriage, how to better communication when times get rough...i.e. he's on call and there's minimal time to communicate. We thought of and we found some good questions to frequently ask our selves and each other to reflect on our marriage, our attitudes and state of our hearts.

One point we read was similar to the cliche phrase previously quoted, but this time it said, "The grass is always greener where you water it". This is common sense and we know this in a concrete sense all too well. Here, in Texas, the blazing heat can take a tole on the yard!! If you neglect the grass for just a few days it quickly starts to brown, die, become weak, unfruitful and the battle to strengthen it is a hard one. This is similar to a marriage. If we neglect to water or care for our marriage it too can become weak quickly. It's so true that we must be continually proactive to pursue, love and work at our marriage. Marriage is a wonderful gift, a deep responsibility and a blessing to be able to cherish. I love Brent so much and I'm thankful that he continues to pursue me and want to continually enrich and work at our marriage. I am blessed.

This is one of the more common sense points, but I thought it was a good reminder and stated creatively. If you want to see the point and questions to ask yourself and your spouse, check out this website. It's a good, quick read:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why all Good Christians Should Celebrate Halloween...

You're probably thinking that I've lost my mind since I've moved to Texas:)
I read an article with the above title. One of it's main points was

" The reason I propose that good Christians celebrate Halloween and stay home from the “Christian alternatives” is that Halloween is the only night of the year in our culture where lost people actually go door-to-door to saved people’s homes . . . and you’re down at the church hanging out with all your other good Christian friends having clean fellowship with the non-pagans.

It's a catchy title and it's made me think...How am I being intentional with relationships? Am I just hanging out with fellow believers because it's comfortable and not feeling I have time to explain & share the gospel to those that wouldn't agree? Am I getting inward focused and only thinking about my busy days, my family, Malachi, my friends? Or, am I concerned/broken hearted over the lost? I sadly find myself often in the prior. As the title is eye catching, it was a good reminder for me to step beyond what's comfortable and reach out to the lost around me: my neighbors, co-workers and those at the gym that I see consistently, but never really take time to see where they stand and invest in those that too easily slip by.

You should leave my blog and go to the following article that I referred to:

I hope it challenges you to be creative and invest in those around you too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

He's getting to be such a big boy!
Malachi is showing off how he's starting to push up with his arms.
studying with daddy
coffee house date with mommy & daddy
showing off the cutest little dimple I've ever seen

I've failed again. I can't seem to stay consistent at this blogging thing. In, efforts to keep family or even friends updated with sweet Malachi's life while away from everyone....I'm going to turn into that mom...that person I never thought I would...
I now baby talk. Not only baby talk, but I do it almost all day. I even find myself doing it to Brent. Or, worse off, I find myself baby talking to Malachi in first person only as I'm really talking to Brent...even more confusing. I've even accidentally taked baby talk on the phone to a couple friends...woops! sorry! (that's when I realize I really need to get out!)
I'm also realizing that Malachi is most of my life. I love him, love his smile, love his coos, his milestones that he's conquering and the excitement that entails!
I'm also that person that I never thought I'd be...I'm turning this blog into a blog pretty much about Malachi and our daily events since that's really what's going on. So, as I've heard many people say...many think it's crazy when a mom just blogs about her kids, well... I'm that mom.
I have found that I love reading other mom's blogs about their kids!! It's a weird bond almost I have found comfort in. I love reading of their victories, funny sayings and seeing them grow. So, if you're not into that...I think this blog will soon be very boring:) Just thought I'd warn you:)

Malachi, I'm so proud of you!! You have one proud momma that LOVES LOVES LOVES you sooo much!
You started making eye contact and smiling at us at about a month... the exact day I'll have to edit in later. You cried a lot at the beginning, but then one day, you woke up and smiled at me for over an hour! You'd never done that, but then all day between every nap you smiled at your momma for almost an hour. It was one of the best days of my life!!
You started raising your head during tummy time at about 7 weeks, but last week, at 10 weeks, you have started pushing up with your arms and bringing your arms in front of you!!! Your momma and daddy squeal in delight, cheer, clap, smile, say "yaaaaay!!!!!" constantly when you do! Seeing you push up and smile never gets old!
You also can bear all your weight and mommy & daddy just balance you. That started at mid week 9. I'm afraid you want to skip the crawling stage and just start running:) You are too cute!
Your smile makes your mommy melt! You are tricky in that you have learned to often smile, wink and flirt when put down for a nap to wooo your mommy into picking you back up. It is tooo cute, but unfortunately mommy loves you too much to do that all the time:) You take about an hour- hour 1/2 nap between feeds and typically stay up between feeds once during the day.
The coo-ing and sounds are precious! That started about week 6 and has been more and more fun every day!
Diaper changing time and right after feeding is the most hysterical time as you are so verbal! Those are mommy's favorite times of the day! You are so full of smiles that sometimes your nose twitches and your right cheek gets a dimple as your smile is so big and lasts for so long.
I love you soooo much Malachi!

Right now, he's taking a nap. He was a good boy as he had his first babysitting today for about an hour from one of my girl friends. She watched him as I signed back up to work some in the ER again. I'm not sure how long I'll work for, but I signed up for a week so far:) It was good to see everyone at work, but at the same time...the smells, the psychiatric meltdown from the lady behind me, the lady hearing voices and screaming back at them around the corner, the terrible smelling urine on the counter beside me, backed up waiting room and flem-filled smokers/TB/pneumonia/ nasty hacking cough of the man I passed just didn't fill me with glee either....
Who knows...but we're going to try it again and see how working a little here and there works out:) Fortunately, Brent is so sweet and supportive that he is behind me either way and encourages me also to stay home with Malachi, so...we'll see in a few weeks how that turns out:)

A few pics of what's going on:)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My days with Malachi are full of feeding, changing diapers, changing his outfits after messes, one way conversations, singing songs for which I realize I typically only know a couple of lines so I either make up the rest or just repeat those, lots of crying fits (totally not my favorite part of the day!!)....and taking lots of pictures of him. The first couple days of his life, he would get startled almost every time he heard the camera click. Now, it doesn't phase him a bit! Poor guy is going to think that the camera is just a part of me. I think Malachi may be getting cuter every day. Here's a few from yesterday as we were waiting for his daddy to come home.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's been about 3 weeks since Malachi has been born and about that long since I feel like I've had my head on straight, had more than 3 hrs of consecutive sleep, or known at what time to brush my teeth since I no long her have a "night" or "bed time" or normal "meal time" or really any time of my own. (don't worry, I still brush my teeth 2 or more times a day...I just have to figure out a time to do it or how to do it while holding a screaming baby. Oh, the skills I have already learned!).
His birth day was eventful to say the least. I believe I was told it was about 4 1/2 hours of labor. I'd say that was enough for him and me. He didn't like my over active uterus from which his heart rate decelerated several times and I didn't like the crazy contractions, but both worked out beautifully. His heart rate would bounce back every time the staff would run into the room, throw an oxygen mask on me and make me get in all sorts of interesting positions. The doctors were wonderful and of course Brent was the best supporter, coach, encourager, husband EVER imaginable through the whole thing. I knew Brent would want to be a strong supporter through it all and would try his best, but as he always does, he did better than I could have ever asked! It's true that you do kinda forget about the pain and I'm glad of that. I do remember saying " Brent I'm never doing this again! This is too much. I'm seriously never doing this again!"...but I think I would. I never thought I could fall so in love with a little baby so quickly. Malachi, even in his crying fits, is such a blessing. Malachi, you are simply an adorable, precious little boy!
Things that I love about him right now...
-That he's sleeping:) so I can type a blog real quick
-His pouty lip that he often follows with the cutest little grin ( I think that may get the best of me later)
-How cute his fingers and toes are
-How every time he wakes up he goes through a several minute stretching routine to wake up...Seriously, it's adorable and soooo funny.
-How he can pee all over as I'm changing his diaper and it for some reason it makes me laugh (especially when he does that to his daddy as he's changing his diaper before running out to work!)
-That he's starting to make eye contact with us and interact with us a little more

So we could go on and on, but that's where we are today. Thank you for your prayers throughout the labor and encouragement since! I'm excited for you all to meet Malachi! He says hello too!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pages turned into a new chapter

While I've now had 41 weeks to process the fact that the Lord has blessed us with a child, I still find it hard to believe and wrap my brain around. Yes, it seems like it should be easy as I have a huge, hard, protruding abdominal mass that makes it difficult to sleep and even do what seems should be a simple task....breathing. But still how can one really be fully prepared for the awesome life change of welcoming a child into her life. I've decided that no number of books, people's advice or audio can really prepare me.
Brent and I have had 2+ amazing years of our relationship. God has provided beyond measure, beyond what we could ever hope for or image. He continually loved us through our failings, grew us, sanctified us and now brought us to this new chapter in our lives. While it is exciting, I'll admit I'm definitely nervous, and find myself waking all through the night just praying for him, praying for us as parents, for wisdom, that he would grow to know, love and serve the Lord whole heartily. Feel free to pray with us concerning those matters.
We thank you for all the prayers throughout the pregnancy, the encouragement and thoughts. We look forward to having you meet him on Thursday!
As I've reflected over Brent and my life together, I think I'll include a few random sweet moments (although I want to spend hours posting my favorites-I will not bore you) as our independent chapter of life is soon to close. Oh, what adventures life brings! We praise God and wait expectantly for His awesome handiwork in this new time in our lives!

Morton: P-Fest

PTC: engagement

Rome, GA: wedding


Petite St. Vincent

Peoria: hiking

July 4th

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

40 weeks

Well, we have said hello to our due date and now it's about time to tell it goodnight as there are only a few hours until it passes us by. I must admit that I'm a bit surprised that our little man has not come out to say hello yet, but today I have found comfort in reflecting on how our loving savior already knows his birthday, has numbered his days and knows the plans for him. The waiting game is a little more awkward because of the complete unknown, but I guess that's exciting too. I'm still feeling great- not even uncomfortable, which I am thankful for but led to believe that he may be a bit too comfortable in there and in no urgency to make his debut. Oh well, we'll see and we will rejoice in his arrival!
These are sweet, wonderful truths that I have often thought for you, our little man, (whom we shall announce the name later)--

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'd say it's about time to start updating again. It's been over a year and the idea of starting this blog back up is a bit daunting. I think this time I'm going to keep it short in hopes that I can be more frequently brief, instead of staring the computer overwhelmed by everything or lack of everything happening in our lives and rarely updating.
Over the past year, to be extremely brief, we have bought a home, been nomads/homeless for a couple months (started to master that skill), moved to Texas, become active in an incredible church with a great community of those that love the Lord, each started new jobs, gone on a few wonderful trips, a cruise, celebrated 2 years of marital bliss, become pregnant, finished an entire year of residency and started ophthalmology!!!! God is good! He has brought us literally around the world and provided in ways beyond what we could have even imagined. What an awesome God we serve!
Now, in a few days we're due to have our little boy! Our nursery is almost done (thanks to the Rocke family!!). We have our bags packed and it's simply a waiting game now. I have loved pregnancy, felt great and had a wonderful time during this stage! It's such an incredible time and even more amazing miracle!
We took a few maternity pics the other day with some friends. Here's to 39 weeks of God's handy work: