Tuesday, December 30, 2008

walking the walk

My brother is pretty much the coolest person I know. He is one of those people who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He is always thinking of ways to share God's love with everyone, and I am not talking just the people that he sees in daily life. I am talking about "the least of these." The people that most people just walk by without giving a second glance. Yesterday, Matthew was in Dallas with the cousins going to a hockey game. As he was walking into the game, he saw a homeless man getting ready to bed down for the night, and knowing him, without hesitation, he gave the man his letter jacket saying, "You need this more that I do." I can't help but believe that my Lord is bursting with pride for his son, my brother. I know I am.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The pants: A tragedy told by the wearer

Once upon a time, a girl had a baby. Although the baby was beautiful and sweet, she wreaked havoc on her mommy's body. With a sigh and a last longing look at her old jeans, the mommy gave in and went on the hunt for jeans to accommodate her "post mommy size." She searched high and low. She was beginning to get discouraged when she felt the pull toward American Eagle. She entered the store very skeptical, because she felt long past the days of being able to sport the eagle. Just when she was about to give up, God smiled on her. There on the shelf, was the perfect pair of jeans. They fit perfectly and best of all, they were on sale. It was a glorious day.
Fast forward to Hurricane Ike. The mommy and her precious girl were visiting a friend. The mommy wanted to look cute for lunch out, so she put on her special jeans. The two friends had a wonderful day. When they got home, the mommy decided that she wanted to help her friend by doing a little straightening. She bent down to pick something up, and she heard what sounded like fabric ripping. Incredulous, she bent down again, and sure enough the jeans ripped all the way down the backside. The mommy tried to laugh it off, but she was secretly devastated. She knew she had gained some weight, but the jeans weren't that tight. When she got to her own home, she threw the jeans into the dark recesses of her closet.
Two months later, the mommy pulled the jeans out. As she wiggled her fingers through the hole, she decided that she was not going to stand idly by; she was going to fix the jeans (not herself, of course). She took the jeans to a tailor who promised her great things. A week later, she returned to the tailor who charged her a nice chunk of change for self confidence. Once again, she put on the jeans and felt like she could take on the world.
A week later, she noticed a small hole forming on the front of her pants. She fretted and fussed until her husband cleverly repaired the hole. She breathed a sigh of relief, because she had a big lunch the next day that she wanted to look special for.
The next day she pulled on her jeans and headed out the door. When she arrived at the restaurant, she noticed that she had a few minutes that she hadn't factored in, so she meandered around Hallmark in search of some happys. When she got into her car, she heard the strange sound that she had only heard once before. She immediately knew that something had gone horribly amiss. She looked down at her pants and saw her upper thigh peeking through. "Oh no!" she thought. "What am I going to do? If I go home now, I will be very late for lunch, but if I go to lunch, I risk public humiliation." She thought about it for about half a minute. The answer was clear. Lunch was too important to miss, and after all, this would make for a great story. So, she pulled into the restaurant, called Nanny Kelly for replacement pants, put a smile on her face, braced herself and greeted her friends.
When she finally had time to contemplate the strange turn of events, she mourned the loss of the jeans. Somehow, they had been doomed from the assembly line, but that did not make the mommy feel any better about her fate. She felt God was trying to teach her something through her loss, but she did not know what. She still does not know what, but she does have new jeans. And, they are hole free.

Friday, December 12, 2008

a case of the blahs

I would like to shout lots of obscenities right now. I have had a long day, and I don't feel good, and right now the land under the couch (aka no responsibility) is looking so enticing. I want to run away from home and come back when...well, I don't know when right now. I want to go to bed tonight knowing that I get to sleep in as long as I want, but that will never happen. Sometimes, being a mom totally sucks. Friday used to be the golden day. Now, sometimes I stay at school a little longer because I know that when I go home, I have another job to do. This afternoon, I had my feet propped up on my desk taking a break with my nose in a book, and one of my co-workers walked in and said understandingly, "Getting in some reading before you go home?" As sad as it is, the time after school is my time. There are evenings when my keys feel so heavy, because I am already tired and I drag my feet because there is no escape from reality. It's not that Zoey is a hard baby, quite the opposite. She is the embodiment of joy most of the time. I think I am just exceedingly selfish. I was looking at a picture of a friend with her little boy, and she just glowed with the love of motherhood. I feel like the only thing that has changed about me since I have become a mother is that I have extra bags under my eyes and fat on my ass (and everywhere else for that matter).
Right now, I am just aching and cold, and annoyed at John who is annoyed right back at me. Tomorrow will be another day, where I will look at my breathtaking little girl and love the blessings that God has so generously bestowed on me. My life is tiny, but it is sweet. Tonight, I yearn for something bigger. I might shed a few tears, but tomorrow I will slip my life back on like my favorite pair of flannel pajama pants. Tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Herself the Elf

Kelly and I had some fun this evening with Zoey's "night cap." It goes with her pajamas, but really, she will be wearing it everywhere. She looks too cute in it. In the spirit of the season, some might even say like an elf. When John got home, he decided that she needed a little gangsta life.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

photo shoots

The cousins had a little Christmas photo shoot today. The girls wore dresses that my sister in law, Paula, made. She is awesome. Kyleigh's has a K embroidered on it and Zoey's had a (you guessed it) Z. They are so adorable.

Sweet cousins snuggling on the couch. Notice how adorable my niece Kyleigh is. These have to be three of the cutest kids in the world!

The grandparents with the grandkids.

The mommies with the babies. Zoey was holding on to Garrett for moral support.

After behaving for the photo shoot, Zoey felt she had earned a dig in the toy box. Please notice the Wii Fit in the background. That really just completes the picture.

We had a little family photo shoot at the railroad tracks (we made sure no train was coming) for our Christmas card. We had a lot of fun, but it got pretty warm outside, so we had to cut it short. We got some pretty good pictures anyway.

I love this picture. Zoey looks like she is grossed out because her parents are smooching.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful

Today was a good day. I so enjoyed spending time with John's family. I feel so blessed to be a member of a family that enjoys being together. We weren't always that way. It took a lot of prayer and patience to become, well, a family. So, the food was good, the company enjoyable, and best of all, Zoey slept through the whole meal, so John and I both got to eat at the same time. Blessings upon blessings. Here are some pictures of my sweet little turkey on her first Thanksgiving:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I like to think of our house as the Knippers family infirmary right now. We all have nasty colds. It all started with Zoey, of course. Last week, the snotty nose just hit out of nowhere. I kissed a clean, shining face when I went to work, and by the time I got back, the snot had taken over. It was almost as if this cold had a mind of its own. If I didn't know better, I would think it was some kind of intergalactic parasite come to feed on the snot of the innocent. She was, and continues to be, a complete mess. It was so bad for awhile that she had to figure out a new way to keep her pacifier in her mouth. She kinda let it hang out of the corner of her mouth like some half smoked, soggy cigar. Thankfully, she has improved enough to stop channeling Groucho Marx. However, the parasite has found two new hosts. John and I have drank our weight in hot tea trying to ward off the inevitable, but, alas, all that managed to do is severely dwindle our tea supply. However, if anyone needs a tea sommelier, John and I are now experts. Thanksgiving break could not have come at a better time. I am hoping that this parasite will find a new host soon, so whoever wants to come over is more than welcome. Enter at your own risk.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An active and sad imagination

I have been so looking forward to seeing Twilight. I mean, I have literally been waiting for years for this movie to come out. It is finally here, and what I am I doing right now? Sitting all alone in my house. I had the strangest notion that John would have some big date planned for us to go see this movie that I have so anticipated, but well, he's not even here. I am sad. All the way home from school, I imagined being whisked away to the movies; I mean, I really had this whole scenario playing out in my head. It was great. He was going to have dropped Zoey off with the parents and surprise me with tickets. Then, I opened the garage door and all my air let out. He wasn't even home. Not only did he not plan anything for what is to me a big night, no one was here to even care that I was home. So much for the night. I am feeling completely sorry for myself, and John will ask me what is wrong, and I won't tell him. I wish he...well, I wish the above mentioned scenario had happened. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Selfish thoughts

Sandra Cisneros states that people are like onions-when you grow up, each year just layers on the previous one, and at times, layers you thought were deeply buried emerge. I believe this with all my heart, because tonight I am 6. All I can think about are the things that I want. And since I didn't eat dessert tonight, I think I will indulge myself in a different way. This is my grown-up Christmas list, and I have half a mind to sit on Santa's lap and read this to him (he does live across the street-literally). I want a pedicure so bad I can taste it (I wish that was a better phrase, because that would be really gross). I want new living room furniture. I want to lose 30 pounds tomorrow. I want someone to babysit Zoey all weekend so I can spend time in my former life. I want my damn shoulder to stop hurting. I want Toni to come visit. I want to sleep in tomorrow. I want a $100,000.00 gift card to Target. I want a new car that doesn't have squeaky breaks. I want to eat ice cream everyday. I want a reason to dress up. I want a tummy tuck. I want a boob lift. I want fake nails. I want my students to be perfect angels tomorrow. I want to skip PLC time tomorrow. I want my husband to take me out on the town. I want to see Twilight right now. I want the chiropractor to fix me on Friday so I never have to go back. I want John to stay home with me every Wednesday. I want to go camping. I want to spend some time at a spa. I want a massage.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Post Script

Could all this scattered deliriousness stem from the fact that my bugaroo is getting her first tooth? I have a sneaky suspicion that somehow they are related. Also, I am watchin Kevin Bacon play a mentally challenged person. It is just sad. A handicapped skeleton.

So little

There is so little to say right now. My brain is an empty rattle. I am tired to the bone (mainly my shoulder bone which is constantly in pain). I think two dinner parties in two days may have been too much?? I feel like I just said a dirty word. How can anyone celebrate too much? However, its the cleaning up afterward that exhausts me. Tonight I didn't do much of the cleaning due to the stupid and excruciating shoulder pain. John did almost all of it. Just like he did almost all of the cooking. Where was my role in the night you ask? I made a cake. And, I, dishwasher loader extraordinaire, loaded and started the dishwasher. So I am not as completely worthless as I feel right now.
Here's the thing about the shoulder. First of all, I am being a complete and total baby I am sure. But, after the shingles fiasco of 2008, I am always on guard for seemingly unrelated and weird symptoms. So, my shoulder has been hurting for about three weeks, and it has progressively gotten worse. It hurts when I move it in certain directions, like trying to reach up or back or leaning on it just to name a few. John keeps telling me to go to the doctor, but my greatest fear is I will go there and it will end up being nothing. If I go to the doctor, I want it to be for good reason. Plus, if I am being honest, and I am, I haven't even tried ice or heat. Instead of doing anything constructive, I have been researching shoulder pain on the internet. According to one site, my shoulder is probably going to fall off, which is unfortunate, because I really use this arm to pick up Zoey (I know what you are thinking, but stop with the logic. It is probably shoulder cancer) Anyway, tonight John made me an ice pack and then helped me stretch, and even though I wanted to cry at a few points, I have to admit that the shoulder does feel a little better. Which is embarrassing, because like I said before, I have been a big baby.
As I said before, there isn't much to say these days, but I haven't said anything in awhile. I will apologize for this post soon by posting more pictures of Zoey, which, if we are being honest, and we are, is the reason anyone probably looks at this blog anyway. Oh life; it is so...(wipes eyes in delirious laughter). I will leave you with one small confession. In that other sentence, I didn't use the contraction I meant to use, because I couldn't remember how to spell it. And yes, I do call myself a Language Arts teacher. I just never said I was that good. So there. Class dismissed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dedication pictures

Please take note of the headband that I worked so hard on. These pictures don't really do justice to how cute Zoey looked. Oh well. Take my word for it!

John looks overjoyed the whole time. I was in heaven. This was so special.

The sweet girl on the left is Zoey's BFF, Lexa. All the babies that have been born in the past two years have been boys, except Zoey. I prayed for a girl that Zoey could play with; shortly after, the Vargas' joined our church and brought their two girls, Bella and Lexa. What an answer to prayer! They love each other!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The inevitable

Last night I thought the world was going to end. I have been sick with worry about this election, because, well, I suck at change. I am scared at the direction that our country is going in. I feel like it slightly resembles good 'ol Sodom and Gomorrah. So, I as I lie in bed last night, I could not stop myself from having a full fledged freak out complete with kicking and screaming at John, ending with him fleeing for his life upstairs. I am pretty sure that he was completely baffled by my insanity, but we eventually worked out our communication, and my sweet husband wrapped me in his arms and allowed me to sob out all my anxiety. And, when I went upstairs to get Zoey this morning, there was a note waiting for me at the top of the stairs (and in my purse and in my car and on the bed). I had to sit down and really soak it in. Here is some of it:

"God is our refuge and our strenght,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
...'Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted in the earth!'
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress."

Psalm 46

I needed to hear that word. I know that I know that I know that my faith is not in my president; it is in my God. And, he is the one that put Obama in office, so I need to support my president, but I need to trust my Lord.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The things we do for love and good fashion

Today my little Zoey girl was dedicated at church. This is a day I have been looking forward to for some time. The initial date was set for the Sunday after Ike, but clearly that fell through. Then we were going to have it another day, but someone was going to be out of town, so we settled on today. Phew!
I have this sickness where I need for Zoey to look adorable at all times. Some might say this is simply being a mom, but I have to admit that this can become a compulsion at times. For instance, I searched high and low for the perfect dedication dress. "Doesn't she already have a million cute dresses?" you might wonder. Well, of course she does, but none of them were "the dress." So, on Wednesday, I packed Zoey up and we started on our quest for the perfect dress. Being thrifty minded mommy that I am, I started in Kohl's-nothing. I moved next to TJ Maxx-nada. Target-zilch. I was crushed, especially by my one true love Target. I have never been let down there. I was about to resign myself to her wearing something she already has (as if!), when N.K. decided that we search one more time on Friday. So once more, we loaded Zoey up and headed into the wild blue yonder. Our first stop was Babies 'R Us. I did find an oh-so-cute little black jumper that I could have paired with red tights, but in Kelly's words, I was "settling." We decided that if we could not find anything else, we would come back. Our next stop was Old Navy. This time we even made Zoey go into the dressing room and try stuff on. Could I be any more ridiculous? O.N. was a flop, so we moved on to my last resort-the mall. We tried Palais Royale-less than nothing. Horrible. We moved on to Gap Kids where I found THE perfect dress. I was happy, I shrieked out loud (and received some pretty humorous looks I might add. What did I care? When I experience elation, it is hard to keep it to myself). Did they have it in her size? Of course not. Sheer and tortuous devastation. Finally, battered and broken and STARVING we hit Dillards. There in the children's section, I saw her. She was beautiful and perfect, and best of all, she was Zoey's size. It was not as cheap as some places, but by this time I really did not care. So, I bought the dress, the tights, the shoes and the bow. It was great. I was ecstatic. So, that brings us to this morning. Everything was going so smoothly. The time change didn't hurt us too much and Zoey was in a great mood as her dad pulled on her tights. However, before I had a chance to do my make-up and hair, the bottom fell out. We could not find Zoey's headband (the one her bow attaches to). I was frantic. John and I scoured the house-nothing. I frantically called N.K. hoping to get some insight-nothing. I was on the verge of tears. I had worked too hard and too long to be taken down by a headband. John said, "It is not that big a deal. She just won't have a bow." I was shocked and appalled by this smug simple solution to my plight. What is a mommy to do 10 minutes before church and hours before a store opens? The only thing I could do. I took out my Spanx (the uber tight under shorts that suck everything in) and cut off the lace band at the bottom. I then poked Zoey's through the lace holes, stuck it on her head and headed out the door. The girl stayed precious and pristine the entire morning (she did manage to spit up all over John during the dedication prayer, but he just held her against him a little higher and no one saw the huge pool on the front of his shirt), and she got so many compliments that all the fashion hardships we had to overcome were completely worth it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just for fun

Z-bob at 6 months. We had a photo session to celebrate. It looks like we had a great time, and when we were outside, we did, but for some crazy reason, Zoey did not like having her clothes changed multiple times. I wonder why...

When this was all over, I was completely exhausted. Making a fool of oneself to get a baby to smile should be an considered a work-out.

Zoey in the fall

I have been itching for the fall to be here, because first of all, I adore the fall. I feel like the world is breathing a collective sigh of relief after the oppressive heat of summer. I love the sound of leaves crunching underfoot and the spicy smells of fall flavors. I love that it is the beginning of the holiday season and that it is a time for families. Oh, it is a joyous time, and the second reason I have so been looking forward to it is because I am getting to share something that brings joy to my heart with someone who does the exact same thing. John and I took Zoey to her first pumpkin patch today, and she had a great time. She is her mother's daughter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The night of nights

Last Thursday, I was privileged enough to fulfill one of my childhood dreams. That's right, folks. I attended a New Kids on the Block concert. It was everything I thought it would be and more. It was such a fantastic night. I had a blast at the concert, but I had an even better time bonding with some great girls. I dearly love precious girl time, and this was one of the best times.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wading through poop

Tonight has been interesting to say the least.

John got a flat tire on the way home from work, so I was left to bathe Z-bob (that one is for you N.K.) by myself. Since the hurricane, I have become a pro at doing this, so it was really no big deal. I scooped up my angel and carried her upstairs while pretending to eat her cheeks and savoring the baby laugh. Once upstairs I realized that the lovely stench wafting from my daughter was a disgustingly huge dirty diaper. I plopped her on her changing table and undid her diaper and almost gagged. You would think after six months I would get used to this, but alas, I have not. Anyway, As soon as I had the diaper open, I realized that I had not one wipe upstairs. What is a mommy to do? I looked in every cabinet and drawer in her changer. Nothing. I thought about hightailing it to the poop encrusted butt to the bathroom for some toilet paper, but that brought up another sticky situation I was dealing with. The white shirt. By this time you are thinking, "oh you stupid, stupid girl. What makes you think you can wear white with a six month old?" You are right. Moms with young babies (or children of any age for that matter) should be banned from wearing white. It really is for your own good. Nothing good comes from wearing a white shirt around a baby. I digress. So the hightailing it to the bathroom was clearly out. I am okay with being covered with a lot of Zoey's excretions, but poop ain't one of them. The only thing I could think to do was grab another diaper and wipe as much of the poop off as I could. All while Zoey is trying to roll over. Needless to say, I did not manage to come out poop free, although my white shirt is still (mostly) white. After cleaning her up as well as I could, I picked her up under her armpits and held her as far from me as possible and took her to the bathroom. Imagine the poop scene in 3 Men and a Baby. That was me. I set her on counter, butt hanging over the sink so as not to smear poop on the counter and waited for the water to warm up. Zoey is having a great time through all this. At least someone is. I then sat her in the sink and rinsed her off as best I could. She did not like this part. After removing what I hoped was most of the poop, I sat her on a hand towel lying nex to the sink and constructed a makeshift diaper. While I filled her tub, I prayed that she wouldn't pee on me. She finally made it to the bathtub. Victory! The girl got fed and is now in bed, and that brings us to npw. I am about to put the sheets on my bed because, wait for it, Jack pooped on the bed earlier today. So, if I don't go upstairs to change Zoey's changing pad cover (that now has a big poop smear on it) and pick up the poopy hand towel, it's simply because I truly believe I filled my poop quota for today. But as the ever so lovely Scarlet O'Hara would say, "After all, tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Day

My 27th year has started with a bang. If my birthday was any indicator of the upcoming year, this year is going to be spectacular!
This year I decided to celebrate my birthday for a whole month, so Sept. 6-Oct. 6 was declared my "Birthday Month." Basically all I did was tell people it was my birthday month and buy myself lots of presents. I highly recommend this to anyone. It was great fun.
The day of my actual birthday, Kelly spent the night so she got up with Zoey and John and I sleep. Oh glorious sleep. When I woke up, Kelly and Zoey had decorated the house with streamers. They woke me up with poppers and birthday hats. I then got to open presents from Kelly, Zoey and John. Zoey helped me open them. It was great. I was very spoiled. When I went to school, all my classes sang happy birthday to me, and I got enough hugs to last until my next birthday. After work, Kelly and Zoey surprised me with a cookie cake. Then, Kelly watched Zoey, and John and I had a romantic dinner at Chez Nous. It was one of the best birthdays ever.Zoey and I doing a little more celebrating. She is looking at me like "If you thought that getting older meant being more mature, just check out my mom. She's crazy."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pressing Business

A good memory:

After another infamous Simpson Family Meatfest, a freshly cleaned Zoey sits in her Bumbo on the counter after ingesting a whole container of bananas. The kitchen is a wreck. Meme sits on the couch with her newly broken ankle propped on a pillow, so Granddad is left with mess which he lovingly created in the first place. Just as Grandad is about to conquer the dishes, Zoey coos from her throne. Grandad stops in his tracks, glances from Zoey to the mess and back to Zoey. After a moment's hesitation, he says with a smile "This can wait." He then picks up his little granddaugher who squeals with delight as if to say "Good choice, Granddad!"

"Human life is purely a matter of deciding what's important to you." ~Anonymous

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Although there were some definite low moments in the past two weeks, Zoey and I had a blast when we evacuated and after we got power!

Bathing in a makeshift bathtub at Auntie Jenn's apartment.

This is my favorite face that she makes while bathing.

Check out the bunny slippers (and the sitting for that matter. She has become a sitting pro!)

Having fun with mom while Jenn is at work.

Our last day of Hurrication. We lived it up by shopping Market Square in the Woodlands. It was a great day, and Zoey looked so adorable. She had a great time with Aunt Christie, Nanny Kelly, and our new friend, Kayla.
"Really mom, is this necessary? It's hot and I'm hungry."
People are trying to get around me as I squat on the floor for this photo shoot. I didn't care; she looked too cute to miss this opportunity!