Friday, March 30

My Baby is Three (Oh My!)

March 30th is an important day for me. It's the day I first laid eyes on our six pounds and eight ounces of baby boy perfection. Ten toes, ten fingers, and simply wonderful in every way. Looking at him now, there is virtually no trace of that baby I first met. Same ten toes and ten fingers, but they're much more skilled (and busier) than they used to be. He cooks, paints, draws, plays the drums, digs in the dirt, gives great hugs, and so many things in between. He is inquisitive, friendly, sweet, energetic, happy, creative, smart, and downright irresistible. I promise I'm not biased.

Here are some of his favorite things at the moment: playing outside (his constant request), the Cars movie, Bob the Builder, music or instruments of any kind, and anything to do with tools & building. His definite favorite food is pasta. This boy would eat "noo-noos" for every meal and snack if I let him!

Three whole years. [Sigh.] It's hard for me to resist feeling like he's growing up too fast. Three seems awfully close to school starting, and we all know it's over after that. I mean, from kingergarten to marriage in the blink of an eye, right? Okay, maybe not.

But still, I can't help but be reminded today of how important each day is, to cherish the small stuff and to keep enjoying the boy my baby is becoming. On my third anniversary of mommyhood, I just want to say "Happy Birthday!" to Kaden and tell everyone again how privileged and honored I am to be this boy's mama. Josh and I are so blessed to have him in our lives.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Kaden. I love you!

Thursday, March 29

Thankful Thursday

It seems like I haven't had much time for blogging other than on Thursdays. I have lots of things to write about, but I've been really busy with editing and proofreading. This is a good thing...but my blogging time has dwindled a bit. One of these days I'll be back more regularly.

So here are a few things I'm grateful for this week...

1.) The Office. Hi. Lar. I. Ous. Enough said.
2.) Kaden's funny little commentary on life. A few days ago he said, "My feelings are hurtin'. I need to go to the hospital." Life is never dull with a three-year-old--and often, it's downright funny.
3.) Speaking of Mr. Kaden, our little boy is turning three tomorrow!!! Three years ago, I was about 8 feet wide and playing Uno with Josh in the hospital's L&D department in Akron, Ohio. Yes, Uno. Obviously labor hadn't started yet. :-) I'm beyond thankful for this little guy, and I'm a little sad to see him growing up so quickly. (I'm hopelessly sentimental. There, I said it.)
4.) Time to exercise with my hubby at the Y.
5.) Spring, spring, spring! Loving this warm weather.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, March 26

Seeds of Worship

I recently read about the Seeds Worship CDs on the girltalk blog. They highly recommended the CDs for kids, so I passed on the recommendation to all the grandparents for possible gift ideas for the kids' upcoming birthdays. My mom was short a few gifts for Kaden, so she quickly ordered all 4 CDs, and they arrived in just a few days since they didn't have far to travel (from Nashville).

We've been listening to them for about a week now, and I wanted to pass along a personal recommendation for these CDs. We have quite a collection of "kids' CDs," from lullabies to Bible songs to Veggie Tales, but these are definitely different and definitely cool. Two thumbs up from me, and two thumbs up from Kaden. One thumb up from Delaney...since she doesn't understand the voting process yet. :-)

All of the songs are directly from Scripture, but they're not the Sunday School sounds of yore. No, these are fresh, new, contemporary, and they won't make you cringe if your 3-year-old insists on listening to them repeatedly. :-) If you try them, give me a shout back and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 22

Thankful Thursday

It's my day 'o gratitude again. ;-) Here are a few things...

1.) A very interesting project on my desk at the moment -- Proofreading a book about the First Amendment and the separation of church and State in America.

2.) A fun two days off in a row with daddy home. Park, playing outside, and grilling burgers were all on the bill of activities.

3.) Kaden's new phase of incessant talking. Though Josh and I wink and sometimes chuckle at our new motor mouth, it's quite amusing to see him amping up his word count (by the thousands each day, I think!).

I hope everyone is having a great week. Until next time...

Wednesday, March 21

Celiac Disease Discussed Again on The View

Elisabeth Hasselbeck's recent announcement that she has celiac disease has the whole GF community buzzing about it. It's pretty exciting to have such a visible person speaking out and educating the masses -- especially since, of the the 3 million Americans who have celiac, only 3 percent actually know it. People are suffering needlessly, and I'm glad that several prominent people, including a CNN anchor named Heidi Collins, are using their positions to make a positive difference.

Check out the clip of Elisabeth speaking with a well-known Celiac doc, Dr. Peter Green of NYC. It's the best celiac coverage I've seen on TV so far!

Thanks for watching -- you never know when a friend or family member may be able to benefit from your celiac knowledge. :-)

Sunday, March 18

Wow, It's Been 10 Days!

So, um...I'm alive. :-) It's been 10 whole days since I last blogged...a new record in blog silence for me. I have had SO much going on! Josh's family came into town last Saturday, and they headed home yesterday (Saturday), so we are just getting re-acclimated to our usual little family of four instead of eight.

The whole week was a whirlwind of activity, as usual...and we had a great time!! Papa and Kaden built two planter boxes for the deck, and Grandma and Kaden planted seven different herbs so I can try my hand at being a gardener. [I have a notoriously un-green thumb.] I also want to plant a vegetable garden this year, but that hasn't happened yet. In addition to the planter-building, we threw a little dinner party with Josh's business mentor and his wife, and we also celebrated the kids' birthdays a few weeks early.

In typical Hesse fashion, there were presents galore -- times 2! We also celebrated Josh's birthday, and Papa found a Weber grill on sale at Home Depot that caught his eye for Josh's present. By the time he was done accessorizing, the gift grew into my birthday present, our anniversary gift, and probably flag day, memorial day, presidents' day, and arbor day, too! We've already used it a bunch of times, and we love it! If you saw the pathetic little charcoal grill we used all last year, you would laugh at the drastic upgrade. Thank you, Papa & Grandma! We'll be BBQing in style for many years to come!!!

For Kaden and Laney's birthdays, we took everyone to Chuck E. Cheese on Wednesday for lunch, and I have to say ... it was really fun! I had low expectations, but watching Kaden have such a blast was pretty awesome. He is just at such a fun age. Everything is fun, everything is incredibly exciting, and he has a growing vocabulary to dialogue about all of it! Delaney loved Chuck E., too. With two little teeth barely in, she devoured an entire piece of pizza on her own. Wowzer, this girl can pack it away! Pound for pound, she can out-eat Kaden any day. Yet she doesn't have a bit of chub...she must have a high metabolism like her daddy! Coming in a close second to the pizza for Laney was the nifty balloon that brother got that said, "Happy Birthday!" As if games, pizza, and a birthday crown weren't enough, Kaden got a prize at the end with his tickets, and then -- could it get any better?! -- they gave him a huge ice cream sandwich for the road. [As we were driving off, I quickly realized that allowing Kaden to eat an ice cream sandwich on a hot day in the car was not my smartest move. However, we made it without any major messes.]

To top off this already stellar day, Kaden got another big surprise after his nap: a brand new drum kit! Grandma and Papa got it for him, and it is a pretty sweet little drum set. It looks just like a real kit, only miniature-ized for a tiny person. And he LOVES it!!! Thank goodness we have a finished basement, or I would have a lot of noise pollution going on. :-) Josh and I think he's a natural, and it's fun to celebrate his love for music and rhythm. All I've gotta say is, the boy can groove. What he lacks in formal training, he makes up for in sheer enthusiasm!

In addition to family visiting, I have also been doing a bunch of small projects for Clever Factory in Nashville. The extra work is an answer to prayer! Most of the work has been from home, but I had to make a quick trip in last week to pick up some CDs to audio proof. My MIL and I snuck away in Josh's car with the top down and enjoyed a sunny, beautiful, almost-summer day. Speaking of Josh's car, Josh and I had a little "you-need-to-learn-to-drive-a-standard" lesson last week, kind of spur of the moment, and we decided that I need a new teacher. Any takers? :-)

So between company and work [and a little joyriding], I just haven't had a spare moment to blog. I've been busy enjoying life...and that's a good thing!

P.S. I almost forgot! Josh was in a cooking mood this week, and he cooked up some great dishes: Venison Au Poivre with Grilled Asparagus and Gluten-Free Spinach & Goat Cheese Ravioli; Rotisserie Chicken; and Asiago & Pear Pork Roast. We were eating seriously well. My man can cook!

Thursday, March 8

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday, everyone. I have a proofreading project on my desk and company coming this weekend, so I can't dilly-dally. Right to the thankfulness. :-)

1. We are enjoying a beautiful day in Tennessee. I wore short sleeves and no coat to the Y today! Ya for the sun. :-) I think the winter blahs are past us now, and I'm happy about that!

2. When I went to get my hair cut yesterday, my stylist told me that I had enough to donate to Locks of Love. I was thrilled! I have never done it before, and it was neat to think that some little kid will benefit from my long hair. My head feels light as a feather, and so does my mood! It's amazing what a little haircut can do.

3. Josh's family is coming to visit for a week! We have some fun stuff planned, like getting started on a vegetable garden and celebrating our March and April birthdays: Josh, Kaden, and Delaney!

4. Kaden and Josh got to spend all day together yesterday, mostly just the two of them, and they both had fun hanging out. I love it when they get to have special bonding time.

5. God's faithfulness. In a million ways each day, he is so good to me!

Well, I'm off to work while the kids are napping. Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, March 7


i am a child of God.
i am a wife.
i am a mother.
i am a daughter.
i am a sister.
i am a granddaughter.
i am a friend.
i am a writer.
i am a scrapbooker.

i am loved.
i am cherished.
i am adored.
i am respected.
i am understanding.
i am missed.
i am loyal.
i am creative.
i am organized.

i am unique.
i am me.

(and I have a cute new hairstyle worth showing off!) :-)

Saturday, March 3

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Could I share a little history lesson on Josh's birthday? Yes? Okay -- I'll try to keep it short. :-) Josh and I started dating in the fall of 1998 while we were both students at Cedarville University, and I've been celebrating March 3rd [with gusto!] ever since I threw a surprise birthday party for him that first year. That was [way] back in 1999...the first birthday we celebrated as a couple. I think it was that first year that "birthday week" was born.

You see, Josh is not shy about telling people it is his birthday. He usually starts warning people right after Christmas is over -- just so they have plenty of time to prepare for the next big holiday. A 90-day shopping window seems adequate, right? Well, that year was no different. He had been preparing me for months with hints and flat-out requests for something special for his birthday by the time March rolled around.

Although I didn't have much of a budget to work with [not much has changed!], I decided to do something special by putting a little gift in his mailbox every day for a week leading up to his birthday. I remember splurging on this really cool lava lamp for one of his gifts. We still have it! Anyway, on March 3rd, I invited him over to my dorm's co-ed lounge and surprised him with all of our friends, a cake, singing, the works. If I remember correctly, I think it was after an orchestra concert. Funny memories! I love surprises, so I think I was almost as happy as him. :-) I have some pictures of that party somewhere around here, but I'm not exactly sure where...Maybe one of these days I'll find them and post one for everyone to see us in our early days. :-)

Anyway, we've come a long way since then, but I still look forward to celebrating my sweetheart's birthday to let him know how much I care about him. We still do birthday week, and I have fun thinking up little surprises for him. Last night, I made him a very special PB&J sandwich [his after-work standard], complete with glowing candle, for him to eat at 12:05am this morning to kick off his birthday.

One year before we were married, I found a poem that I wrote out in calligraphy and framed for Josh. It's now hanging in our bedroom, and I'm going to type it out here because I still love the words.

Love, by Roy Croft
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am because of you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you
are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that only you can bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help
dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done
to make me good
And more than fate could have done
to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by simply being yourself.
Perhaps that is really what it means to be in love.

The line about exposing the "beautiful belongings" of my heart always makes me cry because it's still one of the things I love so much about Josh. He has always made me feel so special, so loved, and so valued. It's no wonder I look forward to his birthday with such anticipation so I can have a week-long excuse to make a big deal about this wonderful man I'm married to.

So baby ... Happy Birthday. You mean the world to me, and I'm so happy to celebrate your life. I look forward to many more birthday week bashes!


Friday, March 2

Thankful Thursday (er...Friday!)

Well, I'm a day late, but still thankful. :-) Yesterday was a long day, and I'm just now getting around to blogging. So here are a few things that I've been thankful for this week...

1.) Delaney took a tumble down our carpeted steps...and didn't have a scratch. (Of course, I'm thankful for Part 2, not Part 1!) Josh and I nearly had a coronary, but Laney recovered very quickly after letting us know she was decidedly unimpressed with the steps. Kaden was very sweet and consoled her until she calmed down. Poor little thing!

2.) God has provided 3 proofreading projects for me in the last 2 weeks. Extra money always helps the budget!

3.) In the last week, we've been able to make some financial changes that are really going to impact our bottom line. Hooray!!!

4.) We have great neighbors! I went to a client's office yesterday to do some work for the morning, and I wasn't able to get home before Josh had to leave for work. So Kitty came over to stay with the kids while they were napping. It was a huge help, and she does little things for us many times each week. I don't know what we would do without them!

5.) Finally, I'm thankful that it's almost Josh's birthday. Ya! Tomorrow (Saturday) begins Josh's annual "Birthday Week" celebration. If you'd like to help me wish him a Happy Birthday, send him an email at joshATgrooverootsDOTcom. My sweetie has trained me to celebrate his birthday with gusto, and I enjoy the special occasion for spoiling. :-) Happy early birthday, baby!

Here's to another week of gratitude -- may you find it abundantly this week!