The Macs

Monday, January 31, 2011

hello monday

I spent the entire weekend with these fabulous ladies
It was awesome. 
We ate, shopped, crafted, and talked and talked and talked.
We stayed up way too least too late for me. 
And I am tired today.
But it was SO much fun. 
Most of these ladies I have gotten to know through blogging. 
What a crazy thing this blog world can be sometimes. 
I am so blessed to know each one of these women. 
They all have different life stories and passions and such big hearts. 
I know that my voice as a blogger is largely a result of losing my sweet baby girl. 
And I couldn't help but think that getting to spend the weekend 
with these amazing and talented women was a little gift from the Lord. 
A reminder that He continues to bring beauty out of ashes.

I did hate leaving my boys behind though. 
I missed them. 
And I was glad to go home and be mama and wife again.

Joel did such a great job with Levi of course. 
I didn't worry one bit. 
And Levi loved the time with his daddy. 

I came home after being gone for only two days, 
and Levi had changed so much.
How does that happen in two days?

Daddy and Grandma taught him how to sign "more".
This child never stops eating.
He wants more all the time.
And now he knows how to tell me. :)

He also is walking about ten times faster then when I left.
Slow down baby!
You are growing up too fast.

And just in case I don't remember,
somebody likes to remind me how big he is.
I are not a baby anymore.
You are SO big.

When we were outside last week he was throwing his ball around the yard.
Not a babyish thing to do at all.

Then he would bend down to pick it up.
So big.

He was trying to walk everywhere outside.
No crawling.
Even getting his first steps through the mud.
Before I know it he is going to be running up and down the driveway.

It was so nice to be outside so much last week.
But I'm pretty sure that the only sunshine we will be 
enjoying today is through these pictures.
Good thing we didn't put the snowsuit away yet!

Oh well.
Sunshine or not,
today I am just thankful for...
new friends,
weekend get-aways,
and a sweet family to come home to.

Hope your Monday is great!

Friday, January 28, 2011

lovin' the sunshine

We have been enjoying some much needed 
sunshine and warmer weather this week.
Levi is loving every minute of being outside.
Summer please come soon!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

tyranny of the urgent

I first read Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel last year. The small group Joel and I lead had started a new Navigators series (The New 2:7 Series...SO good) last fall and part of our homework was to read Tyranny of the Urgent. I was captivated by the article after reading just the first sentence...

Have you ever wished for a thirty-hour day?

Of course. Everyone needs more time in their day, right? I know I do. So, what do I have to do to fit more into my day? I bet you want to know too. I kept reading and was so surprised and convicted by what I read. I read the article again. I read it again and underlined. The ideas in this article and where it pointed me to in the Bible became part of my longing to be more intentional this year and for the rest of my life.

When we stop to evaluate, we realize that our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically the problem of priorities.

Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.

We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important. The problem is that the important task rarely must be done today or even this week.

Wow. I thought that I was doing pretty good at keeping my priorities straight. After all, I know how short life can be and how in one day our lives can be totally turned upside down. Our time with people is precious and how we choose to spend our time is so important. But, as I sat and thought about how often I give into the urgent things, the things that are pressing for my time, I realized that I much too often let the urgent crowd out the important.

Hummel goes on to give examples from the life of Jesus.

The Gospel records show that Jesus worked hard...Yet his life was never feverish; he had time for people.

His life showed a wonderful balance, a sense of timing.

Here is the secret of Jesus' life and work for God: He prayerfully waited for his Father's instructions and for the strength to follow them. Jesus had no divinely-drawn blueprint; he discerned the Father's will day by day in a life of prayer. By this means he warded off the urgent and accomplished the important.

I want to pattern my life after Jesus. I want to work hard, yet have time for people. I want to have balance and a sense of timing in my life. I want to prayerfully wait for my Father's instructions and the strength to follow them. I want to discern His will for my life day by day in a life of prayer.

If you haven't read Tyranny of the Urgent, go do it now. I promise it is worth your time. But be prepared. It might be convicting. It might even be life changing. But like Hummel says, what could be better than knowing that this day, this hour, in this place we are doing the will of the Father?

I think I need to go evaluate my priorities again...

**Tryanny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

on monday


My grandparents came out to our house for lunch.
It was so nice to just sit around and talk with them.

And my grandma spent lots of time playing with Levi on the floor.
I'm pretty sure he was in heaven.
She built him tower after tower out of blocks to knock over.
He thought it was so funny every time.

In the evening Levi's cousins came over to hang out.
They pulled all the chairs out in the kitchen to "help" Joel.
Ellie was instructing everyone where to sit...
and maybe giving a few kisses too.

We made pizzas using the PW pizza crust recipe.
Joel and Ellie were in charge of the toppings.

Lots of little helping hands.
Lets just pretend there were no licking fingers or germs involved.

And here are our finished pizzas.
Ellie came up with the idea of turning the pizzas into heads.
So here are our smiling pizza heads.
They were so yummy...we will definitely be making PW pizzas again.

I didn't get much done yesterday besides playing and eating and talking,
but it sure was a fun day.
Lots of memories made on Monday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

his first steps

Way back in December Levi took his first step.
I was sure he was going to be walking by his birthday.
But he has taken his sweet time to get past two or three steps.
And he still prefers to crawl because it is much faster.
Just in the last few weeks, he has finally gotten brave 
and now is taking quite a few steps at a time.

But every time I pull out the camera and try to capture him walking,
he gives me this look...please put the camera away Mama.
(Which reminds me so much of a similar look his sister once gave me.)

Or as soon as I say...Levi can you walk to Mama,
he plops down and starts laughing.
He thinks he is so funny.

But today he decided that he was ready to show me his new skills.
Here he is...

It is a good thing Levi has decided to walk.
He is about to wear a huge hole in the right knee of his jeans
from the crazy way he crawls.
I know...I'm sure it is only the first of many holes to come!

Levi is so slow and careful with each step he takes.
It is funny to watch him concentrate so hard.
Much different than everything else he does!

As I was thinking about how fast Levi is growing 
and this new stage of having a walker now,
I was reminded of one of the verses that we chose for Levi:

True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
Malachi 2:6

That continues to be my prayer for Levi's life.
That he would grow to be a man who walks with Jesus.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

be intentional.

I have never reflected on the past year and anticipated the year to come as much as I did when 2010 rolled over to 2011. I have been praying about what God has in store for me and my family this year. I know very well that we don't always know what lies ahead in the year to come. Sometimes there are unexpected joys and sometimes there are unexpected sorrows. I'd like to tell you that I know exactly what this year holds, but I don't. What I do know is that each day that the Lord gives me this year is a gift. I know that I don't want this year to "just happen". I know that I don't want to waste these precious days. I know that I want to be intentional.

As I thought about my goals and priorities for this year I kept coming back to how I really needed to work on being intentional in all of those areas. I want to be intentional in my time with the Lord everyday. I want to be intentional in my prayer life. I want to be intentional in filling my mind with Truth. I want to be intentional in how I love and respect Joel. I want to be intentional in how I love and teach and discipline Levi. I want to be intentional in how I manage my time as a stay-at-home mom. I want to be intentional in creating order and a peaceful atmosphere in my home. I want to be intentional in my relationships with family and friends. I want to be intentional in showing God's love to those around me. I want to be intentional in continuing to share my story.

I could go on and on. But when I think about all the areas in my life that I need to be intentional in...all the areas that I need to improve on...all the areas I need to grow gets overwhelming. It makes me want to quit right now. Thankfully, even though I will fail miserably many times, I don't have to do it on my own. In fact, I can't do this on my own. What a relief since it is only January and I have many months to go! This being intentional thing is going to take some major discipline on my part. It is going to mean laying aside some things that I would rather do, to invest in the people and priorities God has placed in my life. But as I seek God, he will give me the strength I need to live intentionally. Wouldn't it be great if I got to the end of the year and could put a check in the box that meant I learned to be intentional!? Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. Just like walking through grief, learning to be intentional is going to be a lifelong journey of allowing the Lord to work in me.

This sweet boy needs a mama who is intentional. So this is what I am asking myself: Am I making my own plans or seeking God's guidance for what he wants to accomplish in and through me this year? I want to be intentional. And I want to be intentionally seeking Him each day.

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
Proverbs 16:9 (The Message)

I will share more later about what I am doing to grow in this area of being intentional. What about you? What are you doing to be intentional this year? I would love to hear.

Monday, January 17, 2011

one year old in a flash {party details}

I meant to post this last week, but a certain teething little boy was needing a lot of my attention and I didn't get to it. I loved planning Levi's first birthday party. I got the idea of the One Year Old in a Flash theme from here. Levi's party was orange and gray, but you will notice that I stole many of the party ideas! Here are the details:


I loved the invitations from the party linked above, but decided to try to make my own. I used Photoshop Elements and printed everything at home. The invitation was printed on white card stock, matted on orange card stock, and then I wrapped the film strip around both pieces. The film strip is from this kit.


I made the circle garland by punching 1" and 1 1/2" circles out of orange and gray scrapbook paper. I sewed them all together with my sewing machine just like Ashley did for her turquoise, red and white party.

My circle garland was one long strand. I draped it over the chandelier in the middle of the room.

The flag pennant was made with the same scrapbook paper I used for the circle garland.  I cut out the triangles with my paper cutter and then sewed them to an orange ribbon with my sewing machine.

I made the cupcake flags with scrapbook paper and toothpicks. I think it only took seven or eight sheets of paper to make all of the decorations.

Birthday Hat


I bought the green birthday hat from Hobby Lobby. I thought I would use it as a pattern to make my own gray and orange birthday hat. The morning of Levi's birthday came and I hadn't had time to make it yet. I was going to try to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies of wanting everything to match and just use the green hat. My mom and sister were helping me set up and I was telling them my woes of the green hat not matching and we came up with the idea of taking apart the non-matching hat and hot glueing the gray felt right onto it. My mom came up with the hat above and Levi had a matching hat. Phew. Thanks mom for saving the day. :)

Photo Props

The photo props were the centerpieces. All the adult tables had one of these. I cut out mouth and mustache clipart (actually my sister did...thanks Anne!) and hot glued them to a wooden stick. I filled the planters with crayons to hold the photo props in. All the tables had paper on them so you could use the crayons to doodle too. The kids table just had a bucket of crayons and paper to draw on.

The photo props were great entertainment...even for the adults.

My brother made me these awesome thought bubbles out of wood and I painted them with chalkboard paint. He is really talented like that. Unfortunately we were having so much fun at the party that we totally forgot about them. I am sure Levi and I will find other ways to put them to use.

Party Favors

When Joel and I were at Hobby Lobby {yes, he actually went INSIDE Hobby Lobby}, he spotted these funny glasses. They were only three dollars for the whole package.

I wrapped each one up in a clear bag and tied them with ribbon and a thank you note from Levi. The camera on the circle tag is from the same kit as the film strip. They were the perfect party favors...and cheap too.

All of the kids loved them.

Photo Timeline

I wanted to have lots of pictures of Levi around for the party. I put out the framed pictures we already had, but I also wanted to have a picture from each month of Levi's first year.

The numbers for each month were made with mini clothespins, 1 1/2" punched circles, and number stickers. I hot glued the circle to the clothespin and clipped the pictures in order onto pom-pom fringe. (By the way I noticed a few of the pictures were off by a month...oops!)

Time Capsule

The time capsule was the main reason I chose the One Year Old in a Flash party. In the birthday invitation I included a gray piece of paper with Levi's name and the date. I also included a note that said this:

Please use the enclosed card to write
a note to Levi to be placed in a time capsule.
Levi will open the time capsule on his 18th birthday.

Some suggestions are:
A verse you are praying for Levi
Predictions for the future
A note of blessing
Small items of today

Thank you!

I loved the idea of Levi having this time capsule to open when he is 18. How special for him to have these notes from grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who love him so much. I also added his birthday invitation, a few things from the party, and a little album with the 0-12 month pictures. I am thinking I may have to do this same party theme for all of our kids (assuming we are blessed with more) on their first birthday. That way they each have their own time capsule.

A few other details...
plates & polka dot napkins - Target
scrapbook paper - Michaels & some that I already had
paper straws - Garnish
gray polka dot fabric - Hancock Fabrics

(and for those who asked about my outifit)
dress-Old Navy
cardigan and leggings-Target

And one more thing about birthday parties...
I know a lot of people feel pressure to have the "perfect" birthday party. I love planning parties. I love all the details and trying to figure out a way for everything from the invitations to the party favors to work together. It is fun for me. It is not stressful (unless I put everything off until the last minute which I have been known to do). I don't love planning and making the food though. So, I usually ask for help with this part. This year my sweet mom and sister helped me make the food and frost the cupcakes.

My point...
Do what works for you and your family. If you prefer small parties and don't care about the details...totally fine. If you love making fancy cakes...make an amazing cake. If you love the details like those paper circles together so that everything matches. The important thing is that we shower our children with love on their special day. We want them to know how much we love them and how much more that God loves them. The day they were born is a day to celebrate! I had to stop and remind myself of this as I was planning Levi's party. When all the details didn't quite get finished like I had planned...I had to let it go. The important part was that Levi felt loved on his birthday.

And that is my birthday party advice...for what it is worth.
I have so much experience you know! :)
One birthday party down...many many more to go.

Friday, January 14, 2011

levi {one year}

Dear Levi,

How did the time go so fast? For so long I have wondered what your sister would have been like as a one year old. And now you are one. I love watching you grow. You are turning into a little boy instead of a baby. And a big little boy at that. At your one year appointment you weighed 25 pounds 10 ounces. I am glad that you are getting so close to walking because you are getting too heavy for your little mama to carry! You have taken several steps and I am thinking you will take off running one day soon. 

You love food and eat more than most of your little friends who are two or three. Your favorites right now are lasagna and mandarine oranges and graham crackers. You are messy and I am starting to have to sweep the kitchen floor much more frequently because you decided you also like to drop your food on the floor. We are going to have to work on that. You are drinking out of a sippy cup all of the time love your milk. You have four teeth and are working on two more. I love your toothy grin.

I love spending my days with you. Lately we have been doing our best to keep busy inside. You will be so excited when it is warm enough to play outside again. You pick up everything and show it to me before you play. You love balls and cars and tractors. If someone stopped by they would probably find you crawling around all your toys sliding a graham cracker or ball in one hand. Or they might find you hanging out in your room which has also been a favorite lately. You pull out all your books...every single one...and "read". You always want to hold the book and turn the pages yourself. 

You are fun, and silly, and loud, and such a boy. You love your mama, but when daddy gets home you just want to be with him. If he goes somewhere, you want to go too. You like to "get out" of the house and go somewhere...just like daddy. A trip to Walmart is fun for you (not so much for your mama). You study people and then give them a big grin when you see them looking back at you. You make lots of friends when we are out. And you wave bye-bye to everyone, even our dog.

Our house is definitely full of noise. If you are not banging a toy on something or clapping your hands you are talking. You say ma-ma, da-da, bye-bye, ball, book, moo, and hi. Or at least that's what we think you are saying because we think you are brilliant of course! You also make sounds when you are driving around your cars and tractors. I hope that you are always excited to talk to your mama...even when you are a teenager.

Levi, everyday with you is a blessing. Some days are when we can't go outside or your daddy gets home late. Some days are when those teeth coming in make you grouchy and you don't sleep. Some days I wish I had a little more time to get things the days you are clinging to my leg all day and just want to be held. Some days are messy...actually, I'm pretty sure everyday will be messy from now on. But there is never a day when I am not thankful to be your mama. I know that we have some big things ahead this year and I can't wait. I am praying for you sweet boy. Praying that you will grow up to love Jesus with all of your heart for all of your days. I love you!

Love, Mama

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

looking back {first year}

{10 days}

{1 month}

{2 months}

{3 months}

{4 months}

{5 months}

{6 months}

{7 months}

{8 months}

{9 months}

{10 months}

{11 months}

{1 year}