Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall in Love

I am in love with fall and I feel compelled to share the reasons why.  Here goes a photo list of my favorite fall things. 

Yum Yum Yum!

J. crew velvet blazer. I am obsessed with jackets and blazers.  

Pumpkin Bars....Thanks to Jaime

What can I say, sometimes I like a cold brew?

The return of chili!  I just discovered about two years ago that I love chili! I have my first batch of the season on the stove as I type. 

Babies enjoying fall's bounty! 

Scarves! Love, love, love scarves! 

Fires (in fireplaces of course)!  Does it get cozier than this? 

What is your favorite thing about fall?  Is fall your favorite season too? 

you speak, i listen

Thanks for your feedback on the blog!  Sometimes I feel like this blog is in an identity crisis and isn't sure whether it is a family blog or some other type of blog.  I find it interesting that whenever I do post about something more "controversial" I get tons (and by tons I mean more than usual) of comments.  This made me think that those posts are clearly what get people interested in the blog, but I also know I have some readers who don't love all the controversial posts and would rather me just write something funny.  So, I think I will aim for mostly funny, some opinion and a little bit of baby to please all my readers.  How does that sound? 

By the way, just to be clear...I don't write to try to be controversial, I write about certain subjects because I care about them.  Some things I care about just happen to be more controversial issues. I'm sure you know that already, I just wanted to get it out there.  People who know me in real life know this but it's hard for people to really "know" you and your personality through blogging.  

Ok, I'm off to bible study this morning.  I'm doing Beth Moore's "Esther".  Hopefully something funny will happen to me and I can write about it when I get back!  :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Andrews' Visit

The pictures say it all.  We had a blast with Jackson's parents and two of his brothers.  Parks was totally spoiled with attention, kisses and love from his grandparents and two awesome uncles.  He was one happy little boy while they were here.  Everytime he was pleased with something he would clap and expect us all to clap with him.  It was hilarious, we were clapping a LOT. 

Parks' very first bike!  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

handling halloween

I'm baaack....hopefully this post will start things off with a bang! 

Halloween is approaching and now that we have a baby we have been thinking about how we will handle this "holiday" in our house.  What follows are my thoughts so far on this day.

As a Christian parent, it is my desire to intentionally think and pray through the things that I allow Parks to do and not do.  I don't want to take away from his innocence or steal any joy from him, but I also don't want to expose him to evil things and make light of it.  It is from that perspective that I write this post, not to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't feel about Halloween.  Ideally, this will start a discussion about what other families do for Halloween and share what the Lord has put on their heart about this day.  I do believe that the Lord convicts us personally and what I may feel convicted of may not be what you feel convicted about.  

Halloween is a celebration of darkness.  Yes, there are parts of it that are harmless, like children dressing up as princesses and superheros and getting candy.  Perfectly harmless, perfectly fun.  However, the holiday itself is all about celebrating evil, fear and darkness.  There is simply no denying that.  You can do research and look into the pagan, satanic rituals and history that are the foundation of this holiday but you needn't look any further than your neighborhood to tell you that it's about darkness. If it's like mine, you see people putting out skeletons, witches, R.I.P gravestones, monsters, ghosts, spiderwebs, etc.  Quite frankly, it disgusts me and I hate seeing it.  I do not see any good that comes of celebrating these things.  As if we don't have enough death and evil in the world that causes us enough pain, why on earth would we make light of it and actually celebrate it?  I find it disturbing.

So the dilemma is, although part of Halloween can be harmless, the entire basis for the holiday is anything but harmless.  Knowing that, do I allow my child to participate in this dark holiday, even in an "innocent" way?  Another practical dilemma is even if I don't allow my child to dress in anything scary or I don't put up any scary decor around our house...they will certainly be exposed to those things while trick or treating.   No, I don't believe that completely sheltering our children from any brokenness or sin in the world is good for them.  But I also don't believe in unneccessarily exposing them to harmful and scary things at a very young age.  Small children can be terribly frightened by these monster and ghost masks kids wear and by the scary decorations people put out and they are too young to understand it's for "fun".  I do not want my child to have nightmares about evil things that I could have protected him from.

I know that many people just dress up, get candy, and that's that.  It's not something that they think too much about.  But as Christians,  I hope we will at least think more about this day and what it really stands for and prayerfully consider how or if at all we participate.  Scripture says, "Jesus is the Light of the world. His people do not walk in darkness. His perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18) Do you see why it gives me concern that we celebrate a holiday that thrives on fear? 

Jackson and I are still praying through what we should do.  We have another year to really figure this out because thankfully, 11 month old babies don't ask where their costume is.  So, I'm not sure what we'll end up doing.  I don't want to be the crazy radical parent just for the sake of being radical but I also don't want to just blindly follow in the pattern of the world, which we all know is fallen.  I'm certainly not against kids dressing up in costumes and playing pretend, I'm just not sure I am ok with doing it in the name of Halloween. Thoughts? 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Letter from The Management

Dear Reader of The Andrews Family Blog,

I sincerely apologize for the whiplash you experienced this week.  One day I'm posted about wanting to rid myself of my judgmental nature and just days later, I wrote a very judgmental post about...goldfish.  I just wanted to say that I acknowledge the hypocrisy of my blogging ways and I wanted to apologize.  It's so easy to run to this blog as an "outlet" for my opinions.  It's so tempting to have a forum where you can write whatever you want.  I'm learning that this blog is an area where I need to exercise some more self-control and discernment.  

I've contemplated deleting it, making it private and just about Parks because sometimes I worry about things I post.  I worry I've offended someone or that I'm being judgmental.  So, after some family talks, I've come to the conclusion that I will keep this blog going, but I will let my better half read all posts that are not about Parks before I hit "publish".  I know this will help me not post things that just shouldn't be out for the world to see.  I'm amazed at what change a day's perspective brings to an event.  Today I'm thinking, "Out of all the things going on in the world...I let some goldfish on the floor at Target get me that angry...and then I blogged about it???"  It's pathetic really.  I feel like the Lord is whispering, "Mallory, just because it happened, doesn't mean you have to blog about it." I'm reminded of Proverbs 29:11 "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."  Let's just say, I identify with the fool.  

So, please don't give up on me just yet.  There is change happening here at this blog and I hope that it will make it a more friendly and welcoming place in the blogosphere.  

Thanks for reading and I promise the best writings are yet to come!


when you give a baby a snack....

Monday, October 12, 2009

for your viewing pleasure...

and my continuing pursuit of humility...please enjoy this picture of me showcasing my baby bangs.  They are real yall!  I was a skeptic when I first heard of baby bangs and my mom didn't seem to know what they were so I thought maybe they weren't real.  Well, they are.  In case you don't know, let me explain what they are.  Baby bangs are the regrowth of all the hair that you lose post-partum.  When Parks was about 4 months old my hair started falling out really badly.  Now, it is growing back.   One would think this would be a good thing, but the result is strange whispy inch long bangs that are difficult to conceal.  Oh well, what can you do?  I just have to look at the little guy and I know that it's all worth it. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

mercy triumphs

I'm a born judger.  I can't escape it, I can't deny it, it's part of who I am.  If you've read this blog for any amount of time you've probably gathered as much.  I like things to be black and white (unless I'm playing devil's advocate).   I'm quick to label situations as right or wrong, appropriate or inapproriate, rude or courteous in my mind.  I have these standards that are hard for even myself to live up to.   My Myers-Brigg scores were ENTJ with my E at like 13%, N at 10%, T at 12% and J at 65%.  I'm practically off the charts.  As a stay at home mom I feel like my house should always be clean, and if it's not, I'm failing.  I feel guilty if I do my bible study during Parks' nap because I think I should be cleaning the house and I should have gotten up at 5 am to do my bible study before he wakes up.   Judging others and even myself is exhausting!  It is truly exhausting to have a running commentary in your mind of what YOU think is right/wrong with what someone is saying.  It has become a part of me that I hate and am bothered by and yet, it's so natural to me.  

And the longer I walk with God, the more I realize what a curse it is to be a judger and how contrary to God's word it is.  Sometimes, I try to rationalize my judging with the idea that I'm standing up for what is in God's word.  I get frustrated because there are certain things we know are sins because it tells us so in the Word.  How then, am I supposed not "judge" someone's actions when they are in direct contradiction to Scripture?  I know there is a balance between grace and justice and I tend to always sway more heavily towards the justice side.  A few months ago I got some clarification on this question from Scripture. I had never seen this verse before, or if I had I was too blind to see that it speaks directly to a judger like me.  

James 2:12-13

"So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.  For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgment."

Could it be any more clear?  Mercy triumphs over judgment, every time, all the time.  This answered my question.  Which does God care more about, that I am trying to be his judge for him or that I show others mercy?  He clearly wants me to be merciful!  I try to remind myself every day, "When in doubt, mercy triumphs over judgment!".  Let's not gloss over the fact that the first part says, judgment is without mercy to one who doesn't show mercy.  That is a seriously scary thought. 

The Lord has revealed the ugliness of my judgmental heart over the past year and it is something that I am working on letting him change.  It's not easy, it's not quick but I know that it is for my good.  I want to be a tree that bears much fruit and let's face it, when you are too busy judging others, you can't bear much fruit. So fellow judgers, take heart.  I believe there is freedom from our judgmental tendencies through Christ.  If you are not judgmental by nature, be thankful and pray for us! :) 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mommy's Little Helper

Parks has been so helpful lately! What would I do without him ; )

"Don't worry mom, I've got the trash!"
"I think this is how Daddy does it...."
"I've got the bottom rack"

"My new favorite spot!"

Friday, October 2, 2009

10 months old

Dear Parks,

You are rapidly approaching 12 months and I can't believe how fast it is going. It has been my greatest joy to watch you grow these past 10 months. You are so much fun! Right now you love it when I pick you up in the laundry basket and carry you around. You just giggle and laugh! You also LOVE seeing Daddy come home from work and you've said "Dada" a couple times, although you're not consistent and we're not sure you really know what you're saying. You can sign "more" and boy do you! You love to eat your finger foods and I think you would sign "more" until your belly exploded. When you are all done you raise both your hands up high in the air and arch your back.

You still look so sweet when I come to get you after a nap or in the morning. You smile and then you crawl around in your crib like you want me to chase you. You are really into pulling up on anything and everything. You would rather do that than play with toys. You also like to play rough. You like to slap things and push things around, a true boy! Your daddy is excited when you can wrestle with him.

You are making new friends at MOPS, church and playgroup. You're doing great in the nursery and I think you like being around other babies. You enjoy playing "chase" with other crawling babies. You're still very social and on your best behavior when we are out and about. I try to find some way to get us out of the house because you like adventure and activity. You don't like to sit at home, and I can't blame you.

Well, my dearest son, that's you in a nutshell at 10 months old. You're an absolute blast and it's a privilege to be your mommy.

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be...

Love, Mommy