The kids

The kids

Thursday, December 31, 2009

We Need A Nap!

It was sooo good to spend time with our families over Christmas, but it was exhausting. I think our whole family needs a big giant nap now. Due to my tired state this post will contain few words (stop celebrating), here is a picture montage of Christmas 2009.

We spent Christmas Eve at Garrett's grandparents house. Emerson had lots of fun playing with her Great Grandparents, her Aunt Susan, and cousin Wolf.
She really loved pulling Wolf's curly hair.
I got to help her open her first Christmas present ever...sadly Garrett missed this moment. He arrived shortly after though.
Her first present was a Christmas stocking that her Great Grandmom Reed made for her. I cannot wait to use it next year!
The stocking is HUGE! Santa will have his work cut out for him in the years to come. (I just realized she may be pulling her Great Grandmom's hair in this pic...we might need to work on this habit).
Christmas morning was spent at Garrett's parents house. Aunt Courtney was sweet to hep Em open presents.
She got her first car! I still cannot believe she is big enough to have toys like this. I think her dad may enjoy this gift more than she does.
Christmas evening Garrett headed back to Durham, and Em and I headed to Greenville to see my family. My sister and I let her open some of her presents from them a little early, and we discovered that she loves having bows stuck to her head (or at least she doesn't mind it).
Saturday afternoon Em and I went back to Spartanburg to visit her Great Grandmom Brown, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins who all drove up from the lower part of the state. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of this. It was so sweet to watch her with her Great Grandmom Brown...Emerson loved her! Saturday evening Garrett drove back to Greenville from Durham so that we could exchange gifts with my family on Sunday. Emerson was excited to have more bows to play with.
Em played with a table like this at her friend, Bryson's, house over Thanksgiving. My mom got her one for Christmas and it is definitely a hit. I have to hide at home every now and then.
Hands down my favorite part of our time at home was watching my mom use the weighted Hula Hoop that Garrett and I got her (she wanted it). We timed her and she hula hooped for 3.5 minutes straight....very impressive for a Grandma! Sorry mom, this picture was too classic not to share. You should feel lucky I am only posting one....there are lots more!
My sweet dad refinished my grandma's rocking chair from when she was little for Emerson. My grandmother passed away very unexpectedly on Mothers Day in 2007 and I miss her so much all the time. My sister and I both played with this chair when we were little... it means SO much to us to have it. Em seems to love it too!
It looks like we are going to be staying in Durham at least until the end of February, and we are very thankful! After that who knows where we will be. Can't wait to see where we will be living this time next year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peace On Earth

If you don't already know, I LOVE getting Christmas cards. It makes me really happy to see and hear from all of our favorite people at my favorite time of year. Since we are in corporate housing this Christmas, all of our Christmas decor is in storage. So, out of necessity, I have gotten a little crafty this holiday season. I made stockings, ornaments, paper garland, and a star tree topper. Additionally, I decided to use all of the Christmas cards we received as ornaments too. We have actually loved this and may continue to do this as a family tradition in the future. Since our tree is in our living room, where we spend all of our time, looking at it constantly reminds us of the amazing relationships the Lord has blessed us with.

My favorite card we received this year was from my Aunt Rhonda and Uncle David. The humor may be lost on some of you (she says she has gotten a few complaints) but knowing them and my little cousins (their grandkids), that are pictured on the made me laugh a lot. Yes, that is duct tape on their mouths....don't be alarmed, they loved posing for this picture.
Here are some pics of my handy work......
And here are some tasty holiday treats I have made...
Emerson and I (G will catch up with us at some point) are leaving in the morning to head to the Upstate to spend time with G and I's families for Christmas. So, it will be a while before I post anything again. Therefore, I felt it was important to leave you with some new pictures of the little lady. She is officially 7 months old now. She has 2 teeth, is sitting up on her own, is working on crawling, and has recently started to figure out how to use a sippy cup. She also mastered using a straw at Garrett's work Christmas party. Unfortunately she threw an ugly temper tantrum when I took the straw and drink away from her. Regardless, we are still proud of her.
Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Empire State of Mind...

The time has come for me to tell of my recent trip to the Big Apple. Back in October I was getting ready one morning and I thought, I should call Mandy and see if she wants to take a little girls trip to NYC. Luckily she thought it was a great idea, and last weekend we made our dream a reality. We decided to just fly out of our own towns (we live 5 hours apart) and just meet in NYC. Other than my flight getting there about 2 hours late everything worked out great. We spent Day 1, just roaming around midtown, doing a little window shopping, going to the top of Rockefeller (which i think is way better than the Empire State Building..the view is just as good and NO LINE!), and taking the NBC studio tour (this was definitely cool but not a must do thing).
Day 2, we visited with a friend from CofC that is living and working in New York. It was fun and relaxing to spend some time with her sipping coffee and chatting. After that we ate lunch at Benash Deli...right across from the Carnegie Deli. It was AWFUL. $23 for a sandwich (which we obviously decided to split) and it was definitely average. And they had all of these deserts that looked really yummy but were actually gross...I don't even know how you make sugar and butter taste bad. Anyway, that's what we get for being hungry and cold and taking the first available option. However, the day was totally redeemed when we went to see the Jimmy Fallon show. It was AMAZING. Snoop Dog was the guest and we pretty much got a private Snoop concert. I think even non-Snoop fans would have enjoyed this. Definitely this was both of ours favorite part of the trip. Then we went straight from Snoop to see Mary Poppins on Broadway (yes I see the irony of this and find it quite comical).

Mary Poppins was great....I highly recommend it. We did get a little unlucky in that we had "those people" behind us that think it is ok to arrive 15 minutes late to a Broadway show and make tons of noise while trying to get settled in their seats. It was seriously a family of like 15. Once they got settled, the Grandma proceeded to rummage through her purse for 20 minutes and one of the kids decided to eat a bag of chips at the slowest pace known to man. Literally, I had a kid crunching in my ear for 30 minutes. As we approached intermission the family seemed to settle in and quiet down. Unfortunately just as intermission was starting, a high school girl sitting in the row across from us, leaned across the aisle and barfed up her entire pasta dinner. This totally freaked out the loud grandma behind us. Once the second half was getting started and the barfing high school girl was back in her seat, the grandma declared loudly multiple times that she thought the girl looked tipsy and if she threw up again she was gonna call "security." Mandy and I have seen Mary Poppins a million times but I guess in our young age we didn't really pay attention to the message of the film, which is that family should come first. Luckily, the message was not lost on the grandma sitting behind us because she "Amen'd" and "Uh-huh'd" and "You go Mary" the entire second half as if she was listening to a great sermon. Then at the end when Bert and Mary hugged she said, "Uh-oh, Bert wanna tap that." All that to say, it was a truely cultural experience that we will not be forgetting soon.

Day 3, we roamed around Soho mostly and did a little shopping. I LOVED every second of it. We ate lunch at one of my fave restaraunts in New York, the Noho Star. We also took an evening carriage ride around Central Park and we ended the day at the Wine and Chocolate Bar next to our hotel.....can't remember the name but it was wonderful! Day 4, a little more shopping and brunch in the am. Then it was time to head home. :(
We stayed at the Herald Square Hotel. It is a boutique hotel right near Herald Square (as if that was not obvious). Our room was tiny but clean and pretty cheap. I would definitely recommend staying there...the location and price are great. We only had 2 little issues during our stay. The first happened on our last night there. The hotel is located in the old Life Magazine building, which was really cool. However, it was old and used radiator heat so you couldn't adjust the temp in your room. The temp in the room was fine the whole time until our last night. We woke up at 1am and it felt like we were sleeping inside a sauna. It was awful! It was the kind of heat that with every second that past, you felt more certain that you would indeed suffocate and die. Luckily, the staff at the hotel was great and came up and turned it off for us. However, we still had to sleep with our window open all night b/c it had gotten so hot.

The second issue came when it was time to leave. The hotel had told us that they call cabs for you and have them there at the time you need to leave. So, we were told that the cab would be there at 1pm to get us to the Laguardia on time for our 3pm flights. Well 1:30 rolls around, still no cab (even though they kept promising it was one block away). So we hailed our own cab. The cab driver really didn't want to drive us all the way to Laguardia but we told him we were desperate and that we would give him a really good tip if he could get us there fast. Apparently that is very motivating for cab drivers because I have NEVER been in a car with someone driving like that. Cab rides are often interesting but this was truly unbelievable. We got to Laguardia in 20 minutes from W 31st on a Sunday afternoon in 20 minutes. It was more fun but scarier than any rollercoaster ride I have ever been on. We tried to stay relaxed by reminding ourselves that you never hear of anyone dying due to cab accidents.

Unfortunately, after the stress of trying to get to the airport on time and tipping the cab driver almost 50% for getting us there so flight was delayed for several hours. And to top it off, I got home to have my luggage lost...for 3 days. Thankfully, they found it and my families Christmas presents are now wrapped under our tree. I guess the point of this post is to say that if you want to have a good time....go to NYC with Mandy and I. Also, I want to say a BIG thanks to our husbands for being so willing to let us leave them and our kids for 4 days and to our mother-in-laws for keeping our precious children. We love you guys....thanks for letting us take a trip that we will never forget!

Monday, December 14, 2009

US Air kinda stinks....

Our family will NEVER fly US Air again. It would be my suggestion that anyone reading this does not either, but whatever it's your life (and time and belongings). Still no baggage for me...which yes family, still means no Christmas gifts for you (refer to earlier post in case you missed this sad news). However, here are lots of pictures of Emerson to compensate for your loss. As you can probably tell....I have lots of blogging to catch up on. Enjoy!

Yes, we are still alive....

I realize it has been way too long since I have shared some new pictures of sweet Emerson. Life has been a little nutty since right before Thanksgiving. I just got back from New York with Mandy. We spent 4 days there and I loved every second of it. I will post pics of that soon (but only a few pics b/c i think i only took 3). While the trip was WONDERFUL....getting back has been a little nightmarish. My flight out of Laguardia got delayed so I arrived at DCA at 4:55 and my flight to GSP was supposed to leave at 5:05. Luckily, they held my flight for me and I was able to catch the last flight into GSP before they cancelled every other flight due to the weather. And while I am thankful that I made it, I am sad to report that my baggage did not. Not only did my baggage not arrive, but 24 hours later, it's whereabouts are still unknown. So, family, if you don't get Christmas presents from us, it is US Airs fault. And, while you may not be getting presents from us, I could now use a ton of new clothes, a killer pair of black boots, underwear, a winter coat, a rain jacket, and some Oil of Olay Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream.

All that to say, Emerson and I drove back to Durham this morning without my baggage. Once we got here we drove straight to the pediatrician's office b/c Em had what appeared to be a crazy rash...turns out it is Eczema. So, we will be keeping her nice a moisturized and see if that doesn't help. Anyway, here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving. Most are of Em playing withe her friend was way too cute. And yes, I meant to post these a long time ago.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Thoughts on Christmas...

It is no secret, I love Christmas! Honestly, I look forward to the "Holiday Season" all year long. I guess I love this time of year for multiple reasons: cooler temperatures, wonderful smelling things, Christmas music, time with family, great food, and gift giving (I LOVE GIVING GIFTS). However, my favorite thing about this time of year is that the Lord always uses it to remind me of His unbelievable goodness. As I begin to listen to Christmas music and to sing the words, I am overwhelmed with joy by what this time of year celebrates. I have been listening to Chris Tomlin's album, Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship, and I can't stop singing the song, "Born That We May Have Life"
A throne in a manger, the cross in a cradle
The hidden revealing this glorious plan
A child who would suffer
A child who would conquer
The sins of every woman, the sins of every man

Rejoice! O, world
Your Savior has come
Through the love of a virgin's womb
Son of God, Son of Man
Born that we may have life

The past year for Team Reed has been marked by lots of transition and change, and quite honestly the past few months have been hard for both Garrett and I. I think that amidst Garrett's long hours of work, taking care of a new baby, and my being more "alone" than I have ever been, the Lord has been slowly humbling us individually and as a family. While it has not been the most pleasant experience ever, we are both so thankful. The Lord has graciously reminded us that our lives are not about our work or even our relationships with other people but rather about Him and His amazing gift to us in Jesus!

In high school, Garrett and I both decided who we believed Jesus really was. In C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity, Lewis he challenges his readers with this, "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us." As Lewis points our, either Jesus was a liar, a total nut, or he really was and is the Son of God! It is at this time of year when we are celebrating the birth of Jesus that I am reminded of why I believe what I believe. As a family, we truly believe that Jesus was and is the Son of God, and I am filled with joy and am in awe of His birth and His love for us!

I'll never forget the moment Emerson was born and the range of emotions I felt the first time I held her. There was definite joy and definite on earth was I supposed to take care of this wonderful little person. I always look at my little lady and wonder what the Lords plan for her life is, what gifts has he given her, how will she love others??? It amazing to think about what Mary felt when she looked at her precious child, knowing he was the Son of God. Did she already know Gods plan for his life. His birth and death were prophesied throughout the old testament....did she know how he would love others and had she read Isaiah 53:5 "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we would be healed." I really can't even begin to wrap my mind around all of it.

I am thankful for Christmas and that is reminds me joyfully of my Saviors birth and leaves me in awe of His awful death...all because of His love for me and for all of His people. Lately, I have been consumed with so many heartbreaking stories of husbands losing their wives, children with cancer, etc. However, it has been amazing to watch as many of these people have drawn on the hope that Jesus' birth and death have given us. One of these people is a guy that I worked at a Young Life Camp with in high school. He recently lost his wife a few weeks after the birth of their first child. They have a blog,, if you have never read it...I recommend reading it from the very beginning to the present. What an unbelievable story and family that has joy only because of JESUS!!!

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Thank you Lord for sending your precious son!