Sunday, May 3, 2015

Easter 2015

We had a great Easter weekend this year. Mr.Pate and I decided to do an Easter Basket for Griffin for the first time (we have just skipped it the past few years bc he was too young to get it, and we skipped Grady this year��).

We decided to give the "unEaster Basket" idea a try. (You can go here to read more about it: http://ohamanda.com/2013/03/25/meaningful-easter-basket-gifts-for-christian-resurrection-day/) So while Daddy practiced softball Saturday, I had griffin hunt for big rocks for a surprise. He actually got soo into it and it kept him entertained for a long time. Woo hoo!



When we got home, we got the rocks and talked about our sins and what we struggle with. It was slow at first but then he started to get it. Then after we had discussed several sins and how we needed a Savior, we covered the baskets up with a red blanket. This is where reality with a 3 year old set in, so Griffin started throwing a fit because he just knew we were taking his rocks away and never giving them back. Geez! So when we finally calmed him down from a fit, we just had him close his eyes while we switched stuff out. Just keeping it real how the best plans really don't always turn out perfectly. We switched the rocks out for his real Easter basket to show that Jesus takes our sins and gives us the gift of Eternal Life instead when we choose to believe in Him. We got him a new bible/devo book, a veggie tales movie, a "What's in the Bible" episode about Jesus life and death, and a few small stickers etc.

Easter Sunday we went to church of course, then headed to Uncle D's for lunch. Mr.Pate's family came down for church and lunch. Then the boys got to open their Easter baskets- and they got way too much ;-) then we hung out and relaxed. It was a great weekend filled with some fabulous quality time. Yay!





























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Friday, April 10, 2015

Grady is 5 Months Old!




Well, I am behind as usual, ha! Grady turned 5 months old a week and a half ago.

This isn't a doctors appointment month, so I have no idea how big he is. But he is definitely growing! We are now in 3-6 month, 6 month, and some 6-9 month clothing. He is way too long for any straight 3 month clothing, and many of the 3-6 month footed onesies are too short for him. He continues to be long :-)

He is eating 5 oz in his bottles and nursing great. We are definitely in the groove now where nursing is a joy and a breeze, so if you have a younger one and are struggling- keep going! It gets so much better. He is still on a three hour eating schedule typically.

Grady has continued to be a great sleeper this month. His naps are sporadic and sometimes long but sometimes short, however it doesn't seem to phase him too much. At night, he usually eats for the last time between 8-8:30ish then sleeps until 5:30-6ish. About half of this month he woke once or twice in the night each night for his paci, then went right back to sleep. The other half he just slept. So far it's amazing. We still swaddle each night.

This month he started LOVING toys. Mostly he loves to put them in his mouth. Griffin shared a little Elmo stuffed animal one night and Grady was obsessed with eating him or holding on tight. It was super cute.

I see no signs of teeth yet, but we are full on in the drooling like crazy and hands must be in my mouth stage. So we just might see some soon.

This month he started actually laughing/chuckling. Such a cute sound. We mainly get laughs when he try to get his belly.

He is still about his brother. Anytime Griffin acts silly, dances or tries to get his belly Grady gives the biggest smiles. I really hope a sweet friendship will continue their whole life. Watching them interact is my favorite part of having two kids. It is sooo sweet.

His hair has majorly come in red this month, and everywhere we go people comment on it. I adore it.








































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Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Top 6 Favorite Baby Things This Time Around

I know trying to figure out what you "need" for a baby is overwhelming. Have you ever been inside a Babies R Us? Ahh! So.many.things.

So I am going to share a few of my favorite baby items this time around. Obviously everyone needs the basics like diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, etc. But here are a few items that are just super helpful...



1. The Nosefrida: I saw this when Griffin was a baby, but I thought it sounded disgusting. Sucking his snot out with my mouth?! Eww! Ha! But it really isn't gross, and it really works so amazingly well. There is a filter, so you are not getting snot anywhere near your mouth. And it is easy, quick and pretty much a lifesaver. I got mine at Target.

2. Soundspa Lullaby: I love this thing! It projects a little moving picture onto the ceiling, which is just bright enough to be a good night light. It really helped me when I was having to do middle of the night feedings and diaper changes those first few months. The sounds part works great and has several options. I prefer the ocean one. I bought mine on Amazon.

3. Ergo: I love my Ergo. A lot. My mom bought mine on Zulily for almost 50% off a few years ago. I can still wear Griffin in it on my back if I want, but I can also wear a newborn on the front. Lots of versatility. And I can wear a kid for hours without my back hurting. Yay!! Seriously worth the investment. And you may wonder why this is better than a bjorn or cheaper one in the store? Good question! This carrier makes sure your kid is sitting and not dangling, which is much better for their hips and your back. Trust me it's worth the price tag.

4. Rock N Play: Most people have heard how amazing these are by now. They had just come out when Griffin was a baby, but now they are everywhere! Soooo love this thing. They are so easy to fold and take anywhere, move to different spots in the house and they don't take up much space when open. They are inclined so they are great for babies who spit up more, or when baby is congested. A friend got ours from Babies R Us. Amazon and Target both have great prices too.

5. SwaddleMe: I love these baby straight jackets! Ha. Grady is a huge swaddle baby. SwaddleMe has great size large also if your baby is long or still likes to be swaddled at 5 months... I am going to be sad when we can't swaddle anymore. He sleeps so well! So people say their baby gets arms out of this easy, but I think if you are using it right that's pretty unlikely. Arms need to be down at babies side, not crossed on their chest. And make sure it's tight! I always do it, then unvelcro and pull a tad tighter. Snug as a bug. And it's so cute in the morning when I unswaddle him and he stretches. Precious.

6. Moby Wrap: Oh how I love my moby. I loved it with Griffin as well. This wrap is so wonderful for little ones especially. They are comfy, and give you extra snuggle time with your little one while freeing you up to do things too. Love it! My sister got us ours last time. Amazon, Babies R Us, and Target all sell these.

I hope that's helpful! I plan to do a list of my favorite products for the breastfeeding mom soon as well.

What was your favorite baby product? Share it in the comments to help out soon to be parents!


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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The picture

The other day, I noticed a friend had updated their profile picture. Which, of course, reminded me that I needed to do the same. My picture was from the first week Grady was alive, and he certainly looks different now. But I didn't have any updated pics of all four of us. So I determined someone was snapping one that morning. It wouldn't be professional looking, we didn't color coordinate, and I was fine using an iPhone instead of a dslr. "It would do" was my thought.



I quickly fell in love with this picture. We were all smiling, happy and somewhat put together. In our makeshift "church nursery" of our church plant. It is a snapshot of my life right now. And it made me happy.

Too often I try to create the perfect. I LOVE photography and creating artistic pictures for people. But you know what? That's not what my life looks like. And I find myself craving the ability to bottle up today. To be able to remember exactly what this season is like. And I am finding that these snapshots I get with my prized iphone are what help me do that. They seem to remind me to love where God has me, and be ok with not perfect, not Pinterest-worthy, not ideal. To be ok with real.

So I encourage you to do the same today. Get a snapshot of your real, and remember God has you in this season for a reason. Savor it. Persevere through it (if it's a hard one). Live in it.


















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Grady is 4 months Old!




Grady turned 4 months two weeks ago. Well, I was actually confused when to count it, because February only has 28 days and he was born on the 30th... Haha.

This month has really flown by! He is now 14 lbs 12oz and 26" long! He is in the 73rd Percentile for his length, which cracks me up. I wonder how long he will get to be "tall"? Because you know he doesn't have a chance of actually being tall... He is in the 27th percentile for weight. The doctor is very happy with how he has grown and gained weight, so yay for that!

He continued to sleep pretty well this month. Most nights he does his last feeding around 8-8:30 and then sleeps until 5:30am. He does wake some at 2:30 for his paci, but then goes right back to sleep. We did have a growth spurt this month so there were a few nights where I was up quite a bit. His naps are random. He seems to always sleep for 45 min at daycare. At home he will go longer. But he doesn't seem to be affected by it so it works for me. Ha. With Griffin I was so scheduled, and with Grady I just try to watch to see if he is tired. He can go quite awhile awake now and be happy as can be. I do always rock him to sleep for naps or night though, so probably at some point that will have to stop. At this point with Griffin I had been laying him down awake and having him fall asleep on his own for a long time, but Grady seems so young for that. Ha! Different perspective.

He still nurses on a three hour schedule usually. Nursing has really hit a groove and is going by much quicker too. Seriously moms who are struggling at the beginning- keep with it! It gets so much better. It's funny to think about how many times I thought of giving up the first two months. So glad I didn't. He just started taking 4 & 1/2 oz in his bottles, and if daycare had it their way he would have 6-7oz! Ahh.

He has hit the "obsessed with hands in his mouth" phase this month. Griffin probably says "fingers are not good Grady" twenty times a day! Hehe. He is trying to be a thumb sucker, and we are trying hard to prevent it. He started reaching out and grabbing toys right at the end of this month, so now we can kind of play some! Yay!

He still loves to lay on his back and kick those legs. He also loves to be stood up. He has started trying to laugh, but can't get the whole sound out yet.

We are in full on drool mode, thank you teething. No teeth in sight yet though. He really found his voice and loves to be loud now. He is the noisiest sleeper I have ever heard, so many grunts and sounds.































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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Redeemer: Church Planting 3 months In







The last update I shared about our church planting journey was five days before Grady made his debut (so Oct 25th). I felt like it was high time for another look at how things are going! Ha.

We have been meeting on Sunday mornings for 20 weeks! Wow time flies! Things are going really well. We have had visitors almost every single week that we have met. We just finished our first membership class last week! There are tons of exciting things happening. We just began our first "life groups" (small groups), and are starting with three groups! We are averaging 35-40 a week (including kids). We have setup and tear down worked into a nice routine. Overall, it is going very well.















But I more so want to share the things that can't be measured by numbers or classes or things or budgets. What has the Lord been teaching us through this process? A ton!!

He is teaching us how to truly serve His church, not just our friends. When you have been at a church a long time, those things sometimes become synonymous. But here He has called us to interrupt our plans and life to serve people we may have just met. And that is stretching but also a huge blessing.

He is teaching me not to assume people here know the gospel and the bible. We have a tendency to not start with the very basics because we kind of assume everyone has been around church, even if it was just as a child. Several of the new people that are coming have been raised in very different spiritual backgrounds. It's important to really teach scripture and not just overview it.

I am learning that more than anything People want to feel a connection when they go to church. Clearly we are small, still getting basics worked out and do not have it all together. Our nursery had two rock n plays and a changing pad for many weeks. Taking up offering sometimes looks a little chaotic as we let new people volunteer for it. At any point during our worship there may be one or several children running wild, which is understandable because we are in a gym- why wouldn't they?! And thru all of it people have loved it because we have been able to truly connect (pretty easy when their are only 40 of you! Haha) and ask questions and get to know them. And I can see it all over their faces, they came here because they wanted to be known.

I am learning so much as we go, and I hope to be better about sharing. It is hard to put most of this experience into words, but I am gonna try.

Thank you to those who have been praying for us thru out this journey! Please keep it up.










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