November 30, 2012

Asher's Ethnic Transformation

Matt made it home last night after being gone 6 very long days. He had to go to Kentucky for school (he's in a Master's distance learning program working on his FNP). I was pretty quiet about it only because I didn't want any random weirdos to know I was home alone with the boys for the week.

He left Saturday and Sunday was our longest day. I was sick, both with a cold and pregnancy, and we were all three climbing the walls by the time the evening came. I believe my exact text to my mom was, "I'm going batty, do you want to go to dinner?"

Seriously, my  parents receive the MVP award this week. They bought us dinner and dessert Sunday night. My mom hung out with us for much of Monday to keep us from going stir crazy. They bought us dinner again on Tuesday night. She watched the boys for a few hours on Wednesday while I got my hair done, and then she gave me all her JC Penney's coupons so I could stock up on hair stuff for $6 total.

Seriously. Amazing.

Friends also rallied and made the time fly by.

But I have never been so happy to see him as when he walked in the door last night. He was home. He was safe. And dang Kentucky if you ever see him again! (Except for next year it'll be a 10 day trip.)

Today we have plans to be family. Children's museum. Ice cream. (Matt may or may not know about that one yet.) Hanging out. Just being together. The weather is rainy and I anticipate movies, popcorn, and snuggling.

But first, can you believe this is the same child? (I cannot figure out how to get these side by side.)

Look at that hair! I had an Italian at birth and a Dutch at his first birthday. 

November 27, 2012

Pregnancy and I

Here's how pregnancy happens to me.

I eat. I eat some more. If I'm not eating, I'm thinking about eating. And if I'm not eating or thinking about eating call 911 because I'm probably no longer in the land of the living.

I like to think of it this way.

Metabolism: Yes, hello, are you taking reservations? Great, I'd like to book a flight to Bora Bora. Returning...sometime mid-July...not a minute sooner. On my way!

Stomach: Metabolism is on vacation, I think I'm gonna up my A-game. Hunger, mobilize! From this moment on at every hour of every day, you're hungry. You're never not hungry. And you're only hungry for Crap Like Fast Food and/or More Crap Like Fast Food and The Occasional Mexican. Go, go, go!

Need I remind you of this?

I promise my face is usually not that....robust.

But pregnancy man, it has its way. Third time around, I'm a little seasoned. I know a little more what to expect. I know the first 12 weeks Nausea is only pacified by a full belly. I know once I hit the second trimester the nausea goes away and thus my constant need for food. Well. It doesn't totally go away. But you know what I mean.

My metabolism however stays on vacation. Soaking it up in the tropics, laying out by the pool, sipping drinks with little umbrellas in them, laughing at his good fortune to have me for his owner. We're usually such good friends, Metabolism and I, you know?

Just a few more weeks and I'll be past the worst of it. Here's to hoping we make it unscathed.

November 21, 2012

A Lesson In Parenting

Oh my goodness, it's been too long. I've missed this.

I've been a little tied up with launching my photography business and having sessions back to back. I have to post some faves here. (If you're friends with me on facebook, you've seen these. Don't hate me.)

It's amazing to me how much I learn every session and learn to think a little more outside the box. Those boxes, man. They'll get ya.

With Thanksgiving approaching, I had a new parenting experience last week that had to do with being thankful. I've mentioned before that we do not condone pickiness in our house. We've never had a huge problem with it because Micah's always been such a great eater and Asher is following in his footsteps. But there were several days in a row last week that Micah was being very fussy and very complain-ey about his food. And not so much the food, but wanting this! and that too! and Daddy's food! (even if it were the exact same thing).

So we were really emphasizing being thankful for what we have but we kept hitting the same wall at mealtimes and snacktimes. So finally one morning last week I went for drastic measures. I took him to our room to talk to him and I said, Micah, since you're choosing to be unthankful and ungrateful for your food, you're all done with breakfast. Mommy tried to tell you that I wanted you to be thankful, but you chose not to, so you're all done with breakfast this morning, buddy.

I really questioned on the inside if I was doing a good thing because I knew he was hungry. I didn't want to be too hard on him, but I really felt like it was needed to get through to him. Needless to say, he was devastated. I explained to him several times why he was all done with breakfast but he was still extremely sad.

I didn't make him go until lunch though. (I think that would've been too much). We had Bible study that morning, so we dropped Asher off with my mom and then I swung him and I by to grab a late breakfast at his favorite place. You can imagine he devoured every last bite.

And I am not exaggerating when I say that I cannot remember a single mealtime since then that we've had to deal with it. In fact that night at dinner he was starting to fuss and I reminded him of the morning and he said, All done, beck-fest? No mo' eat beck-fest?

I reminded him that he would be all done if he didn't choose to be thankful and eat what he had, and guess who ate all his dinner?

So even though I questioned it, I think it was the right thing.

Well, I'm off to get my boys up from their naps, get dinner ready, and prepare for some good, quality family time tomorrow. Hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving!

November 13, 2012

Downton Abbey and a Family Session

Today I woke up not only on the wrong side of the bed but in the wrong country on the wrong continent in a place that smells like dung where people are speaking languages that sound strangely like Needs and Wants and I simply cannot bear it. And before you accuse me of being melodramatic, I don't know exactly how that's different from dramatic so I think I win there. But nice try.

I finished season 3 of Downton Abbey last night and then I couldn't sleep all night. I kept waking up and replaying scenes in my mind and then being furious that I was still not sound asleep and for-the-love-who-cares that Thomas is staying on and what does that mean for Mr. Bates?

You might say that I become involved.

Needless to say, my lack of sleep caused my awakening in a foreign land.

In other news, potty training is going awesome. At home is almost always consistent. Except during naptime and bedtime. What do you do for that? Wake them up? Suggestions welcome. Out and about is hit and miss. Mostly because I'm kind of lazy about asking and taking bathroom breaks. It's so much easier when everywhere is a toilet, you know? Public restrooms are disgusting to the highest degree but kids don't know that yet, so it's no big thing for them to eagerly run to the toilet and grab it or enthusiastically touch the flusher. No, no, no, no, no.

This past weekend I had a session with an amazing family. The husband even cancelled hunting so he could be there. For those of you who don't live in Montana, I'm not sure you know that you couldn't ask for a higher sacrifice. Lay down your life for a friend, maybe. But this is pretty up there.

They were also very tough. It was in the teens that day and there was nary a complaint.

My favorite photo from the session. 

These are a few of my other favorites from the day.

 This daddy loves his little girl.

Cuddling mama.

Beautiful and smart Kaylyn.

Thanks Kaylyn and family for a great session!

Gotta run, Asher is pulling out all the ziplock baggies one by one!

November 09, 2012

Feeding the Horses

So it would seem that my name has been stolen. Or rather someone else thought of it first. And after much consideration and for the purpose of streamlining... 

Sara McNutt Photography it is. 

And speaking of photography, this is the best photobomb ever. See if you can crack the case. 

Perhaps this will help.

Yesterday I thought since it was the coldest day we'd had so far that it'd be a good idea to take the boys to feed the horses. Juggling winter coats and hats, crossing streets, keeping cameras out of danger zones, answering the same question a thousand times (Feed the horsies care-wits, mama?), all while freezing to death is really fun. You should try it sometime. 

We did feed the horses carrots (which I later found out is a big no-no and we did get a talking to). That voice that pops up sometimes and wonders if you should get permission? Listen to it. It's smart. It knows what it's talking about.

This poor horse. She was chased away by the 
big, bad black horse every time she tried to get a carrot. 

Big, bad black horse. He was a tiny bit scary.

We did have a good time and I'm glad we did it. I'm just not sure why it didn't strike me to do it two days before when it was 60 degrees and we were in t-shirts. Not sure about some of the things that strike me as good ideas.

Some more pics from the day.

 Asher was terrified of the horses at first but as you can see, he did warm up.

We have a very busy weekend ahead of us (baby showers for me, exams for Matt) and all the other things we try to cram into weekends. But at least it's Friday! 

November 05, 2012

Asher, Photography, and a Book

This weekend felt like a busy one, though I'm not exactly sure why. Matt studied much of Saturday, maybe that was part of it. Yesterday while Micah napped I caught some sweet moments between Matt and Asher. Prepare ye, Heart. Death doth come thine way.

But first, I love this photo. Asher can be such a serious, curious little bug. 
He was "investigating" while Matt studied just behind him.

 Daddy wrestling time.

Beard tickles.

Is this level of Cute possible? Look at the chin dimple! 
He may not look like Matt any other way, but that is Daddy's chin all the way!

So sweet. Sometimes it's too much. It's simply too much.

I'm getting my photography business off the ground, little by little. I worked on that this weekend too. While coming back from the conference last week, the Lord gave me the name for it. I didn't want to use my name (McNutt, hello?) and I didn't want to just pull something out of thin air that didn't have any meaning for me. So I'd been praying and asking him to give me a name and he did.


(I'm still working on the stylization.)

And what book did I read for the first time less than an hour after he brought the name to mind? One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, in which the first several chapters are entirely about grace, complete with Greek etymology and other smart things. I was floored. It was such sweet confirmation.

There are many details to be worked out (and details and I have never been close, never) but I'm not hurrying or forcing things. The Lord has directed my steps in this from the very beginning and I trust him to do that tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. In the meantime I'm learning as much of the art and skill as I can, combined with lots of practice. More of which will happen this month. Outside of my family practice, which is a whole different world.

But I love people, love people, and I love this and I've already had a huge blast, so I'm looking forward to what this will look like.

On a last note. My very, very, very good friend from many years past, and my very, very, very good friend who's new to my life (where has she been all my life?) have just released an ebook. It's already #1 on Amazon for missions, #2 for evangelism, and #3 for something else (oh my gosh, I can't remember) (but we're very good friends) (I'm just pregnant, that's all). I had the chance to review it last week and it was oh so stinking good. Seriously. Amazing.

If you've ever found yourself mindlessly on the internet, desperate to come across something interesting to suck even more brain cells away than the previous hour did, then this is the book for you. It's a book that challenges and equips you to use social media to make God known. Seriously, check it out. So good.

Happy Monday, my friends.

November 02, 2012

Big News of the Hugest Kind

If you're friends with me on Facebook, then this perhaps is not news to you.

It's true. That's mine. We are.

I could not be happier. I simply could not. I have to share how this all happened, for my own posterity (I don't know what that means) and because I'd love to share this with all of you.

I hadn't paid much attention to my cycle this month, though the thought had flitted through my mind a few times. I'd been so busy with my mother-in-law's visit, attending a conference on the other side of the nation, avoiding being in the path of a deadly hurricane, potty training, that I hadn't had much time to think about it.

Yesterday, however, it crossed my mind that perhaps it might be possible. I'll spare you the details that made me wonder this but I was fairly curious. That morning at my weekly Bible study, the subject came up. Are you pregnant? She asked it jokingly. I froze because I in fact wondered if I was. I laughed. No, I thought I could be but I'm not. The symptoms were too close to my crazed state of other lady things, and I'd been wrong the previous months.

But the thought stayed with me. My mom was watching the boys while I ran errands and I made the quick decision to pick up a test at The Wal-mart. If any of you know me in real life, you know that once I've got something in my head it must be done immediately. No waiting, no thinking, it has to get done right this second three days ago. 

So in lieu of awaiting the privacy and convenience of my own home, I quickly found the restrooms in the place of my next stop and...tested.

(The new store, Natural Grocers, for those of you interested.)

(May that thought always stay with you. Every time you drive down the busiest street in our city and see its lights a-beckon, may it come to mind. Natural Grocers. Bathroom.)

It turned positive almost immediately and I had the deepest, deepest, deepest feeling of joy that I think is humanly possible. My smile stretched from ear to shining ear. I whispered out loud over and over, Thank you, Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you! 

I have to stop and address something because I know some of you are concerned that we've chosen to share when I'm so early in my pregnancy.

I heard this years ago and it stuck with me. It was from a lady who had suffered a miscarriage. She and her husband had shared the joyous news immediately, so when they suffered their loss, there were many people who knew. She wrote that she would rather have had a large community of caring people to pray for them and love them in their loss than to ever have to shoulder it alone.  (That's my paraphrase.)

Also, these are my thoughts on it. Whether the Lord grant us a lifetime (let it be so) with our very much loved little one or a short time, his (or her) life matters to us from the moment of conception. He does not carry more or less weight or value or significance depending on his number of days, because every single one of them have already been authored by a loving and holy God. He became a part of us from the moment we knew of him and we celebrate his life from this moment on. We delight to share our joy with others and we thrill to testify to the world that this little one is so very, very loved and wanted and cherished.

Okay, that aside, I do have to tell you something. Last night I was on Facebook, email, my blog, answering people's queries (aren't I English?), expressing thankfulness for people's excitement, etcetera. All of a sudden I had this horrible fear that I had tested wrong and led millions of people (fine, dozens) to believe that I was pregnant when I wasn't. I jest you not that I literally sprung from the couch, grabbed the extra test, and immediately...tested.

You can imagine my great relief to see another immediate positive result. That would have been awkward, my friends.

So here are the stats.

I'm 5 weeks pregnant and every Thursday is a new week.

I'm due July 4th, 2013. (A little Independence Day irony, no?)

According to the Chinese Gender Prediction Calendar, I'm having a girl.

According to the other Chinese Gender Prediction Calendar, I'm having a boy.

One of them is right, I know it.

Let the games begin.