1. Last weekend we had the blessed opportunity of bringing up the gifts in our good friends' wedding. We have known Joe and Anna since Western and not only are they a great couple, but their love for Christ and their desire for holiness is an example to both Michael and I. I get really excited when I see another young couple living out God's plan for love and the family, as this is how the world will be transformed. I am also really excited to have them back in town!
2. Avila is sure growing up! She'll be 17 months old next week and she is looking and talking more like a little girl everyday. Her vocabulary is growing like crazy (I bet she knows and says at least 100 words), and she is even combining words, like "Hello Daddy!" and "eat all done. " She is sweet and kind and perceptive and also really sensitive to people's moods. (And since I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve sometimes, I have to be careful when I get grumpy!) She is really into coloring and drawing, and I am in love with the Crayola markers that only color on special paper (especially after an orange highlighter incident at church). I just have to limit the paper, as to not spend all my extra money on it.
3. Speaking of sensitive, Avila is obsessed with anything that is on her hands. She could be dirty from head to toe, but if there is even a slight mark on her hand, she complains "owie" at least a million times. In this picture she had a small black mark from a pen she was using and I didn't hear the end of it until the end of the day!
4. Kelsey has been staying with us for a couple weeks, and she has been such a great auntie to Avila. When Avila wakes up in the morning, she asks for her "auntie" and when I'm gone she even prefers her to Michael! (sorry, babe...) I am so excited to see Kelsey as a mom someday because she has a special gift with children. I also wish you good luck with the job search, sister!
5. P90X has been fantastic. I just can't rave about it enough. I am currently on my 5th week, and I can tell a huge difference in my strength (I'm moving up in weights), stamina (I can jump higher and go longer), and all around muscle composition (even my usually oblivious husband noticed!). People often ask me what I do with Avila while I work out. Well, I either workout while she's napping, or....check out the picture to the right. It's often a workout in and of itself just to clean up the mess she makes in such a short hour.
6. I am finding it more and more important to nurture the father-daughter relationship between Michael and Avila. As a result, we are re-establishing a daddy/daughter night where I get some time to myself and the other two get their own time together, as well. I plan on using my night to make a Holy Hour, hit the local coffee shop, and/or doing anything else that pops into my head (yes, husband, besides anything that costs money).
7. I have realized once again the incredible power of suffering and the ironic nature that so much joy can be found in pain and heartache. Jesus is close to us in suffering - even closer than in good times - and I find myself embracing both the great and small sufferings of our state in life. As Mother Teresa once said to a woman dying of cancer, suffering is like Jesus kissing you from the cross. Suffering can cause so many to be hopeless and anxious, but for me it simply draws me closer to the Lord because His will is often made more visible through it.