Friday, February 27, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Before we open up this week's Faith and Fellowship blog hop I would love it if you would take a moment to fill out my three year blogiversary survey! Thanks, friends!!!


And now, for the blog hop...
Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
4.  Share this blog hop on social media using #FaithandFellowshipBlogHop or pin the button on pinterest.

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Your Host:

Susannah1Susannah from Simple Moments Stick


Last Week's Most Viewed Posts:


Peculiar Treasure
Contentment

Susannah's Blog Post Pick:


Mary-andering Creatively
Open Your Heart to Compassion's Call

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Simple Moments Stick is Three!

As of this month, I have been blogging at Simple Moments Stick for three years!  It truly has been quite the ride and I'm so thankful for each and every one of you who come to this space to read what I have to say.  You're all so special to me!

Three Years of Simple Moments Stick

If you would be so kind as to fill out this survey I would be so appreciative!  I'd love to know how continue to make Simple Moments Stick the type of place you all want to come to read.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dear Strangers in Winco

The Kindness of a StrangerPhoto Credit

Dear Strangers in Winco,

I walked into the store with a skip in my step.  After a few weeks of creative meals, quick runs into Safeway, and draining our pantry and fridge bare I had finally had the time and energy to meal plan.  My little one had awaken from a nap, was fed, and was dry.  Now was the time to shop!

Shopping was easy at first.  Through the produce section - Caleb smiled and cooed.  Through the bulk food section - Caleb stared at all the new sights.  Through the dairy section - Caleb blew bubbles and giggled.  Things were going well.  And then something happened.  Who knows what it was.  Maybe Caleb got tired.  Maybe Caleb got overwhelmed.  Maybe I walked one inch further from the cart than Caleb was comfortable with.  Regardless of the why, it happened.  Caleb's face scrunched up into a frown.  His eyes began to water.  His mouth opened in a scream.

I tried all the usual techniques.  I smiled at him and talked, telling him everything would be ok.  I rocked the cart back and forth.  I made shushing noises and pulled the shade over his head to block out the lights.  Nothing worked.  Out of the carseat and into my arms he came.  As I bounced up and down a content sigh fell from Caleb's lips and he cuddled into me.

I continued to shop, holding tight to my little boy.  I maneuvered the cart with one hand as the babe rested in the other.  I went as quickly as I could to finish my shopping and check out.

As I was loading my groceries onto the conveyer belt, you pulled your cart up behind me.  You smiled gently at me, a knowing look on your face.  Maybe you were remembering your own children, now grown, and the times you had to comfort them in inconvenient locations.  Maybe you saw the bags under my eyes and the exhaustion in my face and recalled your own sleepless nights caring for you children.  Maybe you had never had the opportunity to have children of your own but have a heart for young mothers and the wonderful but challenging time this season of life is.

Regardless of the why, you gently touched my arm and kindly asked if you could unload my cart for me.

I looked at you in shock.  A stranger, someone who could have been annoyed at me for holding up the line, was asking if she could help me?  I stammered out a flabbergasted "Yes, thank you" and allowed you to pull out my groceries.  As I paid, I thanked you again and moved on.

In order to keep prices down, Winco has customers bag their own groceries.  Since Caleb had calmed down, I gave him a gentle kiss, placed him back in the carseat, and began to bag my groceries.  Caleb looked at me confused.  He looked at me angrily.  He began to scream again.  By this time, dear stranger, you had paid for your own groceries.  You could have easily bagged them up and headed on your way.  Instead, you came to me again.  "Pick up your baby," you said gently "I'll bag up your groceries."  What a kindness you offered me!

After another sincere "thank you" I headed to my car.  I maneuvered the parking lot, once again pushing the cart with one hand and bouncing the baby in the other.  This time it was a man who approached me.  You also smiled a knowing smile.  Maybe you remember your wife coming home from the grocery store claiming she was never taking another child shopping again.  Maybe you were a stay at home dad, knowing first hand the wonderful trials that caring for a baby full time brings.  Maybe you had never married but were a chivalrous gentleman at heart and didn't like seeing a woman struggling.

Regardless of the why, you headed my way and asked if you could help me.

You were headed in the opposite direction I was going and yet you still offered to help.  Although I was incredibly thankful, I graciously declined.  I was just a few feet from my car and was able to get it unloaded and the baby put in the car on my own.  Even through my declining, though, I was so appreciative of your generosity.  It meant so much to me.

Dear strangers, thank you.  Thank you for seeing the need in a young mother's face and taking time out of your lives to offer to help.  Thank you for not getting annoyed by a crying baby and a stressed out mama.  Thank you for showing me that there are great people in the world - people who will go out of their way to help another. 

For a little while you were heroes in one woman's eyes.

I want to be like you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Heart is on the Outside Now

Caleb at Three Months

For three months my heart has been outside my body.  It's amazing how in love and connected I can be to another human being and my life is forever changed.

Weight: ???  We haven't gone to the doctor this month so I don't know how much he weighs right now. (Up from 12ob 8oz)

Height: ???  We haven't gone to the doctor this month so I don't know how long he is right now. (Up from 23.92 inches)

As much as I'd love to know how much he weighs and how tall he is, I'm glad we haven't had to go to the doctor this month.  Caleb did get a cold but it never got bad enough to have to see a doctor.  Although his eye has always been goopy (due to a clogged tear duct) just a few days ago Caleb's eye got SUPER goopy and I was just about to take him to the doctor but it cleared up.  We're hoping that the goopiness was his clogged tear duct clearing up.

Sleep:  We've finally gotten Caleb going to bed between seven and eight every night.  We wake him up when we go to bed (between 10-11) to dream feed and he falls right back asleep once he's done.  Caleb typically only wakes up once - sometime between 3 and 4am - during the night to eat again.  He got a cold about a week ago and was waking up every two hours and that was absolutely exhausting.  I'm so beyond glad that's over with now.  I really feel for you women who have babies where that is normal.

Likes:  Mama's boobs, Daddy, Being bounced on the Yoga Ball, Kisses, His swing, Being rocked, Being swaddled, Riding in his carseat and stroller, Bouncing to music, Bath time (after an initial shock), Chewing on his fingers and mama and daddy's fingers

Dislikes: After 7pm, Pacifiers, Bottles (yeah, bummer!), Being hungry while in the car, Being held by anyone except mommy or daddy when he's tired

Clothes:  Caleb already graduated to size two diapers and is in 3-6 month clothes with a few 6-9 month tops thrown in the mix.  He's growing like a weed!

Milestones:  Caleb still is a serious little guy but he smiles a lot for mama and daddy now!  Caleb has even begun giggling a little bit.  It's absolutely beyond adorable!  Talking is one of Caleb's favorite past times now too!  He just jabbers away and it's fun having "conversations" with him.  Some of his jabbers honestly sound like words and it's fun having him "say" words like "hi," "yeah," "no," and "mama."  Caleb loves his little play gym and kicks at the toys hanging down.  He constantly rolls onto his side and has succeeded in rolling over once!  (He was not thrilled when he did it, though, because his arm got trapped under his body)  The car is still a place Caleb enjoys but if we drive too far I have to sit in back with him to keep him company.  Bath time is becoming less of a struggle and, after an initial shock, he starts enjoying it.  I'll help him kick and splash in the tub and he thinks that's a lot of fun.  We are starting to work on sleep training and getting him to fall asleep on his own (he still needs the nightly feeding so we're not trying to get rid of that by any means).  During the day we've naturally fallen into the EASY schedule (eat, activity, sleep, you time) and he's able to fall asleep on his own if I put him in his swing.  We're going to gradually work toward him not needing the swing either.  I'm not a fan of crying it out (and he's too young for that anyway) so getting to sleep at night time still involves bouncing on the yoga ball with daddy.  Thankfully it now takes only about 10 minutes to get him to sleep instead of an hour or more.  The little man is typically in bed, asleep, by eight.

One WeekOne MonthTwo MonthsThree Months

Dearest, darling Caleb,

Another month has flown by and my love for you has only grown.  You and I are getting to be such good buddies and I love spending my days with you!  God truly created me to be a mama and I love that He created you to fulfill that in my life.  Your smiles, giggles, and jabbering make my heart sing and I love smothering you with kisses.  Now that we have a schedule (more or less) down it's getting easy to help you learn.  We enjoy playing on the floor, reading your children's Bible, and going for walks together.  I'm excited for you to continue to grow and become even more of a playmate and buddy to you!  I love you, Daddy loves you, and Jesus loves you!

Read More
One Month
Two Months

Monday, February 23, 2015

Simply Loving ~ A Sweet Aroma {Giveaway}

DSC01363Disclosure: I received this product in return for a review.  Everything I say in this post is my honest feedback.

Mornings can be hard.  Even with my little man being a great sleeper, life with a newborn is exhausting and sometimes I don't know how I get through the day.  Although it sometimes means getting up earlier than I would like, I love starting my mornings off with a big mug of coffee and a little time to myself before Caleb wakes up.  It does my heart a load of good and allows me to be the best mama I can be to my precious son.  I praise the Lord for coffee.  I think it was one of his best creations ever!

I think Rory and Lorelia are my kindred spirits in this regard.  As I watch Gilmore Girls I find myself relating perfectly with their love affairs for coffee.  When Lorelia and Luke aren't talking and she has to go to the bakery to get her coffee always makes me crack up.  I always felt that her "exaggeration" statement of "Coffee, Coffee, Coffee" would be a perfect quote to go on a mug.

 
When Brandy contacted me to see if I'd like to design a mug from her Etsy store, A Sweet Aroma, I knew right away that those were the three words I'd get put on my mug.  Even if no one else gets the joke, it makes me giggle every time I use it.  Drinking from a mug with my own personal joke on it makes my morning every time.
 
Coffee Coffee Coffee
 
Brandy was such a joy to work with in designing the mug.  She gave me an option of colors, handwriting, and quote and I loved having so much freedom to pick out what I wanted.  It made me feel even more wonderful that she emailed me a picture of her design before baking the mug and setting the ink.  I loved what she had done but if I had wanted anything changed she would have been able to do it before it was too late.
 
The mug is very durable too!  Brandy sent the mug with directions to only hand wash it and not put in the microwave but someone (cough*Nate*cough) accidentally put it in the dishwasher.  I was worried that it would be ruined but it came out good as new!

Brandy is kind enough to offer one of you the opportunity to receive your own mug!!!  All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.  I'm sure the winner will love the mug she gets!!!
 
DSC01371These bloggers made this giveaway possible: Brita from Belle Brita, Ashley from Keeping Up with Ashley and Cody, Britney from Life as a Mom Plus More, and Kimberely Peculiar Treasures

If you would like to take part in a future Simply Loving Giveaway I'd love to have you as a sponsor.  Click here for more information and remember that every spot is always available for a swap!  If you run a business and would like to be featured in a future Simply Loving Giveaway please email me at susannah.kellogg@gmail.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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