Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday Thoughts (on Wednesday)

Steve spoke this weekend, continuing the series Jesus in His Own Words. I am a little late in my commentary, but here we go. Luke 19:28-40

How many times do we have an expectation for something or someone, that quite frankly, is not the reality. Could be a movie that was hyped up, when you went to see it, it just didn't do it for you. Could be a relationship that you had pictured in your head to turn out one way, and when it was all said and done, that wasn't what happen. This might have been what happened for some people a couple thousand years ago. Steve suggested that people expected the Messiah to come in on a war horse, to be strong, bold, outspoken, loud, and turn the government upside down. The true Messiah came in to town on a borrowed donkey. Yup, a borrowed donkey. No glitz, no glamor, people didn't even recognize him (Luke 19:39-40). Maybe that is the reason that on Palm Sunday, the crowd was crying out praises towards him, yet 5 days later the crowd yelled, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Maybe they expected something different. Has there been a time in your life where the outcome wasn't what you prayed for, wasn't what you expected, Christ responded differently to your request? Were you able to see that He had good reason? Are you still frustrated with Him? Be honest with God, He wants to hear those things.

The crowds wanted a King to rule, but Jesus came to serve others. It is our bent as humans to want a God who will make us powerful and profitable, but He wants us to serve others. How can you relate?

The Messiah was expected to come in and change the political systems, but Christ came to change our personal lives. How many times have you thought, if God would only change my spouse, then I can be the spouse He has called me to, if God would only change my work environment, then I could show His love better to my co-workers? God is not as interested in changing the external situations as He is in changing the internal side of you. He wants you to be changed from the inside out, then, if true change is experienced, you wouldn't be so focused on God changing the external, but you doing what God has called/wired you to do.

Be honest with God, He wants to hear how you have felt let down by him. I would challenge you though, to ask him to change you from the inside. Maybe it is the fear of failure, ask Him for courage, maybe it is the uncertainty of the future, ask Him for faith to take one step at a time. God has unfailing love and power for your life, let Him inside, to do His work in you!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Friday is Steve's day off, so our weekend starts then. It was a beautiful Spring day outside, still a little chilly, but the sun was out in full force. We headed out to one my favorite places, the Arboretum. I haven't been that often when everything is brown, I look forward to in about a month when this place lights up with color!

Tried Payton in the back carrier with our Ergo. We have only worn her in the front, and really haven't used it that much as she has gotten bigger, I can see myself taking her on walks in the woods this spring with her in the back. We were next to a pond, and she was pointing at the fish. She loves anything that moves right now.

Saturday was Spring Fest at our church. Here are some highlights.

Payton and her BFF Addi both walking! They are 4 weeks apart to the day (Payton is older) and they both have just started walking.

Here is a flash back about 8 months ago, when they were learning just to sit up.

Lyndsey and myself with our girls. They want to get down and move!

Payton really like the bunny from a distance, kept pointing and making squeals, up close, she wasn't as sure.

During her first egg hunt, she sat down most of the time, looking at the candy right next to her.

Mommy tried coaching her to put the eggs and candy in the bag. Daddy tried coaching her to pick up his favorite candy.

The real hunt for her was after most of the other kids left. She saw the cone for the starting line, and that is what she wanted.


Quick, mom, run, let's get away with the cone. She is walking everywhere now. We had a great turn out for the day.

After Spring Fest, a few girlfriends and I went shopping to an amazing fabric store in Lawrence, KS. This place made me want to redo everything in my house, each room have a different color theme. I will definitely be back there again. Erin (who is right next time me) bought some fabric and made a great dress. Check it out HERE.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Date night

Date night last night. We headed out to dinner at Tannah's, an Asian Fusion restaurant. I remember when I was in high school and would babysit, I didn't understand how parents could go out to dinner for hours, it didn't take that long to eat. Well, now that I am a parent, I completely understand how you can sit for a few hours at dinner with your husband and enjoy every minute of it. Great time to focus on each other and dream about the future together.

A wonderful couple from church Brian and Janie watched Payton. A couple months back, when Brian walked into church, Payton reached out to have him hold her, she left me for him, I believe he was hooked on her since then. When we got to their house around 10, she was still up. They said she wouldn't go down so they were trying to rock her and she looked like she was ready to crash, then jumped up and got a second wind. She was hilarious, she was walking like she was drunk because she was so tired. They have a son in high school and they said she took a liking to him. I am starting to get a little worried because she seems to like older men. She loves her uncle Ben who is in high school too. We ended up staying and watching the rest of the K-State game and she was full of energy. We got in the car after 11 when she finally crashed. She was funny, because she was so happy the whole time until we put her in the car, she screamed for about 30 seconds, then crashed. It was a party night for her as well.

This morning daddy and Payton had breakfast together. One thing her daddy does with her is find videos on YouTube of animals and they watch them together. She doesn't ever watch TV, so she becomes mesmerized. She loves watching animals right now.

It is a sunny day in Kansas today! Looking forward to spending time outside with Steve on his day off!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

St. Louis and Indiana

Last week we made a trip to Indiana, stopping in St. Louis along the way. Steve had meetings in Indiana, and couldn't find a flight home on Saturday under $600, so we decided to make a road trip, and drop Payton off at Papa and Gigi's on the way.

We spent the night in STL, and my MIL treated me to a pedicure Thursday before we left. It was so much fun getting pampered. I actually painted my toes turquoise, a fun color that I don't own. I always choose pink, trying to get out my box a little. It was nice to have my toes out of shoes, ready for Spring.

It was such a beautiful spring day! We went for a walk before we left.

The Southards Girls

Payton has learned to say Papa, Gigi, and Ben. She is adding words to her vocab everyday!

Steve and I stopped at Ted Drews on the way out of town. It is a local hot spot in STL for frozen custard that is so yummy!

I didn't get anymore pics the rest of the trip. I often forget to get the camera out and snap shots. We visited with some great friends up there. Steve had his meetings and I had some alone time. I was able to shop at Trader Joe's which made me so sad that we don't have one here.

Payton did an excellent job. Slept well, ate well, played hard. Gigi said she loved the cars, trucks and tractors. She also loved hunter the dog and Oreo the cat. She loves animals right now. We also weaned her while I was gone. Being away for a few days was a great time for weaning. She did an excellent job and hasn't asked to feed from me since we have returned. She had gotten to the point she signed "more" and pulled my shirt up or down. I thought it would be harder on her then it was. I didn't think it would be so hard on me. But I went from 3 feedings to 0 from me in less than 2 weeks. My body is feeling it! Next time I will take the advice of dropping 1 feeding a week.

I left Indy wearing flip flops and shorts, it was 70 degrees. We drove all day Saturday, picked Payton up in STL, then headed home to about 8 inches of snow and freezing weather. I was still in flip flops and shorts. It was one of the scariest drives from Columbia to Kansas City. The weather man described the roads as treacherous. Steve had white knuckles. I do wish we had a picture of him carrying me in the house, because we had to park the rental car outside in the snow and my flip flops wouldn't have worked.

We had a great trip, so thankful for Papa and Gigi who were able to love on Payton while Steve and I had alone time and great time with friends.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Dunkin Donuts

Every Monday in March, Dunkin Donuts is giving you a free medium coffee. No purchase necessary, just walk your little self in there, order an iced or hot medium coffee and you walk out without paying a penny. Now of course we had to get a yummy to go along with our coffee, and that does cost you :)

We went with our next door neighbor Sara and her little guy Nicholas. Sara and I swap out watching kiddos often in the daytime, it is a huge help for me. Payton loves Sara and Nicholas (I really think she loves all of Nicholas' toys).

We got a new "toy box" for the family room, since our toys were starting to flow over our little basket. Payton spends so much time sitting in this box as well.

Today Payton has been walking A LOT! She is probably walking more than crawling right now. She will go all the way across the room by herself. Soon enough she will be taking off for good.

Seven Day Birthday Party completed

Sadly my extended birthday party is over. I was getting real used to having a gift every morning. As you can see from the picture below, there was a theme. The last 3 days included a personal item from VS and an experience. The beginning of the week had more gifts, the end had experiences.

Gift #5: My choice of dessert place and celebration with our family. I found a new place that was about 30 min away called Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard. I loved it. Payton was in her PJ's as she didn't take an afternoon nap that day, so she slept to and from the custard shop. If you are local and haven't visited Foo's, it is worth the trip.

We only had my camera phone, so excuse the poor quality pictures.

Foo's also has a local chocolatier, I took this little piece of heaven home with me and enjoyed it the next day. It was chai flavor!

Gift #6: Celebration with the husband! Steve took me out for sushi at STIX at the Legends. Then let me decide what to do afterwards. He humored me and walked around shopping with me.

Our friend Kayla watched Payton for us. Kayla and her boyfriend Dustin are a part of our community group. They are moving this week back to Ness, KS which is 5 hours away. We are going to miss them and they are going to miss Payton.

Gift #7: Celebration with a friends. Steve had a few friends over to our home Friday evening for dessert. We had a low-key night, as I had painted for 9 hours on Friday (look for a post soon about our master bedroom makeover) and was worn out.

I was so thankful for Steve's thoughtfulness towards my birthday. My love bank was filled up by him. Many girls had mentioned that there husbands used to do things like this and they wish they would take lessons from Steve. Steve is quick to say that he didn't do things like this before, so he is making up for lost time. It took many conversations to get to this point. Don't loose hope that your husband can't do something similar.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Thoughts

If Steve speaks on Sunday, my goal on Monday's is to debrief the sermon. My thoughts, what I took away from it.

Let me start by saying, I love listening to my husband preach. I try to attend all 3 services when he preaches, and I enjoy each time more and more. I believe God has gifted him as a communicator. You can go to and listen to sermon's online.

We are in a sermon series called "Jesus on Jesus, Jesus in his own words"

This week sermon's was based on Jesus calling himself the Good Shepherd.

John 10:11-15
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Steve gave us a little lesson on shepherding, since most of us don't know too many shepherds personally. Shepherds protect their sheep. Sheep will actually eat themselves to death, not literally eat themselves, but they will eat so much and not stop that their stomach's can't handle it and they die. The shepherd helps protect sheep not only from outside threats but protects them from themselves. How many times in our lives, would we be in a better spot, if we would get out of our own way? I found myself thinking about the sheep over eating, and wondered what do I overindulge in that might be harmful to myself that I need the Lord to protect me from.

Shepherd provide for their sheep. Sheep's wool can get so heavy that they can't get up. They need the shepherd's strength to help them get up and move. When have you experienced something that you thought you would not recover from, you would not get up, yet with the help of the Lord, you were able to get up and move? When have you been over your head, that you needed the Lord to show up in your life?

Shepherd guide their sheep. Sheep will eat a whole pasture and not know what to do next, they need the perspective of the shepherd, to help them find more food. How often I only see my limited perspective, that if I trusted the viewpoint of God, if I believed he had the proper perspective, I would save myself so much pain.

These insights into shepherding were so easy to see how they fit into my life, seeing Jesus as my good Shepherd. The problem we as human's often experience is that we don't know the voice of our shepherd, we have to know is His voice to be able to follow him.

John 10:2-5
2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

How do we learn the sound of His voice? I believe the answer to this question isn't complicated. Many Christians know the answer, but do to busyness or laziness, we don't seek to hear His voice more.

I believe we need to get into His word. Read the Bible, ask the Spirit to speak to us through the word. Read it, pray it, meditate on it, seek to understand how it can be applied to your life. The more you know about the Bible and the more you know the Bible, the more exciting it gets. I used to read the Bible and think it was so boring. There are so many great resources out there to help you in reading the Bible. is a great online resource to help you read the Bible. Read the Bible to know and understand the Author more.

We also need to quiet the white noise in our lives. I am terrible at this. Even when I make "quiet time" to sit and read the Bible, my head is going a thousand directions. I am already on to planning my day, or thinking about my to do list. It is such a challenge not only to find time, but to quiet yourself in that time, but at times, I have experienced the reward of the hard work of seeking that still, quiet time alone with the Lord.

Those are my thoughts and reflections on Steve's sermon. Can't claim any of the material, stole it from him. Really enjoyed the new information about shepherding, and being able to see how Jesus is my good shepherd, and loved the reminder to do what I know is best for me, to quiet my soul, read God's word and listen for my shepherd's voice.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some days are a hard

I am a very blessed mom. I have a happy, funny, adorable child.... most of the time. Yesterday was not one of Payton and mommy's best days. Many of us often share the cute and funny stories about our children. I am here to share the rough day we had. I am sure there are many mom's who can top my story, and as Payton and our family grows, there will be many more stories, and many harder days.

Payton has been getting her molars in, so she really hasn't been herself for a week or so. She has moments in her days, where she throws her whole body on the floor, kicking and screaming because something didn't go her way. I usually watch her from a distance and calmly explain I would love help her, but she needs to calm down first. Yesterday she was screaming and kicking most of the day.

This week, if I take her out for errands, she has complete fits in the shopping cart. She has always sat pretty calmly, watching the world around her as I go through stores doing my errands. I have been guilty of watching other parents with unruly children, thinking that they need to take care of that. I was humbled yesterday. Payton had screaming fits in Hobby Lobby and Target. She somehow stood up in the back of the cart where I am, even with her seatbelt on. She moves her body all around, squirming her way out. She ended up standing in the cart like this little guy below. I tried to take a picture, but she wouldn't stop moving.

I was that mom, that others looked at thinking, "that isn't safe for your child." But that was the way I was able to have a calm child while I shopped. She would stand there smiling at everyone, waving at them, as they commented how cute she was. She was happy because she got her way. We did eventually leave a store because she wouldn't calm down. If I try to hold her, she throws her whole body forward screaming.

She hasn't been napping in the afternoon for the last few days, so our late afternoons haven't been fun either. A really tired and cranky child has been sitting on our floor, mad at the world.

Oh and eating, she has gotten really bad throwing her food all over the floor. My parents as teachers mentor suggested ending the meal when she threw food on the floor, and be consistent. The problem is, she does it in the beginning of the meal. I take her down and feed her more later. Yesterday was back and forth, throwing food, getting down, having a breakdown, then trying it all over again (between our errands out and trying naps). As soon as I take her out of her highchair she wants to sit on my lap and eat more food. It is a cycle.

So that a glimpse into my hard day. Steve came home and I was frustrated with Payton. I don't want to be that mom that is so negative, always whining about their children. I am blessed to have a happy healthy child.

Payton is such a fun age, but some days are hard.


Tuesday she did help me bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She sat and played with the dishes the whole time I worked around her mixing them together. She as so funny to watch as her brain was processing different items I would give her.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Seven Day Birthday Party

My birthday fell when I was in Florida and Steve was in Texas. He told me when I left, not to expect anything from him while I was in Florida, to be prepared upon my return home. He said that while sitting in the tree stand in Texas (which is hours and hours) he dreamed up an idea to give me gifts for the first 7 days upon my arrival home.

We have had discussions all our marriage about our love languages. His no question is words of affirmation. The joke is that I have all 5 as a need so he had a big job in front of him. Looking back, that wasn't really fair for him, as it was setting him up not to be able to focus on one or two. Before I left, we discussed how gifts is a big one to me, probably even more, because Steve is so tight with money. People have complimented him on the great idea and what an amazing job he is doing with this gift giving, and he is quick to say that he hasn't done well with this area, and is making up for lost time. As the receiver of the gifts, I am so touched by the thought he has put into each gift.

So here are gifts 1-4 (today is gift 5)

Do you see the theme? Somehow I feel like he is benefiting from my gifts. Each day has a bag from VS, but each day doesn't contain something from there.

Gift 1 - choosing not to share this one as it is a personal item from VS :)
Gift 2 - a white bikini from VS, Steve has always wanted me to have a white bikini, since I wouldn't go spend the money on it, he did (again works well for him)
Gift 3 - see picture below

I was really excited about this sewing box. With me starting to sew, I have thought about purchasing one of these, but couldn't find one I really like enough to spend money on it. He chose a great one! I was so excited about this because he had to do some research and figure out what would work for my new hobby. He did put it in a VS bag for fun. He thought he was so tricky :)

Gift 4 - A VS item and a note with $. The note stated that in the next few days I was to go shopping by myself, he would watch Payton and I could not come home until I had spent the $ on myself. He knows how much I love to go shopping, yet don't always spend much on myself. I was so touched by this, because once again, he was thoughtful to think what I would enjoy doing.

3 more days to go, I will be sad for this week to be over. I will keep you updated as we progress :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ashley's Dress

My friend Ashley from our community group has entered a dress contest. Her husband is deployed in Afghanistan and she made a GI Joe Dress (out of an old t-shirt) for her 16 month old daughter to wear when they see him this week in Germany. Her husband left right before her daughter turned 1 and won't be back until she is almost 2. I am so excited that she entered this contest, she has taught herself to sew since her husband left. Please vote for her at the link below. Contest ends tonight at midnight, she is dress #15 (on the right side of the page you can cast your vote)!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Finishing up Florida

We have made it back to KS. Payton and I arrived home Saturday evening to a husband/daddy who was more than glad to receive us. I believe Payton was done with her mommy time because in the airport, as Steve was holding her and I went in to kiss him, she pushed me away, twice! It was almost comical.

Here are some pictures finishing up the trip

Mom was going to help me with learn to sew more. I had the idea to take the shirt and fabric above and make them into a dress. Before I left for FL, a wonderful lady in our church named Debbie came over and we did a dress from a pattern. That was a lot of work. I believe that I will enjoy more the creative outlet, of taking something existing, and adding to it. I had an image in my mind and mom made it a reality. I was supposed to watch her do it, but the only day we had to work on it was the day the sun was shining and warm, so I laid out and came in and got updates. So this was all mom's work.

I was so excited how it turned out. I wanted the ruffles, and mom added the ribbon and buttons as well. Payton has a dress made by her Mimi just for her!

Wednesday I visited with high school friends. Katie and I ran CC and track together all through out high school. She was one of my closest friends from high school and I so enjoy every time we get together. Her little guy Andrew is about to turn 2, and so adorable. Katie and I got the kids to bed and went out and had some yummy sushi.

Jessica is one of my oldest friends, in terms we have been friends since she moved to Florida in 6th grade. We played soccer together for years and we went to the same church growing up. I cherish our friendship, her parents came over as well so I loved catching up with them too. Both Katie and Jess were bridesmaids in our wedding!

Thursday we went to visit Jordan, Jaime and the kids in Melbourne. It was cool, but we still had to make it to the beach. Payton did not like the sand. This made me so sad. She was crying every time I tried to put her down. I am hoping this improves, as this summer we are spending a week at the beach.

Overall, a great time with family and friends, glad to go, but glad to come home as well!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Florida update

We have been having fun in Florida. A few more days until we head home. Here are some highlights of our trip to far...

Monday we visited with my dear girlfriends Lindsay and Jessica. In KS, Payton is usually surrounded by girls, not so here in Florida. All my friends here pretty much have boys. Lindsay has 2 boys that are only a year apart. Payton has a hard time choosing between to the 2, but decided to go for the older one because he can drive her around. Jessica's little guy is only about 5 months old, Payton enjoys the men who can at least sit up on their own.

Joshua, the younger brother, got a little jealous of Andrew and Payton, so he asked to join. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of the moms or the little Easton.

Sunday I met Callie in Vero Beach and hung out with her at Starbucks for a few hours. The sun was out and the air was perfect, I even got little tan lines from sitting outside. That evening I was able to catch up with 2 of my high school guy friends Miguel and Steve. Miguel lives in Boston and was in Orlando for his nephew's baptism, and long story short, we happened to figure out that we were in town at the same time and we all met up for dinner. Again, no pictures from that day, I was enjoying all my conversations that I forgot to bring out the camera. I am so thankful for old friends.

Saturday (I am working backwards here) we had a birthday dinner for myself and my older brother Jordan. Jordan turned 30 earlier in February, and Saturday was my 28th birthday. The kiddos were there for the celebration. Jodie is almost 3 and Anderson is 9 months. I love seeing them.

Jordan has such a baby face, people would never guess he is 30.

Jodie taking pictures of Aunt Erin. When Jodie arrived and saw me and said Aunt Erin with the biggest smile on her face as she ran towards me, it just melted my heart. I miss seeing her and Anderson. Anderson is doing very well. He is so much fun and has the best smile and laugh. He is developing very well.

Payton and I enjoying a warm day outside. The weather has turned cold again and it won't warm up until after we leave.

Last night Colin made dinner for the ladies (me, mom and grandma). My brother is amazing in the kitchen. We really didn't have much and yet somehow he whipped up this Eggs Benedict Salad. It had some of the best flavor I have had in a meal in a long time. I laughed because if I made this at home, Steve would ask what was next. Salads aren't considered meals to him.

This morning I was showing Payton pictures of her daddy on my phone. She was so cute because she kept kissing him in the phone. We later did iChat with Steve and Payton kept reaching her arms towards the screen wanting him to pick her up. He said she is going to wonder why her daddy wouldn't pick her up. It was so nice to see my husband's face. We love visiting Florida, but I miss my husband. Here is a picture of one of the bucks Steve got in TX, this one is going to be an European Mount for the man cave at home. He is so hot! I never imagined camo could look so good until I met Steve.

Grandma and I have a tradition of having Dunkin Donuts coffee every time when I come in town. We started is a year ago when I first came with Payton, and it is such special time for me. Grandma will be 89 this year, and I take advantage of the time I get to have with her. She is very healthy for her age, but she is only getting older.

Doesn't she look good for her age. Never colored her hair, I hope that is passed down to me.

Enjoying our time in Florida!