Saturday, September 29, 2012

rest of our beach photos

Finally getting around to blogging the rest of our beach vacation trip to Virginia Beach last month!

The day before we left we got the car seats out of the closets and all Annie wanted to do all day was sit in her car seat and play with the iPhone. I tried to convince her to go play because she was going to be doing that all the next day!
It was a 7 hour car ride so we stocked up on movies. Here is Annie holding the laptop as close to her face as she could. :)
It rained on our drive, but the girls were great.
We drove across the Chesapeake bridge (23 miles long). We also drove through some states we've never been to- Maryland, Delaware, and of course Virginia.
We got to Virginia Beach that evening. In time to see the ocean before the sun set.

The next morning the girls were excited to get out in the water!

That afternoon we rode these bicycles built for 4. So much fun, but we didn't realize how much exercise it was going to be. We were pretty sweaty by the time we finished!
On the boardwalk there is a huge statue of King Neptune, but the girls thought it was King Triton from the Little Mermaid- so they loved seeing it every day!

Jamie and Audrie dug a huge hole in the sand every day.

On our last night there we went to the kiddie carnival on the boardwalk. The girls were excited!!

Are we tall enough??
View from the top of the ferris wheel.

Audrie got to ride some of the rides by herself, which was a big deal to her.

And Annie got to ride one by herself, too! (Made me a little nervous- I was afraid she was going to decide she was done and jump out at any minute!)

They played some carnival games.

And won prizes!

And even though it was late and they needed to get to bed- we had to go out for ice cream!

We had such a great time on this trip! It was the ultimate in relaxation and family time.

hole in my heart

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Phillippians 4:6-13

Do you ever hear a biblical message you've heard a million times, but then one day it seems like the first time you've ever heard it? It just makes sense like never before? That has happened to me a lot in the past year, but especially a couple of weeks ago. Jamie and I were having a long late night talk with our friends Jason and Sam and all of a sudden things in my life seemed to make a lot more sense.

And I want you to know I'm not trying to preach at you or change your mind about anything in your life- I'm just sharing my thoughts about my own life. I have no hidden agenda here, I'm just rambling.

Ok so Satan always has been doing World War in my mind the past couple of months and trying to convince me that "if only **** was different, if only **** was better, if only **** would change about my life".... THEN I would be happy and everything would be better. 

And I know this is how Satan works and does this to everyone all the time- try to convince them that they are missing something in life and they will only be content if they had that thing. This is not a revelation to me.

The thing that surprised me is that I didn't realize that I have had a huge hole in my heart for many many years and I've been trying to fill it up with stuff other than God. And for many many years it's been working just fine. I've filled that hole in my heart with my wonderful marriage, with my great job, my friends and family, and my adorable daughters, etc... 

And I've been managing for all these years to keep that hole in my heart from being empty because I had it stuffed full of all those comforts. But in the past year, some of those things that I have depended on have been taken away from me. And I'm not being dramatic "oh poor me" and I don't want to air all my personal dirty laundry here, but I've been dealing with some tough stuff. 

But the other night it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. Have I ever really tried to ONLY lean on God?

Since I was saved as child at bible camp, I've always had a personal relationship with Christ and had Faith in my salvation. And at different points in my life I've had to lean on God more than other times. And when we moved to NYC last year I really clung to God like NEVER before in my life. And when I started teaching here last Fall I spent more time on my knees and in tears praying to God. 

But still I had other things in my life that I was filling that hole in my heart with. Other things that I was trusting in. I wasn't completely relying on God.

So then when those things started to slip out from under me, I realized that I didn't want God to have to turn me into Job (guy in the bible who literally gets EVERYTHING taken away from him) just to send the message to me. 

I've realized that the message I've heard my whole life is actually true- unless you fill that hole in your heart with only God, then you're always going to be disappointed and hurting and searching and never content. And not that completely trusting in God is going to bring only sunshine and roses in my life, but it has to be a better answer than what I've been trying so far.

There is a Carrie Underwood song called "So Small" that has really touched my heart:

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you've been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
seem so small

It's so easy to get lost inside

a problem that seems so big at the time
it's like a river that's so wide
it swallows you whole
While you sit around thinking about what you can't change
and worrying about all the wrong things
time's flying by
moving so fast
you better make it count 'cause you can't get it back

Saturday, September 22, 2012

bunch of stuff

So I realized I have several photos that I wanted to blog, but then it turned into more than several so I apologize for the length of this post! Turn back now. :)

Erin and Brandon came to visit two weeks ago and we had a blast running around the city with them (they went to two nights of the US Open with Jamie) and it was so wonderful to spend time with them! Audrie and Annie are in love with Erin and Brandon so it was a fun time. Unfortunately I didn't take ONE photo (I don't know how that happened!), but I did take a photo of this refrigerator magnet we got from the Central Park Zoo. So at least the memory of their visit is preserved on our fridge! :)

I am posting this next photo because some of my friends don't actually believe me when I tell them the size of my closet. This is it. It's about three feet wide. And of course it's only my clothes- Jamie doesn't have a closet- his clothes are in Rubbermaid tubs under our bed. The joys of tiny apartment living!

I didn't manage to take a photo of my first day of school, but I did take this one of me and the girls when I got home that day. I'll try to blog more later about school for me- but I will say that it's going AMAZING... like I never imagined it could go so well here. I don't want to jinx myself, but I am having a really good start to my school year.

This year I've been trying to make Jamie's morning easier (since he takes both girls to pre-school in the mornings), so I've been laying out the girls clothes, hairbows, backpack, etc, at night before I go to bed. I really like doing it because it helps me feel a part of their day if I can picture what they are wearing to school.
Both girls are loving school. Audrie has been coming home with homework and I love it. (Except the first night she spent 2 minutes writing her letters and then about 45 minutes coloring the picture that went with it..!?)
I'm glad I caught this photo of Annie. She always does this thing with her arm when she wants us to chase her. (FYI- Annie is FAST! I honestly have to try really hard to catch her. It's a bit embarrassing.)
This next pic is kind of dark but Annie can master the monkey bars just as well as Audrie. Annie is fearless at the park!
We got caught in a sudden downpour the other day walking home and both girls thought it was the best thing ever.
Audrie pretending to be the Statue of Liberty.

I love the next two photos, because they were taken one second apart and capture Audrie's personality perfectly.
"Yes, I'm a sweet princess.... who is an utter goofball."
This next photo is a sample of what I usually find on my phone after Audrie plays with it.
We have an app called "Pimp my Hair" (great name, I know) but Audrie loves it. And it's pretty hilarious.
Audrie likes to ask me how to spell words. She knows how to write all her letters, so the other day she told me this was a story she wrote about a rainbow pig who lives in a tree.
Annie being silly in the tub.
Audrie cooking with Jamie. (I promise Audrie has a dresser full of clothes! She just prefers the buff.)

The sunset was pretty the other night so I snapped these pics out our apartment window.
Audrie rockin' her new high tops for school. I told Jamie I can't wait to see Audrie's class photo because Audrie is the only Caucasian in her class and I can just imagine this tall lanky blond girl with a huge smile sticking out so awesomely. 
We babysat Samuel the other night and Annie was desperately trying to get him to play princess dress up with her. I love how in this photo she's all "why won't this boy put down the computer and play cinderella with me?!" (Annie, when you figure that out please let the rest of us girls know how you did it.) ha!
Ok, so she did manage to get Samuel to wear plastic pink heels around the house...!
And he borrowed some of her pajamas. I think he looks great in pink monkeys. :)
Here is Annie striking a pose before we left for her first Little Gym Class.
It was fun morning of some one-on-one time with Annie.

And of course she LOVED the Little Gym!

Except for some reason she decided to flash everyone in the class!? ha!
I think we will see Annie Cornett in the 2025 Summer Olympics.
After her class, we stopped to get a hot dog from Gray's Papaya (supposed to be known for great hot dogs). They were tasty, but I sometimes forget that it's not great for Annie to eat hot dogs in public because she can scarf down like 3 hot dogs in 60 seconds. Classy! And anytime you can get strange looks from people on the street in NYC- you have accomplished something pretty awesome.

Then we went flower shopping. In case I haven't mentioned this before- flowers here are crazy cheap! There is a street vendor two blocks from our house that has a dozen roses for 5 dollars. And they are beautiful. Every couple of weeks I splurge and spend $20 on four dozen roses to put around the apartment.
I'm sure this is how it is for all siblings, but Annie does EVERYTHING that Audrie does. She is like Audrie's mini-me.
A random pic I took this weekend as we were walking downtown.
We took the girls to Build-a-Bear and they had a blast of course.

The best part was that, when we left, Annie's teddy bear box was a little too heavy for her, but she was DETERMINED to do it 'all by myself' so she drug that box behind her through the streets of New York City for 10 blocks to the train. Such a stubborn determined girl. Don't know where she gets that.

In case you didn't know- Annie loves the musical Annie. She started watching it on Netflix about a year ago and it's her number one movie to watch. She just loves it! So we heard that the musical was coming to Broadway and I'm excited to see it. I don't think we'll take Annie only because spending $150 to take a two year old to see a musical seems a bit much, but don't think it didn't cross my mind!
Audrie was trying on her new ballet clothes for this season (she starts classes back again tomorrow) and so Annie put on Audrie's old outfit and they put on a little impromptu dance recital for us.

Jamie and I hired a babysitter (this is big deal) and went out on a date night. We tried a new Cuban restaurant that was so great! And then hit our favorite ice cream place- Pinkberry.
I had the day off earlier this week so I was able to take Annie to school. She was getting impatient waiting for me. C'mon mom!
We don't use our double stroller anymore (Audrie walks everywhere) but the other day she was tired so I suggested she let Annie sit in her lap. They rode like this for 12 blocks home. Such cuties.
Oh my goodness, that's the update! Thanks for reading. :)