Monday, December 29, 2008

they love each other.

they love each other.

one of my best friends, missy, has two of the greatest kids ever - brynn is 7 & aaron is 3. emma and aaron love each other. i mean, they really love each other! we are always joking that we've got to save sweet pictures and memories for their rehearsal dinner slideshow. but i'm serious... they love each other!

aaron is so sweet with emma. he's so gentle and patient with her, and he usually shares his toys. except for when he doesn't... but then, at least he's thoughtful enough to let everyone know that he is not going to let emma play with his toys! :)

missy called me tonight. aaron wanted to talk to me, and the first thing he said was, "sara, i miss emma." he told me he wanted to talk to her, so i went into her room where jason was rocking her for bedtime, and i told her aaron was on the phone. she immediately grabbed my cell phone (which was on speaker phone) and said, "oh, HIIIII, aaron!"

this is the precious conversation that followed:

emma: hi aaron!
aaron: hi emma!
emma: aaron, hi!
aaron: emma, what are you doing?
emma: hi aaron.
aaron: what are you doing emma?
emma: aaron, hi! i'm rockin'.
aaron: hey emma, you want to come to my house?
emma: yeah.
aaron: emma, let's go to target, and we can buy baby toys and big boy toys, and we can go to starbucks, and i will pay my money for you, emma.
emma: ok. i want starbucky's. (emma's pet name for starbucks.)
aaron: STARBUCKS! (as he starts singing at the top of his lungs and running around in circles.)
emma: starbucky's!
aaron: STARBUCKS! (still running and singing.)
emma: ok, i yuv you aaron, bye!

so there you go... let it be chronicled that my 2-year-old daughter, emma kate rains, just might be the youngest girl ever to be asked out on a bonafide date. and by a pretty studly 3-year-old, i might add! if they were in highschool, she'd be a sophomore, and he'd be a senior... that's pretty good! : )

not really sure this counts as a date? well, let's look at all the specifics:

guy asks the girl... check!
plans ahead... check!
target to buy toys... check! (girls LOVE shopping - how thoughtful!)
offers to buy her something... check! (baby toys for emma, big boy toys for aaron.)
out for coffee... check! (starbucky's, of course.)
offers to "pay his money for her"... check!

sounds like all the makings of a date, to me!

so, missy and i are going to start planning now, and come spring of 2028 (when emma's 22), emma & aaron will have the best darn wedding two toddler-sweethearts have ever had!

i'm sure they will be doing this many years from now.

emma berardinelli. i like it. :)

my nightstand.

on the right column of this little blog page, i have a feature that lists the books that jason and i are currently reading. jason's nightstand is filled, with like, a million books. (and yes, he is reading them all.)

my nightstand, on the other hand, holds 3 books right now - figuratively.

since i just finished "call me hope," i decided i would finally finish the last one-third of "the shack," which i have been reading since sometime in the fall! it's a really great book, and i really was enjoying it, i simply got too busy with school and mommyhood to finish it. so... i was really excited to snuggle in bed with the last few chapters of this story... and i can't find it! i think the last time i saw it was when we went to visit the reyes family in san antonio. that was in november. i've looked everywhere. but no "shack." (naomi, is it at your house?)

and since i couldn't find "the shack," but was in such a reading mood, i picked up a book i've been wanting to read for awhile: "change of heart" by jodi picoult. she is my favorite author right now. such a great story teller, and all of her books make me think. i can tell this one is already going to be tough (emotionally) for me to read. it's about a woman whose husband and daughter was killed by their contractor while she was pregnant with her 2nd daughter, claire. the man is now on deathrow, and claire ends up having some problem with her heart and needs a transplant. as payment for what he has done, the killer wants to give his heart to the little girl when he is executed. apparently, while he is in prison, he begins performing some sort of miracles... and people start calling him a messiah or savior. sounds kinda "green mile"-ish. i don't know... you have to read a jodi picoult novel. then you won't even second guess this plot-line! i've read "my sister's keeper" and "the tenth circle" so far. both are amazing!

the other book on my nightstand is "your money or your life" by joe dominguez & vicki robin. i am participating in a "book club" called "sound mind. sound mom." we will be reading 6 books over the next 12 months. the topics include finances, parenting, relationships, keeping a clean/organized home, living green, etc. the first topic is getting control of your finances. i think jason and i are going to read this together. i've read the prologue so far, and i'm excited. it's not necessarily a book i 'won't be able to put down,' but i have until march to read it. i hope this is something i stick with all year, and don't just get the first book, not finish it, and do away with the whole idea all together. so ask me in march. :)

so, when i say there are 3 books on my nightstand, that's just the one on my blog. :) there would be 3, except that "the shack" is lost... so it can't be on my nightstand... but it's still on my mind to be read. there are, however, 2 books sitting on my actual nightstand right now. i put my glasses on them last night, when i was ready-for-bed enough to stop reading. :)

i know, i know. this blog was riveting. i know you're all just sitting on the edge of your seats until my next rant about the books i'm reading.

but now you can hold me accountable to finish what i've started. yes, that was my point in writing this all along...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

call me hope.

i have decided to "review" books here after i've read them... and this is the first installment! :)

i read "call me hope" on friday... that's right - in one day. i couldn't put it down. donna lent it to me. a sweet little book that was even signed by the author, gretchen olson. "wishing you hope!" was inscribed on the inside of the cover. i felt like she was speaking straight to me... throughout the entire book.

this novel was actually written for young adults, but it is very well written and an incredible story. it centers around an 11-year-old girl, hope marie elliott, and her struggle to feel loved and accepted by her verbally abusive mother.

this story explores the relationship between mother and daughter, and the challenges that come with it. it explores the confusion and pain of a little girl fighting for her mother's love, and believing that she can't do anything 'good enough' to win that love. it explores a mother's undying love for her child, even when she is so emotionally battered, herself, that she is unable to show it in the most healthy of ways.

hope finds refuge in secret places she creates for herself... drawing inspiration from anne frank's "diary" and the little boy from "it's a beautiful life." their courage and survival skills spurs her on to become not just "another victim."

i loved this book. it was sweet and powerful all at the same time, and it really hit home for me. i was reminded of several struggles from my past, and reminded of the importance of pursuing the ability to love others fully - both as a daughter and as a mother.

this simple story gave me a new outlook on the challenges that my mother faced as i was growing up, and opened my eyes to how easy it could be for me to face the same challenges with my own daughter.

this story allowed me to see beyond my own hurts, and realize that my story's outcome is my "choice." i can choose not to be a victim...

this story gave me hope.


well, christmas has come and gone. isn't it crazy, how quickly it is over, after all the build-up and anticipation? i am a bit sad that it is all over, but we had a wonderful christmas this year. emma had so much fun with santa and presents, and having mommy & daddy home to play!

we've had "christmas" with our family, my family, and jason's family (although there is another "christmas" with jason's family next week), and my family got me some great gifts!

i thought i'd share a few with you:

donna & kevin (my wonderful in-laws) got me this fabulous new rachael ray cookware set! it is my first matching set with lids and everything! i love them! (and they're green!)

jason got me a very thoughtful gift this year... since he HATES watching my girlie, romantic movies (especially period pieces!), he so selflessly selected an entire collection of jane austen dvd's! this set includes the classic bbc adaptations (mostly mini-series) of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, EMMA, PERSUASION, NORTHANGER ABBEY, MANSFIELD PARK, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! he also got me SENSE & SENSIBILITY (the one with kate winslett) and LES MISERABLES. we watched EMMA (with gwyneth paltrow) this weekend, and we are watching MANSFIELD PARK as we speak. he vowed to watch each and every one of them with me... what a great husband!

jason also has a talent for picking out super cute shoes that he knows i will love! these little peep toes will be so cute with a black dress or some jeans! (don't you LOVE the lacy bow?!)

ok, i think these just might be my new favorite shoes! they are SO cute with jeans (i wore them to church today), super comfortable, and the bright yellow makes me so happy. they come in black, brown & plum, too... hmmm... what is in my closet that just screams the need for plum colored shoes?...

and these... these just look super comfy, and like i can wear them in all seasons! kinda funky, too... great job jason!

my parents got me (among other great things) a fun, slouchy, yellow hobo bag similar to this one. (i couldn't find a picture of the exact bag, so i went for this one!) i love it because a) i love big bags, b) it's happy yellow like my shoes, c) i can use it ALL year, and d) i love big bags! so cute!

and one more noteworthy gift... jason stuffed my stocking with 60 $1-bills! the idea was for me to have cash to get to spend on whatever i wanted. $60... that's some fun spending money, huh? but what i think is so funny, is that he actually went to the bank and asked for $60 in ones... haha! i wonder what that bank teller thought jason was doing later that night?!?! i bet she giggled with her co-workers about it later... oh goodness... i wonder if i could find her and assure her that my sweet husband does not partake in those activities! :)

beautiful girl.

last night, we we got together with some of my daddy's side of the family for a christmas celebration. it was coined the christmas "cave-in." (because my maiden name is "cave"... ha.) anyway, we went to my uncle doug (my dad's borther) and aunt debra's house. their son aaron, and his wife bess were there, along with their daughter gloria, who was visiting from north carolina. we miss glo! aunt debra's mom, dot, was also visiting, from arkansas, i think. another one of my dad's brothers, my uncle kevin, and his wife leslie were there, with uncle kevin's son tyler. my parents and brother, cory, joined us, and we had a great time. of course, there were MANY family members missing (my dad is the oldest of 7!), but we really enjoyed a time of catching up with family and sharing food and fun together!

my cousins, aaron and gloria, are both into photography, and were taking lots and lots of pictures. i don't know which one snapped these pics of emma kate, but i'm in love with them!

so, i thought i'd share. : )

i think she's playing the piano here... obviously concentrating hard on something!

playing aunt debra's piano

being silly


(part of) the cave family
(from left to right)
top row: my daddy & mom, uncle kevin & aunt leslie, dot "me-maw" beck (aunt debra's mom), aunt debra & uncle doug
on the couch: bess (aaron's wife) & baby girl in her tummy, me, emma, jason, gloria
on the floor: aaaron, my brother cory, tyler

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

here comes santa claus.

on monday night, we took emma to see santa for the very first time! she has seen pictures of him, read about him in books, seen him in movies, and sung about him in christmas songs, but she's never met him. so we decided to brave the lines at the mall 2 days before the jolly man in the red suit has to go back to the north pole and spread christmas cheer to boys and girls all over the world!

we went to willowbend, and stood in line for an hour-and-a-half. jason, as you can imagine, was less than thrilled. i, on the other hand, was enjoying every one of those 90 minutes! : )

willowbend was decorate in a polar express theme, and seeing as emma has a bit of a fascination with trains at the moment, she was really excited.

of course, she was even more excited to see santa.

here are some pictures of our fun, santa-filled evening:

willowbend had such beautiful trees & decorations up!

the conductor in front of the polar express.
it was "really snowing" at this part of the "exhibit." the snow just happened to be flakes of styrofoam that stuck to everything - including hair and christmas dresses - just in time for pictures! : )

the polar express at the "north pole."

waiting for santa with nonna.

"pull lever."
she could make the train "stop" in one area of the exhibit/line.

driving the train.

pretty girl.
can't WAIT to see santa!

"i see him! there's santa!"

when santa asked emma what she wanted him to bring her for christmas, she said, "ummmm... present."
hehe! so cute!

emma was SO excited to meet santa claus, but of course when we got up there, she freaked out and kept on saying "oooohhh! no mommy!" so, i had to sit on his lap with her. santa was a gentleman, though... don't get any crazy ideas! : )

santa complimented emma on her beautiful dress and pretty princess shoes. he also promised to bring her some snow to build a frosty, and an "ariel" (or how emma calls it, "a nemo-friend") doll!

the silly girl was too scared to sit with santa by herself, but she talked up a storm to him, and even gave him a big kiss on the cheek when we left! (she's such a tease!)

we had so much fun with santa! i can't wait unti she's excited to be able to tell santa what she wants and all that...

christmas is SO much fun with kiddos!

merry christmas!

christmas card.

(i got this idea from my friend angela's blog!)

we couldn't afford to send christmas cards to all of our beloved friends and family this year, so i thought i'd post it on our blog, so everyone can see it!

Christmas Blessings!
--sara beth, jason, emma kate & duncan--

(for those who aren't sure, no, duncan is not a 2nd baby... he's our sweet little westie... but we didn't have time to take a picture that he could be in!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

youth ministry at it's finest.

Bill the Elf from Woodcreek Students on Vimeo.

this is our church's youth pastor, mike, putting on an incredible show for our high school youth group at their christmas party. this might just be the greatest thing ever!


this is the guy ministering to our youth... : )



my daughter, emma kate, is in the promiseland mother's day out program at mckinney fellowship bible church. her sweet teachers are mrs. kruppe & mrs. hughes. they have taken such great care of emma while mommy is at school, and she loves them very much. every morning on her way to "school" she says, "i'm gonna go see mrs. kruppe & mrs. hughes and play with friends!" : )

since today is the last day of mother's day out before christmas, i made these notecards for emma's teachers for their christmas present. hopefully, they like their fun surprise. actually, i probably had more fun making them, than they will using them! haha, is that bad?


merry christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

stocking stuffers.

i am having so much fun shopping for gifts this year! my favorite part is actually deciding what to give my loved ones. i love thinking about things they may have mentioned that they want, or thinking about what they could really really use. i also love looking for fun, random, they-wouldn't-buy-it-for-themselves stocking stuffers!

i found this list today of great stocking stuffer ideas. i think i see many items on this list that i may add to MY christmas shopping list. : )

so, in the spirit of the season, i thought i would share it with you.

stocking stuffer ideas for adults:
  • Address/date book
  • Bath salts and spa items
  • Book embosser
  • Bookmark
  • Camera
  • Candles
  • Card games
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Cell phone or accessories
  • Chocolates and candy
  • Cookies
  • Memberships to a zoo or museum
  • Gift certificates
  • Golf balls or other hobby goodies
  • Hand warmers
  • Jewelry
  • Magazine subscription
  • Organizer
  • Ornaments
  • Picture frame/photos
  • Puzzles
  • Scarves and gloves
  • Snow globes
  • Soaps
  • Socks/slippers
  • Stationery or note cards
  • Tickets to a concert or sports event
stocking stuffer ideas for kids:
  • Coloring books or game books
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • Diary or journal
  • Dolls or tiny teddy bears
  • Camera
  • Card games
  • Certificates to paint ceramics or make a bear
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Cookies/candy
  • Gift certificates
  • Handheld games
  • Jewelry
  • Miniatures (such as tea sets, doll furniture)
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Movie tickets
  • Puppets
  • Puzzles
  • Slippers
  • Snow globes
  • Sport cards
  • Stickers
  • Stationery or note cards
  • Theme park admission

so there you go. be inspired. may it assist you in making someone you love very happy... and their stocking very full!

stocking stuffer list from here

Monday, December 1, 2008

bringing back christmas memories.

i am loving the old christmas movies that emma is obsessed with watching right now! currently, she's on a "frosty the snowman" kick. it really makes me so happy. i'm sure jason is getting tired of hearing that song over and over again (coupled by the dancing frosty that sings the song, rather obnoxiously, that is so generously on loan from nonna & grampa), but i am loving it!

do you remember watching those old tv specials when you were a kid? we would be so excited for them to come on tv. i remember my mom would have us fed, bathed, in our jammies, hair brushed, and we'd gather in the living room waiting for the once-a-year-showing of "frosty," "rudolph & the island of misfit toys," "santa clause is coming to town," "how the grinch stole christmas," and all those "charlie brown" specials... there might have even been some hot chocolate and cinnamon toast! such sweet memories.

i love the old animation and vintage clay-mation movies. and i love that my sweet girl is into watching them this year.

i can't wait to share more of my favorite christmas memories with her! and it's only december 1st - i have a feeling we've got a fun month ahead of us!

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