A Full Plate on Thanksgiving

We had a very busy Thanksgiving week! Ryan had almost the entire week off, which I was very excited about. Unfortunately, my sweet Aunt Virgie passed away over the weekend, so we had to start our holiday with a trip up to the region for her funeral. My parents went on Tuesday night, and Ryan, Krista, Briggs, Kinsie, Kerigan and I drove up the next day. Ryan Robinson was still in Muncie (yes, my sister’s husband is in Muncie too…I mentioned earlier that we always do things the same!) so he met us up there later when he got off work. The trip with all the kiddos went wonderfully, as all 3 of them slept most of the way. This was the first time Kinsie was meeting my dad’s side of the family…which is a lot of people. They all completely adored her and Kerigan  (how can you not!) Sadly, Aunt Virgie never got to meet the new babies, but she knew about them. The last conversation my dad had with her was to tell her about Kerigan being born. I know she is smiling down on them from heaven!

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My beautiful Aunt Virgie

Early the next morning, we had to get on the road to get back in time for all of our Thanksgiving festivities. I have to admit, I started the day a bit overwhelmed and stressed. We had a lot of places to be that day, which normally is no big deal, but with a 2 month old baby, it makes things a little more hectic. We were supposed to be at Ryan’s aunt’s house at 11am, but after packing all our gear, eating breakfast, feeding and taking care of the baby, we didn’t even leave Portage until 9:30 and still had a 2.5 hour drive. I was stressing out about having such a late start with all the places we needed to be, but after a little reminder from Ryan and my parents, I remembered how blessed we are to even have so many places to be. We are very lucky to be a part of these families with so many wonderful and loving people…so I carried that reminder with me the rest of the day.

Kinsie slept the entire way home, allowing me to nap as well, which I was very grateful for since she kept me up so late after all of the stimulation of meeting my huge Mexican family! As soon as we got home, we ventured to Thanksgiving #1 with Ryan’s dad’s side of the family. We had a great meal and Kinsie got to spend some quality time with her Grandma and Grandpa Matthews and the rest of Ryan’s family. Next was Thanksgiving #2 at Ryan’s other aunt’s house with his mom’s side of the family. Most of this family hadn’t met Kinsie either, so she was quite a hot commodity! Everyone took turns holding and loving on our sweet girl. Finally, we ventured back to my parents house for our final meal of the day, where we spent the rest of the evening with my family and my sister’s in-laws. Overall, Kinsie was a champ the entire day. I was one proud mama! It took several difficult days and nights to get her back on a normal napping and sleeping schedule because of all the stimulation she had in those 2 days, but I was glad that we got to spend Thanksgiving with both of our extended families.

iphone nov_41Laying around with Addie before our Thanksgiving adventures

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Lots of grandparent, aunt and cousin time!

I wasn’t one of the people who listed what they were thankful for throughout the month of November on Facebook, but I definitely have SO much to be thankful for. Rather than sharing it on social media, I just shared it with my loved ones and my Lord. Here are a few that stand out…

  • I am thankful for my amazing husband, Ryan, who supports me and makes me feel loved every single day.
  • I am thankful for my beautiful daughter, Kinsie, who lights up my world and gives my life new meaning.
  • I am thankful for my parents who would do absolutely anything for me.
  • I am thankful for my sister, Krista who has always been and always will be my best friend.
  • I am thankful for my nephew, Briggs, and my niece, Kerigan, who add sunshine to my life.
  • I am thankful for my brother-in-law, Ryan Robinson, who has always embraced every aspect of our family.
  • I am thankful for my husband’s family who have always loved me and welcomed me into their family.
  • I am thankful for my dogs, Koda and Addie, who protect me and keep me company when Ryan is away.
  • I am thankful for my teaching job and the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives.
  • I am thankful for the wonderful and supportive staff that I work with at Mill Creek.
  • I am thankful for my church, Trader’s Point, and our life group that helps me grow spiritually in my walk with the Lord.
  • Last and most important, I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ and His grace that He has blessed all of us with!

Spreading the love of Jesus one duck at a time

Like many others, I am a huge fan of the television show, Duck Dynasty. When Ryan first started watching it, I never really watched with him, but I’d hear it in the background of whatever I was doing at the moment, and all I thought was, “What a bunch of ignorant rednecks.” However, it turns out that I was the ignorant one. In June, we had the pleasure of having Willie Robertson visit our church, Trader’s Point, to discuss his faith. After hearing Willie speak, I gained a new respect for him and his family. I decided to give the show a chance and actually watch an episode. Then another. Then another. Then, I was hooked. Not only is the show probably one of the funniest shows on television, but it is so refreshing to see a real Christian family in the Hollywood spotlight.

The more I learn about the Robertson family, the more I know that they are the real deal. They are who they are, and they don’t try to be anyone different in front of the cameras. When the producers asked them to cuss more and fight with each other, they refused and said “That’s not us.” When they were asked not to pray on camera, they did it anyway and said, “That’s who we are and that’s what we do.” If only everyone were that determined to stay true to themselves and what they believe in!

It is really sad how so many people are turned off by Christianity based on what they see and hear in society. They often feel judged and ridiculed and have religion shoved down their throat. That is not the way to get people to church. The more you shove it in people’s faces, the more turned off they become. This is why I respect the Robertson family and their show so much. They don’t shove their religion in people’s faces, and its not all they talk about. But you can see the way they live and the way they present themselves. Even though they have fun, wreck havoc and make fun of each other, their love for each other and for Christ is very apparent. People who have Jesus in their hearts have a certain joy that you can’t get any other way, and that joy shines through. If you live your life according to God’s word with that joy in your heart, it attracts other people. It may spark people’s interest enough to discuss the Gospel and invite them to church, but at some point, you have to let God do the rest.

The Robertson family is filled with the holy spirit and they let it shine through the big screen. Millions of people of all different types watch the show every week in order to be entertained by the hilarious insights of Uncle Si and the crazy adventures that Willie and Jase have while they are supposed to be working. Anyone who has watched the show knows that they are in no way perfect, but they live their lives with Jesus in their hearts and are not ashamed of it.

Below is the video “I Am Second.” Phil, Jep and Reed Robertson all share a part of their testimony on how they came to know Jesus Christ. As they talk, you can see the raw emotion in their eyes and how much knowing Jesus has changed their lives for the better. Take some time to watch this video and witness the power of Jesus working in their hearts.

Two Month Beauty

My baby is two months old! I still can’t believe how quickly she is growing! She already has an awesome personality and she makes me laugh every day. She has already become such a beautiful, smiley, happy little girl. Every day she seems to be more interactive, and if it is possible, my love for her grows exponentially each day. Here is a little more about what we’ve learned about our daughter in the past month:

  • She loves ceiling fans. She will stare and smile at them for long periods of time.
  • She likes to look in the mirror.
  • Her happy place is in her crib watching her mobile.
  • Her favorite way to be held is snuggled close to our chest.
  • She is always very happy in the morning and fussier at night.
  • She recognizes faces and voices (she gets very happy when her daddy comes home!)
  • She takes shots like a champ (even though her mommy can’t handle it when she gets them)
  • She will eat from a bottle.
  • She can hold her head completely upright for 30 seconds or more.
  • She sleeps up to 6 hours at a time at night.
  • She likes to be read to (The teacher in me is grateful for that!)
  • She can almost roll herself from her tummy to her back.
  • She never stops moving…even while sleeping.

We are so in love with our little angel. She has brought so much joy to our lives!

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I have a NIECE!

My sister and I are three years apart, but we have always been close since the day I was born. The first time she met me, she was with our cousin, who claimed that I looked like Rudolph since my nose was red from just being born. Krista immediately came to my defense by saying, “She not Wuldolph, YOU Wudolph!” She has been my best friend and my #1 supporter from day one. My sister and I have experienced so much together…including our pregnancies! We had the wonderful opportunity of being pregnant at the same time, me just 2 months ahead of Krista. Pregnancy is such a special experience in and of itself, but sharing it with your sister makes it that much better!

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As I mentioned in my previous post, all I really wanted for my birthday was a new niece or nephew. My sister was due on November 19 and my birthday was November 16, so it was very possible for that to happen. However, my birthday came and went, and no baby. I felt so bad for my sister because I know the feeling of anxiety waiting for labor to strike at any moment. Each night we went to bed hopeful that we’d get a call in the middle of the night, and finally, at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, November 17, my mom called. I was already awake because Kinsie was getting hungry. While we waited to hear if Krista really was in labor, I fed Kinsie and got us ready to go to the hospital, then I woke up Ryan and said “It’s time!” He was sleepy, but excited. My mom called again saying this was the real thing, but we can wait and sleep a little longer while Krista progressed. However, Krista asked me to take pictures of her labor and birth, and our family tends to go through labor pretty quickly, so we went ahead to the hospital around 5 a.m. When we got there, Ryan took a nap because he needed to study, and I hung out in the room and took pictures while Krista labored. It was unbelievable how quickly it all happened, and thank goodness because she went natural this time around. I couldn’t believe how well she handled herself during contractions, especially now that I know that kind of pain. It was very difficult watching my sister in so much pain during the delivery, but I knew that it would soon be worth it. At 9:05 a.m., the baby was born…a beautiful baby GIRL! I was overwhelmed with joy at that moment. My sister has a daughter. Our daughters would be cousins. And they would only be 2 months apart. What an amazing blessing! It was amazing to think that the whole time Krista was pregnant, she was pregnant with a girl. We both were. I can’t wait to see these two girls grow up together to be best friends. And we can’t forget about Briggy too!

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Kerigan Kay Robinson

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Briggs and his sister

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Kinsie and Kerigan love each other already!

Quarter-Century Mark

On November 16, I turned 25! It is crazy to think that I am now in my mid-20s. When people ask how old I am, immediately I think to respond with 21 or 22 (and my dad actually does respond that way!) In no way am I bothered by the fact that I am 25, because I already feel like I have accomplished so much. I have a wonderful teaching job, I have been married to the love of my life for 1.5 years, and I have a beautiful baby girl! I am often bothered by the negativity on social media from other people my age claiming that “all anyone talks about anymore is getting married or having babies.” Well, those people need to realize that that is what many people our age do now, so they should join in on the fun! Our generation is growing up. We are adults now, and not that I didn’t have any fun in my high school or college days, but I have so much more joy in my life now that my world revolves around my faith, my marriage, and my child.

When Ryan asked me this year what I wanted for my birthday, I had no idea what to say. I already have everything that I need. Then I thought more about it and what is most important to me, and that is just to be with my family. If you have ever read the book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, you would know what I mean when I say that my love language is quality time. With my husband in Muncie most of the time, nothing makes me happier than simply spending time with him and Kinsie. Then I thought about something fun and not expensive we could all do together. Over the summer, I developed a love for fishing. Since I was pregnant the entire summer and couldn’t exactly go skiing or tubing at Heritage Lake, and fishing became one of me and Ryan’s favorite things to do together. So for my birthday, we decided to take a trip to the lake! Ryan’s family tagged along and watched Kinsie while Ryan and I went fishing. It was a little chilly and windy, but overall a perfect day for fishing. I caught a small bass, which I was very excited about, considering we had very few bites the entire day. I think Kinsie enjoyed her first of many trips to Heritage Lake!

After the lake, we went to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant, Tegry Bistro with the rest of my family and Ryan’s. I wanted to stay close to the Brownsburg area for my sister, who was due to go into labor at any moment. We had ice cream cake at Krista and Ryan’s house afterwards. My birthday wish originally was to share my birthday with a new niece or nephew, but by later that evening, I came to terms with that not happening. However, I still hoped that it would happen the next day…which it did. Stay tuned for that story! Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday weekend!

lake 1 View from the deck. The lake is beautiful in the fall!

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Halloween Happenings

I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween. I believe it is a fun holiday for kids, but other than that, I think it is taken a bit out of hand. I haven’t dressed up or gone to a Halloween party since high school. Call me a Halloween “Scrooge,” but it’s just not my thing. However, that has never stopped me from enjoying the beautiful season of fall. Every year, my sister and I like to have what we call a “Fall Foliage Festival” where we all carve pumpkins, eat pumpkin seeds and caramel apples, drink apple cider, and watch Hocus Pocus. To be honest, it is one of my favorite traditions that we do all year. We would always carve quite extravagant patterns and display them at our parents house on Halloween night.

Here are some pictures from previous years…

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This year was a little different for us. With Ryan and I having a newborn and him living in Muncie, and with Krista being 9 months pregnant and moving into a new house, it was a little difficult to find the time to have our annual Fall Foliage Festival. We never even got the chance to go to the pumpkin patch! Obviously our family had a lot going on this year, but they were all good things, so I didn’t let myself get too sad about missing our tradition! I felt bad not having anything on my parents porch for the trick-or-treaters, so the night before Halloween, my mom and I bought a pumpkin. While I watched the baby, she emptied it out and got all of the seeds for my dad to bake, then she watched the baby while I carved the pumpkin. I wanted to do something simple that wouldn’t take me hours like it has in the past, so I chose to make Briggs happy and carve a Mickey Mouse face (yes, this is my idea of “simple!”) I was pretty happy with it considering what little time and energy I have these days!

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Now that I have a child, I feel like I get to enjoy what Halloween is really about again. Even though Kinsie is only a month old, it was so much fun dressing her up and hanging out with her cousin, Briggs (who was a lion). Kinsie was in somewhat of a grumpy mood on the night of trick-or-treating, and all she wanted to do was sleep, but we still had a fun night at her Grandma and Grandpa Vargas’s house watching Hocus Pocus and eating candy! It is crazy to think that next year, Kinsie will be a year old and her, Briggs, and her new cousin will be running around trick-or-treating together. Our family is growing every year and every day I thank the Lord for these amazing blessings!

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Our little ladybug

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Briggs the Lion

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