Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 11

Day 11: A picture of your favorite drink

This day was a tough one. I thought about Starbucks frappuccinos, homemade sweet tea, Cherry Dr. Pepper, and all those wonderful cool-weather drinks like hot caramel apple cider, chai tea lattes, and Michigan cherry coffee with french vanilla creamer... But a simple glass of chocolate milk hits the spot every time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 10

Day 10: A picture of what you like to do

Sew, scrapbook, bake, read, sing...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 09

Day 09: A picture of what you had for lunch:
Mac and Cheese... mmmm.  Thanks Riss!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 08

Day 08: A picture of yourself.

Ok so I'm cheating a little. Three days in a row now I've used pictures that I did not take that day. Oh well. 
There are too many "A picture of yourself" days in this thing. Well, here is another picture of me -- but it's from almost 10 years ago. It's one of my senior pictures. We're going to Rocky's 10 year class reunion on Saturday, so mine will be next year. Wow. 

Picture Challenge - Day 07

Oops I'm a day behind now...

Day 07: A picture that makes you cry.

It was tough to think of a picture that makes me cry. This one is more tears of joy, but there are also some tears of sadness. You see, we had two miscarriages during our first year of marriage. Those pregnancies were not "planned" -- then again, neither was Abby -- and about the time we were beginning to accept the fact that we were going to be parents, we lost them. There are still times when I think about how old they would be, and I wonder if they were boys or girls. So there is sadness when I think about our losses, plus I'm reminded of others who have struggled with various forms of infertility.

But there are also many tears of joy with this picture. Joy as I see our little girl, who was a day old in this picture. Joy as I see my husband sleeping next to her, with is arm protectively around her. And joy as I think about the future of our family.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 06

Day 06: A picture that inspires you

This picture itself isn't anything too special, but it brings back wonderful memories that inspire me. It was taken almost exactly 2 years ago at the Annual GEMS Leaders Conference in Asheville, North Carolina (this coming Fri-Sun is this year's conference in Minnesota, but we're not making the trip). I had just gotten to the top of a hiking trail with about 30 other GEMS leaders. It was a unique hike because while we were on the trail, we were not allowed to talk to each other. We all hiked in silence, thinking our own thoughts and praying our own prayers. It was a great experience -- being surrounded by others yet being alone in my thoughts. I could stop whenever I wanted to look out over the hills and think about the vastness of God.

The rest of the conference had been tough for me. I was really hoping to experience a "spiritual high" like I had at other conferences I'd been to during high school. I never got there, and it was disappointing. I tried not to desire it, but the feelings came anyway.

During this hike I learned to appreciate God in the simple things. The hike didn't give me the "high" I wanted, but when I got to the top I felt refreshed. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I'd learned that experiencing God didn't have to involve that high feeling. And that's encouraging and inspiring to me now -- I don't have to go searching for God; He can meet me in the simple things.

And of course this picture reminds me of GEMS, and right now I'm getting really excited for leading our group this fall. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 05

Day 05: A picture of your morning

A typical morning for me involves these things. A cup of coffee and devotions. A check of Facebook. A walk around the neighborhood. Playtime with Abby.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 04

Day 04: A picture of where you went today.

This is our church, Oakwood CRC. Rocky has been a part of this church since he was born (except for the years at college), and it's been mine since we've been married. I've come to really love this church and the people there. We've been through some rough times lately, but God is doing some great things here, and I'm excited to be part of the ride.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 03

Day 03: A picture of what you did today

Meet Samurai Jackalyn. Aka Sammi. She is about 10 weeks old and the newest member of the Roer household. Ninja was pretty jealous when we brought Abby home, so we thought she needed a friend. So far today she hasn't been very friendly. We're hoping that will change in time. And that is what I did today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 02

Day 02: A picture of what you wore today.

I made the skirt myself.

I've been sewing for about 4 or 5 years. Rocky's mom made lots of beautiful quilts (and started lots more that are still boxed up) and Carissa has made lots of clothes and other projects. One year for Christmas (I can't remember if it was the first Christmas after we were married or the next), I asked for a sewing machine. They gave me Rocky's mom's old one and a gift card to take classes at Smith Owen.

My first class and projects were a simple drawstring bag and pajama pants. After that class I was hooked! I made a couple more pairs of pants to give as gifts, then I signed up for the "Sassy Skirts" class. I made a simple layered skirt with the class, then bought new material to make one on my own. This skirt was what I made.

I have since made a couple other skirts, some from the sassy skirt pattern and some from other patterns I've bought. I joined a sewing small group at my church and learned basic quilting skills. We made potholders and table toppers, and last summer I decided to try and make a full-size (well, crib-size) quilt. I finished it in time for Mandy's baby shower last August.

I've learned a lot, and each project I learn something new. Just yesterday I started a pair of sweatpants that I needed to make buttonholes for. I have lots of ideas for projects to work on, I just don't often take the time to work on them. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Picture Challenge - Day 01

Day 01: A picture of yourself.

So now I should probably post something profound about me, since this is a picture of me. Um. Right.

I guess I'll write about my hair. Yes, my hair. Like Abby, I was born with a head full of hair. My mom tells me she had to cut the bangs out of my eyes when I was two months old. My hair grew and grew, and we just let it go, except for my bangs. I had bangs until about 3rd grade when I decided to grow them out. That was the same year I got glasses. My 3rd and 4th grade school pictures are NOT my favorite.

My hair grew and grew, and every so often my mom would just trim up the ends. It never really got long enough for me to sit on, but it got pretty long. It wasn't until the end of 8th grade that I asked mom to cut it shorter -- all the way up to just below my shoulders. Gasp. And I started wearing it up a bit. Who was this new girl at school?!

Through high school, I hated my hair. It had this natural wave to it, and I could never seem to get it to do what I wanted. I wanted it straight. Everybody I knew had straight hair. Or super curly. Not in-between like mine. It wasn't until college, when one of my roommates had hair just like mine, that I discovered I could put some gel in it and make it curlier. Yay!

My sophomore year of college, during spring break, I donated my hair to Locks of Love. It was the first time I had ever had my hair cut in a salon. It was actually layered and styled. And it was the shortest it had ever been. I got home and I cried. Nobody else was around except my cat, and she did a good job of comforting me. Then I re-looked at myself in the mirror and decided to make the most of the change. I put on some new clothes I had just bought, and finally liked what I saw. I couldn't put it in braids anymore, but I found other things to do with it. 

A couple years later, I discovered the straightener. Wow! Now I could choose if I wanted my hair to be curly or straight. Or somewhere in between. Although I still didn't like the "in-between" very much.

People have told me how jealous they are of my hair. I've finally come to the point where I generally like my hair too. It's taken awhile. I still haven't found a cut that I like when I just let my hair dry into it's natural wave. Oh well.

And that's the story of my hair.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 Day Picture Challenge

I've been watching a friend on Facebook the last few weeks participating in a 30 day picture challenge. After googling it, I've found it seems to be something that was started on another blogging site, and people are now doing it on Facebook too. So after stalking Katy's pictures for awhile, I've decided to give it a try. It will give me something specific to blog about each day -- hopefully I can stay diligent enough to actually accomplish it in 30 days... :) I hope to make as many pictures as I can be one's that I've taken myself, even taken that very day.

Here is the list of what will come each day:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself
Day 02 - A picture of what you wore today
Day 03 - A picture of what you did today
Day 04 - A picture of where you went today
Day 05 - A picture of your morning
Day 06 - A picture that inspires you
Day 07 - A picture that makes you cry
Day 08 - A picture of yourself
Day 09 - A picture of what you had for lunch
Day 10 - A picture of what you like to do
Day 11 - A picture of your favorite drink
Day 12 - A picture of your favorite food
Day 13 - A picture of your friends
Day 14 - A picture of your favorite teacher(s)
Day 15 - A picture of yourself
Day 16 - A picture that sums up your life
Day 17 - A picture of your dream house
Day 18 - A picture of your room
Day 19 - A picture of your favorite musical instrument(s)
Day 20 - A picture of where you want to honeymoon
Day 21 - A picture that makes you think of your loved one
Day 22 - A picture of yourself
Day 23 - A picture of your dream cell phone
Day 24 - A picture of what you did today
Day 25 - A picture that you edited
Day 26 - A picture that makes you angry
Day 27 - A picture of you more than ten years ago
Day 28 - A picture of what you wore today
Day 29 - A picture of yourself
Day 30 - A picture of you and your best friend

Anyone want to join me in this challenge??

Day 1 coming soon...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Operation: Get Healthy!

So Rocky already talked in his blog about using Microsoft Outlook's ability to create to-do lists to get things done. I'm using it too, starting with basic household chores that occur once a week or month or every couple of days. I love being able to cross things off of lists when they're done -- I've even gone so far as to create an item on the list that I've just accomplished, just so I can cross it off right away. :)

Well one of the things I've been meaning to add to the list is exercise... Yes, once again I have the desire to get fit and healthy. Body image is something I've struggled with for years. Finally last summer, I was able to be content with how I looked and was able to find clothes that fit me well and I looked cute in! Then I got pregnant. :) I'm thankful I was one of those women who truly "popped" -- and I popped early. So I still felt cute -- in a new way.

Now... I'm 7 weeks postpartum and struggling. I knew that after having a baby you still look 6 months pregnant, but I gave all my maternity clothes back to the cousin I borrowed them from (since she's now 7 months pregnant). And I have this flabby belly... Last week I purged my closet. I tried on EVERY shirt and pants I own, and only kept things in the closet that fit. The rest is going to be boxed up and stored away. It was an emotionally draining exercise, but now that I only have a half dozen shirts hanging up (I didn't go through my t-shirts), 3 skirts, and my maternity jeans, I know I have two choices: go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, or get my butt in gear so my butt can fit in my old stuff.

So I've added exercise to my daily to-do list. But I've separated it into two separate items: exercise and walking. I've looked up some postpartum exercises to help my belly and to strengthen other parts of me. Plus I want to try and walk for at least 20 minutes every day that it's not too hot or raining. I can proudly say I crossed both items off my list today! I tried out all of those exercises I found while Abby was sleeping this morning, then after she woke up and ate mid-morning I loaded my tiny ipod shuffle with praise & worship music, laced up my tennis shoes, and put Abby in the stroller.

We have this big paved square attached to our subdivision, it looks like a place they wanted to develop more and put more houses but it's completely empty except a couple condos on the far side (that attaches to another street). I think somebody told me it's a 1/2 mile around. And it's just a big open field in the middle, with a farm on one side and forest on the other. Occasionally I see other people walking or biking around it, but it's mostly empty. So Abby and I spent 25 minutes outside today. It was great.

I got home and crossed walking off my to-do list. But it just "regenerated a new task" of the same thing to be done tomorrow... Hopefully by making this to-do item public, I can stick with it! Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I can't believe how spoiled we are. (new moms out there: jealousy alert...)

I am one who gets cranky and headaches when I don't get enough sleep. I've never been a night owl, even in college my brain would start shutting down by 10:00. I function best during the day after I've gotten 8 hours of sleep the night before. I am so affected by sunlight -- Once the sun sets at night I start to get sleepy, and as soon as it's up in the morning I can't fall back to sleep.

So needless to say, this whole baby thing had me worried. I've read so many stories about moms not getting more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time until their baby is 6 months or older. Even when some of my friends would post things on facebook about their little one "finally sleeping through the night", it was a maximum of 6 hours. I was honestly dreading the need to get up and feed Abby every couple of hours.

One night when Abby was just over a week old (we were running on adrenaline before then!), she had gone to sleep around 6 in the evening when we were out and about. Once we got home it was just after 10, so I started thinking oh no! It's been 4 hours since Abby last ate, and with the way the nurses at the hospital were talking, I think she's going to starve if I don't feed her now!! I tried everything I could think of to get her awake enough to nurse. No luck. Frustrated, I went to bed. She woke up hungry at 11:30. And 2 hours later. And 2 more hours later. And 2 more hours later...

The next time she had an evening schedule like that, I let her sleep. She woke up on her own when she was hungry, then slept 6 more hours after that. I've never again woke her up to eat.

A few nights later I woke up on my own around 3 am, and frantically calculated how long it had been since she had last eaten. It was over 6 hours. I drifted in and out of sleep, expecting to hear her cry soon. Another hour went by and I started wondering if something had happened to her... I told myself nothing was wrong, I was worrying about nothing... but my head wouldn't stop thinking of worst-case-scenarios. Finally I got up, peeked in her room, and heard her tossing and turning in her sleep. I was flooded with relief and went back to bed. She woke up a half hour later to eat. :-P

The last couple of weeks, with our family often being gone with evening meetings/activities/over-at-the-lake-house, we started getting into a more predictable routine. Abby will eat for the last time at night between 9 and 10. She'll frequently be awake for another hour or so after, and be down by 11 at the latest. We just let her sleep until her cries wake me up. In the last 2 weeks, I think I've gotten up twice in the night where it's been dark enough in her room to need to turn on a light.

Last night Abby ate around 10 and fell right to sleep. We didn't hear from her again until 7:30 this morning. She's only 7 weeks old.

We are so spoiled...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cloth diapering update

So I've been meaning to write about how cloth diapering has been going. I posted how excited I was at the beginning of May when I ordered them, and some people have been asking how we like it. Well, it's good for the most part. We ended up choosing the Flip diapers, which is an "all-in-two" type system. The covers and inserts come separately, so we started with 4 covers and 12 inserts, plus we already had a package of 12 pre-folds that we use as inserts too. A week ago we were in Rockford and stopped at Gumballs & Overalls and got one more cover. We're currently doing a load of laundry about every other day (on the extra-small cycle).

The trouble comes when we have poop that leaks off the insert onto the cover near her legs. (we've only had it actually leak out of the entire diaper a couple of times) Sometimes it's cleanable -- using an extra wipe -- sometimes it's too much to bother with. The 5th cover has helped, we don't feel like we're constantly running out of covers. And I've heard that as babies get older they'll have less bm's each day, so we'll be able to re-use the covers more often.

Overall, I'm happy with our choice. We only spent just over $100 on all of the diapers and inserts, and they've just about paid for themselves already:

     It costs about $20 for about 100 disposables = $0.20 per diaper

     $0.20 * 10 diapers per day = $2.00 per day

     We spent $100, divided by $2.00 per day = 50 days worth of disposables

So if we use these cloth diapers for more than 50 days, we're saving money.

And these ones are designed to last from birth through potty training...

P.S. We do keep a package of disposables on hand, and put a handful in the diaper bag when we go out and about, just in case we have cover issues...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Control Freak

I want dinner cooked my way, since I think I know best... but you never asked for my help.

I want things organized a certain way... but it's not my house.

I want people to drive like I think they should... but that's their responsibility.

I want my baby cared for a certain way... but does that mean I don't trust you?

I want my baby to behave a certain way... but she's too young to know any better.

I want you to have confidence in yourself... but I can't force your feelings to change.

I want my house to be clean again.
I want my pre-pregnancy body back; I was finally learning to be content with myself.
I at least want some shorts that fit. Or skirts. Or a swimsuit. Something. 

Hey, those last items are things that I can actually fix! But have I taken steps to make them happen? Not really...

Hello, my name is Carrie, and I'm one messed up control freak.


I'm having a hard time blogging. I'll think of things to write about, but they always come at the most inopportune times, such as when I'm in the car. And when I finally get the chance to sit down and write, like now, all profound thoughts escape me... 

Plus I have a crying baby who wants to eat. Guess I'll have to blog later...
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