Monday, April 30, 2012

Shopping for baby and saving money at consignment sales

I am not sure where you live, but here in the south, Kids Consignment Sales are huge! The only brand new clothing I have bought Ellie are a winter coat she was too small to ever wear this year (75% off on Black Friday), one of her tutu's, and her hair bows. I am well aware of Zulilly, Totsy, and Keekoo and while they do offer great deals, I can still get better deals at local consignment sales events.

Consignment sales, though much smaller, starting taking off in Nashville when I was a teenager. I used to go help my mom shop for  my two youngest siblings at them, so I feel like I kinda have a system worked out.

Now, the first consignment sale Jared and I went to when we were expecting Ellie was, unwisely, the largest one in East Tn, on the opening day. It was at the end of the opening day, after we got done at our college ministry bible study. The sale was being held in an old K-Mart shopping center and was full. At the end of opening day, I am pretty sure there were items hanging from the ceiling! We pretty much just wondered around completely overwhelmed, and left with only a few purchases of shoes. Like infants need shoes.

I went back the next day with a bit more of a game plan, or so I thought. Once I was in the middle of all those aisles of girly frills, it started to get very overwhelming again. I was texting my mom like crazy and cursing the day I ever moved away from her! :) I remember tearing up (pregnancy hormones people!) as I texted her "its moments like these that let you know you never can out grown your need for your mom!"

Overwhelmingness aside, we made out great with our consignment purchases, and I feel like we have refined our process even more. This may not be the way to go for everyone, but it is working great for us, especially since our income just got cut in half since I became a stay-at-home mom.

I recommend still registering for everything you need and if you get it great, if not try and find it consignment. Our big baby gear - travel system, pack n' play, crib, glider, etc... we bought new, but got some great Black Friday deals on most of it. I had hoped to get more of it via consignment, but the big items are not as prevalent in this part of the state in the consigning circles. You can read my about my favorite baby products here.

Here are my Consignment Considerations.

Know your area sales.
Each sale is usually done by a different set of organizers, therefore has a different set of standards. Know the "nicer" sales, the equipment sales, etc... You can still get great deals at all the sales. I got most of Ellie's clothes for spring, summer, and early fall, at a sale that was known for their nicer clothes, and later got more play-type clothes and equipment at another sale a few weeks later. The bigger the sale, regardless of standards held, the better selection of your larger items.

Come up with your budget.
I am still figuring this part out. Since this is my first time shopping for a kid, I don't yet know exactly how much I need and how much that should cost. So instead of coming up with an overall goal sum, I set an item price limit, and I stick to it. As a general rule, I won't pay more then $4 for an item of clothing. I have paid $5 for some brand new Ralph.Lauren smocked dresses, and a few other high end brand clothing for special occasions. I did find a Strasburgh outfits, regularly $150, for $12, and yes, I scooped it up. Ellie has several "dressy" events coming up, and she will more then $12 worth of wear out of it. When you are paying $1-$3 for most of your items, you can get a lot of clothing and accessories for less then $100!

Know what ages you will be shopping for and stick to it.
Before Ellie was born, I limited myself to shopping only through 3 months for her. Up until I was put on bedrest, she was measuring in the 75-90%, and was expected to be at least 9 lbs and 21 inches long. I wasn't sure how quickly she would grow once she was born, and didn't want a told of newborn clothes she would never get a chance to wear.  You will get a ton of baby clothes (especially if you are expecting a girl!) Therefore, I bought very few actual newborn clothes. I focused mainly on 0-3 months and 3 month outfits.

Also, for the sake of your budget, I don't recommend looking for toys and accessories you might need in the next 6-12 months. Shop for the near future, the distant future items can wait.

Have a general number goal of how many outfits per age category.
With your first, it is especially hard to know what exactly you are going to need as far as style and sizes. Here is what I did, and what I recommend for first time moms.

  • 3-6 new born outfits. A combination of footie-sleepers and layette gowns
  • 8-10 0-3 month outfits
  • 3-6 3 month outfits
This may not sound like enough clothes, but it is plenty to get you through until you figure out your child's growth patterns. Plus, remember, you will be getting a lot of clothes at your showers and as gifts.

For Ellie's spring, summer, and early fall wardrobe that I just shopped for, I tried to focus mainly on 6 months. I got her 3-6 months, and 6-9 months as well, but when I looked at her projected growth charts, I knew she would primarily be in 6 months clothes the majority of the summer. Her 3-6 months and 6-9 clothes are more transitional seasonal clothing - short leaves and longer legs to accommodate spring and fall weather.

You don't have to shop all the racks and Skip the front area and top racks.
The last sale I went to, the 3-9 month (the ages I was shopping for) area went on for seemingly miles. Very few people are going to go through all of them. I go to the areas furtherest away from the entrance, as they are the least congested with shoppers, and I tend to think the least picked over. Also, there are usually top and bottom racks. Obviously the top racks are easiest to browse, leaving lots of great deals on the bottom racks, undiscovered. Most of my best deals, I have found toward the back, lower racks.

Stop and Take Inventory - sort, discard, and start over.
Your piles of clothes can grown quickly, so fast that you can forget what all you have picked out. Take a break and find a spot to sit and sort. Take inventory of what you already have. Really look for stains or imperfections. Discard clothes you realize you don't like/want/or need. Do you need anything else, or any other sizes? If yes, head back to the racks you haven't gone through, and take out only what you know you need more of. If you are set, don't go back to the racks you have yet to shop - you will find cuteness you will convince yourself you need.

Shop large items first!
Most places have holding areas for large items so you don't have to carry them around with you. Shop for these first! Our 'large' item finds for great deals are as follows

  • play mat: regularly $65, paid $15, still in packaging
  • swing: regularly $75, paid $30
  • Exersaucer: regularly $75-$100, paid $30
All items have removable/washable fabrics, and look completely brand new! I am also hoping to score a Britax this way, or via Craig's list!

Be prepared to be there awhile.
The last sale I went to, Ellie and I were there 3+ hours, because I went spur of the moment, and didn't plan ahead - bad bad idea! Part of what took so long was that I had to nurse her. And since I had left my stroller at home like an idiot, I had to carry her in the Bjorn. She took some naps, but also got really restless, so we took a break or two to get out and kick around, while I sorted through our possible purchases.

The lines at these sales can be ridiculous! The line was averaging 2.5 hours at the last sale we went to. Yeah. No deal is worth standing in line that long with a 3 month in a Bjorn! BUY THE FAST PASS, if they are available at your sale, as soon as you enter the doors of the sale. I paid an additional $10 bucks, and literally got escorted to the front of the line. Beyond worth it in my mind!

My Final Personal Preferences and Pointers

  • be very careful buying knit or jersey, especially as the kids get older. They tend to really pick and ball up. Plus they are more likely to hold onto stains. Some moms actually iron sleepers, etc... as this decreases the appearance of wearing. I shop mainly for cotton - preferably gingham and or searsucker of course... eyelet lace and smocking make it even better! :)
  • Look under the pinned on sales tags. Unfortunately, many moms are sneaky and place the price tags over stains.
  • Shop for your nicer clothing items first, if you have money left in your budget, then go back for the play clothes. I would rather buy Ellie's church and "dressy" clothes consignment, as this is where the savings are the biggest, e.g. her Ralph Lauren and Strasburg smocked dresses. You can buy sleepers on clearance at any Wal-Mart, Target, or Carters outlet for dollars.
  • find a babysitter for the kids. I could can be in an out of sale in less then an hour if I don't have Ellie with me!
  • make a list of wants but not needs, and shop for them at the 1/2 price day, usually the last day of the sale. I haven't started buying many toys yet, as we got a lot of baby toys as gifts. However, I had every intention of going our area's largest sale 1/2 price day to get Ellie s few developmental toys, and completely forgot. Ugh! Better luck next time.
And that, ladies, is my take on Consignment Sale Shopping Success. What tips and/or pointers do you have for shopping on a budget?

Friday, April 27, 2012


I am linking up with The Gypsy Mama today.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

I used to have a community that I thought would always surround me. That my children would just be an extension of. It was not to be... at least, not for now.

I loved that community. When it was gone, I was threatened with thoughts and feelings that community wasn't worth it, as nothing is forever. So what's the point.

Community and vulnerability go hand in hand in my mind. Me and vulnerability are often times not the best of friends. Vulnerability is a challenge for me, and I don't do it well. I like to be perfect. Therefore, I often have a hard time finding my place in community.

How funny that when I was the most afraid of being vulnerable and living in community, God stuck me and my husband smack in the middle of college ministry.

Who are some of the most unreliable groups of people - college kids.

Who teach you more then you ever imagined you could be taught about community - college kids.

 And guess what - the kids you grow to love like your own.... they graduate on average every 4 years. Our community is ever changing.

We are approaching May and graduation time. We are getting ready to say good-byes to some dear students and send them out to find their new communities as young adult professionals. I hate this time in so many ways, yet I am so proud of these kids. Oh who we will miss them! We will welcome a new group of students in the fall. This exhausts and excites me.

Now that I am a mom, God has graciously brought another new community into our lives in the form of a small group, with many young moms. We moms meet every Friday for brunch with our babies for community and fellowship. It is such a sweet time of encouragement!

I have communities. They are diverse. My places in each are different, yet the same. I am to me in whatever community Jesus puts me in.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Postpartum Ponderings and Pointers

An extremely random and rambling post on all things Postpartum!
  • Its amazing how quickly all that pain goes away - as in like immediately. Literally, no recoving. Placenta delivery=return to normalcy!
  • As quickly as the physical pain ceases, your memories of said pain do not. Am I the only one who still has nightmares, 3 months out from the delivery. I wish I was kidding. 
  • I am sure the fact that I only had a 6 hour labor to deliver a 5 lb baby has something to do with this, but I had very little discomfort of any kind in the days and weeks following Ellie's delivery. I took motrin every few hours for about a week, and that was it. Tore up my narcotic script as soon as I got home.
  • You know that "Pain Scale, 0-10?" Well, what was once a 10 before, becomes a -2 after natural childbirth.
  • This has the tendency in some ways to make you less then sympathetic for husbands those with minor aches and ailments.
  • Who knew you sweat like a pig during the night those first few weeks. I don't think my internal thermal dynamics changed much at all during pregnancy... they definitely did post-baby. Like sweat through every piece of clothing you are wearing; putting on sports strength deoderant after brushing your teeth for bed; and possibly requiring pj changes after the 3 am feedings
  • I find it beyond incredible how quickly your body changes after the baby is born. You walk into the hospital looking like you have giant beach ball having been blown up in your abdomen, and leave looking like you just ate quite a bit too much over the holidays.
  • You feel somewhat schizophrenic in regard to your new body - one second you feel great about how quickly you are returning to your previous body, only to put on a prebaby pair of pants and realize how far you have yet to go... and may never return.
  • Those first 6 weeks you feel a major confidence boost - you have obtained some serious new assets up top, while losing weight more rapidly then you ever have before. Then you step on the scale at your 6 week pp appointment, and realize just how far you still have to go.
  • No one told me that during the first few showers you take after delivery, when the water hits your newly vacated abdomen, it reminds you of the sounds of water hitting the beach ball your dad was rinsing off at the beach shower when leaving the beach of the day. Disconcerting to say the least. My advise, keep your back to the water streams those first few days.
  • Don't buy many nursing bra's before delivery. The girls are going to undergo a massive transformation during the next month. What works one day, won't work for weeks to come. Get one regular nursing bra and one or two sleep-nursing bra. Add on as you go.
  • I wish I had only purchased one nursing cami. After postpartum week 1 or 2, they were way too big around the middle. I wish I had found these make your own nursing cami's earlier. Genius!
  • If you thought shopping for your maternity wardrobe was challenging, just think of it as preparation for nursing wardrobe H-E-Double Hockey Sticks! Ugh... especially heading into summer.
  • Speaking of heading into summer, while it was great not having to deal with physical discomforts of being big and pregnant during the summer, I think I would now choose that over having to display your new "postpartal"body to the world in the spring. Its good for the pride I guess?!
  • I was told to sleep when my baby slept. It definitely didn't happen! I wanted to look at her all the time.  And hold her. Plus, my adrenaline was going like crazy! Even a few weeks ago, I was still finding it difficult to take naps... unless someone else was at home with me. I never feel like I am anxious about keeping an eye on Ellie... must be some subconscious underlying vigilance. If my mom shows up, I fall asleep almost immediately!:) 
  • Video monitors are life savers, unless you don't have them mounted up on a shelf above the crib, allowing you to see the length and width of the crib. And your daughter starts getting mobile in her sleep. When that combination happens, you wake up to a screen displaying an apparently empty crib, causing you and your hubs to race into her room, with thoughts of abduction swirling in your head. Only to find your baby still swaddled and sound asleep at the foot of her crib.
  • Don't go out and buy a whole new wardrobe for your post baby body. Give your body some time. Jeggings were my pant lifesavers. I also bought 4 mens long sleeve t-shirts. Jeggings, t-shirts, cardigans, and a pair of cute boots can almost make you look normal.
  • From the moment Ellie came out I have craved processed simple sugars - empty calorie packed junk. I never liked junk before!?! During my pregnancy, some fruits were even too sweet for me.
  • Why on earth am I craving chocolate, and mainly chocolate chips. And don't say its cause I am female - I don't like chocolate!!!
  • Keep your camera handy all the time. Random moments are often the best to capture.
  • Capture simple, every day activities with your camera. They have become some of my favorite pictures.
  • Talk to other moms about their experiences with newborns. This assures you that you are not an alien exploring a new planet.
  • Don't let other mom's experiences leave you feeling inadequate either.
  • And finally, take lots of time to just sit and watch your baby's eyelashes grow.

Babies grow up too darn fast!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nationals DID involve basketball... not just Ellie

I figured since my first post, post-nationals, was essentially all about Ellie, I should probably show off what this trip is really about - lots of basketball and the amazing Warrior Basketball Family. I have so many pictures from this week, so I tried to put most of them into collages. Of course, there will also be a few photo collages of Ellie at the festivities. :)

My family has been a part of the Warrior Basketball organization for 10 years now. A lot has changed during that time! Its amazing to see the advancements in homeschool athletics! But the best part of the organization, for our family, has been the incredible relationships we have developed with the other families involved. Some families have been there longer, the same period of time, and now there are many new comers. Regardless of your time spent with the Warriors, you will be welcomed with open arms.

Side note: the families at the Warriors have recently become a "hotspot" for adoption and foster care. Most of these families did not seek out these situations.... no, these kids literally found them. At Christopher's senior day game, it was wonderful to see so many newly fostered/adopted babies being carried around by the athletes, as well as foster kids all in the middle of the student cheering section, fitting in like they always belonged.  A beautiful picture of the body of Christ. One of our families recently took on 4 foster-to-adopt kids... making their "child count" a grand total of 10! The mother of this family is beyond incredible! Every time I saw her in Spingfield, she had no less then 3 kids hanging on her... and the biggest, most gracious smile on her face. Amazing!

Nationals always provides a great time, at the end of a long season spent together going from gyms-to-practice-to-games, etc... to really get to spend time with the other families, and get to know each other on a deeper level.

Its always awesome seeing kids (and parents!) from all over the organization coming to cheer on as many of the Warrior teams.

Funny story about the cheer going on below. When a player goes up to the free throw line,  someone yells "Lock and Load, Warriors" and the kids "lock and load" with their hands and fingers, and hold the position until the shot (hopefully) swishes through the net, followed by the crowd going "BOOM!"

Well, apparently, this is offensive to some. So much so, an opposing team's mom told us we were evidently not a christian organization as our name implies (Nashville Central Christian Warriors) because our kids do "gun simulating" cheers, and our kids have tattoo's. Those "tattoos" would have been those rub on things kids of all ages love... evidently she didn't realize tattoos on the faces of juvenile's is illegal most places.:) Ah well... it provided a good laugh:)

The photo below is at our Middle School Girl's game, playing in the national championship game (they came in second). Although I didn't get a picture of it, at one point the starters from the Varsity Boy's team were down in front, initiating and leading cheers - so sweet!

We had several kids make it onto the All-American and All-Regional Teams! Christopher was named onto the All-American team, along with his team mate, Connor. It was awesome getting to see him play in the All-American game! He had dunk moves I never imagined a brother of mine could ever posses!

warming up 

doing work!

Ellie got all dressed up for Uncle Christopher's All-American game:)

Clearly I didn't use the red-eye edit on this picture!

My brothers make serious fun of all the tutu's and bows I put on Ellie, but thanks for these pink frills, you can spot us in the All-American Game DVD!:)

I am so glad Ellie and I were able to make the trip! I saw my brother, Christopher, and sister, Mary Grace, play some of the best basketball I have ever seen them play! They had an awesome tournament!

Ellie was a complete trooper - she allowed herself, and her schedule, to be very flexible!

She slept on the go... a lot...

Ate on the go...

Was held and loved on by many...

And was a very happy little girl...

Despite finding herself in less than normal baby situations...:)

 and yes, the caption in the first picture should read *just*

 I really thought I was going to be super emotional watching Christopher's last game as a high school senior, but I guess knowing I get to watch him play in college as well helped. It was just a fun game to watch, and for the boys to play.

Last dunk as a senior in high school

Leaving the court of the last time as a Warrior

Team Seniors

Seniors and their Coaches

Such a wonderful Uncle!

This is how Gracie and I hug our brother's after their games. Serious sweatiness=air hugs:)

Love my towering baby brother.

For the closing ceremony, I finally broke out the Bjorn, and immediately wondered why on earth we hadn't used it before!?! Ellie LOVED it!

It is surprisingly comfortable! Ellie slept through the entire closing ceremony!

Mary Grace's team game in 4th in their division - highest ranking ever for the varsity girls team! Way to go Lady Warriors!

Christopher's team game in 5th, in the highest division, nationally! Woo Hoo

Christopher and his two team mates, Patrick and Connor, made the National All-Tournament Team.

Here is a well kept secret - I really have three kids ;-)

Ok, well I maybe only physically carried and birthed Ellie, but Christopher and Gracie feel like they are at least half mine.:) Love all three of "my" kiddo's beyond words!

There ya have it folks - our National Tournament experience!

The trip home was fairly uneventful. Ellie and I drove back to middle TN with my family and spent the night at my parent's house, before heading back to Knoxville. This gave her grandparents a few more highly coveted hours with her.
 Hanging out with Pop at Taco Bell on the trip home.

And because I am totally the Mother of the Year a sleep deprived idiot, I scheduled Ellie's two month appointment (delayed due to local spring breaks) for the afternoon we were arrived back in Knoxville! We drove straight from Nashville to the pediatrician's office, where I nurse Ellie in the car, followed by taking her in to get shots.

Luckily, I seemed to be way more offended by my lack of foresight then she was. Ellie just looked more surprised then anything!:)

She made it almost to the 30th percentile!:) 10 lbs 10 oz and 22.5 inches Our little peanut

Friday, April 20, 2012


I am linking up with The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids.
On Fridays we write with gusto, unselfconscious and flat out.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:


Like a tightly woven garment
Like a metal alloy
We are put together in the strongest way
With a common bond to join us
That they cannot destroy
We are held together in the longest way
And we could not be pulled apart
Without it tearing out a heart
lyrics by Twila Paris *emphasis mine*


Its how a marriage is to remain. Its what family was created to be. Its how the Body of Christ is supposed to operate.

Togetherness requires humility, grace, mercy, dying to ones own wants and desires, admitting of wrongs, forgiveness.

To be together takes work. Hard work. Its not easy. Its not always fun.

When done correctly, togetherness bears much fruit. 

Marriages that are knit together in Christ show the world, in action, how we relate to/with Christ. Together families raise confident, validate, and secure children. A together Body of Christ doesn't let the lines of denomination or rites and rituals detract for operating in the unity of Christ.

When there has been true togetherness, followed by disunity, hearts break. Wounds are made. Scars are left. Deep, unmet longings are created.

Its in these deep and unmet longings where we can meet Christ in our own unique way

That wanting area inside you, that vacant uninhabited place... its a Christ-sized hole that only He can fill.

Our brokenness with each other if often times what leads us to a deeper togetherness with our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's National Brothers Week!

Your brother is your first male friend in life. No one will ever understand yourc craziness like your brother.... Even if you don't get together, or talk as much as you'd like, he always remains your friend. While people come and go in your life, your brother will always be in your heart for a lifetime. It's "National Brother's Week." So thankful for all three of my "baby brothers!"

Happy National Brother's Week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Celebrations

How much can change in a year! I know I refer back to a previous posts a lot, but for me it always really important to look back to see where I have come, or regressed. It shows me the hand-work of God in our lives, spurs me on,  and challenges me to grow/change.

I had so much fun getting ready for Ellie Faith's first Easter Celebration. Let's be honest, any type of celebration with her at this point is purely for her dad and I... she could care less. In fact, she would probably appreciate a few less photo ops in her life. But still, I like starting traditions, and there is  never a better time to start them then when you are starting your family.

Since Ellie Faith is too young to participate in any Easter activities, I just decided to start experimenting with things we can do in the future, and we mainly filled her Easter basket with things she can enjoy as she gets older.

I knew we were going to be busy the days leading up to Easter, so I decided to start the picture taking on Thursday. Her cute outfit was a gift from my mom and sister. Its still a bit big on her, but at least that means she should get a few more wears out of it.

Ellie quickly let me know, picture time was over!

I attempted to make Resurrection Rolls on Good Friday, for a "Mommy Brunch" Ellie and I go to every Friday. Luckily, taste has no direct correlation to appearance - they looked somewhat disastrous! But tasted really good! I recommend using the "grand" sized crescent rolls, really pinching the dough seams together, and baking no higher then 300 degrees. As it was, I almost had to just throw away the baking sheet I had baked the rolls on, the marshmallow-goo was that bad. Not bringing the rolls to the brunch definitely crossed my mind, they looked so bad, but I swallowed my pride and took them anyway.  GO Me!:)

My brother Daniel came up to stay with us Friday night, and got a few quick snuggles in with Ellie before going to bed.

yes ladies, he is single!:)

Saturday we  headed to the Tri-Cities to visit with my Dad's side of the family... and of course got some more pictures taken.:) 

Elliott Ladies 

 Four Elliott Generations. Isn't my Grandma Elliott gorgeous?!

Lolli and Pop with Ellie, who is clearly over having her picture taken. 

Even mom and dad didn't make it better 

It took the touch of a Great-Grandmother :)

Sunday morning was beautiful - crisp, cool, and clear. Not a cloud in the sky! I love beautiful Easter mornings... seems like the earth is still celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

Thanks to the tripod Jared got me for Christmas, we were able to get some family photos before heading to church.

Then it was time to show Ellie Faith her Easter basket - she was clearly thrilled!

Evidently, I want my daughter to share my love of Books and Bows ;-)

Since my Dad is going to be "Pop" to Ellie, he and my mom got Ellie Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop, and my dad even wrote Ellie a sweet little note.

I Love ALL Dr. Seuss books, so I have decided Ellie will probably get one at just about any gift giving holiday. What better "Easter Dr. Seuss" then  Green Eggs and Ham?

From the day she was born, Ellie has been the snortiest baby every. She definitely came out of the womb with her Daddy's allergies. For the first 6 weeks of her life she did the most hysterical "snort routine" as she would fall asleep. It was hilarious! Because of this, her Daddy calls her his "Little Snort." So of course we had to get her the board book version of Are You My Mother.

As wonderfully fun as putting together her Easter basket was, I was also a little overwhelmed at the upcoming task of instilling in Ellie the true meaning of Easter. How do you teach a child the depth of our Heavenly Father's love, that He sent His only Son to die for our sins? I know He will show us how to convey His love to Ellie as she grows, but man! What a huge task! We are not going to do it well all the time, so we are going to start teaching Ellie these concepts young. To help us do this, we got her Jesus Calling for Kids. It may say "for kids" but this version is great for all ages!

Years ago, when Jared and I first started working with the college ministry, we met a young girl, Christie, through a life discussion group we did a few fraternities and sororities on campus. We no longer have the discussion group, but thanks to FaceBook, we still keep in touch with several of the students, including Christie!  She ended up joining us, along with several of her friends, for the Easter service at our church! It was such a treat having them!

Ellie woke up from her morning nap (way too early) during the worship service. Evidently, she loved the worship service so much she decided to stay awake the whole time, and continue her "singing" during the prayer time... so she and I made hasty exit as the sermon began. I hear the sermon was wonderful - on not letting fear control our lives.

We decided to forego the Easter lunch with Jared's family this year, in order to be able to take part in Natalie Pluskota's senior day tennis match. Nat is another girl we met several years ago through events via the campus ministry, and although she was never technically one of "our" students, we have kept in touch with her and her family as well. She is an amazing female and incredible athlete. Seriously, remember her name - she is going to be huge on the pro-circuit! And if Jared has his way, she will be Ellie's personal tennis coach. ;-) Ellie was a trooper - taking two naps while there, and being nursed in the front seat of our car. Gotta do what you gotta do.:)

Evidently no one thought it was necessary to tell me I appeared to have a rooster's tail on the top of my head

Ellie and Daddy decked in their UT finest

We went straight from the tennis match to the CSF for our evening Easter service, pizza party, egg hunt, and annual "egg games."

By this point Ellie had taken all her naps on the go, all but one of her feedings had taken place in various public places, and she was on her third outfit change. Both of us were starting to wear out  a bit. We were not able to be in the worship service or sermon, as she needed to eat, but we were able to sit right outside the door and were able to listen in.

After the sermon, we all headed outside for the Easter games and festivities. Sometime after 8 pm, I looked at Jared and informed him one of his girls was about to have exhaustion induced emotional breakdown, I wasn't sure which one it would be, but either way it would probably be in everyone's best interest for the breakdown to take place at home. By this point we had been gone for nearly 12 hours, up for 14+ hours, and the majority of those hours had been spent outside in the sun. A wonderful, but exhausting day.

I am pretty sure all three of us were sound asleep in bed by 9:15 pm, and that never happens around here!

We had a wonderful first Easter celebration as a family. Looking forward to what future celebrations hold in the future.

He is risen... He is risen indeed!