Sunday, May 29, 2011


more often than not....well, actually, almost every moment of my days are filled with what i'd imagine most other new moms' days and thoughts are filled with. becomin a parent for the first time is unlike anything else in all the world. it's beautifully messy, awkward, mysterious, and surprisingly frustrating - and that's just the short list.

like probably every other parent out there, we think our baby girl rocks. she's just awesome. it's that simple.

one of the most recent new-parent discoveries is havin my heart swell w/pride. i've experienced what feels like a sea of emotion for our little one - gratitude, awe, adoration, joy, uncertainty, helplessness, overwhelmed-ness, stranger-ness and familiarity, celebration.... but until quite recently, i don't know that i would have included pride in that list.
the trigger for this pride seems silly when i say it out loud or type it for all the world to see...but chances are, i'm not the only new mama who's felt this way.

as i wrote earlier, we tried the rice cereal thing a couple days ago. the first time went exceedingly well. tomorrow, it may be a disaster. a day might come when pureed peas don't go as smoothly. but the rice cereal, for about the last 60hrs, has been a huge success. each time we've set her in the high chair, strapped on the bib, and soaked up the sweetest moments of sharing our first meals together, a new but undefined wave has come over me....w/each feeding, the wave seemed stronger...and it was just a few hours ago that i realized the wave's name is pride. i'm so proud of her!! and bein proud of her for these seemingly tiny accomplishments far outweighs any pride i've had for my own feats. how marvelous is that?!

it's days like this.....sundays, when i deliberately slow down and attempt to rest and learn what sabbath is intended to be....that life is most beautiful. days when i put the to-do lists aside...let the dirty clothes stay scattered here and there...leave the tv off....and instead spend hour upon hour tellin riley all sorts of stories and listenin intently as she tells me her own....when i lay in the floor w/her and read books...walk outside w/her snug against my chest...and laugh and play and tickle and sing until i force myself to put her down for a nap.... days like this are what i've dreamed of for so long. i don't know that i've ever been more grateful.

all the fun things

all sorts of fun things are happenin around here lately...

riley tried and loved rice cereal! she's been eyein' us pretty closely as we shovel food into our mouths the last few weeks and seemed all too eager to have some shoveled into her own. it's so fun! she opens her mouth about as wide as the door of an airplane hanger. sometimes she smiles and laughs in the middle of tryin to get it off the spoon, so it goes anywhere but in her mouth. yesterday evenin, i was tryin to coax her a little (it was her windin down time). when i opened my mouth so she'd mimic me, she just smiled and laughed. now why she thinks it's hilarious for her mama to open her mouth like that is beyond me....and the years of 'my mom's weird looks' have already begun.

her skin's been understandably dry the last few weeks (similar to most of texas lands these days), so we've been givin her a bath every 2-3 days. well, needless to say, i haven't figured out how to keep the cereal out of various crevices... last nite, for instance, she got it b/w her toes, in her left ear, both nostrils, and right thigh fold. how that happened is beyond me... i mean, she hasn't even really found her toes yet, so they were never close to her mouth. i don't know. but we had a blast!

she's also diggin her wonderbug. she especially likes the parts she can grab, pull her way, and cram into her mouth. makes sense, i suppose, since her first 2 teeth are already in!!
she's rollin and wigglin all over the place. the blanket that we lay her on used to be so big...and now? we can hardly keep her on it for more than a couple minutes w/o havin to reposition her.

we were SO happy to meet riley's newest cousins - silas and lydia sims. they were en route from kentucky to levelland, and we were glad to offer a rest stop. it's funny seein babies that are younger and smaller than your own - it made riley seem like a beast!

well, it's sunday mornin, and i was just tryin to get in a quick catch up blog before church. better get goin...

Saturday, May 14, 2011


it's saturday nite. i should be packin for our trip home tomorrow. it takes exponentially longer to pack when a baby is involved. riley's sound asleep in her room. josh is out workin. and i'm sittin here in our rockin chair.

a couple hours ago, i was sittin here rockin our sweet baby girl. she was takin her last little nap of the day. one of the sweetest time of the day for us right now - we hold her during that last nap, and it's one of the only times she'll fall asleep in our arms these days. i looked around the ever-present need to pick up and clean and attempt to keep things tidy gnawin at me, as usual. shoes, thanks you cards, throw pillows, baby books, a kleenex box, blankets, and baby clothes all strewn about. and then, i looked right across the room at the couch. the far end of it had this random and somehow acutely expressive assortment of items.

a foam dart that josh shot out of a nerf gun. (a gun, by the way, that i bought for myself a few months ago at the urging of a dear friend.) a journal i'm keepin for riley. teething gel. a rattle. a teething ring. and a wooden stackable ring set...that's not stacked evenly b/c josh and riley were playin w/it last. when i'm the last one to play w/it, it's obvious - the colors and sizes are all stacked exactly as they should be :)

and when i saw the cushion's display, a wave of sweet gratitude swept thru me and settled the gnawin w/in. then i looked around the room, and rather than seein a list of odds and ends that needed to be put away, i saw a dozen other snapshots of our lives... the blanket, singing lamb, green outfit, and baby books in the middle of the floor...cap, car magazine, sunflower seeds, and tennis monitor, pledge, journal, glass of water...

tonite, it's good. i'm glad that it's obvious that we live here. in high school, a good friend of mine and the family's (and also a frequent guest) said "your house isn't messy, it's just well lived in." :) kinda funny....kinda euphemism-ish...but also kinda endearing.

i'm so deeply thankful that there's a snapshot of our lives sittin on the couch...and that it's a snapshot of the squishable beauty that's overtaken us in the last 4 1/2 months.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011



my first mother's day was fabulous!

not really b/c any extraordinary happened on sunday, may 8, 2011.... oh, a few funny things happened. we went to church. riley was great...just spit up...a lot. we went thru 2 burp rags, a handful of paper towels (used to clean the splattered mess on the floor), and a bib. it was all over her pretty dress, down my arm, on josh's boot, and squished b/w the bottom of my foot and the sandal i was wearin. yep. sunday mornin spit up. she also burped loud enough to cause several people in the congregation to gasp, out loud. that's my girl! ... and then of course, i had to spend the majority of the day studyin...but our cute as pie little girl was just sweet as she could be and talkative and served mostly to distract me for hours on end :)

so nothin spectacular happened on mother's day....except that it was finally a day i could celebrate. i wasn't any of the things i was for so many mother's days before now...sad, longing, confused, frustrated, shadowy, tearful... nope. finally, i could celebrate...i could be glad and joyful from the top of my head to the tips of my toes - and i was!

typically, i'm not a good celebrator. christmas is's a confusing crossover holiday w/a mix of materialistic gift giving and 'reason for the season' jargon. i should note that i'm not opposed to either one. i don't have a problem w/gift giving as an expression of relationship. i love tryin to find gifts people will enjoy, appreciate, laugh at. and i love Jesus, and i'm very glad He was born.... but how or why the two realms have become so controversially intertwined is beyond me, and it makes for annual confusion and stress. also, i'm not an over-the-top birthday-er. one of the biggest fights josh and i got in while we were engaged was over his birthday...but that's another blog for another time :). i don't know why birthdays aren't a huge deal to me....maybe it's b/c i had a wonderful family who has always acknowledged it (even if the parties and cakes and presents were months late - it's a donnell thing). so maybe i'm just spoiled and take birthdays for granted. or maybe it's just b/c i've had a birthday since the beginning of my time. regardless, i'm admittedly not a good birthday-er.

but mother's day? now this is somethin i can celebrate! and it's liberating to be gratefully celebratory.

so it was wonderful. a sincere thanks to friends and family who sent texts, made phone calls, wrote emails, or left facebook messages for me. every one made me smile...and want to do a jig.

a couple other updates....

thanks for fb suggestions about nighttime diapers. we're currently tryin the next size up, and it seems to be doin the trick.

we received riley's new birth certificate in the mail and few days ago, and i went to the social security office in town to apply for a new number for her. after that's completed, we'll be about as officially finished w/the adoption process as you can be.

riley's neck is much better. the picture above (my favorite picture at the moment!) really shows how her little head was leanin....but we're workin w/her in lots of little ways throughout the day, and it's improving.

she's back to sleepin thru the nite. she's in her own room, and she's puttin herself to sleep at nite! woo-hoo!

school's least for a couple weeks. (hence the long blog this mornin.) i'm so excited, i don't know what i want to do a book? frame pictures? paint the swing???? oh - i know - take a nap!

well, i guess that's probably more than enough for now. if you haven't had a chance, read the most recent blog - josh wrote one and posted a few pictures and a video. cuteness!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day

Today is a big day in the McCrary household. It is Lens' first mother day. This is our girl on her first mothers day. She is without clothes because she spit up all over them at church today. Being married to lens, I never thought I would see her glow as much as I saw her today showing her little girl off and pronouncing that it is mothers day, as tho, I might forget. It could only have been better if she wouldn't have had to spend all evening studing for her final tomorrow.

Speaking of studing, my sister graduated from law school today!!! WOW. Mendi, I am really proud of you and am glad that Riley has an Aunt like you.

Well Im not one for many words, so I am going to try to upload a video, maybe it will work.