Saturday, July 28, 2012

Menu Plan Mond- no wait- Saturday!

Thats right, I am actually posting a Menu Plan this week (but on the wrong day... oh well)! Watch out world! Haha! My son is a year old and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have meal planned since he was born! Whew. Anyhow, no time like the present to get back to it, right?

This week we are having:

  • Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups (thank you pinterest- hope these are yummy! I am making them tonight, so Ill keep you posted)
  • Tacos
  • Grilled Pork Chops & Grilled Veggies (we usually do mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini all cut up and cooked in a basket on the girl with some italian dressing and creole seasoning)
  • Roast in the Crockpot 
  • Salad topped with grilled chicken
What are you eating??? 


Mr.Pate's Cousin's daughter, who was almost three, died tragically this week. She was at a neighborhood party and slipped outside without anyone noticing and drowned in their pool. There are never words to say or describe the wrongness of a child dying. Please pray for the family (Corey the dad, Lisa the Grandma, NE the grandfather and Jessie the mom).

Of course when faced with these things, my response is to thank my Lord for whatever time I have with my loved ones and savor the time all the more. So here are a few things I am thankful for this morning-

::: time playing with a happy boy on a swingset
::: the joy on my boys face when he signs "all done" correctly and he sees me smile
::: this fun stage with Griffin, yesterday we went to sams club and let him walk around some instead of staying in the cart. You would have thought we gave him a million dollars! Ha! He was sure to stop and wave at each person that passed him too. He was sooo dang cute. It's the simple times that bring me the most joy.
::: the fact that my son sleeps through the night more times than not now
::: we went to Nashville shores Thursday. Griffin thought it was a total blast! He loved walking into the spraying water things.
::: he is saying Mama more and more, finally!!!!!!
::: I am also thankful for great coworkers. I have said goodbye to several of our student workers and Graduate Assistants this summer, but I am thrilled for the new things they have going on! I really do have an awesome job.
::: I am thankful for long phone conversations with dear friends. Much overdue.
::: I am still overwhelmed and thankful for all the people that came to griffins party last week. So blessed.

Truly I am so blessed. Lord help me to praise you in the good and bad, knowing you remain good and faithful through it all!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Griffin's First Year in Video

If you haven't noticed, I take a lot of pictures and videos of my child! Haha! So a week or two ago, I decided I really wanted to compile all of the videos from this first year into one cute movie. Thanks to iMovie (pretty easy to use, fyi), I got this project done pretty quickly. It is 25 minutes long, so most of you probably wont be watching the whole thing, but I wanted to post it for family and friends that are far away and may enjoy it. It starts with a video from the NICU last year and ends with a clip from his birthday last Wednesday. Wow. My kid is ONE!

Oh and if you dont want to watch the whole thing, I highly recommend you just skip around it a little. And especially go towards the end and look for some stellar dance moves by griff! haha!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Take me out to the ball game

Tonight we headed out to a Hot Rods baseball game (our minor league baseball team). It was "Health and Fitness night" so my department had a table setup to promote our programs.

It was Griffins first game! I, of course, had in my mind that we would have a blast and play in the grass and cheer and just make picture perfect memories. Reality: it was HOT and HUMID... And then suddenly a crazy storm hit and poor Mr. Pate had to run and get our car in it! While Griffin and I waited, I held tightly to a gate bc the wind was getting crazy and I started to really worry that a tornado might come thru. We made it home safely, to a powerless house! Mr. Pate quickly found every candle we own and had the house nicely lit up in no time. So we put the little one down and so far so good.

So not quite the memories I was hoping for, but a memorable might nonetheless!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1st Birthday Fun!

Today, Mr.Pate and I took off to celebrate Griffin's bday as the 3 of us (we are having his party on Sunday). Yay for family time!

We started the day with cinnamon rolls for breakfast! Griffin was definitely a fan. Then my sister, Livvi and Aynsley came up to see the birthday boy for a little bit. They wore little man out, so he took a 2 & 1/2 hour nap!! Haha! When he finally got up, we headed to Kyoto's to grab some lunch and then went to a new playplace in town. They have a bunch of inflatables (bounce houses etc). So we played around for a few hours and had a great time. Then we headed to church for dinner and youth group, as always.

It was a great and chill day. I am so thankful for quality time with my boys.

A trip down memory lane...

Tonight, I took a trip down memory lane. I went back and read many of my blog posts from the last year, just to try and really take in this past year. I want so badly to stop and savor this phase of my life and not forget a second of it, but it is flying by so fast that its a really hard thing to accomplish! So here are a few highlight posts from the first few months, just in case you want to journey down memory lane with me:

I could just keep going and going... I pretty much re-read the entire last year. It was a good reminder of the Lord's Goodness and Faithfulness. I have been so blessed with my husband and kid, but also with amazing family, church family and friends who have been my rock this past year. Thank you to all of you who encouraged, supported and pushed me thru this past year of transition!! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Day Before ONE

::: My kid turns one tomorrow. Wow. It has been one fast year, and yet that day feels like forever ago.
::: I plan on reading over Griffins birth story tonight, so I am imagining that will be emotional. I'll let you know :-)
::: I am working on compiling all the videos I have taken of griffin this year (if you are my facebook friend then you know there are quite a few! Haha) into one. Wow it's amazing how quickly you really can forget what they were like as a tiny thing. Seeing him as a toddler everyday just totally makes me forget the early days. I feel blessed that the Lord choose this time period for me to live, where I have the luxury of video to remind me, and that he has blessed me with the resources to have things like video. The things I take for granted, geez.
::: We tried Quinoa last night for the first time. The only kind I could find at wallyworld was a roasted garlic pack. It was a strong flavor and interesting texture, but I liked it. More surprising? Griffin really liked it as well. This kid seems to like strong flavor so far, yay!!
::: Confession- when I see the word "quinoa" I pronounce it like the Greek word for fellowship "koinonia". Look them up on YouTube- they sound nothing alike. It annoys Mr. Pate. I blame it on Tommy Johnson and my tenure at the BCM... Haha

::: Anyone got some good recipes that include quinoa?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shutterfly's Long Live Summer Photo Contest

Shutterfly's Long Live Summer Photo Contest just launched on Facebook last week. What's that you ask? Its a way to win cool prizes for your family photos!! You get a free gift just for entering!! Score. 

Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.


•       Week 1(7/9): Americana

•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Relationship wisdom from unlikely place...

Teen Mom...

"When we fight we are always trying to win, but in a relationship individuals don't win. The relationship is the only one that can win or lose."

Who says nothing good comes from watching Teen Mom while stuffing diapers?

On another note- I think Farrah is a complete and utter jerk to her parents every second. So annoying. Amber and Gary are pretty nuts and I just feel bad for them. Maci is ok I suppose. And I adore Kaitlyn and Tyler. That is all...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Silly fun

This morning, Griffin thought it would be fun to hangout in his stuffed animal basket for awhile. It was too cute! He laid in it, covered himself up with toys, climbed in it, reclined in it, and then he had a talk with his stuffed puppy in it. What a silly boy!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My first pinterest toy

I am trying to actually go back to my pinterest boards and take action on some of these ideas I spend so much time pinning! My first attempt was super simple and a total hit with Griffin. To make, take a puffs container and cut a slit in the top.  Then just get either large buttons, tokens or something similar and teach your little one to drop them in the slit. This works on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Easy and quick.

Monday, July 9, 2012

joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart

I have written this blog post over and over in my head this year. I have not written very many "intraspective" posts this last year, and with good reason. It has been a hard year. A really really hard year. One where I am pretty sure I struggled a short bout with depression. There I said it, to someone other than Mr.Pate.

This year has been soooo filled with blessings and joy in many ways. I love my son with every fiber in my being. It truly is a love you cannot explain. Watching him grow and change and discover the world around him is beautiful and funny and crazy. I would not change having him here for a second.

But it has also been a year filled with struggles. Inner thought struggles. Not feeling like myself. Not being able to figure out how to balance being me and being mom and being wife and yada yada yada. I have felt like a fish out of water most of the time. Just disconnected.

And it was strange, because its not like I walked around everyday feeling miserable. I haven't even been really aware of it most of the time, its more like a subconscious kind of struggle. But I ran across this explanation recently and felt like it explained much of my struggle this past year:
I lived for years seeking happiness but was without joy. I kept thinking if I could get this or that or change this or get rid of that then I would be happy. I realized, by the grace of God, that chasing happiness was lesson in futility. Happiness seemed to be based on life's circumstances while joy was based more on the heart. (Rachel from finding joy)
I have lived everyday this past year thinking "if I could just not work, then we wouldn't be stressed" or "if I could just get this organized I wouldn't feel so busy" or "if I just buy this life would be easier"... if... if...if....

The truth of the matter is life is chaotic. It doesnt look like a beautiful picture off of pinterest. Houses are lived in and messy. Schedules are hard to juggle and hurried. Sleep is often hard to come by. There are never enough hours in the day or days in the week. This is the truth for the working mom, the stay at home mom, and the wish I was a mom. We always want more, because we are always looking for more in the wrong places.

Only the Lord gives us more. He alone is enough. Not that He is just enough, but He is the only thing that IS enough. Life's circumstances often suck. We live in a fallen world and there is usually more bad than good. It will be that way until we are free of this place and in our new heaven and new earth. A place where "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (rev 21:4). So I have to learn to seek Joy... a fruit of the Spirit... which means I have got to pursue the Lord! 

My biggest problem this past year has not been juggling work and a baby or learning how to live on less sleep... it's that I have been relying woefully on myself and not prioritizing time with the Lord. (The very thing I preach to my youth every freakin week!). 

this past week I have been in the Word more than  I have in a long time. And its amazing how much more alive I feel! (Well emotionally that is- I actually have a head cold attacking me physically! haha). 

its time to pursue joy. join me wont you?


Friday, July 6, 2012

11 Months Old!

My little baby is already Eleven Months!! Ahhh!! I wanted to get something written now, even though I am two weeks or more late! Griffin is such a blast these days, this is of course a fun stage (I say that about all of them! Haha).

--- He weighed 19lbs 3 oz a week ago.
--- He is wearing 12 month clothing and size 3 shoes.
--- This month we weaned. So he only nurses once a day, first thing in the morning. I love that time! I loved breastfeeding so much, it has been a great journey for us. But I am glad to be free from the pump, and not be bit anymore!! Griffin now takes four bottles of formula a day (formula smells so horrid!).
--- He is eating almost 100% table food, except for Oatmeal & yogurt (still table food I guess but I have to feed him). He loves food. Pretty much everything we give him. The only things we have found he doesn't like so far are watermelon and tomato sauce (yet he loves pizza?). His favorites this month were carrots (man he loves carrots!) and chicken. He even liked teriyaki, BBQ sauce, fish, onion dressing, and taco meat!
--- He is drinking water from a straw mostly now during each meal and throughout the day.
--- He is a walking machine. He learned to stand himself up at the beginning of this past month and now he just takes off! He is into everything and hard to keep up with for sure.
--- He can go up and down the step (just one) in our house great. He can also get himself down off the couch or bed.
--- He finally has said mama a few times, but still not many and not regularly! He can say "hi" and wave. And he kinda says "yeah" sometimes. Other than that it is all babble- but lots of it!!
--- He has his two front teeth now. They are big and have a big ol
Gap between them! Poor kid, both of his parents had the same thing. I am hoping his permanents aren't that way.... I may need to save for braces now :-)
--- He has gotten into actually sitting down and being read to this month.
--- He can "throw" a ball when told to... It's kinda like dropping it but on purpose and towards one of us! Haha
--- He can follow directions pretty well now. Examples: bring that to mama, come here, throw the ball, get the ball, etc.
--- He is sleeping much better!!! And actually sleeping thru the night. I think weaning helped a ton (wasn't trying to get mommy to come in to nurse), and we started using a blanket which he snuggles with.
--- He now will put things that look like phones (remotes etc) up to his ear and say hi. Too cute!
--- He now signs "more", "all done", "ball", "hat", and "eat".

He is just super fun to play with now. He "talks" to you and gets so excited and actually interacts with his toys. It's a little kid! Crazy! I can't believe he will be one in two weeks!! Time is just flying by. And I am loving every second of it!!!

- Mrs.Pate via my iPhone

What a big kid

Griffin is now:
--- taking his naps on a cot at daycare instead of in a crib
--- eating at a table at daycare instead of in a highchair
--- waving and saying "hi" at the same time!
--- drinking mostly out of a cup with a straw

Would someone tell me where my baby went?!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Am I the only one?

I often wonder if I am the only person who just feels totally overwhelmed with balancing motherhood and life...

"True freedom is freedom to be my true self, as God made me and meant me to be. But God made me for loving, and loving is giving, self-giving. Therefore to be myself, I have to deny myself, and give myself in love for God and others. In order to be free, I have to serve. In order to live, I have to die to my own self-centered ness. In order to find myself, I have to lose myself in loving." John Stott

Its hard to find a balance between losing yourself to love and still being your own person.... 

Cloth Diapering: Info for a newbie!

So I have been meaning to do a cloth diapering update again and just never find the time to blog with a MOBILE very active almost 1 year old!! Anyhow, I am going to just copy and paste my go to info on cloth diapering that I usually send momma's who are considering going cloth. It is kinda a jumbled mess, but now it will be a jumbled mess in one place! If you have any questions about cloth let me know!

Ok here is the rundown on what I have and what I recommend:
- I have 2 kissaluvs pail liners that I bought on kellyscloset bc they were the cheapest. I would just buy whatever is the cheapest pail liner you can get, and get two so you have one while you wash the other. I just use a regular pop top lid kitchen trashcan with the pail liner. I have several friends that just use a large hanging wetbag though.
- I have 5 wetbags (you don't need that many!). 4 are the medium size and 1 is the large size (for when we travel). I have 2 planet wise ones, which are nice. And I have two Alva, which are not quite as big as the planet wise, but I like them anyhow. And they were much cheaper! More on that in a minute.
- I do not have any fuzzibunz personally, but many of my friends have them and love them.
- here are the diapers I have:
**bum genius 4.0
**kawaii: originals, ultrasofts, goodnightheavywetters, pure & naturals, fun print, round tab, minky, and bamboo
** sunbabys
** alvas
** go greens
** prefolds & some bummis fitteds
- I only have two Velcro diapers. We decided to go with snaps bc we heard they last longer and hold up better. but I know a friend who has used her bum genius Velcro (called aplix now) on two kids and they are going strong. I think Velcro would be much easier for daycare. It took my daycare several weeks to get the fit right with the snaps.
- which would I recommend?:

It's hard to say bc everyone cloth diapers differently. I have some friends that had one kind of diaper and that's it. They had the simplicity of everything being the exact same. Then there are others like me that have lots of different ones and like different things about each. Neither way is wrong, you just need to decide what works best for your personality.

After I bought some bumgenius, I found out about kawaii. They are much cheaper. Later one I found out about sunbabys and alvas. They are chinese businesses, so their diapers are so cheap. Our bumgenius are the best quality we have. But the others are still good quality, so it's hard to justify the price difference (bg are $18ish, kawaii are $7ish, sunbabys & alvas are $5ish). If I had it to do over again, I would probably just get the cheaper ones. The bumgenius and fuzzibunz are super nice and great quality, so you won't go wrong with them.

- I also use my prefolds and covers more often now when I am home and love them!! If I was a stay at home mom, I would prob just stick with those bc they are cheaper and easy! No stuffing involved! But they are not as easy for daycare. 

-I highly recommend bamboo inserts. They absorb more and are much thinner than microfiber. They also are not prone to build up.Really make a difference once you are having to stuff your diapers with two inserts!
-They are more expensive so I recommend getting them thru a coop (see below).

Some websites to checkout:

  • (if you are going to buy bumgenius, fuzzibunz tc it is the best place bc they run specials all the time and you earn points for every purchase too)

  • another super helpful blog that has lots of videos that actually show you how stuff works
  • this is the kawaii diapers page. If you decide to buy those they are way cheaper on their site vs on kellyscloset.
**A big place I am buying my diapers now (well did at the end of completing my stash) is thru coops on Facebook. These are groups that put in really large orders so they get major discounts. For instance, the alvas I got are only $3 thru the coop. And they sell wetbags for $3! I would recommend one called "Sarah's Coop". They have bamboo inserts for only $1.20'a piece, which is cheap! Bamboo is super absorbent and soo much less bulky than the microfiber. I am using it to double stuff my diapers so they aren't so big.

Diaper Sprayer/Liners:
-I highly recommend getting a diaper sprayer. It rocks!
-If not, then I would get disposable liners. They are just laid flat on the diaper and will be in between the baby and diaper. They "catch" the poo and then you can just flush them. Makes clean up a breeze.

Washing Routine:
- I use Tide Original Powder.
- My wash routine is: 1 cold rinse no detergent, 1 hot wash with detergent (i fill the scoop up 3/4 when washing around 24 diapers), 2 cold rinses no detergent, dry inserts in dryer, hang pockets to air dry
- Recommend getting the collapse-able drying rack from walmart. I have a clothesline outside, but since I am a working mom I wash my diapers at night.