anyway, micah is almost 2.5 and he's amazing. he's definitely not the kid i imagined having when i was pregnant with him. he's not cuddly and i totally am. he doesn't like to read anything except Goodnight Moon, and i love so many different kids books (ive had a library of kids books in the garage since college). he loves to be outside, and i love to be inside. he's a total extrovert and needs to be around other people while i am totally content to be home alone for days on end. sigh.
i don't know what made me think that i wanted or needed a carbon copy of myself, but i did. now, i can't imagine my life any other way. i love that God gave me this little person who challenges me and pushes me outside of my comfort zone. just by being his awesome self, i am pushed and stretched in good and really healthy ways.
at nearly 2.5, micah is still a ball of energy. he is confident, and outgoing. he loves people and talks about everyone we know ALL THE TIME. oh, the talking. it's so good. i love knowing what he is thinking and helping him verbalize emotions. the whole talking thing is SO helpful. he loves to sing and dance, and he finally likes church! well, he's always liked church, he just now likes his classroom :)
my favorite thing about this age is how much his tender side comes through. he's a rough and tumble boy who has such a sweet heart. my prayer is that we can help him know how special that is and how he can use that to help and encourage others. just the other day, i was upset about something and i started crying. i was sitting on the couch and he was playing pretty close to me. when he noticed that i was crying, he said, "mama cwying...mama need nie nies (blankies)." he then went to his room and brought me all of his nie nies. way to get to my heart kid. in that moment, he saw that i was sad and tried to comfort me with what brings him comfort. just kill me, it's too good!
so that's a glimpse into our life right now. there is so much good, i am overflowing with joy. it's a great place to be and a great thing to document for once ;)
a day in the life of micah from Alexander T. Pavone on Vimeo.
|picnic dinner in newport|
|micah being one of the IG guys :)|
|playdate at the park with his cousins|
|the fair with gongi and papa|
|another beach day with daddy|
|another instagram beach day with daddy|
|chomping on some watermelon in the backyard|
|akex and his buddy Tim from MN...yes, they met through instagram!|
|micah and his sweet friend kenzie on the top of mt. roubidoux|
|s'mores by the fire at hume lake|
Last week was VBS. To say it was wonderful would be an understatement. We had 39 sites across orange county. Five other churches were involved either by hosting their own sites, or coming alongside one of ours. The stories coming out of last week's VBS are God sized and we are SO thankful. So that's how I spent my mornings and early afternoons...traveling from site to site collecting stories and encouraging leaders. I get to have somewhat of a bird's eye view and I love that.
VBS came off of one weekend and led straight into another so to say I was tired by the end of each day would also be an understatement. This kind of decentralized VBS leaves you a whole different kind of tired. It's hard to explain, but it's an all encompassing kind of tired. I was thankful that my parents were able to be with Micah each day and he was down for a nap each day when I got home :)
Alex had his own kind of awesome happen last week also! A group of guys called the Pilgramers came through town and were here for a couple of days. We were thankful to get the chance to meet them, and I am not exaggerating when I say that they were some of the most down to earth, humble, fun people to be around (for more info about who they are and what they do, click here). One of the guys, Tim, decided his travel time was up, and he was going to cut his trip short to head back to his family a week early. He ended up getting a flight out Sunday evening which meant that we were able to meet up with him and some new friends a few times before he left.
The people we met are all people that Alex knows from Instagram. It was crazy. So many new friends, and a community that is strong, Jesus loving, and super creative. I love it! I may or may not have mocked alex about Instagram in the past, but believe me when I say that won't be happening anymore. Online friends have become real life friends. Our families are connecting, and most importantly, my hubby is finding a place where he feels like he belongs and has so much to offer and learn all at the same time.
With all that good last week, we entered this week tired, but full. Life is good.
he's definitely two. there are tantrums, and the yelling and hitting are super fun too. in the midst though, there are more laughs than screams, and more good times than time out times.
at two, there is nothing this kid loves more than driving. he would sit in the front seat of anybody's car pretending to drive rather than anything else...and yes, we have put that to the test...he chooses to stay in the car instead of going to the park! go figure...
He also can identify everyone's cars...mama, daddy, du-du (my brother rudy), bebe, nonni, papa, yaya, matt, stacy, and D (our friend doug)....it's kind of crazy to watch him do it...it doesn't even have to be the correct model, just the logo matching is enough for him.
at two, he has an incredible eye for detail. he knows when something isn't as it should be, and he even notices when i change a decoration...if i add something new, he says, "mama, wooooow!" it melts my heart. he notices when i change the color of nail polish i'm wearing or if my shoes are different from earlier in the day. it's fun to see how observant he is.
micah is crazy in love with his daddy. they are pals, and alex includes him in almost everything he does. it's a joy for me to watch my two guys together.
He's talking up a storm, and i'm a pretty good translator :) he's also huge...he's super long and skinny. i'm interested in his stats at his two year old appointment...oh yeah, i should probably make him a two year old appointment!
you are my little love, and i do love you something fierce. you make your mama and daddy so happy every single day. i love watching you climb and figure out new things. you are getting so big, yet you still love to "rock rock" with us before bed. you are adventurous and fun loving and it is my prayer that those characteristics would be used to put Jesus on display to our world. You make friends wherever you go, and the people who get to know you absolutely love you. we loved celebrating you with some of your favorite people in the world! happy day day little man! we LOVE you.
the second video is a recap of the whole OC easter event. recap
i am unbelievably proud to be on this staff, and a part of this church. i am continually humbled by the fact that God chose me for this role at this time.
God has been working in me in some huge ways and i am excited to see what this next chapter hold for me.
it was amazing to be at both this year. double the conversations. double the awesome.
i guess the thing that sticks out the most every time we're talking Tru and spiritual parenting is the fact that we are not alone. there is a tribe. my tribe. my people who speak the same language and dream the same dreams.
we are hilarious. hil. ar. i. ous. seriously i can't tell you how many times i laughed so hard i cried. this picture only has a few of the many. there are so many more...many who will be coming to RH in May. i cannot wait. so much awesome in one place.
it was also amazing to meet new people with questions and stories and more questions. we were laughing at how a few years ago some of these things that we now speak freely about...spiritual formation for kids, worship as response, 10 environments, etc...were once SO hard to wrap our minds around, but now...now, we live it and breath it and share it well.
here's the thing...this curriculum, and this philosophy hasn't only changed our kids and parents. it's changed us in some profound ways. i am a different person than when we started this journey years ago. it's affected my volunteers and their friends and families. the reach is far and honestly, overwhelming sometimes.
so as i returned home and started missing my tribe like i always do...i started looking forward to the gathering in May, when we'll all be together and can share more stories of what God is doing! and laugh, of course we will laugh!
he's still napping and sleeping great. eats any non-kid food...the kiddy stuff doesn't exactly do it for him. he loves to be outside and has been asking to go on walks a lot. he's FINALLY interested in books which makes this mama's heart happy.
It was so fun to see 4 years of dreams come to fruition! and the best part was that i didn't do it. not because i didn't want to...it actually made me sick a little that i didn't think to go in and help at all. i don't like missing out on process, especially in my spaces. (note to self: when we redo the Playhouse in 10 years, make sure to help out) anyway, it was amazing to feel supported by a team that is not my own...not only because stuff got done, but because i have a lot of new friends. sometimes being in a big church can make it tough to be connected...i don't usually feel that because i know my volunteers, and families and kids and the staff, but outside of that i don't usually meet new people. now, i not only met new people, but have new friends. new faces to look out for in the crowd...people that sacrificed their time to work on something near and dear to my heart, and for THAT i am incredibly thankful.
My Saturday started early. 8am. Child Dedications at Central are an event all their own. We host a brunch as families are surrounded by their faith community praying blessings over their little ones. There is a short message, but the real heart of the morning is to be praying for those little ones and their mamas and daddies. This was my second dedication in my new role, and for some reason, it was much more powerful for me than the first. The parents were so real and vulnerable as they shared about their kids and the reasons why they wanted to dedicate their kids. The prayers moved me to tears almost immediately as one dad was literally praying the exact thing I had prayed for the night before. Family, Friends and Life Groups surrounded all these little people and covered their lives in prayers to the Lord. Wow. what a service....and then we did it again a couple of hours later! And, the second service didn't disappoint!
Sunday morning, we had a special guest visiting us from David C Cook. Of course we wanted to morning to go smooth, but we had no idea what we were in store for. Tommy wrote an email trying to explain the awesome, and i'm just going to quote him
I just wanted to take a minute to highlight an amazing weekend at RH. We have great weekends and then we have unexplainably great weekends and that's what just took place.I just had to share...telling stories is so important, and this week marked something big for our ministries...can't wait for next weekend!
Stories started pouring in from all age groups pretty quickly into each service and I honestly felt/feel so encouraged and moved by what the Holy Spirit was doing in the lives of our RH kids/students that I felt it necessary to share.
Initially, I started hearing stories out of small group time in Preschool. How one little 4 year old shared how she loves "feeling the heartbeat inside her that God created" - as if to say it's how she feels close to him! Then, stories started pouring out of Elementary: one was from a volunteer who leads the 5th grade classroom. She shared how these 5th graders began sharing and suddenly the whole direction shifted by one side comment one of the kids made: "I bet that would be a lot harder for kids who lived in another country...like, say, India" From there, the kids (without the prompting from a leader) decided to stop their conversation and immediately pray for kids in India.
At the 11am, I headed over to Middle School and saw 60 kids on their feet worshiping in a way that I haven't seen in a while and being bold enough to leave their seats and head to the back of the room to be prayed over by peers and leaders. Again, something that in our own strength as staff/leaders is just impossible - to even attempt to force something like that would be a massive failure on our part but to see it happen so naturally can only be explained by the Spirit moving in new ways for our youth.
Lastly, I spent the last half of the service in High School and came in as Connor was heading into leading response. It was just Connor w/his keyboard and a background singer. That's it. Nothing else. No other band support. And again, something incredible happened. Kids and leaders began worshipping in ways that have been absent from that ministry for a while and I found myself starting to get choked up by what I was witnessing. Bachman had set the table for Connor in giving a message (in a nutshell) that focused on bad things happening to good people and there was Ben Robinson - standing to his feet with his arm around one of his leaders - praising God in the middle of "his bad." And a kid that just 2 years ago was so broken and "thrown away" - standing in the back, arms extended, singing at the top of his lungs. It was honestly a beautiful scene.
In these moments I am overwhelmed by what God is doing at RH. I think that I was just struck this weekend with an obvious reality that God is leading this church and that when we simply set the table, the Holy Spirit moves and changes people even at the youngest of ages.
after that little snafu, the morning was awesome. a fun (and crazy) time opening gifts and just being together. the afternoon was mellow...and the drive wasn't too bad. after an eventful evening and morning, being alone in a car for 3 hours singing worshipful christmas songs was actually wonderful! no complaining here...okay a little complaining...so much traffic on the way to OC!
we had a lovely dinner together, and my christmas ended with me staying in our room with micah and falling asleep with him. the kid does not like to sleep anywhere but his crib, and it took a lot of work to get him to sleep at night. for some reason, daytime is easier with him. i think the rest of the adults watched a movie. i fell asleep nice and early snuggling my little man...not bad ;)
we hope you had a wondeful christmas filled with love and joy!
update :: i removed the video because it kept starting on it's own...to see it, go here.
what i also love, is being with my family. it's one of the few times a year that we are all together. all of my siblings. all of my neices and nephews. my parents. everyone together. it's always SUCH a fun night filled with laughter, food, and of course presents! we just did personalized gifts for the kids, rudy (because he doesn't have kids), and my parents. we did a white elephant gift exchange for everyone else. the night has a lot of excitement...and not just for the kids ;) i just love it! and to be honest....it's really nice that there are older cousins to help with the micah ;)
update :: i had to remove the video because it kept playing automatically. to see the christmas eve recap, go here.
fastforward to 3 days before Christmas...we still didn't have the hardware to add to the toolbench, and i REALLY wanted this to be micah's first "ohmygoshiloveit" Christmas present, so we hired a babysitter, finished the shopping, and alex built the final product. it's incredible! micah was SO excited to play with it Christmas morning and every day since!
when we were shopping for the hardware, i told alex that i felt like we were speaking micah's love language ;) it's cheesy. he's only 1.5. i know these things, but this gift held so much anticipation for me, and to see him love it as much or more than i had hoped it such a gift! so, that was micah's first "big" present!
making a g bread house is a lot work with a toddler, a photo by alexanderpavone on Flickr.
On Christmas eve eve, I had a total mommy meltdown. Micah had gotten an ear infection and started antibiotics the week before Christmas. The week before that, I was sick. A total bummer for all of our festive plans...I had a lot that I wanted to do with Micah, but it all got brushed aside due to illness. I just felt so sad that we weren't doing anything but laying around. Alex was awesome and suggested that we make our gingerbread house and take Micah to see the lights right down the street. It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas eve eve!
We may not have done all that I wanted to, but i felt so much better getting in a couple of christmasy activities!