June 27, 2015

An Open Letter to My LGBTQ Friends

Dear LGBTQ friends,

There is not a flag over my profile picture. Please do not take this to mean I love you any less or wish to judge how you live your life. I have no right to do so, especially if you do not claim to be a Christian. How can I, or anyone else, ask you to live by the commands of someone you do not choose to follow?  I would be appalled to be required by the law of our land to follow Sharia Law when I do not follow the tenants of Islam. I do not have a flag on my picture because I believe that the government should have LESS say over personal and religious matters that don't harm anyone else (like marriage) as opposed to more. It’s not that I don’t want the government to legalize your marriage; it’s that I don’t want it to “legalize” mine.

I’m sorry that there is so much polarization and hate coming at you “in the name of Christianity”. I’m sorry that so many are screaming about gay marriage when they’re silent about premarital sex, divorce, infidelity, lust and other sexual sins clearly listed in the Bible that are rampant in the church today. I’m sorry that you have faced hate and discrimination while we conveniently ignore the sins in our own lives. I’m sorry this is not more common:

While I cannot morally encourage what I believe to be sinful, I believe in a God who sent a Savior for EVERY sinner, including me.  I believe in a loving, merciful and just God who created us with the free will to choose whether or not to worship Him through our choice to follow His commands. I pray that the people in your life who believe that there are consequences for choosing not to follow Him love you enough to push you towards Him, but ultimately, that choice is yours. I do not believe a government should try to take that free will away by legislating religion, so in that, I’m am glad for the equality you were given Friday – I just wish the government didn’t get to define or redefine marriage at all.

If you are someone who claims faith in Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection and also identifies as  LGBTQ, I pray that there are other Christians in your life who are close enough with you for you to invite into respectful and loving discussions of all the struggles, sins, joys, temptations, and heartaches in your life and that you can do the same for them.  I do believe that part of loving our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is to lovingly tell them hard truths – but so many miss the loving part.  I also pray that the Christians with whom are you are not that close, likely including me; simply treat you with the understanding that you are a child of God, made in His image and loved by Him unconditionally. 

I’m sorry for the image of Christianity that so many are portraying today. Please know that there are Christians who love you unconditionally, whether or not they agree with the SCOTUS ruling.

June 8, 2015

Lily is ONE!!

Big Events: 
  • 5/7 - 11 Months old!
  • 5/9 - Went to Johnston for Mother's Day
  • 5/13 - Tooth #4
  • 5/16 - Went to Johnston to see Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Todd
  • 5/17 - Pictures with Katharyne
  • 5/20-22 - Girls' time with Mom while Dad was in Missouri
  • 5/30 - Urbandale for 2nd cousin Peter's grad party
  • 5/31-6/3 - Baby B stayed with us. Grandma Bev visited on Tuesday and we took lots of walks.
  • 6/5 - Walked the Main Street Art Fest before staying with Nic and Kassia so Mom and Dad could go on a date
  • 6/6 - Mom went to Mount Vernon for a wedding
  • 6/7 - Had my birthday party because I am 1 Year Old! 

Typical Daily Schedule
Wake up around 8:30, breakfast bottle, play time, lunch,  nap from 11:30-3:00, bottle, play time (usually a walk when Dad gets home), dinner and bedtime routine (bath, pjs, bottle, bed) starting at 6:30, usually asleep by 8.

Things I Love:

  • My walker and stuffed puppy (DOG)
  • Going for walks in the Ergo or the stroller
  • Swings!
  • Raspberries, mashed potatoes and chicken

This Month's Milestones:
  • Climbing the stairs 
  • Another tooth
  • Can get off the couch (relatively safely) by myself 
  • Gives hugs and kisses when Mom asks 
  • I turned ONE!! 

Highlights of the Month:

  • I moved up to my 9 month clothes this month! The pants are pretty long, but luckily it's summer, so I can just wear shorts most of the time
  • When Mom bought the fruit for my birthday party, I reached in to the bag on the walk home and grabbed the raspberry container and shook them at Mom "asking" to eat them the whole way home. 
  • I could not be more excited than when Dad gets home for the day. As soon as I hear the door I crawl to the kitchen to see him come in. I also really don't like it when he leaves after lunch if I'm awake. 
  • I'm a better listener, but still very stubborn. I am getting better about not pulling on things I'm not supposed to touch. 
  • I love getting to spend so much time outside and at the park, especially the swings. Mom and Dad got me my own swing for the front porch for my birthday. 
  • I am strong enough to walk and stand up by myself, but I'm too chicken. I will let go of the activity table to show Mom and Dad my toys, but if you try to stand me up without something to hold on to I will sit down immediately. 
  • I have discovered the kitchen cabinets and the dishwasher - time for the safety locks!
  • I had a Pink Lemonade themed party on my birthday

This and next 5 photos by Katharyne Dunn Photography

Lily's Pink Lemonade 1st Birthday Party

Miss Lillian is ONE! 

I can't believe it. Where did my little baby go?

We celebrated yesterday (on her birthday) with a Pink Lemonade themed party. I can't claim any creativity except for the invitations. Everything else was inspired by different posts on Pinterest. I do love the process of putting together parties, especially the crafting - invitations, decor, baby outfits (tutu and crown); but food and activities can be fun too!
Painting that usually hangs in our kitchen by Keri @ Creative Genius Art
Favorite photos from Lily's first year displayed as a (decent) #1 shape 
Monthly photo shoot pictures displayed on the window behind the food table
Lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting, plus pink and yellow wafer cookies and fruit
Chalkboard wall behind the drink station
Drink station - regular and pink lemonade and lemon infused water
Lily lemons and a print from the smash cake part of her photo session
Birthday Outfit - Onesie from Grandpa Bob and a DIY tutu
Lily's (giant) crown with interchangeable felt numbers - hopefully we'll get a picture in it each  year
Our activities - ball pit (and later pool when it got too hot) and badminton
Cousin Ben pushing Lily in her new swing
Photo by Katharyne Dunn Photography