Front Porch View

When Austin and I were dating, he told me that he always dreamed of having toys scattered all over the front yard in the future. At the time we knew we were not ready for kids yet but it was great to know that he wanted something I wanted. Fast forward six years later and that dream has come true. The other day he pulled me aside to simply gaze out the front window and admire the scattered toys and relish in this season. Although parenting has been the most challenging (while at the same time rewarding) phase in my life so far, I am so thankful for our boys and the evidence of them through greasy fingerprints on the walls, food smashed on to couch cushions and toys on my front porch. 

 

Update Time

It has been a bit since I have scribbled down my thoughts but it’s not because I haven’t had any thoughts. No, it’s because pregnancy can completely change your motivation and drive to get things done and ability to do things you normally love to do. However, I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. I have actually been trying to limit myself from technology as much as I can, and really intentionally live in the moment. I have loved doing this so far and plan on continuing.

So for now I will give some snap shots into the life of the Baum Family.

San Diego: We headed West for beautiful San Diego for the first ever FamJam. It was a super awesome time hanging out with our friends on the beautiful beach and enjoying great company outside of our normal parameters. Can’t wait for next year!

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House: We finally did it! We bought our house! Hooray! After our initial offer in June of 2012, lots of craziness, the ability to rent the house with the option to purchase, we have finally signed the papers. We could not be more thankful! Come on over anytime! We love having people and want to share the blessing of this house with everyone!

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Baby Awesome: As you may know, Baby Baum #2 is on the way. We could not be more excited! Although the first trimester was rough we made it through and I am feeling back to normal. Austin had a dream a few months before we got pregnant that I named the baby without him, and the baby’s name was, “Awesome Hawkins Baum.” He is convinced now that it was a dream from God and that we MUST name the baby this, boy or girl. Ha. Either way the baby is due Christmas Eve. Such a busy time in life but such a beautiful way to really remember the birth of Christ and be able to resonate with it personally. Life is such a gift.

James: He continues to be a joy. He is a sponge these days and it is so fun watching him learn new things. He loves turtles and the way he says turtle is the cutest thing. My parents have a turtle so he gets to see and touch a real one pretty much everyday. Austin showed James how to hit a ball with a bat and James now goes around the house hitting a ball with a plastic bowling pin, stick, or any thing else you can use to hit a ball with. He is good at improvising materials. I see a tee in our future. He loves to kick a soccer ball around. He loves to race and if you say, ‘on your marks get set go,’ he bends over a bit in a ready position. He is getting faster everyday. He has gotten way into music lately. Although he likes listening to it, he much prefers watching it live or playing it. He now rotates between the guitar, piano and dJembe at our house. We better start some lessons soon : ) He is still Mr. Social and will say hi and interact with just about everyone. He loves to be around other kids. He hugs them and even kisses the girls in the nursery. Trouble! He loves being outside and playing in the water. He loves to play with keys, particularly single keys so he can pretend to unlock things. He is talking up a storm and communicates well which is so nice for us parents. He has started some serious gibberish which I’m sure makes complete sense to him but we don’t understand any of it. He takes after his father and loves fixing things. He has now figured out how to put a screw into a screw hole and use a screw driver to rotate it. It is pretty fun to watch him learn and process things.

Finances: I am attempting to learn some basic accounting so that I can do our business books and keep our personal finances in line and not have to pay someone else to do it. Ha. Never thought I would be the one to do this but I have been praying for motivation to do this and the Lord has answered. I feel like I have taken Accounting 101 from the amount of learning and research I have been doing. Some days I think I would rather run a few marathons in a row while 9 months pregnant, but I know it will pay off in the long run. Any hot tips from others are appreciated!

Mommyhood: I have been truly enjoying mommyhood and really do want to write more on the subject, (I know me and all the other million mommies out there.) However, I hope to do that in the near future, but I am pregnant and not making any promises or commitments right now.

Feeling Full: Mostly I am thankful for the Love of Jesus which has sustained me through the good and the challenges. He is so good and has blessed me with way more than I deserve. Life is so full right now and I am trying to take it one minute at a time and savor it all.

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Life in the Fast Lane

Life has been so busy lately. Too busy if you ask me. Here is a picture of why…

We put our old house on the market.
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My parents moved in for a few weeks while they were in between houses. We sure appreciated the extra entertainment for James in the house.
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James and Charlie have become best friends. Charlie mostly because he is fed practically all day by James.
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James is all about playing all day long. He is one energizer bunny, but so much fun!
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We held the third annual Kentucky Derby Party and Goldfish Races. Success!
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The winning team!
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We attended the annual Cinco De Mayo party in our neighborhood. Complete with a HUGE inflatable water slide, pinatas, and grandpa giving James cookies.
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Mom and Dad moved out. We helped as much as we could but my great Uncle Frank, who is 80, gets most of the credit!
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James is climbing more and more. Austin’s mom informed me Austin was a climber too. Apparently it’s genetic.
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We celebrated cousin Jill’s graduation from the U of A! Wildcats for Life!
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Austin’s cousins the Buckelew’s came to town. They never fail to bring some life to the party!
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Austin’s Mama and Craig came to town and stayed with us. We got to celebrate Mother’s Day with them. James was excited to be spoiled by grandma and we were happy to see both of them!
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We celebrated Mother’s day with my mommy too! Love you mommy!
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Thankfully, things have slowed down a bit. We are getting some down time and friend time.  We even had an official date night. Life is so precious and I don’t want it to pass us by more quickly than it needs too. I intentionally try to slow down this fast paced life style, so I can soak it up as much as possible.

40 Days Without Facebook

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So I have toyed with the idea of giving up Facebook for awhile as I have had issues with spending too much time on it and I finally gave it up for Lent this year. I feel as though I learned A LOT from my 40 days without Facebook. Here is the rundown of my take aways:

1. TIME: I spend too much time on Facebook. It is so time consuming! Having close to 1000 friends makes for a lot of time going through everyone’s status updates, shares, photos, and likes. Not to mention it is so easy to get side tracked and start looking at someone’s profile and pictures and then it takes you to someone else’s profile and pictures and before you know it an hour has passed and you are snooping on someone’s page you don’t even really know. I would find myself checking my status right before bed and first thing when I woke up, while at the same time not spending time in prayer or in the Word. What a loss of quality time I could be having with my Lord! (During my time away, I have learned that I can edit what I see from my friends which can save a lot of time, because I don’t have to see the games they  play or the comments they make to other friends or things that they like. However, you have to do this individually which takes time.)

2. DIDN’T MISS IT: Interestingly I did not miss Facebook much at all and it was quite freeing. The part that I missed the least was checking statuses. So much of the statuses I read are just not worth the the time it takes to read through them. No offense to anyone writing them it is just the truth of the matter, especially when it comes to pages they like, games that are played or comments they make to others.

3. CONNECTIONS: Facebook is truly a place to connect like no other. There are many people that I have no other form of contact with. Therefore, not having access to Facebook limits my connection to many people.

4. MISSING OUT: There were a few opportunities that I missed out on because I did not get the message because I was not on Facebook. One in particular that bummed me out. My cousins who live in Texas, and I rarely get to see were in town and wanted to get together. I missed the message from them because Facebook is the only form of contact we have with each other, and consequentially missed them being in town completely. I was super sad about missing them. (A remedy for this is only having the facebook messenger app on you phone. This way you only get messages, so it’s more like a text message.)

5. SOMETHING ELSE WILL REPLACE IT: Although I did not go on Facebook, I still did spend time on my phone/computer on social networks. I have been very reluctant to join other social networks including Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest. I feel I already spend too much time looking at Facebook. I did take up Instagram while I was on my Facebook hiatus, which just reminded me how much technology is such an integral part of life and we cannot escape it. I still consciously try not to use any of these to excess. Everything in moderation.

6. BEING PRESENT: One thing I wanted to be intentional about in giving up Facebook was being present wherever I was. So many times I catch myself checking my Facebook or on my phone for something where I could be interacting with the people around me. I really tried to be intentional to interact while I had this break and I loved it! Sitting in a restaurant and talking with your waitress, talking with those sitting with you in a waiting room, being truly present with your friends and family instead of thinking about or posting the play by play of what is happening in your day. It was freeing. That is the essence of who Jesus was, intentional, relational, present. I want to be on my phone less and be present more!

7. ADDICTIVE: I once read that there was a study done about Facebook about why it is so addictive for people.  Here is what it found in summary. “Through a series of experiments, the researchers at Harvard University learned through the study that the act of disclosing information about oneself activates the same part of the brain that is associated with the sensation of pleasure, the same pleasure that we get from eating food, getting money or having even having sex.” Check out an article about it here. This was scary to me, but at the same time it is apparent to me that it is true for me. There is something that triggers that sensation of pleasure when others like my status, read my blog, or comment on a picture I posted. However, something I realized is that is not why I want to post things in the first place. I post things because I want to share life with those around me, and what I like to see more is the other things that those around me post. Therefore, checking to see how many people have liked something or commented really is not what I want to be spending my time doing, although it is nice to know that others connect and want to be apart of my life. I would much rather be playing with my one year than looking at my phone to see how many people liked the picture I put up of him.

8. PURPOSEFUL TIME: My real goal in this, and what most Lenten goals are all about, is to give up an earthly pleasure to focus myself on the Lord and what He did for me, to renew my relationship with him and prioritize my time spent throughout my day. I did find that I was able to do this with all of the time that I gained back. I found time to read a devotional most days, read the bible most every day and even read some books that have been waiting for me on my nightstand for some time. He calls us to be in relationship with Him, and like any good relationship you must spend time pouring into it in order to gain and grow from it.

I was so very blessed by my 40 days without Facebook and I am so thankful for the new perspective the Lord has given my on my unhealthy addiction, and how I can still be on Facebook and use it for His glory without it taking over my life.

(I also just read another article from Relevant Magazine entitled STOP INSTAGRAMMING YOUR PERFECT LIFE that also gives nice perspective on social media. Check it out.)

Lastpass

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Are you someone who has the same password for everything? Or the same two passwords because once you forget a password you can’t use the same one twice? Or even worse you keep a sticky of your passwords under your keyboard or in a notebook? Than this site is for you!!!

Austin told me about it while we were living in Africa and I am not being facetious when I say it has CHANGED MY LIFE, at least in a technology sense. It is called Lastpass and it is simple. You think of one big mammajamma difficult to crack password. You use this as your main password. Anytime you log on to a site that you need a login and password for it will either remember the password you already use if you save it or it will generate a password that is super hard for you. (I honestly do not know most of the passwords I have for sites.) Then your download the plugin and app for Last pass in your browser and phone. Then anytime you log into a site you use it will automatically log you in as long as you are logged in to your lastpass account. You can also share a password (for example a utilities bill that you share with someone). You can change a password easily. You can write secure notes to keep helpful numbers or notes on hand such as family members social security numbers, password numbers, and check routing numbers. It is brilliant really! And it is all SUPER SECURE!

How many sites and passwords are you trying to keep remembering? Stop and take a few minutes to get yourself acquainted with Lastpass. I am sure if you do you will be happy you did!

Why am I plugging this? Ever since I started using it I tell so many people about it and I figured maybe someone else would like the hot tip.

New Neighbors

I have fallen in love with our new neighbors. Well really we are the new neighbors, as they have lived in the neighborhood since 1955! They are the sweetest old couple ever. They are both in their mid to late nineties and just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Many people don’t even make it to 70 let alone being married for that long!

Austin and I went over to introduce ourselves around the holidays and they were so welcoming and sweet. The husband is in pretty good health but the wife has a lot of ailments. They have an in home nurse that looks out for them everyday and helps keep up with the wife’s ailments. They do not get out of the house much. However, there are some special occasions that bring them out, like planting a new flower bed and putting up the Christmas decorations.

James and I like to go over and say hello from time to time. James likes to play with their dog and I love to hear their stories. I recently asked them what they have been up to lately and they told me they have been reading Robinson Caruso. The wife was elated when she was telling me about it and how she had forgotten how much she loved the story. I came to find out that the wife’s vision is very poor and that she is no longer able to read on her own. However, her sweet husband of 70 years, reads to her each day. Does it get any sweeter than that? I saw him reading to her today in the front window as James and I walked by. I wonder what they are reading today. I am sure that the difficulties that have come with aging are challenging, but their 70 years of love is so much stronger than any of that. What a beautiful life! I pray that one day Austin and I can grow old together and be able to read to each other.

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