River:1; Rice Cereal: 0

Dear River,

Today you tried Rice Cereal for the very first time! I cannot believe how fast you are growing! What is happening!? (Don't tell anyone, but your dad and I gave you a little taste of Rice...Pudding...prior to this. However, like I said, it was a VERY little taste, so it doesn't really count.)

Below you will find your adventure as told through pictures. I think it is safe to say that Rice Cereal gets a big thumbs up!

Glad you enjoyed it buddy.

We love you.

Mom and Dad

Brie and the Grizzly Affair

Allow me to set the stage.

This morning The Man and I took River to the pediatrician to check out a problematic cold that has been sticking around for the last few days or so. Seeing as how tomorrow we are getting on a plane for Thanksgiving break, we wanted to try and knock this thing out beforehand if at all possible.

You know...
Perhaps it was the upcoming holiday rest bit...
Perhaps it was the buzzing waiting room...
Perhaps it was even the significant lack of sleep both The Man and I have been experiencing lately.

But whatever the culprit, Robert and I were quite happy sitting in that doctor's office. Slap Happy that is.

As we waited for River's name to be called, The Man and I began to joke about potential future baby names. The more outrageous the name, the louder we laughed.

The Man: "No babe, sorry but our next son is going to be named Grizzly. Case closed."

Me: "Uhhhh.... no. First of all, we cannot have a son named River...and then a son named Grizzly. Second of all, his nickname would be Griz. Third of all, there is NO WAY we are naming him Grizzly.. that's like naming the poor kid ROCK."

....LITERALLY two seconds later....

[The Nurse emerges]

"WOLFE?" she calls out.

I kid you not, the woman and little boy sitting DIRECTLY across from us get up!!

I could have DIED.

To make matters worse, I was so mortified that I nervously began to laugh as they passed by us...then I nervously began to laugh so hard that I started CRYING! Which only made Robert laugh even harder than he already was.

Moral of the story?


Remember This.

Dear 27 year old you,

Remember this. 

Remember how his chubby little hand is clasping the top of your tank top as he sleeps. Remember the smell of the top of his head; it's clean and sweet. Remember how long his eye lashes look from this angle. Remember how creamy his skin is; the softness of it; the way it feels under your hand as he takes in his little breaths. 27 year old you, remember the little clicking sound his mouth makes when the pacifier falls out during his sleep. Remember that you would hold him like this forever if he'd let you, but one day he will be too big, and these days will have long since passed. 

So until then, cherish this. Soak it all in. 
Love every single ounce of it. 

And when it's been a long day, you're at your wits end, maybe he's having a rough day himself...

Remember this. 

That's A Wrap

Ok, confession.

Currently, I am en route to purchase some brass beads for my husband's...BEARD. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, his beard. And here in lies the confession...I love it. 

To know my husband is to know that he is creative when it comes to his appearance and his style. He knows what he likes, and that's that. When we first got married, I couldn't figure it out. I chalked it up to possible restlessness, but I TOTALLY missed the fact that this was expression for him. Once I figured that out, it all made sense. I love that he sticks to basics like a good pair of jeans, a t-shirt and cowboy boots, (his uniform basically) but let's his freedom fly when it comes to his hair, facial hair, and accessories. Honestly, to me, he just looks GOOD. 

Well, in this little bead adventure of mine, I noticed upon stepping out of the car, that not only is my son sporting his own beads...an amber beaded teething necklace... But I was displaying a little something myself...

I call her my "Sally Jesse Wrapphiel" and you'll see why: 

Upon moving to Colorado I've realized that over the last few months, due to the extremely dry climate, my hair has been looking a little dry itself. So, hearing great things about "retraining hair" (ie: spacing out washings in order to allow your hair's natural oil to replenish your hair) I decided to give it a go. 

The biggest downside? 

Excessively oily hair between washes at the beginning....gross. Therefore, I began to scour the internet for options. I have always been in awe of the beautiful ways black women incorporate scarves and head wraps into their wardrobe, so I wanted to see if there was a way I could possibly incorporate them into mine? 

Therefore, I give you:
Sally Jesse Wrapphiel

So let me recap. 

That is:
- one beaded, bearded, husband
- one beaded baby
- and one wrapped mama. 

We're just one big Granola family!
But don't worry, I still have heels on ;)


Rock the Vote!

Hey Everyone!
Sooooooo.... we entered River into Gerber's 2013 photo search
You can vote once a day until December 1st.

(Or if you would like to make one for this occasion ;) )
 click on the below link:
and cast your vote for River! 
All you need to do is "LIKE" the Gerber's facebook page and then you are ready to vote! 
River's entry ID is 250774

The Winner receives $50k towards their child's college fund!

Thank you!

A Pilgrim's....Progress...

-From the Latin peregrinus
-A traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place.
In a sense, we are all travelers... but we are not all Pilgrims. Every single one of us is on a journey, but the destination has the potential to be vastly different. As a professing Christian, I'd love to tell you that I am secure in my destination; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But it's a struggle. Even today I found myself asking to which camp I belonged. Am I merely on a journey, or am I on a journey to a holy place?

When we aren't careful, many of us (myself included) have the capacity...and dare I say tendency...to trade in holy for habit; Truth for trinket. Christianity becomes nothing more than a masquerade. We dress up, raise a glass to life and to each another, and continuously put on one colorfully ornate mask after another. Some of us hide behind our wit. Some, behind our intellect and achievements, and some even behind Christianity itself. My mask, for example, is decorated with my abilities, my wisdom, and my moral compass. When wearing my mask, I have the capacity to pick myself up by my bootstraps, drum up some sage advice for many an occasion, and say and do all the right things in order to fool only myself into thinking I am at a place in life, that I am actually not. My mask is heavy... but despite that fact, I wear it often.
Consider the above picture. It's unsettling isn't it? But you see, no matter how ornate, no matter how beautiful the mask, this is what the real masquerade looks like. 

We are so terrified to remove our masks, aren't we? So afraid to let our real selves be seen, to let our real selves breath. If people saw the REAL me, the me that was still in progress, how could they possibly love that mess? But therein lies the deception. Christ died for the REAL me. Christ died for the messy me. In fact, Christ became my mess in order that I would no longer be trapped in it. More so, Christ became my mess, my sin, in order that I might ultimately be freed from it. Even when typing that sentence I draw in a deep breath. So, when I wear my porcelain shell; the one I think people want, all I am really doing is preventing people from seeing Christ's work in me. Yes, the work that is STILL in progress.

So, even knowing that Truth, why am I so tempted to reach for my colorful habit? I think today I realized it is because I do not trust my true face; my true identity. I don't think it's enough. I don't trust that MY identity says that not only am I on a journey to a holy place, but MY identity says that once I reach my destination, I too will be made holy as He is holy. The work has already been done, now it's just a matter of becoming what I am already destined to be. But It doesn't seem right. Shouldn't I have to DO more? 

Allow me to digress into nature for a second. Nature provides a beautiful example of the discrepancy between who we appear to be and who we truly are. Think about a caterpillar. By all appearances a caterpillar is slow....unattractive...lumpy...but not according to its DNA. According to its DNA, the true identity of that lumpy mess that we see before us by every scientific test possible, including the test of its DNA, is actually a gorgeous butterfly through and through. This creature, looking nothing like a butterfly is, in fact, 100% just that! It is on a journey to a destination that it hasn't yet reached. But one day it will. And every day in between, a maturing process is taking place. One day that caterpillar will display every characteristic and attribute of the butterfly identity it already possesses. How beautiful is that?

And the same is true of us. If Christ is our savior, then the same is true of us.

So...what mask do you wear? Which identity are you tempted to parade? What does your REAL face look like?

I'll show you mine if you show me your's? Actually, scratch that. I'm working to show you mine regardless. But it sure would be nice to get a glimpse of the You you already are.

"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
- Colossians 3:9-10

Halloween 2013

Some of the greatest memories I have from my childhood are wrapped around, and connected to, the different traditions my parent's instilled in our family. Some of those I hope to infuse into my own little family, and others I hope to create myself (along with Robert of course).

This year, Halloween marked the first calendar holiday we had as a family of 3 vs. just a family of 2. It dawned on me...perhaps later than it should have...that now the tradition making portion of life falls heavily on me (and again, Robert of course). Even though River is only 3 months old, I think it is important to start these sort of things even now. Sure, they will probably morph and change over the next few years until we figure out what works best with our tribe, but figuring those things out is part of the fun; part of the adventure.

Last night, we invited a few of our friends, as well as Grammy and Grandpa J, over to our place to enjoy the seminary's annual chili cook-off. It was too...CHILI... (BA DAP BA BAAAA...) for us to care much about casting our vote for "Best Chili," so we just grabbed our grub and ran. Inside the warmth of our apartment, we all enjoyed our feast, as well as some warm apple cider, before the kiddos headed out to Trick-or-Treat. Robert and I hung back to pass out candy because...well...let's face it, taking a 3 month old Trick-or-Treating is basically Robert and I saying "Hey Jack, GIVE. US. YO. CANDY!"

After the kids finished, they returned back to our place to divvy up their loot, enjoy some more cider and cookies, and veg out a bit to "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!"
All in all, super fun night. Will any part of last night turn into an annual tradition? Who knows... but right now it sure is fun figuring it all out.

PS: Yesterday also marked 3 months of life for little River. Here's a video for you son. We LOVE being your parents! Keep growing, keep learning, and keep being awesome.

(Obviously couldn't figure out how to turn the camera off at the end there...)

Bath Time Lessons...

Being a new mom is crazy. Literally.
I have never felt more and less like myself all at the same time.
I will be the first to admit that I want to be Super Mom.
I want to be the mom that can keep the Pinterest worthy house, cook a lean and mean dinner (every night obviously), look like Miranda Kerr 7 weeks after delivery, and already be devising a plan to teach my infant French before his first birthday.
What!? Sue me.
But I will also be the first to admit that I'm not. I'm not her.

That's right ladies and gentlemen, I AM NOT SUPER MOM. 
And you know what, that is O-freaking-K!

In my 7 weeks of motherhood I have:

  • Been peed on...numerous times.
  • Caught poop WITH MY HANDS.. that was an adventure.
  • Laughed so hard I peed my pants....uh, yep.
  • Been puked on
  • Been told I was too young to have children, followed up by a grilling of my marital status
  • Screamed in frustration, "I feel like I live in a giant BUTT HOLE!"
  • Apologized more times than I can count
  • Been humbled beyond belief
  • Gained a greater understanding of God and His love than ever before.

The last of that list can sometimes be eye roll worthy. That is what we are suppose to say as Christians right? But just a few weeks ago, I was given insight into one of the biggest lessons I have learned thus far in my relationship with God.
He. Is. There.

This lesson was brought to me courtesy of my husband and my son.

My husband is a HANDS ON dad. And I love him for that. When I was fresh out of the hospital, I sort of felt like I was recovering in a spa. The Man had it handled.
All the way down to bath time.

For whatever reason, bath time made me nervous...real nervous. Maybe it was the fact that the first bath I ever gave River, he screamed the entire time because I accidentally made it ice cold (see, NOT Super Mom), or maybe it was because he was so tiny I was terrified of him slipping right out of my hands? Whatever the reason, I gladly gave bath time duty to The Man while I watched from the sidelines. 
One night, I was finishing straightening up the house while The Man began to run the water for River's bath. It was the same routine I'd seen before. When I was finished cleaning, I strolled into the bathroom in hopes of spending a little time with my boys. Expecting that River would be laying on his turtle mat while The Man leaned over the side of the tub, I was surprised when I found them both in the bathtub together. It was River's first REAL bath...no turtle mat, just dad. 

I could tell he was nervous, but Robert had him completely secure in his arms. As Robert gradually allowed River's little body to be immersed more and more into the warm water, I saw the alarm and panic sweep into River's eyes. Gently Robert would say, 
"It's ok son, you're ok. Daddy is riiiight here. I won't let anything happen to you."
Despite Robert's efforts, River still squirmed and splashed, trying to grasp for anything he could. He didn't yet trust Robert. He had no concept that he was completely safe in his father's arms; that Robert was right there and wasn't going to allow anything to harm him.

That's when I realized that I was looking into a zoomed in version of myself and God. Like River in those first initial weeks, I fail to trust my Father. When He leads me into deeper and deeper water, my first instinct is to panic and flail about; grasping for anything I can in order to feel safe. All the while, my Father is holding me securing in His capable arms whispering.. "My Child, it's ok. You're ok. Daddy is right here. I won't let anything happen to you."
As I watched Robert, I saw that all of his attention, his FULL attention, was on keeping his son safe, while at the same time teaching his son that even when the water gets deeper, he is RIGHT there.

[...and when the oceans rage, I don't have to be afraid, because I know that you Love me. Your love never fails...]

I think for the first time I understood God's love as a capitol "F" Father. And to my shame, I think I understood Him for the first time as MY Father; my Father who LOVES me. When the waters of my life get deeper, when I am being matured and things are getting scarier, He is RIGHT there. He is always right there.

We still have River's turtle mat, but we never use it. Now River LOVES real baths. He fully and completely trusts Robert, down to the point that he falls asleep in his arms absolutely every single time.
I want that.
I want that kind of trust with my Heavenly Father.
So...I guess it's time I give up my own little turtle mat...

4. I Had a Baby

I Had a BABY

This is perhaps the post I have simultaneously looked forward to writing about the most and the least of all my posts on this blog.
 The most because, HELLO!! 
and the least because I have no idea how to possibly put into tangible words just how ecstatically happy The Man and I are; how hopelessly in love The Man and I are, and how speechless we are that we brought this incredible little human being into this world.

Allow me to introduce you to my SON;

River Daniel

Born 07.31.2013
All boy.

I have yet to decide if I will share my birth story on the blog, but I will say it was one of the most incredible, intense, scary, and empowering things I have ever had the privilege to be allowed to do.

Would I do it again?

"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, a Holy habitation for the Most High."Psalm 46:4

3. We Are Helping to Plant a Church

We Are Helping to Plant a Church

When the man and I lived in Los Angeles, there came a point when we knew that truly the only thing keeping us there was the church and the group of friends we were a part of.
In Los Angeles, everything is harder.
A simple trip to the grocery store could end in either a knife fight, or a strung out man dressed in an oversized clown suit asking you which aisle Mr. Goodbar could be found on
....after first introducing himself AS Mr. Goodbar...

However, don't get me wrong, there are also some INCREDIBLE aspects to LA as well, yet one must truly commit to the city to discover them. They won't be found on Hollywood Blvd, or the Chinese Mann theatre, or some desperate recreation of The Hills....they are found in the little cracks and crevasses that only a true Angelino would be able to point you to. And when you find them, the city grabs a piece of your heart.

After both individually living in LA for roughly about 8 years, God called The Man and I on to a different city. (I've referenced this often in previous posts)
And I cried.
No, you don't understand
like a freaking baby (sorry River) when I found out we were moving.
Even when it was all said and done, and we were actually living IN Colorado, I was still living IN denial.
Stubbornly, I felt I had made all the real friends I was going to make--or really wanted to make--in Los Angeles. I TRULY felt that God couldn't possibly do in CO what He had done in LA. I was SO so wrong...you can read more about that HERE.
My faith, my character...they were both found wanting.

And then we got a phone call.

A man that Robert very much admired...a semi mentor in a way...named Jason Cunningham, felt God press it upon his heart to plant a church. Jason had been the Dean of Men at a Bible College in Southern California for the previous several years, but felt very certain that God was calling him (as his family) on as well.
Where might you ask.....?
That's correct. Denver.
Jason asked if Robert and I would pray about possibly being a part of this church plant with him (and a few other families who had heard the call as well).
We asked.
We sought.
We Prayed.
We were in.

Beginning in the Summer of this year, we simply started meeting at various parks around the Denver area as a group. We got to know one another, eat together, pray together, and genuinely seek God together for the future of this church and the salvation of Denver.

And God answered.
I am happy to report that on September 15, 2013 we will hold our first official service at Denver North High School. 
Maybe you are interested in seeing what God wants to do in Denver as well? If so, come on out!

For more info, check out:

"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" 
Romans 10:14

2. We Moved

We Moved

Originally, The Man and I first came to Colorado in January of this year. 
Initially, we were living with my folks, but severely underestimated the amount of time The Man would be spending in Seminary's library.
(Did I mention we moved here for him to attend seminary?)
So with a new family member on the way, and countless talks about what was the best option for our expanding family, it became obvious that a move was going to need to be made. 
We went on a wait list, and by the time I was 37 WEEKS PREGNANT (officially "full term") our apartment became available.
Just in the knick of time too! Little did we know that our little one would be make an appearance two weeks later to the day.
Home Sweet Home.
There really is nothing like it.

HaHa.... Oops....

Has it really been since APRIL that I have blogged!?

Oye... Oops...Forgive me. SO much has been going on.

Let's see...

1. I turned 27
2. We moved
3. We are helping to plant a church

Oh, and...


Seriously, the most adorable little Snuglet! I'm sure everyone says that about their children, but The Man and I are absolutely, hopelessly in L.O.V.E. with this little guy. I'll introduce you soon. 

But lets work through this list one by one...

Ok, so I turned 27

I am THE WORST person to ask "So, what would you like to do for your birthday this year?" I seriously make it so hard on the questioner because my honest and typical response is usually something to the effect, "I don't really care, honestly whatever you want to do sounds great with me!" (What is wrong with me lol?) 
But this year, I only had one request....
I wanted to ring in 27 with a nice...ZOMBIE MOVIE. I'm not kidding. It was like a craving.

See, The Man and I, for the most part, had been house bound for quite a while. When funds are low, you learn to heavily enjoy walks together, "movie night"--ie: Netflix and a box of Milk Duds, Dinners at home, etc. But The Man insisted on making an entire day of this birthday. He started the night before by setting me up with a Prenatal massage gifted by his folks. It was AWESOME... and at 34 weeks pregnant at the time, pretty much the best thing I could have gotten. The next day, I had to work, but The Man and I got up early for a heart healthy breakfast of coffee and donuts. YUM! Later, my mom met me at work for a delicious lunch at P.F. Changs coupled with a beautiful bouquet of fresh sunflowers (I LOVE fresh flowers). 
Upon returning home, the man had not gotten me one cake...he had gotten me THREE! (mini cakes... from my favorite cake shop). We enjoyed bites of each together outside on the patio before heading to one of my favorite mexican restaurants for dinner.
So, pretty much I ate SUPER healthy all day long ;)

And then...
We took in a late night showing of World War Z at this super cool theatre called The Alamo here in town. It is a dinner theatre which means that for every two seats, there is a table and a really good menu of food and drinks. You can order whatever you want all throughout the movie, and they bring it right to your table.
The Alamo also does its own previews at the beginning of each flick, so everything was Zombie themed :)
I loved it.

Thank You Robert, for an incredible, unforgettable, 27th birthday. My last birthday before we officially became parents :)
Here are a few snaps from the day

Welcoming Bebe

In April, I was thrown the most thoughtful, beautiful, baby shower a girl could ask for. 
My mom and I decided to make a girl's weekend trip out of it, and flew out to Los Angeles to welcome the little snuglet in in style. Surrounded by many of my most favorite of women, I, along with baby, were showered
with love, laughter, awesome food, and super generous gifts. 

At this point, I hadn't shared what The Man and I were expecting, so it was a fun shower game 
(the ONLY shower game mind you! PRAISE!!) 
as my girlies cast their votes on 
A) Boy or Girl? 
B) What his/her name would be.

["Thor" was amongst my favorites.]
Here are some snaps from the day, enjoy!