Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas all!





2006 has been amazing...here are some highlights:



awaiting the arrival of our little one



seeing the Bridenstine's in January



the joys of being pregnant




the anticipation of our growing family



our early anniversary trip to San Antonio, and the deep love we share for each other, there's no way I can even put into words!




falling in love with the Lord more everyday

being blessed by so many people with baby stuff, mommy advice, and being covered in much prayer



Taylor Joy's arrival into the world! 5/17/06



growing more and more dependent on the Lord as parents of this little girl




being a mommy and a daddy and discovering how amazing this parenting thing really is!

Storey and Graham's wedding! What a blessing to be a part of that special day with special friends!



My mom's side unoffical "reunion" to see everyone again after several years (for me at least)



our relaxing vacation in the ruidoso mountains...talk about rejuvenation!




Britt's graduation! Congrats to my sweet sis on getting her masters! She's AMAZING!



All of Taylor's firsts: smiles, laughs, teeth, sitting, food, half birthday, Christmas, etc.



Another amazing year is coming to an end. I pray that the Lord will use 2007 to blow us away and make us even more like Him. We love you all! Christmas blessings to you and your family!

Monday, December 18, 2006

7 Months of much Taylor Joy


Our Taylor is now 7 months old...what a big girl. Sigh. It seems like only yesterday we were at the hospital and cuddling our tiny little redhead. Now she's about as squirmy as they come, the poster child for "active alert" baby. Some highlights for the month include eating all kinds of new things: peas, carrots, greenbeans, pears, apples, bananas, prunes, sweet potatoes, peaches, and more (She loves ANY food!), being so close to crawling, pulling up from sitting (yesterday) and just being so stinkin' cute.

Taylor and I celebrated Christmas with my mom's family this weekend. They were all so excited to see Taylor again since some of them hadn't seen her since she was just 5 weeks old. Here's a picture of Taylor playing with my Paw Paw.



After the drive back on Sunday morning Taylor got dedicated at church. Dedication is basically the church body's way of saying we're in this together and will come alongside ya'll, as parents, to raise this baby to love and serve Jesus Christ. It was neat to see everyone stand and agree to do that. It encouraged my heart to what I already knew of our amazing church.



Taylor was definitely the oldest one up there since the last dedication came a couple of days before she was born. She wanted to stand so bad she was wiggling around like crazy...if you saw it you know...I've got my work cut out for me.



A picture of my sweet fam.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Celebrity Self

So there's this site you can upload your picture to and it scans your facial features to figure out which celebrities you resemble. Apparently I look like many people (celebrities) I have never even heard of. Others like Ashlee Simpson worry me a little...is this pre or post all the surgeries? And I'll take Mischa, she's pretty. About Mariah, can I have her voice too? You should try this if you need a laugh.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Denver & the Mile High Orchestra


In case you're in need of a good Christmas CD, I highly recommend Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. A couple of years ago when we lived in Charlotte and Allen worked at INSP, they performed at his company Christmas party and we were blown away. We had never heard of them before and eagerly bought the CD that night. Then when we came to Texas starting hearing them again in this area. Allen insists on pulling out the CD the week before Thanksgiving to get us in the mood for Christmas. It's very unlike all the cheesy Christmas music that's out there. Here, have a listen...

Denver

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Poopsmith...tagged...all this blasted tomfoolery


Aaron tagged me. I know exactly how it went down, too.

After finishing his post (which, by the way, is the sum total of all the words I've ever heard Aaron speak), Aaron thought, "Hmm...who should I tag?" After coming up with a couple of names, he fell out of his chair laughing.

"Honey!" yelled Aaron. "Come here for a sec!"

"Yes," Heather responded, "what is it?"

Laughing hysterically, Aaron managed to get the sentence out between laughing and trying to breathe. "I...just thought...to myself...what if I...(this is too good)...tagged Allen?" Another outburst followed. At first, it was just a faint smirk and a chuckle that emerged from Heather's mouth. Then, it was laughter. In a matter of seconds, she was doubled over at the very prospect, joining her husband on the floor rolling around and laughing at the inconvenience and utter disruption of the schedule that this will cause Allen Duty. They are still laughing to this very minute.

So, here are five things that you may not know about Allen Duty:

1. Gatorade and Nike athletic wear are possibly my two favorite things in the world. I love Gatorade and Nike stuff so much that, subconsciously, I may play sports so that I can wear Nike stuff and drink Gatorade before, during, and after my athletic endeavors. I have long believed that these companies (though Nike does this more often than Gatorade) need an "everyman" to be in their ads and that I'd be a great choice.

If any of you ever meet any executives from these companies, I'd appreciate you dropping in a good word.

2. From November to February, I nearly enter a state of depression if the weather gets over 50 degrees. You may think to yourself, "Allen, you live in Texas. Not only is it not that cold here, but the weather is terribly inconsistent at best." All I want for Christmas each year is consistently cold weather for three months and a few snow days. This desire is so great that I consider moving every year, brought back to reality only by my love for Living Hope, the nearness of our families, and the sheer hassle of relocating. The weather was probably my favorite part of living in North Carolina.

3. I absolutely, positively cannot stand pooping. Whenever I have to poop at home, I make sure that Kendra is nowhere near the bathroom and warn her not to come near the bathroom for the next 4-6 hours. It's not that I take really smelly poops, it's just that I think it's such a vile activity I don't even want my beautiful wife near it. There is nothing more embarrassing to me than pooping in a public place and having one other person enter the bathroom. I don't mind doing it if no one is in there or if there are 20 people in there, but there's nothing worse than pooping in a small bathroom and having one person come in there. Just thinking about it is making my stomach turn.

4. Home improvement projects are more fun to me than going to Six Flags. I would rather install a new ceiling fixture, paint the house, or build a new shelving system than do anything recreationally. Even though it stresses me out sometimes, I love it. If I had the time and I thought I could actually make some money doing it, I'd probably do that stuff for little old ladies and other people who don't like doing those things. Though I love the finished product, I love the process at least as much - especially if it involves using my cool power tools.

5. I'm a good student. By that, I don't mean that I make good grades. In fact, I barely eeked out a 3.0 in college. Good grades require LOTS of work for me, which is definitely not the case with my wife, Butch, or Aaron. Butch once took 20 hours one semester in seminary (that's master's school, people) and Aaron hardly ever took notes in undergrad. I'd get about a 17 if I tried that.

What I mean is that you can teach me to do just about anything in a relatively short amount of time. I'm willing to learn from you if you're willing to be patient with me, and I like learning new things.

So there you go - five new things about me, A.D. And, in typical Allen Duty fashion, I will not be tagging anyone. It was all I could do to log on to this dumb thing to post these answers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I've been tagged!


I have been TAGGED! i found this random picture on my computer and since it kinda has something to do with this, here it is. Oh, and what you've all been waiting for... here are five things that you may not know about me...

1. This will probably surprise a few, especially friends from home, but I actually like to watch sports. Especially college football and basketball. The reason this is surprising is because even though I grew up watching football (like literally on the sidelines because I was a cheerleader from 5th grade up), I never once knew who was doing what and why. I didn't know what a down was, all I knew was to cheer "First and 10, do it again!" when they told me to.

Ryan Shipley just admitted to me the other day that when I came with them to the Aggie football games, he and Jon Gilbert were like, "WHY did she even come?" It was usually me, Allen, Ryan and Jon and the whole time I was griping because it was hot and asking Allen, "What just happened?"

So, after me and Allen got married, he finally taught me the rules of the game and now I totally enjoy it! I even did picks during the last two seasons of March Madness and wupped Allen, Jon and Ryan! So...go me!

2. I, like most women, HATE snakes! But with me it's more like a constant fear. They are in my nightmares at least a few times a week, sometimes they are biting and eating me (usually), sometimes they are my friend, sometimes they are animated, just depends on the dream... or nightmare. I really want an herb garden but all I can think about is that I'm going to be digging around and a snake is going to get me.

This one time in Charlotte it was raining outside and I was waiting for a package to come and thought I heard something, so I ran outside and down our front steps, peered around the corner just to make sure I wasn't hearing things and then headed back inside. As I was going back up the steps, I saw a black hose on the side of the house and then noticed that it was wrapped all the way along the front door. Hmm, that's weird, I thought... I never knew we had a black hose. Well, as soon as I realized it wasn't a black hose at all, I was right there next to it and leaping over it to get inside. I don't even know how I had the courage to do it. I slammed the door, locked it up tight, ran to our bedroom, shut and locked the door, jumped on the bed and bawled my eyes out. Then, I thought of ways for the next hour that he might have gotten in the house. I called Allen and the way I was crying he thought the snake had bit me. All that to say, snakes are my worst enemy.

3. Growing up I used to think I wanted to be a fashion designer. I was actually pretty good. My senior year of high school I entered a contest to design your own prom dress in TEEN magazine and WON! They featured me in their magazine and even made my dress for me and I wore it to prom. Looking back it wasn't the most modest dress... So what happened to my designer aspirations? Texas A&M.

4. I am very cheap. I wasn't always this way, but being married to Allen Duty will do that to you. I clip coupons, watch the sales ads and even keep a price book to keep track of sales and which places mark which things the cheapest and when. I buy in bulk when the price is right. Since I have the time to do research it, why not be a good steward of our money?

5. I don't wash my hair everyday. As a matter of fact, I don't even wash my hair every other day sometimes. The fact of the matter is, I could blame it on Taylor, but I really haven't since I got to college. Sometimes my hair even looks better on the second day. For those with long hair especially... I totally recommend my dry shampoo method, which is baby powder. Just sprinkle a little (I got this tip from my sweet sis) and voila! No more oil! At least it works for my hair...and makes my life much easier now that I do have Taylor to tend to.

I hope you enjoyed my five. Now that you know 5 new things about me, go ahead. Share your five. I'm not sure who all has been tagged, so this might be a duplicate, but I tag Lindsey, Rachel, D.O., Lauren, and Ana.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thankful



Thanksgiving was wonderful. Family and friends were abundant. Food and fellowship was extraordinary. Blessings continue to overflow.



Everyday I am reminded of the Lord's provision and grace, but especially on Thanksgiving. What better time to praise God than when your plate is overflowing with sweet potatoes, green beans, turkey, rolls, and stuffing...reminding us that he is constantly filling us up and our cups runneth over with blessing.



Thanks, family, for accommodating us and loving on Taylor Joy. Thanks, friends, for the laughter, fellowship and good times that were had and are always had when we get together. We love you and are thankful for you, today and always!

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalm 100:4

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy Half Birthday!



Today is Taylor's Half Birthday! Wow! She's 6 months old!

We went to the doctor and were in for a surprise. She's really beefed up! She's 16 lbs, 10 oz., which puts her in the 70th percentile for weight and 27 1/2 inches, which puts her above the 95th percentile for height. She's a BIG girl. I guess it's those apples and nanas she started on a couple weeks ago...She's never even been above the 50th for weight.

She's having a pretty good half birthday. She slept almost over 10 hours last night, which made for a good day for mommy. And this morning she got a bunch of shots and has slept half the day away. So, mommy is getting alot done today. Actually, mommy is putting up Christmas decorations, so it's a WONDERFUL day! We LOVE Christmas at the Duty home, so we are getting a headstart.

Anyways, all that to say, HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY to our little princess!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

And then there were two...



Taylor's SECOND tooth popped through this morning! YAY! For those of you who were wanting to see pictures of the "precious" teeth, here they are! She was a little fussy yesterday, but overall has been pretty much herself, praise the Lord!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Our little Teether and Sitter



Last night during her bath time I thought I saw a little tooth bud in Taylor's mouth. I mean, I've been able to see the whites for a long time, but this...this seemed to even be protruding a little bit. I told Allen that she is going to be getting her first tooth soon and he said that I've been saying that since she was 6 weeks old. Okay, I thought...maybe not.

This morning, though, I had an inkling to check her little tooth bud, but it wasn't a bud at all, it was a TOOTH! Ah! It's SOOO cute! It's the cutest tooth I've ever seen! It's weird how everything can be so cute when you have a baby, but really it's precious. So Taylor Joy is officially a big girl with her little tooth and in other news, she's sitting! (pretty much by herself)


She sits great with the boppy around her and now even by herself she is figuring out how to balance herself so she won't topple over. She'll stick her little hand out to catch her, but sometimes she topples anyway.

I feel so proud. Sigh. Really, I never knew proud before her. This feeling is so sweet. Just imagine what I will do when she starts walking!

Monday, November 06, 2006

For Aunt B



Hi Aunt B! Thanks for my bib! I really do LOVE you! I love you Aunt Cathy and Aunt Lizzie, too! Oh, and I LOVE cereal!


I hope you LOOOVE this post!

Love,
Taylor Tot

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our Pebbles



Taylor Joy experienced her first Halloween! She had so much fun! She's figured out how to lean forward in her stroller so she was letting the wind blow through her little red ponytail on Tuesday night as we strolled the block with the Hendrick's and Bacak's.



I guess she's hanging out with the older crowd now...



We had our annual pumpkin carving at the Duty home... and by "we" I mean that I picked out how I wanted it to look and tried to carve it before Allen stepped in and finished it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Front Porch Swingin'



Oh, how I love front porch swingin'...

I had been begging Allen for one for awhile now and I finally got one for my birthday! Just in time to enjoy the lovely weather outside. I say I finally got one, I actually got two. I first ordered one from a company online and the day it arrived I was joyously awaiting the moment we would pull it out of the package and Allen would put it together for me. Much to my disappointment and dismay, we opened the package and found a certified piece of poo. (to quote Allen)

But my husband, with all of his wonderful carpentry skills, decided he would just make me one. And it's beautiful and perfect and I love it! And so does Taylor Joy.

It kind of makes me feel like I'm in The Notebook, sipping my hot tea on the front porch...

Minus the beautiful view of the lake and big plantation home...

And plus a little one wiggling around on my lap...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hooray for Cool Weather!



Taylor had her first encounter with cool weather and cool breezes these past few weeks. I think she loves it. We continued our walks only I had to bundle her up lots and bring a warm drink with me. Oh, how we love our walks! It's nice to get out of the house and Taylor usually talks nonstop while we're out. I think she definitely got that from Allen! She's gonna be a talker for sure.




She loves her Daddy SO much! We'll be sitting there in the family room and she will look over at Allen and as soon as he looks at her a HUGE smile breaks out on her face and she gets so excited. She does it over and over again. It's hilarious. Allen can't get any studying done when she's around.


What a precious family I have...Sigh...I am SO blessed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy 5 Months, Taylor Tot!



Hi sweet girl! I wanted to leave you a little post that says, "Daddy loves you!" Have a great 5-month birthday today!

Friday, October 13, 2006

She did it!!!

Taylor rolled from her back to her tummy this afternoon! She has been doing it from her tummy to her back since July 4th, and now, on this momentous day, Friday the 13th, she rolled the other way! What's the deal with the "special days" anyways?

It was so funny because after she did it once, she kept doing it from one way to the other. Back and forth, back and forth...she was having a good time.

I guess that's just how she rolls.

I'll have to get some footage of it later. For now I just wanted to share the exciting news!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

By Special Request

For those of you who requested to see our little spitter in action, here she is. After she finished ( I don't know if you can tell in the video) her face was completely covered in spit. So funny. Enjoy.


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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Our little princess...



Hi, it's Taylor here.

I just wanted to update you on what's going on since mom hasn't done it lately.

I went to the doctor for my 4 month appt. a few weeks ago and it turns out I'm growing...ALOT.

I was 13 lbs, 13 oz. and 25 inches long!

That puts me in the 55% for weight and the 80% for height. Whoo hoo!

Mom says I am starting to get more proportional since the first few times I was like the 50% for weight and the 98% for height.





Also, I have started to like spitting. It started one day when mom was out to eat with a friend and sometimes I just do it when I'm mad. I like the sound.

Nana and Poppa (sp?) came to visit a few weekends ago and I had fun with them. Here is a video of me and Poppa playing.


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And I have been trying to call them and Aunt B on my phone, but for some reason can't get through.



Well, I better get back to eating my hands, squealing, and spitting!

Love,

Taylor Tot

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mom Jeans


I came across this and just had to share it.

HILARIOUS!

So glad I don't have any of those... My birthday's coming up, so PLEASE don't get any ideas...

Mom Jeans

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Taylor's Playdate



Taylor had a playdate with some other babies from our church on Monday! She had so much fun! Check out the picture, isn't it hilarious. Starting from the left, Josiah Supercinski is 7 months old, of course Taylor (4 months), Aaron Winslow (5 weeks), and Jude Estes (3 weeks). And the boys have all eyes on her...

It's funny because Josiah was crawling over all the babies, Taylor was just very chill (unusual) and the other 2 were pretty calm too. I think Jude finally just fell asleep over there. What a cutie! Looks like Taylor has some sweet friends already!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm a Big Girl Now!



Hi everyone!

I just started sitting at the table with mom and dad last night! I also got some "cereal" mixed with my milk...Mom and Dad decided after a night of waking up just about every hour they needed to try something new. And guess what? It kinda worked! I did wake up a few times, but I went 10 hours without eating! Yippee! I like cereal!

Check out how I'm holding my bottle all by myself! Am I a big girl or what?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunshine for your day

I just couldn't keep this sunshine to myself! What a sweet bundle of joy I get to wake up to everyday...


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Friday, September 15, 2006

Man, that's the best laugh I've had in weeks


Hey bloggers, this is the one, the only...

Allen Joseph Duty.

That's right - it's Friday night, 8:53 p.m., which means it's time for bed. But not on this fateful night, oh no.

Let me tell you how this came to pass...

I was helping Kendra with the "nighttime routine" (which includes getting Taylor a bath, some "food," and into the crib) where, as those of you who know me well may have guessed, is 100% methodical and predictable every night.

However, on this fateful night, I journeyed past the "study" (which is really the guest room with the computer in it that will one day be another bedroom and force us to move the computer somewhere else, which in turn will drive me nuts) and it was as if the computer called out to me.

It said, "Read the blogs, Allen."

As though possessed, I went straight over and began to read. As I read, I laughed.

And laughed and laughed and laughed.

I don't know what it is, but it's like everyone at Living Hope Baptist Church is a comedian behind the keyboard. Why is that? Is it because the people who aren't lightning-fast with words and wit have time to come up with the exact right way to turn a phrase? I have no idea, but everyone is stinking hilarious.

For example, I went to the Hendrick blog. Now, I've known for quite some time that Heather is great with the written word and thus, it doesn't surprise me when I read funny stuff on their blog. But I was reading the stuff about the morning routine and about the puking episodes and anything that has something to do with Aaron and I thought I was going to pee in my pants.

We've got some really funny people at this church, and I guess what's funny is that everyone in our circle is just so brutally honest about life.

The point of this whole post was to say this: I'm sure glad that we don't have to wear masks that are designed to say, "Check me out; I've got it all together."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Taylor Update!



My Uncle Ship came in town this weekend and we had so much fun together. He came all the way from Indiana to see me. Yippee! I showed him how I can squeal and put my hands in my mouth. He also got to see my rolling over trick (see below).

In other news, I am teething! It's been fun to wake up so many times at night and see mom and dad.

Guess what else? I will be 4 months old on Sunday. I am a big girl! Mom says I am weighing in at 14 lbs these days.

I am also getting really good at rolling over. At nighttime I do it and then I can't go back to sleep. But mom or dad always comes to get me and roll me back. Check out the footage!


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Love,

Taylor Tot

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