Saturday, October 31, 2009

Utter Joy...

This will be short and sweet.  Just a little of what I am feeling right now.
This week I have found myself feeling the physical manifestion of joy.  I will be holding Bo or playing with Abby Kate and I will have these bubbles rise up in my chest so intensely that they can only come out, which produces a giggle (or two).  I have watched my almost four year old sing everything she is doing to different tunes she has heard.  I will see Bo's magical smile and hear his sweet giggle and it will be begin again.  I am beginning to better understand how high and how wide and how deep and how long is God's love for us....
I mean, can you imagine?  Take your purest, most intense love for another human and multiply that by intifinity and there you have it.  Makes you think of yourself differently huh?  And makes you want to love others differently doesn't it?  It is the foremost and centerstage commandment...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.  I want to love so much better.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A New Project...

If you didn't receive an email from me regarding this new project, please check it out.  I would absolutely love any contribution you may have.  You can email any idea, tradition, or thought to me.  Just leave a comment and I will contact you!  I am super excited to see all God is going to do in and through it! 

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I was struck today, by the complete alternate reality perspective brings.  I have been the mother of two for five weeks.  So many things have changed in such a short time.  My heart grew again, enough to encompass the love that only your child can evoke within you.  And so many things are the same, yet so very different this time around.  So many said that it would be easier, and in so many ways, it has.  That is perspective for you.
With Abby Kate, I was a mess of tangled nerves and low confidence.  I was up several times a night checking to see if she was breathing.  I was trying to follow the rules, yet pushing down my strong instinct.  I spent hours questioning and trying to figure out why she woke early from a nap or why she woke an extra time one night.  I constantly second guessed myself and despaired that I would never sleep again.  I had little milk and constantly wondered if she was hungry.  I felt trapped by having to nurse so often.  So weighty, so hard.  I slowly began to admit to others as time passed that I did not enjoy the newborn stage.  I would dread what was to come as night fell.  
Perspective entered and now...
I lost three babies and I am holding the one we prayed for....longed for.  I am up several times a night getting to nurse a baby that is gaining weight like a champ and my milk often squirts him in the face, there is such an abundance.  I get to sit for a least 30 minutes at a time, guilt free, every three hours to stare at my son or read a good book if he snoozes.  If he wakes early, we are too busy with life for me to guess why.  I just get him up and incorporate him into our day.  This time, I know this stage passes quickly.  I love to snuggle him.  I would love to rock him all day.  I love putting him in the sling and having his heart beat against mine and smelling his sweet baby smell and having him fall asleep against me.  
Now don't get me wrong.  This is the first week things have felt manageable.  Somewhat normal. A new normal.  I still grieve that I cannot meet both of their needs right when the need them met.  I hate that I have to choose.  But I continue to pray each night that God would redeem any mistake I maden during that day.  And I know seeing another put first will develop character and that their turn will come next.  And it reminds me that I am not in control and I cannot do all things, be all things to all people.  I have been reminded more these past 5 weeks that God is all sufficient.  He supplies exactly what I need, all day.  He gives me strength and multiplies what little sleep I get.   He gives me wisdom and humor and perspective.  Yes, that word again.  Our pastor spoke on Sunday of God's faithfulness and how when our current circumstances seem hard, to look back and remember.  He is so faithful.  The sign my mother in law gave us upon learning we were pregnant says, "For this child, we have prayed."  It hangs over Bo's door and often, as I am nursing, I will look at that sign and then look down in wonder at God's answer.  And I remember.  

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bo's Birth...

I finally had 30 minutes with both kiddos down for naps to post!  So here are some fun pics from the day.  It has been such a trip going from 1 to 2 but super fun.  Bo is such a sweet baby and we are loving every minute of him.  Abby Kate has adjusted super well and loves her brother or "bubby."  Today is our first day on our own and I have laughed trying to figure out how to do it all.  I know it takes time :)
As for the birth, again, it was so much easier than my pregnancy.  I am amazed seeing as how he was a full 2 lbs heavier than Abby Kate.  But I pushed 4 times and he was out.  Born on July 28th at 1:05 pm.  He was 8 lbs 10 oz and 20.5 inches long.  He is PRECIOUS and we are so in love.  
Time to feed!  More later...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Our Son...

Here are just a few pics for those of you that have not seen him yet.  I will do an extended post and the birth story in a bit!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your prayers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Life Lately...

Not much to update but many of you have been so sweet to check on us.  I am dilated to a 3, effaced and ready so it literally could be any day.  I have been extraordinarily uncomfortable but extremely excited.  We are READY!  We had another ultrasound yesterday and he is weighing around 8 lbs.  We decided to go ahead and induce Tuesday morning.  I would never consider this if I wasn't already dilated but it seems my cervix is made of steel (I was dilated to a 4 for 4 weeks with Abby Kate) and refuses to let my water break!
So that is out latest.  I cannot wait until the next post when I can actually post pictures of our precious son!
And just to leave you with a funny...
I was in Wal-Mart (walking like a maniac) and got to the back fridge/freezer section.  Thankfully and strangely, we were the only ones back there.  Abby Kate was sitting in the cart, happily munching on a new box of Vanilla Wafers.  I sidestepped to grab a few more frozen pizzas and my flip-flops slid on something slick, sending me into the full splits....  It was NOT a pretty sight.  I literally wanted to wail, but I just sat on the floor until I got my breath back.  Abby Kate was mesmerized, asking over and over "MOMMA!  What are you DOING?!"  When I could talk, I reassured her I was okay and that I fell (she thought it was funny).  It did not make me feel better, let me tell you.  If you could only see me right now, it would explain a lot.  I carried Abby Kate low, but literally, Bo is about inches from being birthed.  Literally.  So it compounded my discomfort.  But it WAS funny.  So typical of me.  SO stinking typical. 

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Lake

The boys playing skee ball trying to win AK more tickets!

I debated about which blog to post this but decided it had more info regarding the fam versus just Abby Kate.  We had a BALL this past weekend on our LAST vacation as a family of three.  Oh it was SO great to get away!  We got to leave Wednesday and stayed until yesterday so it was a perfect amount of time to rest and renew.  We have been going to this lake every summer since I can remember.  My parents talked this time about buying a condo there (it is about a 4 hour drive for us) but I tried to talk them into a putting in a pool at their house instead.  However now that I am home, I am already missing it!  This place holds SUCH great memories for me.  Each place we go is awaited all year long in anticipation.  My favorite being a restaurant called the Blue Heron which is fancy and delicious.  Abby Kate was wonderful this time as we all feasted on batter-fried lobster.  Yes, it is as decadent as it sounds.  We went to the boardwalk and watched B play in the batting cages and AK got to play skee ball for $.25.  We watched fireworks on the 4th while eating Randy's famous custard (another tradition).  We actually started a new one this year by going to a super fun indoor kids place that had a HUGE arcade and then a small roller coaster and HUGE maze/playground.  She literally played for hours with her exhausted, sweaty Daddy climbing behind her.  It is directly across from the mall so we know what future vacations will hold now :)
B and I got to see 2 movies while Sweecie and Poppy watched AK.  We sat out on the deck each morning watching the boats, feeding the ducks and fish and eating breakfast.  It really was heaven!
We weren't sure we were even going to get to go but went to the doctor on the way out of town and I was dilated to a 1-2 so we thought it was safe seeing as I was dilated to a 4 for 4 weeks with AK.  I did have a ton of contractions on the trip but God brought us home safely!  Thanks for all who prayed that we would get to go.   It was a PERFECT trip!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Storms and Such...

What a weird past 24 hours.  It began last night.  I sure hope you all get a good laugh out of my dorkiness.  Such strange things happen to me.  Seriously.  
So I have a weird chest cold.  I have been coughing like a manic and have gotten choked several times in the night.  Please tell me I am not the only one that does this.  Waking up and feeling like spit has gone down the wrong pipe, only throwing you into massive coughing spells?  Well last night, it happened again.  I jumped up and felt wetness soak my pants and drip onto the floor.  I know this is gross, just keeping it real.  I figured it was urine but wasn't 100% sure.  I got to the bathroom to sit down, only to start throwing up all over myself.  I strip down and weakly (and in a super strange voice) yelled and Bobby.  When he got there, I was throwing up violently, snotty and naked.  Yep, good thing he is in this for the long haul, it was BEEE-u-tiful!  He looked super scared, asking me what to do, also asking, "Was it the ABC, 123s?"  (I only thought of this funny sentence later in the night).  Nope, it wasn't the gourmet kid-friendly meal of ABC, 123s that I had chosen for my dinner but coughing, I explained.  We called my Dad to see what to do, and he agreed it was probably just urine.  I slept fine.  Woke up this morning, getting ready to take my niece to meet her Momma and these crazy storms rolled in.  I ADORE storms, but was a little perturbed at the interruption to my plans.  My niece had a birthday party to get to for goodness sakes!  But we waited it out.  And they were pretty massive.  We then hear tons of sirens, and look outside only to see an adjacent house on fire (praise God no one was hurt).  We watched this craziness play out for a good long time, chatted with the neighbors and watched police come in and shut down our roads.  
We finally set out and as I got about 45 minutes away from home, I start having contractions.  Now due to last nights drama, I got a smidge nervous.  I called my sweet doctor and she wanted me to head up to the hospital.  So I quickly dropped my niece off, turned right around and went back to the hospital.  They hook me up, test the "leakage" to see if it was amniotic fluid, it turns out to be inconclusive so they do a test and send it to the lab.  Finally, it comes back negative and now I am feeling super relieved (and dorky!).  2 hours later, I am fully dressed, headed out the door.  But the 2 hours sitting hooked up to a monitor got me in full gear to get things ready.  You know, just in case.  All I could do was sit there thinking how horribly messy my house was, how much I needed to get out of the attic for Bo, how badly I needed a pedicure, how weird my spray tan looked now that it was all splotchy, how I didn't have a robe that fit any more, etc...and I thought, hmmmm....God answered my prayer to allow Bo to stay in a while longer and also kicked me out of laziness while He was at it!  He is GOOOOOD!
Seriously, I promise I am not THAT vain.  Mostly, I am looking so forward to these next few weeks as a family of 3.  We planning to spend sweet quality time together and cherish this time with our only child.  But let me tell you, we are all giddy for him to arrive.  When AK walked into the hospital room today, she shouted, "GET UP!  GET UP!"  But as I explained to her what was going on, she walked over and kissed Bo (my tummy).  She is ready too, though she has NO IDEA what kind of change she is in for.  So if you have any advice for the transition from 1 to 2 kiddos, we would love to hear them.  I really do think she will do great.  I know it is hard for any child but she is so excited and ready to have "jobs" to help me.  
Not sure how much more I will blog between now and then.  At my last ultrasound, he was 5 lbs 1 oz.  Not sure when he will arrive.  That ultrasound said July 18th.  It just keeps moving up.  But maybe his weight gain will even out toward the end.  Who knows?!  But we know God has us in His precious hand!  Until then....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3D Ultrasound Pics and Update

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  We sure did.  We got to kick it off on Saturday by having a 4D ultrasound that my parents bought at an auction.  It was super fun to see. We then went to lunch with Mom and Dad and my precious in-laws which was so fun!   As you can tell, our sweet Bo is growing and well.  He is already 4 lbs. 4 oz. which freaks me out a bit considering I still have 2 months to go but I know I can, I know I can.  I love that he already has chubby cheeks!  My original due date was August 5th but from my mid ultrasound they said it should be July 27th and this one estimated July 25th.  So we shall see.  I hear the first ultrasound it most accurate so I am still counting on August.  Just please pray with me that I don't deliver a 12 lb. baby!
Also, please pray as I found out at my last appt. that I am B12 and folate deficient which explains these weird spells (dizziness, heart racing, short of breath, etc.) I have been having.  I am hoping the B12 shot and additional folic acid and iron that I started taking over the weekend will put me back in the game fast.  
We got several things finished over the weekend.  My parents came and Dad helped Bobby do a landscape project in the backyard that has been much needed (thanks boys!) and then we had a big cookout on Sunday night with the fam and a few friends.  My favorite part was loving on sweet Liv for uninterrupted time in the porch swing.  Agh.  That alone was perfect.  It really was so great and relaxing.  Abby Kate and I have been spending countless hours outside which has been glorious.  She has been playing so well on her own lately which is such a God thing.  I am so thankful He is readying her heart for the major change coming.  I just finished a fantastic parenting book that helped my heart more than any I have read.  It has excited me and made me so passionate and intentional about what I am doing all day with Abby Kate and soon, Bo.  So God is just allowing so many precious things to fall into place, in perfect time.  
I pray all is well with each of you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My sweet, sweet Liv....

Most have heard, but my precious niece was born Tuesday night.  I have been in a giddy haze since it all occurred.
I thought it would be fun to share this story, in light of her birth, to remember the goodness of the Lord, and how often He gives me the desires of my heart.
Ashley, my precious sister in law, was one of our leaders during K-Life, the ministry I worked for following college.  I came to deeply love and respect her.  She was a picture perfect leader, loving on her girls every chance she got.... she was gentle, quiet, sweet-spirited, well-respected, smart, fun-loving, intentional, faithful, of all, she loved Jesus.
I remember thinking how perfect she would be for Hal.  Embarrassingly, I sat them next to each other at dinner during one of Hal's visits, introducing them saying, "You're medical, he's medical, you all have a lot in common" and then casually turning away to begin another conversation.  I am sure they both wanted to kill me.  Needless to say, I spent a ton of time praying over this....begging God to let her be the one for Hal.
Hal has always been my best little buddy.  We have a exceptional relationship and once we entered the dating arena, my heart so deeply wanted him to have a wife who loved Jesus and adored him.  And Ashley did.  Perfectly.
I wanted to remember all this to express the poignancy of Tuesday night.  Ashley is not only my sister, but my friend.  We talked about contractions and "changes" all day on Tuesday wondering if she might be ready.  She had longed desired to deliver naturally and being overdue was putting that at risk somewhat.  Her doctor encouraged her to induce, which she and Hal prayed about and decided to do Wednesday, though we were all praying that she would go on her own before that.  When Hal called me at 7:30 telling me they were headed to the hospital, my heart was in my throat.  I was so excited, seriously, it easily could have been happening to me...I felt it that intensely.  So I quickly bathed and put AK down, and headed to their house to get Ashley's pillows she had forgotten and then called Hal to make sure there was nothing else.  Hal soberly told me that they had taken Ash for crash c-section, every mother's worst nightmare, especially my sisters.  I sobbed praying as I drove 90 mph to the hospital that they would both be healthy, safe.  In light of that, I had such a special honor to be the first to arrive at the hospital, waiting with Hal in the empty delivery room.  And when I heard they were both fine, I sobbed.  They brought my precious niece in minutes later and it took my breath away.  I was looking at a piece of my precious, beloved brother and this sweet sister for whom I had so passionately prayed.  The only other time I fell in love at first sight was when they laid Abby Kate in my arms for the first time.  I am smitten.
So here are some pics of that precious night...seeing God's culmination of blessing and faithfulness play out.  Thank you Lord, for always doing immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine.
*A little FYI, I forgot the uploaded the pics in back order so they start at the bottom and end at the top!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mothers Day...

Somehow, my crazy thoughts led me to this story this morning, and realized I had pondered these things in my heart for 3 years and had never shared them out loud.  God is so good to bring about lessons from our crazy thoughts.

On the day Abby Kate was born, I was giddy and could not wait to see her sweet face.  For 9 months I had imagined what she looked like, and as all parents feel, I think, she far surpassed what I could have asked or imagined.  Funny enough, the first thing I noticed on my perfect daughter was not her beautiful face, her dimple, her dark hair and skin, but it was her hands....and they took my breath away.  No, she did not have 6 fingers or strangely large or small hands, but she had MY hands.  Every detail of her hands reflected mine.  Her fingers were long and lean.  She had wrinkles that resembled mine, even her tiny fingernails were shaped like mine.  

I have thought back on this so many times.  I had no idea my baby would be the spitting image of my handsome husband.  Even my sweet Nannie stared in her precious face and asked, "where is my baby in you?" (me being the referenced baby :)  However, her hands were exclusively mine.  And now, every time she laces her slender fingers through mine, I get a little teary.  I remember God knitted her together with part Bobby and part me.  How creative.  How intimate.  How beautiful.

But you know, as egocentric as we are...hoping to see a glimpse of ourselves in the tiny life we birth, I have realized how powerful that is....that God uses two parts of a person to make another whole person.  And not only is that powerful, it is humbling.  So humbling.  Watching another walk around with traits of your own is a bit surreal.  And it becomes even more harrowing when your personality traits, your habits, your faults become evident.  That is why, I believe, parenting is the single hardest thing I have attempted.  It is why I am daily crying out for God's to parent her through me, to help me get past myself to point her to a perfect Father who will change her life.  Who will bring freedom.  Hope.  Beauty.  Purpose.  
There is not a day that I do not ask God, myself, and others who will listen....HOW exactly do I do that?  Our pastor is doing an incredible series right now on parenting that has been incredible and impacting.  You can listen to the series here.

But a few things that he has taught that has strongly convicted me and touched my heart.  One being that we need to study our children.  God is a perfect Craftsman.  No two people are alike.  So we are encouraged to study our children and know how God made them.  How they are best loved.  What gifts God has given them.  How they are made uniquely to contribute to the world and what God wants to do with them in the world.  And two, every day my ability to point Abby Kate to Christ comes from an overflow of my own relationship with Him.  We cannot give our children something we don't have ourselves.  If I do not know the Word, the moral reasons why I say "no" or why I teach certain character traits, then I cannot teach Abby Kate.  I cannot merely hope that Abby Kate will see me attending church and acting a certain way on Sundays.  She has to see my faith as my life.  Every day, every second, every action, every word.   It feels like such an overwhelming task.  Impossible really.  And it is.  It truly is when I am walking in my flesh, feeding it the things it wants, like gossip and greed and lies and materialism and selfishness and pride and laziness.  But I have found, when I arise before my household, cry out to my Father for help, for guidance, for wisdom, for His will to be done, my day suddenly becomes more intentional.   And I am reminded that motherhood is God's greatest call on my life.  That raising my children to live a life about knowing Him and making Him known matters above all else.  I truly believe motherhood coupled with marriage is God's ultimate training ground.  He expands your heart to learn new truths about Him through the joys and hardships of both.  To strip you of selfishness, to broaden your understanding of unconditional love, to learn faithfulness and patience, to experience the power of redemption.  

So this weekend, I am so profoundly grateful.  For my child who I get to love on daily.  For this child who I feel kicking and moving around inside of me.  For the child/children I pray I may bear in the future and/or for the child/children we may adopt one day.  For it is through them that my understanding of the love of my Father has been deepened and heightened and widened.  And really, is there any more precious a gift He could give me with exception of His own Son?  And by allowing me to become a mother, showing me His own love for me through that act?  So, thank you Father for allowing me to experience Mother's Day.  Not the holiday in which my children (or husband) runs out to buy me a present.  But a yearly reminder of the blessing of being allowed to do what I do.  And the daily reminder that I must do better.  Not the guilt and shame that You do not author, but the reminder that I desperately need YOU.  And the sweet knowledge at the end of the day that I can cry out and ask You to redeem my mistakes.  And You will....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bo's Room

I finished Bo's room last week and am thrilled with how it turned out!  The only thing I had to buy was the bedding and it came with the valance and everything so it was SUPER easy this time!  I am having our rocker recovered and it will go in the blank corner and we are getting a cow hide rug for the floor but I love it all!  We had all the western decor in one of our guest rooms as my sweet hubby loves and had collected it so it only took putting it together.  Now I am going to sit back and relax in my 3rd trimester, enjoying my girl and fixing good food to freeze!