Friday, December 31, 2010

Late night reflecting...

Hi everyone...  can you believe it's almost here.  2011!  

This is going to be a HUGE year for our family:
-We have some major cleaning out and organizing to do.
-For the new baby that will be here in July.
-Jude will turn four!
-Lane and I will celebrate 5 years as husband and wife.
-And my ummm second 29th Birthday.  Okay, okay I'M TURNING THE BIG 3-0 this year.

This turning 30 thing has caused me a bit of pitiful reflecting.  You know, the kinda thoughts we have like "Where did the time go?" or "I thought that by now I would surely be..."

Yes, yes.. I shamefully admit I was having one of those moments earlier tonight while thinking about all that 2011 will hold.  Here is what was in my head:

I thought by the time I was thirty, I would be living in a four bedroom home serving my husband and 2.5 kids breakfast, giving the beautiful flowers on my porch some water, then dropping the kids off a preschool and daycare, and heading to teach the cutest kindergarten class.  My house would be full of beautiful candid photos of my family taken by me, and one special wall would hold a framed cover of my first great American novel.  In the evening, I would cook a dinner that would make Paula Deen jealous yet keep my family healthy and our neighbors would stop by to hear how our recent missionary trip to Africa went.  At night I would pray with my family and sleep in a peace than can only be found in knowing Jesus.

At first I focused on my shortcomings and became frustrated in myself and my "lack of zeal" to get the things I want accomplished.  But I started realizing that my reality at thirty will not be as far from my fantasy as I thought.  

At thirty I will be feeding my husband and 1.5 children in my 3 bedroom home.  I love to garden! I bring Jude to therapy, and preschool will start soon.  I have still been working towards my degree and if it takes me to 40 to accomplish, then oh well.  My photography is not awful and everything looks good in black and white print ;-).  Maybe with a few writing classes I can write a book about my experiences with Jude, or an encouraging book for mother's expecting or caring for a special needs child.  I actually do cook a few meals that Paula Deen would appreciate.  My wonderful neighbors are my brother and sister in law and they come over for those meals quite often (before I was pregnant).  I feel like God has given me a ministry more impacting than the one I had hoped for, but I still hope to go on a missionary trip.  And I do pray with my family throughout the day and we do have the Peace of knowing Jesus.  I don't think I could ask for much more.

Jude has had quite a year too:
He started eating much better and drinking from a cup.
He has added words to his vocabulary and uses them correctly.
He learned to sit up on his own and play more independently.
He learned to follow simple commands.
He can turn pages in a book and blow candles out.
He can get own his knees to play (the step before pulling up).
He learned to walk in a gait trainer.
He plays peek-a-boo and gives bear hugs.

Since new years bring refreshment and a time for change and improvement, I have a few simple plans of my own.

1.  I want to turn the TV off more and spend more time with Lane and Jude playing.

2.  I want to eat more dinners at the table and less in the living room.

3.  I want to transition Jude into a toddler bed.

4.  I want the family to play outside more.

5.  I want to spend less money.

6.  I want to develop a best friendship and prayer partner with a Christian sister.

7.  I want to cook more meals and eat out less.

8.  I want to start a one-year Bible reading plan and stick to it.

9.  I want to visit our grandparents more.

10. I want catch up on my scrapbooking and photo albums before the new baby doubles the photos.

As for the blog... nothing will change too much.  I do hope to be more transparent; I mean, how inspiring can I honestly be if I'm not completely honest.  So my posts will still contain pictures of your favorite redhead and our latest accomplishments, but I hope my words go beyond them to tell you what we as a family are facing, hoping, feeling, praying, and loving.  I blog to keep friends and family posted and inspired by our family's adventures, but it is also an outlet for me as the mom and wife who tries to keep it together.  I hope you will keep supporting that.

Thank you for loving and praying for us in 2010.  We pray you will continue to bless us in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In everything give thanks:

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

As seasoned Christians, we all probably know this scripture by heart.  It's probably one of what I would like to call "Staple Scriptures".  These staple scriptures are in my bag of well known scriptures when I need to encourage myself or someone else.  

What does it really mean, though?

It is such an easy scripture to pull out when things are particularly good or tragically sad.  But what about the struggles and small triumphs we face on a daily basis?  I mean, the scripture doesn't say "in somethings give thanks" or "on somedays, when you feel like it, be thankful". 

NO!  It specifically says "in EVERYTHING give thanks; in ALL circumstances".

I have been doing a lot of thinking about this scripture and how I'm lacking on my end of the bargain.  You see, for the past four weeks, I have been really sick with this new baby.  So sick that doing the things I love to do have become challenging and cumbersome.  All I have been focusing on is getting to the point that I'm not sick anymore.

I've been selfish.  Don't take pity on me.

You see, carrying a child is not something that I was ever sure I would get to do again.  Oh how my heart longed to be with child and know that feeling again, and now that it is here I've been focusing on myself and how bad I feel instead of the miracle God has gifted me.  So, I give thanks for being sick and having that blessing that is to be with child.

Another thing I have been overly concerned with is consistent prayer and prayer requests for a healthy baby.  I have once again been too selfish to just stop and say thank you for any child I am given. 

There is more... 

Thank you, Lord, that you have chosen to strengthen my faith in You through this waiting time.

Thank you, Lord, for the grace to be able to get through these months of waiting to find out if our baby is healthy.

Thank you, Lord, for Jude and even though there have been some sad times, there has been more joy than sadness.

Monday we got to see the baby for the first time on an ultrasound.  

It was so exciting to see it wiggling and hear the heartbeat- a fast 178!!  And if you look closely, you can make out the beginnings of a profile: eyes, a little nose, and lips

It was a relief to hear that the baby was developing fine!  However, it is not a guarantee that the baby is healthy.  Jude looked fine at this stage too.  Without invasive procedures such as a CVS or an Amnio, we will not know the baby's chromosome make up until it is born.

In everything give thanks!  And I will continue to give thanks that I have to wait on the Lord, and the Lord only, for answers.

The morning of our ultrasound, a friend of mine sent me a text message that said:
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart; wait on the Lord!"
Psalm 28:14

She didn't even know I was going to get the ultrasound that day.  How cool is that!

Thank you, friends, for all your prayers and thoughts.  


Ok.. I don't know if the Feedburner is working with the email address notification thingy...

So EMAIL ME at if you would like to receive notifications when new posts are made to the blog!  


A Deactivation... for now.

Hi!  and Merry Christmas!  It's almost here...

Well this is just a quick little post with some info for the need to know.  I have decided to deactivate my Facebook page for awhile.  I will still be doing my blog posts (hopefully more of them once I start feeling a little better) to keep everyone updated on their favorite redhead and sweet pea.

Since I won't be able to share my blog post on Facebook, I have added an email subscription tool to the right----->

When you sign up with your email, you should be able to get email notifications when a new post is made to the blog.  Or you can just become a "Follower".  

I'm not sure how long I'll keep Facebook deactivated, I just know that it's something I feel is needed.  Facebook is very distracting and time consuming- and tons of free time is something I don't have much of right now.  

Well...  that's pretty much it for right now.  I hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas and remembering Jesus during these days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Meaning of the Snowflake

Here in the Deep South, winters are usually cool and sometimes even warm...  However, for the last two years (2008 and 2009), we were miraculously blessed with a few Sneaux Days as they are affectionately referred to here in Tiger Country.

The first Sneaux Day in 2008 was, by far, the most magnificent.  It covered the entire south with a thick blanket of white fluff!  It was truly beautiful.

Becuase our area is not exactly equipped to handle such a snowfall, pretty much everywhere lost power.  Thank goodness we live on family property!  Most of us ended up at my inlaws around their wood burning stove.  My sweet mother in law made us breakfast (thanks to gas utilities) and chocolate milk (the milk was stored in the snow to keep it nice and cold) while we played in the snow!

That Sneaux Day is full of precious memories... memories that will surely stand out even into my golden years.

One of my favorite memories is taking a picture of my Judey Jude in his wintercoat in the snow.  I used that picture in my Christmas cards that year.  I usually do photo cards, but that year I found the perfect regular Christmas card to go with the picture.

This was the outside of the card:

This was the inside of the card:

The Meaning of the

Every new snowflake comes to the earth

As a picture of our Savior’s birth

Because they are sent from up above

And remind us of God’s care and love.

Each one is so intricate and small

Because Christ sees the details of us all,

And just as two are never the same

The Lord knows and calls us each by name.

Snowflakes gently cover the world in white

And hide what’s unlovely from our sight,

Showing us how He covers our sin

And gives His grace when we come to Him.

So may every snowflake bring Christ to mind

And in every bit of white may you find

A reason to celebrate anew

And a reminder of His love for you.

-Holley Gerth

Praying your Christmas
and New Year
are filled with God's
many blessings.

From the fullness of His grace we have
all received one blessing after another.
It was a wonderful Christmas memory; one that will always remain one of my favorites.
Monday, December 13, 2010

Everybody loves a little good news

And you are sure to love this news...

Everything.  Looked.  WONDERFUL! at the doctor's office today.

I did not get to hear my little sweet pea's heart beat yet- we will do that next Monday.  But I did get some official good news:

The doctor said my measurements were great, even a little big for my gestation!  This was extremely good news and I will explain why.

When I was expecting Jude, I always measured very small for gestation.  [Looking back, with that 20/20 hindsight,  it was the first tell tale signs of Jude's medical conditions.]  So it was wonderful to hear that I am measuring on the big side.

On the encouraging side: let me just brag on my wonderful doctor for a minute...  The doctor was so positive and encouraging.  She intends to treat this pregnancy as normal until something suggests to her otherwise.  She suggested I do the same.

She explained to me that around 17-20 weeks, she would do an in depth anatomy scan of the baby and refer us to Maternal Fetal Medicine just to confirm its perfect diagnosis.

I also had all my labs drawn today which I'll get the results of in a couple days if something looks a little abnormal like low iron.

And I've also LOST 3 pounds!  (I refuse to get on the scale at the house.)  For those of you who do not know, I have been very sick with this baby... sicker than I was with Jude.  The doctor said that this was a great sign of high healthy hormones.  But since I'm actually vomiting, not just feeling sick she was a little concerned and gave me some Phenagren (sp?) to follow the generic Zofran should it not work.  Which it doesn't but I've heard Phenagren is a little risky in the 1st trimester so I'm trying to avoid it.  I trust Dr. Ann would never prescribe me anything not safe for sweet pea, though!!

Well that's it... lots of good news.  Hopefully labs will come in great and I can share that with you as well!

Thank you! Thank you!!  THANK YOU for all of your sweet prayers, scriptures, comments, notes, and words of encouragement.  They bless my heart in so many ways.  I read them over and over again!  But please continue to pray for my sweet pea.  We are not out of the woods until blood work can prove it's healthy after it's born.

We know God is in complete control!  Those are not just empty words to our family.

I love y'all!

Prayer Request

Today is the first big day.

Today I have my first prenatal visit.  I am not scheduled for an ultrasound today- that is next Monday, but I will get to hear my sweet pea's heartbeat.

Nothing other than routine blood work and other regular tests will be done today, but I still ask that you pray that everything goes well today!

We have a high miscarriage risk: 45%!

So please pray we find a sweet little heartbeat today and that all the tests come back perfect.

Please also pray for next week that nothing looks out of the ordinary with the baby when I get my first ultrasound.

Thank you so much, friends!

I'll be sure to update the GOOD NEWS IN JESUS' NAME we find out today!