Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Now that I've had my pity party, lets move on to something else!!

Disclaimer: Please know that these are *my* thoughts about our own family. I fully support whatever your family decides to do regarding Santa.

As Christmas has been approaching, something Justin and I have talked a lot about is Santa and whether he will be part of our family's Christmas. This is something I struggled with a lot more than Justin did. Justin was really fine either way. He tends to be the much more level-headed, easy-going one around here! Oh, you're not surprised?? ;)

What really concerned me the most was making Jesus first and foremost in our child(ren)'s minds during Christmastime. I feel like Christmas can easily turn into Santa, gifts, me, me, me, and that's not what we want. After *much* talking, thinking, praying, crying (yes, I cried over this as I was worried I was depriving my children of something) we decided that Santa is not going to bring gifts to our house.

There are a couple of reasons we came to this conclusion:

  • The main, BIGGEST reason: we want Christmas morning to be more about Jesus being born and celebrating that, rather than what Santa brought and what gifts we get.
  • I really hate the idea of threatening my children that if they're not good they won't get gifts on Christmas morning - does anyone really not give their kids gifts from Santa because they were bad? I tend to kinda be OCD about following through on my word.
  • I don't really like the idea of lying to my children. So many people compare it to other "farirytales", and therefore render it harmless, but I really don't think it's the same. I don't tell Chloe that Barney or Elmo are actually REAL and shimmy their way down our chimney.
So, here's what we have decided our ChristmasEve/morning will look like. On Christmas Eve we will bake and decorate a birthday cake for Jesus. On Christmas morning, the kids (yes, this is assuming we will have more than one!!) will wake up to JESUS IN THE MANGER!! (we will have had him out of the nativity set until Christmas morning). We will then eat birthday cake and read about Jesus' birthday. After that the kids will each have 3 gifts to open, just like Jesus had!

When she gets a little older we will talk about St. Nicholas and the godly man that he was. She can still sit on Santa's lap and be excited about seeing him (just like she gets excited about seeing someone dressed up as Elmo). He just won't be visiting our house and leaving gifts.

I'm so excited to make this our little family tradition!!

What are your thoughts? Its okay, you can be honest :)

What does your Christmas look like?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

16 Months

I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would not be able to have children.

I'm ready to get off this roller coaster.

I need a hug today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

P-Dub in da house!!

Anyone that knows me knows I love the Pioneer Woman (real name: Ree Drummond). I talk about her like we're best friends. My family knows that if I'm trying a new recipe, most likely it's hers. In fact, most of the time when I'm cooking they ask, "Is that from Pioneer Woman". Not only are her recipes awesome, but her blog is one of my most favorite to visit. She's witty, smart, and talks about calf nuts (who could resist?).

Ree just came out with a cookbook of lots of down home, delicious ranch recipes. The cookbook is a perfect reflection of her. It follows the same theme as her blog recipes, where she gives you step by step (picture by picture) directions. It would be a wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who loves to cook -- or even better...for those who have no idea how to since she makes it *super* easy!

On Monday my mom and I went to her cookbook signing and it was so much fun!! She answered questions from the audience (one of which was mine!), shared her husband (Marlboro Man as she likes to call him) and 2 boys (aka her punks) with us, and signed cookbooks. She was even more beautiful in person. And I have to say...MM is everything she said he is (ahem!). She was even so kind as to bring us cute-as-can-be Pioneer Woman t-shirts.

Here are some pictures from the awesome evening:

MM and the punks bringing in our T-shirts

Oh hello there...

The beautiful Ree answering audience questions

Singing a little Ethel Merman for us (hilarious!!)

Todd taking a picture of me taking a picture of him (and MM looking a little concerned for Ree's camera)

Seriously...she has the CUTEST boys in the world!!

I got Todd to smile for me (is he stinkin' adorable or what??)

Mom and I wait in line to have our books signed. We brought PW some Smokehouse BBQ sauce and Bean mix. one point the boys got a hold of the microphone and started making noises into it. While everyone there thought it was hilariously cute, I don't think MM was all too happy as is evident by the "come hither" finger!

It was finally our turn!

Cheese! (I have to admit that I did crop my mom out of this one as I think she was checkin' out MM rather than looking at the camera!)

That's better

It was such a wonderful mother/daughter evening and I hope to get to meet Ree again (maybe I'll get invited to the Lodge...hehe).

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Praying for Bennett

My sweet friends Brian and Breck Gamel, who attended church with me in college just recently had their second son, Bennett. Sadly, Bennett came into this world having a very hard time breathing. The doctors discovered that Bennett had a bowel obstruction which allowed meconium to leak into his abdomen. At this point, the best case scenerio is that Bennett's bowel obstruction was random and he will completely recover. The worst case scenerio is that he has Cystic Fibrosis. The doctors are running tests and performing surgeries on the little man to figure out exactly what is going on. He will be in the hospital for at least 6 weeks at this point. Oliver, Bennett's older brother is staying with family and it has been really hard on him to only get to see mommy and daddy for short periods of time.

I am asking that you please join me in prayer for this sweet family. Brian and Breck have not been able to hold her newborn baby and as a mother I can not imagine the grief. Please be praying that Bennett's situation is a unique one and he would pull out of this a healthy little boy. Also, for Breck, Brian, and Oliver that they would be able to find balance in this hard time and that God would comfort and bring peace to their hearts.

I asked a sweet blogger (mommy2my9) to help me make a blog button for Bennett. Please put this button on your blog to remind yourself and others to be in prayer for this family.

The button along with the html is below. Isnt he the sweetest little guy? If you are using blogger, you can go to your layout, click "add a gadget", click the add HTML button, and then copy and paste the entire HTML from the small box below the button. The button, when put on your blog, will lead right to Bennett's blog.

Let's storm the gates of Heaven on behalf of sweet Bennett and his family!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Top 100

I have decided to make my way through Guardian's Top 100 Books You Can't Live Without.

You can find the list here.

I had planned to go in order and start with Pride and Prejudice, but the library didn't have it so I skipped to Jane Eyre. I still plan to go somewhat in order, but may have to do a little rearranging from time to time.

I'm not very far in Jane Eyre yet, but am really liking it so far. I haven't really read many of the "classics", so I'm excited to get some of them in my repretoire.

I like this list a lot because there is a good variation of genres as well as some new books and some old.

I do plan to skip The Complete works of Shakespeare (because there are way too many and I don't know what the heck he is talking about half the time....I may take a friend's advice and read Shakespeare for Dummies as a replacement) and the Bible (because I already read it regularly).

Have you read any good books lately? Wanna join me on the journey through "the list"?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A continuation......

Matt posted this as a comment to my post yesterday, but MAN did it do a number on my heart. I just wanted to share:

We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" ( Mark 6:49 ). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.

God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The desires of our heart

A while back I was talking with a friend about how God promises to give us the desires of our heart. Her desire was to have a baby girl (she was blessed with a boy instead). My desire is to get pregnant (I have been blessed with time to draw closer to God and wait on His perfect timing instead). I think that sometimes we read that verse and automatically think on the desires of our flesh rather than what our heart and soul actually desire. I think what God is promising is that He will satisfy us completely if we just set our hearts on Him.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lovin' Summertime

Painting a puppet

My little kitty

Water park fun

Hangin' out at the zoo


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where have you been all my life?

This morning I drank my first green monster. It seriously rocked my world! I can't believe I didn't try these before. I first came across these on Oprah when a women who was diagnosed with cancer told Dr. Oz she drank one every morning because of the huge health benefits of spinach. Looking at the drink I thought, no way on earth am I drinking something like that!! When I entered the Summer Glow boot camp I realized that the owner of the blog drank them too. I looked at the ingredients and still thought they sounded disgusting! The weird thing was, every thing I read said that you really can't taste the spinach. Yeah right, I thought.

They were right!! You seriously can not taste the spinach in the green monsters and the health benefits to eating spinach every day are out of this world!! I'm officially hooked and plan to have one every morning for breakfast. There are many different ways to make them and really you can put whatever ingredients you'd like, but here's what mine consisted of this morning:

2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 tbsp peanut butter (for some protein)
1/2 banana

It seriously tasted like a pb banana smoothie.

Try one! I think you'll be pleasantly suprised!! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the road to beautiful.....

So, I have decided that its time to get my mind, body, and spirit healthy again. When we first started trying to get pregnant I really tried hard to get my body healthy again and did pretty well. Then several months passed and I was tired of working towards a healthy body because quite frankly, I was mad that my body wasn't doing what I wanted it to - get pregnant.

I am tired of "not caring" anymore and am ready to feel beautiful inside and out because I'm worth it. :) Pastor Michael recently preached about God calling us into the roles we each have (spouse, parent, student, coworker, etc.) and that He wants us to be the very best we can at each of those roles He has called us to. I feel like in order to better serve others I need to really be working on myself.

I have joined the Summer Glow Boot Camp (SGBC) over at and am super excited to get started. Today is Day 1 and I'm off to do my exercises after I publish this post. Not only do I want my body to be healthy, but I want my mind and spirit to be as well. So, I have come up with some habits to work on this month and we'll see how it goes! :)

Mind: I have much peace of mind when things are done around the house and I have a plan set out. I am going to work on making weekly meal plans, doing daily chores - especially doing one load of laundry each day (this is a huge source of anxiety for me), and having tomorrow's activities for daycare planned out and ready to go the night before.

Body: Eating healthier -- I'm not going to count calories this month (which is what I have done in the past and its honestly really stressful to me). I'm just going to eat healthy and in moderation. We just moved into our new house and don't have much food here anyway so I will be buying only healthy food and snacks. Also...I'm going to try to drink a green monster each morning for breakfast (I will post a picture of one tomorrow...they're pretty!!)-- I never eat breakfast, so I know this will help with getting my body going early!! Exercise -- Im going to do the C25K at least 4 days a week along with doing the boot camp exercises. This doesn't sound like a lot, but I haven't been exercising at all so it will be a huge step in the right direction!

Spirit: I am going to work on going through the soapy journal each day - my quiet time has deifnitely been lacking lately, so I'm excited to get back into the Word.

I feel like by working on each of these parts of my life I will definitely be a much better wife and mommy to Justin and Chloe.

So, I'm officially on the road to beautiful....

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm just sad.

Some days are better than others. Today has just been a sad one for me.

I'm trying to keep my eyes on Jesus, but sometimes I just get lost in the haze of my tears. Not being able to get pregnant is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with/go through.

I know God is refining me.

I'm willing.

I'm trusting.

I'm just sad.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

No more sleeping in the pews

In my "submission" post I touched on the fact that Justin and I have found a new church. Well, Desperation Church (DC) is officially our new "home". Justin and I went through the base classes (which are classes that people have to take to become members) and we couldn't be more excited. We feel so at home there and are SO excited about the things that are happening. I think the thing I love most about DC is that we WANT to go. I really get pretty bummed out if we have to miss a weekend and honestly, its been a while since I have felt that way about church. I believe, that is what God intended church to be -- a place where you're EXCITED to go! We are so excited to run passionately after God with a group of people who are just real and ready to love Jesus, not just in the pews, but everywhere.

One really awesome thing that DC does is that we have W.O.W weekends (church WithOut Walls). Basically we don't have our "normal" meetings, but instead go out and serve the community. WOW weekends are not about DC, but about sharing Christ with our community. It rocks, really. :)

The first one was to nursing homes around the city. We met with the sweet people living in the nursing homes. Chloe and I sat and talked with two hilarious women who just couldn't get enough of her. Others helped plant flowers, clean out basements, or do just whatever the facility needed. It felt awesome to be God's hands and feet that day.

The next WOW weekend we did free car washes and a community picnic. I think everyone had a blast cleaning people's cars for them and just allowing them to feel "special" for a few minutes while their car got a good washing. Many people offered to donate money, but the best thing I got to say all day was, "No thank you. We WANT to do this for you, free of charge". Isn't that what God says to us? We try so hard to "pay" him with our works or our earn our salvation, but instead He says, "No thank you. We (me, my son, and spirit) WANT to do this for you, free of charge." Man we serve an awesome God! I also have another story about this weekend, but I want to save it for a different post.

Next weekend we are handing out free bags of groceries to the community. I'm praying that people who are truly in need of these groceries, who maybe are having a hard time getting food on the table for their children, will get the flyer and know that we are there to help them out. Most of all though, I am just praying that that people, in need or not, will come and be filled -- with food AND with Jesus! Will you join me?

Time to Think....

As the inital shock of the "april's mom" scam has worn off I can say I am at least a little bit less freaked out! Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying to decide if keeping this blog private is the best way to go. I DO post pictures of Chloe and information about our family, so that is my biggest concern. I have come to realize though, that there are people who have "subscribed" to my blog that I don't even know. I'm sure they are "friends of a friend", or like I often do, clicked from one blog to another and ended up here. While it's kind of concerning that I don't know these people, it also makes me think that maybe I should leave my blog open so maybe, hopefully, my words may be an encouragement to them.

I have found some "blog" friends who are struggling through secondary infertility as well and if my words about that can bring them at least some hope (just as many of them have brought me hope), then maybe its worth it to keep my blog open. I have gotten emails from women who are in the same stage of life and just want to give an encouraging word because I wrote something that struck them.

I just feel like maybe there really are more good people than there are bad and instead of letting the "bad" ones intimidate me, I will let the good ones lift me up through their blogs and hopefully I can do the same for someone else.

So, after some thought and reflection, I think I am going to make my blog public again in hopes of allowing God to work through my words and encourage others.

As well, I am going to delete the "april rose" posts I wrote because they really aren't all that important and its not something I want to dwell on.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Car seat safety

I was actually working on a post on car seat safety, but then realized that one of my favorite bloggers already has it covered. If you are a parent, PLEASE head over to MckMama's blog and read this post. It's long, but its so important.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

God, family, natural childbirth (warning: this is long!)

There is not much that gets me super fired up (meaning heart-pumping, emotional, about to come out of my seat fired-up). Some things that do: Authentic worship. I could sing praises to God for hours and hours. Its one of my favorite ways to communicate with God. I sing at the top of my lungs and don't really care who is listening. Next: My family. Of course, most people understand me when I say that. When it comes to your family, ain't nobody better be messin' with 'em!!

Last: Natural Childbirth. Okay, I know this is a touchy subject and I know there will be people who don't agree. I'm really okay with that, but this is my blog and I get to say what I want, right? ;)

My absolute DREAM job is to be a doula (a labor support person). I have started the certification and slowly plan to finish it. If I could support women in labor every day, I would be happy as a lark. I would be even happier if the majority of those women chose natural childbirth and the incredible rewards that come with it!

How in the world did I become so passionate about this?

Well, my own childbirth experience. Chloe was born completely naturally, but not without a big 'ol fight. I won't go into the whole story (maybe I will save that for another post...I know you all are just chomping at the bit for that one!), but I will tell you that I never should have had to fight so much opposition from people and even more imporantly from my doctors.

I truly do not understand why this country can not get it together when it comes to childbirth. Natural is safest. period. Why on EARTH do we have a national c-section rate of over 30%, when evidence shows that 5-10% is optimal. C-sections are a SERIOUS surgery! We are 41st on the list of mortality of mothers giving birth in the world? Really? In the land of the free and the brave? It's astounding to me!

I'll tell you why we are failing childbirthing mothers: because our labors have so many interventions that lead to more interventions that lead to more interventions that lead to c-sections. So many women are induced for whatever reason (there are MANY and most of them absolutely ridiculous), which leads to harder stronger contractions, which then leads to an epidural because the woman can't handle the pain of the unnatural contractions, many times the epidural then slows down the labor progress (which happens to be 1cm every 2 hours...that's 20 hours, people!), so we kick up the pitocin and suddenly the baby is in distress....time for a c-section!

Listen, I completely understand that these interventions (drugs, c-sections, etc.) are there for good reason. SOME women do need these things because the labor isn't going how it should. I get that! I'm not saying no woman should ever be induced or have a c-section, what I am saying is that the number should be WAY less!

Here are some very important reasons why natural childbirth really IS best for mom and baby (some information from Natural Mothers Radio Talk):

There won’t be any reactions to drugs. Even though a large percentage of people do not experience serious side effects to drugs, there are still many mothers who do. These drugs can cause complications with the delivery and even afterwards - both for mom and baby. Babies exposed to drugs in labor also sometimes have difficulty learning to breastfeed.

Natural childbirth without medication helps to keep mom aware and functioning at high levels during her birth. Using numbing drugs that paralyze her from the waist down can mean the birth process lasts for much longer and mom and baby can get tired, leading to the possibility of a c-section. Anesthesia also tends to cause a “slippery slope” of intervention that can lead to induction and again, unnecessary c-section.

Statistics show that reduced medical intervention mean fewer difficulties during birth. This includes pitocin to induce contractions, breaking the water to start labor and even a planned cesarean.

Medical intervention tends to cause stress in the mother (sometimes without her being aware of it) and can cause labor to slow or stall out completely. Although some women report that anesthesia during labor helps them relax you so you can dilate better, other times it slows down the whole process putting you and the baby through a lot more work than is needed.

Since medical intervention often interferes with the normal birthing process it also raises the statistic for cesareans. Doctors only want you to birth so long, they say you get too tired and you can’t handle it, etc. Many times they could be more worried about getting it over with so they can get back to their families. This is another reason so many people have planned cesareans. **Don't try to tell me this one isn't ever true because my doctor DID this!!**

Interestingly, in other developed nations where home birth and natural birth are more common, outcomes are better and there is much lower infant mortality.

Our bodies were designed to deliver babies! God made women so that the birthing process could happen naturally. It's not an "injury" or something that needs to be fixed. It's a rite of passage for women and as women, we shouldn't take it lightly. I can't even explain the empowerment that came from having Chloe naturally. It was one of the most incredible, proud moments of my life!

My opinion (and really its backed by research) is that natural childbirth is safest for mom and baby. I am not going to tell you that you are stupid and wrong for choosing a hospital birth where you are most likely going to encounter most if not all of the interventions I talked about. My MAIN concern is that women are not educating themselves. Doctors aren't telling you these things, trust me! So, if the doctors aren't going to step up and educate their patients as they should be, then who is? So, my biggest advice if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant....EDUCATE yourself! Learn how your body works and the amazing capabilities it has!

Here are some really great resources:

Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (my hero!)

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a better Birth by Henci Goer

The Business of Being Born (DVD)

I know this is a touchy subject, so I would LOVE to hear your thoughts! There is nothing I love more than a dialogue about childbirth! And yes, I realize you may think I'm a crazy hippie. I'm okay with that ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A post on Submission? I must be crazy!

Anyone who knows me knows that I like things my way. Do I dare admit this? I often tend to try to control situations. Sometimes I'm super aggressive about it, stating exactly how I want things done. Sometimes I'm passive aggressive, stating exactly what I want and then quickly adding "but maybe I'm wrong" (although deep down I know I'm not!). It's one thing I really don't like about myself, but I'm a work in progress, right?

One area of my life that tends to be the easiest for me to fall into this trap is my marriage. I think the reason I do this is because in our almost 4 years of marriage I have relied on Justin to make me happy. I need him to make me feel worthy, to make me feel needed, to make me feel like the most amazing wife and mother in the world. Ha!

Spiritually speaking for quite a while I had oh-so-sweetly demanded that Justin be the leader of our household. He never lived up to my expectations. He wasn't close enough to God, he wasn't reading his bible enough, he wasn't praying enough, so of course I needed to take over! I was obviously the stronger believer and if he wasn't going to do it then move over buddy, I'll take the reigns. I had nagged reminded him enough times that surely God wanted me to take over by now! Wrong!

Surprisingly, at one point in the very beginning of our marriage (in the middle of my nagging, controlling, non-submissive tirades) I did submit to God's design and the outcome has been incredible.

Justin and I got married the summer after I left MU. While at MU, I attended an amazing church that really showed me what church/community was suppose to look like. Justin had never experienced that with me, so I came back feeling like the super-christian and like I needed to make sure he knew exactly how we were suppose to be living as Believers. I told him that we needed to change churches because the one we attended growing up just wasn't what we needed. He wasn't comfortable leaving and initially I was ticked. He liked the comfort of our childhood church and that even made me more mad. Comfort? Are we suppose to be seeking comfort as Believers?! I thought he was so wrong!! Slowly, and only with God's help, I decided to let Justin make the decision about where we would go to church. All the while secretly waiting for him to realize I was right all along!

We attended our childhood church for about 3 1/2 years. To my surprise, we were growing as a couple and individually as believers. Justin became a stronger, more confident leader in our household. I was slowing allowing God to show me that His way is best.

About 2 months ago, Justin and I decided together that it was time for us to move on to a different church. He was ready to find a place that would allow us to spread our wings a little more and that had more couples our age to connect with. This is what I wanted from the very beginning, but God needed time to work in both of our hearts before He decided it was time for us to move on. We are now attending a church that we both LOVE and are getting to know lots of new awesome friends. God is working to deepen our relationship with Him and with others.

I don't know what would have happened had we changed churches when I wanted to. I think, quite honestly, it could have been disastrous to our spiritual walks as well as our marriage. By giving up control, God has blessed me and our family immensely. By submitting to my husband and allowing God's design to work, our relationships with the Father are stronger than ever and getting stronger every day.

As I have been thinking about this lately, God is really showing me that His ways are best ALL the time. He didn't implement standards to make things worse for us. He has always had our best interests at heart. He wants nothing but the best for us. Why so many times do I allow my flesh to lead and ultimately cause me so much more pain than if I were to just be obedient the first time?

I am trying my very best to submit to God's timing daily in regards to our second child. I know God wants to do what is best for us, so I'm holding tight to that.

Is there something in your life that you need to submit to God? My advice: Just do it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chloe Singing

Chloe decided to put on a concert for us tonight so I thought I would share.

The one song that you may not recognize is called the Unicorn Song and its only part of it, but Chloe loves to do the actions. The words are:

There were green alligators
and long-necked geese
Humpty back camels
and chimpanzees,
Cats (meow) and Rats (Hissss)
and Elephants
and as sure as your born,
but the loveliest of all is the unicorn

Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

The present

Lately I feel like I have been on a roller coaster. One minute of the day I am rejoicing, the next minute I am so sad I can barely hold my head up.

Justin and I are in the process of buying a house. We couldn't be more excited!! It is perfect for us. Last night we sat and "planned out" our living room. It was so fun :) We had no intentions of buying. We had a duplex we were ready to sign a lease on. This house is owned by a family friend who is selling it to us for much less than its worth and our house payments will be the same or less than our rent payments would have been. In a time of "economic crisis", God has blessed us beyond what we deserve. I continually thank Him for the way He takes care of us.

I praise God every day for my sweet Chloe. She is such a joy in our lives. This age is SO much fun! She is seriously one of the funniest people I know. She has recently started making up stories. She has an imaginary snake and loves to ask you if you want to pet her. It cracks me up!

We are still struggling to get pregnant. I am all over the place about this. Most often I am at peace with God's timing, but there are definitely moments of abundant sadness. I have always known we would have several children. I had hoped the majority of them would come from my own womb, but more and more I am beginning to question that. I think God placed adoption on my heart a long time ago, but I just don't feel ready for that yet. I'm praying for the Lord to open my womb and allow me to carry another child. Will you join me in this, please? I think the hardest part of this is that I feel so alone. Justin knows I am hurting, but as a man, he just doesn't "get it". My close friends are amazing, but don't have children so its hard to explain exactly what I am feeling. I am trying to find refuge in God, but sometimes I just need a human shoulder.

I was reading another blog and came across the following devotion:

"There is no randomness about your life. Most people let their moments slip through their fingers, half-lived. They avoid the present by worrying about the future or longing for a better time and place. They forget that they are creatures subject to the limitations of time and place. They forget their Creator, who walks with them only in the present.

"Every moment is alive with My glorious Presence, to those whose hearts are intimately connected with Mine. As you give yourself more and more to a lifetime of constant communion with Me, you will find that you simply have no time for worry. Thus, you are freed to let My Spirit direct your steps, enabling you to walk along the path of Peace."
Luke 12:25-26, Luke 1:79

Oh, Lord please help me to live in the present. I want to live my fullest life RIGHT NOW. I want to give up my dreams for yours. I don't want to let these precious moments slip through my fingers. Oh, God work in my heart so I may fully surrender to your plan for me and our family. Amen.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A really great weekend!

Yesterday morning my sister and I left for Branson around 9:45. We stopped at Fantastic Caverns on the way down to marvel at an amazing cave that you can ride through and also ate at the home of "throwed rolls", Lamberts, for lunch. It was a lot of fun!

We got to Branson at about 4:30, stopped at Walmart to get some supplies, and met up with mom at the hotel to make our Stellan sign.

We got to the conference center at 6:30, doors opened at 7:00. We got a really great seats about 5 rows back. We were so lucky that my mom has AMAZING friends who allowed us to use their wristbands for the concert (Thank you Patty and Vicki!) I was a little discouraged because we still hadn't heard anything back from Angie, as we had left her our phone numbers and email (although I don't blame her for not calling us...we could have been crazy people...well...crazier than we are!). About 6:45 I saw Angie's sweet daughter Kate bouncing down the stairs of a "staff only" hallway. Quickly after that came Angie's other daughters followed by their beautiful mother. I freaked out! I looked at mom and said, "THAT'S HER!" I didn't know what to do! I grabbed my camera and ran to her.

When I got to her, I introduced myself, told her we were the ones with the Stellan sign and she quickly knew who I was. We hugged and then things got a little awkward. Angie was trying to figure out a place to sit (for some reason they didn't have a reserved section for her and the girls), so a man who worked at the conference center told her they had seats available at the very top, which Angie kindly said would work just fine (meanwhile I was thinking...Ummm...DO YOU KNOW WHO SHE IS!? Are you seriously making her sit in the balcony?). She turned to me and said, "Do you want me to come over to where you're sitting and we can take the picture"? But the man kept pushing her along trying to escort her to her seat. Angie kept saying "I'm fine, really...I can find it", but the man insisted. SO, I told Angie I would come find her after I got my mom and sister.

We went up to the balcony, took pictures and then I got to talk to her for a few minutes (which felt like only seconds). I thanked her for being such an encouragement to me and so many others, we talked about Stellan, and then we hugged. It was such an amazing moment and I was on cloud 9 the whole rest of the night. I wish so much that I could have talked to her longer. Part of me wishes I would have moved seats and gone to sit with her up top (but I felt like that might be a little stalker-ish). She was just as sweet as I had imagined and their girls are cute as can be.

So, to sum things up, I had an AMAZING weekend :)

Here's me and Angie (isn't she beautiful?):

Our sign for Stellan!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!!

I might be meeting Angie Smith (writer of Bring the Rain, wife of Todd Smith - lead singer of Selah, amazing woman who I blogged about here). My mom is at a conference in Branson that I was suppose to go to. Selah is doing a concert on Saturday night of the conference. I had emailed Angie to see if she would be there also. At the time, she thought she wouldn't be able to go. The friends I had planned to go with were unable to go, so I gave up my tickets. I was bummed, but not TOO bummed since I knew Angie wouldn't be there.

Well, last night my mom emailed Angie about making a sign for Stellan (a little baby of another blogger I love) and having Todd take a picture of all the woman at the conference praying for him. Angie said she LOVED the idea and mom got the feeling from the email that maybe Angie WAS going to be at the conference.

Turns out, SHE IS! I freaked out, actually cried a little because I realized I could have been there!, and then my mom suggested my sister and I just drive to Branson and see her! And I thought that was a GRRRREAT idea!! Lindsey and I are leaving at 9 tomorrow morning and are going to spend the day in Branson and then hopefully go to the concert (if we can find tickets -- my mom said she would give up hers!) tomorrow night. I am hoping and praying that she will get in contact with us so I can see her and hug her and tell her thank you for being such an encouragement in my life!! I can't even tell you how EXCITED I am about this!!

I really hope to have some pictures of Angie and me after this weekend! If I do, I will definitely post them!

AHHHH!!! I'm so excited!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Make that TWICE!!

She peed in the potty AGAIN!!

I am so proud of her! She was eating lunch and told me she had to potty. I took her into the bathroom and she started squirming and acted like she wasn't going to go. I bribed her with m&ms and she peed immediately.

God is so good! A day that started out sad by finding out we aren't pregnant again this month, has turned into such a joyous day! It's the small things in life, right? :)

Life is good....

Chloe peed on the potty today!!!! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. We have been working on potty training on and off for about 6 months and she just couldn't seem to figure out how to actually GO while she was sitting on the potty.

Not this morning! This morning she told me she had to go, asked me to turn the water on, and then peed!


**She may or may not have proceeded to pee her pants 10 minutes later. ;)

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's been a while.

To say I have neglected my blog would be a HUGE understatement. It has not been for lack of things to say, necessarily. Maybe a little laziness. Maybe a little insecurity about the new direction I want my blog to take, but not feeling adequate to write about such things. I'm not sure really. But I'm back!

I have been going through a hard/weird time lately and am trying to find myself and my passions again.

Some of the more difficult things in my life right now are: Justin and I are on our 7 month of trying to have another baby, I feel like I'm just "living life" and not really passionate about much, I feel very distant from my close girlfriends, Justin and I are in the process of switching churches, so leaving our old church has been hard along with trying to integrate into the new church, we are living with my parents (which has been going wonderfully!!), but I yearn to have our own place again and am looking for places to rent that are in our budget (not an easy task!), and my lack of time management screams failure at me daily (although I am SLOWLY getting better).

Some great things in my life are: My marriage is going great and I feel like Justin and I are connecting, Chloe continues to be a joy and I thank God for her every day (I don't know how first time moms deal with struggling to get pregnant!), and I am in the beginning stages of becoming a doula (a birth coach/assistant).

I am working through some of the "crappy" stuff and trying to figure out practical ways to make each of the areas better.

I promise to be posting on here more and not wait another 2 months for the next entry! YIKES!

PS. I also updated pictures on Chloe's blog as well (