Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My favorite thing

I am not going to lie... the beginning of this pregnancy was hard for me. I had 2 scary episodes that brought me to the doctor, and thankfully they were just some minor complications that required rest. I had 3 pretty bad weeks of nausea, vomitting and stomach bug, followed by the reoccurance of these nasty symptoms. Then there was the whole "is she fat or is she pregant" phase. I think my lowest point in this phase was at Buffalo Wild Wings while we were watching the Ole Miss vs. Arkansas game. I had ventured into the bathroom for my 6th potty visit of the night (yeah, turns out that you not only become best friends with the pot because you puke, but also because you become a world champion peeer), and on 3 occasions, there were women in the bathroom who I rest assured were not pregnant (come on peeps, I saw them at the bar!), and pretty sure that their beer guts resembled my growing baby bump quite nicely. I got back to the table and informed Drew I was officially depressed. I have also decided that God gives pregnant women constipation to gear up for getting excited when our kids poop on the potty. If you ever see a pregnant woman, I am sure that most would be excited to tell you IF they had pooped that day. I mean, on top of already feeling bloated and huge, you then have 4 days of crap (literally) in your system. It's enough to make you wish you could go back 4 weeks before to the morning sickness so atleast something is coming out of your body. I digress on some of my not-so-fun pregnancy moments.

Now that I am growing a nice sized beach ball (I like to say I am beach-ballin' it), even though the bigness is uncomfortable, I atleast know that most normal people can look at me and pretty much know I am pregnant. Brayden has been moving around for a few weeks now, but this past week his movement has become more pronounced and strong. It's one of my favorite things-- eating my meal, and then about 20 minutes later feeling the kicks, punches and sommersaults that ensue. Babies are such a miracle, and God is so great. To know that this little life is inside of me and that God is forming his every little part is just incredible, awe inspiring and truly humbling. It has to be one of my most favorite things.

PS-- while typing this post, I literally just had a tidal wave across my belly-- apparently my son also has telepathy, and knows that I am typing about him. It just made me laugh :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eventful weekend

This weekend has been really productive. Saturday we registered at both Target and Walmart. It was eventful, and Drew was enlightened as to how much stuff a baby really needs. We actually agreed on everything, which was a stark contrast to our registration during our engagement. After registering we ate lunch at McAlisters, and then ventured over to a closeout furniture place we've been watching for a rocker/recliner for Brayden's nursery. A recliner was there we liked, and in our price range, so Drew decided we'd get that too! After bringing that home, the Allen's came over to help move the recliner in, and were kind enough to lend an eye on how to lay out the nursery (I mean, we're working with a 10x10 room here people, so things have to be just right or it just doesn't fit!). As a finishing touch, Drew and I purchased a little cross to hang on Brayden's closet.

Today, we went to Linen's and Things to see if they would have any drapes for the nursery. The nursery gets a lot of afternoon sun, which will be counter productive to naptime, so we needed something that was lined, and preferably the kind that keep the heat/cold out. Thankfully there was 1 set left of the navy drapes, and they were 40% off! What a blessing! We still need to get a rod, but we can pick that up from Wal-mart or Target for pretty cheap. I am so glad the nursery is finally starting to come together!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vintage Baseball

UPDATE: The fabric store I bought the fabric online with has refunded my payment. I am thinking that this means I didn't get my order in in time to get it. Bummer. Off to see if my 2nd option will work. I'll keep you posted.

Being the planner that I am, I had already found fabric I liked for baby bedding. The bedding planning is still in preliminary stages, but since the main fabric I wanted was being discontinued, I went ahead and purchased what I would need for that portion of the fabric. If you know me well at all, you know I love sports, and have always had a deep love for baseball. Mom always jokingly says that I had a baseball in my hands since I was born... not sure if that is accurate, but we're setting Brayden up for the same with his new room. The theme will be vintage baseball. Drew made a baseball bat while he was deployed, so that will be somewhere in the decorations. More to come later, but here's a sneak peak at the outer fabric of the bumper :)

PS-- My doctor bumped my due date up today to April 16th. Not really sure I agree with her because I am pretty sure of my cycle, but she's the doc so whatever. I think he's just a big baby, not necessarily due any sooner. I guess if it gets him out sooner so he'll be a bit smaller, I won't complain. Just please don't be late little Brayden!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's a BOY...

Brayden Thomas! He is very healthy, and measuring a week ahead of where I am at gestationally (I am 18 weeks and he's measuring at 19 weeks). He didn't give us a perfect profile, but did stare directly at the 'camera'. We're beyond ecstatic and feel immensely blessed that God has given us a precious little boy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Found Respect

I have come to find that there are a myriad of emotions that overcome you when pregnant. Ecstasy, joy, concern, pure fear, the list could go on and on and on, and you might even feel every single emotion in the span of one day. It truly is a weird and awe inspiring journey. One of my most recent emotions (if I can call it that) is that of an even deeper respect than I already had of my mom. It's very similar to what you feel like when you come through that dark forest known as the teen years, and you realize what a complete idiot you have been to your parents, that they truly have been right all these years (perhaps you are not there yet... believe me, there will come a time when this happens, and you feel like the biggest dufus in all of history). So mom, thanks for everything you've done in my life but right now I have a new found respect for you:
  • bowing before the great white toilet throne with the worst vomitting one could ever experience
  • feeling sea sick for weeks on end, and having to listen to everyone's remedies (which usually don't work)
  • being touched by complete, or almost complete strangers, and hearing the constant "the pregnant lady said" comment
  • feeling like a stranger in your own skin
  • dealing with horrible gastrointestinal problems with no way to truly fix it
  • falling asleep at 7 pm because your body just won't let you stay awake any longer
  • do I really need to keep going.......
She put up with all of that for me... and then once I arrived, I caused her grief throughout my years. It's a wonder she hasn't killed me yet :) Thanks mom--- you're the greatest!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

12 weeks 4 days and counting...

God has taught Drew and I so much over the past year, mainly reinforcing the never ending fact that He is Sovereign and His plans are so much better than anything we could dream. More than once I had to stop and remind myself that I am not in control of my life; as much as I try to plan, strategize and lay out everything, ultimately it is His time that we are under. I have to be honest, sometimes coming to that realization is REALLY hard, and sometimes my flesh completely bucks against it, but I am most calm and most at peace when I rest in knowing that He will perfect in His time.

I could probably write a book on what I have learned about His sovereignty this year, so I will save it for a rainy day... please ask me if you want the entire story. So with that being said, for those of you not on the facebook news, or who haven't found out in person, I'm pleased to introduce Baby March, due April 23, 2009.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Molly's Story

Some of you might recall a couple of weeks ago as I wrote about my friend Rebecca Rainey Mutz's little girl Molly Ann. I gave snippets of Mr. Rainey's emails, but thought some of you (if you haven't found it by now) might like to read his complete words, found on Family Life.
Please continue to pray for their families right now, as they continue to grieve the loss of Molly. Life is so short, and we are so blessed... I am reminded of this by Molly's story every day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bonds stronger than Miles

This past week I was able to house most of my family while they were in between housing units during their eventual move back to Louisiana. Some of the highlights include: the lovely air that is in our town when the wind blows west (it smells like cows-- nearly made my mom puke during our walk with the dogs), movie nights, late night talks, a day out on the lake at which both Mom and Laura were able to get up on the wakeboard (Laura got up on the wakesurf), mozzi sticks, laser tag & virtual jump rope (don't ask, we couldn't figure it out). Today was hard. Not necessarily because I won't see them again, because I will, but because we are in uncharted waters. We've never been more than 3 hours apart, which is just a quick weekend trip. It's scary, yet I cling to the fact that my parents are following God's guidance and God will not give our family something we cannot handle. I am just so thankful that it's a sad thing when my family leaves; I know some who breath a sigh of relief when their parents and/or siblings leave town, but to Drew and I, there is no greater joy than spending time with my family. They are the people who love us because of who we are despite our faults, will come to our rescue when no one else will, and can make us laugh when no one else can. I think if there is one thing I can bet on me learning this year is that our family bond is stronger than any mile that comes between us, despite how hard it seems.

Friday, June 20, 2008

God is God

I must admit that I have sat at the computer to type this post for the past 2 days, and words cannot begin to describe the emotions I have had in my heart the past couple of days and weeks. To say that the defining line in my life is patience and faith would be an understatement. I feel like I am constantly asking God, "WHY?!" to so many things. I feel that to best explain my point I must share some stories.

In the midst of my unemployment, I felt the need to give back at least some portion of my free time to those who needed it, so I signed up to be a volunteer at the Samaritan Community Center. It baffles me that sometimes the people who have the least amount of material things (knowledge even) on earth are the ones with the most joy in their lives. Mind you, I was not surrounded by a bunch of poor people who couldn't read and write, jumping for joy because they were what our world deems "underpriviledged." But I believe that some of them (obviously not all, as we live in a fallen world so they will all not assume the best attitudes) were truly joyous regardless of the circumstances in their lives. The hardest thing for me was watching little children, grappling for food like they hadn't eaten in days, asking for 2nds, 3rds even, and having their parents tell them to just drink some more water because "that will fill the hole in your belly." Oh so sad to see the potential in a little ones life and know that there is a very real truth to the fact that she may not be able to achieve all she is capable of because of the cards dealt to her in life. Please don't ever fall into the trap of believing that the gospel and missions are something that are brought to 3rd world countries. We have people in need in our backyards, and they need the love of Jesus showered on them just as much as the people in another country. If you have a free day, please try to volunteer somewhere that serves people in need. "... to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even to the least of them, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40).
Most of you will probably already know this next story, but I feel that it deserves to be put on this blog, because this family has been a pillar of faith in such an incredibly dark circumstance. A friend of mine from high school, Rebecca (Rainey) Mutz, recently gave birth to a sweet baby girl. From the first minute of Molly's little life, things weren't right, and the news that came in the very first days of her life was tragic. Molly had a serious and rare condition that caused too much blood to be pumped to her brain, causing subsequent congestive heart failure, along with other medical problems. They had to make the decision whether to risk little Molyy's life by going through numerous surgeries, yet not knowing what type of life she would have, or by removing her from life support and releasing her to the Lord. As I type I still tear up. I cannot imagine someone telling me I would have to make such a hard decision. Oh how my heart breaks for them as they are mourning the loss of their little sweet angel that only graced the earth for 6 days! Even in the midst of the hardest storm, their families have shown that their faith in God will remain steady. Mr. Rainey wrote this in an email hours before Molly would be taken off of life support:
I do know that Wednesday was an incredible day. Videoing, picture taking, making a mold of Molly’s hands, Rebecca and Jake holding Molly still teethered by life support tubes. Rebecca and the mom’s giving Molly her first, and only bath, washing her hair. Stroking her little naked body. This is not what this young mother expected. Doing footprints and hand prints. Ask me to show you my bible and I’ll show you her footprints all over Psalm 127 and 128…and her handprint on my life verse, Psalm 112:1-2…Her life may have been short in terms of days, but her life has been mighty. Mighty Molly Mutz.

May I have faith like this family when I am in the midst of trials. God will be glorified by little Molly's life. I know it, because it already is happening.

I guess this leads me to my main questioning of WHY. Why would God give so many children to families who can't even feed them, yet take life away from a family who obviously has faith as strong as the mightiest pillars. Sometimes life just doesn't make much sense. And although I know in my head (and in my heart) that God is sovereign and nothing catches Him by surprise, it's so hard to keep grasp of that while wrestling with the raw emotions that these trials bring. I have learned in my questioning that it's ok to question. It's ok to feel hurt, pain and disappointment when things don't go quite like we had planned or hoped. Just because we feel that way doesn't mean we don't trust in God; Trusting in God and having His joy doesn't mean that we don't show those hurts. It just means that as we are falling, there are hands and arms to hold us up so that when we reach the bottom, there is something to cling to and catch us. Throughout this ordeal, as well as others, which for the sake of time and space I won't go into, I have constantly been drawn to the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, God is God. I started to just write out the chorus of the song, but feel like the song in it's entirety is worthy of putting on the blog, so I will paste it at the bottom of this post. I am not sure how many people read this blog. I do not know who you are, if I know you, or if you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. But I do know that this song sums up for me the foundation of my faith. He alone is sovereign. His plans are better than mine, regardless of what I may think right now. To God be the Glory in all things! And please, please remember that life is precious, and we are so richly blessed to have food on the table and a family who loves us. Please don't take for granted what you have, because I promise you, there is someone out there who would die to be in your shoes!

GOD IS GOD by Steven Curtis Chapman
And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don’t know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move
Afraid to fall, oh, but fall I must
On this truth that my life has been formed from the dust

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God

And the sky begins to thunder
And I’m filled with awe and wonder
‘Til the only burning question that remains
Is who am I

Can I form a single mountain
Take the stars in hand and count them
Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me
He is first and last before all that has been
Beyond all that will pass

Oh, how great are the riches of His wisdom and knowledge
How unsearchable for to Him and through
Him and from Him are all things

So let us worship before the throne
Of the One who is worthy of worship alone

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