" I am the Lord. I change not." Malachi 3:6

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

John 16:20 and full of anticipation!

Our week has been a busy one! On Sunday we went to church and I was rocked to the core by our pastor's message!! I love how when we often go to church it feels like the message was made just for me and where I'm at. I love how God works! This weekend David shared an emotional story about his past and his struggle with depression and anxiety, two topics that hit very close to home for me and my extended family. His message and testimony was raw, genuine, and relatable. One of the verses he shared touched my heart.

John 16:20 New International Version

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

It reminded me of Mason and the days and months that followed losing him. I will never forget the depression and anxiety that entered my life after we lost him. I remember blogging many days and weeks of tears, anguish, pain, and desperation. I remember taking one hour at a time, shutting down, my marriage suffered, and many days seemed unbearable.  If you would have told me then that God would change my heart, that He would change my life, that He would bring something so beautiful out of something so awful I wouldn't have believed you.  But almost four years later (which often feels like yesterday) I can share with great joy all of the amazing things God has done in my life and my marriage.  He has restored my marriage and my husband and I are blessed to welcome Harper into our home in a matter of weeks.  He used my grief and loss to show a side of strength in my husband that frankly always existed but I never saw.  He taught me how to rely on Him and his word for everything and to be vulnerable in a way that I've never allowed myself to be.  And the list goes on and on.  I will never be the same person that I was before February 9,2009...my normal is different then it was before that day...but I can tell you that I love fiercer then I ever did before. I'm not afraid to be brutally honest with my family and friends. I cherish my children and the craziness that often surrounds our days! I'm thankful for the big hugs and laughter that fills our home.  And most importantly I'm thankful that God's promises are true.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that our son is in heaven and he is healthy and beautiful and waiting. I know I will be reunited with him one day and I can't wait to hold him in my arms and tell him just how much I love him.  Until then I rest knowing that he is being loved by my Abba Father and couldn't be with anyone better.

Whew! Sorry if I went on a bit of a tangent...but it feels so good to write all of the pieces down and remember the ways that God speaks to me throughout the week and how it often intertwines my past with my present and future.

The boys are asleep and while I'm getting ready to call it a night I am excited as if it's Christmas morning...because tomorrow we are going to get a 3D/4D ultrasound of Harper!!! I can't wait!! I hope we get to see some great pictures of her precious face and just hope the day flies by and we get there early.  We are going to take the boys with us as we thought it would be a neat experience to share as a family.  It almost reminds me of peeking at your Christmas presents before Christmas day.. (Not that I ever opened a corner of wrapping paper as a child and knew what I was getting before Christmas Day came..:) Having a glimpse of what she looks like makes me want her to be here now and not 40 days from now...but I also want her to stay put as long as possible.  I will be sure to share pics and post about our neat day!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

And the Christmas Music Begins!!!

Their own tree!
In our family we usually always put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. My mom always did when we were growing up and it's a tradition I've tried to carry on once I moved out and lived on my own. Fall is my favorite season but Christmas is my favorite holiday for many many reasons. One of them is the fun of putting up the Christmas decor with the family, laughing, listening to Christmas music, and getting our home ready for another year of Christmas memories. As the boys get older they have more of an opinion every year on what decorations we should add to our collection. This year they asked for blow up animals outside....to which I said no. I just can't bring myself to get any. I LOVE white Christmas lights and those are what we put up outside. The boys really want colored lights and I think this year after Christmas I will cave and buy some for next year. We had a blast putting up the tree and Christmas decor all over the house! As we finished Ky said "Mom I think we should get a Christmas tree for our room so we can decorate it and look at it.." I don't know why I've never thought of it, but the more I thought about it I thought it would be a fun addition to their room for Christmas. So today while Chad and I were running errands we picked up a miniature tree and some colored lights and surprised the boys. They were thrilled and had a blast picking our ornaments to put on it from the boxes I had left over.


Having a serious conversation about ornament placement. :)
 Afterwards Ky and I decided to work on a puzzle together and pulled out one that hadn't been opened and was 250 pieces. Yikes! We started with one that was 25 pieces and Ky did that quickly. He was so cute because when I asked him if he wanted to turn the Christmas tree on he said yes and then dimmed all of the lights upstairs so it would feel "more like Christmas"...loved it! We spent over an hour and half working on the puzzle and did finish it. It was a wonderful time spent talking with him and bonding. Noah came up towards the tail end and helped us and now it's adorning our coffee table for proud reviews.

Tomorrow brings us right back to Monday and I for one am not ready for the work week. I've enjoyed having Thursday off and working from home in yoga pants on Friday followed by a fun filled weekend. That being said I am most likely doing the same tomorrow as our stroller/car seat are supposed to be delivered and I don't want to miss it! I also have my 33 week appt and can't wait to see how Harper is doing. We have our 3D/4D ultrasound on Thursday evening and I'm getting so excited to see her precious face and features. It will be so much fun having the boys with us and I hope they enjoy the experience. I know they will love her to pieces when she gets here but right now all they talk about is how they don't want her ponies and barbies with their toys downstairs. I find this completely humorous since we have neither for her and have tried to explain to them that she very well could be a tom boy and that even if she's not she will have her own space..lol. The things they worry about.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving this year was relaxing for the most part! It was what I call my "off" year which is when we spend it with Chad's family and not mine. We flip flop every other year as to make it easy and not have to go two places in one day. We usually will do a special meal or celebrate earlier/later with the family whose off year it is.  Yesterday we actually slept in until 8:30...that is if you consider me being wide awake from 3-4:30 and then heading back to sleep, but that's about my norm these days.  We always enjoy cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning and this year was no different! I made cinnamon rolls and we enjoyed watching the Macy's Day parade with the boys. Afterwards we got ready, I made my green bean casserole and we headed over to my in laws. Unfortunately my MIL has been in the hospital all week, with a clot in her lung, so it was just his Dad, sister, grandparents, and great aunt who were there.  I love Chad's grandparents on his dad's side. They have been married for over 60 years and act like newlyweds even now..it's so cute and I hope Chad and I are like them when we get to be their age. I could sit and listen to his grandpa tell stories all day long!

Once we got to Chad's parents we ate right away and then the boys, Chad, and I proceeded outside to partake in a nerf sword fight. I have to say it was hilarious and we had a blast! In hindsight it probably wasn't the wisest choice seeing that I'm almost 33 weeks pregnant but we laughed and laughed and Chad took video.  We made a memory and I love it!

Afterwards we went back inside and Chad, the boys, and I played Super Mario as a family for over an hour. I RARELY play video games but we had a lot of fun just being together and playing.  Chad's mom came home about thirty minutes before we were going to leave so we were able to say hi to her and the boys gave her hugs and chatted up a storm.  By the time we left it was close to 4:30 and I was exhausted and full.  We headed over to my mom's for a quick stop as my grandmother was visiting from South Carolina and left today to head to one of my aunt's homes in Illinois.  Fortunately I still had room for a piece of my mom's apple pie which is amazing!

When we got home we all switched into pjs and crashed! I watched the movie The Blind Side after the boys went to bed and bawled my eyes out. I just love that movie and could watch it over and over again!

Here is a picture of my little men yesterday! I was sad that aside from our nerf fight we didn't get any family pictures. And Chad and I even coordinated our outfits a bit so we would look put together...oh well maybe we will grab a good pic after church tomorrow. Fingers crossed as I need a new pic for our Christmas card and haven't had time to schedule a session with the person who does our pictures.

As the day progressed yesterday I spent a lot of time just reflecting on all of our many blessings this year.  Here are just a couple of things that came to mind:

  • Our freedom! I do not take for granted the freedom we have and am so thankful for the men and woman who sacrifice for us and are oversees away from their families. I'm also thankful for the men and woman who are home without their loved ones taking care of their family as their spouse serves our country. Growing up in a military home most of my friends are either military or married someone in the military and I am in awe of their strength and sacrifices that they make.
  • My friendships- I am surrounded by some amazing girlfriends! I am so thankful for each of them and just how blessed my life is because of them. 
  • My job- This past year has been a challenge trying to juggle the commute that I faced 3xs or more a week 3 hours total a day and family.  I've had weeks/month where I just kept praying that God would show me where He wanted me and affirm my decision to stay at corporate or move.  And now months later with my pregnancy He has opened the door for me to relocate my office close to home and my commute is back to being either ten minutes or right down the hall from my bedroom. I now work with an awesome specialist who supports the program I manage and between the two God has shown me His many promises and taught me several lessons.  I don't take for granted just how blessed I am to have the job that I do which provides for our family and has covered us with so many blessings.
  • Chad- I'm not even sure I know where to begin when it comes to expressing just how thankful I am for him.  I am humbled weekly by his patience and calm voice. ( Because I am usually neither..lol) It makes me cry just watching him be the father that he is to our children.  They have no idea just how blessed they are.  I am thankful that he picks up on the little things and makes every effort to support me and our family on a daily basis. Whether it is laundry, homework with the boys, listening, making us laugh, or calming me down when I'm ready to freak out on my animals lol, he is my best friend and I'm thankful for his heart. I'm thankful that God brought him into my life and has continued to bless our marriage, friendship, and relationship over the years. 
  • My children- I am thankful that God choose me to be their mom.  I am often scared to death that I am going to mess things up for them but am constantly humbled by God's patience, grace, and people around me who have taught me so much about motherhood.  I love listening to their laughs, and their little voices as they whisper at night before they go to bed. I love watching them pray at the table often peaking their eyes open to see if we are watching them. I love Noah's tender heart and Ky's stubbornness reminds me of myself.  And I can't wait for them to be big brothers to Harper. What a neat season that will be.
  • God's Grace- I don't know that I have the words to articulate just how strongly I feel about this one. I often cry just thinking about how unworthy I am but how grateful I am that God does not love like I often do and covers me with His grace time and time and time again. It's so comforting to know He is right next to me all the time and has never left me even when I deserve it most.  I pray that He will continue to mold my heart so that I may be more like Him and less like me. I pray that I will learn to extend and show grace as He does and love like He does.
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Needles, Apple Pie, and All Recipes.Com

Today has been a calm quiet day! I woke up pretty early and since I was working from home today I started my keurig and got comfy in my favorite chair laptop in hand.  And it was a productive day via work.  I normally work the day before most holidays unless we are traveling because most people are off and I get so much organizing done. Today was no exception and I loved it!  The one thing I had scheduled was my appointment with my hematologist to discuss my blood thinners and our plan for labor and post delivery. Now why I made that appt the day before Thanksgiving I have no idea..but the Dr.'s office was quiet and I think the nurses were trying to rush me in so they could leave. :)  The great news is we are still on track with our plan. I will take my lovenox shots for two more weeks and then switch over to heparin shots. The only downside is that with the heparin shots I have to take two a day and not one. Yikes! My stomach already looks like a battlefield from the bruises I get from my lovanox shots, but I'll take them.. No problem here! And then once I have Harper in 47 days or less:)...I will move to coumadin and take that for 6-8 weeks and then go back  to see my hematologist and assess how things are going.  So all in all a successful appointment and I'm pleased with our plan.

After my doctor appt I headed home to pick up Noah and Ky and take them over to my mom's to say hi to my Grams who flew in from South Carolina on Monday. She is staying at my moms until Friday so it was nice to stop over and see her and catch up a bit.  The boys made themselves right at home and requested peanut butter and jelly sandwiches upon arrival..they are always hungry it seems!

Since both my mom and Chad's family live in town we do our best to rotate holidays to be fair to everyone and make it so that we aren't running around the day of a holiday and are constantly looking at our watches.  So this year is what I call our off year and we will spend it with his family.  While they always have a nice spread it's just not the same as my family's Thanksgiving dinner which i love.. :)  And because my mom knows this she made me my own apple pie to take home and is going to make extra stuffing and turkey for us!! :) I'm so excited because those three items are my favorite and it's just not Thanksgiving without them. :)  So I brought my apple pie home and might have grabbed a fork as soon as I got in the door and had several bites while I decided what in the world I was going to make for dinner. Did I have a menu plan for the next two weeks that included dinner for tonight...yes....could I find it when I walked in...no....and did I feel like cooking....Big NO! But I knew that I should so I pulled up allrecipes.com which I LOVE LOVE and started looking for an easy chicken recipe to make. And I found one that is now cooking in the oven...a Baked Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Parmesan-Crusted-Chicken/Detail.aspx . Even better it was really easy and only took minutes to prepare! The longest period of time is letting it cook and I'll make the potatoes right before it finishes. I'm excited to see how it turns out and even more pleased with myself that I didn't cave and order in or carry out.

After dinner we plan on watching a movie and just cuddling with the boys and tucking them in and hopefully going to bed early myself. Tomorrow I will make our traditional cinnamon rolls for breakfast and enjoy watching the parades! I do love Thanksgiving and the traditions that come with it. I have so much to be Thankful for this year and will share more on that topic tomorrow!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

32 weeks, baby shower, and Gigi's cupcakes!

It's hard to believe that in 50 days or less if she comes early...Harper will be here! I am in awe and hot fast the last few weeks have gone. No sooner do I get through Monday then it seems like Friday is here.  I am doing my best to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy as there is a good chance this will be my last pregnancy carrying a baby. We are undecided if we will have one more but we feel strongly about adoption if we do decide down the road to expand our family. That being said Harper is doing great! I am measuring two weeks ahead but had an ultrasound this past Monday to make sure she was ok and she looks awesome! She was measuring in a 3.4 pounds and looked so stinkin cute. We were able to see a great picture of the front view of her face and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing! We also made an appt to get a 3D/4D ultrasound at a place that does them in Madison in a couple of weeks and I'm so excited!

So much has been going on here and I'm excited to write it all down so I don't forget any of it. Last Saturday was my family/friends baby shower. My sister Ash hosted it and did such an amazing job! She is so detailed and organized and just showered us with love. One of the neatest memories of my shower was that my best friend, Carm, surprised me and flew in from GA just for my shower!! And even better her husband, my husband, and her all kept it a secret from me!! I was in shock and then screamed alot because I was so excited to have her here to share in the weekend. The shower was at my favorite coffee shop and some of my family from Chicago drove up and many of my amazing friends came. The food was amazing and the company even better. I made it to introductions without crying but the tears started as everyone went around the room to introduce themselves. I looked at all of the people who came and was so humbled by their love and support. As I looked at each of them memories came flooding back to all of the different seasons that each of them have been there with me for. Some of them I've known for a short season in my life, others have been in my life since I was born. I am so blessed to have each of them in my life and know that Harper is already loved more then she will ever know and she's not even here. Here are a few of my favorite pics from the shower!

My best friend Carm (also known as "my person"

Sue and Nat- Have known them since I moved here!

Dawn and I- We went to middle school and high school together in Alaska and then she moved to WI five years ago!

Our sons!

Nena, I, Thomas, Nat, and Ash- Love them all!

Carm made this tutu and outfite for Harper!

Ash and our youngest sister Hess

After the shower Carm and I sat in Harper's room and went through everything and organized it. It was so much fun to look at the neat things our friends and family blessed us with.  It makes it all so real and even more excited for her to get here.

Carm's flight was canceled on Monday due to storms our east and it was great to have her here for another day. I had to work but she caught up on some shows and after I worked we made dinner and laughed and just talked. I don't know if you've even seen the Grey's Anatomy episode with Meredith and Christina where Christina tells Meredith she's her person but Carm and I always refer to that episode and are so thankful to have each other in our lives. She is one of the only people that I can say has been in my life for more than half of my life and I just thinks awesome.

The rest of the week flew with work, the boys sports, and trying to get closets cleaned out and make additional room for Harper's things. After researching and reresearching car seats and strollers we finally settled on this Peg Perego travel system and I'm so excited for it to get here!!

I think it has a little sass to it and will look great in my black car..lol. I am such a freak about color coordination...I also found some JJ Cole car seat covers and head support cushions to go with it, but want to wait until it gets here and I can see the shades of color up close before I decide on the granite or white.  The last item I need to pick out is a diaper bag. I have been looking and looking and looking some more and can't make up my mind. Here's the thing..I don't want a diaper bag that looks like a diaper bag..I want it to be trendy but look like a purse or at least not babyee...(does that make sense?) I've been looking at bags on rosenberryrooms.com and just can't make a final decision. I still have a little time but would like to get one picked out and ordered so I can get it organized too.

And speaking of organized I did just that this week. I couldn't sleep one night (which is pretty much every night lol) but this particular night I got up at 3:22 am and decided to clean out my hallway closet, bathroom drawers and organize them and the rest of Harper's room. I then sat down and made my final list of what we need for Harper before she get's here. I'm happy to say it's down to less than ten items and we marked off another one this weekend. Cloth diapers!!! Call me crazy but i'm really excited to try them. If you would have mentioned cloth diapers to me when I had Noah or Ky I would have told you you were crazy BUT my friend Dawn has an 11 month old and uses them and has raved about them since he was born. So much so that i've spent the better part of two visits watching her explain her process in his nursery and having my own consultation at the cloth diaper store in Madison. After talking with Chad about it he agreed and so today we drove up to Madison to the neatest cloth diaper store that had many other neat baby/mother items and bought everything we need to be successful at cloth diapering!! I know that I still have a bit to reread and already thanked Dawn in advance for her mentoring me through this as I know I will be talking to her frequently when Harper gets here and we use them. Here's a pic of what we left with. I took two pics and one of them(the left side of the table) didn't load to my laptop..but you get the idea.

  After we bought the diapers we went to a fun resteraunt and did some shopping. And to end the afternoon we stopped by Gigi's Cupcakes!!! The boys and I love to watch Cupcake Wars!!! And for the last couple of months we have talked about finding a local cupcake shop. And I did but we haven't had the opportunity to go until today...and it was so cute and fun! I ordered a mini dozen to go after we sat and each tried one. They were so rich and filling!

All in all we've had a fun filled weekend and have made so many precious memories.  This season has been filled with so many emotions and the one that I feel often is greatful. God has truly blessed our family in so many ways.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Redemption and dinner over candlelight

Last week our pastor continued with his series on the book of Revelations and one of the things he shared that has stuck with me all week is redemption.  I'm in a season in my life where some family members who have always been incredibly close to me have caused a lot of pain, tears, anger, and in some situations even resentment.  During my prayer time over the last few months God has laid it on my heart to continue to pray for them and my relationship with both of them. And as our pastor talked about redemption God just spoke to my heart ten fold.  In addition to this verse in Revelations, And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation Revelations 5:9 I also looked up a few more:

  • In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace Ephesians 1:7
  • Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19
  • By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16
As I listened on Sunday and have prayed and read throughout the week I am humbled and so eternally grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made for my life and even more grateful that He doesn't love like I often do.  For me it is often so easy for to either explode or stuff depending on the situation and put my walls up so high that I push people away.  I have continued to pray that God would help me speak in love and love those who has hurt me and pray for them and approach them with love and kindness.

Tonight I came home and was dreading making dinner...my energy is gone...zero..nada..zilch...but I wanted to stick to my menu and not order out so I made breakfast for dinner, which we all love! The best part though was that our light over our table burnt out and we didn't have replacement bulbs...so we improvised and brought a dimmer table lamp and ate by "candlelight" with the boys and it was precious. They loved it and thought it was cool and I enjoyed it just because it was random and their reaction was so cute.  It made a really long day better and brought to the forefront all of the many blessings that sit around my table.  We are so blessed and often those words don't even begin to express how my heart really feels.