Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pregnant woman rant. ;)

It's been asked a few times, so I'll just put it out there, we are NOT going to find out the gender of baby #3.  Since this is most likely our very last pregnancy (I've learned to never say never) we have decided we want the excitement of finding out baby's gender at birth.  We attempted to do this when I was pregnant with Hayden but had an over zealous ultrasound tech, so this time we are making it very clear to them that we do not want to know.

With that said.... I've gotten a lot of comments and questions since we already have two boys that I want to clear up.  Things like--

-"Were you trying for a girl?"
-"Is it a girl?"
-"Are you hoping for a girl?"
-"I hope for your sake that it's a girl."
-"Oh, once you get that girl, you can be done."
-"You need a girl!"

Let's get something clear.  If baby #3 is a girl, we will be thrilled.  If baby #3 is a boy, we will be thrilled.  12 weeks along as of yesterday, so we have anywhere from 26-30 weeks until we will all found out! :)

.... And I already finished crocheting baby #3's blanket (all of our kids have one) and made 2 styles of hats just in case.
P.S.  If you have been one of those folks who have said one of these things... I'm not mad.  I get it. I have heard these things over and over for a week, just clearing it up that we are seriously happy either way.  Boy or girl doesn't matter to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seeds planted...

I wish that I could say I was one of those people who accepted the Lord in Sunday school as an infant... no, not an infant, that's an exaggeration... like 5 or 6 years old.  I wish that I could say that I didn't have a list of regrets from my past, decisions that I had made because as a teenager I felt like I knew it all when in actuality I literally had NO clue.  But instead, I have a long list.... a list that has made me the person I am today, and a list that I look back on now, knowing that those choices led me to Jesus eventually.  I accepted the Lord as my Savior and was baptized in October of 2004.  I celebrated my 10 year mark this last October and have found myself reminiscing on my story frequently since then.

Looking back at that time in my life, I DO remember that distinct moment when I prayed and accepted Jesus and the moments leading up to that decision, and I remember my baptismal, but so much more than that as I look back I remember all of the seeds along the way.  I was a couple months shy of 18 when I accepted Christ, but long before that, there were people and friendships along the way that planted seeds.

These memories were brought back to me as I listened to Angela Thomas speak at my MoPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group yesterday and while she covered several topics about Motherhood and life, and as a Mom being filled with Jesus in order to fill the kiddos, there was one point that stuck out in my mind.  She spoke about how we as Moms set the tone for our household, and it's totally true!  I mean let's get real, "if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"  More than that though, in setting the tone of her house, she talked about how her teenage kids invite their friends over all the time to hang out, to have dinner, to just be.  The friends of her kids feel comfortable there, they feel welcome, and I wonder if they are drawn there like I was to my friends' as a kid.

I'm reminded of one friend (and her family) in particular and they have been on my brain for many many months and I've always wondered if she and her family realize what an impact they made on my life.  My dear friend Caroline. We met in the 6th grade, we were in classes together, we played softball for many years together, and in a lot of ways we were inseparable for many years.  I had many sleepovers at her house, she and her family picked me up and took me to church very frequently, sometimes I'd go home with her after school, we would hang out at our sports events.... I always loved how welcomed I felt, how loved I felt, and regardless of the fact that her upbringing was different than mine, I was never judged.

I was drawn to her family.  I loved that they prayed together, they had family game night, they ate dinner together, her Mom was a sunday school teacher, and above all I loved that they welcomed me.  You would think that all of this family time, and prayer, and church, and only watching family friendly television shows would be totally lame to the average teenager in middle school, but in fact it was the exact opposite!  They were different, I was drawn to them, I felt loved by them, and in a lot of ways I wished that my family could be more like theirs.  Along the way as the relationship grew, I was inspired to read my Bible, inspired to attend church, and to search for what they had that I didn't.... Were there bumps in the road!?  Absolutely!  I made a lot of mistakes along the way and there were many more people in my path guiding me, and I eventually came around in October of 2004.

Now back to Angela's words....  As I have sit back these last few months pondering how all of the pieces in MY story fell together so perfectly, I have thought a lot about Caroline's family.  Don't miss that there are many more people I owe credit to as well, but Angela's words about her teenage children and their friends coming over reminded me even more of Caroline's family.  I have prayed frequently over the last couple years for our boys and one of my prayers is that OUR home will be that safe place-- that place where Leeland and Hayden's (and baby #3's) friends feel welcome and comfortable.   A place that they feel drawn to because we are different from the world.  A place where family time, food and learning about Jesus co-mingle and it is FUN!  I pray that my house is a place where seeds are planted in people's lives.

Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise His name.    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
-Psalm 96: 1-2

Thursday, January 22, 2015

News to share...

So on Sunday December 7, 2014 this happened....
Although I was alone in the bathroom at the time, I vividly remember saying out loud more than once, "Holy crap."  .... "Holy crap."

We headed to church and then we headed straight to the Christmas parade and all the while I racked my brain on how I was going to give the news to Daniel... it was shocking news to me, and I knew it would be shocking to him as well.  In my mind I wanted to do something cutesy and thoughtful, but then in the car on the way home from the parade, I just blurted it out, along with some tears.  It may have been early on, but the hormones were definitely there!  .... So then there were 2 of us, 2 of us in the know, 2 of us in shock....

The next day I called the doctor and set up the initial appointment which I was told would just be the joy of going over my family history for the 3rd time, and then lab work for the blood test.  They immediately set up a follow up appointment for January 14th and I was told that I would be able to hear the heart beat for the first time then.  I left that appointment knowing I felt like I was pregnant, and knowing I took the test at home, but still wondering if it could really be true.

Fast forward to the week of my birthday and anniversary, the rough start to my New Year, and I couldn't keep any food or drinks down for about 2-3 days.  I called in to the doctor and they told me to head on over to the Women's hospital for IV fluids.   So at 9 weeks pregnant, baby #3 was making his (OR her) presence known!  I had similar sickness when I was pregnant with Hayden and also had to go get fluids with him, so while the sickness is terribly miserable, at this point there was NO denying that baby was there and that baby was doing well.

At my 10 week appointment, I heard the joyous sound of a quickly beating heart and it was music to my ears!  Baby was definitely there... and baby was well... ALL was well!
We broke the news to the boys today-- Hayden is still sort of clueless about the whole thing.  And Leeland is incredibly excited and FULL of questions about babies and pregnancy and trying to come up with a name for our baby already.

He wants to know why it will take so long to have our baby.  He INSISTS that he is having a sister regardless of the fact that I keep telling him that we don't know yet and that we will be happy either way.  He wanted to know how the baby got there and asked me if I swallowed an egg.  He wants to know how God creates babies.  He wants to see the baby.  And he also wanted to know tonight when we will have #4!?  (WHAT!?... No son.... NO!)
I feel so many emotions and have wrestled with so many over the past 11 weeks... in my head, Hayden was the last baby, so to now be blessed with another tiny little miracle is overwhelming.  On top of that the complications of being deathly sick and some issues with my blood work have made it a bit more stressful than I would like.  But alas, there is a baby!  Baby #3's official estimated due date is August 12, 2015.  Thank you all who have already wished us well and given us congratulations, we are both anxious and excited! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rough Start....

As mentioned in my very belated Christmas post, we've had a rough start to 2015.  Sickness struck and it unfortunately hit Momma the worst.... and naturally it had to hit birthday week.... which is also anniversary week.

So quite the bummer, but I headed to my birthday dinner at my parent's house on New Year's Day not feeling so hot.  I did my best to put on a happy face, and enjoy, but it wasn't easy.  AND it was a traditional New Year's dinner which I love, so I was a little bummed to barely be able to choke it down.
Hog jowl, black eyed peas, turnip greens, cornbread and deviled eggs

As with other years, I get to request my birthday dessert and I asked for coconut pie this year.  It may seem like an odd request since I'm the cake lady, but honestly, the cakes that I make are for other people.  I'm much more of a cobbler or pie person myself.  My Grandma made a DELICIOUS coconut cream pie... I had a tiny sliver, and took the rest home..... and it eventually got thrown out because I was deathly sick all week.  ((sigh))  I'm still pretty sad about that.  
So fast forward two days to our 6 year wedding anniversary.... that's when it all hit.  I woke up feeling like DEATH!  We had a sitter lined up for the boys that night so that we could go on a much needed date, so that morning when I woke up feeling so terribly, Daniel instructed me to go back to bed and try to shake it off.  I spent the ENTIRE day laying in bed doing the best I could to rest up in hopes of still making our date.... we had to cancel.... I spent a few days throwing up everything I tried to eat, lost 5 pounds and had to go to the hospital to go get IV fluids.  Momma doesn't get sick often, but apparently when it strikes, it REALLY strikes me down!

Thankfully after a few days, I'm feeling a lot better.  Trying my best to play catch up around the house-- things don't stop just because you are sick!  We have loads and loads and loads of laundry, filthy floors, Christmas toys still strewn throughout the house, and no blog posts since early December.  It's been a busy season, and I've had a rough start, but I'm incredibly excited for what 2015 will bring for our family!  How was your New Year?  Hopefully you all have managed to be free from germs this season!  It's been a rough season for many!  

A Very Merry Christmas

Sickness struck our house in the last couple of weeks so this is an incredibly late post about Christmas.... but hey, our neighbors still have their Christmas lights on, so surely just writing about how it went must be acceptable. Right?

Our Christmas season started early like most years-- not just because I always get our decorations out and up BEFORE Thanksgiving, but because the boys began rehearsal and studying and singing Christmas carols for the Christmas play before Thanksgiving as well.  Leeland has participated in the play the last two years, but this is the first time that Hayden has been old enough to participate.  The last two years, Leeland has requested to be a "a star" and this year was no different despite my trying to get him to try something different.  So we had TWO literal and figurative stars in the Christmas play this year.
The cutest stars I ever did see!?  

We also had the great pleasure of getting to see SANTA which was a lot of fun this year because there were no tears and the boys are finally understanding what the Santa thing is all about.

I'm not going to lie, the rest of the season is somewhat of a blur.... Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to balance the family traditions that we grew up with and beginning our new traditions as our own family.  I could write an entire post about boundaries around the holidays, but I'm trying not to chase those rabbit trails.

Thankfully Daniel was off work this year!!  This is the first time since he began his career with the police department that he has been OFF work for Christmas.  He didn't go into work until the night of the 26th, so it was really lovely to have him home.  Also we had my Mother in law in town for a few days staying with us over Christmas for the first time this Holiday since she moved away last Summer.  

The boys were incredibly excited to find that Santa completely spoiled them with legos Christmas morning! All the Legos that their hearts could possibly desire, and even better, an awesome organization Lego table to keep Mommy and Daddy sane.

Most of our Christmas morning pictures are two little bouncing blurs, so there aren't many that I can post that you would even know what it was a picture of.  You can see the Lego table in the background of many of these, and Hayden rolling is Lego fire truck on the tabletop of it-- it's an Ikea Trofast table with large grey Lego baseboards adhered to the top of it.  The bins started out incredibly organized by set... and now almost a month after Christmas, they are just full of pieces with no organization rhyme or reason.  But such is life with little ones with little pieces.... AND at the end of the day, at least they are not on the floor?  

So a fairly low key Christmas for us-- in the last couple of years, I've done my best to simplify things in an effort to focus on what truly matters about the season.  Jesus and family.  That's what it's all about folks, and the rest doesn't really matter!