Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I'm still very much caught up in the wonder of the New Year.

I don't feel like I thought I would getting back to a busy schedule. Yes, I wish I could just glide on these next three months preparing for baby, organizing my house, and organizing business stuff. But really, my schedule is full of things I know God wants me involved in.

And that is a great comfort.

Do you ever busy yourself "just because"? Perhaps because you feel unfulfilled or lackluster? I have. It doesn't begin to bring about the same joy when you are doing what God wants. I mean, in a few months, I'll be on another road, experience life with two girls instead of just one...breaking from Bible study responsibilities and piano teaching. It will be quite the adjustment but I say "bring it on" because I am excited to encounter the adventures God has ahead for me. Even if I'm exhausted, wiping up baby-barf and wondering how 9 months caught up with me so fast. Ha ;)

But seriously. One of the most worry-free and satisfying feelings is knowing God's peace in my life. Things will never be storybook or on my time sheet, but they are all in God's control.

Soon, I want to post on money-saving tidbits (yes, again!) and another direction God has moving my family in. Stay tuned :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just another post

Back to Monday. Very much missing my husband right now.

Truth be told, I have nothing to complain about. I have another week break! I am going to enjoy it to the fullest. My brothers are still here on vacation and there is some Tully' s coffee to be had. I should also hit the gym a couple times. Not looking forward to that, but hey, I'll probably feel better afterward.

What did you get for Christmas?

My husband was very sweet. He got me a couple of Tully's gift cards. I love Tully's. We tried to go last night, but they were closed. So looks like a trip there is in order soon! He also gave me the new Selah CD I really wanted!! I'm listening to it right now. I also received a kitchen remodel magazine (that I've already browsed with him) and a new schedule book for the new year.

From my family...some delightful Tommy Girl perfume, a fluffy, cozy robe, candles and Target gift card (Target is my second home). My dear grandma gave me those beautiful "as seen on TV" clips that hold my hair very nicely. My bro-in-law was in China on his last trip (he's a pilot) and got me a sweet hand-blown heart necklace. I treasure jewelry, since I don't usually buy it for myself.

Part of the joy of Christmas for me is the giving. This holiday, I gave my husband a new wedding ring. Long story short, it is lost and he really needed one. Since he cannot wear it at work for safety purposes, I got a simple sterling silver one with a little inscription inside, including our wedding date. It looks so good on him!! Of course, I'm a little bias ;)

We got our daughter a LEGO starter set, as well as a Crayola art set. She loves both. She got my creative gene! She thoroughly loves creating things, so she has been quite entertained lately. She also received a dollhouse from Grammy. And a portable toddler "laptop" from one of her uncles. I think she's all set to become an adult pretty soon ;) Actually, Brilla was quite spoiled this Christmas - she is surrounded by so many people who love her.

We are planning to take it easy for New Year's. In other words, much lower-key than Christmas, with no huge feast preparations. We may go to our church's gym night. Our sanctuary is multi-purpose, and also functions as a basketball court. Perfect for volleyball as well. There will be board games galore, too. Fun, fun!

Well, the gym is calling me today, but I am not sure I want to go! Where is the motivation right after Christmas? Not here, anyway.

Oh, and I'm 27 weeks!! Nearly 2 lbs, and about 14 1/2 in long, our Baby Girl is really wiggling around and making herself known! I cannot tell you how my excitement to see her increases each and every day!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Card

Christmas Card - Merry Christmas to You!

Thanks to Tara Anderson for this beautiful shot on Mt. Ranier!

And for the Baby Girl Bump pic:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wrapping Up

I thought this would be kinda fun. What ideas do you have to wrap your gifts, to make them distinctly from you? If you have any thoughts, please comment!! I would love to glean.

Seeing I have not even started wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree, I am starting today. Right after I finish choosing a new medical plan, mail the rest of my Christmas cards and bake fudge....;)

Here is a link for you ladies. They are 3-D six-point starts to put, well, wherever. But I thought they would look super cute on Christmas packages, don't you?

Edited to add: This article on "regifting rules"!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nothing Can Separate Us

Today is the first Monday in a while where I don't have to be at Bible Study. I am relieved to be on such a break, and don't even know what to do with ourselves during this extra time. So, being the "doer" I am, I have attempted to fill it up already! Surprise, surprise?

I am hoping to head out to TJ Maxx with my girl today. Believe it or not, she loves that place just about as much as I do. Our fave thing to do there is browse. Bri ogles the toys while I ogle everything else :)

We're also going to make cookies for our neighbors. My "little bit big" helper (as she refers to herself) will be at my right side. I think those addicting, rich seven layer cookies are in order.

God has been teaching me so much lately, I don't know where to begin. One thing I want to post about some time in greater depth is marriage. God has given me such a burden for broken marriages/counseling/growing healthy marriages, even before I was married. I think it all stemmed from my own parents' marriage, the burden increased during the legal training I had in Family Law, and it's grown since being married myself and encountering troubled marriage relationships within my circle.

But this week, my thoughts ponder Job, specifically, why we encounter hardship...and is all suffering traceable to sin in people's lives? Obviously, the direct answer is 'no'. Often, those who believe in God with a firm faith, like Job, who was upright, perfect, and feared God, are tested. It's hard to acknowledge that the Lord allowed Satan to commit all that atrocity against Job, for no other reason than to prove Job's uprightness and bring glory to Himself. But it's true. And before I begin to blame God as a believer (or non-believer) in my painful circumstances, I take so much to heart Job 2:10, "Shall we receive good from the hand of God and not evil?" Basically, we take for granted our life, happiness, and freedom while thing are peachy. Then, when things are in the valley, in a dark tunnel that doesn't seem to end, we forget. Forget that Satan is out there trying to steal us away from Lord, the one who loves us and wants to prove His children. Satan wants us to lose heart, curse God, and die spiritually.

A pastor came to visit our church a couple months ago. His words stuck with me. He said our life is like a conveyor belt, then end being the "pot" of our life. God is continually in the business of putting stuff on the conveyor belt, taking things off. Some of those circumstances are financial setback, sickness, failure, death of our dreams, death of children, success, blessings one after the other, etc. God says to Himself, "This would be really good for Joy to go through. This, not so much. Joy doesn't need that in her life. I really want to give Joy this blessing." In our loss of Amelia, perhaps God said something like, "This will cause Joy deep pain, but I know in the end, it is what's best." The comfort is that it's ultimately all from His hand. He's given permission. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. And after the trials in our life have come and gone, when our life is done, the ultimate result is Heaven, being with God forever.

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35,37-39

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wanna Win? Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2!

I'm posting this for anyone else who is a photo guru (or not), but MckMama is giving away Photoshop Lightroom 2, and you could win it!! So enter HERE! There is also a chance to win Photoshop at another blog link listed within MckMama's post. Go check it out!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

26 Weeks and Christmas Prep

Baby Girl is 26 weeks along today! Only 98 days to go (hopefully) until we see our precious daughter.

It's actually pretty scary to think I have only 98 days left to prepare for her arrival. I haven't yet begun to organize the nursery and transport office stuff to the garage. We're going to have to be creative with our space this time. However, challenges like this leave me motivated, not worried. IKEA is such a wonderful resource. I recently saw their bookshelves for only $60. Mike couldn't even make them for that much, combining the time and materials. Right now we have this bookshelf that takes up a lot of space in the office, so having wall-hung bookshelves would be more space-efficient at this point. Anyway, so funny, here I am thinking about the detail of bookshelves when I should be thinking about the overall scheme of things! But that's just like me. I love decorating.

I am making Christmas baskets again this year. I love making these baskets. You can do a homemade basket for much less money and quality than store-bought. Besides, everything inside is enjoyable, as opposed to having to pay money for the pickled asparagus you know the recipient will never eat.

My Christmas recital was wonderful. The kids dressing up in costumes worked well. I had some pretty small wise men! All in all, I was just so pleased with every single student. I don't think there were any mistakes! They enjoyed the goodies brought by different moms. I also enjoyed making customized ornaments for each child. I told you I love crafts and decorating!

And those Christmas cards. I think I may actually get them out on time this year. Amazing, huh?

I've already received some fun little gifts this year. You know, every time I receive a little gift, I feel so blessed. Just that someone thought to give me a little something makes me feel special and warm inside. I especially enjoy the homemade items. Do they have the same effect on you?

Can't believe that our decorations and Christmas tree are all up, and have been for about a week. I think knowing my students and guests will enjoy them when they come over is motivation to get them up. Or else, I'd probably wait until waaay too late, then have to take them right down again! Only thing left to put up is our blue Christmas lights and tiny pathway light bags (or whatever they're called). The lights are the expertise of my, ahem, busy husband.

So here's to the rest of my Christmas baking and prep! Hopefully yours is coming along splendidly, but even if not, please remember that Jesus it the reason for the season. At least make sure you have enough time to stop and remember the incredible gift, God sent us so long ago, His only Son, Jesus Christ. That's what's most important!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

They'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain

Yesterday, I was completely exhausted. I don't think I realized how tired I was until I just had to sit down in the hallway and pray, almost on the verge of tears. It was a combination of things...lack of sleep over the weekend, BUSY weekend, house a disaster, my girl having boundless energy.... all of it overwhelmed me as my lack of energy caught up with my good intentions.

But my sleep last night was sweet. And we finally have our Christmas tree! So it's Christmas decorating today! Anything sounds better then venturing out in the Washington cold this morning.

This weekend was a blast on Mt. Ranier, seeking out just the right Christmas tree for our living room. And Mike found it. There was snow all around, which made for great sledding. I was proud of Brilla for braving the sledding part. She ended up enjoying herself. The bonfire was so cozy this time 'round, seeing it was freezing up there. I only took one spill. I was dumb enough to try to go down a slick trodden path. Next thing I knew, Brilla and I were all in a heap. I could've cared less about dropping my camera. I was worried about Baby! But she is all right, just have a huge bruise on my elbow.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Ah, finally a chance to post...and it's still reasonably early.

24 WEEKS!!!!

My Baby Girl has supposedly gained about 4 oz this last week. On the other hand, I have gained about 5 pounds. No joke. It is the curse of the holiday goodies! For Thanksgiving, we had too many decadent desserts: pumpkin, apple and blueberry pies, lemon dessert, tiramisu, triple chocolate brownies....yeah. My belly feels like it definitely preceeds me! I had better not gain more weight this month. When I get on that scale for my midwife, I don't want her to fall off the chair. =)

So, as you can tell, my appetite has totally skyrocketed. Another thing lately is that Baby Girl is moving all over the place. I think she's doing ballet. Yes, I can feel a pirouette right about now. I told Brilla and she said, "No Mama, only big girls do ballet." :) On a more somber note, when I lost Amelia, for months afterward I would have phantom kicks. It was terribly sad; it wasn't fair; it was hard. I would jump-start in the middle of the night thinking my baby was kicking, but in reality, she was very much gone. To feel our daughter kicking right now is like a miracle to me. I try not to take it for granted. It's a sign of the life God has given. Second chances.

I also am nesting like crazy. I just redecorated my bathroom, re-organized my daughter's bedroom, sorted and gave away our give-away pile, lifted a bunch of boxes (I should not have lifted), scrubbed out our trash can, and tidied up our office/craft room/Michael's clothing storage. And that room is supposed to be Baby's soon! Heaven help us! But I really am looking forward to decorating our Girly's room. I have so much I want to accomplish in the next few days, but find myself running around with this belly, and the whole agility thing just gets me. I've started working out regularly again, but it's all just part of the pregnancy package.

In other news, I am sad to put away the Thanksgiving decor. Thanksgiving is right up there with Christmas for me. I love the absence of gifts. It's just a time to be grateful for all God's goodness without the rush-around of purchases. I'm learning this season to be thankful for all the little things. The time spent with my husband on the couch after a long day, playing Candy Land with Bri, making plans for our Tiny One, being thankful I have a vacuum to clean our never-ending pine needles, playing music on the piano and those hot cups of tea. Most of all, the time spent with Jesus. He is my Life. I wouldn't be in the place I am without my Lord. He is most precious to me.

But I do cherish Christmas. I think this holiday grows dearer as I get older because the meaning of Jesus Christ at the center of it all hits home, clearer every year. Last year, I rented a book from the library which pointed all the aspects of Christmas to Jesus. From the candy cane to the Christmas tree, it's a book to help your children really find the spiritual, lasting meaning of Christmas versus all the fleeting-ness of it.

This weekend we plan to carry out our little family's Christmas tradition of trekking out to find our Christmas tree at Mt. Ranier. We head out with a group of friends, who originally invited us, very early in the morning. Then we usually eat our lunches by a bonfire. We're exhausted by the end, but the reward of a hand-picked tree is worth it!

Piano teaching is going well. I feel completely blessed by these kids. I wish that I could go back in time as a fly on the wall when I first took lessons as a 9-yr-old girl. Just to compare the experience with where I am now, teaching other 9-yr old boys and girls. Our Christmas recital will be soon. This year, we're doing a live nativity of sorts. Each child will dress up in a costume and read a Scripture in the order of events of Jesus' birth. Hopefully the songs will correspond. It shall be jolly.

My little Brilla is not so little anymore. Her legs are lengthening at a rapid rate. She is only 3 and I had to buy her some new 4/5 corduroy pants the other day. Wow. And her latest statement is, "Mama, it is my opinion that I should not weah a coat when I go potty. And it is my opinion that a coat makes me too hot in the bathwoom." This is after telling her to hurry up and go pee while she still had her outer layer on. I just responded, "That's a good opinion."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Non-Secret to a Thankful Heart

I'm posting this now because I (probably) won't have time to this weekend.

Yesterday, depression called my name. Can you believe it, amongst the hustling and bustling of the holiday season? It's such an easy route to go. I start feeling sorry for myself, then the ball just keeps rolling downhill. But, thank God, the words of another woman and reading God's words of truth hit home and I chose not to go down that slippery slope.

So here is my challenge, and hopefully yours as well this Thanksgiving, as well as the rest of the year.

Are you content with who you are? With where God has placed you? The people you are surrounded with, including friends and family, or the lack thereof? If you are not, it is likely you will never learn to be thankful in whatever circumstance you are in, even if it turns for the better. Being thankful is a state of the heart, not based on the goings-on around us.

Faith in Jesus gives the only true satisfaction and security. He is our Rock amidst the change in our lives. People may fail us. He never fails. Are you feeling alone, empty, discouraged or scared?

"I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him so long as I live." Psalm 116: 1,2

Seek Jesus for your satisfaction. He is the only one who really knows your state, your heart. When we come to Him, we never leave feeling hungry or thirsty. Jesus is our Living Water and the Bread of Life. God is good no matter what our world is.

"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endures forever." Psalm 118:29

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bargain Shopping Intervention

How does one go about avoiding a good bargain? I have this OCD regarding deals. Sometimes I'm able to recite a recent mantra to avoid the snare, or others times, I just stay home. But then the shopping bug catches up with me eventually and I just have to peek at those clearance racks!

Perhaps if I make a continual habit of posting on what I've bought throughout the week, I will feel guilty enough to take it back or at least feel an embarrassment to the point where I won't buy the item because I don't want to have to post it.

I am the queen of returning items. I always keep my receipts because I take back more than half the items I buy. It's called belated shopper's guilt, or something like that :P And Kari, if you're reading this, I even took back that cami and long-sleeve from Old Navy because I didn't like it after trying it on at home. I think the mirrors at ON were too flattering!

Really, I want to know, how do you ladies avoid the sales?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Day Inside

I am thoroughly thankful for this Thursday! How's that for alliteration?

I've had a strangely dry throat for the last 5 days. It is persistent. I do believe a bug is trying to get at me. But needless to say, it's annoying.

After a harried, hurried day yesterday, I was all about taking it easy. And the dry throat was even more motivation to stay inside and get little projects done. But first things first, Mom came over today and we shared a light breakfast before taking her to the airport. We had quiche, cinnamon rolls, and some blueberry scones. A rather unconventional but delicious breakfast. Alas, the scones did not turn out this time. In my morning state of mind, I added baking soda versus baking powder. They looked picture perfect on the outside, but a bite quickly revealed the mistake.

I am jealous. I took my mom to the airport, where she is flying to Missouri to join my dad to celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday, as well as Thanksgiving. I want to be there! However, we've avoided plane trips this pregnancy to be on the safe side~

After taking a rainy trip to the airport, then the grocery store, we arrived back at our warm home. My philosophy has always been to clean first so I can play later. I made quick work of the kitchen and cluttered frig and began to relax...

Made some hot lemonade for the Throat. Then stuck my nose in Beverly Lewis' latest book The Missing. Excellent. I think there is no book of hers I do not love.

And before I knew it, time to cook dinner was upon me. I opted for a slow-cooked southern chicken and rice soup. It is m'favorite and perfect to ward off the cold threatening me. And since I felt really relaxed and in a rather good mood, I started on homemade rolls, too. Honestly, my pregnant sense of smell could not wait for the food to be done.

It was only then that I finally allowed myself to get online. And peek at Babycenter. I am 22 weeks today! The baby is almost a pound, and supposedly about 11 inches long, the size of a summer squash. They always give the dangdest comparisons. Have to look them up every time.
But every week brings me closer to holding my precious little girl! And confession: I bought the cutest Etsy hat and booties earlier this week. My lame excuse to my husband was, "Sorry honey, I could not resist."

It's bed time for my daughter now. My turn to put her down! And perhaps clean up - as I view my living room from the couch, bits and pieces from my home are strewn all over. A cook book. A magnetic doodle pad. Doll Baby's dress. Hair bands. Scrap pieces of paper. A Dora cup full of water, teetering on the edge of piano bench. So many tiny beads I don't want to count. And a stroller full of B's toys, of course ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Wednesday is our big Bible Study day. I love it because I get to teach my 2s and
Brilla loves it because she gets to be in her awesome 3/4s class.

The day started out with me waking a tad late. I'm supposed to be there for set-up at 8:30. I woke up at 7:30. Mind you, I have to get dressed, muss my hair into some form of togetherness, do breakfast for us both, make lunches and gather all our Bible study gear. Or rather, my gear.

Well, I did it! Streamlined by doing shredded wheat, then for lunch ::drumroll:: PB & J! Maybe a banana and string cheese to seal the deal. ;)

Today we learned "At Bethesda, Jesus heals the sick man on the Sabbath." We condense the whole lesson into ten words. There's my creative take! We then tell the story in better detail in ten sentences. Ha. You read right. Ten sentences. That's the attention span of 2s. And did I mention how they LOVE pictures as you tell the story?

Our verse was HUGE. It was John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life." Yep, huge for 2s. The cool thing is...sometimes they can actually repeat all that. Our focus for verse time isn't memorization, it's meditation. That's why we repeat the verse in several different ways. Sometimes singing it, sometimes doing a color/shape match, sometimes echoing it. Wish we as adults meditated on Scripture that way. I kid you not, now I do it at home.

Another major teaching time is Hymn Time. The children's favorite part. They totally enjoy worshiping God with their voices. Today we sang Holy, Holy, Holy (first verse) and Praise to the Living God. We always come up with min-activities while singing. Like swaying back and forth or holding our hands like we're singing in choir, clapping, or even showing pictures.

Then it was Large Muscle time! I decided we would go to the gym and play with bouncy balls. I wasn't sure of the adventure that awaited us as we toted 8 tw0-year-olds outside and to the gym. Well, praise God! It was a gorgeous autumn day, with the sun shining. The children were outstanding as they held onto the rope and tip-toed like mice all the way. And were they ever rewarded! I think this was their favorite Large Muscle time so far.

Then we had Quiet Time. Not nap time, not close our eyes time, but quiet time. Based on Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." It's literally a time where the children rest on small pillows, no wiggles, no talking, only resting and thinking about God. Today as we rested, we specifically thought about how Jesus is all-powerful. And about a time when we were sick and Jesus healed us. Ahem, quiet time is always a challenge for 2s. But eventually those wiggles get ironed out and by now, they are really getting the hang of it.

Then comes Rhythm. Today we got to learn to shake tambourines to worship music in good rhythm. Very fun.

The mommies came to pick up their children and it was finally time for the children's leaders to get fed on God's Word. We get to listen to the teaching leader's lecture and eat our lunch. So relaxing and fed us spiritually and physically. Especially this pregnant woman!

Yay for Wednesdays!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Will Not Forget

Last night, I had a pretty good sleep. But somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, somewhere between my anticipation of this new babe and my missing Amelia...the memories came flowing back...all in my half dreamy mode.

I believe the day we lost her was the two days before we officially discovered she was gone. It was the day when I was gungho about "Walking for Life" for CareNet. 3 miles. My husband and daughter joined in, too. I felt great and the sunrise that morning was awesome. And down in the depths of my heart, in that memory, I felt the recurring guilt that was there something I did that day that made my daughter die? I don't always dwell on this thought, but every so often, it will rear its ugly head. And then the question Why? with all it's mournful hopes came rushing back, along with the worry that maybe this daughter won't make it either.

I thought I was over this. Healed. Maybe I am, and maybe I'm just human, too. So I let the tears flow this morning. It's better to let them have their way rather than hold them back. That's part of healing. Just because I'm mending doesn't mean the pain is forever gone. That my heart won't miss my second-born daughter, Amelia. In fact, there are days where I hold nothing inside but utter joy that she is with Jesus, that I have Brilla, and am expecting our third daughter.

Mike was tinkering on the piano the other night and I expressed myself. I thought we were going to be expecting a little boy, not a little girl again. In some ways it would be easier to welcome a son because I can hold onto the memory of Amelia that much tighter without another daughter entering the picture; move on with all boy stuff. I am being completely honest here. Believe me, I'm the happiest mom to have another child, another daughter. And Mike spoke words which were such a balm to my spirit. Amelia will always be our second-born daughter, this girl will be our third-born. Amelia will always be a person, our child, with her own separate being and meaning in our life. And so will this daughter-to-come.

God knew that as married women, our husbands would be here to say the right thing when we need it. I needed those words and Mike's strength.

Every time I feel this tiny girl move, it does funny things to me. I get so excited and a smile comes to my face. A new sign of life and reminder of God's goodness. And I can feel okay at remembering Amelia at the same time, because all three of my girls are my precious treasures. My life has totally been changed by them.

I will not forget!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's A...

'nother girl!

I was truly bubbling over for THE ultrasound last night. I got all dressed up and everything. You'd think I was going on a date. But no, I laid on a table for about 45 minutes.

Baby Girl is healthy and is currently 9 ounces! We are so thrilled for another Beauty!

I thought it was going to be a boy. Just because we'd had Brilla and Amelia. However, we'd also had the miscarriage in March, and he could have been a boy. So it was up for grabs. God is determined to give us another girl, however, and we are totally happy about it!

Me, I'm already thinking about decorating. Get out the cute crib bedding! I'm glad to be able to use all the girly clothing, too. My heart was so sad when I had to put back all the newborn girl things after losing Amelia. And I know I'll cry tears when I bring them out again. But bring on the tears and the joy...God is amazingly good!

And please pray for us. Mike and Brilla both have bad colds. No fevers, thankfully. I just don't want to catch any strain of this swine flu. It's good for neither Baby Girl nor I. Thanks!

My Birthday

Here's my birthday in a nutshell...

My husband had some work-related errands to run on Saturday morning, so I was busy keeping Brilla preoccupied. I had a horrible allergy, and for some reason, my daughter was extra needy. Isn't that how it always works? To boot, I was in a bad mood. I have a sneaky suspicion it was those pregnancy hormones.

Also, financial times have been tight. So, here I was, thinking of a way to enjoy myself on my birthday without spending money, and with a toddler in tow. I figured I'd head to the library; choose a movie, pick up my book that finally came in, and read some stories to my girl. That was great until Brilla had a melt-down. An older boy, not realizing she was "using" the kids' computer, had logged in and taken it over. She was wailing, "There's no spot left for me!" at the top of her lungs. Finally the calm came and we had our story time.

Next, I returned some items at Target. While there, I bought some batteries for Brilla's activity laptop - to make up for her not being able to play on the one at the library. The plan was for her to play with her laptop while I read my book at the coffee shop. However, by this time, I was so exhausted and nap time was already leering at us. Thus, we drove back home, where we could still have computer and book time, and maybe even a little cup of coffee.

My husband arrived back home about mid afternoon (I'm thinking part of his "errands" was getting my gift), after I had put B down for nap. I was ready for a nap too! And I did just that. A nice, hour-long nap :) When I woke up, it was time to get our costumes on for the church harvest party! Brilla was a 40's diner girl and I was a pumpkin. I bought her costume in late summer for only about $5, preventing a rush for something cute. My outfit was simply homemade, but very comfy, as it entailed wearing black sweats! Mike just went as, well, Mike :D We made quick work of the stations (there were 15!) because I know my toddler's attention span wanes quickly. After earning a bagfull of candy, we headed out for late dinner at Happy Teriyaki, our favorite teriyaki place in Tacoma. It was a nice ending to a loooong day.

Oh, and when we got home, Mike gave me my gift. A new vacuum!! I desperately needed one! The one we bought when first married was refurbished, so really inexpensive. But since then, the hose has detached from the main part and many of the functions no longer work. It vacuums, but, you know. Mike and I actually decided to take the one he got as my gift, back to Costco, and pick up a Dyson. More expensive, but much better quality. It will be my birthday gift and our Christmas gift combined. Yay!

On Sunday, Mike planned a party for me. We ate out at Claim Jumper, one of our favorites. I love their Tri-tip dip. It is delicious! I ate the whole thing. Okay, I did give away some to my daughter, Mom and s-i-l, but still had plenty. Even the steak fries and huge pickle. I'm thinking there's a little person inside who loved it all, too.

Then we headed to our house for cake and gifts. My sweet mother-in-law made my requested pumpkin bars with cheesecake frosting! Yum. It disappeared fast. For some reason, my husband told people I needed kitchen towels. He doesn't know I have a whole stash in our linens I received about 10 kitchen towels! I am now stocked forever. But I also received some great oven mitts, kitchen rug and beautiful tiered tray (for teas and things). Everyone was generous!
My brothers had even sent me cards from college. My dear Grandma sent me this cool "metal soap bar" thing that you rub your hands with after handling garlic and such. It rids the And my best friend, Jules, sent me a gorgeous scarf and bracelet that she purchased while on a missions trip to the Philippines. Such a thoughtful friend! I have already worn the scarf and love it.

Aren't birthdays lovely? Good thing we have one every year, just to remind us we are loved and cared for by others :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Confession is Good for the Soul

Not only is it good for the soul, but consistent repentance to God of our sins, not only as one coming to Christ for the first time, but also as a "seasoned believer", is a must for the road to becoming more like Christ. It should be a daily to-do.

"Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed." James 5:16

I've recently been hit with this truth, again. The Holy Spirit's been convicting me of resentment I have toward someone. I've gone from day to day thinking I really don't have anything to confess about. But I'm a child of God, and like all His children, I don't want anything between He and I. Or if I'm quite honest, I like to hold onto that resentment, feeling justified and smug in my feelings. But why would I want that disconnection with another person? It stems the flow of God's unconditional love through me. When I hate or resent or am bitter, I cannot love like I should.

You really don't need to ask the Holy Spirit to convict you. And if you do, it won't be long in coming. In reality, I am grateful for that gently prodding of the Spirit. It means He's at work in me. My spirit is sensitive to His. Sometimes when we harden our hearts continually, God simply let's us have our way until either we don't ever listen to Him anymore, or we become so warped and frustrated in our own will, that we must come crawling on our knees, wishing we had done so earlier. Guilt lies and tells us God's grace is insufficient to cover our sins. It's actually selfish, because it wallows in self-pity, never really coming clean before God. But conviction is different. Godly sorrow leads to salvation. Godly sorrow leads to life.

The amazing God is always there to forgive our sins. He doesn't bury our nose in the dirt...that's not the reason for repentance. It's a dedication to live differently, a humbling of our hearts to His wiser ways. Though He's an Almighty God, He's also all-merciful and He wants us very close, not far off.

And once there's that restoration, the spiritual fruit continues to get bigger and more beautiful! There's nothing like true joy and peace.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Late! For a Very Important Date! No time....

God has really worked on me in the area of preparedness and being on time. It is every mom's downfall, really. We have so much we want to do, so little time. All our priorities go out the window as we wipe noses and clean up spilled cereal.

Actually, the mom excuse is not my excuse. I was late before I was married.

God has shown me that lateness is downright selfish. When I am late, I am telling someone, "My time is more important than yours." I'm not talking about being late because the unexpected happens, traffic you had no clue just happened to be blocking the road, or someone had an accident on the way out the door. Or even the occasional 'oops' as time has gotten away. I'm talking about consistently late. Being consistently late means I haven't taken the extra time needed to prepare. I'm not thinking of the person waiting on the "other side".

It begs the question, "If I can be consistently late, why can't I be consistently on time?"

So these last couple years, I've really worked hard at being places when I say I will be there, being punctual for those medical and dental appointment, etc. And by God's grace, I am getting there! Really, all those years I was late, I was really stressing myself out. Not only do you usually forgot things when you're're usually unprepared, and putting yourself at risk for a speeding ticket. Also, being timely is a much better example to my daughter. I'm not always saying, "Come on, we're going to be late!" She has more peace, and so do I.

Also, I've missed out on things. The great prayer at the beginning of a Bible study. The time for a cup of coffee while chatting. The opportunity to use the restroom (applies when your pregnant!), just the chance to be instead of rush.

I hope none of you will be holding me accountable, as I've set this high bar for myself! But like I said, God is working on me. God speaks to each of us in different areas throughout our life, and this is my "construction zone". But have to say, things are forming up pretty well :)

And now, that I'm expecting another child, things will have to start from square one again :)
I know, all you moms of multiples are laughing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

'Tis the Pumpkin Season

I just wanted to post in ode to this beautiful season God has created! Isn't Autumn just the best? I have pumpkins all over my living room. Not only pumpkins, but pumpkin-shaped candles. I am enjoying all the soups and stews. The gorgeous red, yellow and orange chocolate...sweaters...scarves...I could go on and on!

Best of all, I am staying inside more. Getting my house organized. I'm not a "Spring" cleaner. It's too nice out for that. This is when I do my organization. It's also very good on the pocket-book, then I am not strolling the mall of south Seattle :) In fact, lately, I have been working very hard at being creative without spending money. It has been great.

The library really is excellent. We have one just 5 minutes away that has the best stuffed animals and little nooks for Brilla to crawl into as she reads her books. Then, 5 minutes the other direction, is the gym! I am taking more advantage of my membership since I feel so much better these days. My goal is to walk about an hour 3x/week. What I love about working out during pregnancy is that the aim is not losing weight, but staying healthy. Something Brilla (especially) loves is having playdates with my neighbors. We switch homes every time. Another gal, K, has joined our circle. She's prego, too! It's the joke, because 3 out of 4 of us are expecting :) Anyway, we just spend a couple hours letting our kids play, then we sit for a little snack. One of the gals is very generous, and always cooks a delicious lunch.

What are you all doing this Saturday? Well, we are going to the harvest party at our church...I think. We may do something for my birthday instead. We will see! So yeah, my birthday is this Saturday, too! We have a 40's diner girl costume for Bri to wear. I am going to be a pumpkin! Pretty easy since I'm round enough!

I am 19 weeks tomorrow. Only one more week until I find out if Baby is blue or pink ;) The excitement is just too much for me! I cannot wait! We three will all be in the room for it.

I'm feeling great these days. Almost too much. I have so many projects I want to get done. Can you say "nesting"?

Anyhow, will let you know how my birthday weekend goes!

Monday, October 19, 2009

With My Date


We had a great weekend...once it got started. Mike actually had to work on Saturday, in that rain and muck. Meanwhile, I was able to get my house organized. Seems like during this cold weather, my home gets "lived in" more and thus, dirty faster. Especially our small home.

After Mike got home Sat, Brilla was granted to her grandparents :) and we headed off on our date. We ate at BJs! Our new find. What a great place, with awesome food. We love their pizzas so much, we both ordered separate ones - the Southwestern (Mike), and pineapple/ham (me). We even went out on a limb and ordered dessert, can't remember the name now. Basically, it's just a big, soft cookie with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream on top. Talk about rich!

Then we headed into the mall and found the UW/Arizona game. Since we don't get the channel at home, why not take advantage of the huge Comcast screens there? We both adore football. I also popped into Borders to grab a couple magazines. I've never bought a pregnancy mag before, so it was very fun for me. So...there we were, both watching the game, this pregnant woman sneaking peeks at my magazine. LOL You can tell we're married! But it was relaxing for both of us, we had great talks at the restaurant, during our drives' was a wonderful night overall. Can't wait 'til the next one!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day

This was yesterday. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

But if you have a moment, watch this video and say a prayer for someone who you know has lost a baby, whether in the womb or outside the womb. This is a long journey of healing, and each person finds that in their own time, with God's help.

Here is the video.

I will never forget my own Amelia. She is our little angel in heaven. I like the gravestone that says "Too good for this world, Heaven is your playground." Losing her at 7 months was extremely painful, but as I've posted recently, God is our Healer. Both Mike and I still shed tears remembering her, wishing Amelia was driving to the pumpkin patch with us, just starting to walk so she could help us with Christmas decorations this winter. But God had other plans. He wanted her up There with Him. And we are content with that.

Meanwhile, I don't take this Babe inside me a bit for granted. In fact, every single day I really have to pinch myself that this is real. There are so many women who cannot have children, and I am so thankful for mine. We will never understand the ways of God, but we can learn to accept what God gives us, be thankful for all the amazing blessings He has given, and realize He works amazingly despite the ugly things that rear their head in this world.

God bless all the women who have lost their babies. May He pour out His love on you!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brilla Post and Where is My Dinner?

My husband left about 2 hours ago, I kid you not, to go get our dinner. He has not come back yet! I wonder if a phone call is in order :P

Meanwhile, I've decided to post about Brilla. She is officially 3 now and That comes with the good and bad, I'm afraid. She is so smart, it blows my mind. Today I said,"Sweetie, let's see how fast you can run to class (at Bible study, which is down a long hall - I was running a bit late)!" Response: "Mama, we don't run in the hall, we walk." Oh yeah, what was I thinking? ;)

Like I mentioned last time, she absolutely loves talking to Baby. Almost 3 times a day. And she asks, "Is Baby still in your tummy?" She gets it about losing Amelia, which is sad, but also precious at the same time. We don't give our children enough credit for understanding things.

She is singing at the top of her lung whenever she gets the chance. And I mean, singing. Today, in the middle of Target, she was seeing some Gospel song, really getting into the Gospel part. It was hilarious...and a little loud....which is why I asked her to quiet down some. But then a gal in the aisle said, "Oh no, don't stop, I'm lovin' it!" Haha. She doesn't have to listen to it 24/7. :)

My daughter also loves animals. Everywhere we go, she is meowing like a kitty, talking in a "kitty voice" (whatever that is), and making sad kitty faces. She loves the neighbor's dogs, and pets her cousin's guinea pig when she gets the chance. In fact, yesterday, guinea pig almost won her freedom because Brilla was attempting to open the cage, in great eagerness, all on her own. Even at Old Navy, she goes in and pets and talks to the dummy dog that stand with the dummy people. Know what I'm talking about, right? "He's sooooo cute, Mama. It's okay, Doggie, it's okay. Awww, Mama, he's soooo cute." I really was not planning on owning any animals, but I guess we'll have to see. Right now, I'm completely satisfied with her enjoying others' animals.

We've been struggling with disrespect, first time obedience, and whining. Things I'm sure will come up every once in a while. I think the hardest part is not training Brilla, it's training me. I really have to make sure I'm consistent, because she knows when I'm not paying attention/when I'm angry and might overreact/when I'm tired. Today I think we made excellent headway in the first-time obedience. I've also discovered that much misbehavior on my daughter's part occurs when she is unoccupied. So, I have invested in several workbooks, sticker books, puzzles, etc. All that coupled with BSF, is keeping her quite busy and happy. Parenting is quite the journey, isn't it?

Potty training is going super well. She stays dry during nap time. And usually during the night. Sometimes in the middle of the night she'll let me know she has to go potty. I then remind her she can get down herself, and she does it. And she even flushes, washes hands, and turns out the light! Can you believe it? That's one of those things I taught her, but didn't think she'd remember it all. My daughter's personality is one that has to have everything just right, but besides that, she's a toddler.

Well, no husband so far, and no dinner. Hope you enjoyed this post. Time to make that phone call!

Edited to add: Mystery solved - in the middle of getting dinner, my dear husband remembered he had his chiropractic and deep tissue massage appointments. Thus, we had a very late dinner tonight :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

God is My Healer

I thought THIS was a touching story. Proves forgiveness and restoration are not out of reach.

So much has happened lately. I wanted to share before time got too far in between posts!

September 24 seemed like an ordinary day as I woke up. But actually, it was a special day. The day we celebrated Amelia's 1 year birthday in heaven! I didn't know what to expect of my emotions. Well, God has done an amazing work healing my heart. Truthfully, it was not a sad, tearful day. It was one of jubilation. I was truly filled with joy at Where my daughter is! Last year, or even six months ago, I may not have been able to say that, but like I said, God is our Healer. That evening, we laid our card, special balloon and bouquet at her grave. It was so peaceful, I cannot begin to describe the feeling. We sang our theme song for Amelia -Jesus Loves Me- and some other worship songs. It was a time for remembering her, the 7 months she was with us in my womb, the precious moments of holding her body at delivery, and the hope of seeing her again some day. God has made a difference in our lives through Amelia and we'll never be the same.


On October 5, Michael turned 35! We had a family birthday party for him the Saturday before. We always have so much fun when family gets together. His request was spaghetti dinner. Believe me, we had plenty of it, too! Complete with sourdough garlic bread, green beans, sparkling cider, and the famous Goheen oatmeal chocolate cake (of which there was not enough)...

Then on his real day, B and I took him out to Claim Jumper, his favorite restaurant, gave him his card and gift, and watched a fun movie after getting home. He's exhausted after work, so it was the perfect thing.

And, not nearly as important as the above two events...I got a new cut/style! I should have taken a photo the day of, but the thought didn't enter my mind. I've had this style before - long, big layers. It makes my hair still look long, but adds depth and a little "edge" as well.

16 weeks, Baby!! That's truly how fair along the little bean is! I have told so many people this, but I am impatient to hold my Baby! I am grateful each week his/her body parts are being formed and maturing, but I still can't wait for the day when I give birth to this little one! We have the BIG ultrasound around my birthday. Wouldn't that be the best gift ever?! I think I've felt the baby kick. Some time around last night. I know it wasn't indigestion or gas because I'd eaten a while ago. Exciting, exciting :) My weight gain is completely different from my other pregnancies. Around this time, I would have already gained 5+ pounds. But I have only gained about 3. I am so much busier this pregnancy than other ones, though. It's a good thing! My appetite is gaining, however. Last night I had 3 helpings of taco salad!!

I have one small prayer request...I am having a rough time with my silly allergies! In pregnancy, one tends to have more mucus than usual anyway, and then I have bad allergies to boot. I'll be totally fine, then all of a sudden, have this runny nose that won't stop. Especially in the middle of the night - I'll wake up to use the restroom, then launch into this sneezing, leaky nose fit and not get back to sleep for a couple hours. It's awful!

Meanwhile, Brilla just loves on Baby. She is always asking to say "hi" to Baby, which includes fully pulling up my shirt. The first couple times I was completely unprepared for this...being out in public and all, LOL. But it IS sweet and I'm glad I'm recording it here. She will stroke my tummy and give it hugs. She sings and prays to Baby. Bless her heart! She will be an awesome big sister.

I am praising God for His mercy and provision. Despite this bad economy, my husband's construction business is miraculously being given work. I mean, one project after the other. A lot of it is tweaked from what they're used to doing, but that's normal right now. Who knows, maybe a few months down the road, times will be lean. But we are trusting God each step, all the way. Praise His Name!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's been a week since my last post.

I had a big day at Bible study. We learned that John the Baptist was God's special messenger. It was hurry- scurry as always, in an organized way, as organized as can be with 2s. But seriously. Can I say the word to sum up our time was "Peacefulness"? Go God! This has and always will be His class this year.

I am currently sucking out as much relaxation as I can during nap time. I am so. tired. It's not because I'm over-the-top busy. It's because I'm pregnant! I am so pooped each day right around 1-2 p.m. The other day I lounged on the couch thinking, "I know I should be folding my laundry, but it feels just so good to sit here...". And before I knew it, I was in La-La Land.

I'm 15 weeks tomorrow. My queasiness is fading away, though it still comes on strong if I haven't eaten anything in a while. Tuesdays are the hardest, dinner is not until after my last lesson, after 7:00. But other than that, nothing to whine about! My tummy is getting rounder. I do not mind a bit. The only thing I mind is making sure I have the right clothing to be comfy in. Is there a formal way to wear a robe to church? Because if there is, I want to know about it!!

This last quarter, my paperwork load decreased incredibly. I finally turned over some major things to our accountant. This has been one of the wisest decisions ever. I simply cannot handle that burden, along with expecting a baby next year, and all the other responsibilities in my life. Besides, this extra burden was causing me to become irritable and anxious, two things I know God does not want in my life~

Mike's back continues to get better. I am SO thankful that his injury has seemed to slowly heal so well. Praise God! His 35th birthday is this weekend, and I'm in the middle of trying to make it special :)

Brilla just had her 3 year check-up. She is 38.5 inches, in the 75th percentile for height and weight! She's tall like Daddy! She had some shots due, so I gently warned her that the shots would hurt a little, but then she'd get cool band-aids and a sticker. Well, my BIG girl didn't even whimper! And she got a separate shot in each arm. Needless to say, I was surprised. The next day, we got her pictures taken at Penney's. We always get pics after her birthday at the studio (using the coupon of course!). They really turned out great, though I'm not a bit biased ;) Her hilarious quote of the day: At Bible study, they were playing with a pretend grocery cart/groceries/register. Her teacher said, "And do you have some cash?" Brilla said, "No, I have my credit card!" LOL That's a born shopper for ya!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Heart Beat Away...

We recently purchased a new multi-purpose printer. You know, the one with fax/print/copy/scan? Well, I've yet to set up. I'm a little scared of the whole thing. I hear you saying, "Just follow the directions." But it takes time...and I've yet a chunk of a couple hours for the project.

Why did I even bring this up?

I wanted to scan pictures of our little bean for you to view!!

Last Thursday, I had my 13 week appointment. My midwife put the thingy to my growing abdomen and I heard the reassuring, steady heartbeat of my tiny Baby. And to boot, she showed me his or her body on the ultrasound!! I was in complete awe. Even if this is my fourth pregnancy.

I say fourth, because, after Amelia, I had a miscarriage in March of this year.

But again, I was totally amazed. That the God of the universe would take such delight in forming all the little body parts of this little child in my womb. At 13 weeks, so much is created already! My baby has fingerprints, veins, and still-transparent skin reveals organs inside Baby's body. Length is 3 inches long (about). On the ultrasound picture, though very basic, I could see Baby kicking around and having a good ole' time!

It's always a treat to go to the appointments. In fact, after this one, Bri and I had a sort of celebration. I got an iced tea and breakfast sandwich at a local coffee shop and Bri got pizza and a pop at the grocery store. Then she got to play on the big toy at a park nearby.

Ah, the simple things in life!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

On the Mend and Bri's 3rd!

So much has happened in the last couple weeks, the very reason my last post was a while ago.

God is healing Mike's back! After several visits to the chiropractor, lots of cold packs, rest, ibuprofen and prayer, he is on the mend. He was telling me the other day how he takes having a healthy body for granted. Don't we all! As much as he's been hanging around the house lately, he's away now. He's so glad to be able to get OUT and got to work! I am so happy for him!

Brilla's 3rd birthday was last Saturday. She was supposed to have a butterfly themed cake and everything, but alas, between my cold, Mike not being able to assist and Bible study prep, she still had an awesome party, just not full of butterflies. Honestly, I don't think she even noticed ;)
We had her little friends (and their parents) over. We ate a lunch of chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries for the kids, parents' menu was croissant sandwiches (thank you Costco!) and veggies tray. Though it wasn't decorated all fancy, Brilla still got her banana cake with vanilla butter cream frosting. I should have made went in a flash. We were going to make butterfly suncatchers; however, I looked at all the little toddlers having a blast just being loud and playing games with each other, I thought, "Doing a craft will ruin their fun!" So we finished off the day by opening gifts and taking pictures. I am shocked all the streamers and balloons stayed in their places on the walls! Nothing short of a miracle. This is the first year Bri could not wait for her birthday and loved opening the gifts. She even received a Barbie learning laptop that looks like the real thing. I think it's nicer than mine ;) Poor girl, halfway through her party she was like a zombie. She got a little overwhelmed!

Bible Study Fellowship started up this last week. I was anxious to be prepared (it is my first year being a teacher in the 2's preschool class). God helped me through it and we had so much fun. Excitement and anticipation have replaced anxiety for this coming week.

Piano teaching is the other busy part of my life. I currently have 13/14 students. I've been brainstorming fresh ideas to make piano exciting for all my students. I've started a new chart for prizes and purchased some new card games and visual aids. Wouldn't it be wonderful if some day I had my own little piano studio? I can dream can't I? ;) Anyhow, I love teaching. It is also a ministry. I want both students and parents to know Who created music and to glorify God. Pretty soon here we will be prepping for our Christmas recital!

God has been blessing Mike's business. He frames custom homes, and lately has branched out doing additions, some remodeling, decks, and siding. We can't say enough for his lead guy, Josh, and the rest of the crew. They have worked very hard while Mike's been injured. Lately, jobs have been pouring in! We serve such an amazing Father. He takes care of His own very well, despite the economy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letting Go

There are some attitudes I've been struggling to let go of. I don't know why I hold on to them. I think it's comfortable to believe those seemingly small lies, i.e. that if we let go of our certain way of thinking, we won't have control and all will go awry. But am I not a Christian, as Keith Green put it, a little Christ? Is not Christ to have total reign? Contrary to my thinking, when I submit to His control, I am freer to do God's work. These wrong attitudes, sin, weigh me down. They don't allow me to run the race set before me. I can either choose to be handicapped in my lack of confession of sin, or surrender to His Spirit filling every nook and cranny. Last year, my Bible study group taught the preschoolers "Obedience brings blessing!" But so hard to live out in our adult life! If I would only learn by application that submission to God always brings His blessing!!

"What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ." —Philippians 3:7

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Injured Back and Other Glorious Details

Hi there! I'm always asking for your prayers, but that's a good thing, right? We need them again :)

We're a little umm....swamped?

Mike injured his back while working over Labor Day weekend. He is in a lot of pain. This is a first while we've been married. But the chiropractor thinks lifting heavy beams this last weekend "broke the camel's back", that perhaps he's actually had a bad back, etc. but this was the last straw. My husband is in so much pain, that he literally must crawl everywhere or walk super slow with a crutch, like really slow. He's seen the chiropractor 3 times in the last 2 days and feels the tiniest bit better. He doesn't sleep well, either. In fact, I feel real good because right now he's sleeping on the floor in a heap, like snoring sleepin. A first in a while.

Meanwhile, I've had to juggle watching my toddler (thank the Lord right now I only have one!), planning preschool lessons for BSF, teaching piano, recovering from a recent cold (which I thought was better, but now I have the awful cough and my nose is running again!) and basically doing everything for my husband because he can't get around at all. I'm even tying his shoes (poor guy he must feel helpless). And for the first time I had to attend a meeting in his place.

I do not feel stressed right now and please understand I'm not complaining. But reality is, once Bible study starts full swing next week, I will have more on my plate. I want to keep my priorities in line, so please just pray that God would heal Mike's back thoroughly, even if slowly; that I will balance my schedule effectively; that I would recover (and B doesn't catch my bug)...

Lastly, that God would enable Mike and his crew to accomplish everything they need to without builders/homeowners being upset. That God would help Mike to trust that He is in control, and not feel discouraged that he can't be. God has done it in the past, and He can do it again!

Thanks so much!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 11

Oh! I wanted to update you all that I am doing very well at my 11th week of pregnancy. I'm still queasy, can't cook meat because of my acute sense of smell, and extremely tired at about 6 p.m. But that is a good sign that everything is coming along! I can't tell you how thankful I've been just to know that God has blessed us with another little one. More often than not, I am going to Babycenter, and reading all the little details of how our baby is growing. It is amazing! Baby is about 1 1/2 inches long, hands will soon be making fists, teeth buds will soon be under the gums and he/she is already kicking and stretching, though I can't feel it yet.

One thing for belly has popped! At first I was 11 weeks?? But that is what I get after having 3 babes in my tummy :) And plus, now people can see I'm pregnant and can joy with me :) I've already put on those maternity clothes. The great thing about these modern maternity clothes is they fit without having to be fully "tummy out there". I don't have a Fall/Winter wardrobe since I've always been pregnant in the summer. So, sadly that means I will have to go shopping *wink*

My weight gain is coming along normally (gain about 2 lbs). I haven't lost pounds this time 'round, and have managed to keep most of my food down. If you've been praying for me, thank you bunches! I get the normal pregnancy hormonal crazies, and we've yet to still celebrate Amelia's 1 year birthday on Sept 24, but I know the Holy Spirit is right here with me the whole way, holding my hand and speaking truth to my heart.

So Much For a Three Day Weekend

This is from Our Daily Bread today:

"When the work of earning a living, raising a family, maintaining health and fitness, and managing relationships starts to overwhelm us, it’s good to think about how small our part in the universe really is. While we obsess over our work, God quietly does His. He keeps the earth rotating, the planets revolving, and the seasons changing. Without any help from us, He makes the sun rise every morning and set every evening. Every night He changes the pattern of lights in the sky. He turns out the light so we can sleep, and turns it on again so we can see to work and play. Without lifting a finger, we get to enjoy sunrises and sunsets. Every year the seasons change on schedule. We don’t need to pray about it or tell God that it’s time to send spring. All that He does reminds us He is good (Acts 14:17).

Life will at times be difficult, often it is painful, and for now it is imperfect. But still it is good, for in all these things nothing can separate us from God’s lavish expressions of love (Rom. 8:39).

Thank You, loving Father, for the good gift of life. Forgive me for making it complicated for myself and others. I thank You and praise You for all You do so that I can enjoy so much. Amen.

God’s grace is immeasurable; His mercy inexhaustible; His peace inexpressible."


Anyone else not really doing anything this three-day weekend? *raising hand* My husband has to work most of it, so it will be one short weekend, and one long week next week. I'm trying to be creative, thinking of things to do so Bri and I don't get stuck at home. Because all I can think of right now is how the laundry needs to be done, my room dusted and organized, bathtub sanitized, etc.......

Does anyone in my area know of any Labor Day attractions or fun stuff going on? Perhaps I will surf the web and check things out. There's bound to be something!

We are praying for my dear niece who just received a skull fracture. She fell backwards off one of those cool scooters, a Segway, and had a concussion. No, she was not wearing a helmet. The good news is that the fracture is minimal and should heal normally, of course, with about two plus weeks of bed rest. There were no dents or permanent damage, thank the Lord! But poor niece has been through the mill...extreme pain, vomiting and just overall misery. If you think of her anytime this weekend, please pray for her.

Happy three day weekend to you all!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tear Soup...brew your own pot

I've just read Tear Soup (by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen).

If you've ever experienced a loss of some sort, you must read this precious book.

I found myself bawling all over again, completely identifying with the author, or rather, the characters in the story, like in these lines...

"She put on her apron because she knew it would get messy. It seems that grief is never clean. People feel misunderstood, feelings get hurt, and wrong assumptions are made all over the place. To make matters worse, grief always takes longer to cook than anyone wants it to. And then...Grandy started to cry. At first she sobbed. Sometimes she wept quietly. And sometimes when she was in a safe place where no one could hear her...she even wailed."

I could read the whole book to you right here. But I won't. You must read it for yourself, and grab a fistful of tissues first.

It seems my Brilla is used to tears by now. We have this down pat. Mommy cries, Brilla studies my face, gives me her blanky, snuggles close and soon she has me smiling.

I have cried a lot this week. I've read and watched so many heart-rending stories of others losing children or family. And I think it is because September is nearing, the month when we lost Amelia. The trees turning, the knowing that the fair is coming soon, Brilla's birthday almost being here, and Bible study starting up again...all the things that happened last year just before we said good-bye to our baby girl. The memories flood back. And instead of shoving back the grief, I have let the tidal wave pull me under. Why? Because I know that I am grieving, with hope. After the gloomy rain comes the magnificent sunlight of God's peace and assurance. Grieving in my own time, letting God heal me has not made me a sadder person, just a more broken one, needing His grace and strength. My Solid Rock.

My brother S wanted to see where his niece was buried. So we stopped by a local gardener's home first and received a beautiful variety of dahlias. The elderly man even gave us a few extra buds to bloom later! We had a perfect view of Mt. Rainer because of the sunshiny day. S agrees with me -truly is an amazing spot for our daughter's grave. I did not shed a single tear while there, probably because I'd cried so much earlier in the week already.

And now "Uncle S" is gone back to college. Little Brilla is heartbroken. But she brightened upon hearing he'll be back for Christmas.

See, good-byes are not forever!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy 5th Anniversary (To Us)!

August 28th was our 5th wedding anniversary!! The actual day itself was ho-hum with work, chores and nausea. Don't worry, Friday was only ho-hum because our Sat/Sun had some grand plans only known by my husband. But there was still excitement for the five years of memories I've made with my best friend and Love. These have been the deepest and fullest years of my life.

I am so blessed to love and cherish my husband even more today than I did on August 28, 2004. I love Michael simply for who God has made him. One of Mike's most prominent characteristics is his patience. This stands out to me, being someone who is not so patient. He is also a born leader, and does an outstanding job as head of not only our home, but his construction business. His trust in God during these hard, economic times has been such an example. And my husband loves to laugh. His sense of humor has gotten us through tough times and made our lives so full of smiles and light. I get him back on his practical jokes every once in a while.

Mike really wanted to plan our 5th. It was actually "my turn" this year, but as we were talking on the phone, he was like, "Can I plan it this year? I really want to!" So I said sure. I just dropped a hint that I would love to stay in a hotel ;)

Man, did he go above and beyond! We stayed at the Hyatt in Bellevue, where we actually stayed for our 2nd anniversary. I was thrilled! It's so beautiful. The room was amazing. And after parking at the hotel, we didn't have to use the car all weekend; we just walked everywhere. I had plenty of time to pretty myself up for dinner in the room. It was really nice to have a little time to get ready without my toddler. I had planned to wear a cute little green dress, but my pregnant body didn't feel confident in a dress, so I opted for nice jeans and a cute top. We ate at McCormick & Schmick's, our absolute favorite restaurant. I ordered the halibut with tomato puree, on top of wild mushroom risotto. Oh, to die for. Mike had the rock fish with stir fry veggies and a really yummy sauce. So good! I only wish I could've eaten my whole dish. After dinner, we watched the rest of the Seahawks game on our hotel room's HDTV. That was very cool. We are both avid fans, so we can't even miss a preseason game :) Later that night, we headed out for a walk, ending up at Cheesecake Factory to split some avocado egg rolls and hot fudge sundae. Delicious!
After sleeping in the next morning, we ate breakfast at a place Mike had planned...the 0/8 Seafood Grill. I had the ham and cheese omelet while he got his Belgian waffle. Mike had planned for us to then got see a movie at the IMAX theater. But I really wanted to take a shower before we checked out of our room, so we did that instead. I don't think we were that bummed, because we can always go see a movie another time. Later, we browsed the mall and played Frisbee at the park. After a while, I felt like a dog chasing a stick (I didn't realize it would be so warm!), so we cooled off with some smoothies.

By the end of the Sunday, I had had a glorious time, and was thoroughly exhausted. Though we would have loved a longer weekend just by ourselves, we had a marvelous day and a half and were ready to see Brilla again.

Would love to post pics of everything, but don't quite know how to download pics from Mike's new blackberry yet. But I will say he gave me a gorgeous bouquet of roses, which I am still smelling as they reside on our entry way table.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rejoice in God!!

Just getting on here to say I had an awesome conversation with my Grandma Louise on the phone. Must have been the Lord prompting me to call her, because she had it on her to-do list to call me this afternoon. And she felt bad about no contact in so long as well. My grandma is one of my closest friends and I can talk to her about anything. She's such a spiritual encouragement and source of love.

Anyway, it will be her 80th birthday this December! I'm so excited!! I want it to be special. Unfortunately, she lives in the Midwest and we have chosen not to do any airplane rides during this pregnancy, to error on the side of caution. So, I'm plotting to possibly see her anyway, maybe with flying her this way. We shall see...

Got me thinking about the different people in my life Ive been meaning to get a hold of. Maybe I should each make that phone call today; only takes a couple minutes, half-hour, or whatever....

God bless you today! I was reading Scripture today and was reminded of the story of how David danced in joy when the ark came to Jerusalem. And I came across this quote as well ~

"We Christians can sometimes be a joyless lot, preoccupied with maintaining our dignity. That’s an odd attitude, though, since we’re joined to a God who has given us His wonderful gift of joy and laughter..."

A critical spirit born out of spiritual shallowness and insensitivity to the things of God is dangerous (as in the case of Michal). We really should put aside our stress, anxiety and critical spirit, to worship God in everything we do! I write this as a personal lesson to myself.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life Lately

Every year, my midwife, Nancy, has a picnic for all the families that she has helped in the birthing process. Basically, she gets to see all the little kiddos she's help bring into this world! That is where we went today. The weather was gorgeous, not too hot, not too cold. We had hot dogs, apples and lemonade. Talk about the perfect picnic fare! Then Brilla played on the big toy, got a "choo-choo" train painted on her face, and tried out some toddler gym equipment a gal had brought for all the kids to play on. Very cool.

Yesterday (Monday), was Bible club night. The birthday girl ended up not showing, but we went ahead and ate the pie at snack time anyway. We also watched an animated version of William Tyndale. Didn't realize it would be such an adult-level story!! I think Brilla freaked out at the burned-at-the stake part. It was a very compelling and challenging, but maybe a tad heavy for our audience.

On Sunday, we had to say good-bye to our youth pastor, Pastor Dan. Though we're all gonna miss him, it was actually a great time of fellowship, laughing and giving him a basket full of cards :) Later that night Mike and I challenged each other in a game of Skip-Bo. It was a tied score! Our first time playing; can't wait to try that again.

On Friday and Saturday (notice I'm working backwards here), we had great times at Lake Tapps with my family! They rented a cabin for the weekend, so we got to have a potluck one night, then just hung out and swam the next day!! Such great weather. Then Uncle Sean came over to Brilla's house :) and we had dinner and chatted up a storm.

What a fun weekend and week so far!

My nausea is plain awful. I try to eat a good breakfast, and eat when I can, but sometimes I don't quite make it and my stomach turns on me. Sometimes things just do not sound good, and of course, cooking meat has been a no-go for me. Yes...first trimester is awful around here!! It was like that with Brilla and also Amelia. I am simply doomed for queasiness in early pregnancy.

However, that can't quench my anticipation for the months ahead where I will be feeling good and will get to see my belly enlarge - knowing that a baby is growing healthy inside of it!! I am praying every day and just can't wait until the 18-20 weeks when I finally get to see if our munchkin is a guy or gal!

I don't know if I mentioned it, and I guess I didn't since it's been awhile since my last update, but I got to have an early ultrasound of the little one! Obviously, he/she is only about the size of a grape, but the picture was so clear (even on Nancy's basic machine), that we could see a faint heartbeat. So reassuring. It will be even cooler at the next appt to hear the heart beat.

Unfortunately, this last week, I found out about another couple who lost their almost full-term baby. Still birth. So hard. My heart was heavy the whole day. I was praying for them, and the Lord just filled my heart with compassion - I was brought back to remembering when I found out Amelia was no longer with us. I wept. Such pain and agony, mingled with guilt and all the what ifs. Thankfully, they believe in the Lord, so there is the knowledge that baby is with Jesus.

I was thinking about how in 1 Corinthians it talks about the difference between our earthly and spiritual bodies. And how the "sting of the death is sin". I think our terrestial minds can't nearly comprehend was heaven will be like, what our new bodies will look like...what we'll feel and think, simply due to the contrast between our sorrow and pain we experience down here, and the glory of new life up there. It's hard to imagine that death has lost its victory and does not triumph! Especially when someone close to us, as in a child, has gone ahead. But it is true! There are no question marks! I think we can get so caught up in the things we don't know about, that we fail or it's just hard to grasp the promises and truths God has already given. We will be made completely new and our little ones will be There to greet us. What a Day that will be!