Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday post

We were eating our cereal the other day. Brilla looks up and says, "I forgot to mention that I want you to sit by me, Mama." Forgot to mention. Where in the world did this proper English come from?

As I was teaching this week, Brilla was in the other room quietly playing...until she obviously had successfully gone potty. She announced triumphantly from the bathroom, "I went pee-pee Mama! I get an ABC cookie!" Of course, while I was disconcerted, my guests had their chuckle.

Brilla is at such a fun stage right now. She makes me laugh (and makes me frustrated), and has been giving me lots of love lately. She's at a funky clothing phase, too. While she's migrating into 3Ts, some of the 2Ts still fit. So I have the 3Ts out, but can't put away the 2s! It makes for a lot of clothing in her drawers (which I'm grateful for). And I know spring is coming soon, but doggonit, winter just won't leave. I know as soon as I store away the spring stuff, nice days will be popping their heads out.

FYI, what are your favorite children's clothing stores? I am obsessed with them, though I've had to keep my purchases to a minimum.
Here are my faves:
  • Old Navy
  • Crazy 8
  • Gap
  • Garage sales!
  • Thrift stores!
  • Target (clearance rack!)

Yes, I am a bargain-girl. But I love stylish and classy stuff, too. I'm picky. And I have a girl! What a terrible combo! ;D I can't wait until spring and summer roll around for the ever-inexpensive garage sales. We have a thrift store right by my house (Meeker Street Emporium) that I love going to because the prices are even cheaper than Goodwill. Plus, proceeds go toward the Union Gospel Mission. At our outlet mall, I am cheaper still as I head straight to the clearance racks their, too!


I am a dreamer at night. Don't know if my brain has found a lifelong hobby, but honestly. Almost every night I have a crazy or vivid dream. Like last night I dreamt my mom was at the doctor's office and they found a baseball in her stomach. We were all like, "How'd she swallow that one?!"

On a serious note, right after Amelia's death, I longed to have a dream about her. I wanted to see her face in my sleep, I wanted to know what she looked like in heaven. To hear her "voice", too. I wanted to dream of her up in heaven dancing on the streets of gold before God's throne. Just something to glimpse her, even if it wasn't real. I've longed to imagine me rejoining her in heaven, holding hands, and tears streaming down our faces. Even if it's just a figment of my mind's imagination...or maybe a gift from God.

I even prayed about it, not lately, but I did ask for it once. God knows my heart, not everything we pray for comes true. I have pure motives, though. It's not like I want a BMW, or a castle in Ireland. Just to dream of Amelia.

It does surprise me. All the trauma and emotion tied to her death, or life I should say, hasn't sparked one single vision in this mind...this mind that conjures up a million other crazy scenarios.
Maybe it's because I didn't actually know Amelia. I didn't ever hear her voice, hold her body continually in my arms, never felt her eyes looking into mine. Often we dream about those things we see every day, events that occur not so long ago. They all tend to swirl together in one hazy cloud at some point.

This thought process may sound incredibly silly to you. But it is something I ponder from time to time, "Why haven't I ever dreamt of Amelia?"

I'll let you know if I do.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Importance of Prayer

There are so many things in life that could easily weigh me down. And at times, they do. Sometimes rough situations are not our fault, but the anxiety and stress we choose to hold on to, is.

I have found a few temporary outlets for these feelings of burden...journaling, cleaning, shopping, and even talking about it with friends. But the only permanent solution is taking things to God in prayer. And leaving them there. Another godly woman said it best, "It's a dangerous place to be waiting on God, then decided that you've waited too long." It's so easy to say "I am trusting, God please help", then once again give into the temptation to try to fix things with our human, finite, limited tools. To take action out of impatience or fear is oh-so dangerous.

Yesterday found me burdened about several problems, then reflecting on my situation, realized those problems weren't even my responsibility! It was refreshing to know what I could do, the best thing I could do, was pray. I asked Him to help me give up my pride, selfishness, critical spirit, worry and other icky gunk (sin) inhabiting my heart. Then to fill me with His Spirit, His love, His joy, His patience, faithfulness, goodness, peace and self-control. His yoke is so much easier then struggling through the flesh. It's freeing. His burden is light!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Brilla, recipes and other bits and pieces!

I'm feeling much more even-keeled after hiding myself in the Rock of Ages. God is ALWAYS faithful.

I've been noticing something cute bug of a daughter is growing up! She's interested in so many things, learning skills left and right. I feel like on the toddler stepping stones she's taking leaps.

I can't keep up!!

I've felt like I need to get out the number and letter workbooks and guide some of this energy into a positive direction! But we're pretty busy already. I take her with me to the gym every morning. While in the kids club, she enjoys "reading" books, coloring, and puzzles. She also gets exercise by climbing up to the very top of the playtoy and not being able to get back down. Trust me, those things were not made for adults who need to rescue their child!

The highlight of her week, though, is Bible Study Fellowship. She loves it! While I learn in my adult way about God, Brilla learns about Him from her's. Her class is like a Bible-centered preschool! I've been a helper a couple times; it's pretty neat. They have Intro time, Pledge of Allegiance, Prayer, Activity, Skill (like learning colors/alphabet, etc.), Lesson Time (they have them sit semi-circle, criss-cross applesauce, on tape; can you believe toddlers actually can do it?!), Bible Verse Memory, Quiet Time (not nap, they lay on carpet squares while the teacher walks around and speaks Bible verses to them, it's like Meditate on Scripture time), and Game Time. Not in that order, but it all gets done in 2 hrs! They have high expectations for these children, and do you know what? The kids CAN be still, they DO listen, and it's usually the exception that they don't. Brilla comes home quoting Bible verses I've never taught her!

She's almost got the potty down. She now comes up to me and initiates it! Finally! It's so nice for being in the store. Sometimes I get this feeling she just wants to see the pottys in every store, so sometimes I'll say, "Can you wait?" And she usually does. Cracks me up.

Well, I've been trying new meals again. You know how you get in that (sometimes really nice) funk where you just cook all the old favorites that you know everyone likes? Only problem is, they eventually get kind of old news, and I'm the adventurous cook type. So I'm going out on a limb again! Sometimes my hubby loves me for it, sometimes he doesn't! The last recipe I tried I really liked, but he didn't. He said it was the flavor. It may have been the tarragon or asparagus in it. Or the sweet flavor (maybe that's the tarragon??) Since I thought it was fabulous, here is the link. Kind of a twist on chicken pot pie.

Then for a twist on Sloppy Joes, try Sloppy Joaquins! You will want to keep eating and eating!!

I have a thing pretty much for any kind of unique dish (with not too rare of ingredients)!

Our weekend has been SO relaxing thus far. Yesterday we browsed Old Cannery, but bought nothing. I peeked at the Scratch & Dent furniture just to see what was there. I was secretly hoping they'd have a low-priced not-too-big china cabinet to display my china in. But nope. Not this time. It probably would've helped to get there earlier in the day. But we did get our free popcorn and apple cider! And B thoroughly enjoyed the kids section with the famous train set, and various chairs all in her size!

We had forgotten what a fun place it is for little guys!

Then we went home for naps and such. Did a little cleaning. Btw, I'm cleaning our garage; a monstrous task. As of yesterday, I now have 5 trash bags full of clothing on my living room floor, ready to be donated! Last year, instead of immediately giving away clothing, I had stuffed them in a container, in the garage. ???? Perhaps I thought some of them would come back in style? Who knows. Garages/storage tend to be the catch-all for the "maybees" and "ifs".

An's SO hard being a woman. My single body alone between pregnancies, gaining weight throughout pregnancy, post partum, and losing weight again ranges between sizes 6-12. Only 5 months ago, I was wearing a stretchy size 12, and I just (yesterday) fit into my size 6 jeans again. Crazy, huh?! I can't let go of all my clothing, but I just get rid of the stuff I know I would never wear again and is plain uncomfortable.

After naps, we went to Costco for cheap dinner and looked around. We came out with cookies, chocolate caramel macadamia clusters, bread, and deli turkey. We then stopped by Home Depot for some basics. Mike and I each picked out a magazine. I chose Every Day with RR (at Home Depot, I know) and Mike got Money. After putting the B down, we sat on the couch and browsed. One of our absolute favorites together.

Sunday has been decent so far. Brilla is currently napping, Mike's helping his brother move, we (B & I) recently got home from choir practice. I am playing for our Easter cantata this year. My parents are coming over for dinner. I'm servin' up Lasagna Casserole with whole wheat sourdough bread! After that, hopefully I can get in some Bible study questions. I'm a little behind...

We hope to stop by Amelia's grave today. Her 5th month of being gone from us is coming up on the 24th. We have some bright yellow and white daisies for her.

Oh, and the good news is that I've now lost 12 poundaroos! Yeah! Some days I feel like I want to raid the frig (like yesterday), and sometimes I feel like my hour-long workout will never end. So this week I'm changing up things a bit. I'm gonna try some spinning classes again and aerobics. I'm also going to plan out (or at least try) my snacks and meals. But recording the calories and cutting back on the sweets has really been the key.

Now that I've written my novella for the day, I'm gonna get workin' on that nap!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I feel empty today. Maybe it's the transition from being done with my homewide organization project, or going from a few kids to one, or maybe I'm just restless. Maybe God's just telling me to rest a bit. I don't know.

All I know is that I'd like to have a good cry.

I miss Amelia again. I remember when I slowly found out all the details of how she would be born, how we had to find her a burial spot, how we may want to take photos. So much was a blur. But now I treasure every detail that I can remember.

It may change from state to state, but in Washington, a stillborn child dying after 21 weeks requires a burial. 20/21 weeks is officially the time when the loss of an unborn child is termed a stillbirth, rather than a miscarriage. I remember when people said, "I'm so sorry about your miscarriage." Not that a miscarriage is any less heartbreaking, don't get me wrong, but every week you have your baby inside, you become closer to that child. I was 28 weeks close to Amelia. I was that much closer to seeing her beautiful face. I knew her for a longer time than the term "miscarriage" suggests.

I actually gave birth to Amelia. Just like I gave live birth to my daughter Brilla. I had to go through the labor pains, the blood, sweat, tears, and the pushing. I writhed in agony not only because of the obvious, but because my heart was breaking. Some of what I felt was complete hopelessness and unfairness. My heart was trying to trust in God, but I'm only human.

I also held her in my arms. I stroked her beautiful and matted hair, that would never hold pink bows. I held her tiny hands that would never wrap around mine voluntarily, and her long, perfect toes that will always remind me of my husband. I wanted her eyes to open, as if God would have seen fit to revive her after all. I wanted her small lips to form a smile. And I wrapped her in a flowered flannel blanket, as if that would warm her cold, lifeless body.

And then, I prayed for the child that I would never be able to raise in my home. My daughter who would only laugh and sing in the presence of God.

I wrote her birth certificate as Michael was having to say his hard goodbyes to his second-born daughter, then placing her into the arms of the undertaker. I wanted to leap out of the bed and touch her one last time. But I couldn't. I was weary and tired. And I had already said my farewell with tears streaming.

And every time I visit her grave and place flowers on it, the tears come again. Because all these memories resurface and the loss is once again remembered. Sometimes I talk to her, if she can hear me in heaven. And sometimes I just pray that Jesus will pass on our love.

I love her so much, a kind of love that aches. And today I really want her home with me. If only...

As I remember the precious, last moments I had with Amelia, my eyes are clouded by my tears. I have not cried for a few weeks. I sit staring at her framed certificate of birth, knowing that her little feet once touched that paper to give the prints which sit beside her name. I'm also looking at the little lamb sitting atop the frame which remind of the Lamb of God who died for us, but rose again. And the sweet figurine given me by Sarah, Willow Tree's Guardian, in memory of Baby Amelia.

Thank you for letting my recall Amelia's birth, her death. But also her resurrection. For that is a detail I cannot forget. She is with her risen Lord.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Missing them!

Yesterday was full, but wonderful.

We borrowed our nieces and nephew for 2 days and a night while Mom was in Hawaii. Yahoo for her!

The poor girls were super quiet while the kids napped and I taught piano. They really got into the story about Paul and Silas singing in prison, later during Bible club. They listened so well even though I'm sure they've heard it before! And it was a great example for the others kids there. We talked about having the fruit of the Spirit; tonight's topic was on joy.

Joy is an inner gladness that does not fade with the circumstances. It is a trust that God is faithful and keeps His promises! Isn't that awesome? The world can never give this joy.

Uncle Michael got home very late. Poor guy, he has been VERY busy lately! Not only does he put in a whole day of physical work, but he comes home and has to do bids, paperwork, meet with builders, and make dozens of phone calls. But though busy, I can tell he's in his element again. He has work. Such a blessing.

Anyway, even after getting home late, he still had time to jump in the car with us and head to Safeway to pick out donuts! The kids loved it. Donuts and milk just before can totally tell we're the aunt and uncle, eh?

This morning, I was able to get my exercise in! I've given myself no excuses. It's been my push to work out every day, and at the gym, especially since I pay for membership. After that, the kids and I had eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast! I never make bacon, so it was a treat. Then we watched a little TV and did a scramble clean up. Many hands make light work! We went to Celebration Park and the kids had a blast on the playground. It's a great one. Has something for little ones AND big ones. The girls are very active (I think that's an understatement) so they were like Tiggers for about an hour. Brilla and Jakey loved it too! Their poor noses were a little red by the end. But oh, what a gorgeous day. Can't stay inside with weather like this!

Afterward, we took advantage of Subway's $5 for ANY foot long. Healthy and yummy. I gave in and let them have pop. I'm a bad auntie.

So this afternoon was the closing of our time together. We will miss them! My house seems so empty right now. I'm just waiting for a child to fly through my living room at any moment to show me how they can do kart wheels on the mattress! Well, maybe I won't miss that, but I do miss the laughing and cute conversations.

It's just a good thing that God gives (usually) one child at a time and not 4 at once!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Monday Post...recap of the weekend

This has nothing to do with my weekend, but just something God's been speaking to my heart...

One thing I don't want to do is live my life in guilt. I don't want to live my years wishing I'd done better about the past and walking in guilt of it. I don't want to make decisions based on guilt. I need to face the reality of my problems and in Christ's strength overcome them. But after they've been dealt with, let them go, because Christ paid for it all when He died on the cross. He set me free from shame, guilt, sin and death! Praise God.

Lord, help me to live in your liberty. Help me to not base my decisions on guilt or what others think, but what is right and how your Spirit leads. Amen!


Valentine's Day was very busy for us, and not quite what we had planned, but turned out to be a special family time.

We got after getting to sleep in! I usually get up at 5:30/6:00 with the hubs, so sleeping in 'til 7:30 was a luxury! I drove to the gym and did my workout. I pushed myself super hard, going 7 miles on the elliptical. I was gettin' myself ready for a nice dinner :) I'm actually really glad I did it. And I got there early enough that not everyone was hogging the equipment.

Then I went home, cleaned myself and my home up and created the program for my piano session at Weatherly Inn. The time there was sweet. Several of the residents were singing along, and hearing their accompanying voices reminded me that despite their Alzheimers state, music is a powerful thing. Brings back ageless memories. Some that were popular were I'll Be Seeing You, Younger than Springtime, Somewhere My Love, and I even threw in Lavendar Blue (Dilly, Dilly) from the 1940s So Dear to My Heart. An old man next to me started singing Baby Mine and tears came to my eyes. That song forever reminds me of my Amelia. So even amidst the hubbub inside the room, her memory came fresh to my heart.

I forgot to mention that in the midst of all this, we had our blue-eyed nephew, Jacob, in our care!

When I came home, I got ready to go to an yearly dinner. We ended up taking Brilla with us! And after me saying in my last post that there was no way this was happening. Ha! God sure has a sense of humor. But it was great. We had so much fun wiht B coming along because we would've had to go all the way to Tacoma to drop her off, then drive up north 30 min, drive back south another 30 min.. Our dear friend DeLynn had offered to watch Brilla. And we were thankful for that because all of our usual sitters (whom I even called 2 wks in advance!!) just happened to already have plans - even the single and non-dating ones :D

We ate a yummy, though over-priced meal. I got a gorgonzola, demi-glazed New York steak with mashed taters and roasted zucchini. Mike got the salmon with a kind of pilaf. Truth be told, I could have made just as good dishes at home for a fraction of the price, but it was nice to get away. We don't eat out that often these days. Then we went to the mall and walked around. Yes, one of our favorite things to do if you haven't noticed! But really, they had a Borders and play area for Brilla, the main reason why we went. And we thought we'd grab a dessert in the process. Our laugh for the night is when Mike and I looked up from our magazines at Borders just in time to catch Brilla picking her nose with one of the tissue papers that was separating pages in a book. Well, looks like the real thing, don't it? ;)

Insert: my sweet hubby surprised me with a dozen gorgeous pink roses! I have just today gotten time to separate, trim, etc. and place them in the perfect vase. He also gave Brilla just the right gift: a Happy Valentine's Day balloon! She loves it! She was thrilled that it was a heart AND had two 'P's on it (ya know, HaPPy). The simple joys at 2 years.

We ended not getting dessert, so after putting Brilla down for early retirement, we ate our dangerous triple-chocolate brownies we already had at home. Munched on those and watched a recent episode of Law & Order. It was a good one.

What a beatifully blessed day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day and Randomocity

I LOVE Valentine's Day. Reason being, it's a special day I get to have alone time with Michael. Not all day, but at least for about 3 or 4 hrs in the evening. Especially after our long weeks, it's wonderful just to be able to focus on each other. The other day, I thought "Maybe I'll just bring Brilla with us this year." Nah. That thought was short-lived. All I need is a morning like today to change my mind. We had a Mama vs. B struggle ALL morning, plus a potty accident, plus, a very runny nose. Blended together amounts to one grande fiasco! It was fun to get away with a friend, though, and recuperate over hot Reuben sandwiches and coffee. Ahhh.

Back to Valentine's Day. So, last night I made reservations at Gino's Bistro. Everywhere else is obviously booked. What was I thinking?? Glad to actually get something at 4:30 p.m. and not far away. So there you have it...we're going to dinner! Mike surprised me a couple years ago at this place and so I thought we'd go again. It has a sort of nondescript exterior, but is beautiful inside and has amazing entrees and a very romantic atmosphere. A little pricey, but hey, it's worth it for just one night!

Earlier in the day we're going to do something fun together, the 3 of us. Don't know yet. Maybe go the park? Maybe hike? Perhaps sleep in. That sounds the best yet. In the afternoon, I'm playing at Weatherly Inn Retirement for a Valentine's Day entertainment session. It should be special, seeing I love making elderly people smile, as well as help them have a good time. I'm hoping to play a handful of songs they know. A ton of Rodgers & Hammerstein, as well as just some old 40s "Louise"... "Every little breeze whispers Hello Louise..."

The other day, someone asked me, "How do you find the time to blog? I don't have extra in my day!" The answer is simple. You always make time for the things you absolutely enjoy doing. Blogging is my hobby, among others. I love it. I've journaled and done creative writing my whole life. So quite naturally, I make time for it. As well as decorating my home, organizing, crafts, shopping, getting together with friends. Haha. You get my drift.... ;) I don't have multiple children and don't work full-time, so I have that on my side. But that doesn't stop THIS GAL! Or THIS ONE! Or even HER! In fact, they inspire me so much! I'm glad blogging is their hobby, too :)

I am a schedule person. Can anyone relate to this? My daytimer is my best friend. I have everything written down I want to accomplish that day, along with time increments. I don't always get everything done. But at least I know what I missed, and what's leftover to haunt me!

This does NOT mean I am the most organized person in the world, neither am I always on time...that's still on my list of things to do ;P But seriously, I get excited when I open my new daytimer Christmas gift! And it goes everywhere with me. Woohoo. Some would call that weird. And it probably is.

But I still leave room for last-minute getaways and randomocity. I can't be so rigid that I never have time to break away and meet a friend, or do finger painting with my daughter. Variety is the spice of life! If all I did every. stinking.morning. was eat breakfast, get dressed, workout, lunch, naptime, blah blah blah, I would be bored out of my wits! My husband goes to play basketball with the guys during the week. It gives him a chance to get away from it all! I see it as an opportunity to get projects done, whether at home or away, that I wouldn't normally get to. I think getting away from husband or wife or kids is often a good time to re-focus and gives greater appreciation for our family.

So be random and get away from the house at night by yourself or let your hubby get away. Or don't be afraid to accept that invitation to a friend's house for dinner on a weeknight
(even if you need to bring the kids!). You'll see what I mean. Sometimes we need to get outside the box to reenergize and experience new things! You never know what God has in store.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Venturing Out

I feel like my heart is venturing out. Just like when I go swimming at the lake: I get my toes wet first, then my knees, then legs, then dive in, so it is with my heart. I'm willing to take on other challenges in life. For some time, I was so wounded and hurting from Amelia's death, it didn't feel like I could handle other burdens. But I am now. Not because I've chosen them, but because I think God has seen fit to bring them my way in His time. He knows me better than anyone else. The road to healing is beautiful when God does the mending.

Amelia's existence seems surreal at times. I often think to myself, "I can't believe I have a daughter in heaven." One day I am hugely pregnant and 4 1/2 months later, I still miss my daughter and feel closest when at her grave or looking at her pictures. I'm also teaching piano, raising Brilla, involving myself deeper in ministry, and other stuff. Going on with life. Isn't that amazing? It can only be done in God's strength. But there are still times I think what Amelia would look like, how Brilla would be playing with her little sister. And believe it or not, I still get phantom kicks in my tummy.

I have cried the most tears I've ever cried in my whole life these past 4 1/2 months.

One thing I'm glad about is the increased compassion I have for those who are going through a hard time, especially where it concerns their little child. You can often find me praying hard for some family I haven't even met. I have the utmost faith and desire that God heal the little ones. But I also don't want parents to experience the great pain of loss. Death is so final and so real.

Christ's death changed the finality of death, though. Those who belong to Him don't really die. He died once so that all of us who believe in Him would not have to, and we can live forever in Heaven, though our shells fall away.

Right now I'm experiencing joy again. I'm back to experimenting with fun meals. I'm watching my weight. I'm thinking that I'd love to take photography classes. I'm enjoying date nights with my husband. Going out with girl friends. I don't fear anymore that my husband and toddler could be taken away at a moment's notice. I'm not limp as a log anymore, face and clothing soggy with tears. I'm not binging on sweets, the earthly cure for an aching heart.

Instead, I'm slowly saying, "Okay, God, I'm willing to do what you want. But please catch me if I can't take it!"

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday post...which is now finished and posted on Tuesday

Original title, huh?

This past weekend was ever so relaxing. I squeezed the relaxing out to the inth degree.

Stuff we did...Friday night we ate Taco salad and lazed around watching TV. I also made a most decadent Oatmeal cake (with super-yummy coconut/brown sugar/cream frosting)! Talk about CALORIES! What woman in her right mind, who's trying to lose weight, makes a 9x13 super sweet, finger lickin' good cake? O:+ I guess me!

Saturday, we attended a Habitat for Humanity volunteer orientation. They are building a house for our friends Rosa and Noe and family. It was neat and we can't wait to start helping out where we can! After said meeting, my Dad took Brilla for a while while Mike and I headed out for a 3 hr lunch date! Now what can get better than a little outing with my hubby? We had a really long, tiring week and were ready for some away time! We are going on year 5, and yeah, we still kinda like each other ;D

So we dined at The Old House Cafe on Proctor in North Tacoma. We got the same thing: Half an herbed chicken sandwich with clam chowder and salad with blue cheese dressing. We usually order two totally different things so we can taste the other's. But I guess we were hungry-mungry and could have cared less. I do believe breakfast was missed that morning. If you haven't been, you have to go some time. The food is absolutely scrumptious.

And if you have been before, how come you haven't invited me yet? *grin*

After that, we went to Tacoma Mall. Haven't been there in ages! Not since the remodel...that tells you how long it's been. Our family used to walk the mall all the time and window-shop. Maybe grab a Cinnabon, or a chocolate at See's, or a hot tea at Nordstrom Cafe. So Mike and I walked the mall. Amazingly, we only stopped in one store for 5 min and came out none the poorer. I also stopped and got some mini-donuts, cinnamon and sugar, for Mike to try. And I guess I had a couple ;)

Talk about delicious. I could eat a dozen of those

They are pretty small and pretty addicting. Next, we drove to Border's, gathered some magazines and browsed for a while. I thumbed through some hair style books and home design/decorating ones. Then we headed to Starbucks, getting one for my dear dad as thanks. Boy, the time went fast, but it truly was fun to get out with my best friend. No surprise, Brilla hardly slept a wink. She has Grandpa John tied around her little pinky. See, this girl is a great sleeper, but Grandpa didn't have the heart to put the cute little thing to bed. So we got to experience the not-so-cute side of her :(

I got my hair cut! I'll have to post photos once I actually have the time to make it look nice again. I got a little length off, but mostly just added in layers. My bob from last summer had grown out quite strangely. The salon I go to does a great job on my hair. The Asian girls know how to handle my hair. From wash to cut to style it's only $25!

On Sunday, we hung out with Michelle (s-i-l) and kids at Red Robin. The Jamaican jerk was a winner! And no, I'm not describing our waiter! ;) Seriously, though. It was ohso good. And only 699 calories (as opposed to 1015 for others). And then we took Erika and Christina home with us. Later we headed to Walmart with them for Valentine goodies.

I stepped on the scale today. I've shed a total of 10 lbs now! I'm hoping to maintain this weight loss for the last 5 lbs to go. Can't tell you how nice it feels to fit into some old clothing again. I think the last pounds will have to come from my baby belly and rear end. Those are my weak spots! I'm the kind of girl who gains the weight in my hip/thigh/butt area as opposed to upper body. I gain there a little too, but not nearly as much as the lower half. I've been continuing to drink no pop, not eat after 7:30 p.m., count my calories (I'm supposed to take in 1668 right now, goal is 1620), eat breakfast, and exercise regularly. For exercise, I normally run about 4 miles on the treadmill. Every other day, I get on the elliptical and do as much as I can in 1 hour. I've wanted to start the spinning class again, I am just not looking forward to the pain. It's a good pain, but man! Also, the aerobics classes are great.

Brilla is just now coming to me and initiating the potty. It's a turning point! Recently, she found Curious George again and is in love with him, cuddling with him in her rocking chair, taking him to play puzzles, etc. I guess he had fallen behind the bed. We were at the gym yesterday and Bri had to get a swat. To my great joy *hint of sarcasm*, we came out of the bathroom, she went up to one of the trainers and said, "I'm sad." "Why are you sad?" he asked. "Cause my Mama gave me spanking. But I'm happy now." Isn't that just what we want our kids to walk up and tell strangers?! Thankfully, he chuckled and said, "She's a cutie!"

Just wanted to say that Mike's company is back at work again. Praise God! He is incredibly faithful and good. The guys have amazing integrity and are very skilled, but God is the one who provides! In fact, they not only have a couple projects, but a few more bids out as well. Prayer changes things. I'm still praying it through because our economy is not at its best. But we are not worried. God's bigger than our economy :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm trading my sorrow for the joy of the Lord!

I am still on my reorganizing phase, but I'm also redecorating our bedroom. I would take pictures of it, but instead of embarassing myself, I'll paint a word picture. It's smallish, about 10x9 ft. The walls are uninteresting, off-whitish tint. But light colors make the room seem bigger, so I'm sticking with it. I guess it could use a new coat. There is a large window on the opposite side of the room as you walk in. As you shift left when entering, there is a closet on the left side. This was formerly the office, so instead of doors, there are light olive green curtians. They don't quite match the rest of the room (not that any of my room really matches!). My struggle is with decor. I already have the furniture, lamps, curtains and colors chosen (off white/white/floral colors mixed in). Style is French country. The furniture is currently cherry wood (which I don't like because it darkens the room). I already bought some old tall cabinet doors that I'm going to use as a new white headboard. Bought them at IKEA for $18. They look like they have crown molding around the edges. My curtains are white, from Target. They are simple, which I like. My lamps are a mix and match purchase from Ross. The shades are pure white and bases are light gold/brown. Just bought them today! I'm really scoping out for the new dressers, though. My current bedside tables are squat and have minimal storage space. I need something skinnier with more drawers. My Grandma gave me two antique framed paintings that match perfectly with the room...just where to place them? Ihave 2 other pieces of framed art that I don't know quite what to do with. Really need art decor, but have no desire to look for it. Our bed, just a regular queen, pretty much takes up the space.

There's my room~

I went to the thrift store the other day and purchased the cutest things for Brilla: a brand-new GUESS sweat outfit for only $1.99 (it is CUTE!), Cinderella hoodie, and cute thermal type top with hearts all over (Old Navy). All for $5. I headed to the higher-end thrift store and purchased 2 pairs of pants for myself. First pair is a fabulous pair of Banana Republic black slacks, petite size. Petite, can you believe it?! These aren't granny-looking highwaters. They are nice and long, even with my high-heeled boots. Hardly worn, too. I also got some A&F jeans, short (petite) as well. They are the worn look and very cute. Both pants for only $16. Hooray! I was tempted to buy the sweetest tea set made in Germany and dishwasher safe, but passed by. Where would I put it? Almost bought a huge print of a lady kissing her sailor in b&w, but didn't. It wasn't even framed and was $6. I figure I can put $6 toward something new, framed and not slightly bent.

I have been under the crush of paperwork and business related stuff lately, so getting out to go thrift shopping and browsing for room stuff was nice.

Another gal at Bible study today mentioned that she felt a burden to pray for Brilla and I when she woke up this morning and saw the beautiful sunrise. She said for some reason it reminded her of our Amelia. She could envision Amelia sitting on Jesus' lap, basking in His light and glory; just happy as could be. This is amazing because this morning, I was missing her and decided to take out her pictures again. What started out as tears turned into laughter and praising Jesus. I specifically wrote in my journal

"...looking through your pictures this morning, I can almost feel you in my arms again. You were perfectly formed though you were not full-term, dear one...You are perfect because you are in heaven. Nothing sinful or imperfect can remain in God's presence, so I know you are...I thank God, Amelia, for you little life, and even for the sadness of your absence. The pain and disappointment of it all has pointed me to Jesus, the One who bore your sin, precious girl. The sin of the whole world. I cannot wait until your big sister, Brilla, one day accepts the Lord as her Savior. And hopefully you will know that day and can celebrate with the angels...Mostly I praise God for He is good and merciful! If it were not for Him, one of us would live spiritually or physically. You are in heaven, free from sin because of Jesus, Amelia! His infinite grace. I love you more than you can imagine..."

I believe it is the peace of God that overwhelmed my heart this morning and turned my sorrow into joy! And at the prayerful bequest of a sister in Christ. Praise Jesus!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Random Pic Sunday!

Home-made cinnamon rolls for Superbowl Sunday!

My favorite mug

World's cuddliest elephant sitting on my mantel.

One closet for so many things. This is Mike's closet, as well
as area for office supplies.

Handy baskets to hold piano prizes and library books.

A reorganized office/library/craft area. As you can see, I have to be creative with
our space! Boxes above bookshelf hold all photos and transparent containers hold all
my scrapbooking and craft supplies.

Comforting a sick Daddy.

This girl luvs her baths!
As for the Superbowl, I am completely disappointed! Totally wanted the Cardinals to win...and they almost had it! How about that sweet touchdown by Fitzgerald?! Anyhow, it's just football and can't let it get me down.