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!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Buy One Get One Free Marriage Conference!

The real reason I'm posting today is to let you know that Family Life Today is offering a Buy One Get One Free offer on their marriage conference, A Weekend to Remember. Offer ends today, the 17th!! Wonderful conference I've heard. So, check it out!

Nothing super exciting this husband had to work. Oh, and brother B went back to school. Boohoo.

Bri and I tried to go thrifting, but alas, the store was closing out, and everything was a big mess! I hadn't the patience to dig through stuff. But we did stop by Starbucks and share a hot chocolate. I think that was worth it all :)

We also hung out at the library...checked out a whole new slough of books, including an autobiography of Julie Andrews, Home. I will let you know how it far an excellent read. Got Brilla started on the Angelina Ballerina books; also found M a biography of Tony Dungy. Not quite finished with Still Growing (Kirk Cameron), but M and I are reading through that together, so I have to wait until we get our alone time together to read it (though I have read ahead ;))

We had a wonderful time of prayer at church last night. It was a culmination of our 3-week prayer and fasting. No, I did not fast for 3 weeks, but each of us gave up certain things, and those of us who could fast, did. I believe God is working mightily in and among us!

"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice and sing praises." Psalm 98:4

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Two Months Along, Fircrest Fun Days with the Fam

"The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him." Lamentations 3:25

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." Psalm 103:2

I've been wanting to write here about how I'm doing, what I'm feeling, etc. I am 8 weeks along - the baby is the size of a kidney bean. Already the "tail" has disappeared and limbs are becoming more distinct. Funny, this little bean is alread
y wreaking havoc on my hormones. To be completely honest, I'm feeling awful lately. I'm queasy, tired, bloated, headachy, and at times, depressed. I don't feel good at all. I try not to be dramatic and grumpy about it, but I'm not good at sucking it up when it comes to pregnancy.

In my heart, I'm excited, but my hormones are so all over the place, that my happiness isn't totally evident. In fact, I'm moaning and groaning so much that Brilla has started to say, at least three times a day, "I don't feel good", " I have an owie", "I have a headache", or some other malady. It's hilarious.

Nevertheless, I continually remind myself that the first trimester woes will be gone in one month, and indicates that the pregnancy is healthy.

I also thank God for *Baby* every day, asking God to keep him or her safe and healthy. I know God has a particular plan for our little one.

I've already been thinking about all the preparation for Baby. It is bittersweet. I often reminisce about my days with Amelia and how much I miss her. You know, all the things we didn't get to prepare for her, the items (like her beautiful rug) that I had to return. It's plain hard. Sometimes I try to quell the longing for her to be with us, but I can't. She's so intertwined in my heart even though I never got to experience life with her outside the womb.

In fact, the other day, I started crying. I'm emotional these days anyway, but I was thinking about how Brilla used to talk to my tummy while Amelia was inside, singing to her, and calling her Baby Tummy. As a young toddler, she was already excited about her new sibling. Even though she couldn't begin to understand all the details. Anyway, Brilla was in the room when my tears fell. She's very compassionate - she got this concerned look on her face. She said, "You need Kitty", handing me her stuffed cat, covering my lap with her special blanket, and rubbing my back. All the things that comfort her. It was all very sweet and obviously, I couldn't stay sad for long.

I tried to talk like an adult with my almost-3 year old. "Brilla, do you miss Amelia? Do you wish she was here so she could share your toys?" She said, with her eyes still concerned, "No. She's in heaven, Mama."

So wise, so true. I've really no need to feel sadness. My second-born is living the abundant life in heaven. Her tears have been wiped away. Death do
esn't concern her - she's perfect. Can't wait 'til my years are wiped away, though.

I guess it's only natural that I remember the daughter we get to see in heaven, as I anticipate the birth of the new life inside of me right now. In some ways, March seems so far off, but in others, too close! No matter how many pregnancies I've had, I still forget the playing out of it all...I forget how often the restroom calls. Ugh. And it only gets worse from here ;) Goodbye bladder, hello indigestion.


I forgot to mention how much fun we had last weekend with my side of the family.
I grew up in the small town of Fircrest, which is right nearby the larger city of Tacoma. Every year they have "Fircrest Fun Days", full of food, attractions, rides, booths, a swim meet. My parents live within walking distance (like 2 minutes) from the park where all this takes place. Later in the evening, my brother B, Brilla, Mike and I checked it out. Lo and behold, they had pony rides! So here is our girl on her first pony ride:

We later walked back up to my parent's house for a delicious dinner of grilled salmon, shrimp and filet mignon, potstickers (gyoza), green salad, and other yummy veggies from their garden. Then we went out in the front yard, complete with citronella lamps, hot cocoa and blankets, to watch the fireworks that typically end the Fun Days weekend. Have to admit, they were better than the July 4th fireworks! Here's a very small glimpse.

And here we are enjoying the view.

What a fun and memorable evening!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

date night and the bros

Our date night before last came out of a sad circumstance, really. My father-in-law has cellulitis (sp?) in his leg and has to heal quite a bit more. His Father's Day gift from my husband was a Mariners game! Unfortunately, his leg is still patching up. So someone had to use up the extra ticket. Later, M will be buying his dad another pair of tickets so they can finally go together.

So we went and really had an awesome time. A couple posts ago I said we were going on a date, but that didn't work out. This was a much needed getaway! My parents took Brilla for the night, and I'm sure they did not spoil her rotten with attention...and lots of sugar ;)

I am extremely ancy during pregnancy, so I had to walk around the field quite a few times. My pregnant nose and I were hard at work, too...all the smells from the concessions tempting me repeatedly. I said to M, "If another polish with sauerkraut passes me by, so help me!" Did I mention my pregnant nose and taste are fickle as well? Since I'm trying to stay away from nitrates, I didn't have the polish but ordered a huge bbq chicken sandwich instead. I took 2 bites, and couldn't go on...I didn't like the taste. Horrible waste, eh? But I did eat all the salty potato chips! Go figure.

I think my husband said something like, "Honey, I think you're supposed to be watching the game, not the food."

A few innings later, I was spooning up a soft-serve cup of ice cream. Hey - it was 14 innings long.

Seriously. Neither team scored until the bottom of the 14th. It was Ken Griffey, Jr. who made the winning hit! I haven't seen him play since he joined up again with the Mariners, so that was pretty special to see.


Lately, I've been hanging out with my bros, who are home for the summer. When we were younger, we fought like cats and dogs. We've matured (somewhat, haha) and grown to be close friends. I think that's very common among families. Time does change some things.

I've been able to snag a few rounds of pool, in which they always win. We've also had many lunches at Costco, which we've exhausted. Not another piece of pizza, please! But we've also had great talks. I will miss those the most. I think Brilla will miss them, too. She calls them "the uncles" and absolutely adores them. She loves spending time with them and making them laugh. Basically being the center of their attention.

S is the youngest of the fam, and at 18, will enter his sophomore year at Pensacola, majoring in PreLaw, minoring in Music. He's an amazing pianist, so no surprise there. He's very interested in politics as well. B, the thinker of the clan, is my oldest younger brother. At 21, he is graduated with a BA in Electrical Engineering, but going back for more. He's getting his Masters in Business Management, I believe, or something like that, I could be wrong. All I know is, we won't see him for another 3 years (except for Christmas breaks and summers, of course). Meanwhile, he is looking for possible internships and jobs during the summers. We would all love for him to be at least within the state of WA when he lands a job, but obviously, that is totally up to him...and God!

I often envy their college experience. They've created great memories. I have them too, but I didn't finish my degree, which stinks in some ways, but also doesn't in others, because I know it God had an ultimate plan for it all. Who knows, maybe some day I'll get on that band wagon of interior design...while my husband becomes a general contractor - our dream goals!

Right now, I'm downright content being a mommy and wife. Ah, a super blessed life!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Future Framer

Conversation of the day:

"Daddy builds houses, Mama."

"Yes, honey. B, would you like to build houses when you get big?"


*Moments later*

"Okay, Mama, I'm big now. I want to build a house. Wanna do it with me?"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Here and There

Friday is here! And it's already fading fast...

Doesn't it seem like we're so excited about the weekend being here, then it's over faster than we can say "Monday"? Well, that shouldn't happen this weekend because, strangely, there's no big "to do's" on our list for the weekend. Which is nice, for a change. But I'm sure we'll fill the emptiness quickly!

It was so cute. My daughter said to my husband last night, "Daddy, I would love to go on date with you!" All smiles and jumping repeatedly. Daddy said, "You would, would you?" He was trying hard, but couldn't hide that beaming smile on his face. He talked about going to Panera Bread for breakfast, then heading to the play area for a while. She nodded her head over and over and said with one shoulder up, "Let's do it, Daddy." Such a charmer. Then she said, "I'll be a Mama, you can be the Daddy, and (pointing at me) you can be little Bwilla!" In other words, she was meaning she could be like Mama, who goes on dates with Daddy, and...I would obviously be out of the loop :) Somehow, I don't mind a bit. So maybe I'll go get my eyebrows done tomorrow, since they have grown back into a unibrow again. Yay! Time alone.

Then, I guess my husband wants to have a date with me in the evening. Is it just me that gets giddy when "date night" is mentioned by own husband, and not me?? Not sure where we're going yet, but I'm sure I have a coupon for some place in my cupboard somewhere ;)

So much for my gung-ho attitude at cooking all those healthy meals for myself in the first tri-mester. My sense of smell is incredibly strong and I can't take cooking meat. It makes me sick. Since my husband does not cook, we have been going out for dinner practically every night. Not always sit-downs, mind you. He will be so incredibly grateful for anything I cook once I feel better! For lunches, it's easy, like I said, to heat up soup. Or cook some nuggets in the oven. Or put hummus and veggies in a wrap. But dinner is all about the main course. My husband is not a "salad guy". Hey, you do construction all day and try coming home to a salad. No go. And truth is, I don't mind a bit cooking up a big meal. But I just can't do right now. This only lasts for around 12 weeks though; I should milk it for all it's worth! ::wink::

This morning, my queasiness was pretty bad, but I exercised at the gym anyway. Do you know, I can't "power walk" on the treadmill (feels yucky), but to walk at about 3.4 on hills of an incline at 6 feels totally great? If I go for about an hour, I can lose 300 calories, and that's decent for me while I'm pregnant. I'm definitely taking it easy this time 'round. In fact, most days I just get my work-out by cleaning my house.

Reading my Bible has been a challenge for me this summer. I appreciate the break from my regular Bible study, because then I'm free to read whatever I want. As I've been saying, I'm working through the Love Dare. In a way, it's my devotional. And I've been delving into the Scriptures that are mentioned throughout, often getting caught up in the entire passage. But it's still hard with all my other library reads lingering close by. I'd rather pick those up and pore over them immediately, rather than spending that free time I have with my Jesus. So that is my priority this next week, to spend that early morning time with God and get in the the other reads when I can, instead of the other way around.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

It is terrific because it is yet another day with a little someone growing inside me. Again, isn't God good?

Yesterday and today I have felt extremely exhausted. Honestly, I have felt completely out of it for the last couple weeks. I'm such a wimp! I guess I forgot how tired the body is during the first trimester. I'm also feeling and there. Eating food helps.

This morning, I dragged myself off the internet and cleaned out the refrigerator. It was trash day, so I wanted to get all the expired, moldy (!) food and frozen unidentifiables out. Then I lugged both trash and recycle cans to the cul-de-sac.

It was also grocery shopping day. After reading Feed the Belly (see two posts ago), I wanted to fill my frig and cupboards with healthy, appealing foods for these first trimester days. So I made my long list and headed to Winco and Fred two favorite grocery stores. I had just eaten breakfast not 2 hours ago, but lo and behold, I was hungry, and a little queasy, again. So we stopped at Tully's, my favorite coffee shop. I got the classic decaf mocha and just chilled with Brilla by the couches. I read the newspaper while B danced to the music. It was incredibly therapeutic. After that, I felt super motivated to get my shopping going.

After our trip to Winco, we stopped for lunch at a place called Viggiano's. It's an Italian/Greek place. We ordered the chicken gyro with salad, and it was delish. My last gyro experience was not as delightful, so I was happy.

Then we tackled Fred Meyer. I love their selection of organic and natural items! I'm trying out more organic items lately. I'll let you know how they taste...

Finally, home. Just in time to whip up the house into shape and put le B down for nap.

A sad thing happened today....I lost a piano student. Two weeks past it had been a no-call, no-show ordeal, so I assumed she was done for the summer, or something like that. Each student/parent signs a list of rules, it being their responsibility to contact me. So you can imagine I was not ready for her to arrive at her lesson time today! I was in my scrungies with laundry all over the floor. The parent left in a huff when told there would be no lesson, but what was I to do? I seriously do think that piano teachers are the most take advantage of because our time does not seem as "priority" as other appointments.

Enough of that.

Later in the evening, I basically did nothing but spend time with my husband and daughter =) Mike was not working after work as he'd had to do a lot lately, so it was very nice. We ate a light dinner and watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I love those game shows! Mike was very sweet and rubbed my feet. We are making an early evening of it and turning in.

I am having the hardest sleep these days because I have to wake up for the restroom in the middle of it. I know working out at the gym would solve that, but I have, like, zero energy motivation. Some day I will see meet-up with my long lost mojo again!

From Love Dare

I'm slowly but surely making my way through The Love Dare book. I want to make sure I fulfill each of the challenges. Today is very good, "Love Promotes Intimacy", and I had to share some thoughts.

"Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships. That's why we need it so much. Each of us comes into life with an inborn hunger to be known, loved, and accepted. We want people to know our name, to recognize us when they see us, and to value who we are. The prospect of sharing our home with another person who knows us down to the most intimate detail is part of the deep pleasure of marriage. Yet this great blessing is also the site of its greatest danger. Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at depths we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from...

Are the secrets your spouse knows about you reasons for shame, or reasons for drawing you closer? If your spouse were asked the same question, would they say you make them feel safe, or scared?...

Your mate should not feel pressured to be perfect in order to receive your approval. They should not walk on eggshells in the very place where they ought to feel the most comfortable in their bare feet. Being "naked" and "not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25) should exist in the same sentence, right in your marriage- physically and emotionally... and you alone weild the power either to reject your spouse because of this or to welcome them in- warts and all. They will either know they're in a place of safety where they are free to make mistakes, or they will recoil into themselves and be lost to you, perhaps forever. Loving them well should be your life's work...

And yet God, who knows secrets about us that we even hid from ourselves, loves us at a depth we cannot begin to fathom. How much more should we - as imperfect people - reach out to our spouse in grace and understanding, accepting them for who they are and assuring them that their secrets are safe with us."


Throughout my reading of this book, I am tempted to think, "My husband needs to read this" or "This other couple I know needs this very much" and to not think deeply about my own marriage. I want my husband to feel safe around me. Honestly, my husband creates a sense of freedom in our marriage and I feel very safe.

Prevention is worth a pound of cure, and isn't my marriage worth working on? I think that's what happens to many. They don't count working on their marriage as important as taxes, going to work, or buying groceries. It can wait. Or, it's not really that big of a deal.

I have a neighbor whose marriage has split up and it's killing my husband and I to see it completely break up the family. Thankfully, God has put us in their lives as people they can trust, so we have been asking God to use us in whatever way He can. Sometimes that's just a listening ear, sometimes it's speaking words of truth, often it's simply prayer.

I think it's a challenge to each of us to make sure our bond with our mate is enduring and rich. Not just when it's convenient and on the mountain tops, but even in the shameful, hurtful times.

God bless our marriages!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Here are some recent media and book recommendations:

God of Wonders DVD
This is a brand new 85 minute video. It's similar to a rendition of Planet Earth, but from a Creation perspective. It includes much scientific research and observation. This dvd again put me in awe of God's might, detail and creativity!

Still Growing, autobiography by Kirk Cameron

As you all know, Kirk Cameron was the teen star from Growing Pains, now turned Christian actor and somewhat of an evangelist. I am not completely finished with this, but so far it is excellent. It gives such a personal perspective into his life, well....probably because he wrote it :)

Feed the Belly, by Francis Largeman-Roth, RD

This is a comprehensive, easy-to-read book on healthy eating during pregnancy. It is also recently published (2009), so research and stats are current. It includes:
  • 65 mouth-watering recipes to satisfy your cravings
  • Hundreds of tips for eating smart and safe
  • Stay-fit suggestions and the best dining out options
  • Ideas for getting through morning sickness
This is my current read right now. And why?, you may ask. Because we are expecting a baby come March 25!! Isn't God good? I am six weeks along and a whole, what, 32 weeks to go?! =)