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."