Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am someone who usually embraces change. I like a new adventure. I like going on vacation to new spots. I enjoy getting my hair re-styled. And I love redecorating my home for all the different seasons.

But when it comes to being surrounded by the people of God, I like sticking with the ones I have for years. So when God says,"It's time to change" in that area, what a hard thing to say, "Yes, Lord!" to.

So, we are changing churches. This is a big deal. My husband has gone to the same church his entire life; I have attended since age 15. Though it's a peaceful move onward to what God has for us, it's difficult nonetheless. Kind of bittersweet, you know? This is the church where Mike and I met, where we got married, and where we dedicated our daughter Brilla. These are the people who wept and comforted us when we lost Amelia. They are an amazing group of people who love the LORD...and who love us. At this church is where I learned what everyone eventually learns - that God's people aren't perfect, we are saved sinners, who get to encourage everyone to be like Jesus in serving wherever we can!

Reason for change? Since Mike and I married five years ago and moved North a ways, it's hard to get involved in ministry there other than on Sundays. 30 min away, and up to an hour during weekday traffic. We currently teach the High School/Junior High Sunday School. I am on the rotating nursery schedule. I play for offertories and our seasonal cantatas. Mike and I also assist in kids portion for the large assembly time. All these ministries are on Sundays, but we aren't able to get involved any other days of the week.

We want to attend a church where we can invite our neighbor-friends and neighborhood kids, especially the ones who attend our in-home Bible club. A place where we can participate on more than just Sundays, and not have to weigh traffic issues. We have felt the Holy Spirit's prompting during this last year, but haven't known the "when".

And now we know.

This past Sunday was our last :( I love my church family so much, it was hard to stand up there as Pastor Matt commissioned us off to a new church and prayed over us. I'm not publicly emotional (usually), but in the quietness of Monday morning before my daughter woke up, I cried. I will miss them so much! I am slightly nervous about the prospect of having to find a new church body, having to build new friendships, and being "the new ones" nobody knows. But at the same time, I have peace that we are obeying the Holy Spirit. We have not rushed ahead on this decision. We have truly patiently waited on the Lord's guidance. And that brings assurance.

The cool thing is we are not moving away to a far and distant land. Church family is just family. They will always be our brothers and sisters! I am glad we will be able to go back and visit from time to time, especially to show off our sweet new daughter! I'm hoping there will be some kind of party/shower for her after she's born so everyone can say "hi" to her right away.

This next Sunday begins the journey of finding a new body of believers. We've visited one church that we like, but definitely want to try a few others before making a decision.

So here's to obeying God even when it's out of our comfort zone! All in all, I embrace change when I know it comes from the hand of my Father.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flashes of Winter

"Daddy, swing me!"
Brilla spinning in the egg chair at IKEA...
My niece's 9th birthday party. She's opening gifts, here. I braided she and her friend's hair for fun's sake...

The cousins, plus one...
At Chevy's, having our "threesome" date (Dad joined us since he was nearby anyway)...

Not the best picture of me at 30 weeks, but here it is nonetheless! I hope to take
better ones this week....

Brilla's recent accomplishment; turning musical flashcards into a fort!
Caramel Macchiato (or however you spell it) with my Half Pint...

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Beginning

Do you ever feel like Monday is a new beginning? That it sets the tone for the whole week?

Well, I always begin my week with being at Bible Study. Not by choice, I really do have to be there, but after being there, I am amazed at how God has blessed me. It's more than just studying God's Word. It' s chatting about what God has been doing in our lives, encouraging a discouraged heart, exhorting others to better leadership skills, and laughing our heads off.

I leave refreshed and so much closer to Jesus!

That's how it was this morning. We are studying the resurrection of Lazarus. Bible Study Fellowship does such an awesome job of delving into the passage, taking it apart. I think the bottom line for me during this week's study has been God's love and care for His own. Jesus Christ has such compassion. He loved his dear friends to the point of weeping for them. The wording is Scripture is so poignant, "He groaned in His Spirit and was troubled." I think not just for his friends' grief, but also for the reality of death and the sorrow it brings. The cool thing is, this story has a powerful, miraculous ending. But it's not just for Lazarus, it's for all of us!! All of us who love Jesus, when we die, will be resurrected again to live with Him forever! Praise God.

Another repeated concept I see in this story is Jesus' timetable...His focus on bringing salvation to the Jews. He loved His own so much, yet they were so stubborn and unwilling to believe. Jesus doesn't give up on them easily; He gives many opportunities. The disciples want to protect Him from danger, but He basically responds,"I need to shine the Light while there is still time, there are still so many who don't yet believe." Then, Jesus tells his disciples He is glad He wasn't there to heal Lazarus so that they would believe. Further, when arriving to visit Mary and Martha, he repeatedly draws out Martha's faith. Lastly, He thanks His Father for yet another opportunity to draw the Jews to the Light, as he brings Lazarus back to life.

I need to be of the same mindset. Always looking for ways to share the Light of Christ. Never giving up on my friends and relatives. Always being in prayer for their souls.


In other news, I am so excited for what's ahead. Baby gear I've ordered has been coming in. My Peanut Shell sling, nursing helps, EconoBum diapers, and hand-me-down girl clothing sit on the shelf just waiting to be used.With all the baby preparations, I just can't help but imagine life with my two girls. How precious. When Baby Girl comes, I will be breaking from Bible Study leadership and piano teaching. How I will ever get back into the groove of things is beyond me, but I am so looking forward to that break.

*Sigh* Yet, there are still 2 1/2 more months to go!! Can you sense the impatience?!

I'm looking forward to a retreat in early February. On one hand, I'd love to be going with my husband, but on the other, it will still be fun to get away with the ladies and experience God in a deeper and more challenging way. I am a little nervous as to how I will sleep while away from home, seeing that I have a hard enough time in my own bed!! And the long drive to Portland will not be the most exciting experience, either, seeing I'll prolly have to stop every 45 minutes for a potty break! And sitting that long is not pleasant with a big belly. But I am anticipating the nice hotel room, yummy food and meeting new people!

Friday, January 15, 2010

End of the Week

I adore the end of the week, also known as "Friday". But especially when I know my husband does not have to work the next day. Today was no exception. Since the day before we were "out and about", relaxation was at the forefront of the itinerary.

Having items due at the library, my daughter and I stopped there first. We hung out for about an hour! We read books, browsed, and B even did some online coloring. That girl is getting good with the mouse. I'm so proud of her for not giving up! Tell ya, that little "toddler laptop" she received for Christmas has done wonders for her hand/eye coordination.

Next we returned some items at H&M. This mama got a little carried away at our last visit. The maternity items were on sale then (they usually are pricey). Good thing I kept the receipt! Then we popped over to Ivar's for lunch. On a rainy day, clam chowder is perfect. I couldn't help but try out a frozen yogurt stand that was nearby as well. Good choice, it was delicious! Especially the strawberries on top! If you ever want to know if I'm pregnant, just check my blogs, and you will know I am because I'm always posting about food and what I ate at every meal! Ha!

Then we headed back into H&M (I know, recipe for disaster) but this time, because B wanted to look at all the Hello Kitty items. They had the cutest little pink HK hat we ended up leaving with. She looks so cute in it!

We made home in time for her nap today, which was very nice. Especially since it was time for me to try out my new pot roast recipe (which was a success, btw!) If you want the recipe, here it is: all you do is brown a 4lb pot roast on all sides, then sprinkle 1-2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 8 oz horseradish (key ingredient!) on all sides. Add 1 cup water and cover/simmer for 2 1/2 hrs. Then add potatoes, carrots and onions. Simmer for another hour. You end up with a perfect, extremely tender roast. My husband gobbled it right up. I feel like doing the happy dance when a new recipe turns out good :)

After dinner, we had dessert at Costco. We all shared their humongous ice cream bar, chocolate-dipped with almonds. Yum-o. Then we walked to the electronics and drooled over the LCD computer screens ;)

Believe it or not, since my mission to eat healthy and exercise regularly began, I have not gained any further weight yet! My goal is not to lose weight, but because (pardon the detail) I'm regular again - not gorging on holiday food anymore- and just being healthy, I did go down one pound. I think everything is evening out since I gained weight way too fast this last month.

Looking forward to tomorrow - we are going to work on Baby Girl's nursery!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Out and About

I went to the gym today. On Tuesday, my workout felt exhilarating. Okay, as exhilarating as one may feel while pregnant. Today, however, I felt like I was just willing myself to finish. Baby Girl felt like she was trying to get out! Usually, she is still when I exercise. But not today. Well, maybe she got jealous and wanted in on the activity, too ;) One of my incentives to go work out at the gym is to shower without interruption long as I want! The other incentive may sound extremely cheesy. Oh well...the fact that I'm using their hot water and not mine equals saving $ on my part. Seriously, though, those two incentives alone have gotten me to the gym on many an occasion.

Meeting the Washington rain head on, Brilla and I met up with Mamang and Grandpa John for lunch at Chevy's. I tried their Cilantro & Lime Chicken Salad for the first time. It was amazing! And very big. I halved it and took the rest to go. After lunch, the lady threesome walked around the mall a bit. I'm amazed at how I can exercise on the treadmill for 45 straight, but be exhausted of "shop walking" after only about 15 minutes. It's all the stopping and standing. There were some great sales at Macy's, but not enough to catch my eye. Then we headed to Tully's. Yes, my fave coffee shop. You may hear about me going there a lot nowadays. I had a caramel macchiato with scrumptious blueberry loaf while my mom tried their ginger peach tea latte. It truly has a nice flavor. But it's caffeinated!

Bri and I headed home for Bible club. She got to her nap late, but better late than never! The neighbor girls actually did show, and we learned about Jesus, the good shepherd. We made cute little mirrors that, at the end, had "I am Jesus' Little Lamb" on the front. This way, every time they look in the mirror, they can remember they belong to Jesus and that He takes care of them every day! Side note - shared my pomegranate chocolates with the girls - yes I still have some left! I wanted to see if they liked them! Well, the smallest one is picky anyway and did not like, but the older one was eating them a little too fast for her own good! She was like, "Where did you get these?" All I know is, perhaps an adult in her home will be making a chocolate-covered-pomegranate run!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life Rolls On

Life rolls on.

Another Christmas, another new year, comes and goes. There is something in this unpredictable life that is still very predictable. And that is, life continues to roll by. Minutes, hours, days, weeks may seem to stretch on, but they really don't. They are as equally continuous as the ones before them.

I ponder this as I reflect on the past couple years. It does not seem possible that 1 year, 1 month ago, I was supposed to be holding my second daughter, Amelia. And only about 10 months ago did we miscarry our other baby. At times, it seems surreal. How could we be moving on? How could we be filled with great joy despite our grave loss? A song spoke to me the other day. It talked about shattered dreams, unfulfilled bring them all before the Lord. Because the best place is, where Grace is. You never know the miracle He will perform.

And that is so true. I would rather experience the depths of pain with Jesus at my side, then without Him. It's true, I'd rather not feel heartache at all, but that's not my choice. I can only deal with what comes my way.

The amazing thing is, Jesus has performed a miracle as we have come broken before Him. Obviously, our Baby Girl to come is an awesome miracle in and of itself. However, the other major miracle is that He has healed our hearts. He has made us incredibly thankful; we have experienced His grace more than ever. We are not left bitter and angry. We still laugh and sing and bask in the Beauty of His Holiness.

That is something only the power of Christ could accomplish. Praise God!

How am I doing lately?

I am wonderful. Exhausted, but wonderful. This was my first week back at co-leading my 2s class at Bible Study. Last week, my daughter got sick, and sick children feel better at home! We had 10/11 sweetums in our class. In short, we got a workout. Praise God for the training and structure of Bible Study Fellowship! And praise God, because it's His class! He can work through weak vessels like us!

I am 30 weeks tomorrow. Isn't that SO cool?? Right now, Baby Girl is rolling around inside. I'm at a point where her positions can make me very uncomfortable. But at least I'm still sleeping well. The night before I delivered Brilla, I had this awfulterrible backache that wouldn't leave. Now I would recognize that as a sign, but then I hadn't a clue. Yay for ignorance! So yeah, sleeping has been sweet. I've gotten back to the gym again, which is good for tuckering me out as well.

Since the holidays are over, I can now slip back into my regular eating regimen. More salads, fish, and whole grains versus all the fatty stuff. I am (trying) to log in my stuff at BabyFit, but even if I don't log, I still try to do it. Strength exercises are SO hard. I am very much out of shape. I'm extremely active when not pregnant, but don't keep up my exercise like I should when pregnant. I know this is normal, but it would definitely help me post-baby, and even during pregnancy. Already, it helps with my digestive issues and I even feel better about my body.

I am starting to get the nursery ready. I say "starting" as in, I have the plans laid. I just need the muscle behind it. We have to lug out all the office furniture and craft storage so it can be a true nursery. This weekend seems to be good for that! I just bought a white fluffy rug from IKEA, only need to purchase wall-mounted bookshelves, name letters, and sheer red curtains. The wall decor, changing table and other decor I'm going to create myself. I'm excited about this project! Perhaps I'll take a photo when I'm done and you all can see the finished product :)

In other news, God has really been working on me with controlling my anger, being more patient. I have diligently bathed this area of my life in prayer. The amazing thing is, because I have set to work on it, I have seen a tremendous change in Brilla. I did not expect this! Our precious children are so sensitive to our emotions and are watching moment by moment. Of course, I am imperfect, and will always need Jesus' help, especially with our new little one to come, but I am a work in progress! I've noticed a calmer atmosphere, less discipline issues and less stress aka freaking out on my part. God is our Helper in any area of life, especially parenting!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Going Dark and Other Randomness

My new obsession!
These are delicious! I had a sample, and was hooked. Of course, a whole bag is a bit much. But I'm trying to cut down on huge desserts (yeah, right), so a few a day makes my sweet tooth very happy.

And, these just arrived in the mail for me:

I am excited (ask me in about 4 months) to start cloth-diapering. I have always used disposable. There are fancier versions like Bumgenius but I opted for the economical price and color, white :)
Also, mine are prefolds. If you order through Mom4Life, she offers free shipping on all her products, just like shopping in the store. Another cool feature about Mom4Life is that all her products were created by moms. Until January 10, she is offering 10% off all products. This is like, my favorite online place to shop for baby stuff!

Here are two other products I would like to try, but am still mulling over...

LilyPadz®, Lily Padz® Silicone Nursing Pads-free shipping, LilyPadz Silicone Nursing Pads, Lily Pads, Lilypads, Lily Padz, nursing pads, usa
(reusable and washable silicone breast pads that adhere to your breast) I like the fact that these can be reused up to 2 months; you can even go bra-free in them. They do not show through swimsuits or thin shirts.


these babywearing styles

FreeHand™ Asian Style Baby Carrier by TogetherBe-mai tai, mai tai carrier, asian carrier, together be, free hand, toghether be free
FreeHand™ Asian Style Baby Carrier by TogetherBe

The Peanut Shell Cotton Stretch Baby Sling by Goo-Ga-The Peanut Shell Cotton Stretch Sling, The Peanut Shell, Peanut Shell Cotton Stretch Sling, Peanut S
The Peanut Shell Cotton Stretch Baby Sling by Goo-Ga

Obviously, I am a price princess and love the Peanut Shell because it's cheaper, but I like the idea of having free hands. The thing I like about both carriers is that they are soft cloth and an infant is not stifled inside. I bought a Snugli with Brilla and did not like how she couldn't fit into it as a newborn. Had to wait at least 3 months or so. Anyone have a preference or tried a carrier they really like?

Free 8x10 Canvas Print!!

I was just made aware of this awesome deal! It's a FREE 8x10 Canvas Print (normally $49.99)! Only $14.95 for shipping. I've already ordered mine :) Here's the link:

Makes the perfect gift for someone~