Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Here's another look at our little bit getting bigger! Lots of fun! She is so fabulous.
And I wanted to give you all a heads up for some upcoming blog-posts. I will be braggin' on some folks throughout the month...people that we love and are so glad to know...so we will keep you posted!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
- Well, I thought I deserved the best mom of the universe award because I successfully ran errands with two children :) All of you with multiple kiddos...way to go for all this time!!
- Celebrated Thanksgiving...and it was so wonderful to celebrate with both sides of our fam.
- Grown in a new friendship with the Maness' family...they are stellar and such a life giving couple...you know the kind of friendship that God just knocks you over with His love and kindess?! Yep, the Maness' are those kinds of friends and we have already been so added to by their zeal, simplicity, and simple Christlike love!
- We decorated for Christmas with Aunt Aub and Uncle Will. Will wore flashing red santa headbands and of course we had to listen to Christmas music compliments of Pandora...we put our monogrammed stockings on the mantle and it was so fun to pull out the blank/unmonogrammed stockings and know that one of those is Kiva's! (which is now at the monogram shop :)
- I have totally gotten into Essential Oils...more to come on that later...but WOW how amazing the Lord is!
- Brian and I (along with Kiva) went on a date night! So fabulous.
- Jada has been going through 3 year old/change in our family pains. It has been pretty tough on this mom, I am not used to spanking this often (deep breath) but I am hopeful that this won't last forever! :)
- Kiva has been getting bigger...she has just been happily growing! See...
Which leads me to the blog title: Just growing! I read the beginning of a simple book that Aubrey loaned to me called "Creative Counterpart". Here's the sentence that got me "A creative counterpart is more than just a helper. She is a woman who, having chosen (or having found herself in) the vocation of a wife and possibly a mother, decides to learn and grow in all the areas of this role and to work as hard as if she were aiming for the presidency."
Ok, so I never really want to be president of anything, BUT...
I have literally been learning and pondering many many things over the past few months in regards to this type of mentality...simply put LIVING FULLY! Going for life...fully alive! Every day...each moment...ALIVE! You know what I mean? With all of my raw gifts and weaknesses...just going for life like never before and not worrying about being perfect at it all.
Here are some ways I have thought about this and am moving forward in this. I took a knitting class :) I am really bad at it so far, but so? It is fun to learn and who knows, one day I might make one of you a fabulous scarf or something. I am LOVING learning about essential oils and am confident the Lord has opened this up for me to keep learning and growing and seeing Him move through! And I have actually put myself in front of the camera more...which is a strange thing for me. I am letting go of that weird thing that speaks to my insecurities of not being photogenic...and I am just having fun with my unwashed hair and no make-up self and taking pics with my girls! I am experimenting more in the kitchen and it has been fun to not know if dinner will taste great or not, but having fun anyway.
Lucretia said something recently that has stuck to my heart, she simply said that as she has gotten older and is entering a new place in her own life, she is/has learned to really love people (our children, husbands, neighbors, parents and ourselves) right where they are...not loving them by anticipating who they will be when something changes personally, spiritually or circumstantially...just really enjoying and loving them right where they are. Isn't that what Jesus did?
This 'season' of life feels like I am re-learning many things about myself, Brian, Jada, and about how cazy extravagant the love of God is. I have felt uniquely lifted in a spiritual way and I believe a big part of that is God's redemption through our sweet Kiva.
So, in short...we are all just growing!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A couple of fun things: today Jada wrote her name for the first time! She connected the dots that I did and she wanted to keep doing it over and over again. She did great, she didn't want to pick up her marker on the J but really did an excellent job don't you think?
And I thought I would give you glimpse at our sweet Kiva and her mom's baby pictures. Do you think we might have a little one that looks like her mom? We'll see!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
They live with us now. They go everywhere we go, we buckle them in the car and cover them up for bed and they even go to dance class with us! Yep, Jada has some imaginary friends :)
They started off as snails and an octopus in a made-up story told by MiMi, and now if you ask Jada, they are people...little people that we all take care of. Jada has been pretend playing for quite a while now so this next step doesn't surprise me at all. She is so creative and detailed and I will keep you updated on these new friends of ours. I had two imaginary friends when I was about her age...Keykoo and Kondie...and they were a part of our daily lives for a while and then one day they decided to move to New York (I am pretty sure to pursue a career in dance). So, Sally, Sam and Ollie could move anytime or they could be around for a while?!
And on another note...we are all doing well. Settling in and enjoying our sweet Kiva. I have a lot floating around in my brain, but journaling will be my next step and hopefully I can squeeze in some of that kind of healthy mommy time in the scriptures and journaling! Until then...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Today has actually felt "normal". A new normal, that is! We went over to my sweet friend, Shauna's, for Kiva's baby pics this morning and it was just nice to get out with both girls! Jada is such a good big sis and we were all happy most of the time :) So, tomorrow I might blog about how nothing is normal, but today...NORMAL! ...and wonderful to be a mom of two!
Friday, November 6, 2009
That's right. 10- count em- 10 blankets, 9 stuffed animals and 6 books! That is not showing three pillows and her twin quilt! Where did the child sleep?????
And a quick update on Kiva...she is doing great! Her jaundice is steadily improving and we are settling into our family of 4 well (thanks to family and friends' help!)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I love you, Kiva. I love how your legs are wrinkly and how your lips are perfect and your fingers are extra long like mine and how you are easily distracted from crying, and how excited you get to eat, and how you look around really sweetly with eyes that are so bright, and how you fall totally asleep the moment the sun hits your skin, and how noises of all kinds don't wake you up a bit (even when your sis yells in your face to wake up!), and how you you raise one eyebrow when I rub my finger on your neck and how much you make me think of life and hope and so many wonderful things! So, happy one week birthday, Kiva! I am honored to know you already.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
There have been some really especially sweet moments that we have all experienced the redemption and kindess of the Lord. Hearing the noises that Kiva makes; crying, squeaking, cooing, sighing...they are priceless to my soul! I love them and even in the middle of the night find myself laughing out of utter joy! Another, when they were wheeling me out of the hospital we were reminded of how empty and horrible our previous experience was leaving with empty hands...BUT, how wonderful it was to be holding our precious Kiva heading home now knowing the Lord in ways that we have never known before.
Another was sitting in the back seat with both daughters on our way home and literally GIDDY with joy and excitement that this is really happening...we have two daughters to raise!
And there are so many little moments of thankfulness as I have watched Jada be a complete joy through singing, playing lots of pretend, patiently waiting while I feed Kiva, helping with diaper changes and reading books to all of us :) She is such a gift!
Tomorrow Brian goes back to work and we go to the doc for a jaundice test (since I am rh negative) ...hopefully we can get a little bit more sleep than we have, but let's be honest?!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Kiva is here! We are blessed! Just look at her! Today was a magnificent day and an exhausting day...
I would love to write all of the amazingly sweet and powerful things that we experienced with the Lord today, but for now, you get the facts...that is until I have a little more energy!
Kiva is beautiful. Really. She has light brown hair, deep blue eyes, is 5 lbs 15 oz and is 19 1/4 inches long. She is perfect with her sweet tiny feet and hands and we could just stare at her all day!
Labor was a gift too...I labored for 4 hours and it was so so tough, but God was so kind in letting me have a natural birth quickly! Our good friend, Nanci, is a midwife and was so key in the labor and delivery. Contractions were tough, I only had to push three times, but boy was that hard :)
Brian, my mom and his mom were all a part of the laboring too and I was so grateful for all of their love and prayers in those moments!
Jada came up to the hospital with all of our parents this afternoon and that was a really special time too. She climbed into bed with me and Kiva and was literally giddy. One of the sweetest moments was when Jada sang a song for Kiva "From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised"... just smiling and staring right at Kiva the whole time. I wept such happy tears. My two daughters in bed with me...what a gift!!!
We are about to go to sleep after a very eventful day, praising God for the gift of life! Enjoy the photos and we will write more later with more fun pics!...AND THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR PRAYERS FOR US!!!
Monday, October 26, 2009
As for me...other than two episodes of my heart feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest, I am feeling great and Kiva is moving around wonderfully. We get to meet her in TWO DAYS!!!!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Normal people do this kind of thing in their BACK YARD!
Not us...see, our back yard has a massive hole in it with crumbled up cement and lots of clay. There are remains of what used to be our pool in different areas and somehow the hole collects nasty rainwater. Yep, it is nasty and grose and if we had extra thousands of dollars we would totally have a normal backyard...with land and grass...but until that extra money comes in, we are working in stages. Most days I ignore it...sometimes I get pretty sad, irritated and totally frustrated...and sometimes I get a good laugh out of it...today was one of those days.
We were totally happy in our front yard. Strange as we looked, we are so thankful to be together and talking about all sorts of stuff, including the fact that this time next week we will have TWO precious daughters asleep inside. We are blessed...and a bit ghetto too!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
And this weekend I was able to be the speaker at the Phi Lamb retreat. It was a really sweet time with the girls. I shared my "story" and then two other talks. So many things going on with them and it was truly neat to see how the Lord really touched them in their own unique ways. In true college fashion, I was there last night until after 1 am and back there this morning at 7:30 :) So, my body is feeling it! But thankfully I was able to sleep some today (thanks to Brian and MiMi).
You know, any opportunity that I have to share how good, kind, generous and redeeming the Lord has been in my life I am just reminded once again how much I have been given. Last night, being there with some of my sweet friends, Ashley, Bernie and Donna was also fun for me to feel God's love for me in tangible ways. It is one thing to KNOW that we are loved by God, and it is something even sweeter to FEEL loved by Him...and it was humbling to feel that love in super tangible ways through those friends! When I share myself with the girls, it is a vulnerable spot for sure...and it was nice to feel supported in the moment and by your prayers as well!!! Thanks!
I will update the blog with Kiva's room pics later this week...it is so fun!!!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Last Saturday was October 3rd, one year after we had lost our Mia. Brian and I truly had a peaceful day. It was raining here. Something was actually quite nice about the rain. We wanted to take Jada out to the cemetery and release some pink balloons then go play at the park. Instead, Jada stayed in the car and watched a movie while Brian and I both took umbrellas and stood out by her headstone. As we sloshed through the muddy ground and totally drenched our legs, we cried/no wept as we just stood there for a while. Then Brian read the letter that He wrote to Mia and read at her funeral. It was beautiful. As Brian was reading I was staring at a pink lily that one of our good friends brought by. The lily was magnificent as it held the rain drops on it's petals...almost unwilling to let the water fall off. I was thinking about the rain and what I had recently read about the wonder of rain and how majestic, powerful and miraculous God is in rain...and how He is that way in our lives. He is the Lily of the Valley that sends rain and holds our tears dearly, not willing to let one tear fall without holding it. And He so understands!!! Hebrews 5:7 & 8..."During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.."
We were glad to remember Mia and we had to leave her grave b/c I have to go the bathroom so frequently in the pregnancy :) ....which was another reminder of God's kindness towards us!
We were also able to go through Mia's trunk when we got home. As we read through letters and emails, held onto the same blanket that Mia was wrapped in, looked at her sonogram pictures...we ached in the reality of our loss but were once again overwhelmed with how much we were loved and carried through that terribly hard time! Scriptures, songs, poems, thoughts, and personal stories once again touched both Brian and I in ways that we will truly never forget! The body of Christ that loves us is truly Christ's body that gave us comfort this weekend and a year ago.
And Jada and I have been preparing Kiva's room for her! I unpack boxes of baby toys and clothes and Jada plays in them :) It has been fun...and crazy how time flies...wasn't Jada just wearing and using all of these baby things?
And our sweet Kiva!!! She is getting ready to be here in some serious ways. Some of you commented on how low I am carrying, and yes, I am...she dropped even more about three weeks ago. So, at this weeks' appointment, after the ultrasound and dilation check (so fun :)~) my doc recommended we induce late October!!! What??? You mean less than three weeks away? Yep! I am really wanting to have her naturally (w/o an epidural) but I totally want to induce too...so here we go! I will let you all know the date when we decide for sure...but we are on high speed finishing Kiva's room and the other to-do's that I thought would be nice to have done. However, we are ready for her to be here, in our arms asap...whether or not the cute curtain rod and hooks are bought yet!!!
I think I want to make sure and say something to close: This time last year we were literally being carried by you all, our church family near and far and our family...you grieved with us so well. This year we really want you to know that we celebrate Kiva even more because of the ways you have already celebrated and encouraged us with her life! THANK YOU!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Great Work of God: Rain by John Piper
But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God; who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth, and sends water on the fields.
If you said to someone: “My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number,” and they responded, “Really? Like what?” would you say, “Rain”?
When I read these verses recently I felt like I did when I heard the lyrics to a Sonny and Cher song in 1969: “I’d love for you. I’d die for you. I’d even climb a mountain high for you.” Even? I would die for you. I would even climb a mountain high for you? The song was good for a joke. Or a good illustration of bad poetry. Not much else.
But Job is not joking. ”God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth.” In Job’s mind, rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself (= meditation).
Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God? Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come on the fields from another source. From where?
Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, over several hundred miles and then be poured out from the sky onto the fields. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water.
That’s heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay up there if it’s so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That’s a nice word. What’s it mean? It means that the water sort of stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens. What’s that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That’s small.
What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is salt water. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up a billion pounds of water from the sea and takes out the salt and then carries it for three hundred miles and then dumps it on the farm?
Well, it doesn’t dump it. If it dumped a billion pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the billion pounds of water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall for one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough to keep from crushing the wheat stalks.
How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh a billion pounds get heavy enough to fall (if that’s the way to ask the question)? Well, it’s called coalescence. What’s that? It means the specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger. And when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up, if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.
I think, instead, I will just take Job’s word for it. I still don’t see why drops ever get to the ground, because if they start falling as soon as they are heavier than air, they would be too small not to evaporate on the way down, but if they wait to come down, what holds them up till they are big enough not to evaporate? Yes, I am sure there is a name for that too. But I am satisfied now that, by any name, this is a great and unsearchable thing that God has done. I think I should be thankful – lots more thankful than I am.
Grateful to God for the wonder of rain,
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The dance class went great. All of the girls did such a super job...really! They followed my instructions, were all really sweet and lots of funny comments were made! All in all, a great start. And, I am really happy to do this with my friends :)