Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby Boy#2 Coming Summer 2011!!!

We found out the fabulous & yes -much to our surprise- news yesterday morning... baby #2 is a BOY! *see the cute-yet usually a bit awkward baby 'under construction' image below* =) Before i dive into the details of our surprise let me first make note of Why i AM one of the few women who seem to enjoy having Summer babies!
yes its the awkward self mirror shot- maybe my 3yr old could have done better?
*pic taken at 19wks=1/2 way done*

1. You can hide the awkward "is she pregnant or just bloated" baby bump with the bulkier winter clothes or a nice long shabby scarf... at least sometimes,lol. believe me i've had 'those looks' -funny story this past wkend a young waitress glanced down at my belly and smiled and began to say "aww..." then stopped short, thinking uh-oh maybe i'm wrong- i knew the look so i quickly confirmed her thought with 'yes we're expecting in August =)

2. When you do find yourself too big to comfortably bend over it's okay because it's Flip-Flop season! YeY, no need to try and cram your feet into big boots and brave the slippery sidewalks in fear of falling over b/c your balance is off!

3. Lighter clothing! fun summertime clothes are easier and lighter on the tummy to throw on =) bathing suits... well... lets just say girls there's no reason to 'suck it in' anymore, lol. grant it i'm not a comfortable 2pc wearin' mamma, but they do have cute tank-top 2 pcs, just remember to hold that top down when first getting into the pool, lol.

4. speaking of pool... Swimming! no better time to feel more like yourself and not so -top heavy- then enjoying some water time! its a nice reminder that 'no i'm usually not this large' =) and a pleasant and relaxing way to exercise and cool off in the heat.

5. some complain it's too hot to be prego in the summer... as for me i seriously am fine with it! i much prefer to be hot than freezing cold with stiff muscles and large & in charge! plus that's why we have air conditioning options!

6. sunshine makes me happy!!! i am NOT a fan of being cold (can you tell by now) so the more i can be out soaking up the sun the less depressed i feel! and the bigger i get the less depressed i NEED to be, lol. so being able to slip on the oh so convenient shoes without bending over to walk outside and soak up the rays brings a bit more joy to me! and as all us moms know - joy during the larger months is just as important!

7. summer birthday party planning is just fun! i know birthdays at any time can be a blast, but i have enjoyed planning andrew's summertime parties and i look forward to doing the same with this lil guy. the options just seem more endless.

8. speaking of parties... summer time is a great picnic time! a time when there aren't too many holidays to over-shadow the fun Birth-day of your little one (or yourself if you're like me and a summertime baby too). so that's a nice way to break up the year, esp from the Christmas extraviganza! 

I'm sure I have a ton more but those are just among my top few =) I hope for those prego during the summer like me they serve you with little reminders of the joys of a summertime pregnancy!
the cute but awkward 'under construction' pic =)

Now on to our Surprise yesterday! it's amazing how you can really 'set your mind' without nec. even realizing you've set it soo much! thus is the reason i am a thankful lady for the technology we have today in knowing what sex our precious little one is before arrival =) even though you never truly are 'prepared' it does help to think that knowing the gender provides you with a bit more of the 'feeling' of being prepared =) and as for some who save the surprise -i think that's fabulous- but for us yesterday was just as big of a surprise... and reminder that you just never know until you know!

one reason this little one i think shocked me was because while pregnant with andrew i was one of the VERY few who thought we were going to have a boy, all else kept saying girl. so when the tech confirmed my 'intuitions' i smiled and kinda laughed at joe sitting in shock watching the screen =) yesterday however... we both sat Shocked - even Drew who responded with 'i thought i was having a sister', lol, uh oh! and in no way are we disappointed.. again just surprised. and as my mom said to me yesterday 'didn't you always say you wanted boys' i was reminded that Yes i did! i think this time around i just thought that since my husband has always always wanted a little girl (to spoil & protect) and my son a baby sister, i began to want that for them. however, again we are both excited (drew is slowly adjusting -hence his determination to now name his lil bro "john wayne"). & in all honesty joe and i have had the desire to adopt one day for many years now - so if God Blesses us in the future with an adopted angel maybe she'll be the girl our family was missing. then she would be spoiled for sure (being the ONLY girl for a few grandparents as well =) 

so... now it's time to pray and discuss a name to give this precious little boy. a time to pull out the tiny baby clothes we did save (having passed on many to others) and to rest assure that he'll be loved and adored just as much as andrew - not in comparison, but in a fresh new way - knowing this unique little individual was planned by God and has a purpose beyond even our wildest (and best) dreams for him. and Yes... knowing ahead of time brings a bit more peace to this momma =) i enjoyed pulling out some of my 'raising boys' books last night, laughing over the thoughts of things to come and thanking God for His Great plans for our family. and for now i must admit... being the only girl surrounded by men, big and little, is just fine by me =)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

blOg-CraZy & biRthDay lOvE!

happy Birthday weekend (tomorrow he's 33!) to my guy =)

first i will cover the 'blog-crazy' in the title of this quick note...
my-oh-my how this blogging world is a crazy wonderful one to get caught up in! i have stumbled across SO many wonderful women all in a different part of the world- being open and honest -inspiring and encouraging - and serving as reminders to me that none of us are 'crazy', lol, we're just fabulous ladies trying to live out the best life God has in store for us the best way we can - while choosing to open up our hearts to this blog world - reaching out to others along our own journeys in life =) again i thank you ladies - for sometimes i do get lost clicking from one new blog to another and before i know it the time has gotten away from me - just one more reminder i best get on that personal time-management skill a bit more closely, lol, but i love it. i love the ladies i'm stumbling upon & i encourage you to enter in too when you can =)

our 1st 2 'kids' jax & abby

i wanted to take a moment (inspired by another blogger) to celebrate my sweet husband who's celebrating his 33rd birthday tomorrow! phew 33 i can hardly believe it, esp since we've known each other since he was 17 and i was 15 - that's a lot of knowin' =) as our Young Adults in our Immersed gp. from church learned recently when studying the 5 lOve lanGuages, mine is not 'words of affirmation', but of course, that's my husbands! so as he tosses out loving words at me endlessly at times (really showing He's the one desiring those in return) i'm speaking a different kinda language 'quality time' (which for joe and i these days is a struggle b/c of crazy schedules- we're trying to get a grip, but i digress...) So my point is that due to my struggle w/ 'spoken words' i will write a few thoughts on why I LOVE THIS MAN for the whole world to see (and my guy when I point him to this latest entry). sooo how do i love this man... let me count the ways....

andrew's 1st sunday @church 3 1/2yrs ago -joe was speaking =)

He LOVES GOD first! and then loves me and our 'growing' family! some may say wooh God first?? yes you see that's why i fell in love with him oh so many up&down years ago =) he's got a passion for the calling God has on his life (reaching out to young people) and it's contagious -after all he's brought me along for the ride as we now serve the young adults in our church/community side-by-side. when you find a man who loves God you have found a Good thing -cherish it! the times that we spend praying together - worshipping together - trusting together - those are ALL the times that grow us... together! i could not imagine spending a lifetime with anyone else and i will FOREVER cherish his prayers for me and our family and beyond =)

ice show @ the National Harbor

my man loves to have fun! being goofy and making people laugh, either with him or at him, he doesn't care and i love, sometimes in secret-lol, that about him! for those who know me i'm the type that does tend to care who's watching at times, grant it i've come along way from where i started, but i'm blessed to be with a man who 'lightens me up'. whether it's dancing around our living room acting silly for our son (or really for himself b/c he's having fun) joe definitely knows how to make a dull situation a little less dull ... and yes i do love that about him, no matter how often i give him 'that look', you know, the one that says... umm people are watching, lol. it's really just another thing that kept drawing me back to him when we were 'young and in-love'. the thing that i knew i needed in my life to 'lighten me up'! =) 

us in hawaii w/ his mom & step-dad

he can't sit still for too long! we love traveling - be it to florida (against my will for the 15th time -lol) and beyond - i love that he loves to be out & about, seeing and experiencing new places. one thing we definitely have strongly in common is that neither one of us is much of a home-body. of course these days, with one precious son & another child on the way & again the craziness of our schedules, we don't get to go and do as much as we would like, but the fact comes down to- we both Like =) so in the end you know you'll end up back out&about when you can. thankfully we did have almost 4 years together before our son came along which opened up more time for us for travel and vacation time (don't get me wrong- children at ANY time are a blessing - but for us those years are ones we'll always happily hold dear -for more selfish reasons =)

joe taking drew to his first hair cut =)

the little pic above represents two big things i love about this man! first and foremost he LOVES his son! he's the kind of dad who will spend countless time 'fighting' (drew requests this on a nightly basis) with him, watching/taking him to see sill movies, playing sports with him (yes our now 3 1/2 year old is Passionate about sports-even requested to watch basketball by 'signing' to us when he was not even a year old!-i'm in for it-lol) and any other thing Fun! he's not the dad that sits on the side-lines, not the dad that cares what others think if he's acting Crazy with andrew, he's the dad who wants to make his son laugh, fly around the room, sing loudly, love God and love life and THAT is what definitely draws this wife & mom even more in-love with him =)
the 2nd part of this pic is the ol' barbershop in the background -this to me is a reminder of joe's loyalty! my man is definitely a loyal one! why this pic- well we no longer live near this barber John, but joe will definitely still be sure to make the drive or fit it in on his driving route home to get by and wait for 'his barber' to cut his hair- no matter how long it takes! (ladies don't be fooled- men gossip and sit in barber shops just as long as we do at the salon- at least my man can-lol). so this just reminds me in a small way of the big thing my husband represents - being loyal =) sure he may say 'i'll call you back in 5 or be home in 10' and it turns into 20 or an hour... but the point comes back to.. he'll be there. he's loyal to his family, his friends, his church & his (our) God and that's Important to me =) It makes me feel secure as his wife =) being someone who i know can drive him crazy and push his buttons (like he pushes mine) at the end of the day i still know where he'll be and who he'll love - and in this life, full of un-committed people and things - that's important to me!

so i could keep going for i'm not sure how long... but i'll save some of those other things for him- thanking him for brightening my life and for allowing me to be a part of his... sharing yet another of many of his Birthdays together! 

*love ya joe- love me*

Sunday, March 20, 2011

pregnancy reminders... they are a must for me!

it's true i really do need to remind myself that i'm pregnant again! yes i have the growing belly (even more-so round 2) but b/c of my continual digestive issues the past couple years i now need to remind myself daily that there's a precious growing little life in there and no it's not just what i ate -lol! 

this is me very much prego with andrew

sad to say i haven't even deliberately taken any pregnancy pictures this go-around. it's not too late i know - again just need a daily reminder! i think as most moms of multiples have said - the second time (or third, fourth and even fifth-God Bless You all) being pregnant the time flies more quickly *check* - you're exhausted more often *double check* and some like me even have to be reminded daily that yes there's a baby in there *triple check*!

i think because of other life happenings going on around me my focus - or lack there of - on the "oh my gosh we'll soon be a family of four" is heightened! with trying to open a coffee house (see update on back to designing part-time -newly beginning a young adults gp at our new home church - and the lack of space since we moved into an apartment (which for a designer the thought of having no bedroom to decorate *esp if we see shades of pink* can def. be crippling to the excitement factor) all come into play as HUGE distractions from the blessed addition coming Summer of 2011!!

andrew's room was def. my favorite in our old house... yes i still miss it! & yes the ceiling was green (spite the looks family members gave me on the idea =)

and i think because of all of the said items above i've also been distracted (in a good way this time) from the fact that a c-section is looking like the inevitable way baby 2 will be exiting =/ for those who knew of my delivery experience with drew you may recall my utter shock and sadness at having to endure that route of exiting the womb! with all the swimming and walking and having what i've considered to be 'wide hips' i was for certain andrew was going to practically drop out -lol. i could NOT have been more wrong! after 22 hours of labor -no epidural b/c of the ol' back (a better work in progress now Thank U God) -walking around the hospital -workin' it on the ol' huge labor ball - at 8 1/2 cm for over 4 1/2 hours - it seemed he needed to come with more dr. assistance. never did i picture that plan or fear it more! after all this is the girl who was walking around the parking after over 8 hours of being in labor, contractions less than a minute apart - determined NOT to enter the hospital earlier then necessary! when that news hit me i broke! having to be put to sleep (again b/c of my back) and not waking until 3 hours later, having missed the 'awe look at them wash him off - weigh him & swaddle him up', groggy and not an expectant cheerful 'hand me my baby' new mom - this was a time i wanted to shout RE-DO!!! seriously i give all you c-section happy moms PROPS big time because i will admit this girl- she was a BIG baby to the whole 'cut me open take out my baby it'll be fine' mentality! no no not me - i was the one who still hadn't looked at my scar a month later! that's right- i avoided it- thankfully my sweet husband handled the nec. cleaning of the area kinda stuff! can you grasp yet that surgery is not something i take lightly! lol

so i guess the distractions this go-around come as a pleasant thing when it comes to remembering all that! and even during times like now when i scrunch up my face at the thought i just think of the outcome of course and say like all us crazy moms do - it's all worth it in the end anyhow. "pain with a purpose" as a sweet nurse kept reminding me! and when i look back at the pic below - i'm still shocked at how the time flies and how soon we'll be embracing a baby again! andrew is now so self-sufficient it boggles my mind that it was only 3 1/2 yrs ago that he too needed us to do EVERYTHING for him. my how only 3 1/2 yrs changes things so much!

what a slippery wet little butterball he was!

so next week when we get to take another peek at this growing life in my belly, we'll be utterly amazed again that God has blessed us with another precious life to add to our family! and whether it be a GIRL or boy (lol-drew says girl b/c he prayed =) we'll be excited & surprised! because no... it's not just something i ate! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

from the Holy Bible to Dr Seuss... a few requested recommendations!

books fill our home! if you find a flat surface you will probably find at least one book residing there. we love to read in this house, especially me!

joe is an avid 3-5 newspapers a day kinda guy but this past year while taking ministry courses he was assigned to read 1-2 books a month for class (most of them were actually quite interesting, not your average textbk kinda book) so thus began a slight passion in his reading expansion =)
while pregnant with Andrew i deliberately prayed that he would love to read too! boy does he. i know most toddlers enjoy a good book read to them but my boy definitely has fully embraced the desire to read and as his praying momma, that makes me very happy!

one of drew's spaces for his growing book collection

see i think reading is SO IMPORTANT. i know for busy moms - parents in general - it's hard to find time to sit and read a good book, however even if it's just a line or two here and there (especially vs.'s from God's Holy book) you usually learn something and grow wiser (unless it's a mushy romance novel, then it's just a nice escape for some from reality for a bit that some so well deserve!)

a cpl of the numerous scattered book shelves around our place

and since many know i am a crazy reader (usually have 3-5 books going at one time) i've had suggestion requests from time to time on something i may recommend. so from me to you here is a condensed (very much so for me) list of some of my favs. and as you will Read, i'm a Huge lover of inspirational books (from the spiritual to the business type- yes i even own a book by Donald Trump =) 
i hope you enjoy scanning my list... and at the very least feel free to add to it... i'm always interested in recommendations from others!

*some books i will describe a bit and others i'll just list*

The Noticer by Andy Andrews (a GREAT author we heard speak at an event last yr) a book inspired from his own life experience of meeting a man named Jones while living under a dock on the beach who changed his life and the lives of many around town!

ANY book written by Mark Batterson (pastor of National Community Church in DC which now meets in a coffee house called Ebenezer's) - i can't say enough good things!

& speaking of authors,  i will forever love and learn from Joyce Meyer. you will be blessed and inspired by ANY of her books

The Shack by W. M. Paul Young - WOW is all I can say.  it will make you think about God in a lot of new ways. it's about a father saddened by the abduction of his daughter who is lured back to the ol' shack where her little bloody dress was found. a request from God to meet him there... and boy did he ever. the author is remarkable and if you are ever able to hear his testimony you will be blessed and probably shed a tear or two (i did)! I'm actually reading the book now for the second time, totally refreshed by God's amazing love for us!

Sundays at Tiffanys by James Patterson - a great fun girly read that will keep you turning the page!

The Trump Card by Ivanka Trump - i don't know if you're a fan of the show the Apprentice or not but her book is great! i think you'll be sure to find yourself respecting the way her wealthy and famous parents instilled great morals in her to become the spit fire respected woman she is today - around the world!

Crazy Love by Francis Chan - another INSPIRATIONAL book that is sure to make you think about the way we live and love (or don't love) our amazing God! he will challenge you to think about not only God but yourself and the way you live and think in a new way! we pulled from this book in our young adults gp and one of the young guys went out and bought it that same week- the following week he had already read thru it twice! there's a passion for reading that i love to hear about!

Wide Awake by Malcamus
Radical by Platt
Fearless by Max Lucado - another author you CAN NOT go wrong with! 

books by Nicholas Sparks - i def have not read them all but i have enjoyed some (most of those which became movies) they're usually sappy and require a tissue or two but if you're in the mood for that kind of read you should enjoy!

150 Healthiest Foods by Jonny Bowdin - if you know the me of today (in college and prior i was not this way and never did picture myself becoming interested in health stuff) but today i love - i soak up most books about foods and the way they can affect and benefit us today. it just totally amazes me how certain foods help our bodies in certain ways, from our crazy hormones to the common cold prevention to disease prevention - all of it astounds me and makes me even more in awe of my Creator!

Empowering Your Health by Dr. Asa Andrew (see above)

Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul - NOT about food (lol) but def. a fun read from time to time, helping us busy moms realize we are not going crazy... we're normal! =)

Do Hard Things by the Harris Brothers - if you have children or plan to one day -or even if you just want to be inspired by a younger generation this book is a Must Read! it's one that i will def. MAKE (that's right i said Make) my son read. written by twin teenage brothers it's a call to action from and for the younger generation. as parents it makes you realize if you only set the low simple expectations (like clean your room or take out the trash & do your homework) that's usually the only ones your children will make! but when you encourage them to strive for the out-of-the-ordinary they realize their true potential and grow into wise young adults who have a greater confidence in God and in themselves!

Decorating Junk Market Style - okay so I'm a designer - i MUST have a shelf or two dedicated to design books that inspire me! this one i think is fun for anyone - full of lots of pictures of ideas on how to turn some 'junk' into a great treasure or an awesome storage pc. - anything really!

a few of those books that inspire the designer in me

The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Clark - Yes i definitely need inspiration in that area! if you know me and know me well i don't live in a home that reflects orderly on any given day of the week! i must take and make time to get organized (or throw things in a closet) before guests will arrive! this book does offer some great advice... it's just the sticking with it that some of find more challenging then others! 

Secrets to Getting More Done in Less Time by Otto - pretty much see above - however the one huge thing that i got from this book and will now forever keep up with is keeping a Master Planner/Journal of sorts. She offers advice on having one big book with a calendar and divider pages - sectioning off things like a daily journal and even a place to briefly write down what your child did that day. i love my fat exploding black leather binder and would be heartbroken to lose it!

Wild At Heart by John Eldridge - if you have boys this is a fun and Inspiring Must Read!

Extraordinary by John Bevere - another great inspirational writer

Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado - none of us were created to live out a cookie cutter life! we were and are called for something greater - it's in us! God placed gifts and talents in each of us - unique and individual.  we just need to tap into those things and live out our potential - we'll not only Bless God but we'll find ourselves enjoying life on a whole new level!

Jesus Life Coach by Laurie Beth Jones - full of short stories - again another of the many great inspirational books that i love to own and pull out from time to time! this book is def. one meant for your library.

Your Money Map by Dayton - most of us could use some help from time to time in the area of finances and i must admit by getting married young - joe and i could have benefited from some great financial advice early on! another one of the several financial books i'll be sure our children read and learn when growing up!

and MOST importantly (the best for last)
THE BIBLE!! -written Word of God. i can not begin to say enough of how this great Book has and will forever continually change my life! it's amazing how on most days when i take a breather or start my day out with a few minutes devoted to God - how He will lead me to an exact chapter and vs. meant for me - for that time in my life - and even amazingly how i find that later on in the day when i grab a random book to read - it too will have to do with the vs the Lord lead me to - meeting me again right where I am at.  I will NEVER be able to do justice on saying enough great things about being sure this if not one of the many is the Only book you need to survive in this life. and in our home we have several versions. it's hard at times to read King James - so having the NIV or amplified version handy and the Message version (written more in modern language) can give you a complete idea of what God was and Is saying! i pray you find yourself picking this book up more than any - i know it will Bless You Beyond your Wildest Expectations! 

*so there's a brief list of what's on our shelves... or tables around our place.  i would love to hear of some of your favorites*

Monday, March 7, 2011

never ever have i ever...

....thought i'd have someone saying to me "i don't know how you do it"? really? me? i think you must have me confused with my friend, you know the one about to have her 6th child (and she's 2yrs younger than me- WOW), or the several who are teachers WITH children AND taking master's classes? or the one taking care of not only her own children but several others, or the mom friends i have holding down out-of-the-house full time jobs having to wake before the sun and bundle up their little ones to take to daycare along their long commute, or the one who goes in early and stays well past late trying and succeeding at tackling a crazy amount. or my stay-at-home moms that do it so well, running their kids to and from activities and managing their house & cooking for their spouse each night, or the women i've known who've battled scary diseases and still managed to keep their household running AND a smile on their face?!?  now THOSE are deserving of the thought "i don't know how you do it"??!! and there are SOOO many many more women out there, like YOU who i'm sure i'd say the same thing, "i don't know how you do it"?!
see the young woman who innocently said that to me yesterday at church is expecting her first baby in the early fall and knows i am expecting my second this summer. she was watching me gather up Andrew and all his 'must haves' that we took into church with us and just off the cuff made the comment. maybe if she knew me better she would retract that statement, lol. for i am definitely just another woman out there 'trying' to seem to 'have it together'. and as many of my dear friends have told me, and i do realize most of the time, i am so blessed to have drew, he really does make it easy on me, easier than most. of course he has his moments too, causing me to say he's now embracing 3, but for the most part my kid, by NATURE not by me, really is 'easy'. now the next one coming... we'll see, lol.
anyhow i really just said all that to say this... 
today when pondering over the crazy realization that someone else could make a statement like that to me i found myself realizing that it's what we do... by nature in our society we often 'compare' ourselves, our lives, what we do or don't do and how well we do it or don't do it, to the lives of those around. truth be told behind the scenes i believe most of us moms (& women in general) are just trying our best, some days harder than others. that's why i love reading blogs, like this morning when i read one written by my friend, the one about to have her 6th beautiful child, she reminded me that even she too can lead a more 'normal life' than i may think, having those 'normal mom moments'! it's eye opening! =)
see when it comes down to it what we all need to remind ourselves of is the fact that playing the 'compare and contrast' game is a waste of time really! there will always be someone out there better or worse off than us, someone coming from a harder or more cushioned past, someone who has the midas touch and many who don't. unless we are comparing ourselves to the life Jesus himself walked out on earth we will never find that 'perfect person'. and honestly we are not suppose to because they don't actually exist! we aren't called to be 'perfect', we're called to be real, a real reflection of what God can do TRHU us women who allow Him to change, to mold, to make into the strong beautiful UNIQUE woman He designed each of us to be, no two the same. see that's just it, we can hope to inspire others by the life we live & the decisions we make but it's only to serve as just that, a glimpse of inspiration, not to be a sought after reflection of who they need to become. because if we cheat God out on allowing Him to help better us individually by trying to become like someone else, we also cheat ourselves and those around us out on the beautiful life we were Suppose to live, uniquely, individually, and like none other!
so... as most others say, lol, i really blogged this for myself today, because i too can play the game, but i hope along with reminding myself, i reminded you too, that you ARE BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE, and CALLED to be YOU, not the woman beside you that you're wondering "how does she do it"?!?