Monday, November 29, 2010

My World is Changing...

Today is the day we finally meet our little Glory girl. A day our lives will change.

I have tried so many times over the last few days to put my feelings into words but it has been nearly impossible. I'm having a hard time communicating on the outside, what I'm feeling on the inside. So instead of trying, I've just avoided it and kept myself as busy as possible. So many things running through my head. So many emotions and feelings. So many memories. I'm trying to sort through them all and yet I can't.

I'm so thankful that even in all of my jumbled up thoughts and feelings, God can work it all out and bring peace. He knows my heart without me saying a word. How amazing to know that.

What I can say for sure is that I am thankful.

I have reached the end of a road that the Lord has truly guided me on and followed me through...and I know He will continue to. Tomorrow when I look into the face of our Mia Glory, I will see my sweet Jesus and the love he has for me. I will see my angel babies and know they are dancing in heaven.

Thank you Lord for that knowledge. Thank you for the peace and strength that has sustained me.

I am so thankful for a husband and family who have supported me, loved me, strengthened and prayed for me. I can not wait to see each of you as you hold our little gift of heaven. I love you all so much. Words are not enough.

And I am thankful for a Dr. who has gone above and beyond for us and all of our sweet babies. Not only in words but always in action and that to me means more than anything. He has been through it all with us. I will never forget something he said to me after we lost Faith... "It will be great to wrap this testimony up in the ribbon of another full-term, healthy baby someday." At the time that day seemed so far away, but here we are...that day has come, all Glory and honor to God and our heartfelt thanks and love to you, Dr. Farhart.

My World is changing...and how sweet it is!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To My Husband...

6 years ago today Brandon and I stood at an alter at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and said "I do."

We never could have imagined what those words and that day would be the beginning of. We've grown together, been stretched together, learned, laughed, cried, and healed together. But most of all, we've created a beautiful life together. One filled with amazing love and I could not ask for me.

I can still remember the first time I saw him. He was making a certain face that I now know well and see our son make. I will never forget that day. God planned it from the beginning. Though our paths were going in two completely different directions, he brought them together and I fell head over heels IN LOVE. Not just in the man he was, but the God I saw in Him.

I am so thankful to be so loved and to love so much. To watch him be an amazing daddy to our kids, a loving son, caring brother and selfless person.

I am challenged to love more, seek more, and do more.

It has been my greatest reward to be the mother of his children...an honor and a privilege. Though it can be exhausting at times and challenging at others, it is always a reward...a title I hold dear and with great pride.

My sweet husband, I love you beyond what mere words could say. I cherish you more than I could ever show you. I honor and respect you. You are everything I wanted and everything I didn't know I needed. Thank you for showing me how much God loves me by just by loving me each day. Thank you for your patience, love, strength, compassion, and calm. You are my perfect balance.

Today, as we look back on 6 years of marriage, I am so thankful. For you, for our life, for the lessons we've learned together, places we've gone and for the opportunity to share many more of those with you.

I can not wait to see you hold our new little girl in your arms. It is the greatest gift you could ever give me...to see your love as you look at her for the first time. I will cherish it forever.

Today and every day, I am thankful for my husband.
Happy Anniversary My Love! You still give me butterflies!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Music and Heartburn

Not related whatsoever. One makes me completely happy and the other makes me completely grouchy.

"Grouchy"... I bet that's a word some of you don't often say or hear, huh? We've always said it in our family. The first time I said it around Brandon he looked at me like I was crazy. It's a common household word now. "Bella, woke up grouchy mom!" "Asher's being grouchy to me!"....The other day at the store Bella was waving to every person we passed. One particular old man came walking by and sort of stopped in front of us. Perfect opportunity for Bella to stick her hand in his face, wave and say "Hi!"...He just looked at her and kept on walking. Bella says really loud, "Mom, that man is GROUCHY!"

It was pretty funny. And I bet you anything that old man laughed to himself even if he would never let anyone see. Grouch.

So anyway I have a major issue. It's called heartburn...or acid reflux. I'm very confused as to which one I am experiencing because I get different answers from all of my prominent sources...mom, google, babycenter....seems as though I have both? Not sure. Either way...it. is. not. fun!

I can't figure out what triggers it or what helps. I eat, it gets worse, I don't eat- even worse. I have tried tums (which help somewhat for a little bit), baking soda in water (Dr. mom) and tonight I tried Maalox (what am I, 80?)

I came to a conclusion. Since I've never had it before with my other two, it can only mean one thing...maybe, just maybe this baby might have some hair on her little head! I know it's sort of an old wives tail but isn't it true that if you have bad heartburn when you're pregnant then that means your baby will have a lot of hair? Anyone? Can you either confirm or deny this? No medical opinions people cause I have a feeling they will just rain on my parade. I've already envisioned her with a pretty little head of hair that I can clip bows into. Unlike my other two who came out looking like a 90 yr old man with bad receding hair lines (Though much cuter of course)

Guess we'll see for sure in about 10 days. 10 days!!! Wow.

So...Christmas music. It's officially began ya'll. The Christmas Season. How do I know this? "Soft rock 101.9" (can't you just hear Delilah saying it) has started playing CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!! It was a glorious event tonight as we drove home, turned on 101.9 (I've been checking every day) and there it was- Trans Siberian Orchestra "Carol of the bells." The perfect song to start off the Christmas music season. Although I will never sit through another 3 hour long concert like that again. Torture. Not because of the music but because of my inability to sit somewhere longer than 15 minutes.

Hearing it made me so happy. I don't care what kind of mood you are in, as soon as you hear Christmas music you can't possibly be GROUCHY (he, he there it is again)

I will also add that with the onset of Christmas music and Asher now being nearly 5 and understanding things way too well...As well as being way too literal for his own good (thanks daddy for passing that on), we had to have a detailed conversation about why mama was kissing Santa Clause. Oh Lord.

Now mind you, my kids know Santa is just pretend. We never "believed" in Santa growing up, so it just seems normal that ours wouldn't either. Whatever, I know some of you think we're being all "Bahumbug." I don't have anything wrong with believing he is real if that's what you choose for your family. We let the kids know that Santa is just a character like Spiderman or Dora or whoever. It's fun to pretend they are real, but we know they aren't. However, Jesus is. So that's why we are always emphasizing that Christmas is about Jesus and his birthday and not about presents and Santa. It's an ongoing reminder for them because it is so easy to fall into the "put that on my list" world we live in. And we all fall into it. While we're on the topic I would like a bigger car with the limo window in the middle on my list- don't forget. Thanks.

Speaking of, this reminds me of a story that is exactly why we have to continue to work at emphasizing the meaning of Christmas. Our church is participating in Operation Christmas Child this year so I had Asher watch the video with me so he would understand why we're putting together a shoebox of toys for another little boy. The video started out with images of these poor kids in even poorer conditions and Asher had all kinds of questions. Perfect. He's catching on. Then a list with pictures came on with ideas of what to put in the shoe box...hard candy, jacks, toy cars, etc...Asher looks at me and says "Put all that on my list!"

So, like I said the conversation and reiteration continues daily.

If you'd like to get involved with Operation Christmas Child, check out the link to find a distribution center near you or you can contact me! Our church, Heart of Praise, is taking shoe boxes up until this Sunday!

On that note (or a totally different one) I'm thankful to be sitting here writing this without the intense burning in my chest and throat that I've become so familiar with. At least for a little while, thanks to the maalox. But if you have any recommendations for heartburn I would greatly appreciate them.

And if you are feeling grouchy, turn on some Christmas music!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The little things

I'm thankful for today...

How well Bella is doing with potty training.

The candy corn from Aunt Jacquelin that is fueling that accomplishment.

Text messaging because I can keep up with my sisters throughout the day.

Sisters that I call my best friends.

2 nights in a row of great sleep.

A mom who calls me every morning to talk about nothing and everything.

To be momentarily winning the ongoing battle with laundry.

Unsolicited hugs and kisses

To have folded two loads of tiny baby girl clothes.

A husband who makes sure I eat and will make me angel hair pasta at 9 o'clock at night.

Hot baths and tylenol.

Family that is always there to help. Particularly to my dad today for picking up Asher from school.

A squirmy little girl in my tummy who loves to remind me she's there.

All the little projects I was able to complete due to the sleep I'm getting.

A little boy in spider man pj's sleeping peacefully beside me.

That that little boy still asks to snuggle each night.

Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough.

The cold front that blew in and a warm bed to sleep in.

A husband who I deeply love and who still makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world.

...And Lord have mercy...for Tums.


Profound? No. Deep? Not at all.

Just simple and True

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why, Lord?

I had to go grocery shopping tonight. I say had because I was dreading it. I'd ran a couple of errands before (mistake) so at this point I was exhausted, aching, hungry and just wanted to go home, eat some coco puffs, and get in a nice hot bath.

But I'd put it off long enough and drank all the kids juice boxes. They were starting to suspect me.

As I walked through the front entrance in a hurry and in the middle of a phone conversation with my sister, I sort of saw the table where an older woman was sitting, selling San Antonio Express News subscriptions and I sort of heard her ask me if I wanted one.

I faintly smiled, said "No thanks," and kept walking.

But then I heard it "Turn around and go back."

Why Lord?"

But before I could figure out "why" I was off the phone with Vanessa and standing in front of this sweet looking, bundled up, older woman talking to me about the newspaper and how exciting it was that the weekend package now also includes Thursdays (FYI).

As she continued talking I looked at her hand to see if she had a ring on, I wondered if she had kids at home and then decided they were probably grown. I wondered why she would be out there in the cold at 7 o'clock at night.

And wondered..."Why, Lord".

I asked her a few questions about herself and her family thinking maybe I would know what she needed to hear. Maybe God would reveal something to me. Maybe he would make this easier on me?

We had a nice little conversation and I now have the SA Express News coming to my house every weekend.

And then I walked away...

....why Lord?

Then I heard it.

"Because she needed someone to acknowledge her. To let her know she was noticed."

I didn't know why I turned around or why I went on to have the conversation that I did with this sweet woman. And I didn't know what, but there was something special about her.

God knows though and He wanted someone else to notice it also.

Tonight I'm thankful for moments like this where God uses you to Bless someone... to smile, to talk, to notice.

I'm thankful for reminders to stop and listen to that still small voice trying to direct you. It may not always be for you, but when you let Him work through you for someone else, the blessing comes to you anyway.

I don't know that I made any kind of difference in her life, I don't know what might be going on in it and I don't even know her name. But God does. And He knows what she needed in that moment.

For someone to notice.

I often think of a time when I was taking classes at UTSA and there was this girl I always saw. She was even in one of my classes. Out of all the people who go to UTSA, I saw this girl more than if I had planned to on purpose. I knew it was for a reason. I knew God wanted me to talk to her. He would set up perfect scenarios where it would be easy to.

But you know what? I never did. And I still regret it. I think about it a lot and I wonder about her. Wonder what she may have needed to hear or what I could have done. I'm sure whatever it was, God was able to use someone else to accomplish it..... But still.

I thank God for his grace because He doesn't hold that against me and he gives me more opportunities to stop, listen and be used. Like tonight.

The difference is that I listened.

We can get so caught up in our own lives- in our own "aches and pains", that we don't see what is in front of us... or who is in front of us.

Whatever it may be- an encouraging word, a hug, a smile...just letting someone know they are noticed...I hope we listen to that still small voice.

In those"Why Lord" moments, He always has a reason. And I am thankful to be used in them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

13 Days until.....

I can sleep on my stomach again!! I bet you thought I was going to say "till Mia is here!!'

Well, that too, but oh I can not wait to sleep on my stomach again, not just that but to actually sleep. Can I tell you people that I literally toss and turn...And turn and toss, for at least an hour or more each night before falling asleep. And then I'm a light sleeper as it is, so if anything wakes me up- which is everything... I start the toss and turn process all over again.

I might be a little exhausted right now...and a little grouchy. You can tell because I just spent 10 minutes going through my Facebook news feed "hiding" people that I don't want to have to see or hear about what they are doing every 2 seconds. Grouchy right? Don't worry it wasn't you. Promise. I'm sure I'll be trying to figure out how to "un-hide" tomorrow, because in the end I'm just nosey and useless information is always entertaining when you're exhausted.

Sleep has broken up with me for a while and I'm currently in a relationship with acid reflux, restless leg syndrome and a brain that won't rest. Meanwhile my husband, my handsome husband, who I love, but who is also in DE-NIAL that he might snore...does just that...snores away. The other night before bed I thought we were having a conversation...a deep, intellectual, one on one conversation...I stopped talking after about 10 minutes and waited for a response...Quiet. Then I thought, Oh he's being Brandon, he's processing...then...snoring. Yep, he was snoring. Fell asleep on me.

Must be nice.

I had a Dr. appointment yesterday...I was sort of sad it was the 2nd to last one. It's bittersweet. I'm going to miss everyone at the office but it also means I'm so close to having my sweet girl (or boy?? ;). All is well with Mia and she is definitely showing signs of getting ready for the big day but she needs to slow down so we can get her before she tries to come on her own. C-Section is scheduled for the 29th at 7AM! Which means Brandon and I have to be at the hospital at 5am............We haven't seen that hour in YEARS...if at all...Let's not kid. The best part to the appointment was finding out I'd lost the 1 pound I gained at last week's appointment so I am still holding steady at a 24 lb gain which is a MIRACLE. And yes I will take every opportunity to make this fact known because, well, just because. Do I need to remind you of the 50 I gained with Asher??

I can thank my little piggy Bella girl for that and constantly stealing my food when I do sit down to eat and for just making it not worth even trying to eat sometimes because I know it will end up being hers anyway. Thank you Bella. I owe you. One day you will understand.

After my Dr. appointment I took advantage of a Target trip (or two) without kids since Brandon was off yesterday (He's the BEST- took them to Chikfila and the park, I LOVE him!)and I ran around getting things I still need for her. Or at least I tried. I think my body and brain were confused with the calmness of the situation because I basically went in circles trying to remember what I need or what I was there for. My poor brain is so used to multi-tasking with the kids, popcorn, drinks, "no you can't have that" "yes you can put that on your list"...not to mention the acute ability I've developed to detect those little red clearance tags from a mile away, that when it was time to focus on only one thing I felt lost.

However, a Target trip should never be in vain, so I did manage to get a few things checked off my list. Even if I couldn't remember half of that list. I gotta start writing things down. Between lack of sleep and food, it might help things.

I was given a beautiful shower this weekend by some special women and words can't express how thankful I was. I had to keep from crying a couple of times because the reality of it all- that we were celebrating our Mia Glory- was overwhelming. I am so thankful for my special family and friends who were there, showing love, support, and for just being as excited as we are to welcome our little girl. I am *so* thankful to each one of you!

I realize I committed to writing what I am thankful for here for the next 30 days and well I slacked over the weekend. We've had a full few days but I'm back on track. I'll make it up to you. I know you are so concerned about this. Try to sleep tonight. ;)

So at this very moment as I look out my front windows, I am thankful that we get to put our Christmas decorations up next week, which means I can take down our fall decor and I don't have to see Bubba and Betty (our "scarecrows") all slumped over every morning like they've had one too many the night before (diet cokes of course)

Also, Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK and then Mia comes and I can SLEEP! I know what you're thinking, "Poor girl, she has no clue...Sleep? You have a newborn coming!" Blah, blah, blah... Look, I'll take a good 2-3 hour stretch at this point. Something about the quality of sleep you get right after having a baby is just pure heaven. Not only because I won't have the big 'ol tummy to contend with but because of that wonderful thing called pain med's that have a way of just knocking you right out...and for that I am super thankful!!.....Don't judge.

So If you love me, please pray that I sleep tonight. And then I promise I'll be back tomorrow less grouchy and back to my "Live, Laugh, Love, Savor, Cherish...yada yada, self :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Call me Crazy But...

Now that we are approaching the end of this pregnancy, all the crazy thoughts that a soon to be mom has are starting to invade. First the emotional ones of "will I be able to do it all" started yesterday (see my post from last night for that little diddy)...Let's just say no more coco puffs at midnight for me.

And now, the crazy thoughts have turned to WHAT IF this baby is a BOY!

I assure you, I would not mind this AT all. But all the preparation...especially mental...it would be a shock. Not to mention HER ROOM!! Have you SEEN the work I put into it?! I've been collecting, planning, creating and decorating for what seems like forever, to make it perfect for HER. But oh my gosh, what if SHE is a HE?!

I know what you're saying..."OK looney Laura, #1 I can't keep up with you and your emotions." Yeah, well I can't either but they have a way of getting away from me. Deal with it. I have to. #2, you are thinking- "Where is this coming from?!"

Well I'll tell you. I've had 2 dreams recently that it's a boy. Not just one. Isn't there something about 2..like confirmation or something? Then I tortured myself further by reading a story about this happening to a mom...thought it was a girl the whole time, got the ultrasound pictures, yay it's a girl.. then the baby comes out- it's a boy!

Ok I need a juice box break, my heart is racing... Yes I said juice box. I'm CRAVING juice like no other and I've already gone through all other juice in this house, which leaves me with the kids juice boxes. But I have to say, there is something about drinking out of one of those little things that I'm starting to enjoy. Wait, is craving juice a sign too?!

Back to the important matter at hand...

Here's the kicker...I just stumbled upon this picture of me at 37 weeks pregnant with Bella. All round and wide in the tummy, right?


Ok, Do not tell me I am carrying this one the same. It's drastically different is it not??! More out in front and pointy.


Oh.My.Word.

I'm all worked up now. The night is not my friend lately. Exhaustion is getting to me. Brandon can't know about this crazy prego rant because he will tell me I'm being just that- crazy. I'm not though right? I'm starting to get hot... I have no more ultrasounds left. I'm done seeing the specialist...if only I had made her quadruple check last time...

Great. I'm going to be sucking down a lot of juice boxes tonight.

Ok, let me try to think about this rationally. I have to remember everything I went through in the beginning and just knowing it was a girl. We've had numerous ultrasounds including the major ones done by the specialist on big ol' flat screens and all said it's a girl, not to mention many other confirmations...Ok, I am being crazy aren't I? Every mom goes through this right? It's normal?

It's that darn picture! I tell you! Tell me that isn't just a little convincing.

DISCLAIMER! DO NOT tell me any stories about this happening to a friend of a friend of an Aunt who watches your kids. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT! This mom needs SLEEP!

It's almost 3am ...

...and I can't sleep. I've been tossing and turning for what seems like hours. I went to lay down and snuggle with each of the kids, thinking it might put my mind at peace. They don't even know I'm there. I wanted them to though. I wanted to wake them up and tell them I always would be.

It's beginning to hit me. I'm going to be a mom of 3 soon. Very soon. And I keep wondering- will I be able to do it? How am I going to divide myself- my attention- into 3 different little individuals who each have completely different needs.

All of the hoping, the praying, waiting...it's all been for this and now that it is almost here, I'm asking myself- Am I ready?

I remember being pregnant with Bella and wondering how Asher would react to a new sister. I wondered if he would be jealous or feel like I wasn't giving him enough attention. Then Bella entered our world and it was as if she'd always been there. He fell in love with her just as hard and quick as we all did.

I have so many thoughts running through my head. Will I be able to show Asher that he is and will always be my first born little boy...my heart. Will Bella know she is still our princess girl, our sweet gift from heaven.

I know, of course that this is nothing new. I remind myself that I am a 3rd child out of 4 and never questioned my place or the love and attention of my parents. And then I think, of course you didn't Laura, why would you. They loved us all the same.

So why this feeling in my stomach that won't let me sleep? Why the knot in my chest from choking back tears...

Someone asked me the other day if I was ready. I don't know why but it was hard to process my answer to that question. My immediate response was yes. Because it should be, right? Of course I'm ready. I've waited so long for her. For our sweet Mia Glory, who I already love so much. So why did my mind have a hard time agreeing with my heart. Why did I walk away asking myself- Are you ready?

Maybe it's been just that- all of the waiting, all of what we've been through to get here. The path we've been on...It's been so long and hard that now that we are reaching the end it's as if it's not real. I know that may be hard to understand, but I can't fully explain it. It just doesn't seem real that I will be holding our new baby girl in my arms in just a short matter of time.

As I lay tossing and turning, I started thinking ahead to what I thought it might be like... The moment I have all 3 kids surrounding me with my precious husband beside me and I honestly felt my heart aching. Not out of sadness of course, but from it feeling so full of love that it just might burst. And that was just in my imagination. What will it be like when it really happens. I can't even fathom it...

...A completion is how I can best explain it. A part of our lives that was left undone will be completed. I will be holding a healthy little girl in my arms almost one year to the day that we would were due with her sister Faith. I looked in the face of my sweet baby girl and had to say goodbye too early. But now, now that I do have a healthy baby girl who is almost here, really here, it's almost too much for me to grasp.

I know in those moments when I first hold her, I will feel a peace. Like the 3 have always been. I can only believe that yes I will be able to show all 3 of them how much they mean to me and how much I love them, because it's really all I know. I've been blessed to always know love so it's really all I can show.

That is what I have to settle in my spirit tonight, as I try once again to fall asleep and keep myself from going into their rooms and snuggling them up to me. I just have to know that my heart and our world will expand for this little girl. I just have to know that God gives us as mothers the ability to be all and do all... through Him.

And that yes our little Glory girl really is going to be here soon.

I am so thankful that God grants us peace right where we are, in whatever situation we need Him in. And that although I may not be able to understand or fathom it all now, his peace surpasses all of it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always

There is a book by that title that is one of our favorites. Every time I read it I have to keep myself from crying in front of the kids. The last time I read it, I was snuggled up with Asher in his bed and when I got to the part where the grown up little boy is holding his old mother as he rocks and sings there song to her, I couldn't hold back the tears.

It can be a hard book to read as a mother as you watch this little boy grow up. But no matter how big he gets, his mom always sneaks in his room after he is fast asleep, picks him up to hold in her arms and sings this song "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." In the end the little boy is grown up with a family of his own. After driving to his mom's house, picking her up and singing the song to her as she sleeps, he drives back home, walks into his new baby girl's room and does the same.

I thought about this book this morning as I peaked my head into Bella's room as she slept. She hasn't been feeling well and slept in pretty late this morning. Usually she wakes up before us all and plays with all of her baby dolls and reads her books until she is ready to come out. It's not often anymore that I get to watch her sleep. But this morning, I kept going in to check on her as she slept and slept. I wanted to wake her up so we could spend our morning together while Asher is at school. But I let her sleep, knowing that she needed it. I knew as I watched her little stomach move up and down and listened to her breathe in and out, just like I used to when she was a tiny baby, that there would be plenty of time to wake her up...to watch her grow before my eyes. So this morning, I sat and watched her, I let time stop for just a little bit. Knowing that one day, too soon from now, she will be grown.

This is why I'm choosing to savor time. It may sound silly, it may be a little cheesy even, but for me, as a mom, time is precious. It goes too fast and slips between our fingers even as much as we try to hold onto it as tight as possible.

As time moves forward and Bella becomes even more beautiful, Asher grows more and more into his daddy and we wait to meet this little girl, I choose to close my eyes in these kind of moments, thanking the Lord for the "right now" and holding onto it even if just in a memory. Because the "moments" and "memories" will keep coming. We can let them pass us up or we can live in them and be thankful for them. All of them...including the moments where you think you need a mental vacation to Mexico :)

My sleeping beauty- I am so thankful for you. For the sweet, beautiful girl you are growing into, for the way you wrap your arms around me and say "I love you shhoooo much", I love the way your daddy looks at you and I love to watch your brother take care of you. I love how bossy you are because I know it's for a reason. I love that you are mine. To love forever, to like for always...as long as I'm living my baby you'll always be.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Sleep

This whole time change is throwing me way off. I just looked at the clock thinking it was going to say midnight...it's only 10 . How long does it take to get used to it? Why don't I remember have any issues before? Am I getting old? Where am I? Who are all these people?

Maybe it just has to do with the whole 9 months pregnant thing...yes that's what I'll say it is. Because, as I stated before I can only use this for 3 more weeks, so there it is. I am exhausted and thought it was midnight because I am exhausted and 9 months pregnant. And I'm so exhausted that I'm starting to repeat myself.

Asher has a "list" that starts the day after Christmas. This list is somewhat imaginary because quite frankly it's so long he forgets half the stuff he put on it. It's just him walking down the aisle saying "put that on my list... and that... and that!" And me going "Ok, Asher it's on your list." Every commercial too, darn those toy commercials. And guess who he passed this cute little habit on to? Apparently Bella wants the entire cast of Dora on her "list." That's not even possible. Do you want to know how many times a day I hear "put that on my list!"...No, you don't. You'd try to steal my vacation to Mexico if you did.

So do you know what I would LOVE on my "list?" Besides my son's energy...one of those windows for my car like limos have so I could roll it up whenever I wanted. Which would basically be always. I'm sorry I love my kids..dearly, you know I do. But something about being in close confined quarters brings out the worst in us all. Thank God for seat belts and car seats and threats of a cop being behind us to keep them in line. And why oh why do my kids beg me to turn up the music and then try to ask me a question 10 seconds later? Anyone??

I don't know where that came from. Now I'm going off on a completely random tangent. I was talking about the time change, right?

I'm tired. Really tired. I've tried to get a nap over the last couple days but even with my door shut, pillow over my head, and daddy watching them (or football?) I can't get one. Every time I start to drift off a little screeching noise wakes me up. That screeching noise would be my sweet daughter vocalizing her annoyance with her big brother. It's only been happening recently. I'm blaming the cold medicine, bless her heart.

But really, why the time change? Can someone tell me who it benefits because I'm really curious. I'd google it like I do all the other answers to my undying questions but my eyes are burning and I need to sleep while the screecher is sleeping. And yes,I am aware that I didn't make my post last night, but I fell asleep. True story.

I have so much I am thankful for including my well intentioned, football watching husband, my energizer bunny and my screecher, but mostly right now I'm thankful for sleep.

Thank you for the sweet sleep that your word promises Lord...because I need it tonight.

Proverbs 3:24- "When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

36 weeks

For a couple of weeks my excuse for everything has been "because I'm nearly 9 months pregnant!" Now, I can say "because I am 9 months pregnant!" I can only use this whole pregnant thing for another 3 weeks so you better believe I am milking it. After that I am well aware that it will not be about me anymore, but instead the sweet little baby that I'll be holding (hogging).

I got dressed today and put on some knee length boots over my skinny jeans. I have to choose my outfits wisely these days and think about whether Brandon will be around to help get my boots off. Asher tried to help me the other day and it wasn't happening. Bless his heart, he sure did try. I work up a sweat putting those suckers on, let alone getting them off. So why do I wear them you ask? I don't have a good answer except that my mom always taught me there's a price for beauty and beauty is pain. I'll be sure to pass that priceless little nugget on to Bella so one day when she is 9 months pregnant she'll be as determined as her mama to still dress somewhat trendy even if it means cutting off your circulation. I'm kidding. About the circulation. Not the beauty is pain part because that's true. It's a fact we women have to learn and then decide whether we want to follow. I suppose I could wear running shoes with every outfit like I see some pregnant women doing. You know those type who look smart and motherly and all "I don't care about fashion, it's all about my baby and I'll look unfashionable for them if I have to." They are obviously the ones following the advice of the pregnancy books that tell you to wear circulation socks, loose clothing, comfortable shoes and that your husbands big collared shirts or (and I quote) "jumpers" are an excellent choice for those 3rd trimester clothing options. Right. I'm going to put on one of Brandon's button ups with some leggings (another suggestion) and everyone is going to tell me how cute I look? Well, maybe they would but they'd be lying and should ask for forgiveness. If you happen to be one of those women who did in fact wear jumpers, I'm sure you looked cute. I'm not lying. But I would like to see a picture because I am curious what a jumper even is.

If you read my post from last night, you should know my day was much better. Thank God because I might have really gone on a little "vacation to Mexico." I'd have this permanent glazed over look in my eyes as people walk by saying "Poor Laura, all she ever does is sit in that corner asking for a refill on her diet coke in spanish."

I'm kidding of course. I'm tough. We mothers know to expect the not so good days and thankfully God grants us the grace we need for the next one. And when you have a day like I did yesterday, you forget all about it when you're putting your little girl to bed and she starts singing "You are my sunshine" to you. How can you dwell on a previously bad day when God speaks to you through your children like that. You can't. He means it when he tells us His mercies are new every morning.

So today I am thankful for new, better, days and reminders of His love and mercy. And I am thankful to be 36 weeks pregnant, wearing my favorite boots. It may take a husband and two small children to get them off, but I'm still wearing them!

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Mama said there'd be days like this"

There are days as a mother where you just feel so on top of things. The kids got along, you manage to get 3 healthy meals served, laundry done, beds made, finger paint, play doh, puzzles, park time...a clean house, baths and bed with plenty of time to spend with your husband. You go to bed feeling like you got it all under control and should totally write a book on how to get it all done in a day. Yay you.

Then there are days like today where you literally just want to get back in bed and start all over. The day starts out so normal, so promising, so convincing of a potentially good day. And then...

Somewhere between Asher waking me up at the crack of dawn (Yes, 8:30 IS the crack of dawn... to me) and about 2 minutes after getting his sister up, the signs began to show. I am pretty sure they were both put in time out 10 minutes into our day. I'd broken up an argument, wiped noses... and butts, served breakfast, wiped counter tops, cleaned up crumbs, emptied the dishwasher, broke up another argument, sat a little hiney on her big girl potty for the 3rd time, picked up crumbs again...before realizing I hadn't even had my morning caffeine yet.

Rough Day.

That whole "cherish, savor, live" each day thing?? Yeah, today I was wishing for a fast forward button. I ain't even gonna lie.

On top of it all, I had a husband who stayed home because he wasn't feeling well and wanted to be taken care of (babied). To me, that means silence and sleep so I took the kids out on a couple of errands. Bad idea. You know those moms you look at it while they are disciplining their children in the middle of a store and you're like- "Really? Can you give him a little slack?" Not knowing at all what the situation is but still judging and thinking "poor kid"....Yes well, I was the mom getting those looks today.

I promise you, I couldn't even go to the bathroom without one of my leeches (and I say that in the most loving way possible) popping their little heads around the corner. Or walk upstairs without them yelling my name and wondering where I was--"Mom?, Mom?! Where are you?!"...Mexico Asher, I went to Mexico. On vacation. I'm laying in a lawn chair drinking a nice cold diet coke listening to the waves... No...no...wait, there it is again... "Mom???!"

After making my sweet husband some homemade chicken soup (only by the grace of God) getting the kids fed, bathed, and in their pj's...what do you think I did? That's right, I went to my therapy session (Target). Now before you recommend an intervention, I had good reason...cold medicine, baby shower present, mindless wondering...It's amazing what a good Target trip can do for the soul. I'm just saying, there's something about grabbing a drink and snack while wandering the isles, putting things in your cart that you know you really don't have the intention of buying and then putting it all back, that refreshes a mom. And it did.

And because I know God still loves me and I have such an amazing husband, I came home to two sleeping leeches. Thank you God.

So today, I am thankful for my Pottery Barn catalog and a hot bath, sleepy time tea, and the chance to start all over tomorrow. Thank you Lord that your mercies are new every morning. And please God, bring back my angels tomorrow morning. Whoever those other two were? Not mine!


Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Time for Everything

As I strive to cherish and savor each day, I realize even more how much we are pushed to look forward. The stores are already filled with Christmas decorations. Shopping malls have their wreaths and garland put up. Gift ideas, stocking stuffers, toy catalogs, Christmas music...No wonder we feel like time rushes by us during this time of year. It's so easy to start thinking we are already running out of time when we hear people completing their shopping lists and planning Christmas dinners. I want to look back and remember celebrating, cherishing, enjoying and appreciating every part of this season we are in. Each and every day. There's a stirring in my spirit to just be still, to sit and listen, not to rush through my days but to take the time to acknowledge the moments. I want to take each day as it comes, planning ahead but living today. Especially now, a time when we are so tempted to run full speed ahead. Instead, I think I'll walk a little slower, listen a little harder, breathe a little deeper and sit a little longer.

So today, this beautiful day in November, I'm thankful for cooler temperatures, back doors left open while the kids play outside, the smell and feel of dry air, hoodies and hats, cinnamon pumpkin candles, crunchy leaves, baking homemade cookies, little pink noses, hot tea, homemade potato soup and snuggley blankets.

And I'm thankful that we are given time...to stop, listen, give, love, pray, laugh and cherish.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Petunia Pickle Bottom

Say that 3 times fast. If you don't know who they are, you are probably thinking I just named some kind of condition of some sort. I'm not sure what kind of condition that would be but I would not want to have it.

Petunia Pickle Bottom is a line of diaper bags. I know what you are thinking... Oh. How. Exciting. And now you are moving your little cursor to the top left hand corner to hit that nice little "x". WELL, go ahead Mr. or Mrs. crabby pants but then you would be robbing me of sharing the reason I am thankful today, how I've been blessed and how I would like to BE a blessing in return.

Go ahead and get a beverage of your liking cause this one might take a while. I told you I over explain things.

My little love affair for Petunia Pickle Bottom started a couple months back when I started to look for a diaper bag to use for Mia. I've had a few diaper bags in my day but have never been too pleased with them. Either they were too heavy, hard to clean, or like my last one the supposed backpack straps were pretty much good for nothing and every time I bent over to do something while holding Bella everything in the bag would come pouring out. Annoying. And now I'm boring you. I can feel it. I'll speed this up. After reading and researching and realizing there was a whole world of obsessive Petunia Pickle Bottom women, I found one I love as well and now I know why so many moms love them. I chose one of their "Boxy Glazed Backpacks." According to all the reviews, it's fabulous enough to solve all the worlds problems. I'll have to get back with you on that one since I haven't even got to use it yet. It sleeps between Brandon and I and sits on our mantle during the day until we're ready to use it. I'm kidding, we don't have a mantle...wish we did. Always wanted one to hang our stockings at Christmas...But anyway, I've now become one of those who just loves the bags and knows the patterns and styles and is all "Oh I love your Petunia, is that a boxy glazed in Tea on the Thames?" I know, it's like another language right? I've never, never, never, been the type to get obsessive about bags or collecting them. And I'm still not. I rather decorate my house or buy something for Brandon or the kids instead. I know, I'm SO selfless and wonderful, aren't I? No, but it's honestly true.

So I very randomly entered a contest last month that they (PPB as we followers like to refer to them) were having for the month of October. I know what you're thinking, "What is with Laura and all these contests"...I'm not quite sure, I'm on a roll. Don't judge.

The contest was to submit a picture of a trip you'd gone on and why it was special spending it with your child or children. They worded it much more eloquent than I just did, but that was the gist of it. I entered this picture and this description


"This picture is one of my favorites and will always be very special to me. It was taken on our family vacation in August of '09. It is of my son, my daughter and niece. We almost didn't go on this trip because just a few days before, I had delivered my 23 week old baby girl who did not survive. We had this trip planned for some time and it was always intended to be a time of rest with our family. It was just what was needed after a very long and hard fight for our baby girl. Watching my kids play with each other and with family was just what my heart needed to heal. This picture simply captures the love and bond between family that is stronger than any tragedy or trial we may face in this world. The time we spent together that summer was more strengthening and loving than I could have imagined. I will always cherish this photograph. It signifies not a time of mourning and sadness, but a time of healing"

...And guess what, I WON!! I know, I know, you are so happy for me. You don't have to jump up and down. I won a "Wistful Weekender" that I will use as my overnight bag at the hospital and can also be used as a diaper bag on longer trips. I'm a little too excited. Brandon made me promise not to take a picture of my "collection" and post it on their facebook page. I'll refrain, I promise. Click Here see the bag that I won and will have to make room for in our bed next to the other one.

They contacted me today to let me know I won and I am so excited. Mainly I am BLESSED. So guess what that means, I would like to BE a blessing. Why? Because WE are BLESSED, to BE a BLESSING! So, that being said, I recently transitioned Bella from her crib and nursery to a big girl room. I have a whole set of Pottery Barn crib bedding that is currently sitting in a closet, being unused. I still LOVE it so much. I can remember scouring the internet and stores to pick just the right bedding for my sweet new girl. I took very special care of it. Well, I did the best I could on my end, what Bella did while I wasn't around I can't be blamed for ;) Point is, I thought about trying to sell it and I did try to sell it actually. I had a couple of people interested in it but I just didn't feel right. Then the Lord said to me- give it to someone who needs it and will love it as much as you. I wasn't quite sure how I would do that or find that person, until today. Granted it's not brand new, but it's special to me. I know, how can crib bedding be so special, but it is. It was my precious baby girl's baby bedding, where she laid each night, in the room I rocked her in. It's just special. I don't expect you to love it in the same way I do, I simply want to meet the need of someone else and bless them

It's still in great condition. Includes the bumper, crib skirt, quilt, and toile sheet. It is from the Pottery Barn "Isabelle" line that they no longer carry.



This is by no means a "contest." But if you know someone or are someone who would like to have this, someone who needs it and maybe can't afford to buy a whole new set for themselves, or you just love it and can give it a good home, I would like to hear from you! Please email me and let me know why you think this person would like it, or why you yourself would like it. I do not have to know you- anyone is free to contact me.

I'm excited to be able to give this away. Not for any other reason except that it is significant to me. And I am all about sentiment, heart and significance. It may not be a brand new Petunia Pickle Bottom bag, but in my eyes it has even more value because of everything it meant to me.

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

So today I am thankful because I have been BLESSED to be a BLESSING.

Please contact me as soon as possible with your "submissions."
caddellhouse@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reasons to Celebrate

Tonight we celebrated the birthdays of two women who mean so very much to so many. My mother in law and our Nana. Two special people who have shown me strength, love, and grace in every season of life.

I am so thankful for family and the reasons we celebrate. For new beginnings, new life, years past and years to come. Laughter, inside jokes, friendships, support, grace, mercy, strength, conversation when needed, silence when necessary, love always.

Family are those who will always be there with you, in every season, through sorrow and in joy. I am so thankful for the people in my life who I am honored to call my family. And I am thankful for the reasons to celebrate with them.

Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law, Melissa (Mimi) and Nana. Two perfect reasons to celebrate...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thankful

Every year, time seems to pass even faster than the year before. I've felt the need to cherish this time, try to hold on to it and just savor it. At the end of this month we will be holding our little piece of heaven on earth. I'm stuck somewhere between wanting to hold her, meet her, kiss her...and wanting to just be still in these moments I am in because I know they will never be the same. Any mom who has ever had more than one child can probably relate to what I am feeling. It's a feeling that your life and heart couldn't possibly be made any larger with even more love...but it can. It's an amazing thing that happens the first time you lay eyes on your new baby.

Not only am I counting the days till we meet Mia, but this time of year is my absolute favorite. I love everything that comes with it, all of the memories of the year before and new ones to make.

So in an effort to savor and cherish each day, I am going to post one thing that I am thankful for that day. It could be related to the kids, to my husband, finding a glazed croissant in the bakery....whatever it is, I'll write about it here for the next 30 days. I'm hoping this will make me slow down a little, to acknowledge and notice the little blessings around me everyday (because there are so many!)...and to just be thankful for how good God is...every day in every moment, in every new phase, new life, new memory, new accomplishment and just in the little things that make us happy- He's in all of them.

Today, I am thankful for a new phase to be shared with my Bella girl. Daddy took Asher to play golf for the day, so me and Bella had the whole day to ourselves. I decided it was a good day to focus on her potty training. I started by showing her that there are no more diapers left (there really aren't- daddy is going to buy overnight pull ups instead) and then we went up to Mia's room and I showed her Mia's little newborn diapers and that she is going to be a big sister and can't help me change Mia's diapers if she is still in them herself. Then I sat her on her potty with a yogurt stick and within 30 minutes, she went! We've just been hanging out in the living room today with her shows on, reading books, playing with play-doh and she's already gone 2 more times!

So, yes although there are many things to be thankful for today, I am most thankful for pee-pee in the potty, a little girl in Hello Kitty underwear and the time I get to spend with her.

Psalm 30:11-12
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!