Friday, November 22, 2013

Five On Friday

It's time to link up with Darci again for Five on Friday! With no further ado, here are my five on Friday photos!

{one}
I have really had the craving for some BBQ chicken on the grill, so Monday night, I made some. Daddy J had to work until about 7, so I took the liberty of preparing the chicken and getting it on the grill. It cooked wonderfully and I made sure not to burn it too bad. 

{two}
See that nasty blister on my thumb? Yeah... well, in addition to the absolutely delicious chicken wings and drummettes I made, I gained this little buddy on my thumb. Bummer. I was pulling the chicken off the grill and one of the wings with the BBQ sauce on it hit my thumb and the hot sauce coated my nuckle and sizzled it a little bit. Wow! That was a killer burn! The blister finally popped on Wednesday and it's looking much better now. I think I am on the mend.

{three}
 Who's washin' dishes? Yep, J-Man loves to help wash dishes these days. This was Tuesday after our taco dinner. We do have a dish washer, but my good pots and pans get hand washed and he loves to grab his stool and help scrub a dub dub.

{four}
Who's getting a daughter and a little sister?!?! This family!! We are ecstatic and couldn't feel more blessed. I have had an inkling the whole time that this one was a girl, but I surely didn't want to get my hopes up and when the ultrasound technician told us she was 95% sure it was a little girl and she saw nothing to resemble a little boy, I had a couple of little tears in my eyes (of joy of course). J-Man is still wanting a little boy, but we are working on him. I know he will grow to love this little girl as much as he would if she were a boy. We are definitely excited about getting ready for her arrival in April. Oh, and to start it off, I will be attending our VERY FIRST mother/daughter event this weekend with her, along with my mom.

{five}

via
Who says its too early to watch Christmas movies? Well, J-Man has officially started watching today. To start, he watched The Polar Express. I have now learned that he is NO fun to watch a movie with (that he has already seen) - he talks all. the. way. through. It's a bit frustrating. He has to tell me exactly what is happening at the point it is happening. Does that ever end? We'll see...



via

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today Is The Day!

Our Little One,

Today we will take a look into your temporary home. We will see your heart and your hands. We will make sure your skull is fully covering your brain. We will see those little legs and feet that continue to kick me throughout the day and remind me that you are okay.

J-Man is going to go with us and he is very excited. I am really not sure that he totally understands but I have tried my best to explain what is going to happen today.  It will be easier to answer his questions once he experiences the ultrasound, so there will probably be a lot of chatter on the way home.

Not only will we be able to ensure you are growing like you should, we would love to be able to see if you are a boy or a girl. I mentioned this in my letter the other day, so again, don’t be shy. Allow us to peek. Please. This is one of the most exciting things for us today. We are crossing fingers for a little girl, but a little boy would be just as great! You are already a treasured gem in our lives and knowing if you are a boy or girl will not change that.

We continue to wait for the big day we are all able to meet. There are many things we still have to do to prepare for your birth day. Daddy really wants to add some fresh paint to your room and furniture and of course we want to decorate. There are more diapers and wipes and clothes to buy as well as bedding and blankets and bottles. We will take lots of pictures as the days go by. I want you to be able to see one day all the preparing we are doing – just for you.

We are all filled with loads of love, joy and excitement for your special arrival. We can’t wait to hug you, kiss your nose, and “rock-rock” with you. Keep on growing and we’ll see you in just a few short months!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Life

Life has a way of making my head spin so fast that I can’t even see straight. Amidst the everyday activities, I often find myself stretched way too thin.

** get up ** ready myself for work ** wake J-Man up and get him ready for daycare ** let the dog out ** prepare my breakfast and lunch ** take something out for dinner ** grab something for J-Man’s ** breakfast **fly out the door to stay on schedule ** drop J-Man off ** work all day ** pick J-Man up and pray that the evening goes smoothly ** get home ** take the dog out ** prepare dinner ** eat ** clean dishes ** bathe J-Man ** watch some cartoons with J-Man (which usually involves me falling asleep these days) ** put J-Man to bed ** feed the dog and let him out one more time ** think about washing a load of clothes and deciding I just want to sleep **go to bed only to awake to the monotonous do-over again the next day **

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. These are just the highlights. I also add in stuff at church (which always makes me busy this time of year), quiet times, hubby time, laundry and house chores, preparing each week for a Sunday school lesson, and the list goes on and on... There are times when I just want to run into a hole and stay for a while. 

And then… there are the moments when my precious four almost five year old looks at me and asks so sweetly, “Mommy, can we rock-rock?” As I sat this morning in my rocking recliner with his precious head on my chest and his legs folded around mine, I took in every second to my heart. THIS is what life is about. Forget about all the monotonous other things going on... The precious moments spent with my family are priceless and can never be relived.


"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has mad everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil - this is God's gift to man." Ecclesiastes 3:1, 9-13

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Little Note

To Our Baby,
We've reached the half-way point in this pregnancy. It is all still a little surreal. I am not sure why, but it has been harder for me to accept that I am really pregnant again. I have worried, before every doctor's appointment, that something was going to be wrong. However, each and every time that was proven not to be the case. I am so thankful for this little life God has granted to me and your Daddy. We are very excited and can't wait until your arrival. A friend of ours continues to tell your daddy that he has "baby fever" and we do!

Your big brothers are excited too. No, Bocephus doesn't really understand yet, but J-Man talks about you often. He says he isn't going to share his toys with you, but I think he might change his mind once you are here. J-Man already loves giving you kisses on my belly and he prays for you often. He wants to make sure that God is watching over your growing process. 

We are going to get a glimpse of you in your home (for now) this week. Do you think you will let us know if you are a boy or girl? Please don't be shy and cover yourself up! J-Man really wants a brother, but if you are a sister, I am sure he will love you the same. He is going to go with us for the first glimpse and your Daddy and I are very excited to have him experience that with us.

Please know that you are already so dearly loved and we all can't wait to meet you. Enjoy your time of growing and developing... It won't be long now before the big day will arrive! 

With all my love forever,
Mommy

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Advice

I was supposed to post this last week to link-up with Kelly at Kelly's Corner, but I never got around to getting it uploaded. Since the posting has good insight, I will go ahead and post and just ditch the link-up feature.

The link-up for last week was to offer advice to new mothers. Since I am getting ready to enter the realm of “New Mom” again in the spring of next year, I thought I would reflect on my own experiences as a new mom with J-Man to not only remind myself when the new baby arrives, but to also offer some thoughts for my readers.
via HLAY Photography aka Suzanne Rollman Photography
1)  Nursing is t.o.u.g.h.! My point here is not to sway you to formula feeding or nursing your baby. The path you take is 100% your choice. However, I made the decision to try and nurse J-Man. They really should have more classes on this to help you learn all the tricks of the trade. I, thankfully, had wonderful lactation nurses in the hospital and a family friend who helped me with nursing J-Man - but not everyone is this lucky.

Nursing is a learning process for both you and your baby. I, unfortunately, had a little one that was not very receptive to nursing. He just wanted to either pacify me or sleep. The fact that I didn’t really produce a lot of milk may have been part of the reason as well but I finally realized it just wasn’t going to work when he lost nearly 2 pounds the first 2 weeks of his life. Even though I desperately tried, I had to make myself understand that I was not a horrible mom for having to switch to formula.

2)  Relax. Not only is nursing tough but a lot of aspects of learning your baby, your baby learning you and being a mom are tough too. You will find yourself in high levels of stress probably often. Another thing to add here is that your baby knows when you are stressed. It can make your situation worse if you don’t get yourself together - I say this from experience. Breathe in. Breathe out. Step away. Take a moment to gather yourself together. These little people obviously don’t come with instruction manuals. (My, don’t we wish they did sometimes!) Trying to stay calm and relaxed will help you and your baby in that moment and in the long run.

3)  Ask for help. Whether it be a family member, a close friend, or even a close church member – when you need help, ask for it. Someone will always be there to lend a hand. Especially if you just need 30 minutes of shut eye. That can make the world of difference, I promise.

One last thing… I know it sounds cliché, but don’t blink. This time will fly by and before you know it, the baby you are rocking to sleep in your arms (who isn’t much longer than your arm) will be on their way to kindergarten.


Diana Bradley Photography

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday

{one}

Optimus Prime, Heat Wave, and Boulder were having a meeting of the minds this morning on my kitchen table.

{two}
While working at home on Fridays , I truly enjoy the company of my "co-workers" and their shenanigans! Usually, J-Man is in his own dress up attire, involving cowboy boots, a life jacket and a plastic fireman's helmet... but not today.

{three}
I really wish the hubby wasn't working tonight so we could enjoy the likes of this setup. Oh, and invite some friends over and cook something on the grill too. :)

{four}

Instead of enjoying my evening with my hubby and friends (while J-Man is at Nana and Papa's, helping put up their Christmas tree), I will be working on laundry... Yes, you can start feeling sorry for me now... 1. 2. 3. Go!

{five}

I hope my Food Saver machine works and kept this chili fresh over the year it has been in my freezer. I have been craving chili for a few weeks now and it would be a wonderful addition to my evening alone.

Have a wonderful weekend, ya'll!




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Leave It To The OJ

Back in October, I mentioned that I felt our little one kicking around. They were swift kicks but they were very high in my diaphragm. Yes, this was very high, since the baby was still quite small, but I honestly thought that the baby was moving around in its home but it triggered feelings much higher in my torso. Later that week, I had another doctor’s appointment. After he checked the heart beat (waaaaaaay down in my lower belly), I told him the feelings I was having. I told him that I was surprised to feel them so high. His response?
“Oh, that would be your intestines. The baby is pushing all of your organs up, so you were feeling your intestines working.”
Lovely. So it really was gas. Bummer.

I have been waiting patiently since then to feel the real “flutters”. Please understand that in my mind, I need to feel them for confirmation. I know that I should not live in worry, but I am often scared that something horrible is going to happen. (I do this to myself WAY too often.) I am a plus size girl so I have a feeling it may take me a little longer to feel those special kicks but I am really ready to feel them.

This morning, I stopped to grab a biscuit and instead of a caffeinated drink, I opted for some lovely orange juice. Might I add that this was the first biscuit I have had in almost 2 weeks? All of our money is being drained in doctor bills – but J-Man was brilliant in swaying Daddy J in allowing us to stop for one.

Back to the orange juice… I guess this baby is in love with orange juice – just as J-Man was when he was in utero. Just about an hour after having my orange juice, the baby did a back flip. I haven’t felt it since, but I needed that this morning. I needed the re-assurance that everything was still okay.

Today I am thankful for life. Every. single. breath.  As I took an extra few moments with J-Man this morning to have a tickle fest with bunches of giggles, I was reminded of the most precious things of this life. And after feeling our baby today, I was reminded of the miracle of life and the Life Giver.

Take just a moment today to soak it all in. Whether it is a moment with a child or a breath of fresh fall air, enjoy your life. Enjoy a moment you have to live and breathe.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hello November

It is my genuine opinion that you must own a dog before you can understand the love that is shared with a dog.
It was a sunny May afternoon when we took a drive way across town to go look at a litter of puppies. It was my brother’s idea – he wanted to buy one for us for my birthday. Daddy-J and I had been married for just 6 months and we both had settled on the idea of getting a dog. We talked about different breeds but a Boxer was what we wanted. We searched online, in the months prior, to find that special one. Daddy-J was partial to the brindle color. I liked those but honestly, the color didn’t matter to me. While we were scoping out our options, we found that the brindled Boxer was just a little (to the tune of $600) outside of our price range.

I still don’t understand why a dog with different colors is more expensive – but apparently they are few and far between.

There was a Boxer breeder close to us and my brother continued to keep in touch with him to find out when the next litter would be ready. Our puppy was born on March 27 and would be ready for purchase in May. Daddy-J and I both knew that we wanted a boy. As we took the drive in my brother’s truck, my excitement grew more. We arrived and after telling the man that I wanted a boy, he brought out the runt of the litter – the last boy to be chosen. The man placed the puppy on the ground a good distance from us and who we know now to be Bocephus, ran over to us, smelled our fingers and wanted to play. I immediately told my brother that I wanted him. I brought some towels with us to wrap him up in for the ride home and I held him close. We exchanged lots of Eskimo kisses and sweet puppy kisses.

Through our research, we found putting a ticking clock in a puppy’s bed or crate helps settle them through the transition period. The rhythmic pattern of the ticking mimics their mother’s heartbeat. This worked wonders for Bocephus and he only whined a bit in the first couple of nights.

Since we lived just down the path from Daddy-J’s parents, and his mother didn’t work, training Bocephus to potty outside wasn’t tough on us. He would stay on her screened in back porch during the day while we were at work and she would take him out to potty at least every 30 minutes to an hour. At least until he got in the habit of knowing where to go. Night time was a little harder as we had to get up from sleep at the first whimper to let him out. Of course he had a couple of accidents, but overall he was very easy to train.

Through the years, we have watched our “baby” grow into a wonderful dog. Yes, he was a normal puppy and chewed lots of things and he did get into a fight with a couple of older dogs across the path that led to surgery and three rows of stitches in his right hind leg but he has been the best dog we could have asked for.

He loves ice, dum-dum suckers, and enjoys going for walks and rides. He will not eat lettuce and is scared to death of walking across any type of chord on the floor. He also has a fear of things falling on him and hates a thunderstorm but he absolutely adores his family and loves to greet everyone with kisses when you come into our home.

He has been with us through the beginnings of our marriage, enjoyed family times at the lake, moved with us into two new houses, and learned to love his little brother J-Man – the moment we brought him home in January of 2009. He has celebrated and lived through all the in betweens with us as well.

One can really understand unconditional love once they own and love a pet like we have Bocephus. He is always happy to see us and genuinely wants to be with us. He licks our tears when we are sad and plays harder when we laugh.

I am so thankful to have this special dog in our lives.


*************************************************

This is the start of a month full of thanks. Take time this month to reflect on all of your blessings and everything that has been given to you in your life. I am sure you will be blessed by your reflections. Challenge yourself to find new ways of exploring the good in everything you go through, even the bad stuff. Happy November!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bear With Me...

I won’t be receiving the Expectant Mother of the Year award. Is there one of those?

I feel absolutely horrible that my little one has not received half the attention that J-Man did by the time I was 16 weeks along. I tell myself everyday –take a picture of your belly… type something up to post… you will regret it if you don’t…

JENNIFER! TAKE A PICTURE!

As you can see, I am not listening to myself. I would like to tell all of you that I will make an extraordinary effort to do better and allow you all to be my accountability partners in this but I don’t want to fail. So, I will just take it one day at a time. Hopefully getting this first-post-in-a-while out will help me get back into the swing of things.

There have been quite a few things going on since I last posted. Here’s a little list to highlight them…

September 7-14 th we spent a week with my family (mom, brother, sister-in-law, and hubby and little one) down in Myrtle Beach. We had a lovely time and I thoroughly enjoyed spending beach time with my men. J-Man turned into a huge-mongus water bug and loved the ocean and the pool. My little baby is definitely growing up on me.

September 22 nd , Daddy J stepped into a new ministry in our church and was ordained as a deacon. He was nominated to be on the ballot not actually voted upon in the initial vote. However, a deacon who held a seat stepped down so Daddy J was the next in line and he accepted the offer. I am so proud of him.

September 25 th , Daddy J and I celebrated nine wonderful years of marriage. I never thought I could love that man any more than I did on the day we wed, but I certainly do. He is my life partner, my soul mate, the half that makes me whole, and my rock. He has developed into a wonderful husband and father and loves his family with everything in him.

At twelve weeks and six days (9/26), I had another doctor’s appointment. It was a lengthy one, all of the first pregnancy appointment things that have to be taken care of… lab work, another “yearly”, a talk with the insurance lady for her to tell me how much my insurance wasn’t going to pay… and for it to get worse in 2014 since the my insurance for next year will be different. (I really just have to count my blessings in this area, because it could be worse –with no insurance at all.)

Some good news out of that appointment? Anatomy ultrasound appointment set!! November 21 st ! Woohoo!

Some more good news? I heard the little one’s heart beat. I never knew how tough it would be to get to that appointment after losing a baby. For a couple of weeks before the appointment day, I had thoughts that I wouldn’t hear a heartbeat. Really kind of put me in a down mood. However, in that moment when my doctor finally found that wonderful sound, I cried. I was elated that everything was okay at this point. It definitely gave me the assurance that this little one was okay, at that moment.

On October 13-16 th our church held our fall revival services. We have an evangelist that is a member of a church and he came back to do the revival. It was a wonderful week of fellowship as well as studying true repentance in the life of a sinner (lost and saved).

At sixteen weeks and two days (10/20), I felt the flutters. The flutters are way up in my diaphragm and I know that the baby isn’t that high, but I am sure feeling it there. At first I thought it was gas, but when I could feel it on my hand, I knew it was something more. I have been feeling them all morning today as well so I know now it wasn’t just a fluke. By the way, I first felt J-Man at sixteen weeks and three days. Too cool.

I think that about wraps everything up. I do have another appointment Thursday for a monthly check-up. Praying for another good report!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Little Update

I had a wonderful doctor's appointment yesterday. I was able to see our baby and watch the heart flickering on the screen. The heart rate was 174 and it appears that the baby is around 7 weeks and 5 days (today) which is a little behind what they originally thought. So, they updated the due date to April 4th. There was a cyst I was worried about but the doctor says all is well with that. The type of cyst that is is actually supports the pregnancy and almost always never causes any issues. Yay for a great appointment! I go back at 12 weeks for all the lovely blood work and insurance stuff. The doctor will take a listen to the heartbeat then as well. Moving right along!

After work, Daddy J went home to cut the grass and J-Man and I took some time to play. We started playing cars but after he wrecked with my car and slammed my fingers between two cars, I had enough! So, out came the sidewalk chalk and hopscotch it was.

I love spending time with this little man! We had a great evening. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week Eight

Today makes eight weeks. Babycenter.com says:
New this week: Webbed fingers and toes are poking out from your baby's hands and feet, his eyelids practically cover his eyes, breathing tubes extend from his throat to the branches of his developing lungs, and his "tail" is just about gone. In his brain, nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. You may be daydreaming about your baby as one sex or the other, but the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl. Either way, your baby — about the size of a kidney bean — is constantly moving and shifting, though you still can't feel it.
**************
I have another ultrasound appointment tomorrow. They are going to check the cyst out that they found on my ovary and also try to measure Baby's heartbeat. Baby was way too small to measure last time. I really hope that everything is okay with the cyst and that it is not getting bigger. However, I am more excited to see our little one. Growing. With it's special little heart flicker.

I plan to start my pregnancy progression photos today. Crossing my fingers that I remember. I did look back to find that I started with J-Man's at 7 weeks, so I have to get on the ball!

Woohooo, another week down!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week Seven

With the baby on the way, I have already started deciding that I have to make sure that what I did/do for J-Man, I have to do with this one as well. Now, remembering what I did for J-Man is going to be the problem. Thinking about my normal forgetfulness on top of mommy-nesia, on top of a pregnant brain, I am just doomed in trying to remember everything I did when I was pregnant with J-Man. Let alone that it was five years ago. However, I do remember providing weekly updates on my blog from babycenter.com. I love to see what is happening each week. I also am amazed at what is going on inside my body - especially so early! So, without further ado...

Week Seven

The big news this week: Hands and feet are emerging from developing arms and legs — although they look more like paddles at this point than the tiny, pudgy extremities you're daydreaming about holding and tickling. Technically, your baby is still considered an embryo and has something of a small tail, which is an extension of her tailbone. The tail will disappear within a few weeks, but that's the only thing getting smaller. Your baby has doubled in size since last week and now measures half an inch long, about the size of a blueberry.

If you could see inside your womb, you'd spot eyelid folds partially covering her peepers, which already have some color, as well as the tip of her nose and tiny veins beneath parchment-thin skin. Both hemispheres of your baby's brain are growing, and her liver is churning out red blood cells until her bone marrow forms and takes over this role. She also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. A loop in your baby's growing intestines is bulging into her umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from her tiny body.

*disclaimer: the gender noted is directly from the article. we are not assuming the gender of our baby and will be excited with a boy or girl.

Reflections

We are nearing the end of summer. While we don't have the hustle and bustle of preparing for Kindergarten this year, things seem to still be changing. Maybe I am only feeling this way because it was only 64 degrees this morning when we left the house. Oh, how I am longing for autumn. My favorite season of the year. Such beauty on this earth with just the mere sight of color in our once green leaves. I know this cooler weather is only for a moment because surely next week, summer temperatures will be back. However, it does allow me to sit back and reflect. We need that sometimes.

Not only will leaves be changing, but I will be changing as well. A new life is growing inside of me and I am learning every day that every pregnancy is truly different. I wasn't sick with J-Man and I haven't really been sick with this baby, but the nausea is definitely more prevalent. I feel it mostly in the morning and it eases off when I have breakfast but doesn't completely go away until lunch time. It isn't enough to make me sick, but often times it is just plain bothersome. I don't like the uneasy feelings it offers. Crossing my fingers that it moves along, quickly.

I have to say, my thought processes are much different this time. Having a pregnancy after the loss of one does keep me on edge. I have been very excited to share our news, but a lingering thought continues to rise in the back of my brain - will we make it this time? I am holding tight to the thought that we will have a new little one at the begining of next year. However, there are times when it is a struggle to get passed my emotions. Hormones? Still part of the grief process? Probably a little bit of both.

It has been joyous living this process with a four year old. Just this week, it has seem to sink in for him. He outed the news to the day care workers yesterday and made sure to tell them I was seven weeks. He saw our first ultrasound picture on the table the other day. He brought it to me, upside down, and asked if it was a picture of a tornado. Honestly, it does look like one, but I turned it right side up and explained to him what he was seeing. He smiled and rubbed my belly. Last night before bed, he kissed the baby good night and told it to have sweet dreams. In those "hallmark" moments, you have to just sit back and smile. Then, huge belly laughs come when he explains to someone that he will not be changing the baby's diapers because they stink (while waving his hand in front of his face and scrunching his face the best he can).

This process is new to us (obviously) - having two children. However, I am ready to go for the ride. I am ready to watch my five year old learn in wonder and amazement. I am ready to watch them grow together and be each others best friends. With the good, the bad, and the ugly, I am ready to take this next chapter in stride. Savor each and every moment.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Another Round, Please?!

Yes, I’d love another round of a pillow, freezing cold sheets, a blanket, and a fan.
Ha! You thought I was going to say another round of the cold stuff. Nope, fooled ya!
The sheer excitement of being pregnant is wearing a little thin. Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to have the opportunity to be “mom” again, but the symptoms are sinking in. Nausea? Nope. Constant urination? Not really. Constipation? Not yet. So, “What then?” you ask? Sleepiness. Constant need of some shut eye. To the point of not really wanting to do anything. at. all. Other than sleep.
I daydream about laying in my bed falling asleep.
This desire is really kind of terrible, especially while trying to work. I did get up and walk around the office yesterday to get the juices flowing again. Today, it is too close to quittin’ time. I am going to go for the long haul, if I can. It is so quiet here today. You would think it was a holiday.
I guess I will remain positive knowing that all this work growing ears, eyes, and a nose will definitely make one tired... I mean God rested too! At least I am able to get out of the bed AND brush my teeth without hurling over the toilet every day. Crossing fingers it will stay that way!

Fire In Your Heart

We were riding to daycare this morning and the song "Words" by Hawk Nelson was playing on the radio. I love the chorus to the song, but as we were listening to it J-Man asked me "Is he the devil?"

I paused just for a minute because I was trying to figure out why he asked that, and to fill the void of silence, I asked him to repeat his question. He did. I immdediately told him no. I was going to go into telling him that the devil was in a place called hell, but I started to think that may be a little too deep of a conversation this morning. I am glad I didn't because his next question was "Then why did he say 'fire in your heart'?"
Sidenote: Huh? Why didn't I hear that? Did he really say those words in the song? I had never heard them before. Of course, I got to work this morning and confirmed through a Google search that, yes, in fact Hawk Nelson does say 'fire in your heart' in the verse of the song.
Well, I wasn't really sure what the context was of the phrase he heard because I didn't hear the words when he sang them. However, I told J-Man that he sang it because we should have fire in our hearts for Jesus. We should love Him so much that we are filled with excitement to tell others about Jesus and the love that He has for them. Fire in your heart is just another way of saying it.

"Oh."

After reading the words of the song this morning, I know that isn't really the context that words were in, but I think my explination was good for the question at hand.

****************************************
"Words" ~ Hawk Nelson
They've made me feel like a prisoner
They've made me feel set free
They've made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They've lifted my heart
To places I'd never been
And they've dragged me down
Back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
(Speak over the fear)
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear
(We need to hear)

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts
Or put it out

I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Little Pinterest Idea, Basketball and a Surprise...

There are days that I love looking at Pinterest and there are days that I think it is the devil. However, I had some extra canvases laying around (bought them on sale a few weeks back) and needed to paint on them. I let J-Man have one as I worked on one for myself. Needless to say... his didn't get finished so maybe we will work on that again this weekend.

Here was my inspiration... A Pinterest find...
I really think this verse has become our household verse (in its entirety, that is). So when I found this, I definitely wanted to paint something like this for our bedroom.

My project:


I thought it turned out pretty good. The sun is definitely not life like, but everything else looks pretty good to me. Daddy J told me his isn't really "diggin'" my hand painted art projects around the house. Oh, well!

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This week, J-Man is going to Upward Basketball Camp at our church. I was hesitant in signing him up because all to often he just sits on the sidelines and doesn't want to get involved in any activity like that. I just hate to "waste" the money. However, last night, he had a blast. I wasn't there the whole time so another mom took some pictures for me. I will remember to take my camera with me one day this week to hopefully get more pictures of my superstar. I was able to watch him at the very end make some really good baskets. I hope this week helps him get adjusted to playing some sports and conquer some of his fears. Here are a few of the pictures that were taken last night:

Look at that form!


Ringing the basket! Way to go!

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and... SURPRISE!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

All The Hype

Are you excited about the new royal baby arriving? I am happy for the Prince and the Duchess. I remember the day that we brought J-Man home; it was such a happy day. A day filled with sheer joy and excitement.

I saw a report on television Monday night about the events of the birth of this little boy. One thing that really caught my attention was that reporters, people from other media outlets, as well as bystanders were camped out beside the hospital for TWO weeks. They were waiting for the third male heir to the throne to be born; waiting for the “Royal Child” to arrive. Honestly, I have to say that I am glad I didn’t have people waiting on us to exit the hospital with our first born son… not that we are of any royalty or anything.

I spoke to my mom on the phone yesterday after the news reports had pictures of the baby plastered everywhere. She told me that she took some time to show the pictures off to some of the people in her office. (Mom, please don’t think that I am attacking you – it was just a good example for this post.)

This is an exciting time, I know. I heard a female radio personality this morning talk about how she has watched Prince William grow up from the time he was born. It has been fun/neat/interesting to continue to watch his life and how he is now becoming a father. It is like reading a good novel. You get so hooked in on the characters that you feel like you know them personally.

Are we that excited to share pictures, scriptures, testimonies of our Royal Child – Our Savior and Lord – the one true Royal Baby?

Scripture foretold of the Messiah’s coming, but no one really knew when it would happen (let alone have hundreds of bystanders outside the stable waiting for 2 weeks). An angel went to tell the shepherds and the wise men followed a star. They were very excited to hear of Jesus’ birth. Are we?

Do we only celebrate at Christmas or are we readily that excited to share Jesus’ birth story with others - daily? I ask these same questions of myself… Something to really think about.

I guess the events of this week and these thoughts will come in handy this Sunday as I present a Sunday School lesson to my class entitled “God Promised A Messiah”. Jesus has done so much more for us than the “Royal Baby” of England will ever conceive of doing. More than any other human being on this earth ever has or ever will do. King Jesus was brought into this world to pay the ultimate price for all of our sins. He provided a way for us to be with the Heavenly Father throughout eternity – if we will only accept His gift of salvation. He was born from a virgin and walked the earth just as we are doing. He wanted to make sure He understood how life was on earth. He felt pain, He enjoyed laughter, He experienced every range of emotion, but most of all He loved each and every one of us. He loved us enough to experience punishment for no wrong. He carried our own burden of sin and was “pierced for our transgressions”. (Isaiah 53:5)

I just have to sit back and reflect on how great and awesome He is. We all, as Christians, should. For those who have never met this precious Royal Baby named Jesus, please don’t wait to find out about Him!

By the way, in case you were wondering, Prince William and the Duchess have named their little boy George.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Man in My Life

“Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 3:8-13 ESV
I don’t think I could be more proud of the man my husband has become. Not only has he been and continues to be a wonderful husband, he has proven to be an awesome Daddy. He strives to do what is best for our family and makes every effort to ensure we are all happy. He loves his job and goes above and beyond as he feels necessary at work. I am thankful he has learned to balance his work like and home life, for the most part (everyone can have a one-off day, right?). Most importantly, he keeps his eyes on God. He prays for his family and keeps his heart, mind, and soul in tune to what God wants for his life as well as our lives.

All of that being said; he received a call yesterday afternoon from the Chairman of Deacons at our church. He actually didn’t answer the call because his phone was on silent and didn’t hear it, but he was called, by the deacon, to let him know that the church voted to add him to the Deacon Nomination Ballot for final voting later this year. While I am very excited for him, I only want him to make the decision that he feels God is leading him to do. He is just not sure yet. This is definitely not a decision that he wants to take lightly. I pray that he understands that I will support him in either decision he makes. If he does decide to be added to the ballot and he is voted upon to become a deacon, I know he will handle the job well.

I am excited for him and this opportunity. I am so proud to call him mine and thank the Lord everyday for giving him to me. I will continue to pray that the Lord will provide a clear leading in the decision that he has to make. I am sure that he would covet your prayers as well.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bloglovin'!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm Here

Picture I found after "googling" the word quiet.
Jennifer said it perfectly a few days ago... "Not blogging for a while is sort of like not calling a beloved friend for too long...the longer you wait, the longer you have to talk/write about, and so you put it off for the "right" time...and then more time passes...and so on and so forth. Quite the cycle."

I realized today, after reviewing my blog feed, that I haven't read blogs in a WEEK. Let alone, not actually blogging in more time than that. I am so behind. I am missing out on the precious words, intriguing thoughts, and beautiful pictures from my blogger friends and you, my readers, are missing out from my blog as well.

I am sorry.

I would love to tell you that I have been so busy doing fun stuff that I just haven't had time but to be honest, life has just happened. That is all. Life. Day in and day out, the same routines. Shower, work, home, dinner, baths, (now adding exercise into the mix) and bed. I often feel like I just don't have make time for anything else.

I did make a trip down to Atlanta with my mom, J-Man and a friend from work over the fourth of July holiday. It rained. All weekend. We all had a good time though. It was nice to see my family again and J-Man had a wonderful time playing with his cousins.

I am sorry if this picture appears
very dark, it was much brighter on
 my phone.
The fourth of July did bring a little excitement for our family. We finally reached the completion point of this masterpiece. It has been a long time in the works (well, maybe really only 4 months, begining with calling contractors to set up quotes) and they were finally able to finish it, on the holiday, between spats of rain. There were some stumbles in the road including rain, incorrect figuring for materials, rain, and did I mention rain? But we got past the issues and were on our way to the finished product. We are so excited to enjoy family time around the fireplace make some s'mores! Now, if the rain will just let up some so that our patio furniture will dry out, our sitting area will be just perfect!  

PS - Are ya'll getting tons of rain too?! I am so thankful for the watering of the Earth, but sometimes, enough is enough. There is a 70% chance of rain today and I don't think it appears to be getting any better for the next week. I am so ready for some dry heat (for just a little while).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Because I Just Can't Think of Anything Else...

Here are just some random thoughts about ME:

Name
Jennifer

Age
31

Favorite Color
purple

Favorite Food
french fries (and I am proud to say that I have not had ONE in four whole weeks!!)

Favorite Soda
not really drinking any sodas right now, but if I had to pick, it would be a diet mountain dew

Favorite Store
Target (who doesn't like Target?!?)

Favorite Animal
I like to watch monkeys/apes/gorillas at the zoo

Favorite Movie
How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days (Matthew and Kate have such an awesome connection in that movie and it was hilarious!)

Favorite TV Show
Parenthood (probably not the best show I could watch, but all of the scenarios are so real life)

Favorite Book
I don't read a lot but the books that I have read have been good. I like the Precinct 11 Series by Jerry B Jenkins.

Favorite Music
Contemporary Christian

Favorite Song
Right now? Give Me Jesus by Jeremy Camp

Favorite Season
Fall

Soda or Juice?
Soda

Dogs or Cats?
I like them both for different reasons. Dogs seem to have more personality and seem to know right when to love you when you need it, but I like cats because they often times don't need quite as much attention as dogs.

Mountain Dew or Pepsi?
Diet please... of either. As long as it is not Coke...

Pen or Pencil?
Pen... gel pen... with a pretty color...

Phone or Internet?
It depends on what I need to do at the time...

What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time? What is that?

What do you wish you had more time for?
being lazy, relaxing

What is your usual hair style?
oh, it is easier just to show you...
Yeah, sorry for the weird "at work photo shoot"...
Oh, and I can really tell I have lost 20 pounds in my face (compared to the picture on my sidebar).

Who is your best friend?
my husband

How did you and your best friend meet?
in junior high school (that is a story for another day)

If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be? Why?
on our vacation to the beach that is coming up in a few short months. can't wait to have some time to chill and enjoy my family!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's sinking in...

...and it hurts.

It bothers me to the core. I don't know why, it just does. I think it would for anyone in my situation.

I have been going at this diet plan for three weeks and if I can just triumph over one more week, it will be a habit, right? A good habit. One that will totally be well worth the success. But, it hurts. The process just plain hurts.

Going to gatherings are the hardest. It seems like we have one every.single.day. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating because that is really the way I feel. Church events, pool parties, birthday parties, family events... it's the summer time. Everyone has something going on and every.single.something has food involved.

"I just wanted a hot dog!" I frustratedly told my husband yesterday through a fit of tears. He responded with the true statement that "I thought you could have a hot dog."

He only wants to help, I know.

"But, I wanted the WHOLE hotdog, with the bun, ketchup, chili, and chips on the side. I wanted a slice of cookie cake and some ice cream. I just don't understand how some can eat all of that and not gain a pound, but I have to struggle. I have to restrict myself to a measley plain hotdog that is DIPPED in about a 1/2 tablespoon of chili! What kind of eating is that?!?!"

I just cried. He didn't know what to say and the silence was okay. Sometimes I just need to get the rage out. It isn't fair. AT ALL!

I felt horrible for feeling miserable at the party yesterday. The host of the party knew I wasn't myself. I explained it away with an headache (which I really did have). But, she did ask me on more than one occassion if I was doing alright. I fought back tears. Celebrating a birthday is a wonderful event, and I was in the corner looking up at the sky, hoping the tears wouldn't fall. Because, it is physically impossible to cry looking up.

Maybe a lot of this hurting is because I am an emotional eater. As I am fighting back tears of disappointment because I want to do good and restrict the foods that I need to, my mind is telling me that I will find comfort in that food. It will make me feel better. It will be all better.

but it won't!

One day soon, I know that I will look back on the accomplishment of being able to conquer the desire for food. For comfort food. I was able to sit back last night and reflect on the day and reward my heart for not falling into the trap of my tears and eating a slice of cookie cake. I need to remind myself to hold the daily accomplishments close as they will be so helpful in this battle goal, I am working on. But again, the process is so tough.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Goal I Am Working Towards

Day 19 of my June challenge requested that I write about a goal I am working towards. Guess what, I didn’t have a chance to write yesterday, so I am writing today. I actually do have a goal that I am working towards. Wanna see? Of course you do...
Yep, that would be me on the far right. This picture was taken in August of 2004. One month before I was to get married, my best friend got married. So, you say, "And what is your goal?" Check out this picture from earlier this year - I think it was in March...
Umm... WOWSERS! Others may not see it, but all I see is that great big bulge in the middle of my body. Maybe it is just the white pants that accentuates the bubble, but honestly, it is what it is. Keep in mind, the first photo was also taken at the end of an 8 month tour of duty on Weight Watchers. I had lost 76 pounds and was the lightest I had been since I was 2. HA! I was running 3 miles a day, doing 1 hour stints on the elliptical machine and completing weight training exercises to keep myself toned.

Then... I got married, didn't have access to a free gym (I was in college while I was losing the weight), and just didn't care any more. I let myself slide. I started a new job, built a new house, had a baby, built another house, and was just living life not worrying a bit about what I was putting in my mouth. I gained the 76 pounds plus some back and have been on several yo-yo diets since 2004.

I don't like to talk about my weight a lot because it does make me deeply depressed. However, since I have this goal I am working towards, I thought I would let you all in on my secret. I have started a new diet regimen through Medi Weight Loss Centers. I see a certified nutritionist every week and am under the care of a doctor while I am on program. This program is very expensive (adding to the fact that I have to drive an hour to get to the center), but I think it is worth it - so far. I have only been on program for 3 weeks and I have lost nearly 15 pounds. Not only am I under a doctor's care, but I am also learning what to eat. I have tried some new things as well, like blueberries today. I am not a huge vegetable fan, but I have been better about eating my veggies, like broccoli, summer squash, green beans, and that is about it for now. Still working on that!

I know I have a long way to go, but I am taking this on one week at a time. I am excited for the results and ready to see the new me again. I am ready to be healthy for pregnancy #3, when the time comes. I will be sharing updates with you all as things progress. Hoping to provide good results after the first month ends!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

J-Manisms

Whispers = Whiskers
Baben Soup = Bathing Suit
Fruton = Crouton
Pasanya = Lasagna

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Friday night, Daddy J and I were sitting on the back deck and J-Man was hitting a baseball with a bat like you would hit a golf ball and each time he would scream "Meeshak!". I guess that was his version of "FOUR". Daddy J and I both were wondering why he was saying Meeshak. I asked him what he was saying, just to make sure I was getting it correct and he clearly said exactly what I was thinking. I asked him if he knew who Meeshak was and he told me very matter of factly - "He was in the fire and didn't get burned." Like, duh, Mommy. Daddy J asked why he didn't get burned and he said, "Because Jesus was with him." I asked him who else was with him and he could say Abendigo, but he had some trouble remembering Shadrack. Once I told him, he said the three names over and over and over.

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Sunday night we went to a pool party and just before we were getting ready to leave, the owner of the house has a dog that apparently hates the water. We were discussing how the dog got in one time and swam across the pool as fast as he could to get out. They told us that it kinda looked like he was trying to walk on the water. To that, my J-Man said, "Like Jesus, and Peter, James, and John and Andrew. They were fishing."

He still amazes me with what he is learning these days!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throw-Back Thursday

No woman can understand a mother's love until she has children of her own. I have learned to love unconditionally and hold this precious life close to my heart. As the days pass by so quickly, I am saddened by how much I don't remember about the first days, weeks, months - even though I feel like I remember so much. Time is always so precious. This little guy stole my heart the day I found out he was coming. When he arrived, my heart melted and I don't think I have gotten over it since. He is such a joy, even on the bad days. I am so thankful that I can call him my son.

 


Another Challenge

Yes, I have found another blogging challenge... but, I am not going to make myself stick to it too tight this time. Why? It can become a daunting task which really makes me not want to blog at all.. Doesn't that defeat the challenge's purpose? Of course it does. So, I will pick my favorites and we will just go from there. By the way, I am very sorry if you cannot read the text very well on the challenge list. I am not sure why it is so blurry. Just grab your magnifying glass and try not to make your eyes hurt too bad.

Here goes... Day 6: Three Ways to Win Your Heart

I thought this would be a tough one, but after I thought about it for a moment, I realized, it wasn't so tough. I really am pretty easy going and there isn't much that doesn't make me happy. But, if you really want to win my heart, here's what you have to do:

1) Make me smile/laugh. For those of you that know me personally, that is not hard to do. I have been told that I laugh at e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! However, that really isn't the case. I do get sad sometimes. I just know that laughter is good for the soul and if I laugh long and hard enough, I can even burn some calories, right? One of my rules (told to me by my mom) for finding a husband was for him to make me laugh. I made sure of that, and he does. Even when I don't want to laugh. When I really want to be mad is when he is best at making me laugh.  

2) Hire a maid for me ... for the rest of my life. Oh, to never have to clean again! Never, ever, ever! That would be great! That would make my heart very glad and would make me jump for joy every day. I will tell all of you that I have made the proactive choice to do better about my cleaning, and I hope Daddy J knows that I am really trying to be a better wife and help-meet for him in that area. Making a schedule of my cleaning routine has helped. You better not bother me on a Thursday night... I would hate for that routine to be smashed. :) (and so would Daddy J for that matter...)

And last but not least...
3) Take me shopping with YOUR money! I love to shop but I don't like to spend my money. I really don't have extra money to spare, so spending yours would be great. I could buy bunches of clothes, finish the landscaping in my backyard, buy a play set thingy for J-Man, buy a new washer and dryer for my house that we don't really need but want, and I could splurge on new furnishings for my house. I could also just pick up some random things that I see on the way, like maybe a new purse or some shoes. Wouldn't that be fun? I think so!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beginning June

A new month is here. This year is flying by. I hate that the end of May was so slow on the blog front, but here's to a fresh start. I hope June is treating all of you well. A season of changes and new things are coming for me, but that is information for another day. Today, I will just leave you with some pictures I took on Memorial Day of some special guys in my life.

 
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Challenge: Day 30

Day 30 Prompt: React to this term - Letting Go.

I don't consider myself a "copy-cat" but as I was reading the blog posts that have been posted recently from my blogger friends, I just happened to come across this phrase. I have been trying to find the right words for today's post and that phrase just fit. So, I am using it too. Crystal, I hope you don't mind.

My last post created a lot of emotion and I did lots of thinking and praying. I want to let all of you know that just a few short days after my post, I had that conversation with my Dad. I asked him to meet me at my house one evening so that we could talk. Turns out - my emotions really had been getting the best of me and letting my worries grow greater than they should have been. My Dad really wants a relationship with me as well and he told me to ALWAYS call when I needed him - even if I had to call kicking and screaming at him for something. We were both able to talk though some concerns we had as well as have a bit of laughter and genuine conversation. After about 2 hours, 12 misquito bites, and J-Man worrying the tar out of us, we finally ended on a good note and decided to both do what we could to continue to make our relationship work.

In the midst of the anxiety I was having as the days, hours, and moments led up to our conversation, I had a lot of prayer. I just wanted God to give me the right words to say. I didn't want to make my Dad upset, but I also wanted to make sure that I said what I needed to say - still respecting the fact that he is my Dad. I, by no means, wanted to hurt him or make him upset so chosing my words wisely was very important to me. Turns out, as it always does, God was right there with us. He allowed us to open up with each other and neither of us were torn down by words.

I am so thankful that I took the step to call him over to the house. I am thankful that I have a God that both of us can turn to in everything in life. I am thankful that I let go of my own emotions and worries and let God oversee the situation. I am thankful for my Daddy and love him very much.