Saturday, March 31, 2012

a team, a family

since i speak of it often, you likely already know that we are involved with a ministry called young life whose mission is to love high school & middle school students well, enter their world & help them process truths of the gospel.  regardless of their response to Jesus we are still committed to walking through life with these friends.  ministry has undoubtedly been one of the greatest blessings of my life and marriage.  it is insane that God calls us to do this - 'to give our lives away' and THAT is the way He will use us.  THAT is the way He will show us more of Himself. His power.  His amazing grace.  we've seen God move in the awesome times but equally [or more] in the really hard, difficult parts as well.  God is so good.  i think it really is true - the benefactor of ministry is the minister.  i don't say that selfishly, i know it is by design.  God challenges and invites us into this for that specific purpose - to grow us, for us to see Him more.  for His glory.
Here is what Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England:
For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. 
no matter what our ministry looks like in the many years to come i hope we can share livingstone's attitude & heart.  we are so unworthy of such a gift.
 psalm 71:17-18
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
   and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
   do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
   your mighty acts to all who are to come.

we have partners too.  a 'team.' a family to do life and mission with.  these are our brothers and sisters and we LOVE them.  they are some of our dearest friends and their hearts for people spur us on daily.  they encourage us to love people well and pursue people with the gospel in mind.  they encourage us to be real and above all us know the Lord for ourselves.  i am so thankful that God has specifically placed each of these friends in our lives.

our joy is great.  even in trial - we have every reason to rejoice.
i pray that we never quit.  not just this specific ministry but this race.  that we'd never take our eyes off the prize - eternity with the author of life.  i pray that we'd never grow weary and lose heart.  i pray that we'd know God and his goodness for ourselves.  never quit.

"he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
 -jim elliot

Sunday, March 25, 2012

22 weeks

22 weeks
what's cooking? [new baby things]:  babe is about 11 inches long, about the length of a squash or bag of oreos and weighs almost a pound.  she has eyebrows, eyelashes and maybe some hair [if she's not a baldy].  if she does have hair it's white.  they don't get their hair or eye pigment just yet.  from here on out she's just supposed to be working on beefin' up.  i love that.  i especially love it since the ultrasound techs keep giving me pictures of your creepy skeleton face.  it's not your just need some cheeks already!  baby can sense what she touches now, so she's feeling all around - so fun.

gender: little bitty girl!

movement: still moving as much as ever.  i'm getting more daytime movements than ever before, she's normally such a night owl / early am shaker.  there have been a few more times where i can feel her moving in two places at once.  for the first time this week i felt her doing sweeping movements instead of just quick jabs.  and now i know when you're hiccuping i think, little lady!

momma developments: my belly button is facing straight upward.  it fills up just like a pool in the shower.  and my button is getting a little more shallow.  it started out so deep i never thought i'd have an outtie but we'll see how it turns out.  my belly is as hard as a rock, feels like steel.  i have had a few bouts with forgetfulness and with irritability.  hoping to keep my head for the next few months. 

total weight gain: 13-14 pounds.  definitely feeling bigger & kind of waddle-y.  its a little bit hard to bend over & putting on boots while standing is a real problem. 

maternity clothes: same as last week.  all maternity bottoms, mix of regular and maternity tops.  still able to wear some dresses from pre-pregnancy.  would like to get a few more maternity tops but long tanks are really helpful.

cravings: i'm pretty much wanting to eat all the time - even if i'm not hungry.  i find myself really wanting sweets. i know its wrong but i would eat 5 easter baskets full of treats if someone would let me, if i just happened upon 5 unsupervised baskets...hmm.

anything hard?
math.  ben and i were talking this morning and sadly i found out that i've been a month off in my mind of how far along i am. so i was thinking that 5.5 months didn't mean that i was in to my sixth month yet but in reality i'm half way through my sixth month and before long [2 weeks!] i will be beginning my seventh.  holy smokes.  very exciting for my weight gain plan [i thought i was getting really behind] a little less exciting for my to-do list which is growing daily.  so much to do, so little time!  i may be the only person in the history of having children to be confused by the weeks system and how that works out in real life but i must say - how embarrassing!

had an uh-oh moment about labor again.  you know where you remember - oh my gosh there is an actual person inside me and someday she's going to have to come out?  that is one scary moment.

this past week was really rough for sleep.  it wasn't your fault babe, i just wasn't very well rested. 

we're fixing up our house & the nursery soon.  being motivated to do things is really hard for me but i desperately want them to be complete so i'm just gonna push it.  and hopefully benny can help keep me on track.

never forget:
you kicked your grandma karen this past week and ginny & em.  they loved it.  ginny also sang you musical show tunes - right into my belly.  i think you really liked that.

this week i had my first stranger say something about my bump without 'knowing' i was prego.  at work i was carrying boxes for a customer and she said "oh no, you don't need to carry that, let me get that for you."  sweet woman.

me and your dad planned out the layout of your room on a little online site with all the dimensions.  i can't wait for you to have a place to live!  we are getting you new carpeting in two weeks too and i couldn't be more thrilled about that.  you probably won't feel as excited as me mainly because you're a baby but also because you'll never know how disgusting your current carpet is to appreciate it, but take my word - this will be a definite up-grade.  you can roll all over the floor and i won't want to hose you off afterward.

you went with me to see auntie jenna try on wedding dresses this week.  she looked beautiful and you kicked at your favorites.  i'm sure you'll have great taste.
i want you to have 500 headbands & girly hair clips.  i'm going to work on that.

uhhh, and uk is going to the final four babe!!  facing u of l.  oh my.  you're going to be cheering your little face off!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

sunshine & celebration

this weekend was kind of amazing.  we were able to do so many fun things, see all kinds of friends, relax and play.  basically everything i ever dreamed of [except that i wish my house were immaculately clean & organized].  we had a little too much fun & relaxing for that.

friday evening i can't really remember what happened.  i think it included a lovely walk in our sunny spring / summer weather around the neighborhood.  i also did some crafting for bridal shower invites [hope to share soon] and some baking for a different bridal shower the next day [also hope to share soon].

my evening included some of this...

ben and i got to have a WONDERFUL massage saturday morning.  it was the perfect relaxing way to start a saturday.  it had been a looong while since we'd been able to do that and my sweet hubs treated me to it for valentine's day.  a little over a month later - we finally had a free weekend to enjoy it.  if you're wondering 'how does a pregnant lady get a massage?' well let me tell you.  i was really hoping for a a table with a belly-hole cut out.  i'm not sure if those exist but doesn't it sound awesome?  you're not able to lay on your belly for months and someone provides you with a 'hole table' all the while giving a glorious massage?  well that's not really how it happened but if there are any masseuses out there - i'm giving you some ideas.  when we went it was still perfectly lovely but you have to lay on your side to get rubbed.  BUT they do give you a giant, super soft body pillow - i could have definitley drifted off into a sleepy-sleep-fest but made myself stay awake to take all the goodness in.

later that afternoon i got cleaned up and got to go celebrate a sweet friend!  randi [ on the right ].  she will be a little bride in less than 2 months and we couldn't help but party over that.  well, tea party over that.  more to come later.  all of my friends are getting married, did i mention?
from there i took a catnap and then joined friends for mexican dinner & a rousing uk game after that.  it was an awesome evening - perfect ending to an excellent day.  it felt like summer.  not just the temperature and sun but the feeling of the day.  it felt like we were "off" or something - had no plans but had all kinds of things to do.  it was lovely spending so much time with people we love.
sunday was more of the same - just enjoying our weekend to the brim.  i slept in while benny wrote papers.  i caught up on project runway all stars, read some scripture and headed out for a walk to think on it.  our front yard is blooming.  full force!
we have two big flowering trees, my 3 bulbs i managed to plant are coming up [ha ha ha] as well as two random tulips left from the previous owner [we need a lot of work] oh yeah, and a front yard packed full of weeds. whether i want it to or not everything is a bloomin'!  at least i can enjoy the flowers.  aren't they sweet?
after planning for a biblestudy that night we were able to go celebrate our dear friends jenna & scott.  they got engaged the week before [surprise engagement in disneyworld] and here they are telling 'the story'.  it was so fun to celebrate them, their relationship and all that they Lord is going to do in and through them as a family.
on a completely random note.  i've found a new love.  sunkist smilies.  they are the tiniest little oranges ever and i love them.  i sent ben to the store for cuties and he came home with these, they may be just like cuties but a little littler.  easy to peel, tiny, yummy sections, no seeds.  WIN!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

21 weeks

what's cooking? [new baby things]:  babe is about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long about the size of a carrot or large banana. they say baby looks like a mini-version of what she'll look like when she's born with all of her facial features formed and hair that is growing on her head [unless she's a baldy like me].

gender: little bitty girl!

movement: all.the.time.  little lady really likes to move around.  she is especially a night owl.  in the evenings she loves to squirm around.  and if i'm laying flat or leaning forward [like at my desk at work] she re-situates then too.  you still play with your dad.  he pokes you and you kick back.  he gets to feel you pretty often now, mainly because i'll grab his hand and stick it on my belly every time you're moving and we're together. i hope you'll know us both when you get here.

momma developments: i'm feeling pretty giant and i know it's only the beginning & i have it easy.  i feel a little off balance and definitely tired.  most info says i should have all kinds of energy but i still feel like i could nap at any time.  which is true of my non-prego self so maybe that's just me.  sleeping is still a little challenging and i'm jonesing for one of those super soft, real long body pillows.  i've got some crazy things going on with my chest - if you're interested just ask.  for the sake of any fellas reading i'll spare you the dets.  still loving the overall blessing of pregnancy, even when it's not glamorous.

total weight gain:10-12 pounds.  we have about a month and a half left in the trimester and i read that i should probably be gaining about a pound a week from here on out.  i looked at some different charts and it seems like i'm right on track.

maternity clothes: all maternity bottoms, mix of regular and maternity tops.  still able to wear some dresses from pre-pregnancy - hoping that they don't look too busty [normally i don't have much to worry about ha!].

cravings: still just eating all the time.  trying to have healthy snacks instead of junk.  fruit, yogurt and cereal are my go to's since my meals aren't always "complete"
anything hard?
trying to drink as much water as i'm supposed to.  i suck at it.  i don't really like water and they want me to drink like a gallon a day.  impossible.

never forget:
me and your pop were able to go and get a massage this weekend.  probably my first and only prenatal massage for this baby.  but it was oh so very relaxing. i felt spoiled being so pampered but it was so sweet.  we had a perfect morning together.  and i think you liked it too.  you were kicking around quite a bit.  i hope you were relaxing too!

this week you kicked brittany & susan, my friends at work and then later you kicked hols & jenna at randi's bridal shower.  you gave them some really hard strong kicks.  it was perfect timing.

baby, you're experiencing your very first march madness - even in the womb.  you cheer for all the games and i'm pretty sure you love to hear you dad holler at the screen.  you especially enjoyed the duke loss & the cats incredible win.  you inherited that.

you kicked so hard at work i said "oh my" out loud because you surprised me so much.

it is spring here now even though it's not technically spring just yet.  it is beautiful outside and we've been going on lots of walks so you can get some exercise.  sometimes your dad comes with us and we all get to catch up together after work.  sometimes i go alone and get to pray over you and talk to you.  it is really precious time that i cherish.  walking also makes me feel like i get to do something for you and putting you out in the sun with fresh air seems right.

baby info sources:
baby center
parents connect
what to expect

Sunday, March 11, 2012

20 weeks

what's cooking? [new baby things]:  babe is about 10.5 ounces now and somewhere around 6.5" long from head to rump. or 10" long from head to heel [holy moly!].  she's about the size of a banana, cantaloupe or a can of red bull.  one site says: "your baby has established sleep patterns akin to a newborn now. many babies even have a favorite sleep position already." i am dying!  i can't even stand thinking about her having tiny baby sleeping positions in there.  WHAT!?

gender: lil baby girl in there.  she's probably wearing a tutu and little tiara right now.

movement: still moving a ton!  definitely the strongest bumps and pokes so far came this week.  she's been kicking in the same spots over and over. i always think that's funny.  i love when i can feel where she's at in a ball on one side or the other.  over the weekend she just started stretching out where i can feel her in two different places at once on opposite sides of my belly.  she must be getting bigger in there!

momma developments: they say the top of my uterus is about in-line with my belly button now, and that certainly would have been my guess from how i'm shaped these days. i've had some zits pop up the past few weeks so that's a fun momma treat.  i might have mentioned this but i have tons new baby hairs around my face and across my hairline.  i'm desperately hoping that they grow fast so that these scraggley little boogers can finally lay down & i can quit looking like a broke-down mess.  i've had some leg cramps - which are terrible by the way.  terrible.  while suffering through a stomach bug this week i had one in my calf and really thought...this might be the end of me.  i almost cried. and yelled. and puked.  it was a virus.  last week when i was shopping i had some more boughts with light-headedness.  nothing too terrible.  i went and sat down, ate a hotdog and felt much better.

total weight gain: 8-10 pounds.  sources say i should have gained around 10 pounds so far so i feel great and like i'll be on track.  i lost a little since i was sick but i know it won't be long before its back.  they say from here on out i should be gaining about a pound a week.  ow ow.

maternity clothes: bottoms all the way and a few tops now.  if nothing else adding a long tank under regular shirts has been working ok.

cravings: still stuffing my face but no specific cravings.  i had been mourning over the lack of mexican cheese dip in my life ever since i read all about how i shouldn't have any while pregnant.  my sweet friends sent me this picture this week of pasturized white cheese from a restaurant down the street.  i can't wait to get me a chimichanga!  ay ay ay! [is that offensive?]
anything hard?
having a stomach virus and worrying that the babe is feeling it in there.  i called the doctor and she said that all is well but i still felt pretty sad for her.

the name game continues.

never forget: you have been such a mover and a shaker this week. i don't know if my stomach bug got you all ryled up or if you're just growing but you've been moving so much. and you're kicking so hard. your dad told me over and over "look how big and strong she is!" this week is definitely the hardest movements we've felt so far. a few times i even gasped a little because you surprised me so much. and then i just had to laugh - its so awesome that this is happening.  you also were playing tag with your poppa this morning.  he would poke you and you'd poke right back.  it was precious.

you cheered during all the uk games.  you were probably shaking miniature pom poms too.

this week something pretty fantastic happened for our little family.  definitely an answer to prayer.  i can't wait to tell you all about it.  i know each of us will be so blessed by all that is going on with these new decisions and phases.

by the way...we're halfway there!  ahhhhhh!

baby info sources:
baby center
parents connect
what to expect

Thursday, March 8, 2012

to give: kony 2012 & love146 [updated]

you may have already seen this.  if you haven't take half an hour for it. 

below are two videos that literally break my heart and stir in me such compassion and heartache that i don't know quite what to do.  we don't give enough.  we meaning ben & i, not 'we' like the world, although that might be true too. i want more than anything to be able to stand before our heavenly father someday and know that i cared for the people he cares for and helped the helpless that he would have rescued.  such evil is nearly inconceivable.  i pray that God would bring grace & justice to a crooked world.

kony 2012

i read [this] later in the day and thought i'd share it as well.  the tone feels harsh to me but i think she is trying to speak up for people. which i appreciate & it was educational.

isaiah 16
The oppressor will come to an end,
   and destruction will cease;
   the aggressor will vanish from the land. 
In love a throne will be established;
   in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
   one from the house of David—
one who in judging seeks justice
   and speeds the cause of righteousness.

isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

showering babies: celebrating lu & baby junker

i should start with a little disclaimer that i didn't do any of the precious-ness that you are about to see.  my sweet and talented friends put together this adorable shower & games & jenna took nearly all the pictures below.  they were edited through pixlr-o-matic, my new love.

so on to the celebration! on sunday we had the opportunity to shower our friend luci and her soon-to-come little princess.  how cute are these vintage-inspired, flashcard-style invites?  rach did such a good job with every last detail.
bunting of printable abc flashcards, complete with the most precious pictures.  many of them have colors that i've been eying for our little lady's room so they may make another appearance someday.

we each brought a letter of the alphabet for little baby's room.  it is neat how differently they all turned out.  nothing duplicated, so sweet.  i can't wait to see what they do with them.
katie thoughtfully and creatively planned our 'games' and activities for the day.  we each made a onesie or two for little baby out of scrap fabric and fabric glue.  they turned out so sweetly & i loved seeing them all strung up on a clothesline.  tiny baby things have to be one of the cutest things ever.
here's ang's adorable creation
mine was real simple but i thought it was sweet.  just a little lovely heart for a little sweetie!
katie also had us write down stories about luci so that little babe could know her momma like we do.  we have a lot of funny stories about lu.
 and of course we didn't skip presents sprinkled with a 20 questions game.

lu, we cannot wait to meet your little girl in real life.  i'll try and be patient but it will be hard.  i hope our little girls will be such good friends.  we love you dearly!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

19 weeks

WEEK 19:
what's cooking? [new baby things]: baby is starting to form some fat [although you couldn't tell from the ultrasound].  she is covered in goo and a layer of tiny hairs.  ew.  babe is about 6" long from her head to tush, about the size of a sub or an heirloom tomato, and weighs 10 oz.  they measured her this thursday and estimated her weight and for both was about 40-45th percentile for babes her age.  she's a perfectly average little princess.

gender: the double check is legit.  she is a girl fo sho!  we couldn't be more excited.  we celebrated by buying one million dresses this weekend.  you may see some soon ;)

movement: she is moving around so much.  although i have had two days so far, non-consecutively, where i didn't feel her nearly all day.  it was kind of a scary feeling to feel her so often and then not feel her much.  everything i've read and the doctors say that all is well, she could just be moved a different direction where its more difficult to feel.  she's actually moving around right now...hooray!  during all the storms on friday i was watching my belly and actually saw her kicking with my eyes.  it was the first time i had tried to see if my belly was moving enough for you to see and we could!  it was so fun and so much like i have an alien living inside me. 

momma developments: still doing so well!  now that i have humidifier my nose bleeds are gone too so now i don't have a single thing to complain about.  i feel so blessed with how things have gone.  i almost feel nervous that something terrible is going to come up because things have been so perfect.  i know that isn't rational - but how does this happen to the girl who normally gets migraines and pukes all the time?  unreal.  i also recently realized that since i've been pregnant my fruit allergies have all left.  i normally get big bumps in my mouth and an itchy throat and its all gone now.  i can eat all the fruit i want with no repercussions at all!  this little baby is the best thing that's happened to me physically!  i'm growing.  in the last few days i've heard all kinds of comments about my real belly now.  i think she's popped out a bunch in the last 72 hours or so.

total weight gain: 8-10 pounds depending on the day.  or time of day.  or how many bowls of cereal i've eaten so far today.

maternity clothes: i'm only wearing maternity bottoms now besides sweatpants or leggings.  i think i could wear normal pants if i bought a belly band or pushed them super low but i think i would just be constantly uncomfortable - you might be able to tell in the picture but she sits real low a lot of the time her and normal pants just don't get along.  maternity pants are my favorite.  and thankfully i got a few more pairs this weekend.  i can't wait to get them into rotation!  i don't have to wear maternity shirts BUT since the front of my pants are stretchy spandex i do have to be mindful of how long my shirts are so that i'm not showing people my goods.  my regular sized dresses are still a great go-to when i can't find my pants.
us at the doctor this week for our 20 week check up [a few days early]
cravings:  still stuffing my face but no specific cravings.  i did want some spicy food the other day but that's about all.

anything hard?
still no name.  ugh.  i know we still have 5 months but it's just killing me!

ben had to leave our doctor appointment early and i instantly felt super emotional about being there alone.  i've gone to an appointment alone before but since we were hearing the results of the ultrasound i guess i was just worried that something was wrong and that i'd have to hear that news by myself.  thankfully, all is well and i am so blessed to go through this awesome miracle with the love of my life but i couldn't help but think about those people with different stories from our own.

i'm emotional in general, more sensitive and crying easily.  i balled watching 15 minutes of juno last night.

i'm itching to get our house in order and start the baby's room!  i struggle a lot with completing house tasks and with decorating so i put this in the difficult category even though it's fun too.

never forget: i'll never ever forget getting to see you again up on the screen.  seeing them measure all your little features.  you're tiny little legs and toes.  you gave us a thumbs up in your picture.  i hope that means all is well in there. you're such a gift.  me and your grandma went shopping for you this weekend and got you all kinds of precious little outfits to wear.  i cannot wait to put you in them.  i have a feeling you may be just a tiny bit spoiled and just a tiny bit overdressed for an infant.  speaking of...your aunt emily & aunt elizabeth brought you over some gifts too.  one being the most precious little sparkly, ruffly baby shoes in the whole wide world.  once you have a dresser they will sit right on top.  waiting for your tiny feet to fill them.
ps. your poppa says he loves you very much and he thinks you're going to be really pretty.

baby info sources:
baby center
parents connect
what to expect

Friday, March 2, 2012

happy friday

here is some randomness for you.  happy friday.

to start - there is a 90% chance of tornados in central kentucky today.  i hope they [the weather people] are exaggerating but if you like to pray, i don't think that now would be a bad time.  i heard that the stormchasers are in town, so that might be a bad sign.  yikes.

unrelated & on a happier note...

i could spend hours [here] looking at their beautiful images and creative storylines.  [this post] made me want to buy an iphone, have a whole mess of babies, dress them vintage clothing, play outside & have ben grow a beard.

i'm so excited to shower our sweet friend lu & her babe this weekend.
[this was the most recent pic i could find of lu with a bump - all those boys won't be there]

can anyone find this?  i found it on pinterest but it wasn't linked to the original and i haven't been able to find it anywhere else.  i think little baby b might need this someday.
this weekend is packed full of plans.  shopping, celebrating, cleaning, organizing, learning & showering babes.  it's gonna be a full one [if my town doesn't blow away.]  i'll do my best to document all the fun.