Sunday, December 29, 2013

Counting Down

Tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant, I can hardly believe it!!! This pregnancy has FLOWN by! I am so thankful that I was able to experience it again....I've just been soaking it all in. I honestly cannot believe it's almost over. 

Mentally I have been trying to prepare myself for what lies ahead in just a few short days/weeks. LABOR and would think having been there and done that 5 times I'd be ready. But, I'm not. I have loooooong labors. After my last delivery, my biggest prayer is that history does not repeat itself. If you feel led to pray for anything in these next several days....pray that labor begins on its own and that baby presents itself like it's supposed to. I would rather go 2 weeks late and go on my own, then have to be induced. My body does not handle inductions well.

I am in the final stages of baby prep and packing for the hospital....the next time I update my blog will most likely be after we welcome baby into this world!  WE CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much for walking along side of us during these months and celebrating the miracle that God has given us.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Journey Of A Million Steps

May 2011 our family began a journey we did not ever think we would have to walk through.  A positive pregnancy test gave way to the news at the end of June that at 8 weeks the baby had no heartbeat. We continued to walk down the same path in February of 2012 losing a baby at 7 weeks gestation and then again in  June of 2012 at 10 weeks. 

My heart is not filled with grief most days however, it is filled with thanksgiving for those 3 precious souls that I was blessed to carry, if even for only a short time.  The Lord taught me so much through those days, and months to follow. I honestly would go back and do it all over again without hesitation. I am not saying that I do not ache for those precious babies that I never got to meet, because some days I do. In fact when I was decorating for Christmas this year and moving the shadowboxes that each of their ultrasound pictures are in I found myself feeling the heavy weight of so much heartache, grief and loss. Lots of tears were shed that night.

The Fall months of 2012 were spent seeing a specialist to make sure that we were not missing something as to why I kept miscarrying. Various tests and labs were done looking for anything that may be the cause. It was a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack, because I had 5 prior healthy pregnancies, but then suffered 3 recurring losses I was in a 5%  group of women labled habitual aborter (nice term huh?).
I spent a lot of time in prayer during those months asking the Lord to make HIS will clear. I knew I was so blessed to have 5 children, yet deep inside my heart I yearned for another. I had to let that go. I had to trust that God who has always had my best interest in HIS hand knew what He was doing. I had gone through everything the specialist wanted to look at and I was supposed to schedule a follow-up appointment to go over everything. I really did not have any intention of doing this. I was at peace just letting things be what they would be. However since I paid for all these appointments, invested all that time, I figured seeing as the Doctor invested in me I owed him to listen to what he had to share. Everything looked good, except for one lab that came back slightly off. I would have never known this if I would not have had this appointment.  It was a clotting lab and my numbers were not exceptionaly high, but they were not in the normal range either. The fix.....a baby aspirin throughout pregnancy. I would also need to begin progesterone on day 17 of my cycle and continue until a pregnancy test confirmed either I needed to continue or stop. Let me just say, doing that after a few cycles got REALLY old, REALLY fast. It was becoming more science then trusting in God's plan. So, I made a decision to only begin progesterone AFTER I had a test show positive.
During all this time I was not feeling physically well either and knew I needed to find out what was going on before we allowed our family to possibly expand. I actually had been not feeling decent on and off for almost 2 years.  Short story....very, very sick gallbladder. It was only functioning at 3%, which the surgeon said is extremely uncommon. (How come everything about me is abnormal????)  Decided it needed to come out, so in January 2013 I had surgery to remove it.
Fast forward to May 2013.....garage sale time....sold most of our baby stuff. It was just time to let it go. Let it be a blessing to another family. I cried. I wondered what God was doing. I hadn't had a cycle since March...and pregnancy test after pregnancy test was negative.  The day after the sale I decided to take another test.....oh does God have a sense of was POSITIVE!!!
I was scared, excited, terrified, overjoyed, amazed, humbled and so thankful. I would need to see the specialist for the first 8 weeks to monitor things. Ultrasounds to check growth....I was AMAZED at what they could see at 6 weeks. I had never had an ultrasound that early. I can remember sitting on the table waiting for the Doctor to come in and being so overwhelmed. I didn't know what to think or feel. I knew my history and was not expecting to see a heartbeat. I think as a way of protecting myself I just planned for the worst.....I honestly did not expect to see the heart fluttering away on that screen. BUT the Lord had other plans that day. Plans to prove me wrong.  I am so glad He did!!!  Then, he did it again at 8 weeks along, I planned to go in and see no heart activity. Yet there it was!!!
I could go on and on. Still even at 35 weeks along I feel like it's a dream. I know to most people it isn't anything terribly thrilling. I mean we already have 5 kids, so what is the big deal being excited about this baby. Actually people have even made me feel guilty for celebrating this baby, enough so that I rarely have talked about my pregnancy especially on my blog. Rarely have shared what these weeks and months have been like. I could have shared so many things along the way, wanted to share my feelings but didn't want to deal with the critical comments and emails. Remember, I'm an old pregnant mom who has 5 energetic boys to deal with in all this too! =)
It has been a long 2 1/2 years, but God has revealed so much of Himself  over this time. He has abundantly blessed over and over. Through mountaintop moments, and long winding valleys, God's character has been displayed over and over. Our family has learned so much during these years, it's been amazing to grow in our faith walk together in all of this.
So now we eagerly wait the arrival of the newest little bundle....sometime after the New Year....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Your Grace

I LOVE this song. The more I stop, listen to the lyrics and let them sink in I think it's quickly becoming a favorite. Maybe it's because I have actually learned what it's like to experience the grace of God in so many circumstances.

In sorrow, in joy, in desperation, in hope, in questions, in answers, on mountains and in valleys.

I am so thankful for ALL those moments, wouldn't trade one in, do any over......I've learned how to inhale God's grace, and exhale His praise.....
It's there in the newborn cry
  There in the light of every sunrise
  There in the shadows of this life
Your great grace
  It's there on the mountaintop
There in the everyday and the mundane
  There in the sorrow and the dancing
  Your great grace oh, such grace
  From the creation to the cross
  There from the cross into eternity
  Your grace finds me
  Yes, your grace finds me
It's there on a wedding day
There in the weeping by the graveside
  There in the very breath we breathe
Your great grace
Same for the rich and poor
  Same for the saint and for the sinner
  Enough for this whole wide world
  Your great grace oh, such grace
  From the creation to the cross
  There from the cross into eternity
  Your grace finds me
  Yes, your grace finds me
There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes, your grace finds me
  Your great grace oh, such grace
  Your great grace oh, such grace
Same for the rich and poor
Same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world
Your great grace, oh such grace
So I'm breathing in your grace
  And I'm breathing out your praise
I'm breathing in your grace
Forever I'll be...
Your Grace Finds Me~Matt Redman

Monday, September 16, 2013

Same God

The same God with you then, is with you now.
The same God who led you in, will lead you out.

Thankful for a God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our hope, our rock, a fortress to lean into. Things around us may crumble, yet we know God can restore, heal and give hope...even in the midst of heartache.

Thankful for the few friends that have actually cared enough to make sure we are doing alright, in light of the recent split among our Church. Ten years have been spent at Wellspring, loving and serving. Praising our incredible God and growing so much. Our lives have been changed here in so many ways~God has done mighty things in this place.

Our family has done what was requested by the board over the past few weeks. We've kept very quiet and dedicated ourselves to praying over the body, the Pastor and all the people this has impacted. We are not interested in slander, gossip, ill will against any side. Our family is praying for healing and guidance. We do not know where we are going to end up....but the Lord does. Trusting in Him, excited for new hope and beginnings.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pinch Me

I cannot believe I am almost half way through this pregnancy. I had a Doctor's appointment this afternoon and everything looks great. Heart rate was in the 150's and I measure exactly where I should be for almost 20 weeks.

This pregnancy definitely has been probably one of the hardest for me. Not necessarily the physical part (although I was by far the sickest I have ever been with this one). More so it is the emotional part.  Having gone through three miscarriages I keep waiting for something to go wrong, instead of rejoicing in each day that things go right. 

It's stealing some of the joy out of being pregnant. It's stealing part of the excitement that I have known so many times. I look at the second-hand stores and garage sales for the baby items we are going to need (which seems to be a growing list) and the maternity clothes I will have to have but I just feel so odd actually even purchasing these items.

I think because I have been in a pattern of not being able to stay pregnant I can't wrap my mind around the fact that I actually still am. (I know that sounds really, really weird!) I told my Doctor today it's like I need to pinch myself, over and over to make myself believe that I am indeed still pregnant.

We are ALL looking forward to a new son or daughter, brother or sister in this house. Every time the boys see their baby cousins that is ALL they talk about...that pretty soon we will get to have that in our house. (I'll have to remind them of that when all the baby does is cry!!)  =)

My focus needs to shift, back to the place where HOPE lives. The Lord has been so good to us thus far and our trust has always been, and always will be in Him.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Could Not Say What I Feel Any Better Than This

Promise maker, promise keeper You finish what you begin
Our provision, through the desert You see it through to the end. You see it through to the end.
The Lord our God is EVER FAITHFUL,
never changing through the ages.
From this darkness, you will lead us
And forever we will say you're the Lord our God.
In the silence, in the waiting still we can know you are good
All your plans are for your glory Yes we can know you are good, yes we can know you are good
Oh, so good!
The Lord our God is EVER FAITHFUL,
 never changing through the ages.
From this darkness, you will lead us
And forever we will say you're the Lord our God.
We won't move without you
We won't move without you
You're the light of all and all that we need
The Lord our God is EVER FAITHFUL,
never changing through the ages.
From this darkness, you will lead us
And forever we will say you're the Lord our God.
And forever we will say you're the Lord our God
Forever I will say, you are the Lord MY God....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saying Goodbye

My Grandpa, a World War II Veteran, has lived 93 years on this Earth and is getting ready to finally head Home. He suffered a major stroke this past Sunday and is now under hospice care.

I got to go see him tonight, sleeping peacefully, waiting for that time between his last breath on earth and his first one in Glory. Today has been a day for me, full of wonderful memories of my Grandfather (and my Grandmother who has been with Jesus for 6 years).

He was such a wonderful, Godly man. He also had a great sense of humor! He would be driving down the road and just honk at someone and wave like he knew them....just to get us to laugh. Or he'd honk at no one and just say "oh, that's my friend....didn't you see him??" I can still hear my Grandma laugh and then tell him to knock it off.

I will remember endless hours of card playing, riding along with him on the lawn mower, many years of incredible camping memories. Reading the Bible and his prayers. His hugs. Laughing at the jokes I would read to him out of my joke book....over and over and over. Watching him in his basement working on watches (he was a watch repairman). Never getting tired of my endless questions.

After his injury in the war he was unable to bend his leg, and then later on in life he had to have that leg amputated. I know the first thing he is going to do once he gets to Heaven is RUN into the arms of Jesus.

This song has been in my head all day today. I love the lyrics that say:

Do you want to go riding with me? To a place that lasts forevermore.
Please don't think that you are one among the few,
I'm different just like you
Where I am going there will be no alibis
No might-have-beens or sad goodbyes
Where I am going
And all the questions still unanswered in my mind
Lord, I'll leave 'em all behind
I'll only find the answers
I'll only keep on going (Keep on going) Where I'm going
(Where I am going) There will be no compromise.
No tears will come to cloud my eyes.
Where I am going, and all the precious love I've had to sacrifice
Will be given to me twice Because He paid the price
And it's worth it all just knowing
Where I am going...

Love you Grandpa....

Monday, June 3, 2013

What's Been Happening

Wow, I have fallen off of the blog bandwagon!! I actually love writing/sharing but honestly barely have enough energy these days to check/reply to emails, toss in a load of laundry, or pack lunches!! The reason behind this current lack of energy could have a little lot to do with this:

Due January 6, 2014!!!! THANK YOU LORD!

A few people have been praying for me, even before this pregnancy was announced. I did not think anyone was around enough to care what was going on in my life, let alone be praying for me and my family. To the one person who did care enough to ask what was going on in our little world (and you know who you are) I cannot thank you enough for caring so much about me and knowing me so very well that you asked, and were okay to let me share my journey with you. I love you more than words in a blog post could ever say. To the few of you who were prayer warriors behind the scenes, unknown, THANK YOU!!!

I could share all the things that have led up to this moment, but honestly after the comment was made by a facebook 'friend' on a previous blog post last Fall about me having a 'baby addiction' and relating me to 'octomom', I felt my blog was no longer a safe place for me to share anything about the road I was walking.

 I think the following excerpt from a book I'm reading could not say what I am feeling any better:

When you live by faith, it often feels like you are risking your reputation. You're not. You're risking God's reputation. It's not your faith that is on the line. It's His faithfulness. Why? Because God is the one who made the promise, and He is the only one who can keep it. The battle doesn't belong to you; it belongs to God. And because the battle doesn't belong to you, neither does the glory. God answers prayer to bring glory to His name, the name that is above all names. {Mark Batterson The Circle Maker}

This baby has been circled in prayer long before the pregnancy test showed positive. God is indeed good and has blessed us with another precious new life. Please continue to pray for this pregnancy, I have made it past the time that two of the previous three miscarriages occurred. Please pray baby continues to grow, so far he/she has been growing well. Measuring exactly where he/she should be for gestational age. I have seen the beautiful heart beating away three different times now!! Last week I was blessed to hear it....178 beats per minute.  =)  Such a beautiful sound.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Through The Door

We are cleaning house!!  Garage sale time means pack up and move out all the things we no longer use or will have use for. It means clearing off some shelves, bringing out stuff that's been in the attic that can serve a purpose in someone else's family. Of course, bringing in a little extra cash isn't a bad thing either!

It also means reliving lots of memories as we unpack clothes to sell, baby items no longer needed. As I poured over all of the maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby necessities, then onto the 'big boy' clothes, movies, games, toys. I don't think I've ever shed so many tears setting up for a garage sale!

I just had to stop and look around...

I had to stop and reflect on how thankful I am for *this* life, *this* day, *these* precious moments and beautiful memories God has given to me. I cannot find words to express how thankful I am to the good Lord for a full life. A good life. An abundant life.

So, instead of feeling like my memories and hope are filtering out through the garage door over the next few days, I am going to be thankful knowing that they are becoming someone else's hopes and memories.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Are You Cozy?

We are in a fight. A fight for our freedoms. A fight to stand up and speak the truth. Why is it so hard?  Maybe it's because we want to look good to the masses, instead of towing the line with the few. Maybe it's because we don't know how to speak in love, or listen in love. People butt heads about what the Bible says. Is it relevant to today's world? Does the word of God change because times change?

I the Lord do not change. Malachi 3:6
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8  
  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
I think what has changed is us, our hearts. Our minds shape what we want to see and feel.
We twist religion to make it a comfortable fit. We don't like it when the Pastor says something that makes us squirm in our chairs. (Note: most likely it's the Holy Spirit convicting you!) (By the way, if you're not convicted in your Church...maybe you need to find a new one?) We take bits and pieces to make us feel good and leave it at that. We don't like it when we're confronted with the very ugly truth that we sin....and many times don't mind doing so! We write it off, act like it's no big deal and when we say our 30 second prayers at night we ask forgiveness. Then we wake up and repeat the cycle.   
But God gives us a way to change, through His son. You cannot be bought with the blood of a Risen Saviour and not change from the inside out.
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19
It is a choice. You must pick the road you're going to travel during this life.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is such a HUGE concept for me to grasp sometimes, yet as I pour over God's word, as I pray and cry out to Him, I find He is nothing but constant amazement and wonder. Constant grace, peace, hope and love. Most of all He is constant forgiveness.

I really wonder what would happen....what kind of a revolution this world could have....if we just opened our eyes and listened to the unchanging voice of truth.....if we stepped out of our cozy little box.....if we stood for....

The One Who Gave It All...

Monday, April 15, 2013

I Don't Want To Go

You changed my world
When You came to me
You drove a passion
In my soul down deep
Lord, to follow You in everything

I don't want to go somewhere
If I know that You're not there
'Cause I know that me without You is a lie
And I don't want to walk that road
Be a million miles from home
'Cause my heart needs to be where You are
So I don't want to go

So come whatever
I'll stick with You
I'll walk, You'll lead me
Call me crazy or a fool
For forever I promise you that...


Without Your touch
Without Your love
Filling me like an ocean
For Your grace is enough
Enough for me
To never want to go somewhere
If I know that You're not there


Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's A Season, Not A Merry-Go-Round

By now I really shouldn't be surprised all that the Lord knows, sees and understands what is in depths of my heart. Many times I feel like my head is just a bunch of jumbled thoughts, unspoken prayers, unseen moments unknown to anyone around. 

Tomorrow I (thankfully) have an appointment with my physical therapist (again). Last year I had to do therapy for hip bursitis~not fun! I had just completed the therapy and had begun to run when I became pregnant,  followed 7 weeks later by our 2nd miscarriage. (During those weeks I did very little running.) About the time I picked it back up again, we learned once again we were pregnant and I did no running for the 10 weeks I was pregnant, plus a few weeks additional recovery after we miscarried that pregnancy as well.

So, about half-way through the Summer I finally was able to pick it back up again, and did fairly well until about early Fall. Long story short, I then learned I had to have my gallbladder out and really did not do much running until about a month ago. That's when I began to notice the wonderful ache in my hamstring. I thought it would go away, I prayed it would go away, but it's not and so I think I need to get myself evaluated and hopefully get back to being pain free.

I told Chad today that sometimes (Please read what I wrote... I said sometimes, not all the time.) I feel my life is the same 'ole story, especially the last few years. Clouded by shadows of multiple miscarriages,issues with my body making it difficult to do the things that I love. His reply: I know how you feel, but at least we get to go on this merry-go-round together! I just cannot imagine going on the carousel ride of life with any other man. Next to the good Lord holding me steady, Chad is right there as well, making sure I don't fall off the horse!!! =)

Shortly after Chad and I had that little exchange I received the devotional I posted below in my inbox. Coincidence~~I don't think so!! I had just read the verse that is shared from Jeremiah this morning in my devotional time. I just sat at the counter crying and shaking my head, in amazement and thanksgiving. Life is more about seasons, than merry-go-rounds! I needed that change of perspective today!

I am grateful this day for the ways God communicates with me. How He is intimately aware of what is going on in my life. How He pours out His love and grace in such beautiful ways. I am also thankful for the people that He has placed in my path during my 'seasons'.  People with knowledge to help and encourage me when I need it. I am praying for wisdom for my therapist, patience for me, and ultimately healing so I can get back to worshipping along the road.

Giving thanks even in this season of life...

For A Season
Wisdom Hunters Devotional
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Most everything in life is for a season. Jobs are for a season. Relationships are for a season. Hobbies are for a season. Homes are for a season. Small children and teenagers are for a season. Grandchildren are for a season. Youth is for a season. Economic upturns and downturns are for a season. Family vacations are for a season. Formal education is for a season. Income generating years are for a season. Good health is for a season. Life on earth is for a season.

Perhaps you find yourself in a season within a season. You are eager to move on to a new stage of life, but the Lord still has lessons for you to learn before you transition. Or, you may not want to let go of where you are for fear of what lies ahead in the next chapter of your life. Either way, Jesus will show you the right way, and He will walk with you through the process. So, enjoy this season (do not wish it away), slow down, engage with God and all He wants you to experience.

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. Jeremiah 8:7

What does the Lord require of you in this season? You have an 18 year span of time for your child to be under your roof and under your direct influence and authority. Now is the time to travel less at work or not at all, so you can be all there for your son or daughter. Moreover, it is stressful as a mom to give 24/7 emotionally, physically and spiritually. But, your sacrificial love carries Christ’s love into the life of your child. Yes, the intensity of parenting is for a season.

Is it time to let go of your role at work? It may be better stewardship for a leader with a different gift mix to be responsible. Don’t wear out your welcome. It's better to transition out on friendly terms than to be forced out in resentment. The peak of your performance is the best time to prepare for a new season of service. Wisdom watches for the winds of change and rides them on the wings of faith. Hold this season with an open hand and your next season will be significant!

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:20-21

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the patience to enjoy You and others in this season of waiting.

Wisdom watches for the winds of change and rides them on the wings of faith.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Year Ago

I have had a complaining spirit lately, and even though I know I should be focused on the dozens hundreds of things I have to be joyful about and thankful for, I keep complaining about.....the ugly, cold, bitter, windy, miserable, freezing, snowy March weather pattern we're stuck in. Of course it doesn't help that all 3 of the local news stations can't quit reminding all of us what the weather was like a year ago. Every day, every newscast, they just keep bringing it up!!! Newsflash....last year was in no way normal (although it was enjoyed by me immensely until I had to pay for it literally at the grocery store last Fall). Really, you can stop reminding us all....and making us feel bad! (Okay, maybe just making me feel bad.)

I have to suck it up and face the music....we're stuck in a cold pattern. It's Michigan~hello??!! If I remember correctly this is not that out of the norm for our squirrely weather patterns.

Last year on this day we were enjoying this:

Dinner this year would have been a little cold out on the snow covered deck, not to mention the patio furniture is still tucked away in the shed.

Spring will show up eventually and when it does I do not think I will be seeing the inside of my house a whole lot!  So I guess I better continue to get my indoor projects done so once the nice weather comes I can head out to get my hands dirty in the landscape!  We are SO ready for it, but will continue to wait with the rest of the Michiganders who wonder if it will ever happen.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seriously....I Have Got To Change.....

Okay, I do not know what it is but I have gained a little too much baggage these past few months. That silly scale just keeps inching upward. I seriously thought something had to be really wrong with the thing, even Chad mentioned how wrong it must be.  So, I got out the 'ole 5lb bag of flour and put it on it last night., it is weighing exactly right!!??!!  How can that be, because I SWEAR the number I keep seeing flash in that lovely red color IS NOT really what I it??

I know that my metabolism or something (hormones) has changed. I am cold all the time. Extremely tired (afternoon is really bad), and the goodness!  I even had my Doctor run blood work to check for a nutrient deficiency and a thyroid level.  Of course, everything came back normal. I've been logging my fitness routines and what I eat at this nifty little site called myfitnesspal. I could only help but chuckle a little then today, when I actually had the T.V. turned to the Dr. Oz show and caught some some very interesting information, that just may have a little, a BIG reason behind my battle. Yes, I do not believe in coincidences...not even when it comes to an episode of Dr. Oz! =)

Now, while I believe that what I learned on the Dr. Oz show definitely has something to do with my struggle I also know input versus output is crucial. How many calories am I taking in, versus how many am I putting out? DUH! I know this, and yet I LOVE my kitchen cupboards too much lately.

So, while I think I need to address the hormone issue, I also need to enact some 'rules for Jenni to live by'. I know I'm on the verge of the next decade of my life, but I also know that the scale has been the same weight since I can remember (except of course when I was pregnant).  I also see that if I do not take a serious hold of this issue now, I could be in a heap of trouble down the road. I'd much rather work off the little I want to now, then the LOTS later.

So, these are going inside my head:

~Choose wisely, really look at the calorie count and ask is this something I will regret in the not so distant future. (Like 5 minutes after I swallow it!) I have been really good at making impulse choices at times, instead of stopping to think about it. Some of the time I do great, then I just throw all those moments away....and regret it later.

~Know my weak times....afternoon is AWFUL. I get SO CRAZY HUNGRY.  And, let me just say I do not crave carrots, lettuce or the afternoon when my raging hunger monster appears.  Really what I want is chocolate, chips, cookies, did I mention chocolate and chips?! ;-)  That is time time I need to train my body to crave a piece of fruit or yogurt. Even if it is a piece of paper plastered on the pantry door that says 'YOU HAVE THE CHOICE' remind me that a moment on the lips usually sticks like glue to my hips!!

~STOP taking a piece, or several two off of the kiddos plates while preparing their lunch. I don't even pay attention to how many times I've done this. I probably could have a whole meal counted for by the time I am ready to make my own lunch. Although this is not an every meal occurrence it definitely happens more often than not.

~Set reachable goals! While I'd love to get rid of 10 pounds (and I believe I can) I need to set smaller goals. 5 pounds is a much more attainable number to reach in the short term, and that will set the fire for the other 5 to be shed!! I am stubborn. I know what the scale has shown me for years, and I know I can see that number again. Not skinny, just healthy and feeling good about an 'average' number.

~Exercise each and every day. I bought a stepper, I have a couple of workout DVDs and I LOVE to run!!! I really do enjoy exercising. It's good for as much my body, as my soul! I need to make time each day to do something!

~Drink more H2O....The other day on a local Noon news they interviewed a trainer about the amount of water we should consume each day.  Get this....for a woman it's 72 ounces!!! Add in more if you consistently exercise.  THAT friends is waaaay more water than I drink probably in 3 or 4 days. I usually have coffee in the morning, which yes has some water but also acts a a diuretic. Then maybe another 8-10 oz. the rest of the day.

~Realize that every day I make choices that can have a positive reflection or a negative outcome. I can be burdened by my failures or be proud of my successes. I can do this! But I also know that if I have a bad day....tomorrow is a new one! (I just cannot have too many of those.) that I've gone 'public' on my blog, I guess I have people that will be watching and waiting to see if I can hold to my goals. This is one time in my life where my stubbornness just might be a good thing!!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

15 Years

One of the BEST days of my life!!! Cannot believe how fast 15 years of marriage can fly by. The best 15 years of my life! Every single day spent with this man has been an absolute blessing. We have shared hopes, dreams, joys, laughter. We have shared tears, struggles, loss, heartache. We have shared our love for each other, our love for our children, and our love for our Heavenly Father.
It is only in HIM that all of it has held together.
So grateful to God for this man, and this
life He has given to me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

'Yes...another gasp...I just did say that'

I can only wonder what people think when they read my blog. Behind the scenes of what you do not see is 'real life'. Often times I would love to write about the hard, painful places of life with a teenager, or a preschooler and all the ages in between. I would love to write about how sometimes I just wonder where in the world God went (I know....take a deep breath, I do have moments like that). I wonder if it is okay to have hope, even in contentment. I wonder what it's really like to dare to believe that God really knows, sees and loves my heart. 'Cause sometimes quite frankly, I do not even like it a whole lot, let alone love it.

After a few slightly, painful, hard, difficult weeks where everything about me was tested and tried in one way or another I have learned a few things.  God still loves me when I'm angry at Him. (Yes...another gasp...I just did say that.) God is still there, when I'm stuck in a murky mud puddle. He is in the Bible verse that even though I didn't feel like reading, I read anyway. He is in the song that pops into my head out of nowhere, even when I did not feel like singing. He is in the sky, filled with clouds except for one little hole where a ray of sunlight shines through. God is there when every.single.friend.person.disappears. When I think I've completely gone down a dead-end road, God puts a u-turn sign at the end to remind me where I need to go back to.

But then the stalkers come out....the people who I think are 'friends' but really seem to only be one if my life, or my opinion(s) fit(s) right in with theirs. Or, they think my life, is nothing but a joke. That I am just some spoiled stay-at-home Mom. Or, I am a religious nut (newsflash...I am a JESUS FREAK!!)  I know, I should not really care but it's hard not to when their words, actions, lack of words, lack of actions impact my life. So, I tend not to share too much.

So, you can 'stalk' my blog, my facebook page, my life. I do not have life figured out, nobody does. I think that should be a disclaimer on my at your own risk. I come with faults, issues, drama, but I also come with a hope, a promise, a story. And if I can impact along the way, one life with  anything I write, share, or how I live out my life it is worth it. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I have been way to frazzled to blog the past few weeks.  We have had problem after problem after problem with our mini-van.  We've put hundreds of dollars into it only to have another small issue with a transmission on the fritz.

So we had to decide, put money into it to drive it until tomorrow when another problem pops up, or count our losses and move on.....that is a very hard decision to make. A) We were perfectly happy driving the old thing (seriously....I LOVE my van). B) We now will no longer get anything out of it to put towards another vehicle. C) Not that there is ever a good time to have something like this happen, but right now this was NOT a good time. 

Chad and I had made plans for our 15th anniversary to get away for a few days. We booked the cabin we stayed at for our 10th.  That is actually the last time we have been away overnight, so we were both looking forward to this little tiny vacation with just the two of us.  Not that we do not enjoy all the time we spend with our 5 kiddos, but we both know it's very important for us to connect, refresh, and grow our marriage relationship outside of the title of 'parents'.  We do not get to do this very often, dinner out a handful of times each year and that is about it. I could have had my bags packed a month ago already~~I was so excited!!

We have had to  cancel this time away due to our unforeseen vehicle issue and are beyond disappointed and sad. We will only get our refund returned if the cabin gets rented out for dates we had booked, so we are trusting that will happen.

I will stop there before I let my soul explode with how I am really feeling....frazzled faith....



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bittersweet Week

I cannot believe we have arrived at this moment~Chad and I are officially parents of a teenager!!! How and when did that happen??!! Ethan's birth threw us into the wild and crazy blessed world of parenting....and we've never looked back. How non-coincidental that my devotion in my inbox this morning was called 'Empty Nest'....all too quickly I can see the not so distant future and my growing children headed off in their own directions.
We raise them the best we know how with love, discipline, and belief in Jesus Christ. Sometimes they frustrate us by not cleaning their crib (room). Like an animal in a barn, they can be messy and smelly. There are days you want a little peace and quiet because they are angry and loud when fighting with their siblings. But the empty nest is void of noise. The kids are nowhere to be found; so enjoy them while you can. {Excerpt from Wisdom Hunters; Empty Nest Devotional}
I am so, so blessed and thankful for my overflowing nest!!!! My life is blessed, not burdened by being a parent. I am so grateful that God has given me the most amazing opportunity to be a Mom, and the grace He's given the boys to know I am far from being perfect at it! =) 
It is a bittersweet week in our household. We celebrate Ethan's birthday today, and Lucas turns 11 tomorrow.  (How cool is that....brothers....born 2 years and 1 day apart??!) We also would have been expecting a baby sometime soon. Tomorrow would have been my due date. We will celebrate birthday's of two of our babies we have gotten to hold on Earth, but also we are going to celebrate the life that God gave our son/daughter, brother/sister. I won't lie, miscarriage is hard. Gut~wrenching hard. But I have seen God's faithfulness over all 3 of our miscarriages, and I am SO thankful for the chance to be used by Him.
Baby # 8~Due Date~January 30,2013
Love and miss you!
God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!
Thank you Lord for life~and abundant life at that!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Always Hope

I have heard this song several times over the last several days, always seems to be that God gives me a song to fit right where I am at. Found both the video of the song as well as the story behind it. If you have a few minutes to check them out you will be blessed I'm sure!

In God there is always hope, always a purpose, we just need to trust in Him. (I am shouting this to myself right now!!)

Story behind the song:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Good Riddance

After two long years of various 'issues' (and an even longer story to explain how I got to where I am at) I finally found out my gallbladder is only functioning at 3%.   Yes, it's basically not functioning.  So, tomorrow at 1pm I am having laparoscopic surgery to remove it!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Although I know that many people have had problems after having it removed, I have no risk to feel any worse than I have been feeling.  It's gotten progressively worse over time and I am very thankful to finally have found some answers. I have prayed for a very long time for something, anything to be revealed to explain what has been going on, and I am very thankful that God has answered that prayer!

Please pray for the surgeon and all involved tomorrow. I know that thousands of these surgeries are done every year but I still would be appreciate being covered in prayer!  That God guides the hands of the surgeon. That he does not experience any problems with repairing my hernia (necessary to do the gallbladder surgery) and that all aspects of my recovery will go well. 

Thank you very much!!!

I have also been dealing with an extremely stubborn case of thrush (in case you don't know what that is, it is a yeast infection in my mouth). I am on my second round of medicine and it seems it is slow to work. I have had a sore mouth/tongue/throat for weeks and at times it can be quite discouraging. Would LOVE prayer over this too!!