Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Saltsgavers!

Dear Family and friends,

As I sit here and type, the Christmas tree lights are on, Elf is playing in the background, and I'm enjoying a delicious cup of coffee topped off with some peppermint mocha creamer. I hope this Christmas season is treating all of you well, and amidst  the busyness you've been able to spend some time meditating on the real meaning of Christmas. As I reflect on this last year I hardly know where to begin! The Lord has been so faithful to our family in every possible way. We've been blessed with the birth of Lily, seen our bills get paid each month despite a limited income, found out we were expecting another baby  due next June, and been able to enjoy this season of life with 3 small children.

Speaking of the children, they sure do keep us on our toes! Jack is still the sweetheart he's always been. Usually he's very polite and content playing by himself. He's recently figured out this potty training concept(which makes his mother very happy!), and still takes his stuffed frog everywhere he goes. In fact this past year we had to replace the original froggie with a new one, since the we're pretty sure the old one was becoming disease infested! He loves music, and his favorite toys are his violin and guitar. Recently his cousin let him play her saxophone and flute, and I don't think there has ever been a happier little boy! Jack loves picking out his clothes, and oftentimes will wear two or three shirts at the same time. He loves firetrucks right now, so I've been having a tough time convincing him he doesn't need to wear every shirt he owns that have fire trucks on them! Jack also loves riding in his daddy's truck, and Erik is happy to take him in it so long as Jack doesn't try and shift while they're driving(which may or may not have happened once!)

Then there's Anna. I'm not sure a paragraph will fully explain that child! Let's just say she has quite the little personality. She's either really happy and giggling down to her toes, or she's upset. Anna is quite the girly girl. She loves dolls and dresses, and asks daily to wear her tutu and boots. At the same time, though, she's feisty. She keeps up with Jack, and gets a big kick out of knocking things over(including manger scenes!) I notice her watching my every move, and she wants to do whatever I'm doing. If Lily is crying, she'll want to hold her, if I'm in the kitchen making dinner, that's where she wants to be, and she asks often if she can help with sweeping and dusting. She loves to sit and read, and right now she calls every book the Bible, and when asked what color something is she always tells us green(even if it's not. lol.)
Finally, there's Lily. It's weird to think she wasn't here last Christmas(though she was in my belly!) She reminds me so much of what Jack was like when he was a baby, except I think she might even be more laid back. She's almost always smiling, and I think she's determined to walk before February gets here. She loves watching everything her brother and sister do, though I do think the noise gets to her sometimes:-). Lily is also proving herself to be a typical almost one year old. If we're not watching her for a minute she'll start getting into something she shouldn't. Her favorite spot in the house is underneath the table, probably because she's hoping to find more food. She is a bottomless pit of hunger!

As for Erik and I, this year has been difficult at times, but we are so thankful that the tough times have seemed to bring us closer together. We look forward to next year when Lord Willing,  our family goes from five to six!
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pictures worth 1000 Words

 This picture pretty well sums up how everyone felt about getting their pictures taken.

Not even Rudolph could calm our Anna down..

I think it goes without saying why Anna is not in this picture...

And just when Anna calmed down, Jack became upset..

The only one with all three looking at the camera and no one crying. By this point we couldn't imagine getting anyone to smile.

Oh well at least everyone matched and we have something to remember Christmas 2010!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 5

Tomorrow Erik and I will be celebrating our five year wedding anniversary. In many ways it seems like we just got married, but in other ways it feels like we've been married much longer than 5 years. I suppose everyone say that though! Anyway, in celebration of our (almost) five year wedding anniversary I thought I would write down the top five things I have learned since becoming a wife. This shouldn't by any means be considered advice, but rather just lessons learned from someone who's still trying to figure things out.

1. If you move his stuff, remember where you put it(Surely I'm not the only one that has this problem?)

2. Limit times apart as much as possible, and try to go to bed at the same time.

3. Learn how to talk to him when he's had a bad day. Chances are the last thing you should do is tell him you think he's acting immature. ;-) Let him vent, and soon he'll probably be over it. On that same page, don't turn things into a competition either. You know what I mean, he comes home and tells you how tired he is from a rough day, and then you say,"You're tired?! I was up half the night with a baby, then had to get up before you! The preschooler decided to sing during nap time instead of sleep, so I barely even got a break today!" Not that I've ever done this or anything. Ahem. Just try to remember you guys are on the same team.

4. Don't compare your husband with other husbands.

5. This is hands down the most important thing I've learned. Instead of nagging, pray. If you'd like to see him grow as the Spiritual leader, talk it over with him of course, but after that pray. Pray that God would convict him. Pray that you would be convicted if you're just being too critical, and need to extend grace. That's just one example, but it could be said for all areas of marriage.

This is certainly not everything I've learned in the last five years, and I am most definitely still learning these lessons. I am so thankful for the last five years and the things God has allowed us to learn together.

One of Those Days

We've been having some nasty, cold weather here in Illinois, and while I enjoy snow I don't always enjoy staying inside day in and day out with three wild children. Today especially I've been feeling a bit stir crazy. What's a mommy to do when she just doesn't have the energy to continue breaking up fights and reading the same books over and over? Well it's quite simple really.

Step 1. Stand children on chairs next to counter top.

Step 2. Dig out your food coloring, sprinkles, and spoon. Spoon some frosting into bowls and give it to children.

Step 3. Tell them to have fun.

Step 4. Be prepared to have a big mess, but remind yourself they're having fun and making memories.

Monday, December 13, 2010

In which I wonder if my children have pent up Aggression

My kids are not exactly what you'd call aggressive kids. Crazy? Yes. Loud? Absolutely. But I don't think many would describe them as aggressive. I think I've seen Jack push someone(his sister) once and that was a long time ago.

Don't get me wrong, they have their squabbles over toys, but the farthest that goes is Jack holding the toy Anna wants above his head while she jumps up and down trying to take it from him.(In case you were wondering I totally cracked up writing that sentence..isn't it interesting how brothers and sisters just know how to get under each others skin?)

So today I'm folding laundry and all 3 kids are playing in Jacks bedroom. After a few minutes I hear them laughing. Not just laughing, but hysterically cracking up. Curious, I go check on them and what do I find? Jack and Anna are stacking their nativity set(all the characters except baby Jesus, interestingly enough) on top of Annas doll house and then proceeding to push them off. Not only are they pushing them off, but they are growling while they do it! Lily thought it was just as hilarious as her brother and sister, and almost toppled over a few times she got so excited.

As I'm standing in their door way watching all of this unfold, I decide not to say anything and just walk back to the next room. At least they were all playing together.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

10 months

Little Miss Lily turned 10 months on Thursday. I feel bad that I haven't posted an update since she was 7 months, but things have been busy and morning sickness has made me want to stay far away from the computer! Here is what my sweet girl has been up to.

-She crawls everywhere, and pulls up on everything.

- Everything must go in her mouth. Erik and I both think she's worse than Jack or Anna was about this, but then again we aren't able to give her constant undivided attention, so that could be why we feel that way!

-She is such a daddy's girl! I bet the only time I hear her get half as excited is when she sees food coming her way.

-Lily has an incredibly sweet disposition. She's almost always happy and smiling, and is generally easy going.

-Her eyes still haven't changed color. Some days they look blue and other days they look brown.

-She claps to music, waves, and lifts her arms to say she's "So Big!" Right now we are trying to get her to do the sign for please.

That's what Lily has been up to lately! She's very petite. At her last well baby appointment she was in the 5th percentile for her height and weight, but she eats well so she's probably taking after me and her older sister.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Faith like a Child

It occurs to me when my 3 year old tells me Jesus is the Savior of the world.

When my friends four year old daughter says she shows love to others because Jesus loves her.

When my two year old declares Jesus died for her sins.

They don't question. They don't hesitate. They accept the Gospel as truth, and don't try to argue details.

So often I find myself wanting what they have. Faith without questions. Taking the word of God for what it really is, and not trying to give it foot notes.

Most days I think my kids have so much to learn. Every day I know I have so much to learn!

Father, give me child like faith. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of what that means.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things that make me Smile

This is kind of a continuation of my Out of the Mouths of Babes post, except this time I am writing out some memories and sweet moments that have happened in the last few weeks.

1.Every morning when Jack wakes up he says,"Mommy is baby Jesus Christmas tree still here?"

2.The other day I took Lily and Anna out to run errands and when we got home Jack and Anna hugged each other tight, and Jack goes,"I love you so much, Anna!" and then he turned to Lily and gave her a big hug and kiss.

3. Anna has recently taken an interest in a certain baby doll. She carries it around all day and even sleeps with it. Lately she'll sit in her rocking chair and tell us to, "shhh" while she rocks her baby(or as she says, "beebee").

4. The kiddos reactions when Erik get home from school. The girls in particular are hilarious. The second he walks in the door Anna starts screaming, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" until he picks her up, and Lily squeals excitedly for his attention.

5. Reading Luke 2:1-21 with the kids, and seeing them realize their nativity set and the Bible story are related.

What sweet moments have been happening in you life lately?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby # 4

I know, I know. After Lily made her announcement, her mommy left the blogosphere for a few weeks and never gave any details. So here is the scoop. About three months ago, we became a little suspicious that I might be expecting again. We were not "trying" to get pregnant, but we absolutely believe children are a blessing, and are very excited about having another child.

I have been feeling all right. This has probably been the easiest pregnancy as far as morning sickness(perhaps my body is used to pregnancies?!), but I have been quite a bit a tad more emotional lately. I will be 12 weeks on Saturday, making my due date June 18. So for a little over month we will have four children under the age of three! Plus my husband graduates in May, so more than likely he will be starting a new job(Lord willing) and that potentially means we will be moving. I do believe life will be crazy next summer.

People have mostly been very sweet and excited when we've told them we are expecting again, but we have had some negative reactions. Thankfully, we serve a sovereign God who knows exactly what He is doing, so we rest on that promise.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Tree

Last weekend Erik suggested we cut down our Christmas tree. We loaded up the kids, grabbed some lunch at Sonic, and headed over to the closest Christmas tree farm.

Jack and Anna were so excited, they were running through the trees and falling down all over the place.

 Every tree stump we passed was turned into a drum. :-)

They were deep in discussion trying to decide if this tree would fit in our living room.

I couldn't get Jack to look at the camera, but here is the picture Lily and I took of them standing by our tree.
Isn't she cute?!

Jack and Anna were beyond excited to decorate the tree last night. They were dancing around, and exclaiming over every ornament. 

Growing up, every year my dad and I put the star on top of the tree together. We even have a picture of me sitting on my dads shoulders when I was 20 years old putting the star on top of the tree! I guess we decided to carry on that tradition, and Anna was able to put the star on top of the tree with her daddy. I suppose next year, when Lily is older, Erik will have to hold both of them so they can put the star up!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Week in my Life

YLCF Blog Carnival

Saturday- Saturday morning I am the first person up. I decide to indulge myself and have a cup of coffee with some baked oatmeal while I watch an episode from a dvd Erik and I are going through(Don't tell him I watched it without him, though!) Soon after I finish the episode, I hear Jack(my three year old) calling for me. It never ceases to amaze me that he knows which parent is up, even though he can't see who it is. As soon as he's up he makes a special request to go to "our woods", and then proceeds to count to fifty. I am always amazed by how much this child seems to absorb. Pretty soon, Erik, Anna(who's 2), and Lily(who's almost 9 months) are awake and fed. Since it's Saturday, we head out to our local state park to go on some trails-that was the woods Jack was referring to earlier. Ever since summer has ended we usually go out there once a week, and have so much fun! When we come home the kids and I take naps. The rest of our Saturday is fairly lazy, and we put the kids to bed at 7:30, which has become our Saturday night tradition since they seem to need the extra rest for church the next morning.

Sunday- Sunday morning I wake up at 6:30. I have to get up by then if I want to take a shower and eat breakfast before church. Sunday mornings are tough. Erik plays in the praise band so he has to be at church by 8:20, but since we have three little ones that need to be ready, he usually gets them dressed, while I get dressed and do my make up. All five of us usually head up to church together since taking the three of them by myself can be tricky, and I feed them breakfast once we arrive. By 9 everyone is in their Sunday school class, and I feel as if I've run a marathon. I told one of my friends that I usually can't concentrate on Sunday school until it's almost over, because my mind is running all over the place! After Sunday school I pick up Jack and Anna from their class, and we head into the service(I also peek in at Lily, but I have to be careful she doesn't see me!) I'm still on the fence with how I feel about small children being made to sit through an hour long service(I'm all for older children doing that though!) but for us the kids seem to do better being in church with us than being left in the nursery all morning. The kids dance during praise and worship time, which always melts me, and Anna gets so excited seeing her daddy up on stage. When Church is over, we go out to lunch with my in laws. Since Erik and I don't enjoy being tortured we rarely go out to eat with the kids after church, but my sis in law is in town so we make an exception. As per usual the kids are exhausted from a long morning, and we are reminded yet again why we don't eat out very often! After naps on Sunday afternoon, we decide to take a walk, and then we heat up left overs for dinner. Last Sunday night was a bit unusual because I got together with one of my closest friends. We are so close, but don't get to see each other much because we are both in busy seasons and have small children.

Monday- On week days Erik has to leave the house at 5:30 in the morning, so he's always the first one awake(unless I'm up with a little person!) Monday morning I'm able to sleep until 6:30, and then I start the last week in my Bible study, Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy. Mondays are suppose to be my errand and grocery shopping day, but for whatever reason I'm in project mode. I decide that I need to clean out the kids closet and go through their toys before we go anywhere. Let me tell you, it's not a wise idea to pull out all of your childrens toys while they are awake. And it's an even worse idea to tell your children not to touch the toys! Finally around eleven we decide to head out the grocery store. Shopping with three children three and under is always an adventure. We get stared at, people make comments to me about having my hands full, and inevitably at least one child gets cranky. Thankfully we make it out of the store alive and just a little frazzled. Erik got out of school early today, and gets to eat lunch while Jack tells him all about our day(Anna and Lily  were already in bed at this point.) For dinner we have turkey meatballs and broccoli with olive oil(yum!) The kids love the meatballs, so dinner is very pleasant tonight!

Tuesday- On Tuesdays it's my goal to get the whole house dusted and mopped. I can tell you I accomplished about 1/4 of that goal, but it's good to have goals! Tuesday was very nice. It was our only day at home this week, so we were able to stick to our schedule and make a pumpkin pie together. I also did several loads of laundry, but as usual I didn't get them put away until Wednesday. We enjoyed some beef enchiladas for dinner, and after the kids went to bed Erik and I watched some of the shows we have on dvd.

Wednesday- I had to go to the doctor for an hour, so my mother in law comes over to watch the kids. When I got home, a friend of mine called to see if we wanted to meet at the park. I agreed and was happy to get outside and enjoy the lovely fall day. When it was time to go home, one of my kids threw a little tantrum, but it was nipped in the bud pretty quick. Once home, we enjoyed a quiet afternoon. While the kids slept I put away clothes and straightened up the house. I also enjoyed a little bit of down time. At the last minute we decided to order a pizza for dinner, and while we waited for it we watched these videos.

Thursday- Thursday mornings I'm always torn between dread and excitement. Thursday mornings is when the ladies bible study I belong to meets. I always look forward to the fellowship, but I always have a sense of dread in me because there have been several times I've had to leave early because of a baby that doesn't like her mommy to leave or because of two toddlers who can get a little bored being stuck in the same room all morning. I know I need to get over this and realize that everyone with little kids has days these problems, but sometimes I can feel like I'm the worst mom! I'm able to make it most of the way through the study without anything major happening, that is until the very end. Why yes that is my three year old on the floor throwing a fit! Lovely. On that note I gather the kids and and try to get them out of the church as quickly as possible. By the time lunch is ready everything is fine, but everyone is need of a break! During nap time I make a chicken pot pie and brownies to take to a family from church who just had a baby. For dinner we have some cheese potato soup and rolls. Tonight Erik has praise band practice, so I spend the evening blog hopping and making a pumpkin dip for my mops meeting in the morning.

Friday- Friday morning I get the kids and myself ready to leave the house before nine. This isn't an easy task! Today, however, my sweet mother in law has offered to take the children so I can go MOPs alone. I am very thankful for this offer, especially after a day like Thursday! After a delightful morning of fellowship with other mothers, I pick up the children and we go home to get some lunch. Today my parents are coming down for a visit, and I am very much looking forward to the break! Once Erik gets home, my parents offer to send us out on a date so they can baby sit. We don't hesitate taking them up on their offer! We have a wonderful evening eating dinner and buying Anna some winter clothes(I think she's grown six inches in the last week!).

If you would like to see what other people's weeks have looked like, be sure to check out this blog!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Explosions and Blue Vans

Myra is hosting Friday fails again this week, and in the last week I've had my share of fails, so I thought I'd share two of mine from this last week!

My first fail was last Thursday. We had to go to a visitation about an hour away from our house. Right before we left, Jack decided to dump a container of formula into the diaper bag. We were in such a rush to get out the door that I didn't bother to repack it, and just grabbed the kids snacks and cups. Of course as soon as Erik scooped Lily out of her car seat, he noticed a strange smell. Sure enough Miss Lily had exploded all over her new dress, and I had no change of clothes or wipes with me(thankfully we had a diaper out in the van!) Poor Lily had to hang out at the funeral home with just her diaper on while Erik and I tried to find the nearest Wal Mart in an unfamiliar town!

The next fail I have had has kind of been an ongoing one in the last week. I keep trying to get into the wrong car! It's getting ridiculous, apparently I think every blue van belongs to me. Thankfully I have yet to actually get in any of these cars and try to drive off. I think motherhood is causing me to lose my mind...

For more fails check out Myra's blog!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The heart of the Matter

 "In building meaningful relationships with my children..I must learn to accept unconditionally the person God made each of them to be...mothers have the priviledge of instilling in children a deep experience of God by modeling his unconditional love and acceptance." Quote taken from Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

I have this little boy who is going through a phase of sorts. Whenever I leave him at Church or anywhere new, he gets very upset and someone usually has to come get me to take care of him.

For awhile I was getting very frustrated with him. Why was he throwing these fits? He knows better than that! 

Last Thursday, after another episode, I fell on my knees in sheer frustration and started praying. I asked God to give me some wisdom in dealing with Jack. Almost immediately I began feeling burdened that Jack might not be throwing tantrums because he's disobeying, but because he's scared. Perhaps he is feeling a little insecure and feels most secure with me. I also felt that before church or before we go anywhere that we'll be separated for awhile I should pray over him.

Tomorrow I'll get to put this into practice, I'll let you know how it goes.

My Curly Girl

Our little Anna is quite the character. She's still mischievous, but in the last few months she has turned into such a funny little girl. 

She's our child that mimics everything we do, especially what she sees me do! In the last few weeks she has started playing with baby dolls, and I'll often see her caring for her dolls the same way I care for Lily(except I'm not prone to drag a baby around by her head). She gets so excited about everything(I have no idea where she gets that from!) and will jump up and down when she sees her grandparents and applaud when Erik comes home.

For all her energy, though, Anna is usually perfectly content to sit and read. She is also an excellent sleeper. In fact, we just moved her and Lily into the same room, and there hasn't been any problems. 

Anna is this sweet combination of being a bit of tomboy and being very much a girly girl. She loves shoes and dresses, but is happy to chase and play a bit rougher with Jack. 

"A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just in case anyone cares...

Ever since our little family has gone from four to five, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed. My husband and I were discussing some things I could do to make things a little easier, and the one very obvious solution we had was to make a schedule. I've always been a routine person. My children have nap times and bedtimes, but as far as an actual schedule of things we do while they are awake? Not so much. That has all changed in the last week or two, and while it's not been perfect, it has helped me tremendously in trying to love on the children while also staying on top of housework. I don't know if it'll help anyone reading this or not, but just in case anyone is considering the same thing for their homes I thought I would show our schedule.

Monday- Clean out refrigerator, make menu, grocery shop, errands and start on laundry.

Tuesday- Dust entire house, vacuum, mop wood floor areas, and laundry(of course).

Wednesday- Clean both bathrooms, wash bedding, and bath rugs. Mop bathrooms and kitchen floor.

Thursday- Ladies Bible study. Minimal housework is done, but we usually need milk and bread by Thursday, but I wait until Erik is home so I can go alone.

Friday- Projects/ fun day. Also MOPS is every couple of Fridays, so we go there as well.

Monday-Wednesday schedule for kids

8:15- Kids wake up

8:30-Dressed, breakfast. Sometimes we sing a song or work on a memory verse. Other times we just talk while I gather dirty clothes and unload the dishwasher.

9-9:15- Free time

9:15-945- Read books with kids, sing songs, rock with Lily.

9:45-10:00- Free time.

10:00- Bible time/practice sitting quietly. We either read Psalm 103 or Genesis 1. Sometimes we go through  My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts, by Susan Hunt. The stories are a little above my three year old's head, but he can get the verses within five minutes.

10:15- Snack time(Lily goes down for nap about this time)

10:30- Color/ art

10:45- play outside if weather is nice, have art time go on for awhile if it's not nice out. We might watch a video around this time as well.

11:30- Lily wakes up, and it's more free time until lunch.(Free time just means they can play whatever they want, or I'll read to one of them, or we might go back outside, etc)

12:00- Lunch

12:30 Pick up toy room, go potty for those who are potty training, and change diapers. Then it's upstairs for naps!

Late afternoons and evenings are pretty free, since that's when Erik is home.

It's a pretty simple schedule, but it helps to keep me on task. I've only been doing this for a couple of weeks, but so far it has been a blessing to me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Jack,

You have truly become such a sweetheart in the last few weeks. You adore Anna and Lily, and they love the attention they get from you. Whenever we go somewhere, you always hold the door open for the girls(mommy included), most of the time without being asked. As soon as you shut the door behind us, you usually take Anna by the hand and lead her to wherever we are going. You like to play games with Lily, such as peek-a-boo, and are one of the first ones to ask her what's wrong when she starts crying.

But the most recent thing that has melted your mommy was at church this past Sunday. You wanted to watch Daddy play his base in big church, so after Sunday school I took you into big church with me. For the first few songs, you danced in place, seeming to enjoy yourself. But when the slower songs started, and people were raising their hands in worship, you decided to join them. I glanced down and you had your hands raised, eyes closed, singing,"Amazing Love." Well technically you weren't singing the lyrics, but you like to move your mouth along to songs you don't know the words to. It was so sweet! I couldn't help but laugh a little, and I'm fairly certain you melted the people behind us. It made me pray once again that you would grow into a man who would learn to worship Jesus unashamedly.

I love you, bubby!



While in a Bible study meeting last week the question came up, "How do you respond to God in difficult circumstances?"

We all have an old nature that we tend to fall back in when the going gets tough, but if we are Christians, we need to learn to rely on God to meet all our needs.

Today started out decent. I didn't even get too frustrated when my kids woke up earlier than I would've liked. There was one situation that needed to be taken care of today, but I thought I had a handle on it. God is Sovereign in all things, He would take care of the need we had.

But then I received a disappointing phone call. Things weren't going to work out quite the way I had thought, but I still wasn't too upset because I thought we had other options of taking care of the problem.

About an hour later, I received an even more upsetting phone call. All the options I had thought we had were gone. Now I was upset. I was overwhelmed, and beginning to wonder if we hadn't made a huge mistake. I sat on my kitchen floor, trying to think of ways to escape the mess we are in. But then in my kitchen, I began to feel convicted. Was I really trusting God earlier today, or was I just trusting the options I thought we had? Do I truly believe God is good and that He takes care of His children?

Thankfully, God gave me grace to repent. I didn't know how things were going to turn out, but I knew that no matter what God would supply our needs somehow.

And wouldn't you know, about five minutes after I got up from the kitchen floor, there was a knock on the door. And it was someone who wanted to help us out. I continue to be blown away by the way God answers our prayers. Most of the time it seems to be at the last minute, when our hearts are being tested to see what we truly believe.

I don't write any of this to give anyone the impression that I believe in a "name it claim it" theology. This was a real need, and God promises to meet every need His children have.

"Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said," I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say,"The Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The other day I gave in and used some of my swagbucks to buy a couple of books I've been drooling over wanting to read. When I say I gave in, I mean that it was literally a struggle for me to use some of my swagbucks(I'm a great hoarder of gift cards), but I finally decided my desire to read was stronger than my desire to hang on to my gift cards. Here is what I decided to buy.
The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity

I've been wanting to read The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity for awhile now, and I'm so glad I bought it! I'm only a couple of chapters in, but I can tell it's a book full of wisdom and encouragement. I'm sure I'll be rereading this one throughout my journey as a mom.

Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women (Marigold)

I also decided to purchase Nancy Wilson's, Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women (Marigold). I hadn't really heard much about this book, but Erik and I have enjoyed some of her husbands teaching. The other night I stumbled onto the blog she shares with her daughters, and decided I wanted to glean all the wisdom I could from her! The reviews of this book said she dedicates a chapter to raising sons and another to raising daughters, and since I can use all the specific help I can get I didn't hesitate purchasing this book! It's a quick and short read, almost as if reading a diary. Each chapter covers various aspects of Biblical Womanhood(loving husband, homemaking, raising children, submission, etc), but also has chapters dedicated to dealing with your in laws, dealing with postpartum hormones, and suggestions for a Sabbath dinner(which is an interesting idea).

What books are you reading right now?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

7 months

I know I'm going to sound like a proud mama, but how stinkin cute is this little girl? She is seriously sweet. She smiles almost constantly, rarely cries, and is beginning to sleep like a champ. All very important things in the life of a baby!

I must admit, though, I'm a little nervous about Lily's mobility. Out of our three kids, Lily is probably more mobile and into more things than Jack or Anna were at this age. If I leave the room for a minute she will figure out a way to get under our couch or get a hold of an electrical cord. So basically, I don't ever leave her alone!

Jack is in love with her. He's always playing with her, and his new thing is to hide behind our ottoman and exclaim,"I'm going to get you, Lily!" then he pops out and tries to tickle her. It's so sweet! Anna likes to play with her too, but usually she seems to want some mommy or daddy time while Jack plays with Lily.

She has a really good grip, too. Since Anna and I are the only ones with longer hair we experience Lily's grip more than Erik or Jack. If Anna is sitting next to Lily, Lily will grab one of Anna's curls for dear life..hmm maybe that's why Anna doesn't play with her as much as Jack! Thankfully, Anna hasn't become upset with her little sister, she usually just looks at me as if to say,"Umm, Mom, could you do something about this, please?"

Lily is eating three "meals" a day of baby food and nursing about 4 times a day now. I honestly think her favorite food is peas, of all things! She seems to like vegetable better than fruit right now. At her last check up she weighed 16 pounds and 4 ounces.

Happy 7 months, Lily Faith!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Today I realized why I enjoy quietness so much. It's not about the three kids running around the house, and it's not the constant questions I get from my three year old.

It's the narrating.

Jack is quite the little narrator. From the minute he gets up he is talking a mile a minute about anything and everything. For example here's how this morning went:

"Good morning, bubby."

"Oh, goooooood morning, Mommy!(He likes to sing while he talks) Mommy where's froggie? Oh Froggie's right here! Oh look, Mommy there's baby Anna, I mean baby Lily! Ahhh-ahh(he does a high pitch squeal for Lily), yep I think it's time to get up real quick. Mommy can we have hot dogs and chocolate milk for breakfast? Oh look there's Anna and she's wearing purple! Mommy, what color is Anna wearing? What color are you wearing, Mommy? Look Lily has a flower on her shirt! What color is Lily wearing? (More high pitched squealing that cracks Lily up) Do you think Lily might not like some yogurt? Jack and Anna looove yogurt! Do you like yogurt, mommy? Has Daddy left for work yet, Mommy? What color is Daddy wearing today? Ok it's time to go downstairs, Mommy, let me go cook.(I don't have my three year old cook just for the record.) Mommy can I wear my guitar shirt today? Oh I mean may I please wear my guitar shirt? Oh look there's Jack's big boy chair! Where did that pink wash rag go? Oh yeah I flushed it down the white potty, mommy!(He sure did!)"

And that's how our mornings go around here. Oh sure Anna throws in her two cents of conversation, but currently it's not quite the constant narration of my little broadcaster in training.

 Supposedly I was the same way at that age(and maybe to some still am a bit chatty, ahem) I think my parents are getting a bit of satisfaction out of this.

Oh well, I love my little man more than words can describe.

But I am always glad when sweet and glorious nap time arrives at our house. Because then we get a little quiet, and when everyone is back awake, we're happy to hear the details of everyday life, at least until bed time. :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What's Cooking?

My favorite time of year is here! I don't know about you guys but I can seriously get in a food rut towards the end of summer. Not that I don't love grilling, but after awhile it starts to feel as if we are eating the same things every week! That doesn't seem to be the case with fall, though. Soups, slow cooked meals, baked apples, and pumpkin bread(I bet you can't tell I'm on a diet by the way I'm talking!) all seem to be in constant demand around here, and it's hard to get bored with those!

Anyways, I thought I'd share some links to some recipes we've been enjoying this past week. Tonight we had homemade pizza, and we used this crust. A couple of nights ago(on the first "fall" night) we had this pot roast, and some creme brulee cheesecake for desert(we were in Heaven!)

And lest you think I rely to heavily on the internet for recipes, I thought I'd share my husband's favorite dish that was derived from a Betty Crocker cook book. I have seriously made this for him every birthday and father's day since we've been married.

Easy Coq Au Vin

-package of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut up.
-can of chicken broth
-six strips of bacon
-clove of garlic
-1/2 cup of flour
-1 tsp of salt
-1 tsp of pepper

Place bacon in frying pan, fry until crispy, remove from skillet and absorb grease in paper towels. Crumble bacon, and set aside. While bacon is frying mix the flour, salt, and pepper, and lather chicken in flour mixture. As soon as bacon is fried, place the floured chicken in bacon grease. Let fry until golden brown on all sides. Drain fat. Pour Chicken broth, garlic, and bacon crumbles in pan with the fried chicken. You can also add some carrots and mushrooms. Let broth boil, and then cover the pan and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes(the broth makes a really tasty gravy) and enjoy!

What are your favorite recipes?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Princess Lily

Here is what happens when you combine your two year olds dress up, your three year old's silliness and a tired mommy!

Go here for more wordless Wednesday!

Monday, August 30, 2010

What a Week!

This past week marked my husband's first week of school, so that means I'm back to holding down the fort back home. Don't get me wrong, I love staying home with our three kids, and I'm so glad to be back on a schedule, but I apparently got very used to having my husband home during the summer and did not realize how truly crazy life is when you have 3 little ones. Every day held an adventure, so here is a recap.

Monday: Grocery shopping and errands with all three kids. That alone should be enough crazy for one day! At one point, Jack and Anna were singing at the top of their lungs, and Lily was crying as we walked the aisles, an old man stopped me and asked,"Do you have to listen to this everyday?!"

Tuesday: Tuesday wasn't too bad, in all honesty. A friend of mine's kids came over to play, so while it was crazy in the sense that there were 3 more kids here, they all kept each other entertained.

Wednesday: Started out almost boring. However the day ended with me having to pick up my inconsolable 3 year old from church. Apparently AWANA is just a bit too much excitement yet. This was fine with Anna, who was not happy to see her big brother leave.

Thursday: I woke up feeling overwhelmed with everything that needed done(I was up by six and didn't know how I was going to accomplish everything). Little did I know! Thursday mornings I have women's Bible study, about half way through my husband called. Thankfully I had my phone out(it was on silent), he was calling to tell me that his tire had shredded. He needed the kids and I to come get him. No problem, I thought. We were all ready to go since we were at church, so I figured we'd hop in the van and drive the 35 minutes to get him. Wrong. I got my kids loaded into the van, and then I realized I had left my purse with my keys and phone inside the church! I wasn't too worried, but then I realized that the church doors had locked behind me and no one was by the doors to hear me knocking. Thankfully, I was able to see the humor in the situation, and the kids were in good moods. After about 20 minutes someone noticed my purse and walked out to the doors to see if I was still outside. :-)

Friday: Erik had a men's retreat Friday night. Not five minutes after he'd left Jack threw up all over the place, the toilet backed up, and the girls were screaming their heads off because Jack was crying. I was trying to comfort Jack, unclog the toilet, and keep Anna out of the mess. It's just funny now to think about. Jack didn't wind up being sick, and we managed to have a nice evening with some friends.

Last week certainly had it's crazy times, but I suppose that's life with little ones. I am hoping that this week might have less crazy happening outside of our house, but I am so thankful I was able to see God's hand in every situation no matter how crazy it seemed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Heart Check

You Know You’re Religious, When…
By Emil Swift

…you love the “Word of God” more than the God of the Word.
…you have a program instead of a Partner.
…you do for God instead of with God.
…God is your Boss instead of your Friend.
…you have a religion instead of a Relationship.
…you have an agenda instead of a adventure.
…the center of your thoughts and conversations is you and not Him.
…an examination of your checkbook register shows your money goes for taking care of concerns that are self-centered not God-centered.
…you protest your love for God but practice your love for the things of men.
…you spend time and energy in trying to control your life instead of releasing control to God.
…your prayer consists of much talking and little listening.
…you do the best you can instead of letting God do the best that He can.
…you work for God instead of working with God.
…you’re primarily directed by God’s principles instead of God’s Spirit.
…you accomplish natural goals instead of supernatural goals.
…you’re concerned more with what others think of you than what God thinks of you.
…you’re passion is for right doctrine more than right Relationship.
… you’re more focused on your needs than others needs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

She turned 2!

Dear Anna,

Yesterday you turned two! I think you had a good day. I mean, there were cupcakes involved so I don't think I know you had a good day! We had your party the day before your actual birthday since Sundays are tough to get everyone together. You got some cute dresses, a top, a crown, a dress up costume, books, and best of all(at least in your opinion) you received a recorder. Yep that's right, your great grandparents thought it would be funny to get Jack and you musical intruments. You both love walking through the house playing the recorders as loud as you can! It is very funny, and they keep you two happy.

It's been a big year for you, Anna. You've learned to walk, talk, sing, you actually grew big enough to be on the growth chart(at your last checkup you weighed 22 pounds!), and most importantly you became a big sister! I love watching you and Lily interact. I don't have a sister, so I'm really excited to watch you two grow up together. You love to hold her and help feed her cereal.

And Jack is most definitely your best friend. You two are constantly playing and chasing and getting into mischief things. We joke that you are either really happy or really mad. There's not much of a middle ground with you! People who meet you usually comment that you have,"Quite the personality!"

You have also become a daddy's girl(and a Papa's girl). The men in your life seem to melt the second you come up to them. At times you use this to your advantage, and when one of them catches you doing something you shouldn't, you smile and say,"Hi! How are you?" in your sweetest voice. Even though you're a daddy's girl, you love helping me with any type of house work(especially dusting.) You generally like to be where I'm at, and I often see you mimicking the things I do.

We love you so much, Anna! I praise God for you everyday, and I pray that one day you'll know Jesus. Happy Birthday, my spunky girl!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

6 months

Lily Faith, you were six months old two weeks ago!

Here is what you are doing at six months(already half way to a year! *sniffle*)

-You roll EVERYWHERE! The minute I lay you on the ground you roll until we move you.

-You started eating rice cereal this week. We think you like it, because you always try to take the spoon from us when you want more.

-You are seriously happy. Almost always calm, smiley, and you love to cuddle. Some of my favorite moments with you are when I get you up for your nightly feeding and you just rest your head on my shoulder while sucking your thumb. It melts me every time!

-Jack and Anna love you and the feeling is mutual. Jack loves to talk to you and tries to squeal like you do when the two of you are having a "conversation." Anna thinks you are her doll most of the time, so we don't usually leave you two alone!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anna's Birth Story

Anna's birthday will be on Sunday, so in honor of that I thought I'd finally write her birth story.

On December 24, 2007, I found out I was pregnant. Jack was just a day shy of five months old, and we decided to wait a day and tell Erik on Christmas morning. Jack wrote his daddy a card-with my help of course(ha!)- telling him he was going to be a daddy again, and stuck it in his stocking. When Erik was let in on the good news, we were all so excited. Though truthfully I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of having children less than 13 months apart. But I decided not to worry too much about that, for the time being, and just rejoice that the Lord had seen fit to give us another blessing.

Anna's pregnancy was very similar to Jack's. I wasn't too sick, but I did have the gestational diabetes again. Anna was also the only child  that we decided to find out what we were having before delivery day. We were so excited to be having a little girl!

The summer leading up to Anna's birth Jack went through an odd period of being sick almost once a week. About a month before Anna was born, Jack even wound up in the hospital for a few days. But when Jack got sick literally the hour before I was suppose to go to the hospital to be induced, I was surprised. He acted happy, but couldn't keep anything down. I felt so guilty, I was torn between being excited to hold my precious little girl in my arms, and not wanting to leave my son. We decided there wasn't anything that could be done, I was as far along as my doctor would allow me to be, and we did hold on to the fact that Jack didn't act sick. We just hoped it wouldn't turn into the stomach flu.

Since my water had broke on its own with Jack, we had assumed this would happen again with Anna. We were wrong. The next morning nothing was really going on, and Anna was laying really strange. They did a quick ultrasound to make sure she wasn't breach, and thankfully she wasn't, but she was posterior. We hoped she'd turn around before she was delivered.

Erik called my mom and dad to see how Jack was doing, and they told us he still wasn't keeping anything down but was acting happy. We had in our heads that things were going to be the way they were with Jack's birth, and we desperately wanted him to be with us. We told them to come over. But by the time my parents and Jack made it to the hospital, we realized it wasn't wise to have a sick toddler around other newborns, so my mother- in- law took Jack back to her house.

The contractions came slow, and I was progressing about a half centimeter an hour. They had started the pitocin around seven and around one o clock I decided to get the epidural. I opted this time just to get the epidural since I hated being so loopy when Jack was born. I wanted to remember everything about Anna's birth day!

We spent the afternoon watching TLC(my station of choice!) and sleeping. Our family would come in and visit every once in awhile, but they let us get some rest. Around 5:30 I started feeling really strange. My legs had been numb from the epidural, but it seemed as if my legs weren't numb anymore. I asked the nurse if this was normal, and she didn't seem to concerned. About fifteen minutes later, though, the epidural had worn completely off. I was in "transition" and was feeling everything. I was scared. Natural births weren't really an option for me since I have to be induced, and I wasn't sure what to do. Erik, my doctor, and my nurse were all really encouraging. At some point they had the anesthetist come back and get the epidural going again. But by that point it was time to push, and the medicine wasn't helping me any.

At 6:29 I heard my little girl cry for the first time. That one moment made everything worth it. Anna was gorgeous and a healthy 7 pounds even. She nursed right away, and was a natural. The lactation nurse even commented that nursing isn't suppose to be that easy! My family and Erik's family got to meet her and pass her around, and then my parents went home to get Jack so my mother in law could come over and meet her granddaughter.

The only problem was shortly after Anna was delivered my epidural kicked in again. And I was now pretty sick from not eating anything in over 24 hours(at least that's what I thought at the time!) Around 11 o'clock that night the epidural finally wore off and Erik and I decided to call it a night.I still wasn't feeling well, but figured I'd be fine by morning. When two o'clock rolled around, I was feeding Anna and suddenly Erik shot up and rushed to the bathroom. He was sick now too! Anna's first night was very long, and it wasn't because she didn't sleep well, but because her mom and dad were sick!

By the next afternoon I was feeling a little better, but Erik and Jack were still sick with the stomach flu. Anna and I got a lot of time to bond in the hospital, and thankfully she didn't get sick. By the time we brought her home, Erik, Jack, my mother in law, father in law, my mom, best friend, and me all had come down with the stomach flu! Poor Anna's homecoming wasn't quite as eventful as her older brother's had been.

Thankfully we were all over it by the time she was a week old. Anna was an excellent sleeper and good eater. She was a very serious baby up until she turned a year. Jack had some moments here and there where he got a little jealous, especially when I was holding her, but it didn't last very long, and before long he was trying to give her kisses and hugs. The fears I had about having 2 children 13 months apart were never realized. Yes there were some crazy moments(and it still can be crazy), but they quickly became each other's best friend.

While Anna's delivery and homecoming didn't go the way we had planned, the only thing that mattered in the end was she had arrived and was healthy. Becoming a family of four was unbelievably special. That was the time in our lives that I really began to feel like we were our "own" little family.

And a year and half later when I was about to give birth to Lily, I doubt it will surprise any of you that I obsessively cloroxed anything my children touched. Because even though everything worked out fine, bringing home a newborn to a house full of sick people isn't something I'd like to repeat.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Faithful, even when I'm Faithless

"I'm almost..." I hesitated. It was such an ugly thing to admit, and wasn't sure I wanted my husband to know the ugliness in my heart.

"What's wrong?" He asked, concern seeping through his voice.

I sucked in my breath and mumbled,"I'm just..I'm almost disappointed...Disappointed in God. It almost feels like He's forgotten about me."

We talked, we prayed, we discussed the reality of what God's Word teaches. I was reminded yet again, that God never changes, and what was true yesterday is still true today. I went to bed that night feeling better, but still sad.

Remember this post? Having faith that God is who He says he is one of my greatest battles I fight. Trusting that God is in control of all things, and absolutely sovereign is one of my greatest sources of joy, but it's tough at times to remember.

Last week, I committed to seeking the Lord with my whole heart. But the commitment didn't last too long. I'd pray, and ask God to please supply our needs, but as soon as I was done praying I'd go right back to doubting.

But guess what? A few days ago I received a phone call, and the thing I was praying about was answered! I didn't have to worry. I was ashamed I'd had such weak faith, but was so thankful to God. I was reminded yet again that God doesn't "need" me to do anything. But at the same time there's no reason to fear, because God is who he says he is!

"If we are faithless, he remains faithful- for he cannot deny himself." 2 Timothy 2:13

Friday, August 13, 2010

I've been Hacked!

Just a quick post to say that my blog was apparently hacked. So if you received anything weird from me, it wasn't me! Sorry about that!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I've not had time to blog in the last week, but I wanted to share some funny things my kids have been saying in the last few days.

Jack's foot fell asleep the other day and he was so surprised he asked,"Mommy, will you please take my toes off?!" Don't get me wrong, having your foot fall asleep is uncomfortable but I still think taking off toes goes a little too far.

When Anna goes potty like a big girl she stands up proud as can be claps and exclaims,"Yay, Jack!"

During a rain storm the other day Jack looked out the window and declared,"Oh, Anna, look! The clouds are cryin'!"

While Jack is rocking his stuffed frog to sleep he suddenly says very gently to Froggie,"Aww, Froggie is so cute!"

Jack loves to play superhero now, but the only way he can be a superhero is when he is wearing a cape. The other day he says,"It's Super Jack!" and then a little later his cape fell off, and he goes,"Jack's just a regular boy now."

One of my personal favorite Jackisms is when he lifts up his shirt and says,"Ab Wipper Ex!" in this really deep voice. He's suppose to be saying, Ab Ripper X from the p90x workout videos, but he doesn't quite pronounce his R's yet.

There is plenty more that that the kids say and do that crack us up, but for now those are the favorite quotes that come to mind.

What funny things have your children said or done lately?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Weekend, part 2

Sunday, before church, we got the children up and surprised Jack with a birthday balloon when he came down the stairs. Anna and Jack both got a "special" breakfast of doughnuts and chocolate milk. Yes we got them nice and wound up and then dropped them off at Sunday school! I bet their teachers loved us for that...

After Church we invited Erik's parents over for lunch. We had Jack's favorite meal, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and corn bread. When lunch was over and we had played for awhile we had birthday cupcakes. I had found a recipe for frog cupcakes that I thought looked pretty simple, so I tried making them. I'm not so sure they looked like frogs, but the cupcakes were still a hit!

After we ate cupcakes, the kids plus Erik went down for naps. When the children woke up we played outside for awhile and then had a picnic on the living room floor and watched Little Einsteins. I think this was the most exciting part of the day! Jack kept running up to me saying, "Thank you, mommy!" And Anna sat mesmerized on her blanket looking at me to make sure it really was ok to eat her peanut butter and jelly sandwich off the floor. At one point in the video one of the characters says, "Who gets balloons, cake, and presents?" And without missing a beat Anna exclaims, "Jack!" She said it in such a sweet way, though. Erik told her to hang in there, her birthday is just a few weeks away.

Jack's third birthday went really well. Erik and I really want to give our children a lot of special memories while they grow up, and hopefully we were able to do that last Sunday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birhday Weekend!

July is a pretty crazy birthday month for my family. I turned 25 on the 24th, and Jack turned 3 on the 25th. I can no longer say I have three kids two and under. We had such a nice weekend full of a lot of time spent together, memories being made, and one big surprise!

On Saturday, Erik and I were suppose to have a nice dinner out. At least that's what I thought. As the day went on, Erik kept saying his parents couldn't watch the kids until later than we had planned.  Erik finally told me he didn't feel like going out, and wanted to know if we could wait until next weekend to go out. He suggested going over to a town about 15 minutes from here instead.

I tried to be understanding, but I was really struggling with not getting upset with him. I did a lot of praying, asking for strength not to feel sorry for myself. When we dropped the kids off at my in laws, Erik told me he wasn't feeling very well, and asked if we could eat at a restaurant in town. Once again, I was a little disappointed, but figured if he really didn't feel well there wasn't anything I could do about it. After dinner, we ran to the grocery store to get some Pepto Bismol for his stomach, and decided to go home before we picked up the kids so he could rest awhile.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into my front room, and saw balloons and cupcakes everywhere! I heard Jack and Anna talking somewhere and I turned to Erik, who has a devilish grin on his face, and then a stream of my in laws and several close friends came out yelling, "Surprise!" Jack and Anna were bouncing off the walls, Jack kept blowing a horn and saying, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!"

Erik had never been sick, and was so excited he had actually been able to surprise me on my birthday. We had a nice time with everyone, and after everyone left Erik and I watched a movie before heading to bed. The next morning our little boy was turning three, so we needed to be well rested!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jack!

How did this little baby go from this..

To this...

In what feels hour?

Three years old. I can't believe it. I know I'm going to feel like I blinked, and he's going to be all grown up. I won't hold him back, I don't want to stand in the way of what God has planned for him. I know that as he grows up I need to be who he needs me to be, not the other way around.

I'm going to enjoy this time. This time when he's little, and everything is new. Where he's happiest being at home running around with Anna. Where a snuggle from mommy and his stuffed frog is all he needs to feel better again. When he has almost no concept of being shy, and goes up to every one he meets and says, "Hello there. How are you ?"

I pray that Christ will reveal Himself to Jack. I pray he won't try to conform, but be a leader for Jesus one day.

As difficult as I sometimes think it is to have a three year old, I know it's probably going to get a lot tougher as he grows up. One day I'm going to look back on these years as "the good old days" :-)

Happy Birthday, Bubby! I love you so much, and I praise God every day for you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Of Worry

It happened again today. I was going about my day, when I was suddenly overwhelmed with some of the difficult circumstances going on in my life.

I wanted to get angry. I wanted to run away. Or at the very least zone out in front of the television.

Then I remembered. Praise God, I remembered.

"Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread will give him a stone?..If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matt. 7:9-11

"...and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 b

A familiar Peace filled my heart. This isn't the first time I've dealt with the sin of worry. I've not always responded to it in the correct way. But today, by the grace of God, I was able to focus on God's promises.

I was blessed to be at Sunday night church(a rarity), and part of the message was about taking God at His Word. There is nothing that needs to be added to it, there is nothing to be taken from it, Praise God we can cling to the promises in His Word, and know that God will fulfill His promises. There is nothing outside of His control. Even when it feels like God's giving me a stone and not bread, I have to trust that God knows what's best for me. Just like I would never give my children something dangerous, God knows far better than me what is for my own good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jack's Birth Story

In honor of Jack's upcoming birthday I decided to write his birth story. If you are interested you can read Lily's here. I will hopefully have Anna's up in the next month(which is quite the story!)

Around the time of our first wedding anniversary, Erik and I found out we were pregnant. To say we were excited is a huge understatement. We were thrilled at the thought of becoming parents, and could not wait for August to get here. We did all the typical new pregnant things. Erik would get me ice cream at ten o clock because the baby wanted it, and we would stress about remembering to take prenatal vitamins, and wonder if the cramps I was having were "normal". I would worry that maybe I wasn't sick enough. I worried a lot, so much in fact that Erik banned me from google until after my first trimester! I was, and still am, a walking encyclopedia of the book What to Expect When your Expecting. We were so excited about having our baby that we made some rash decisions, like me quitting my job within the first month of being pregnant so I could rest more and prepare to be a stay at home mom. At the time this wasn't that big of a deal because Erik had a good job and worked crazy shifts so we were able to spend a lot more time together.

The pregnancy was going really well. Until I had to take the glucose tolerance test. To my dismay I had Gestational Diabetes. I didn't need insulin(Jack was my only pregnancy I didn't need that), but our plans were now altered. Instead of getting to wait for the baby to come naturally I was going to have to be induced as soon as "the baby" was mature enough to be delivered.

On July 24(my birthday), Erik and I got up and drove to my doctor's office. We had been told the week before that the odds were very good that July 25 was the day we were going to have our baby, but we were going to have to come in for one last check the day before to know for sure. I didn't sleep at all that night! I just stayed up and prayed, and thought about how different our lives were about to become. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl( a Jack or an Anna), and I kept trying to picture myself with a little boy or a little girl.

My doctor informed us that everything looked good with our baby, and we were to come back over to the hospital that evening. Talk about a romantic birthday getaway!

Everyone was so excited for us. Most of our family and close friends were planning on being there, waiting in the waiting room to support us. My mom and dad came down on the afternoon of my birthday and took us out to dinner at the Olive Garden. After we were done, Erik and I set off to the hospital and my parents met up with us later. They were staying in a hotel across the street from the hospital so they could be there at the drop of a hat.

In typical new mom fashion, I was offered a sleeping pill from one of the nurses, but refused to take it(I have since taken it with Anna and Lily), and once again couldn't sleep. Around One o'clock, just as I was drifting off, my water broke! I woke Erik up, who was asleep on the couch next to me, and we called for a nurse. At first the nurse didn't think my water had actually broken, but after a quick check she realized it really had! Since they hadn't started the pitocin yet, and I was two weeks early this came as a surprise. By four I was in active labor. Since, I had known from 27 weeks that I would be induced and be getting the epidural, I was not prepared  for the intensity of labor. Erik was doing his best to rub my back and encourage me, and trying to get the anestigiologist in our room. They gave me something to take the edge off, but at the time I didn't think it helped too much(it just made me really dopey!)

By the time I received my epidural, my parents, Erik's mom, aunt and uncle, 3 of my closest friends, Erik's best friend(who is one of my close friend's wife!) and their daughter were at the hospital. Unfortunately I don't have much memory of what happened before it was time to start pushing, the medicine I was given at the beginning of labor made me really loopy.

By noon, I was pushing. I remember thinking Erik and the nurse were being so nice to me, and I wasn't even doing anything(ha!). About an hour later, we saw the head and within a minute we met our precious little boy for the first time. Jack was 6 pounds and 9 ounces, and 19 inches.                   

The moment we met him, was perhaps one of the sweetest moments Erik and I have ever shared. Before the nurses and doctor left they asked if we wanted a little bit to be alone with our son, to which we replied, "yes!" And even though I was still pretty loopy, I was bawling when Erik handed Jack to me. The minute he was placed in my arms, Jack immediately started rooting. I was taken a bit off guard. I couldn't believe this tiny person who wasn't even an hour old, knew who his mommy was!

After awhile our family and friends came in. They had wrapped Jack up in white blankets and put a yellow hat on him, so no one would know until Erik announced if we'd had a boy or a girl. Jack was introduced, my mom and mother in law were in tears, and everyone got a turn to hold our sweet baby boy.

The days and weeks after Jack came home, were insane. People were at our house around the clock wanting to congratulate us. Jack was unbelievably laid back and an excellent sleeper. Jack's birth was by far my easiest, but his was the most difficult to recover from.

I still look back on Jack's pregnancy and birth with sweet fondness. It was such a special time in my life, and Erik and I are humbled to have been blessed with him.

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