Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I was not always the best student, I didn't really like to study and hated taking tests. As I've gotten older I've realized the value in being a life-long learner. Especially of Gods word. Whether I'm ready or not, I want to take every opportunity to teach my kids, and I want to instill in them a love for learning.

This year I am doing a little schooling with Evy every week. We talk about one letter of the alphabet and do crafts and activities related to that letter. She is also memorizing one verse a week that has that letter at the beginning of the verse.

She and Liam are also going to two Bible Studies with me this year, and I'm so thankful I can be a part of them.

The first study is on the book of Hebrews with some ladies from my church, and the second study is the book of Matthew, which is in a BSF group in Eagan, MN. I am learning so much every week, and its a big time commitment but like I said, I'm so thankful that I can go and for the great children's program that BSF offers.

I thought I would do a little report every week on what I'm learning because its easy for time to go on and for me to forget what I learned in weeks past!


This is a very deep study by John McArthur that takes me a lot of time to get through. A big theme in Hebrews is the supremacy of Jesus Christ. And a big part of this first section of Hebrews (1-2:18) was about who Jesus is. One aspect of Jesus Christ that I wanted to spend more time thinking about was that Jesus is the "express image of His person" (meaning God's) or "the exact imprint of His nature" So He has all of the same qualities that God has. He is always with us, He sees all things, He knows all things, He radiates the glory of God, His love NEVER fails! What really struck me was that despite being so magnificent, and because of His great love that we can't even fully comprehend, He chose to come to earth, despised and rejected, by ME. And died on a cross, so that I could call His Father, MY Father. I have been reminded who I am, and who God is, and I am so thankful that because of what Jesus did for me on the cross, I get to have a relationship with Him.

This has given me a renewed desire to be humble. Pastor Dan Miller at Eden Baptist talked about this on Sunday, how, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5) I used to just focus in the humility part, that we would receive grace, I had never really thought about those who are prideful being an enemy to God. I'm prideful. It's something that I really need to work on that God is showing me more and more this week. The pastor also talked about those who are persecuted. They are not mighty warriors who are out in the battle field, fighting for truth. No, it is the humble servant, who is willing to do whatever God has planned for him. Whatever hardships the humble servant is going through, it does not matter because he has God's grace to conquer the difficulties!


So at BSF they really encourage you to pray before you begin your study and ask God to show Himself to you through His word. Again, my faith was challenged. We are in the first two chapters of Matthew and talking about Christs genealogy and the people that God chose to be part of Jesus' heritage. There are five amazing women of faith named: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. All of their examples of obedience and faith really amazes me. I was able to have some time to reflect on Mary specifically and realize how quickly she accepted what God had for her. There she was, a young, excited bride-to-be, pure and innocent, when all of a sudden her world was turned upside down. Yet her response was obedience. She had humility and she was exalted, just like God promises us, 1 Peter 5:6. She was blessed, Luke 1:45, because she believed The Lord! There were no cries or complaints, or, "let me pray about it". She knew what God wanted and was ready to be used. What an encouragement she is to me, may I have the faith to respond the way these women did that were a part of His story.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

 There are a few of you who know that I have wanted a DSLR camera for quite a few years now. For most, and by most I mean what seems like ALL of my friends and family, it is not a big deal to get a camera- these days everybody has one. But Alex and I felt like it was not something that we could justify buying when our finances were so up in the air. But finally this Christmas Alex TOTALLY surprised me- which NEVER happens! And got me a Canon Rebel t3. I am still learning how to use it and what aperture even means- which is how much light the lens lets in... I think... :) But I am so thankful for it and here are a few shots of many more to come of the kiddos!

This is a very accurate portrayal of my sweet boy. He always has a smile ready! I hope that he has such a sweet countenance his whole life. 

And of course, here he is making is adorable"Oooh!" sound. He makes this face a lot too!

 A lot of people ask me about the necklace. It is an Amber teething necklace. Google it! The properties in the Amber are supposed to relieve pain in the jaw and mouth area due to teething. The necklace is also supposed to help with drooling. I have noticed a slight improvement on the drooling and a definite improvement in irritability with pain. He still wants to bite down hard on things when his gums are bothering him, but he doesn't usually ever cry. This could also be because of his great temperament. Ha! Well, I leave it on because it doesn't seem to bother him anyway.

This is a great classic pose. Might have to actually print a picture...

My gorgeous girl. Let me tell you, she has been so easy lately! Not. I'm pretty sure we are digressing with the potty training just because she wants to spite me. It's one of the main things she has control over and she wants to keep it that way. If anyone knows what I need to do- let me know. For now, we are taking a break. From the potty training, not from each other...

And a new favorite. I love my kids so much and even though the days can be long sometimes, and it is a financial sacrifice, I am SO thankful that I can stay home with them.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

William Alexander

On January 13th I was finally able to go home. I walked out of the hospital for the first time in 45 days. I rode in a car for the first time in 45 days. I saw the world again. I gained so much perspective from my time on bed rest there, it changed me so much as a person and I am still realizing that even now. One thing is for sure, I never take my time with my family for granted. I am thankful every night when I go to bed and my husband is there to hold me.

I quickly transitioned back to life at home, and didn't really have any scary moments at all. Slowly I began to be more active and independent, and it was great feeling like a normal mom again. Evy was exttremely attached to Daddy after everything that happened, but thankfully I was having a chance to enjoy her and focus on bonding again before the new baby came. At this point we still did not know the gender and were having a hard time coming up with a name for a girl- thankfully we didn't have to!

Over Valentines Day weekend Alex and I stayed at a local Bed and Breakfast in Stillwater- a place we have been to a couple times now and really love. I was so glad we were able to share that special time together even though we knew the baby could come at any time.

The week leading up to Liam's birth I had been having contractions more often in the evening but they would soon fade off before I even went to bed. I remember thinking that we were probably pretty close. Finally, on March 3rd, I was 37 weeks and in the clear. We all took a sigh of relief. I could have the baby any time!

I was feeling somewhat nostalgic and nervous about having the baby, not as prepared and excited as I would have liked. I was still just beginning to feel like I was back into the swing of things, and not sure if I was going to be able to handle the big change. Well, the night of March 4th I remember talking to my Dad for awhile about his new girlfriend, we were so excited, he hasn't dated since I was in high school and we couldn't wait to see what would happen for him in the future. I told him I was having contractions and kind of jokingly said, "this could be the night!" But I didn't really believe it yet.

Well instead of slowing down I started having more and more contractions and started getting kind of excited. Alex and I went downstairs to talk to my sister-in-law who was living with us at the time and her fiance. My sister-in-law had been at Evy's birth and I was hoping she would be able to come to this next one as well. About midnight we went to bed even though I was beginning to be in a lot of pain. The night went by quickly, and about four in the morning my sister-in-law knocked on out door and told us we better go to the hospital. I was groaning more than I thought!

The rest of the labor went quite quickly, once I was up contractions came quickly and by the time we got to the hospital around 6:30 am, I was dilated to an 8! Good thing she told us to go in!! I wanted 2 of my closest friends, Heidi and Sam there, as well as my mother-in-law. I knew that this would be a special memory I would share with all of them. I had a midwife, and student midwife who actually delivered the baby and did everything, she was really great.

The room was really calm and quiet in those early morning hours and I was just focused on getting through each contraction, squeezing Alex's hand tightly when one came.

Finally (to me) it was time to start pushing. And like the last time with Evy, the contractions were not very strong to help me push her out. I didn't want to move at all but the midwife new that if anything was going to happen, I would have to get up and get gravity to help me. So up I went and sat down on the toilet. I knew that it was going to hurt so much but that I would have to push with the next contraction that was coming, so I took a deep breath and pushed as hard as I could. Which followed with me half yelling, half bellowing because I swear the baby just flew down my birth canal like a slide. I seriously thought the baby was going to fall out! So they quickly got me back to the bed and two quick pushes later...

 Our sweet precious BOY was born! We were so surprised and just thrilled. And the first thing I said with him was exclaiming how tiny he was! He was SO small, 5 pounds, 12 ounces. He had a beautiful face and brown hair which I had been hoping for.
 We were both ecstatic. We had wanted a boy so badly, but didn't want to get our hopes up so we tried not to think about it too much. And then when he came, we couldn't even wrap our minds around it. It really took me a good month to fully comprehend that I had a son. If you notice how unusually pale Alex looks in these pictures it's because he almost fainted! Like I said before, the last few moments of the delivery were extremely intense!
 The first day in the hospital when your baby is born is seriously the BEST! I remember sitting there as our family came to meet him and reminding myself to just soak it all up. It was a beautiful, unusually warm sunny day and the weather perfectly matched how I was feeling.
 Becoming a mother of two. What a blessing and a privilege. It took me a long time to adjust, but that's a whole other post :)

Thanks for reading the birth story! I can't believe that in just 2 short months we will be celebrating Liams first Birthday!


Starting FRESH in 2013

Right now I feel like I am beginning to climb out of a dark canyon that I have been in for a long time. This past year was the most difficult year of my life and the last two before that were really hard as well. I don't want to write about all of it today, but someday I probably will. I am realizing more and more how much I appreciate genuineness and being transparent with those around you. If you ask me how I am doing, I am going to try really hard to be honest and tell you.

But finally now there is hope and light and a future that is possible in front of me, and my husband and kids. Alex started a new job about 3 weeks ago. It is full time. With benefits. I know that personally, I had to go through this season of having so little to really appreciate having anything at all. We have (thankfully) had excellent renters for our townhouse, which then enabled us to move in with the in-laws these last 4 months. And thus began an extremely difficult time in my life and marriage (nothing to do WITH the in-laws, actually) and led us to this job, and moving, and Alex stepping down from his 2nd job he had at our church, and led us to where we are now, a fresh start.

I don't think I've ever been more relieved, appreciative, and excited to be able to say with confidence that there is a new beginning, a revival. a new meaning coming to our family in 2013. And no, I'm not pregnant! Yikes. We are moving to a completely new area, far enough away from friends and family that it will give us this opportunity to change the way that we have been doing family. There are so many little things that we are changing that will result in, what we believe, to be God's best for our family. The biggest thing being stepping away from a lot of great things that we were involved in but that took us away from our top priorities. Out relationship with God and our marriage.

So the next month is going to be a busy one of packing and transitions. I am trying to really think through what we need and what we can do without. And even with this I am so thankful for the opportunity to do these things.

Leaving with a thought for today in relation to the thought of trying to be more genuine: I am reading a book by Dr. Juli Slattery called, "Beyond the Masquerade, Unveiling the Authentic You" In there she says, "I am more convinced than ever that God's truth, wisdom, and power shine through our weaknesses far greater than our strengths. It's only when we're lacking that we are driven to our knees to seek Him."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Second Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant it was a big surprise. Alex was away on a golf trip with my Dad and I had been busy getting ready for a baby shower for a friend. I was SO exhausted after a long day of preparation and I began thinking... this isn't normal tired, this is like, pregnancy tired! So I stopped at Walgreens to pick up a pregnancy test. I knew it was a little early to tell, but once I got the idea in my head, I couldn't stop thinking about it so I had to find out. Sure enough, there was a faint little line! I was really excited and really excited to tell Alex! Of course he didn't believe me at first but once it sunk it he was really excited.

We took our time telling people, I thought it was SO fast and people would think we were crazy considering how hard the last pregnancy was. But I was pleasantly surprised at how excited everyone was for us. I was nervous about what the future would hold but hopeful that things would be fine.

Alex and I decided not to find out the gender, we wanted to know what it would be like to find out when the baby came out. And it really wasn't that hard not to know, we enjoyed the suspense. We were really hoping and praying for a boy though. Ever since I can remember I have always loved the name William and when I found out Alex's Grandpa's name was William, I knew that was what we would name our first son. His Grandpa is 91 and we knew there wouldn't be a lot of time left for him to meet his namesake.

When I was 16 weeks a long, it was the end of October and we drove to Colorado for a long week in the mountains. It was BEAUTIFUL and a wonderful week away. But this is when I started to feel pain and knew that I needed to start being careful.

As I was going into appointments the midwives wanted me to be careful and were watching me closely. By 23 weeks I knew that things were not going well. I was getting shots every week to try and help but they did nothing. At the 23 week appointment I was getting an ultrasound and the technician really freaked out because my cervix was funneling and the baby was really low. They sent me straight to the hospital and didn't even want me to stand at all.

I was so upset. I felt horrible for leaving my little baby girl at home. It was November 30th, she was only 15 months old. The night before I remember rocking her for a long time while she slept, I didn't want to put her in her crib, and I think God wanted me to have that moment with her. Every night in the hospital I would stay up until one or two in the morning because I dreaded falling asleep alone. I couldn't even bare to think about all the precious time I was losing with my little girl. She didn't know me anymore. We were so close and ever since then, even now, she has always preferred Daddy before me. I was the Mom who never went anywhere without her baby. Evy was horrible at taking a bottle because she was so used to me always being there. I was powerless to do anything.
With our friends new baby Alexander

Bedrest in the hospital is a lot like prison, I'm sad to say. The only thing I had control over was when I wanted to take a shower. I would get to choose my meals, but that was only from a hospital cafeteria menu. Some days I was so depressed I couldn't even face the phone call it took to order the meal and they would have to call me to make sure I had a chance to order. Pregnancy is supposed to be such a joyous time in a persons life- and I look back on that time as such a dark period. It's hard to even write about it.

I questioned so much during that time, and I felt like I had no one to talk to. I didn't want to burden Alex, he was a single parent working a full time job and as a worship leader at our church. I think he didn't even know what to do- except stay busy and try to make ends meet. 

The doctors and nurses overall were wonderful, there were times when I had to go on an IV to get medication to stop contractions, or get shots. I have had so many crazy things done to me in relation to my pregnancies, before that I had never been in the hospital for anything. Instead of dealing with it, I had to be strong for everyone else and try to carry on. Every night I cried out to God asking Him why He wanted me to go through this. I would never get that time back with my girl.

But right away I would think of those parents who could do nothing but wait and pray while their one pound baby fought for her life. Or the couple to was begging God to let them have a baby and just get pregnant at all. There were still things to be thankful for and I tried to focus on that.

God didn't promise that this life would be easy. He knew that "the testing of my faith would produce steadfastness" and I knew that He was molding me and making me into who He wants me to be.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

 So here I am back again after a long hiatus. I wanted to try to start up again but have felt overwhelmed and unsure of what to write. What do I share, am I wasting my time, etc. But for right now I think it is therapeutic and a good creative outlet for me to try and convey my thoughts to others in writing. As I stated earlier, there is so much to say, but today I will focus on one thought.

A couple of months ago I signed up Evy for Ballet. I know she is so young, but I was excited about her taking a class somewhere and thought this would be a fun girly thing for her to do- lately I've been thinking, what if she is my only girl? I've got to do all the girly things with her that I can in case I never get another chance, so ballet it is! The picture above was taken right before her class when we were heading out the door. I was hurrying and nervous, not sure what Evy's response would be, and if she was too young, would she enjoy it, what would she do...
 Well, when I got there, it wasn't very promising, the teacher was a few minutes late, and I thought, if she doesn't do a good job, I guess we wont be going. Well, Miss Tibby showed up and we started in the room. Evy would NOT leave my side, watching and interested in what the teacher would do and say, but making sure that she was in my lap, not even sitting next to me, but ON me. A few minutes later, we started doing some tumbling on the mats, and Evy followed me down the mat, doing the log roll. Her smile appeared and pretty soon she was copying everything the teacher was doing!
 This is her jumping like a frog down the yellow line. Miss Tibby did a great job singing to the kids, doing little rhyming activities, practicing lots of large motor skills, and following directions. By the end of the class Evy was just brave enough to run across the room from me, do a little pose into the mirror while she looked at herself, and then quickly run back to me. We had so much fun and I loved seeing her blossom and bloom into a brave, fun-loving, little 2 year old.
 I was surprised at my nervousness at the beginning, and surprised and proud of my little girl at how well she adjusted and participated in the class. Time keeps going by and I am amazed at how fast things change and my baby is already a little girl. Again, I am reminded at God's blessings that He has given me and how important it is to cherish this time in my life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I LOVE the lyrics in this song

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name


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