Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Family of ....5!!!

I am just as shocked to write that as you are reading it (for those of you who don't know yet!)

We went in for our free ultrasound from a friend to find out the sex of baby #2 and came to find out that it's not just a Baby #2, but a Baby #3 as well!!!! Crazy! I wanted to document that day just so I didn't forget :) 

I can't promise you my blogging will get better...wish I could.

Here's our Christmas Card that has yet to go out, but I just love it. Jolaura Bell took our Christmas photographs and we actually had #1 and #2 written on the chalkboards and then she went back in with her photoshop magic and changed the numbers. Here's Jolaura's website!

So, let me just start by saying that both Grant and I thought I looked bigger than when I had Maks :)
Here is a picture when I was like 6 weeks or something early like that...at that point, most people don't even show, and I hadn't been overeating like I did with Maks! That's what I contributed it to, but now it makes sense. Glad I saved the pic. See Maks' baby bathtub in the way :)

Anyways, so here's the story of the day we found out. The many details are for me to read later and for you to enjoy now. 

So, we took at trip to Mississippi to celebrate Thanksgiving a week early with The Brewer's- Grant's sister and brother-in-law...mine too...I guess I will claim them :) So, Amanda has a BFF who gave us a few free ultrasounds with Maksim (notice I keep saying FREE because it's a big deal that she did this. These puppies are EXPE-R-NSIVE!!!) So, we just planned to take a day off work and head to MS and get an ultrasound on Friday incase she couldn't see then we could come back Saturday. Grant, myself and Grant's Mom, Debbie, and of course, Maksim, rode along early Friday morning (mind you, I had been to the 12:02 a.m. showing that morning for Twilight's Breaking Dawn: Part 1...just thought I would throw that out there) to get there about lunch time. We ate at a cute little place that put mayonnaise on my sandwich, but I didn't ask for it not to be on there, I just assumed that no good restaurant would put that montrocity on a sandwich....anyways...too many details. So, after I drank a few big ole glasses of tea to get Baby #2 riled up, we headed down the street to Amanda's BFF's work (we'll call her BFF since I don't want her to get in trouble in the ultrasound world for giving me a free ultrasound)...man, I am in rare form right now :) So, we met BFF at her doctor's office and headed into the ultrasound room...this is where the fun begins. 

At this point, ultrasounds are kind of routine to me. Wait, back up... Let me put this picture up:
My good friend, Lauren B, made these ornaments for me. I wanted Grant's and my parents to have something fun to open so we could tell them the sex of Baby #2. I figured that two of these ornaments would just have to be trashed, but she charged me kindly, so I didn't mind having her do these. Funny how this is a reminder of God's humor. My parents were in TN and couldn't come to the ultrasound because both of them had to work, so, I left them with two boxes. The box with a "#1" on the outside was the boy ornament and the box with the "#2" on the outside was the girl box. I brought the boxes with us in the ultrasound room for Debbie to open after we found out the sex. Our plan had been to excuse Amanda and Debbie when she was ready to find out the sex and then have them come back in to open the box with the girl or boy ornament. Oh, the reason I did the ornaments was since Christmas was soon, I figured these ornaments would be something they could remember this by. Little did I know....

Nick (Grant's Dad) was coming to MS later, so I left him, along with a few friends, a set of envelopes with these pictures in them. Again, the #1 envelope had the picture of the "It's a BOY" in it and #2 had the "It's a GIRL" picture. 

So....back to the ultrasound room. Like I said, ultrasounds at this point were routine...or at least revealing my belly. Another good thing to note at this point is that I had not had an ultrasound from my doctor. I had had the doppler to hear the heart beat twice, but no ultrasounds. And, today, I had the doppler done with the doctor's office knowing I had twins and seeing how the nurse did the doppler explained why they didn't hear two heartbeats. One was on the left side of my belly and one on the right...so if they didn't have a reason to fish around my belly, I can see how they didn't hear both heartbeats.  

Anyway, my doctor's reasoning was that since there were no signs of any problems, they typically didn't do ultrasounds until the 20 week gender reveal ultrasound. I just went with it. Although, I would have LOVED an ultrasound, I thought for my million dollar deductible, this really benefited Grant and I. 

I laid on the table and revealed my "larger-than-I-thought-it-should-be-but-not-by-a-ton" belly to BFF. Grant, Maks, Debbie, and Amanda were in the room and just kind of chatting. The ultrasound room and machine were super high tech and there was a HUGE tv mounted so you could see the ultrasound along with a smaller tv by me to see the ultrasound. So, BFF takes her little machine thing and puts it on my belly and then I look at the screen and see two different areas. Now, at this point, the others are kind of still getting settled in and not paying a whole lot of attention to the TV.  I kind of looked twice b/c it didn't look normal. Then BFF yanks the machine thing off and kind of looks at me and at this point I can imagine her trying to talk to me from her brain. I think she was trying to tell me "Hey, I see something and am wondering if you want me to get everyone but you and Grant out' ...but of course, I couldn't read her brain, so she puts the machine thing back on and then grabs my arm and looks at me with wide eyes. Now, remember that a second ago I saw two of something...or two areas....obviously a not normal ultrasound. So, back to BFF's big eyes. She grabs my arm and I look at her and say "It's twins, isn't it" and she said "YES". Ok...this is my favorite part....

So, like I said earlier, Grant, Amanda and Debbie are just kind of getting situated, talking, working to keep Maks occupied and I hear Grant go "WHAT?! Are you SER-I-OUS?" and BFF goes "Yep, IT'S TWINS!" and this is when Grant starts pacing back and forth with his hands on his head, looking at the huge TV and saying "ARE YOU SERIOUS? ARE YOU SERIOUS?" and I remember thinking: "I am sooo happy that he is smiling and excited right now :)" 

Remember that as I am finding out, Grant is finding out, but also Amanda and Debbie. So, I am CRACKING UP laying on the table...my belly is bouncing so much and I am just dying laughing and Debbie and Amanda start screaming and jumping up and down...that leaves Maks. Poor baby was scared out of his sweet little mind. He starts crying and screaming. Now, just imagine being in his shoes! Poor baby is in a dark room and everyone starts screaming and he sees his Mommy laying on a table pretty much confined. So, after that, he wouldn't let anyone console him. So, as we tried to continue the ultrasound, he sat on my left side the entire time :)

BFF then asks if we want to find out the sex and if we wanted Debbie and Amanda to leave and at that point, finding out the sexes of the babies...now BABIES...was the last thing on my mind. So, I said that I didn't care...there went my ornament idea...at least with Debbie. But, who cares at this point! 

So, BFF starts with Baby A and tell us that those three little white lines mean that "Baby A" is a GIRL!!! I am sooooo excited! And, my next thought is "This could be twin girls! WHAT will we do!!!" I later find out that that was Grant's thought too :) BFF goes to "Baby B" and tells us that we should recognize the parts there because Baby B is a BOY!!! 

Let me rewind to a few minutes ago in the waiting room with Grant and I. I asked him what he thought it was and he said my thoughts exactly which were: "I think it would be fun to have a girl, but I think it's going to be a boy". What I had been telling whoever that asked was that kind of selfishly, I wanted it to be a girl b/c it's different BUT for Maks sake, I wanted it to be a boy. And, look at how AMAZING our God is! We got both!!!! I get to finally buy the BIG bows and tutu's AND I get another boy! Having Maks has been the most exciting thing and having another boy can only be double the fun!!! 

So, BFF goes through the measurements and says from what she can tell, everything looks great. They are fraternal...our first indicator of that is that they are opposite sexes. They have two placentas-that also goes along with them being opposite sexes. I read in a book that TECHNICALLY with fraternal twins, they could be from different Dads and have been conceived on different dates. Good thing I just have Grant as my only option for a Dad, right? Honestly, I don't remember much about the ultrasound b/c it was so crazy. BFF was shocked too and said that the video she did might be pretty shaky since I was laughing through most of it. 

So, after the ultrasound and pictures were printed, we called Nick, Grant's Dad, and had him pull out his two envelopes and it was pretty funny how this happened. We are all FREAKING out and he was driving so he had to pull over to the side of the road...meanwhile we are all dying for him to just pull over and open the envelopes :) He opens the boy one and says "Oh, what do you know? Another boy! Great!" and then he opens the second one and goes "Oh, a girl! How great!" but it took a second for it to register that we were having BOTH! I think he was pretty used to surprises considering Grant and Drew were twins and they were a surprise at their birth!

Then, we got to tell my parents! BFF let us stay in the ultrasound room and I called my Mom. She was all ready with her boxes. She was in the break room at Target where she's an executive and she had a few friends around her and someone video taping her. So, I call her, ask her to get her boxes and then tell her to open #1-IT'S A BOY! She's excited...there was a hint that she was hoping she would be able to dress up this 2nd baby in dresses, but she was excited!!! Here is her "excited for Baby Boy face": 

Then, after she calmed down, I asked her to open the second box. She is really confused and says "What?...I just opened #1, is it a boy?!" and I tell her to just open up #2 and she's really confused and asking questions and I ask her if she has it there and she opens it and goes "WHAT? This says a girl! Is it TWINS?" and I tell her yes and then here is her face :

I thought these pictures were PRICELESS! Thank you, Mom's friend for taking these! Carrie, I think :)

Then, we call my Dad and put him on 3 way. He's excited. I think it took all he could to not start talking about the logistics of having twins...he's an engineer and I knew his brain was working overtime, but he was excited! 

Here's some proof for those that can't believe it. Top is Baby B, the boy, and bottom is Baby A, the girl (names to be revealed in another post. They aren't a secret, but I can't put EVERYTHING in this post or I might be left with nothing to talk about...right...ha!)!: 

The rest of the day was filled with us calling some of our friends and telling them to open their envelopes or telling them "What do you think it is?" They would answer and we would say "Yes...BUT, it's also a boy"...or whatever the opposite of what they said was. I had one of my close friends tell me she was getting nauseous for me! 

Here's Maks' "I'm ready, World!" face :)
Here's another of my favorites that Jolaura took of Big Brother, Maksim!

So, over the past few weeks (about 3 weeks), we have been overwhelmingly excited and trying to not get ahead of ourselves with trying to plan things. One neat thing that I experienced was that as soon as BFF said "Yes" to my question of "Is it TWINS?" I had an immediate peace. I know the Lord knew my analytical brain would start thinking about money and things we have no control over and I think he wanted me to enjoy this brand new news, so he gave me a peace. 

Now, I am not going to say I haven't had a few minutes of freaking out, because they have been there, but one of my favorite things Grant said was that the day we found this out was right there on the top of his list of exciting days-along with our wedding and the birth of Maks. I have had some worries over how Maks will be and that transition time of him maybe having to wait for my attention, but I know he will be fine because in the long run, he will love having the brother and sister and love being so close in age. My fear that I had to give over to the Lord was the fear that Maks wouldn't get the attention he is used to from me and that I would be shortening him of something. But, I have to remember that it's not all about me and that we will have overwhelming support and Maks will not have a lack of people caring about him. I just want to make sure that I am there for him. 

We are feeling so privileged to have this INCREDIBLE blessing and couldn't be happier. I am not blind to the fact that it will be hard, but I know we can handle it with God. 

Did I mention that if I carry these twins full term (which my doctor guaranteed me today would NOT happen) then Maks will be 19 month-ish old. So, we will have three kids in under 2 years! 

And, I will leave you with that thought....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Prayer & Regret

I am going to try to combine two topics and MAYBE link them together :)

I saw someone's status on September 11, 2011 (this year, obviously) that said something to the affect of "Just because it's September 11th doesn't mean all of the commercials today need to try to make me cry"...and I am not trying to make anyone have any emotions that they don't want to have. That being said, I wanted to "Remember September 11th" a little (even though I am a few days late). 

I started Sunday at my in-laws house. We stayed there because Grant was out of town and we are sitting down for breakfast with Maks and there are all of these "September 11th Specials" going on and I am bawling within 5 minutes. Not every September 11th effects me like this, but for some reason this 10th anniversary was different for me. I have read two of Karen Kingsbury's books about 9/11: "One Tuesday Morning" & "Beyond Tuesday Morning" (what the combined book looks like is the picture below) and I believe there is one more after that, but I just read these two:
And, I know the books were fiction, but it helped to understand what it would be like from the perspective of friends and family of 9/11 victims...and maybe that's why I was more affected this year. But, Debbie (MIL) actually turned the channel to cartoons...probably because she thought I might scare Maks with my wailing. But, this year, it really did affect me differently. 

Grant had posted where he was on 9/11/01:

"Where were you ten years ago today? I was in typing class and a crying teacher turned on the tv as the towers fell" 

And, you know. I am actually embarrassed of where I was when the towers fell...Well, not actually embarrassed at the location of where I was but my reaction. I was in my Home Ec class (not sure of the name and not going to share the teachers name) and I remember that we were watching it and the second tower hadn't been hit yet and then we saw the second tower hit and my teacher did something I thought was so brave. She could have literally lost her job (I went to a very public school if there is such a thing as a VERY public school, ha!), but I remember her saying: "If there are any Christians in the room that want to pray, feel free to come up to my desk and we will be praying for what is going on right now". 

And, I didn't. 

I remember it with regret because I did not stand up for Jesus that day. Now, I did bow my head at my desk and pray and pray and pray, but I didn't have the guts to go up to the front of the class and bow at my teachers desk. It was my teacher and one other girl. To this day, I can remember their faces and I was so scared of my peers rejection that I couldn't even stand up for the Jesus that I believed in. And, everyone KNEW I was a Christian. 

That's how I remember September 11th. And, maybe that's why I was so broken this 10th anniversary. Because of how I have matured in Christ and remembering how wimpy Angela in high school couldn't even do something as simple as pray in front of the class. And, I have done other things to stand out as a Christian like "See You at The Pole" and my classmates knew me as someone who went to Bellevue regularly, but for some reason, that day, I was frozen in fear. 

I just want to slap High School Angela. Geez. Can't think about it anymore. 

I read my devo today about Jesus throwing out everyone who had set up shop in the Temple. 

Matthew 21: 12-14: "...My house was designated a house of prayer; You have made it a hangout for thieves." 

The devotional says to imagine that you are there when Jesus comes in the temple and cleanses it. Who are you? Where are you? What are the expressions on the faces around you? Now let the blind and crippled come into your view. Watch Jesus healing them. Listen to the voices of the children as they play and shout, "Hosanna!" What's your reaction to them? To Jesus' interaction with the disabled? To the indignation of the religious leaders? Then it tells us to imagine Jesus walking out of the city and up to you and initiating a conversation with you about the events of the day. What would you tell him. 

I hope that high school Angela and Momma Angela would be excited about what Jesus did and not one of the ones embarrassed at what he did. I could throw up thinking about High School Angela on September 11th. The good thing about Jesus is his forgiveness and mercies are new each morning. Thank God. Literally. 

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Ok, moving on to my "prayer" topic. 

Ha. I can imagine some of you thinking..."Ok, where in the WORLD is she going with this". Good thought :)

So, I went to see the movie BEFORE reading the book. So uncool, I know. But, as I was reading the book, it came to a part about prayer. I am not copyrighting this next part. I give full credit to the author, Kathryn Stockett for writing "The Help: a novel". Hope this covers my behind. Here is a little of what I read (if you don't know anything about the book or movie, the book is written from the position of "The Help" ...and for the first 23 pages of what I have read, it is Aibileen, one of the Help, writing:

"...The thing is though, if I start praying for Miss Skeeter, I know that conversation gone continue the next time I see her. And the next and the next. Cause that's the way prayer do. It's like electricity, it keeps things going...

'Minny', I say last Sunday, 'why Bertrina ask me to pray for her?' We walking home from the one o'clock service. Minny say, 'Rumor is you got some kind a power prayer, gets better results than just the regular variety.'....

'Eudora Green, when she broke her hip, went on your list, up walking in a week. Isaiah fell of the cotton truck, on your prayer list that night, back to work the next day.' 

'But that ain't me,' I say. 'That's just prayer.'

Then there was a VERY hilarious part here that I can't put on my blog...but it was sure funny!!!! Moving on...

Her friend, Minny, finishes up the conversation saying:

'...They just think you got a better connection than most. We all on a party line to God, but you, you setting right in his ear.' 

I want that to be said of me. That people can turn to me to pray for them and they know I am going to pray and that I will pray enough and not stop until it gets answered. 

Oh, Aibileen and Minny. Worth reading. Not really Christian driven but as I learned a while back:
1. Pray without ceasing
2. Find God in everything. Your Christianity should be your life, not something that you do a couple times a day. Being a follower of Christ IS your identity....So, there. You can find God in "The Help"...and everything else. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Heart Matter

I admit that when I first started this post, I googled "funny quotes" because I wanted to begin this in a different way...and as I was looking at these not really funny but stupid quotes such as:

-Ladies first; Pretty ladies sooner
-There is only one perfect child in the world and every mother has it 
or, my favorite
-Marriage is give and take. You'd better give it to her or she will take it away

Clearly these were not written by a comedian. 

Then, as I started to google more funny quotes thinking I would come up with the BEST one, I saw my bible and my devotional and it was like a light bulb moment and I visioned God looking at me laughing and going "Duh"...how about some REAL quotes! 

The devo was from Matthew 15: 1-14 and several things stuck out to me. This is from the message version (by the way, I would love to hear your thoughts on The Message translation. As of now, I am reading that AND the English Standard Version because from what I understand, The Message is a paraphrase...is that right? Either way, it makes it REALLY understandable for me!-Sorry for the long sidebar...just how my brain works!):

"Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, 'Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?.' But Jesus put it right back on them. 'Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands? God clearly says, 'Respect your father and mother,' and 'Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.' But you weasel around that by saying, 'Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I've given to God.' That can hardly be respecting a parent. You cancel God's command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy of you hit the bull's-eye: 'These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. They act like they're worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy'....Listen, and take this to heart. It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up." 

My first reaction is the think, "Those dumb Pharisees! Jesus is there with them and they are still acting like that?!!!" and then the devotional says that sometimes we often resemble the Pharisees more than we'd like to admit. Wham! Bam! Talk about conviction! Way to humble a girl! The devo tells us to pray and ask for Jesus-like hearts, one that is humble, transparent, and genuine. 

Speaking of being transparent and genuine...

I was talking to a friend the other day about how, as Christians, I think that we need to be sooooo transparent, especially to other believers! How many of us struggled with depression, loneliness, being affected by HUGE things like possibly a husband who struggles with pornography, or a wife who struggles with fantasizing about a life with another man, or an affair that has affected you indirectly or directly... I mean, we would be LYING to say that we didn't struggle with things. The tough thing is that I feel like as believers we are tricked into thinking that we have to show this almost perfect facade or people won't come to church or if someone knows of our "secret struggles" they might think less of you. And, truth is, they might, but if they are a true believer and friend, and start thinking with a biblical mindset then the BEST thing you can do is to open up to other believers and let them tell you what they've been through or maybe they know someone who can help. 

Now, I am not saying that with this "day and age" of Facebook to change your Facebook status to say everything that comes to your mind or to tell ALL million of your Facebook or Twitter friends that you just found out your spouse was cheating on you or you are so sad you might cut yourself. That's not what I mean. I just mean, be more open to the struggles of others and be more willing to share what you've been through...why else would God have allowed you to go through it?

I realized that that might have sounded like I was a know-it-all and we know we all LOVE it when people tell them what to do, but I am truly preaching to the choir. 

And, to think...I started this blog wanting to just show pictures from my cousin's baby's 1st birthday and my good friend, Lauren's wedding! So, I will leave you with these things! 

Me & The Lovely (now) Mrs. O'Neill!
Sidebar (again!): Most amazing dress! It was her Mom's that they reconstructed for Lauren. Talk about sentimental. It was her "Something Borrowed"
 Lovely Bridesmaids! Her Sister-in-law and Matron of Honor on left, Whitney, then her Maid of Honor and cousin, Erin, then Lauren and I! Loved her color scheme! 
Interior Designers aren't just good for home design! We have an eye for color, too!

 Me & my Hubby! Love him more every day! 
Only took 2 shots to get a good one of him not acting crazy :)
 Lauren and her Momma!
 L and her Mother-in-law (now)

Now on to Karly's party!
I always get these kind of things wrong, but I believe they are 2nd cousins! Grant, Brad, and Holly are cousins and these are their kids. 
Maks and Karly are only about 2 weeks apart!
 And, ALL of the 2nd cousins! Maks, Barrett, Luke, Kylie, Karly, and Bailey!
 The Birthday Babies and then a picture of Karly devouring her cake! So cute! 
She smiled honestly the whole time I saw her!

 MaMaw and her crew of great grandkids!

And, selfishly, two more from Maksim's 1st birthday. I love that someone got this picture of me and Maks smiling at each other and the other is a picture of his bday outfit since we didn't get a good enough shot of it! 
The outfit is from MadiBella. Check it out: 

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Maksim's 1st Birthday Party!!!

That is an understatement. 

Here are some pictures of the event!
The theme was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and in the children's story, the caterpillar is hungry and eats ALL this food on different days...then gets stuffed...and then turns into a butterfly! So, I thought
1. It's a party and we need food
2. This book has tons of food ideas in it
Why not combine the need for food and the story!!!

Here is a picture of the spread. We had ALL sorts of goodies for the Little Caterpillars and their Big Butterflies (adults)

The AMAZING cake that my sister, Kristina, and my Mom had made for Maks

The cake pops that I made! Notice the cake pops are arranged in the shape of a caterpillar on the styrofoam. I made them with chocolate cake mix (chocolate cake was one of the things the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate and so was a lollipop...cake pop was close enough!)

The invitation is also showcased below as well. A good friend from church made all of those for us!

Probably my favorite thing next to the cake was the ice cream cone cupcakes! The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate an ice cream cone, but with the weather being so hot lately, I didn't want to fool with the mess of ice cream cones and young children. I had a blast making them and from what I hear, they were yummy!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar also ate a piece of cherry pie, but we settled for a cherry on top of the ice cream cone cupcakes!

We needed some food options for the adults, so I found this caterpillar layout of sandwiches and we replicated it below. We did some of the sandwiches as peanut butter and jelly and some as ham, cheese and turkey.

My sister, Kristina, wanted to have these CUTE cookies made for Maksim...I wish I took a better picture of them, but these were some of the favors for our guests

The Very Hungry Caterpillar also ate 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries and 5 oranges (I might have the order a little off, but you get the point) so, we wanted to have those out to eat as well! 

The picture also shows a few more favors. Butterfly jars filled with cereal of different colors to stick with the bright theme! We labeled these caterpillar and butterfly foods!

And, we had strawberry lemonade suffice for the strawberries that The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate!
He also ate a pickle...my kind of caterpillar! Those were surprisingly gone within the first  hour! I bought a HUGE jar of those! 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar also ate swiss cheese, salami and sausage!

And, although the caterpillar didn't technically drink anything...we are human and needed to replenish! So, we got some cokes and Izze's for the adults or Butterflies!

Also, we made biscuit pizzas with caterpillar design on the top made out of pepperoni, green peppers and olives!

Our little family photo for the day! Then, some pictures of Maks and his smash cupcake! We also had insect antennas for a few of the guests...I didn't make enough for the 62 (!!!!!) guests that came! WOW!

I know I am biased, but he is just the CUTEST!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Almost a YEAR!

I can't believe I am typing this but my baby is almost a year old! I just can't believe it! 

As I look back at pictures I can remember the day he was born and had forgotten some of the feelings that came with that, but what a blessing this little guy has been to me and Grant! 

During my pregnancy, I had a few girls that were also pregnant at the same time. One of them had a sweet girl who had her 1st birthday party last weekend that we were lucky to have attended. It's just so amazing to see Maks and her at this age! And, in the other picture to the right (below) is another baby who was born a few months after Addy and Maks! I remember how much I loved having friends to compare notes with on my pregnancy. Truly a blessing! 

So, I hope the time does not continue to fly by...though I am LOVING the age Maks is at now! It might be harder to get him to sleep at night, but he is so fun and loving to his Momma and Dad! 

I will make sure to post pictures from his birthday soon! I might have went a LITTLE overboard with his 1st Birthday. My Mom told me today that I got it from her and that she KNOWS I remember my first birthday party...ha...what we will do for our children! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From March to August

I guess you can say I took a sabbatical from blogging. An unintentional sabbatical, that is.

Life got crazy and blogging was put on the back burner, but boy did I miss it. I missed catching up on others blogs, getting encouraged by what I read and blogging out my thoughts. So, I thought I would come back with a bang! Spruce up the ole' blog and start a-new!

What's new? Apparently a ton!

My Little Man, Maks! Here are a few of my favorite recent pictures!

Grant sent this one to me with the caption: "Time are hard for everyone"

Maks LOVES his baths! Now he's thinking he can walk around our bathtub. Scares me to DEATH!

Maks at friend, Izzy's 1st Birthday!

Maks is now 11 months, no longer 7 months. 15 days and counting and he will be the big O-N-E!!! I am in shock, truly. He is growing like a weed...well, at least to me! He's only in the 3rd percentile for his growth. I say it doesn't bother me, but yet, I keep bringing it up! In the back of my mind I just keep thinking that he's going to grow up and get made fun of at school for being a "little guy", but I know with his Dad's humor, sarcasm, and personality, Maksim will be able to take it with a grain of salt! And, then, probably like his Dad, he will shoot up and be tall and all the girl will want him.

At this point, he is walking, but what I like to call "hold-on-to-me-Mommy" walking! He can move from item to item but he just hasn't figured out how to balance enough to walk from furniture piece to furniture piece.  He is eating table food. I figured this one out a little late, but he's doing fine! He tried eggs with cheese this morning and is LOVING them! I still have this horrible fear of him choking! I think that and drowning are my two biggest fears. Funny how my fears changed from railroad tracks and elevators to having to do with food and water! Oh, how my life has changed! But, wouldn't trade it for the world!

Church is AMAZING and work is as well! I will save those topics for later blogs. I have a tendency to post FOREVER and I wanted to share a little about a devotional Grant just got me called "Solo: An Uncommon Devotional". I am only on Day 2, but I think it's pretty awesome.

Yesterday's devo was what I like to call "Let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No". What spoke to me was the passage in Matthew 5: 33-37 (this is from The Message version):

"And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying 'I'll pray for you.' and never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,' and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong."

Today's devo had to do with Prayer (what the devo is ultimately about) and The Message stated the Lord's Prayer in a very practical and relevant way that helped me to break it down:

"Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what's best-as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You're in charge! You can do anything you want! You're ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes"

I won't spoil the devotionals by typing everything because I encourage you to try this one out.

So, I'm back in the swing of things and hope to keep pushing-or writing- on!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Camp Electric

Here is a video of a student who came to Camp Electric last year and made it on Oprah's show about the Most Talented Kids. Pretty cool! For those of you who don't know, this is Camp Electric is my pretty awesome job. I am blessed. Enjoy!!!

Former Camp Electric Alum Graham Stookey on OPRAH playing with Lenny Kravitz! http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Rockstar-Lenny-Kravitz-Surprises-Fan-Video

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The "D" Word.


Everyone cringed when I wrote that word. 

One thing I have learned from my husband is to not steer away from topics no one likes to talk about. He has been talking about sex with the youth students and he hasn't been holding back much. I never would have heard some of the things he has brought up in my youth group/s growing up, BUT I wish I had. These tough topics need to be discussed. 

Back to the scary "D" word. 

I have had an overwhelming amount of people, books, blogs, etc. where this subject has come up and I would be lying if I said I had never felt that word in my life. 

I am not a doctor, but I think there are several different "levels" of depression. I believe it can be a fleeting thing and it can also be something that sticks with you and you may need help coping with. 

I have been reading Mary Beth Chapman's book "Choosing to SEE" where she talks about how she has struggled with depression for YEARS and she has had to take medication to help her. Those meds were upped when her daughter passed away. But, she says it's a constant part of who she is. 

So, that is the very hard end of the spectrum. 

Then, I have had friends say that because of an event/s in their lives they have had times of momentary depression. I would probably fall closer to this end of the spectrum. 

Please read this:

Psalm 42

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
8 By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Now, if anyone has ever said that the Bible is not relevant in our lives today, that shows me that it is. This Psalmist was going through a time of spiritual depression. He said "Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"...I do believe that depression is something from the enemy, but we have the power to overcome it. 

Here is a blog that someone referred me to. Amazing. The blog is called "Enjoying the Small Things" by Kelle Hampton

Take the time to read this: Nella Cordelia Birth Story

Kelle's second girl was born with Down Syndrome. They didn't know it until she had given birth and the girl was in her arms. 

Then read this: Down Syndrome

I think this blog post puts things in perspective. If anyone had a "right" to have a time of mourning or depression, it was her and I love one of the things that she said about feeling blessed that she had been chosen for this task. You would have to have read Nella's whole birth story to see where Kelle had came to this point. Now, I am not sure if Kelle is a believer or not, but it made me think of a lot of things. 

It made me think: How selfish am I? It also made me think about what other people are going through and how certain things may seem like mountains to me, but in the grand scheme of things and in the grand scheme of eternity...how meaningless are these petty "problems" I have. I have really tried to see the world from a more eternal perspective with "Kingdom Eyes" as Grant likes to call them. 

I challenge you to do the same. 

If you are looking for some more encouragement about depression, I encourage you to read this article from John Piper

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will see that I am all about prayer. If I can pray for you, please give me the privilege! You can email me at my first and last name .mac :) Or, leave a message on here for me to contact you. 

God Bless. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Just a quick note to share these nifty headphones we got for Maks! He is always coming with us to concerts, church services with loud bands (good bands) playing so I decided to attempt to save his hearing! We have 2 concerts just this weekend plus Sunday service so I know these will get good use out of them!