Sunday, June 26, 2011

Eva's 1st Baby Shower


The Friends For Life Hostesses: Ashley, Erica, and Marianne

This afternoon was Eva's first baby shower. Since she couldn't open the gifts herself, I was happy to step in! (On a side note: I actually decided to be born the day of my mom's baby shower for me, so her friend had to open the gifts while she pushed hard to deliver me. Hey, I heard there was a party and I wanted to be there! Sorry, Mom). Anyways, back to today....

I would like to thank all of my awesome friends and family for coming and being so generous. Ryan, Eva, and I were so blessed by all of your gifts and so loved by your support and encouragement. My 3 best friends, Ashley, Erica, and Marianne hosted it and did an amazing job. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect shower or prayed for better best friends. I love ya'll so much!!!

Jackie, with baby Knox, Megan, and Sarah, with baby Adaya
All of my mama friends. I hope ya'll are ready to teach me everything you know! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy mommy schedules to come hang out with me.
Your kids are super cute.

When we got home I let Ryan reopen all of the gifts so he could experience the fun surprises!

We are going to have one stylish little girl!

And this is where she will sleep for at least the first few weeks plus every time she stays with her grandparents! Which will be often, right Mamy and Nana????? The pack and play has other cute attachment parts, but its been a long day so I just popped out the basic parts.

Me and Brooke
I have loved Brooke since her parents brought her to church when she was about a week old and now she is 11. She actually got to spend the night with me last night and go to church with us this morning. We managed to squeeze in some girly time and get mani-pedis before the shower, too. Brooke was the first baby I ever really took care of on my own and I love her so much! Thanks for letting me practice being a little mother with you, Brooke!

My mom and Grandma Dede
Without these 2 wonderful women and their desire to be mothers, I wouldn't be here.

My mom and mother in-law
Have you ever seen a more beautiful pair of babysitters???? Thank you Mamy and Nana for being so generous. My mom got me a fabulous Vera Bradley diaper bag (along with some other goodies) and Nana got Eva her crib (post soon to come!)

My amazing husband
Thanks for showing up at the end to load up the presents! I love you, Ryan!
Without you, there would be no baby Eva!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Where are we headed?

{Photo Credit: Tomato Cards} 
This is the top part of a greeting card that has a permanent place on our refrigerator. (By the way the inside has the wife responding with, "I thought YOU were driving!") I love it because Ryan and I feel like this all the same. Sometimes this feeling comes with tears and fear. Sometimes with laughter and surrender. We always believe that God is faithful and in control but we're also normal and will admit that letting go of that control and walking by faith towards what we can't always see can be hard. Ryan told me an analogy of walking on a beach at night with a flashlight, where you can see just enough ahead of you, but you can only imagine the beauty and wonder of all the waves of the ocean and all the grains of sand that you are making an imprint on. It can be really hard to thank God for the flashlight instead of begging him to bring up the morning sun before it is time.

As we look on towards the next few weeks and months I'm trying to be content with my flashlight and to keep in mind my greatest desires. The greatest, most passionate things I would ask God for in my life are to be a wife, to be a mother, and to share the Gospel with people who haven't heard it or have heard it but never fully lived it. Yes, there are other things that I think, "Well this would be nice," or "That would make my life easier and less painless...." but when I really look at my heart those are the things I desire most.

And guess what? So far those are the blessings that have been fulfilled in my life. I have a really wonderful husband who makes me laugh, lets me hang old greeting cards on our fridge, and enjoys a sweet Saturday morning breakfast with me every week. I have a little growing baby that wiggles and kicks inside of me all the time that I will get to kiss and hold in about 2 months. And we're in a ministry position where we get to share the Gospel and see how God can work in our lives and others. I guess in this sense, I have everything I've ever wanted.

So, where are we headed? I don't know....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Are you afraid of THE DARK?

Last night Ryan and I had a usual romantic Saturday night. It started with a 5pm early bird dinner with the extended family, followed by a rockin' graduation party for one of the kids of a family from church, and ended with a moonlight trip to Walmart. It was one of those date nights that young girls just dream about. One our way home from Walmart we had commented how hot it was. Not our date- the weather outside. It was probably close to 100 degrees even though it was after 9pm. Plus the wind was blowing a breeze that felt like a space heater turned up a million percent. There were a few light raindrops in the air but nothing that actually resembled a storm. We turned down the street to our apartment and noticed that there weren't any street lights on. We joked about how it looked like the scene from a summer murder mystery. And then we turned into our apartment and realized that every single apartment had its lights off. Like everybody was gone. Or like THE POWER WAS OUT. We noticed a couple sitting outside so we rolled down the window and asked how long the power had been out. They said for about an hour. That is not what you want to hear when you're coming home on a hot night with a backseat full of groceries. We unloaded our stuff quickly and organized everything so that we would only have to open the freezer and refrigerator one time to conserve the coolness inside.

At that point you normally start to think that the power will flicker on shortly. So we waited. And waited. And talked about how there really isn't much to do when there's no power. And waited some more. This made me start to think about life in the "old days." Back before the light bulb and electricity. It must have been so different. Like if you lived out on the prairie and it got dark, you probably went to bed earlier. And how before electricity and TVs and computers, you would be freed up to have much more time spent in conversation. Or maybe time spent milking your cow or sewing your own underwear. Whatever. I kind of wish that we could have more days like that. To enjoy how truly quiet it gets at night without the humming of everything that uses electricity. To enjoy a simple evening. To just sit and talk and not be distracted. Except for one thing.....

Air conditioning. I'm sure the kings and queens in castles had a fun time dancing by candlelight, but I'm also betting they got really hot sometimes. With sweltering temperatures outside and a hot wind that could melt butter, our little apartment got very warm, very quickly. I kept thinking, okay, we just need to turn a fan on. But it turns out you need electricity to do that too!

Our "hot date" night ended with us deciding that we would try to sleep despite the heat. We kept putting cool washcloths on our heads (and my poor pregnant feet!) to stay comfortable. After about 3 hours of this, the electricity came back on. I laid in bed and thanked God for cool air as I finally drifted to sleep.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Heroic tales of a pregnant mama.

My new glider for the nursery arrived today!!! I have been waiting and waiting for about 100 weeks...or maybe 8 days which is basically the same. I love ordering things online, I do not like waiting for them to arrive. This glider was actually an early shower gift from my grandma. Thanks, Dede!

I knew it would arrive between Friday and today. I also knew that UPS doesn't deliver on the weekends so that narrowed it down. On Friday I began to casually call or drop by the apartment office 10 times a day just in case it got delivered there when we weren't home. There is nothing sadder than missing an important delivery. This afternoon on my way home from work I stopped by the mail center and I noticed....the UPS man making deliveries in the complex! I quickly waddled to our mailbox, grabbed everything that was in it - we usually trash the junk mail right there- and waddled back to my car. I drove quickly but safely around the corner to make sure that I wouldn't miss the delivery guy when he got to our building. (He was delivering other packages...what was the chance that he could do that and somehow beat me back to my apartment? I don't know. I didn't want to find out!) I got out of my car, ran inside to drop off my purse, and then stood by the bottom of the stairs waiting for him. When he finally pulled up outside of our building I was standing there with a smile as he got out a package. "Is that for me???" Nope. It was for my neighbor. But he assured me that he had 2 big boxes for me also. "Well, please don't just knock and walk off, " I said, "Because I'm pregnant and can't get them inside." He laughed and assured me he would make sure to set them right inside the door for me. Those UPS guys are so helpful and friendly.

Once the packages were inside the house I had the urge to put the chair together RIGHT THEN. Was Ryan home? Nope. Would he be home soon? Nope. Did that make a difference? No way, I can do it myself! I carefully carried piece by piece of the disassembled glider into our nursery. I got out the "tools" and "hardware" that came with it. (Those are the correct terms, right?) And I set to work. 25 minutes later, I was finished! I did it! I put together the whole glider myself! Don't worry, I was careful and didn't lift anything heavy. I just read the directions and accomplished my goal. I'm so proud of myself!!!

And the best part? Ryan doesn't even know it is here yet. We are kicking off our big summer youth program tonight and he's been gone all day and won't get home until later. I'm about to leave to go join him, but I'm going to play it off like I'm kinda disappointed that the glider didn't come today. I love a good surprise! And tonight when I get home, I will put my feet up and relax :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Three!!!

Today is the beginning of my third trimester! The end is nearer than I can imagine. I also have only 3 more months until Eva's due date! It is so exciting and also a little scary to think that time passes so quickly. But, since 3 is Ryan's favorite number, I'm hoping it will also be my favorite part of pregnancy. Maybe I should eat a cupcake today to celebrate? Sounds good to me. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Voice of the Martyrs

I was going to write a funny, lighthearted blog post tonight. And then God changed my heart. I was reading a monthly subscription that I get called, The Voice of the Martyrs. Every month I genuinely look forward to reading this short magazine when it comes in the mail because I can see God using it to change and increase my faith. This magazine shares stories of Christians all over the world who have faced and continue to face persecution. It tells their story of faith and gives ways that you can pray for believers in other parts of the world.

Tonight I was reading an article that focused on a 26 year old mother of three who was living in a refugee area, taking care of her 3 children after her husband had been killed by radical Hindus in their community. God challenged my heart to have compassion for this women, who is a year younger than I am. I get anxious thinking of raising one little girl with my wonderful husband while she struggles to provide for 3 children alone. I was reminded to praise God and be thankful that tonight I will sleep in a safe home and that throughout the week I can worship God publicly and freely. As Ryan meets with other young pastors at a meeting tonight, I am thankful that he will likely return home safe to me. The magazine story continued to tell of how so many pastors in the areas are persecuted, jailed, and killed for their faith.

The encouraging part of stories like this is that people all over the world continue to have faith in Jesus. They trust God and rely on him regardless of their circumstances. They believe in God's unfailing love and promise not to leave us. I hope that my faith can become stronger and more like this. The circumstances I face daily are nothings compared to their struggles.

If you are interested in reading this magazine, I linked the title above to their website. The subscription is free and I definitely recommend it.