Sunday, August 31, 2008

To Die For...

Ok, I know this post is short and sweet, and there is more to follow very shortly, but I guarantee it will be worth 3 minutes of your day to check out this PRECIOUS little girl singing her heart out to the Beatles, "Hey Jude". Prepare yourself for a melting heart!

The sweet little girl in this video is the daughter of some psuedo-friends of ours from Watermark...

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls!

This past weekend myself and a few girlfriends took a trip to San Antonio to see Beth Moore and of course, make a stop at the San Marcos Outlets. WE HAD A BLAST!!! I figured out it has been over 5 years since I had taken a girls trip anywhere and man was I WAY overdue! We had quite a few adventures on the way down, including an introduction for me to the famous Rudy's BBQ, being stuck in traffic for an hour and a half just go to two exits, and a torrential downpour!

If any of you have not seen Beth Moore in person, you must go!! She is absolutely AMAZING and so hilarious!! You can tell that she uses the gift the Lord has given her so well. Beth taught about our inheritance as daughters of Christ. The main verses she used were Psalm 15:5-6: "The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."

She gave 8 points that are such simple truths, yet so hard for me to comprehend and process sometimes.

Point 1: I am an heir of God. My life is not left to chance.
He wrote all of my days before one of them came to be. That's what I think of when I read this. No matter how hard life gets, or what traumas, tragedies or triumphs I go through, He has already written all of my days, before one of them even came to be!! What an amazing promise!

This one kind of leads into a really neat quote that I received form a co-worker many years ago. I was going through a really hard time and was struggling with why different things were happening to me.

The quote is called, The Rest of Victory, "The is nothing - no circumstance, no trouble, no testing - that can ever touch me until first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, is has come with a purpose, which I may not understand at the moment, but as I refuse to become panicky, as I life my eyes to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God, for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever distrub me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. This is the rest of victory."

Point 2: I am an heir of God. I am inheriting a kingdom.
Our inheritance here on earth is God's property. We are here to grow and multiply the inheritance He has given us, in order to bring him glory and honor.

Point 3: I am an heir of God. He is my portion...and I am His.
My God considers ME riches, beyond any silver or gold, because I am His inheritance and he sees glimpses of Christ in me!

Point 4: I am an heir of God. the down payment has been made.
The "down payment" for my life was made by Jesus Christ when he died on the cross for ME!

Point 5: I am an heir of God. My boundary lines form a pleasing place.
We always want God to work through us, yet He wants to work IN us! He can only use us to the extent that we allow Him, to the extent of our personal relationship with Him, to the extent of what areas of our life we choose to let Him invade. Is God invading all of me? What areas of my life is He not invading, and why? If I know where I am going (heaven) that shouldn't effect my past, because it doesn't matter where I've been, or what I've done, or who was before me and what they have done, my life is in YOU LORD!!

Point 6: I am an heir of God. The will has been activated.
Hebrews 9:15-17, 26: "Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occured that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will can take effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive...Bus as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

Because Christ died, my will has been activated and my inheritance is alive!

Point 7: I am an heir of God. I can be secure.
If only we women could get the one, Satan would no longer have a stronghold! We would not crave the attention and affirmation from others in an unhealthy way! If I could wrap my mind around the fact that I AM SECURE IN CHRIST, wow, how different would my life, my thought process and my actions be?!?! I have to be the one to change because the culture and this world will not!! I should never pray for an easier life, but pray to be a stronger woman of God! I AM HIS MIRACLE!!

Point 8: I am an heir of God. I have a beautiful inheritance.
Because Jesus Christ is the first born son, and because I am a child of Jesus Christ, that makes me a co-heir and I will receive a double portion!

I'm sure some of you are completely overwhelmed trying to take all of this in, and believe me, I am still trying to and it's been two days since the conference even ended!

On another note, the worship was absolutely amazing! I've always loved music, but when I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart, there is nothing more pleasing to me than falling on my face and worshipping my Lord through song! I can be honest here and say thought, that I didn't make it through a single song with crying. Tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of overwhelming peace, tears of love, all for my sweet Savior. The Lord had a COMPLETE hold on my heart this weekend.

Thank you Lord, for becoming real to me in a way that is inexplainable in words! Help me to live out the passion I have for you, in my everyday life, in my relationships with other, so that they may see your Son in me.

How could I end this post without a picture?!?!? Enjoy!

The girls! (Ashley, Jen, me and Karla)
Be Blessed and Encouraged!

20 Weeks, Cravings and Braxton Hicks (Already?!?)

Well, I've hit the middle mark, 20 weeks! Wow, I can't hardly believe that I'm half way there! It seems like just yesterday that we found out we were expecting little Caleb Aaron! And now, in about 4 1/2 months we will get to meet him face to face! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

I feel like I've popped out the past two weeks, and I have yet to get some great pics of my little basketball belly to show! I promise to get some this week/weekend and update next week with some. We're making a trip to Hawaiian Falls Waterpark on Saturday and I only own a "regular" suit, which I'm actually very excited to wear, so I will have Aaron take a few belly pics then. It has been so fun to get the "you're pregnant!" looks and comments from strangers.

I have to admit, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT when someone I don't even know asks me when I'm due or if I know what I'm having! It makes it so real to me, outside of the fact that Caleb has been kicking like crazy! His favorite times to kick are while I'm at work sitting in an awkward position (probably not the best posture for a preggo, but it's the most comfortable on my back...) and then at night when I'm laying down either on the couch or in bed. I grabbed Aaron's hand last night becuase baby was kicking so hard and so much, but nevertheless, baby stopped as soon as his hand was on me!

Ok, I am stealing this whole Cravings post idea from a good friend (thanks Amy!). I don't know if any of you other preggos/mommies out there have ever experienced this or not, but 99% of the foods I used to eat taste different, and almost always they taste worse! Oh, it's just so depressing! However, the few things on my cravings list below still taste the same, if not better pregnant, which is probably why I love them so! Most of my pregnancy has been more aversions than cravings, but my cravings have been pretty weird, at least to me anyway, so here we go!

Craving #1: CHEESE! Anything made mainly with cheese!
Mac & Cheese, but only Stouffer's frozen larger size
AuGratin Potatoes
Ham & Cheese Hot Pockets, Aaron would be appalled at this one for sure!
Cheese-it's (only the real ones though)

Craving #2: COKE ICEES!!! I know this is soooo odd, but seriously, ever since I've been able to have caffeine (limited amount, of course!) I have been addicted to Coke Icees! I get one almost every afternoon around 2pm (about the time I'm ready for a nap).

Craving #3: Fudgepops! Anything chocolate for that matter, but especially this icy cold chocolate heavenly treat!

Craving #4: Cheesy Hamburger Helper (Individual Size)! This is about the only meat product I could handle up to probably week 12-13. So sad!!

So there you have it folks, my daily intake of food consists of cheese products, coke icees and fudgepops! And somehow I've managed to gain only 4 pounds to date. Oh but wait, I still have 20 more weeks to go, I should probably balance my diet somehow, I don't want to blow up like a blueberry and explode like Violet Beaureguarde in Willy Wonka! (If you haven't seen this movie or it's been a long time, you should definately rent it, it's so good!!)

What's the beef with Braxton Hicks contractions?!?!? Mine started about a week ago and have not really let up. Thankfully I can still walk and talk (at the same time too!) even when they are happenening, and they only last for maybe 10 seconds. I've read that they are supposed to prepare you for "the real thing" (so not excited about that!!) but somehow, I can't even imagine these things "preparing" me for anything, except having to run to the bathroom a lot quicker than I used to! I wonder if baby can feel them too? It seems that he moves or kicks more when they are happening. Does anyone know any info on that?

Well, I guess those are all the updates I have for now, at least until I get some pictures up!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Express Yourself! Creations Updates

Wow! A ton has been happening in my little business world lately and I realized I have not shared on here about it!For those of you who don't know, I started my own business in March 2007 (no, not a pyramid business, my own acutal company). I have to give all the credit to my dear husband, who encouraged me after months of "giving away" free handmade gifts, to start my own business and make myself a little extra money! Of course, I "heeded his direction" and boom! Express Yourself! Creations was born. While my products have transformed increasingly over the months, I do still keep my original ideas in practice and just continue to add on the new ones! Here's the list of products that I currently make/sell that I can think of:

Baby Books
Baby Schedule Book
Pregnancy Journal
Altered Composition Notebooks
Wire Bound Lined Journal
Appointment Planners
Student Planners
Address Books
Altered Clipboards (great teacher gifts!)
Recipe Binder
Notepads Guestbooks (wedding, baby showers, etc...)
Notecard Sets with or without matching Tin (Thank You's, Any Holiday, Any Occasion, etc...)**
Picture Frames**
Recipe Box**
Greeting Card Box**
Wall Calendars (only available to purchase Sept - Nov for 2009 editions)**
Checkbook Covers**
Desktop Flip Calendars**

WOW! I don't think I realized how many products I actually have! How cool! (Any product with the ** next to it means that it's a new product of mine!)

Ok, so to move on, my products have recently been featured on two different blogs (yay! so excited!!):

Some other HHHUUUUGGGGGEEEEE news is that I have finally received my first wholesale account request, and what better way to enter the world of wholesaling but through an amazing organization called Crickett's Answer for Cancer! Crickett's is a Breast Cancer Foundation that provides breast cancer patients with wigs and other pampering services when they themselves cannot afford it due to the rising costs of long term illness medical bills. Their website is:

Crickett's has decided to purchase custom day planners, picture frames and notecard sets with the matching tin. All of the products will be sold to them at wholesale costs so that they can mark them up and 100% of the profits will go towards the foundation in order to provide for cancer patients who are overwhelmed with medical bills and won't have the opportunity to "beautify" themselves during this process. While I do believe our inner beauty is always greater than our outer beauty, I can't imagine what a sweet woman goes through during cancer. With my grandmother being a breast cancer survivor, I felt VERY called and excited to be able to support this organization in whatever way possible! Please be sure to check out their website, they have partnered with other creative ladies and have an array of great products available for purchase (mine soon to be included!).

I wanted to post a few pics of some of my favorite products, old and new, and point you to my website:

Plaid Checkbook Cover

Personalized Cherish Day Planner

Breathe Day Planner

Bandana Composition Notebook

Just Be You Teacher Lesson Planner

Centerpiece Picture Frame

Centerpiece Fridgepad/Notepad

Custom Frame for Crickett's Foundation

Custom Frame for Crickett's Foundation
Custom Notecards for Crickett's Foundation (Outside)

Custom Notecards for Crickett's Foundation (Inside of card above)

Custom matching Card Tin for Crickett's Foundation and additional cards

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Really Happening...

I realized this morning, after a turn of events that this whole baby situation is really happening. In five months, we will have a newborn to take care of. We will be changing dirty diapers, feeding at all crazy hours of the night, all while trying to balance somewhat of a normal lifestyle and keep our marriage healthy. How is it humanly possible to do and be all of these things at once? How do I balance mommy hood, keep the house clean, cook dinner, have meaningful friendships and try to be the godly wife I am called to be, loving my husband and serving him all the while? I just don’t see how I can. I just don’t see how it is physically and emotionally possible. Something has to give, but all of those things seem to be so high on the list, how do I choose? Do I have to choose? What if I don’t want to choose?

My reaction to all of this: I AM SCARED.

I have built up in my head what parenthood is going to be like, and how fun and hopefully natural it will come to me, and am realizing that it’s not all fun and games. It’s serious work. It’s another life, that has been given to me to care for, love, cherish and disciple.

For those of you who know me well, I tend to beat up on myself when I haven’t been disciplined in different areas of my life. I also doubt myself quite often, questioning “Am I ready for this?” “There’s no way I’m going to be a good mommy, I can’t even stick to a schedule on my own time.” “I’m not equipped and disciplined enough to train up my child to be a godly man or woman. I can’t even have my own consistent quiet times.” These questions flood my mind each day and while I know the Lord has a plan for this little life, I guess I just wish he would clue me in on it every once in a while. But then again, this is where faith is supposed to come in to the picture. I don’t doubt, and never have, the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord, I question whether or not I will seize opportunities to teach our little one biblical truths. I question if my own habits or lack there of, will rub off on our child.

I’m sure every new parent goes through this fear at some point. In fact, I know that statement to be true. I’ve heard stories, I’ve seen situations, and I’ve watched new parents. Praise the Lord that He has his hand in everything we do. Praise the Lord that He keeps his promises. Praise the Lord that He is faithful even when we are not. Praise the Lord that I am not alone in this and that He is with me, every step of the way.

Now if only I could truly believe all of those praises. If only I could find a way to trust that the Lord is going to provide for my every need as a new mommy. Today, I’m struggling to believe those truths. Maybe tomorrow will be different, but right now, in this moment, I am struggling to believe.

Lord, help me to believe.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's a........

Ok, here's a clue. In the picture above, the arrow is pointing at something very pertinent!! You guessed it! IT'S A BOY!!!!! I must say, we were a little shocked, we really thought it was a girl, but of course, we are overjoyed and thrilled that we're having a little boy!

While at the Dr.'s office yesterday getting all of the big "20 week" testing done (at 17 weeks mind you), baby boy decided to make it very difficult to see what Dr. was really looking for. His head was deep in my pelvis, and his butt was all the way at the top, tucked way back close to my ribs. We got to see his legs and all of his little toes, it was so amazing!! And needless to say, it took about 10-15 minutes just to get a clear shot. And we really only got this one!! Aaron was way more shocked than I was. He later told me that when Dr. said it was a boy, he really realized how much he wanted a girl. He wanted time to learn how to do all of the cool daddy stuff like hunting and fishing before having a boy so that he felt equipped. I told him about how that is a great hobby of my dad's and that he should talk to him and learn from him about all of that stuff. Not to leave out some close guy friends of his whom also love to do those same things. I wonder if he realizes that it's still years before baby boy is even old enough to do anything of that nature?!?!? Anyway, after we left the appointment in shock, we went to target and bought our first little boy outfit (see pic below...). It's just something small, but I told Aaron and that I wanted to be the first one to buy him an outfit.

My prayer now, is that the Lord would grow our little boy up to know and love Him dearly. That he would be a warrior for Christ, and a solid, Godly man. And that Aaron and I would know how to love him best during his life here on earth, that we would trust the Lord with his life, and that we would always point him to the truth.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!