Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Quick Trip Home

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to fly home to St. Louis, for 36 hours, literally. My mom, Grandma and I attended a women's conference of Elizabeth George, who by the way, is A-MA-ZING!! The theme was "Remarkable" and she taught on Remarkable Truth, Remarkable Victory and Remarkable Trust. Her main verse for the weekend was Philippians 4:8, which says, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things." What a powerful verse! How many times do I find myself loathing in self pity, rather than truly meditating on the words of Christ? Paul, in this verse, is building a "curb" for our thoughts. What we should be doing when a thought comes to mind, is evaluating it, by asking ourselves, "Is it truthful? Is it worthy of my time? Is it honoring to Christ? Is it a lie?" If it does not fit into the descriptions written in Phil. 4:8, then we don't need to be thinking it!! We need to be thinking the truth about God. We need to be thinking about the truths spoken in the Word of God. And we need to be thinking the truth about who we are as sons and daughters in Christ!

Remarkable Victory - winning over worry. How many of us dwell on the mistakes of our past? How many hours do you think you've spent thinking about past mistakes, past hurts, past situations we wish we could change? I know I've spent probably hundreds of hours over my lifetime, thinking about different scenarios in the past that I have wished I could go back and change! It's not only dishonoring to God when we think on the past and question, "...if only I had...", but when we look on the past, things also get distorted and our minds often make the situation worse or different than it really was, I mean, we are going off of a memory that we created in our own minds. How often do you think Satan distorts memories of our past, to make them out to be worse than they actually were, so you will feel more guilt and shame? Isn't that his prerogative? We must discipline ourselves to not focus on the past, but focus on the here and now, and what God has done in our lives through life experiences. Focus on who we are in Christ NOW!

Remarkable Trust - I can trust God with 1) My #1 problem of each day, whether it's work or family related, or a sin struggle that I have not confessed, or ANYTHING, I can trust the Lord with it! 2) I can trust the Lord with the good things in my life. 3) I can trust the Lord with the bad things in my life. 4) I can trust the Lord with the big things in my life, 4) And I can trust the Lord with the smallest thing sin my life!!

The time spent at this conference was such a blessing to my heart. A lot of these things I truly needed to hear, even though I would not have admitted it at the time! Since my biggest struggle is finding and experiencing joy in my life, and the lack of joy outpouring itself through anger, the Lord really awoke my heart to the truth in Philippians 4:8. I have found that I think so negatively, about pointless matters, people who's actions I have no control over and truly negative thoughts about past choices, rather than find joy in everyday living. This weekend, I experienced joy, true joy from the Lord, for the first time in a long time. Don't get me wrong, I have experienced the happiness of pregnancy, as well as the emotional roller coaster of it, but I truly found joy in such the little things this weekend.

I found myself crying tears of joy on the plane ride home, because Caleb was kicking me. I was overwhelmed at the fact that this little life is growing inside me, and that he is "fearfully & wonderfully made" by our Heavenly Father. I praised the Lord as I was reading a book by Elizabeth George, "A Mom After God's Own Heart", and realizing what a privilege I have of being Caleb's mommy, already, even in the womb. He is life, he is breathing and kicking, and doing somersaults, he is REAL! I found joy in spending quality time with my mom, GREAT quality time. I found joy in hearing the story of one of the singers at the conference who is currently pregnant as a surrogate mother for one of her friends who is not able to carry a child full-term. I found joy in the smallest blessings of being able to enjoy spending time with my sweet Grandma, who, while she is getting up there in age, has such a spunk and such a joy filled spirit, all because of the work that Christ has done and continues to do in her heart. I experienced joy through spending time at dinner with my dad. I was filled with joy and laughter as he greeted me with a, "Hey momma!" How precious those words were to my heart to hear, coming from him!!! I am experiencing joy as I write this blog post, because I know that the God of the universe, knows MY name, knows the number of hairs on my head, knows when I sit and when I rise, knows every thought, knows every desire, knows every hurt, and still chooses to love me, unconditionally as HIS PRECIOUS BABY GIRL!!!! What a precious gift I have been given! Thank you Lord, for your love and devotion to me, I do choose to praise you because I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, by your hands, just as I am!!

Mom & I

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, September 22, 2008

16 Weeks and Counting!!!

I am still having a hard time believeing that Caleb will be here in only 16 weeks (give or take a few days depending on how stubborn he is)! I felt so unprepared, that is until we got the first piece of furniture, and the most important in my opinion, all put together and in place last night. That's right, the crib! And I think it only took us, maybe 1.5 hours to do it from start to finish. Not bad if you ask me! Anyway, thank you to my WONDERFUL, AMAZING, HARDWORKING hubby for doing the blunt of the work, with a little help from me. I LOVE IT and am so glad we ended up going with this one! Now, to be able to check off the other couple hundred or so things from my to do list. Is it possible for nesting to have already set in or am I just OCD? Anyway, here are a few pics that documented the whole event. I can't wait to see what this room looks like completed, with bedding and all!! Oh Caleb, we love you so much and can't wait to meet you!!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Visiting Palacios and some great hangtime!!

This past weekend, we went to Houston for a baby shower, but we also had the great opportunity to stay with Omar & Vicki (Brother & Sister-in-law) Saturday night in Palacios, TX and visit their church with them Sunday morning. Omar recently took the position of Youth Pastor and I've heard that him being there has already made such a huge impact. I can't wait to see what the Lord continues to do with and through him there. Vicki also took a position at the local Elementary School teaching 3rd grade. While it has proven to be a challenge so far, I know the Lord will use her in ways she can't even imagine! Stick it out, Vicki, it will all be worth it in the end!! The town they live in is about 5,000 people, similar to the size of the town I grew up in, so it was nice to visit, and be out of the big city! We got to stay on the Baptist Camp site, which backs up right to the Gulf of Mexico. It was amazing to wake up, step out the front door of our room, and have such an amazing view of the ocean! Here are a few pics we took while Aaron and I enjoyed a nice stroll down the Pier right outside of our room!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Love from Houston!

This past weekend we made a trip to Houston for the Garcia family baby shower, and what fun we had!! Thank you to Becky (my mother-in-law) and Vicki (my sister-in-law) for hosting such a wonderful party! The decorations were so fun, and somehow matched my bedding fabric perfectly! The food was wonderful and the cake might be the best cake I have ever had in my life, no kidding! Thank you to all of you who love us so well and are just as excited about this sweet little baby as we are! We are so blessed!! Below are a few pictures from the party. Enjoy!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our Crib Is Here...In Pieces That Is!

Caleb's crib was delivered on Wednesday!! It was such a fun surprise to pull into our driveway and see the big boxes on the front porch!! I couldn't wait to get them open, so I carefully "rolled" them in our frontdoor, right into what will be the nursery (even though it doesn't look like it right now). As much as I could pull out myself, I did, but I was good, and waited on the heavy stuff until Aaron got home.

Since I really want to document the nursery transformation, here are a few pictures of what we have accomplished so far with the crib. As some of you know, this space was once a VERY FULL and DISORGANIZED office for my home business, Express Yourself! Creations. I have since "moved in" with Aaron in his office, and we've started to add little pieces of Caleb's room to the space, including a new rug, which has been by far the best deal yet ($40 at Bed, Bath & Beyond). So, as you can see, we've got all of the pieces of the crib laying out, but that's about as far as we've made it. Maybe next week I'll be able to post some "action" shots of Aaron putting it together!

*ALL traces of pink will be gone from this room before Caleb makes his grand entrance, I promise!*

Also, we're heading off to Houston today for the weekend. It will definately be interesteing to see 1. How long it acutally takes us to get to Aaron's family's house (normally a 4.5 hour drive), and 2. What Hurricaine devastation really looks like in person. I will be taking many pictures and will post those as well once we get back. Please pray for safety as we travel, and that we would be able to find places to stop along the way for bathroom breaks (more for me), food and gas if we need it.

Be Blessed and Encouraged,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

23 Weeks and counting!

I have been SOOOO horrible at taking pregnancy pictures but thought I would share what I have so far! You know, I had all good intentions of taking WEEKLY belly pictures for my pregnancy journal I've been writing in, but, as we all know, times flies by so fast, and I certainly can't keep up! Anyway, here you go, enjoy!!

12 weeks along

23 weeks along (today!)

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Small Blessings...


As you saw in my last post, my favorite kitty, Babie was set to be put down this morning at 11am. I looked at the clock at 11:25 and tears started flowing, my Babie was gone. I waited and waited to get the phone call from my mom with the usual, "he was in no pain, everything went fine, etc...". When I finally received the phone call from my mom, she informed me that Babie was given a second chance (he must be on his 8th life now...)!!! "What?!?!?," I exclaimed with joy! The vet took a second look at the ultrasound they had done earlier this week and said that there was a possibility that some specific medication could take care of the issue. Babie bought himself at least another 1-2 months, PRAISE THE LORD!!

Really, this was a phone call I didn't expect and am counting my blessings! Although his days are numbered, just as it is for all of us, I'm choosing to remember all of the great times we've shared over the years and not wallow in sadness for when he really will go to pet heaven...

In other news, my sweet honey has been praying for "Caleb"! That's right, Aaron is calling baby by name! How precious that is to a mother's heart to hear! He has been so cuddly with me and my growing belly this week!! Rubbing and kissing it, and even speaking a few words to baby Caleb! Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it! This is something I have longed for and desired for so long, and he's doing it all on his own!! Thanks sweetie, for loving me and Caleb SOOOOOO very well this week!! It is such a blessing to be married to you!!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Babie - The Best Furry Friend in the World...

Babie, my favorite cat growing up. I remember adopting him while my parents were on their honeymoon, November 1995. He was the "runt" of the litter, but you would never be able to tell now! As soon as I laid eyes on him, I had to have him. He was around 7 weeks old at the time, and he nuzzled his sweet little head right into my neck as soon as I picked him up! From that instant, HE WAS MINE!

We had some great times together. He would sleep with me almost every night as a kitten, curled up in my neck, just as he had done since day one. When I first brought him home, he couldn't even jump off the bed to go potty because he was so little. I remember he would wake me up by licking or biting my nose, and I would lift him off the bed, he would go potty, and then when he was ready to come back up, he would "cry" with his sweet little high pitched voice. I still remember that sound, so sweet!

He was a great listener. Whenever I had issues with someone, or was heartbroken by a boy, he heard every last bit of it, including many tears. He would let me hold him, and hug him, it's like he knew I needed it.

As he grew up, he definately took after his mother (me!) and became VERY independent. He would love on me, but only in his own timing. He was always good at letting me know when he wanted to be alone, and when he wanted company. Usually if he didn't want me around, he would get up and leave as soon as I would come to wherever he was! Looking back, I don't blame him though, he put up with so much from me!

I remember taping scotch tape inside out (sticky part on the outside, not on his fur) on his tail and paws because his reaction would have me rolling on the floor laughing so hard. It truly was priceless!

I remember moving Babie in with my Grandparents and how much my Grandpa LOVED having him there, especially since he was battling Alzheimer's. I remember my Grandpa calling him Misty, after an old black family cat we used to have. They look exactly the same. It must have stuck because to this day, my Grandma still calls him Misty, even though his actual name is Babie.

The reason I am even posting about my precious furry friend, is because Friday morning he will be put to sleep. After many months of bad behavior and finding out that he has had recurring bladder infections and now has stones in his bladder that can only be removed by a really expensive surgery, it has been decided that he will be going to pet heaven (I am praying that such a place exists since pets can't understand the human language and can't be "saved"). My heart is broken and tears have fallen.

Babie, you will always hold a VERY special place in my heart. You have ALWAYS been there for me, no matter how mean I was to you. You love me in the best way possible, rubbing up against my legs, curling up on my lap, and purring so loud I can hear you a mile away. I will miss you more than words could express. You are the best furry friend I could ever ask for! I love you!

This is my favorite picture I have of Babie, so true to his nature, he would never share his toys!
Babie used to lay like this a lot, but especially after Grandma added a screened in porch. He sure did love this screened in porch, as you can tell!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Babee Tenda...

I know that's an awkward title for a post, but you'll understand more as you read...

This past Sunday morning Aaron and I attended a baby safety seminar. Aaron was a little skeptical, just knowing that with it being a free seminar, there had to be some catch, and there was. Although it was not what we expected. After sitting and listening TO THE MOST ANNOYING SPEAKER EVER, Aaron and I were sold on the products that they were selling. Normally, we are not easily swayed into things of this nature, and maybe it's 1st time parent syndrome, but we feel that our purchase was well worth it, and will be a good investment, not just purchase, for the time that we will need it. In fact, when I called my mom and told her she informed me that my Grandma used it on her kids, 6 of them, and it lasted!

Anyway, here's a little more info on the crib and table we purchased (both our purchases are cherrywood, not white, but they didn't have any pics of that color)...


1) Double Safety Locks for a 4-way locking system preventing side drop.

2) Safety Sides. The hardwood slats, 2 3/8" apart, are glued and pinned with steel -too close for baby to get caught in. Both sides of the BabeeTenda Crib can be lowered by releasing two double action locks. An adult can easily do this but a baby cannot. This special safety release mechanism eliminates the possibility of a crib side dropping accidentally and injuring your baby. This solidly built crib weighs over 100 pounds.

3) Attractive Laminate. The ends are covered with attractive mar-proof laminate in color shown on the order form.

4) Steel Frame. Heavy gauge steel rails are bolted to the ends securing the box support and mattress. It's strong enough to support an adult.

5) No Corner Posts. No posts, projections, decorations or cutouts (a major cause of strangulation) to harm the baby.

6) Teething Protection. All 4 sides of the crib are protected by heavy-duty teething rails. Most cribs have teething rails only on the sides not on the ends.

7) Unique Safety Gate. One side of the crib has a toddler gate that lets your child get in and out of bed safely without climbing over the top.

8) Moves Easily. The double 2" barrel casters allow the crib to move effortlessly.

9) Firm Mattress. High-density non-allergenic foam provides orthopedic body support for proper posture.

1) The table is 24" square and rolls through any normal 30" door. The size and shape of the table provides your baby with a "safe zone".

2) The padded innerseat adjusts to 8 different positions and is vinyl-backed for easy cleaning.

3) The removable high pressure laminate tray easily slides out for easy access and is supported by grooves in the sides. Baby cannot be pinched by the tray.

4) Widespread, angle legs and low center of gravity create a non-tip design.

5) Double 2" barrel caster roll easily, even over carpet.

6) The aircraft-quality extruded aluminum legs are reinforced with a solid hardwood core which can be lock at 21", 24" or 27" high.

7) A unique load lock-up prevents all leg adjustment while the child is in the table.

8) The tension lock fastens the tray securely in the proper position.

Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that neither product has a warning label, because they don't need one. Since being in busines for 60+ years, there has never been a single accident, injury, death or recall to either of their products. With there being at least a few hundred recalls on baby products alone every single year, it speaks volumes to me that their products have never had to endure anything of that nature. And they both come with an 11-year warranty!

Anyway, we're super excited and should expect the furniture to be in in about 4-5 weeks. Good thing I spent the weekend moving my office to make room for baby! (I'll post pics later on that whole thing...).

Be Blessed and Encouraged!


I had my OB appointment this morning and it went very well. I was going into it with quite a few questions, and Dr. Riegel was great to take the time to answer all of them thoroughly for me, which of course helps a 1st time mommy-to-be feel so much better and at ease!

My 1st concern/question was the fact that I thought I had started having Braxton Hicks contractions within the past couple weeks. Dr. Riegel explained what exactly Braxton Hicks are, when I should and shouldn't be having them and then after I explained what they felt like, he informed me that they were not Braxton Hicks, but in fact were some type of Uterus contractions. He gave me the medical term, but of course, I don't remember. He said it's nothing to worry about though.

I also explained about the excruiating lower back pain I've been having, and of course, "it's just a part of pregnancy". Oh so sad to hear that. He did however suggest seeing a chiropractor. He normally refers his patients with higher amounts of lower back pain to a chiropractor and said it has a very high rate of success. The great thing is that my physical therapist shares an office with a chiropractor so I will be making a call this week to set up an appointment!

My last question was about having another sonogram. I've heard that it's normal to get another one at 28 weeks or right around there, but have now been informed that I was misinformed. The Association for Obstectrics and Gynocology does not recommend any sonograms during a pregnancy, although they have become the norm, it's more of an "informational procedure" for the Doctor and the patient, but is not mandatory. Therefore, Dr. Riegel has made me aware that because of this, and becuase of the fact that most insurance companies give such grief to the Doctors for performing too many sonograms, that unless they "have to" perfom another one due to an unhealthy mommy or baby or baby's not growing enough, I will probably not have another one. I'm acutally ok with that though. Dr. Riegel also asked why I wanted to have another one, and I told him, "to be completely honest, to have the sex of the baby confirmed." He then referenced the latest sonogram pictures in my chart and explained to me his philosophy on how he determines the sex as well as what he actually tells patients when doing so. He told me that if he had any doubt it was a boy, he would not have said anything, and that him saying he is 90% sure, which he did in our last appointment, was his way of saying, "I see little boy parts, and you're having a boy." He said no doctor can give a much higher percentage of confirmation because of it becoming a liability, which would give people an open door to sue if the baby came out the opposite sex. I explained all of this to Aaron and I think it helped, somewhat, but we didn't really have time to talk on the phone when I told him.

So there are all of my clarifications for today. I'm excited to be able to move along! I'll be posting a few other new posts this week along with some pictures!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!