Tuesday, December 28, 2010

These past few weeks living in our new home has been really nice. I love relaxing and not having too much responsibilities besides bills, cleaning, cooking, and laundry. The downside is that i'm feeling super lazy! I can hardly gather the energy to wash the dishes today. :) But don't worry they'll get done along with the laundry.
Last night I realized the need to soak up this time in my life because before we know it our baby boy will be here and there won't be enough time in the day to sit and relax!
On a side note the other day I was reading in one of my baby books about labor and delivery and i've decided that I have been blocking this part out. SO as I read and became more familiar with the delivery process I freaked out. Is there any way to bypass this step and jump straight to holding my baby? Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Darren and I ordered the nursery furniture yesterday and I'm one happy girl! I really love what we picked out and am excited about the price we're paying for everything. The mattress comes with the crib too! (What a deal!)

My husband has been home for a week now and I LOVE it. On top of that I really love him and the man that he is. I'm dreading the month he has to be away but we have some time before he has to go. It just stinks that he has to leave again but he'll come home shortly before the baby is due. I am praying hard that our son decides to wait until his dad can be there! I know God will provide no matter what happens.
Lately i've wanted to press the pause button and soak up the sweet moments Darren and I have shared. We both agree this 'honeymoon phase' has been wonderful! I think it's great how God blessed me with Darren to walk through life with. I can't believe how much our marriage has changed for the better. Before I fell asleep last night I was thinking about our relationship and how much we've been through together already in the four years we've known each other. I was thinking about how happy he makes me and how much i appreciate the husband he is.
Last night we went out for a nice dinner date and then to best buy to spend Darren's gift card money. It was fun to help him pick out a new ipod. He picked out the new ipod touch and i'm only a little jealous :). We had fun talking, laughing, and enjoying each other's company.
He is an incredible guy and very protective of his wife and son. We were taking the trash out and there was a ton of ice and he made me stop and took the trash I had so i wouldn't walk over the ice. It's the little things like this that cause a wife's heart to swell with pride over her man.
Throughout this pregnancy he has been a huge blessing. He is excited and into this pregnancy and frequently asks how i'm doing or how the baby is doing that day. He'll put his hand on my belly randomly or say the funniest things to the baby. I am able to enjoy our son with him and that is fun to share! We're both looking forward to the change in our lives and knowing that Darren is on board this ship with me is a blessing.
I am loving the extra time we've been able to spend together but am being spoiled at the same time! I'm soon going to have to accept the balance of him going back to work with normal hours and our time together being cut down. I still believe we'll find time to enjoy each other and that the time we do spend with each other will be special. If the navy has given me one thing its been a sense of appreciation for time with him..and to not take it for granted.

I think it's time to do those dishes now! Have a wonderful day :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to write yesterday but I had a small dose of the stomach flu..I mean small in the amount of time. It was that 24 hour one but boy oh boy does that wipe a girl out! I managed to bake a cherry pie and make cherry coke jello yesterday evening though. It's funny how sometimes sickness creeps up out of nowhere and then BAM you're leaning over the toilet crying and thinking I HATE THROWING UP!! haha
Darren was on duty yesterday and had to spend the night so he was not around to take care of me physically but was able to email with me all day to see how I was doing, what a sweet man!
I ended up watching all my favorite christmas movies that's been a tradition to watch since i was a tiny girl. I had a wonderful christmas season and hope you did too!
Darren is currently sleeping, he called it a Christmas nap and I admit that he talked me into one as well. We were like two little kids on Christmas morning today and had a blast opening all our gifts. He bought me a stand-mixer! I am now an official baker...in my opinion it's the badge of entrance into a whole new world of baking. No longer will I have to fuss with my hand mixer to bake! woohoo :)
He bought me a few Cd's, the twilight series!, but mostly I loved having him home for Christmas. It was the best gift he could give me. We had a lot of fun and ate cinnamon rolls for a brunch. Tonight we're having a nice meal together around our coffee table because our new table isn't here yet. lol that will be a lot of fun though.

I was dreaming of a white Christmas like back home..but am afraid this area doesn't get too much snow. They are calling for a snow shower tonight though?! I hope so! It is a very strange thing to me not having any snow on Christmas. Snow goes hand in hand with Christmas, right? :)

Four Christmas' ago (2007) Darren took me hiking in Arizona and when we reached the top he pulled me aside and asked me to be his bride. Christmas is even more special because of that and I will never forget feeling on top of the world and dreaming of our future together. We are much more in love since that day and i'm blessed to call Darren my husband.

So i've started to collect the Willow Tree statues. I only have a few but this Christmas I was given TWO more! Thanks to my mother and mother in law. They are really simple statues but they say so much in how sweet they are. I had the first one of the couple but was given the pregnant one and family one for Christmas. I love them!

Darren came home and woke the little guy and I up. Well i was awake writing in my journal so he actually just woke up the baby. It was fun to talk about how this is our last Christmas just together for a long time. I can't wait for our son to be a part of Christmas with us and to teach him why we celebrate Christmas and start new traditions with him. He is going to change our family for the better and i'm really thankful for that. Well my husband is stirring and I'm going to talk him into playing a game :) maybe..
Merry Christmas everyone! and to leave you with a devotional I read this morning by one of my favorite pastors, chuck swindol. I hope it blesses you too.

December 25, 2010

A Christmas Masterpiece
by Charles R. Swindoll

Before time began, God had in His mind's eye a masterpiece—a beautiful picture of grace that His beloved Son, the second person of the Trinity, would illustrate with His life.

Even before the breathtaking splendor of creation, God sketched out His plan for His perfect fellowship with humanity. But not long after He had splashed color on the landscape, the deep, dark shadows of man's rebellious choice to live independently of His grace obscured the beauty of God's work. Coal black, pitch darkness enveloped the scene, and all creation hung in suspense of what God would do.

How could God redeem His masterpiece? What could rescue us, the pitiful portraits in whom breathed God's breath?

Then, with a heart weeping for His people, God dipped His brush in Calvary's scarlet ink, wrote His message on a rough wooden banner, and pinned it against an empty sky for all the world to read. Bold, crimson words: "I love you."

This is the message of Christmas: Because He loves us, God has come to redeem us—to bring life and color back to our lives, to expel the darkness of our hearts and from our world.

On a rescue mission designed by His Father before time began, Jesus silently slipped into our world, breathed our air, felt our pain, became acquainted with our sorrows, suffered and died for our sins . . . to show us the way out of our darkness and into His glorious light.

This Christmas, may you know the warmth of the Savior's love spreading over you as you never have before. May the beauty of the season remind you of His intense concern for every detail of your life and His great, sacrificial love for you.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Insight for Living.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Can I tell you how wonderful these past few days have been? I have had a lot of fun but wish time would slow down! It seems like yesterday that I was sitting in this apartment alone begging God to turn the clock forward a few days so I could be with Darren.

It's neat to realize how much God has reconstructed my heart while Darren was gone. I'm not claiming to have a perfect flawless marriage because we're two sinful beings but it is awesome to be able to say there is much love in our marriage right now. I truly believe when God is at the center of the hearts of a wife and husband he will bless that relationship greatly. That doesn't mean arguments won't come or tough times won't be there..but he'll give you the grace and strength to walk through those moments together in a way that glorifies Him.
Darren has been an incredible husband and best friend. This past week I have cherished introducing him to this pregnancy and his son. It's fun when he places his hand on my belly and talks to our little guy. He is going to be a great dad and i know our little man will adore him.
I was praying last night and asking God what makes our marriage so different at this point then a year ago? Because i'm crazy about this man and find myself walking down a really great road with Darren. While I was spilling my heart out to God I realized that loving Darren the way God loves me is the key. I respect my husband because he's a man of God and is worthy of my respect. This world is a mess and I desire my husband to have a safe place in me...he needs that. That's what's changed..my attitude and view of Darren. A year ago i'm not sure that I respected him or put him before me. I was always asking what can he do for me and after I did something for him I was expecting a favor back. I'm a selfish young woman unfortunately and for the rest of my life i'll be fighting to put Darren first ahead of me. I have been blessed with a really great husband who loves me and makes life more full.

The first few years of our marriage haven't been easy but i'm thankful that we're standing on solid ground (Christ) today and very much in love. I have to thank God for bringing us into to navy and using that as a tool to rebuild our marriage and make us stronger. We've been really blessed.

Alright well I am going to finish some laundry and hang up the ornaments i found yesterday! I hope that you are having a great day. I'll probably be back tomorrow to share with you about this awesome year and my excitement over Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Was that a dream?

Good morning! I woke up this morning and turned to find Darren :) I definitely did a double take because for the last 5+ months I have woken up to a cat laying near me not a man. Once I realized that yesterday DID happen and he is actually here I started smiling really big. It took EVERYTHING in me not to hug him and wake him up and tell him how happy I was. haha I'm trying to be considerate of the fact that he can finally sleep in!
So it wasn't a dream and i'm thankful that Darren is home.

It's been fun to watch him adjust back into civilization. When you spend half a year on a ship you lose touch with driving, the real world, foods, etc. But he's doing very well now.
I've really enjoyed catching up with him and we've found ourselves laughing a lot which has been great.

I'd love to recap what happened yesterday :)
The night before I couldn't fall asleep..it was terrible! So I prayed and prayed talking to God about everything under the sun and when I finally did fall asleep I woke back up to a clock that said 4 am! The bad part was those few hours of sleep seemed to be enough at the time because my mind went right back to 'i can't believe he's coming home!'. So..i stayed up and when the clock hit 6 I jumped out of bed and started getting ready.
When I went to the pier I saw a handful of huge carriers and I started crying. Everyone waited in the bitter cold for what seemed like forever. As the sailors made their way off the ship it was really neat to watch husbands and wives reunite and little children see their mom or dad. I was once again crying! I don't think I can explain the height of emotions everyone feels after long deployments..it was special though.
I almost grabbed the wrong guy..twice :). I decided that to stand in one place until he found me would be better. Even though it felt like forever eventually I turned and saw my darren walking towards me with a huge grin on his face. I can't even tell you how sweet that moment was. With a little belly in the way it made an even better reunion! He was so funny about how much my belly has grown but it was awesome to see his reactions to feeling his first kicks yesterday and when he'd move around.
We went on a date yesterday and to a few stores to look for a kitchen table because we're going to have a few people over for Christmas dinner and not having a table wouldn't be good! I dragged Darren to the baby section and although he willingly went he wasn't as enthusiastic as I am about baby things ha.
We had a lot of fun yesterday and it felt like a second honeymoon! We soaked each other up the entire day just getting back to Darren and Laura. I love that he's been my best friend this year, and even though we had to be apart it didn't change, God has blessed us so much.
Today my sweet man agreed to come to the doctor with me! Can you believe that? That meant a lot and i'm looking forward to going with him. Wish us luck as we venture back into the military healthcare system! It's confusing and weird but we're blessed to be provided for in this area.

I'm going to go make my list for groceries this week. I finally have mr. muscles here to help me carry things up the stairs :). I hope you are having a great week so far! Thanks for letting me share with you today.

here are a few pictures from yesterday...

I love him so much! He brought me flowers:)

setting up the xbox!

After our date we went to starbucks to get christmas coffee treats..mmm

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm sorry for not writing! I have had plenty of time to write a post but it's funny because the words just haven't been there! ..and i'm a girl of many words normally!?
How can I even explain this deployment in one blog?
I've been blessed by God with good family and friends who came alongside of me and made this time away from Darren a lot easier. Is it okay if we leave it there today?

He's coming home tomorrow! YES that's right :) I've finally been given the green light to talk about it. It is unreal that tomorrow i'm going to be standing on a pier looking towards a giant ship that has been my husband's home for over 5 months. I'm anticipating the tears and smiles and the moment I see him! That moment will be so special between us.
I think God really blesses your time coming back together and i've prayed hard for a smooth transition.
I'm 30 weeks pregnant today! I am still crazy about this little guy even after he discovered my ribs this week. (ow!)
He is one wonderful baby though and the poor thing gets the hiccups all the time now.
His room is not ready but Darren said he wanted to help me with that and i'm really looking forward to sharing that together.

I still love our new home and am adjusting well to the area. It's been nice to make a few friends as well!
I've done a little baking for Darren and had a great time! The baby boy was kicking and moving around the whole time..i think he really wanted some of the baked goods.

Well it is finally dark and that means soon it will be time for bed which means it will be the morning soon!! I hope you have a wonderful night :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

I made it safely to my new home and have so much to tell you!

Where to start though? Saying goodbye to my family was hard and I miss them already. My in-laws drove with me to Virginia and it turned out to be a two day trip. We went through a little snow in west Virginia but otherwise it was a smooth drive. I probably ate too much and am in need of a good workout but am lacking the motivation!
Monday we moved into the apartment and i'm crazy about my new home! It's very cozy and I feel at home. I'm excited that our tiny family will call this home. We're close to a lot of stores and restaurants and i'm happy that we won't have to drive far but along with closeness comes traffic! Thankfully we were introduced to that while in Maryland.
My favorite room is the kitchen. There is a big pantry, green granite counter tops, nice desk in the kitchen, and plenty of counter space for baking/cooking.
The apartment is unpacked and we were able to get a nice sized Christmas tree too! All in the first week. :) I probably did too much but am thankful to have our place set up.

It was really neat how God allowed things to happen that were answers to prayer. Like where to store our Washer/Dryer, where the futon would go, how to get rid of some extra furniture, and what to do about our crippled kitchen table. Everything turned out perfectly!

I did go to a doctor's appointment at my new family doctor and he has put a referral in for an obgyn so please pray that there is an opening and this next week i'll be able to figure out where i'm going. The military health care system is crazy and sometimes it feels like you're going in a circle but hopefully things will fall into place.

My baby boy has been wonderful. He is moving around and according to the doctor his head is down and he's moving along getting ready to enter the world in a few months. I can't wait to see my husband and have him home. :)

I went to a new church today and enjoyed my time there. It was nice to meet a few people and be invited to a Christmas party too! I am not a big fan of looking for a new church but in order to find a church family you sort of have to step out of your comfort zone.

This week I don't have a lot going on but am looking forward to baking and to finish decorating.
Tonight i'm going to watch a couple Christmas movies and enjoy not having too much to do.
I miss you all and wish there weren't so many miles between us.
Here are a few maternity pictures my sister Melissa took :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sometimes life is overwhelming! But we have the ability to choose how we're going to handle whatever is on our plate. I'm thankful for being given a choice to either dwell in a pit or dwell on God. This is a picture from the beginning of the year. We had an awful snow storm and were stuck in the house with no where to go. I came across this tonight and thought of how the amount of snow was insane! but i'm smiling away! This is where i'm at in life..things have piled up but I have never known such joy or peace in all my life.

Here I am almost 7 months pregnant, about to move and unpack a home, my husband is out to sea, and as the responsibility piles on...I haven't shut down. It's because God has not forgotten me. I am blessed to serve a God that cares about the details and who hasn't said, 'well good luck laura! see ya on the other side!'. No, He has taken me through every new situation and allowed me to walk through in a way that surprises me. His patience and grace towards me is unreal! I have a friend in God and it's a blast to spend each day with him. OKAY fine...it's not always a blast because he is stretching, molding, breaking, and building me and that's not always fun but He cares for me.
I have been reading the gospels john and mark. It is always interesting to go through the life of Jesus and learn more about him. I don't know when but as soon as I'm finished digging apart these books I know that i'll have a few great things to share with you! I'm in the stage of complete confusion about a few things that i've read and it's a great place to be actually. As crazy as it sounds, I love being confused about something I read because for one God encouraged me to dig deeper and go to other sources, i'm about to learn something new about Jesus and his character that in the end will draw me closer to Him and be more in love with Him. Does that make sense?

In a short amount of time I'll be packing up the car and saying goodbye to my family. This tears me apart beyond any words can portrait. I don't want to leave especially because of my mom. She is my best friend and I love her so much. I have learned a lot from her since moving back home and have come to appreciate who she is. We have fun together and i'm going to miss seeing her everyday. I am choked up even thinking about hugging her goodbye! I learned about my mom over the last 5+ months and am grateful for the mother she is. I cherish our conversations and the way she has been honest with me. We've gone to stores, had our weekly trip to the grocery store, worked on projects together, shared in many conversations, taken a few trips together, and enjoyed each other. It's wonderful to love my mother so much that leaving is this hard! I'm thankful for that.

I was searching for a quick verse filled with comfort during this transition time so i could say it over and over when i'm sad. There are many to choose from but I read this one and knew it would be perfect.

Psalm 139:1-6 (NIV)
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

The sweetest thing about this verse is the reminder that God knows me. How he will provide in ways He knows I need. God always knows what the best for me is. So when the 'what if's' seem dark (what if Darren can't be here for our son's birth, what if Darren has to be gone again, what if I don't find a church, what if I don't make friends?) I remember they aren't from God. I know satan wants a foothold, but he doesn't have control over me, and as quickly as the what ifs come...I can seek God and lay all worries at His feet. He is going to provide because He loves me. And no matter what happens, it will be for the best if i'm trusting God. Maybe not the way I'd like things to turn out, but I trust God.
I haven't figured everything out and realize that as situations arise it will be difficult to face them but I am comforted by God's word and His presence.

I have been daydreaming about Darren's arrival and seeing him for the first time. I can't tell you how excited I am (even thinking about it makes me so happy!) to hug him and give him a kiss. To be in his arms and feel him close to me..
We are rewarded for time apart with these wonderful reunions!

I think it will be fun to hug him and have a bump in the way! But you know what I know will happen?? We're going to smile A LOT at each other because it will be unreal to be in the same room, the same car, etc! I can't wait. :) I'm totally going to be a creeper and stare at him that first night because i know i'll not be able to sleep. It will be like a little kid the night before christmas. Haha okay i will not do that but I'm telling you, it's going to be awesome to see him!
I love who my husband is and how God created him in a way that fits me perfectly.

Well it's getting late and I should be going to bed! I hope that everyone is having a great weekend, thanks again for reading and sharing in this journey with me! It is always fun to sit down and write what God's doing in my life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I am pleased to say that i'm not stuffed! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch just the four of us. (Dad, Mom, Timmy, and I) It was fun to laugh to the point of tears and enjoy a good conversation. I'm looking forward to eating mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. :) It's the best part of thanksgiving! Okay well one of the best traditions for me at least.
Could you not see this post coming? The 'what i'm thankful for' post! Well here it is :)
My wonderful family! Two brothers and two sisters, some additions and little ones too, and my parents. They're all amazing and bring a lot of joy into my life. I'm thankful that God blessed me with a family that loves Him and makes my life fun.

Darren's family! I love my second family and enjoy all the time spent with them. We're spread out across the country but it's nice that we're able to stay close through phone calls, email, and short visits.

I miss him so much today! But i'm really thankful for this amazing man. He's my best friend and life is more full because of him. I can't wait to see him everyday again and soak up the time we'll have until the next time he has to go away. He's handsome, smart, athletic, charming, hilarious, and so much more. I love talking to him and snuggling up next to him after a long day. It's fun to have dreams and hopes with Darren. I am thankful that God blessed me with a husband that couldn't be more perfect for me.

My baby boy! Oh my goodness do I adore this little guy already. We are bonding more and more and i'm daydreaming about what life will be like when he arrives. I have a feeling life will never be the same. I can't even believe that he's going to be here soon! I'm thankful to be almost 7 months pregnant and feel this great!

Last but certainly not least, I'm thankful for Jesus! I don't think saying thankful says enough. All year long you've heard me talk about what he's doing in my heart, or how he's blessing me. You know how crazy I am about God. I love Him and am thankful for the gift of eternal life that i'm going to spend with Him. To save you from reading a novel i'll post a song that says a lot about the cross and how I feel about following Christ.
Enjoy thanksgiving and the time spent with loved ones!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I haven't even started writing and i'm tearing up! I saw this verse last week and thought how nice it was and that i'm really going to need to remember it. Well i didn't know how badly i'd need those words today. This verse is acting as a form of life support. I think it's a great place to be in, needing God's word to help you function. I'm not a drama queen, nope just a young woman that's trying to make sense of what's going on in my life.

Last night I poured my heart out to God and asked why. I don't tend to do that often because it seems all wrong to be asking God why this or that has to happen. I did though, and today I remembered this verse, how God does care for me and wants me to go before Him with an honest heart...even when that heart is confused or sad. He is strong enough to handle my 'whys' and wrap his arms around me, keeping me safe.

I have been dreading goodbyes with my church family. I have come to know so many wonderful people through this time at home and i'm sad to go. God is in the hearts of these people and as I've faced this time apart from Darren, he has made it less lonely because of them. He provided a few ministries (woman's bible study, Awana, and the young adults group) that blessed me incredibly! This morning I cried thinking about how much i'm going to miss these people. I love how God is moving at Calvary and I don't want to leave. You know what I heard this morning though? It came from an almost complete stranger in sunday school. This person told me to draw near to God and He will draw near to me...and during this move and time of uncertainty God will replace my loneliness with Himself as I spend time in the Bible and seek Him. Thank you!
Sitting in church the thought came that God is going to meet me in Virginia. He will provide a church family that as I become involved and grow new relationship will walk with me through this new time in my life as a young mother. He will place people in my life that desperatly need His love and i'm excited to reach out and share the love God shares with me. God is definitely doing wonderful things at Calvary but that same God is working in lives of others and He seems to want Darren and I to be in Virginia for this time in our life.

To my church family that is reading this, I'm really going to miss you.

Two more weeks to soak up time with my mother, father, brother, and close friends. To cherish the bond between our cat shadow and enjoy the nights she curls up by my feet. I have enjoyed this deployment, akk! I just said EJOYED AND DEPLOYMENT in the same sentence!! See how cool my God is and the ways he can change hearts? ;)
He blessed me with a lot and i'm really able to look back on this time with a smile and say God is sovereign. I will finish my apron, start/finish my cross-stitch, go for a few walks, read my Bible, and enjoy a few more quiet days.

I want to become more acquainted with God's word, that is my desire and I pray that as I go deeper in the word that you too would be blessed with what is revealed! (i'll be most likely writing about it)

I'm becoming more and more excited for my little baby boy to be here. It's funny how some days I almost forget that one day he's going to be here and no longer inside of me. I have been thinking about whether he'll look more like Darren or I, and if he will be a happy baby, or what kind of personality he'll have. I'm crazy about him though...and I'm excited for that moment at birth when he is laid in my arms. My body will never be the same, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to gain much more than stretch marks, extra skin, and new hips :). I'm gaining a new life that will change my world in wonderful ways. **I may feel different about these stretch marks when he is 18..we'll talk again then!
As much as he is mine, he is more God's. What a beautiful child....(I'm biased because he's my son of course) And this little ultra sound is a reminder that he's in there if the kicks aren't enough of a reminder. Have a wonderful night!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

I have finished packing up my little boy's clothes, toys, and the rest of his gifts. It will be fun to share with Darren what we were given and set up the nursery with him.
I am very very excited to see Darren put together the crib. I think it's one of those sweet moments I have pictured and look forward to giggling in the doorway and watching him piece together the instructions and whip out his 'tool box' which is actually the wimpy-est tool kit I have ever seen. Someone please get the man some 'manly tools'! haha I will take a picture of our hammer and post it for us to laugh about. We are not a DIY kind of couple and we're perfectly okay with that! We will venture into new projects when we have a place of our own but between apartment living and moving we haven't had a chance to fix up a home.
I have completed all of our Christmas shopping this year and it's still November! I wanted to buy and send out gifts before moving so that I'd have time to think about gifts and not let it be a stressful process but something fun while picking up gifts here and there.
Today I was sitting on my bed with my feet propped up looking at the gooseberry patch cookbooks online and writing down my Christmas list. I picked up my pen right off the top of my belly! Did you catch that? I am such a pregnant girl now! I'm using my belly as a table :). I did laugh and then began scheming other things I can balance on my stomach. I might as well take advantage of my new 'table'. Drinks, books, candy bars? Oh yes!
The navy and I were not on good terms this week. We have what you'd call a love/hate relationship. Some days I can remember that there is a positive to every negative, while other days I am fuming because they took my husband away and aren't always fair. I am pregnant and there should be special treatment for my family, right? It's only fair that they accommodate to my needs...after letting them take my husband away. :)
We signed up for this. I was reminded that straight from God and I wasn't happy to be told that.
He may or may not be around when our son comes and that thought just scares me and makes me want to cry but it's normal to feel scared for your first pregnancy anyways. Throw in the unfortunate circumstance that Darren will be gone...and you get the picture, but that is life.
I'm going to be given a choice daily over the next few months. Will you choose an attitude that reflects Christ or sit with your arms folded and refuse to let God be glorified?
I'm learning! I have always known God to provide in all types of circumstances and it may not be how I expected but it turns out to be really incredible when He has something to do with our lives.
I've been preparing today a list of the blessings in my life and throughout this pregnancy that I can remind myself of daily (if need be). So if i'm sitting in a delivery room without Darren or family I'm going to be okay. There will be a doctor and nurse that can deliver this baby and take care of me, God will remain in that delivery room and the holy spirit will walk me through. I took the worst case scenerio and filled it with truth that comforts me to the core. He will provide.
We need to remember the ways we're blessed when our circumstances seem unfriendly...it's how we're going to walk through life honoring God.
I am willing to give an honest effort to have a good attitude because I may only have one chance to be pregnant and want remember this time of my life and be filled with sweet memories.
Please pray for Darren as it's probably incredibly difficult for him to not be sure what's going to happen. I can't imagine what He's going through and the anxiousness he'll feel while being on the ship during that time wondering if things are okay and just wanting to be home with his pregnant wife.
I tell my son all the time that he needs to wait until the actual due date or later..can we start bribing early on? Is that wrong? haha I will be doing the reverse of everything pregnant woman try to do in order to have the baby.
*Smiley* That's how i've always been. Since I was a wee little one, I have been called little miss sunshine. I was always smiling and still do! I love that God placed a gift of joy inside my heart when I was little and how it has evolved throughout the years into a deep joy in Him.

Life was sweet when I was a child. I had a great childhood and loved my two brothers and two sisters. We had so much fun together and as we each have different personalities we come together and make a pretty entertaining bunch. Our parents loved us and always did what was best for us. We went to a great church where 'God' sang as the choir director. (at least I thought Mr. Douglass was God, I'm still given a hard time about that!) When we moved and went to a new church I had a great time there too! I played soccer for 13 years and LOVED it. I wasn't the best on the field but enjoyed practices and the games and friends. I loved going to awana and saying my bible verses and getting candy! I played..oh did we ever use our imaginations! From cutting out 'paper dolls' people, furniture, etc from magazines, running around outside climbing trees, Polly pockets, barbies, throwing the ball around, our swing set, sledding, riding bikes, playing waitress with Melissa, having tea parties...I had fun. I was a blessed little girl. We didn't have a lot of money but we were well provided for. It hasn't ever taken a lot to make me happy.

So when I met my husband as a senior in high school, It didn't take much to make me love him. He loved God, sports, and was really happy. I knew right away that he was the guy that I wanted to spend my entire life with. He was the guy that I prayed for under the stars, and wrote all those letters to. That was what I knew then but it's incredible the way I see him now.
He still makes me incredible happy, and it doesn't take a lot on his part. If he smiles at me from across the room, sits and talks to me while I'm cooking dinner, grabs my hand as we're walking, kisses my forehead. But what makes me the happiest is when we're able to talk about God because I know that He is giving me something special. He isn't a man of many words and it takes effort, but when he shares his heart, He is trusting me and letting me see the Darren that only God has seen. That is one of the things i've experience in life that has made me feel special.
We're getting ready to be parents together. Can you even prepare yourselves for this adventure? I don't think so! No matter what books you're reading, or people you're talking to. It's something you learn as you go trusting God and each other...but the important part is being together. I've seen that in my parents and pull that out as one of the many things they did right as parents. They stood alongside of each other and honored the other one.

I thank God for my fun to love Husband. God made us for one another....and I'm so happy that he did!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hi! I hope you are having a wonderful day. I wanted to thank you all for the continued support in reading this blog and for those that have come back to me with encouraging words after reading. This blog has been a personal drawing board and It's been fun to do what i love, write! Thank you for not correcting my grammar and punctuation, i also love not being concerned about that. :)

Happy 25 weeks baby boy! (I love this shirt! It has been quite accurate, unfortunately!)

These pictures were taken by a friend on Sunday and I'm crazy about them. It was such a cute idea! I haven't posted bare belly photos because well I'm reserved but these are too sweet not to.

Do you know what I'm doing right now? I have lighted a Cinnamon roll candle, turned on pretty music, am wearing comfy pajamas, and kicking back for the evening! 30 minutes ago I was a mad lady taking care of this or that and all the little things in between. I am handling it well though and not stressing because there is too much in my life that makes me so stinking happy! Okay actually it's more about being thankful which leads to being joyful. I'll take God's gift of joy over happiness any day! This week I have not stopped thinking about how good my God is. I was reading in 1 peter last night and again today and came across a sweet verse:
1 peter 5:6-7
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

I did ask God where these words were last week! (ha) I love this verse though. Do you know how hard it is to humble yourself before God and admit you need help? Especially in this world that we're pressured to succeed all on our own? Well i've thrown my hands up in defeat and am recognizing that is not at all how God intended life to be lived. He wants to help us through trials or discouraging situations because he cares for us. What a comforting passage of scripture right there!
I have about wrapped up all of the details of our move and am at peace knowing how this time, although not fun was good for me! I learned a lot and had to be responsible, that's not a bad thing! I was walking around today with a smile singing 'God is good, all the time God is good' Is that even a song? haha well it was the song my heart has been singing lately.
This past Sunday a group of friends from church came over for a baby shower. We had such a good time together. There was a lot of laughing which is always nice! I've known some of these woman since I was a freshman in high school but most are woman that I came to know since having moved back. I had to praise God for providing such a godly group of woman that are a blast to be around and have supported me through this deployment and pregnancy. I am blessed to be surrounded by them and am going to miss spending time with them. I have been given plenty of examples of Christ in these friends.
We dug into delicious food and desserts, had fun playing games, I heard a great devotional from Mrs. Vite that I'm honestly taking to heart!, and had fellowship with one another. God was very much a part of this baby shower and I love that.
The devotional was an encouragement to treasure the phases with my son and remind myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There's going to be rough nights ahead and I'll at times lack energy but it's my prayer that I don't lose sight of the gift God has given me. I don't want to wish this time away with my baby boy because from what I hear, it goes fast.
On sunday we reached 25 weeks! I am blessed to be at this milestone in my pregnancy and still have a healthy baby boy. In almost 100 days he'll be here and i'll be so stinking happy! We have been thinking about names and I have a few picked but am waiting to share for a face to face conversation because I need to really work my charm on my sweet sweet husband. Think that's a good idea?! haha I'll let you know how that works out.
Currently my room is overflowing with adorable baby clothes and all the other gifts that i've been showered with! I love being in here and can hardly wait to see him wearing all of this.
Alright i'm going to go off on a different direction now. Today I was thinking about having this baby and being the deep thinker I am all sorts of 'what if's' popped into my mind. What if Darren can't be there, what if this baby doesn't make it, what if he dies weeks after having him, what if he has a development problem? and on and on did the what if's come! I was starting to get nervous for a minute and then prayed about it because I realized that no matter what happens my God is still good and still cares for me. I have a perfect life sketched out for God to follow but sometimes His plan is not mine and it's actually better even when there is suffering involved. I was taken back to the book of 1 peter and reminded that if I go through suffering to not be surprised and to recognize that since I entrusted my soul to God, His spirit will lay heavy on me and no matter what I go through He will still provide everything that I need to walk through the day. He really loves me and has proven himself a faithful creator. I need to be at peace in that area because to live my life in constant fear would not honor Him at all.
It is important to continue to surrender our will to God and let Him have his way in our hearts. There really are some weeks that it has to be a daily choice I make to surrender.
I am really thankful to the close friends and family that have helped me carry some of the weight placed on me because especially the other day I was feeling really bad and to have them come alongside of me and say, 'let me help' was incredible!
well im going to go but have a wonderful night!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My first pregnancy meltdown

WELL It's here the first day that i feel pregnant...and it also happens to be the first day a woman noticed I was pregnant and said something. Finally at week 25 :).
I am having the weirdest first pregnancy meltdown though! Is it okay if I share with you? I've loved being pregnant and have felt incredible! Normally I'm feeling joyful and ready to welcome this baby into the world. However, today that is not the case! I am emotional.
I actually googled 'why do pregnant woman feel emotional'....oh yes i did. There is list of medical responses as well as practical to why a pregnant woman would feel bad every now and then. I already know that my body is going through change and that my hormones are wacky but it seemed wrong to feel this way.

So I went to God and was reminded of this verse:

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

I LOVE this verse because it describes my Lord...He is actually explaining how he is inside. Gentle and humble..that is comforting.
It's incredibly to go before God and breakdown while confessing fears and discomfort.
Today I was on my feet all day and my back is killing me, something i've dealt with but this is really uncomfortable! I am not feeling very attractive which stinks and haven't been able to work out as much as I'd like. I'm STARVING all the time and have to fight cravings all the time. I am still working on wrapping up things with our move and new home. I am getting ready to say goodbye to family and friends which is really hard! Darren is unsure whether he'll be around for the birth of this baby, and I'm not sure where to have the baby. There are a list of things demanding my attention and i'm tired! I was writing out the list of food i'll need when I go grocery shopping while trying to figure out how to decorate the nursery. BREATHE! :) It's adding up, see?
My husband is gone..completely clueless to what's building up inside me because this is when i need him to hold me and tell me it's going to be fine but he's not here. Right now there's not much he can do since he's pretty busy.
This was dragging me down all day and I felt terrible for letting worrying steal the peace and joy that's become constant. It was really nice to go before God and share all this and be reminded of who he is and find comfort in that. I'm not perfect and am learning a lot these days! I'm thankful for how patient Christ is with me and how he's willing to meet me where i'm at and walk me out of darkness.

:) I am feeling MUCH better this evening. About the time I finished praying my baby boy starting wiggling and shifting around. I sure do love him! I can't imagine how much my life will change when he comes but i'm truly excited to meet him. I loved watching my belly bouncing and being kicked tonight and am treasuring our time together.

Tomorrow we're going to be baking and preparing food for my baby shower on Sunday! I'm looking forward to spending time with church friends and family. These ladies each have been an encouragement to my walk with God and i've loved that they're walking with me through this pregnancy now. Well I should wrap this up because sleep sounds pretty good about now! Thank you for walking with me through life and letting me share how God is working in my heart!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My sister shot a ton of maternity pictures at the beach today. I snuck one in from my phone though. They turned out really great from what she showed me on her camera! We're going to do studio pictures either tomorrow or Saturday and that will be neat. It was fun to be creative and capture moments of this pregnancy.

I am beyond tired tonight. There are some days that it hits me suddenly and not only does my body shut down but my brain as well! It's wonderful that at the time being there isn't a lot of responsibility put on me. At least during the nights when this happens :). We're officially welcoming back heartburn to this pregnancy. It's here once again :/ I haven't been a griping pregnant woman because honestly this pregnancy has been incredible and I've felt wonderful. The heartburn is a part of pregnancy that I can tolerate easily, but it's been gone for so many weeks which was really nice. I guess it's time to say goodbye to orange juice again.

Today my sister and I went to the outlet mall for my first shopping trip for my baby boy. Oh how dangerous caters, gymboree, the childrens place are! it's terrible....I see these cute things and think my boy NEEDS this or that. haha I did really well today and stuck to a tight budget and shopped clearance racks and talked myself in and out of clothing selections. I haven't bought anything for him yet so today was the first time i let myself.

In my free time I've been thinking about how to decorate his nursery and at this point i've narrowed it down to either sports or sailboats. It's not easy for me because i'm not a visual designer. I'm more of the type to see something already done and say, 'yes! I love that!'. We'll figure something out though and i'm sure it will be cute.

I miss Darren so much today. A friend asked me last night how I was doing emotionally and it threw me off. After Darren left life had to go on and I had to figure out how to function normally without crying or feeling sorry for myself. I haven't cried a lot at all during this deployment because God has provided the strength to walk this road. There is joy and hope when my eyes are glued to Christ. I do have hard days though. When they come I spray his sweatshirt, look at a picture of him, and pray that God would let me crawl into his lap for awhile.
I will never stop missing his smile, kiss, laugh, comfort, and friendship. It's hard to let him leave for this long and trust God's plan.
Today is veterans day and for the first time in all my life I'm thinking of the veteran's families. The other half that goes unnoticed and sometimes not appreciated. Maybe because I'm there right now and it brings comfort to know so many have walked this road. My heart goes out to the wives who kissed their husband goodbye and He never did come home, or the children who said goodbye to mom or dad for months and made sacrifices. Also for the wives/mothers who held down the fort at home and supported their husband and took the role of everything...Thank you!

Happy veterans day!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I had a wonderful baby shower! Here are a few pictures...

These are adorable invitations
My new diaper bag that i'm very excited about!
My nephew logan and I :) had to slip that one in

Everyone signed with a suggested name either goofy or serious
Most creative? 'LaDarren' haha

24 weeks! Where is the time going? I am treasuring this pregnancy everyday.

Well I have some time to sit down and write and a heart filled with things I want to share with you! If you have time to read that would be great but i understand if not! (My posts can get lengthy at times)
These are four verses from the Bible that were given to me by my grandmother as a reminder of the kind of mother God wants me to be. In each of these verses the writer is not directing it towards mothers specifically but it can be applied for a mother.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (New King James Version)
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (New King James Version)
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Timothy 4:12 (New International Version)
12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Proverbs 31:26 (New King James Version)
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

If my son observes these qualities of faith in me, he will be blessed! He will be a sponge as he observes my attitude, reaction to different situations, my actions, faith, and my relationships. As i think of this side of motherhood and it's significance I ask God, 'And all this on top of taking care of his physical needs?' haha and God responds with a 'yes!'. This baby has made me look closely at my relationship with God and how I live my life as a christian. There is no riding the fence between God and the world as I raise him. It's either one or the other and whichever road I take will ultimately effect this boy. I am raising this boy to be a man of God. That is why God entrusted him to me. He will sin and fall short just as we all do, but it's my prayer that he recognizes all that God is offering him through acceptance of His son Jesus. Forgiveness of sin, Grace to walk with him, the gift of spending an eternity in Heaven with him, and so much more.
A prayer for myself is that God would provide the strength to live in such a way that I have an unmovable faith.
Do you know what I will never be able to forget? How sweet it tastes to be walking with God. Honestly, the times in my life that I am walking upright in righteousness life is sweet! Grace is flowing down and covering me and I'm not the same as I was. It is always annoying to me when I go my own way. But today a light bulb came on after something my pastor said. He talked about how we reap what we sow. I have heard this many times in my life! haha but it's something that hasn't clicked.
I can't live two lives. If I want a harvest of God then i need to be sowing God into my heart. This is done by studying the Bible, praying, and serving Him. If I stop these things then surely my heart will be closed to God.
When God came into my heart there were many changes that He made for the better. I am often straying and doing my own thing. This breaks my heart because like paul says, I don't understand why I do the things I don't want to do. I am at times starving for Christ and want to know more because there is a deep longing for God. Knowing Him has filled every lonely bone in me! He pours love into my life through relationships, blessings, and discipline. He loves me and that i'm sure of. I've never experienced anything as amazing as this Almighty God. From the beginning to the end He does not disappoint.
I watched a clip of Jesus falling with the cross on his back. It broke my heart but that's not all it did..It made me feel incredible special. That this man who knew me and everything that I would do was willing to show an act of love that is beyond my comprehension. To die in my place and take all of my sin up to the cross. He paid the horrible cost of my sin, and why? Because He loves me. No one has ever given me a gift like this, can you understand the joy of having Jesus' spirit reside in my heart and how i'm able to converse with him daily? I have never tasted something so sweet in all my life.
Darren and our son are not mine to keep. They are each God's and have been given to me to love and take care of. It's awesome that I find my best friend is Darren and that a sweet baby is on his way!
A long time ago I made a choice to serve God in all that I do. That means no matter praises for him will come from my mouth.
In a month God is moving me to a new state, community, and home. It is all bittersweet because leaving family and friends is hard but this is God's plan. Right now awaiting Darren and I are opportunities to serve and be a light for Christ. Virginia will be our missions field and we'll find a church that serves it's community and is growing together. I am excited to see what God has planned for us being there! We will come in contact with many military families and it's my prayer that we'll be an encouragement to them. Please pray for us as we make this transition and our baby boy is born there.
Alright, well this seems to be a good stopping point! I hope this was an encouragement to you tonight. Thank you for reading :).
I want to leave you with a song that's been playing in my head all day. I hope it's a blessing to you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

This was what I woke up to. (I LOVED it!)
There is something special about the first snowfall of the season. When the snowflakes are falling it reminds me of the peace that God has given me. It makes me want to sit by the window in comfy clothes with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the view. Snow reminds me of growing up and all the sweet childhood memories of playing in the snow, sitting by the fireplace, watching Christmas movies, snow days!, the entire month of December and all the traditions we had, and Christmas! I see how people can look at snow and grumble but I've never been that way. There's too much good things about it for me and Id rather enjoy it since it's here to stay for awhile. :)

My mom and I spent the day together going grocery shopping, buying my baby shower gift (that was strange to be with her and see what the gift was), looking through cookie recipes, and having coffee and biscotti. We had a good day :) She told me that I'm not allowed to move away and that made me feel bad because it's been nice to spend time with my mom everyday. Goodbyes are not easy!

Today we went to 'babies r us' and parked in the, 'expectant moms' space. We had a nice laugh about it and I loved the special treatment.

While we were in the store we came across this walker jeep! (My husband is constantly talking about wanting a jeep.) Well with our baby coming the jeep seems to be out of the questions so i tagged him in a picture on facebook letting him know this is the closest he will get to owning a jeep. How cute is this thing though? It's dangerous being a parent because there is way too many cute clothes, toys, and accessories for babies!
Today my baby boy was given his first colts attire. It was a colts hat and I can't wait to see him wearing it!

Tomorrow will be the first baby shower and it's going to be great to see family and celebrate this baby! I can't wait to see what He gets but am warning all of you that I'll be wanting this baby to be here all the sooner! I am treasuring this pregnancy and have been feeling wonderful.
I came across this verse in 1 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)
27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I ask of him.

This verse comes from the story of samuel's mother Hannah and how she prayed for a son and God blessed her with one. Of course there is a lot more to the story but when i read that verse it reminded me of similar conversations I've had with God in thanks for my son.
I have never desired to be in a career and I hope that you understand it has nothing to do with being lazy! I've always wanted to be a wife and mother. These dreams are engraved deep into my heart by Christ and it's part of what makes me who I am. I love that my husband is the leader of our home and my spiritual leader. It's been a blessing to have him as my best friend. I want to be available for him and fulfill my role as his 'help-mate'. It's not always easy to respect and love your husband because we're human and have flaws but I sure do love that guy! It's amazing to grow closer through the years and see God working in our hearts and using us to glorify Himself.
I had always dreamed of being a mother. I can't explain how thankful I have been towards Darren that he wants me to stay home with our son. To be able to raise this baby and be around for him is important to me. It's a tough job and takes endless patience and love! It's going to be overwhelming to become a parent because although I know some things, I don't know everything. I'm happy to have Darren at my side as we learn together. I may make some mistakes but will learn and figure things out.
Well I'm going to enjoy the rest of this night by the fire :). Hope things are going great for you!