27 February 2011

a snowy sunday


Last night we slept with the window shade open. The snow fell all night long and we wanted to catch it as we drifted off to sleep. Which, when I think of it is kind of weird. Both of us wear glasses and without them we can't see much of the snow + we fell asleep in about 2.5 seconds. None the less, we wanted to see that beautiful crystal glow when we woke up.

However, after the 4th time Jack woke up in the night I shut the blinds to avoid any sign of daylight. It was 4:45am, people. I wasn't ready to see the snow or the morning. He sure was cute in those doggy pj's though. And I do try to treasure each little rock and cuddle. Around the 3rd time I went in to rock him he got kind of fidgety as if to tell me, "Ma, you're not giving me a lot of room here to get comfortable." So back into the crib he went and I didn't hear a peep. Until about a half hour later.

We don't get a lot of snow here, but about 2 times a year it falls heavy and thick and beautiful. The ever present Arizona sun soon greets the day and we have sugar looking snow that melts quickly. 

It sure is great to see the snow when it does visit, even if it doesn't last for long.

And these chubby little legs? I could just eat 'em right up.

Ni Hao Yall

25 February 2011


Have you seen The Royal Tenenbaums? The epic movie made a few years ago with Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson? There's a part in it when Ben Stiller turns to his dad and says, "I've had a hard year, dad." There's so much wrapped up in that one line. 

It's been one of those weeks.

These last few weeks have not been what I thought they would be. I guess not much of life really ever is, but God's hands have been so close and though sometimes I feel like I've been falling through midair with nothing around, I know He's been there. Still and secure. 

Early last week I found out I was pregnant, but something wasn't right. I had been spotting for a week and a half and my hopes weren't very high. There's wasn't a gaping hole in my heart like there was with my miscarriage in August of '08. This time it was different. This time, I felt so afraid of the possibility of what could be. They did an ultrasound, they did blood tests, my doctor was encouraging that I shouldn't fear the worst, but I was afraid of that slight chance of an ectopic pregnancy. I knew God was with me through the fear and panic. He was there, but it seemed that I was learning how to give Him the fear and worry that consumed me. I was trying to learn, but everything I read filled me with such fear (darn those stupid forums. Google doesn't know everything, surprise.) I kept praying and reminding myself, He's got this. Jesus has this and He's not going to let go of me.

They found something on my ovary when they did the ultrasound. The doctor thought it still could pass, it was still so stinkin' early and my counts weren't high enough for a viable pregnancy. Either way we would lose the tiny little bean that I wouldn't have even known existed if it weren't for modern medicine. But my counts didn't rise or lower and they began to get a little nervous. 

We prayed for wisdom, for guidance on how to handle such an ordeal. I got a small dose of methotrexate shot to stop the nonviable pregnancy on my ovary and prayed my hcg levels would go down. My chances looked good, the doctor was still optimistic. 

while at the hospital to get the shot I took the time to clear out my purse. John got such a kick out of all the stuff I keep in my there, he had to document. Helped pass the time.

Let me just say, pregnancy kind of freaks me out. It's beautiful that a human being is growing inside of you, but I feel such pressure on my body to do the right thing. To work right. Like so many young teens who get pregnant without even wanting to, I just want my body to work normal. To be normal. To not have to share the sad news with friends who mourn with you and cry with you. To just be one of the typical, normal pregnancies that doesn't experience anything scary or too-much-for-this-grown-kid to handle. Obviously, that's not life. And those hard, scary trials bring growth. Develop character. Teach you things you wouldn't learn if you didn't experience them. But I realized with this loss that being out of control scares me to death. We get married, do something so natural and wonderful and it leads to a little life growing inside of us which is awesome, but if things don't develop right something so beautiful becomes so terrifying. 

During this time I kept thinking, "Lord, this is my worst nightmare. Why are you letting this happen?" And then He'd so gently remind me that so much of life has been my "worst nightmare" and every single time He's used it for His glory. So many things in life aren't what we wanted, obviously, and it was devastating at the time, but He sees the whole picture. He knows the beginning and the end and I firmly believe He doesn't let these things happen, He just holds us while they do. As it says in How Deep the Father's Love for Us, "How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away."

In the midst of it all, last Wednesday I was heating up some lunch and a pyrex pie plate exploded on the stove. Glass everywhere, a small fire (which I quickly extinguished, not to worry) and leftover coffee cake crumbs all over. I starred at the mess, laughing to myself slightly. Life can always be worse. I look at Jack at see his healthy (and oh so active) little body cruising through the family room and I see God's faithful proof of what He can do and has done. He knew Jack would come after our first miscarriage, He knew he would capture our hearts and He knows our future and the other kiddos that may come.

I found out my counts yesterday have gone down to 107. Which is great. They'll keep testing my hcg levels until they hit 0. We can try again in a few months. Hope is a gentle dove with an olive leaf in his mouth. My heart feels full of thankfulness that it wasn't more, that each pregnancy is different and new. But the reality remains. What comes easy and natural for some may be a little more tricky for us. And that's okay. It's a hard reality, but not an impossible one. He brought us Jack and I have a feeling that's not going to be last mini-John to be running around.

My heart aches for other friends who have lost a little one. Who have experienced that sadness. It's real and it affects so many more of us than we think or talk about. Healing comes in waves, but it comes much swifter when it's spent with friends.

We had my inlaws here for the last few days and we took a trip to Monument Valley (pure beauty) and had a great time. It kept our thoughts full of other things and not to mention plenty of yummy food and road trip snacks.

check out John down there! These things were massive!

Seeing this reminded me of God's incredible ability and strength. He keeps us so secure and in His grip.

Each step of the way I kept hearing God's gentle reminder in the song, Never Let Go by Matt Redman. I'd sing it in the shower, changing diapers and eating breakfast. He's got this and still does. 

15 February 2011

celebrate peek a boo

Jack playing peek-a-boo

This picture makes me so happy.
Jackboy has a new obsession with chairs and must sit on them whenever possible. He spends most of his day climbing on and off chairs, figuring out how to carry his toys onto the chairs, running his cars off of the side of the table, sliding off of chairs, climbing onto tables (NOT okay, I inform him) and pound anything against the table. I'm not sure where he came from, but when I see him across the table it's like he's a little boy. No longer a baby, but a boy. 

When I rock him at night I hold him a while after he's fallen asleep, just because he looks so precious. And still. (Did I mention he moves a lot during the day?) This era of littleness will not last forever and I can't believe how fast it's already gone. 

This was him last April. I can hardly believe how much he's changed and the person he's developed into. Can't wait to see more!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. Not my favorite holiday, not gonna lie. But fun just the same. We celebrated by eating delicious donuts, shared some writing and ate salmon, asparagus and cheesy mash potatoes for dinner. Dinner with a kiddo has changed dinner permanently. That's okay. Jack ate noodles and refused salmon OR mash potatoes. (What?!)

My man was a gem and cleaned all the dishes for me while I laid on the couch. (THE best valentine's day gift EVER.) We watched Parks and Rec, had some good laughs and I fell asleep by 9.

I'm tellin' you, people, V-Day is not my fav. 
Thankfully it's not John's either.

We simply celebrated each other and the little family we have. 
Day well spent.

We awoke this morning singing this song around our home all morn.

Sweet Shot Day

12 February 2011

being present

"If we are all alive ten years hence, let's meet, and see how many of us have got our wishes, or how much nearer we are then than now..."
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 13

Thursday was a day for a Swap It Party. It's a great idea, but with 12+ kids under 5 it was kind of chaotic. We all brought forth our undesired items of clothing and a topping for the pizza. I went through everything I owned (in search of a purple sweater I never did find) and got a whole garbage bag full. Oh. My. Goodness. When we arrived, there were kids and pizza and yummy (oh so good) apple crisp.

After a couple hours of rummaging through each other's things (kind of funny when you think about it) and filling the bag that I had emptied when I arrived, we enjoyed lunch. And the kids began to get tired. Jack fell off a chair, a little girl scolded me for pushing her and Jack had emptied an entire plate of apple crisp (it was so good!) all over the couch and floor. We decided it was time to hit the road (jack) and the boys barely made it 10 minutes into the drive. 

So precious.

What fun

This weekend has been magical thus far. After fighting off a bad cold (and soaking my face in hot water and stuffing it full of vitamin c) I awoke before the sun and hit the road to pick up my bountiful basket. There's something about trekking out in the cold (before most of our neighbors) and feel the 20 degree weather and see the sky barely peaking through. I enjoy the brisk cold and once the car has warmed up I open the window a bit.

God's faithfulness is so present in the way He provides kindred spirits wherever He leads. I have been in some lonelier places and there...there He's been my only friend, but He always seems to reveal a kiddo or seasonal friend even in those times. Here in this season He's brought some dear souls who enjoy being genuine and whimsical. My cup runneth over.

Ni Hao Yall

10 February 2011

embracing twenty six

my man is a gem. he knows me well.

Yesterday I turned twenty six years old. I still feel like I'm twelve half of the time, but twenty six feels...more realistic. After having a baby I kind of felt like I would somehow have to be morphed into an older woman/mother figure. 

I felt that morph for the first few weeks of Jack's life (what with all this slightly unknown responsibility and everything) but tried to regain a bit of that youthful feeling before it slipped away forever. It returned (after the post pardon blues) and brought with it good friends, great food and a time to get into the Word. 

That being said, I feel ready to embrace 26. Anything over 25 has always been a bit daunting. I'd be lying if I didn't say that when I was a kid I was convinced I would have four kids by the time I was 22. (Hey, 22 is kind of old when you're 11.) But truly, 26 is good. It feels right and I'm not so afraid of getting old as long as I have others around me to keep me feeling young. Being married to a pastor I sometimes feel kind of young. I love it. I embrace it. But, being over 25 is kind of a big deal for me. I'm almost 30, ya'll. Seriously.

This is winter here. February brings my birthday. The weather is in the low 60's and cold seems a thing of the past. Please send snow.

This week I'm so, so very thankful to Jesus for things that keep me feelin' young. 

1. An unplanned dance party after Bible Study. 10:30 with babies at home and too much chocolate, oh so fun.
2. A new CD from my man full of light hearted songs that make me swoon like when I was 16.
3. Going out to dinner and being so giddy that our waitress gave us a free appetizer. It was like we were dating again. We had so much to talk about (we need to get out more, I think.)
4. Enjoying a donut on the morning of my birthday. Not even thinking about how bad it kind of is for me.
5. Dancing with Jack any time of the day and turning up the music real loud.
6. Going into my sister's room after John and Jack were asleep to talk and ask her if she had any clothes she was looking to get rid of.
7. Going on a retreat alone and feeling very familiar feelings of being independent. It's been a while.
8. Sharing stories with a new friend of times in the past.
9. Early mornings with Jesus like we used to. It's been tricky to get back into a routine with Jack, but what a difference it makes.
10. Sharing Life cereal with Jack for the first time in his life. He love sit. He should, I ate it almost every, single day (and night) when I was pregnant with him.


08 February 2011



The weekend came to an end too quickly (been saying that since about 7th grade) and another week has begun. The retreat was insightful, inspiring, and relaxing. It wasn't much of what I had expected, but is life ever? I did get a bit of reading in, slept by myself, and managed somehow to not really think about naps, diapers or binkies. When I got this picture in the morning, my heart melted with love. These two faces bring such joy. Jack is such a mini-John. I love it.

The speaker talked a lot about resting and pressing pause on the busyness of life. Sometimes I feel like I need to press play a little more and get my rear in gear. No, but seriously, I was reminded once again how each one of us is different and that's what partly why life is as adventurous as it is. If we were all the same type of person, where would the dynamics flow from? I'm thankful for every ounce of dream-goals I have, but also so thankful for the days when it's just about being still with Jesus, enjoying the little things and embracing the moment. And perhaps a good song and/or movie.

I'm thankful for my little family and the mountains to return home to. I'm so thankful for time spent away and stories of life in others countries. But it's good to be home and man, it was incredible to stop at Sprinkles (for a friend) and Yogurtland (for me) two things we don't have up here in our 1990's-esque city.


After a late drive home on Saturday evening and after Sunday morning church, John and I braved the trek down the mountain once again to go to my parent's to watch the Superbowl. It's always been a sort of holiday for us. My dad enjoys the game, sleeps through halftime and we eat way too much queso. That being said, it was worth the trip and the chicken sandwiches were delicious.  

Jack, obviously, was very into the game. He kept us entertained with his other cousins. He is cracking me up lately and full of personality. Today I was having a playdate (at this age, they should probably rename them mommy-dates) and we were envisioning the future and when all our kiddos start talking. Oh, man. It will take playdate to a whole new level, I think. Or we'll just send them outside to play. 

My sister and her boyfriend Caleb. We were really into the game, if you can tell.

John was actually watching the game. Jack and I were all fun and games.


On Monday my mom and sister played hooky and we went out to breakfast for my birthday (which isn't until tomorrow.) It was delightful. We went to our personal fav, La Grande Orange and ate a delicious and healthy breakfast while Jack played with his trucks.

and then Jack got tired. Like really sleepy.

My mom and sister. Are they not beautiful? Seriously. Maggie's eyes are magic!

A mom and her daughters

So, we returned to Prescott yesterday and all is well. Spring is around the corner and the cold weather has left us for now.

"So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is strong."

jon foreman "your love is strong."

Sweet Shot DayPhotobucket

04 February 2011


Today marks a first for me.

for other you capture's check out beth's blog

Tonight, for the first time in 15 months, I'm going away for the night all by myself. Mind you, I've traveled far alone, but this is the first time in a year that I've spent the night without Jack. When I read that it stills shocks me and it's a little...sad? I love him and being a mama, but I didn't think it would take me this long to get away. It's flown so quickly I don't think I've had much of a chance to even think of a getaway. He sleeps soundly through the night, but it isn't long before 8am hits and my mind begins to swim with the groundhog day-way. Diaper change, drink of water, play for about 2.5 minutes then ready to eat; banana, oatmeal, cinnamon raisin bread. Then, you can guess what comes next. Lovely.

I am a woman who loves her routine, but it will be nice to have a break from the routine (even if it is just for a day. )I'm going to a women's retreat in Phoenix and getting ready to embrace the quiet moments where I can really sit and think and pray and meet with Jesus.

What to expect: a lot of reading, writing, thinking, talking, sharing and worrying about nothing to do with bedtimes, sippy cups, meals, dirty diapers or binkys. I know I'll miss my guys like nobodies buisness, but goodness. 15 months without flyin' solo? Get ready, world. I am about to embrace all that I've been missing. Or not.

This last week has been kind of hard for me with Jack being sick. I thought I was nurturing, but turns out John (once again) is kind of the winner. He is so sweet and patient with a fussy/ear infected boy. I try to be as well, but it gets tricky to that all else that being a mama calls for. John is incredible and the best partner for me. We are a great tag team and he's going to rock flyin' solo with Jack. His first overnight ever. I guess it's a series of firsts for the whole fam today.

Here's another Andy recommendation. Another personal fav.


thankful thursdays (a day late)

1. so thankful for God's perfect timing and grace.
2. for my cousin in Egypt and that she is well and safe.
3. the cold weather this week.
4. my man who installed a thermostat so our heating bill doesn't get any higher.
5. a little guy who sleeps well even when he has an ear ache. so thankful. it gives me strength for the next day.
6. this candy coming back out thanks to v-day
7. an older pastor's wife mentor who has buckets of experience and a heart full of wisdom.
8. this retreat with a dear friend and sisters in Christ.
9. so thankful for the moments with jack when he wants to just sit and read on my lap. i know they are passing too quickly.
10. great friends who watch jack so i can have an hour to look through goodwill. and find 3 really cute shirts for 5 dollars. thank you!

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