Monday, August 25, 2008

We're Back to School

First Day of Kindergarten:

This was torture for this postpartum mom. When did my baby girl get big enough to go to school? She was so proud of herself and so excited about her special "first ever day of school."

First Day of First Grade:

My "Little Miss Independent" was so ready to get back to her beloved school. She practically pushed me out the door when it was time to say goodbye to her at school.

I love how she is a friend to everyone. Her friends from Kindergarten were so excited to see her this morning.

Walking to the Bus Stop:

They forgot Dad and I were following behind them. They were lost in conversation.

Holding Hands...

This always melts my heart.

Waiting for the Bus With Special Friends:

Hey...Don't Forget About Me!

I went to school today, too. Even if I slept through the big event. : )

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where Does My Help Come From?

Every time I look at our baby, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for the beautiful baby he is. Gratitude for the healing that has happened in my heart. Gratitude for countless prayers that have covered him and me and this pregnancy. I'm sometimes still surprised that I'm not pregnant anymore, that I'm not waiting for the son I believed God promised me years ago, that we made it.

I was visiting Daiquiri's blog this morning and saw that the Seek the Lord Sunday topic was the Psalms. She wanted people to write about their favorite Psalm or about one that has spoken to you recently.

I was reminded of a night at the beginning of my pregnancy when I was sure I was going to lose this baby, too. I was six weeks along and started spotting. Three of my four pregnancy losses happened later in my pregnancy and were without warning, we just discovered through ultrasound that the baby's heart had stopped beating. But one of the four happened at six weeks, the same spot in my pregnancy I was that night when the spotting started. With that miscarriage, I started spotting, then it turned into a period, and then my pregnancy was over. This time, knowing I was six weeks along and spotting again, I was certain I was miscarrying again.

It was another one of those times when God asked me to "run to the throne, not the phone." It was late at night, my husband wasn't home, and my first instinct was to call him. But I sensed God telling my heart, "Run to me."

I was too emotional to pray. I cried and sobbed, but words wouldn't come to me. All I could think of was the beginning of Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

I just kept repeating that over and over again. Finally, I remember praying, "Lord, you are the only hope we have. Nobody can save this baby. You are the baby's only hope. You are my only hope. Please help us now."

I curled up on my bed, fell asleep, and by mid-morning the bleeding had stopped. It never started again. And today, my baby is sucking on his binkie, swinging in his baby swing, and lost in sweet dreams.

I learned that night that there really is no greater source of help in our times of need. I could have called my husband or my mom. I could have surfed the Internet for answers and hope. I could have called the doctor on call, but everyone was powerless to stop a miscarriage if it was truly happening. Only God had the power to protect that fragile little life inside of me. Only God had the peace for me to be able to fall asleep. And only God could give me this amazing gift nine months later.

He used the Psalms so many times throughout all of these losses and through this pregnancy. Psalms that comforted me. Psalms that reminded me to lean on him. And Psalms that gave me promises and hope.

I now know this to be absolutely true:

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. - Psalm 147:3

(This post later inspired this devotion if you'd like to see it)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prince Charming's First Photo Shoot

Yesterday, our little sweetheart had his first photo shoot. Here's a little teaser:

You can see the rest of the photos here. We had so much fun posing him while he slept through the whole thing. Aren't they beautiful photos? It is so nice to have such a talented photographer living in my backyard. : )

We are adjusting so well. I'm so in love with my baby boy. He's going to be hungry really soon, so I don't have time to write much today. It is going to be a little while before I get back into the swing of regular blogging. I've missed you all! I had this small window of opportunity to sit down and say hi. I'm sorry that I'm so behind on responding to your emails and kind words. Thank you so much for your love and support. I'm so thankful for this miracle!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

*** HE'S HERE! ***

Daiquiri here. Becky asked me to do a guest post or two for her while she's in the hospital. She knows you all are anxiously awaiting news of the baby...and news, there is! Meet Benjamin Patrick Joseph:

He made his appearance at 3:52 PM today. He weighed 8 lbs, 9 oz and is 21 1/4 inches long. It was a joyful and exciting day. He's perfectly healthy, and mom? Well, his mom is stunning...beautiful, brave, strong...just awesome!

Daddy's proud...and in love already. His son. And little Benjamin looks like him, at least in the chin and mouth. And if the little guy has half his dad's spunk? Watch out world!

His sisters could hardly wait to get their hands on him.

There was quite the lineup of people waiting to meet was almost comical how we all sat there and just looked at poor Becky!

Jen and I were both thrilled to be able to part of this special day. Jen and Becky have been great friends for years and years. It was a nice coincidence that Jen's hubby happened to be in the hospital having jaw surgery...Jen got to sneak down and visit Becky from time to time :)

Is there anything better than a newborn babe? And this one is particulary sweet and beautiful. I wonder if he'll ever understand just how anticipated he cherished he was before he was even born.

"For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands."
Psalm 92:4

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Favorite Olympic Moment So Far....

You have probably already heard the buzz about the men's 4 X 100M free relay swim. It was history in the making! I've been so busy and unable to stay awake lately, I've missed a lot of the Olympics so far. I'm so glad I didn't miss this race. I was screaming and yelling. It is amazing how much patriotism I feel watching Olympic moments like this. I loved seeing the French eat crow!

If you missed this history in the making race, watch it here. You won't regret it! It was just as much fun watching it the second time! : )

Proud to be an American,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Zucchini Bread- A Childhood Memory

Daiquiri's talking zucchini today, too. She has a LOT of ideas about what to do with it after it leaves your garden.

It's zucchini time of year again! : )

I have fond memories of my mom's zucchini bread. Every summer she would harvest the zucchini out of our garden, run it through the food processor, and then freeze it for winter. Then at Christmas time, she'd make loaves of zucchini bread as gifts for our neighbors. Of coarse there were loaves for our family, too.

Now that we have our own zucchini bread coming out of the garden, I've been making my own loaves for my own family. I do freeze some, but we can't wait until winter to have our treat.

I love zucchini bread. I love the smell, the taste, and the nostalgia.

I hope you enjoy it, too:

Sally’s Zucchini Bread

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 TBSP cinnamon
¼ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 c. oil
2 c. sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
2 c. grated zucchini
Nuts if desired

Makes 2 regular loaves or 3 small ones
(Don’t flour or grease pan)

Lighter version: substitute applesauce for oil equal parts

Enjoy! If you are one of my neighbors and I show up with zucchini bread, you still need to act happy even if you make your own now. : )

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Finished the Never-Ending Dress! : )

Only 4 days to go! I cannot believe it! I actually thought I might be in labor last night. I even went for a walk through the neighborhood at 1:00 AM, but it was a false alarm or pre-labor or something. Probably just wishful thinking! : )

I'm frantically working through my to-do list hoping to get it all done before Thursday....only 16 items left to check off. : ) (And that doesn't include King Charming's list) Oh the joy of the nesting instinct!

My to-do list included half-done projects I knew would never get done if I didn't finish them before our life became newborn centered. One of those projects was what I have been calling the Never-Ending dress.

Last spring, I was inspired by Amber's sewing project and thought, "I think I can do that!" I found the pattern and promised Princess #2 a twirly party dress for her birthday party...(in April) : )

Well, poor little Princess watched her birthday come and go with no dress. Once I finally finished it, I realized, "I don't know how to hem!" I tried to learn from the Internet, searched for a tutorial somewhere, but I just couldn't figure it out. When my mom came to visit for my baby shower, I made her sit down and teach me. "That's easy!" I thought.
It was an easy stitch, but the twirly party dress had about four yards of fabric around the bottom and hemming it by hand was sloooooowwwwww going. It is so amateur and looks homemade. I really don't think sewing clothes is something you can teach yourself off the Internet. (Mrs. MK I sure wish you could come over and teach me. I could be your sewing apprentice) : )

Amateur or not, it's done, and my little princess is so happy! She woke up Friday morning to her dress done and you can see from the pictures below that she likes it:

When I had her try it on, I said, "It took me so long, I hope it still fits you."

Her response?

"Yeah because it took you two or three or four years to finish it and I'm bigger now!"

Hey! : )

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sleepying Beauty...or Beauties?

After bath time the other night, my oldest daughter came down the stairs and said, "Mommy, you should see Sissy. She's so cute! Can I take some pictures of her."

I guess the youngest was worn out from her day and couldn't wait for me to come tuck her in. These are the pictures her big sister took of her while she slept:

When I finally went in to tuck them in, this is what I found...

Guess Big Sissy couldn't make it either. : )

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Respecting Her Privacy....huh?

Oh killed me to have to do it, but I had to delete my post about my oldest princess being a composer and a poet.

She came to me upset that it was on my blog because it embarrassed her. She said the song she wrote was special and private, and she didn't want everyone to be able to read it.

So I enter a new phase of blogging...having to honor my kids' desire for privacy. I guess I just didn't expect it at 6 years old. I don't understand why they don't always want to be on display. Don't they know how cute they are? Man...sometimes I wish she couldn't read yet! : )

My youngest still loves being on here. She loves to play dress up and every time she has a new costume on she runs downstairs and says, "Mama will you take my picture and put it on your blog?" So of course I HAVE to oblige. : )

Here she is in her latest costumes:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Did You Notice?

Look at my sidebar ticker....SINGLE DIGITS!!!! : )

Only 9 more days to go. WHOO HOO!!!!!!

I had an OB appointment that went really well, but my cervix needs to do something before next week. I'm absolutely zero dilated and absolutely zero effaced.

I'm determined to do all I can to get things happening. I just got home from an hour walk, I'm drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea, and doing squats. I've also been, uh...enjoying my husband a lot(is that a polite enough way to say it?)

Is there anything I'm missing? Any old wives tales I can try? (Besides castor oil...yuck)

Comment away, dear readers.....