Sunday, January 23, 2011

Confessions

I really liked Katie's post on confessions and I don't have enough information to fill an entire blog, so this works well for me!

*I am much better at realizing how God reveals himself to other people than I am at seeing how he reveals himself to me. I often hear stories and read blogs where I'm just screaming, "That was God, do you not see it?!?!" But yet, I'm supposed to be keeping a revelation journal and it doesn't have the first entry. (Maybe I'm expecting something way too big and should just say all the little things like the fact that I have food and shelter, grace and mercy, because I know without the Lord I'd be helpless.)

*I just watched the whole episode of Medium from Friday night not realizing it was the SERIES finale until the end when I thought, this sure is a weird episode... how sad! I really liked that show.

*I am so thankful to feel like myself again and be in my 2nd trimester. I can eat and stay awake like a normal person!

*I feel like I look 36 weeks pregnant and I think it only gets bigger.

*I still haven't told facebook I'm pregnant.

*This next week is the first 5-day work week in over a month, I am not sure how we will make it!

*I ask you for your prayers for a family member this week. Prayers for protection, safety and for God's will to take over their life. Thanks! Sorry to be discreet.

*I watched my very first pro football game today and enjoyed it. I'm not a pro-sport fan, but our neighbors are HUGE Green Bay fans so we went over there and I've decided as long as someone else watching the game is really excited, its just as fun as college.

*Remember a LONG time ago, I had a list and one thing on there was to learn to drive our F250? Well, last weekend I drove it home from about 50 miles away! Mostly down the interstate, but I did officially drive it. It is a stick-shift and huge so adding those two (mostly the stick shift part) I had no clue what I was doing. I have not driven a stick since once when I was 15 and that didn't end well. I wouldn't say I officially 'learned' how to drive it, but I did successfully avoid getting in an accident!

Happy last week of January!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dads in America - vent

Something has been getting to me lately. It is tv and commercials that dumb down men, make them look like incompetent idiots who can't manage to connect to the internet, cook something in the microwave, wash their clothes, feed/change a baby.... etc.

One example that comes on all the time is a comcast commercial where the dad is looking for the cord to plug his computer into the internet. He is just flabbergasted that he can't find his cord and wants to use his daughter's. When his wife tries to explain how she got wireless internet, he is still perplexed, causing his daughter to say, "Dad, the cord is invisible" like tricking him will take care of this pesky situation and he will just stop asking questions. That is the way I treat my dog!

I cannot stand the sitcoms and commercials that do this! And then we wonder why more of our men aren't in a place to lead our homes and country in the right direction (although there are plenty of men, and women, SERVING our country and I commend every single one of them). I think about what a different place we may live in if we lifted up our men and stopped dumbing them down and rendering them incapable. What does that teach our boys?!

Granted the media portrays the wrong thing in just about every issue.... but still this one has really bugged me lately.

I believe that husbands are called to be our spiritual leaders, leaders in our homes and lives, to be A LOT more than just an idiot that lives in our house who gets in the way and breaks things. I know so many men that are brilliant and wonderful fathers, really great men that live with faith, but I rarely see that portrayed anywhere in the media. Think about it... how many shows do you know that play off a complete idiot for a dad, about how useless he is?

Babies

I've decided its finally time to give you details. Instead of just one small picture.

We are pregnant! 14.5 weeks to be exact. My due date is July 14. God's timing is just perfect really, a summer baby is what you shoot for if you work in a school system since there is no maternity leave (although any day of the year would have been wonderful to me). I have now finally told my boss that I am going to have a baby and she was thrilled. That was one thing I was very nervous about. As a first year counselor, life at that school isn't guaranteed (and still isn't) but her reaction made me feel like it is more than likely I will be back at the school next year. I pray it is because I love my job so much and feel that I've just barely started to make a difference. I think in a few years I will have things figured out that I will really be able to impact these student's lives.

So the details:

If you've been reading, you know I struggled over when to ask for help with getting our family started. But, I finally did... and God blessed us every bit of the way. We found out we were pregnant in November, probably the first week of November, after I PROMISED myself I wouldn't take a test for 2 weeks or so. Well, that didn't happen and at 10 dpo I tested anyways, and saw a faint, faint line. I ran in to tell Ben and he said, "I see nothing, go back to bed..." It was 5am after all. So I went and took another (different brand) and again a faint, faint line. At this Ben looked at me and said I'll believe it when the doctor confirms it.

That afternoon I went to CVS and got a digital one and sure enough....


I went into Ben's garage while he was working and showed him and he just laughed, he couldn't do anything else.

Fast forward to 6 weeks 5 days pregnant and we had our first doctors appointment.

The ultrasound technician immediately found a little baby and was taking tons of measurements as Ben and I ooh'd and aahh'd over it. Then it occurred to me that I had been praying that God would take care of the 'babies' that may be in there, I just had a hunch. So as I was opening my mouth and asking, 'Is it just one?' the other ultrasound tech stopped the one working and said, "There, right there, do you see that?" and she looked down at me and said, "Nope, not just one." I lost it. Hysterical is a good word to describe it. Ben laughed and cried at the same time I think. All I could do was ask the lady if she was serious?! over and over again.

She moved to the second baby and took measurements, found a perfect heart beat and snapped some pictures.

Both babies were doing well, measuring 4 days apart, which I was told was completely normal and both had strong heartbeats. We met with our doctor while we were still in shock and she said that the next ultrasound I'd get would be at 18 weeks in February. Ben asked about them measuring differently and if we could see them again sooner to make sure they were okay.

She agreed (to appease us), and we left with the next appointment a month away and not knowing what to even say to each other. We literally just looked at each other in the elevator and laughed. Ben's mind immediately went to our tiny house and tiny car, and how we would possibly live?!?! I read to him over and over "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

I knew God would take care of us and I knew he gave us these babies and would, as he ALWAYS has, provide for us.

We still kept it to ourselves though, because I was a twin and my mom had lost the other one, so it was in the back of my mind, I thought I'd rather wait until everything was safe. As the days went by though I got more and more excited and felt like my heart was swollen with love, like I couldn't believe that I was going to have 2 children. I worried about bed-rest and premature labor, but at the same time I was so incredibly sick and tired that I didn't have a ton of time to worry. I went to work, came home and slept... a lot, most of November and December. I had one day at 9 weeks pregnant when I lost it and was convinced that I was not worthy enough of having two children and something was wrong, but Ben and my mom talked me into calming down, that I was just emotional and everything was fine!

Ben rented me a heart doppler for an early Christmas present though (the lady at the maternity store recommended it as a gift) and just a few days after that major panic I had, we were able to hear a sweet heart beat on that monitor. Not knowing what we were doing and finding one was pretty lucky! (I knew it was for entertainment purposes only though and the odds of us finding it that early were low).

Just a couple days later, at 10 weeks, 5 days we had our second appointment, 3 days before Christmas. I had called and changed our appointment from after Christmas to before Christmas because I needed to see them before the holiday. I had called several times trying to change it and was told there was nothing open, until I feel I was finally honest with myself and God that I needed to see them and stopped making excuses for why it would be convenient to see them, but that I really was feeling uneasy and wanted to know before everyone gave me two of things on Christmas day. When I prayed to him and asked please for that appointment, the lady who answered worked magic.

We went in, nervous as I could be, and the ultra sound tech immediately found a Baby B, same as before since Baby B was higher than Baby A. She took measurements, saw a heart beat and we watched its little hands and feet just kick and wiggle around and even saw it stretch. It was amazing!
video

She moved to Baby A and I immediately could tell that Baby A was not moving like Baby B. She turned and looked at me and didn't say anything. I knew. I asked, "There's no heartbeat is there?" She just said, "I am so sorry...." She got up and tried to make sure my doctor wouldn't leave for the day since we weren't originally expecting to see her right after the appointment. When she came back she still had to take pictures of it and measurements and everything as I just laid there and cried.

It was the strangest feeling in the world. I was so devastated for that little baby that once was moving and had a strong heartbeat, but yet, I was still pregnant. I still had one little baby that was moving and wiggling and stretching in there that was worth celebrating.

I assured everyone there that we were fine and it was okay through my tears and kept telling them (and myself), "I'm still pregnant, I'm still pregnant." But Ben and I were both very upset.

We went home and I stayed in bed and cried. The next morning I woke up and found Ben in what will be the nursery putting together a crib. I think it was his way of assuring himself it would all be okay. We went over and over all the positives. Preterm labor and bed-rest risks dropped, only one day-care bill, our car and house would be fine (although they would have been anyways)..... but at the same time, we would have done all of that if we could have.

After that I didn't want anyone else to know we were pregnant, still even after 11 and 12 weeks came and went. I still had a feeling in my stomach that something would go wrong. Ben's mom kept asking me if she could tell people that she was having a grand-baby (she asked every single week since we told her I was pregnant) and I had one major break down when I told her to STOP asking me and that I would tell her when I was ready for people to know. She said, but its been 11 weeks and I explained, and you aren't the one who just lost a baby!!!

It hurt and honestly, still hurts. I can't pretend that I know what it is like to miscarry a singleton baby, or lose an entire pregnancy, but seeing a baby that was once alive, not alive anymore is very sad. I know that it was God's plan, and that something was likely genetically wrong with the baby, but it is still painful.

Then at 12 w 5 days, I had a scary night that I thought was the end of both babies, even though the doctor told me there could be spotting and other issues, I still panicked. I went the next morning for an ultrasound and praise the Lord, Baby B was still growing and doing great. It's been measuring 1 or 2 days ahead and just wiggles and wiggles. I didn't get any video of this one because of my hysteria and urgency to go in, but after that appointment I felt a wave of peace finally wash over me that everything will be fine (I'm sure God had been trying to provide me peace prior to that but my worldly, worrisome self wouldn't let go). I could finally let myself be pregnant and be excited! (Apparently it's little legs were tucked somewhere here???)


For those of you who are curious, because it seems everyone is, when one of set of twins doesn't make it (often called Vanishing Twin Syndrome), the body is still making the hormones and may not realize that it lost one. Sometimes it may. There is a chance of miscarry and is rarely problematic for the surviving baby, I've been told more often than not, the surviving baby isn't effected AT ALL. The other, most common, scenario is that the baby that didn't make it, just sort of dissolves and is absorbed into the rest of the tissue. From what I've read though, most people didn't have any symptoms at all and continued to have a normal singleton pregnancy.

We had a regular appointment today and heard a sweet, strong heartbeat and everything is wonderful! We go back in 3 & 1/2 weeks for the big ultrasound when they confirm the gender.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Revelation


I started a new bible study today at church, its Beth Moore's study on Revelation and one point she made very early in the class was it is the revelation (singular) of Christ, not revelationS.... I thought that was funny, because I'm pretty sure all my life, I've called that book revelations.

I've also never thought about the very word revelation, as in a revealing, something coming to be known. The book of revelation just seemed very scary with all the horrible things that the earth will see, but I'm really looking forward to learning the wonderful news and links to all of the other books (that is one thing I've been finding fascinating lately, is how the entire bible just links to itself in so many ways, from beginning to the end) and learning the revelation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I'm really excited too because there are 61 women in this group. Now from today's meeting (it was a brunch with all the women and then on Thursdays we will split into two different groups one that meets during the day and one in the evening) I was the youngest person in the room by about 15 or 20 years, which I wish there were a few more closer to my age or life stage. But, I do not know but 2 of these women! We have 3 services at our church and although we aren't a mega church by any means, there are only 90 people that go to my service and about 300 that go to the 11 o'clock service and almost all of these 61 women attend that later service. So hopefully I will get to know my church family even more these next 11 weeks.

Something that Beth Moore encouraged us to do throughout this study is to pray for and look for God to reveal himself to us in every way we can imagine and to journal about it. I think that is a great first goal to have, to notice Him more. Hopefully I will have a few wonderful things to share about this later on as well.

I want to encourage you to do the same and really look for God to be revealing himself to you in signs, people, songs, ANYTHING! And I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

War Eagle Snow Day!!

We have yet another day off here from Winter Storm 2011, one that I really needed to be working. I had so much to do before meetings tomorrow, Wednesday's advisory activities and guidance classes, its not even funny. But at the same time, I woke up so sick today that maybe it was God's way of giving me a sick day without having to actually take one. (I will need every single one of my days off come July & August that I can't risk using one now.) It may just be an overload of progesterone, but my throat is killing me and I've eaten my very last cough drop.... unfortunately the entire state of Alabama is shut down, so I can't go out and get anything. I'm not sure how healthy eating 24 popsicles in 24 hours will be, but I think its my only option! :)

I can't do a thing about anything stuck in the house though, so I'll be trying to enjoy my day off, watching more Say Yes to the Dress and hoping not to see too many horrible diaper commercials while Ben is playing out in the 'snow'. He so needs kids to play with.

It is pretty weird to be completely shut down here in Alabama though. Nearly every county has closed all roads, the interstates are closed and most places aren't expected to see above freezing, so I have no idea what tomorrow will hold. Some places have up to 10 inches of snow! But what do we have?

Ice

Ice
and more ice.... literally like snow-cone ice.... maybe I should be eating that?!
None the less, the day is finally here! BCS National Championship game! It makes me so nervous that I wish I could fast forward and just know the ending (the same way I love to know movie endings). But here we go... Good Luck Auburn & WAR EAGLE!!!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Movie Review and Snow Predictions

I went to the movies today and saw Country Strong. In the middle of the movie I unknowingly got 5 texts and several missed calls from Ben telling me that the 'heavy snow' we were predicting had arrived earlier than expected as sleet and icy roads. Great! I looked at my phone when the movie was over seeing all of them and nearly freaked out.

I quickly left the theater after the movie was over and walked to my car in a VERY icy parking deck. On the way home, I saw 8 accidents, including one that involved 8 or 9 vehicles right before my exit. Police hadn't arrived yet and the cars were all over the interstate. It was around accident # 3 though that I started to freak out as my windshield and wipers were solid ice. We aren't prepared or used to driving in snow and ice here and there is no salt on the roads. I thankfully made it safely home though and am now praying to not lose power!

The national championship is tomorrow and I feel terrible for anyone who thought they were flying out in the morning for Arizona. Ben has made sure that we have a generator ready to turn the tv on (and hopefully one space heater?) so we will not miss Auburn hopefully winning the national championship!

On to the movie review:

We saw Country Strong today and it was VERY good. Gwyneth Paltrow was excellent as her character, Kelly Canter, a country-music star trying to make a comeback after getting out of rehab. I got a feeling that she should probably win an award (if she hadn't already) for her performance. The movie itself was great, but I don't know if it was award worthy. I loved the music though, and wish I could download the album on iTunes right now! Another great actor was Garrett Hedlund, have you guys ever heard of him? He's super cute, and I really liked him in the movie, but had NO clue who he was. On the album in iTunes he only sings one of his songs, but it really sounded like he sang all of them in the movie. Gwyneth sang a ton of songs that were very good too. She's not typically one of my favorite actresses, but I thought she did a fantastic job in this movie.

She said that for inspiration she modeled her character after Faith Hill and Courtney Love and drank for days on end to really get in the mode of who she was playing. Can you imagine hearing that to play a super drunk actress someone spent a lot of time practicing to be like you (if you were Courtney Love)? Man, I'd feel awful about myself.

Bottom line - if you can tolerate country music for a few hours, definitely go see the movie!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking back on 2010

I'm a little late, but better late than never.

All I saw on facebook New Year's Day were statuses that said "Good riddance 2010" "Never been happier to say goodbye to a year" etc. I had a really great year in 2010 though. I credit it 100% to the Lord and his plan. I had to trust a lot and take several leaps of faith that I think he assured us was definitely his direction.

So, I'm not thrilled to see 2010 gone, but excited to look back on all that He gave us that year and what is to come. 2010 was not without hurt and trials, but looking back there were truly wonderful things that did happen.

It started off fun and scary in January with a new internship and a lot of unknown lying ahead, but the hope of graduation, a new job and maybe even a family.

In January we celebrated in Florida for my cousin Lane's wedding shower (these are my sweet cousins, I'm so thankful to call them family):

In February we got A LOT of snow for Alabama with several snow days out of school :)


In March, my college roommate married a wonderful man and we celebrated at the beach!

We did a lot of rock crawling since Ben's buggy was up and running (a celebration in itself!).
In April, Chris graduated from boot camp in the Army!
Also in April, I went to a women's retreat in Destin with my aunt and cousin, a lot of fun! I also wore this dress A LOT after looking back at my pictures. :)

Then I turned 27! TWENTY - SEVEN!
In May I went to my first hot-air balloon festival. Hot-air balloons are one of my favorite things, so this was FABULOUS!
Also in May, we were lucky to add a member to our wonderfully large family when my cousin Lane got married. (This is our other cousin, Jake)

In June, Ben and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary in Chattanooga, TN. SO Much Fun!

In July, and most of the summer, we spent a lot of time just sitting.... in the river.
I also visited a good friend at the gulf and spent the day at the beach in the middle of the oil spill. (I saw no oil, apparently I caught it on it's 3-day vacation back out into the sea.)In August, I graduated with my Master's degree in Counseling!!!!
(And got my FIRST counseling job!)
Still in August, Chris and Emily got married!
August was so busy....
Ava turned 1!I must have taken a break in September from life after all of August's activities, but in October, my grandmother turned 80 and we had a huge celebration for her.
In November, I spent most of the month on the couch, but I tried really hard to get Christmas card pictures, and all of them failed miserably. This was one of the better ones (in that dress again), but we had to cut out the dogs because they wouldn't behave.
In December, we celebrated a beautiful white Christmas with all of our family together.

And in December, we got a picture of our sweet baby:



Yep :)

There's more to it, but I'll leave you with pictures for now, so if you could try to not announce it on facebook, that'd be great!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ollie

Ben came home with a surprise today...


Yes, you see that right... a cat!!

We lost Rabies several months ago, I don't remember if I told you or not, but I was devastated. Rabies was our accidental cat. She was skwaling on the street one day so bad I didn't even know it was a cat making that awful racket. I looked down and it was a teeny kitty, so I fed her and she never left, for 3 years. Then one day she was gone :(. I don't know what happened to her, but I posted signs everywhere and looked and looked and never found her. Here she is (looking a little alarmed):

After that I told Ben I didn't want ANY more cats. I'm very allergic to them, so they have to live outside and/or in the garage. (We had a kitty-door and a big stand, fluffy bed, etc. - so its not like Rabies was in need of anything, but still.) I don't like animals that HAVE to live outside. It just makes me sad... you may disagree.

Well the other day Ben found a cat in our shed, trying to stay warm and when he opened the door, it ran off. He came in and told me he found me a cat!!! I told him again, I don't want another cat Ben.

Today, what does he bring me home? A CAT! A declawed cat at that! One that has always been an inside cat. You can't make an inside, declawed cat an outside, mole hunting cat (like Rabies)... it just won't survive. So we let him loose in the garage to feed him and he immediatley jumped up under my car into the undercarriage (isn't that what you call that area?) and now he won't come out.

What on earth am I going to do with this cat?! He 100% cannot live outside and survive, and if he lives inside, I will not survive.

Can you please take this poor thing off my hands???

His name is Ollie. And that is the extent of knowledge I have about him, aside from the fact that his owner had to suddenly be taken to a nursing home and Ollie couldn't go. So now Ollie is in a strange garage, under a strange car, with no litter box. He's begging you to come get him!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The TV is pushing me back to work

Today is my last day off work and I've spent this morning getting dressed for the day watching 'Saved by the Bell' & 'Say Yes to the Dress'. Well, here is what else I've seen besides Zack and wedding dresses:




and this one:


Now, I love babies and kids. Hope to have them soon. But these two commercials make me want to scream. First of all, the heavy doody one is just disgusting and potty dance... super annoying and its not like the child who may think that commercial is fun is the one to say, "Oooh mommy, buy THOSE diapers! I only want to wear huggies!!" Uh... no.

Anyways, I think these two commercials have made me VERY thankful that I do not just sit on my couch all day and watch TV. Definitely time to go back to work tomorrow! I'm nervous for what the new semester and year will hold, but if I just watch those two commercials again, I may even go into work today! Ha, just kidding.... but I may go to publix. Or finally put away my Christmas decorations (it's only January 3!).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Movies, movies, movies

I have watched a ton of movies lately. I used to not be a big movie fan because it was so much time to dedicate to something (that was probably because I was in school and SHOULD be doing a lot of other things), but lately I've LOVED watching movies. I've really thought about doing Netflix, but Ben is against it. He thinks it's waste of money, but just ONE movie on PPV is $6.99!! And Netflix is only $9.99/month. So we haven't come up with a compromise yet. The one thing holding me back is, do I really need to just watch movies all the time? I don't know that I need one more thing keeping my butt on the couch.


Anyways, so I FINALLY watched the other two Twilight movies: New Moon and Eclipse. I absolutely loved Twilight and could barely stand that I hadn't seen the rest of them. But yesterday while we were on our New Year's vacation down to my friend Emily's, we watched New Moon. Even Ben watched it. His response is as usual, 'its not terrible'. Today I had a free PPV movie, so we rented Eclipse and I just love them both, I really loved that it gave back stories to most of the Cullen clan in Eclipse. I had been against getting on the Twilight frenzy, so I never read the books, but each movie is really good. I'm very ready for the next movie(s) to come out even though I've heard what happens to Bella. (I prefer to know what's coming before committing myself to a movie). **Just watched Eclipse for the 2nd time today (procrastinate much?) and I'm pretty sure that Jacob is one of the best actors in the movie. I think he and Dr. Carlisle Cullen are my favorite... acting wise. Also, I had no idea that Jane in the movie is Dakota Fanning. When did she grown up?!

I also saw, How Do You Know this week at the theaters and I really liked this one. I definitely recommend it. It's not a monumental movie by any means, but you'll leave thinking, 'that was cute'. Plus, Paul Rudd is hilarious and awkward as usual and Jack Nicholson is a good addition to the movie. I can't say its my favorite Reese movie at all, her character was a little bland, but she's cute as always and is her typical romantic-comedy-self. The title is very forgetful though... I've had a hard time remembering it since I've seen it. Overall, its one that is worth seeing in the theater on a rainy day.

One more day off work!
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