Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm Crushing

Okay....I'm totally crushing on this handsome guy today!

It's been seven years since I married my man and eleven years since we met. Let me just say that the saying about wine getting better with age must be true...the same goes for my man. He has been my rock these past few years as I have struggled with health issues and unmet desires of my heart. It's been awesome to see the husband God has designed him to be just for me.

I shared in my last post about my desire for another child, but there was a part I left out. One part of the story that wasn't mentioned are the months and months of seeing negative pregnancy tests because I have never had a normal cycle. I would harden myself to the idea to even hope that it could happen. With these months I would have times where it was just me, myself and I having a pity party. It must have been like clockwork because he knew. He knew when I needed him most and was always there. I can only hope that my little guy grows up to be half the man his daddy is. Because I am one lucky girl!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Time is Precious

So it's been I don't know how long since I've posted anything here. What an exhausting summer we had here. I say exhausting, but we sure did have a good time getting there.

 As usual, I over scheduled our lives. We made it, but we were pretty busy in it.

So this morning as I was making the drive home from dropping my little man off at preschool I just took a deep breath. I keep trying to remind myself, that our life isn't about filling it up with things to do, but enjoying the time we have with each other. I'm seeing just how precious time is as I look at my little man and see how much he has grown up just this summer. Yeah, that boundary testing he's been doing hasn't been the most fun, but it just means he's trying to figure things out. Trying to see where he fits in and what the rules are. Isn't that what I'm always doing though? Pushing the boundaries that God has set for me, only to realize later that they were set for a reason.

There's something that's been on my heart all summer to share with you guys. I've wanted to write about it all summer, but had no clue how to even put the words together. But, I know that someone out that is dealing with the same thing. After sharing with a few of my friends, I'm learning that I'm definitely not alone in this either.

Since we had a our little man back in 2007, we had a plan to grow our family. We wanted to focus on him only for that first year and then begin growing. Little did we know that almost four years later we would still be trying to do that. For years, doctors were just prescribing me the typical fertility drugs to get my cycles going so that I could get pregnant without every trying to find out the underlying issue.  That was not until we moved to a new city and began the process all over again with a new doctor, who by the way is pretty awesome. She took one look at my and told me that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I thought, okay we can work with this. Yeah, it was a little heart breaking to hear, but I had an answer that no else had been able to give me. Tons of blood work later I learned that I also had a under-active (hypo) thyroid. The two together don't really give me much of a chance. This is where it all started to become real to me. Our dream of a large family may not be what God has planned for us.

It's now been almost a year since that diagnosis and many doctor's visits, tests and lifestyle changes. We still have no baby, but I do have a thyroid that under control, and a hope that God is going to answer mine and my man's prayers for another child.

I think my desire to share this stems from the fact that I have dealt with a lot of guilt over asking for another child, especially when I have been given a healthy little boy. I have felt and still at time feel selfish for asking and praying for another child. It wasn't until I read somewhere recently that if I didn't deal with infertility and wanted another child; could have another child, it wouldn't be selfish. I've prayed and prayed that if this isn't God's will that he would just shut the door on this part of our life and give me peace about this.

Yes...that is little man photo bombing me.

Yeah, this summer was busy, but I spent it with my precious family that God has blessed me with. I've got the days were I struggle with my desire for more. I think that's normal. But I keep trying to remind myself to enjoy what I've been given and not to dwell on what I haven't got. There's no value in the things we don't have, but what we do have is a treasure. I guess what I'm trying to say is that God desires for us to confide in him, to ask him for help, because Lord knows I cannot do any of this on my own. Even when you feel like your desires may be selfish or guilt ridden, take these to him. He has a plan for all of this. I just can't wait to see it all unfold.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Book Review} I Love You To God and Back

I had the pleasure of reviewing Amanda Lamb's new book I Love You To God and Back: A Mother and Child Can Find Faith and Love Through Bedtime Prayers. I'm always on the look out for ways to improve my prayer life, so when I stumbled across this gem I went for it. I want so much to raise my son to be a man of God and this book shared with me just a little bit of what my job description should be.

In this book, Amanda chronicled a year of bedtime prayers with her young daughter Chloe. She shared openly her struggles and many of the same I face. One being, not rushing your children through things just so you can get to the outcome you want. As parents we often fail to be there to listen to our children. I love how she described it this way, "We all really just want someone to listen to us, and that's why we pray." Isn't that truth? I fail at this daily and yet I'm willing to work on it. I want my child to know I'm always there to hear what he has to say.

What's so neat about this book is the connection she made with her daughter and now I'm making with my son, by making prayer a priority for our family. It is teaching me to listen and love more wholly, in a way that was so necessary .

 Like God's love for us, parents give love wholly without expectations of getting anything in return - no thanks, no accolades, just giving as much as you can and then more because God's love is the template and the source. - Amanda Lamb

This book inspired me to follow through with a project from this spring I did with a local mom's group. We made prayer pails for our children, where we wrote on popsicle sticks people and things to pray for (ie. family, friends, homeless, our president, church...etc.). It's been several months now of doing this every night with my son. He doesn't always have the desire to do it himself, but will ask us every night who we are praying for tonight. I can't stress the importance of teaching your children about prayer when they are young. They are going to rely on it when they are older and facing difficult situations and decisions. 

If you want to find out more of this craft you can check it out here. And if you'd like to find Amanda's book you can check it out here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{Leap Day Giveaway + Review} God Gave Us Love

Hey all and Happy Leap Day! The month of L-O-V-E is coming to it's end. I can't think of a better way to end it than with a giveaway. This is one that's close to my heart.

I was given a chance to review the book God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren. If you remember a while back I reviewed one of her books. I was pretty disappointed with it. I was hoping this book would redeem my love for her books and the illustrations. I have to say, that I think it did.

God Gave Us Love has been the perfect book to read to my son right now. He getting to the age where he is recognizing when other kids are mean and he tells me he doesn't like them. This book has become the perfect tool to use with him. We've been told to love one another. I think that's a hard concept for little kids to get, let alone us adults. We don't have to like each other, but we've been called to love one another.

"I always like and love you, Grampa, " Little Cub said. "But why?"
"It's something deep within us, something I can't totally explain - only that God is love , so he created us to love. He ties us all together like the strings on our snowshoes, heart to heart."

I love that the book goes on to explain how love between Mamas and Papas is a special kind of love, given by God.  And that we don't always want to love, but choosing love is always right. But the best part is the explanation that God will always love us and that we can't do anything that will make him not love us.

Lisa Tawn Bergren did a great job of getting down to a child's level of thinking and explaining a topic that isn't always easy for parents to explain to their children.

Here's the best part....I've got an extra copy to give away to you guys!

 Let me know how you show others love and you'll be entered to win a copy. There's a chance for four extra entries if you "like" this blog post, share the post, tweet about it and rank my review. Giveaway end March 9th. Winner will be notified and announced on the 10th. If you don't see the box for the giveaway, click on read more.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Goofing Around

So February pretty much turned into a month of fun for my family. I know it's supposed to be a month where you're showing your family and friends just how much you love and care for them, but I think a little fun goes in hand with that. So this month we put on our love glasses and spread the love with new friends and family.


One of the primary ways my little man likes to receive love is through play. He likes to goof around a lot. To the point that in one of our many car ride conversations on the way home from preschool went like this.
      Me: How was school today buddy?
      Little Man: I like to make my class laugh. (more a statement of fact)
      Me: You do? How do you make them laugh?
      Little Man: I dance and make funny sounds and drive fast cars.

In a nutshell, I'm expecting many phone calls from the elementary school once he makes it there. He just loves to be the center of attention and make people laugh. So when I found these love glasses I knew it would be perfect.

 I was least I like to think. Any we spent the afternoon dancing, laughing, playing and eating more sweets than should humanly be allowed. Followed by an evening with friends and movies.

 Now...doesn't that sound better than roses and chocolates? I think so. Hope you all are have a great month and remember to keep it simple and "Love one another." 1 John 4:7

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's a boy!

This past weekend we made the trip down to visit family and await the delivery of a new niece or nephew. I'm so excited to announce that my sister-in-law, Carrie, and her husband John have welcomed a new baby boy!

Take a peek at my new nephew, Grant Oliver. Isn't he just the cutest....and he has the cutest little baby squeaks too. What makes this even more exciting is that he's got a big sister who is ready to be mommy's little helper.

So, I spent my weekend staring star-eyed at this precious little guy. 
And his cute little nose. 
And his cute little baby rolls. 
And smelling his head.
And looking into his cute little eyes.
And smelling his head. 

Okay, I'll stop. I can't promise I'll stop in the future.

You have to admit though....babies just smell sooooo good.

Okay, I'm really done now.

Friday, February 3, 2012

{Book Review + GIVEAWAY!} The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge

I'm always on the hunt for a good devotional. There's all kinds of them out there. Ones where they want you journaling your thoughts and prayers. Ones that you do together with your spouse, sister, child....small groups. I've tried them all. First of all, if you haven't figured it out from my previous post, that I'm not a good journaler, you'll know now. I plain stink at it. It's just not how I process things. I always promise to give them a shot, but ultimately never follow through with using them daily, weekly...or monthly for that matter.

So, when I open up The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker, I expected just these sorts of things. I expected them to ask me to do what's "uncommon" to me. In actuality, it's like most conventional devotionals. You have a small devotion for each day of the year with a small question or thought (uncommon key) to follow through on for the day. What I haven't gotten from previous devotions, I have gotten from this one. Thought provoking questions that have me put to action biblical teaching and personal convictions.

Not a football fan like I am? That's okay....seriously. Tony Dungy may talk about team dynamics or use sports analogies, but he gets down to the core issues and is easy to understand. Tony is someone I have admired for years for his bold faith. I think he's just as bold about it in this book.

What I'm finding and reminded of daily is God's timing of when I need to hear things.  It seems like each day I moved onto was written just for me. If you don't know me already, I've been put into this sort of holding place in my life right now. I think God is really trying to teach me and my little family patience. And patience isn't always the most fun place to be. I'm learning that I can't do it all, I've got to let Him be a part of it. So the verse that's always in my head is Jeremiah 29:11  

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
 Six days into this devotional, I was met with this same verse. Here's what this day's devotion had to say, "How would you live differently if you really believed that God had intentionally designed you to impact others? What steps of faith would you take if you knew He already planned them? What would you attempt if you were fully convinced He was backing you? Would you set out to accomplish big things in your community? would you walk into local schools with a sense of mission? What impossible problems would suddenly seem possible to deal with? The fact is that when you believe you were designed for a purpose, you will live with a purpose." This shook me to the core. How was I living my life? Was I truly living a live of purpose or taking steps of faith? Or was I too scared and lacking faith? Question after question began pouring out of me. I knew I seriously had some thinking to do, that was going to require a change in how I chose to live my life. That I was going to have to be "uncommon." All from a devotional that took me literally two minutes...maybe, to read.

To say that I would recommend this devotional is an understatement. It's one a few great ones I've seen out there. So, here's the exciting news! Tyndale House Publishers has been kind enough to give me one to giveaway to one lucky reader! Tell me what makes you "uncommon" and you just might be my lucky winner. Deadline to enter: February 12th. Winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.
If you don't see The Uncommon Giveaway box below, please click read more. |  
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My list of excuses...

Distractions....distractions...distractions. That what I've going to blame for my massive blogging absence. That and the feeling like I've got nothing important to say. Although, I guess you don't have to only blog when you have something important to say. If that were the case I think I would only blog a few times a year. Are you getting my point yet? Excuses....excuses....excuses.

Not much has been going on in my little world. This week I'm a little more amped up than usual. I'm getting pretty anxious. My sister-in-law is expected to delivery my new niece or nephew. Pretty much everyone is counting on this baby being a boy. So it is going to come as one huge shocker if that baby comes out a girl. I can't wait to hold that baby regardless.

I'm excited to see the face of this little girl when she's finally a big sister. She's been asking to see that baby for months. She's going to be her baby brother or sister's little mommy, that's for sure.

So I keep thinking about sharing some of my party planning and decorating that I love so much, but completely forget about it until after. I may just have to do a post soon about the birthday party I threw for my little man's fourth birthday. It was Mario Kart themed. With a little help from Pinterest I succeeded in the party throwing department. That's exactly where I'm head after this ideas. Eeek! I'm so excited.

Have a wonder Wednesday. I'll be back soon with a new book review...and book giveaway!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

{Book Review} God Gave Us Two

I can't tell you how excited I was to be able to review God Gave Us Two. I have been such a fan of the books that Lisa Tawn Bergren has put out so far. My family's favorite by far is the God Gave Us So Much Treasury. The illustrations that Laura J. Bryant does are just darling.

So after reading God Gave Us Two, I was really let down. I guess I just really felt like the title was misleading. I don't personally have two children, but if I did and bought this for my child while expecting I would have been disappointed even more. No where in title or illustration does it hint at the idea of twins. So when reaching the end of the book and finding out it was twins and not a second child I was kind of shocked. It would have been better titled God Gave Us Three or something along those lines.

Although this book encourages your child that they still have a place in your family after the baby comes, I felt like something was just so different about this book compared to her last ones. I felt like the focus was being taken from God to a focus on only the child.

Overall, I was plain disappointed. One bad book does not a bad author make. I'd continue to recommend Bergren's books to family and friends, but sadly leaving this one out.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.