Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reflections

So, yes, I turned 30!!! I have ALWAYS loved my birthday! Not just my birthday, I love birthdays in general. I love giving gifts to my friends and I love celebrating birthdays! I just think that everyone should get excited about being born! :)
Me at almost 2!

Yesterday I feel like I hit a milestone. Thirty! 30. It's a lot of years. BUT...what I thought so much about was what I have accomplished and what God has done in and through my life.

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14

This passage of Scripture means so much to me...even more as I reflect on it this year. God has protected me my ENTIRE life. As a little girl He covered me and loved me even when I did not even really know who He was. As a teenager when I made some of the worst mistakes of my life, He still loved me even though I broke His heart. In my twenties, He blessed me beyond what I could EVER imagine with two educational degrees, a wonderful husband, two amazing children, friends and family that love me unconditionally, and this past year....this past year I just cannot fathom what has taken place....

God has taken a soul that was merely existing and "going through the motions" of life and just "being" and stirred my heart. He called me to stop living in complacency and to stop allowing satan to have victory over my life. He asked me to allow Him to love me completely. He asked me to accept what He had already given me a long time ago...a life of mercy and grace that I don't deserve but that He promised and offers simply because...HE LOVES ME!!!

HE LOVES ME!

I was brought to tears yesterday because GOD LOVES ME! PEOPLE LOVE ME! I have always known that there are people in my life that love me but for the first time in my life-for the first season in my life-I can truly say that I KNOW that people really do love me!!!!! They love me not because of what I do for them...not for anything except...who I am...they love me for me! They don't care what I have done or haven't done...they simply love me. Nothing could make my heart happier.

Me at age 5 - Kindergarten picture
What an amazing birthday present!!! My life has not been perfect but I am blessed and I am determined that even though I have entered into a new phase that the best is yet to come!!! :)

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Me at age 11
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Lesson

God has done amazing things in my life recently but I still struggle in the area of security. I know that I recently posted about this but let me be a little more specific here for a minute.

I have a tendency to dwell on things a little too much. I think about things, well, TO DEATH!!!!! I will just think about every possible scenario until I literally make myself sick inside and then the end result is that I am basically scum on the bottom of my shoe. It always ends up like that....confused? Well, let me TRY to explain.

I have already mentioned in previous posts that I have always wanted to be sweet but I just have had a hard time mastering that skill (or gift, whatever). I just have (or don't have) a way with words. Email is a horrible medium of communication but it is what is often used in my world because I am just on the go so much but let's just be honest, I am just as bad with words in person. I say things sometimes that I don't mean and things come across the wrong way. This often gets me in trouble because as much as I try to fix it, it usually just makes it worse. Get the picture? I know that no one else has this problem...it is surely just me, right?! :) Wellll, I have written an email in the past couple of days that I thought I would have gotten a response from that I have not gotten yet and as I have just pondered and dwelt on the email and re-read it a MILLION times I have come to the conclusion that I MUST have offended this person by something I have said in it. It is certainly possible because as I read it back to myself there is something in there that could have come across wrong, etc.....I have composed an email to this person and then decided that I am not going to send it because then this person would think that I am just stupid...you know the whole nine yards!! It is just RIDICULOUS!!! WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF???!!!

Here is the lesson that I have learned this morning and let me assure you that I have been very humbled....

I do have to tell you that I searched EVERYWHERE for my So Long Insecurity book by Beth Moore that I have been reading and I could not find it ANYWHERE. Do you know what God was saying to me? That He does not want me to find my answers in that book (as good as it is and as good of a teacher and godly woman as Beth is). He wants me to find hope and security in HIM and answers in HIS WORD!!! So, that's what I did. I turned off my radio after I dropped my kids off this morning and I talked to Him and wept ALL the way to work.

~John 10:10 says that He came that we may have life and we may have it abundantly. God desires for me to be secure in Him. He wants me to know that I am His. He desires for me to live a life not just wondering if He loves me but KNOWING that He loves me and living a life to the FULLEST. Can I really live a life to the fullest if I walk around all the time wondering if someone is mad at me or wondering if I have offended someone? If I was more worried about what God thought about me than what other people thought about me maybe I would live a holier more God-centered life!!!

~I suppose it never occurred to me that perhaps IT WAS NOT ABOUT ME!!!!! What a concept! If I had taken 1/2 a second to think about the person receiving the email (or whatever...it doesn't have to be this specific instance). Maybe they were busy. People do have families and lives to attend to and I am not the only person they have to deal with in a single day. HELLO??!! Perhaps they were busy.  As my husband would say....maybe, JUST MAYBE they didn't have a response...maybe they didn't have anything to say!!!  It could be that they are gathering more information to respond later.  WHO KNOWS?!  God calls us to carry one another's burdens. Galatians 6:2 "Carry one another's burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ." Maybe they had just received some bad news. Maybe they were just having a bad day. If I had the mind of Christ, my thoughts might have gone something like this....."You know I have noticed that you haven't been yourself lately. How can I pray for you." Or "You know, I have noticed that you have seemed kind of sad. I don't have to know what that's about but I want you to know that I love and care about you." Instead I am staying up half the night worried if they are mad at me...ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Get a life, kid!

~And one other thing that God taught me this morning in my car is that when I come to Him, He says to me that it doesn't matter what I say to Him. He loves me. I can offend Him and He loves me anyway. I am HIS!!! I can come to Him at any time during the day and HE IS THERE!! He listens to my "email" and He responds lovingly. He never fails. He is my encourager, He is my supporter, and in HIM I find my security.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" Psalm 73:26


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Been Awhile!

I know it has been a little while since I have posted and this one won't be a "spiritual" one but one about what has been going on with us! I don't have pictures on this computer but I will try to upload tonight now that I have Christmas all done at my house and can do things like that! :)

Rachel's birthday has come and gone and she is such a big SASSY girl!!! She tells me all of the time that she is four and she is not a baby anymore. Kind of makes me sad but I am glad that she is independent...sometimes she is just a little TOO independent! :/ Her birthday party was a BLAST! It was at the Little Gym and they have the best birthday parties. You literally bring a cake, kids, and show up!!! They provide all the rest!!! The kids loved it, Rachel loved it and I was glad because I had a busy weekend!!! That Friday evening, I headed out to Fort Worth - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary - to be exact for a laadies' retreat!!! I know what you are thinking...didn't you just have a retreat? Yes, yes, I did! BUT, this one was not with my church; it was with a church in Weatherford. A dear friend of mine, Carrie, is the women's ministry leader at her church in Weatherford. We met at a SBTC conference in Tyler earlier this year and have become good friends and she invited me to come along. I AM SO GLAD I DID! I met some wonderful ladies, spent a wonderful weekend in the Lord, and even won 2nd place in a dance contest! HA! It didn't deserve 2nd place, really....don't get too excited! :) The format for this retreat was really great...they did a video retreat so to speak...it was "When Wallflowers Dance" by Angela Thomas and the material was just awesome! I want to read the book and after I am finished with the THREE that I am currently reading I will get RIGHT ON THAT! But here it is and from the little that we heard from the weekend, it is GREAT!!


Anyway, a BUSY but fun and great weekend!

Thanksgiving was nice. It was a tough day. It was Granny's birthday and we celebrated where she used to live which is now my aunt's house. It is always hard to go back. I lived there for so many years. That day was just....hard...on so many levels.

BLACK FRIDAY!!!! So...two years ago I was 6 months pregnant and decided to try Black Friday shopping for the first time. I hated every minute of it. I think it was because I went to Kohl's which I was told was not a good idea...ever! So...I picked the wrong store with swollen feet...so I thought I would try again this year! My plan: Toys R Us at 10:00 PM on Thursday night, then Grapevine Mills Mall at midnight, Office Depot, the next morning, and Mardel's following that...maybe Hobby Lobby. (Would have done Lifeway but it is RIGHT BY the mall in Arlington and...NO, just NO)! So...went and got Kaydi...Brice said I have to have: a buddy, a list, and a budget! HA! So, Kaydi was my buddy! She was a TROOPER! Decided we would do Toys R Us by the mall in Grapevine only to find out it is IN the mall in Grapevine and does not open until midnight like the mall. We then decide to drive to Hurst to Toys R Us there...LINE. IS. RIDICULOUS!!!!! At least 1/2 mile long outside the door and it is COLD! We took pictures of the lines and then got back in the car and drove back to the mall and it is now 11:00...we have an hour before the mall opens. We are sitting in the car..WARM..on our iPhones. At about 11:30 we got out and got in line. Funny thing...we got the stroller out of our trunk and used it to push our "GOODS" around! HA! It was smart, okay!!! We were one of the first ones in the door, went to bathroom first! :) Toys R Us..since it was an Express had NOTHING, I think I got 1 Zhu Zhu pet was all! Then, Carters...SUPER DEALS...everything in the store was 50% off then extra 10% off total purchase! SCORE! Then we went to Gymboree where I ALWAYS go nuts!!! That is where we spent the majority of our time. The checkout line encompassed the entire store (which is not big by the way). Anyway, got some GREAT deals in there too!!! That is mainly what my girls are getting for CHristmas - clothes! They do not need anything else! We went to New York and Company where everything was also 60% off and got some things for US! :) Ate something at Taco Bell and got home by 4:30! It was a blast and I will do it again next year!!! Oh, BTW, when I got home, I ordered everything I wanted from Toys R Us online...discounted prices! :)

Saturday, THE HOGS BEAT LSU!!!! WOO HOO!!! We are now #7 and if Auburn beats South Carolina in the SEC championship we will likely go to the Sugar Bowl!!!! :) :)

Pictures to come!!! Sorry so late and long!!!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Security - Where is Yours?

Where does your security lie? Hmm...good question, eh? My girls both had to have things to sleep with as small children...Lauren still does. Rachel used to take her "lovie" and twist it around her index finger and that is how she would put herself to sleep. I guess it made her feel safe. We all want to feel safe...whatever that means to us personally.

I have come up with four basic categories that most people find their security in:

1. things
2. others
3. self
4. God

THINGS
Some people put their trust in their material things. The more "stuff" they have the better they feel...but do they really? I used to think that. When I was young, I didn't have much. It was a treat for us to go out to eat. I remember just wanting to get a pair of Keds tennis shoes. That was always what I wanted for my birthday and I was SO excited when I got them. I felt like a million dollars all because I had a $20 pair of shoes! When I got married to a successful young man and could buy just about anything I wanted, I realized that money was NOT where happiness was. It makes living a little easier sometimes but it certainly is not where I place my security. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

Along the same lines, some people place their security in food, drugs, and alcohol - substances. I will be the first to admit that I am an emotional eater! I eat when I am stressed or sad! It does NOT work out well for me. I ALWAYS feel worse afterwards!

OTHERS
Psalm 118:8
"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans."

I never intended this to be a confession blog but this is MOST DEFINITELY where I have the hardest struggle. I love people. I thrive on relationships. God knows and understands that we are relational people and I absolutely believe that He places people in our lives to show Himself BUT BUT BUT He does NOT place people in our lives to REPLACE Himself!!!! Please please please hear me on this one!!! I learned this the hard way! PEOPLE WILL LET YOU DOWN! I know that might shock you but it is the truth! Even the people that you think are the most perfect people in the world - yep, they will too! Because, I know, another shocker, THEY ARE NOT PERFECT! Please understand me when I say I know how hard this is. I have to pray about this almost daily.

This is what the LORD says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him."
Jeremiah 17:5-7

SELF
Some people place all of their security in their own self. No one can do it better. They are the person they trust. I like to refer to this as self-centered. Prideful. I first thought of my 4-year old daughter always saying, "I don't need your help! I can do it myself!" Lord, I hope she outgrows that stage!! Or at least matures to the stage where she realizes she DOES need help with some things! At first glance I immediately said, "I am way too insecure to say this is me" but I think we all have a little self-centeredness if we really dig deep. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. I found a tiny bit in myself, unfortunately. I am so glad though that God did not call us to rely on ourselves. I would be in a WORLD of trouble!!! "Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe." Proverbs 28:26

GOD
I guess I could say "Or a higher power" but this is my blog and the only higher power we will discuss is the ONE TRUE GOD - JESUS CHRIST! Ultimately, this is where it's at, folks! This is where our security should come from and be rooted in. Nothing else is worth it and all else will fail! "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever!" Isaiah 40:8  My prayer everyday is that God will draw me to Himself and allow me to trust in Him and allow me to see His face.  That I will rely less on my friends and my husband and more on Him. 

Now that we have looked at the four areas, have you been challenged to see where you put your trust and where your security lies? I have. It is eye opening. I am reading the book "So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore and it has just been a GREAT book. I certainly struggle with insecurity but I have tried to figure out why. I can blame it on my childhood because I certainly had a rough one but I cannot dwell on that. I can't...I REFUSE! There was a time that I did...and quite honestly, I think I wanted to. I was thinking the other day and I came the realization that I think people like dwelling in the dark places of their lives because of the attention that it brings. I know that sounds ridiculous but think about it...when a child acts up in school what happens? They get attention. It may be negative attention but it is attention nonetheless. In the "social work world" we like to call that ODD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Sometimes that comes from neglect from parents and an unstable childhood, etc but children act out to get attention a lot of the time. They get in trouble and stay in the "bad places" in order to reap something they perceive as "good." Stay with me....if we stay in our "dark places" of sin or sadness people have a tendency to feel sorry for us....at least for a little while. If those people get tired of us, we move on to other people, right? Again, in the psychology realm of things this is often referred to as playing the victim. It is hard for these people to see the good that will come on the other side of their hurt. They can't optimistically look past their current circumstances...or their past.

I want to scream from the top of my lungs GET UP AND GET OUT!!!!! There is SO MUCH MORE on the other side!!!! I know!!! I have been there and I am so past that! I don't want to say that I have a tendency to go back from time to time but dwelling there...NEVER AGAIN!  I have experienced the hurt of a painful childhood, I have sinned and know the pain that comes from bad choices and suffered BAD consequences! But the question is WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT???? Romans 8:28 says that "that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Now please hear me when I say that I know it is a process...I KNOW! But you have to CHOOSE to get there! Talk to me...I want to help!!!

I love you dear people! I LOVE YOU!!! Be SECURE in HIM today!!



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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Authentic

I think we all as Christians have those "mountain top experiences" when we feel like nothing can stop us from living out our dreams or pressing on with what God would have for us. My fear is that sometimes this can be brought on by meer emotions. My husband and I have had this conversation before...about how emotional revivals and youth camps are. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE revivals and I think that youth camps are awesome but I just think that sometimes the emotional "highs" that come from them are so easily deflated. When we are so protected between the boundaries of the camp or so driven by the daily messages of the evangelists it is easy to get pumped about what God is doing but what happens when we get back to reality? Many times we go back to the life we were living prior to those events. Perhaps they weren't bad lives but mediocre at best.

One of the things I have been focusing on lately is doing the will of God. I want to know and do the true will of God for my life. I want to be authentic and not fabricate what God is doing. For the past several months God has been doing AMAZING things in my life and it has been authentic...no doubt about it but what I DO NOT WANT is for me to EVER get to a point where I start "making up" what God is doing. You see, I have a GREAT imagination! :) I have a tendency to think BIG! I have dreams and I know what my ideas are and what I want for my life. Sometimes being able to discern the difference between God's will and my own is difficult.

"And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:17

I found the above passage of Scripture this past weekend during quiet time at a retreat. I do not think it was a coincidence. God is working and He is showing Himself to me but I have to be still and wait for Him...something I am not good at! :)

"All I want to do is give my life to You,
All I want to do is give my life to You,
All I want to do is give my life to You.
Let Your will be done
Until it's all I want to do."


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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rachel Mackenzie - You Are 4!

Hey Sweet Girl,

Just minutes after birth

When I had you in my belly, I knew life with you would be so fun because you NEVER stopped moving! I will never forget the first time I felt you move - it was magical! I always worried that something was wrong with you because I could not understand why God would bless me with such a wonderful gift.


Meeting Mommy for the first time

I didn't think it was possible to love you any more than I did when you were born but my love for you grows everyday. You are beautiful inside and out and it has been such a delight to see you grow into yourself and for your little personality to develop. You are so tenderhearted. You cry easily and get your feelings hurt in a second - one of those gifts that your mommy gave you! You are SUPER smart like your daddy.

Proud Daddy

From the time you were just a little girl in my arms, I would rock and sing to you. Our song became "I Love You, A Bushel and A Peck." I LOVE that you now sing that WITH me and know that it is "our song." I love your kisses, your hugs, and the way you just want me.

You spent the first couple of days in the NICU

You love people and you care about others...a trait that is such a joy to see. You want to pray for your friends and for people that you don't even know. What a special girl you are! And, you also love your sister which melts my heart!

1 year old

You are hard headed and independent and some days you make me crazy but I will never love anyone else like I love you! You teach me more about life than anyone I know and I hope that we will always have a special relationship.

2 years old

My desire is for you to always know that Mommy and Daddy love you and more importantly that God loves you and He gave up His Son so that you would not have to bear the burden of your sins. I want to always protect you from bad things and I will do my best to teach you wisdom and discernment. My greatest desire is that one day you will come to know Jesus as your Savior and accept Him into your heart.

3 years old

I love you more than life itself - I hope you always know that. Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Love,
Mommy

4 years old!
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

This Day Four Years Ago

I told you I would probably have another "Rachel story..."

Four years ago today I walked into the doctor's office for my 36 week appointment only to be told that I would most likely be having a baby THAT day - to head to labor and delivery! I had been on home bed rest for about 3 weeks and that day, I was told that I had "failed home bed rest." Isn't that nice? Anyway, my mother in law was with me because Brice was in Pittsburg, PA. After I got settled into my room and got the blood pressure cuff on, the doctor came in and said, "Best case scenario your blood pressure will be monitored for a few hours and then you will go home. That's not likely. You will likely AT LEAST stay overnight." She went to get her hair done and then came back and said I would be in the hospital until I had the baby - which I was thinking was going to be 4 weeks away! I started freaking out just a little. I called Brice who was calmly panicking thinking he needed to come home right then! I worked in the hospital where I was and I told him to just come when he could - that I was okay. He got the first flight the next morning.

I actually stayed pregnant for another week! I started getting really sick the day before Rachel was born which is likely why I ended up back in the hospital with HELLP Syndrome 5 days after Rachel was born. She was born at 37 weeks and did not suck/swallow/breathe well...typical of 37 week babies - what we call late preterm babies. She got to spend a few days in the NICU.

Four years later, Rachel is incredibly happy and healthy and I am healthy too - it was scary after she was born and I was on blood pressure medication for 8 weeks afterwards. It repeated itself when I was pregnant with Lauren but the doctors were a little more cautious because of my history and I spent 14 days prior to her almost 38 week delivery in the hospital with no ill effects after she was born.

I am so blessed to be her Mommy! I will post more about that next week! :)





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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November

November is a tough month for me. There are a lot of things in this month that cause me to remember...loved ones that have died, things that have happened that I would like to forget but have changed my life forever, and my sweet Rachel was born. My first born baby girl!!! I CANNOT believe that she is going to be 4 years old this year.

This picture was taken when I was at home on bed rest at about 35 weeks pregnant...the last picture of us before she was born and probably one of my most treasured pictures even though I was as BIG AS A COW! I went into the hospital shortly after this.

There will be more "Rachel posts" I am sure...just warnin' ya! ;) Yes, I am that kind of sappy momma!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet?

One of my best friends had this as her Facebook status recently:
..."loves how when God has a message for you it becomes a recurring theme in your life!"

How true is that!? I could not shout "AMEN" loud enough...internally, of course...so that people in my house would not think I was nuts! ;)

Someone else was talking about on her blog recently about when God becomes the center of your life that you cannot help but notice Him in things. I LOVE that and it just resounded with me!

You see, this is such a new concept for me! I have shared with several people recently that I am at a place in my spiritual walk right now that I have honestly never been before. It is amazing! To say I have arrived is FAR from the truth and if I ever say that I am in SERIOUS trouble but I am MILES from where I was, say, 6 months ago and I would like to share with you why I think that is...

I have said things about myself before that went like this:

"I wish I were more sweet spirited."
"I wish I didn't have such a short temper."
"I wish people looked up to me like they do her."

Those are just to name a few...but more than anything, the first one on my list is wanting to have a sweeter spirit. I have always wanted to be kind. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think I am just a horribly hateful person but those of you that know me know that I am blunt and outspoken and you also know that I am VERY tenderhearted. I would DIE to know if I EVER hurt someone's feelings but the truth is that I do...ALL OF THE TIME! I LOATHE that about myself. It makes me have a knot in the pit of my stomach just typing it...thinking about it. Here is what I will say about this, what I like to call, character flaw within myself - God calls us to all be different people. We cannot all be the sweet ladies at church and at the supermarket. Hang with me here...that is NOT a cop-out! Some of us are "go-getters" and some of us aren't. That does not mean that God does not want us to strive towards possessing all attributes of the fruit of the Spirit which include love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galations 5:22-23a. What I am saying is that although I will never be JUST LIKE that specific person that I am trying to model myself after at church God has called me to be gentle in my own way. He wants me to model myself after HIM.

God tell us to "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

For the past 2 1/2 months, I have been seeing God's work in my life more than ever because I have decided to follow His call. It has been an amazing journey and He isn't finished yet! I cannot wait to see what is in store but just as a healing journey is, as a friend of mine describes it, like a peeling of an onion - layer by layer - sometimes coming off in junks - that is also what a spiritual journey is like. I see God taking parts of my life that I don't like - that He doesn't desire for my life - and peeling it away. It isn't easy...sometimes it is even painful!

If we choose to walk with God and choose to see God in things, He will reveal Himself to us. He will use us for His glory. My desire is that everything I do be about Him and not about me.

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Called

When I was a little girl I always wanted to be a pediatric oncology nurse –I know pretty specific, huh? Ironically, one of my very best friends is that very thing today! Well, I AM NOT! :) I have always known that I wanted to work in the medical field, however. It both intrigues me and grosses me out all at the same time! When I was in college, I was going pre-nursing right up until I starting failing not doing so well in my science classes – you know all of those classes that are essential for nursing school! (It didn’t help that I contracted mononucleosis my second semester in college and had to be out of classes for 6 weeks either, but that’s beside the point)! Anyway, I digress…I started looking into different professions and the Bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling degree at Central Baptist College (where I was a student at the time) was brand new. I had looked into it and did some research and prayed about it and after some self-discovery and God working on my heart about an area of my life that needed some healing, I knew that counseling and eventually social work was the path that I and God would want me to take. The cool thing is that I knew I could do hospital social work, but I also knew it would require a master’s degree…not something I was super excited about since I was barely able to pay for college, but God is good!

I did graduate from the Christian counseling program with my bachelor’s degree in 2003. The semester prior to that, I lacked SERIOUS direction. I was feeling pressure from several areas…one from the lady that I was living with at the time. We had a pretty heated argument discussion about what I would do with the “rest of my life.” She all but told me that I would never make any money in my profession (she did know what she was talking about) and that I really needed to get on the ball about making a decision because it wasn’t going to just “fall in my lap.” All in all, she was right. I applied for the masters of social work program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock which was EXTREMELY hard to get into – especially from a conservative private college. So, I also applied at the University of Texas at Arlington. I had family in the DFW area and decided that I could relocate there if needed…not my first option. In short, I was actually accepted into BOTH programs! I was ecstatic!! BUT, I now had a choice! UGH! If you know me at all, you know I hate choices! It didn’t take me long to decide, I stayed in Central Arkansas. I got a job at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (LOVED THIS JOB!!!) and went through the MSW program which was THE HARDEST THING EVER! Not the work necessarily, just trying to be a “fish out of water” so to speak…a conservative in a very liberal world. I was in grad school during the election between Kerry and Bush and it was…just difficult being me.

I graduated and began applying for jobs. After all, I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to work in a hospital! I applied and interviewed for a few. The first interview I had was at a mental health clinic for severely mentally ill adults and I DID NOT WANT THIS JOB AT ALL!!!!!! Therefore, I went to the interview and was not nervous ONE BIT! I was COMPLETELY myself! I left there knowing I did not want the job yet felt very confident that the interview went well. It was strange. They called the next day and offered me the job! I felt a weird sense of conflict within myself. I talked with Brice and prayed about it. I talked with some of my friends. I actually ended up taking the job and LOVED IT! It was stressful and hard and I worked sometimes 60+ hours a week but it was a great first job out of school. I had a great boss! I was only there for 7 months when my husband called me in between clients to tell me that they were closing the Little Rock office and we would either have to move or he would have to switch jobs. We had been married for a little over a year and I had been at my job for less than a year. I had just purchased my first new vehicle, AND I had a schizophrenic patient about to walk into my office!!! Um…FREAK OUT!

The rest of the story kind of gets boring from here. I will summarize…we ended up moving to Texas – DFW area. We moved in February 2006, I started working at a HOSPITAL in March and we found out we would have our first baby 2 weeks after I started! I did eventually quit working full time and went to a PRN (setting my own schedule, only working on the weekends) mainly because I was so sick with my pregnancy and afterwards. Hospital social work was not nearly as fulfilling to me as the mental health world…I will just throw that in there! :)

I am now working full time again and have been since last December. I struggled for a long time about whether or not to go back full time. After Rachel was born, I was home with her during the day until she was 3 – taking her Parent’s Day Out since she was a year old. I did work some during the week occasionally but, for the most part, I was home with her. I started working full time when Lauren was 9 months old. Sometimes I feel like I cheated Lauren in a way. I feel guilty for not giving her a chance with her Mommy. Brice and I talked and prayed and prayed and talked about this career move for me. I have said things like, “I am not good stay-at-home-mom material” and I truly do believe that! Some moms do that really well. My kids did not learn much from me when I was at home. When I am at home, I am cleaning or doing laundry or checking things off my list…not focusing on them. If that’s not transparency, I don’t know what is!!! :S I am not a teacher at heart! I don’t feel bad about that – it’s just not me! I hated school! I liked it when I was younger because that was my safe place. It was where I went to escape my home life but I never wanted to be a teacher – EVER! I don’t make daily lesson plans with my children. I don’t have agendas. I am not made that way. Now, when I get my kids at the end of a work day, I take them home and we talk about what they learned…I sit with them and reiterate what their teachers have already taught them. I love on them! I hold them and kiss them because I feel like I appreciate them more because I am not with them. You may think that I am WRONG for this and I appreciate your comments but that’s how I feel. I have had people tell me that my priorities are in the wrong place because I am at work and not with my kids. The truth is that I don’t have to be at work. Financially I do not have to work. If it makes you angry that I do, I am sorry.

I will say this – I love my children. Right now, I also feel called to a place outside of my home. I feel like God has placed me at my place of employment to help those in need. God provided me a way to go to college because I did not have it! He then provided a way to allow me into a TOUGH program for graduate school that I was not SUPPOSED to get into and helped me to persevere through…FOR WHAT? To help others. Last December when this position came open, it was actually different than it is now. There were some layoffs in March prior to that and the women/children social worker was part of that layoff. Then the ortho/neuro social worker quit, making a vacant position. Someone else was actually just covering the women/children area temporarily. I felt called to the women/children area so I went to talk to my boss and said, “If I am going to be away from my children every day, I want it to be because of something I am passionate about. Would you consider making this position women/children and a small portion of ortho/neuro?” So, I now cover NICU, labor and delivery/post partum, women’s OB/GYN surgical, and 6 beds of ortho/neuro. It was a God thing! I love my job! Lately, I have been struggling with whether or not God is wanting me to do ministry with women in some capacity full time but for RIGHT NOW, I am where I need to be and my kids are doing well. I do still struggle occasionally with not being with my kids much. I love them and I miss them when they are not with me. They are my world but they also will always know that!!

“…for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14

“There is a time for everything. And a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:23


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IBC Ladies Retreat 2010

Our ladies retreat was this last weekend and it was awesome! I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to stop and just give up planning this retreat but I knew that Satan was working...working to try to discourage me. This was a big project. Along with dealing with very personal things, I was having to come up with a theme, speakers, decorations, food, venue, gifts, etc...it was a lot. At times, it seemed like too much. Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun to plan but it was a lot.

BUT...

It was such a blessing!!!!!

We had 3 ladies from Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington come and lead worship, do some comedy, and speak about being transformed. Our Scripture reference for the weekend came from Romans 12:1-2.

I sit here and type with tears in my eyes as I think about all of the ways that God touched me personally this weekend and about all of the things I heard other ladies say. Here is what I know that God said to me this weekend:

1. If I will call to Him, He will tell me things which I do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

2. He has taken away all judgments against me as far as the east is from the west. (combined paraphrase) Zephaniah 3:15 & Psalm 103:12

3. He will quiet me with his love.
Zephaniah 3:17

4. When I do not know what to pray, the Spirit will intercede for me.
Romans 8:26

God is doing such an incredible work all around me and I am just chomping at the bit to share!!!!! I have spoken to a couple friends the past couple of days who have shared God's goodness with me and it is just brings me to tears!

That is REASON TO REJOICE!!!! :)


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Pictures, Images and Photos


In 1988 Ronald Reagan proclaimed October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  In 2006, October 15th became an official day of recognition by Congress - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  It is a special day to honor and acknowledge pregnancies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, prematurity complications, neonatal death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), illness, accidents, and other tragic causes. Pink and light blue are the awareness colors.


It is my privilege to serve as the co-chair of the Bereavement Committee at the hospital where I work.  This committee has a goal of raising pregnancy and infant loss awareness and supporting those affected by such a loss.  Our committee consists of nurses, social workers, and our hospital chaplain.  For the past several months, we have been planning our first ever ceremony to honor and remember the babies that have have been lost, not only in our hospital, but in our community due to the above mentioned circumstances.  On Friday, October 15, 2010, our ceremony was held and it was a precious time for everyone involved. 


We planted a tree in memory of Masyn - my friend and co-worker (BLD)'s, baby who she was never able to physically meet.  She never was able to hold her; but love her and cherish her, she did, does and always will. 


                    

Candles were lit at 7:00 PM on our north lawn, as they were all across the globe in all time zones at the same time in honor of babies lost.  One of our patients who has lost a baby to miscarriage and another at 24 weeks gestation to stillbirth shared her pain and grief.  It was a special and intimate time.



This was shared with me from a friend.....This month we remember babies born sleeping, or whom we have carried but never met, those we have held but could not take home, or the ones that came home but did not stay. 

My heart goes out to so many that have lost their children....their BABIES...it hurts.  God gives us a promise in Isaiah....

...to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair.  ~Isaiah 61:3

Friday, September 24, 2010

Choices

I have been thinking a lot about choices. We all makes choices. Sometimes the choices we make affect who we are, sometimes they affect just us, sometimes they affect others and sometimes we may not know until it's too late the consequences of our choices. Then again, sometimes we make choices KNOWING the consequences BEFORE we make them yet make them anyway. Why do we do that?

Paul says in Romans 7:17 as he struggled with sin: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." He talks about evil desires and our sin nature taking over but we have a choice...to make a decision to overcome those desires. Sometimes, we fail. Often, we fail. What happens? Consequences and pain associated with those consequences.

As parents, Brice and I are careful to teach our girls that they are not bad, but sometimes the choices they make are bad.  We teach them about making wise choices and help them to understand that there are consequences for their unwise choices and often times, especially to a four year old, that is pretty painful.

There is good news! When we choose to sin and we mess up, PRAISE GOD that there is a Redeemer there to pick us up and restore us! Whatever that sin, God forgives! "ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. God does not rate sin. Sometimes we get into the "sin-rating" game where we get a little self-righteous thinking that if we didn't do "THAT" that we are "okay" in the sight of God and man. The fact is, that sin is sin is sin!!! People are dealing with the pain of their choices everyday and God does not rate sin and we shouldn't either.

The choice to heal. This choice is hard. Which is easier - to put a bandaid on a wound or to debride it? Here are the definitions:

bandaid -
1.a brand of adhesive bandage with a gauze pad in the center, used to cover minor abrasions and cuts.

2.a makeshift, limited, or temporary aid or solution that does not satisfy the basic or long-range need.

debridement
1.surgical removal of foreign matter and dead tissue from a wound.

Those are actual definitions from the dictionary...no joke! I work at a hospital...I have setup wound vacs for people and to be quite honest, wounds are disgusting! I am social worker and not a nurse for a reason! My main area is women's services FOR A REASON! The babies are cute!!! I have seen a wound that needs a debridement and I have seen a patient in pain after a debridement...neither are a pretty sight! The easier choice is clear. It is so much easier to put a bandaid on a wound. To just temporarily cover it up...whether that be with substances, people, pushing it aside, food, whatever "feels" good to you at the moment. Getting to the very core of what the problem is the hard part. True healing has to start deep. That is a choice. It takes a true commitment. No excuses. If we rely on what feels good to us, then we will NEVER truly heal because true healing - the process - DOES NOT FEEL GOOD. But rest assured, the end result will feel good!!!

That's what they tell me anyway!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Your Wish....

She's 18 months old!!!!


We go to the doctor in a couple of weeks so I will post stats then but she is still BIG!!!



I LOVE her so very much!!!!!


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Little Family Update

I know my blog hasn't been super exciting to read lately and you are just wishing that I would bring back the cutie pictures of my kids and the fun posts about vacationing and what I do on a daily basis but that's just not where I am right now.

I will, however, give you a little update. Rachel is doing well. We started a new daycare. The girls LOVE IT!!! Rachel is in a smaller class with kids more her age. She seems to be really thriving! I am so excited! We prayed about moving them for such a long time and the fact that this particular place had an opening was really something. God is good! Anyway, she will be 4 in November and acts every bit of 14!!! She is a mess but she certainly gets it honestly! :)

Lauren is almost 18 months!! She is talking up a storm now! Since she started at the new daycare, she has really started playing independently more and with her sister without Mommy - which is a HUGE blessing! She has always been such a "Mommy's Girl" which I love at times but at other times, it can be very taxing! She is becoming a little person instead of a baby and it kinda makes me sad! That was about the time with Rachel that we decided to have Lauren....don't worry, another baby is not in the works yet! ;)

Brice and I are good...closer than ever I think. He has been a tremendous rock for me in dealing with all of what I am dealing with the past few months. He loves me unconditionally and understands that I am just following God and doing what I know God wants me to do. I know this is hard for him but he is so patient with me. God could not have blessed me with a better partner in life. He is everything I need in a husband. He is willing to sacrifice for me in the future weeks and I am so thankful. I love him with my whole heart.

My family is my life. I love them with everything in my being but I have to let you know that when God call us to something, we must obey. God is going to do great things in my life and I am excited about the weeks and months to come but it will be a hard road. As I have said previously, I am on the journey towards healing and with that comes emotions and feelings that are bigger than me and harder than I can take on myself. I have to rely on God. He is bigger than all of my emotions and feelings and together with all of those that are walking alongside me and encouraging me and with God, we will accomplish much for His kingdom and I cannot wait!!!


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Journey

I did something today that was, by far, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do emotionally.

I am on a journey. It is a journey of healing. This blog post may seem confusing to you but mostly what it will be is incomplete. I cannot divulge a ton of information in this post but I will share all in good time. One thing I have learned on this journey - God's timing is absolutely perfect!!

Have you ever had to tell someone something that you knew would disappoint them or hurt them but you knew it was necessary in order for you to move forward and accomplish something or just to simply move on with a clear conscience? The time leading up to that point of talking to that person is excruciating!!!! The moment you are there talking to them, it is like time is standing still - you don't know whether to breathe...trying to figure what will happen next. Afterwards, depending on the outcome, you are either totally relieved or you are crushed or perhaps both. I know how this feels. I experienced this...today.

For more than 10 years now, I have been carrying around something that is difficult for me to talk about. God has really been working in my life recently to prepare me for what He has in store. He is going to do something big with this something and I am so excited about what He is going to accomplish for His kingdom through me but there was a little problem. I had/have some business to take care of first. I needed to talk to someone who I admire, I love with my whole heart, and I have thought of as a mom for 15+ years. My spiritual mentor, so to speak, when I was a teenager. Someone incredibly special to me. That's what I did today.

There were tears. Beforehand, tears stemming from fear. During, fear of the unknown and just overwhelming emotion. Afterwards, the tears were more turned into tears of freedom, joy, relief, love. More than anything, what I felt was the overwhelming presence of God's love, mercy, and grace displayed. It was incredible!!!

I can't give many more details right now but I will say this: redemption and restoration are incredible! I have felt it today from a close friend/mentor/parental figure. I have also felt the hand of God working in my life over the past several months preparing me for what was to happen today. I have been redeemed and restored concerning this "thing" by God many years ago. I am in the process healing.

God is good! That is the most important Reason to Rejoice!!!






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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Promise

I want to share more but right now, all I can say is that I am struggling. I am struggling with freedom. I kind of feel like I have a ton of bricks on my shoulders. It is a daily battle. I have God's promise that His mercy and grace are sufficient and thankfully each day He gives me enough strength and peace to get through that day.

God is preparing my heart for some great stuff ya'll! I am excited about what is to come!!! It's going to huge!!!

You all know how important music is to my life. This song in the following video is my theme song right now. I have to hold on the promise that this song talks about. Enjoy!




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Monday, August 9, 2010

We're Still Here!

Hello everyone!!! We are still here, as my title points out. Things have been so busy! We have taken a vacation since I was here last and OH...big news....

I FINISHED MY NOVEL!!!!

It was awesome! I am waiting to watch the movie to tell you what I think about the endings of each of them. From what I hear, the ending is very different from the book to the movie. I loved the book. It was VERY long and I finished it in a week. It was a very surprising ending and it was sad and most people told me that they hated the way it ended but I liked it....a twist. Sad but I liked the way it ended.

Vacation....it seemed short. Brice and I had a great time getting away to Hot Springs for the weekend. We got to see a ton of friends while we were in Arkansas and it's always a pleasure to see family.

I cannot believe the summer is almost over and I am SO GLAD!!! It is so flippin hot outside!! I love fall! I love winter! I love spring! I like summer.

Brice and I went out for our anniversary on Saturday.....yes, I started this post on the 31st of July and just finished it on the 9th of August. On the 7th...this past Saturday, we have been married for 6 years!! He is my best friend and I love him....even though he drives me crazier than anyone I know!!! :) We went to eat at Steel at the recommendation of my OB. It was good. I didn't enjoy my food all that much but I think it was because it was really sweet and I am not much into super sweet stuff. BUT, the atmosphere and the service were EXCELLENT!!! We had a great experience! The sushi was awesome!

The girls are about to start at a new daycare and I COULD NOT be more thrilled!!!! It is closer to home and it is a church which I am excited about. Rachel needs this so much! They start on the 23rd.

We just started a new computer program at work and I spent majority of my day today helping out my co-workers. It was refreshing to be the one that others called on. It gave me a unique sense of belonging that was nice. I really think I needed that. That may not make sense to most of you reading this but it makes sense to me.

That's about it for now. I will write more later!! With pictures...my girls are too cute not to show you! :)

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Realizations

So, I have come to some realizations about myself in the past few months. I have found that there some things about myself that...well, just are. I don't know how else to put it. I have some "quirkiness" about myself. One is the fact that I really want to like things and do things but I can't. Are you confused? Let me explain....

When I hear of a good book that comes out in the Christian Living or better yet, self help world, I immediately want to rush out and buy it and most of the time, I do...or I get it for Christmas or birthday if it is the right time of the year. Here are a few examples:




These are all GREAT books by GREAT authors! I have all three of these books lying on my night stand just WAITING to be read. I have read about 5 or 6 chapters (give or take a few) in each of them. This is the deal...

I have a problem where I can't just read the book and put back on the shelf and say, "Hmm..that was a good book" and move on. I want to dissect each part of the book, apply it to my life, and figure out how each chapter is about me and then use it...in detail. That's hard when you have two sweet little girls that want your time and devotion - and deserve it, a husband, a full time job, and a house to run. I find that I feel guilty about not really enjoying those type books.

I say all of that to say this....I went to Target last night to look for a book (yes, that kind of book that I am describing above) with no luck and I started looking at the "suggested reading" selections. I picked up, out of curiousity, a Jodi Picoult book - one that, even if you aren't familiar with her, you have probably heard the title:

Before I knew it, I was already into the book by several pages. I was captivated by this book!!!! It was amazing! I bought it. I actually couldn't decide between this one and another one:

I will read the 2nd one after I finish the first one which I am so excited about reading!!! Let me just say...I AM NOT A READER!!!!! The fact that I am excited about reading a novel that is VERY thick is amazing! I am slowly getting past the guilt of not wanting to read self-help Christian books. I do want to better myself but I just can't do it by reading not reading all of those books on my night stand.

I will let you know what I think of the book and then I will watch the movie and compare!

I'm so excited! :)


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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Break

I don't guess I need to tell you that I have been on a "blogging break" huh? You kinda figured that one out all by yourself, I bet!!! :)

Uninspired? Busy? Tired? That's probably the reason!!!!

I had an absolutely FABULOUS day today!! I took a personal day. For ME! That's right and it was amazing! I slept late...a little. I got up, took a shower, took the girls to daycare, shopped at Babies R Us and met some friends at Glorias for lunch. GREAT food and fellowship with a godly group of some of my favorite ladies!!!! I LOVE them...all of them!!!! I can truly say that all 5 of them are women that I love, truly, deep down. I have such a unique relationship with each of them and I am so very blessed to know them all. Then after that, me and two of my friends went for pedicures....ahhhhhh....my toes are great! :) Then I went to Kohl's and got me some jean shorts. I had NONE that fit. I got a dress and two shirts too and some short sets for Lauren in bigger sizes...bless her heart! :)

I am also blessed to have such a wonderful FRIEND and co-worker who agreed to work my shift today so that I could enjoy all of this and not worry about whether or not my job was going to be done. I LOVE IT!!!! All too often, I leave not knowing if my work will be done while I am gone. Not today, folks! She.is.awesome! The thing is this...even on the weekend, I am stressed because when I have to come back on Monday, I am left to pick up where I left off on Friday. Tomorrow I can go in and know that work was actually done in my place today...what a great feeling.

Yes, I know, I have not posted any pictures lately. I have some on my camera that I need to download. I don't take many these days. The girls are doing well. They are rotten!!

Thanks for sticking with me even though I am a lousy blogger..... :)

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Lauren

So...I never posted about Lauren's 15 month checkup.

She is 28 lbs, 14 oz - 97th %tile
32 inches long - 95th %tile

She is in size 4 diapers still. She eats just about anything but spits it out IMMEDIATELY if she doesn't like it! She is very opinionated and very high maintenance...she always has been. She loves her big sister and looks for her if she isn't around. She says lots of words...some of which we can't exactly make out! She loves playing with baby dolls and reading books...or rather having books read to her. She will bring you a book, turn around, sit in your lap - requesting you to read and then clap when it's over. It's the cutest thing! She definitely has an attitude and she is loud just like her sister! She has more ear infections than I can count at this point. Which is why this morning....

We got tubes placed in her ears and her adenoids removed. We had to be there at 6:00 and then the surgery was at 7:15. She did really well. She was HILARIOUS after they gave her Versed. She was staring into space and just laughed...at nothing. It was pretty funny. Anyway, we were back home by 9:30 and she slept for most of the day with the help of Lortab. Mommy and Daddy even got a nap because Rachel was with my Aunt Donna for the day.

I have joined a summer Bible study and I am super excited about it. I think it is going to be really good. I will post more about that later!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random Things About Me

I was thinking today about how quirky I can be. I know we all have our things that we do that make us who we "are" and I thought it would be fun to let you in on some of the ways that I am....ME!

1. I am very outgoing but I do not trust easily.
2. I do not like for my food on my plate to touch.
3. I have always wanted to work in the medical field. First, I wanted to be a pediatric nurse practitioner - thought I wanted to do oncology. As I have gotten older, I am absolutely fascinated with babies...especially labor and delivery. If I didn't hate school so much and know that it would take so long and cost so much, I might think about going back to school to be an OB/GYN...that's how interested in it I am - it truly fascinates me!
4. I do not like marshmallows, coconut, or whipped cream...I do like other white foods though! :)
5. I get attached to people really easily. Once you have my trust and my heart, you have it. It breaks my heart when people leave or move away that I am close to. I have been this way since I was a little girl.
6. Although I have a tendency to be blunt in speech, it would kill me to think that I hurt someone's feelings.
7. To go along with #6, I am a HUGE people pleaser!!!! I spend a lot of time worrying about what others think of me. If I have said something that I think has offended someone I go out of my way to "fix it." I cannot stand to be the cause of conflict.
8. I love seafood! My favorite is lobster and crab but I love shrimp, crawfish, scallops and just about anything else that comes out of the sea!
9. I am very particular about the way things are done. I don't claim to be extremely organized but I do have a "way of doing things" and I want someone to come behind me and do it the same way. I did not realize I was this way until recently and it kind of bothers me. I wish I could just be more grateful that someone was helping and doing something at all instead of worrying about HOW they were doing it.
10. I have a hard time letting go of things that are bothering me. I need resolution. I will sit and think about things for FOREVER until I make myself sick! I have to talk and talk and talk and TALK about stuff until I feel like something has been done to either fix the situation or at least remedy it for the time. I feel like things have to have a nice bow tied around them...resolution. This drives my husband crazy because he can just walk away from something and never think about it again and assume it's over. Not me.
11. I am very random. My mind races from one thing to another very quickly. I can be thinking about one thing and within a matter of seconds, I am on something COMPLETELY different and you will often hear the words come out of my husband's mouth, "What? That was random!"
12. My favorite color is purple.
13. I have always wanted three children - 2 girls and a boy....almost there! :)
14. I am very sensitive and cry very easily.
15. I love to eat!
16. I tried being a stay at home mom and I am not very good at it! I love my girls more than life itself but I am better as a working mom. Some would think that makes me a bad mom but I say DON'T JUDGE!!!!
17. I am a follower, not a leader and I really think that my 3 1/2 year old daughter is very much the same way. I have to say that I am not proud about that.
18. I would have to say that I have a temper, I am not patient, and wish I were more sweet spirited.
19. But I also have to say that I am very giving, I love people, and I usually have the best intentions.
20. I am NOT a morning person!
21. I LOVE being pregnant...until the end when things get a little "tricky" for me!
22. I have never really had a strong fatherly influence in my life...not until I was about 14 years old...and it was a mentor that I met at church...Charlie.
23. I have several people in my life that I consider to have influenced "who I am" today. Having had an extremely tough childhood, I had people from all over that took me under their wings.
24. I have a better relationship with my mom now than I ever have before. We have never been close but we are closer now that I have my own children.
25. I consider my husband to be my absolute best friend. He is my favorite person in the whole world. I turn to him for everything...answers to almost any of my questions. He is a wonderful father to my children and the perfect match for me...my complete opposite! :) I absolutely have no idea what I would without him and at the same time, he drives me bananas!

So there's probably more about me than you wanted to know! ;)

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Update on Rachel

Well, the grandparents are here and are helping out tremendously. What a blessing!

My friend Kaydi and I took Rachel yesterday to Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth for her VUCG and ultrasound. She did GREAT with the ultrasound - she laid there and ate a sucker while watching Sleeping Beauty. The VUCG...not so much! She did okay until about the 4th wiping of betadine solution on her "bottom" and then she wasn't okay anymore. It went from bad to worse. By the end of it she was screaming, "LET ME GO!" It was traumatic for all involved. The techs that were there were less than helpful in calming her down - in fact, they actually made it worse. I was appalled at how poorly they handled my frighened 3 1/2 year old. Anyway, we got through and she earned a milk shake and a Jessie doll from Toy Story! The pediatrician called at 5:00 and told us that VUCG was normal but that she does have some fluid around her left kidney and we need to follow up with a pediatric urologist. That appointment is set for July 20th.

A lot to take in as a parent. I am okay and I know she will be fine but I have to tell you that this is not the only thing that we are dealing with right now...we have a lot going on and I am on an emotional roller coaster!!!

Lauren's 15 month appointment is today and I will post about it later.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hot Diggity Dog!!!

I wanted to title this post Ballerina Beauty but it just wouldn't fit in this particular instance....but to me, she is a beauty!!! :)

We had Rachel's dance recital on Saturday night and she was perfect...well, probably not but she was still perfect!!!! Her class - a group of ten 3 and 4 year olds danced a tap routine to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse's "Hot Dog." It was cute! I was a stage mom and keeping that many girls entertained for that long was...well, it was difficult and I am just glad that I didn't have that many children that age at once!!! I am not sure I would not be in jail right now!

Many of Rachel's little friends came to see her and she felt so proud! Her grandparents from Arkansas were here to see her to and brought her a beautiful silver puffed heart necklace before the performance. She got a lot of "star treatment."

This mommy was proud!


Daddy brought Rachel brought flowers and she loved them!


The whole group of girls


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Reason to Rejoice
 
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