Monday, December 7, 2015

Haddie is 7 months old!

Growing like a weed!  I can't believe we've already passed the half a year mark!

What Haddie is doing and learning ....
She's pretty much an expert crawler now ~ she spends a good chunk of her day standing because she's pulled herself up on to something ... the ottoman, her exersaucer, her carseat that's sitting on the floor ... she's not quite strong enough to pull herself up on our tall couches, but she's getting close! ~ she eats pureed food at least 3-4 times a day, taking her bottle less and less ~ she babbles and grunts and "yells" a lot ... so cute and fun! ~ she's pretty excited about her food ... the only thing we're not sure if she likes is avocado ... but she's only had it once, so I'm sure we'll make her try it again ~ she watches an episode or two of Baby Einstein almost everyday, and she's mostly watching and engaging in it instead of playing while she watches these days ~ things she really likes: music, daddy playing guitar and singing, playing with her car seat (NOT being strapped in it though, especially for long periods of time), chewing on her baby spoons and teething toys, holding herself in a standing positions using furniture or holding on to someone's hands, her giraffe toys, eating food rather than drinking a bottle, Baby Einstein, "warning" stickers on her car seat, walker, etc., being held and independent play ~ she smiles most of the time ~ been going through a fussy/needy phase the past week ... at least for her ... but overall, still super happy! ~ very curious about everything ~ still putting everything she can get her hands on into her mouth ~ likes cords and wires and turning from her back to her belly while she is getting her diaper or clothes changed ... two things we are trying to teach her not to do - haha! ~ she doesn't like being held by people she doesn't see often ~ very much in the "mommy phase" ... I can't complain ;) ~ crawling to other rooms to explore whether she hears someone in there or not ~ still and always our bundle of joy and adventure :):):)

What Mommy is doing and learning ....
Discovering a new hobby for myself incorporating godly reminders/eternal perspective/prayer/home decor ~ playing lots of table top games with my hubby (and friends too!) ~ absolutely LOVING being a mama ~ growing in communication with my husband ~ continually working on my attitude ... continually practicing thankfulness ~ STILL reading Battlefield of the Mind ... ha!  I recently found a study guide for it, so I kinda had to start over, but that's okay because it's good! ~ working at not being so crazy about the budget ~ praying for our future, Darrell's job, my family's character, my Haddie girl's salvation, and the needs of my friends and church family ~ LOVING the Body of Christ ~ so excited for THREE family Christmases this year ... one of them for a week at a hotel in Columbus, IN! ~ enjoying decorating our home ~ so, so thankful for our season in life - more family time, being a stay-at-home mom, growing in the Lord and in my attitude, and discovering new hobbies for myself and adventures with Haddie :)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Haddie is 6 months old!

We can't believe it!  Haddie is already 6 months old!  These posts are to share what she's doing and learning each month ... but this month, we should really be asking what is she NOT doing and learning?  She is doing so great and developing so well!  We are so proud and so grateful! :)

What the Haddie girl is doing and learning these days ...
She is sitting up on her own ~ crawling ... yep!  She doesn't have the technique down just yet, but she is definitely mobile!  Look out, world!  And look out, mama's world ... it's about to change forever! ;) ~ pulling herself up on to things ... trying to stand already but not quite strong enough ~ babbling more ~ she has this excited thing she does - she shakes and extends her arms and opens her eyes wide ... cracks us up! ~ going through the mommy phase ... wants mommy the most and doesn't go to many other people very well ~ fights sleep even harder these days ~ lots of independent play ... in her walker, exersaucer, pack 'n play, and the floor ~ still really liking Baby Einstein ~ falling on her head several times a day ... she's learning to crawl and sit and explore ... a few bumps and bruises are bound to happen ~ eating lots more solid food ... about twice a day - she loves oatmeal, rice cereal, applesauce ... and we just found out she really, really likes strawberries ... but we haven't found anything she doesn't like yet ~ still putting everything in her mouth and chewing on it ... no teeth poppin' through yet though ~ beginning to sleep longer some mornings

All around .... she is amazing!  We grow more in love with her everyday!

What Mama is doing and learning ...
I've been trying to develop a hobby ... because I have none - been thinking about tapping into the creative side of my brain with some home decor ideas and decorating/prayer project ideas for Haddie and our home ... it's a work in progress and will only happen as we have a little money for it, but I have ideas galore! ~ still going to counseling, and Darrell is even coming with me ~ started a prayer journal for Haddie ... in efforts to pray for her even more often :) ~ been feeling quite productive lately ... cooking at home more, organizing a few areas of the house, making our own baby food, getting a lot of tea packaged at The Porch for mom, caring for Haddie, packing yummy lunches for my hubby, working on communicating with my hubby, getting involved with Bible studies and other "behind-the-scenes ministries" through church, practicing thankfulness ... and my next project is finally getting some pictures developed and getting 'em up on the walls at home! ~ still working at eating better and exercising more ... still failing ... but I'm continuing to work at finding motivation ~ my hodge podge jobs are going really well, and I am so, so thankful for them ~ absolutely loving being a mama and getting to stay home with Haddie - such an incredibly humongous blessing that I thank God for just about everyday ~ still loving my Bible studies ~ thinking about starting a mommy group with my fellow church mamas after the first of the year ~ loving the way Haddie reaches for me all the time ~ still reading Battlefield of the Mind ~ praying for doors of opportunity for Darrell's job, Haddie's salvation, and that we will become a family of faithfulness, thankfulness, and selflessness

Monday, October 5, 2015

Haddie is 5 months old!

Our Haddie girl is 5 months old now and getting more fun with every new day!

What Haddie is doing and learning .....
We've officially turned the monitor off, so as far as we know, she's still sleeping through the night ... a good 8-9 hours ~ she's still grabbing for things constantly ~ putting every single thing she can get her hands on into her mouth ~ still drooling ~ she sticks her tongue out all the time ~ she recently started to make a face we like to call the "turtle face" ... so cute and hilarious! ~ drinking 6 ounces of formula every 2-3 hours ~ eating baby food a little more often ... so far, her favorites are applesauce and sweet potatoes ~ watching her own hands ~ moving around on the floor even more ... following toys she pushes around and just wanting to get moving ~ tries to sit up constantly ... she definitely gets a good ab workout everyday ~ started going to a regular babysitter most Wednesday nights while we're at Bible study ... we love you, Darian! :) ~ got through her first major sickness ... at least it was major to us! ... diarrhea :( ~ sitting in her bumbo seat regularly ~ watching Baby Einstein and loving it ~ learning to get used to a new play area (the upstairs of grandma's store, The Porch) while mommy does office work ... but she's not adjusting very well yet ~ laughing more ... especially at daddy's shenanigans ~ still loving to hear daddy sing ... it calms her right down most of the time ~ wearing lots of 6 month clothes already ~ loving funny noises (mouth sounds) ... especially when daddy does them ~ still staying the night with granny and grampy every Friday night ~ still capturing our hearts everyday!
Possibly teething and crawling very soon! :)

What Mama is doing and learning .....
Still learning to find the balance ... between being productive and just loving my little girl ~ continuing to find freedom from self-condemnation ~ beginning to find freedom from not being able to voice my needs/opinions ~ loving my Bible studies on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday nights ~ still working at praying more/reading Christian books more and watching TV/piddling less ~ actively working to communicate with my husband better ~ working three hodge podge jobs to help bring in some extra cash - babysitting, house cleaning, and office work ~ loving date nights with my Darrell, game nights with friends, and going to church every Sunday morning AS A FAMILY :):):) ~ loving smiles and laughs with my Haddie girl ~ still trying to eat better and go for more walks ... it is a daily struggle that I often fail at ~ so thankful for Darrell's new, old job ~ so thankful to be home with my Haddie girl everyday ~ so thankful we live with my parents and get to share this special season of life with them ~ so thankful my favorite time of year has officially begun (October 1st-January 1st is the BEST! ... cool weather, holidays, family get-togethers ... and this year ... all of Haddie's firsts!) ~ growing in thankfulness ... can you tell? ;) ~ praising God for His faithfulness and provision and work in our lives

Happy Monday, y'all! :)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Haddie is 4 months old!

I'm continuing to be late with Haddie's monthly posts ... oh, well.  #momlife, right? ;)

What Haddie is learning and doing ...
Grabbing on to/grasping for everything ~ chews on everything she can get her hands on ~ drools a lot ~ plays with toys everyday ~ likes noise-making toys and chewy toys the best ~ watches Baby Einstein almost everyday and engages with it more all the time ~ laughs and smiles constantly ~ makes lots of cooing and grunting sounds ~ lights up when she sees her mama and daddy - yay! ~ starting to get upset with most people outside of her parents and grandparents ~ starting to push/pull herself across the floor ever so slightly ;) ~ gets fixated on phone cameras, water bottles, fans, lights, and bright colors ~ starting to eat solid foods like oatmeal, yogurt, and mashed potatoes and is struggling to get the concept ~ can occupy herself for long periods of time ~ takes 2-3 cat-naps a day ~ still sleeping 7-8 hours a night ~ eating 5-6 ounces of formula but not quite as often as she used to ~ I know I'm forgetting some things, but there's a good list for now. :)

What Mama is learning and doing ...
Loving being home with my baby girl everyday ~ still open to finding jobs to work from home and trying to figure out what can and cannot be done with Haddie still needing quite a bit of attention ~ doing some babysitting and house cleaning a few times a month ~ still going to counseling and making some progress with accepting grace and not condemning myself all the time ~ trying to go on more walks ~ working through watching the 10 seasons of Smallville with Darrell (three seasons to go!) ~ reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer ~ going to a Tuesday morning ladies' Bible study and a Wednesday night young couples' study and loving them both! ~ loving my Haddie girl's smiles - she's such a happy baby! :) ~ Again, I'm sure there's more, but this is a decent list.

Happy Friday, y'all! :)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Haddie is 3 months old!

Well, I was informed recently that I don't know how to count how old my baby is.  Haha!  I guess I was counting weeks instead of months ... ya know, 4 weeks to a month.  But I didn't think about how some months have more than 4 weeks.  So I've been telling people Haddie's month birthdays wrong.  Oh, well.  August 3rd ... this past Monday ... Haddie turned 3 months old!  How exciting!

What Haddie is doing and learning ...
Drinking 5 ounces every 2-3 hours ~ sleeping an average of 7-9 hours each night ~ Talking (cooing) so much much ~ starting to see that there's a person staring back at her in the mirror ... not sure if she knows it's herself yet, but she's at least noticing something in there ~ has started tasting foods a bit ... just a few licks of pineapple, lemon, bacon, and sweet tea ~ growing like a weed! - she's already wearing 6-month sleepers and starting to fill them out, and I'm sure she will have outgrown her 3-month onesies by her next monthly blog post ~ becoming more independent with time - she can watch full episodes of Baby Einstein without a fuss or just occupy herself with overhanging toys or her own coos for a decent chunk of time ~ can barely swing in her swing anymore because she starts to push herself out - squirmy worm! :) ~ turning from belly to back ... but mom still hasn't gotten to see it but maybe once!  I just find her on her back when I get her each morning ~ engages a lot more with facial expressions and playing noises, TV/movies, music, and bright colors ~ recognizes mama and daddy and her grandparents ~ laughing, especially when mommy or daddy gets her going :)

What Mommy is doing and learning ...
Learning to accept grace and not condemn herself so much ... although I've got a long way to go, I am making progress ~ been seeing a counseling pastor for my struggles with self-condemnation, and I am beginning to experience some FREEDOM :) ~ NOT condemning myself when I miss my prayer and devotional times ~ growing to practice God's presence in many ways, not just prayer and devotional times ~ learning to let go of my to-do list and just love on my Haddie girl ~ "wheelin' and dealin', as Darrell calls it - been buying, selling, and trading baby stuff on some awesome Facebook baby pages ... been finding formula extra cheap! ~ growing in trust and thankfulness ~ doing everything I can to stay home with Haddie ~ looking for babysitting/writing/whatever jobs to make a little extra money ~ started a thankfulness journal, and it's awesome and perspective-changing! ~ LOVING the Tuesday morning ladies' Bible study I started going to recently! ~ movie marathons with Haddie ~ still trying to eat more healthy and failing ~ game nights with Darrell, Haddie, and friends ~ loving being a mom more with each day ~ slowly learning to communicate better with my husband ~ desiring to encourage my husband in the midst of a crappy job but don't always know how to ~ aching over how hard it can be to provide for a family these days ~ aching over the possibility that I may not get to stay home with Haddie much longer ... but trying to remain hopeful and do everything I can to have a good attitude and find jobs from home ~ wishing it wasn't so hard to NOT get attached to my plans ~ praying for God's wisdom and provision ~ grateful that God and my Darrell never give up on me

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Liver Journey

Well, Haddie's down for another short nap, so we'll see if I can get another blog post in real quick ... ha!  'Cause my blog posts are quick ... riggghhhtt. ;)

I was walking with Haddie at the park yesterday, a habit I'm trying to cultivate.  And I was stopped in my tracks by a beautiful scene ... it was just some simple trees and clouds.

But those trees and clouds grabbed hold of my heart and brought tears to my eyes because, for some reason, they reminded me of grace.

I'm kind of on a liver journey, as I'm going to call it.  No, not a body part journey ... a journey to real LIFE.  Over the past 10 years, I have been in bondage to self-condemnation.  It's only been over the past few months that I've come to realize that it is BONDAGE.  My self-condemning ways are not just a daily struggle; they have taken over my life and caused me so much pain.  I started seeing a counselor recently, and he is helping me begin to see where this condemnation is coming from and how to break free from it.  I'm beginning to realize that things as wonderful and godly as my daily prayer and devotional times have caused me pain.  I condemn myself so much if I miss even a day of personal quiet times, and I'm seeing more and more that I constantly try to earn my salvation even though I know it is a free gift from the Lord.

So as I saw these beautiful trees and clouds, I got to thinking ... these parts of nature are beautiful simply because God made them.  And I am beautiful simply because God made me, and I belong to Him as one of His kids because I am a Christian.  I don't have to DO anything to earn that love and beauty.  I just have to be me.  As I walked around the lake and got closer to the trees, I began to see dead places among the trees ... a bunch of dead, brown leaves here, an entire dead, bare tree there.  When I, or other people, look closely at my life, I, or they, see dead places in my life too ... places where I've been hurt, sin I am trying to overcome, bad habits, all kinds of stuff ... but when God looks closely at my life, He sees me.  He sees a beautiful creation.  And He thinks I'm beautiful because I am His.  I.  Am.  His.

I saw such grace in this picture during my walk yesterday.  I was reminded that I am saved and thought of as beautiful and valuable and all good things, not condemning things, because I belong to Jesus, not because I DO everything perfectly or have it all together.  So I'm living my days these days to just live in Christ, not strive (struggle in opposition) all the time.  I don't wanna be a striver anymore ... I've been that my whole life.  I wanna be a liver.  An abundant LIVER!  And I can be because I'm seen through GRACE, not the LAW or my own unrealistic expectations.

And whatta ya know ... Haddie is just starting to stir ... and I got 'er done! :)

Lessons in Bottle Feeding

I've been meaning to write a short blurb about a lesson I've learned in feeding my daughter.  Almost every time Haddie starts to get hungry, she starts gnawing on her hand.  When she's really hungry, she will stuff half her fist in her mouth, gag herself, make grunting and sucking noises, and just plain gnaw the life outta that little hand of hers.  Ha!  I love it!  She's so funny.  If mama takes too long to get the bottle in her mouth, she'll start crying and get red in the face. ... We've chosen to formula feed, and if you use formula, you know how quick and easy it is.  It literally takes 30 seconds or so to measure out some water, scoop out the formula, and shake it.  It's wonderful stuff.  But in that little bit of time, Haddie can get so worked up.  Most of the time, she does alright ... she's a pretty laid back and happy baby.  But there are times when she freaks out a bit when she doesn't get her bottle right when she wants it.  But I get it to her as soon as I can, and many times, I find myself saying something to her like, "There ya go ... see, Haddie, mama's takin' care of you.  You're alright."

One time, a handful of weeks ago, I was saying something like this to her, and it made me think of the way we are with God.  He knows exactly what we need when we need it.  He always provides for us.  He is so faithful.  He always has been; He always will be.  We get so bent out of shape over things here on this earth.  We want what we want now, and if we don't get it, we're gonna throw a fit about it.  We worry and get upset, but in the end, God takes care of us.  Can't you hear Him now?  He's saying, "There ya go ... see, (fill in your name), Daddy's gotcha taken care of.  I'm right here.  I've got it.  Just trust Me."

So just know ... that whatever you're facing today ... God's got it.  So don't let your face get too red about it, okay? ;)

Well, she's awake again!  See you guys later!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Haddie is 2 months old!

It's amazing how fast time is flying with our sweet, baby girl!  I am continuing to learn so much about selflessness and grace, and Haddie is learning so much about what being a human on this planet is all about.  Really, she's a very happy baby.  She's had a stuffy nose for over a week, and she's still just as pleasant as ever. :)

What Haddie is doing and learning ...
Smiling so much more - yay! And she smiles at her mama the most - double yay! ~ Sleeping an average of 6-8 hours a night - yay! ~ Has had an incredibly stuffy nose for over a week now - boo! ~ Has been wearing pretty much only 3-month old clothes since she was 6 weeks old ~ Is eating 4-5 ounces at most feedings ~ Has been falling asleep during almost every feeding over the past several days ~ mostly only takes cat naps during the day ~ Her attention span is growing ... swinging the whole time I'm cooking dinner, rocking in her rock 'n play for several minutes at a time to give mommy's arms a break, and laying on her back, kicking in her crib while mommy gets a few things done here and there ~ Taking in her surroundings more ~ Can see at further distances ~ noticing people more ... especially her mommy (I don't mind that!) ~ Sitting up stronger when you help hold her up

What Mommy is doing and learning ...
Enjoying Haddie's smiles and growing attention span ~ Sad I can do nothing to help Haddie's stuffy nose ... I've asked the doctor a couple of times ~ Loving holding Haddie even more these days ~ Loving watching Haddie look around and take in her surroundings ~ learning that self-condemnation can no longer be a way of life ~ learning that it's normal to not wanna sacrifice time, energy, sleep, etc. for your baby at times ... that I should work at being less selfish but not beat myself to a pulp every single time I am selfish ~ learning that Jesus already died for all of my selfishness, ungratefulness, and unfaithfulness ... now, I just need to let go and live for Him ~ still trying to find the balance between doing what I think I should be doing and what's really most important ~ still trying to make more consistent quality time with the Lord ~ missing the time I had with Darrell before Haddie but loving being parents together ~ missing game nights with Darrell and my friends ~ praying for endurance for Darrell and his job at Pepsi ~ praying for direction about our future ~ grateful I get to stay home with my baby girl everyday ~ grateful for the incredible blessings God continues to give me every single day ~ grateful that God's mercies are new every single day

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hadassah's Birth Story

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, Darrell had to work, my dad was off to Panera for his morning bagel and reading time, and mom was working at The Porch.  So I took the morning to sleep in and putter around the house.  I spent the morning in prayer and doing my devotions ... I spent an extra long time in prayer, praying for and about Haddie - knowing she was due any day, praying about our struggle with Darrell's job, praying for my Darrell, praying for my fears about motherhood, praying that I would not be so hard on myself and that I would learn all that God wanted me to learn and become all that God wanted me to become ... I prayed about a lot of things. :)  After my quiet time, I fixed myself some lunch, walked on the treadmill for about 20 minutes, and then took a shower.  We had found out the day before that Darrell was scheduled to be off work on Sunday and Wednesday and Saturday of the coming week.  We also knew that he was allowed to take three "floating days" off of work when Haddie was to be born, so this specific week, he would only have to call off for one day ... if Haddie decided to show up this week.  So later that afternoon, I told God, "Well, Lord, I'm prayed up, showered up, and it's about the best schedule Darrell could have for Haddie's birth ... so if you'd be up for bringing her today, that would be awesome.  But all in your time, of course." ;)  Haha!  And guess what?  Darrell got home around 3pm that day, and my water broke around 4:20pm.  Who says God isn't cool???

It was a HUGE gush that I thought would never stop ... and I still wondered if my water really had broken.  Ha!  I guess I was in shock.  So Darrell and I kinda danced around the bedroom for a minute, trying to figure out what to do.  Darrell hopped in the shower while I called the hospital.  We packed up our (thankfully already packed) hospital bags full of way more than we needed (we came to find out later) and headed out.  Surprisingly, I was incredibly calm.  For those who know me well, this was a miracle!  But by the time I was told I was NOT gonna get to eat before we got to the hospital and some family called with some concerns they had about my lack of contractions after my water breaking, I was sobbing and trying not to let my quickly growing fears overtake me.  By the time I got checked in to the hospital and was hanging out in the triage room, I was so afraid I could barely stand it.  My tears were close to uncontrollable for quite a while, and they came and went until sometime after they got my IV in ... after THREE different sticks!  Geez, no wonder I couldn't stop crying, right? ... No, the nurses were very nice ... but can we get the specialized IV nurse for the first try instead of the third try next time?

I finally got some dinner around 8pm ... my last meal for over 24 hours.  And my contractions still hadn't started by 11pm, so they started me on a dissolvable pill to start my contractions for me.  I slept restlessly throughout the night and still had no feelable contractions by 5 or 6am, so they gave me the rest of the pill, and I started to feel some contractions by about 7am.  I got my epidural around 10am ... I only got to 4cm, and I was ready for it!  The epidural was a bit painful, but the anesthesiologist was amazing ... and I was so relaxed and didn't feel a thing over the next several hours.  Haddie must've been pretty comfortable where she was because I didn't start to push until a little after 5pm that night.  A huge wave of exhaustion hit me about 5 minutes before I started to push. I pushed for 3 hours ... sometime toward the beginning of hour two, I started to get incredibly discouraged because I felt like I was making no progress whatsoever.  And that discouragement quickly turned to fear, which then turned to panic.  And that's when Satan stepped in and had a hay day in my spirit!  For another hour, I pushed and cried and pushed and cried, and my fear was mounting.  Darrell was with me the whole time, and he was wonderful.  He kept telling me that everything was gonna be okay and that I was doing such a great job.  But I was so afraid.  Finally, I asked Darrell to have my mom and his mom come in to pray with us.  They prayed out loud while I sobbed. ... My epidural started to wear off by this point.  I had incredible pains under my belly ... contractions that I could definitely feel and gave me the urge to push like crazy!  Feeling that pain made me panic all the more.  I could deal with contraction pain, but what would it feel like to have (what I was about to find out was) an almost 9-pound baby come through that tiny hole!?  It may sound funny, but the pain of childbirth was my greatest fear of all, and that fear was paralyzing.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist gave me some more pain medicine, so I didn't feel a thing when they had to vacuum my baby out and give me a stage three of four episiotomy. ... Through all the pushing and the vacuum, Haddie was amazing.  Her blood pressure never even wavered.  Unlike mom's ... when after Haddie was out, my blood pressure plummeted for what felt like several minutes.  My family told me I could have died.  I don't know about all that, but I definitely felt like I wanted to die during that time.  I remember talking to my mom after my blood pressure was back to mostly normal ... I was crying and asking her where Jesus had been.  I felt bad for my lack of faith, but I had prayed and prayed that Jesus would be in my delivery room, and with all that I went through, I didn't think He had been there.  But my mom said that Jesus WAS there ... that Satan had been fighting hard for me and my baby ... but Jesus was there, and Jesus had won.

It's difficult to really share what I went through because it was so traumatic for me but probably doesn't sound traumatic to anyone else when they hear about it.  All I know is that there was some hardcore spiritual warfare going on in my hospital room.  It started when I stepped in to that hospital, and it didn't start to slow down until at least Tuesday morning.  Sunday night and all day Monday was the worst experience of my life.  I can't describe the fear and feelings of failure and self-condemnation and hopelessness I felt during that time.  There were glimpses of joy when I got to hold my baby girl for the first time and when Darrell came and hugged and kissed me when it was all over.  But those hours in the hospital were the hardest of my life.  But what I feel the most guilty about, looking back, is that all of the trauma was in my mind.  The fear began because I was afraid of FEELING physical pain.  I was convinced that childbirth pain would be the worst pain of my life, and I wanted nothing to do with it.  That admission made me feel so incredibly selfish because I wasn't willing to go through something difficult to get my little girl.  And feeling selfish only fueled my fear.  And being fearful about pain (that I really, barely experienced) fueled my hysteria ... and Satan knew just how to attack me in the midst of it all.  If I had just trusted God and trusted the epidural, even, I would not have gone through all that I did.  I handled a lot of things badly during my pregnancy and during Haddie's birth.  And I will always regret that.  I am learning how selfish I am.  But I am also learning that I can do NOTHING without Jesus.  I am learning that I have to let go of my failures and let God pick up the slack.  He already died on the Cross and rose again for my selfishness and failures, so I don't have to keep beating myself up for them everyday.  I still have a long way to go in learning this lesson, but God's patience never runs out, and I am so, so thankful for that.  And I have to remember that growth is a PROCESS!  I HATE THAT!  But the process is what makes us more like Jesus.  So I have to learn to accept the process.

Trusting God is gonna be my greatest lesson in this new season of parenthood.  It already has been.  And I will keep trying to learn it day after day after day.  My Hadassah is so beautiful and precious and worth all the struggle I have been through to get her here.  I can't wait to learn and grow right alongside her.  We can learn about God's grace and trusting in Him together.  And so we shall.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Haddie is One Month Old!

Well, I wanna post a picture and blurb about our beautiful Hadassah Ruth once a month around her month birthday at least for her first year, but we'll see how that goes since I'm already late with the first one.  Haha!  We'll blame it on the fact that I'm a new mom, and Haddie is wonderful but a lot of work! ;)

Haddie turned a month old this past Sunday, on May 31st.  Craziness!  Everyone told me it would go by so fast and that she would change so much on a daily basis, and both of these things have been found true for our Haddie girl! :)

Haddie is learning lots of things these days and growing all the time!  In fact, we think she's going through a growth spurt already because she sleeps for longer periods of time and wants to be fed almost every moment she's awake.  Since we brought her home from the hospital, she's pretty much always given us 3-hour stretches for sleep overnight.  Occasionally, she'll only give us two ... sometimes, she'll give us 4 ... and once or twice, she has given us 5 hours of sleep all at once!!!  Haha!  Last night, she spent her first night in her own room - soooo excited about that!  We're still gonna use the baby monitor for a bit, and I only had to get up with her once.  She started lifting her head on her own before we even left the hospital and has only gotten stronger with it since.  So we're comfortable letting her sleep on her belly.  And let me just say, praise Jesus for tummy sleep!  She loves it and sleeps so well. :)

What Haddie is learning and doing ... sleeping in her own bed in her own room ~ tummy time/tummy sleep ~ lifting her head on her own without whacking mommy and daddy in the face with it ~ working on rolling over but just gets stuck on her side ~ eating 4 ounces of formula every 2-4 hours - yeah, she's gonna be a chunker! ~ learning she can't be held every moment she's awake (but not learning it all that well yet) ~ being mesmerized by lights and bright colors ~ likes looking out the window ~ likes being rocked in our arms but not in her swing ~ loves being with daddy ... daddy is so good at calming her down and playing with her (the best you can with a one-month-old) ~ going to granny and grampy's (Darrell's parents) just about every Friday night for a sleepover ~ falling asleep during every car ride ~ seems to like walks in the park - she's either taking in all the light and sights or sleeping ... both of these things say "like" to me!

What Mommy is learning and doing ... eating cold food ~ losing sleep ~ growing in her attitude about losing sleep ~ still checking to see if Haddie is breathing from time to time ~ using a baby monitor but doesn't really need it 'cause her "mommy sense" is working well ~ trying to not be so hard on herself all the time ~ learning to just enjoy Haddie and not worry about all that "needs to be done" ~ striving to fit in QUALITY times with the Lord while Haddie naps ... this is still a work in progress ~ trying to fit in some time for reading good books and failing at it ~ learning that formula is super expensive and barely lasts two days - ha! ~ learning that trusting God is the most important thing she can do with her life and Haddie's life ~ remembering on a regular basis how she can't get too attached to her own plans ~ learning Haddie's various cries and what they mean ~ learning to be patient during midnight wailing fests and early evening fussy times ~ loving just watching Haddie sleep in her arms ~ loving the short times that she and Haddie can just look into each other's eyes ~ wondering what Haddie is thinking ~ wondering if Haddie knows how much she loves her ~ loving the bond she and her hubby are creating through Haddie's life ~ loving to watch Darrell with Haddie - he is incredible with her! ~ loving to watch Haddie with all four of her grandparents - they are all absolutely smitten with her, and we are so grateful that she will know and love them and vice versa

God is definitely using this new season of life to challenge us, delight us, and teach us!  Let the adventure continue!

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Thoughts about Pregnancy

Wow!  I am a horrible blogger.  September 1, 2014???  That was my last post?  Too funny. ... I've been seeing my friend Emily's blog for so many months (over at The Thought Spot) ... she is a fantastic blogger ... blogging often and about her beautiful baby, Belle.  I won't try to reach her expertise and consistency, but I'm just a couple weeks away from having my own baby girl, and I've been thinking about recording some thoughts about my pregnancy before it's too late, and I'm no longer pregnant.

Yesterday, marked my 38th week of my first pregnancy.  Overall, my pregnancy has been fantastic ... from the standpoint of a healthy mama and a healthy baby ... but not so fantastic from this mama's perspective.  Haha!  Honestly, I really don't like being pregnant.  In the first 3 months, I wondered if I'd ever get pregnant again (as much as I have control over that!).  I was pretty confident I was pregnant by week three or four of my pregnancy.  I started having consistent cramping that kept me up at night for about a week and a half or so.  Then, once that went away, the nausea started in full swing ... the all day, all night kind ... not just morning sickness.  Darrell and I decided to give it a good 6 weeks before we took a pregnancy test just to be sure.  So the weekend of our 2nd year anniversary, I went in to his work (he worked at a health center at the time) to take a pregnancy test.  And yep, I was right!  Definitely pregnant with an expected due date of May 7, 2015.  Although I was already over the nausea, we were both elated and started telling everyone that weekend.

As the weeks went on, the nausea only got worse.  Let me just say that I was a big baby about it.  Many women go through much, much worse things in pregnancy and even worse nausea than I did.  But for a woman who pretty much always feels good, apart from a handful of migraines throughout the year, it was rough going to work and living life feeling awful all day and all night everyday.  And I did NOT handle it well.  From about weeks 5 through 13 or 14 of my pregnancy, I was nauseous constantly ... thank God, I finally got a hold of some nausea medicine, which helped tremendously, but I still felt bad a decent amount of the time.  To be quite honest, I was a selfish jerk during those weeks of pregnancy.  I cried a lot out of frustration and anger .... yes, I was even mad at God for allowing pregnancy to be so awful and for allowing ME to feel so bad.  Again, selfishness, I know.  I wasn't really even excited about the baby during that time, and it really started to affect Darrell.  I also struggled with lots of anxiety and self-condemnation.  I knew I was being selfish.  I knew I was not keeping the right perspective about my TEMPORARY suffering.  I constantly had thoughts like, "if I can't handle nausea, how am I gonna be a good mom to this baby?"  "If I can't be selfless when I feel ill for a time, then how am I gonna take care of this baby and raise her to rise above her own selfishness?"  "I'm going to be such a failure as a mom ... and I'm definitely being a failure as a wife right now!"  I worried and worried and was angry and felt guilty and battled my flesh and cried out to God and cried.  It wasn't as bad as I made it out to be, if we really get down to it.  But for me, those first few months of pregnancy were awful because I was in an awful place spiritually.

But God never gave up on me!  One Sunday morning, our worship leader read part of Psalm 27 before the singing began.  It spoke to me so much, so I went home, grabbed a handful of my Bible translations, and started reading, specifically, verses 13 and 14 in the NIV, ESV, NLT, NKJV, and NASB.  And the NASB did me in!
"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:13-14)
I read this translation, and I immediately burst into tears!  It was one of those leap-off-the-page-and-smack-you-in-the-head kind of moments with the Lord.  But it was a gentle smack. ;)  Probably better put, it was one of those moments when God really speaks His love and Truth into your heart, and it really sinks in.  He was gentle about it.  In that moment, I realized how I HAD been despairing.  I was despairing in my struggle with nausea, not seeing it as temporary but never-ending and making everything in my life more difficult.  I was despairing because I was not seeing the JOY of growing a human being, loved by God and loved by me and Darrell too.  Ultimately, I was despairing because I was NOT believing in God's goodness.  I did not see anything about being pregnant, growing a baby, starting a new adventure in my life, or anything else as being good.  And I wallowed in guilt about my selfish attitude.  So God, ever so gently, reminded me that day to REMEMBER HIS GOODNESS.  He sees me as good because I am His child.  He gave me and Darrell this baby, and that is good.  Our life with our little Haddie girl will be good and is already good.  Everything was good.  Everything will be good.  Because God has a plan, and God is always, always in control. ... After that day, things truly did get better.  I still felt bad a lot, and I still had my lack of perspective days, but, thankfully, the nausea started to subside and so did my angry, ungrateful, selfish perspective about my circumstances.  God began renewing my perspective day after day.

Now don't get me wrong, I still didn't enjoy being pregnant.  To this day, I'm not a fan, and I pray I don't get pregnant again right away once Haddie gets here.  For all you pregnant ladies out there, I have continued to have unpleasant pregnancy pains.  Give a "holla!" if you can identify with constipation (yes, I went there first!), sciatica, nasal congestion, swollen gums, round ligament pains, swollen hands and feet, migraines, food aversions, a wacky gag reflex, backaches, restless sleep (if any), constant tummy "yuckies", as I like to call 'em, and more.  And that doesn't even count all the fear and anxiety about being a good mom or labor and delivery!  Whew!  I have struggled with that on an off throughout my pregnancy too ... terrified of the pain but not wanting to be selfish about it.  Thankfully, I have had so much support from friends and family ... lots of advice and prayers.  And I've been praying.  I've invited Jesus to be in my delivery room so many times.  And I am so grateful for the peace He has been giving me.  I'm still pretty nervous ... waiting for those first Braxton Hicks contractions ... and then the real ones - eeek!  But I am believing in God's goodness, and I know that He is already in my delivery room, going before me, and coming after me.  So I am a lot more at ease.  And planning to get an epidural doesn't hurt that peace at all either. ;) And one thing is for sure, I have been learning to trust God in new ways through this pregnancy.  And I'm learning valuable lessons about myself.  And I'm growing in my faith.  All things God intends to happen when we experience new seasons of life.  He's always wanting us to change and grow and know Him better through our life experiences.

All in all, I'd love it if I never had to be pregnant again.  But I'm confident that holding my baby Haddie in my arms for the first time, loving her and raising her and watching her grow ... and experiencing God's love in a brand-new, life-changing way ... will make me want another baby!  So we'll just take it all one day at a time, one baby at a time, and trust God for HIS plans. ... Darrell and I are so excited to meet our precious, little girl ... she'll be here any time!  God is so good to teach us and be patient with us through each season and each bad attitude and each thankful moment.  No matter what, He is always with us, always at work, and He never ever gives up on us.  I'm ready to keep growing in trust and thanksgiving in this new season as a new mama.  Thank you, Jesus, for our Hadassah Ruth!  And thank you, Jesus, for working in my life everyday!