Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Baby Belly Laugh

Because everyone needs a little baby belly laugh to go with their day!

This was taken in Chicago and I have watched it several times.  Hearing your baby laugh- is there ANYTHING sweeter?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Build Into Each Other

The body of Christ is a powerful thing made powerful by Christ himself.  I have been a witness to this throughout my life but never more so than the past year and a half as God has graciously blessed Chris and I with a church home filled with Christ followers who truly desire to spread and live out the gospel- the good news.

Within this body, I have met several women I have come to admire.  Not because they are well liked.  Not because they know how to put an outfit together.  Not because they are beautiful.  Not because they seem to have it all together.  But because they truly seek to fulfill what Paul teaches in Titus 2-

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. Titus 2:3-4.  

This was recently the theme verse for a ladies event at our church, High Pointe.  Our speaker, Teresa Bair, was a missionary from Brazil on a year long furlough with her family.  She described the need for us women to "build into each other".  I have been dwelling on this phrase over and over again.  As Christians, we have a firm, solid rock of a foundation in what Christ has done for us.  Anything that is built on it will not be shaken.  This life will hurl rocks at it, but it will remain.  All the encouragement, lessons, examples which point others to Christ is only building onto the rock our faith is placed on.  

I am grateful to have ladies in my life who are building into me as I learn more and more just how strong my foundation, my savior, truly is.  I am the younger woman.  And you know what, I always will be.  When I am 60 I will still need the body of Christ to build into me.  But as I age physically, Lord willing, I hope to age spiritually and build into women coming after me.  

As we referred to it at our event- we need to "Titus 2" each other!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

You're a good mom...

I saw this yesterday and had to post:

To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You're a good mom. 

To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You're a good mom.

To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.

To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.

It is no secret that motherhood comes with a whole host of decisions that invite criticism and completely unsolicited advice.  I experienced this when I was pregnant and even more so now that Lydia is on the outside.  As wonderful and fulfilling as motherhood is (I seriously love it!)- there is so much more to it than I personally ever thought and I am sure I am not the only one.  It is hard enough having this person depend solely on you and your spouse without having others question your every move.  

But this is where I land whenever I am feeling inadequate as I look at other parenting styles- God chose ME to be Lydia's mom.  And God chose YOU to be your child's mother.  Isn't that awesome?  Rely on Him, friend.  

On the flip side, I have been blessed with many friends and even by the other mommies I barely know with loving, thoughtful and non-judgmental advice and I am so thankful for that!   I take what they say to heart.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The reason we struggle with insecurity...

A few weekends ago I had the privilege of attending a ladies retreat.  The theme was joy.  And can't we all use reminders of true joy from time to time?  And as a new mother, experiencing both incredible amounts of joy and exhaustion alike, this was very timely for me.

I could write many posts on the wonderful lessons learned from our speaker, Teske Drake, but there was one topic she spoke on that my mind keeps coming back to.  The topic of insecurity.

I struggle with insecurity.  Insecurity about my appearance.  My roles in life.  In my relationships.  My personality.  My abilities.

And I don't think I am alone.

Teske shared a quote with us ladies that turned a light bulb on for me:

Oh so true!  Can I get an amen?! 

And just how easy does social networking make it?  Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are basically a never ending highlight reel of others' lives.  So many, if not all, of my insecurities stem from comparing myself to others- especially to what I often perceive as "perfection".

But the truth is that we are "perfectly and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13).  I think we often respond to this with an "oh, that's great, but..." attitude.  I know I do!  We don't seriously contemplate and rest on the fact that you ARE made for a wonderful, divine purpose that only you can fulfill.  And the best part of this is God wants to use both your highlight reel and your behind the scenes to bring Him glory! Yes, the highlight reel is more fun to share.  We get accolades in the form of "likes" and nice comments.  The behind the scenes can be harder and scary to share.  But in being transparent we have the chance to also point to the one who wipes our sins clean and gives us hope in our struggles- Jesus Christ.  Giving HIM the glory!

I am not suggesting we all post to Facebook with every argument in our marriages or every time we are frustrated with motherhood.  Behind the scenes stuff can also be personal and I encourage you to lift your husband and children up, not tear them down (Proverbs 14:1).  But pray for discernment on when to give a little tour of your behind the scenes for the sake of other's security, but more importantly, for the sake of the gospel!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A little about Lydia

Our little Lydia certainly is already showing quite the personality and I am enjoying learning more and more about this little person everyday.  And I know I am biased, but the personality that is emerging is just plain sweet!  

Here are some things about our little Lydi:

- She looks just like her daddy! And of course Chris just loves this!  She has my nose so far and my fingers.  Besides that, she is alllll daddy!

Baby Daddy 
Baby Lydia

- She EATS like her daddy!  While I was pregnant I read up on breast feeding as much as I could but Lydia honestly just had it down already.  Fifteen mins after she was born she took right to nursing and I was so thankful.  She hasn't stopped since!  This girl loves her food and is becoming quite the little chunk because of it.  She was born at 8 lbs 10 oz and was 8 lbs 2 oz when when left the hospital.  At 2 weeks she was already 9 lbs.   I absolutely LOVE the cheeks and rolls.

Love the rolls!
- She is a very loud sleeper.  I know a lot of babies are and maybe she is pretty normal in the area- I have never had a newborn sleeping in the room next to me so what do I know.  But we hear everything from grunts to squeals to whimpers coming through the monitor and while she sleeps during the day.  I keep trying to get a good video of this but always miss the best sounds.

- She has many faces!  Again, I keep trying to snap pics of them all but never get my camera in time.  I will compile them sometime.  But my favorite face by far is this one:

- She is so curious!  Many people have commented how alert she but she is also very engaged with her surroundings.  When she is focusing in on my and Chris' faces she will try to mimic what we are doing.  She will often stick her tongue out or try to smack her lips when we do.  She prefers to sit up to see what is going on around her and because of this she already has pretty darn good head control.  I have told Chris that I think she is going to be a stinker to put down when she is older because already, at 3 weeks, she will do things to wake herself up when she is falling asleep like kick her feet.  I think it is because, again, she is so curious!  I have been told newborns shouldn't be awake more than an hour at a time.  Well our little girl was about for almost 4 hours this morning and it wasn't because of lack of being rocked.  Yes she would whine when she was hungry or when we put her down for what she thought was too long but that time is usually filled with exploring what is going on around her or staring/smiling at me and Chris- making it impossible to put her down.

Trying to stick her tongue out because daddy did it first

Was fussy until momma sat her up

And just for the heck of it, here are some more cute pictures!

Love my play mat

Hi dad!

Not too sure about what's going on

I know she is crying in this picture, but it still makes me smile because she is so cute when she cries- don't judge

Onesie from Andrea and Brandon who are living in Germany right now

I know I am camera happy!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lydia's first week home!

While we were in the hospital, I tried to accept as much help as possible.  Despite my heavy heart as they wheeled her away at night, we had Lydia go to the nursery at night so we could catch as much sleep as possible.  We also asked every question possible- even ones we were pretty confident we had the answers to.  We also took full advantage of room service and the refreshment room!

However, after our 2 day stay both Chris and I were ready to get home.  We couldn't wait to introduce Samson to Lydia and to just simply start this new, precious time in our life.  So we headed home and started treasuring Lydia's "firsts".

First car ride and first time "seeing" home:

First meeting with big brother Samson:

Momma giving baby girl "the tour" and showing Lydia her room!

First nap on the couch with daddy:

First spit up on daddy:

First bath at home:

She eventually really like it!
She just melts my heart!

 First outing (to the pediatricians):

First time daddy picked out her outfit:

Snuggling with Uncle Kyle:

First time meeting Uncle Craig and cousin Sydney:

First time meeting her future husband, Cade (yes he is proposing to her with a ring pop and yes we had this planned for a long time):

First roughhousing with daddy:

First walk:

Lydia has added more joy to our lives than we thought possible and we are trying to soak up every moment we can!  We know these "first" moments will be missed if we don't pay close attention.  Praying God gives us continual wisdom so we remember this.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Introducing our Lydia Jean!

I would like for you to meet the newest love of our life

Lydia Jean

Born March 16th, 2013 at 8:41 am
8 pounds 10 oz
20 1/4 in long

I am not one who is usually short on words but writing a blog about the most incredible day in your life is proving to be very difficult.  The words keep escaping me because honestly, I can't even describe it.

I wanted to write about the arrival of our little girl much sooner than 2 weeks after she was born but as any momma of a newborn knows time is precious!  If I am not holding her, staring at her, feeding her, kissing her or just caring for her I am catching up on sleep and trying to get in a full meal. 

I hope I am able to remember every single moment of that first day.  I have prayed this.  But the whole day was one big wonderful blur.

I began having consistent contractions the night of March 15th around 10:00 after leaving some friends' house.  They were coming every 5 minutes but were not too terribly painful.  Plus, I had been having contractions off and on for about a week so I tried to not get too excited.  But by 1:15 am, it was safe to say I was in pain and I was excited to be!  So I woke up Chris and said it was time to go!

We were at the maternity center by 2 am and were told to walk around for a couple hours to be sure I was in labor.  I prayed and prayed for a change in dilation as we walked around the maternity ward.  I was in more and more pain (and experiencing back labor) and did not want it to be for nothing.  But, yaaaaay!-  I was admitted at 4 am.  

I progressed slowly at first- so slow intially that the doctor didn't think I would deliver before noon!  But after my water broke at 6 am things really sped up (and so did back labor).  As I am typing this, I know that I was in the most intense, incredible pain I have ever been in but I honestly cannot remember what it felt like.  I hadn't slept in 24 hours so between extreme exhaustion and the incredible pain, I am not sure how my body did what it did.

I was given the okay to push sometime after 8 and it felt good to push because my body already was trying so hard to.  At one point, the nurse grabbed Chris and said "daddy, take a look at this".  Chris looked back at me with tears streaming down his face and I asked what he saw.  He couldn't even talk- he just patted his head.  I thought he was telling me he saw her crowning, but what he meant was that he saw a lot of hair!

Seeing Chris' reaction made me want to see her even more.  The motivation worked because I only pushed for 17 minutes and with that last push one of the nurses said "Becky, look down".  (I have tears streaming down my face as I am remembering this).  It was then I saw my beautiful baby girl for the first time ever.  I could not believe something so precious and beautiful had been in there all along.  The first thing I said was "look at those cheeks!" Ha! I wanted her to have squishy cheeks and that she does! 

I cannot describe that feeling when they placed her on my chest.  She wasn't some stranger I had only laid eyes on less than a minute ago, she was my daughter who I already knew so well.  I just remember staring at her.  Feeling her warmth, listening to her very distinctive cry I had memorized instantly and thanking God for this miracle.  She laid there for awhile, I am not sure how long.  I just took her in and didn't care what else was going on around me.

The nurses took her to do all they needed to do and Chris finished off the umbilical cord.  When she was placed on the scale I laughed out loud then they read "8 pounds 10 oz".  I wasn't surprised though.  Chris and I were both in the high 8's, my brothers were in the 9's, and my dad was almost 12 pounds!  I knew all along she would be a chubby baby and I love it!  She measured at 20 1/4 in.

This is the look she gives me when I have to wake her up

We spent the next couple days just falling more and more in love with her.  I am in awe of the bond that God builds so quickly between a child and her mommy and daddy.  That first night I woke up as I would hear her cry when the nurses would be bringing her down from the nursery to eat.  I never woke up from another baby's cry...only Lydia's.  She focused right in on my and Chris' voices immediately.  It melted my heart that she already knew us.  

Here are some pictures from our hospital stay:

Grandma Pam

Grandma Kathy

Uncle Kyle and Grandma Pam

Grandpa Bob

Daddy and Grandpa Bob

Uncle Kyle

First bath- she actually did really like it after the initial shock

All cleaned up!

Grandpa Vern

Pastor Greg

Kisses from momma

First manicure from momma

Dawn and the Curry girs

Zach- our small group leader

First family picture

Daddy showing her Des Moines

Greg and Kristin- future in laws (we have arranged a marriage with their baby boy)

Momma catching up on sleep

Grandma and Grandpa B

Snuggling with momma

Snuggling with daddy

Meeting Kristen

Getting ready to go home- didn't fit into her newborn outfit mommy and daddy brought so she had to wear PJs home

Let's go home!
Needless to say, we are absolutely in love with our little girl and and so incredibly thankful for this precious gift!

As I am typing this, that day already seems so long ago- like a big fog.  I can hardly believe it happened.  I am so thankful for the long journey we had to take to get her and every way God revealed himself- from our first thought of trying to have a baby all the way to over 2 years later when the moment came for us to finally hold her in our arms.

"For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him."  1 Sam 1:27