Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One blessed baby.

You know what I realized today while walking around the library with my sweet boys?

Ari has something half the kids around the world don't have. He's blessed in a way that lots of little boys aren't.

He gets to live under the same roof as his daddy. And, even better, his daddy is still married to his mom.

I have no idea the of the full impact our relationship as present parents and our marriage makes on this kid. I think God is the only one that truly gets the importance since He designed us that way. I totally understand that God works in spite of broken families, acting as a perfect heavenly Father to children who never get to see their father. But man, what a special blessing God has already poured out on Ari by giving him to a family living together under one roof, while attempting to glorify Him. I feel very thankful for this today. Thank you, B, for sticking it out with us. ;) We love you, daddy!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Psalm 37:4

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

I've held on to this verse over the last few years as God has taken me in several different directions with my love of writing. Since I was first learning to write in kindergarten I truly, truly loved the art. I still communicate much better through pen and paper than I do verbally.

My senior year in college I really explored what it looked like to be an artist in the realm of writing, but being a Christian first. I think so many artists identify with their artistic side before identifying with Christ, and I honestly didn't want to do that. As weird as it may sound to some, writing (or art in general) can totally be an idol. It also puts you in a vulnerable spot when you share essays, poems, and thoughts about what God's teaching you. It's a love hate relationship, as anything worth pursuing is. So, when I decided to blog, I really wanted God to do His work through words He gives me. And I've been encouraged to hear some of you over the last year or so talk about how this blog has changed you in some way, usually, hopefully, prayerfully, for good. This blog is meeting God's purposes and plans if it's making my readers more like Him in some way.

With all that to be said, God shows me over and over again that if I continue to delight myself in Him, HE - the Holy Spirit - inspires more words, more creativity, more ideas. God is my muse. His Word fuels my ideas. If anyone would ask me these last few years what my dream job would be, I would say something like, "Being a stay at home mom and getting to write about what God shows me in my life and family."

And guess what? As I've really tried to pursue God's purposes for how writing should fit into my life, and not shying away from using the gifts He's given me, He's dropping the coolest opportunity right in my lap!

Dianne Jago is a blogging friend I've gotten to know over the last year. We were both pregnant at the same time and I know God used both of our blogs in each other's life to encourage and teach one another. As much as I act like I despise technology at times, her blog is one reason I KNOW God uses modern technology to teach others, and one reason I see hope in continuing on with my own blog.

So, this opportunity I'm talking about? I'm getting there. haha

A few weeks ago I got a message from Dianne asking if I'd like to contribute to her new project, Deeply Rooted Magazine. As I read her thoughts and descriptions of what she was feeling God call her to do with this publication, I was bursting with excitement! Seriously, ask B. I don't think I've stopped talking about it since then. ;) haha I was up all night thinking about how cool it is that God allowed me to meet this friend through the internet, form this encouraging relationship, and then get to create art in a way that glorifies HIM through it! It truly is a desire of mine to encourage other women, moms, and wives through God's divine words and what He's taught me, in a vibrant and creative way. And now I get to!

Check out the above link to get more info on the publication. Please be in prayer for us as we work on this project. Pray that God would be shown in each article. Pray that the group of artists working on this publication are about HIS glory, and not our own. Also, pray that God would bring another great, Christian photographer to Utah to work with me, since Gregory Woodman is peacing out pretty soon. :( haha

Again, I am just so thankful that we have a creative God who WANTS us to create out of worship of Him!! So fun!! I hope this encourages some of you to delight in Him through whatever means of creativity He has gifted you with. :)


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Where have I been?

I've caught a cold most recently. Usually when you catch a cold that means you spend some time laying low. Drinking tea, not leaving the couch, making soups of various kinds...we all have fallen bodies, so everyone knows what this looks like.

On a more spiritual level, I feel like I'm caught a cold. Or maybe my eyes have just finally been opened to the disease, the sin, the sickness I've still got to deal with inside of my heart, and the grace God gives to cure and soothe.

So where have I been? Literally, spiritually, and emotionally?

Laying low. Spending lots of time talking to God. Listening to (and I won't lie, often arguing with) God. Reading the Word. Lots of time at home relearning and learning for the first time about lots of things. Grace. Being a mom. Still being a wife. Being human. Being broken, but made new.

Photo of me taken by my talented husband. :) I thought it was appropriate given the topic. ;)

With all this reflecting in my life comes a very relevant question to think about when you write publically.

How much is too much? What's okay to share for the sake of encouraging others? (which I hope you know is the goal of this blog, to push you towards holiness and Jesus) And what is just too much? How much honesty really is just gossip and breaks trust in relationships? What are the secret things God shows just me? Just my husband and me? Just my family?

These are all things I've been thinking about and trying to sort out, so be patient with me as I go. :)

I remember pondering this question about honesty in a memoir writing class I took in college. I've since seen other bloggers happen upon the same struggle. And here I am. Silent out of fear? Or respect? I'm still not sure. Yet again, like every single day these days, I find myself falling short of being able to find the answer to this question, among many others. I find my words falling short as I realize how little answers I actually have to things. But God's got something in the works. :) Like He always does.

I think He's providing an outlet for me to share with gentle honesty many of these things in an even more public way. A fellow blogger friend of mine, Dianne, has asked me to be a part of a collaborative team for a project she feels like God has been calling her to create. I don't want to give too many details just yet, but I'm excited that God is opening up yet another outlet for me to write and share the things He's teaching me.


With all of this to be say, pray for me as I'm in a deeeeep, but gooood season of reflecting. :)


Friday, August 30, 2013

My reason to write.

God told me to stop all the organizing for our garage sale and instead sit down with my laptop and write. Why? Because of this verse I've been pondering all week.

"'Go...tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'" Mark 5:19
I keep this in my commonplace to remind myself of why I keep notes, why I journal, why I write down most of my prayers. There are several verses where God charges His people to tell the next generation about His faithfulness to them. I guess that's what I'm doing with all my journals. But today I just want to share how God's been faithful to me in my prayers for my husband and marriage.
A few months before I got married I bought a prayer journal. This has been the single most important tool in my life and marriage, next to the Bible. Every day of the month it gives you something different to pray for your husband, children, and yourself. The morning is my favorite time of the day, as I'm sure most of you know. I loooove getting up extra early before everyone else to sip on some coffee, read my Bible, and journal in the quiet. I covet this quiet time. I'm a creature of habit, and I believe God at His word when He says He shows Himself to those who seek Him. As a new mom, I've really been having to fight against my flesh and get up extra early before Ari to do this. But God has been faithful to me. And that's more of what I want to write about today.
Wives, do you realize how important prayer is to your marriage? Do you BELIEVE it is the weapon of choice God has given you in the battleground that our families and relationships sometimes turn into?
" Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." 1 Peter 3:6
This verse has often used comforted me in my marriage. The context of this verse is dealing with submission in marriage. Submission is scary. God never says it's easy. That's why the Holy Spirit is saying "do not fear anything that is frightening" right here.  Pastor Jeremy taught on this the week before we were married, and it has always stuck with me. Submission can be frightening when you watch your spouse screw up, lie, confess a sin they struggle with over, and over again, are not good stewards of different aspects of their life, and yet ask you to to come alongside the decisions and leadings they feel is appropriate for your lives and family. Submitting to another sinner really is one of the most terrifying things you can do, and it's something I've not always (if ever have) been good at doing.
So, what do we use in battle against our fears as a wife?
Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray! Pray! I really can't stress this enough.
I have a note at the bottom of one of the pages in my prayer journal that says something along the lines of, "I need to stop nagging, start praying, and let the Holy Spirit do the nagging."
Wives, don't stop praying for that specific area of weakness that you see and nobody else does in your husband's life. Go to God in your moments of fear and keep on praying. Pray for his mind, body, and heart. Pray the reflection of Jesus into his life. Pray, pray, pray until you see the future glory of your husband (which you won't ever see on this side of heaven, so...pray some more). Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower him to be more like Christ in every single area of his life. Pray that you keep your mouth shut and entrust your husband to the Lord.
I know how hard this is. I've been so fearful lately in some specific areas of our marriage. I know I've failed to pray about it as much as I should, but God's given me a taste of the sweet fruit of my feeble prayers these last few days. And what reaction has it caused in my heart?
I rejoice at wanting to submit to a husband that God I see God working in! I find the future, Christ-likeness the Holy Spirit is cultivating in my husband as the most attractive thing about him, and it makes me want to be more conformed into the image of Christ too!
(Here's a little secret for husbands: admiting your need for a Savior verbally to your wife, in private, often, and as a normal part of your relationships is one of the most attractive things you can do. Why? Because it shows humility, and we desire to follow a humble leader we see the evidence of Christ in. You don't have to act like you have it all together and don't need someone to lead you. We know that's not true. If it were, there probably wouldn't be as many dirty dishes and laundry left around my house. There wouldn't be the silence and fear a wife feels after her husband makes a final decision.)
So ladies, where's your hope? Is it in your nagging voice that makes your husband want to campout on the roof (Proverbs 21:9)? Or is it in Jesus Christ, who's voice commands even the wind and waves (Luke 8:24)? Call on our Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help make you a better helper for your husband, the helper God is calling you to be, always giving your husband strength through your prayers. This is the best gift a wife can ever give to her husband. Ask God to renew your mind to believe this truth. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Prepping for winter.

Yep. I'm looking forward to winter already. I always do this...wish away the current season in hopes of the next one. While I'm enjoying all the iced coffee and reading outside in the warm mornings, I'm making the most of my baking and fresh produce from my bountiful basket to stock up some food for the winter. I have a feeling I'm going to be even more homebound than usual with a baby on the brink of crawling/walking.  

I made some molasses bread today, one for B to have during my upcoming trip to Colorado. (I'm attempting to bake some extra food for him to have on hand that week so he doesn't eat like a bachelor.)
I'm storing one for much later to break out and toast with some winter soup this year. This stuff is so easy to make, it's healthy, smells delicious when it's baking, and I pretty much always have the ingredients on hand.
I'm using my grapes fro this last basket to make a grape salad for a birthday party Ari and I are attending tonight.
I really feel like I let tons of food go to waste last year when I was getting my baskets because I didn't make myself get creative enough with my cooking. This year I plan on using every last piece of those fruits and veggies! Pear muffins for winter. Leek and potato soup all around. Every sort of veggie pasta you can think of. Pumpkin bread out of our ears! It's also going to make some great baby food for Ari bug. It really is a great deal, but not when I get lazy and reach for premade food first. Maybe I'll have to share some of the crazy recipes I come up with. ;)
My grandparents are in town and we are having a blast. This is the first great-grandchild on both sides of our family. It's been fun to watch the different generations interact. So they will be here for the next two weeks, and then Ari and I are off to Colorado with them to see my parents for a week. B is so, so busy these days. I'm sad that he won't get to go with us, but God's got some stuff in the works for him here. :)
Ari always steals a few kisses before daddy heads to work. :) I love these two boys.
P.S. I got to be a guest blogger over at The Breastfeeding Cafe today! Check out everything Ari and I have learned so far on our adventures with breastfeeding! ;) haha And please ignore all the grammar mistakes. That's the downside to not being able to get back in to the dashboard to edit, and the downside of having mom-brain all the time. ;) haha

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A command.

"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

If you're like me (which you are), then you're work oriented. You tend to either view this verse as a command that must be followed, or you view it as an excuse to make guilt free quiet time while the dishes and laundry pile up. Tonight B is out, and it's just me and Ari at home, so I took some quiet time to reflect, read, and write. This is an excerpt taken from my notebook:

"I feel like I finally started paying attention more when I became a mom. I don't even want to take my eyes off the yellow-white light flickering through the papery tree leaves long enough to write this.

I guess I want to redeem every fleeting second I have with Ari. I want to remember every facial expression, memorize each movement of his eye brows, each new sound he delights in making. I feel like I want to immortalize each moment I spend with him.

I remember reading some trascendentalist in college who talked about seeing the world the way Adam did, everything captivating and so new for the very first time. I watch Ari look at the world that way amd it fills me with longing. It's almost like he sees the shards of perfection left in the world from the Fall. He's still amazed by the aspen's leaves in our yard each time we come out here. For two years now I've acted like this thing doesn't even exist anymore. That's how little I pay attention to it.

Seeing the way my little boy is exploring the world for the very first time gives me a desire to look at it with renewed eyes. Ari sees the genius of the Creator of the different textures of leaves, the very Creator who I seem to have forgotten about."

"It is my own believe (and here I shall not feel bad if no one follows me) that every good and beautiful thing which man has produced in the world has been the result of his faulty and sin-blocked response to the creative Voice sounding over the earth. The moral philosophers who dreamed their high dreams of virtue, the religious thinkers who speculated about God and immortality, the poets and artists who created out of common stuff pure and lasting beauty: How can we explain them? It is not enough to say simply, 'It was genius.'

What then is genius? Could it be that a genius is a man haunted by the speaking Voice, laboring and striving like one possessed to achieve ends which he only vaguely understands? "

-A.W. Tozer in 'The Pursuit of God' (pgs 74-5)

 It's a heavenly perspective that gives us a greater appreciation for any creation or art.

Maybe Ari is still young enough, "sheltered" enough, or set apart from the world in such a way that he's being allowed time to cultivate this heavenly perspective. I don't know what it is, but almost every single time I pluck up any energy to pursue creative writing and cultivating inspiration for creating I get sucked into this thought that it's all vanity. That immediately kills any creative juices I got flowing.

After a quick conversation with a fellow artist this evening, I was reminded that it's actually selfish to not put time and effort into cultivating creativity so I have something to share with others. I totally view writing, music, art, and any other medium as creative gifts given straight from God. If that's the case, then it's my job to cultivate that gift in such a way that builds others up. I'd really be bummed today if I didn't have all the books C.S. Lewis wrote on my shelves because he put down the pen after hearing, "It's all vanity!" whispered in his ear. I know of a few people off the top of my head that wouldn't be Christians if he had never picked up a pen! How crazy is that!? It's heavy, actually. It means my words can actually make an impact for the Kingdom. Heavy stuff.

And with those thoughts, I post this piece in faith that God is using this blog to speak to someone tonight.


P.S. I find it helpful to find out what another writer or artist has been reading, watching, eating, listening to, etc to be creatively filled up, so I think I'll start sharing that with you guys. Tonight I was thumbing through an old favorite on art and faith, Walking on Water, as well as The Pursuit of God, which I can honestly say is one of the most challenging books I have ever read. And I read lots of books.

On the menu for this evening: whole wheat crackers, provolone cheese, and homemade nutter butters. Happy snacking and writing! ;)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ode to the mundane.

"Set your minds on things that are above, and not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:2-3

This verse has popped into my head and study tons this week. (Someone must be trying to get my attention...) I'm having one problem with it. Maybe you can relate?

How in the world am I supposed to set my mind on things above when there's a pile of dirty sheets that need to be cleaned? And last night's dinner is still sitting on the stove? When my little guy can't breathe because his  fallen body has given him a stuffy nose? When my charming dollhouse grows smaller and smaller, and all of my baby's accoutrements grow bigger and bigger? When dinner time is just around the corner and the race begins to get my boys fed?

I thought about this as I snuggled Ari on our bare bed this afternoon. I don't know the answer and please don't tell me you do because I know you really don't. Not on most days, at least. It's just takes faith, I guess. Trusting and believe in God's grace as constantly remaking all things new until the end. But if all of His goodness is so glorious, why does my little world seem so drab? Maybe it's just one of those days. Or lives. Maybe it's me. Or maybe that really is why we long for heaven. Because this world is drab and lacking to meet our real needs. Our needs that go much deeper than clean clothes and yummy dinners.

It won't be long. I belong somewhere past the setting sun.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Quinoa veggie wraps

I can't stop eating these!! Literally, every day for lunch for the last...I don't know how long. Two, three weeks now? They are soooo good and I always have stuff on hand to make them. I first had them at a friend's house a few weeks ago while our husbands were rock climbing. Here's how she made them:

- Extra large tortilla wraps
- Spread some hummus in the middle (I've found this helps everything stick when you're eating it, so they don't fall apart)
- A few spoonfulls of quinoa (I've just been cooking a bunch at once and keeping it ready in the fridge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...I've also heard you can freeze it)
- Cucumbers
- Red peppers (I've found a new love for red peppers!!)
- Lettuce
- Cheese
- Avocado
- Pink Himalayan Salt (I swear, this stuff takes this wrap from being bland and full of veggies, to being so tasty and full of flavor!)
- Freshly ground black pepper

Oh yeah! I'm eating one as I type this. ;) You really can add whatever veggies you like or have on hand, this is just my favorite combo.

I've been trying, and quite often failing, to eat clean the last week or so. I've heard it helps balanace post-partum hormones. Crazy hormones or no crazy hormones, this wrap is delicious!! My other favorite clean eating recipe that I've found, which is also a sweet desert, are these Blonde Macaroons. Oh my!! Those didn't stick around for too long!! ;)

Happy eating! ;)


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

730 days later.

I married this man two years ago today, promising to serve Jesus alongside him for the rest of my life. It's been the best and hardest decision I've ever made.
Hardest? Why? Because life is hard. Walking through tough situations with another sinner is even harder. But God provides plenty of grace, and He knew it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) through those hard times, so He provided my husband to lift me up when I fall and stumble(Ecclesiastes 4:10), and I pray that B could say the same about me.
Best decision? Because I get to enjoy God's grace with this guy. 1 Peter 3:7 says that we are heirs together in the grace of life. Being an heir means we are entitled, because of Jesus' work on our behalf, to enjoy God's grace together. This means we don't hold things against each other, keeping an unholy lists of failures, but we forgive and enjoy that grace together. If one of us is failing to allow the other to take part in the heavenly inheritence of grace, we're doing something wrong. I'm just so thankful for the grace that covers our marriage.
Well, there ya go! Two years and one kid later, I'm still in love with this man.
I love watching him be a dad.
I love watching him serve Jesus.
I love watching him cook me breakfast while singing obnoxiously (even if I don't always admit it). My life would be much too quiet without this guy around. :) Sigh. Yep, I love you, b.
Happy anniversary!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A shout out to you lovely ladies. :)

Lots and lots of baby lovin' these days. :) Especially now that Ari's Colorado grandparents are in town!

It's been nice having my mom here this week, folding laundry, changing diapers, teaching me how to properly cut my husband's hair (HA!), and just holding Ari so I can do some running around. We have been blessed so far with sleep (despite those first CRAZY, hormonal few days of utter exhaustion) through most of the night. Ari has only woken up once at night these last two nights. So I've been getting plenty of sleep! So much sleep that I actually have a hard time sleeping at times...which is normal for me. Because of this, I've had quite a bit of energy to attempt to stay on top of things around the house, although things still get crazy when you don't plan for three outfit changes in twenty minutes due to poop and/or spit up while you've got diner burning on the stove. ;) Some things get put on the back burner these days, quite literally. haha Life as a mom...

With my mom being in town and helping me with so many things I was thinking about about these verses earlier, which I keep going back to every few days when I realize how loved and supported I've been by the women in my life over the last few weeks.

"Older women...are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:3-5

So this is a big shout out to all you ladies you have helped me love my family the last few weeks by washing dishes for me, doing my laundry, bringing us food, getting up suuuuuper early to sit with me so I don't lose my mind, listening to me cry on the phone, giving advice, getting me out of the house, oh so may things!! (And thanks to the husbands out there who let their wives spend some time with this crazy new momma!!) Now I know why these verses are in the Bible. They HAVE to be because we NEED them as wives, mom, and women in general. And God being a good God KNEW we'd NEED them. He's a clever God. :)

I'm so thankful for all you ladies.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Life from my view these days. :)

Ari definately doesn't have his days and nights switched anymore, praise Jesus! But this means he's up a lot more during the day...during laundry time, mommy's nap time, shower time, and today it's been around the time I try to get dinner together. This is the first day we haven't had somebody bring us a meal and I was ready to get back to cooking! I missed it! Anyways, Ari suddenly decided that he'd spend his 45 minute awake time screaming. Haaaaa! I knew that was going to make for an extra loooong naptime.

It truly is amazing to me how the love you have for your kids as a parent covers all the crazy annoying things they scream in your face for half an hour as you desperately attempt to dig into the mountain of dirty dishes, boil some water for quinoa, clean the bottles....

But after a few minutes of singing Jesus Loves You and cuddling him close to me in the baby carrier, he was out. :) Until his head hit the crib, of course. haha And that's where he is loudly waiting out naptime until the next time he eats. (And don't you worry...mommy is checking on him and kissing him lots in between frantic wails. haha) Poor little guy. At least I can almost guarantee quite a bit of sleep for the both of us tonight.

On a bit of a heavier note, please keep my parents and brother in your prayers. They live in Colorado Springs and are most likely going to be evacuated any minute due to the wildfires. They are coming in to town this weekend, but pray for protection, safety, wisdom on what to take and how to prepare for evacuation, as well as strength to walk through this crazy time in a Christ-like way.

I had this verse on my mind earlier today and was wondering why. When my mom called me pretty upset (she said buildings were catching fire and blowing up around them) I knew why, so I shared it with her.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

Isaiah 43:2

Pray for all of Colorado Springs and the churches in the area that are reaching out to shelter and minister to families. Jesus really is our everything.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ari Judah Sauve

Mr. Ari Judah Sauve was born at 6:25 a.m. on Sunday morning, (just like his daddy thought!) May 26th, 2013. He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. Do you see that head of hair? Yep, he takes after his daddy. :) We're pretty much in love with this little blessing.
So this is my little, tiny, yet very loud reason for taking a little break from blogging. ;) I love him, but things get a little crazier than usual around here now. haha And since I feel like my brain has been replaced with a racquetball court, I can't quite collect my thoughts quickly enough (during nap time) to compose any sort of birth story yet. I will say what a huge, huge blessing our stay at the hospital was. I really loved it and all the nurses and my great doctor. God is so good to work His wisdom through people like that and I was completely at peace with every decision we made with the help of my doctor surrounding Ari's birth. Ari has been very healthy, is a champion eater, and as of Sunday I was able to celebrate two weeks of breastfeeding!! Woohoo!! I've heard it's a breeze from here on out (God willing). 

The name. I wanted to share why we picked this name. Our last name is the French verb for salvation, or to save. Ari means lions and Judah is for the tribe of Judah. So when you stick his entire name together it's like the gospel: the lion from the tribe of Judah (that's Jesus) saves. We were debating between two names, and Brian picked Ari once the nurses held him up and we could see his funky full head of hair. He had a lions mane from the very first time we saw him. ;) Very fitting, we thought.

Alright, that's as much organized thought at I can get out during this naptime. ;)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

40 weeks.

Yep. My due date is here. And in 7 will have passed. haha Guess baby is pretty comfortable in there. :) I'm honestly feeling great considering the well-done baby I'm carrying around. I'm really taking this time to enjoy all the grace and love I feel God's poured out on me (or us) this week through the end of my first year teaching, love from all my students, fellowship with many friends, yummy food and desserts that I (probably) over indulged in, and lots of time in my nest. :)

Much of my down time has consisted of walking the last few days, since I'm officially a stay at home helper until this babe comes. :) I have truly enjoyed this last week of pregnancy so much.

Last weekend we went down to Salt Lake City with Greg and played with photography around the city. This one was taken at the Salt Lake City Public Library. It was rainy, cold, and the only thing I could fit in to was a maternity sweater dress. haha So it was that and my rainboots. Which, by the way, wearing rainboots as a pregnant lady is kind of like trying to hop over a fence! It's hard work climbing in to those things!!

My best friend from back in our homeschool days, Amy, has been in town with her husband for the last few days, and since I've had off, I've been able to see her quite a bit. :) She's also pregnant, 23 weeks, and I got to go to her in town baby shower for her little girl last night. It was so fun to see all the frilly girly things!! (I guess maybe there iiiisss another reason to keep having babies despite all the pain. haha)

But despite of lack of pink and purple feminine lace, these bow ties and onesies are pretty adorable! ;)(Thanks, Amy!) I know daddy is excited about these spiffy outfits for his little man. :)

So aside from friends, eating all sorts of yummy food, and lots of walking, I'm just enjoying my transition from being in the world of working peeps, to being blessed to be able to come home and take care of my family full time.

I know I say this a lot, but I am so, so thankful for my husband. It hit me Monday night as I was getting ready for my last day of work, that after Tuesday, my job description and responsibilities are really changing. My husband feels strongly enough that I should be home that he has taken this step of faith in actually bringing me home, losing part of our monthly income and totally trusting God to provide, to take care of him and our little flock. Wow!! That motivates me to want to be an extra good steward of my time at home, the money God blesses us with through B's work, and my family in general. I am so thankful for B, and the God I see working in him as a husband and father. I really can't think of a better job than being a full-time helper to my husband and shepherd to my child. I am so excited for this next chapter of our life and all the on the job training God has in store for me. :)

Now all we need is that little bambino to cuddle! ;) Keep us in your prayers over the next few days!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Growing babies & gardens.

I've had a few things I really ( somewhat selfishly) wanted to accomplish before baby came. These aren't things that needed to be done so baby could be welcomed into this world in a better manner, I just knew I probably wouldn't get them done at all in the next few months if I tried to after he is born. Those things included: going to see The Great Gatsby (check!), getting my plants in the garden (check!), and teaching my first Doterra essential oils class (check!). As of 9:30 this morning (yes, I do my best work in the early hours of the morning), all those things are accomplished!! Baby, pleeeeease hurry up and get here!! I know it's just a matter of days, but it feels like an eternity right now!

This year I've concluded that it really is better to buy your plants from a local nursery. I did a mix (since my number one goal this spring season was growing a baby, not a garden) since I wasn't able to starts my plants from seeds. Maybe next year. But anyways, I noticed a few things when I was walking around Lowe's looking for plants, after taking a gander around a local nursery.

Lowe's didn't have a great selection. At all. I was on the hunt for kale, and they didn't have it. I wanted sweet red peppers, and they didn't have them. I couldn't even find any regular lettuce! Plus, I was really shocked when I realized Lowe's was actually more expensive than the nursery. The nursery had really fun plants like lemon cucumbers and a variety of mints, all of which I couldn't find at Lowe's. So next year I will be sticking to the nurseries.

I re-lined my square foot garden and got a few plants in over the weekend, but I was able to get the rest of them in this morning before it got too hot out. Here's the before:

And the pretty, much more green, after:

This year I decided on a whim to plant:

-sweet red peppers
-zucchini (these did so great last year that I still have a few chocolate zucchini muffins in the freezer that I pull out when I need them on occasion!)

I've already got strawberries coming back from last year, as well as much of my herb garden that I transplanted from a friend. My beloved rhubarb that I thought the neighborhood lawn mower guy totally killed for good last year also came back! :)

I think I shared this before, but last year was my first year trying the square foot garden. I loved it! I maybe had five weeds to pull all summer, and again, just a few that needed pulling over the weekend. After leaving it uncovered for stray seeds to find throughout the fall and winter (a no-no for gardening), I was very thankful I only had a few to pull. One thing I didn't realize when I planted last year was how big the plants will get! I tried to put two in one square foot, which is not the point of square foot gardening. haha So I spaced them out correctly this time.

I was also terrified to harvest ANYTHING last year! It is so, so fun to watch the plants grow in your own front yard, but I had no clue how to actually take advantage of the veggies. haha I bundled my broccoli much too late in the season. I NEVER pulled a single lettuce leaf, and let me tell you, I had some gorgeous lettuce growing last year that could have filled many salad plates! I did pick a few banana peppers, but those are easy to pop off. I didn't do enough research, but I don't really think research is required. Just work up the guts to use the wonderful bounty of your garden. Even if you fear doing it wrong and hurting the plant, let the plant be a plant and do it's job. If you pull the kale leaf off the wrong way, the plant can compensate and continue it's growing. haha Don't waste your garden like I did last year. ;)

I am stoked about this purple kale!! I can't wait to throw it in some smoothies!!
I hope all you gardeners out there are having fun in the dirt this week. :) The only problem I ran in to was digging into an ant hill on accident when I planted my azalea bush. The only reason I noticed was because of the slight burning sensation that was coming from inside my garening gloves. haha By that time they were all over my shoulders and everything. So, my boy scout husband decided to hose me off in the front yard. Even when I got in the shower some had followed me in there! I rubbed melaleuca oil all over my arm and it quickly stopped the burning. :) God was so smart to include healing properties for His kids to take advantage of in His creation. :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

God's sovereignty over our hormones.

It's getting up in the 80's this weekend. And fun pregnancy hormones really crank up the sweat glands.

70 feels like 90 when you're pregnant. I'm very, very thankful for the maternity shorts a friend of mine passed along. ;)
There's our boy! I still don't fully understand it, how life is going to change and look. Don't know if I will until he's actually here. You'd think maybe it would have sunk in by now...since I'm between 38 and 39 weeks....and ya know, he could technically decide to move in (as an 18 year house guest) at anytime.
You know what people failed to mention about nesting? The terrible, hormonal, don't-want-to-share-my-hubby-or-baby-with-anyone nesting that sets in. The territorial madness and paranoia that take over. I think it's nesting on hormonal steroids. haha That's where all the random crying comes in to play being pregnant this far along. I will share a bit of honesty: I've been scared out of my mind of having postpartum for a while now. Many months. And many long nights I've been up in staggering fear thinking about it. I've been fearing my husband ever liking me after this baby is born, ever wanting to stick around to be with us, ever feeling like a normal human again, ever....ya know, the list goes on and on, however logical or (very often) NOT logical. Us pregnant people do understand that, ya know. We aren't logical. We know that. But you still can't help the feelings that occur. So, what do you do?
God's Word is always a good place to turn. :) I seriously was so encouraged by it this week and experienced the power it has in my life. I feel like people have just been telling me these ups and downs are part of hormones and you have to deal with it, in part aiding me in jusitifying totally sinful behaviors. "I can be mad all night and ruin everything because I'm hungry and pregnant and can't control my hormones and my husband rushed me out of the let me ruin the whole plan for everyone. Everyone pays because my silly husband knocked me up!" Nope.
"...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7
God is sovereign and in control of my hormones. My hormones do not control me. I do not have to fear because God has given me a spirit of power. I can take my thoughts captive and meditate on His truth.
Freeing. This truth quickly dried up tears in the middle of what could have been a (totally justified...but we won't go there) hysterical crying fit. And it has been helping me all week when my thoughts go towards the dark, fear filled corners of my mind.
So ladies, any of you ladies of any age and in any particular chapter of life, don't give in to the lie that your hormones have the final say. Because they don't. God does. He always has and always will. He is the creator of our bodies, including our hormones, and I totally, totally believe He has the power to intervene when things get emotionally crazy in our minds and hearts because of physical issues.
Also, did you notice the words self-control? There's some responsibility right there. We don't get a justified bad mood day, week, year, or life because our hormones are out of balance. God provides grace for that. Take it. And He will help you with the responsibilities He's called us to.
Next time you start to create an entire backstory as to why you have every right to be bitter towards your husband all night or a co-worker, sibling, whoever your "hormones" choose as their victim, remember: God has given us a spirit of self-control. I really say this in love, as I've been experiencing the freedom from my sinful emotions these last few days, whether I always look it on the outside or not, and I want you to experience that freedom too. I can go out on what could be our last date before the baby comes with my husband tonight without feeling angry or totally scared that we will never, EVER be able to do such a thing again. And who knows, maybe we won't. But God still reigns and I don't have to ruin what could be my last date ever with my gorgeous hubby. ;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our little boy's ecclectic nature nursery.

I'm not sure if that's even what you would call it, but here are a few snapshots of our little boy's room. I think I've mentioned it before, but he is sharing space with his daddy. :) I wasn't too happy about it at first, but I tried really, really, really, really hard not to fight about it. Then one day while I was praying about it, God showed me how thankful I should be that my husband is willing to share the same room (office/nursery) with our son, when most kids in America go to bed at night without a dad around. That totally changed my perspective, and I'm super excited for my boys to have a hang out spot. ;) haha

Those are the prints I blogged about here. I bought the postcard size of them and found some inexpensive wooden frames from Hobby Lobby. You can also see one of the knit mushrooms my very creative friend Amy made for me, by request. She rocks! She is a great, great cook (so check out her blog) and she knit the cutest sweater vest for out little one, and got us some awesome vintage books!! I love used books and handmade things. :) To the left is a jar of eggs. haha It's very random, but I decided to add it anyways. For some reason I bought a glass egg on our honeymoon, and then somewhere else after that, and I just buy them wherever I can find them now. I told my gramma about them once and she had a few that (I believe?) her  mom had collected, so she brought them to me on one of her trips out here. So now I have a jar of eggs that people in my family have been collecting for a few generations. I thought it fit the nature theme. What do you think? ;) haha

I collect framed butterflies, which I've talked about before. This was my first collection one of my uncle's bought me from a flea market. After that, I was in love with the vintage ones, but they are VERY expensive. B got me another set when he went to Cambodia. My parents brought those with them on their last trip down, so I will hang them soon as well. I really want to get some other framed bugs, as weird as that sounds. Maybe some bumble bees or beetles. I have a few other small collections around the house. They are so colorful! I also made the garland out of old fabric scraps I had laying around. A friend of mine mentioned that they look like butterflies. I hadn't noticed, but they totally do look like fluttery wings. :) It adds to the nature theme, I guess.

I love these woodland animals! My boss just gave us the deer yesterday, and I wanted to keep it for myself to cuddle with. ;)

One of the gals in my creative workshop does calligraphy art. I so wish I could write that beautifully! I found a poetry book on motherhood at a thrift store a few months after I got pregnant. This is one of my favorite poems I found in it. I thought the title was so adorable too!! So, she wrote it up! How gorgeous is it!? I haven't framed it yet, but I intend to. I will eventually hang it in there as well. This is the actual poem, since you can't read it from the picture:

To a Little Invisible Being Who is Expected Soon To Become Visible

by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Germ of new life, whose powers expanding slow
For many a moon their full perfection wait,—
Haste, precious pledge of happy love, to go
Auspicious borne through life's mysterious gate.

What powers lie folded in thy curious frame,—
Senses from objects locked, and mind from thought!
How little canst thou guess thy lofty claim
To grasp at all the worlds the Almighty wrought!

And see, the genial season's warmth to share,
Fresh younglings shoot, and opening roses glow!
Swarms of new life exulting fill the air,—
Haste, infant bud of being, haste to blow!

For thee the nurse prepares her lulling songs,
The eager matrons count the lingering day;
But far the most thy anxious parent longs
On thy soft cheek a mother's kiss to lay.

She only asks to lay her burden down,
That her glad arms that burden may resume;
And nature's sharpest pangs her wishes crown,
That free thee living from thy living tomb.

She longs to fold to her maternal breast
Part of herself, yet to herself unknown;
To see and to salute the stranger guest,
Fed with her life through many a tedious moon.

Come, reap thy rich inheritance of love!
Bask in the fondness of a Mother's eye!
Nor wit nor eloquence her heart shall move
Like the first accents of thy feeble cry.

Haste, little captive, burst thy prison doors!
Launch on the living world, and spring to light!
Nature for thee displays her various stores,
Opens her thousand inlets of delight.

If charmed verse or muttered prayers had power,
With favouring spells to speed thee on thy way,
Anxious I'd bid my beads each passing hour,
Till thy wished smile thy mother's pangs o'erpay.

I randomly pulled stuff from around the house that I thought fit the theme and just added it to these shelves. I really have a thing for eggs and butterflies, I guess. The butterfly in that blown glass was a housewarming gift from my brother in law. haha I got those little wooden boxes for $3 from Target. I've been collecting those books since I was in high school. And I didn't think a nature room was complete without a real, living plant. :) I've been quite pleased with it! It's a pathos house plant. They are supposed to be very easy to take care of, as far as indoor plants go. I love the bright shade of green it adds. I somehow ended up with dark aqua and lime green being some of the main colors in this room. :)

Hope you enjoyed the mini nursery tour! I kept it very minimal, but I really love it. :)


Saturday, May 4, 2013


There has been so much going on in my life and the lives of those around me lately that I can't help but long for heaven a little more and watch others do the same.

My super sweet Secret Sister got this book for me last Sunday. I've felt blessed (spoiled) all week. I had almost an entire day to myself to hang out at a coffee shop and drink chais on one of the coldest days this week, some awesome prayer time with a good, good friend, jumping in to this book, and then my very first massage! Anyways, I've been meditating on a prayer from this book all week. God is so good and I've seen Him very present in my every day this week.
Longings after God

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering. 

We really can't experience God and stay the same. He has to enlarge our souls for holiness to take root. That's been a prayer of mine this week, and it reminded me of Psalms 119 (one of my absolute favorite Psalms on the Word of God!).

"I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!" Psalm 119:32

God must do some work in us to give us the ability to follow His commands. This work is the enlarging of our hearts, our weak, tiny, Grinch-like hearts.

So, thank you to my Secret Sister, whoever you are! If you see this, you totally helped encourage me in my prayer life this week. :)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Quiet times.

B finished up this semester a few days ago. He's taking a break for a while with baby coming soon. I'm done with most stuff at work, and I have only one more stop to make at Babies R Us this afternoon then I'm DONE with all my running around related to baby. I think this is the real nesting setting in. The sitting at home, enjoying an always-messy-but-lived-in look this place has going on with all the adjustments to baby things: high chair, children's books, monitors glowing from the corner of the room. This is crazy, guys. :) But I feel a sense of quiet and peace after these last few crazy weeks. I'm really, really trying to be patient and wait on God's timing for this kid to be born. Only three weeks left to go. Keep praying for health and safety for us! God's taught me to let go of soooo many things during this pregnancy: an abundance of riches and a birth plan only include a few of them. haha

All that to be said, we were able to get out and enjoy the beautiful, golden Utah air up in the canyon Sunday night. We got out and went on a little hike (that I had to convince B to let me go on). It's my favorite hike around, 36 weeks pregnant or not pregnant, because it really is the easiest, and in my opinion, the prettiest. Wheeler Canyon opens up to a pretty field. Oh, I just love it!

Our friend Greg brought along his new camera and snapped some adorable pics. haha (Thanks for blessing us with your creativity!) All the guys that went with us were very patient with me as I slowly hopped down rocky hills and hobbled through part of the stream. It was so much fun!

I told them a secret...I couldn't remember when the last time I had washed my hair was. ;) But you can't tell....................riiiight? haha

The guys were snapping pictures of everything. The air truly was golden as we hiked higher up and looked back down. I love that natural gold color. Even when we got home last night from our (maybe last) dessert date before baby comes, our house was filled with that same golden hue as the sun was going down. I just love it! So much that I wrote a poem about it it is:

this iridescent hour 

gold light filters through white, wooden blinds
a mist of stars
 hanging in the air
this is the light housewives have worked by
for many, many centuries
and i am home, sick
partaking in this iridescent hour
-feb. 22, 2012

(Side note: It's scary to share poetry, no matter what context it's in. ;) Thanks for reading and letting me do it a little more often.)

I think it was B who made this comment as we kept hiking and everyone was taking pictures.

"God really must love photographers..."

That really made me stop and think. It's true! He must love them! He must love the absolute joy they take in HIS creations, snapping picture after picture, making God feel proud and desrving of the glory He gets in those moments. I've been thinking about that all week. I sometimes overlook how art really can relate to my Christian walk, and abandon my pen and any other artform I practice in the midst of the busyness of life. Maybe sometimes I just need to get out and hike with my camera as an act of worship to God, thanking Him for creating that unique, golden hue that can only be found in nature.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy some of the sights we got to see.


P.S. Did anyone hear the news that we have a baby due THIS month?? Whaaa whaaat? Crazy sauce! :D

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?"

Note: This post is heavy on God's Word today. He has so many better things to say than I do, so I've been soaking it up this week. Hope it encourages someone else out there.
Tough question, Job. Very tough question. One I've been wrestling with for over a week now as I've watched very close friends grieve.

A verse that kept coming to my mind was Isaiah 42:2.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall now overwhelm you..."

It rained a lot last week, which can alter my mood any day, but specifically on the days when all I seem to do is question. I had coffee with a friend this week, and afterwards she reminded me of a poem I wrote a while ago.

The First Rain: 40 Days of Grieving 

Caused by sounds, screams,
Others out there,
With their deaf hearts and ears,
Their living breath almost gone,
And you, in here.  

Trust, it is His reign. 

Precipitation, pounding, drowning,
Punishment upon punishment.
Shouts distance, fade
Judgment has won
Yet doubt appears:
Is justice this mysterious? 

Trust, it is His reign.
*Written spring of 2012

As you can see, there was lots of water on my mind this last week. Thank God for the warmth and sunshine we've had the last few days, especially today. When my daisy sprouted this week, it reminded me of Isaiah again, and then something else...

Not only does it take sunlight for growth in plants, but it takes lots and lots of water. The directions for these window plants actually say, "water generously." Wow. Do we think God is being generous to us when He allows the rainwaters to fall in our life, to the point where we feel like we're drowning in rivers of injustice? Do we trust He is reigning when He brings tumultuous downpour?

Then I read this passage this morning from Psalm 43:3-5:

"Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, o God, my God.

Why are you downcast, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."

The note I sprawled in the margin beside this passage in my Bible was as follows:

"God can take our dark questions about life. He isn't scared of them. His response is sending out His light and truth to lead us in the darkness."

I can say I've seen God's Word truly lead my friends through darkness this week. God is the best leader ever. That's weird for me even to write now or think about, but it's true. He has the best strategy anyone could have as a leader: sending light and truth to us in our darkness. He sent Jesus. He sends His Holy Spirit. He uses His Word to guide us through fear.

God is SO big and powerful that He doesn't fear us questioning Him. He allows the rainwaters, rivers, and darkness to consume us, so He can lead us in His marvelous light, proving He alond is sufficient. It is a lie Satan wants us to believe when we think, out of not wanting to hurt God's feelings or whatever, we can't go to God with our deepest questions and doubts. Satan wants to stop open communication and block a venue for God to be able to prove Himself faithful to us. Don't let that happen. Be truthful with God so He can lead you in His truth.

Anyways, there are all of my ramblings and thoughts I just know you've been missing for the last week. ;) I'm praying God speaks to you somehow through it. Thanks for letting me share, readers!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

This baby's daddy.

I'm thankful for this baby's daddy.

And all the other godly daddies he gets to grow up around.

I'm thankful for these men who God has placed in my son's life already because they all know Jesus is the only thing we have to hold on to in this life. He is all we need. And because of that, I am fully confident my son will be equipped with everything he needs to grow up into a man of true masculinity, a man who is fully reliant on Christ.

"So, does this thing come with directions?" he says as he pulls the carseat out of the box.

"I don't know. I've never done this before."

"I figured you just know everything about babies."

Little does he know...;)

God can't give us moms everything there is to know about His kids He gives us to raise, or else we'd never have to rely on Him. What a scary place that would be. I've felt the fear and weight of giving birth and having a family this week in a very real and close to home way. But I also know the only safe place to quench that fear is at the feet of Jesus.

I'm thankful my husband, and the men in the body of Christ we have been placed in, know this same secret. They don't fear looking weak when placing their only true hope in Jesus. They trust, walk in truth by the Holy Spirit, and experience God's promises come to life. Those are the marks of a true man, and I'm praying these things for my little boy.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you everyone who made it out to to the shower to celebrate our little baby boy with us! B and I truly were overwhelmbed by all the generosity, support, love, and kindness shown to us and the little guy that's about to arrive. It was comforting to see the support system we really do have, but often forget about in moments of stress.

I have a few pictures to share, but there were so many people who attended (40 plus people?) that I didn't get to snap too many.

The shower was book themed (how appropriate) so we could build a library for our baby boy. These cupcakes with the white cream on top are my favorite from Peddlers. I still can't remember what their actual name is, but they taste just like a pancake covered in syrup!! Since that was a major craving for me during this pregnancy they were just perfect! :) 

These fruit leather book were very yummy! (Thanks to my mother-in-law who patiently made the fun treats!!)

I found these tags to stick in the book on this blog. I just loved the animals. B used his photo editing skills and changed them up a bit to fit the occasion.

It's been over a week now since the shower and the debris from baby onesies, tissue paper, baby bottles, nursing clothes, and so many other generous gifts has finally settled. I honestly didn't think it ever would. haha My mom and dad were in town for the weekend of the shower and part of last week, so with them being here, me working, my house looking like a baby actually lives here, and my computer having a virus, I've been late in posting about the shower. There's so much to say about it, so I'll just blurt it all out there. :)

I wanted B there with me. I think I've talked about this before, but I went to a baby shower before we were married (the first baby shower I think I had ever been to) and the mom opened up all the cute gifts and was so very excited for this little person in her womb, but her hubby wasn't there to share in that with her. Now I know it's totally normal for guys to not go to showers, and I know why, but I just really wanted B to share in all the excitement with me. He was also a HUGE help to me physically, helping move gifts around, carrying bigger gifts out, keeping water and chapstick close by. Anyways, so there was that.

Also, we both felt so loved when we saw how many people showed up. That was also very overwhelming (just a warning for any peeps out there about to have big showers). Overwhelming in a good way I guess. It just all really sunk in for me that night, especially when my mom and her friend helped us bring everything home, and I couldn't see the floor of the living room or the baby's room anymore because it was now covered in gifts bags and tissue paper. Ha! I honestly wanted to climb in bed and think about anything except baby after that. It was a huge reality check for both of us. The shower was so much more surreal for me than I ever thought it would be. Literally, I felt like I was floating around outside of my body, watching the pregnant blonde lady sitting on the floor (since that was the only comfortable position to sit in), sweating while she opened gift after gift. Now that I've had a week to organize I don't feel overwhelmed. All my thank yous are written, we have everthing we NEED before this baby is born (thanks mom and dad for grabbing our last big need for us- the carseat!), and I'm ok with the reality that this house is never going to be spotless before we bring this little boy home because I have NO CLUE when we're bringing him home. haha

All that randomness aside, I'll have to share more pictures of the cute baby gifts later! But again, a big thank you to everyone who attended, helped prepare for, and traveled out to love on our little bambino!