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