Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I sure hope it is a delightful one for each of you and that you get a chance to reflect on all the things you are thankful for today. I know many have had difficult years, finances are unsure and things don’t usually go as planned, but I hope today will be a day to celebrate the big and small joys you’ve experienced, to laugh with your loved ones and see how God is using you in His greater plan.

Every Thanksgiving I write down 365 things that I am thankful for. I’m going to spare you an entire list, but instead write down 50 things off the top of my head. There is never really an order, rhyme or reason, but just things I want to thank God for. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

1. Jesus, because without Him, I wouldn’t know how to give real praise
2. Michael, my husband
3. Lilla, my daughter
4. Anna, my soon to be born 2nd daughter
5. There are only 19 days left before Anna is born…yahoo!
6. My home
7. A bed to sleep in every night
8. Food in my cabinets
9. A decent paying job for my husband
10. My husband being good with money so all the bills do get paid
11. Carrie, my very good friend
12. Shelly, my very good friend
13. MOPS
14. My home church
15. My pastor, who honestly loves the Lord with all His heart and does everything trying to serve Him
16. My small group who teach me a lot
17. My Bible
18. The freedom to own and read a Bible
19. The ability to read
20. The book, Sheperding a Child’s Heart, which is teaching me so much
21. My mom, who is trying to serve God wholeheartedly
22. My stepdad, for loving my mom these last 20 years
23. My sister, Erika
24. Her husband, Russ, who really does love her
25. All my nieces and nephews (seriously, it would be a long list!)
26. All my brother and sister in laws (there are MANY!!)
27. My in-laws, they are very kind to me in so many, many ways. I am very fortunate to have them and not that quintessential mother-in-law you always hear about.
28. My sister-in-law, Stephanie, who sat with me in the hospital for hours and hours the other day, so I wouldn’t be alone
29. My brother, David and new sister-in-law, Jody, for being happy together
30. Worship music, there’s nothing like it!
31. My bloggity friends, I’ve met so many wonderful ones!
32. Water, clean fresh water…I’m seriously thankful for it. Particularly since I drink so much of it these days!
33. Ice cubes, because I like my drinks almost to the point of freezing.
34. My dog, Ellie. She’s just so sweet and loving with these big brown eyes. That makes me happy!
35. My dog, Buddy, who really is a lover too. He’s a puppy so he’s wild, but he’s a lover anyway.
36. Having my own car to be able to go places in. (At this time last year my hubby’s car died and I had to go a month without one!)
37. Storytime at the library, such an enjoyable time for Lilla and I!
38. My friend, Shelly’s kids, who seriously love the peanut. It’s so fun to see them play together, even though they are older, they just adore her. She loves it!
39. The ability to have gone to Florida this past June just days before my grandmother passed away. I’m thankful to have been able to say my last good-byes in person.
40. The summer bible study we did. I learned a lot and got closer to some new women I might not of otherwise got to know so well.
41. Antibiotics, because they seriously healed me pretty fast last week.
42. Ultrasounds, because it is so lovely to spend time with my little girl!
43. The election process. Even though it may not have turned out as I had hoped, I am still thankful to live in a country where we have the freedom to elect instead of a dictatorship or a monarchy.
44. Laughter, I’ve had a lot of it this last year and it sure has made my days brighter!
45. Tears. There’s an old quote that says, “Tears are the soap of the soul”, and I really believe that is true. There is nothing like a good cry!
46. Facebook. Silly, I know, but it has put me in touch with many very old friends, that I thought I’d never hear from again!
47. Photography. Due to photography I am able to capture so many wonderful moments of my daughter’s life that otherwise would be gone.
48. My daughter’s innocence. It is lovely to see her still not jaded by the world.
49. The military, including my little brother, Chris. They really have so much courage and it is amazing to me what they do every day. Hoo-rah!
50. And finally, for faith, hope and love. Where would I be without any one of them?

I hope all your Thanksgiving days are full of joy today! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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She’s coming, she’s really coming…

So yesterday I went to a total of 6, count them, 6, stores searching for the right car seat at the right price. Because my stroller is a Graco, I need a Graco car seat so it’s kind of one of those annoying little things, you gotta do! In our little town we have a Wal-Mart, and that’s about it, so I went there first. The only one they had was Winnie the Pooh. Now, I enjoy Pooh bear as much as the next guy, but do I want to see images of Pooh gobbling up honey for the next 12 months every time I put my child in the seat? Um, not so much. So that was a definite no.

In fact, I am not a person who likes character anything very much. Clothes, diaper bags, bedding…you name it, I’m just not that into it. So, after driving another 40 minutes to visit Target and Meijer, had much of the same reaction. My husband then insisted that we go to another Wal-Mart, just in case. Same situation as the first, I just couldn’t do it.

So, off to Babies R’ Us we went. Now, I don’t often shop there as I think they are rip off artists. It’s just unbelievable to pay 3 times what you would normally pay for a bottle of Johnson and Johnson baby oil, because it is from a store clearly marketed toward first time moms still in the, “Oh, the baby really does need the potty chair with the fake toilet paper roll that plays music.” stage. Of course they had like 15 different types of seats, but I was totally disturbed at the price tags. I mean, come on! You really want $30 more of the exact same car seat? Get real I say!

So, at this point I figure I am doomed to the next 12 months of characters, when a light goes off in my head. BABY DEPOT at Burlington Coat Factory, he shouts at me! I have no idea why this popped into my head, thank you Lord, because it’s not a place I ever shop. Since it was right down the street from the evil empire that is Babies R’ Us though, we are off and guess what? I found one!!

It’s pink and chocolate, and not that obnoxious pink that burns your eyes. A muted pink with chocolate brown flowers and designs. Just the mellow one I was looking for. I also got a pink and brown diaper bag to match my pink and brown just purchased sling. OK, so I’m a dork, but apparently this is the in girl color this year, which is fine with me, since I like those colors together.

So now, all I need is the baby. Oh, and diapers…I better go buy some diapers…

Just because…

I just wanted to write this down for posterity.

Today I was talking to Lilla about gratefulness and what I am grateful for. I then asked her what she was thankful for, her response? “Mommy and Daddy.”

Does life get any sweeter?

26 Days!

I was just thinking…I have 26 days until I see my baby!! Until all my curiousity is finally met with answers. Until I hold my sweet little girl in my arms. Until my family is complete…for now…

Ten Smile Tuesday

I’ve been pretty neglectful of pictures lately as I’ve taken so few due to just being tired. Even having to get up to get the camera is a feat these days! I just feel like an out of breath weeble!

So, I thought I would just do my 10 recent favorite snapshots. They aren’t in the last week as I haven’t even taken any since last Tuesday, which is HIGHLY unusual for me, but they are in the last few weeks. The peanut and I have spent a lot of time laying in bed watching Disney movies while I wait out the next 4 weeks, so not too much to capture photography wise in those moments, as you can imagine. Just us in our PJ’s, passing some time with Pinnochio!

Without further ado now, here are my recent faves:


This is my new favorite picture. I took it very randomly in my backyard a couple of weeks ago and am just in love with it! Who could resist that smile?

My little monkey! Oh, she was cute for Halloween!


We couldn’t let fall go by without at least one romp in the leaves!


Last week when I was in the hospital Michael brought the peanut to me. She was so excited, she just jumped in the hospital bed yelling, “Mommy!!” So sweet!


Just a random pic of all of us!


We’d been in the car for a long trip and I thought the peanut needed a break. We found this hill and showed her how to roll down it. She enjoyed even more rolling daddy down!


Secrets only daddy and the peanut are in on!


A walk across our bridge had to be captured!


That laugh is contagious!


At my brother’s wedding rehearsal she jumped up on stage and started singing/dancing. What an entertainer she is!

What is making you smile today?

Please Pray

I have a very special prayer request for you my blogging buddies. I have a very dear friend who had a baby 2 weeks ago and her husband left her this weekend…she needs so many prayers right now. She just feels crushed, as anyone could understand, and she has a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn she has to take care of. She was very blindsided by the whole thing and is just struggling to breathe right now.

Please be in prayer for my friend and for God to give her the strength to go on, to have faith that God really does love her and to keep on praying. Also, be praying for her husband’s salvation and a softening of his heart.

Thank you friends.

Still Smiling

So the last week has been hard. I’m actually in the hospital for the second overnight stay in the last few days right now. I should be able to leave this morning though. I’ve had an accelerated heart rate, low oxygen and pain in my chest that has definitely caused the doctors to worry. If I were not pregnant I probably wouldn’t be staying here so much but of course everyone, including me, is worried about little Anna so here is where I’ve been. She seems to be fine through everything though so I’m now off the monitors and IV and really believe I’ll be moving on in the next few hours.

I’ve had about every test in the book ran on me and tons of blood taken, and they had the darndest time coming up with what was wrong. The doctor on call this weekend was convinced it was psychological, even asking me, “Well, can you just start thinking positively? Maybe then the problems will go away.” Ummm…ok then, that’s really working for me. Ugh! He even went so far as to put me on an anti-anxiety/anti-depression drug. Fortunately the doctor yesterday believed me more and had an internist come and examine me. He’s pretty convinced I have the starting stages of pneumonia and a kidney infection…which hurts like none other I tell you! Ahhhhhh!!! So, I’m all drugged up and hopefully will be better soon.

In the midst of it all though, I still do have some random smiles to share…

1. I got to spend a good 1/2 hour looking at Anna on Saturday night due to the ultrasound. She is beautiful let me tell you! And, she is a mover and a shaker! She just goes and goes and goes. She was pulling on her umbilical cord at one point, oh my gosh, was that cute! That was definitely a smile in the midst of the pains.

2. Visitors. Saturday night was my brother’s wedding…I missed the whole thing as I had to spend the night in the hospital. Being that Michael was the groomsman and Lilla was the flower girl, I insisted that they go. Michael was highly resistant, but once his family stepped in he felt better about it. My sister-in-law, Stephanie, was so gracious as to sit with me for like 6 or 7 hours watching Hannah Montana reruns while they ran all the tests and such. Then my other sister-in-law, Terri, came for a visit. As did Michael’s parents. My other sister-in-law, Tammy, came and spent time with me then on Sunday. As my family was tied up with the wedding stuff, I really appreciated the company and compassion of my husband’s family to me!

3. Days off. Our MOPS group was doing a clothing drive this week so Michael took Thursday and Friday off to help out. Unfortunately, due to my health issues, we only helped Thursday, but it was nice for Michael to have time to spend with us on those days.

4. The park. On Wednesday, the weather was in the 70’s, so we got to take Lilla to the park to enjoy the fall colors and play on the big kid equipment with dad. Oh, and she got to feed the ducks, which they tell you specifically not to do, but daddy had some crackers…and, well, he’s a rebel that way. LOL

5. Help. Since I’ve been so sick people have really been very kind to me about helping out with the peanut. She has spent 3 of the last four nights at my mother’s house or Michael’s parents and I really appreciate it since I’ve just been out of comission. I think she’s ready to go home though, she said to my mother-in-law, “I need to go to sleep at my house now.” Awww….

6. Family. On Friday night, although I had not been feeling good all day, I decided to go to the rehearsal and dinner and it was really nice to see some family that I had not for awhile. Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend the time I wanted to, but it was still nice to see them for even a short bit.

7. 35 days. I am now scheduled to have a c-section on Dec. 16th. 12 days before my due date as that just works out for some things for the doctor, and in all honesty, it can’t come soon enough. I am really starting to get ready! So, five weeks from today I will be the mother of two little girls, crazy times!!

8. Clothing and Coats. We had many, many donations for the clothing drive and we wound up helping over 500 people! Crazy! I wish I could have been there for the drive, I guess they helped over 240 people within the first 45 minutes!! So amazing!

9. My husband. He really has been concerned and caring through this whole ordeal. Last night he brought me my favorite Thai pasta from the Cheesecake Factory with pumpkin cheesecake for dessert…can we say yum? Oh, and the nice people at the Cheesecake Factory threw in an extra piece of cheesecake that said, “Get Well Soon.” on it after he told them I was in the hospital…how sweet…literally!! 🙂

10. Amazing grace. I was listening to this song by Chris Thomlin today on youtube and I just couldn’t help but think of how truely grateful I am for God’s amazing grace. It’s beautiful.

What are you smiling about today?