Monday, March 28, 2011

Today is the day!!!

....March 28, the day that Jessie proposed to me 8 years ago!  Nope, no baby yet!  :)

Jessie and I first met in November of 2002.  My sister, Amanda, and I were heading to First Tuesday at Seacoast and accepted a last minute invite to the fair with a group of friends from Faith Assembly.  I noticed him right away, and tried to talk to him, but he was soo quiet!

Jessie is on the far left and I'm in the center in the tan sweater (Nov. '02).
In December, I came home to Charleston for holiday break from my masters program.  There was a group of us from Faith that got together quite often.  I definitely had my eye on Jessie, but again, he was soo quiet....so I observed a lot and whenever I could work my way into a conversation with him--I did.  I didn't know he was just as interested in me.  Through that short time of about 3 1/2 weeks, Jessie and I got to know each other better as our "group" was getting together at least every other day.  He was all I could talk about...when he wasn't around. :)

Fast-forward to our New Years Eve party 2003.  The party was a blast with such a great group of friends!  At some point Jessie and I ended up in a conversation on the apartment balcony that lasted for what might have been a couple of hours.  All I know is when we came inside, nearly everyone was gone.  We talked about everything from family, to morals, our spiritual beliefs.  The next morning I went over to my parents house to help take down Christmas decor and I told my mom, without a doubt, that I was going to marry Jessie!  Little did I know, Jessie had told his mom the same thing about a week before.  God had definitely prepared our hearts for each other leading up to this very moment.

Jessie (top right) and I'm right next to him (Jan. 1, 2003). 
I came home just about every weekend over the next semester.  I remember that I told Jessie "I love you" before we ever went on our first official date.  Those are words I had never told anyone other than family before.  And even at the time I said them it was because I was so overwhelmed and couldn't think of anything else to say until I told him how I felt.  Our first date was January 15th, he came up to Columbia to take me out to dinner.  We dated over the next couple of months and talked all the time, racking up some serious cell phone minutes!

On March 28th, I drove into Charleston after a late afternoon meeting, stressing to get ready quickly for our date.  I threw my hair up, and borrowed an outfit from my friend & sister's roommate (umm..but she wasn't there to ask...sorry Erin).  We had planned to go to dinner and a Broadway show that was showing at our local Performing Arts Center.  

Ready for our date (March 28, 2003).

The show was amazing, and dinner was very good.  I had no idea what was in store.  I learned later that poor Jessie had hardly paid attention to the show because he was so nervous and kept checking to make sure the ring was still in his sock where he had hidden it.  I was also unaware that he had visited my parents days before our date and asked my dad for my hand in marriage.  We left the show and he acted nonchalant, like, so what do you want to do now?  He had already planned to go where we were headed...to Folly Beach by the pier.  We went for a walk, when he turned and got down on his knee and read a poem he had written to me that ended with asking me to be his wife.  

My entire life, I wanted to be a wife and a mom.  I wanted to be with someone who shared the same values that I did.  Someone who I could grow with and love and support and have as my best friend--forever!  Someone who had a giving heart, compassion, ambition, and prioritized his love for the Lord and family above everything else.  Although Jessie and I had only known each other for less than 4 months, I knew in my heart of hearts that this was the man that God wanted me to be with.  I knew he was the man that I wanted to be with!  So, of course, I said YES!!!

We were married in September of that year.  And the story between then and now is one to be written and one that we hope will inspire and encourage others in their lives.  We have 2 beautiful girls and a healthy baby boy who will join us just one week from today.  God has demonstrated His grace in our life together.  Our Faith has grown tremendously.  Our love for each other has grown deeper.  And even though we have only scraped the surface of what is in store for us in our life together, I can honestly say that I love my husband more now than the day I first told him those words, more than the day he poured his heart out in his proposal, and more than the day we exchanged our vows. 



ps: I linked up with Miscellany Monday today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nesting

Spring is definitely in the air!  Granted it is a bit hazy with pollen, but the plants are budding new growth, neighbors are working in their yards, and this mommy is getting ready for her baby boy.  I have been tying up loose ends with business stuff, tackling unfinished projects, and cleaning everything from the toilets, fridge and  stove--not in that order.  Nesting is definitely underway in preparation for our precious son.  However, I am not the only one at our residence preparing for the arrival of little ones...


We have a mallard couple who chose our home to safely hide their nest.  When we fist discovered the nest there were three eggs, and the momma mallard is adding 1-2 eggs to her offspring daily.  We are now up to 8 eggs!   

Watching & waiting to make sure all is clear for the momma to return to her nest.
It is so fascinating to watch their routine for the momma's trip to her nest each day.  They come up from the water and the daddy mallard stands watch (in our backyard) while the momma VERY slowly makes her way to our front yard where she has hidden her nest.  As people pass by she will lay flat with her head stretched flat on the ground so she is undetected by predators.  If she feels unsafe at all she returns to the water with the male, or I have seen him call her off and they return to the water together.  They are strategically paranoid.

The beautiful daddy mallard.

Momma Mallard waiting near her nest.

8 eggs as of today, tucked away in a safe place.
Our family is having fun watching the little mallard family grow.  It doesn't trump the fact that we are having a new baby of our own in a little over a week, but it is still very exciting.  Our girls have enjoyed carefully peaking and counting the eggs every day.  We love our little mallard family that has adopted our residence!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winning!

Like so many others, I have entered contests and "liked" company Facebook pages for giveaways to no avail.  Just last night I was talking to some ladies about that very thing and saying that sadly "I never win" these contests.  Well, imagine my excitement when I logged into Facebook today to see my name as the winner of a JJ Cole diaper bag!  They were running a promotion to reach 6,000 fans by March 22nd in order to give away one of their fabulous diaper bags: their new System 180 Bag. 

JJ Cole Collections System 180 Bag
And as owner of my own embroidery business, Bold Impressions (shameless plug), you know I totally plan to embroider my son's name on this bag!  

The contest is still on if you want to win a fashionable JJ Cole bag of your own.  Following the success of this promotion, they have issued a new goal of 7,000 Facebook Fans by Tuesday, April 5th and they will give away 3 of their Mode Totes.  I am just so excited about my win that I wanted to share with you all.  I hope that you can come back and tell me that you won one of the Mode Totes.  They are super cute too!!



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Kool-Aid


I did some grocery shopping today and had a coupon that ultimately got me 6 free packets of kool-aid.  When Abby saw it, she was like "mom, what's this?".  Jessie couldn't believe his 5 and 3 year old daughters didn't know what kool aid was. haha!!  Well, I have never brought any into the house before.  I don't know about you, but I used to collect the points in an old cool whip container and I got a lot of free stuff when I was a kid.  My favorite, which took a lot of points, was a kool aid man pitcher and matching cups.  It was awesome!  To my dismay, there are no longer points on the packets.  

2. "There's a Party in my Tummy"

Yo Gabba Gabba music video

Our little man is hanging in there.  He doesn't seem to have any desire to see us any sooner than planned.  He's kicking and rolling around and having a party.  Haha!! Which makes me think of that hokey song from Yo Gabba Gabba.  I am sooo not a fan of this show...I dive for the remote to change the channel, however the music gets stuck in my head.  For example: "get the sillies out!".  If you're a mom, you know this one too.  In any case, Wesley is still comfy cozy just two weeks before our scheduled c-section.  Although I cannot wait to see him, I am not in a hurry for the long nights and feeding every 2-3 hours.  I barely remember what those nights were like, and in 2 weeks I'm sure I will hardly be able to remember these quiet nights blogging or watching mindless television with my husband.  

3. Car Seat Safety for Infants & Children

This seems to be a big discussion today.  The laws have not changed, but the safety recommendations have changed for car seat safety.  They--whoever "they" are--now recommend not moving your infant to a forward facing position before the age of 2.  Previously it was the age of 1 and at least 20 pounds.  They are also recommending children stay in a booster seat until they are 4'9", between the age of 8 and 11.  I think I was 12 or 13 when I finally passed 4'9".  I wasn't sure I would since my grandmother is 4'11".  I thought about how silly I would have looked climbing into a booster seat.  Thankfully though, we never experienced a car accident growing up.  But for those with young children who have, I am certain they would agree with these recommendations.  The illustration below is convincing enough for me to keep my kids in a booster seat until they are tall enough to be supported by the seatbelt.

Booster seats protect the spine and internal organs during car crashes.

4. Monday, Tuesday...whatever!

Miscellany Monday is a random assortment of thoughts listed in no particular order.  I link up with lowercase letters on Mondays (when I remember) and share random things that have been on my mind that day.  That being said, the clock has rolled over to 1am at this point and it is officially Tuesday.  Oh well!  I tried. :)  Good night all!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special"

So the Charlie Sheen saga has been understandably overshadowed by the tragic events in Japan.  I am horrified by the numbers that keep rolling in as the search continues for life amidst the devastated land.  It's really sad that it took something like this to get the media off of Sheen's back.  I don't know much about Charlie Sheen's past that would have brought him to this breaking point, and I do not watch his show.  I even avoid the news when possible since I just cannot handle hearing about all of the horrible things that go on from day to day.  I heard about Charlie Sheen through word of mouth and googled his interview.  It really made me sad that his weaknesses were being exploited and used for comical entertainment.  Granted he said some pretty strange things that make for good 'water-cooler' chat and some laughs.  But his troubles are very real and the man is in obvious need of some serious help...before he hurts himself or someone else.  


This past week, I have been guilty of dwelling on my own weaknesses.  Struggling with feeling incompetent in so many areas of my personal responsibility as a mom, wife, business owner, housekeeper, friend.  I am so glad that I do not have cameras & tabloids on me 24/7 to exploit my weaknesses.  I went to Bible study this morning where it was said that "everyone has something they are really good at"--a "gift" that God can use for His glory: be it cooking, organization, teaching, etc.  This too has been an inward struggle of mine as I have never really known what my "gift" is.  I am very aware of my weaknesses, and any strengths I have attempted to list are qualified by weakness--meaning, I am not "great" at anything.  What I realize is, I am ok with this.  My personal objective in life and my calling is not to be known as "great" at this or that.  What is unique about serving the Lord is that He is what makes us great, He is the one to be glorified in anything I might do--not me.  So, to quote Charlie Sheen, "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not special", I know that I am special in God's eyes, and His purpose and calling on my life far exceed anything I could ever accomplish in my own ability.  


Yes, I am a capable, educated woman, and I on my own could pursue a life others could envy I suppose...but for what purpose?  I am a sinner in need of my Saviour.  I am so grateful that He desires my time and my skills and even my weaknesses, and He see's my potential and knows me better than I know myself.  2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (NLT) " 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weaknesses.'  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Play Ball



This past weekend Jessie and I asked my parents to keep our girls so we could get the nursery painted and ready for Wesley.  After all, he will be here in less than FOUR weeks!  Over the last several months, we have discussed ideas for Wesley's room.  We knew we wanted an overall baseball themed baby nursery.  We had several ideas that would have been over-the-top awesome, but we had to stick with our most economical idea.
And we are really happy with the results!  There are a few tiny details and accessories missing, but you can get the general idea.
We painted the full wall (right) and upper half of the other walls a creamy tan.
You can see to the right a rough sketch of what is to come....  
We used a slightly darker tan (leftover from another room) to create a seam. 
We made little hashmarks along the curve and I used a spongebrush
to paint the stitches along the seams
Don't look too close at my freehand work. :)
Jessie went back and added some shading for "holes" to add some dimension to the stitches. 
The finished baseball wall!

You can see the navy portion of the wall in this picture,
but no chair rail yet.
Jessie had a little fun with the name above the hutch using
some little baseball figures from his collection, and the 3ft Chipper Jones 
bobblehead on the floor.  You can see the finished chair rail in this pic.
The piece above the closet says "play ball". The toddler
jersey is a Smoltz jersey. And the space to the right
is for the custom wall art below...
Custom Wall Decal from Etsy
(If you have a minute, please check out my most recent post about our Personalized Beach Towel Give-Away!  FREE Personalized Beach Towel)

Overall, we are so pleased with how Wesley's room turned out.  Every time I walk by I have to peak in or go look around for a minute (I know that Jessie does it too).  Now, that his room is complete, we are looking forward to bringing our little man home!  


I couldn't resist...I have to include a picture of my diaper bag that I am super excited about using!!  Jessie surprised me with this bag for Christmas! 

Timi & Leslie Felicity Tag-A-Long
While in the hospital, I asked the nursery if they could get Wesley's handprint on a baseball I brought with me.  The nursing staff at our hospital was so great...have been for all three of our children.  They got the perfect print of Wesley's little hand!  I want to have a plaque made with his name, birthdate, birthweight and length.  But for now, this is how it is displayed in his room.

Wesley's handprint keepsake

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cleaning Clutter

Last night I was cleaning what will be our baby nursery.  As I was putting away new things in Wesley's closet and wiping down furniture, I was also dragging boxes out of the nursery.  This room has been a catch-all room prior to it's new status.  The kind of room I lock the door to if people are coming over!  Only those who love me unconditionally have seen this room. haha!!  So here was a box of sewing accessories & scraps, a box of crafty supplies, a box with an old broken camera and kodak printing dock (what do you do with that old stuff anyway?).  I found myself dragging out the old stuff and relocating it so I could work on the new fun stuff.  I didn't want to deal with the clutter!  I just wanted a clean slate to make a nice place for Wesley to come home to.

Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me [not audibly] and said, this is what God does within us.  I have mulled over this since last night.  Sometimes things get messier in the cleaning process.  Old stuff, hidden sin, gets dragged out into the limelight.  It is a painful process, but one that is completely necessary to be clean.  But God isn't bringing light to our sin to hurt us.  We have all heard John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  But keep reading: (17) "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (18) "Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."  God isn't taking that clutter and throwing it in our face saying 'look what you did!', 'what are you going to do with this mess?'.  In fact He has made the cleaning process so simple.  I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."  

In Psalm 51 King David pours his heart out to God.  In verse 10 he cries: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me".  This was the cry of David's heart after he had committed adultery and had Bathsheba's husband killed on the front lines in battle.  David's story is quite intense!  He was a man after God's own heart, yet he was imperfect in every way. David's family story consists of murder, adultery, deception,  bitterness, rape!  The entire story would make a fantastic Lifetime mini-series!!  What made David "a man after God's own heart"?  God's heart is not seeking out a perfect species (circa WWII).  He is looking for those who have messed up and recognize their sin and have an immense desire to rid themselves of this baggage and serve something greater than themselves.   Can we remove that baggage on our own?  We certainly try.  But all we are really doing is relocating that clutter so we will have to face it at another time...like I keep doing with those boxes.  It's not gone, it's there haunting us.  So often as Christians, we can go to church and act like everything's peachy, but we have not let go of that clutter, the strongholds, that keep us from moving forward in our walk with God.  Acts 3:19 "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord."


By the way, I still don't know what I am going to do with those boxes! ;)

30 Days

In 30 days I will be holding my little man in my arms.  He'll be swaddled by the nurses so tight that he looks like he's all baby head.  I'll be able to relax for a few days: no computer, our girls with my parents, and a nurse who (if I prefer) will bring the baby to me when he needs to eat and take him back to the nursery so she can take care of any diapers or nighttime tears.  Hospital Bliss!

Abby & Katie riding the hospital bed.
This past Tuesday, Jessie and I took the girls to the hospital where we will have Wesley.  A labor & deliver nurse moderated a sibling class & tour.  There were about a dozen children participating.  It was a really cute way to prepare the older siblings for their role and what to expect out of the new baby--which they narrowed down to crying, eating, and burping.  They had "circle time" where the nurse went around the circle asking them if they were having a boy or girl, what kinds of things are in the babies room, etc.  They had snack time and watched a video.  The children all brought their own dolls or stuffed animals from home.  After the video they each got to diaper their babies and swaddle them with a receiving blanket.  We then proceeded to the tour of the labor and delivery floor.  The kids got to peak in the nursery window looking for any new babies.  We spent some time in a delivery room where the nurse allowed the kids to "ride the bed"!  She did explain that they would not be able to when they come back with mommy.  She raised it all the way up then down like a "flying carpet".  I won't be spending any time in one of these beautiful rooms since I will be having a c-section, but they are really nice!  We then went to see a postpartum room, which is where I will have my mini-vaca with Jessie after we have Wesley.  I'm serious!  This is the calm before reality of bringing the new little one home. Only a mom of at least 1 can truly appreciate this hospital time.

We're actually very excited about bringing Wesley home.  The girls are super-excited about their baby brother too.   They will give me a kiss, then kiss my belly.  Abby will say "I love you baby" to my belly.  They are going to be such sweet big sisters and great helpers.  Tonight they helped me work in the nursery a little bit.  I have yet to set up the crib, paint or any "fun" decorative stuff.  That is a project I hope we will get to this weekend; then I will really feel ready to bring our baby home.  We have a lot of creative ideas for his room!  I can't wait to share pictures of the progress as it unfolds.

30 days....30 days and counting.  I cannot wait to see Wesley's little face...his little fingers. To experience that love that expands from somewhere deep within.  To see my husband in a new light as he cuddles our new baby.  To see Katie as a big sister for the very first time.  And to see Abby adoring and proud and a little more secure in her role as the oldest child--she's VERY good at it!  I cannot wait to be a family of 5!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

miscellany monday



5
Today was early registration for current students at Abby's school.  I dropped Abby off this morning thinking I would run into the office to register her for next year.  To my surprise the parking lot was packed and the gymnasium was swarming with parents!  I walked forward to a sign up sheet where I signed my name next to number 64!!  Parents had been there since as early as 3:30am.  Needless to say, I missed the 1st 18 slots for her K-5 class and am now #2 on the waiting list.

4
I love when the Bradford Pear trees bloom, but my goodness am I the only one who thinks they reek like fish guts!!

3
We recently purchased a used minivan.  It doesn't have hidden storage or buttons to make doors open automatically, but I am loving it!  Our girls have been sitting in the back row, which I built up to be a privilege for big girls who could buckle themselves in their booster seats. :)  It will really allow room for the new baby in the more reachable middle seat when he arrives.

2
Wesley will be here via c-section 5 weeks from today.  We are taking the girls tomorrow night for a sibling tour of the hospital nursery and a short class to talk to them about the new baby.  They get to bring their own baby dolls for the demonstration.  It should be fun!

1
Today is my spiritual birthday!  I asked Jesus to come into my heart at the age of 4....20+ years ago.  Ok, 29 years ago, yikes!  I remember praying with my dad when he came home that day because I wanted Jesus in my heart.  Of course, in my memory it was dark, as most of my early childhood memories are--except for a lamp nearby.  I remember thinking at times that I didn't have a testimony because I was saved before I actually went through anything.  In fact, I have sometimes found myself a teensy bit envious of those who "have a testimony", who are madly in love with their Savior because of what He has brought them through, who are zealous and hungry for the Word of God because they have never heard these things before.  But praise God--He saved me from having to go through those things!  The core if my heart is focused on a relationship that started with Jesus Christ at the age of 4.  You might assume that after 29 years of being a born again believer that I would have it all together spiritually.  But that is not the case--at all!  Do I take the Word of God for granted at times? Yes.  Do I mess up?  Most definitely.  But thank God that His mercy is new every single morning! [Lamentations 3:22-23]


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