Our LOVE Story (Part 2)

~ If you haven’t read Our LOVE Story (Part 1), check it out here! ~ A large 8 passenger van pulled up to my house. It was old, rusty, and, a bit looking like it could fall apart at any moment. Andrew was here to pick me up. I can tell you now that I was a secretly impressed that Andrew didn’t seem to be the kind of man who had to make a “wowing” first impression to his potential future girlfriend by driving a fancy hot rod the first time he picked her up. 🙂 Andrew jumped out of the…

Are Your Kids Wearing You Out?

I’m almost 37 weeks, and I’m getting bigger than ever! Our little man moves around quite a bit, and it definitely feels like he is outgrowing his cocoon – at least, I’m outgrowing my clothes! It seems like that must mean he is outgrowing his space too! Over the last two weeks I have started getting more Braxton Hicks contractions. Sometimes, my belly has been getting so tight for so long that I think I will burst; it feels amazing when it decides to relax again! I feel awkward and weird in just about every position, and I only have one…

It’s Looking A Lot Like…

It’s looking a lot like…A sweet little baby boy is about to make his way into our home! As Andrew or I look around our apartment, there are little (and big) evidences almost everywhere that a little person is about to make his way into our home. 🙂 Andrew and I are getting more and more excited as our baby boy grows bigger and it gets closer to his due date! I’m 35 weeks (36 on Friday!); he could arrive anytime in the next few weeks! Throughout the months the reality of having a baby has gotten more real. In…

Black Hearse

A sleek black hearse idled in front of me. Pouring rain. I could barely see. The reality of death, yet disbelief in its reality, rested in my heart. At sixteen I never imagined that I would be here. I sat in the driver’s seat of our family van ready for the black hearse to pull out in front of me – leading me to the cemetery for my own dad’s burial. Around Christmas time of 2008, my dad was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer and given little hope for living past 6 months to a year. Radiation would only shrink…

Embracing Pain

…Accepting pain. Even embracing it… For me, pregnancy brought on this concept, and it keeps coming to my mind over the last several months over and over again. First trimester nauseousness, puking, and stretching aches. Second trimester pregnancy gingivitis, arms falling asleep at night, burping (my poor husband!), and heartburn. Third trimester hugeness, discomfort, back pain, nauseousness, and puking again. Things I wouldn’t normally choose to experience. Our culture often tends to give us a message that pain isn’t a good thing. While as a culture we want a good end result, at the same time the culture subtly encourages the…

Influencing a Life | One Woman’s Impact on Mine

As a teenager, all that separated my family’s house from my grandmas was a large neighborhood where I used to take runs and walks quite frequently. One warm, sunny summer afternoon, I remember walking to grandma’s house for a visit. I spent the afternoon with her, and when it came time for me to go, Grandma insisted on driving me home. She said, “It will just take me a minute. Let me take you home. I can get you back in a jiffy; and it’s no trouble.” With that, she jumped into the car – barefooted! My almost 90-year-old grandma was…

Fears of a First-Time MOM

Fear is an emotion that I actually didn’t think of having (or think of wrestling with much) when it came to starting a family.  I love children! I purposely spend time with them. I have excitedly dreamed, even before I was married, of what it would be like to have a little life growing inside of me someday. I imagined how amazing it would be to have kids of my own to love and cuddle and watch as their small lives grew into big adult lives. I always dreamed of having a large family (I used to say 22 kids –…

The Fun Box: Creating Memorable Moments

A few years ago I had the idea of creating a special box for the kids in my life. At that time I was not married and definitely did not have kids of my own, but I was around kids all the time. Growing up as the youngest of seven made it easy for me to quickly become the aunt of 24 nieces and nephews. I loved entertaining them, playing with them, and taking care of them. From that was launched my desire to babysit as a job. From the time I was old enough to, I began watching my nieces and…