Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Formal Living Room to Playroom

Before



After










We are just in the season of life where we wouldn't use a formal living room, but would use the heck out of a playroom. After Thanksgiving, we left all the furniture out of our front room and made it a playroom for Camden. It is so nice to have a place, without a TV, that he can mess up and call his own. Without the TV, we aren't tempted to watch our dear friend ELMO all day. Gives us a place to get all of our energy out during these long winter months. Don't you worry, we make a good mess, but we are also teaching him to clean up, so thankful for my kindergarten backround and great songs! So below is our transformation from FL to PR.






The Plan...

So today I am in planning mode. We have two problems here, I like to plan out my life, and I am not really trusting God with His plan. I thought the next step for my life was another child, now I feel like that won't happen, so I have come up with this plan.

*Sell all baby stuff
*Buy a new bedroom suite for the other bedroom
*talk to SCC about the possibility of a full-time position when Camden is in school (this is a 3-4 year step)
*go on a really nice Disney vacation
*pick out Camden's big boy bedding
*worry about losing Camden
*I also tend to want to spend a whole lot of money when I am stressed or anxious (note to self, cut up credit cards)
*I am sure there are more...

Some of these plans I don't like...like the last one. With the loss of Chilly, Willy, and Lilly and the hope of a second child (which I do believe if God wanted us to have another one He would do that, I am just venting a bit), I have become really protective and anxious about losing Camden. I find that this isn't fair or fun. I want to enjoy being his mom, not worry day to day if he will fall and get hurt or even worse. Do you guys think I need to up my crazy pills yet? Hoping this blogs get more fun. I guess today, I feel nutty. I can only imagine what God thinks of my plan.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

gIVFt

I don't know where to start with the post....I am so thankful for IVF, to me it gave me one of the best gifts I have ever had. So, I guess when we went in for round two, I got cocky, I knew it would work. It had to, we knocked it out of the park the first time with our little guy. We had three embryos, that I just knew would give us another child. Since yesterdays phone call I have gone through so many emotions....sadness, guilt, relief, confusion, and anger. I am so sad, because according to Dr's, Colin and can't get pregnant on our own. Now I believe in God and know He can work miracles...but for now I am sad because medically speaking, this just wont happen for us. I am guilty because I really didn't want to go back for those little embryos. I dreaded the thought of pregnancy and change. I feel terrible now knowing that I dreaded those three little guys, and now they won't be. I am a little bit relieved for the fact that I don't have to worry about another pregnancy with bedrest, I am content with my sweet boy. I am relieved that I won't have another 3-6 months of sleepless nights, or change. I am confused, because as I write why I am relieved, I still have a small desire for sleepless nights, and a sweet baby who lays on your chest with their legs wrapped up under their butt. How can I want both things in the same breath? I am finding myself with a twinge of anger....just mad. Don't know why, I just am mad. Then I cry, I hate crying.

The gift of IVF has me forever grateful. I get to wake up with a spunky 20 month old and watch Elmo, play in the snow, eat frozen waffles, and dance. IVF is also tricky because you know SOOOO much sooner that you are pregnant. I knew within days of implanting the embryos that I was pregnant. If Colin and I had conceived on our own, we probably never would have known that I was pregnant for those two days, and I wouldn't be brokenhearted. I am thankful that God has those sweet little embryos and He sees the bigger picture. Although we were just a few weeks along, I still believe I will see those sweet babies one day. Thank you God for staying close.

Friends, thanks for the prayers and all the messages, calls, texts, and cupcakes. I feel SO SO loved. We believe God has the best plan...we will trust in HIM!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Journey of surprises (be sure you start with 1)

I have been blogging the past few weeks, but not posting, until today. Start with Surprises 1, and go to Surprised 4. We love y'all.

Surprised (4)

Welll...this past week has been quite the roller coaster of emotions. We have been on the top, and today we just road the car straight to the bottom fast. Last Thursday, when i went in for my bloodwork to confirm my pregnancy, Gale called to tell me I was indeed pregnant, but my levels were low. Typical of Frozen Embryo Transfer, but she still wanted me to come in today to make sure my numbers were doubling.



Camden and I woke up and used our new toaster to make some really good Kroger brand blueberry waffles, and then went to pick up my mom to go get my bloodwork done. I am so thankful she knew about the pregnancy and could go along with me. The process was quick and painless, and i needed to stay busy for two hours so....we went to Sams and then Cracker Barrell. We met my dad and Aunt Whitney at the barrell for what looked to be a delicious morsal of food. (We also ran into the Breaux family, which is always nice....)



I found a sweet deal on some decorative plates and when I was taking them to my car noticed Gale had called me with my results. At that point mom, dad, Cam, and Whitney had been seated and I decided to call Gale back. Mistake one....went back into the CB to call Gale. Gale was so, so sweet but she told me that my levels had dropped considerably, to the point of negative and that I was no longer pregnant. Mistake two....sitting down in the middle of gift shop, on the phone, crying. She told me we could come in and meet with Dr Akin and discuss what he thought may have gone wrong,and we could do another cycle, all things that were entering in one ear and going straight out the other. She said that the embryos had implanted at one point, but some how didn't stick. I told Gale I would have to call her back to set that up. I didn't know what to think or do so.. I went out to the car to tell Colin the news. There is something about marrying your friend in times like these. He knew what to say, he let me cry, and he is just perfect. So thankful for him. Mistake three....going back into CB to tell my mom, dad, Whitney, and Camden I lost the baby, and I need to leave...I just wanted to be alone. I just didn't know what to think or do. So I traded cars with my dad (who is crying...so sorry). Mistake four....walk back through CB and run into one of our friends who did a lot of work on our old house...hug, and melted down, so sorry Chuck. My emotions were crazy.



I am thankful that my mom and dad took Camden for the afternoon, I went to Nakada's and she loved on me, encouraged me and gave me the hope that God does know what He is doing. Even when I am devastated, and not knowing what to think, He does. I am at the point now, where I feel bad that I even dreaded going back for Chilly, Willy, and Lilly. I dreaded the thought of pregnancy, and I dreaded the thought of change...but now, I dread not being pregnant. I am sad that I may not have a little baby again. I want to sell all my stuff that I organized in my garage for baby number two. Not that I dont have hope that God will give us another child, but because I just want to get rid of it. I don't want to see it....I want to focus on the sweet GIFT of Camden, and as far as I can see right now, we are family of three (and sampson).



So we had an amazing Christmas, we continue to thank God for the plan He has for us. We will continue to praise Him, and trust Him. I just feel a little broken right now...and that's OK. God has all the pieces.



1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Surprise (3)

This is the ornament that each person sees when they open their gift from Camden



So...we have told our family,

So....baby number 2, you are so very loved. We can't wait to meet you, and know your name. Until then we know who is creating you, and we trust in Him. Please pray for us as we start this wonderful journey again.

Merry Christmas! (Stout style)

This is the tradition that I want to start with our family. I want to read "Christmas in the Manger" with Camden....unfortunately he wasn't too interested. (see story below)

This was before church on Wednesday night...Colin is saying "Cheese", Camden is saying "out" (which means down)

Camden and his sweet cousin Katlyn, celebrating with the Stout family Christmas Eve Oh my word....could he get any cuter? This was during our wagon ride, see video below




Some pics and video of our action packed Christmas....The first video is of Colin and I going to wake Camden up. You can see that he wakes up like his momma...happy. (don't ask Colin). He does have his mom's ability to fall all the time, this is a trait I inherited from my mom.


The second video is of Camden walking into the toy room where he sees all his toys from Santa (Craigs list). I wanted to have a moment this morning walking through Jesus' birth, and for some reason he just wouldn't sit down. So tonight before bed we got to read through the story and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. I really want him to understand what Christmas is truly about, Colin reassures me that he is 20 months old and t fact that he didn't want to come away from his Elmo work bench is ok.




video



video



This last video is of Camden and me riding in the wagon. Poor daddy pulled us all arond the backyard....as you can see it was totally worth it. Thanks babe

videoT

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I am not good at surprises....(2)

Because I can't keep surprises....Since the 20th, I have taken more tests, the ones with the two lines didn't convince my hubs, I had to buy the ones that say pregnant! At that point he felt that was a little bit more definitive. So, after he saw the word pregnant, he/I couldn't wait to share the news with family (remember the plan to tell on Christmas day). My mom and dad came over Tuesday, December 21st to watch Camden while we went on a date....so we told them. It was so special, we were all crammed in the bathroom, watching Camden splash and go crazy in the tub, and I handed them a gift bag and said Camden had a present for them. (I am an idiot and did put the pregnancy test in the bag, cleaned off, and my dad thought it was a thermometer....no clue what it was), UNTIL he spotted that ornament when he saw that ornament his eyes lit up and tears were flowing. My poor mom was sitting on the tub had no clue what was going on, until Colin stated....we are pregnant....then we were all hugging and so happy. I loved that we got to surprise them, last time they walked through the whole process, this time, they had no clue. I am glad we got to do it both ways, but the look on their faces was priceless....they really didn't have a clue.





Today (december 22nd), Mom, Dad, Mac and Whitney came over to celebrate my birthday. We did carryout from Malones and cake. We finished dinner and then Camden took Mac and Whitney the present, and they were thrilled.


So...tomorrow night we will probably tell Colin's family, and then it will be out. Praise God for this story. I am so thankful that we have this opportunity to LOVE another child. Please pray for us as we walk into the pregnancy. That I can be a good mom to Camden, a good wife to Colin, and enjoy this. I am so, so thankful for these embryos in my belly. (By the way, go in for bloodwork tomorrow, then I will have an ultrasound in January to see how many we are talking about.



Best Birthday EVER!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I don't like Surprises. (1)

This post is not going to be on my blog until Colin and I are ready. You may already have a hunch about what this is about....I am thinking that as you read more and more, your thoughts are going to where I think that you think they are going and what you are thinking is indeed true...as of tonight, December 20th.....I am pregnant!


This past October while on our awesome cruise, Colin and I had a discussion, in the ocean, with KJ (lucky guy) and decided that it was time to go back and get our sweet little embryos, fondly known as Chilly, Willy, and Lilly.


When we arrived home from our awesome vacation, and I called Dr. Akin. I felt so stupid when the receptionist answered, because there are technical terms for what we are doing, however I just shouted out "we want to come in and get our frozen babies!" The receptionist is the sweetest, and she just laughed and said the technical term is FET, frozen embryo transplant, and I replied, "that's what we want!". She transferred me to my friend Gale, and I had to leave a message. Of course Gale called back when I was in the car with my sweet momma.....whom we wanted to surprise (along with the rest of our family and friends). So I am just listening to Gale ramble off all these instructions, really wanting to ask a ton of questions.....and decide that I will just have to call the following day....(mom, I was dying to tell ya....probably everyday since we started).


I called Gale back and she said that this time, no injections just patches. I had to start the patched according to my cycle, and at some many days of patches I would go in to see my friend Dr. Akin and he would let me know if it was a go......My sweet, sweet friend Nakada happened to be at SCC dropping off Sophie and Riley the same time I dropped off Camden the morning of the appointment and offered to go with me. I was totally appreciative and thrilled she wanted to come with me (not to the ultrasound of course). We got coffee and just talked through what this meant....three embryos, triplets. "Are you ready for the possibility of three?" In my head, I have always struggled with the thought of even having one more child. My pregnancy with Camden was full of bedrest....and I don't know how that would work with a almost two year old....then I was reminded of "If....(I have triplets, twins, bedrest, no baby...), GOD!" No matter what, this is God's story, child, and He is in control.


Don't worry I have to remind myself of that every hour. So on Tuesday, Dr. Akin gave us the go ahead. He said everything looked great, and asked how many we wanted to defrost (again, not technical term)....Colin and I decided we would implant all three. We implanted three with Camden, and that gave us a 70% chance of one. We had also heard that 1/3 of the embryos coming out of the freezer would not make it...so we were looking at it possibly only being two. (is this making any sense?) Dr. Akin said we needed to be back at the IVF lab the following Tuesday, 9:00 for implant.


Nakada and I celebrated in the car and worked out a plan to get Camden to school early on Tuesday. She would meet me there in the concourse and feed the kids so Colin and I could get to the lab on time. However, it was a snow day so....plan B....we took Camden to Nakada's at 830ish (845ish) and Camden had a playdate with the twins and Jordan and Stef joined them. As Colin and I dropped off our little guy, we were honestly in a little tif because we were running a wee bit behind. He wanted to prepare a breakfast feast before our big appointment. I am all about a schedule and my lovely hubs is all about flying by the seat of his pants. So we were working through our timing and late arrival, and the fact that my emotions were extremely high. What if we do get pregnant, can I be a good mom, will I be able to LOVE all of these kids, will Camden fell left out....I really like our life right now... That's where my sweet hubs comes in....he kept encouraging me that this whole thing was out of our hands...that God was writing this story and I had to let go!


As we walked into the IVF lab, it was surreal. We had been driving by for the last few years saying hi to Chilly, Willy, and Lilly....and now they were ready....they weren't go to be there anymore after we left. That hope....that the possiblilty to become pregnant was not going to be there anymore after that day. We went back to our room to get ready and Dr Akin walked in to tell us that two of the three embryos had survived. Whoa...that was a little blow, we lost Chilly. I was a little relieved that we probably wouldn't have triplets, but still sad that our little embryo had not come through. BUT, we had Willy and Lilly, and we were giving them a chance at life within minutes. Dr Akin, was wonderful. So encouraging and kept saying we hope that you have an extra special gift this Christmas. As we sat and waiting for 15 minutes....Colin and I just talked about the future...the many different possibilities and were so thankful that we know God. That we trust God, and that we don't have to worry, HIS plan for our family is best.


That was Tuesday, December 14th and here I am on Monday, December 20th (three tests later) and tonight we finally had a very, very, very faint positive. I am going to my internal med doctore tomorrow for a head cold and going to ask her if she will do some bloodwork, to confirm. My test day isn't supposed to be until Thursday, December 23rd. Some things I have had to do over the past few weeks.



*Not tell my mom and dad (horrible, hard, and I share so much with my mom and dad, and I know that this will be worth it. I have made some ornaments to give our families on Christmas day to share the news. Camden is going to give it to them (and show Pam, Mama and Papa on skype) Christmas Day. (I will show a picture later)


*Come off my anxiety meds...this has been quite the ordeal, my body is doing crazy things...I know it will be worth it in the end, but oh my word, I am in withdraw as they say.


*not really talk about this with many people..you know that ain't my personality


*Pray....for God's will to be done.....If I am pregnant, then God.


I will continue to make posts and pulish once the secret is out, I just know that I will want this journey documented.....



SO SURPRISE.....now I LOVE surprises!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

Office project in progress...


Well, today is Camden's very first snow day. He is already doing a great job embracing it, because it is 8:30 and he is still snoozin'. Thanks little buddy. I have made coffee, muffins, and now sat down to blog. I can't guarantee this will be a complete post in one setting.....I am thinking my little guy may wake up.


We had a great weekend. We celebrated Christmas with everyone Colin works with Friday...and then snuck over to Mac and Whitney's Christmas party. Then Saturday we celebrated Joseph Feola's second birthday at Gymboree (where I learned the scary clowns name is Gymbo)....yikes! Camden LOVED it, he climbed, screamed, played maraccas, and danced. He wore himself OUT...such a fun party. The only part he wasn't sure of was the parachute. Other then that he had a blast. Speaking of Camden, he is really beginning to talk. He is repeating after me so many words..."circle, thank you," It is so fun. He is also all about throwing things. He gets really excited and just doesn't know what to do, so he throws. (remember Baby Jesus)


Yesterday, I may have gotten a wild hair. When Colin sees this coming out, he usually hits the road running the other way. I bought my paint and tackled my office. It is definately not finished, but I am just giving myself time to process how pink (pepto) the back wall is, and how best to tone it down? I also have two blank canvases that I want to draw something on...Colin says we already have way too many words and "s's" in the house, so I am thinking about that one. I am thinking a little bird...I dont know. I am open to suggestions from you crafty people. As for now...here is the space so far. I told ya...it looks like pepto.


Em

Friday, December 10, 2010

thanksgiving 2010 pix

Sorry these are so small....check back tomorrow for some really cute Christmas pix of Camden.
This is the before shot. (we have now turned this room into a playroom). I will post pix later :)
This is the "after decorations" shot

This is the set up for the dining room table


Family picture 2010

I am having to email pix from facebook in order to save them on my laptop, to put into my blog. I am going to go to the apple store after the holidays because I know there has to be an easier way....I am just technologically challenged. Here are pix of the set up we had for Thanksgiving this year. Check out the pix on facebook.
Tonight starts the Christmas parties for us. We are going to Malones of Lexington (yummy) for Colin's company Christmas and then off to Mac and Whitney's for their first Christmas party. I am happy to be having Addie babysit Camden tonight. She is a past student in high school ministry, and also works in the nursery on the weekends. I do believe my son has a crush on her. Camden will be in good hands as we go out and get to love on the wonderful people that work so hard at Concrete Coring (yes, Colin will cry when he talks of how much he appreciate them). I am also looking forward to spending time with friends and family tonight.











Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let Go

So I have been given a book to read for work. I found it in my desk last Friday and thought my boss was trying to tell me something nicely.....how does he know I need to let go of....you name it. I have been praying the last few months that I forget. I know that sounds crazy, but I have been praying whole heartedly, that I could forget. I want to be a gracious, thankful, woman of God and in my job, sometimes it is just really hard. Please don't think ill of me. I LOVE my job, I love that I get to go to work, but in my position I hear and see a whole lot. I get to hear and see first hand hurt people. After hearing the same story 10-15 times in one four hour shift, it gets a little old, just being honest. My prayer is that I can forget the previous calls (the ones where we hang up and they aren't happy with me) and open my heart to the person on the other end of the phone. That I hear or see them as the precious child of God they are, the child that needs their Father. The person that is in desperate need in so much more that money or clothes most of the time. I need to learn to let go of the hard phone calls, and open up to the opportunities that await me each day. God has me in this position for such a time as this....I get to love people, speak truth, and listen. Wow....I get to....thank you Lord. Would you pray with me? Would you pray that my attitude is that of Christ, that I have an open heart each time I answer the phone. Mike Breaux once said...thick skin, but a thin heart.

In my book Let Go by Fenelon (I guess he is a greek god), I read the first letter today. Of course, God spoke and I am listening...

"The good that comes from any experience of personal weakness is the realization that God wants us to be lowly and obedient."

So....I am your servant Lord, use me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Plague

Well the nasty bug hit the Stout house last week...thankfully it was just me. However, that might have been the longest 24 hours of my life. I knew it was bad when the tile floor and bathmat seemed comfortable. My hubs and parents took Camden during that time, and I could rest....and do all other things needed when sick. It was awful, but again, thankful I am the only one who got it.

I got to spend the weekend with some of my dearest friends. Leann, Lauren, and I drove up to Cincy for some shopping, sleep, and mommy time. It was a weekend of some great deals, but more importantly lots of laughs. We are all in a life group together (along with our hubs) and we realized that we have been together almost 6 years now. We try to be consistent, but it is just hard when we are trying to be wives, mom's and work. I treasure the time I get to spend with those lovely ladies....

This week kicks off Christmas parties and such. We have something every night this week. I am looking forward to the days when Colin gets to come home from work, sit by the fire, and hang as a family. I think that he may get a couple of days off...that may be wishful thinking.

Camden is hilarious, he is really starting to chat and repeat everything. It is awesome. He has a Little People Nativity scene and he loves "Sesus," really he likes to pick him up and throw him at me. I have been clocked twice right between the eyes with "Sesus" (makes me wonder if he is trying to tell me something :)

Hope to be more consistent in posting. I thought I was on a roll, then the plague hit the house. Sorry

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving

What an amazing week we have had. So much to be thankful for this year. We are so, so fortunate. I have all kinds of pictures to share, however they are on my cool kid ipad. On an ipad you can't upload pix to blogs or Facebook unless you have Flash player....and Flash player isn't compatible with Mac....can someone give me any advice for the technologically challenged friend? I am dying to show pix.... so until I figure out how to upload pix I thought I would simply right out reasons I am thankful....
*I love that i get to wake up every morning with the most amazing man. He is an encourager, entertainer, and simply so supportive of his crazy wife. He knows what to say and do, and I have fallen even more in love with him each day. He is an active loving dad...and his little boy thinks he hung the moon.
*Speaking of my little boy....what a gift. I LOVE that I get to be his mom. He makes me laugh, cry, and crazy. I wouldn't change a thing about what he has brought to my life. Right now he has this boisterous fake laugh that cracks me up. He goes around the house and puts his hands on his knees and then just belly laughs. He is a happy baby boy....not really a baby anymore.
*speaking of babies...I am thankful that God provided us with three more embryos (currently on ice). We have the opportunity to try and have another child in the future. We are praying that God protect those sweet little lives, and give us direction in when it is time to go and "try" again.
*I hope by reading my blog, you see how much I love Jesus ("Sesus" according to Camden). He is all I need, and everything else is an abudant blessing.
*I LOVE my family. I am so thankful that we are close and chat or see each other everyday. I am so thankful for my Texas, St. Louis, Chicago, and Florida Fam...we may not get to chat or see each other day, but I am forever grateful for our texts, emails, cards (Mama and Papa just sent one the other day with $1 and gum). We are so lucky.
*House...we love this beautiful home and the roof it provides over our head. It is a home...and we are so thankful for the protection it provides us from the heat, cold, snow, and rain.
*I love music...I listen to music all the time. It helps me focus and worship throughout the day. My favorite CD right now is the Chris Tomlin Christmas album.
*I love showers at night....I feel clean and refreshed when I wake up (never thought that would be me...but this is where I am now)
*Love coffee in the morning with sugar and milk (sometimes hot tea)
*Friends, I have some amazing....amazing....amazing friends. Couldn't walk through life without them.
*Craigslist...always looking for a good deal
*SCC..I love that I get to work, and Camden gets to go to school there. It is an amazing team that I am a part of.
*Surprises. I love them, I love to surprise people more then I love being surprised
*Candles...they help my house smell good and I always have one lit when I am home.
*Elmo...he helps entertain Camden while I cook dinner at night.
*Blog..I wish that I spend more time writing here, when I look back at our journey to becoming parents it reminds me of God's hand at work during the good and bad times.
*sweet tea..might be addicted

I am rambling and have the right to keep adding...I just have so much to be thankful for, hopefully the ability to upload pix will be added soon!
Em

Monday, November 22, 2010

my own space

We moved all of the storage shelves and Sampsons house from this corner of the pantry and put our desk. This is my space....I have so many ideas. (See below for a few)

I am so thankful for these bad boys...especially when my boy was sick and I was doing 2-3 loads a day)

This is my closet that is in the huge pantry....I not only have a huge pantry, but it has a closet inside....I love it.

This is the view when you first walk in the laundry/pantry/myspace. I love that our engagement picture is in the laundry room. 8 years ago it was the first thing you saw when you walked in our home...then it moved to the dining room and now it is here.


This is to the right when you walk in. You can see my desk in the left side of the picture. Along with Camden's drum (the black tin with Ghosts and pumpkins and the amazing Veggie Straws....these should be a staple in every family home (Thanks Nakada)

So when we moved into our awesome house a few months ago...I gained this incredible laundry/pantry area....I mean incredible. It is huge! I love it....I am sick when it comes to oranizing things. I have so many plans running around in my head...colors, pictures, accents, baskets, school supplies...oh my. This is a blank slate....and my favorite part is in the back corner is a space that is all mine. Mine to decorate, mine to sit and listen to my music, mine to have my quiet time, a space all about me. I have already been more disciplined with my bible study and my blog...because I look forward to lighting my candle (pumpkin spice), turning on my christmas music (chris tomlin) and just having some me time. I LOVE IT!
So with this fun space I have had all kinds of ideas rolling around in my head. I will show you some colors, some creative inspirations, and the actual space. (I never know if my pix show up above or below...but you get the picture).

Inspirations:
(many from the blog Jones Design Company)
Coffee Filter Foof (hang over the desk)
Blackboard wall (I want to frame a chalkboard/magnetic board to cover the panels)
Raspberry Pudding (for the back wall, with the electrical panels-with above frame that has blackboard paint/magnetic abilities to hide panels) HOW FUN IS THAT PINK?
Cloudy Sky (just love this color...think this may be dining room down the road)
You know I will also have to have a phrase....I am thinking about painting or stenciling Phillipians 4:6-7 on my wall. I want to read that promise everyday.
I just love the idea of having a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim. Pictures of my family and friends, my computer, my music, my candles, and my space. This is all about me! Yikes!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

If....

So as you know, I struggle with fear. More specifically with fear of death or something happening to those I love. This has been something deeply rooted in me for a long time. I remember when my Grandfather passed away, I came to realize that death was real....and I would die. I was in elementary school when I came home to both of my parents home (which never happened, dad worked until at least 6 every night). I was so happy to have my daddy home, but quickly sensed that something wasn't right. That morning he had been the one to wake us up and get us ready for school, I just thought it was a special day...however, my mom had been called to the hospital in the wee hours to say good-bye to her daddy. My grandaddy had a bad heart. He had many open heart surgeries, and I just knew that he would pull through his latest by-pass...but he didn't. After his death and funeral, I grew very, very fearful of dying. I remember waking up in the middle of the night thinking that my heart was stopping. I remember watching movies about cancer and thinking I had it. I remember hearing about Magic Johnson's diagnosis with AIDS, and you got it, I had it. Fear is powerful, our minds are powerful. So from then on...my fears and my mind worked against me...telling me lies. Now I know who to blame for being paralyzed with fears....and now I know that isn't who I am....death is real, but if I live in constant fear of death...I will never live. The devil is trying to keep a grip on me...he is trying to keep me crippled by my fears, so that I can't do God's will in my life. Not cool Devil, not cool. Little does he know...in the Bible God calls us to NOT FEAR over 365....one for each day. I think that HE knew we would struggle with fear.

I don't know what your fear is, but I do know.....
Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 2:10 (New International Version)
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.[a]

God promises to use us...He has a plan. We must trust Him in all things, pray, and stand true to His promises. So, what has helped me? Lots and lots of prayer. Great conversations with good people, acknowledging these lies Satan has told me. Honestly, medicine....I think it is OK to take meds, they along with prayer help balance me out. And, most recently this.

"If I die, then I will be with God forever"
"If I get cancer, then God will hold my hand"
"If my parents get sick, God"
"If I lose Camden or Colin, God"

You see IF anything, God IS! He always will be. I may have to be scraped up off the ground IF those happen, but GOD will use me. God will be with me, God will NEVER leave me.

James 1:2-4 (The Message)
2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way

This may be too much, but I needed to get it off my chest. If I didn't, God would still know. Love you guys.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Week!

One of my fav's from last year...you can tell he was digging the carrots and sweet potatoes

(baby food)

I love this picture of my cousin Stephen...so excited that Flo will be with us this year...and they are ENGAGED!! (look how dark Camden's hair is!)


Decor this year will be similar...with round tables



No formula this year buddy!


This is Camden 2009...he is really gonna love 2010


I LOVE Thanksgiving. I LOVE hosting Thanksgiving. I LOVE decorating for Thanksgiving. I LOVE everything about Thanksgiving. Fried turkey, family, friends, veggies galore, and desserts and more! I just LOVE it! We are hosting a party of 26 this year and I promise to post pix of the decor and spread. All the rental equipment is delivered on Wednesday when I get off work....so I will be in the zone Wednesday night. We also have a tradition of "preparing" the turkey's the night before. I just LOVE it! I can't wait......Above are pix of last years festivities and decor....they helped refresh my memory...and get me really excited about this year. Sooo...Happy Thanksgiving week! I LOVE Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

success

If you have any need to take aggression out on a chicken, I recommend the chicken hammer pounder thingy....this was fun!
This is my chicken after I dredged in Plinko (Panko) Crumbs

these are my pans where I got to dredge things (don't I sound like an Iron Chef)

oven fried chicken (so easy and even yummier)

These are called butterscotch and black pepper baby carrots....delightful

Caught the little guy off guard....seriously mom, this is awesome!

Well friends, I did it! I saw a recipe on TV and I tried to make it here at home (I would really like some assistants who put all the neccessary ingredients in cute bowls for me), and it was SUCCESSFUL....really good! I am bragging, I am not a good cook, and this was good. It has inspired me to look for other recipes and try to cook them. (right now I am leaning towards a chocolate chip cheese ball...no cooking required and it has chocolate).
I want to dedicate this post to my mom...she has been praying this day would happen for 25+years....so mom, hope you enjoyed this. Love you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mommy Time

My sweet little guy is off to school today....and mommy has some time to herself. I used to send Camden to school only on Mondays and Wednesdays, while he was at school I worked. Then something hit me....send Camden to school on Tuesdays so you can have some time. At first I felt guilty, should I really take time for myself, when Camden is perfectly fine here at home on Tuesdays with me? Am I selfish? Am I going to miss him? Today is my first day to really embrace the gift of Tuesday, and although I do miss my sweet boy, I know he is in good hands and having a blast with all of his other buddies. I am sure he hasn't thought twice about me :)

So, what do I do on my first free Tuesday morning from 9-12? I worked out with my friend Nakada....I am going to be sore tomorrow for sure. I went to the pharmacy, used a gift card to buy myself a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and went to the grocery. I know, don't be jealous, but to do all those things without having to keep up with a little person was so, so nice. When I got home, I unloaded the car without worrying about where the dog and Camden were while I left the garage door open. I put everything away, and it stayed in its place....and I found two new recipes I want to try for dinner. I will put a link to them....the first is oven fried chicken and the second is butterscotch black pepper carrots. I will let you know how they turn out. I can't decide if I am going to make them tonight or tomorrow....but I never, ever, ever get excited about cooking...and I must admit, I am a little excited!

I have also been falling more and more in love with Esther. This study is so good, and I love the people that I am walkin through the study with too. More on that tomorrow. Happy rainy Tuesday all.....

Monday, November 15, 2010

sickness 2010







yikes! My sweet baby boy has been sick these last few days. It all started Friday (sorry Aunt Whitney) when I was at work. Camden was still asleep when I left for work, so when Aunt Whitney went in to get the little guy....let's just say he had exploded....everywhere.....pj's, body, sheet, bumper, blanket, lovey, you get the idea. Yuk! He ate a great breakfast and was extra loving for Aunt Whitney. Then took a great nap...and guess what...after nap, he exploded for mommy. I had a hard time with this scene, and he is my son. Yuk! Friday night he slept great, thank you Jesus, since Colin was out of town. However, we had another explosion Saturday morning and afternoon. I kept giving him pedialyte and bland foods. Daddy came home just in time for a very rough Saturday night. I think that he may have eaten too much for dinner, because at 10 and midnight he was up sick again, puking....poor little guy. Yesterday we stayed in our pj's all day, watched Elmo, played, and continued our bananas, applesauce, toast, pedialyte diet. He got up last night with a fever....I am praying his little body fought off this nastiness, but I am calling the Dr today. Please pray for Camden.....no school or work today...another day of Elmo!






Good news to report...solid poop and a way better appetite, thanks for praying. I have a sweet, baby boy on the road to recovery.






Em

Friday, November 5, 2010

MIA




Friends,

I am so sorry about being MIA for soooo long. I don't think that I have EVER gone two or more weeks without a post. I am probably down 100's of visitors....geesh. However, I do have some cute pix of my boy for halloween to post....and cruise pix to follow. Vacation was a dream come true for me and the hubs. We relaxed and ate a TON, but missed our boy even more. It was nice to be together just the two of us, but we are now a family of THREE. Enjoy our sweet Elmo, and thanks Nana Pam for the hook up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's call them quills


This week in Esther, I am learning on how to find the root of my quills....what? I don't know about you, but when I feel threatened, something spikes up on me that puts me into protective, defensive, 'oh no you didn't" mode. I am learning that typically my anger is rooted in jealousy and pain. If I am hurt...they go up....if I am jealous, they go up (I think they are longer when I am jealous). "We swap pain for anger because it is easier for a while" Beth Moore.




I am walking through the storyline of Mordecai and Haman to see this picture of "mean." Haman is a rotten, jealous, angry, jerk of a man. He just can't see past himself in many situations, he has REALLY big quills and he likes to poke people all the time (and I am not talking the Facebook kind).


Proverbs 18:7-8 (The Message)
7 Fools are undone by their big mouths;

their souls are crushed by their words.


I am just gonna be honest...I am a fool. I am really trying to learn to keep my mouth shut. I am trying to filter through my thoughts and not say things because it makes me funny or cool. I want to be a good listener, I don't want my words to get me into trouble. Words and quills can kill relationships, family, friends, etc. I don't want to miss out on a beautiful friend because of something I say or a reaction I have had. My new process in dealing with my quills is as follows.


PRAYER!!! Lots of prayer, and asking for God to pinpoint the root of my anger...in all honesty it is me most of the time. It is my thoughts, words that get my quills going. I want God to show me if it is my insecurity that causes the quills.


"If we discern something evil of suspicious, God calls us to take our concerns to Him with deepest humility, intercede earnestly, and ask what-if anything- we should do. " Beth Moore


DISCUSS with a trusted friend/hubs (not everyone) if they think it is in my head or if it is something I should do something about....conversation? Then back to praying.


CONVERSATION if needed, approach the person or SELF and humbly walk through the conversation....but before the conversation back to step one....LOTS And Lots of PRAYER!


Am I the only one that wants to run and be on the defense the minute you feel threatened? Does anyone else have quills? I am also praying that I have much thicker skin and a very thin heart so that I can be slow to anger. Would you pray for your angry friend....


"the bolts of your (my) gates will be iron and bronze, and your (my) strength will equal your days" Deut 33:25

Monday, October 11, 2010

Esther

So over the last month I have been learning all about the book of Esther thanks to an amazing bible study by Beth Moore. I get to meet with 15+ girls every other Monday and we walk through the study and talk how it applies to our lives as women....and somedays it just isn't easy being a woman....amen? All this to say is that yesterday in "big church" Jon taught about Esther. I felt so cool, I really knew what he was talking about, I knew the characters and the story line. I felt like an expert. I love the story of Esther. I love her faithfulness, and her inner beauty. I love that she takes on the challenge of what God created her for. I love that she listens and obeys. I love that she came from such heartache (losing both parents) and humbly rose to the top....She gives me hope that I was made for such a time as this.

This made me think...what if I was familiar with every character in the bible? What if I knew about each person's story? I am that girl who when told to look up a certain book in the bible, I immediately begin to sweat and then look at the Table of Contents. I don't want others to see that I don't know where certain books are (I know Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans...and about where Ephesians and Phillipians are). I am grateful that they put the verses on the screens in big church, by the time I get to them in my bible.....let's just say the sermon is over. I have a paperclip where Esther is in my bible, so during my study it is really easy to locate my girl.

So, back to my point. I want to make an effort to spend more time in the word. To really get to know the people in the bible. To know the stories. Hopefully, Esther is my starting point.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fun Fall Festivities

Upon entering the orchard, Camden couldn't believe all the "ball(s)" in front of him!
Sweet face

Grandaddy and Grandma

Got his very own pumpkin


There was even a petting zoo.....loved this picture

Camden fed the donkeys and billy goats (no fear)

So much fun


me and mommy

Apple Train

You should have seen mommy climbing into the BIG chair

It was a beautiful day to enjoy the orchard!

We took our annual trip to Boyd Orchard's today with Grandma and Grandaddy....we had a blast!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A New Look...

....for my blog. I have decided to ask a savy blog designer to help me. Hopefully in the next few weeks or so, I will be sporting a new look. As for now, enjoy the pix of Camden and Daddy helping around the house. (during these pictures, we realized Sampson was missing, thankfully he wasn't far, and we met some of our neighbors in the process)