Friday, April 23, 2010

it's shaping up to be a great summer

Here are just a few of the reasons I'm looking so forward to this Summer:

1) We get to finally meet Judah!

2) Mom and Dad are coming to the States to meet their first grandchild.

3) I'm going to grill entire herds of cattle, packs of hotdogs, schools of fish and whatever else Leslie brings near the house.

4) I'm going to read books that I want to read not books assigned on a syllabus. A few of those books include:

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Gospel-Powered Parenting by William Farley

And this might be a bit overly ambitious but...City of God by Augustine

5) The WORLD CUP!!! Unfortunately I can't attend in person...but Judah and I will get to spend some good bonding time watching it together on ESPN.

6) The 3rd Lausanne Conference is in South Africa this Summer. I'm look forward to hearing and reading all about it.

7) It's a really big Summer for the Southern Baptist Convention. This year's annual meeting in Orlando is shaping up to be a historic moment in Baptist history. I'm looking forward to watching it unfold as it is streamed live online.

8) I'm going to have the opportunity to teach/preach 5 nights in a row at Deep Impact, a week long camp put on by North Carolina Baptist Men in Red Springs, NC. Inspired by our trip to Athens a few years ago I'm thinking of using Acts 17 and Paul on Mars Hill.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Maternity Photos

My wonderful friend Kristel who's in our small group, along with her husband Alex, took some awesome maternity photos of me last weekend. Even though I've been doing my own belly pictures each week, I wanted some really nice, more professional looking pics to have in remembering my pregnancy. She did such a great job! I'm blessed to have such talented friends. Here's a link to her website: These are just a few highlights, click here to see more.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

7 Miles

Have you ever heard of the "swoon theory"? It's sort of silly and truly thoughtful skeptics don't really use it much anymore but nevertheless it states that: "Jesus never really died on the cross but that He was crucified and came very close to death...He was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb. After three days the coolness of the tomb revived Him and He managed to roll away the stone, come out of the tomb and appear to the disciples making them think He'd risen from the dead."

If you somehow think that explanation sounds reasonable...spend 3 minutes with Matt Chandler in Luke 24.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Nursery and Easter Recap

Tomorrow I'll be 31 weeks! That means 9 weeks to go, pretty crazy. Supposedly he's about 16 inches long and weighs as much as 4 navel oranges. I feel him moving and squirming a lot and he even gets hiccups quite often. That's always fun, especially when I'm just laying down to sleep at night.

Painting the nursery was a success. Natalie came weekend before last and we painted it a nice shade of light gray. Here you can see what it looks like with the new curtains. The bed's going to go obviously to make room for the crib which I ordered yesterday hoorah! It's a Baby Mod crib from Wal-mart.
And I've finally finished all the squares to my crocheted blanket too. Major accomplishment. Here's what it will look like, now I just have to sew all those squares together. I'm planning on hanging the blanket over that front rail.

We had a great Easter at our church this weekend. Over all the campuses and services there were 180 people baptized! We had a dinner on Sunday with some friends and had lots of good food and fellowship.

God has truly blessed us with so much. As a sinner, so undeservedly chosen by Him in His amazing grace, I thank Him everyday for all that He has given me. Loving husband, great friends, healthy pregnancy, home to call our own, amazing family....and the list goes on and on. Easter is such a great reminder of what Christ did for us on the cross. Hard to believe it was only 7 short years ago that I gave my life to Him and acknowledged that I can't earn my salvation by any work of my own but only by His blood. The perfect sacrifice.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Baby Books and Blogs

When I found out I was pregnant back in September the first thing I wanted to do was read, read, read. Read about pregnancy, then about childbirth, breastfeeding, the first year. I also started gathering information and ideas about the nursery. What needs to be in there? What can they do without? I also knew I wanted to document my pregnancy with a series of belly pictures that I could put in a book that would journal my experience. There are so many good resources out there today, especially with the internet. I've also learned that the public library is still my friend after all these years. People told us when you come to Seminary you either leave with a new car or a baby so I guess we know what ours is! We have lots of friends here that either just had a baby or are expecting one so I thought it would be fun to share some of the books and blogs I've found or were recommended to me – all things baby.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility
My co-worker Carly recommended this one to me because of it's chapter on trying to conceive. It was extremely helpful and I learned a lot about a woman's cycle and my body in general.

Belly Book: A Nine Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly
I've had a lot of people comment on my persistence in having a new belly picture every week. Well this is my motivation! I got this one as soon as I found out I was pregnant and have been very diligent about keeping up with it. Most of my friends know I've always been a journaler anyway so this has been very fun for me to write in and keep up with. It has sections for each trimester and spots to document your Dr.'s appointments and paste in pics of your ultrasounds. It's been so much fun and would be a great gift to anyone you know who's expecting. I love looking back at the beginning and seeing how much my belly has grown!

Dr. Miriam Stoppard's New Pregnancy and Birth Book
This one I got from the library and must have renewed it a million times. It was a small little paperback handbook with full color diagrams, photos and charts throughout. It did a great job of spelling out the process your body goes through during pregnancy and what that means for you without being overly wordy. Just a good overall quick reference.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
I know the first book a lot of people get is "What to Expect" but that one really didn't resonate with me for some reason. I'm usually one to check out WebMD any time I have an ailment, which can either be a good thing or a very bad thing! But I wanted a book that was more medical in explaining pregnancy and birth. This one had great reviews on Amazon so it's the one I went with to take me through explaining each week of my pregnancy in detail along with descriptions of different childbirth pain reduction methods etc. I've felt really informed about all the changes my body has gone through and all the little cramps and nudges created by having a life inside of me. Great resource.

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth
After reading all the serious, medial books about pregnancy I wanted something more lighthearted so I got this book by Jenny McCarthy at the library. I literally read it in a few hours. She was very funny describing her pregnancy experience, as would be expected. It made me feel a little less self-conscious about all the unwanted changes my body was going to endure knowing that she'd gone through it and has obviously bounced back well. She had a great sense of humor about the whole thing.

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy
This was another lighthearted read that I'd heard was funny. The title kind of says it all. Down-to-earth ladies telling their stories of pregnancy and what to expect that the Dr. never tells you about.

Nearing the end of my pregnancy I'm starting to read more about the first days after the baby is born, scheduling, breastfeeding, nursery stuff, etc. Here are a few of the books I've read so far or are still reading.

The Milk Memos: How Real Moms Learned to Mix Business with Babies and How You Can Too
This book was awesome. I know I'll read it again when it gets closer to time for me to go back to work. Since I'm the one working full-time while Thomas is in Seminary and we now own a house, we obviously have bills to pay that depend on my salary. Thus, after Judah is born I'll be returning to work. I also know that breast milk is the best for my baby and I plan to give him just that. This book chronicles a group of ladies working for IBM that return to work after their babies are born. They have a lactation room and decide to start up a notebook where they write back and forth to each other as they're pumping their milk. It was very encouraging with lots of tips on pumping and gave a great insight on the emotional toll that returning to work after having a baby can take on a new mother. I highly recommend it to anyone who plans on going back to work and plans on pumping so she can still feed her baby.

Baby Wise or On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep
This is the one I've just started reading and it's all about putting your baby on a schedule after it's born. There are hotly debated sides of this issue with attachment parenting and strict clock watching scheduling. This one has been recommended by a number of friends that have had to return to work and they've found it very helpful. So far it's seeming to be a mixture of the two worlds with feeding you baby when you see/hear hunger cues but not so often they're not getting the best milk and by scheduling the times between feedings to adjust to the hunger cues but not being so married to the clock that you're baby will become miserable by waiting too long to eat. All I know is that I have to go back to work in 12 weeks and if a schedule will help me get the needed sleep at night by that time then I'm up for trying anything that supposedly works. I guess we'll see!

Baby Bargains
What do you really need for a nursery? What products and companies are the best but are still affordable? The first time I stepped in Babies R Us I was totally overwhelmed by all the choices. This book is just a helpful resource with great reviews on lots of different products and manufacturers and keeps you updated on recalls for important things like cribs and car seats.


These are just a few of my favorite blogs for nursery inspiration, handmade toys, crafty ideas and cool moms writing about their experiences.
Bloesom Kids