Monday, August 30, 2010

Waco Weekend

Playing catch-up...sometimes you just need a girls’ weekend in Waco. Even when it’s August and it’s 107 degrees, and you are in your 29th week of pregnancy – well you especially need it then (because girls’ weekends are much harder to come by after babies!)

On a whim, Anne and I decided the Lego exhibit at the Mayborn Museum was not to be missed, so we coordinated some schedules, and got a few of our sweet friends together for different parts of the weekend. We came in on Friday night and met up with Laura at Ninfa’s (no Ninfarita for me this time!) and then we went to see Eat Pray Love (going to the movies was a treat, but none of us really liked the movie) haha.

Anne and I stayed at the Lalanis Friday night (it’s a good friend who will share a bed with a friend who is 7 months pregnant.) Saturday morning we slept in and met Andi and Paige at Café Cappucino. Delicious. Baby Emma loves to drink from a water cup!

Then we hit the museum for the lego exhibit! Laura works at the museum, and Paige had some free passes, so we got quite the tour. We are soooooo cool.

Andi is my preggo twin – Baby Kade is due the same day as Madeleine!

The day was complete with a stop at the spirit shop, Common Grounds, Spice and George’s. Pretty much perfect. Maintaining college friendships can get harder as time and distance separate, but it’s always worth the effort to reconnect!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sew much fun!

My super-talented sewing Yoda, Erin, thought it would be fun to have an “End of Summer Sew-Along” earlier in August. What a great idea!! We got several girls together of varying sewing skill levels to bring their projects and spend a few hours working on them. It was fantastic to be around those girls (most of whom are more advanced in their sewing skills than me) while I muddle my way through a pattern (I haven’t sewn from a pattern in years.) We had music going and lots of yummy snacks when breaks were needed.

Anyway, these girls were making everything from cute shirts for themselves and car seat covers for their kiddos to tote bags and t-shirt quilts. Sarah was just trying to learn how to use her beautiful antique machine - check out the old school manual below! I can’t say what I was working on cause it is going to be a birthday present for one of my sisters…will post when it’s all finished!

The party was such a hit that we are going to make it a monthly event.

Sew much fun!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcome to the third trimester!!

We are a week into our third trimester - here's an update!

Chapter 1: She’s loved

Now I understand why parents go nuts for anyone who likes their kids. Madeleine is already so, so loved, and we all haven’t even met her yet! So many friends and family have pitched in to help out for her arrival. From the prayers our little family has been draped with to the loaning of maternity clothes, to registry consulting, to nursery décor tips, to hosting showers, to drapery making and furniture purchasing…to just general excitement, we are just so blessed, and we know she will be too.

Chapter 2: My nest

The bigger I get, the more difficult it is to sleep comfortably (especially for a former tummy-sleeper.) My belly makes me so front-heavy that my back can really begin to hurt. I also get quite stiff since I can’t move around very well. This nest has done the trick. The past few nights I have slept like a rock, not even having to get up for bathroom breaks somehow. Recipe: body pillow + Boppy pregnancy pillow + 2 normal pillows under head/neck = magic sleep machine. Praise the Lord – I don’t know how long it will last, but I am counting every night I sleep through as a blessing!

Chapter 3: The moldy fall

“If I fall you’re goin’ down with me, you’re goin’ down with me baby, if I fall.” – the Dixie Chicks

Last Friday we had a little scare. I was leaving my office to go to another one of our offices for a meeting, and I came across this puddle on the sidewalk:

As you can see, thanks to the gutter it stays really wet, so I slipped in the residual mold that had accumulated (see my little slip marks?) Anyway, thankfully I went down forward on all fours, and the only consequence was a pretty scraped up left knee and a pretty scared mom-to-be. I went ahead to my meeting and got all cleaned up at the other office. It wasn’t 20 or 30 minutes before I felt her little kicks again, and I knew she was okay. Great reminder for me that my balance is not what it used to be, and I am very off-center!

Chapter 4: The water fiend

I drink 4-5 of these every day. That’s 3+ liters! The combination of August in Houston and growing a baby merits lots and lots of water-drinking.

Chapter 5: A tale of two nurseries

Long story short, the first nursery décor idea we had was this one below:

I bought the wrong color paint (should've gone with belgian waffle, but I went a little lighter with that top color – spice delight – yellow made me nervous.) Anyway, it was barely a buttercream on her wall. I was so irritated because I had previously taken great pride in my ability to pick out paint colors on the first try. I knew I would have to buy new paint anyway, so I revisited the whole nursery décor idea (thanks to some encouragement from Erin.) I still think the animals are so cute, but what we ended up with was this:

Isn’t it gorgeous? Cason and I painted two weekends ago.

So we are on to next steps…I visited this mecca this week. How have I worked 5 minutes from High Fashion Home/High Fashion Fabric and never visited before?! I found lots of fabric samples for the drapes that mom is making.

Julianne is going to help with a mural/paint treatment of sorts on her crib wall…pictures coming soon.

Chapter 6: Dance parties in her womb

That’s pretty much what Madeleine does these days. I love the flutters and I love now being able to watch my tummy move, as crazy as it looks, I am just fascinated. At our last appointment, the midwife said that a moving baby is a happy baby, so Madeleine must be very, very happy. :)

Houston Project

My last July catch-up post!

One thing our church does that Cason and I love being a part of is the Houston Project. It’s a great way to participate in a mission trip while staying in your own city. Each July, HFBC sends out about 1,400 of its members to various sites around the town – neighborhood churches, housing projects, etc. Our class traditionally serves at Allen Parkway Village – a housing project site just on the west side of downtown. At the site, church volunteers serve dinner each night, and facilitate vacation Bible school, adult Bible study, outreach and youth activities.

This year, Cason and I taught 5-year old VBS with the Marlatts and my sister, Julianne. We had some really sweet kiddos, and it was fun to teach them Bible basics and stories that are well-known to us. To see them through the eyes of kiddos who have never heard about creation, Jesus’ birth or the woman at the well is so fascinating. Along with Bible stories and scripture memory, there was lots of duck duck goose, craft time, singing, sidewalk chalk and other joys of just hanging out with sweet kids. Here are some of the highlights of the week:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Give it a break!

During the second weekend in July, I was incredibly blessed to attend a women’s retreat on Lake Conroe for our Sunday School class, Veritas. The idea for the retreat had been brewing for months and months, and finally it worked out! Kat’s parents were generous enough to let 25 of us bombard their beautiful home, and Becky and the other women’s coordinators, Katie and Cindy did a fantastic job with the planning.

The retreat theme was “Give it a Break!” The main sessions focused on giving yourself a break, giving others a break and giving God a break. Kat’s mom also led a fun session on hospitality, Erin led aerobics on Saturday morning and Kristen set up creative prayer stations throughout the house. Needless to say, there was yummy food available throughout the weekend.

The first session on giving ourselves a break was perfect to start us off. Becky led us in a time of encouraging verses and prayer before our activity. To have time to take a deep breath and check in with God to check in on ourselves was like hitting a “reset” button! Becky encouraged us with verses in Psalm 139 (like “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”) 2 Corinthians 3: 16-18 “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflec the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

What a refreshing place to be! While brokenness can be painful, it’s such an honest place to be with the Lord. After some prayer, we took some sharpies and wrote adjectives on bricks. Ways we saw ourselves – good and bad. I laughed as I wrote contradictions on mine “hardworking” and “lazy.” All in all I wrote about 90 adjectives on my brick. We prayed over those bricks, as representations of our lives, giving God the good and the bad, then we threw them into the lake.

The other sessions, led by Tammie Head of Totally Captivated Ministries focused on our insecurities as women (can I get an “amen?!”) During “Giving others a break” we talked about how many expectations we put on others. Psalm 48:8 says “God makes us secure forever.” The three main points were that we will give others a break when we understand the break we’ve been given; internal insecurities lead to external relational issues and grace received is grace given. During “Give God a break” we talked about Him truly leading our lives, and giving ourselves to quietness before the Lord…how he is our greatest feature and the source of all joy.

Kristen’s prayer stations were so neat. They turned into such an active prayer time. I know if I try to pray on my own for an hour, that probably won’t happen (let’s be honest) but with the active prayer stations, we engaged different senses and different experiences to connect with the Lord, and the time was too short! I am going to try to remember them all, but there was an intercession room where there was a computer with a slideshow of couples in our class as well as written out prayer requests and names where we could really focus on praying for others. There was a “hanging our hopes” prayer station where we focused on a word – something we were hoping for. We had a chance to find verses surrounding that word and we put these on index cards and hung them on a clothesline. There was a station where Kristen had different parts of Zeph. 3:17 leading up the stairs. With each step we took we were really supposed to focus on that particular word. There was a station with cutouts of girls on a big paper. There were verses all over the table about who we are in Christ. We picked out the verses that resonated with us and decorated our little girls with phrases and words that we wanted to live out. There was a station with the attributes of God and beautiful pictures of His creation, there was a station for “sweet prayers” where you popped in a hard candy and prayed about something until it disappeared. There was also a station where we could make bracelets or key chains out of beads to remind ourselves to pray throughout the day for different things. So much work went into this and we were all so blessed by Kristen’s efforts!

All in all, the weekend was wonderful – I LOVE these women. Lots of time to share, I had a long overdue restorative conversation with a friend, times of rest times of reflection, and just time to grow closer to each other as we try to grow closer to the Lord.