Tuesday, December 29, 2009

tomorrow would have been the day

Dec. 30...... Now, I know that only 5% of babies show up on their due date... but regardless, the date that will always echo in my heart will be Dec. 30.

I still believe all that I said I believed here and here and here and here.... even more so...

I also believe that this hole in my heart is healing... not because there is a new life growing inside of me right now... but because my God is in the healing business! My heart would be healing regardless of whether or not I was pregnant.

My precious husband gave me a necklace for Christmas with a teardrop shaped Blue Topaz and a small diamond.... the diamond is my birthstone (convenient?? yes.) ... the blue topaz, the birthstone for the month of December. I will not forget my precious first child. We haven't met yet little one - but we will one day....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

whoa - 2 days in a row! dont worry - just a christmas meme

ok - 10 for Christmas

1. Best childhood gift from Santa...

Gotta be the pink and purple 10 speed bicycle! I remember walking around the corner to see it and being actually disappointed at first because I thought that BIG PINK WHEEL was just a hula hoop!!! then I saw that it was attached to a full bike!!!

2. Best Childhood Christmas memory...

Jon, Jen and I all trying to sleep in the same room. I say its a childhood memory - - until the Christmas after Jen got married - this was still happening! Of course sleep didn't come early.... and Jon was always convinced we HAD to get up at like 4:00 to preserve the traditions set at the age of 6.... Jen and I would usually sleep in my queen sized bed and Jon would be on the floor - - unless we were in the basement - when jen and I would sleep on Jon's bunk beds and he would sleep on his water bed.... It just built the excitement!

3. Favorite Christmas Cookies...

Anything with chocolate qualifies here.

4. Icky Christmas memory...

I really dont think I have any!!

5. It's not Christmas without...

Family.... there have been two Christmases in my life when I was not with my family ON Christmas day. The first was when I was doing mission work in Germany... the second was last year. My family is ALL together ALL day long on that day,.. its just right to be together. Having said that - Jon and I haven't been together on Christmas since 2006 and won't be again this year as he is military and deployed... 2007 - he was deployed... 2008 I was in VA... and now 2009 he is deployed again....

6. Our church service...

I have only been to Christmas Eve services at my parent's church... its a 30 minute Communion service... a great experience to remember the night before Christmas!

7. Christmas Pet Peeve...

the "busy-ness"

8. Favorite Christmas CD....

This is a tough one - but I guess I have to go with anything Trans-Siberian Orchestra... the two times I have heard them live have made the cd's even better... some of the best performances I have ever seen!

9. Real or Fake?

Fake for us.... Fake AND pre-lit with white lights... we just get all crazy and add colored lights to have the variety - a trick I learned from my mom... plug them in separately, and on some nights it can be all white, some nights all colored, and sometimes - (most of the time) - it can be FULL with white AND colored lights on at the same time!

10. I spend Christmas Eve...

Prior to being married - Jon always delayed buying his Christmas presents until Christmas Eve... when I would go with him to figure out what we would buy for EVERYONE!!!

My favorite was the day that he called tha tmorning and just said "dress warm and bring a backpack"..... he wanted to drive his motorcycle to buy Christmas presents!! Luckily I talked him out of that one - but those were such fun days! Such a mass chaos of people trying to get so much done!! We just turned the music up and had a blast! It was one day we could always count on mom and dad breaking the rules.... they would both stay under budget - but before we left the house we would get a credit card, or extra cash handed to us privately with instructions to get just one more present for mom from dad... and for dad from mom... its just what we did!!

There ya go.... Christmas in a nutshell :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uncontrolled emotions from an "11 week" pregnant woman

11 weeks and 4 days to be exact.

We are amazingly excited about the current pregnancy. Last Monday - Dec 7, we went to the Doc and were able to see a moving dancing little baby in there and hear a strong heartbeat of 164! It was absolutely amazing and one of THOSE moments of life. I have had so many of them but this one trumps just about all of them. You know, that moment when everything seems to stand still and fly by at the same time... This moment ranked up there with the day Ronnie proposed to me, that moment when I realized what was happening and saw the ring for the first time.... Also, that awkward but amazing wedding moment, while standing in front of the unity candle and grinning at my man knowing that our lives would never be the same, but they would be better because we were now a family.

This moment ranked right there with those two!!!

The excitement of seeing my child - our child moving around finally released some of the emotions that I believe I had been holding for fear of a repeat of last time. For, you see, last time, around 10 weeks - we found out for sure that our little one was not alive. Last time in that room with the ultrasound tech, we realized that the darkest tragedy of our lives, the loss of a child, was a reality for us. It had been week 8 that we found that there might be a reason to ask more questions... week 9 came the "you need to be prepared that there could be a problem" and week 10 carried the weight of "there is no blood flowing to the baby."

Which is where I come to today....

The emotions that are running in my head today are almost overwhelming... June 16 is a day that will echo in my head forever - It is the day the miscarriage happened. Approximately 11 weeks and 4 days into the pregnancy - The excruciating emotional pain accompanied with the unbelievable physical pain - that even Vicodin couldn't hide - (aside from the fact that Ronnie had kidney stones on the same day and we spent a good part of the day in the waiting room of the ER) It hurt.... more than anything I have ever felt. In more ways that I ever thought I could feel pain. My heart hurt.

Today is the 6 month mark of that horrible day. December 16th. Today is also 14 days, two weeks, away from the due date of our precious first child. For that my heart kinda aches too. What would he or she have looked like? What would his/her personality have been like? Would he or she be more of an musical artist like mom? or a thinking lawyer like dad? or neither?

Today is also a day of hope - for now, around July 3 - we WILL have a precious addition to our small family. Today, on this day of week 11 day 4 - I look at the tiny images of the alien looking ultrasound that I carry on my blackberry and tear up with the hope of July 3.... (I do realize that is an estimated date.... I know... I get it)

So, this emotional, hormonal, nauseaus, sometimes puking, always sleepy, mom is just kinda holding it all together today remembering that first positive test.... the excitement of the first announcements... the first pregnancy that will always be my first child.... the apprehension of this "first positive" test... the announcements that happened via phone this time... the hesitation of having the ultrasounds done... and the fears every time I go 15 minutes without SOME symptom... They say (whoever they are) that once you see a heartbeat after 8 weeks, they chances of miscarriage drop to below 1% - - I am not sure about all that... but I sure am hopeful that "they" are right.

So, here we go - continually praying for our little "roo" and the remaining 29ish weeks until we meet face to face!! - Thanks for the name Samantha :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moments before I sleep - again

Well, the election is over - and what a trip it was this year. I think I say that every year.

Last night was a night to remember though - you know "those" nights. I speak of them often I guess.... Sometimes I feel like I live in a movie, or at least in someone else's life - because sometimes it feels like things like this shouldn't happen to normal people. You know, people like me.

Anyway, the short version of the story is that the Governor-elect of Virginia invited his staff to his personal home (he hasn't moved to the mansion yet...) for a victory celebration. So, last night, Ronnie and I spent about 3 hours in their HOME! The whole thing was pretty surreal, I have to admit. And in some ways never quite felt like it was actually happening. At the same time, it was nice to be able to kinda relax with the people that were always on those annoying 9:30pm conference calls and not have to be reporting numbers and such. We could laugh about those silly voters on the other end of the phone calls, and brag on our own amazing volunteers! What a year it was to be involved in Virginia politics.

The other thing that I loved about last night was this: I now honestly know that we did the right thing in electing the man that we worked so hard to elect. He is truly a family man. There were stories from those close to him of how it didn't matter what he was doing, if his family called his cell phone - everything stopped. There were Bible verses hanging on the walls of the house - in prominent positions - not hidden away. The family laughed with each other, and with us. They are genuine, and real. We have elected a good family. Now, I will continue to pray for him as he begins to govern this state.

Ok, on to the non-political - and somewhat more exciting part of the reason I need to sleep right now. For those that are not on Facebook, and I haven't talked to in person lately - you remember that about 4 months ago we went through the agony of a miscarriage.

I am excited to inform you that we are expecting again. I am just past the 6 week mark - and right at the point at which my baby quit growing last time. This week, while amazing and full of excitement in our lives, has an underlying sensitivity in my mind. What I mean is, every twitch, pain, cramp - - makes my mind race with the "what-ifs." I try to keep trusting, and keep moving forward....

Basically we are kinda trapped in this mode - we are so unbelievable excited about the new life growing inside of me.... and we are so unfortunately nervous about "last time" moments. I want to be nothing but excited... but I hesitate to register for the "free diaper samples" because I just feel the need to wait.

We discussed keeping everything a secret longer this time... but our excitement wouldn't let us. I really struggle with keeping that kind of joy quiet! We also realized that it was only through Christ, and the prayers of our friends that we made it through last time... and if, just if, something happened again - we would need that support even more.

I don't want to dwell on the fears though. We are already racing with the exciting moments. The planning, the waiting, the hoping... I am queasy - and really have to sleep a TON! Which is great... grow little child of mine - - just grow....

- speaking of that - I do believe it is nap time :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Election time again

Well, I haven't written in a while - am in another election cycle... and well... you know how that goes... It's another beautiful fall in southside VA...

anyway - today was a big event in which all three of our statewide candidates came through our city - it was my job to get the event to happen...

I don't consider myself to be very good at "events" I never could throw a party and have people actually show up...

Regardless, we got about 150 people here, and the candidates came, spoke, everyone cheered... and they left... it was great! and great to have it done - - - and done successfully.

Kinda surreal again.... but I won't spend much time there. It's just always fun to get to actually meet these guys. I am not one to be really starstruck or whatever - - but nice to get the handshake, smile, and to help my friends get their pictures.

Life is rolling along well right now.... keep watching the blog for updates - i promise to update more often....

i promise!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

please be prayin

please be praying for my little brother. it's gotta be tough sometimes!

Monday, August 31, 2009

'Twas a fun day

campaign life can get messy - but sometimes, randomly in the midst of the mess.... a fun day shines through.

It's that type of day that will stand out when it's all over.

Today was one of those.

The incumbent Lt. Gov. came through Danville. - - -First Ronnie and I were included in a round-table discussion about the job/economic situation in the area. Talk about feeling "outta my league" - but it was kinda nice to be there - - another one of "those" moments for me...

Then after an afternoon of phone calling, (possibly my least favorite thing to do EVER!!) Ronnie and I went to a beautiful home for a fund raiser.

Nothing like Fried fish to end a night well. And as we were enjoying the fried fish - - we got to have some good conversation with the man I worked for last year and his wife. (Even talked a little Alabama football:))

Sometimes. this life just feels a bit surreal to me.

I kinda like it.

In other news - - - my next online class started today as well. Kinda nice to just come home and check to get the homework assignment and not actually have to go teach for 4 hours! I think I like online teaching!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

September

Is it really only 2 days away from September? Really?

In a short update on the garden. I think I had a seriously late blooming garden... No really, other than the tomatoes - I have only had one cucumber to make it to the ripe stage - but I think we have left it sitting in the window too long now, and it is getting kinda squishy.

I have three squashes... um... squashi... um... squash... I really can't find a plural that sounds right, that are growing now - they are all only about 3 inches long right now though!!!

Also, I have a watermelon on the vine. There are really two - watermelons - but one is the size of a grape... the other though, is about the size of a large plum!!!! I am kinda proud that all of my plants have produced some sort of fruit this year. Being my first year and all, I was kinda afraid I wouldn't get much "fruit for my labor." Hahaha...

I have been thinking about why I don't post during campaign season very often. I think its because the campaign really kinda takes over my whole life! I have a hard time coming up with ANYTHING else to talk about. And I simply refuse - for many reasons - to let this turn into some sory of political diatribe (like that word??). We have enough about that.

I have also started running again. I meet three ladies to run three days a week right now - several of us are actually preparing for an 8k to run in November! It will be my first real race..... I have already paid for it - that way it is harder for me to back out... and it gives me something to look forward to after the election is over.

Well, there ya go little bro - I blogged... mostly useless rambling - but it's your turn now :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

gardening thoughts

A few weeks ago Ronnie and I decided on a Sunday afternoon that we really wanted to put some plants in a small garden'ish' area in front of our house. We worked really hard - - dug through almost IMPOSSIBLE dirt - - planted, rolled out weed blocker, went to Lowe's the second time to get more mulch for the top layer.... and some bricks to outline it (didn't measure the bricks... I just guessed while standing at Lowe's that we needed 42 bricks)... (turns out we needed 43.... i was kinda proud of being "one brick shy..." haha)

That next week I found an afternoon in which I could sit in my veggie garden and do some weeding. I pulled, dug, pried... and actually got most of the weeds out. It had been several weeks since I had done that and really think that the weeds were beginning to choke my cucumbers (of which there are about 9 that will be ready to eat in the next week or two!!! I am so proud!)

The tomatoes are just about finished... there are about 5 more that are still ripening and then I think they will be done -

The squash plants have some of the most beautiful flowers every morning - - and I have YET to see the first actual veggie come from it.

The watermelon vines are running everywhere - - but no watermelons yet either... oh well.

All this to say that I have learned a few things while gardening this year.

- I have learned that too much water will rot the tomatoes - too little will dry them up - there must be a perfect amount of water in order for healthy fruit to grow.

- Just because a plant looks really pretty, does not mean fruit will come from it

- Weeds really do choke pther plants.

- the point of the garden is to get more fruit - - if no food comes, then it was not really that successful

- the right fertilizer is VITAL! to new growth.... the right soil is even MORE vital... and the right about of sunshine every day is just as important as everything else.

Having realized all of these things. I now see why Christ used gardening in his parables and illustrations all the time!!! I mean seriously! Read back over the list... see what all applies.

Anyway, don't want to get too heavy. That's really what struck me as I dug my little fingers into that hard dirt, and pulled back the weeds.... or as we worked to plant the new flowers.

I really was thinking about all those scripture references to good soil, rocky soil, weeds, planter, workers, harvest, growths.... I mean they are EVERYWHERE! and now, having had my little garden - and having been able to eat some of the fruit of my little garden, I realize a small bit more of what it is that He was talking about....

thoughts?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

because my brother asked

An open letter to my brother: yes, it should have been sent in an email, but he wanted to read a blog.....

Jon,

I am blogging today ONLY because you asked me to. I am in the middle if budgeting, and projecting, etc. etc. for my job... fun stuff.

Ronnie got to go to Carowinds today with the youth from church. I am working... so, well, he is riding roller coasters... and I wish I were:)

This weekend I am going to be able to go to a conference with some ladies from my church, and then I think mom is going to come to watch our presentation on Sunday night - - the presentation is for our church to see the fun stuff that we did in Ecuador a few weeks ago. I am hoping to post some of those stories soon... just havent had a chance yet... the pictures are on facebook though if you want to see them...

Well, I think that's all I can post for the world to read - - anything else would have to be private emails:)

I hope you are staying out of trouble.... you better be...

love ya,
Julia

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Patriotism

I have heard it said that "the only different between a patriot and a traitor is a matter of time."

I am thankful for the crowd of "patriots" in 1776 that cared enough to be called traitors for a short time, so that today long after they have been gone, they might be called Patriots.

I am also so very thankful for the Patriots of today.... who wear the camouflage, who sweat in thick armor, who keep M-16s on their body 24 hours a day, who sleep short hours, and fight so that the battle remains somewhere else.... away from our streets, our yards, our homes, our playgrounds...

I am personally proud to be a family member of one of those Uniform wearing soldiers... I sometimes wish I had a sticker that I could wear... to say "you know those guys that we honor?? well, one of those is my little brother." I grew up shooting BB guns with him - learning to ride a bike with him, played in a treehouse, pretended to be GIJoe, Transformers, and army guys (and girls) with him. We had trampoline fights, got in trouble for sliding down red mud hills in our good clothes, and learned to beat Super Mario brothers (the orginal Nintendo game) together. This little boy that woke up at 5 in the morning with me to prepare breakfast for the rest of the family sometimes.... is now waking up at 5 in the morning to keep us safe. Thank you Jon-Jon.

I am so thankful that today we, as a family, we were able to be online for a while chatting together. Mom and dad on separate computers at their house, Jen online at her house, me online in VA, and Jon in the "sandbox." How wonderful is our technology!!!

In honor of this day, the day we thank soldiers and patriots for our freedoms as a country.... I leave you a few quotes from popular patriotic songs.

God bless America, land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above. Oh beautiful for spacious skies - for amber waves of grain... Oh beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years, Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears. God bless the USA!

and finally, those words that echo longer than the writer ever imagined... Oh, say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave...


Friday, July 3, 2009

Heart wrenching morning!

Conversation I heard while I was on the phone with mom this morning.

Aubrey: Is that JuJu?
Mom: Yes
Aubrey: Is JuJu coming to my house?
Mom: No, JuJu has to work
Aubrey: (shouting at this point so I can understand every word) But she SAID she was coming to MY house!

Mom: Do you want to talk to JuJu?
Aubrey: yes

Aubrey: JuJu?
Me: Hey Aubrey, I love you
Aubrey: Are you coming to my house?
Me: (choking at this point) No sweetie, I have to work today
Aubrey: (handing the phone back to mom) I'm "pinished" (finished)

My tears flowed......


two hours later.

Phone rings - some random number.

Me: Hello?
Jon-Jon: Hey JuJu!
Me: (running outside of my office to be sure I have good phone reception) Hey!!

The conversation continued.... I won't type all that out.

Needless to say, it has been an emotional day. I feel as if tears are just seconds away from bursting out of my eyes.... Tears of missing my family, and tears of praying for my brother, and tears of thankfulness that he was able to call me....

Kinda hard to focus on work today...

Monday, June 29, 2009

I really can't think of a good title.

I have started yet another political job. But we won't discuss that here. There are plenty of political blogs that do much more than I would even want to.

I am going today to have blood taken to make sure all my HCG (pregnancy hormone) numbers are dropping appropriately.

I honestly thought, somehow, that when the actual process happened, and the physical pain was becoming less and less, that the emotional healing would be a steady upward process.

I was wrong.

For a couple of days, I felt really good, physically, emotionally, everything.

This weekend has been hard! And today I feel on the edge of tears constantly, and I really don't know why.

During the time since I found out my baby was no longer alive (approximately 4 weeks now.... ) five friends have had their babies, and the pictures didn't really hurt... 4 others have announced that they were pregnant, and the news really made me excited for them. I count myself lucky to not be jealous of others' excitement.

This weekend, however, I think the thing that set it off was a late delivery from the mailman. About 8 weeks ago, I went to the huggies website and signed up for some random diaper sample. It just seemed like a smart thing to do, get 3 free diapers... right?? Well, they were delivered Saturday afternoon. I just wasn't expecting it. There, in the middle of my living room, I was holding the diapers that were meant for my baby... and my heart broke. Again.

Please continue to pray for me as my emotions are still just ugly. I want to be healed, to feel better, to allow the hole that will always be in my heart, to begin to heal... although the hole will remain, at least it will one day be a reminder of the hope that is to come.... today, it just still hurts.

In addition to this, please keep my little brother in your prayers - - he has arrived at his sandbox destination... and the battle continues.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If it's not one thing...

My mom says it so well...



Thank you Jon-Jon for fighting for our freedom -

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What I will take away

There are many parts of this last month that will hopefully fade from my memory. I could list them, but then they would be permanently memorialized here, and I really just don't want to do that.

However, there are even more parts of this last month that I want to remember forever. I have listed a few below. The last one, I have not mentioned up to this point on the blog mainly because I think I was just not yet ready to discuss it.

- The look on Ronnie's face when I staggered into the living room, Sunday morning, April 26th, holding the first pregnancy test, trying to see if that was really two lines. I finally looked at him, and said "You are going to be a daddy!"

- The trip that afternoon to Babies R Us in an attempt to let the weight sink in

- Keeping a secret for a WHOLE WEEK!

- The fun of planning to tell our families. - I never did get the fun stories typed out. I will do that soon.

- Those weeks of overwhelming excitement and fear that seem to compete, and yet somehow, they simply worked together to create a sense of awe at what was happening in my body.

- Buying our first baby items, and getting the one gift that was given to us for our baby. That precious gift will be treasured forever. Ironically - - it was a small outfit, and a book entitled "On the night you were born." I tear up when I see it even still.

- The process of watching the most amazing man in the world learn how to handle a pregnant woman, and then have to turn around so quickly to learn to hold me while my heart was breaking. All the while knowing that his heart was crushed as well.

- The amazing love, support, and prayers of the people around us. Some that we have known for years... others only weeks. Yet you have all been a rock for us to rest on.

- The peace that passes all understanding that has filled our home these last weeks. I would love to be able to explain how it is that my baby can be taken before I ever got to meet him, and yet, I feel no anger. I am so thankful that peace, hope, and love have all reigned in our home. I simply must give the credit to our Savior.

- Finally, the story that I have yet to tell.

I need to start with the background that Ronnie and I, from the first day of knowing we were going to be parents, started praying that our child would have eternal impact. It is each of our desires that our own lives not be limited to the short time we have on earth, but that someone's eternity might be changed because we were here. We had already begun to pray that for our child. We also had been praying that we would be ready to allow God to use our child anyway He saw fit in order to accomplish this goal. I did not want to ever be held responsible to God, for holding my child back from whatever it was God had planned for him. I wanted to be prepared that one day I would have to allow God to lead my child - - - and that might include things that I would be afraid of. I was praying that my heart would always be toward eternity... even when it came to my child.

On the Wednesday night after the first trip to the Doctor, Ronnie and I just came back home. We could have made it in time for church, but honestly, our hearts were a bit too broken to talk with anyone that night. Usually, we are at church until kinda late due to commitments that we both have.

The house next door to us is up for rent, and as Ronnie was talking to his dad in our front yard on the cell phone (because there's not good reception inside our house), a lady started waving him down from the driveway next door. He found it a bit strange that she would interrupt his phone conversation, but hung up the phone and talked to her anyway. I was inside the house, probably typing the blog that I posted the next day.

About 30 minutes later, Ronnie came into the house and said "you have to come outside, the lady next door is going to accept Christ now." I jumped up... questioning him and asked what in the world are you talking about?

He gave me the short version, but then said, "she is pulling up in our driveway now, she wants to accept Christ. Her husband has just kicked her out of her house - a preacher told her he was praying for her yesterday - she needs a place to live - - but mainly she just wants to know Jesus. I told her that he doesn't save us because of our works, but because of our faith in Him. Just come out here and lead her in the prayer of salvation!"

I did. I went outside. We talked about life, Jesus, the gospel, the fact that only Christ can save us, and that it is nothing we can do on our own. We discussed that Jesus is the only one who will never leave you nor forsake you - though all others on earth will at some point fail.

At the end of the conversation, about 45 minutes after I had gone outside, she bowed her head, and prayed to receive Christ as her personal Lord and Saviour!

Our child, or, the loss of our child, had us at home on a night when we would typically be at church... because this lady would be looking for some help. Eternity was changed, because we were on the edge of getting horrible news. Our prayers were answered. And, I have no doubt that the peace that is unexplainable that has rested in our home these last weeks, is completely due to the prayer we had been praying since we found out we were pregnant... that we would be prepared to let go, when God called our child to serve in a way that might be uncomfortable to us.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Short update

I have to get this done quickly, for there is a lot to do....

I started the physical "process" (enough detail for a blog right?) on Monday evening... My parents came up and got here Tuesday and were here this week to help. Tuesday night I thought "it" was finally happening... but "it" was just some virus that had me hanging onto the porcelain throne most of the night. Wednesday, Ronnie got the same bug.

Thursday and Friday mom and I (and sometimes Dad and Ronnie) walked, and walked, and walked... to try to "induce" the process more. Nothing worked. I even ate papaya, and drank raspeberry leaf tea. No change. Still the same "processing" that was happening on Monday evening.

Today, mom and dad went home. I am really going to miss having them here. For tons of reasons. They were so much help! Emotionally and physically for me... and for Ronnie. It was like the burden was just lighter. The tears fell less often and seemed less heavy. Ronnie didn't have to worry about how I was doing while he was traveling around for court... or working in his office. They helped with meals, (whether that was taking us out... or grilling, or just heating up leftovers!!) They did laundry, they washed dishes... and dad even put cages around my tomatoes in the garden so that they would grow properly, since that had fallen down on my priorities list.

I miss them though, not only for all their help, and their work.... but just being here. There is just something about a mom. Moms just know what to say, and ask the questions when they need to be asked.

So often I feel so wrong right now. I am so ready for this to be over. Ronnie and I have been dealing with the "what-ifs" of this for almost a month now. The definite knowing for just short of 2 weeks. I am torn because I really want it to be over. But then, what am I saying? That I really want my pregnancy to end? This is so backwards from everything I know - - so backwards from the excitement of just 2 months ago when I was so excited to tell everyone!! And now I just hope it ends soon.

I can sometimes laugh it off, and usually get a smile... but then, my hormones are messed up and the tears just show up (usually when I am alone I guess....)

Anyway - for those keeping updated on this process, thank you for the prayers. I cannot tell you how much they help. This has been one of the toughest months of my life... and it's not over yet. I don't know what I would have done without my amazing husband, to care for me, and just hold me when the questions outnumber the answers... my parents who love me so much... and my friends that constantly hold me up before the Lord... those new friends that I have only met in the last couple of months - - and those that I have known for years. You are all priceless to me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Each day continues

It has been 6 days since my last update. During that time, there have been a massive level of emotions.

First, I want to thank all that either here on my blog, or on my facebook, or via email, text msg, or phone call have loved us. I also want to thank those who I have been able to see personally - at church, or wherever, that have given a hug, smiled the uncomfortable smile, and said "I don't know what to say, but I am praying for you." Those words mean more to us than you can ever imagine. The outpouring of care has been overwhelming - and appreciated more than I can ever express to you. Thank you. Looking back to a couple months ago when I questioned friendship - - I do not anymore. So many people have shown that they really, REALLY care.

Now, to discuss our state. The emotional challenges shift daily. For you see, I still have NO signs of a miscarriage physically. This waiting, wondering, fearing, etc... takes an emotional toll. My pregnancy symptoms have faded thankfully. (Please take that statement with the heart of what I really mean... I am NOT glad that I no longer have a growing child.... however, losing the child, and still being nauseaus, exhausted and having heartburn daily just is not fair.)

We have continued this week with life as usual. I still volunteer at the church, still teach my college course, we worked the youth event Friday night and had a great day with several groups of friends on Saturday. We went to church Sunday - and are so thankful for the love we are shown there - and went for a walk Sunday afternoon. Yes, we have times of struggle, and yes the grieving process is still going on. We are not avoiding it... but to be honest, I think we may be delaying part of it until the miscarriage actually happens. I have also found that it helps me to keep my perspective, and keep my eyes open to the world around me, if I do more than sit at home and simply wait. There is a world of hurting people out there - - and yes, I am hurting too - but it helps to be able to help others instead of having my own pity party right now.

This week will be filled with emotions.

Tomorrow is our 2nd wedding anniversary. To be honest, I am praying that if the miscarriage does not happen today, that is waits until tomorrow is finished. I really want to keep the anniversary of the happiest day of my life, from being marred by one of the saddest.

Sometime this week also, my little brother, leaves for his second adventure in the "sandbox." As a family, this is one of the hardest, and most challenging things we have lived through.... and yet, it carries with it a pride that we cannot match.

This weekend, we will get to see some of our dearest friends. We are each traveling about half the distance between where we live in order to spend some much needed time together.

So much should be said, so many things that are still floating in my head, but they just don't come out right in a blog.

The Bible says "In everything give Thanks." This verse has echoed in my heart these last 6 days. Everything? yes. even this. Is it wrong and heartless to give thanks for the situation we are currently in? It cannot be, for if it were, then a loving, righteous God would never instruct us to "give thanks" in Everthing. So, I am working on my "thanksgiving." For even this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Without the blood, there can be no life.

I will start by stating the facts, and then will go on. 

It is really hard to put into words the weight of the day. 

My baby is no longer alive. 

Those words echo in my heart. 

Upon first view of the sonogram today, Ronnie and I were not convinced that the Doctor was sure of what they were saying. Until they turned on a color sensor, that shows where the bloodflow is. You could see all around the child, that there was bloodflow..... however, there was none going to the baby. It was at this moment, that we realized those words not only impact our eternal situation.... but in this life as well, without the blood, there can be no life. Our child passed away sometime about 4 weeks ago. 

That is enough of the technical stuff. Our hearts hurt tonight. I have no symptoms yet of a miscarriage outside of knowing what the sonogram showed us all too clearly. I am sure that will come in its own time. 

Ronnie and I have no choice but to stand together at this point and thank God for the opportunity to have been pregnant.... for I know there are many that have not felt that joy.... we thank God for the knowledge that He is taking care of our precious child in His Heaven even now.... and We thank God for each of you that have been praying, and we trust will continue to pray for us as we go through this process. 

"I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." 2 Timothy 1:12


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The last 24 hours, the next 5 days

I have debated all day as to whether or not this belonged on a blog. However, I have come to the conclusion that sharing joy on a blog, while awesome and full of comments... never ministers as much as sharing heartbreak. As I spent my day trying not to google everything under the sun, I read a ton of blogs sharing how Christ has walked people through tough times. That is what ministered to my heart. 

In that line, I will share what has happened with us in the last 24 hours. So that you may be encouraged, ministered to, loved... whatever fits your situation. I will first of all give the details of where we are medically speaking... and then, how it feels emotionally and spiritually tonight. 

I went to the Dr. yesterday for the initial physical and junk like that. Last week, we had been asked by Little Life (our crisis pregnancy center) to be a model for them to train their ultra sound techs. They could not find the baby - but were not worried because I was only 8 weeks and it was just an abdominal ultrasound - so that was kinda pushing the edge of the equipment abilities. Regardless, I told the Dr. yesterday about not being able to see the baby at Little Life last week, so they wanted to try to hear the heartbeat.... they couldn't find it with the Doppler. So, they did a vaginal ultrasound to see the baby. They did find the gestational sac, and the baby - - but the baby is only measuring what it should measure at 4 weeks, not 9 weeks. And the Doctor could not see a heartbeat even with the ultra sound. Even on my best calculation, the estimate by the doctor of dating is only about 3 days off.... so at worst I should be measuring 7-8 weeks.... definitely more than 4. 

The Doc set up for me to have another ultra sound next week on Tuesday afternoon. He said nothing is definite yet, but that we should be prepared that the baby may not still be growing.... 

Emotionally, at this point, I am not ridiculously upset... trying to live what I believe right? Trying to be anxious for nothing... have lots of prayer and supplication... and know that God gives and takes away - - Blessed be the name of the Lord... The same God that created my child can keep it alive if He knows that is what is best, even if it is growing slow for some reason. I think the hard part is to have to wait the whole week to know for sure. 

I am not sure what happens after next week. I mean, if the baby has a heartbeat, then all keeps going according to plan... If it does not though, I don't know what comes next. And I am trying not to spend all my time in "what-if" questions... also, am trying to stay off of google as much as possible - that junk scares me even more. 

Spiritually, it is hard to say what is going on. There are a TON of church answers that I could be stating. I really don't want this to sound cheesy or rehearsed. The bottom line is this. I know the answers in my head... and guess I have always wondered, if faced with serious potential tragedy, would I really be able to hold to those things that I claim so loudly to believe during the good times. My honest answer, after a day of introspection, is this: Yes, a resounding, confident, passionate, YES! 

My favorite Bible story from my childhood has always been that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I just loved the way they continued to stand in the midst of trouble. Their statement to the King that was threatening to throw them into the furnace was "Our God is able to save us, but if He chooses not to, still we will praise Him." 

Over the last 30 years, there have been different times in which this one verse has echoed in my heart for various reasons. 

Today this is my honest heart feeling. "Our God is able to save my baby, but if He chooses not to, I will praise Him regardless." For you see, today, I have realized that even in the face of possible loss of my child, the Grace that my Father has given me is enough. It is enough to know that if I never meet my child on earth, we will meet in heaven and celebrate for eternity. I believe that firmly based on several scriptures - the first being that wonderful verse that says "before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." My child is known and loved by my Saviour. It is upon this that I rest. 

I type this with tears running down my face. It does not mean I do not feel pain, or have a knot in my stomach. It simply means that regardless of what comes next Tuesday, I will keep walking with my Saviour. 

We do appreciate your prayers and the prayers of anyone you know that would pray for us. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pregnancy Week 7

I am starting this blog for the third time today. Yesterday, I had so much that I wanted to fit into a blog... but today, not only do I not remember it all. When I start to type, it just sounds dorky. Yesterday, in my head, it was ROCKIN'! 

Today - I am a total geek. 

So, I will try again. And this time, someone may actually be able to read it when I am finished. 

My kid is growing. Has fingers, toes, elbow, can swim and has eyelids... but is only the size of a lima bean! We get to see "elmo" (what Samantha, Ashley and the girls in Calera have named my child until we find out if it is a boy or a girl!) tomorrow for the first time via ultrasound. I can hardly wait. 

As a first-time mom, I am nervous about EVERYTHING. It's actually quite ridiculous how many times I have googled phrases like "7 weeks pregnant mild back pain" or "7 weeks pregnant and no nausea" to be followed about 30 minutes later by "7 weeks pregnant and nausea." 

I am a dork. I know it. Plus, I don't have much to occupy my time right now. Which is good in that I can rest when I feel that my body needs rest... but I also have too much time to think and pay attention to every thing I feel in this pregnancy! 

On the other hand. When it comes to getting ready for this kid. I am completely overwhelmed. For those that know me... You know that this means that I have shut down. I don't work well when I don't have a plan and feel overwhelmed.... So, cribs, (some with the drop down sides, some that convert with the growth of the kid, and some that are just static beds), bassinet, pack n' plays,(with music and vibration... without)  changing tables, changing table/dresser combos, travel systems, carseats, slings/backpacks, 500 bottle choices, Bpa-free, liners, pumps - - double/single/mechanical.... And all that can be chosen before I even know if it is a boy or a girl! I don't even WANT to think about pink vs blue, zoo animals vs baseball, princess vs Disney.... 

I don't know where to start! I don't even know what size of diapers to start stocking. 1? 2? Pampers? Huggies? both? neither? And every day, I am one day closer to the arrival - - and I still have two small snap shirts laying on the bed in the guest room... that at least the kid would have some clothes to wear - - - or at least two shirts... I didn't even buy those for the kid, but for the t-shirt that we used to tell my family that the kid was on they way! 

It is times like this that I really wish my mom lived closer. It is hard to try to figure all this out for the first time using the internet and a couple of books. 

Especially for someone like me... that over-thinks EVERYTHING!

I do have to say though, that my husband has been absolutely amazing!! My morning sickness has been rather minimal, but he has been wonderful! I have had a cold the last few days that knocked me down though and in that he has cooked every meal for the last 5 days... taken care of laundry.,.. run the dishwasher... kept the house running. He is amazing! 

He makes sure I get my water, and fruit, and veggie, and dairy requirements each day - -and is basically spoiling me beyond all recognition. I really don't know what I would be doing if he weren't here taking care of me. 

Ok, I think it is nap time. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Words cannot describe

I had to say my "see ya later" to Jon a week and a half ago. 

My family had to do it today... 

Jen has a picture

Mom has a couple of thoughts.... 

Dad has put his thoughts... from the other day... and from today as well

I don't think I have words to describe the difficulty of staying in VA when my family is hurting in AL. Or the pain of seeing the tears run down my brother's face when he says good-bye to his neice.... I mean. Really. 

Sometimes, when the heart hurts, the mind runs out of words, and all that flows are tears. 

The good-byes have been said - the tears have fallen.... and are still falling - the soldier is on his way to the last stop before the battlefield. The battle of the mind begins here at home - with the family fighting the "what-ifs." We are proud of our brother, son, husband, grandson, uncle, brother-in-law, friend. We stand taller when the national anthem is sung.... we are proud to see that flag wave. We even smirk as we pass cars with bumper stickers that downplay the importance of what our family member is doing. We laugh when the media spouts statements that are false, to the detriment of our JonJon. Our heart hurts a bit inside knowing that the price of that freedom - the freedom that is taken as lightly as a grain of salt by most of America - has been put on the shoulders of one we love so dearly. And then.... we count the days. 4 down.....

That is what is happening today. Thank you for your prayers. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Story coming soon

I have a great post coming soon (when I get a chance to type it out) about how both of our sets of parents did ALL they could do to foil our plans to surprise them with the news of our coming addition.... 

But for now... you just have to wait in full suspense... I really hope you are able to sleep between now and then... No, really, I do.

Also.... Please be praying for my brother and his wife. He left yesterday for three days of drill - still in Bama. Will be home for Mother's Day... then three more training days in Bama... and then he is gone to another base... umm... somewhere else... for a while... (The Army is so specific for this stuff.... ) and then... around a month from now - - he will be shipping out to the "sandbox" for approximately a year. 

None of us are ready for this again. 

Brantley is doing it the first time as his wife - we are all praying hard for her! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

sometimes.... 1+1=3

Well, I have not posted in about two weeks.... part of that is due to the business of getting ready for my 30th bday.... but mostly, its because other than ONE major event.... I couldn't find anything else to talk about

Now, I can talk about it!!!

Ronnie and I finally passed a test last Sunday - April 26th...

Yep... sorry for the blurriness... the camera didn't want to take a good picture of my passed test.

We told all family members over the weekend... luckily we already had a trip planned to Alabama so that it wasn't wierd that we were coming down there. It really helped with the surprise factor.

We are so excited about the upcoming life change for us! However, I have to admit.... when it comes to planning for this - I don't know where to even start!!! 

So, what do you think? What do you do first? Obviously, I don't know if it is a boy or girl yet - - so choosing colors and stuff doesn't make sense. I do know that we want the big things to be neutral so that we can change what is necessary.... Where do we start?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DNOW 2009 in Alabama

I will post pics later.

I shouldn't even be writing right now with my list of things to do being so long.... but sometimes ya just gotta get it out.

First, go to Mom's blog and watch this video. I should post it here... but again, its a time thing.

I just want to say that Ronnie and I were in bama this weekend working at a Disciple Now. This is a crazy thing that youth groups do in churches where students all go to one house (girls at separate houses than boys of course.) to sleep... go to lots of Bible studies during the day... play tons of silly games... eat a lot of junk food... and it lasts from Friday night till Sunday morning. Sleep is one of the things that is NOT on the list of things to do of course.

It was a blessing to be able to help lead in one of the Sr. High girl houses (Ronnie taught one of the guy houses.... with Jr. High boys!!)

First, the 7 girls at my house were awesome. 4 of them I have known since they were little... (two I have known since they were 2-3 years old!!) They are now 10-12 graders! (AM I REALLY THAT OLD???)

They are dealing with real things, living real lives... and struggling to find how Christ relates to everything in their life. It is such a priviledge to be able to help point them to Jesus...

The end of the weekend was the church service on Sunday morning. The praise band (all youth) played... and then the service culminated with the song you saw in mom's video earlier in this post.... since I KNOW you linked over to that before finishing the blog!

It's such a powerful picture of how many lives change when God finally gets control. Oh.... I could say so much here... but I have to get away from this computer and walk away....

now,.... go watch that video!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All things New in Spring time

Well, I want to give a short shout out to my friends that got married in Missouri the first weekend in April. Megan and Luke are wonderful friends and their wedding was awesome! Megan is possibly the best friend a girl could want. She is just one of those girls that gets genuinely excited about everything good for ya... and gets genuinely sad about everything bad for you. She just cares.

We traveled together on Wings back in 07 for about 4 months... she was the person that went with me to pick out what type of engagement ring I wanted. I had not looked for one before meeting Ronnie due to me not wanting to do that until I had a man to make it worth my time:)

She walked all the way through a mall in Texas with me with one goal.... to try on every type of ring we could try on until I found the one I wanted. I mean usually this is saved for doing with the man that will be presenting the ring.... but since my man was in VA, and my friend was with me in TX... she became that person for me. The whole time we were doing this she just kept getting so giddy about my ring! We talked about my future, we talked about how she wanted to find someone soon. We talked about TONS of things that day. I will never forget it!

You cannot imagine my excitement when she and Luke began "talking" and then their engagement... and then the wedding! It was such a priviledge to be able to play piano in their wedding - I had a great time practicing.... and I even cried in her wedding... something I did NOT do in mine:) It was absolutely gorgeous - - and was a perfect picture of the innocence, purity, and love that weddings are supposed to be.



She is the friend to me that I want to be to those around me.... She now has a wonderful godly husband and Ronnie and I can hardly wait till we get to see them both again!
Ronnie and I had a great trip out there. We drove the full trip - and got to spend time in St. Louis, Missouri - Santa Claus, Indiana - Louisville, Kentucly - and Frankfort, Kentucky - We spent a TON of time together in the car - and as much fun as flying is... there is something about individual attention that we both get from each other in the car.

In other news... I have started my first garden. I have to start by saying that I have NO CLUE what I am doing. However, I have spent time on the phone with my PawPaw asking for help, tips, advice... and basically - - "WHAT DO I DO???"


I planted my tomatoes and some of the cucumber plants yesterday. The squash has to wait till the first of May here in VA. I hope to keep you posted as things hopefully grow!
Finally - - and update on Mamaw.... (my grandmother that had breast cancer...) her oncologist gave her at least a 28 year life expectancy in her last meeting with him... that would get her to 100 years old... We are really excited about this.... :) for obvious reasons!!!

Hope all things are new for you this spring!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Last year - I posted about my family's tradition of fish sticks for breakfast on Good Friday.

Today, the heaviness of Good Friday is once again made real to me.

Last night Ronnie and I went to a Maundy Thursday service at our church. Growing up Baptist, we didn't really have all the services of the "church year" that come more out of a Catholic tradition (or Lutheran/Episcopalian etc.) So, this was my first Maundy Thursday service ever. I have been to some Good Friday services before....

Last night's service was different than anything I have ever been to. The first portion was discussion around the 7 sayings of Christ while He was on the cross. The explanations, and picture that was painted so clearly that He was giving His own life, it was not taken from Him, simply reminded me that He was so fully God - He was never out of control... even to the point of saying He was thirsty so the Scripture would be fulfilled from Psalms!

Following that, the Lord's Supper was served. There were four tables set up at the front of the church with 12 chairs around each one. One of the pastors sat at each table, and served the Lord's Supper to us. As we waited our turn, we were left with pictures, scriptures, and soft music to focus on while we examined our own hearts. How powerful!

When our table was finished - the pastor leading told us that we would not be celebrating tonight, but just wait until Sunday!! We simply walked quietly out of the building so as not to disturb the others that were waiting their turn.

Ronnie and I had to go to WalMart immediately afterwards due to us being out of milk and stuff :) - it was such a shock to my system to go from this serious contemplative, weighty reminder of the costly price Christ paid for me to have eternal life... and then to walk in to the store with bunnies, chocolate, "In your Easter Bonnet" being played.. etc. I sometimes get frustrated at Christmas time with the trivialization of the birth of my Savior.... but honestly, last night just got to me even more. Don't get me wrong, without Christmas, there would be no Easter.... but without Easter, there would be no eternal life!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Plague - Continued

Still sick.



But feeling better thank goodness!



I actually slept through the night last night, and have not had a fever since Sunday! YEA!



It is amazing how much 6 days of staying home makes ya really appreciate being outside. Today is the first day I am feeling human again, still have some sore throat, my eye is still kinda messed up, and get tired easily - just gotta rebuild my energy levels I guess.



Did you know that USA runs Law and Order ALL DAY LONG!!??



Did you further know that mid-day television is HORRIBLE!



I have run out of things to google, emails to check, and everyone I know has been stalked on facebook in the last few days. I have felt bad, but have been SO STINKING BORED! Especially these last two days when Ronnie has to work and all that jazz, so I have to keep myself entertained.



We should have bought stock in Lysol - I have sprayed down everything in my house MULTIPLE times. I have used almost a full can of Clorox Wipes. I am trying to kill all germs before Ronnie gets it. he has had a cold, but no fever etc. etc..... so I am trying to keep him protected.



I am supposed to be subbing this week. Its kinda fun trying to find a sub for a sub... huh. They don't give subs lists of other subs - so its kinda been a scavenger hunt!



I also have to go teach my college course again tomorrow night. Should be fun.



Well, that's pretty much been my life lately, so there isn't much to talk about on here. This post is rather boring.



Maybe I will be better in a few days, and then maybe I can come up with something funnier to blog about... surely two days subbing for elementary kids music class will provide something entertaining!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Plague

Or at least something that feels like it.

Has taken.Over.Our.House!

Ronnie has been cruddy since like 3 weeks ago, I was so proud of my little immune system. Until Wednesday.

I was on my way to teach my first class of this new section. And the pain in my throat was just getting ridiculous! When we got to the hotel, I went next door and got a 6 pack of waters, some tea, and a couple of oranges. I figured I would have this knocked out by the time my class started.

WRONG.

About 2 hours into the 4 hour class, I was still talking, yet going back and forth between chills and cold sweat. And they didn't make me nervous.... So, naturally, I spent a good bit extra time letting them discuss things that they didn't understand, listen to extra music, etc. We finished my outline - but I did as MUCH class participation as possible. I thought I was going to DIE before the class ended. I have never felt so BAD.

I crashed when we got back to the hotel. Ronnie went to the grocery store for meds, and Sprite.

The trend of sweats and chills continued even till this morning! We went to the Doc yesterday. I hate going to the doctor. But sometimes it is just necessary. Got antibiotics.

So, now, we at least FEEL human. But I feel like every time I even think about venturing out of the house I risk spreading the Black Plague - - killer of all things energetic - - around southern VA.

Wanna know the BEST part of this?

I have already agreed to substitute teach the music class next week. All. Week. Long.

The teacher is having surgery. So, just about the time I will feel better, my little damaged immune system will be thrown out of the frying pan into the fire! Luckily, my antibiotics will last through next week as well.

And I will take Clorox wipes with me every where i go.

And then, I will teach the college course again Wednesday, and stay in the hotel again that night. Hopefully this time I don't wish I was dead the whole time!

Ronnie just said I have been typing too much on this blog. Is it really that long? He thinks its because I have so many leftover words from having not talked (due to sore throat) for the last three days.

Maybe so.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Update on Mamaw

She came through the surgery fine yesterday.

Today I got to talk to her - she has had NO pain medicine, not even tylenol, since coming out of recovery! WOW! I am impressed by this mamaw of mine! The Doctor couldn't even believe that!

She is already talking about going back to church next week! Her determination to continue doing the things God wants her to do should have all of us feel bad when we avoid things for a headache!

Everyone seems to be doing well.

For me, it has been tough to be here. It has really helped that so many people really love her and have taken care of her, and my family, through this.

Ronnie and I had some friends over last night too, that we had not seen in a while - so that helped to distract. We had a blast, eating, talking, and playing Wii.... they let me talk through what all was going on in Alabama, and then we moved on! Thank you guys!

I had my camera out to take pics of the evening.... and forgot till this morning. Sorry! You just have to take our word for it. My pride of the night was making my mom's famous "hot fudge cake" - - and it actually tasted almost as good as hers! It's always better when mom makes it - but hey, I do what I can. I knew it had to be good enough when everyone went back for seconds on the dessert!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Intercession

I know you all know stories upon stories of people who have had their life changed by prayer.

I am asking all my bloggy world friends to join with me this weekend in prayer for my grandmother. I mentioned her a couple blogs back - they found that she had breast cancer just a few weeks ago - today they found that the cancer has already spread to her lymph nodes.

Friday she goes to have surgery - a masectomy and the lymph nodes to be removed as well.

The request that I have, and that my family has, is that you pray. Pray for peace in her about what is to come, pray for my mom, and her two brothers as they have to watch their mom go through this. Pray for the doctors, that they will have wisdom - and that they will listen to that wisdom in their heads! Pray that in some way, God will use this for His glory.

We aknowledge Christ in this. We will stand, with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, knowing that our God is able to deliver her. Heal her. Take the cancer away. But if He chooses not to, we will praise Him anyway.

I have been blessed in knowing that all four of my grandparents have been believers as long as I have known them. I know that not everyone has that blessing, I am thankful for the heritage of godliness that has been passed down through these generations. My Papaw passed away about 8 years ago. I also realize how amazing it is that at 29 years old, I still have three grandparents.

Mamaw, as I have always known, and as most of the people that know her call her, is one of the most godly women you wil ever meet. She has prayed many of us through more situations than we can count. And anyone who has ever asked for her to pray for them has had a "number" in her prayer journal - - with a date it was first requested - - and a date that there was an answer from God - - and what that answer was.

Thank you to all who will give my Mamaw a "number" in their prayer book this weekend.

Our God answers prayer. This we know for sure.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I want it now!

What it is about finally exercising that makes me want immediate gratification more than ever?

I caught myself - after a pilates video, and a 3 mile run - looking at my stomach in the car on the way home and wondering if it had gotten any "tighter!"

I mean, I have been working on this for about three weeks now (skipping the week I was in Bama.... I choose not to count that one!... even though I did chase a 2 year old around a LOT!)

But I want it all... and I want it now!!

In other news, Jen has posted some new pics of Barrett.... that baby is already sleeping like a crazy man - 4-6 hours at night time! He is precious...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

what a rollercoaster!

Wow. The last 10 days have just been over the top. In as many ways as possible.

I will try to get it all in a post - but that will require less detail than is really deserved on any of these topics.

1. As seen previously, Jen had her baby. A wonderful, healthy little boy. Named Barrett. He is wonderful! A great sleeper, only cries when ya change his diaper or give him a bath. A wonderful baby!

2. Due to the birth of Barrett, Ronnie and I got to spend some wonderful quality time with Aubrey. She is precious. and talks CONSTANTLY. My favorite comment of the week was when we were in Target, Ronnie put some random headband on her head.. she didn't see it coming. She jumped up, hands on her hips, and loudly said "What's the big idea here, Ronnie?" Oh, so young, and yet so smart!!!! We got to take her to play at Chickfila, get prizes at Target, see a magician at church, run through the aisles at Walmart with her swinging from our arms, and watch her learn about her baby brother. Time I will treasure forever.

3. Ronnie, Mom, Dad, Jon, Brantley and I all went out for a dinner the night before Jon left to go to his train-up for Afghanistan. I will be honest and just say that I am not ready to do this again. If you haven't experienced a family member or loved on being over there, there is just no way for you to understand the constant wondering, fighting the unknown, waking up with a gut feeling, and spending hours a night praying. I am proud of my brother. I am thankful for our military. It hurts to see him go back.

4. Mamaw found out she has breast cancer. (This is my mom's mom). Cancer has never been a problem in our family. Heart disease, yep - strokes, got em - alzheimers, yep... cancer? no. So this is new to our family. Decisions, test, dyes, etc are all going on this week. Please be praying for mamaw, and for my mom as they make all these decisions.

5. A friend of mine in Ga announced she is pregnant with number 2. Who will be 13 months younger than number 1!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!

6. Another friend of mine found out that after years of trying to get pregnant, they are finally approved to adopt - and will have a baby in May.

7. A friend from VA had her sister pass away unexpectedly.

8. Friendship has been redefined again in my life. No details. But I will say this, friends that are only friends when things are easy, or when they are good, or when they need something themselves, are easy to find in the good times, but seem to disappear with life gets rough.

Friends that are willing to cry with you, pray with you, love with you, hurt with you, celebrate the good, and mourn the bad, drop their details to help you pick up your pieces, are very difficult to find. I am blessed to say that God has given me a few. Those that are not afraid of the tears streaming down my cheeks as the bad news drops. Those that are thrilled to celebrate to amazing.

These are the people that make me want to be a better friend. They make me want to be like them. I pray that those people will find you!

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

He's here!

Jen had to have a C-section this morning. She was supposed to have delivered yesterday but when she came to the hospital yesterday morning Barrett had turned around and would have delivered breech. Just 5 days ago the doc had said he was fully engaged and ready to have an easy delivery - - he decided to flip upside-down!! So, they simply rescheduled for today, (tuesday) and all went well. He was born this morning around 8:00 - - 8 lbs, 8 oz, 21 inches... at 11:00 his temp was already back up to 98.6 and glucose level at 77 (apparantly anything above 40 is good - I don't know.) Jen is sore - but morphine is fixing all those problems:) As any proud aunt would do, here are a couple pics.

Aubrey hasn't met Barrett yet, she is supposed to come to the hospital after her nap this afternoon to meet her new little brother. I will get some more pics when she meets him! She has kinda been ignoring the events of the week so far. I kept her all afternoon yesterday afternoon while the rest of the family was doing everything else in the world - so we had a good time, but didn't ever discuss the baby.

It has been so good to be here to meet my little nephew - he is precious!

On all other fronts - my grandmothers tests are all still scheduled for Friday (which may now be the day that Jen is coming home from the hospital.)and my brother is still leaving for Afghanistan training on Saturday.

Hope you guys are having a good week. Thanks for the prayers!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not today

My little nephew was supposed to make his grand entrance into the world today, but somehow, between the last time they checked, and today - he flipped his little head back around so his feet were at the bottom. So, long story short - we are gonna try to welcome him to this planet tomorrow! Please be praying for Jen, Aubrey, and Andy as they all are getting ready for Barrett to come!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

V-day

Ya know, as a single girl, I used to HATE V-day. (or, as we called it in our single world... Single Awareness Day).

Still today, its kinda awkward to me. I mean don't get me wrong.. I LOVE romance. Ronnie does such a great job of romancing me... and surprising me in ALL areas of life. I guess I still just feel like its a bit ridiculous to try to out "love" each other once a year for 24 hours... aren't we supposed to do that all the time??

Having said that.. we had decided that since we really don't need anything right now, that we would not really give big gifts for V-day this year.

Honestly, I can't think of a more tricky thing to do at V-day. I mean, Christmas is fine, even birthdays... but the day meant for romance??

So, the day before, I went grocery shopping (we had friends coming in... will talk about that later!) and was trying to think of a way to get him something without breaking the rules..

it was small.. but a gesture of love... a 6 pack of Mountain Dew bottles all to himself...

How glad am I that I did this??? On V-day morning... he brought me the SWEETEST card EVER... along with two small chocolate things! So, we both broke the rules... very much in our own "learn to love each other in the language they understand it in.." For Ronnie... carbonated beverage... for me... chocolate :) we aren't hard to please...




Anyway - it was perfect! Our friends Megan and Luke came up for the weekend. We had a blast! We went to the Circus (thanks to the folks that gave us tickets!!), to Tripps to eat, and then to Krispy Kreme to get our heart shaped doughnuts... came home and played Wii. Then Sunday, after church we all went for a fun walk at the park, got milkshakes at Sonic (we had coupons for BOGO!!) and came home and made pizzas (Ronnie and Luke did most of it... Megan and I supervised... and took pictures :)). We then watched a movie while we ate... it was great!




Monday morning they were leaving... God gave them a dusting of snow to wake up to... Ronnie made breakfast (AHHHH it is SOOO good to have a man who cooks!) and then they had to leave..




It was so sad to see them go - but so wonderful to have friends like them.
Happy belated V-day to you all... even in all of the awkwardness that comes along with it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What?

Well, I have heard much about this Peanut Butter recall. Honestly, I have kinda ignored most of it. Until today.

I got an email From Kashi.

I have to back up a bit, last year, I signed up to get a free TLC Cookie sent to our house. It came.

If there is any sugar around this house for any length of time, well, we eat it.

Today I get an email that has this quote in it.

"If you still have the cookie, please throw it out just to be safe; we would never want to put our consumers’ health at risk."

If I still have the cookie???? This cooke contained chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Sugar.... IF I STILL HAVE THE COOKIE????

Anyway, I guess the one I got was perfectly fine since we didn't die of Salmonella last year. In. August.

haha... if I still have the cookie.... Who gets a free cookie and holds it for 6 months???

Insanity.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I find this a bit strange

So, usually my posts are either somewhat thoughtful (at least to me).... but I try to keep a light hearted attitude about my blogging. I feel like there have been relatively few "down" posts in my blogging days.... right?? Anyway - one of the tougher posts was the day our wonderful dog Ziba passed away. She had provided so much fun and life to our family....

Here are a couple of the fun posts about her.

Anyway - as you can see on the left side of my blog, I have one of those trackers that let's me see how you arrive at my blog - which is kinda fun. Sometimes its boring - you just direct in to be blog. But other times it's kinda fun when I show up on someone's google list for something ridiculous.

Well, lately - someone in VA, and someone in Ga (they were only in Ga for like a week) has been searching for my blog almost daily by searching for "sadness in the mayhew household ziba."

In reference to this post about the loss of our dog last spring.

I am not sure what to think of this.

Anyway, if this is you - welcome to my blog. There are many things that I talk about here that are much more uplifting that the untimely death of our dog. Feel free to browse around!

Monday, February 9, 2009

27 years ago

27 years ago - 1982

Michael Jackson releases Thriller.
AT&T divides into 22 separate companies.
Chariots of Fire wins best picture.
The Weather channel is on Cable for the first time!
Ronald Reagan was in his second year of his first term.
Epcot center opens at Disney World for the first time.
The first Double Stuff Oreo is sold.
Sony launches the first Compact Disc player.
The Dow surges 43.41 points - (4.25%) to close at 1,065.49 - its first all- time high in more than 9 years. The points gain is the biggest ever to this point.
The Veterans Memorial is dedicated in D.C.
Time Magazine's "man of the year" is given for the first time to a non-human. A computer.
The Toyota Camry is introduced for the first time.
Median Household Income - $20,000.
Top movies - - E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial, Tootsie, Gandhi, The Verdict.

A bit less noticed - in southside, VA. A young man was born - this young man would grow to be a godly young man that although most people did not notice the birth... he would change my life forever. My husband started his journey on earth.

The journey for him so far has been one filled with achievement, excellence, honor, and goals attained. For many 27 year olds, that simply cannot be said. I am excited to be the one that God chose to put along side him through the challenges and thrills of life. I have said it many times before - and never will quit saying it. No one but God could have chosen a man for me that fits so perfectly into every aspect of life. No, life ain't perfect, it never is. But to have such an amazing man - - and to be able to call him mine... and be called his - is so much more than I ever expected, and DEFINATELY worth the wait!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Home

There is something about that word right? Something that just makes you want to be there.

Ronnie and I have moved - we are - for now - home.

We are still in Southern VA - in a newer house - with 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a basement! Let me tell you - basements are WONDERFUL! Christmas decorations, storage, boxes that I don't know what to do with yet, etc. etc. - they ALL go in the basement!

Ronnie's office now looks like a real office!

The guest room and guest bath are two of my favorite rooms right now... (I haven't finished decorating the master bedroom yet.... it is taking longer!)

The open floor plan is WONDERFUL! Its even harder to make a mess in it! :)

I will say, the piles of boxes that were in the living room, the 18 months without a dishwasher, oven, or stove.... it was all worth it to get this wonderful home.

Speaking of the dishwasher... WOW! I LOVE IT! I don't even mind unloading it! We can finish a meal and it doesn't all of a sudden look like I haven't cleaned in three weeks or anything!

Anyway, for those who care - I have a new home and I LOVE IT!

I can't say that enough! I LOVE IT!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Round 2

Well, I got a call yesterday - from the little brother...



He's gotta go back.





This time not to Iraq, but to Afghanistan.





I can't write much cuz we are moving this week - but for those who care, please be praying for him, for his new bride, for my parents, for my sister and I... and for all those who know and love him. It just doesn't seem fair to only allow him to be home for 11 months and then send him back....





Thanks for the prayers

Also - today is his birthday... go over and tell him happy birthday!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things to come

Some of you may already be involved in this - but for those who aren't and those who care.... THIS is something we are going to do this summer....

Ventanas, Ecuador. You can search the internet and you will find very little information on this portion of the country that is named for the fact that it crosses the equator. Ventanas is located in the Los Rios province, due to the large rivers that flow through. In early 2008, heavy rains hit this area of the country destroying many homes and farm lands. Thousands of people were displaced from their homes and many lost their lives.

Due to this heavy flooding and loss of homes, Ecuador will allow us to come and help rebuild a portion of the community in Ventanas.

It is to this challenge, and to the goal of helping to build the local church in Ecuador that Ronnie and I feel we are called. As believers, God has called us to reach out to the hurting, the widows and orphans, and the prisoners. This summer, God has called us to take his message of Hope to the hopeless people in Ventanas, Ecuador. We are a part of a team of people from several different states that will be traveling in late July to do work in some of the area villages. Some of these villages have NEVER heard the gospel of Jesus Christ before.

We are writing together to ask for two things from you.

First, we are asking for your prayers. We believe that with a trip like this, nothing will happen without the prayers of God’s people pleading before the throne that hearts will be changed, lives will be transformed, and our work will not be in vain.

Second, we are asking for financial support. The Bible makes it clear that believers are called to go into the world to preach the gospel, to baptize believers, and to make disciples. You may not be able to go at this time, However, you can still be a part of our team by helping make it possible for us to go. Your ministry to the hurting people of Ecuador will be just as fruitful as our ministry will be once we get there. The people need Jesus, Ronnie and I feel called to take them the Hope of Jesus Christ. We need prayers and finances in order to do this. So, I need you, to prayerfully consider supporting our mission. Thank you in advance for your help!


If you are interested in supporting this ministry in Ventanas, Ecuador,(this is a tax deductible gift – simply attach a post it note to the check with our name on it) please either send your gift by check payable to:

E3 Partners
April Allen EC09H
600 Development Drive Suite 120
Plano, Tx 75074

Or you may donate online:
Go to www.e3partners.org
Click on “donate.” Fill in the blanks. Click “Give to a Campaigner.” Type in either Julia Mayhew, or Ronnie Mayhew, and enter the trip code EC09H.

THANK YOU!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Too much time, too little to do - Wait - Reverse that -

What movie is that from?




Anyway - as stated by my dear movie companion, and fellow chocolate lover - Willy Wonka - "too much time, too little to do" seems to be my theme these days. I mean, I feel like my list is long... laundry, syllabus writing, questions to create for this online music course, dishes, basic house maintenance, my commitment to Scripture memory and healthy living... yet, due to the fact that all of these have this "whenever" basis, I generally feel like I am behind in all of them.

It all falls back to discipline. My goal for the year. I have none when I am given freedom.

When I had a daily job, and requirements and deadlines, I get more done. When I have free time - I end up at the end of the day wondering why I didn't get my stuff done.

I don't want to waste my day. I don't set out for that to happen. It just seems to happen.

So, I am working on finding a way to plan my days. Even those days that seem to have no plan. I have got to get a schedule going. It can have some flexibility - but it must be planned.

So, having said that - - this must be a short blog. For I have a schedule to come up with!

P.S. mom blogged about her Hospital visit this weekend... and her memory verse and the reason behind it

What a whirlwind....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Memory Verse #2

Remember my memory verse goal??? Well, I am on to number 2 of 24 now... I am a couple days late due to an unexpected trip to Bama -

Anyway - the verse is....

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV

Thanks!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Running around my head

It seems that when things that are heavy (not physically heavy... but mentally heavy... which isn't in all reality that heavy but due to the lack of my brain functions right now, they simply SEEM heavy)....

(if that last statement doesn't make you jump to the next blog then you win a prize.... please go to your own kitchen, get a whole sleeve of Oreos and return to your computer screen)

Ok - I am going to start that first sentence again. It seems that when things that are heavy, are running around in my head, I really struggle to get them into a blog. (now, was that so hard?)

I am going to try to do this today.

Right now I am dealing with trying to find those "lines." Here is what I mean. I need to give you a bit of background.

In 2004 I lived in Germany. It was a wonderful year, but a terribly challenging one. Especially the first 6 months. The town I lived in was about 50,000 people (Eisenach... the city Bach was born in, and the city in which Martin Luther translated the Bible into German for the first time). It was a beautiful city and I lived with the most AMAZING German family on earth! My struggle mainly lied in two areas.

1, I was the only English speaker I knew. This was stressful. But it is not the point.

2. The traditions of the church were WAY different than the traditions of the American churches I had always been a part of.

This was my struggle. It really pushed me back to study to find what part of what I know is due to my Scriptural understanding? What part of what I know is due to my Baptist background? and What part of what I know is due to me living my whole life in the USA? All three of these factors play into our religion weekly.... daily.... hourly.

I was pushed back to the Bible to determine what I believed.

I fell I am in that place again. This time, not because I am in a different country, but because of the situation in our country. I am not going to go into political stand offs about what we should/should not do in our country. I am going to simply state that things are not as they should be. We can throw blame in a TON of directions, and that is all fair in the political world. I believe that we all have a desire to see our country move forward, we simply have different beliefs on how we should get there. That is not the point. My point is that we have issues. We have financial issues, economical issues, ethical issues, (when a group of politicians are appointed and a large percentage are then found to be already breaking the law?? seriously??) world issues, unity issues, racial issues (please see the riots currently happening in Oakland, CA), security issues - - the list could go on. But you get my idea.

How do you line up the promises God has given to his children with the current state of affairs? I feel that in many cases we are continuing to walk as if nothing is happening. Just this last week I heard it said that when we were this close to economic breakdown in the 20's (right before the depression) people were already beginning to use savings to buy food, warmth, etc. When I walk into Wal-Mart today, the flat screen HUGE TVs are still flying off the shelves. Are we still burning up credit cards when the TVs are already yelling that the credit market is crashing? Or are we using the last few dollars that might be in a savings account so that we are able to demand from the government more money?

God's promises are true. He says that he will provide out needs, the righteous will not be forsaken, His seed not begging for bread. But does that give us the liberty to keep pushing on as if nothing were happening? I don't believe so? Am I a "doomsdayer?" No. I do believe that we have many opportunities to help this situation out - and that we are given the keys to make this work. I don't believe that we (not the politicians, but the people) have chances daily to help fix this.....

Anyway - I have no answer here. In talking to some people, they say go ahead and prepare for the worst... other say that we just "trust God." I think there is a balance. I feel that God gave us intelligence so that we could prepare for things when the worst happens. I also feel that He wants us to trust Him for everything! Not just the "rest" that we couldn't prepare for. I am working to find that balance in my life right now. Please leave comments on how you are balancing this? Or are you continuing along as if nothing is happening? If we ignore this will it go away?