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Monday, November 7, 2011

A Little Secret to a Run-down, Run-dry Life...

Woke up this morning to a baby soaking wet with spit up and poop overflowing out of her diaper. It broke my heart that she was in this condition, she didn't seem to mind it as much. With my eyes barely open and my back stiff and painful from hurting it the day before, I fed and bathed her and started my day. She is 7 months old and has not slept through the night just yet, which is not a big deal. But I am feeling the repercussions. Now that she is just waking up once, it seems I'm more tired. I try to take naps but lay there unable to stop my mind from going through lists, ideas, to-dos, and worrying. The littlest thing sets me off, especially if it's something my husband says. He won't mean anything by it, I seem to take everything personally and the wrong way.

So spending time writing in my journal and with Jesus is not just a priority but a necessity. I'm so glad it is this way, because although I'm beat sometimes, I experience so much life and fullness in the midst of everything. Don't get me wrong--I love being a mother, I love my husband with everything--I'm just being real that it's difficult and challenging and not very glamorous. I know all you moms out there get me. Anyways, back to spending time with Jesus...this morning I was brooding. So I came to the Lord asking for help and He was so good to answer. I opened up to Psalm 118, it was just floating in my mind, I wasn't sure what it said, "Thank God because he's good, because His love never quits. Tell the world His love never quits.." Okay, that's good. I thought to myself. Let me just soak in that for a moment. Then 2 Thessalonians stuck out to me so I went there, "Our God gives you everything you need! Makes you everything you're to be! You need to know, that thanking God over and over again is not only a pleasure but a must." Ah-ha..Thanking God is the secret to getting out of this Pity Party I was having. So I began to write what I was thankful for..I was sort of angry at my husband and having all of these accusing thoughts in my head, which I was realizing was not right or true. I ended up writing over a page of how I was thankful for him. I can't wait to share it with him. And it totally brought me out of that negative, brooding funk. As I lifted my thanks to God, the pleasing aroma pushed the gray clouds out of the way. I kept reading 2 Thessalonians 1, "You're so steady and determined in your faith despite your hard times that have come down on you..All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the Kingdom." As I read over it again, I realized Paul was admonishing the church at Thessalonians for being so awesome. Although I wasn't feeling so awesome, the Lord used to show me how to be awesome--to be thankful.

I know there are a lot of run-down, run-dry moms and friends out there and I thought this may encourage you as it did me to get out of the funk, get filled up, and see the reality--God is good, His love never quits, and there is always something to be thankful about. Much Love~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I read something this morning that i hadn't really hadn't noticed before. It's in Ephesians 1, it reads, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened and then you would know the hope to which you are called.." And I know that it could mean, and probably does mean, several things. But one thing I think it relates to here is Passion. Ben is always talking about how important your passion is. He loves jiu jitsu and surfing. He gets so sad when he isn't able to do either for a season. Especially Jiu Jitsu. We are different in how we need our passions or how we respond to them. He thinks about his quite often. I forget about mine, but notice when I actually do make time for them I'm so much happier and more myself. Dance is definitely my passion, but I think it has gone to a new level..I just noticed really.

I love dance so much, I think dance, without really trying to think about it. And I think about it the most when I'm trying to go to sleep, or when I am spending time soaking with the Lord. And I dance mostly when I encounter the Lord. This all just dawned on me. I was sitting here, listening to worship, and I imagine myself dancing, without trying to. It is such an expression of my heart. I can't not dance during worship times. It just has to come out. I was really nervous to dance at church for the longest time. It would burn inside of me, but those voices kept me from doing it. Voices of insecurity. And those voices of judgement. And whatifs. One day I just did it. And i haven't really been able to stop. It's like when you kiss the one you love for the first time, and then after that you just want to kiss them all of the time. Every time you have a moment of awe about that person, you want to kiss them. Dancing for me is like kissing God.

I think passions start out as desires with a purpose, they bring us out of our shell and help us to become who we are destined to be...and then we become them. We just do them without thinking about it, it becomes natural. Is this making any sense?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Life is about to get SO much better...

About a week or so before I had Lucy, the Lord whispered to me, "Life is about to get so much better..." I fought to believe it, there is such a negative culture around parenthood..."Death to self." I think that is true in a lot of ways, but no one ever tells you about all the life you experience, I mean hello! You give birth to new life. It's amazing. Well, since I have had Lucy, I feel I get way more out of my days. I've also have developed some new passions and favorites, i thought i'd share..

Favorite #1 Date Night!
Ben and I had the best date the other night. It was short, but so full. I really feel we make the most of our time, it may have only been a couple hours, but it was so sweet. We sat outside on the patio, the weather was wonderful for mid-July, the food was great, and best of all it was free thanks to a friend who gave us a gift card! I love Ben so much, I'm so proud of him. He is working so hard to provide so that I can stay home with Lucy. I'm really excited for his career in law enforcement. It fits him so well and he is already making so much of an impact there. I love to be with him.

Favorite #2: Naps with Lucy
I love to watch Lucy resting. It's so sweet and even puts me to sleep. I lay her down beside me and she turns over to her side and grabs on to my shirt and goes right to sleep. I always wake up feeling really rested and so does she!

Favorite #3: Farm Fresh Eggs.
A very kind woman that Ben used to work with at the Elementary School has been giving me eggs from her chickens..They are so YUM. The yolks are so rich and just looking at them you know they are gonna do your body good.

Favorite #4: Fresh Herbs from My Garden
I'm working on a garden. I love to go out there and snip some fresh basil for my famous homemade pizzas or mint to put in a glass of water--it makes it really fresh, especially alongside lemon! I am excited to plant some veggies in the fall. I had a hard run with tomatoes a couple summers ago, but i'm determined to give it another try. I really want to know how to live off the land, and not be so dependent on the supermarket for EVERYTHING. I would love to have chickens one day, too.

Favorite #5: Reading to Lucy.
It's amazing how she takes so much in, I would say that's a distinctive characteristic of Lucy: she is always wanting to SEE. Her favorite thing is for ben or I to just walk her around the house, outside, whatever. A friend said, "She is so studious." I think that's a good word for it: studious. So she loves books. It's so sweet to see her eyes so captivated by the pictures, then she'll look over at me and smile when I read something with vigor and excitement. The three books we have (i need to get more!), they are really cute books--"The Night You Were Born," "The Little Mouse, Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear," and "Knuffle Bunny." I thoroughly enjoy these books as well. They are fun to read.

Favorite #6: Family..
I love our family and seeing them with Lucy. It amazes me how Lucy just seemed to know her family at only a few weeks old. She just seems to feel safe with them. My sister in law is better at putting Lucy to sleep than ben and I put together! She loves to watch her Uncle Jamie play the guitar. She loves to have her grandaddy dance her around the living room (as she holds on for dear life!) or have her Pappy snap for her. It's a lot of fun to see, and it's amazing the unity she has brought with our family. She is a common source of joy, love, and peace for all of our family..I just wish my mom and dad were a block away!

Favorite #7: Jen Ray, Melissa Capps, and Heather Noble
Not to leave anyone out, but these three girls have been such sweet friends in my life, especially as a new mom, they've done nothing but be supportive and encouraging. For example, Ben's car broke down and so we are down to one car temporarily. So to save gas money, I'll stay home all day and let Ben take the car. The first day I was stuck at home, Melissa walked over with her sweet boys for a visit, Jen Ray brought me Starbucks, and Heather called and offered to stop by for a visit. They are amazing. I am so thankful to have good friend near by, literally--heather is the furthest and she lives probably 5 miles away.

I think seven favorites are good for now :) Even though life can be so challenging--financially, a new job, being a parent for the first time--remembering what is so good about life really helps and puts things into the right perspective.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This is going too fast..

As I stared carefully at my baby girl so peacefully asleep in her swing, I found myself studying her every instance, the way her chubby legs lay, the way her mouth was just slightly smiling, her eye lashes like tiny, slender feathers, her skins so pure, her little hands so innocent..I thought to myself, "This is passing too quickly! She is already 8 weeks!" I am savoring every moment. I wanna coo right back at her, make her laugh, make her happy, comfort her, cuddle with her, ooo and ahhhh at her strong kicks and big stretches. This is why I haven't made blogging a priority! I'm too busy enjoying what I'm intending to write about.

I just got off the phone with a close friend who've I known since high school. I told her, with confidence, that I'm that happiest I've been in a long time. I have never felt such fullness in my life. Such fulfillment. She shared with me that when she visited a friend of hers recently, she was surprised at her friend's astonishment of how wonderful motherhood is. Her friend said, "No one ever told me how great this is!" And maybe we kind of think it's "cute" how mothers dote on their kids; or think stay at home moms are just wanting to escape their jobs or find an excuse to do nothing...I think it is the greatest, most special gift God gave be mothers.

Lucy is a funny little thing..She is strong willed, passionate, and high maintenance already! When she is tired she must be held a certain way or bounced or rocked or swayed or danced around--she'll let you know. She doesn't want to miss out on a thing. Often times I'll be soothing her to sleep, so I think, but I'll look down and she'll close her eyes real quick. I'm not kidding, she is funny. I'll lay down with her for a nap, and i'll watch her peak open her eyes to make sure i'm there, then she'll close them and go to sleep. People are always amazed at how bright-eyed she is. She's very alert most of the time--she has been like that since day 1. The nurses at the hospital couldn't believe how alert she was. So curious at the new world around her. She is the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. Giant eyes, long eye-lashes, beautiful skin, dark hair, chubby little cheeks. She is perfect in every way..God really made her wonderfully. I could stare at her all day.

I'm feeling more myself than I have in a long time. I am so thankful for Ben's new job. He is home so much more, the quality of time we get is amazing. We are having such a sweet time as a family and I just keep pinching myself.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Then Anguish Gave Way to Joy

I laugh at that look on my face--it is amazing that just 2 minutes before I was screaming in pain! A week or two before Lucy Bloom graced us with her presence, a good friend sent me a message and shared John 16:21 with me, "It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. " This kept returning to me over and over again as I waited for her to come. The last couple months of my pregnancy were really hard. I fought through a lot of emotions and mental battles. Then once I went over my due date, those 11 days felt like an eternity. My heart's desire was to have a completely natural childbirth. I started to come to terms with the fact I may have to be induced. I broke down on my midwife when she scheduled the induction. When you start interfering with the natural process with drugs to get things going chances are pain medicine is necessary. Plus, I was super bummed that Ben would have to start his brand new job just 2 days after Lucy was born. Now let me be clear--I believe the epidural is God's mercy and grace for those really hard labors, or for women that just don't even want to go there. I'm not trying to judge any woman, it is a very personal choice. I wasn't about to be in active labor for more than 24 hours! But I really believed I could do it. I wanted to experience it fully and wanted to be able to walk around after. I loved my experience with the midwives--I wouldn't do it any other way. Later that day, after witnessing my breakdown, my midwife called to check on me (what doctor does that?) and she encouraged me that the midwife who would perform the induction would do some natural things first to get my labor going, like using a breast pump and then if that didn't work she'd break my water. Well, that next morning I woke up and decided I was going to try using the breast pump I already had. Later that afternoon I pumped for about 15 minutes. It was really cool to see that my body was already producing the colostrum and it was super encouraging. I rocked in the glider in her nursery and thought about her and imagined her in my arms. I finished and as soon as I stood up, I had a huge contraction. Then, I felt like I was about to have a serious BM so I ran to the toilet and as soon as I sat down my water broke! I yelled for Ben and was so excited. The labor had begun!!
Now I fought to remain calm, for I knew we could be at home for a while. I did not want to get to the hospital too soon. I called my midwife and gave her a head's up, she told me to call her and update her as my labor progressed. She assumed since it was my first I would labor at home for a while. She told me to rest and try to sleep--yeah right!
Ben and I had gotten really gotten into it right before all this happened. I know my hormones were kickin and I had not been myself those last couple weeks. I said some horrible things to him. I think it was the enemy's last little attempt to rob us of our special moment as husband and wife turning mom and dad. It was so clear after my water broke; A fog lifted and our vision cleared. We looked at each other, and I will always remember it as the "Embrace of my Life," he hugged me like he has never hugged me before. I will never forget it all my life..Tears fill my eyes as I recount this moment. It was so powerful. I felt all his love for me gush into my being. Not to be over-the-top, but it was an over-the-top moment. We beamed with hope and joy at the very truth that we would meet our little daughter very soon!
My contractions picked up around 6pm. We didn't take any birth classes, but we read some books. The best book--The Birth Partner. It prepared both of us abundantly! I found that worship really helped me--it gets you out of your mind. I liked to switch it up too, sometimes I sat on the exercise ball, slow danced with ben, sat on the end of the bed, got in the shower. Changing things up really helped me. By 8:30 by contractions were very intense, lasting a little over a minute long and coming 2 minutes apart! We called MAM (My Amazing Midwife) and headed to the hospital. It was a typical drive there--cold, raining cats and dogs, there was a road block because of an accident. I think I hit transition in the car--it was intense! I remember yelling at Ben, "Just drive through and tell them I'm in labor!!" He just smiled and drove around it. We got to the hospital at 9:30pm and I was 8cm! Yay! Any less than that I don't know how much longer I would of lasted. God is good. Her heart rate was up and down so I had to get an IV and oxygen. Laying in that bed was miserable, but MAM helped a ton, getting me in different positions to help Lucy make her way down the birth canal. I pushed for about an hour. The pushing wasn't so bad, it was like I knew we were almost going to meet Lucy Bloom and it was a relief to push. She came at the last hour of March--11:05pm. I'm so glad she didn't come on April Fool's Day. I just imagined her going to school and no one believing it was her birthday!
That scripture is so right on, as soon as she was out an on my chest--covered in her poop and all--I felt this joy that I had never felt before. Someone told me and Ben it was a hair over their salvation experience! So true. I love that when Jesus says that, He is comforting His disciples that when they see him die on the Cross, it was hurt and they'll be in anguish. But that anguish will turn to pure joy when they see Him resurrected, and given His inheritance!! Us!! Such a beautiful thought as we approach this Easter. Psalm 127 says that children are a reward to those He loves. I love that through His anguish, Jesus was given a pure bride, and that we get to experience His resurrecting life deep inside. I feel so honored that the Lord has allowed us women to experience having life grow inside of us and then to see that life come out! What a beautiful parallel to the Gospel! Every day is a gift with Lucy. More to come:)

Lucy Bloom is Here!

I thought it was pretty funny that she barely can wear the hat I made her! Plus it is way too hot for this hat..Being 11 days late I had a pretty big baby! 8 lbs and 2 oz, 20 inches long! I have wanted to blog so bad, it is amazing how hard it is to find time to do things..Then once you do, you have to pick 2 out of 100 things on the list! I had all the time in the world before, but I'm happy to be so occupied with such a precious gift from Heaven. I love this girl so much--so much more than I ever imagined. I love that verse in Ephesians, we put it on our wedding invitation, it continues to remain the theme of our lives, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us," (Ephesians 3:22). Just when I think He's forsaken me, He comes in and saves the day! And everything about her as been more than I asked for--in a good way:)

I'm going to divvy up my birth story and my time so far as a mom so far into a series of blogs..First: My Birth Story!

Friday, March 25, 2011

While I'm Waiting for Lucy to Bloom...

Around Thanksgiving, I got into knitting. My mother-in-law taught me the basic stitch and I finally persevered and made my first scarf! It was not easy, it took me several tries..Then I learned how to knit these cute hats with looms. I made some of my friends' girls hats with flowers for Christmas. I got really burned out on the knitting and took a break. So now that Lu is nearly 6 days late (or not ripe yet!) I thought I should make her a newborn hat. Of course it had to have flowers on it. I am working on some headbands too...I am still trying to get the perfect pattern for them. Depending on how late she goes, I may have all kinds of projects to post!

Oh Lucy...I know you will come when you want but I just can't wait to meet you and hold you! Way to keep us waiting, hoping, and anticipating!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lucy Bloom's Nursery

Nothing Like Nesting

So here are some pictures of her nursery. This is as done as it is gonna be until she comes. We want to paint her room the same aqua blue you see in her crib bedding, but we are unsure how much longer we'll be in this house. So, ideally it would be that color walls. I also want to reupholster the glider in a fun orange or neutral color. I also want to make a mobile for her...I have an idea, but am going to wait. She'll be sleeping in the pack and play in our room anyways for a little while!
This is one of the very first items I bought for the nursery, actually the second. I got it at a yard sale for $10 with my sister-in-law, Ashley--my yard sale hero! We touched it up with paint, but it was exactly what I was looking for. I just new we were having a Lucy Bloom. That bedding fit her perfect. As soon as I told my mom we were having a Lucy she ordered the bedding from Target. The painting was custom from my sweet friend, Milady Griffin. That verse summarizes the emotion we feel regarding her entrance into life and our family! It's a special Spring with Lucy Bloom.

My precious daddy-o painted this dresser for me as a surprise. They had it in a storage building and told me I could have it. It was this 70s wood color. My mom bought the glass pink knobs for it. It is my favorite! The two paintings were also done by Milady Griffin; I picked out the flowers from the bedding.

The box on the left is a gift from my friend Lindsey Durham, she made it! The blocks are also done by Milady Griffin. She sells the whole set of block letters, hand-painted by her, on Etsy. Her business is called "Squid Monkey." That little bear there was my bear when I was a baby. It winds up and plays music, although it doesn't work as well as it used to!

This is the glider my mom and dad got me. It is pottery barn second-hand, woop woop! I am still in search of some good fabric for it to reupholster. The giraffe I thought could be Lucy's music playing "bear." The pillow was the very first thing I bought for Lucy--yard sale:) Got it the same day as the crib. It says on the bottom, "Where there's mom, there's love." The blanket was crocheted by a friend from church. I love the little flowers scattered all over it.

The lamp my mother-in-law found for me at a yard sale. It's in a great shape, and I love that it has storage on the bottom I'm using for some books. The picture frame and book are from my sister-in-law. The changing table my mom found for me at a auction, dad repainted it. The "Lucy Banner" was made by Ben's cousin, Megan, as decoration for my baby shower. Thought it would be a super cute addition to the nursery. If you can see on the bottom--she has lots of super cute shoes! Well that's it for now on her nursery. I will post new pics of projects and maybe some with her in it! I'm a day past my due date, but calm as can be. She'll come when she's ready. I am savoring this time with her so close to me..I'm sure I'll miss it once she's out, but there's probably nothing better than holding her close, smelling that sweet baby smell, and hearing her coo and awe! Hopefully my next post will be my birth story! Much Love~ Jenny and Lucy Bloom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Finally Found Something Worthy Of Blogging About...

I've wanted to start a Blog for a while now, I love to write. I hate that I've neglected it for so long, but I just haven't found anything worth writing--that which would be good for me and good for the public. I have kept a journal since I was 8 years old, I still have that first one. This Blog is mostly about my new journey as a Mom. I am 39 weeks and 3 days. My little girl will be here any day! Her name is Lucy Bloom. I was journaling last night about this massive shift in my life that is coming--it's inevitable. The underlying feeling most women without children get about being mothers is that motherhood is a jail sentence. I know many mothers will deny this strong statement but will affirm, "Say good-bye to your freedom, your life, your time--just say goodbye to you." So in other words, a jail sentence! And I just read an article today--actually I had to pause before posting this entry to go with my husband on an errand, while in the waiting room I read this article in the Women's Journal Magazine--reflecting this very emotion. The author of the article writes when finding out she was pregnant, "All I could sense was the fading ghost of my own freedom."
Well, I don't believe it. Yes an old me will fade, but a new me is emerging! I am about to experience my own birth. A new part of me is about to be released that no one has ever seen before because it's never been activated. I've heard it said, "With every birth of a child, there's a birth of a mother."
A little over a year ago I bought a new journal (as I always do when if I finish one, or am about to embark on a new season in my life) after I returned from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's wedding. It was there that Ben (my husband) and I felt it was time to start preparing for a child. I didn't realize until after I bought this journal that on the cover was a picture of a mother bird bringing her baby bird food. Under the two birds is the word, "free." I just liked the birds and the "free!" I wrote my last entry yesterday, on the last page. After writing I felt inspired to chronicle my moments of motherhood in a blog. The picture on the cover inspired the name of the blog, which I will post because after reading that it sounds really confusing. So here goes...