Sunday Sundries

Sunday, January 30, 2011 4 Comments A+ a-

sundries / [suhn-dreez] - sundry things or items, especially small, miscellaneous items of little value

Hudson came down with a cold last week, complete with runny nose and cough.  It was a matter of time before the rest of the family came down with it too.  Reagan’s cold appeared on Friday and my throat started tickling on Friday night.  It became a full-fledged sore throat and congested sinuses by Saturday morning.  And now Ashlynn has it too.  Only Jon and Devyn have escaped it so far.  Someone knock on some wood for me.

I didn’t get much sleep last night.  There’s just something about a baby being sick that puts me on high alert.  I tried clearing Ashlynn’s nasal passages as much as possible with the nose-sucky-thingy, but it didn’t do much good.  Poor thing sounds miserable, and obviously feels just as bad.  She alternates between sleep and severe irritability.  Poor girl.

Devyn still wanted to go to church this morning, in spite of the fact that the rest of us were down for the count.  Thankfully my mom was willing to pick her up and take Devyn to church with her.  That’s just one of the benefits of living within 10 minutes of my parents.  Devyn also keeps asking if she can spend the day with Nana.  I have no doubt that my daughter will be gone the rest of the day.

Speaking of Devyn, someone (cough, cough) forgot to give us her homework folder.  It was the first time to get “in trouble” with the teacher as a parent, and I must say, not a fan.  So we spent the weekend working on a presentation about the Dall Sheep.  It was due last week.

Munchkin Land Designs had a very busy month and I’m so very thankful for the opportunity to earn some extra income while staying home.  I’ve been working on learning Wordpress, another platform for blogging, but the coding and files are very confusing as opposed to Blogger.  I think I found a breakthrough thanks to my friend Kim, and I should be able to offer Wordpress designs very soon.  I completed my first Wordpress design last night, and while I still have a lot to learn, I’m very pleased with how it turned out!

Jon broke his finger at work this past week.  And the stubborn man refused to get it x-rayed or looked at by a doctor.  (Have I mentioned how very stubborn my husband is?!)  Instead he opted for a splint bought at our local superstore and is self-medicating with tylenol.  I can only imagine what he’ll be like after his vasectomy.

Speaking of that, we’ve affectionately termed February 23rd as V-Day.  We had the consultation for the procedure a few weeks ago and the doctor wanted to make sure that we understood it was a permanent decision.  “Just remember, in 10 years you can’t change your mind,” he told us.  We burst out laughing.  In 10 years we’ll have a 16, 14, 12, and 10-year-old.  I’m pretty sure the last thing on our minds will be adding a baby at that point. 

I have a lot of mixed emotions about V-Day and I’m sure I’ll have an extensive post about it at another time.  But right now the overriding emotion is relief.

We’re waiting for one more W2 form before we start working on our taxes.  After looking over Jon’s W2 yesterday, we’re even more in awe of how we’re able to make it on one income.  It truly doesn’t make sense on paper. 

Hopefully it’ll translate into a nice tax return because we have some medical bills to pay off.  Ashlynn is by-far our most expensive baby.  Our hospital bill to have Devyn totaled $300 and it went up progressively for Hudson and Reagan.  But our portion for Ashlynn is in the thousands.  Its crazy how insurance has changed in the six years since we started having babies.  She’s worth every penny, but good gracious.

And now I leave you with a picture of our girls.  Hudson was helping Jon in the garage, otherwise I would’ve attempted to get all four of them in the picture. 

GirlsMy cup overflows.

How are we doing this?

Friday, January 28, 2011 12 Comments A+ a-

Its been a year since I started praying faithfully and passionately that God would work on Jon’s heart to allow me to be a stay-at-home-mom.  I completely underestimated Him and asked Him for a 12 months, saying I’d like to be home by December.  It was a mere three months later that Jon gave me the ok to quit.  Three months!  I’m still in awe at how fast God worked.

On February 1st, I’ll have been a full-time, stay-at-home mom for nine months.  Nine months to adjust to our lower income, nine months to settle into new routines and new attitudes, nine months to let it sink in that I’m home for good.  Nine months and we still don’t know how we’re making it work.

During the years that I was a working mom, we swore we needed my income.  And truth be told, at that time, we did.  I had no choice but to work, if for nothing more than the medical insurance for myself.  Of course, the fact that my mom and sister watched the kids for considerably less than what we would’ve paid a daycare helped too.  But at this time last year, while God was making my desire to stay home stronger, He was also moving circumstances around like chess pieces and making it obvious that this was His will too. 

As we calculated budgets and bemoaned the loss of my income, we knew it’d be tight but doable.  And yes, its tight, but based on our country’s standards of living and what our country deems livable, we should not be making this work.  For example, we spend about half of what the rest of the US spends on groceries for a family of six.  HALF.  And yet, our children snack throughout the day and go to bed with full tummies. 

We are in awe.

A couple of weeks ago I called Jon at work after a particularly hard and trying day with the Littles.   When he answered, I blurted out, “That’s it.  I’m going back to work.”  He laughed good-naturedly, then seriously responded with, “No, you’re not.  This is the best thing we’ve ever done.”

That heart that I started praying so fervently for last January?  Its been completely overhauled.  Jon is amazed at how the kids have changed since I’ve been home, he loves that I cook and bake more, and still wishes that I had a better handle on the laundry.  (Me too, Babe, me too.)  But nothing, nothing, makes me smile more than when Jon turns to me with an awed smile on his face and asks, “How are we doing this?!”  There’s only one answer, because on paper, it just doesn’t make any sense.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 40 Comments A+ a-

I see locations and IP addresses in my sitemeter and I wonder who you are.  I wonder how you found my little space on the internet, I wonder what keeps you coming back, I wonder about you.  Are you married?  A mom?  Struggling with something?  I hope you find this place warm, inviting, encouraging, and more importantly, a place where you see a real wife, mom, friend, and sister dealing with real life issues.  I’ve said before that I blog for myself, and I do.  Even if no one ever checked in here, even if my posts went unread, I would still write.  But I won’t lie, I’m very curious about the visitors I receive every day.
GiveawaycollageAnd so, to entice all the readers/lurkers/regular commenters to come out of hiding, I’m offering a giveaway of two of my favorite things.  One lucky reader is going to win a copy of my favorite book, Redeeming Love, and a $15 gift certificate to Starbucks.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is hands-down my favorite book of all time.  I could (and have) read it over and over again.  And Starbucks… well, no explanation needed for that one.  Just two of my favorite things for one of you that follows along on this journey of mine.
I’m not going to require you to become a follower, or mention this giveaway on your blog, or tweet about it, or grab a button, or do a 1000 jumping jacks.  I simply want to bless someone that reads on a regular basis.  Leave a comment, tell me whatever you want about yourself or how you found me or what keeps you coming back or even a prayer request so I can pray for you.  Whatever you want.  Plus an email address or another way to contact you if you win.  Easy-peasy.  (I hope.)  I’ll leave comments open until Sunday, January 30th at 10:00pm (MST).

Home is Wherever I’m With You

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6 Comments A+ a-

Because I’m a sucker for father-daughter moments, I just had to share this video with y’all.  The kids, Jon, and I have watched it probably 20+ times already.

Everything You Will Ever Need

Monday, January 24, 2011 7 Comments A+ a-

We’re currently doing Priscilla Shirer’s “Discerning The Voice of God” bible study.  It has been so good!  But one week’s video stood out above the rest.  Priscilla read a list of all of God’s attributes according to the books of the Bible.  To say it was powerful is an understatement.  It left chills running down my arms and tears in my eyes.  He is everything I will ever need! 
He Is…
In Genesis, He is the Breath of Life.
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus, He is our High Priest.
In Numbers, He is the Fire by Night.
In Deuteronomy, He is Israel’s Guide.
In Joshua, He is Salvation’s Choice.
In Judges, He is Israel’s Guard.
In Ruth, He is our Kinsman Redeemer.
In 1 and 2 Samuel, He is our Trusted Prophet.
In 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, He is Sovereign.
In Ezra, He is the True and Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah, He is the Rebuilder of Walls and Lives.
In Esther, He is our Courage.
In Job, He is the Timeless Redeemer.
In Psalms, He is our Morning Song.
In Proverbs, He is our Wisdom.
In Ecclesiastes, He is the Time and the Season.
In Song of Solomon, He is the Lover’s Dream.
In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace.
In Jeremiah, He is the Weeping Prophet.
In Lamentations, He is the Cry for Israel.
In Ezekiel, He is the Call from Sin.
In Daniel, He is the Stranger in the Fire.
In Hosea, He is the Forever Faithful.
In Joel, He is the Spirit’s Power.
In Amos, He is the Strong Arms That Carry.
In Obadiah, He is the Lord, our Savior.
In Jonah, He is the Great Missionary.
In Micah, He is the Promise of Peace.
In Nahum, He is our Strength and our Shield.
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He brings Revival.
In Haggai, He restores that which is lost.
In Zachariah, He is our Fountain.
In Malachi, He is the Son of Righteousness, Rising with Healing in His Hands.
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, He is Your God and Your Messiah.
In Acts, He is the Son of God Rising with the Fire of Heaven in His Hands.
In Romans, He is the Grace of God.
In 1 and 2 Corinthians, He is the Power of Love.
In Galatians, He is Freedom from the Curse of Sin.
In Ephesians, He is Glorious Treasure.
In Philippians, He is the Servant’s Heart.
In Colossians, He is God and the Trinity.
In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, He is our Calling King.
In 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, He is our Mediator and our Faithful Pastor.
In Hebrews, He is the Everlasting Courage.
In James, He is the One Who Will Heal the Sick.
In 1 and 2 Peter, He is our Faithful Shepherd.
In 1, 2 and 3 John and Jude, He is the Lover Coming for His Bride.

And in Revelations…“When time is no more, He was and is and will always be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, and the Son of Man, the Lamb of God, and the Great I Am. He is the Alpha and Omega and God our Savior. He is Jesus Christ the Lord. I promise you, in Scripture, you will find He is everything that you need. Everything.”

I worked on creating a pdf file to share with the other ladies in our bible study.  Hopefully you can click on this link to download or print the list too.  Please let me know if it doesn’t work for you and if you still want a copy, I'll be happy to email it to you!

Quick Glimpses

Sunday, January 23, 2011 8 Comments A+ a-

 

MobileCollage

#1 – This photo of Devyn Paige was taken by my mother-in-law.  It captures Devyn in all her sweetness.  Jon and I are also reminded of how very fast our oldest is growing!  Time, please stop!  Devyn is truly a blessing to us, and we get many, many comments about what a joy she is, from mothers of other classmates, school and church teachers, family, etc.  We are so proud of who she is becoming.

#2 – When Hudson was a baby, he modeled for Group Publishing’s “A Night in Bethlehem”, a Christmas curriculum for churches.  It was a fun experience, and I completely forgot about it until we were asked in July if he could model for them again, this time for new vacation bible school materials.  We went, he did great, and these materials arrived in the mail last week.  So if your church participates in Pandamania for VBS next year, be on the lookout for Hudson’s pictures.

#3 – Reagan turned two years old last month, and almost a month later we just had her birthday party.  Don’t judge.  =)  And it soon became apparent that our third-born doesn’t have a shy bone in her body.  As we prepared her cupcake for singing and the blowing out of candles, she did a little dance in her seat, complete with arms waving and wiggling bottom.  I’m making the prediction now that she’ll be the class clown.  And she blew out her candles in one try.

#4 – And I just had to share a photo of Ashlynn with the rest of her siblings.  You can tell I’m enamored with the newest member of our family, as I’m taking all sorts of pictures of every mundane thing she does… like sleeping… or yawning… or sleeping.  My phone’s photo album is quite boring to anyone else that’s not related to Ashlynn.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 2 Comments A+ a-

SmileCollage

Post Partum Depression, Part 1

Monday, January 17, 2011 5 Comments A+ a-

The calls, texts, and emails have increased; well-intentioned family and friends are concerned and checking in.  Jon, Mom, and the sisters are all watching like a hawk, looking for any sign or symptom.  Although the close scrutiny can be daunting and annoying at times, I can appreciate their concern.  Though I hate feeling like I'm under a microscope or having to defend a nap or bad day, I'm glad they're watching.  Its better safe than sorry.  And they've proven, specifically Jon, that they know me better than myself.

I never thought I'd be susceptible to post-partum depression.  After Devyn's birth, and once the requisite baby blues had passed, I was euphoric.  I had a beautiful baby girl whom I loved more than life itself.  Life felt like it couldn't be any rosier.  Then around the 5th-6th month of her life, I was suddenly more tired.  Exhausted to the point that I slept more than I was awake.  I didn't think anything of it, but Jon did.  And much like Chris Martin did with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon came to me and said, "Something's wrong, something isn't right.  I think you might have post-partum depression." 

It was as if a lightbulb had gone off in my head.  Of course!  I talked to Dr. Susie and we agreed on that anti-depressants was the way to go, along with getting more exercise.  I started the medication, Devyn and I played at the park and went on walks, and I was a different me.  Once Devyn turned one, I weaned myself off the medication and was back to the old Jenn.

It was a reality check when a mental health professional came to visit me in my hospital room after the birth of Hudson.  After all, I'd never considered hurting myself or Devyn during my bout with PPD, but it was protocol, and I reassured her that yes, I had a good support network, and yes, I could recognize the signs again.  This time, however, Dr. Susie wasn't taking any chances and I started a low dose of antidepressants immediately after Hudson's birth.

Six months later I was feeling good and I was confident that since I only had to be on the medicine for six months with Devyn, that the same would be true again.  So without consulting my doctor, I weaned myself off the meds and within weeks, I knew it had been a bad decision.  I told Mom and Jon through tears what I had done, I was strongly reprimanded, and I started the meds again.  But the damage was done.

Within a month, I wrote a post about the lowest point in my post-partum depression.  I still shudder to think how bad it got, and how I had hit rock bottom.  It was beyond bad.  And yet, I still had enough wits about me to reach out to Jon and Mom.  Thank the Lord!

You can imagine our apprehension when I got pregnant with both Reagan and Ashlynn while still on anti-depressants.  Surprise babies will do that to you.  But both times I was able to successfully wean myself off the meds within weeks of finding out we were pregnant.  And yet, both times it was decided that the best plan of action was to start the antidepressants about a month before they were born.  We did everything we could to ensure that it never got as bad as it did with Hudson.  And so far, its worked.

My post-partum depression was, by far, the best with Reagan.  (So far, we're still in this time frame with Ashlynn.)  There was a time or two of feeling disconnected, overwhelmed, and extremely anxious.  When those times extended into weeks, a call was placed to Dr. Susie and my meds were increased.  But overall it was the best recovery thus far.

While promoting her new movie, Gwyneth Paltrow was very open about her post-partum depression after her son, Moses, was born.  I found myself nodding along with so many of her comments.  Two quotes, in particular, stand out to me. 

"I felt like a zombie. I couldn't access my heart. I couldn't access my emotions. I couldn't connect." 

This was/is so true of my depression.  I would stare off into space while my children were in the same room.  Devyn and Hudson would bring me toys, books, and drawings, and I could barely muster enough energy to smile at them, let alone actually interact with them.  Oh, their physical needs were met, they were fed and dressed, Reagan was nursed and dry, but I could not access the emotional side of mothering, of life in general.  My family and friends are well aware that if I start to withdraw from them, chances are my post-partum is bad.

"I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child," she [Gwyneth] says. "But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it's so important for women to talk about it. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure." 

Post-partum is not a one-size fits all, it doesn't look the same for everyone, and it even took on varying degrees for me and each of my babies. 

I'm thankful for the calls, the texts, and the emails.  Right now, I'm good.  Life is really, really sweet with a newborn and I'm trying to soak her in as much as possible.  And I promise if it changes, I'll let y'all know.  Because that's when I need the encouragement, support, and prayers the most.  But for now, I'm in a really good place and I'm relishing it.

If Ever You Worshipped

Sunday, January 16, 2011 5 Comments A+ a-

I was just lamenting with my mother-in-law the other day that I miss my daily, early morning quiet times with God.  I miss the aroma of my steaming coffee beside me as I dived into His words, read a devotion, journaled, and spent some time praying.  And now its nearly impossible to have that time with Him.  Aside from the fact that I'm bound by Ashlynn's internal feeding schedule, I also know from experience that no matter how early I wake, the Littles will wake earlier.  Every time I've set the alarm a half-hour early, without fail Devyn or Hudson will wake at the same time.  So I find myself missing my time alone with God, and wondering when I'll get to have that time back.

Then as if God himself was whispering to me, this song was sung in church today.  Some may say the timing was a coincidence, but I know better.  I hope it speaks to you as it spoke to me, it even convicted me.  May I remember that in these years, when sleep is little, patience is low, demands are many, that in serving my young ones, I'm offering a worship to Him.



If Ever You Worshipped
By Danny Oertli

It wasn’t that long ago
You were a girl all alone
There was no way to know
How soon you’d have kids of your own

Now you’re the first one awake
The last one asleep
Cleaning and making your plans
And there are days when it feels
Like there’s no time to pray
You wonder if God understands

But if ever you worshiped, it’s now
If ever you kept your vow
You may not understand how
But if ever you worshiped, it’s now

The memory of leaves in the fall
Walking through the canyons so tall
God was so close in it all
Now your chance to worship seems small

Now you’re the first one to taste
But the last one to eat
When everyone goes their own way
And its your name that’s called
In the deep of the night
One more hour of sleep floats away

But if ever you worshiped it’s now
If ever you kept your vow
You may not understand how
But if ever you worshiped it’s now

Scripture Memory 2011 - Verse 2

Saturday, January 15, 2011 3 Comments A+ a-

I memorized the first part of Isaiah 43:1-3 during the first half of January.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you."
And now I'm memorizing the second part.
"When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior"
This is going to be so good for me, I can already feel a difference in my attitude and demeanor.  And as I come across other scriptures, I look at them so differently, trying to decide if I want to include that verse in my 24 verses this year.  I think I have my verse for February 1st, but I'm still looking.  What's your favorite verse?

"If you want it..."

Thursday, January 13, 2011 6 Comments A+ a-

Right now I'm nursing Ashlynn in the living room and listening to a chorus coming from the bedrooms. Jon, his mom, and I are busting a gut at their antics.

We laid Reagan down in the pack 'n play in our room tonight; we put her down early due to extreme grouchiness. And assumed that she was fast asleep when we put Hudson and Devyn to bed 20 minutes later.

We muted the tv during a commercial break and heard Devyn singing a tv commercial jingle. "If you want it, you got it." First she and Hudson were the only ones singing, but suddenly, another small voice joined in.

"If you want it..." Devyn sang the first part. Then clear as a bell, Reagan shouted out, "I got it!"

First Smiles

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 4 Comments A+ a-

Ashlynn loves her bath time, it completely relaxes her.  And today was a particularly special time, Ashlynn bestowed her first purposeful smiles on me!  She’s been smiling in her sleep for a couple of weeks, but today during her bath, she turned her head towards me, locked eyes, and smiled.  Not once, but twice!  It made this mama’s heart so happy! 

Unfortunately I didn’t catch it on camera, I was too transfixed by my baby girl’s smile to remember to grab the camera.  But I did capture the rest of her  bath time.

BathCollage1AshlynnBath5.1BathCollage3AshlynnBath10.1BathCollage2

3-Year-Old Logic

Monday, January 10, 2011 5 Comments A+ a-

Last Friday I had some appointments, one for a facial and the other for a haircut. (By the way, a major shout-out to my father-in-law for the wonderful gift that allowed a spa day for this mama. Thank you!) Unfortunately the stylist didn't understand what I meant when I said "just above the shoulders" and I'm now sporting a very short bob. Not really a fan of the new 'do. But that's beside the point of this post.

Hudson somehow got it into his head that by "appointments" I must have meant doctor appointments.

Yesterday he asked me when I was going back to the doctor to get my hair put back on. I laughed and tried explaining that the doctor didn't do that to my hair, a hair stylist did. I thought I was clear and he understood.

Apparently not...

This morning I told Hudson that we were taking Reagan and Ashlynn to the doctor for check-ups. He started bawling. When I asked him what was wrong, he explained through his tears. "But I don't want the doctor to cut off Ashlynn's hair!"

Little Eyes Are Watching

Saturday, January 08, 2011 4 Comments A+ a-

I get constant reminders that little eyes are watching my every move and learning from my actions, or at times, the lack thereof. Devyn found my scripture memory index cards and decided to copy the words, His words. She humbles me. Every time. I pray that by keeping my eyes on Him, they'll keep their eyes there too.

Getting to Know You

Wednesday, January 05, 2011 4 Comments A+ a-

Tonight was a big night for Miss Ashlynn Rose, it was her longest stretch of awake time yet. It was almost as if she knew that with the older two at Nana and Papa's and Reagan already in bed, she had our undivided attention for a short time and wanted to take advantage of it. She simply looked around at her surroundings for hours, sometimes fussy, sometimes not, but it was obvious she didn't want to close her eyes and miss a thing.

Jon and I are enjoying our youngest so much! He has always been good with babies (though he prefers the 15 months to 2 year age the best), and I think the fact that she's our last is forefront in both our minds. Which we means we are both trying to slow time down and cherish these moments with our last newborn. Tonight was a treat for both of us as she took turns moving from one set of arms to another, staring, cooing, and checking us out. I'm quite certain that Ashlynn has both of us wrapped around her little finger.

She is such an easy baby, fussing only when she's hungry or fighting sleep. She is so easygoing with the siblings who are constantly fighting over her, kissing her, trying to soothe her, and overall smother her with love and affection. Poor thing!

Ashlynn usually wakes twice a night to feed, some times only once a night. She is smiling in her sleep and we've even heard a giggle or two, both of which are as precious as can be.

As for her coloring, its all becoming lighter, the hair, the skin, and again I'm cursing the strong genes on my husband's side. Although I'm still pretty sure her eyes are going to turn brown, they're that dark, dark blue that none of the other three ever had. But I guess time will tell.

Her neck is getting stronger, her awake times longer, and her eyes are starting to follow us around the room. *Gulp* I'm not ready for her to grow and change so fast, I rather enjoy my newborns and wish they could stay that small forever. But I gotta admit, getting to know our baby girl is such an amazing gift and I am so very thankful for her!

Going to The Chapel

Tuesday, January 04, 2011 5 Comments A+ a-

When two sisters blog, I tend to forget what I have or have not shared with you all.  Not to mention the fact that I hate to feel like I’ve beaten a dead horse for the family and friends that read all of our blogs.  So this past month I’ve probably neglected to mention that my sister, Allison, got engaged to Brian; that my sister, Christine, found out that they’re having a boy; that sister, Courtney, chopped her hair after growing it out for years; and that all four of us were incredibly blessed with KitchenAids for Christmas.  (You can click on the links to read the back stories about all of those events, and the KitchenAids… Wow!  Very unexpected and very thankful!)

But now its my turn to blog about something that hasn’t been blogged yet. 

Wedding gown shopping!

Ok, so before anyone has a coronary, I am not going to post pictures or describe Allison’s wedding gown.  Hello?!  I have some tact and obviously Alli wants to surprise Brian on their wedding day.  But I can describe the day, can’t I?!

As we usually do when a Sanchez girl gets engaged, first thoughts turn to wedding gowns and wedding gown shopping.  Unfortunately, with Alli getting engaged so close to the holidays, we had to put it on hold until this past weekend.  An appointment was made, and per our usual tradition, we had a lunch at Applebee’s beforehand.  Its usually a great time of visiting, laughing, and asking questions of the bride-to-be of what she’s looking for in a gown.  This lunch was no exception.

We then headed to David’s Bridal where Alli was walked through the process of finding some gowns to try on.  This first visit was just to show Alli different styles and help her get a better idea of what she wanted.  Or so we thought.

As the gowns hung outside her dressing room, one gown in particular caught my eye.  It was so different from the other gowns, and nothing like anything any of us had tried on before.  I was curious to see how Alli would look in it.  The first gown was tried on, and while beautiful, it didn’t have that “it” factor.  Back to the dressing room and the dress that had caught my eye.

When Alli walked out in that gown, I literally had to catch my breath.  It was gorgeous and it made her skin simply glow.  I knew instantly it was “THE” dress, but she had to try on a few more gowns to make sure.  But as soon as she tried on the second gown again and I caught the look in her eye, I knew we’d found her wedding gown.

Despite how she looked in the gown, the circumstances surrounding her dress made it very clear that this was meant to be.  Alli is 4’11 and the consultant just happened to remember that they had this dress in a petite, one of only two petite dresses in the store, and it just happened to be in Alli’s size.  Incidentally, the dress had been sent to this David’s Bridal store by accident and they were preparing to send it back this week.  Which turned out to be quite fortunate since they were discontinuing this dress and it could no longer be ordered.  It was also quite obvious that no one else had tried on the gown, so it was in pristine condition. 

As Mom, Grandma, the sisters, Alli, her friend, Kaia, and I were discussing the gown, the consultant disappeared into the bridesmaid section and came out with the PERFECT bridesmaid gown.  It was so complimentary to the bridal gown that there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that we were done, bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses in one trip.  And I can share a picture of the bridesmaid gown, with Allison’s blessing.

bridesmaiddressIsn’t it gorgeous?!  I can’t wait to wear it on September 25th.  I felt like a little girl spinning circles in that voluminous skirt.  (And yes, I did spin circles.  I’m not afraid to admit it.)

We’re a little sad that we’re already done.  Each sister visited about three to five bridal shops before finding our bridal gowns, then the bridesmaid dresses involved more shopping trips.  So to have Allison find her gown on the first visit, and have the bridesmaid dresses too, was quite a surprise to all of us.  But since those details can be checked off Alli’s list, I guess we can move on to other wedding details now.

Scripture Memory 2011

Monday, January 03, 2011 5 Comments A+ a-

I am feeling motivated in 2011 and the clean slate it brought with it.  This year I’ve decided to participate in the Living Proof Ministries Scripture Memory Challenge.  We’ve been challenged to memorize two scriptures a month, sharing our verse on the 1st and the 15th of each month.  And that, my friends, is a lot of bible stored in my mind and soul.  I can’t wait!

I realize I’m already two days late but I’m going to go ahead and share my verse(s) for the month of January.  Its actually three verses long, so this will probably count for the whole month of January.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior”

Isaiah 43:1-3, NIV

I’m claiming this scripture over all the situations, worries, and anxieties in my life right now.  I have a powerful and mighty God!