At His Feet

Friday, June 30, 2006 6 Comments A+ a-

There are moments in my life when I can feel the presence of God and I’m overcome with emotion. Those are the moments that give me strength and peace to continue in my daily life; an affirmation of how God intended us to live this life. Such a moment was granted to me on Wednesday.

I had just come home from work; Nichole Nordeman was playing on the stereo and Devyn and I were alone, sans the dogs. The sun was streaming through the windows and there was such a peaceful feeling in the air. Suddenly, Nichole’s song, “Gratitude”, started playing.

“We’ll give thanks to you with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain”

As I felt the music and the words wash over my soul, I opened my eyes to see my baby girl, swaying and moving to the music. Tears welled in my eyes as I listened to her off-key singing as she did her best to join the music.

“We’ll give thanks to you with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread”

As I sat watching the innocence of my daughter, smiling, laughing, and dancing her way through the music; the words were resounding deep in my soul. Suddenly, His presence was all around me, humbling me to my core. Tears streamed down my face as I realized how truly blessed I am; awed at the thought that He calls me Daughter; so very thankful for this moment.

“We’ll give thanks to you with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need”

Blog Spotlight

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

For this week's Blog Spotlight, I thought I'd highlight the blog that I found immediately after I started blogging myself. I found Elizabeth's site, Motherhood is Not for Wimps, via a Google search for Mommy Blogs. Her blog is one of the first that was listed, so I visited and am so I glad I found her. She is hilarious, and finds humor if even the most disgusting of things. But I also find that she touches on motherhood in a way that I could but can't. One of my favorite entries by Elizabeth is about nursing; talk about getting to the heart of the matter. Wow! So, without further ado, more about Elizabeth and being "DaMomma".

What inspired you to start blogging?
I've always wanted to be a writer and someone suggested that was a great way to break into regular publishing. Not so far, lol, but tons of fun anyway.

What’s the meaning behind your blog name?
Well, "damomma" is what Mare called me when she was litle. As in "I WANT DA MOMMA!" or, looking at Cute Husband, "YOU'RE NOT DA MOMMA!!" So it stuck. The "Motherhood is not for wimps," thing is actually the mantra I relied on post partum with Mary. I was in pretty bad shape, trying to get out of bed, barely able to stand up. I was pretty beat up but I really loved that kid. So when I stood up and it hurt, I whispered "Motherhood is not for wimps." Seemed like something other people could relate to, probably.

What are some of the major themes of your blog?
The happiness and joy of motherhood and family life; the complexity and simplicity of it; the banality and craziness we all endure in this incredible, sacred task of taking care of these precious people in trust for their future selves.

Do you have any "Real Life People" reading your blog?
Um, yeah. I found out who was reading when I mentioned on it that I was pregnant. :)

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from blogging?
How much we all need each other. How worthless it is to sit around trying to "beat" each other -- this job is too tough to try to parent anyone else's children but your own. We need the inspiration, support, humor, insights we mothers can offer each other. We're not always going to agree, but about the good stuff, we really should be able to.

What else would you like your readers to know about you, that they may not already?
Oh, gee, if I haven't mentioned it, I probably don't want them to know, lol! Okay, how about that it really means the world to me that they read, that I really am so touched by every comment, every note. It's not the big book deal of my dreams, but in many ways it's so much richer. It's a much nicer, friendlier world than anyone supposes and I am grateful.

Green Around the Gills

Monday, June 26, 2006 11 Comments A+ a-

Well, it happened. Morning sickness reared its ugly head and decided to join me during these next few weeks. I was really hoping that morning sickness would decide to skip me during this pregnancy but apparently I was hoping for too much. Yesterday morning we were late to church due to a "quick" stop for my breakfast upheavel and then last night found me paying respects to the toilet again. When Jon called our pastor to tell them we weren't coming to the couples bible study, our pastor said and I quote, "Don't tell Jenn but I'm SO glad that women carry the babies and not us." Har, har, har!

When I was pregnant with Devyn, I was severely sick during the first trimester. I threw up three to four times a day, every day, until about the 14th or 15th week of pregnancy. I had no idea there were magic pills that helped with the nausea, but I'm very aware of it this time and if I see this pregnancy heading down that road, I'm calling the doctor! The hardest part this time around is finding privacy to throw-up; Devyn wandered into the bathroom last night and started crying with each heave. Poor thing! I think I really scared her, but I know it won't be the last time.

Heart on my Sleeve

Saturday, June 24, 2006 20 Comments A+ a-

I have contemplated writing this for many, many, many months now; probably since Devyn was a few months old. I've taken this opinion and looked at it from so many different angles, I think my head is spinning from the ideas. I'm still not sure which angle I'm going to use and I probably won't figure it out until I get to the end. Regardless, please know that a lot of thought when into writing this and this is just one mama wearing her heart on her sleeve.

Time and time again, I've heard the outcry from stay-at-home moms who feel that their work is underappreciated and receiving little respect or recognition for their work. It's true that women don't go into motherhood (stay-at-home or otherwise) for the glamour or glory and I, for one, am
very much in awe of the stay-at-home mom and all she accomplishes in a day. So, to that, I tip my hat to you. However, since I had Devyn I've noticed a new stereotype and/or attitude permeating the air among Christian mommy communities. One that I'm sure some of you aren't even aware exists but one that has become very apparent to me, maybe from my own experiences or my own guilt. It involves working moms and the stigma associated with them.

When I first had Devyn, I was approached by woman after woman in the church; all wanting to coo over the new baby and make kissy noise over the new family. I loved that part but I always dreaded the question that I knew would soon follow the well-wishes. "So, what are your plans? Are you excited to become a stay-at-home mom?" When I answered with no, that I was planning to return to work after maternity leave, I was met with one of two looks. The disapproving-shaken-head look or the "oh-you're-one-of-those-mom" looks. Rarely did I meet a woman or fellow mom who patted me on the back in sympathy or give me a reassuring smile that regardless, I'd be an excellent mom, no matter what.

Yes, I'm quite aware that Jesus calls women to the home; that my ministry is to my children and husband. I'm very aware of the benefits of having a stay-at-home mom and what she brings to the family and children. My own mother was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and I absolutely loved knowing that I was going home to her and the security of that knowledge. I know these things and fully support them. However, unlike most women I know and the fact that times have changed, we absolutely cannot afford for me to be a stay-at-home mom. It's just not possible for this wife and mom. My husband is a state employee and he loves his job, which was the only thing that has ever mattered to me. I have never cared what my husband did for a living, as long as he loved it and came home happy every night. Unfortunately, the state's pay is piddly and if you take away the $600-something per month for family medical insurance, you'll realize why I have to work.

"Sacrifices" one woman crowed to me upon hearing my plan to return to work, "It's possible, you just have to make sacrifices to become a stay-at-home mom. It's putting action to faith in God." Yes, this lecture actually happened and is one of the most thorn-in-my-side moments of this mommy's journey. It really burns me that the insinuation is there that because I was working outside of the home, that I must not really trust God or have faith in His provisions. Do I think God provides for our needs? Of course. I have no doubts that if an unexpected doctor's visit or a reduction in a paycheck occurred, God would provide for those needs. However, I do feel that God has called us to be good stewards of the resources He gave us and I think expecting God to fill in a $800-$1000 gap in our income every month is both unwise and foolish.

Yes, I'm aware I could quit my job, apply for state programs, and my husband could even get a second job to help pay bills, but at least I'd be at thome with the kids, right? Wrong! Personally, I find nothing wrong with state programs, if that's what works for your family. It would not work for mine because we have strong convictions that those programs are for emergency-use only. If we were to both lose our jobs, we'd have no qualms with putting those program to use until we could get back on our feet. However, we feel that since we're both capable and strong enough to work, we need to provide for our family together.

As to the idea that my husband could get a second job, he could but I won't let him. I feel his presence is just as important as mine in the family circle. I feel it would be completely wrong and selfis
h of me to expect him to work day and night while I'm home alone with the kids. I treasure our nights together and feel those nights of family togetherness can't be replaced the extra income he'd bring in by working those same nights. Now, I have no doubts that if in a pinch, my husband would do just that, but this isn't even an option for a long-term solution.

Now, we're really hoping that I'll be able to work part-time once this second child arrives. (Gotta have that medical insurance for the whole family...) I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that extra time with Devyn and this new little one that's on the way. The thought of getting more time with them is precious and sacred to me and if I really get to do this, I know I'll never take it for granted.

I was to reiterate that it is already hard for the women who have to work outside the home, without feeling judged or condemned for that decision. This judgment or stereotype that women are sinning for working outside the home is wrong, and if you find yourself thinking these thoughts or judging that woman, I beg of you to stop. I simply ask for the same respect for our family's decision that I give to you, the stay-at-home mom. Instead of creating two different camps in God's kingdom, the stay-at-home moms vs. the working moms, why aren't we coming together in fellowship and love to offer encouragement and support to one another? Our days may look completely different but don't we have the important things in common? Our love for our children; our love for God; and our desire to raise our families with God at the center. Isn't that all that matters?

Swims Like a Fish

Friday, June 23, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

On Wednesday, I took Devyn and my cousin Abby swimming. We would have gone to an outdoor pool but the wind had kicked up and the temperature had dropped a few degrees. However, we all had our heart set on a good swim and we trekked down to the local pool. Now, Devyn and I have been swimming before, so I had some idea what to expect; a lot of splashing, squealing, and timid movements. Not this time...

My daughter officially has no fear of the water. She had an absolute blast with Abby and I, and even by herself at times. She loved putting her face in the water and blowing bubbles, in fact, there was a time or two that I had to pull her out for fear that she was going to accidently drown herself. She bobbed up and down in the water, walking from one end of the baby pool to the other. She squealed when Abby finally came up for air and splashed in her face. She even loved being dunked under water. It was great! When we moved to the bigger, more adult pool, she happily sat in my arms and splashed all in sight. At one point, she'd kick off from my chest and float while holding my hands. A great time was had by all!

Past, Present, and Future

Friday, June 23, 2006 4 Comments A+ a-

I have a long-time friend, Malisa, who will always be Missy to me. Our parents have been friends since high school youth group days and have stayed in close contact ever since. Since Missy and I are only 9 months apart, it was inevitable that we'd become close friends too. It has been interesting, to say the least, to watch our friendship change over the years. But even more so, it is downright weird to see us both as mothers. We met up with Missy's family last night for a quick get-together and it was a blast watching Devyn and baby Brooklyn together. Hilarious as well, Devyn didn't appreciate Brooklyn pulling her pigtail, despite the fact that Brooklyn had no idea what she was doing as I tried explaining to my upset toddler. She just wouldn't hear of it and refused to sit by her for a spell.

Now I tried to get a photo of Missy and I together as little girls but my parents photo albums are still in boxes, so these individual photos of us, with our sisters, will have to do. But don't you just love the sentiment in the photo involving all of us? Curiosity at it's best!

American as Apple Pie

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 10 Comments A+ a-

My dad and I had a date last night. We went to a baseball game, enjoyed our beer and peanuts (ok, water for me), and had a great time. Without getting incredibly sappy, as I'm prone to do, all I'm going to say is that I do love my dad.

Being the father of four girls (yes, four girls, poor dad), we have to admit that he weathered it pretty darn well. We never made it easy for him and I still remember him lumbering downstairs to remind our slumber parties, in a not-so-gentle-way, to "Keep it down! Some people still have to work in the morning!" He's never been the dad to hold us in his lap, tell us how beautiful we are, or how proud he is of us, and while I know that every little girl needs that, we knew how he felt because he showed it in his own way. When he grabs us in a head-lock and rubs our heads, we know he's trying to be affectionate. When he answers the phone with "Hey Ugly", we know he's calling us pretty or beautiful. With my father, it's reading between the lines that's important. And being able to understand his heart, without him being able to express it.

But the best part about my father is that at 53 and 26 years of age, we're still going on dates. I love dates with my dad and I love that he takes time to have a date with each daughter once every other month. I love that he'll suggest a dinner or movie and knowing that its going to be just the two of us; no siblings, no spouses, and no children. It's an incredible opportunity to catch-up on each other's lives and try to reconnect as father and daughter. Yes, my father may not be the most smooth-talking, affectionate, or wealthy man, but I'll take him any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Happy Father's Day

Monday, June 19, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

Jon decided that he had to get to the wilderness this weekend and thus, that's how we spent Father's Day weekend. Every so often, the mountains call Jon's name and its as though he must answer. Granted, I knew how much he loved camping and fishing before I married him, but I had no idea how much we'd be going throughout the summer. I enjoy it for a time too, but seriously, a hot bubble bath and good book is my first choice. My idea of rest and relaxation is having every need met by the staff employed by a hotel on a beach; not chopping wood for the fire and cooking on a tiny stove. *Sigh* It's a good thing I love that man...
One of the many reasons I love living where I do; check out the moose and her baby calf.

Devyn enjoying her time on the campsite.

Special time with Mommy and Daddy. Check out the cuddle with Daddy.

Our family at the campsite. Happy Father's Day, Love!

POAS Obsession

Friday, June 16, 2006 11 Comments A+ a-

I have an obsession problem. Now before I continue, I need to forewarn any males (brothers-in-law, dad, father-in-law, male friends, even my husband) that they may want to stop reading at this point. From here on out, I will be talking about female stuff and since I'm a female, I feel that's my prerogative.

Now I'm sure you're all wondering what POAS is all about. For those that aren't familiar with fertility jargon, I thought I'd give you a crash course about the abbreviations that may be coming up in my posts. Now don't think I've jumped off the deep end, because I haven't. You'll find most of these abbreviations among women discussing their conceiving journey on several websites such as IVillage, Fertility Friend, and other online boards. I did not make these up.

POAS - Peeing on a Stick
TTC - Trying to Conceive
BFP - Big, Fat Positive
BFN - Big, Fat Negative
BD - Baby Dancing (more commonly known as s-e-x)
DH - Dear Hubby
AF - Aunt Flow (AKA periods, cycles, or "you-know")
O - Ovulation

Ok, now I won't be talking about all of these things but I figured a well-rounded education never hurt anyone, right? Now, back to my POAS obssession. Basically, I don't think I can stop. Seriously. I took my first test almost two weeks ago, where the faintest line you ever saw appeared. Between the first day and today, not including the tests I've taken it at the doctor's office, I've taken a total of 10 tests! Good grief! Now, it'd be one thing if I had these tests just lying around the house and I decided to put them to good use, but noooooooo, not I. I've actually stopped at the store to buy these additional tests!

I'm not sure what I'm expecting to happen. Do I think that one of them will suddenly turn out negative? Am I expecting one of the tests to jump up and down and say "ha ha, just kidding"?! I'm really not sure. But I do know that every time I take a test and two lines appear (both plenty dark now), I feel a sense of relief. I think I'm in shock that we got pregnant so fast this time; almost as if I wasn't quite ready for the tests to turn positive. And know each time I take a test, and those two lines appear, it's starting to sink in a little more.

But really, somethings got to be done about this obsession with pregnancy tests, my pocketbook can't handle it and I think my husband is starting to believe that I need to be committed.

Blog Spotlight

Thursday, June 15, 2006 7 Comments A+ a-

I thought it only fitting that I spotlight the woman who introduced me to blogging in the first place. My mother-in-law was bragging about her blog and what a funny woman she was, so I had to check it out. Jessica is my husband's cousin and one of the most sincere, down-to-earth, genuine, and real women I know. She's able to tell a story that'll keep you in stitches or wanting more. We've become good friends through our blogs and I treasure her friendship immensely. So, without further ado, Jessica from OMamaMia.

What inspired you to start blogging?
I started my blogging mis-adventures on blogspot, with the intentions of keeping family members up to date on the daily life of Sophia. With The Hub being in the Navy, its not often that we are blessed with living near family. I was getting lazy & tired of taking hourse on end just e-mailing pictures to family, when I found out about blogging from a fellow Navy wife great friend, Ellie
. Jackpot! I began obsessively posting pictures on my blogspot. Then I began telling occasional stories, but just shot little snippets. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. In April, I moved to my own site & have found a great friend in the gal who did my design, Chelle I've been having a blast "meeting" other bloggers & sharing life experiences.

What's the meaning behind your blog name?
When I started blogging, I didn't attempt anything great, I was a pretty un-catchy title of Jess' World. YAWN! A few months later, I was feeling a little Italian and changed the name to "tutto a pezzi", translates "all to pieces", which was quite fitting. Sophia was almost 20 months old at that time, and still not sleeping more than 2 to 3 hour "naps" at night. I was frazzled. We knew she had food allergies, but hadn't figured them all out. So "tutto a pezzi" fit perfectly. When I moved my blog, I wanted a new, fresh, Mama-fied name, and O Mama Mia came almost instantly. I love it! It fits the still exhausted, loving my full time Mama job that is my life. I think this one's a keeper.

What are some of the major themes of your blog?
Mama-ing, of course, is my maddening major theme when I blog; be it, Sophia trials & tribulations, or struggling with learning how to raise a child & not mess her up too terribly, or joyful SAHM moments. But I'm trying to get back to Me, too. Not selfishly, just trying to keep in focus that being well-rounded is better than being obsessively single-minded, even if it is about my Princess. I've just started doing some memes, to pull me up. I really enjoy Faithful Mommy's Treasure Tuesday and Kdubs Wordless Wednesday. I love cooking and reading so I'll dabble with those topics, too.

Do you have any "Real Life People" reading your blog?
Since I began blogging for the sole purpose of keeping in touch with loved ones, I do have RLP readers. But every now & then, I wish I had the complete blogosphere freedom to write my true heart. But to keep loved ones un-offended I try my hardest to stick to happiness & not stepping on toes.

What is one of the biggest lessons you've learned from blogging?
HHHmmmm.... that a tough one. Since I still consider myself a "newbie" to blogging, I'm learning things daily. Learning about others and still discovering me. So I couldn't say....

What else would you like your readers to know about you, that they may not already?
Wow! I don't think there is anything left to know, if you've read the "Adore Me" page on my blog. I don't have quite 100 Things, but it covers a lot about me. Ok, maybe that I've always had a really strong desire to adopt a child. That's something that I've never written about, or talked about much, but have felt for as long as I can remember. I feel completely blessed that God has allowed me to birth my daughter, Sophia. So I'm by no means saying that I'm not satisfied with what God has given me. But I think there is a unique blessing in adoption to give a wonderful life to a child, who may not otherwise have the gift of a loving family home. I guess now that I've brought this up, I shouldn't say too much, because I wouldn't want to hurt anyone else's feelings. I've read blogs that show both sides of this situation, and they both leave me feeling like I just want to hug them both because they leave me at a loss for words. I've seen the joy that an adoption can bring to a family & child, but I've never witnessed the pain of giving up a child for adoption, so this is a tender subject, to even begin to talk about. So I'll stop now.

I've Been Tagged

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

Katherine tagged me for this little meme.

What is your favorite word?
Hmmmm... This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. My favorite word would have to be summer, just because of all of the connotations that are associated with that word; vacation, swimming, beaches, ice cream, etc.

What is your least favorite word?
I would have to say that my least favorite word is God used in the wrong context. I could literally not think twice about hearing curse words but the minute the word God is used as a swear word, my head snaps and I find myself glaring at the culprit.

What turns you on spiritually, emotionally, creatively?
Spiritually... Worship, I just LOVE worship. The right music, the right words and I feel I'm at the feet of God. Worship is just beautiful to me
Emotionally... I am such a people-person. I enjoy fellowship with other moms, Christians, couples, etc. There is nothing better than connecting with someone and talking for hours.
Creatively... Writing; ever since I was a young girl, I could lose myself in the stories I created. Becoming a mother has definitely become a source of inspiration in my life.

What turns you off?
Spiritually... This is just in reference to me, right? I, personally, cannot get into the intellectual, academic discussions; it just doesn't float my boat to sit there and try to decipher what Revelations is really saying. I do, however, enjoy a great bible study (Beth Moore, anyone?).
Emotionally... I would have to agree with Katherine, phoniness and/or shallowness. I especially hate it when I catch myself doing it.
Creatively... Spreadsheets will turn off all creativity juices faster than anything!

What is your favorite curse word?
Hmmmm... Does Dagnamit count?

What sound or noises do you love to hear?
I can't decide between two things. Either the sounds of crickets chirping at dusk or the sounds of a good summer rainstorm against window panes. But my all-time favorite sound is hearing my daughter's hysterical giggles from the other room. Oh so sweet!

What noise do you hate?
The alarm clock, ugh!

What profession other than your own would you like to try?
I would love to get paid to write, how awesome would that be?! I'd also like to try my hand at teaching high school history, that would be fun!

What profession would you not like to do?
Anything involving numbers, databases, spreadsheets, or the like, I'm just more creative than I am analytical.

I'd like to tag Jessica, Dana, and Sarah for this brain teaser!

Photo Vignettes

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 6 Comments A+ a-

Daddy and Devyn enjoying a meal together; it warms a wife's heart to see such care and enjoyment in the simple pleasure of feeding our daughter.

Enjoying a summer evening on the back lawn; refusing to come back inside.

A fun moment playing outside in the grass. She's becoming such a big girl and I'm so partial to the gap between her teeth.

And last, but certainly not least, Joy from Joy in the Journey, named my blog Blog of the Week. It was definitely a surprise but such a honor. Thank you Joy! She has an amazing blog herself, definitely check her out if you get a chance.

Mommy Meltdown

Sunday, June 11, 2006 12 Comments A+ a-

I'm a laid-back mom, in fact, I drive my mother crazy because I'm so laid-back. If Devyn wants to climb up on the ottoman and jump off like the cat does, be my guest. If she gets hurt, its a lesson learned. If Devyn wants to shove a few dog food pieces in her mouth, well, it won't kill her. Now, don't get me wrong, if she's heading for the electrical outlets or the paring knife, I'll step in and lay down the law. Overall, I'm just a fairly relaxed mom.

However, this week I was not so calm and relaxed. I'm extremely blessed in that my mom and my sisters all pitch in and watch Devyn while I'm at work, I pay them but not nearly what I'd be paying a daycare center. And quite frankly, a daycare center wouldn't even be an option in our house because I'd quit my job first, but I digress. Since Devyn isn't in a daycare, she's rarely been sick and we've had little cause for concern in that area. On Tuesday, my sister, Allie, called me at work to let me know that Devyn just threw up twice and my week went downhill from there...

She seemed better by the time I got home, so I didn't think anything of it. I just wrapped her in a cozy blanket and cuddled on the couch together, both falling asleep for a good nap. I woke up to some wrenching sounds and was soon covered in vomit. (
We all know how I feel about vomit.) Luckily, Jon had just pulled up and was able to keep his end of our mommy-handles-poopy-diapers-and-daddy-handles-vomit agreement. Throughout the night Devyn proceeded to throw up five times and kept us up until 2:00 in the morning. By the next morning she was running a temp of 102.5 and I was starting to lose my relaxed attitude.

We made a doctor appointment that morning and was told to expect the virus to last approximately three to five days and to just keep her hydrated.
How the heck do you keep an 18-month-old hydrated when she's throwing up the water you just gave her? By the second night, Devyn's temperature refused to come down from the 102.7-103 range, despite tepid baths and alternating dosages of tylenol and ibuprofon. I finally lost it... I was holding my listless, hot-to-the-touch baby girl who was looking at me with eyes filled with misery and those same eyes were pleading with mine for relief. I've never seen my daughter this sick in my life and there didn't seem to be anything I could do for her but hold her and reassure her that mommy was here. I had tears rolling down my face as we discussed taking her to the emergency room or waiting it out at home. There is nothing worse than wanting to care and protect this incredible miracle being held in your arms, one whose sole care depends on you, and feeling absolutely helpless to do so.

By Friday night, we were desperate for our active, spunky, tempermental, talkative, and smiling toddler to return to us. We craved her laughter and her inquisitive nature and were becoming tired of the listless, clingy child she's turned into. By Saturday night, she was showing signs of her old self and was even becoming more insistent on the coddling. Needless to say, it was great to have her back, tantrums and all.


Friday, June 09, 2006 2 Comments A+ a-

Wow! It's been a couple of weeks of wonderful, congratulatory news! First of all, congratulations to Ryan and Kristin who found out that they're adding a second child to their family a couple of weeks ago. We are so happy for you guys and look forward to seeing Ty as a big brother. Secondly, congratulations to Jen and Martin who are making their daughter, Peityn, a big sister! What exciting news after such a long journey. And lastly, congraulations to Katie and Jeff on the news of their pregnancy; they will be adding a third child to their family. All of these families will be in our thoughts as we pray for a healthy pregnancy for each of you. With all of the good news and recent announcements, I think its time for another baby roll-call.

Michelle and Josh - Expecting a girl.
Lorena and John - Expecting a girl.

Colette and Jeff - Expecting a boy.

Sarah and Travis - Expecting a girl.

Ben and Kara - Expecting a girl.

Josh and Shamree - Expecting a surprise.

Cassie and Jeremy - Expecting a surprise.
Katie and Jeff - Expecting a surprise.
Kristin and Ryan - Expecting a surprise.

Jen and Martin - Expecting a surprise.
We're expecting a surprise.

Something seems to be in the water of the blogosphere too. Check out all of these fellow bloggers that are also expecting little bundles of joy. Isn't it amazing?! I think I caught everyone, if I left you off, I promise that it wasn't intentional. Send me a note and I'd love to add you to the list.

KDubs - Reflections From a Not-So-Ordinary Mom
Mary - He Sets My Life to Music
Dana - Experiments in Madness
Overwhelmed - Overwhelmed with Joy is waiting to be placed for adoption.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006 8 Comments A+ a-

“What do you mean my test is negative? How is that possible?” I demanded of the nurse. She shrugged her shoulders and repeated that my pregnancy test came back negative. I considered throttling her for all of her nonchalance and uncaring attitude. I scrounged in my purse and pulled out three different sticks, I laid each one on the counter in a row. “Look at these, there are three positive pregnancy tests, each darker than the last. How do you explain that?” I insisted. She pursed her lips and repeated her previous statement, “The doctor will be with you in a moment.”

I sat in the empty examining room, looking at the various stages of pregnancy and baby development posters on the wall, wondering how in the world I was going to explain this to my family and blogging friends. Surely, after three positive pregnancy tests, I was truly pregnant. I felt pregnant, I knew in my heart that it was true, but every time I came to the doctor, they told me otherwise. I frantically text-messaged my family and friends explaining my frustrations and fears, a few called back to wish me luck and to concede that this doctor’s office must not know what they’re doing.

I was in the middle of a phone call when the doctor walked in. “Well Jennifer, we conducted two more tests with your urine and they came back positive. So, congratulations, you are indeed pregnant.” I breathed a sigh of relief, so thankful that I wasn’t going absolutely crazy. “However,” she continued, “I just want to reiterate that anything can happen during the first trimester.” Excuse me, I thought, did you really just say that to me? You don’t think I’m aware how tenuous the first trimester is? I wanted to reach across the table and shake the ignorant woman, doctor or not. She smiled brightly, “But then again, I don’t usually take care of OB patients.” There was the insinuation that I shouldn't pay that much attention to her words. With a chirpy “Congratulations” she swept out of the room, leaving me to my thoughts.

Thank goodness that woman is not my usual doctor. But she mentioned miscarriage; does she know something I don’t? Should I ask her… I turned off the thoughts in my head and stepped outside into the sunlight. I placed a hand over my tummy and whispered a quick thanks for the blessing I’ve been given. And vowing that I’ll do my best to keep thoughts of miscarriage far from my mind and rest assuredly that this new life is in good hands, God's hands.

Exciting News

Monday, June 05, 2006 34 Comments A+ a-

Just in case you can't read the words, Devyn's t-shirt reads "Big Sister in Training - Baby on the Way". Yes, it is true and this is what we used to announce to our families that we are pregnant again. We're are adding a 2nd child to the family, whose due date is February 12th, approximately 27 months after we brought Devyn into our lives. The irony of that time frame is that both my sister, Christine, and I are 27 months apart and Jon and his brother, Josh, are 27 months apart. So we figure this is a great age difference between Devyn and her sibling.

To answer a few questions that have already been asked. One, yes this was planned. We always knew that we were going to start trying this summer because we didn't them too far apart, so even though we've moved in with my parents, we didn't want to change our time frame. Two, is Jon excited? Jon is excited beyond words, as he said when I told him, "The first time I was terrified and wasn't sure what we'd gotten ourselves into but this time, I'm just thrilled." Three, what is the plan? The plan is still the same, live with my parents for approximately six months and start looking for our first home in November, only now I'll be pregnant the whole time! And last, but not least, yes, we have names picked out. (Who am I, the planner, to be without names?!) If we have a girl, her name will be Avery Rose and if we have a boy, it's a toss-up between Aiden Jonathan or Hudson Jonathan, we'll keep you posted.

This, my friends, is our exciting news. We'll be adding a son or daughter to the family in approximately 8 months and we're couldn't be happier about it!!

Princess Bride

Sunday, June 04, 2006 1 Comments A+ a-

Yesterday was my friend, Marianne's wedding. She looked absolutely beautiful! Her dress reminded me, and several of her nieces, of Belle's dress in Beauty and the Beast. Isn't she just gorgeous?! She and Dennis are going to be extremely happy, I just know it!

Marianne and I became best friends in 9th grade, we shared lockers, secrets, commiserated about our lack of endowments in the chest area (oh wait, we still do that), fought over boys, got our licenses at the same time, got into mischeif, and slowly evolved into a wonderful friendship. The only downside to our friendship is our differences in beliefs. She is a Mormon and I am a saved-by-grace believer... BIG differences in our beliefs. The only way to conquer those kinds of differences was to stick to the agreement we made in 9th grade that she had her beliefs, I had mine, and we'd never try to convert the other. We've had plenty of theological discussions and we're both willing to talk if the other has questions but NO converting. I'm not sure what's God's stance on this kind of agreement is but its allowed me to have a wonderful, beautiful friendship in my life.

I was the only bridesmaid that wasn't a part of the family, even though she considers me one, and the only member of the bridal party that wasn't Mormon. In fact, I think my family were the only non-Mormon guests there. It was interesting to say the least. She even included Devyn in the nieces and nephews photos, which touched my heart to say the least.

Blog Spotlight

Friday, June 02, 2006 5 Comments A+ a-

A fellow blogger recently started a weekly meme that I find very interesting. She is highlighting specific blogs and their writers once a week in her Blog of the Week meme. It has been fascinating to read why others blog and learn more about their specific site. I found it so appealing that I’ve decided to do my own entries, although I doubt I’ll do it once a week. I’ll probably only do it once every other week or so.

I’ve contacted a number of blogs that I read on a daily/weekly basis to see if they’d be interested in have their blog "spotlighted". If I did not get in touch with you, it’s because I was unable to find your email address but if you’re interested, feel free to get in touch with me by clicking on the Email Me link in the sidebar.

Now, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the woman behind the "Blog Spotlight" idea. She is from the blog entitled Overwhelmed with Joy, mommy of SnuggleBug, and wife to Oronzo. I found her through another site and have really enjoyed her writing style and reading about her adoption of SnuggleBug. For a better understanding of the author, please read on:

Q: What inspired you to start blogging?
You’ll laugh, but it was a disagreement with Oronzo that nudged me to blog! I’d been lurking for months, reading other’s blogs, but never having the courage to do my own blogging. One day, Oronzo decided to design a password-protected family website, where we could post our pictures and do a bit of blogging. I did a lot more than a little blogging there, and not always about family matters. My creative, writing juices were unleased! Oronzo got agitated that I was deviating from family topics, fearing what his family would think when they read my blogs. He had the audacity to delete a piece that I had written and I stormed into our office and gave him a good tongue lashing (I am Irish, after all) for daring to censor me!

He shouted out, "If you don’t like it, blog somewhere else!"

I responded back with an emphatic, "I will!" and stormed back out.

And so, I started blogging in the blogger account that I had set up back in January, the one that I had originally intended to use just for commenting on other’s blogs.

Q: What’s the meaning behind your blog name?
Well, way back in the beginning of our adoption journey, I was trying to research our options and ended up feeling quite overwhelmed. I found an adoption news board and created a user account called, Overwhelmed!, to reflect my feelings. After our adoption was finalized, someone came across one of my old posts and offered some advice, not knowing that everything had worked out well for us. Another user stepped in and wrote, "She’s now overwhelmed with joy because they’ve adopted their little angel." Overwhelmed with Joy caught my fancy and that’s what I decided to name this blog. It’s appropriate.

Q: What are some of the major themes of your blog?
Obviously adoption and raising my beloved Snuggle Bug are the most prevalent themes thus far, but there are also themes about elderly parents, the joys and tribulations of family, cooking, the blessings and treasures in my life, marriage, divorce (not mine, thank goodness), new life, and death, and much more yet to come!

Q: Do you have any "Real Life People" reading your blog?
At this point, no. Despite the fact that Oronzo ticked me off and I started this blog to spite him, I have contemplated sharing it with him, but I haven’t quite done it yet. He’s probably the only one I’ll want to share it with. Well, I take that back, I have full intentions of one day sharing it with Snuggle Bug when he’s old enough to understand. But by not sharing it with other RLP, I feel a sense of freedom to blog about issues that I struggle to work through, without offending those I write about.

Q: What else would you like your readers to know about you, that they may not already?
I haven’t admitted it until now but I used to be a news reporter. My major was Journalism and I got a Reporter job after graduating from college, doing mainly special feature stories. It paid peanuts and I had to work two jobs to keep up with paying back student loans and other bills, but I enjoyed it. I even got a piece picked up by the AP! Eventually, I got lured away from the newspaper industry by a job that offered twice what I was making as a Reporter. I still love to write and the Blog of the Week Q&As that I do give me a taste of my old news reporting days, just in a different way. Oddly enough, my spelling stinks and always has (thank goodness for Merriam- Webster online and spell check)! And I’ve always struggled with the concept of brevity, as my blog and my responses to this Q&A will attest to!