Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ready or Not!!

At our church right now a baby boom is taking place.  Caleb and I counted (at least) 7 couples that have just had a baby or are currently expecting.  It is pretty fun because we have others that we can share this experience with.  Whenever I'm around other babies I get so excited to have my own.  I can't wait to hold Emerson, to feel his little fingers grasp my finger, to smell his sweet baby smell, and to caress his soft skin...  I am so excited for him to be here.  

However, at other times I feel a little intimidated.  I know everything will turn out OK, but I usually like to have lots of preparation for big changes like this.  Before I got married I read all the marriage books, did pre-marital counseling, and even attended a marriage conference!  And Caleb and I did have a fairly smooth transition into married life.  But having a baby is a much bigger transition than getting married.  It will require much more self-sacrifice and change (i.e. half the amount of sleep I get now).  How can I prepare for such a transition?  Well, I guess my conclusion is just that I will continue praying that God will prepare us (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually).  I think parenting is one of those things that you have to just jump in with both feet first.  By the time we figure out how to handle a baby, he will be a toddler; by the time we conquer the toddler stage, he'll be a kid...etc.  And then the second time around, baby number two will be completely different from our first!  I'm not going to be perfectly prepared going into it.  I just have to trust that God's grace will cover our mess ups and imperfections.  Most likely we won't ruin our child.  If anything, this situation will force us to rely on God's strength.  We cannot do it alone.

In the end, I think the joys and rewards will far outweigh the hardships with parenting.  I see my friends who are sleep-deprived parents of newborns, but their joy and love for their child outshines their sleepiness and exhaustion.  I look forward to those joys and rewards, even if I have to face hardship and self-sacrifice to get there :)

One way we can prepare for Emerson is getting his nursery ready.  We have finally pretty much completed it.  You don't really need all these things for a baby, but we have been blessed with them.   If Emerson came now, we would be ready enough :) 

Bedding made by my mother-in-law!

A video tour if you wish to see it:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Ode to Brod(y)

This day marks the one year anniversary of our pup Brody being a part of our family.  We began fostering him for a while, thinking we were going to give him back after five months.  However, as we bonded more and more I began to dread the end of the five months as it drew nearer.  When we were almost to the end of the 5 month commitment, we were given the opportunity to keep the boy!  Since then we have grown very attached to one another :)  He is the quirkiest dog you will meet which makes it so fun to have him as a part of this family.  Now we can't imagine not having him!  Here are some pics in honor of our boy:

Our other baby, Emerson, is continuing to develop quickly!  I begin 36 weeks on Thursday and I will have my first doctors appointment where they actually assess whether I'm dilating/effacing.  I still get my hopes up that I will have Emerson early, but I shouldn't do this.  Instead, I should prepare myself for him to be late that way I'm not disappointed.  Here is the latest pic, taken tonight:

Don't worry, I'm aware of how I am exiting the "cute" stage of pregnancy and entering the "cow" stage.  This will only increase my desire for Emerson to finally arrive.  But, anywho... we moved into our new home this past weekend!  It went really well and we are getting all settled.  Emerson's furniture is now put together and I am organizing all the possessions that come with him :)  It has been pretty fun so far.  Well, I feel like I am rambling and I think it's because there are a lot of distractions surrounding me (ps- there is this girl sitting behind me who is the fastest talker I have ever heard in my life!).  I will post pictures of our new place/Emerson's room soon!  Hasta luego!

Friday, February 11, 2011

We've Got Knits!

Ok, so I was trying to come up with a creative title for this post to share with you about my new journey as a knitter.  There were several creative ideas online such as:

Will Knit for Chocolate
Knit Happens
Oh, Knit!

And the ones I made up "In knit to win knit" or "We're all in knit together".  Cheesy I know.

But, Caleb insisted on me titling it, "Ahh, we've got knits!"  As hesitant as I was, he told me this could be his contribution to "our" blog.  So, I gave in.  No, we don't have lice knits (thank goodness!).  We have knitted knits.  

It all began back in October when Caleb and I decided it would be good for us to make our family Christmas presents, since we are poor and all.  So, we stopped by Wal-Mart, grabbed a kit of knitting supplies which was supposed to teach us to knit.  Shockingly, it actually worked.  We knitted presents for our families; hats and scarves.  And I am really enjoying this new hobby!  It is a nice relaxing way to spend your down time while being productive at the same time!  I have found that this is a fantastic skill to have for birthday and Christmas presents.  It makes gifts more meaningful, because you devote so much time to it and in the end you have stitched every single stitch that makes up that particular gift.  How special :)  So, here are the Christmas presents that we gave to our families.  I've found it is difficult to take clear pictures of knitted objects, but here is what we've got:

Ariel's hat- you can see the detail more clearly on this picture because it is a lighter color:

Ashley's hat:

Mom's scarf- it has a ribbed pattern, but you can't see it that clearly:

The hats Caleb made for the boys (he hasn't picked knitting back up since Christmas!):

Danielle and Greg sporting their knitted gifts:

Family shot:

So, my newest projects are a birthday gift for Sarah and a hat for baby Emerson to wear as he comes home from the hospital.  I am making Sarah one of those ear warmer/headband things.  So, I made a practice one with some extra yarn I had on hand and decided I will give it to the 7-year-old girl next door.  Sarah's will not have the same type of flower as this one.  I will try to crochet a flower for Sarah's headband:

And Emerson's baby hat will require me to cable.  So I have been practicing on some swatches the past few snow days.  Here is the baby cable I will use for Emerson's baby hat:

And here is a big cable, which I love.  I can't wait to make something (a blanket or scarf) using a cable pattern:

It is fun to challenge yourself to learn a new skill.  Each time I pick out a new pattern to make, it requires me to learn a new knitting skill.  My knitting skill repertoire is expanding!  I should always have a project I am working on so I can learn more and become a better knitter.  Then I can truly be called a knitphomaniac.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Live Simply

I have been pondering lately how one is supposed to enter into the real world with a real income and maintain a simple lifestyle.  I am aware of the temptation in my own life to strive for things of this world (wealth and possessions) as we make this transition.  We currently live in a one bedroom low-income apartment.  Our apartment is so small that we have to make an effort not to acquire possessions because we have no room for them.  However, we are moving into a three bedroom duplex this month and I already have to fight the urge to go buy things to make it all pretty, even though we already have enough furniture to fill the place.  I hear the call from other Christians to live simply, below our means and to give abundantly to those in need.  I prayed this morning that God would help me desire His glory over the things of this world.  The world tells me that I need a big, pretty, decorative house, nice cars, an adorable nursery for our baby, expensive outings, stylish clothes, piles of money saved up “just in case”, and a sparkly, shiny life.  I am being pulled between this lifestyle and the simple one that Jesus modeled.  So many times I lose sight of the things above and set my attention of the earthly things.  I need constant discipline and reminding.  Why acquire possessions that eventually come to nothing?  Why offer such a comfortable, me-centered lifestyle to my children, teaching them it’s all about us?  
How can we raise our children in a way that always directs them towards Christ?  What a big responsibility parenting is… I want to do everything right to teach my children the right perspective on life, which I still struggle with myself.  I find peace knowing that God is sovereign and He will accomplish His will for them.  It’s not all in my hands.  Until then we will just try to do as God leads us in parenting from day to day.  Currently memorizing this passage:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”                                                                       Deuteronomy 6:5-9