"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully," Romans 12:6-8

Friday, January 31, 2014

“Jesus loves me, I know, bible tell me…”

I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it probably many times over again--- but, I’m astounded at how much my little teaches me. Yes, my little 18month old teaches me. Everyday she convicts me, she encourages me, she inspires me, and she teaches me. Lately I have been worried about teaching her. Teaching her Godly character, teaching her the alphabet, teaching her scripture, teaching her shapes, and most commonly--- teaching her to obey.

These last few weeks have been hard. With a change in my work schedule, growing pregnancy fatigue and an 18month old who is becoming an individual--- lets just say, I was worn down. The enemy got in my head and was making me doubt my adequacy as a mom. Making me question my priorities between work and mom. Making me down-right tired. I was feeling as though I couldn’t keep up as a housewife, as though I was neglecting my role as nurturer and that “disciplining” was over taking my favorite mommy-hannah moments.

Then today, my daughter reminded me the importance of being “with Him”. As I paid close attention to my daughter today, I was in awe of her sweet nature. The way she “ssshhh-sshh’s” her babies, randomly comes over to give me a kiss, or how she says “tank-uoo” (thank you) without any prompting. But today to moment that  really inspired me took place in a moment of mischief. As she sat on the kitchen floor, playing with the salt she had dumped all over the place, she had a song in her heart. As her fingers ran through the salt she sang “Jesus love me, I know, bible tell me, little one belong.” I melted. I sunk to the floor and just watched her. All the sudden disciplining for salt on the floor seemed, unimportant. I just sat there thanking Jesus for a child who already loves Him. Thanking Him for a child who at night repeatedly asks “more Jesus mommy?!?!” (we sing “Jesus loves me” every night before bed).

Thanking Him because I am blessed with an 18month old, who convicts me. Who makes me look in the mirror and ask myself if  I am regularly asking for more Jesus? Am I praising Him in the mundane moments? Am I glorifying Him? So today, in the thick of growing a strong willed toddler, with a “not so perfect” work schedule, and a tired ever growing body---- I am asking for more Jesus. Because that is what I need--- I think that’s what we all need. I am going to walk through my days with a song in my heart, because He loves me, and the bible tells me so. And I am going to hug my sweet child just a little tighter, cause I am so blessed to be her mommy and thankful for all she teaches me.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Its becoming real.

Plain and simple--- it’s becoming real. I am more and more aware with each passing day how our lives are about to change. Everyday Baby B becomes more active, almost as if she it is trying to escape. Everyday Hannah becomes slightly more clingy, almost as if she realizes Baby B will be escaping soon (changing her life forever).

When I was pregnant with Hannah---- I was naive. I knew that sleep deprivation was about to come, but had no idea what sleep deprivation really meant. I knew that she would cry, but had no idea she would cry so much it would bring me to tears. I knew she would challenge and convict me, but I had no idea how often I would fall to my knees begging for the Lords guidance and wisdom. Mostly--- I knew that I would love her, but had no idea the depth and impact of that love.

This time around I feel a little more nervous, a lot more anxious to find out the gender, but just as excited. Last night, I laid in bed, wishing I was sleeping. Instead I was listening to my daughter screaming calling for me from her crib. Our separation anxiety has hit an all time high--- those who say kids can’t perceive when another baby is coming, you have not yet met my daughter. Anyways, after three hours when we get her back to sleep--- Baby B decides that’s the perfect opportunity to run a marathon. It became real. It became real that from here on out--- sleep is something that may or more likely, may not happen.

However I could not be more excited to experience a whole new realm of  sleep deprivation. I know this will be a transition for Hannah and myself, but I could not be more excited for that either. Although separating and sharing mommy will be hard--- there is no doubt in my mind that Hannah is going to be an amazing big sister. She loves babies; feeding them, sharing with them, giving them kisses and hugs--- her sweet and loving spirit melts my heart.

So I guess to conclude this mish-mosh of thoughts and emotions, all I can say is that it’s all becoming real. The excitement is real. The nervousness is real. The fear is real. The love is real.

Here are some pictures my sister took for me a little over a week ago---

I love my two littles more then they will ever know!

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Madeline Rose

This morning I spent sometime with a very sweet little girl and her amazing mommy. Madeline Rose made her d├ębut into the world and my blog last Tuesday, January 14th. She is one precious little lady and I was so blessed to capture her sweetness today during a newborn session. Maddie did great, she was a perfect little model, and I was so blessed by my time with these two Story women.

Kari’s is one of my very best friends, and her friendship blesses me more than she’ll ever know. She is encouraging, caring, supportive and speaks truth so kindly when I need it most. For those of you who know Kari personally--- you know exactly what I am talking about. In this past week, I have been blessed in a whole new way by Kari’s friendship. Witnessing Kari as a mother--- by far the biggest blessing. Madeline Rose is one very lucky girl. She has an amazing mother. And I have been so touched to be able to come alongside Kari (and Gary) and witness the transition to parenthood.

Kari, welcome to the Mommy Club--- it’s a club with a rough induction, requires many hours (and late nights), will bring you to tears (sometimes you won’t even know why), inflict some self-doubt--- but will fill your heart with more love then you ever thought possible. I am so honored to be in this club with you! Thank you for all you’ve done for me and my family. I am so happy for you, and excited to see our littles build a friendship like ours.

And Madeline, welcome to the world sweet thing! It is a bright place, a loud place, a place where people try to make you sleep at night and be awake during the day, but it’s also a place filled with snuggles, cozy blankets and lots of love. I am so glad you are here Maddie and I love you more than you know! I pray that God blesses your every breath and I know that if you follow him, you will do great things in this world!

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seriously, sweet.

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This teddy bear was her daddy’s--- how sweet is that?!?!

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seriously, she’s a beautiful mom!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maddie Rose

Today for a few moments, the my world paused. The craziness of life, the emotion of raising a wild developing seventeen month old, the fatigue of pregnancy, and the stress of keeping it all together--- it all faded. Because today, a miracle happened! I was so unbelievable blessed to watch my friends experience the feeling of becoming parents.

First off, let me say that Kari is more than a friend, she is family to me. She has been there to support, encourage and love on me. I am so deeply blessed by friendship that I think began with a simple run. (you know it’s a true friend when you can’t even remember the first time you met, how you met, or how your friendship even began) Through many runs I began to see Kari’s heart, and let me tell you--- this woman has a BEAUTIFUL heart for the Lord. Our friendship as couples grew as we spent time together over dinners, walks and games. Our lives have been blessed greatly by Gary and Kari, and we thank God for them. But back to the real reason of this post, the reason that my world paused today.

I watched Kari experience the most incredible thing--- and I watched her husband support, encourage and coach her. It was so great to see them working together. Gary was so attentive to Kari’s every need. I was blessed to witness their interaction, and it only affirmed more what amazing hearts these two have.  And Kari--- well, she was a rock! I am so very proud of my friend.

This evening, Maddie entered the world. It was beautiful, it was breath taking, it was a testament to God’s goodness. She was beautiful, perfect and so sweet. Her little coo’s and squeaks brought tears to my eyes. Seeing the overwhelming joy and love on her parents faces---- I don’t even have words to describe. There is no way to explain, understand or comprehend the feeling of seeing your child for the first time--- it’s the most overpowering feeling I have personally ever felt. I was so honored to see my dear friends experience this moment.

Gary and Kari--- I am sooo very happy for you and your new family of three. I am so proud of you both and know that you will be amazing parents. Maddie--- I love you already. You are precious and I pray that you and Hannah will be as good of friends as your mommy and I!

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Happy Birthday Miss Maddie!