Wednesday, December 28, 2011

9 weeks

I seriously can't thank you all enough for the calls, emails, and texts sending well wishes and congrats to our family! We feel so loved and your prayers and support mean the world to us.

Monday marked nine weeks and today we were able to see the babies for sonogram #4. Everyone measured right on track with strong heart beats and all four were moving around in their quite cozy quarters. Seeing their little movements was the highlight of our week!

At only nine weeks these tiny babies are continuing to defy the odds. In the first trimester there is a 20-25% chance that one of the babies will stop growing and be absorbed (just like what happens to a vanishing twin). Every week my doctor has prepared us that we may only see three heartbeats at our next visit, and every week there have been four VERY strong babies. Isn't God amazing?!

After the scans we sat down for our last meeting with our fertility specialist. He sat in a chair across the table from us, shaking his head and grinning. He put his hand on his head as if to say, "Once again, I can't explain this." And then he said he'd see us when we are ready for #5. Oh, I'm so glad we've all kept our sense of humor. ;)

So, here we are. Nine weeks. Four healthy babies. And ONE very faithful, loving God who so clearly has His hands all over this!






Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From TWO to SIX

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

After a 15-month struggle with infertility, we found out we were pregnant the week of Thanksgiving. Two weeks later we received the surprise/shock of our lives during my first sonogram.

We are having four babies. Four little miracles.



Reid and I feel so humbled that the Lord chose to grow our family in this way. It is clear that this was orchestrated by HIS sovereign hand and we have felt an overwhelming sense of peace from the moment we heard the words, "There are four."

I'm excited to share more in the weeks to come. I want to be as honest as I can about our journey, the emotions we've processed/are processing through, etc.

God is writing an incredible story and we feel so very honored to be part of it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Samson is Two!


I can't believe our boy is TWO! He has proved to be one of the best decisions we've ever made. I can't even begin to tell you the amount of simple joy he's brought to our lives. We sent him away for two weeks in August to an obedience/training camp and he came back so well behaved. It is so nice to be able to take him to a park off-leash or have company over and know we have complete control over him. We spent his birthday, November 23, in Little Rock spoiling him with long walks, a new frisbee and doggy cookies. We are so proud to be his parents!



note: this was supposed to by my Day 23 post but obviously I dropped the ball.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Days 21 & 22

Day 21: I am thankful that I am able to visit my family so often. I'm also thankful that they live within driving distance.

Day 22: Today I am thankful that my family and Reid's family celebrate Thanksgiving together along with several other families. And, to take it a step further, I'm very thankful that our families get along. ;)


Monday, November 21, 2011

Catch-Up: Day 12-20

Since I dropped the ball on posting days 12-20, I thought I'd share a chapter in Psalm that I've been reading.

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

136 wGive thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

xfor his steadfast love endures forever.

2 Give thanks to ythe God of gods,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

3 Give thanks to ythe Lord of lords,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

4 to him who alone zdoes great wonders,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

5 to him who aby understanding bmade the heavens,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

6 to him who cspread out the earth dabove the waters,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

7 to him who emade the great lights,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

8 the sun to rule over the day,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

9 the moon and stars to rule over the night,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

10 to him who fstruck down the firstborn of Egypt,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

11 and gbrought Israel out from among them,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

12 with ha strong hand and an outstretched arm,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

13 to him who idivided the Red Sea in two,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

14 jand made Israel pass through the midst of it,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

15 but koverthrew1 Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

16 to him who lled his people through the wilderness,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

17 to him mwho struck down great kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

18 and killed mighty kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

20 and Og, king of Bashan,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

21 and gave their land as a heritage,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

22 a heritage to Israel his nservant,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

23 It is he who oremembered us in our low estate,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

24 and prescued us from our foes,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

25 he who qgives food to all flesh,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to rthe God of heaven,

for his steadfast love endures forever.


Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11

I've mentioned before that "waiting" seems to be a big theme in our life right now. The thing about waiting that's been the hardest for me is finding balance in my faith. On one hand I'm supposed to wait expectantly, believing that He who is able is bigger than every odd we are up against. And on the other hand I'm supposed to wait knowing that even if the answer this time is "no" He is still able and good.

Whew. I don't wait well.

So, today I am thankful for God's word and the comfort I've found in these verses over the last few days.

"Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you."
Psalm 33:20-22

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10: Eleven


Eleven years ago today Reid asked me to be his girlfriend after a high school formal. So, today I'm thankful that God had big plans for our dating relationship - A relationship that lead to marriage nearly six years later. I'm thankful that the Lord chose Reid for me. I can't imagine living my life with anyone else.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Days 5-9

Day 5: I am thankful for our Dallas friends. We have been blessed with some greats ones through Reid's job and church!

Day 6: I am thankful for weekends. They always feel so exciting because Reid is home. We always say one of the upsides of this traveling gig is that we don't take our time together for granted!

Day 7: I am thankful for doggy daycare on rainy days.

Day 8: I am thankful for my amazing counselor. I love that I can be totally honest with what I'm feeling and her response is always one of love and godly wisdom.

Day 9: I'm thankful for OTC medicine. Specifically Advil. And, especially on days I have a nagging migraine.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Days 2-4

Day 2: I am thankful for my proactive, personable, best-of-the-best doctor and amazing medical insurance. I definitely don't take either one for granted!

Day 3: I am thankful gorgeous fall weather and the opportunity to be outside to enjoy it!

Day 4: I am thankful for lazy at home date nights with Reid. Today he was home by 4:30, we ate by 6, and are off to bed by 11 after catching up on all our favorite shows. All while snuggling on the couch. Need I say more?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

24 Days of Thankfulness

Its November! Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday and I thought this year it would be neat to take time each day to blog about something or someone I'm thankful for. I often focus on what I don't have instead of being thankful for what I do have. This has been a HUGE point of conviction in my life over the past few months. So, here it goes - 24 days of thankfulness.

Day 1: Today, I'm starting simple. I'm thankful for the opportunity Reid and I had to spend a long weekend in San Francisco re-connecting with each other and catching up with old friends. I'm also thankful for a husband who plans these kinds of weekend trips!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Bathroom Re-do Before & After

When Reid and I bought our house almost two years ago there was only one thing I REALLY wanted to change. The 1970's fabric covered walls in the half bath. My only fear was the the people who we bought the house from had redone every other room and not touched that one. I couldn't help but wonder if that fabric was hiding something I'd prefer to keep hidden. And, Reid wasn't too enthused about finding out what was under there. Although, I think secretly he adored the novelty of that little room.

Fast forward to the beginning of September. On a Tuesday night I called Reid and asked if I could take down the fabric and paint the bathroom. I told him I'd have it done by the time he was home Thursday and was prepared to tackle whatever I was going to find. He said YES and the rest is history that will hopefully never repeat itself. ;)

I kept thinking how hard can it really be? Remove fabric, prime, texture the walls to match the rest of the house, and paint.

By the second day of my project I realized how involved it was going to be and called for a quote to have it finished by a contractor. The amount of that quote was all the motivation I needed. Reid came home Thursday to an unfinished bathroom and wasn't mad at all. In fact, he was so excited that I had figured out how to do it on my own that he bought a few new tools to make it easier. And, he let me pick out a new sink fixture (which he kindly installed). His love language is "acts of service" and mine is "gifts" so our love tanks were running high! Ha!

For my memory, here's a brief run-down on the specifics:
10 days (total project length, not days worked)
1,000 staples.
Countless new tools and an electric sander.
14 trips to Lowe's and Home Depot.
One identity theft alert from the CC company after 6 trips to hardware store in one day.
4 tubs of wall spackle/texture
3 days at doggie daycare for Samson.
2 cans of paint.
And, one nasty blister.

But, it was totally worth the end result!

(This pic was taken before we moved in. I would never put a table next to a toilet.)

This was day 2. Notice all the cotton batting stuck to the staples? And random exposed wood?)


And, its finished!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Never Once


Last night at elder led prayer at church we sang a song by Matt Redman. It is one of those songs where you hear the first line and think it was written about you. Well, I felt exactly that way. I looked up the song this morning and found that it had been inspired by Psalm 23:4--

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

When reading that verse I've always thought it pertained to death. But, a footnote I found says or the valley of deep darkness. "Even though I walk through the valley of deep darkness..." We've all been there - whether the valley of the shadow of death or the valley of deep darkness.

What I loved about the song is that it talks about the mountaintop that's waiting - the redemption and deliverance brought by the hand of a faithful God is waiting for me. I can't wait to stand there and tell you just how gracious He's been.

"Never Once"

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Long Weekend in NYC

A few months ago Reid and I were trying to plan out our Summer traveling and he mentioned he had a conference in New York at the end of May. I quickly took advantage of it falling the week before Memorial Day and booked a flight to meet him there. We went together several times in college. Philadelphia is just about two hours away from New York. Our trips were always short, but we loved exploring that City together. We have been wanting to go back to visit as "real adults" and were thrilled it worked out!

We met at LGA Wednesday night. Reid had meetings all day on Thursday so I set out to explore on my own. It was wonderful! A day with nothing to do... but whatever I wanted to... in an amazing city. Ahhh! Thursday night we ate dinner in Grand Central Terminal at Metrazur. It was really good and the atmosphere was great! On Friday I was so excited to meet up with an old friend, Lindsay. My time with her was so refreshing! We ate lunch at a cute place on the Upper West Side and strolled through Central Park on the way back to my hotel. Friday night Reid and I met up with some of his friends from college and hung out in TriBeCa. Saturday we spent the day roaming around different neighborhoods. We shopped a little, taste tested a few desserts at Magnolia Bakery, and ate some great Thai food for dinner. Sunday morning we headed to the airport after brunch in the West Village. It was a wonderful trip and we can't wait to go back!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To one of the greatest men I know! Thank you for showing your kids what unconditional love looks like! Love you, DAD!





Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy 60th Mom!

I got home a few days ago after spending a week in Little Rock. It was a great trip seeing friends and spending time with my family. While I was there we celebrated my mom's birthday. I wasn't able to be in town on the actual day, June 11, but wanted to do a little something while I was there. Turning 60 is an extra big deal, you know! She seemed to really enjoy our little celebration and we got some great pictures.

I could eat Community Bakery cake every day of my life! It is a family favorite.


Getting some lovin' from Dad.

Mom and her girls.

El and Mom. I love this picture!

George and Mom.
George also had a big birthday this month - 25! He was in Dallas for a Rangers game the week I was home and didn't get to be there for our celebration. This is a pic of them from her last birthday!



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hidden Treasures











"And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name." - Isaiah 45:3



Friday, June 3, 2011

Beauty

It's never been a secret that I struggle with anxiety. There are definitely times in life when that feeling is heightened. The past few months have been one of those times. I have faced huge disappointment and I've wrestled with God to know the "why" of it all. I told my counselor this week that I feel like all of these things (of which I have no real control over) have been swept up by a breeze and I'm trying to catch them while grasping at only the wind. What I'm glad to know is that someone who sees a much bigger picture is able to grasp all that I cannot. He knows when I'm going to be angry and hurt. He knows when I'll feel deep grief and despair. And, He knows that there will, one day, be beauty instead of ashes.


"And provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor." - Isaiah 60:3



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Samson

I feel that it is (ridiculously) necessary to document what our first born looked like at 18 months and 90 pounds. ;)

I really don't know what we would do without him. Samson is seriously the best little companion for us. He has no idea he's a dog, and sometimes I think we forget too!


























Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy 69th...

Birthday to my incredibly funny, loving, and selfless dad! You seriously make life way more fun!






















-- Post From My iPhone



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kauai Vacation 2011

We are back from our wonderful vacation! It was so great to get away and have some time to relax, act silly, reflect on the past, and dream about our future. Here are some pics from our trip...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Highlights from April & May

In April our across the street neighbor asked if we could keep their 10-month old lab, Kobe. We decided it would be a good idea to see what life with two dogs would really be like. We've been contemplating getting a little brother or sister for Samson since the day we brought him home, and this was going to be the big test! In the first three hours of Kobe's arrival my decision was made. It was later confirmed after I woke up 5 times in the night to let him out. We will NOT be getting another dog. But, they are pretty cute together...

We celebrated Easter weekend in Little Rock. It was lots of fun, and keeping true to form, I have only three pictures to prove it. Saturday we climbed Pinnacle "Mountain" with Samson. As soon as we sat down at the top he plopped his rear on Reid's lap. I'm only slightly embarrassed by how spoiled he is. We went to church with my dad on Sunday morning, ate lunch with Mom, and had a great dinner at the Grandles with my dad and the Almeftys.


Laila asked my dad to come sit outside and talk to her. I think they were both in heaven.

Reid left for Memphis Monday morning and I decided to spend the week in Little Rock. There were horrible storms Monday night. The sirens were going off, and a tornado had just touched down about ten miles (give or take) away. My dad and I went to get in the "safe spot" with the dogs and found this:

Sadly, the only things in this closet belonging to my dad are the clothes hanging up and the vacuum. Everything else belongs to my sister - tennis rackets, ball basket, ball machine, clothes, sewing supplies, box of junk from her car, and a lot of other stuff (I'm glad we can laugh about it now). So, my dad and I hung out in the next safest spot and watched the storm from the back door. The hail was every Sonic lover's dream. And my car has a few dents to prove it.

Summer started in May for us this year. Our "month of fun" brought a trip to the beach and a long weekend away. The only problem is I have a tendency to see the cup as half empty. So, naturally I would wake up on June 1 feeling like summer was already half over. At least I'm aware I have a problem, right? :) But seriously, I am so thankful that our vacation came early this year and that we had the opportunity to spend quality time together, away from all the hustle and bustle.

One of my dear Dallas friends had her baby boy, Gray! What a treat it was to go meet this new little guy the day he was born!

Our month of fun also included getting to spend time with several life-long friends... and meet the first baby to be born in our group of high school friends. We celebrated at a sip and see for Jennie and Willow Grace Jaksha.

It was also my Dad's birthday that weekend and what better way to celebrate than with The Gaithers? (Personally, I can think of a few but his birthday wasn't about me.) During intermission I made him take a picture with his favorite singer. He was in the middle of telling David how awesome he was when I snapped the picture.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Reflecting on Easter


Last Sunday at church our pastor challenged us to spend time this week preparing our hearts for the Celebration that was coming on Easter Sunday. I've been thinking a lot about part of a post I wrote a few years ago when my mom was in the hospital.

"Though this week has been hard, it has brought some perspective for me. I was reminded by John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God loved the sinner so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins. I never understood the painful sacrifice that God and Jesus made when they decided that was the only payment able to be made for the sin of the world. I watch my mom, try to comfort her, imagine her thoughts, her fears. God did the very same thing during His Son's last few days as part of this world. And then He watched as His Son took our sin on His shoulders."

It was during that time that I really began to grasp the price that Christ paid for my sins and how much God loved me, that He would send His perfect Son to cover my sins. I pray that you would know the love that is reflected in that great sacrifice as we celebrate Easter this weekend.

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. - 1 Peter 23-25

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Classic Dad

My sister sent me this picture the other day. She walked into the den and my dad had fallen asleep holding a bottle of Kefir (type of yogurt). Everything about this picture totally sums him up - workout clothes, napping on the couch, and the Kefir spill - Classic.




-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strength

I never realized how "churchy" my scripture memory is. Philippians 4:13 was one of the first bible verses I memorized as a kid. And, I can recite it still today (big whoop, I know). But, what got me tonight as I was reading is the context in which that verse was written.

Paul says to the Philippians:
10I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:10-13 ESV)

It doesn't say I can do all things because it's going to be easy if I do it His way. It doesn't say I should be content because things will work out the way I planned. And, nowhere does it say He promised me it
would be a quick and painless process.

What I do know is this...

I am called to be content no matter where He leads. I am called to rest in Him in days of need and in days of plenty. And, when I find myself lower than I've ever been or full of unimaginable joy, God says it's HIS strength that will carry me through.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time in Little Rock

Last month I went to Little Rock for my grandmother's funeral. The service was wonderful and it brought with it a very sweet closure to her amazing life. Not a day has passed that I haven't thought of her and the mark she left on our family. I was so blessed to get to experience the depth of a mother's love from not only my own mom, but in watching how my Mimi so fervently loved her own daughter. She blessed me with something not many people get to experience, and I can't wait to someday pass on the legacy of her love to my own children.

I stayed a few extra days to spend time with my family. The weather was gorgeous so one day my mom and I went on a walk and sat outside for a while. Losing my grandmother has brought forth so many emotions that I haven't dealt with about my Mom's Disease. Her death was one of the first big life events that we'd faced without my mom being with us. It was just another reminder that though she is still here, we've already lost so much of her. I decided while we were sitting outside that day it might help me to just tell her what I have been feeling over the past few months. So, I told her - my fears, hopes, and everything in between. And, while she didn't have much response, when I asked her if she thought everything would be OK she said, "Uh huh." Sometimes all you need is for your Mom to say everything will all be alright.








Monday, March 7, 2011

Heaven on Earth

One of the perks of having a husband who travels for work is that we get to go to some really great places. We try to go somewhere new every time we take trip. We had a really hard time deciding where we wanted to go this time. After canceling the first trip we planned we decided it would be perfectly fine to go back to a place we'd already visited. Kauai is one of our hands down favorite places we have ever been. It is literally the most amazing and gorgeous place on Earth (to us) and we are so blessed to have the chance to visit again. Here's to hoping the next two months fly by!






Just Wait




Reid and I have been doing some major "waiting." Its the kind of waiting that has really challenged what and Who I put my Hope in. The one thing I can say is that I am so thankful for our church and the teaching that we get each week. Our sermon this weekend was from Romans 8 and it was just what Reid and I needed to hear. Funny when God works that way, isn't it? We left church with a totally different perspective than when we'd arrived. I'll post the link to the sermon later this week.

Then today, a friend posted something on her blog that I thought was worth remembering. Thank you, Christy, for sharing this!

Just Wait

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried; quietly patiently, lovingly God replied. I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate, and the Master so gently said, "Child you must wait."

"Wait? you say 'wait'," my indignant reply, "Lord, I need answers. I need to know why! Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard? By faith I have asked and am claiming your Word. My future and all to which I can relate hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me Wait?"

"I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign, or even a 'no' to which I can resign. And, Lord, You promised that if we believe we need but to ask and we shall receive. And, Lord, I've been asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate. As my Master replied once again, "You must wait." So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut. And grumbled to God, "So I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed, then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mind, and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign. I could shake the heavens and darken the sun. I could raise the dead, cause the mountains to run."

"All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be. You would have what you want, but you wouldn't know ME. You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint; you'd not know the power that I give to the faint. You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair; you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there; you'd not know the joy of resting in ME, when darkness and silence were all you could see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love as the peace of my spirit descends like a dove; you'd know that I give and I save (for a start), but you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart, the glow of my comfort late in the night, the faith that I give when you walk without sight, the depth that's beyond getting just what you asked, of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee, what it means that "My grace is sufficient for thee." Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight would come true, but, oh, the loss...if I lost what I'm doing in you!

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see that the greatest of gifts is to get to know ME. And though my answers seem terribly late, my most precious answer of all is still "WAIT."

Isaiah 30:18 "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!"