Friday, April 30

what's in a name?

Now that we know for sure that we are having a son the fun part has begun...picking out a name! Hailey has been most helpful in this area, as you can tell! ;)

she even wanted to go through the book with a marker and mark her favorite names...for some reason I nixed that idea! :)
Somedays, though, it would be nice if I could just let Hailey flip through this baby name book and choose one for us! It seems like there is so much stress on picking just the right name...I really wanted a name for our son that meant something- a reason that I could give to him as to why I picked his name, rather than just, "well, I liked the name..." but, it seems as if that might not be the case. I won't share the names we're trying to decide between, because who knows what we'll end up with, but here are some of their funny meanings:
hay meadow (that's actually the same thing that hailey means...a sign??hmmm...could be??)
cart driver, ditch builder, stone worker, park keeper(high hopes for employment someday?), broad island, broad meadow (does broad mean fat for a boy, too, or just a girl??), merciful, wise, companion, added in harmony, valient(finally, some that have a fairly decent meaning...), young warrior (is that what I wish for my son??)! Some of these do have pretty decent meanings, but it's still hard to choose! Good thing we still have a good 18 more weeks til we have to have a name! :) That way we won't be stuck letting Hailey make the choice! :) (besides, poor thing would probably be called, "koweydoggiecookie" or something equally as wonderful!) :)

Thursday, April 29

A Daddy's Love

Don't these two just look like they are having the greatest time??? Here is the man who is so "work" orientated and so "busy" with life, but will still take the time to sit on the couch and giggle with his daughter. I love it!! There is just something special about that bond between a Dad and his little girl...A Daddy's love is...
Is unending, makes Him do crazy things, is patient, is kind, is shown when he showers his children with gifts, makes him desire a relationship, creates a barrier to the rest of the world, is a safe haven to run to, is something that we all can believe in!



All of these things are Korey's love to Hailey, but more importantly they are God's love to me! I came face to face with this reality this week and as much as I've known it before I feel like it has been a complete life change this week! Maybe it's because I have seen it in a new light, but whatever the reason it has caused to me pause, take a moment, and reflect on what my Father's Love for me has "brought". First and foremost my Father's love brought me Eternal Life. He was crazy enough about me to give up His One and Only Son to die on the cross for my sins! God, the Father is kind to me. He blessed me with the greatest gift a woman could ask for- a wonderful husband, a beautiful baby girl and He has another gift waiting in the wings- my son. I couldn't ask for more than that! I feel so blessed. But, there are times when I forget about these gifts, or I don't see them as gifts, and it is at that time that I need the reminder. I see Hailey and her clingyness, her mess making and her general baby "neediness" and she doesn't feel like a gift from the Lord- she feels more like a hardship. And, there are times when I think that Korey's neediness, his mess making aren't very good gifts, either! But, those are the times that I am thankful that God placed me in a chuch where I can be encouraged to live my walk as a woman after God's own heart. I can learn to live my life knowing that nothing has come into my life that has not first passed through the loving hand of God. It is easy for me to think that Korey would never give Hailey an awful gift, or a gift that he knew wasn't right for her or a gift that would bring her harm; so why do I question God's gifts to me?? Doesn't He have more of my best interest at heart than Korey does for hailey...for sure He does! And, just like Romans 5:1-5 says, I need to constantly be reminding myself of the HOPE that I have in Jesus, rather than the trials that I am facing. Because HOPE brings encouragement, whereas focusing on the trials brings discouragement! This is my prayer for myself this week and hopefully you will pray this along with me! What a great and encouraging woman of God I would be if I kept my focus on God's goodness and grace, rather than on myself!!

Tuesday, April 27

Oh boy oh boy oh boy...

IT'S A BOY!!!
I'm 21 weeks and we had our ultrasound today and fortunately we got to find out what the gender of this beautiful child is! I thought all along that it was going to be a boy and I was right! :) We couldn't be happier (at least I couldn't...Korey's being his normal "emotion less self" about it all) but, I'm beside myself with excitement!
He had a hard time showing his face for the "camera" so the only pic we got of his face was this one with his hand over it! It's such a cute little hand, though, don't you think?! I'm just so completely in love with this child growing inside of me! Thank you, Lord for him!
I went and bought some adorable little "boy" clothes today on my way home- just two outfits! I couldn't help myself! I feel like it has been a journey about 14 weeks long, but I am finally getting really excited to see this baby in person! :) I think that is why God gives us a full 9 months, he knew that sometimes it just takes us Mom's a little while to get used to the idea of being pregnant and then he figured he'd give us a nice long while to wait after we finally get excited! How gracious is that??!! :)

Monday, April 26

is that my little princess...riding a bear??

Yeah, who would have thought that I'd have a little princess of a girl who would be a bear tamer??? But, apparently that is what she is! :) (and a fearless one at that!)



aren't these adorable??? We found them outside of a gas station in Texas and apparently it is true what they say...that "everything is bigger in Texas"...even their decorations! :) I'm pretty sure this Momma bear and her cub were at least close to lifesize! They were huge!

decisions...

Are Two Kids Really Better Than One??
you have to admit that these two are pretty adorable together, aren't they?? This is Eliana, one of my dearest friend's daugther's, and Hailey having their milk together when I watched Eliana for her mom the other day!
I think being a Mom is one of the hardest jobs I've ever taken on. It means more of a time commitment, more of a heart comittment, and more of an emotional comittment than anything else in my life. (and, yes, I mean more than my marriage- luckily, Korey is way less demanding and when he gets up at night I don't have to help him go back to sleep...all the time anyways!!) :)
Which is why I have decided to take on someone else's child to raise...OK, just kidding- get your heart off the floor Mom- I haven't completely lost it!!! :) Actually, it is just the opposite, I think that I am going to say NO to a lady from down the street who asked me to watch her 6 month old daughter 1 to 3 days a week. I had been thinking, up until this morning that I would say YES, because at first she said she only needed someone for the summer and then today she changed her mind and said that she would like her daughter to be in the same place until she is about 2 or 3...that pretty much did it for me. I had already been feeling that God was tugging my heart in the direction to say NO, but I was really resisting, until that moment. I guess sometimes he speaks in whispers and sometimes he uses a gong! :) I still needed some persuading, but after chatting with a good, godly friend I really know that what God wants for me as a mother and for me as a wife is to be completely and utterly devoted to my family! I was only going to be making $30 a day and I feel as if I can better serve my family by cutting costs in my grocery bill, not going out to eat :( (sad), saving gas by consolidating trips and all those other things that I should have been more "eager" to do before than by taking on another child to raise so that I can continue in the lifestyle that I want! I'm not saying that Korey and I are poor or headed that way...we actually have just decided that we want to put some more $ down on our car and our house each month so that we can pay them off faster and be debt free someday!! But, as my dear friend said...it doesn't matter if you are dedt free in 5 years if you are dividing the house and everything else to go your separate ways! I don't want that to happen to our family and I know that it takes work to not let it happen and I am dedicated to that more than anything else! So, that is why I have to make the decision to say NO to taking on someone else's child and be "selfishly" focused on my own family for the time being!
Ahhh...it feels so good to just say that and have it be ok! :)

Saturday, April 24

because my daughter is worth it!

Today I was given a wonderful privilege of attending a Beth Moor conference. It wasn't as great as attending one with her in attendance, but it was a simulcast of her conference in Atlanta, GA, and a really great time away from home, nonetheless! Korey was also given the great privilege of watching Hailey for the day and I believe that they had just as good of a time as I did!
The conference was called, So Long Insecurity- you've been a bad friend to us. And, boy, did we learn a lot about our insecurities. Before this conference I had always known that I was insecure about things, but never realized how deeply they affected my spiritual walk! Beth gave us an acronym for secure to remember what a secure woman looks and acts like! So, I thought I'd share them with you and a little bit of what they meant to me, personally! Saved from self- being secure in God's love for us and in who we are saves us from being ruled by our own pride and also saves us from being "curved in upon ourselves"! When we are ruled by our insecurity and pride we aren't able to think of anything else but ourselves, but when we can free ourselves from our insecurity we are able to look outside of ourselves and focus on what others need!
Entitled to truth-when we are focusing on ourselves and our own insecurities we aren't able to see the truth of our circumstances and situations!! Clothed with intention- when we are freeing ourselves from our insecurities we must be intentional. Beth said, "no secure woman is ever that way by accident" and that just stuck with me! She also said, "make the decision to pursue Christ, take the step, AND then worry about your emotions catching up!" I know that I need to be more and more intentional about living a life that is Christlike...I pray that I can be more intentional in my walk with the Lord. Upended by grace-we need to grace others with the grace that we have been given by God! Beth gave us a great mental picture of what unforgiveness is when she said that it is like a tapeworm that will eat alive all the nutrients we have gotten from scripture. I think taht just struck with me because no matter how much I read or study my Bible if I am harboring unforgiveness in my heart then it is working against what I am trying to "accomplish" with the Lord! Rebounded by love- what if I lived my life knowing that I am the girl who Jesus loves?? For myself I know that it would mean not putting the pressure on my friends, my husband, my daughter to make me feel better about myself, because I would already have that love filled by my Lord and Savior! Exceptional in life-if we will continually put off our old self, the insecur self, and put on the new self, the self who is completely and utterly loved by the Lord of the Universe and who is secure in that love then we will live an exceptional life-a life that others will notice and a life that will be able to bring the greatest glory to God!
The questions that Beth left us with is...what will I do with what God has taught me?? And, is your family, friends, etc, worth the pain and work it takes to become free of your insecurity? And, I left realizing that Hailey is worth it. She's worth whatever it takes for me to become a woman who is secure in her Lord's love and is continually striving to become more and more christlike!

Thursday, April 22

mommy's little helper

Ever since we bought our house...four years ago, now...I've really enjoyed playing around in the backyard gardening and moving plants around- pretty much anything to do with being outside and getting my hands in the dirt! And, it seems like my daughter has followed in my footsteps!
So, here are some pics for you, Grandma K...I think you'll like 'em! :)
here's her attempt at helping me put some seeds in pots!
Yikes!! Look at all that dirt???


this container did have dirt in it at one time...before she decided to dump it out over head!!

then, she moved on to bigger and better things and helped me plant some glads in the flower bed
she was a good little helper
and I got a lot planted!
but, then she got bored...and headed to the steps!

Wednesday, April 21

Contentment...anyone have some for sale??!

Sometimes I just wish there were a place where you could sign up to get more contentment. It seems like you can buy anything over the internet these days, so maybe there should be a store that sells contentment. I'd be willing to bet I wouldn't be the only person shopping there! :) Unfortunately, though, it's not something that you can purchase or find on the store shelves. It seems a little more elusive than that! And yesterday I could have used a huge dose of it! It was just one of those days...you know the ones...you're just bone weary of life! (or more specifically of YOUR life) Maybe I am the only one that feels that way...and, if so, just bare with me and join in praying that I would soon overcome it!
I'm not sure if I was even so much physically exhausted as I was emotionally just burned out. Hailey is cutting a few more teeth and either battling allergies or a cold, but for whatever reason she has been so "needy" lately. Apparently she's not like that for anyone else- she just reserves that for me- how lucky can I get??!! :) But, in spite of that, there was no good reason for my soul weariness. My Mom even came and babysat Hailey for a few hours for me and I got out of the house and was able to see one of my favorite people and dearest friends, but for my weary soul that wasn't enough. What I craved was someone to understand, someone to listen to me pour out all my whoes, someone to hold me and give me a hug, someone to care! Basically, what i was craving was some time with my One and Only Savior! However, instead of doing that I just kept plodding along, getting angry at Korey, resenting Hailey and wanting to kick the dog to the curb! Until last night, around 12, when God finally got through to my heart...and all it took was a screaming baby who finally gave up and fell asleep in my arms! And as I sat there silently crying and singing to my sleeping child I realized how often I am like Hailey. I cling so hard to the thing that pains me and I refuse to let God comfort me and bring me to the other side of my "trials" because I'm too busy having a pity party for myself and being angry to surrender my will to His! In essence- I need to learn contentment in the arms of my Savior! I ended up sitting there, holding Hailey and confessing my sin of stubborness and pride to the Lord. I'm so glad that He doesn't sleep and that He's always there when we need Him, because I don't know of anyone else who would have wanted to hear me confess anything to them at midnight!
And...surprisingly...today was a much better day! It seemed like the sun was shining brighter, Hailey slept until 9:15, we got a lot of necessary shopping done, I convinced the man at the grocery store to carry goat's milk for Hailey, and even the dog came in when I called her! (I think she was just scared to meet up with me yesterday...) ;) It's amazing what a small dose of contentment can do for your outlook on life!
Unfortunately, though, Hailey got her first fat lip, today! :( SAD day for the poor teething baby!
I know that it was her lip and I'm sure she cried harder, but it was so painful to see her be in pain that I couldn't help breaking down and crying with her! All she wanted to do was snuggle up in my lap and sit there and it is so unlike Hailey that I know she was in a lot of pain!
She's a trooper, though, and she soon recovered enough to go and play with her toys...my bloody shirt on the other hand may not have fared so well, only time will tell! And the strangest thing is that I really did like that shirt, but I wouldn't even be that broken up about and I'd hold her close just the same if I were to do it over again!
My prayer for myself today is that I would someday be able to wholeheartedly and unreservedly say: "For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am in"

Monday, April 19

beach bum??!!

Since the beach was everyone's favorite spot I thought I'd show you some cute pics of Hailey playing there!
can you see Jace pouting? He was mad because he didn't want his picture taken, but we buried Hailey in the sand and she was just too cute to not take a picture! :) (plus, this was as close as they got to playing together the whole time!)
Hailey and Daddy walking on the seashore
the wind really was fierce, but it was so fun to be there that none of us cared!
mommy and hailey playing in the surf! It was great fun and we both got soaked- good thing it was so windy- we dried out in no time! :)
Hailey running towards the water...she got so fast that sometimes it was actually hard to keep up with her! Definitely would not want to take two little ones by myself!
Hailey and her favorite person...Daddy!!
playing in the sand
I think she could be a model...doesn't she look lke she's posing with a "far off" look on her face?! America's Next top model watch out- here comes my baby! :)
playing with the sand toys...good thing Jace has so many sand box toys that we could bring to the beach!
me and my little gift from the Lord! Thank you so much for blessing me with her, dearest Jesus, I love her more and more each day and can't wait to see what you have in store for her!

Saturday, April 17

My TeXaS ToP TeN

Our trip to Texas was so much fun, but I thought I'd just share some of my highlights with ya'll!! :)
#10- the Houston zoo and riding on the train! It was so much fun to see the zoo through little kids eyes. Haiely liked it, but Jace absolutely loved it! It was great to watch him run aroun dand chase after everything! Hailey loved the train, though. It was definitely a highlight for her!
#9- there are enough restaurants to try a new one everyday for at least a year!! (or so Korey and I thought...) One of my favorites was the cheesecake factory. What kind of a restaurant serves super yummy cheesecake AND brings kids their own special "appetizer" so they don't get bored waiting for the meal?? Plus, they were so great about cleaning up after Hailey- immediately. In fact, I think they had a guy whose only job was cleaning up after her when she threw food on the floor 'cause he was there before I could even bend down and get it! Talk about great service! :)
#8-seeing Jace, Hailey's only cousin, and Hailey interact. They are almost a year apart and Hailey absolutely loved Jace, she followed him everywhere and woke up every morning and from every nap saying "Jay, Jay". Unfortunately, though, for Hailey, Jace really did NOT have those same feelings for her! Actually, he could have done without her altogether. His favorite thing to say was, "Hailey no go" whenever we left to go anywhere! :)
#7-all the time that Hailey and her Daddy got to spent together! Hailey loves her Daddy more than anyone else and she just basked in all the time that she got to spend with him! Plus, it gave me a much needed break from carrying her around all the time!!
#6-the SUNSHINE!! It was so bright and sunny and we all just reveled in it all week long! Even Hailey got a little bit of color on her pasty white arms!
#5-boat cruise through the middle of Houston. It was fun to see Houston from a whole new view and Hailey just loved looking at all the stuff and especially at all the people as we went by! She waved and said "hi" at everyone!
#4-family time! Korey's brother, Will, his wife, Carin, and their little boy, Jace were just a blast to hang out with! They were great hosts and took us to tons of new and exciting places! Korey and Will got to go flounder fishing and Carin took me to get a mani and pedi...ahhhhhhhh...so relaxing!
#3-The BEACH!! Hailey's all time favorite place on the planet!! She just kept going straight towards the water and cried when we had to get in the car and leave for home!! After we got home she got a bath and then the next day she took a shower with me, but even after all that I was still finding sand in her diaper and cleaning it out of her ears!! The best part, though, was the humidity that was there-I always knew that her hair was a little curly, but after we left the beach she had little curls all over her head- it was adorable!
#2-green here, green there, green, green everywhere! They mow the lawn all year long, they plant their gardens in November, and they can pick strawberries anytime of the year! It was so wonderful to see all the green there! My favorite, though, was the squishy grass. It's so great because it's actually a vine that grows on the ground! How cool is that, huh?! :)
#1-No work for Korey for a whole week!! That meant plenty of time for him to spend with me- 22 hours straight in the car- how much more time could a girl ask for??!! :) (and, we still like each other- go figure-it must be love!!!) :)

It was so great to be in Texas, but all of us are glad to be home, now! We all went to bed early last night and slept in until 7:30...Hailey just ran all around the house getting into tons of trouble all day, I really enjoyed making real food for dinner, and Korey has been in the garage working on the baby cradle all afternoon!

Wednesday, April 7

Tuesday, April 6

GratiTuesday!

This week I am so thankful for my "big" sister! Felicia is such a dear woman of God and has always held a very special spot in my heart, but there is just something so special and amazing to see her relationship develop with my daughter! I love how she loves Hailey and what she can teach her that I can't. She is so patient, so caring, so soft- all those great qualities that I don't possess! I'm so thankful that God placed an aunt in Hailey's life who can:
soothe her bumps and bruises and hold her when she cries!
feed her snacks whenever she wants them and not have to care if she's had dinner or not! (every kid needs someone to just spoil them unmercifully and, unfortunately, as a Mom that's not what I get to do- all the time, anyways!:))

and take her to fun and exciting new places- like a conservatory! A place that a little northern Wisconsin town would never even consider getting, but a big place like Minneapolis has in abundance! I love that my daughter will have experiences outside of our little "bubble" here and a great aunt that will teach her to love them! :)
I love you, Fysh, and I pray that someday the Lord will bless you with many ;) children of your own, but for now, thanks for loving my baby and treating her just like I would! I know you will always have a special place in her heart as well as mine. God has truly blessed me by giving me you as a big sister. I can only pray that Hailey will be able to learn the same great and wonderful things that I have learned from you over the years!