We talked alot about community the 3 days we were there. I count it a priviledge to be a part of something so incredible. The blogging community is a family. We were all there to support and encourage one another. I saw that first hand. I talked to "big time" bloggers that were sweet enough to share ideas with me that they thought would work well for my blog. They didn't have big egos or attitudes, they were just real. I loved that. I made so many great friends this past week that it made it hard to say goodbye. I will be teaming up with some of the friends I made at Blissdom and I can't wait for you to meet them.
I would love to leave you with a fun little "ditty" we did at the close of the conference. It was a surprise to Alli and Barb, the co founders of the conference. They had no idea and it was so cool to see the look on their faces. The idea was spearheaded by Jana who contacted us through a secret FB profile. She then emailed us the video of the choreography. All over the country we practiced for 2 months. This was the end result. I was so proud to be a part of the first ever Blissdom Flashmob. Thanks Jana for all of your hard work. You rock girl!
Thank you for being a part of my community.
I can't wait for the girls to meet their brother. For 9 months that is all they have been talking about. They have felt him kick inside of me and have sung to him everyday. Their "Big Sister" shirts are laid out on their beds all ready to go. They are so excited. Nana and Papa will bring them to the hospital in just a few hours. I can't believe we'll soon be a family of 5. I know some people say it's difficult to go from 2 to 3 children, but I say bring it on.
Family and friends start arriving at the hospital waiting to meet our bundle of joy. I'm given my epidural and wheeled back into the operating room where I will have my c-section. It's old hat since I've been down this road twice before. Brian comes walking in with his blue jumpsuit on looking oh so dapper. He squeezes my hand ever so gently and says, "I love you babe and I'm so proud of you". I start to shake with the anticipation of finally, well that and the fact that I can't feel my body from my chest down. Finally after all the tugging and pulling my dr shouts, "Congratulations, it's a boy". I hear those tiny little cries as he lifts my son over the blue drape so I can see his face. He is perfect and he is beautiful and most importantly, he is mine.
Then I wake up.
Tears begin to flow.
It was only a dream.
It was not meant to be.
You see, I delivered my son, Jonathan, stillborn on August 12, 2010, not January 27, 2011. I would have never guessed back in May when I learned I was pregnant that today I would be lying in a bed in a hotel room instead of in the hospital.
I am thrilled to be at Blissdom, but it is bitter sweet. It's a reminder to me that I do not have my baby boy. God knew all this. He knows my future and He loves me so. That is what I cling to. My hope is that one day this will not be a dream. It will be reality.
My hubby has been pushing me, I mean encouraging me, for months to start vlogging. First, I had to figure out what the word meant. Oh, video and blogging put together. I get it. Clever. Anyway, I am a behind-the-scenes sort of girl and didn't like the thought of being in front of the camera. Call it insecurity if you must, but just the thought of someone taping me- well let's just say I'd rather eat worms than watch myself on video. Well, I decided to get over myself and just do it. I am glad I did. Of course I am my own worst critic so no need to comment about the negative things you see because I already know them and then some. (Am I really going to hit Publish on this one?) Yikes!
Ok, so now that you've watched the video, you are probably wondering who Nate is, right? I love anything about home decor and design and I am a fan of of the Nate Berkus show. He's uber talented and easy on the eyes too. Am I right ladies? I DVR it everyday and watch it when I have some free time. He's always talking about the vases that people have around the house and the different ways you can reuse them. I have a bunch that I use around the house already and I still have 9 left over. I am into decluttering my house right now and I thought I would use these vases to bless other people.
So here is where you come in. I would love for you to join me in the month of February and bring a smile to someone in your life. Here's what you do:
1. Collect all the vases in your house you are not using.
2. Write down 4 people (if you have more than that feel free to use them all) that you know could use a little "pick me up". (Think of that single person in your life that you know. Valentine's Day is a rough day when your single).
3. Get some note cards to write a note to go along with it.
4. Blog about your experience
Every Friday starting in February, I will do a MckLinky on my blog. Link your blog to mine and you will be entered in a contest to win a fabulous prize, which I will announce next week. The more you blog, the more times you are entered. Seriously, the prize is amazing and you won't want to miss it. Remember, this doesn't have to cost a lot of money. You can spend under $5 a vase to do this. That's a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Get creative, you can make a card or have your kids draw a card. How sweet would that be? Everyone loves handwritten cards.
Ok, ya got it? Now get going.
That's what I love about races. The whole family can get involved. There's a sense of community as well. We're all out there, not to win, but just to have fun and push ourselves to see what we can really do. I have to admit at the beginning, I was a bit nervous. I hadn't really trained for the race, just because it's been so darn cold and I'm not a fan of running on a treadmill. When I got to the start line, I decided that I was going to see what my body could do. I also wanted to walk/run this race for my sweet son, Jonathan, who would have been born this week. Just thinking of him as I walked gave me that extra boost to push myself and finish. Plus I knew I would have my handsome husband and these two precious faces waiting for me.
Sydney said, "Mommy did you win"? I said, "Sure baby". She started jumping up and down and screaming, "You won, you won". It was the cutest thing and just made me feel so good. On the way home in the car she said, "Mommy, I'm gonna give you my medal. It's for winners, not losers". Cracked me up. Sure enough when we got home she gave me the medal she had been given at a her Mini Trikes Triathlon back in August. That's my tendered hearted Sydney Kate. Today Brooklyn told daddy she wanted to go running with him and she ran a mile in under 17 minutes. I am so proud of her. The girl loves to run. She loves to swim too, so we may have a triathlete on our hands, just like her daddy. We'll have to wait and see.
I wanted to post a comic that my husband did a few years back. He used to write a comic strip once a week before we had kids. The husband's name is Kick (Brian) and his wife's name is Kricket (that's me) and it's called "Kick Irrational". He was cleaning out files on his computer the other day and sent this one to me. It's one of my favorites. I'm sure there are many of you out there that can relate. I hope you enjoy it. I might start doing a weekly comic if you all like it. Let me know.
This time around I wanted to introduce you to my sister Rachelle, a.k.a. Auntie RoRo. She is 34 and originally from So California and now lives in Nashville, TN. She has no idea I am doing this and would probably tell me not to do it, so that's why I am not telling her. Don't kill me Shell. You know I love and adore you and just want to help you find a husband.
My sis Rachelle is the third girl out of 4. She's an amazing soccer player, professional singer, and has the most caring heart of anyone I know. She is funny as all get out and is truly the life of a party. She loves to have fun. She's one of those girls you find out is still single and think how is that possible? We've all tried to figure that out and it's beyond us, but we know the Lord has it all worked out already. Who knows, maybe it will happen through the blogosphere.
Rachelle works with women who are going through breast cancer and she truly sees it as a ministry and not just a job. She cares for the women who walk through those doors and have often prayed with them. She loves the Lord and has a way of praying for people that is truly spirit-led. She leads worship once a month for a women's bible study and I know those women leave being encouraged and inspired by what she says. She is the best auntie ever and she loves her nieces and nephew to bits. She's going to be an amazing mom one day. She has a way with kids that is well beyond her years. My sweet, strong willed Sydney Kate can throw a mean temper tantrum. I love it when Auntie RoRo is there because she can get her to calm down in ways that I can't even do and I'm her mom. I love you my sweet sister and can't wait to meet the man God has in store for you.
Sydney and Brooklyn wanted to sing a song for their Auntie RoRo and all the other single girls out there.
So if you'd like to get in contact with Rachelle, please email me at email@example.com and I will make sure she gets it.
What makes this little white sheet so great? I will tell you. I can wash my white socks with my red shirts and my white socks stay white. It's seriously like magic. I don't know how it works, and I really don't care, as long as it works. You throw one of these bad boys in the wash and your good to go.
This has reduced my loads and freed up some much needed time. Lets face it, the laundry room is not really where I want to spend my afternoon. A little tip, there is a coupon printed on the inside of the box. You get 24 sheets for about $3. If you use the coupon and find it on sale, like I try to do, it's even cheaper. I think it's worth it for the time, not to mention the energy and water savings.
That's my Tuesday's Tip. Hope it's helpful to you. Let me know if you use these at home and how you like them.
I was so proud of my sister. She rocked it. She started having contractions yesterday afternoon that took her to the hospital last night. She was only 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced so they sent her home. By 2 am this morning the contractions got much worse and closer together so they headed back to the hospital. Within 6 hours she was at 8 cm and by 11:49 this morning, Lily Jane, made her debut. I would say that is pretty fast for your first baby.
I was so glad I got to be in the delivery room with her. In fact all of my sisters and my mom and Heather's husband, of course, were in the room. Dr. T, who I adore, he's also my OB, was awesome. He was so good with my sister encouraging her every step of the way. After they got Lily cleaned up, he told everyone to gather around and hold hands and he prayed over Lily. How cool is that? He prayed that she would come to know the Lord at an early age and that she would love God. I can't wait for him to pray over our child one day.
Heather sent me this picture just a bit ago. Lily had just had her bath and now she is already for bed. She is just too cute. I can't wait to hold her. The girls are so excited to have a new cousin. That's all they talk about. Sydney keeps saying how she is going to play with her when she sees her. She kept asking if Lily can have a snack bar to eat. I had to explain to her that she's only allowed milk right now. I snuck them into the room today so they could see her, but the nurse told me they weren't allowed in the room on the Labor & Delivery floor, so we had to leave. They should be coming home on Wednesday so we'll get to love on her then.
Welcome to the world Lily Jane. I love you so much and I am proud to be your Auntie KK.
I am thrilled that the snow is melting and the hubby and I get a date night. Yahoo! Thanks mom and dad! It will be nice to have some adult conversation and eat at some fancy schmancy restaurant, a.k.a. TGIF's, and let someone else do the cooking. Ok, so I'm in this money saving mode right now and I have coupons for TGIF's so that's what I picked. I have a hard time eating out when I don't have a coupon or deal days when the restaurant has buy one, get one free. Anyone else like that?
All right, on to the Red Door Reveal. Back in the Fall, I was contemplating painting our front door red, but I just wasn't sure if it would look good or not. I asked for your input here and almost everyone said go with the red. So I did and I loved how it turned out. Wanna see it?
We added new hardware to the door with a keypad for the lock. We love it. We no longer have to use a key. You punch in a 4-8 digit number you create and that's it. On your way out, you push one button and it locks. It makes it convenient for Brian when he runs in the morning, he doesn't have to worry about a key. The other nice thing is if there was ever an emergency, I could just give out the code and the firemen or police could get in easily. You can get the lighted keypad at Home Depot or Lowes.
I love it! I didn't know what the neighbors would say, but I've been surprised by how many have stopped me and said they love the door. They're either lying, just to be nice, or they actually really like it. I hope it's the later.
We added the brick planters around the flower bed and trees. I love how it turned out. It also keeps the mulch in the flower beds and not on the walkway. I bought two black rocking chairs from Lowe's and the iron bench on the right is from Walmart. This picture was taken in the fall as obvious by the October Glory maple trees. You can read about the cool way God blessed us with those trees and the meaning behind them here.
Thank you to all who commented a couple of months ago. You gave me the confidence to go for it and I'm so glad I did.
Shortly after Sydney was born, Brian decided to create email addresses for them. I'm sure you are wondering why a newborn baby and a 19 month old would need email addresses. That's a good question. He had the idea of sending a quick email to the girl's accounts everytime they did something cute or said something funny that he would want to remember. I wasn't blogging at the time either, so I didn't have a very good way of writing things down and after 2 kids in 19 months, my memory was shot.
All of our family members have the girls email addresses and that way if they have a story they want to share with the girls, they can email it directly to them. I will give you an example of a story that happened just this morning.
I had to take Sydney to the doctor today. She's been having some tummy issues and thankfully we figured out what was going on and how to fix it. Anyway, my dad took Brooklyn to run some errands with him so she wouldn't have to go to the Dr with me and expose herself to all the germs. (Sidenote: Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that when you take your child in for their well care exam they end up coming down with a cold, just a few days later)? I called my dad afterward to update him on Sydney and he proceeded to share this story with me. Here is the email that my dad sent to Brooklyn's email address:
As Brooklyn and I [Papa] were driving through town we passed by "Moe's." ("Welcome to Moe's.") Brooklyn began talking about chicken nuggets and how much she liked them.
She made up a story about how the nuggets were playing in her stomach, tickling her.
I said, "Why not drink some water and maybe they will stop." She said, "The water won't bother them because they have umbrellas." Well, I said, "Drink a whole bunch of water so they feel like they are in a flood and they will have to stop tickling you."
Brooklyn followed up with, "They will get in the umbrellas like being in a boat and float."
How many 5 yr. old kids would think of turning the umbrella over to make a boat?
Love you Brooklyn!
Having these email accounts for the girls also enables grandparents to sit down and write to them anytime they want. Let's face it, gone are the days of hand written notes and snail mail. We just don't take the time to do that anymore, but we all have access to a computer and it takes no time to write a paragraph or two from anywhere in the world.
The great thing is that email accounts are free and quick to set up. We decided to make them creative and hard to guess so that they wouldn't get any spam or any other unwanted emails. If your kids are older and already have an email address, maybe you create a second email just for these types of stories. How cool would that be to hand them a notebook of emails on their graduation day from college or the day they get married? How fun would it be for your child to be able to read stories to their children about the things they did when they were little? I know Sydney is always asking me to tell her stories of when I was a little girl and I have about the same 5 I always tell her.
So what are you waiting for? You know your brain is already going 100 miles an hour trying to remember all the funny things your kids have said just in the last week. So get your children an email address and stay tuned for a cool giveaway I will be doing. You won't want to miss it.
I knew we would be staying in all day since I didn't want to try to get down our hill in the car. So the girls and I stayed in our pj's all day. I was secretly hoping that Brian wouldn't make it down the hill, so he could stay home with us, but that didn't happen. It was just one of those days I wanted to stay in bed all day with the family and watch movies. Maybe next time.
I knew our day might get long being cooped up in the house all day, so I decided to create different "Steps". We do Step 1, 2, 3 alot with the girls. They seem to listen better when we instruct that way. If you have a child that is more of a visual learner, like Brooklyn, this works really well. Plus, they love to help make up the steps, so it gets them involved in the process as well.
So here were our steps today.
Step 1- Lunch
Step 2- Play in the snow
The girls are now out with daddy on the deck making a snowman. I'm gonna run and go take some more pictures and some video. Hope those that got some snow today are enjoying it and making memories with your family.
I just love Saturdays. It's the one morning I get to sleep in, thanks babe. Today it is cold and flurrying, so it's a good day to stay inside and get some work done around the house. Brian and Brooklyn went to the grocery store to get some food in case it does decide to snow a ton and leave us housebound. That's doubtful, but I'd rather be prepared. We live on top of a hill and if we get too much, it makes it almost impossible to get down our street. This Cali girl definitely is not driving in it. I'll admit I really don't know how to drive in the snow, so I would rather just stay at home and be safe. This is why I could never live anywhere north of Tennessee. I don't do cold well. It's ok, call me a wimp. I can take it.
Sydney just asked me to join her in the bathtub so I think I will go snuggle with my baby girl. This should be interesting.
Every free time I have, I am soaking in God's word, either through a book that I am reading or listening to online Bible teaching. There are so many great resources online. I just got done watching a great message from Joseph Prince. This is my lifeline right now. I'm learning to be still and listen for the Lord's direction and leading. I know I have talked time and time again about The Jesus Calling Devotional and if you don't have it, go out and get it. You won't be disappointed. You can get the online version for $9.99. Everyday they will send you the devotional straight to your email. How great is that? You can sign up here. I forward them often to my family when I get one that I know can encourage them. Maybe you have someone in your life that can use these daily devotionals right now.
Today's was so good that I am going to post it to share with you. I know it will encourage your heart.
Brian and I actually were able to stay awake until midnight, just barely though. I was exhausted from all of our traveling this past week. We had a quiet evening at home. The girls went to bed early and so hubby and I got to chill out on the couch and catch up on some of our shows that we've DVR'd. I had to twist his arm to watch the New Year's Eve shows. We switched back and forth between Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly. The highlight was NKOTB and Backstreet Boys singing together. Did anyone else see them perform? I have to say that I was actually impressed. For a bunch of old guys they actually sounded great. Their vocals were right on and they can still dance. I bet their tour does well.
I am so glad 2011 is here. I have never been so excited for a new year to start in all of my life. There were definitely good parts to 2010 and those memories I will always cherish. Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good and I am looking forward to a brand new start. I am praying that the Lord will pour His blessings upon our family.
I didn't make any resolutions this year. I have two things in mind that I want to work on. Those two things are reading more books and being "in the moment" with my family.
My husband is a reader. He always has been. He starting reading books when he was 5 and has never stopped. He loves anything that has to do with History and Business Marketing. I however, am not a big reader, unless you count Pottery Barn Catalogs, Country Living and Real Simple Magazines. That is my way to unwind and relax and I love it. I decided to broaden my horizons a bit and actually read a book. I got two new books for Christmas. The first one, Brian gave to me.
The other book I just got and started reading is more of a devotional. I had someone recommend this book to me. The author lost a daughter and a son to a fatal disease just 6 months after their births. That reason alone made me go out and buy the book. If you are going through a painful time in your life, I highly recommend picking it up. I like it because it's broken down into weeks and not days, so if you miss a day it's no big deal.