Thursday, September 24, 2009

Convicted

Last night, I met up with Team Elkins to go to Wednesday night church. I didn't sleep at all on Tuesday night, so by yesterday afternoon, I was sluggish and didn't want to do anything but lay on the couch. But I was excited to see Jordan and Eric, and I knew that if I went, I would undoubtedly get something out of it. And I most certainly did.

After about 45 minutes of worship and praise (which my heart needed!), Pastor Chris started talking about Isaiah 40...particularly verses 27-31. Here's what they say:

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God?"

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.


Looking back on my past few posts on my blog and thinking about my conversations with people over the past few weeks, I have realized just how much I have complained - about not sleeping, about how swollen I am, about how fat I feel, about how miserably uncomfortable I've become. Complain, complain, complain...it's ALL I've done lately. But why? Why would I complain when God promises that if I HOPE in Him, He will renew my strength? He is the "everlasting God" - do you know what that means? That means He was here before me and He will be here long after I am gone and He has already walked this path before me. If I just put my hope in Him, I will not be weary or faint.

Church was packed - but that message was absolutely, undeniably, indisputably, unquestionably meant for me.

Today is a new day; I am putting my hope in the Lord. I will soar on wings like eagles!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Suggestions wanted!

Is this rain driving any one else mad?? The worst part is that there is NO. END. IN. SIGHT. Ugh! I'm trying to be optimistic...the more rain we get, the prettier the Fall and changing leaves will be, right?? :)

So, as I get closer and closer to "D-Day" (delivery day - yikes!), my mind has been occupied with getting every little last detail prepared - everything from washing the baby clothes so Burrito won't leave the hospital nekkid, to getting the nursery ready, to buying extra sheets for the pack n' play, to packing up our bag for the hospital, etc. etc. etc. My to-do list actually intimidates me.

One of the things we've learned throughout our childbirth classes is that it's good to have some of the comforts of home at the hospital with you - like your own pillow, some photos of family members, etc. (I already have my picture of Rosie picked out!) They say that it helps you to be distracted from the pain you'll undoubtedly be in. One of my all-time favorite distractions is music - I'm working on a play list on my computer and iPod specifically for the hospital. I prefer music I know the words to so I can focus on that rather than other things; but I also want lots of chill music and worship/praise music.

So....send me your suggestions! Any artist or song you think would be appropriate? Send it my way! They say labor can last as long as 24-48 hours, so the more suggestions you have, the better!

Here's the beautiful pic of Rosie that will be accompanying me to the hospital. Staring at her sweet face will totally help, don't you think?!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Any day now...

...I could be a real-live mother. Is that not the most frightening thing you have ever read in your life?! Today marks the beginning of my 37th week of pregnancy. And with this week comes many more lovely pregnancy side-effects and worries. I had my weekly checkup with Dr. Hoover yesterday, and the first thing she said was, "Oh, you've got the puffy face!" Well good to see you too! If I didn't like her so darn much, I would have been terribly offended. But, the fact of the matter is that "puffy face" can be a warning sign of pre-eclampsia. With my blood pressure slowly sneaking up on me, this is something we'll be keeping our eye on. But for now, there's no protein in my urine and my BP is still in a good range, so things are looking good. Oh and check this out! I'm already 1 cm dialted and 75% effaced...and, the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life was that she could actually feel the baby's head during my exam! If that doesn't scream, "I'm on my way, mom!", I don't know what does!!!

Unfortunately, as much as I'd love to get this whole labor and delivery thing over with, I could potentially stay 1cm dialated for another 4-5 weeks; or, I could go at any time. It's all in God's hands, so we're just going to sit back and wait on His perfect timing.

In other news, my sweet mom and sister (Jackie) came down this weekend to help get the house "baby ready". My mom steam cleaned ALL the carpets in the house, helped me organize the dining room and kitchen, worked with Kurt to put the crib together, and even bought us some new home decor. And Jackie, the talented little creative thing she is, helped me paint the stripes on the wall in the baby's nursery. We're getting closer and closer to having that room ready for Burrito's arrival!

I've been trying to document all of the hard work going on around the house, so enjoy the pictures!
















Friday, September 11, 2009

Who is Jesus?

This has absolutely nothing to do with our new house, the baby, our jobs, or anything else right now...but it has EVERYTHING to do with our lives, our salvation, and our eternity. I was so moved by it that I just couldn't not share it with you. Kurt's uncle, Uncle David, sent it our way yesterday, and I absolutely loved it.

You may know Steve Harvey, the comedian, from such things like The Original Kings of Comedy and his WB sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show. But here is a side of the funny man that I have not known or seen before, but that I love. Here is how he would introduce Jesus Christ if he was ever graced with the opportunity to do so. Enjoy, and God Bless!

video

Thursday, September 10, 2009

36 Weeks and An Update

What a whirlwind the past week has been?! We got the keys to our new house on Thursday; we drove to Nashville on Friday for a UAB cross-country meet; we, with the help of 5 strong boys, packed up a moving truck full of stuff my mom is donating to our house on Saturday; we drove back to Birmingham to unload on Sunday; and here we are on Thursday, still in the process of packing up and cleaning out our apartment. And oh yea - did I mention that I am 36 weeks pregnant trying to do all of this stuff?! To say I'm slow is a drastic understatement. But I have been trying my best to help as much as possible rather than just directing Kurt around - it's just not in my DNA to sit back and watch. However, because of that, I have worn my own damn self out! I'm so exhausted and sore physically; but because of the soreness, my huge belly, my achy back, my overwhelming emotions, and the sheer amount of stuff on my mind, I am not sleeping at all. I have literally watched all of my FRIENDS Season 5 DVDs in the past 3 nights! Guess I'll move on to Season 6 tonight :)

On a positive note, my dad drove down on Tuesday to help paint the baby's nursery. My doctor did say that I could paint so long as I purchased the low VOC paint, opened all the windows, and wore a mask; but my dad said "absolutely not". So, down he drove, and up the paint went. We're not completely done, but it's so nice to have another thing almost checked off the ever-expanding to-do list.



Rosie and I observed and cheered him on from the floor :)

So what does it feel like to be 36 weeks pregnant? In one word - uncomfortable. I have to say that the majority of this pregnancy has been incredibly easy. All of the weird symptoms and pregnancy side effects for the most part had eluded me...until now. I think they all decided to wait and attack at the same time - I can no longer see my ankles they are so swollen; my fingers actually hurt from the swelling, as well; I have horrendous carpel tunnel syndrome in my right hand; the restless leg syndrome I've been experiencing keeps me up all night; the shooting pains in my legs and groin are enough to bring me to my knees; I have some fairly painful contractions for about two hours every afternoon - just long enough for me to think about start heading to the hospital; and best of all, I must use the bathroom at least 50 times a day. We're considering buying stock in Charmin!

Here's what the FitPregnancy email says about being 36 weeks pregnant (only 4 weeks to go!):

Your Growing Baby

With one month to go, your baby weighs about six pounds and is fattening. His full length from crown to feet is about 20 1/2 inches. Has your baby's movement slowed down? If so, you shouldn't worry. Five to ten percent of all mothers report that babies start to slow down as they grow larger and get more cramped for space. Still, you should be able to feel your baby move more than ten times a day. If you're concerned, try drinking a sweet beverage, such as orange juice, and then lying on your side for a while. Most babies will wake up and start to move. If you're still concerned, contact your healthcare provider.

Your Changing Body

As women in the grocery store have probably already told you, you look like you could go any minute. And they may be right—your due date just suggests a time when the baby's likely to be born. In reality, you could go into labor any time between now and six weeks from now! Your belly button is becoming flattened, and may even stick out like a wine cork. You may feel a lightening sensation on your ribs and organs as your baby descends into your pelvis. Breathing and eating will be easier, but you'll be running to the bathroom more often than ever, and the change in pressure may cause shooting pains in your groin or leg. If you're aching (and we don't see how you couldn't be), indulge in a pregnancy massage from a professional masseuse, or find a pool, and take a swim. At home, try sitting on an exercise ball to take pressure off of your back.


Whew! Sounds like a joy, huh?! The thing is, as much as this stretch of the pregnancy seems to suck, I still can't get over the fact that I'll be holding my sweet baby boy and meeting him face-to-face in just a matter of days or weeks. That knowledge alone is enough to stop me in my tracks, fall to my knees, and PRAISE GOD for his abundant blessings!

Because we've been so crazy-busy this week, I haven't taken a single picture of myself or the house or anything (except for the one above from my cell phone of my dad doing manual labor!!). So instead, I decided to post a few of the "out takes" from our photo shoot with Ann Wade last week. And yes, I have grown even more in one week - surprising, but true! Laugh, enjoy, and know that our family loves you all!

















Tuesday, September 1, 2009

35 Weeks!

Can you believe it? I sure can't! 35 weeks down...and only about 5 weeks to go! I'm going to need every single day of the next 5 weeks to get the house baby-ready...say prayers he doesn't come early, which is a rarity for first babies anyways. Although, at the same time, I'm SO ready to meet Toliver Knox. I'm so in love with him already, and I'm trying to prepare my heart for loving him even more once I finally get to see his sweet face. I've had constant reminders of his impending arrival - everything from my now weekly doctor's appointments (complete with the oh-so-lovely weigh ins) to the pretty painful contractions that occur every so often. I'm afraid to complain too much about these contractions because, well, let's be honest - these are nothing compared to what I'll be experiencing soon!

So here's what the emails say about being 35 weeks pregnant...drum roll please!

Your Growing Baby

At more than five pounds and between sixteen and twenty inches, your baby is becoming more ready for birth with every passing hour. He's the size of a small roasting chicken. His nervous system and immune system are still maturing, and he's adding the fat that he'll need to regulate his body temperature. But, everything else, from his toenails to the hair on his head, is fully formed. If he were born now, he'd have more than a ninety-nine percent chance of surviving.

Your Changing Body (it should say "growing body"!!)

Your size is probably making you really uncomfortable. (REALLY??) You're carrying so much extra weight and fluid that simple things can be tiring. If your job requires sitting all day, take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch your legs (if you have the privacy to lie down for a few minutes or do stretches on your hands and knees, even better). You'll see your care provider once every one or two weeks now. Don't forget to arrange care for any children or pets (poor Rosie's whole life is about to get flipped upside down!!) for the two to three days you'll be in the hospital. Ask a neighbor to collect your newspapers and mail. (We don't know our neighbors yet - yikes!)

So do you want to see what a 35-week pregnant chick looks like?! Well, this week, I'm not so ashamed to post some pictures (hence the reason why I haven't been posting too many weekly updates lately - pure embarrassment!) Yesterday, our friend and photographer took some maternity pictures for us - she is quite talented; actually, she's fantastic! You can check out her blog at http://www.awweddings.com/blog/ and we'll be on there, too - famous in B'ham!! :) Here are a few of my favorite photos from yesterday...enjoy, but don't make fun of my triple chins and my swollen feet, hands, and body!