I got to take a nap with Levi today. Ah, the little things. :)


40 weeks...and counting

According to me and my timing, today is my due date for Baby Hullah. The other due date is the 9th, Sunday. Regardless, I definately expected this baby by now. I've also been having my appointments with the midwives on Thursdays. Last week I was so encouraged and already dilated at 4cm. This week, 4cm and discouraged. I was crying so hard on my way home that I had to stop in a parking lot to take time to call Brett, cry more, and eventually calm down. I still cried several more times today and felt depressed.

In spite of my disappointment and lack of patience, I realize these sweet truths: the baby is fine and doing well, and so am I (just no contractions yet); God's timing is the best; this is more time to give my attention to Luke and Brett. Sweet truths.

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness to the skies.
-Psalm 36:5



There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
-Galatians 3:28


From Jesus this morning

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27


Getting crafty

I have a blog!

Anyway, yesterday some lovely ladies hosted a baby shower for me, and it was such a blessing. But I want to share my "thank you" gift to these women. Coasters. The idea came from a picture on Pinterest, which of course I repinned, thinking, "I'd like to try that someday." That was just a couple days ago. :) Here are some pictures... First, the fall themed coasters for the ladies.Here are the coasters I made first (gotta do a test run, right?) for our home.

Yes, I was so excited to use these that I took a posed picture of an empty mug with this coaster (and my matching blanket (my favorite)). I'm actually using the coaster right now. :)

Here are the tutorials I used as a guide.

Hostess with the Mostess

Style Me Pretty


3rd trimester

Just took a minute to upload a pic of the bump. Third trimester, here I come!


Missed the moment

Tonight I found myself spending a bit too much time on facebook, so I decided to spend some time in a devotional book instead. :)

This is part of what I read from a book called "Jesus Calling" (thanks Jess)...

I speak to you continually. My nature is to communicate, though not always in words...I caress you with a gentle breeze that refreshes and delights you.

My heart sank as I read this line about the breeze. Not long after I had accepted the sweet Savior, Jesus, as my Lord (years ago), I found myself "seeing" God in places I had never seen Him before. There is a state park about a half hour south of where I grew up that I would go to with my parents (usually in the fall). We went for a hike and made it to one of my favorite points where I was standing on the edge of a bluff, looking over corn fields of Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. I felt the wind hit me from the direction I was facing, and in that moment, it felt like I was being hugged by God. There were other times I would feel this way, and I would acknowledge the Lord.

It was chilly, a bit rainy, and windy most of the day today. While I did acknowledge the Lord in other ways today, during the many moments I was outside (even thinking the wind was a bit annoying at times), I failed to remember His presence was caressing me "with a gentle breeze". They were missed moments. However, I'm thankful for this one. And I'm thankful for the Lord.



I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
-Psalm 130:5


The land of foxes and irises

On Luke's second birthday (May 26th), we moved. We bought a house across the park from the house we were renting, but it has twice the space (and a dishwasher, thankfully!). We love being on Glenmere Park...we enjoy the view from our front window (a friend named Phil called it "epic"), and we enjoy looking out the sliding dining room door to our backyard too. We have recently seen foxes running around our neighborhood, and I even saw one run through our backyard a few days ago! It makes me want to decorate a room with a fox theme. :)

This morning, I woke up before the boys (not unusual when it comes to Brett, but unusual when it comes to Luke). I took my camera to the backyard and took some pictures of the irises. The purple and yellow were the first to bloom. But this morning, I noticed some deep, dark purple ones and a single white iris (it's my favorite right now). I then toasted a plain bagel and topped it with cream cheese and strawberry preserves. I poured a glass of grape juice and grabbed my Bible, devotional book, and journal. I then sat in the rocking adironback chair Brett bought me back in April of '07 (I think that's the right year), read, prayed, and ate. It was delightful. What a sweet morning.


So many questions and fears

A lot has been going on recently...the school year at UNC came to an end, we're buying a house, I took pictures for our next-door neighbors, and I started another class with Illuminate Workshops. On top of all that, Luke (and eventually the rest of us) got sick this past week (thankfully, we are all recovering without any visits to the doctor), and we also cancelled a road trip we (mostly me) had planned.

Anyway, I came home last night from my "Passion + Profits" class ready to take steps to start a photography business. When I think about it, there seem to be several reasons to do it, and the top one is the fact that people are pursuing me to take their pictures or pictures of their loved ones. I don't charge anything, but Brett & even those I have taken pictures of tell me I should.

So, what is holding me back?

With my ministry/job with Crusade, I've thought that you can not have another job, with the exception of when you are first raising support. It turns out, this isn't completely true, but I need to talk to those "above" me about what this could look like for me.

Another fear that holds me back...lack of "education". In college, I studied education, not photography. How can I make a profession out of something I didn't go to school for? My neighbor tells me it doesn't matter...it's a craft. And like I've said, others have encouraged me to get paid! I also fear I have a lack of equipment...basic Canon Rebel dslr, one good lens, and photoshop elements for me. Can I really ask people to pay for my services when I feel like I should have "better stuff"?

Ah fear. I know you all too well. And Jesus (along with angels) tell me not to fear. So why can't I help but do it? Am I sinning? Am I not trusting God? Am I just not wanting to make decisions for myself?

These are just a few of my questions and fears for now. I'd appreciate prayer.


Treasures in darkness

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
-Isaiah 45:3

This was a sweet truth that was shared during the women's conference I got to attend earlier this month for staff in our region. For once, I felt comfortable in my skin and not insecure. I think because of where I am personally and with the Lord, this was the best conference I have been to since I've been on staff (almost 6 years). It was sweet. And this verse stuck out. I began this school year full of questions and insecurities and in darkness. Even though I still experience dark places and trials, the Lord is using truths like this to show me that it's not all bad. Treasures in darkness...really? Yes, really. And it may not be the treasure I'm expecting, but one treasure is always the Lord. He is with me, even in the darkness.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, "
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
-Psalm 139: 11,12



I love Jesus. Yesterday I had a counselling appointment, and I've been sharing my history for several appointments now. She has asked questions about my parents, grandparents, siblings, schools, jobs, etc. By the time the session was over yesterday, we were discussing my dating history and I only got to the end of my junior year of high school...when I broke a good guy's heart by kissing another guy and breaking up with him to date the other. Yuck! My heart hurt as I talked about it. But soon after that, as my counselor was praying for me, I quickly felt the Lord's Peace again. He reminded me of what he did on the cross and also reminded me of the sweet moment when I was a freshman at Southwest Missouri State and I was sitting in an auditorium in Hill Hall (with over 100 other people) when I first heard that His coming, death, and resurrection were powerful, were real, and were for me. I fell in LOVE with Jesus. He forgave me a long time ago, and even though there is still hurt when I talk about my past, I know it is just out of my own disappointment and regret, but not out of shame. My past and the lessons I have learned have helped to shape me into who I am and who the Lord is still changing. To sweeten this reminder, as I was driving home, there were two songs that played that were radio hits from my early college career. One was from Lifehouse (fun and full of truth) and the other from Smashmouth (just fun). I had the windows down and turned up the radio. I sang along and just delighted in sweet memories of my relationship with Jesus.


A craving

I'm about 13 weeks along, and I have not had a craving for anything in weeks. Tonight, I decided to actually try and plan some meals again. The first thing on my list...Emily's White Chicken Chili from the Cru Chili Cookoff '09. :) I need to actually print the recipe because I've made it several times, but always go to Amber's blog to find it. Thank goodness for the internet. ;) Amber's post recommends Fritos as a garnish. So, while I'm not making the chili until tomorrow, my sweet hubby is on his way to Safeway right now to buy me a bag of Fritos so I can start munching on them tonight! I'm really looking forward to my salty snack. The little things. :)



I mentioned grandpa. Luke started saying "Papa".

Actually, he usually whispers it.

My parents came to visit for a couple days, then traveled around Arizona & Utah, and then stopped in Greeley for a couple more days before returning to good ole C.B.

It was sweet to see Luke enjoying his grandpa. Even now, after they are back in the midwest, Luke still asks for "Papa." He's attached. ;)


From Jesus

"I am with you always."

Matthew 28:20


"The Lord's promises are pure..."
-Proverbs 12:6


The gift of friendship

I've been feeling a bit depressed lately. No particular reason why. Just life, etc. This past Thursday night, we had dinner with some sweet friends of ours (Elizabeth & Josh). They invited us over & Elizabeth made a very tasty dinner & dessert (good ole chocolate chip cookies) & it was just fun to catch up with them about their winter break. I left their apartment feeling refreshed and even inspired.

Later that night, Brett asked me if I would like to go out for breakfast the next morning. Let's just say this doesn't happen on a regular basis. :) To sweeten the deal for him, I let him know places we could go because we had coupons! We decided to try a local place called Randy's Diner. We showed up, and almost every vehicle in the parking lot was a truck. We had a feeling we were going to like this place. We went inside, and I asked if we sat ourselves. The waitress confirmed that we should seat ourselves and that she'd be with us in a minute. As we began our quest for a table, I was looking for a high chair for Luke. All of a sudden, Brett stopped. It was like he had noticed someone he knew and was going to chat with them. When I looked at the table, there sat my friends, Katie (who lives in Bloomington, IN) and Jill (who lives in Omaha, NE). I've known them since middle school and Katie was my maid of honor. My mind wasn't registering what was happening, and once it did, I said "What the heck?" I also started to cry. I was overwhelmed with joy. My sweet husband had asked my friends to surprise me for my 30th birthday. I soon found out that another good friend from Omaha, Philly, was supposed to join them, but her precious little daughter got sick. It was an awesome breakfast, for multiple reasons. :)

On the ride back to our house, I heard the words from Brett that I needed to hear. "When I planned this, it was my expectation that I would watch Luke so you could do whatever you wanted with the girls." I felt so much freedom after hearing this. I may have even teared up again. The girls and I spent the rest of the day in Boulder...Celestial Seasonings tour (we got to wear hair nets!), Pearl Street, and a tasty Italian restaurant.

The next day I drove down to Denver (they were staying with Jill's brother-in-law) and we spent a little time at the Colorado Mills mall and then had lunch at On the Border. We all had also been watching the weather. Snow was in the forecast, and it had already begun to snow in Nebraska. Jill decided that she should cut her trip short, since she was driving. It was a wise choice, but we were bummed to see her go. I then spent the rest of the day with Kate showing her Washington Park, South Pearl Street in Denver, and of course, we had to stop at the REI flagship store. :) We then headed back to Greeley where we picked up the boys and then had dinner at $1.50 a Scoop. Quantity. Not necessarily quality. ;) Brett & Kate both were fighting sicknesses, so Sunday was spent eating yummy food at home and watching a movie, until it was time to take Katie to the airport.

Brett, in a way, gave me the sweet gift of friendship by arranging this surprise. It was a gift I desperately needed but didn't know I needed. My heart has felt so much joy by the thoughtfulness, kindness, generousity, and love of my friends and hubby, even though my friends are back at home. I am blessed with the best of friends.


A new year has begun

Happy New Year from Denver. I am sitting in our hotel suite (and it's sweet!) at the Hyatt in downtown Denver. I'm not here just for me; it's the Denver Christmas Conference. I think over 1100 college students made it this year, and I've heard some encouraging stories from my hubby and Mark & Jess (a couple with a little guy named Isaac that are also on the UNC-Greeley team & our suitemates for the week). Unfortunately, I haven't experienced much outside of this suite.

It goes back to our earlier holiday travels. We drove around the midwest and were away from our Colorado home for 2 weeks in December. At each destination, Luke had some kind of sickness...a cold in Beloit, WI; threw up in Republic, MO; threw up again and pink eye at Stockton Lake, MO. Even though it was sweet to see some friends and family, I was anxious to get home and get Luke well. Over Christmas and for a few days, he had a fever and was coughing a lot which managed to keep him, as well as us, up at night. My worry grew. I soon also got a sore throat and feared that we had strep throat. After a phone call to our doctor's office, I felt some peace because I was told that kiddos Luke's age don't get strep. Not long after that, my throat began to hurt so much that I didn't want to talk or swallow. We went in to the doctor's office the next day (the day we were supposed to leave for Denver for DCC). At first Luke was diagnosed with an ear infection, and we were told he wasn't infectious (I asked...I've been looking forward to idea of using the childcare at DCC for a while). However, after they tested me for strep and it came back positive, we were told that Luke probably has the same thing, and that we were both infectious for 48 hours. AHHHH!!!!

So, Brett left for Denver later that night, and Luke and I stayed at home for a couple more days. Since we were no longer infectious, and I was a little stir-crazy, we headed for the Hyatt on the 29th. Little did I know that my coughing/hacking was just beginning. It has kept me (and occassionally Brett & Luke) up more than I would like. Actually, I wouldn't like it at all, and I don't!

Enough of that. I'll just wrap this up by telling you that my hopes and expectations for some sweet time with students and enjoying this conference didn't quite happen. It's a bummer, but it's not all bad. I got to spend my 30th birthday (on the 30th - haha! GOLDEN!) with my hubby, friends, & students. I got see the 16th Street Mall New Year's Eve fireworks just outside my hotel window. I got to see Luke finally get better (maybe I won't be putting him in childcare after all...).

Overall, I know I am blessed and God's beloved. I can't say I'm fully believing it, and I'm definately not feeling it, but I can acknowledge it. Right now, on this New Year's day, I am weak (physically, emotionally, spiritually), but I am thankful that my strength is not my own. I am thankful that I am not my own. I belong to God. He is my strength. And Christ is and will always be my Savior. Amen!