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Monday, April 29, 2013

Ashlee's Maternity Pics

One of my best friends from high school is 9 months pregnant with a baby boy and we had the pleasure of taking her maternity pictures on Sunday! Here are the few we have done so far!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

7 Months Pregnant!

How far along? 28 weeks

Baby's size? She weighs as much as a chinese cabbage! (Whatever that is! lol) Baby weighs over 2 lbs!

Weight Gain? I will find out tomorrow at my appointment but I think about 25lbs. Goodness!

Belly button in or out? In still but getting smaller by the day!

Sleep? Occasional 5am wakeups due to baby sitting on my bladder but other than that I've been getting great sleep.

Foods I am loving? I've had at least 5 strawberry banana smoothies from DQ this month!

Foods I am hating? Carmel still sounds pretty gross.

Best moment this week? My mom felt baby kick for the first time at Church. So sweet!

Movement? She's been moving all over the place!

Symptoms? Using the bathroom ALOT more! Especially when baby girl kicks my bladder. And alot of heartburn!

Gender? Sweet baby girl!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Newlywed Game!

 Hello Lovelies! How is everyone this gorgeous spring day?! I'm in a pretty good mood today because the weather is FINALLY getting to where it needs to be! It's going to be in the 70's today! Hallelujah! This weekend is going to be pretty busy for both Loujo and I. Hubby has an interview today-please pray that God reveals to Louie if that's the job He wants him at! Then Saturday is the women's conference at our Church! I'm so excited for that! Then Sunday we are doing a maternity session for one of my friends then we are having a BBQ with my family! Whew!

Alright so I'm not going to make you wait any longer! The Newlywed Game!
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1. What is the funniest thing your spouse has done?
Oh gosh I don't even know! There have been so many! Hmmm. Probably when he makes the dogs do crazy things-He always gets me cracking up!
There are so many things, but if I had to choose it would be pronouncing rendezvous as ren-dez-vez
2. What is your idea of a good date?
Just spending time together-maybe going to a nice restaurant. We like to eat! :)
Going out to dinner, then taking a quiet romantic walk together
3. What is your favorite memory of you and your spouse?
Probably at our wedding. I remember right after the ceremony it was so surreal that we were finally married. I remember hearing our song blaring over the speakers at the reception hall and looking into my hubby's eyes and seeing his tears just flowing! I love his heart so much!
My favorite memory is our first kiss
4. What are some activities/hobbies that you and your spouse do together?
We love music so he plays the guitar and I sing! He's trying to teach me how to play guitar but it's definitely not as easy as it looks! We're also both in the worship team at Church so we are always there together.
We love playing music together- she sings I play guitar
5. Why do think your marriage/relationship is successful?
Because we knew before we were married that for our marriage to be successful we have to build it on The Rock-which is Jesus.
Because Jesus is the center of our marriage and all that we do
6. What is your spouse's dream job? Is he/she currently in it?.
His dream job is to play music. He does it but doesn't get paid for it as of yet! ;) I think he really just wants to do whatever God wants him to do, whatever that is.
Her dream is to be a stay at home mom/photographer. She is 2 months away from fulfilling that dream!
7. What is the best gift your spouse ever gave you?
His love
She gave me my bible!
8. Where do you see you and your spouse in the next 10 years?
Both serving in ministry together with 3 more kiddos!
I see us fulfilling our dreams of being full time photographers/musicians/parents
9. Is marriage everything you expected it to be? Is it much harder than you thought it would be? Why?
Yes and No. I don’t think you can fully prepare yourself for everything that marriage is and entails. I think our marriage goes BEYOND the expectations that I had before being married. I feel so blessed because it's so much better than I ever dreamed it would be! I really married my best friend.
Marriage is completely different than I thought. Hollywood and even the area of town I lived in portrayed marriage as a bad thing where the couple constantly belittled each other and never had sex after they said their vows.
It turns out that the notion I described is opposite IF you build your marriage on the solid rock that is Jesus. I couldn't be happier.
10. Who is your spouse's celebrity crush and do you look like them?
He doesn't have any that I know of. Actually I take that back. He used to like Haley Williams from paramore back in the day. I pretty much look NOTHING like her! Lol
I don't know if she has one.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Pregnancy Story

Baby girl at 24 weeks!

Our pregnancy story.
13 months, 2 days, and 7 hours. That's how long I waited for something I feared would never come.
I can see myself as a little girl with baby dolls spread about my room, each with a name. I counted them once-29 in all. TWENTYNINE. That's a lot of babies! I loved them, oh how I loved them! Eventually I grew out of the baby doll stage but as I grew older that want never ceased. That longing to be mommy remained.
Fast forward to our wedding night. I naively thought I was pregnant the next day. How wrong I was. Every month following that night was the same thing. Symptoms daily followed by tears shed when the symptoms turned out to be a fragment of my imagination. And that ache, oh that ache-It never went away.

When your body is not doing the one thing that it was created to do, It's painful. Especially when the thing your body is supposed to do is the one thing that you've wanted and dreamed about all your life.
So I prayed and claimed my healing that was paid for by Jesus when He took those 39 stripes across His back. But I would be lying if I said I was never discouraged. On the days I was so frustrated my sweet husband was there to help me see where my faith needed to be. He would always tell me, "One day we will have children. God will give us a baby!" He never once doubted. God knew what I needed in a husband.
At about 5 months into trying I began to see the number 21 wherever I went. From clocks to different blogs, they were everywhere! I knew this was no coincidence but for the longest I prayed that God would reveal to me what He was trying to tell me! Then I came across this verse. Genesis 21:1 "The Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said. The Lord did for Sarah what he had promised."
And a few weeks later-Psalm 21:1 "The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord;
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2 You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah"
Then my pastor taught a sermon about Daniel. About how he prayed for 21 days and then the angel of the Lord came to him and said from the first day that he had prayed God heard him!
And then I knew. I without a doubt knew. God was going to come through for me! He would do what He promised. That was why I was seeing these 21's everywhere-He wanted to remind me of that promise. So I clung to it-I clung to it with all my might! For the next several months evertime I saw a 21 I began to thank God for His promises.
On November 10th, 2012 at 7am I sleepily made my way to the bathroom to take what was probably my hundreth pregnancy test. I was so scared, but I think I knew, deep down I knew that this time was different. How could these symptoms be imaginary? There was just no way. I feared that if it was negative I would really look crazy to my husband because every month I was convinced I was pregnant.
I took the test and with shaky hands placed it on the bathroom sink. I remember hearing my heart pound in my chest. After finally working up the courage I glanced over at the test and only saw one word. PREGNANT. I think I stared at it for a good 5 minutes before I could actually believe it. I went and told hubby right away and we praised God together!
Now at almost 7 months pregnant I'm feeling all kinds of kicks and movement from this sweet baby.
How could I have ever doubted what God can do?
He is a BIG God.
What He did once He can do it again!
He healed my body completely and fully.
He gave me this sweet little girl, my hearts desire.
Oh how He must love me.
I still can't fathom that love.

Friday, April 19, 2013

He wants to bless us!

This Man.
Melts me. Seriously, fully and completely.
Whoever said that the "honeymoon stage" only lasts for a couple of months is oh so wrong. Cuz I've been married to this babe for almost 2 years and I love him much more today than the day I married him.
Last night baby girl was kicking a bunch and everytime I felt her start kicking I would move his hand to my belly to feel.
Everytime he felt her his face would light up in pure exuberation. Elated. Oh how I love that man.
Truth be told, I was a little worried when we found out that baby girl was a she. We were convinced she would be a boy and Loujo wanted a boy more than anything. I was afraid that he would be dissappointed if the baby turned out to be a girl. But you know what? He wasn’t. Not at all. When the ultrasound tech told us the gender the first words out of hubby's mouth were, "My princess." See what I mean? MELT.

When I prayed for a husband there were several qualities that I had in mind. He possesses every one of them. God really blessed me so abundantly. I feel so undeserving of such an amazing man when there are so many women with husbands who are horrible to them. But you know what? That's what God does for us. He gives us gifts that we don't deserve at all-so that in turn we can see what kind of a God he is. He sent His precious son to die a horrible death for us so that we could be saved. And not only saved but set free, delivered, and healed as well. The fact that He wants to bless us too??? That's just the cherry on top of the cake. We serve such a good God.
But friends, God wants us to ask for the things we desire sometimes. How can we expect Him to bless us if we don't ask?
James 4:2 "You do not have because you do not ask God."
Did I ask for a husband like loujo? Oh yes I did. More times than I can count.
Am I saying that God will give us whatever we ask for when we ask for it? Not at all. But ya'll God WANTS to bless His children! It is His delight! He wants to give us good gifts-great gifts even. If you have a good earthy dad then you know that he would do anything he could to make you happy. If he had the means for it he would surely he would do whatever he could to make your life easier, right? People, we serve a big God. He owns the whole universe and everything in it! What makes you think that He can't find you a husband, give you a baby, heal your body, or find you a job! He CAN!!! If only we would let Him. If only we could lay aside our pride and the mentality that we are in control of everything then He would have free reign to do what He does!
The things that we ask for don't always come when we are wanting them-in fact sometimes God changes our desires to match up with His plans for our life. In that moment you can look back and say, "Thank you Lord for knowing what is best."
I can name a few prayers that I have prayed that would have been disasterous if God had answered them like I wanted him to. If one certain prayer would have been answered three years ago I definitely wouldn't be married to my husband.
See, told you He's a good God! :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Letters to Friday

Dear sweet babe(aka Loujo)-Are you actually taking me to la casa tonight!?? I can't believe my ears! Thank you for giving into my pregnancy cravings(most of the time!)
Dear sweet pea(aka baby S)-I love feeling your kicks and movements. Its so amazing seeing that you're growing bigger and stronger everyday! I pray that God would teach me how to be the best momma for you! Daddy and I can't wait to meet you!
Dear weekend-I'm so glad you're almost here. 2 more hours of work and then relaxation for the next two days. YES! I need it!
Dear Nebraska weather-Could you please make up your mind? This is getting quite ridiculous. You got me all excited for spring last weekend with 75 degree weather and now it's snowing!? Seriously?!
Dear Heavenly Daddy-Please shape me into the kind of mother you want me to be! I want to raise baby girl to have a heart after Your own heart. Please teach me Lord. Thank you for this blessing. I can't thank you enough!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

5am Diaries

I was up the other morning at 5am. This has been a normal accurance for me lately. Anywho I was flipping through the channels filled with infomercials and kiddie shows when I saw that True Life was on MTV. Now I'm usually pretty careful about watching any show on MTV but SOMETIMES True Life can be pretty interesting. This morning's episode was one i've seen before-on the TV itself, and in my own life. Truelife:I'm addicted to food. It had been awhile since i'd seen this episode, since i'd felt that pain.
You see, I was always heavy growing up. Always. I never felt good enough for anyone around me. Not good enough for my friends, my sisters, and my parents. I felt betrayed by my own body, I hated myself for it. But my sadness and failure turned me back to food everytime. Food was my friend when I felt like I had none. Food was my comfort when my dad chose drugs over me and then went to prison for it.
By the time I was a Junior in high school I was in the obese category. My heart sank when I did that first BMI calculation, but I should have been expecting it. I tried and failed at so many diet plans because I just couldn't resist going back to what I knew.
If only I knew then what I know now. I was letting food take the place of God in my life. I didn't need my earthly dad to be my best friend because I had a heavenly daddy who wanted to comfort me, bless me, and be my best friend. I wish I could go back and tell myself that.
Me at 16 with my niece, Alaina.

I'm feeling pretty nostalgic today if you can't tell. :) Have a blessed weekend, friends!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

6 Months Prego

How far along? 24 weeks

Baby's size? As big as a canteloupe!

Weight Gain? 20lbs

Belly button in or out? In still but getting smaller by the day. I'm wonder if it will end up being an outie.

Sleep? Good still! Baby has been moving more at night but it doesn't disrupt my sleep at all.

Foods I am loving? Still strawberry anything

Foods I am hating? Nothing really

Best moment this week? Getting another ultrasound last friday. We got to see baby girl's face again! She's so beautiful.
Movement? She's such a little mover! I love it! :) Daddy also felt her kick for the first time on Monday! He put his head on my belly and she kicked him in the ear! lol He was so excited!!
Symptoms? None really

Gender? Sweet baby girl!!!