Saturday, February 28, 2009

i need a break

I need a break from blogging. In fact, I need a break from the internet.

At this time in my life I feel like the internet is a great big black hole that has the power to suck me in. It can ruin the best intentions I have for my day. I'll plan to just check my blog and then 45 minutes later I emerge from the cyber world with a head full of stories and ideas but absolutely nothing to show for my time. When this happens two or three times a day, you can understand why I might be feeling down about myself. I've spent way too much time blogging, reading other peoples' blogs, checking facebook, checking my email, and just surfing the internet. Truly, it is draining me.

The verse I chose for myself at the beginning of this new month really encompasses what I feel God is leading me to do. I believe he has been calling me to redeem the time because the days are evil. I think he is telling me to get off of the internet and get things done! I'm tired of feeling guilty for not having things done around the house. I'm tired of feeling guilty for "needing" to check my blog or facebook in the evenings when I should be spending time with my husband. Really, I am just so tired of the hold that blogging, email, and facebook have on me right now.

My plan is pretty simple, but I am prayerful that it will work and that I will gain a better balance with this whole thing.

First of all, I will not be blogging or checking my blog for one week. I am sure this will be hard and I am going to be relying on my memory verse a lot! I will miss all of the blogs I love to check and I am sure I will be bombarded with a ton of things I feel I need to blog about. Ha! Wouldn't that figure since I have been in such a writing funk for a while.

Secondly, I will not be checking facebook for a week.

Thirdly, I will be checking my email only once a day. My plan is to do this in the evening. If you need to get ahold of me right away, you might just give me a call. Hopefully, I won't be available online!

Lastly, I will keeping the computer in our office/guest room. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

While I am taking a break from the internet, there are some areas that I feel I really need to work on.
1. Getting up earlier
2. Carving out a specific daily quiet time with God
3. Ironing out a specific schedule for Miss Lauren
4. Making my home a haven for Lauren to grow up in and for Shawn to come home to

Thank you for understanding this weird time in my life. I love you all and I will be back in a week to let you know how this process is going for me.

5th verse

I am posting my verse a day early for a couple of reasons:

1. On the 1st, we will be going to celebrate my meme's birthday and I won't be able to post
2. See the above post. Hopefully it will also answer the question of why I chose this verse.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5: 15-16 KJ version

I hope you are enjoying this challenge. Let's fight the fight, ladies!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

all for you

Ok, I'll be honest. Right now I am supposed to be paying bills and cleaning the kitchen while Lauren naps. The reality is that I am reading blogs. The other stuff can wait, right? Anyway, I just came across The Praise Baby Blog after reading one of my favorites, Boo Mama. They are doing a giveaway of 10 free Sleepytime Lullaby CD's! All you have to do to enter is go here and leave a comment! Aren't you glad I am being a huge slacker today? All for you, my blog readers, all for you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

conquering the linen closet

I have been putting off cleaning out and re-organizing our linen closet for FOREVER. When we moved in it sort of became a dumping ground for anything we didn't know where to put or just wanted to hide away for a while. I've been reading the book, Smart Organizing, that my friend Tammy surprised me with a while ago and have enjoyed implementing some of the strategies for creating and maintaining an organized home. Armed with the tips in the book, I finally decided to whip the closet in to shape. I must really love you all to be showing the state of my linen closet pre-organization. :)
Notice the open medicine container and all of the cleaning supplies that Lauren could easily get into. Also, if you look closely in the bottom right cabinet you will see the Uppercase Living stickers I haven't used yet! If anyone is looking for some, let me know...I just might have what you are looking for! :)

Here is the closet after about an hour of work. Everything is in its place! It felt so good to be able to close those doors knowing that what was behind them wouldn't scare me anymore! I am a little bit of a nerd and like to code my containers. I learned that while student teaching with Shari. If you know Shari, you can understand! :) I love that girl! Shari, if you are reading this - YOU should write a book on organization, or life, or just about anything you wise lady!

When I was done, I sat down with a tall glass of sweet tea and then, of course, Lauren woke up.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

an evening in the life

Lauren screams uncontrollably in the background. She is tired and wants to eat. When I walk out of the room she freaks out and when I come back into sight she calms down, but just a little.

Shawn: "I think she is going to have a mixture of both of our personalities"

Jen: "What makes you say that?"

Shawn: "You know, she is kind of quiet and calm sometimes like me and well...."

Jen: "Well what?"

Shawn: "Just that she might be kind of, you know, emotional or you. And a little stubborn."

Jen: "That's awesome, Shawn. You're such a sweetie."

Shawn: "You know you are stubborn."

Jen: "Whatever, let's just feed her."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

diaper cake

I know this is a post about making a diaper cake, but I had to share this picture of Lauren first. I know I am biased, but how cute is that? She is so close to figuring out how to crawl. We've had so much fun playing with this little house from Fisher Price her Grammy and Gpa got her for Christmas. Yes, I said, "we." If you know me, I am sure you can imagine!

Now, on to the diaper cake!

You will need the following materials:
~ At least 60 size 1 or larger diapers (newborn are just too small)
~ Clear (or I used the pastel colored) small hair ties
~ A base of some sorts (Shawn cut me a 12" circle from cardboard and it worked perfectly)
~ 2 baby bottles. At Walmart they had BPA free bottles for $.98!
~ Ribbon to wrap around the tiers of the cake
~ Double sided sticky tape or a hot glue gun (I used a glue gun)
~ Flowers or toy topper

Step 1:
Get rolling! Take each diaper and begin rolling from the waste band down. I used Huggies diapers and rolled them so that the outside edge that showed would be mostly white.

Wrap a small, clear or pastel, rubber band around the middle of the diaper as shown. Aren't you glad I showed you a picture of that? Ha!

Keep rolling and rubber banding until you have a nice stack of diapers! It really doesn't take that long. I watched TV and this step took a lot less time than I anticipated.

Step 2:
Prepare your base if you are making one. I saw a lot of people used pretty cake platters and that would save you a step here. I don't own a pretty cake platter so I'll share what I did! Shawn cut me a piece of cardboard and I used scrapbook paper to make it pretty. I realized that the edges were yucky and I wouldn't be able to stand looking at them so I decided to hot glue a simple white ribbon around the edge. I felt much better after doing that!
Step 3:
Begin assembly. I filled the bottom bottle with m&m's. I don't think you have to fill it with anything, but I thought it would be a nice surprise. *Note* I had to go back later and take the top of the bottle off because with the two bottles stacked on top of each other, they were too tall. I simply put plastic wrap around the top and secured it with a rubber band.

Wrap one rubber band around the bottle. Then, slip the rolled up diapers between the rubber band and bottle. Once you have that first layer, place a large rubber band around all of those diapers and start your second layer by slipping diapers between the first row of diapers and the large rubber band. Once your second layer is done, place another large rubber band around those diapers and begin placing diapers for your third layer.

Use the bottle for the second tier of the cake as well. Simply place a rubber band around it and begin slipping diapers between the bottle and the rubber band. For the second tier only use 2 layers of diapers.

You will notice now that you have a place to put the second bottle on top of the first one. Use that bottle to make the third and final tier. This tier will only have 1 layer of diapers.
Step 4:
Finishing Touches! I wrapped the ribbon around the diapers so the rubber bands were all hidden. This is where you could use double stick tape if you have some. I hot glued the ribbons together in the back of the cake. Don't glue the ribbons to the diapers so that the expectant parents can use the diapers later!

Use the open top bottle to secure your topper. If the shower is for a girl baby, you could slide some pretty flower stems into the bottle to create a flower topper. Since, this shower was for a little boy and I didn't think the dad would appreciate flowers, I opted for this cute little toy. I just shoved the little cow's back feet in the opening of the bottle and he fit perfectly for the top of the cake.
This was a fun little project and I really enjoyed it. I am sure you can get really crafty and use all kinds of ribbons and toys to make it ultra cute!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

and so it goes

Many of you have heard this story, but some haven't heard how Monday went and so I post. I apologize now for the length!

Monday morning at 8:15 we loaded Lauren up and drove to the hospital. We checked in to radiology and waited for the morning of tests to begin. Lauren made sure to delight all the receptionists and other patients waiting with her silly grins and nosy ways.

The first test they did was an ultrasound of her kidneys. The technician assured us that most babies enjoy the ultrasound as the gel is warm and it sort of feels like a massage. Not our precious little girl! From the moment we took off her clothes and laid her on the ultrasound table she was screaming. It didn't help that I had to pin her down so the technician could get a good look at both of her kidneys. Of course neither Shawn or I could tell anything from the hazy pictures on the screen.

The next thing they did was walk us a half a mile to an area with really sick babies and kids. This was where they would place her catheter. It was so sad to walk by each room and see these little babies and children hooked up to monitors. I was so thankful that we weren't in that position and I just prayed for all those sick kids and their families. Our nurse for this part of the day, Susie, was great with Lauren. In fact, her sister is Lauren's regular nurse at our pediatrician's office. It was nice to have someone who knew of the situation. I will spare you the details of the catheter, but just know that it was bad and Lauren let the whole place know it. We had to wait in this area until they came to take us to another area of the hospital. During the wait, Lauren decided to poop. Ok, I know that is gross and very to the point but can you imagine? They had just put in her catheter and the nurse said she was just trying to push it out. Susie changed the diaper. I was relieved she offered because I didn't want to mess anything up and they had to clean things really well.

When we got to radiology, Lauren had cried so much she was asleep in my arms. I felt so bad when I had to wake her up to get her ready for the x-ray. Of course, she wasn't happy at all. The x-ray wasn't too bad. I put on the protective vest and held her while they took pictures of her kidneys. The nurses even gave her a blanket they had warmed up. I let Shawn don the vest for the radiation tests because I couldn't do it. They hooked her catheter up to a bag of the dye and then proceeded to fill her bladder to its fullest. That was the hardest part because the main guy told us that most adults can barely even handle it. It seemed like it took forever for her bladder to fill. She just kept screaming and screaming. Finally, they drained the bladder and got the pictures they needed. Shawn kept trying to get the guy to give us any kind of news but he just said the doctor would call us. We were so thankful to get our baby home. She had a rough morning and ended up sleeping for 3 hours after she ate!

Later that afternoon, our nurse called and said that Lauren's ultrasound and x-ray came back normal. However, they did say that she has urinary reflux. They rank the severity of this on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the worst. Lauren has a stage 2 reflux issue. We are so thankful that it isn't worse, but still hate to know that her urine is refluxing into her kidneys when she pees. They usually recommend surgery for stage 4 and 5 and a long term antibiotic for stages 1 to 3. Because there is nothing they can do for Lauren to stop the reflux from happening she needs to be on the antibiotic to kill the bacteria that gets into her kidneys. She will be on this antibiotic for 2 to 3 years or until she is potty trained. They are hoping that she will grow out of it.

I am so thankful that it isn't worse than it is, but I would be lying if I said I was fine about having my daughter on any kind of medicine for years. There is something about that length of time that makes me feel sad. I hate knowing that every night we will be forcing her to take her icky, sticky antibiotics. I hate knowing that if we don't give her the medicine she could get kidney infections and scar tissue on her kidneys. I am dealing with this, but I am not completely okay with it just yet. Hopefully, that is okay.

Thanks for all the prayers for Lauren. We know that even though she does have reflux, those prayers were heard.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

it's the 15th

Hey ladies! If you are following the scripture memorization challenge hosted by Beth Moore then you know this is our 4th scripture!

I have never been good at memorizing scripture. In fact, I've always envied those people who seem to have endless scripture to ramble off the top of their heads. It embarrassed me for a long time that I couldn't do that. The truth was, I talked myself into believing that I could never be that good and I shouldn't waste my time to try. Have I mentioned that I am a bit of a perfectionist? I still struggle with these feelings, but I am getting better. I think the structure of learning two new scriptures a month, spending time memorizing each one at a time, and recording them on my note cards has helped make this task easier to accomplish and harder to give up on for me. I don't want to mislead you - I need to be completely still hasn't been a piece of cake! There have been days when my attitude has NOT been in it. I still haven't completely memorized my second scripture. Even today's scripture deadline snuck up on me and I barely had any time to pray about what God wanted me to learn. Too honest? I hope not! I feel like we can only grow as sisters in Christ if we share our struggles and don't just candy coat things. Does anyone else struggle with the area of memorization? How about believing satan's lies that we can't do this for some reason or another? I am making it my goal to pray for those of you who I know are participating in this challenge. I hope you will pray for me.

I chose the following verse for a couple of reasons. 1. It is short. I knew that since I haven't memorized #2 completely I needed one that I could conquer and claim in a short time. 2. I didn't have a lot of time to pray for what God was leading me to memorize. I saw this verse in my daily study a while back and I saw it again today as I was looking back on what I had read. 3. I believe it.

I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.
Psalm 16:2

hospital visit

Monday morning at 8:30 Lauren is having a couple of tests done at the hospital. Because of her UTI, her pediatrician recommended checking to make sure her kidneys looked good and that no urine was backing up into them when the bladder emptied. From what I understand they will be doing an ultrasound of her kidneys to make sure the placement is correct and that they look healthy from the outside. Then, they are going to do a dye test where they watch to see how her urine is draining. The doctor said she would have a catheter in for both of the tests they are doing. I know I am not looking forward to that. She screamed both times she had to have one last week. :(

Please pray with us that these tests are just precautionary. Pray that Lauren will do great through the tests, and so will her mommy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

if you are a mommy....

If you are a mommy go get the book, Taking Care of the Me in Mommy, by Lisa Whelchel. I got it just a couple of days ago and I haven't been able to put it down. Obviously, with any book there are going to be things you agree with and disagree with that the author writes, but overall I feel like this is a great book for all of those busy moms out there. One of the things I like so much is that Lisa doesn't just lecture to you about all these things you should be doing. She talks a little about each area (Spirit, Body, Soul, etc.) and then she gives you a ton of great ideas to implement into your routine. I love that! I don't feel discouraged after reading. I especially love that! Go here to get a sneak peak at the book. Let me know if you try it and how you feel about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I've been trying to keep the TV off during the day because I am easily distracted and will "accidentally" get caught up in a show and get nothing done. It can ruin the very best of intentions for my day. I do like to have some noise in the background though, so I have been listening to music.

I love music. I love the way it makes me feel and I love pretending I can sing. I cannot in any way, shape, or form sing. Just ask the poor people who stand beside me during worship at church. It's beautiful in God's ears right? I doubt they think so!

Anyway...I hate listening to the radio - they play the same songs OVER and OVER and those commercials (you can tell I live in the day of DVR) just about drive me over the edge. I've been searching for ways to listen to new music and I discovered the song channels on our TV. I guess that technically means the TV is on. . .but who is counting that? I also listen to the itunes radio stations. Some of them do have commercials, but they are few and far between and the diversity in songs is great. I've also been trying to accumulate new songs to put on my ipod. I have a docking station in my kitchen so I can listen to music when I am cleaning up or making dinner.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite songs right now. Consider it a sort of peek into my ipod playlist(although not all of these songs are on there unfortunately) and on a deeper level a peek into my life at this point:

-Unashamed Love Ten Shekel Shirt
-Your Love Is Extravagent Casting Crowns
-Love Is Not A Fight Warren Barfield
-Our Hope Endures Natalie Grant
-When The Saints Sara Groves
-Boston Augustana
-In Your Atmosphere John Mayer
-Down The Road Kenny Chesney
-I Am Nichole Nordeman
-Cry On Demand Ryan Adams
-Fifteen Taylor Swift
-Hiding Place Sara Groves
-Andrea Builders (this one is about my beautiful it makes me cry)

I always LOVE new songs and new artists. If you have any that I have to hear, please let me know!

Monday, February 09, 2009

i love...

Method cleaners. I found out about these amazing products from Megan. Read her post about them here. I have waited my whole adult life for these products. After years of dealing with the harsh chemical smells and dangerous bleaching capabilities of so many products (don't ask me how I know) I have found my cleaning love.

First of all, they smell amazingly fresh. Today I went to Target alone (my mom was giving me a break) and I literally stood in the Method aisle for 15 minutes just smelling them. I wanted them all. Every single one. I kept trying to justify spending that much money at one time. We could go without groceries for a week, right? That trash bill can wait, right? Unfortunately I had to leave many of those beautiful bottles behind. It was hard to choose, but finally I ended up walking away the proud owner of a wonderfully minty smelling tub and tile cleaner because I love my bath tub.

Secondly, these are the kind of products that literally make you want to clean. I am serious. You can't help it - something comes over you. Maybe it is the immense desire to smell that awesomeness all throughout your house. Who knows!? Anyway, all I know is that I was a cleaning machine tonight. My bathroom has never smelled so wonderful or looked so sparkly clean. And, I just walked back in there hours after the cleaning spree and it still smells good. Let me repeat that - it. still. smells. good.

Thirdly, well I don't really have a thirdly. Let me think.....ummm they are pretty. I mean they are packaged prettily (is that a word?) They look really cool in your hands when you are cleaning? I don't know. I just know they are awesome and you should go buy some.

By the way the only place I have seen them is Target which is just fine with me because I always love me some Target.


Thank you to all who have been praying for Lauren. It has been a stressful week for us and we have felt your prayers.

If we could ask just one more time for prayer, we need it! Lauren's doctor called today and wants us to come back in to her office tomorrow morning. She wants to do another catheter to see if the antibiotics are fighting the infection. Hopefully they are.

The other thing is that with infants as young as Lauren who have UTI's, there is the possibility that her urine is actually backing up in her kidneys. This is known as vesicoureteral reflux or our doctor called it urethral reflux. She is scheduling Lauren for an ultrasound of her kidneys. This will happen at the hospital. From what I understand they are planning on doing another catheter and will insert dye in to see where it travels. We are praying that it does not go into her kidneys.

I am choosing to believe that this is just a precautionary step and that Lauren's UTI will clear up with the antibiotics quickly. Please pray that all of the tests will come back negative!


We finally have a diagnosis for Lauren. After three visits to the doctor with a very sick little girl, the tests came back positive for a urinary tract infection. Our doctor called us at home yesterday to let us know that her urine had grown bacteria and it was a significant enough growth that she was positive that is what has been bothering our little girl. I can't tell you how relieved I was. Of course, I wish she wasn't sick at all, but knowing that there was a reason for those extremely high temperatures was a great feeling.

The doctor has her on an oral antibiotic and also a probiotic. Megan told me about the best probiotics out there, Primal Defense by Garden of Life, and so we got them at Akin's. We plan on continuing the probiotics after she finishes the antibiotics. They have a lot of great health benefits and hopefully they will keep her more healthy. I can already tell a big difference since she has been on the medicine; her temperature has gone down drastically and she seems less cranky.

Thanks for all the prayers and concerns for our little girl. We appreciate it so much!

Friday, February 06, 2009


Well, we were back at the doctor today. This time for 3 hours. Lauren has not stopped running a high fever for the past 4 days. Today when it hit 104.5 I knew that was enough, we needed to see the doctor again. When I talked to the nurse she agreed and told me the doctor wanted us to take Lauren to the lab for blood work before seeing her. Thank goodness Shawn was able to get off of work because those of you who know me well know that blood, needles, and anything gross like that just about does me in.

We got to the lab and I waited outside the room while two nurses tried to draw Lauren's blood from her tiny veins. Shawn helped hold her down. All I could hear were her screams and I was fit to be tied. When the nurse came out about 10 minutes after they had started and said that they still hadn't found a vein I almost lost it. I peeked in and saw her in Shawn's arms. She looked so upset and scared. They had to go get the main guy in their office to do it. Shawn said he got a vein on the first try.

Once we got that done, we waited to see the doctor. The blood work came back and her white blood cell count is really high. The doctor said she was definately fighting either a bacterial or viral infection. Since Lauren has NO other symptoms she wanted to do another urine test. This time she said they needed to do the catheter. She also wanted to go ahead and give her an antibiotic shot. After the tests and waiting about 20 more minutes the urinary test came back looking worse than the one they did on Wednesday. The doctor still won't call it an infection until the sample grows bacteria. We should know at our doctor appointment tomorrow if that is the official diagnosis.

It is so hard to see your little one sick. I hate it that she can't tell me what hurts and that she just can't get comfortable. Thanks for thinking of her and us during this little ordeal. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

lauren update

Well, we went to the doctor yesterday and had some tests run on Lauren. She is fighting a high fever with no other symptoms so the doctor wanted to check for a urinary infection. I was so worried they were going to use a catheter on her but the nurse said if I could feed her (thank goodness I nurse, b/c I had no bottle) that they would try this baggie thing to catch her urine before doing the catheter. It worked! After feeding her and holding her upright so if she peed it wouldn't run everywhere, they got a sample. The doctor thoroughly checked Lauren while the labs were being run and found nothing wrong with her. She has no congestion, her ears and throat looked great, and she had no drainage. She was even smiling and playing on the doctor bed with a 101.5 temperature. The labs came back and there was only one level that looked a little off. Our doctor didn't want to do the intense antibiotics to fight a urinary infection if that wasn't what she had, so she said for now they are just going to call it a virus. Nice. That left me with nothing.Last night she still had a temperature and this morning it was 102. I've been doing tylenol and trying to keep her cool but she just won't break the fever. I have a call in to the nurse this morning to see what I need to be doing.

She has been such a good sick little girl. She hasn't been too fussy. Mainly she just wants to be loved on. That is just fine with me. I'll hold her all day long if that is what she needs. Thanks for your prayers for Lauren. I feel guilty asking for prayer for her when there are so many babies out there who are critically ill but I am so very thankful.

it's bunko time, ladies

Tuesday night I had the best time with friends playing Bunko. If you haven't played before there isn't much skill involved. I think that is why I like it so much! You don't have to be good to win.

This is GayeAnn with "the ghost" whom she affectionately named Chris. They had some fun times that night!

Sheila and me at our table. We were on a winning streak and had to pause for a picture. I think we might have missed a round of play trying to get a good one. Ha, we are so weird!

Tammy and Kelly. Tammy has been playing for years but Kelly just started. We are so glad to have her! She is such a sweetie...even if we have to watch her constantly so she won't cheat! Love ya, Kelly!

Bunko was at Fran's house this month. She is on the left next to Kama. Fran made the best chocolate gooey cake thing. Yum!

Look at those ladies! Aren't they the cutest? That is Leslie and Autumn. Love the pose Leslie!

This is my Big Bunko! You can't really see it but there are 2 frogs and a 6! Oh yeah, I know how to roll 'em! A Big Bunko is any combination of 6's and frogs. It is a strange game.

Fran passing out the prizes. I don't think Kelly was paying attention because she was supposed to be drawing for the winner!

I won this awesome coffee (or tea for me) mug that says, "Too Blessed to be Stressed" and I LoVe it!!! I ended up having the last Big Bunko of the evening so yea for me!

There is just something so rejuvenating about spending an evening laughing hysterically with friends. It felt so good to let loose and have a blast. Being a stay at home mom is absolutely wonderful but I miss the interaction with people on a daily basis. Getting out and doing stuff for me helps me feel like I haven't lost touch with the world. I feel like a better mom for it.

What do you do for fun? If you stay home, do you feel the need to get out to help rejuvenate yourself? Am I the only one?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

sick girl

I have a sick little girl on my hands. This afternoon her temperature hit 104! I quickly called the doctor and we have an appointment at 4:30 today. She has no other sick symptoms so I am a little nervous. The nurse said her major concern was that she might have a urinary infection. They are going to have to try to get a sample of urine from her and I am not excited about that at all. Right now she is cashed out on my lap. I've given her tylenol and a luke warm bath to try to bring her temperature down, but she is still sooo hot. I hope we can figure out what is going on with her.

Go here to read a remarkable story on a sick little girl.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

prayer journal

I started a prayer journal in high school. I can't remember why, but I am so thankful that I did. Keeping a record of my life through the prayers I have prayed has been such a blessing. Anytime I need reassurance of God's mercy on my life, I look at the hundreds of prayers he has answered. Some of them are small and seem very silly now and some of them are huge and still leave me speechless.

Over the years it has been a great joy to use a prayer journal to document my journey with God. I don't write in it every day, but I do try to keep a regular list of prayers that are on my heart. Sometimes I bullet the specific prayers I have and other times I write to God from my heart. Each of these journals are very intimate to me. There are seasons of sin and sorrow as well as joy and worship. There are breaks in the dates where I have been the prodigal son. I've gone on to do my own thing only to run back to the Lord. Those return entries are some of the most meaningful to me. When I have been in the deepest pit of sin I've found courage and peace in writing out my prayers. When I have been on the highest mountain I have found joy and freedom in praising God on the pages of my journal.

One of the journals pictured above is actually a running book of letters to Lauren. I've been writing to her since the day she was born. Although it isn't actually a prayer journal, I use it to pray specific prayers over her life. I use it to share some of the things I've gone through, my hopes and dreams for her, and just to tell her over and over how very much I love her. I hope to give it to her some day so she can know how much she was wanted, loved, and prayed for. Maybe I'll give it to her when she is a teen and hates me. Oh, Jesus, please come back before then!

I am thankful that I have these documented prayers over my life. Some of the entries are hard to read - they take me right back to some dark times. It might be easy to slip back into that despair. The joy, however, is in realizing that I am no longer there. My prayers for deliverance and restoration have been answered! God cared about me enough pull me from the pit. He cared enough to pay for my sins and give me a clean heart. My past does not haunt me because He is my future.

Who am I that you are mindful of me, O Lord? You have proven time and time again that you are worthy of my worship. You have never left me - my journals are proof.

Monday, February 02, 2009

what we've been up to

One of my favorite things about having a baby girl is dressing her up for church. My mom got her this little pantsuit - seriously, how cute! Sorry about the leg showing, I'll talk to her about that!

Our heater went out one night and we ended up all sleeping on a mattress in the living room in front of the fire. We got out Lauren's mittens so she would stay warm.

We spend a lot of days in our pj's! I love getting down on the floor and playing with her. I feel like this time is so short and I just want to soak every single moment of it up. Did you notice she is holding her lipstick? Isn't that hilarious?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

3rd verse

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation

Philippians 2:14-15