Thursday, January 31, 2013

How we found out we were pregnant

We found out we were pregnant on Saturday November 24th, 2012. 

I’ve always dreamed about the day I would find out I was pregnant. You see women coming up with these cute and sometimes extravagant ways of telling her husband but our story is quite the opposite! If you haven’t already, be sure to read the post on why we starting “trying” before you read this. 

It seemed like all the listed symptoms for getting off the pill were the same symptoms for pregnancy so I was all sorts of nuts! Seriously birth control does crazy things to your body, I felt like an ex junkie the way my body was treating me (I also plan on writing about that because I felt lost when I got off the pill...not many resources out there). So, the week of Thanksgiving I was supposed to start my period and that came and went. I had a feeling I may be pregnant but honestly my body was so out of whack and the internet said that I could have a 35 day cycle coming off the pill so I wasn't ready to run out and pee on a stick. It feels weird admitting this but I was kind of excited when I woke up with nausea and had to run to the bathroom one morning. I’m pretty sure I could have taken a positive test any day that week but because of Thanksgiving and family in town, I decided to wait, knowing I wouldn't be able to keep it a secret and I wanted to be able to see the doctor before telling people. I was too anxious Saturday morning (family was leaving later that day) so I woke up and took a pregnancy test and it was negative. It was one of those cheap-o Dollar Tree tests that shows you 1 or 2 lines (heads up...pregnancy tests are expensive!) I immediately saw 1 line after about 2 seconds so I threw it away and cursed my body for not getting a period! Fast forward to a couple hours later…family was gone, Jon was putting up our Christmas tree and I was cleaning our guest rooms upstairs. I was emptying the trash when I thought to myself, wait…what if I didn't wait long enough for the results? I raced downstairs and fished the pregnancy test out of the trash in my bedroom and sure enough…it was positive, with 2 lines. I grabbed the box and read that you aren't supposed to read it a couple hours after you test so I took a Clear Blue Digital Test.

I have to mention that Jon and I talked about taking a test together to find out but we had already taken one a few weeks before when I was a day late and it was negative so I didn't want to be that crazy lady who wants to take one every month (honestly it was more sad being excited to take it with Jon and then find it was negative). I decided to take it on my own. I read the directions like I was studying for the MCAT and did my thing. A little time ticker came up on the screen while I waited and I was antsy so I went out to grab some laundry and chat with Jon. Y’all….this was the longest 3 minutes of my life! I ran back in the bathroom and saw the word PREGNANT and immediately started crying. It was such a surreal feeling that I've never experienced and doubt I ever will again. A baby was inside of me! It just didn't feel real. Marriage is huge, buying a house is huge, but making a human…GINORMOUS! I cried and laughed and prayed…until realizing I had no idea how to tell Jon. I wished I would have looked at Pinterest to find a cute way to tell him (or at least showered, put on makeup, or changed out of my PJs) but that didn't happen. I had to give myself a pep talk before walking into our family room to find Jon singing Christmas carols by the tree. I called his name and stuck out the test as he turned around and I immediately burst back into tears. Jon had the biggest smile on his face and tears in his eyes and said “I had a feeling!”. I remember saying “can you believe it” “are you happy” “does it really say pregnant”. We stood in the doorway for about 10 minutes hugging and crying before finally calming down. The next couple of hours were a blur, a perfect blur. Christmas lights, Christmas music, my husband, a sweet baby..and Ernie of course! We tried telling him he was going to be a big brother but I don’t think he understood. We got out my period app (thank goodness for those) and tried to calculate our due date. We talked about all the fun things we have coming up and how I am going to have a big belly in the summer. We got giddy when we realized we’d have a cute little baby on Halloween and Christmas next year. It was wonderful and a day I will never forget. The Lord is so faithful!


I had to take a picture to make sure it really DID say pregnant :-)
(btw for future pregnancies, I will only buy Clearblue tests, nothing like seeing those words rather than searching for a faint line)


Daddy to be!

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.
-1 Samuel 1:27


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When we decided to start "trying"

Baby Week Day 3!

I put the word trying in quotes because we weren't really trying. I think of actively trying as peeing on ovulation sticks and tracking all that good stuff. We just stopped preventing! 

Throughout the first year of our marriage, we went back and forth on when we wanted to start trying and never really came up with a date. Which I think is healthy. After our 1 year anniversary and buying our first home, we kinda talked about waiting until our 2nd year anniversary or after. We both agreed we didn't want there to be a deadline and we'd pray and follow the Lord's plan for our family. We didn't want to be living our life according to this timeline. We knew we'd never have taken enough trips, slept in enough, have enough money in our savings to satisfy, etc. Is anyone ever really ready for children?

You know those people who say you need to travel and do all these crazy things before you have kids? Well those are usually the people who didn't do that and are regretting it. Am I right?! (for those of you not married or newly married...beware...people get SO opinionated when you get married!). Jon and I took our first trip together after dating 3 months and have traveled since. It is something we feel blessed to be able to do and don’t want it to stop, even when our baby comes. So back to the house, waiting, etc. This past summer we came to the realization that there is never the perfect time! Like I said, you will never have enough experiences under your belt to prepare you for a baby. It is silly to sit here and say this is when we want a baby, this is when we want #2, and so on when we know ultimately it is not our choice.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.-Jeremiah 29:11

Jon will be 30 in April and even though age is just a number, we want a big family and knew we both wanted to be young. We decided that we would pray. We had left our home buying decision in the hands of the Lord and even the start of our relationship in His hands so we prayed for direction (read how God led us to buying our home, here). We said God, we aren't sure if we are physically ready just yet but please guide us down the path of parenthood on your timeclock. We felt spiritually ready as we continued to build the foundation of our family on the covenant we had with God and felt we were both becoming more solid and secure in our faith. My sister had our beautiful niece and Goddaughter on October 1st, 2012 and 2 weeks later, on my birthday, Jon and I decided to get off the pill. You are probably thinking I got baby fever from my niece (which is only partially true!) but it hit us like a ton of bricks. We were asking God for guidance and to fully take the reigns of our family plans yet we were still preventing it 99.9% with birth control. Because this baby (and all babies) are children of God, we wanted Him to choose when we would be parents, or IF we would be parents at all. We vowed that we wouldn't be that couple timing their sex or peeing on ovulation sticks and that we would let the Lord fulfill His plan.  Not to share too much but getting off the pill was the greatest thing for our sex life! It was, and is, so freeing (and fun!). We feel that in giving God our complete trust, He was rewarding us physically. 


What’s crazy is that some people are probably thinking 'well yeah of course you got pregnant a couple weeks after getting off birth control' but that is not our thinking at all. We know that GOD was the one to stir our hearts and make us realize we were trying to take fate into our own hands (by taking the birth control pill). We were meant to get pregnant when we did and have our first child in August 2013. If we wouldn't have listened to the Lord, who knows what would have happened? This baby is a true gift from the work of His hands. 1 Samuel 1:27 couldn't be more true in our livesI prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

I plan on sharing my experience with getting off birth control and tell you all the nitty gritty because I was so lost when I got off. I found that there weren’t many resources for symptoms, and boy did I have symptoms. That will definitely be a TMI/ girls only post!

From the day we found out we were pregnant, we have been thanking God for His goodness, faithfulness, and unfailing mercies. Parenthood is not a right, it is a gift and a privilege. I feel so privileged (and blessed) that the Lord has chosen me and Jon to parent one of His children on this earth. Our thanks will never be enough for the gift we will be receiving in August.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

13 weeks

Baby Week Day 2!


13 weeks, taken January 27th, 2013. 

(back in my non maternity tank that is getting pretty tight!)

Thoughts: I am excited to have entered my 2nd trimester and am praying for some sickness relief! Definitely found more energy and feeling more like myself. Biggest news of the week was announcing our pregnancy last Friday!

Baby: Baby Hart is 3 inches from crown to rump and the size of a peach. Baby is starting to grow hair which I am guessing he/she will come out with a ton, and eyebrows too. Vocal cords are complete and baby can cry (I'm glad I won't be hearing cries for another 6 months!). 

Weight: explained in depth yesterday, a total of 3lbs gained from 6 week appointment to last Friday (12w4d). My weight is very different when I weigh myself at the doctor than at the gym so I am sticking to the doctor. 

Symptoms: this week has been an extension of the round ligament pain in my tummy which is totally normal but very uncomfortable. Yesterday was 3 weeks since I started Zofran for vomiting and unfortunately I have regressed. The past 3 mornings I've got sick before I could take my meds so tonight I am going to experiment with a half pill before bed. It is safe every 8 hours but I was doing great on 1 pill in the morning. Baby Hart better not be this stubborn! It is common for sickness to last until 14-18 weeks but I am not counting on that.

Sleep: sleeping about 9 hours at night and getting up 2-3 times to use the restroom. The past few days I've also woken up from nausea and sometimes have to go eat a snack. I feel like I toss and turn a lot since not sleeping on my tummy is still new for me.

Cravings/aversions/eating: not really craving anything special this week but I have noticed how HUNGRY I am and once I start eating, I get full so easy. Then an hour later I am starving. I feel like there isn't much room in my tummy and I hear appetite will continue to decrease which is funny because most people think of pregnant ladies as eating 10 cheeseburgers in one sitting. We've been eating a lot of soup lately which is good and filling and trying to add some protein in. 

Workouts: it's been so beautiful outside and I have been trying to take advantage of that with long walks through our hilly neighborhood. Because I've been a little sore and ache-y, I have been a little tired at the gym but got 3 days of weights in. My workouts are slow and easy, it is nice to get my body moving and helps with the round ligament pain. 

Clothes: pretty much all my of non maternity clothes are still fitting...some more snug than others. Jeans are getting hard to deal with because they are tight in the waist so I just leave them unbuttoned most of the time. Tanks are tight and getting short but for the most part I have a lot of loose fitting/flowy tops and once it gets warmer, lots of dresses.

Random: I bought a fetal heart doppler last week (Sonoline B if you are interested) and was getting frustrated when I couldn't find the heartbeat on Wednesday night. Jon traveled most of the week and the second he got home on Thursday we tried to find the heart beat and BOOM, 156-169 bpm! Seriously God is so evident in every part of the this pregnancy... we were meant to hear the heartbeat together. I haven't used it since but hope we can listen about once a week (it can be hard to find because the baby is so small and wiggly). 

Doctor's visits: Friday morning (1/25/13) we had our 12 week appointment! Jon was gone all week so we were really 12w4d and actually measured 12w6d but they did not change our due date. We did a level II sonogram/ultrasound in the imaging center and the doctor said we should be able to find out the sex. My mom came with us and unfortunately our sonographer was cold and pretty rude and before we even started said she wouldn't tell us the sex. Part of the ultrasound was 3d and you would DEFINITELY be able to see something if she would have tried. Bummer, but it works out well because we go back on February 18th for the gender scan with our actual doctor and we are doing a gender reveal with our family on February 22nd! Baby was moving like crazy! We got a DVD of the sonogram and I will confess that we have watched it probably 10 times since. I uploaded it to Youtube if you want to watch and it's fun because I can watch it on my phone whenever I want. Baby Hart is a little gymnast and definitely takes after daddy's calves!! Hilarious!!!!! Heartrate was 156 BPM and Nuchal Translucency test came back at 1.8 which is wonderful (rules out 95% of all chromosomal disorders)! It is absolutely amazing to see how the baby went from a little gummy bear to an actual human looking baby. The head is still big and half the body but it looks so human like. Little arms, legs, ears, and eyes. A perfect walnut looking brain and functioning stomach and umbilical cord. Jon and I are both unbiased with the gender of our baby... we want lots of children and will probably have both eventually but know that our baby's gender (and future babies) are God's plan. We may be meant to have 5 boys or 7 girls, who knows. My mom has been team girl but the night before had a boy feeling so it was funny that during the scan, both she and Jon thought they saw boy parts. Now I know there are a million things it could be we watched the video so many times and it seems like there is something between the legs (which I know can be swollen girl parts) but so many people who watched it said boy! I will still be 100% shocked/surprised on the 18th though!!!!!! We met with the nurse, went over symptoms, meds, etc and everything checked out well!


Calves much?!


Embry is so excited for her little cousin!


13 week bump

Come back tomorrow for our story on why we started "trying" for baby Hart!




Monday, January 28, 2013

Weeks 0-12

Baby Week Day 1!


First of all....I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of love this past weekend! To have so many people to share this wonderful news with was just beyond what we could have ever imagined. Texts, comments, emails, tweets, voice mails... I have to say Friday was really special for me and Jon and we know it will get even better!

I am forewarning you that you will probably get sick of baby related posts this week but I have been bursting at the seams to share all of the wonderful details of our sweet baby Hart! We have been taking weekly pictures ever since finding out we were expecting and I am compiling all the photos up until now for you today.  I plan on documenting each week of pregnancy for my own record to look back on but also it is something I love reading on other blogs so I hope you follow along! 

Before posting the fun stuff I will say that pregnancy has been rough for me but absolutely, positively, 100% worth it. Baby Hart has been a little difficult on mama so I hope that means he/she is getting their misbehaving out before August. Morning sickess was all day every day sickness and I have been on prescription Zofran since week 10 and it has been a life saver (a little regression at week 13, more tomorrow). What's funny is anyone in my situation may feel like it is the end of the world and never want another baby but I can honestly say I have really enjoyed it. God's way of showing me my baby is healthy and growing! I just pray future Hart babies will be easier on their mama!

I will definitely be sharing our "getting pregnant" story but for now I will tell you that it did not take long at all (praise God!). I am SO glad we decided to take a picture pre pregnancy because knowing my body will most likely never look the same, I can have something to look back on and be somewhat proud of haha. We took this picture on October 21st, 2012, we had been off birth control for 2 weeks so anything was all fair game. I love watching my belly grow and don't get sad looking at these pictures except for the fact that I am a paper white ghost compared to October! Well either I am super tan at the beginning or pregnancy sickness has taken all color out of me! 

(also, I have two 2nd degree burn scars on my left forearm from a show down with the oven earlier this year... they are 100% healed but still plainly obvious)


4 weeks, taken November 25th, 2012. The finding out we were pregnant (11/24/12) story will come later this week. I was also rocking a sinus/cold funk which made the first week of pregnancy not so enjoyable! I remember thinking, am I really holding a positive pregnancy test?! Baby are you in there??


5 weeks, taken December 2nd, 2012. Still in shock that my son/daughter is inside of me! Feeling blessed as ever and happy to be over the cold funk (and without pregnancy symptoms yet!)


6 weeks, taken December 9th, 2012, is when we noticed the belly really starting to change! I love it! I basically wanted to have a 6month bump right away. Bye bye abs, see you....??


7 weeks, taken December 16th, 2012 with our very first sonogram (12/10/12). We got to see our baby the very day the heart started beating! God's providence people! Oh and this week we started suspecting it was twins...look at that belly! (it is only one baby though!)


8 weeks, taken December 23rd, 2012, the day before we told my family. This week morning sickness all the time sickness caused the belly to shrink (sad face, I love my belly!) and major weight loss. Despite being sick as a dog, I was giddy with excitement to tell our families on Christmas Eve about baby Hart!


9 weeks, taken December 30th, 2012. Unfortunately getting sicker and the belly is disappearing... I am also super pale! We saw our little baby the day after Christmas and he/she was perfect! The changes and growth in just 2 weeks is unbelievable! Our munchkin looked like a little gummy bear and we cried seeing how strong the heartbeat was. 


10 weeks, taken January 6th, 2013 after the worst morning all the time sickness week thus far. I dropped to my lowest weight ever and finally got prescribed Zofran which changed my life! I was also battling a nasty cold/sinus thing again.


11 weeks, taken January 13th, 2013. I am definitely rocking the ghost tan and boy is that belly growing! After a few days of solid eating and keeping food down...poof, the tummy was back. And I love it! It's definitely bigger at night when I've eaten 3+ meals and I am finally gaining some weight.


12 weeks, taken January 20th, 2013. So you may be able to tell I am wearing a maternity tank top. I bought a few from Old Navy and wore it because I couldn't find my other (that was getting pretty tight anyway) but my pregnancy brain found it a day later! Feeling good, some cramping here and there but for the most part lots more energy.



13 week update to come tomorrow!

Since we waited a long time to share the news on my blog, there is a lot of detail I want to keep track of. 3 months and lots of changes!

Weight: all over the place! I lost a significant amount of weight getting off birth control (6lbs, even though I didn't gain weight getting ON the pill 3 years ago) so I wasn't sure of my starting weight. I was the lowest weight I have been in probably 10-12 years at my 6 week appt but then getting sick caused even more weight loss. I am going to use my 6 week weight as starting and on Friday at my 12 week appointment I was up 3lbs (still about 3lbs below my normal, still on birth control weight, but doctor is just happy I am gaining). 

Symptoms: I felt great from the day we found out until 6 weeks, that's when our little baby started really growing (aka getting me sick and tired). Nausea & vomitting would wake me up in the mornings and stay strong until bedtime. There were days I would throw up 3 times and days where I wouldn't at all. At week 10, I would vomit 5-6 times a day and threw in the towel and got prescribed Zofran. What a help! I take it first thing in the morning and supplementing with Vitamin B6 twice daily. More on this tomorrow but at the end of week 12, vomiting started up again, despite being on Zofran. Tiredness- honestly I couldn't get enough sleep! I work full time in an office and it was to the point where I would sleep in my car on my lunch break. 14 hours of a sleep wasn't enough...growing a baby is hard work! Around week 9-10 I stopped naps during the day and could survive on 9-10 hours a night. Sore boobs- wowzas! I literally had to hold my chest walking up the stairs (even wearing a bra) for weeks 5-7. They were sore to the touch, sore to movement, and sore just existing! Now the soreness comes and goes. Metallic taste- this is 100% normal and was on and off for the first couple of weeks. Using the bathroom- it wasn't extraordinarily bad at the beginning because I used the bathroom a lot before but around week 10-11, I noticed myself getting up in the middle of the night 3-4 times. Or I will empty before I go to sleep and in 20 minutes I am full again. I know it will just get even worse haha. Constipation- TMI but it is bad. My pregnancy has been so textbook as to when certain symptoms start. It has been super glamorous let me tell ya! Cramping- starting at about 10 weeks, I started having period like cramps which is totally normal, especially for smaller women, because your uterus is growing and ligaments are stretching. At times it feels like I just did a million sit ups and need to stretch my tummy. I know this is 100% normal.

Sleep: like I said above, first trimester I couldn't get enough of it! I savored our winter weekends that we had nothing planned because I'd wake up after 12 hours of sleep, have some breakfast, do some things around the house and then go back for a nap. The first week of my pregnancy I had the flu funk (didn't get tested but it was something) and couldn't breathe so it's like my body was prepping me for NOT sleeping on my stomach, which is the only way I knew how to. So since the day I found out, I have attempted to sleep on my back and side (I only have a few more weeks where it is safe for me to sleep on my back). Jon got me a body pillow for Christmas and I have been using that but it's hard because Ernie wants to cuddle between my legs. I am good without a nap during the day but try to get 9 hours of sleep at night, I am pretty wiped by 9 or 930p.

Cravings/aversions: nothing too extreme but food has to sound really good to me to eat it. It has been hard because I bring my lunch to work and sometimes what I brought just sounds disgusting. I have had some aversions to meat, specifically chicken, but enjoyed a few Chick Fil A sandwiches :-). Random things I've been wanting are mac and cheese, cheese sticks, anything carb-y/salty, red meat, cereal. I am normally a big fruit person and there would be days that the thought of fruit would make me wanna throw up. I laugh because I would come home from the grocery store with the most random things... white cheddar popcorn, 3 cans of pringles, fig newtons...hungry pregnant women shouldn't be allowed to grocery shop!

Workouts: pre pregnancy I taught Zumba, did yoga and hit the weights 3 days a week and I assumed I would have to modify just a bit during pregnancy (yeah I was wrong!). The first 2 weeks of pregnancy I felt great and continued my workouts, sans abs or flat on my back moves but then I got struck with a terrible sinus/allergy/flu thing, tiredness, and all the time sickness, I took lots of time off. It's crazy because I know part of the weight loss was due to vomiting but also because I wasn't lifting weights. When I do have the energy to work out, I do less weight and less intensity than pre pregnancy because I get very winded! I try to do something active most days of the week (at least a walk with Ernie) but sometimes I don't feel like it. I am proud of myself for getting on average about 3 workouts in a week (minus the sick weeks)

Doctor's visits: we thought we were farther along at the beginning so we got to go at 6 weeks and then again at 8 weeks and got a sonogram both times. Our doctor does sonos at almost all appointments and last Friday (12w5d) we had a 3d sonogram which I will share with you tomorrow! 




What a difference 2 weels can make! The baby went from a little Pac Man to a gummy bear with little arms and legs. All the nurse could say at the beginning was "look at that strong heart beat!". Cue tears and hand squeezes between me and Jon. 



Tomorrow you'll get a peek at our 3D sonogram in my 13 week update! Later in the week I have the stories of why we started trying when we did, how we found out we were pregnant, and telling our family. Hope you stick around!

P.S. I am going to try to respond to comments an emails in the next few days, we were so overwhelmed with love and support that I am anxious to start responding! Sorry if it takes a few days. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Coming in August








Yes it's true! Jon and I are overjoyed that the Lord has chosen us to become parents. 1 Samuel 1:27 holds true, we prayed for this child and the Lord granted us our prayers. Our cups runneth over! We got to see our little bundle in 3D this morning (12 weeks 4days) and everything is perfect! Baby was moving around like crazy, kicking, flipping, with a strong heartbeat. We are so excited to share this news with you and covet your prayers and well wishes as we embark on this beautiful journey. 

Love, 

Jon, Ruthie, Ernie & Baby Hart

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Randoms

Hi friends. I am excited this post has the word Wednesday in it because it feels like the beginning of the week. Monday was a holiday and I was off work and I don't get on the computer on my days off (glorious!). 

So what's been going on in the Hart household lately?

Last Friday night we saw Django and it was incredible. I saw my first Tarantino movie about a year ago (Inglorious Basterds) and knew this one would be nothing short of intensity and gore but I really wanted to see it. If you know me at all, you know I really dislike going to the movie theater...I don't like sitting still or being quiet and would much rather see a movie in the comfort of my own home so it has got to be a good one for me to go. And we always go to the Alamo Drafthouse because you can eat while you watch. So back to the movie... it was a beautiful, heart breaking, and redeeming story. I looked away about 40% of the time because Mr. Tarantino tends to exaggerate. If you haven't seen it, you need to. And we are also obsessed with Chrisoph Waltz now... he was finally a good guy!

I work out at 24 Hour Fitness here in Austin and most of the locations are sponsored by Lance Armstrong. Well... over Christmas, each of them shut down for a week and stripped the walls of everything Lance and now these signs litter the locker rooms and weight rooms haha.

I'm sorry I have had enough of him. I watched 2 minutes of his Oprah interview and deleted it. What a rotten role model for people all over the world. Not that this and doping are related but he has always been an open atheist and I have never really been a fan of his. 

You know that old saying, you reap what you sow? Well folks, it is written plain and simple in the book of Psalms. I love uncovering common truths written in the bible.


I am excited to be a part of Influenster's VoxBox program and loving the new Palmolive Fresh Infusions dish soap they sent me. Who doesn't love free stuff AND coupons?!



I hate wine. Sorry to offend you wine-os but I despise the taste and can really only stomach a super sweet Moscato. But that doesn't stop me from buying cute labeled wine. This was for a house warming party on Saturday.



Why is Jon more fashionable than me?! Seriously, he has great style! Instagram darkened the color of his shorts but they are a coral/salmon from Target. And Jon lives in his Sanuk slip ons (has multiple pairs) and they are my favorite guy-shoes. Hello calves....

Sunday night felt like Saturday night since I was off on Monday...score! Jon had some meetings out of town Monday so I did my own thing and had the perfect mix of a productive/relaxing day. This pic is on our pallet upstairs we make out of couch cushions and tons of blankets, perfect for finally watching some Breaking Bad (we are halfway through season 3).



Monday night I met up with Chelsea and Annie, who was visiting from Michigan! We ate and chatted for 3 hours and could have easily stayed another 3. I love when blog friends turn into your real friends.

If you saw our episode of House Hunters you probably thought I was crazy for wanting matching fixtures but I must ask you... who doesn't?! 9 months later we are finally changing out our nasty gold door handles with something made in the 21st century. Money well spent!



And my dad took this of Ernie last night... we haven't gotten a good snaggle pic in a while. He is a nut.



Tonight is my 2nd to last week with my small group and we will be finishing up Beth Moore's Esther. What a great couple months it has been sharing community and the word with new and old friends. 


What's been random in your life?


Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Favorite Banana Bread


I have been making this bread for years and it never fails me! I buy bananas every week and freeze them when they get mushy and brown (although Jon will eat mush bananas...gross!) so I always have bananas on hand for recipes.

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed bananas

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 
3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and mashed bananas. Stir until fully combined
4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan
5. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown


Friday, January 18, 2013

The Lamb

I know I'm not alone when I say that 99% off the time, I cry during worship at church. Worship is one of the main ways I connect and serve the Lord and our church band is beyond captivating. Now I am not sobbing but tears well and fall simply because I am in awe day after day of the undeserving love and grace that Christ bought for us. Something that seems to bring me so much reality is when songs refer to Jesus as the lamb of God. The lamb that was destroyed and annihilated for my daily choice of sin. 

Throughout the Old Testament you learn that Israelites sacrifice lambs not only during Passover but as continued offerings. I remember telling Jon how sad and uncomfortable the blood offerings made me feel (I cry watching Planet Earth and seeing a visual of the circle of life). But the Lord God knew the people needed to learn about blood offerings before He sent Jesus to atone for their sins. Then Isaiah, who foretold the coming of Christ, says that Jesus is the Lamb of God who would be given as a sacrifice for not only the nation of Israel, but the whole world. It's amazing to think how intricately the bible is woven together. Small details, names, and numbers in the Old Testament are shown as perfect signs of God's providence in the New Testament (and in my life today). Like I said above, animals are precious beings in my eyes so thinking of a tiny, snow white lamb, who has lived a short life knowing no sin shedding blood in my name is heartbreaking. Not as heartbreaking as Jesus, fully man, fully God, doing the same. Remember in the Old Testament when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son and he laid Isaac up on the altar and God stopped him? That also makes me sick to my stomach knowing that God would later watch His perfect baby boy die a slow, painful death. It wrecks me, and humbles me, day after day after day.

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! - John 1:29

Romans 6:23 tells us for the wages of sin are death...very serious and very harsh. But friends, there is beauty in that blood of Jesus!! We are no longer captive by sin but free in Christ. The lamb that died to free Israel, and died to free me. The most perfect sacrifice.


And I wanted to share a few of my favorite Christian songs as of late...

Your Great Name (my favorite version sung by our worship leader, Jimmy McNeal, who was on American Idol a few years ago). The lyrics say worthy is the lamb that was slain for us. 


Jesus Paid It All -"praise the one who paid my debt"


Hallelujah, Tenth Avenue North- "Hallelujah for the blood fo the lamb that was slain" and "You took our sin inside Your wounds, Your wounds we hide away"




Is there a topic, phrase, or words in the bible that no matter how often you hear them, wreck and humble your heart?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Leader of the pack

If you've read my blog for more than 2 seconds, you'd know that Jon and I are crazy about our first born fur-child, Ernie, the French bulldog. If you've met him before than you'd know that a great phrase to describe him is "Ernie, party of 1". He is so much fun yet so darn stubborn. He is a great listener and very obedient when he wants to be, but then knows exactly how to push our buttons. I take full responsibility for being the mushy, forgiving one out of me and Jon because you can tell he definitely respects Jon more, and tends to obey him way more than he does me. 

Lately, we've been having issues with Mr. Ernie when people come into our home. He will absolutely flip out and bark and the second they walk in, he is bouncing off the walls, jumping up on their legs and occasionally giving them the slightest nip, usually on the leg. It is incredibly embarrassing for me because it is a new change in his behavior. We finally put our foot down last weekend when he nipped our friend's leg when she came over. I hate blaming it on anything but him but Jon thinks it's because he is traveling so much that Ernie feels the need to be the dominant one in his absence. It's weird because it takes Ernie a few minutes to calm down and then he is good with our guests...it's just the very beginning that makes him go wild. Bulldogs also have the inborn desire for dominance that Jon and I felt like we did a good job of nipping in the bud early on.


I mean, you can't get any cuter than this...but I am so annoyed by his behavior. 




In the past few weeks I have tried locking him away in his crate (that we only use for time out) when I know people are coming over and giving him time to cool off but I don't want to have to do this forever. Jon's mother has always owned her own dog training and grooming business so Jon grew up around all sorts of dogs and situations. He has been doing lots of research and we are taking lots of recommendations from Cesar Milan on how to be the 'leader of the pack'. Ernie absolutely loves walks but he pulls and pulls, again- a sign of dominance. Since we've been doing some dominance exercises at home, I took him on a walk yesterday and already noticed a huge difference! He stayed by my side and only pulled 1-2 times. BIG improvement. He is starting to learn who's boss :-).

So anyone have advice for me? Ernie is such a delight and I love almost everything about him, I just know this needs to change ASAP. 



Monday, January 14, 2013

Husband hoarding

This weekend I was a hoarder of my husband. He got home about 630p on Friday night (with Ninfa's take out in hand... best part of him coming home is he always surprises me with food...guess its not a surprise anymore but he always gets different places and won't tell me) and I didn't want to leave his side for the next 48 hours. Obsessive much? Haha. We did get out and have lunch with friends on Saturday and church on Sunday but I was fully ready for a hermit husband weekend. He's all mine and who says I have to share him, right?! He even complied when I said we needed a selfie since he hadn't shown his face on Instagram lately. 



I know I've talked about it on my blog before but I rarely laugh out loud at movies or shows. It baffles Jon because I can leave a movie theater and say that was the funniest thing ever, yet I didn't make a peep the whole time. But there are those few things that really get me going. We have discovered Betty White's Off Their Rockers and I swear I must burn 1000 calories watching the 30 minute episodes because I can't.stop.laughing. Have y'all seen it? Oh man... it kills me! I love old people... and I love pranks. It's also funny how being 6 years apart has really put us in different generations growing up... meaning we didn't watch the same movies. I love this because Jon has introduced me to so many great 80's movies that I just A. was too young to watch or B. grew up with sisters and watched lots of Disney/girlie movies. Some of my favorites he's shown me are Uncle Buck and Groundhog's Day and as of yesterday... Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I was just a mess of laughter, I love John Candy! Gosh and movies back in the day were so simple and genuinely funny (without having to use the F word every 3 words or tons of inappropriate sexual innuendos). We watched about 10 minutes of the Golden Globes and realized we really need to start seeing current movies, I just prefer waiting for Netflix than going to the theater. We meant to see Django this weekend but forgot. 

OH... and I finally got around to organizing all my photos on Photobucket and poof... they disappeared from my blog. I've been working on getting them back up so please let me know if you find a page with missing pictures. Urgh. 

One more funny thing. We were talking about pets this weekend and how I feel like we are a 1 dog family. If it weren't for Jon being highly allergic to cats, he would want some because he loves them, I just had a bad experience in college and despise them. He is also allergic to rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters) which is awesome because hello who didn't beg for a gross little rodent in about 3rd grade? I also said no amphibians or reptiles which Jon was bummed about because he loves lizards, iguanas, etc. One thing I will allow is fish. Before I met Jon he had a big tank of all sorts of cool fish and has a big interest in marine life (we always try to go to an aquarium when we go somewhere new). He and his dad shared this love. So Jon starts telling me about all these types of goldfish (who knew there were so many) and I about died when he showed me a picture and told me this goldfish has a great personality. WHAT?! It showed pictures of owners taking them out of their water and petting them and playing with them. I told Jon... FYI I am posting about this on the blog... the fact that you told me certain goldfish are known for their stellar personalities. Boy oh boy do I love my husband!!!!!!!!!!!

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