Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's official...

I can now go into labor. Baby H's room is completely done, including all the washing and folding and organizing of her newborn-3 month clothing (so much pink :) ). Her hospital bag is packed. My hospital bag is packed, except for some last minute toiletries to throw in and the camera. The bassinet is put together and space has been cleared out in our room for it (now I just need Mark to carry it up the stairs). My upstairs has been vaccumed. The wood floors downstairs have been swept and mopped. The refrigerator has been purged and cleaned. The bathrooms have all been given a good once over. The kitchen is clean. Homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (my favorite cookie, in case anyone ever needs to know) are in the freezer. Overdue thank you notes have been written. I saved Mark's favorite new sweatshirt that I thought I had ruined (thank God for Oxiclean). And I only have one cute shirt left.

And just because this blows my mind that this is where we were almost exactly one year ago, a photo.

Monday, January 28, 2008

When it rains...

it pours, doesn't it? After my week last week, I was really petitioning the Lord for a brand new start on Sunday morning. Not so much. Markus had developed quite the junky cough over the previous two days, so we decided to stay home from church. We both took a good, long morning nap, which was really nice. When Mark got home from church I left to go visit my dad for a few hours. We had a nice visit and it was great to see him doing so well. I returned home and Mark left for a meeting at church. When it came time for Markus to go to bed, I noticed he felt a little warm. I took his temp- 99. No biggie. A little Tylenol and off to bed. But he wasn't having it, which is unusual. I ended up laying with him for 45 minutes until he fell asleep. I did some minimal picking up around the house, Mark came home with ice cream (thank you!) and then we went to bed. At 11 pm Markus woke up and the cry was totally unusual. I went in to check on him, picked him up, and realized he was shaking uncontrollably and burning up. I knew it was the chills, but he had never had them before and they were fierce. Pretty soon his breathing became very labored- around 50 breaths per minute, and the shaking was getting worse. I called the consulting nurse and she told me to take him in right away. Meanwhile, he started coughing so bad he threw up all over Mark. We got him cleaned up and bundled and headed off to Mary Bridge. After about 4 hours, a chest x-ray, a bunch of Pedialyte and Tylenol we were sent home. A virus. But his fever had spiked from 100 to above 104 in less than two hours, which explained the breathing and shakes. As we were leaving the hospital, we walked right by the entrance to Labor and Delivery. It was everything I could do to not just walk in there and beg them to induce me right then and there. It had already been an insane 5 days, why not add one more thing? Needless to say, I am feeling a little (understatement) drained right now and wondering how God is going to prepare me to deliver a baby in the coming weeks. But I know that He is faithful and that His timing is perfect. I am clinging to that tonight.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A funny

I have quite the misshapen belly button these days. Today, Markus saw it as I was changing. He walked over, patted it and said "ouch". You have no idea, kid.

Our great God

Yesterday started out quietly for me. Mark was out running errands, Markus was at Abu and Papa's and I was committed to doing a whole lot of nothing and recovering from my Thursday. I called my mom in the afternoon to check on Markus (who had just come in from feeding the "gocks"- ducks) and asked mom if Markus could stay one more night. I still felt very wiped out and lethargic. She said she wasn't planning on bringing him home until the next day anyways- which I kind of what I had figured. I hung up the phone and went back to eating an apple. 20 minutes later, Mark called. He said "Honey, I have to go to your parents' house to pick up Markus. Your dad is having a heart attack." Um, what? Three weeks ago Dad had a stent put into an artery that was 100% blocked. The doctor at that time said it was an absolute miracle he made it to that procedure. We thought we were in the clear. I quickly packed up some stuff (it's amazing how adrenaline can take away all your lethargy and discomfort in the matter of seconds) and got in a car to head to the hospital. Meanwhile, my mom was in an ambulance with my dad, my parents' best friend Rich was at the house with Markus (who mercifully had just been put down to take a nap when my dad's heart attack began), my brother was trying to figure out how he was going to get to the hospital (he doesn't drive) and my sister-in-law was in an airport in Portland. I got to the hospital just as my dad was being prepped in the cath lab after a brief visit to the ER. I was able to hold his hand, say a brief prayer in his ear, kiss his cheek and tell him I loved him. I still hadn't cried. I walked out of the room, turned the corner, and collapsed in tears. Mom and I had a good cry together and then went into "wait mode". Crying and carrying on would do us no good at that point- we just had to wait and see. We sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half. Boo and Katie took a cab to the airport while Dawn was able to get on an earlier flight from Portland. They were able to meet her there and the three of them headed down. Mark arrived at my parents' house as Markus was waking up from his nap. The doctor came out, told us that the artery that was 100% blocked three weeks ago was once again 100% blocked, leading to the heart attack. Apparently the stent wasn't doing it's job properly. They put in another stent, and dad is expected to make a full recovery. The doctor told us he wouldn't have lasted another hour without medical intervention. PRAISE GOD he was aware enough of what was going on to alert my mom immediately so she could call 911, give him Nitro, etc. 20 minutes later we met him in his room in ICU- he was already joking around with the nurses. Today he has been allowed to get up and walk around a bit and will be going home on Monday.

The theme of my week, as you have seen through my posts, has been the truth that God always goes before us, is always with us and always knows what's ahead of us. As I was driving to the hospital, I had no words with which to pray. I just kept saying "Please, Lord, please, Lord" over and over again. I had the radio on, and one of my favorite songs came on. I blasted it and sang at the top of my lungs, my heart crying out to the God who has so mightily revealed Himself to me in so many ways throughout the week, the God who had been in fact preparing me for this very day, this very moment. Here are the song lyrics. May the words God gave to Aaron Shust be as encouraging and inspiring to you as they were to me.

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my savior

I take him at his word and deed
Christ died to save me this I read
And in my heart I find a need
For him to be my savior

That he would leave his place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my savior

My savior loves, my savior lives
My savior's always there for me
My God he was, my God he is
My God he's always gonna be

Yes, living, dying; let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring
That he who lives to be my king
Once died to be my savior

That he would leave his place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my savior

My savior loves, my savior lives
My savior's always there for me
My God he was, My God he is
My God he's always gonna be

Friday, January 25, 2008


So my day yesterday was every bit as "interesting" as I knew it was going to be. I was in excruciating pain for parts of the day- NO WORRIES- BABY H IS FINE. I treated myself to soup and salad and a good book at the Olive Garden. I sat in two doctor's offices. I sat at the DMV for over an hour. I enjoyed a brief, encouraging coffee date with my husband. I laid on my couch for four hours. I took two showers and a bath. I went to Target. I bought baby H a pink hoodie at an awesome baby consignment store for 3 bucks.
And you know what? God did go ahead of me in all of those things. And He was with me during all of those things. He showed Himself in amazingly different ways. At the Olive Garden, through a kind hostess who sat me at a table in the direct, warm, beautiful sunshine because she said she thought I would enjoy it (and I did). Through a gracious medical assistant who comforted me and held my hand. Through a kind woman who held a door open for me. Through my husband who offered to cancel a rehearsal for me. Through an adorable old couple at the DMV who I didn't even speak to, just watched (you gotta love old couples that still hold hands. And this woman had to be at least 80 and she was wearing leggings and Ugg boots. Awesome). Through a woman at the bank telling me that I looked beautiful at almost 38 weeks- and small :). Through my parents who picked up Markus and kept him for the day and night- and enjoyed him thoroughly. God was with me. I am so grateful that I know Him. That I can turn to Him throughout my day and with the utmost confidence know that He hears me.

And now on a much less serious note, a story about my boys. Mark has discovered that boy "gross out noises" (as I like to call them) send Markus into hysterics. One of Markus' favorites is when Mark does his fake throw up sound. Yes, Pastor Mark does an amazing fake throw up sound. It literally makes me gag. Anyways,here's some pics from dinner the other night when Mark and Markus were being boys together. Markus could barely breathe he was laughing so hard.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good morning

When I awoke this morning, I was not looking forward to my day at all. First of all, another night of really crummy sleep, and I was up at 5 am with no hopes of going back to bed. My day is so full today that I know there is no chance for a nap today either, so that is always a bummer. I got ready and came downstairs, grabbed a bowl of cereal, and sat down to have my quiet time. And the Lord completely changed my perspective on my day. He reminded me, again, that He always goes before me. That He has never failed me before, and will never do so in the future. That as long as my eyes are focused upon Him, I will not be dismayed. That He is the Great Physician. That His Word is true and alive and life-giving and worth all of my attention and heart. That I am not alone. That He is my Provider.

That, my friends, makes for a good morning (and this picture of my sweet boy doesn't hurt either :) ).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A few baby shower pics

I haven't downloaded my pics yet, so here's a couple courtesy of my sister-in-law, Dawn.

Somewhere in the world...

it is a completely normal time to be awake. In Washington, however, it is 3 am. Not the most reasonable of times to be awake for no apparent reason (other than being 37 weeks pregnant) and eating a bowl of cereal. But here I am, and there's not much I can do about it.
Yesterday two wonderful friends from church thew a lovely shower for me and baby girl. I was overwhelmed (as I always have been when it comes to showers) with the generosity and excitement of the people who attended. I certainly came home with plenty of pink! There was a beautiful cake made by my awesome and talented friend Jodi, wonderful food (you've gotta love a shower with a chocolate fountain and all the fixings to dip!) and great fellowship. A woman whom I absolutely love and has become a precious part of our family, Beckie, prepared a devotion that was so encouraging to me. It was based on Psalm 118:14 "The Lord is my strength and my song; and He has become my salvation". I will treasure the words she shared with us in my heart for a long time, and pray this verse over both my children. It was such a blessing to be at that shower and look around and reflect on all the great relationships the Lord has blessed me with in our relatively short time at our church and in our community. I was especially delighted that some of my friends from my community who don't even attend our church were able to be a part of that wonderful group of ladies today, as well as my mom, sister-in-law, sister-in-law's mom and my neice. I would love to post some pictures, but my camera is in my purse. And my purse is in the backseat of my mom's car. And my mom's car is at her house. Guess where I'm going after church tomorrow?
I think Markus is starting to get that things are different- or are certainly going to be very soon. He has been quite the daddy's boy the last few days. Mark has been great about spending lots of time with him on his off days lately so that I can either get things done and/or rest. Yesterday they spent a few hours at Costco and Safeway together while I picked up the house and got ready for my shower. Not two minutes after they returned home it was time for me to leave for the church. Two weeks ago, me leaving after Markus had already been away from me for so long would have definitely put him in tears. When I said goodbye to him yesterday, however, he just raised his right arm over his head (the standard Markus wave) and said bye. No tears. Really no reaction at all. When I returned home from the shower he seemed happy to see me, but not super clingy like usual when I get home from being away from him. Our friend Jeremy was over with Abigail (6 months) and I gave her a bottle shortly after walking in the door and Markus didn't even flinch. I'm taking that as a good sign! My boy is growing up and not "needing" me as much (or so he thinks :) ).
I think that's all for now. I'm going to go back to bed and try to fall asleep. We'll see :).

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm awake, are you?

It's 4:30 am. I really haven't slept tonight. But really, it's okay, because the two previous nights I actually slept for 7 consecutive hours each- a record by far in recent weeks! Granted it was due to the fact that I took a sleeping pill each night and Markus was at Abu and Papa's house (thank you!!!!), but I'll take it. So what else to do at 4:30 am but eat a bowl of Raisin Bran and update your blog?
I am getting super excited to meet this little girl. Pregnancy is an absolute miracle, and I love to feel her moving around inside of me. But I'm definitely at the point where I want to hold in her my arms, kiss her little face and see those precious baby feet. I can't wait to see what she looks like. We continue to talk her up big time to Markus. He knows where the baby's room is and continues to love on and kiss everyone else's babies, so I think he's about as prepared as he possibly could be at this point. I think Mark and I are pretty prepared too. Her room is pretty much done, I have purchased some newborn diapers and I have a baby shower coming up this weekend (thanks Michelle and Guida!). We'll fill in our needs after the shower and then it's just more nesting until she arrives! I have tackled organizing the kids' bathroom, the hall closet, Markus' big boy room and the baby's room recently. I also updated a shelf in our living/dining area with some homemade accents- it looks great. I'll post a picture soon. I'll get one of of her room soon too. Still itching to tackle our closet, our entertainment center, Markus' toys (we need to do a little purging there), the pantry/living room and the freezer and fridge.
Markus continues to delight and challenge me daily. He is quite the personality and for the most part has me laughing and smiling throughout our days together. He is showing quite the toddler side which definitely makes for challenging moments (and sometimes days). It is fun to hear his language continue to develop and see his understanding of the world around him grow daily. I can't wait to see him as a big brother.
It's 4:45. I have to officially be awake by 7 for an early doctor's appt this morning. I'm going to attempt to lie back down now and see if maybe I can fall asleep for just a bit :).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

God's Word

I am so thankful for God's Word. In a season of parenting that has been bringing some significant challenges, I am so thankful that I have His Word to turn to and be refreshed and encouraged through. While I was reading today, I stopped to pray. I begged God for wisdom. As I continued in the reading plan I was using, this is what I discovered (from Prov 2):
6For(A) the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is(B) a shield to those who(C) walk in integrity,
8guarding the paths of justice
and(D) watching over the way of his(E) saints.
9(F) Then you will understand(G) righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11(H) discretion will(I) watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12delivering you from the way of evil...
What a gracious God.

And here's a photo, just for good measure.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Our obsession. Animals. The kid enjoys trucks and blocks and trains, like any other almost two year old should. But really what he LOVES are animals. And as of late, the obsession has morphed into grouping them all together in random places. And if one is lying down, all are lying down. If one is standing up, all are standing up. He received a set of wild animals in a little clear zippered bag from Abuelita (my grandma) for Christmas and during anytime that MJ is awake those animals are out and about. Here's some proof.


Mark asked me yesterday if I had any New Year's goals/resolutions. My response? Survive. And hopefully sleep at some point :). Seriously, it's hard for me to set any concrete goals for the upcoming year as I know our whole world will be turned upside down in a matter of weeks (yes, weeks). I have no idea what life will bring as we had a completely new person to our team. But I don't want to go through the year completely unfocused, either. So I think if I have any sort of goal it would be to GROW. Grow in my relationship with Christ. Grow in my relationship with Mark. Grow in my understanding of who I am and who I am becoming (after all, 2008 is the year I turn 3-0). Grow as a mama. Grow as a friend. Grow as a neighbor. Grow as a servant. Grow as a daughter and sister. Sure, there's no way to measure this, which technically doesn't make it a goal. But it's my focus for the year 2008. Hopefully at the end of 2008, I will be able to look back at the many different facets of my life and say that in each I am somehow better. Somehow improved. Somehow changed.