Sunday, December 25, 2011

20 week update!



Baby is the size of: a small cantaloupe

Any symptoms? I'm still nauseous from time to time. I have good days and I have bad days. The good days keep me going! Also, I'm having some pain where the stretching is happening. Baby is growing so that's a good thing.

Are you wearing maternity clothes? I am wearing maternity clothes. I'm much smaller this pregnancy so I'm very thankful for multiple friends that have let me borrow clothes.

Are you feeling movement? TONS! This is one active baby. And I am loving every minute of it. It is such an incredible feeling to feel the baby moving all around in there. It's just another reminder of what an amazing creator we serve.


Food cravings: MEXICAN. Seriously, one day last week I ate it for lunch and dinner several days in a row. I am also craving salads and fruits. I am choosing to eat healthy but I do cave for those cravings when I can.

Do you have a name picked out? Yes - we are not finding out the gender. So we have a girls name and a boys name. We haven't decided on middle names yet.

Have you gained weight? Not yet. I lost a ton of weight over the last 5 months due to nausea. But I'm getting close to my pre-pregnancy weight. 

Belly Button in or out? Still in. But it's about halfway out.


What I am looking forward to this next month? Next week we get to see the baby in an ultrasound. We are taking Finn with us so that will be fun. But I'm really looking forward to Gregory being able to feel the kicks too. Hopefully that will happen over the next few weeks.


How was the last month? This past month has been one of my best so far. Just having days where i'm not nauseous has made all the difference. I praise God for that one!


And just for fun....Here's a picture comparing me in my pregnancy with Finn and with this baby. You can definitely see I'm MUCH smaller!


PS-I find it really funny that in May of 2009 I was wearing a long sleeve shirt - but here in December I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt. Random! The pictures are correct, I didn't switch them!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas EVERYONE!



To my readers,

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you all have a restful, joyful, and special Christmas holiday. I will not be writing again until 2012. Taking a break to be with my wonderful family.

Ps-I will still have the "Wordless Wednesday" posts because there is no writing and I just loaded in pics

Merry Christmas, I'm so grateful the Savior of the world was born so many years ago. Glory to God in the Highest! AMEN!

Luke 2:1-20 NIV - The Birth of Jesus

 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.  4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas traditions



Every family has them!

We are only 2 yrs into this. And we didn't do much of any purpose before kids. But here's what we do now...

  • Adopt a child for Christmas that's the same age and gender as ours. We shop for them as a family.
  • G collects stuffed animals with his class and we take them to Scottish Rite as a family.
  • G decorates the outside of our house and I decorate the inside!
  • We go to Kinsey Farms to cut down our Christmas tree.
  • We all pick out an ornament that represents us
  • We watch Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer on Christmas Eve in our new Christmas pjs.
  • We don't travel anywhere on Christmas day. Being home and celebrating our Savior's birth togetheris the BEST!
  • On Christmas morning, G and I cook breakfast together. When Finn (and next addition) get up we open stockings, then eat breakfast together, and then do present time! All presents are wrapped.
  • And starting this year, our Christmas meal will be all be Puerto Rican style foods!
  • The day after Christmas, we go shopping and get pjs for the next year and more decor - cheap!

Lets spend some time sharing...what are some fun things you do for Christmas?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pendley Pics

Our photographer is amazing! If you are looking for a photographer, he's the one! Check out our latest session...and the best part is that these haven't been fully edited yet - this was my sneak peek!






Jason Pendley Photography http://www.jasonpendley.com/

Monday, December 5, 2011

Confession

Being a mom is hard. Doesn't matter if you work or stay home. It's hard. By hard, I mean challenging.

Temper tantrums. Yelling. Time Outs. Consistency. Exhaustion.Those are just a few words to describe my days with my Finn.

I don't relax. Even through the night, I'm randomly waking up thinking I hear Finn crying. Being a mom is a 24/7 job.

Being a mom, does have it's rewards. My son's hugs, kisses, and I love you's are priceless. He shows me God's love. He just wants my attention. He longs for mommy. He is a momma's boy - I love that. I could play with him for 2 hours - then get up to go to the bathroom and when I come back - he's saying "mommy, play you?" On our car rides to work/school, he asks me to pray. That melts my heart. And even at 2 years old, he's already told me he "loves Jesus."

So on the hard days, what do I do? I rest in Him. I rest in my Savior. He's the only one who can give me peace, perspective, perseverance, and patience. How's that for all P's? HAHA! I can't take credit - that was from Ashley.

I hope this truth filled post will encourage you other moms.



I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. Psalm 62:1

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Immeasurably MORE!

We just ended a series at my church called The Immeasurable Life. It was a GREAT series that dove into a verse in Ephesians. This is one of my favorite verse. It always reminds me of the power of God. 

Here is the verse, first in the NIV version and then in the Message version:

Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-12 MSG
20 God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.21 Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

 Wow. My God can do anything. That is incredible. 


I give him all the glory. Check out the series http://www.northpoint.org/messages/the-immeasurable-life




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

4 month comparision pic


This pregnancy has been so different from mine with Finn. I've definitely been sicker. Nausea/throwing up, colds, heartburn, and headaches. So I still haven't gained weight but I'm sure it will come. I think that's why I'm so much smaller this time. Plus I have been choosing to eat better.

Be sure and go to my main blog page to vote on your guess - boy or girl!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Taking Back the Twos!




Finn is officially entering what most call the "Terrible Twos." I am choosing not to refer to them as this. He has only lived 26 months and he is just discovering all about life. Basically, I'm declaring that I'm taking back the twos!

It is not easy. Especially when I don't have the hubs to help. He's WAY more patient and calm than I am. But I want to enjoy this year with Finn. I will do this by following these rules for myself:

  1. ALWAYS explain. We explain EVERYTHING to Finn. He's always asking and talking so we know he's curious. 
  2. We set expectations with him before going anywhere! That way when he freaks out, we leave and I can say I told him what I expected before. 
  3. Distractions. Yes, this has been a great one for him. When all else fails - distract so we don't have a tantrum on our hands in public.
  4. Last but not least, bribery - no I mean incentives. We let him know what's coming next if he acts appropriately. 
  5. Punishments - we have found time out and taking things away works the best for him.
And that's it. We will see how this works. Most of all, I go back to what my smart husband said today - "We most remember we are teaching him. Teaching him he can't have whatever he wants." It's responsibility - and I'm glad we get to teach him.

You moms/dads of twos - join me. And take back the twos!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bad days, good days

We all have them. Good days. Bad days.

But what happens when the bad days last for 3 1/2 weeks now?

Finn has been sick for 3 1/2 weeks now. First it was just a cold. Then at 1:00 am on a Saturday night, it turned to croup and we found ourselves at the emergency room.  Then only 5 days later - he wasn't getting better. So I took him to the doctor and it was a double ear infection. So he started an antibiotic. Then just 10 days later, he got hit with a stomach bug. Poor little guy. It was so sad seeing my baby throwing up and just miserable. The next day he was all better and I thought it was over. But it wasn't 4 days later - he threw up again and spiked a high fever. So back at the doctors office we went...his ear infection wasn't gone. And doc thought the stomach bug came back. Oh and one more thing - it seemed like he had either strep or a sinus infection on top of that.

Now that is a lot of bad days. Bad days for my baby boy!

And me - Well, I've had my own ups and downs. Days where I cried. Days where I was pissed all day. But today, today I gained perspective. I had been praying for it. And I'm glad it came.

It could be worse. It could always be worse.

The fact is i'm thankful. Thankful for a God who loves me more than I can imagine. Thankful His mercies are new each day. Thankful for a husband who knows when I need to get out and away. Thankful for friends who call, text, and pray for us. REALLY thankful for a boss and an organization that make it ok for me to miss work to take care of my child.

It's been a rough 3 weeks. But I'm hoping Finn is fully recovered soon.

Thanks for listening to me vent.

Friday, November 4, 2011

1st Trimester Update

 Here is a comparison picture of this pregnancy and Finn's.

My friend Amber has a cute way of documenting her pregnancy. And I had been looking for ways too. So - here it goes. I will be doing this monthly from here on out. Thanks for following along!

I am 13 weeks pregnant. (My weeks change on Fridays - so technically today I am 13 weeks along!)

Sick? Still have nausea and heartburn. But hoping to turn the corner soon. Yesterday I didn't have to take my nausea medicine. But I did have to take it today. Hopefully I will soon have more days like yesterday. For now, I'm taking it one day at a time!

Maternity clothes? Not completely. I'm still able to wear my regular pants. I have worn a few cute maternity shirts but that's just because I feel fat :)

Showing? I am beginning to show. You can see a perfect round circle if I pull my shirt up. I am smaller than I was with Finn but I think that's because I have been sicker this go round.

Weight gain? I have lost a total of 9 pounds. But at my appt yesterday I had gained 2! The doctor was happy.

Cravings? I have definitely craved all fruits. I have eaten lots of apples, grapefruits, and oranges. Now I have had 3 bad cravings and I caved. Krystals and then Taco Bell twice. Very strange. It was definitely the baby. I was just glad to have an appetite.

Tired? Yes - pretty sure I could fall asleep on command.

Names picked out? We do have names picked out. We haven't settled on middle name yet. If it's a girl - Selah and if it's a boy - Micah. Both names were brought to either myself or Greg while I was in Cambodia. So they are special to me! Selah means to pause and reflect and Micah means who is like God.

Are we going to find out the gender? Definitely not. If you have expereinced not knowing the gender til the baby is born you will understand!

Gender guess? Right now I think girl. But I also thought Finn was a girl. So who knows!?

Favorite pregnancy moment so far? Hearing Finn point out the baby in the ultrasound picture. So so precious!


Last but not least, a few pictures from the last ultrasound...




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween was a wonderful memory with our little boy. We really enjoyed trick or treating, handing out candy, and just plain being together. It was tons of fun and a memory I will always remember. Here are some pics for you to enjoy. I was excited about his costumer because I picked it up at a consignment store on sale for $7. It had brand new tags on it - $24.99. Pretty good deal I'd say. It was a warm and soft costume. And he looks so cute! Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween as well.

Daddy and son
Mommy and son
Yes, he has 3 lollypops. He wanted to try all of them :)
"no, mommy - I do it myself"
Such a cute boy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who's in charge?

"True faith means that you can relax and rely on His timing and direction. Sheep don't have a very high anxiety level. They seem content to let the shepherd be in charge."

What an awesome quote, right? I read that and immediately thought - who's in charge? That's the problem. Too often, I let myself be in charge. When in reality - I need to be letting my Shepherd be in charge.

When you are a take charge person that is no easy task! It took 3 years of dating, 2 years of marriage, and a strong mentor for me to understand what submitting to my husband look liked. And I'm still not that great at it. Even though I have an amazing leader of a husband to support.

When it comes to God - I know he is totally capable of taking care of me. So why must I still worry? Why must I have a high anxiety level?

These are just things I'm trying to figure out. What about you?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kinsey Farms

Recently, we visited Kinsey farms to pick out pumpkins together as a family. It's an annual tradition :)  It was such a great time. If you've never been there - check it out. http://www.kinseyfamilyfarm.com/ We also cut down our Christmas tree there!

Below are some pictures to share...







Monday, October 17, 2011

Rescue...

If you have followed my blog any amount of time - then you know how much I love music and how much it speaks to me. Well, lately my pandora app has continually played this song. And it is speaking to my soul. So, I just wanted to share with you all. Below is a video so you can hear the song and below that I posted the lyrics. Be blessed.... 


  



You are the source of life
I can't be left behind
No one else will do
I will take hold of You

I need You Jesus to come to my rescue
Where else can I go?
There's no other name by which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I will follow You

My heart is yours for life
I need Your hand in mine
No one else will do
I put my trust in you

This world has nothing for me
I will follow You
This world has nothing for me

I will follow You 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fear

I have been dealing with fear this pregnancy. And it's been a constant thought in my head. I met with my mentor this week and she gave me some great words of wisdom. So I just wanted to type them up so I can come back to them.

1. Fear is not of the Lord. His word says - "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

2. We must chose not to listen to the whispers of Satan. God's word says - "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

3. Captivate your thoughts and renew your mind. Again, God's word says - "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 and "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5

Last but not least, my mentor told me I am probably dealing with fear because I know what an amazing gift from God a child is. So I will keep repeating scripture and trusting Him.  No matter what happens my life is in His hands. Bad things, good things - Christ is my constant.

I'd love you to join me in prayer. Thank you in advance.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A wonderful celebration of life

Finns 2nd birthday party was lots of fun. G and I actually described it as a perfect day. The weather was glorious and it was so nice to be with close family and friends. Below are some pictures highlighting the day. Enjoy.


 He loved riding the horses on the playground.
 Gregory and I made the cupcakes at home. They have little lawnmowers on them.
 Our family picture :)
 
 The grandma's together!
 Finn and his best friend, Will. Obviously Finn was more interested in the gifts then taking a picture.
 His excited face!
 Hugging Will goodbye - how precious is that!
 From left to right: Finn, Lily, and Joshua. 
We are just missing Nate. All 4 babies came after Cambodia 2008.

I just can't believe my first baby boy is 2 years old! Everyday with him is AWESOME. He is a precious gift from God.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rachael's Top Ten: 2 Years Ago


2 years ago today, I posted a blog that announced the birth of my sweet son, Finn Wallace. I can hardly believe it's already been two years. As I look back over the last 2 years of his life, I just smile. He has brought me so much joy. He is such an amazing little boy. I put together a list of the top ten things I love most about him. It was hard to come up with only ten things. But these are the best!

10- I love his curious personality. He is constantly asking "what's that?"
9- I love the way he is mischievous. Always chasing Savannah around the house.
8- I love his determination. He gets frustrated easily because he's trying so hard to figure something out.
7- I love the words he comes up with. Currently, he calls a flashlight - "throat." HA! HA!
6- I love how he looks just like his handsome daddy
5- I love how there's a little of me in there. Yeah, I saw him close a drawer he saw open in the kitchen...a little OCD, thats my boy!
4- I love his sweet heart. He kisses every toy he plays with.
3- I love how much he loves music. I really think he will be a musician.
2- I love hearing him say "I love you much." It's such a precious statement to me.
1- I love that he is going to be an AWESOME big brother. And late Spring 2012, Finn will get that opportunity. That's right Baby Walkup #2 is on the way!! Below is a video of Finn - very cute!

video

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book review: Shattered Dreams



I just finished writing a five part post on this book.You can go back to the last 2 weeks if you'd like to read them.

All I can say, is get one for yourself. It was an incredible book. One that I will continue to go back to.

Let me know what you think...


Monday, September 19, 2011

Part Five: Shattered Dreams

"Only shattered dreams reveal the problem clearly, and only shattered dreams create a brokenness that helps us hate that attitude enough to give it up. Only shattered dreams help us feel appropriately impotent."

Through the brokenness we learn three important lessons. And I have listed them for you. I pray that we can see the joy Christ offers. The joy that can only come through suffering.

1- Broken people learn lessons they couldn't have learned otherwise. Larry Crabb says that"without trials, only spoiled brats would enter heaven. And that would turn heaven into hell."

2- In times that we don't feel the presence of God, we must know he is working.  "Seasons of personal suffering are opportunities for God to do His deepest work."

3- We need to know that as a Christian, it isn't always good to be blessed with the good things of life. Larry reminds us that "we fight three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil."

I hope this series of posts wasn't depressing. The book Shattered Dreams was a reality check for me. In good times, we praise God. In bad times, we are to hurt but also praise God. It is hard but we are to long for shattered dreams. Because our shattered dreams open us up to new dreams. Dreams that God has for us. 
I have one last quote to leave you with. And I pray that you will let the words wash over you. Spend time with God figuring out what your faith is like. Mine is continuing to grow. And I pray for God to do His will with my life. I pray that for you too.

"Knowing Jesus has been reduced to as one-time decisions that guarantees the chance to live in a perfect, pain-fee world forever."

Knowing Jesus isn't a one-time decision. It's a lifetime of a growing relationship. It starts with a decision to believe in Him but it grows as you chose daily.



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Part Four: Patience and Joy

"God will work through it all. Everything helps us to Him."

Do you ever wonder where God is? I have. But we live in a broken world. Bad things happen and they happen to good people. 
What we need to remember is no matter what our God will continue to work in us through every bump, every shattered dream, and every trial. And also that there is one bigger dream that God will fulfill in this life.

Joy. Unending joy. That's what Heaven will be like. It will be glorious to be there. But for now, we live here in this culture. 

In Shattered Dreams, Larry refers to our culture as deceived. And isn't that true. We all believe lies of the enemy daily. Whether it's allowing our mind to go into a constant state of worry. Or if it's making up a story in our head to make us upset with our kids or husband. We are still being deceived.

Bottom line - "we must grasp the truth of what God is now doing in our lives or we will miss the joy of Christianity."

Let's remember God is here. He is working through all the junk we go through. He's working on removing all the obstacles that keep us from true enjoyment of Him.

It takes time people. We all want things immediately. But not this. I will wait on my Lord. Will you?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Part Three: Christianity

Do you know much about Buddhism? A few years ago I didn't. But ever since Cambodia I wanted to know more about it since that's a big religion there.

Basically, the son of a wealth king - Gautama Siddhartha - just woke up one day and declared he was Buddha. His religion consists of 4 truths: life is suffering, the cause of all suffering is desire, the way to end suffering is to end desire, and spend your life learning to eliminate desire.

How often in times of suffering we mask the pain? How often in hard times we declare we will chose not to be sad? I think it happens all the time.

Larry Crabb says " we Christians are often practicing Buddhists. He goes on to say that "we kill desire in an effort to escape pain, then wonder why we don't enjoy God." How's that for hitting it home in your heart? That one really struck me hard.

As a Christian we are also taught truths. There are also four of them.

1- Life includes suffering, but life is good.
2- The cause of all suffering is seperation.
3- The way we handle suffering is to discover your desire for God.
4- The new life provided through Jesus must be accepted as a gift of love.

Bottom line, as a Christian when we hurt - we should really hurt. And hurt openly in the putrescence of our God. In this life, we will suffer. But take heart because our Savior has overcome the WORLD!



This post was adapted from ideas in Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. Specifically chapters 6 and 7

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Part Two: Support

"Why is it so difficult to simple give ourselves to each other when things are hard without yielding to the urge to give relief, to help, to try to make things better?" - Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams

"How are you? I'm fine."

"I'm going through a tough time, but i'll be ok. God has a plan."

How often do those conversations exist between friends. In my opinion, it's all the time. We think we need to toughen up. We think we can't be authentic with each other. But that's not the way God wanted us to be. 

Real relationships tell the truth. No cover ups. No lies. No masks. 
Even with God we need to be honest. He cares about us. He wants us to cry out to him. In Shattered Dreams, Larry goes on to explain how Ruth and Naomi spoke to each other. "Don't try to find comfort in explaining the reasons. Don't try to find the spiritual means to trust more. Enter your pain until your feet touch the solid ground beneath you, the solid ground of the restrained passion of Jesus."

Wow - isn't that a statement. My favorite line is "enter your pain until your feet touch the solid ground beneath you, the solid ground of the restrained passion of Jesus."

So, we all have friends. We all have family. Let's support them the way God wants us to. And lets ask they support us the same. We enter our pain. We hurt. We get mad. But all the while God is there waiting for us to touch the ground and know you've hit the solid ground of the passion of Jesus.

The bottom line - is we can't make things better. Only He can.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Part One: Abandonment

**Please note-today starts a 5 part series I will be writing on things I learned from Shattered Dreams. **

 The first step to finding true joy in your Christian life is abandonment. The dictionary defines the word as "giving up control or influence to another person."

"The search to discover God requires that we abandon ourselves - that we give up control of what matters most, that we place our confidence in Someone we cannot manage." -Larry Crabb

The three items from that quote I found most important were : abandon, give up, and place our confidence. It's easier said than done.

Abandonment is no easy task. It requires that we give up control. If you've been reading this blog any amount of time you know I struggle with giving up control. 

Dreams. We all have them. And it's not wrong to have them.  But how do you feel about abandoning all your dreams. It will be for a set of greater dreams. What dreams do you have? Could you give them up?

To me, the most important part is that abandonment has me place my confidence in God. I place my life in His mighty hands. And I am willing to place my dreams, thoughts, and confidence in His hands too. 

What about you? Are you willing?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9.11.11

I still remember exactly where I was when I got the news. Do you?

Hard to believe it's been 10 yrs.

Here's a tribute video the media department at my church put together for 9/11. It was too good so I have to share!

video

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where am I?

I know, I know. I have been neglecting writing for a few weeks. I have been doing a lot of reading so I do have lots to share. But I'm trying to sum it all up in my head. I'm almost done reading the book Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb. It's a very deep read, so it's taken me longer than usual. But as soon as I am done reading I will have a 5 or 6 series post about it.

So stay tuned....

Until then - I must share this adorable picture of Finn. He loved sitting with his arm around Little E. That's my best friend, Kristen's little boy. Isn't that precious? They're already best buds - love it!