Friday, April 30, 2010

Save a Place.

It's coming up on 5 months. It's always the days leading up to an 'anniversary' that get me. Here's to my brother, Andy. I love you, I miss you.....

Don't be mad if I cry
It just hurts so bad sometimes
'Cause everyday it's sinking in
And I have to say goodbye all over again
You know I bet it feels good to have the weight of this world off your shoulders now
I'm dreaming of the day when I'm finally there with you

Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

I have asked the question why
But I guess the answer's for another time
So instead I'll pray with every tear
And be thankful for the time I had you here
Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

And I wanna live my life just like you did
Make the most of my time just like you did
And I wanna make my home up in the sky
Just like you did

Oh, but until I get there
Until I get there
Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

Save a Place for Me
Matthew West


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Re-united and it feels so good......

This song has been stuck in my head pretty much since we started this amazing 10 week marriage bible study. After trying out a couple of churches, we found one that we love: Grace Bible Church. It's just what we were looking for- -more up-beat music (I love some good worship music), a great pastor whose sermons keep you wanting more and really make you think, and some friendly faces. (Not to mention that their nursery is awesome-our church in Colorado Springs did not have a nursery for Ethan) Plus, we just had this amazing feeling that we belonged there. And they have a Heroes at Home Sunday school class for wives of deployed soldiers- - can't wait to get into that in a few months. Now, the first time we went, I didn't like it. I recommend going to a new church at least 3 weeks in a row, just to make sure =)

So, onto our study-- it has been a real eye-opener, to say the least. The object of this study was to help Re-unite couples, whose husbands had just gotten home from a deployment. So, needless to say, this was right up our alley. Even though Jeremiah has been home for over a year, he will be leaving in June for 12 months in Afghanistan. We can always spruce up our relationship =)The topics that were discussed, like the obvious 'communication', really struck a nerve with both of us, because we thought we communicated so well. Oh, no =) One week there was a topic of problem-solving (how do we handle disagreements with our spouses) and even one about intimacy =) Our teachers, Adam and Laura, had tons of information and experience to share. It was wonderful to know that just because your christians doesn't always mean you have the 'perfect' marriage. But it's how you pull through the hard times and stick it out, never using the "D" word as a way out. We definitely have some great ways and scriptures to lean on when those pesky 12 months of deployment get in the way.

So, Sunday was our last study together--we were always looking forward to Sunday nights and very sad to see our time with new friends ending. I was really excited all week, because we knew that they were planning something special & we even got to dress up. But, wow, we had no idea...

There was candlelight, soft and fun music, roses for each lady, our teachers served us our awesome food, and we all had the opportunity to renew our marriage vows! It was an amazing experience that I will always treasure--alone time (short of =) with my man. Oh, and did I mention that they had free childcare throughout these 10 weeks?! Our teachers, Adam and Laura, really went all out of us and made our evening so special.

So, onto some photos......

Ethan and Jeremiah goofing off!

Ethan looking at our church steeple-he gets so excited about it and points to it every time!

Self~portrait--you can never have too many!

Our marriage covenant and rose!

And me, in all my glorious belly.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Movin' on Up.

Aw, the time has come. I'm not really sure I was ready for this big step to occur. But apparently it doesn't matter what I'm ready for, it matters what Ethan is ready for. I still consider Ethan as a baby, he isn't even 2 years old yet. Dare I say it....he's a Toddler.

I shouldn't be surprised really. He first rolled over at 2 1/2 months (no joke)! He has been climbing out of his crib ever since he was about 15 months old. He has been climbing on everything, in and out of everything. No wonder he likes bananas, he's a monkey. He has been on the move from such a young age. He is determined to do what he wants and will let no one get in his way. As this is, indeed a good trait to have as a grown-up, I was certainly not ready for it. Are we ever ready for the next phase of our growing child's life?!

I learned a few weeks ago that I wasn't alone in this matter. My friend, Robin has a little boy who just turned two. She and her husband didn't want to at first but decided (because of the climbing out) to change her son's bed into a Toddler bed at the tender age of 18-19 months. Yikes! She encouraged me to just do it (cause Ethan was obviously ready) but to stand firm with it, even if it's not the easiest for you. It feels so great to talk to other mother's-the encouragement really inspired and helped me-thanks, Robin! =) And thank you to all who have shared some wisdom and expertise when it comes to being a MOM.

So, on Friday, after J got home from work, we changed his convertible crib into a toddler bed. We made it a pretty big deal, cause let's face it, it is! It may not have been for him, but is sure was for J and I. He ran right to his bed and loved that he could get up into by himself. I loved the fact that I didn't have to lift him into bed. As I get bigger, he is going to get bigger. I was also stoked to be starting this before J leaves for the sandbox. I already have to potty train a boy by myself, I didn't want to do this too. That will be another interesting topic when the time comes =P

We've had quite the success with his new bed. I was really surprised. Nights are easy and wonderful. Nap time can be tough-as Robin reminded me-you've got to stand firm. Which means for us to keep going in to lay him down if he gets up (cause let's face it, they all do!) and being on top of it. I've been tempted to even pop the pacifier in to calm him down for nap time. I have to remember (and remind myself everyday!) that it's not what's easiest for me, it's what's best for Ethan. Oh, and there are definitely times where I'm easiest on me. I'm totally bragging and going to jinx myself on this, but he took a 3 hour nap yesterday. He hasn't done that since he was an infant, if that. The option of whether to get out or not is his, which he did anyway before. I think he knows that this is a big change and that he is getting bigger. So far, he likes it.....and so do we.

As for the pacifier and bottle, we are getting rid of those too. He is doing quite well without them =) Ethan's baby years are in the rearview mirror. I can't believe it.

Ethan helping with the changing of his bed.

Ethan hardly helping with the changing of his bed =P

He is ready to rock and roll. Eh, I mean rock a bye, baby!

Good night, sweet one. Happy 2o month Birthday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

In the swing, again.

Most of you know that my long time hobby and passion has been for scrap booking. It's no secret, really. If you've ever visited me, I've probably whipped out several scrapbooks of my sorority/college years, my and Charlie's wedding, our first year of marriage, my girlfriends in Colorado (that was a FUN scrap booking time =) and an in memory album of Charlie's deployment and later the newspaper clippings/photos of the many memories and statues that have his name and many others on it to honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom (a little passionate about that one =) I was even a Creative Memories seller and guru for awhile. Well, my light for scrap booking went out soon after Charlie's death and has not returned...until now.

I've been recently ignited back into my passion due to the fact that Ethan doesn't have a scrapbook, Jeremiah and I don't have a scrapbook and this next child needs a scrapbook. I vowed to myself to have Ethan's 1st year done before this next baby arrives, which is probably a very high expectation, but I intend to triumph! Here is where Michael's came to my rescue...

This is my first 2 pieces (top is separate from bottom) of my new scrap booking and craft table (obviously the table part is missing). I still have and would like many more storage cubes and the table that connects them, eventually. I found these at Michael's for a pretty good price. And the best part is is that you can add as many storage cubes or as few as you would like. So the cost is really up to how big or how small you want your creating center! I hope to get a couple more pieces, since this only holds 1/3 of my scrap booking/stamping supplies. Stay tuned....

Off topic:
A new christian artist who you've probably heard of is Francesca Battistelli. I ended up getting her cd several months ago when it was $5 at Family Christian bookstore. I'm totally digging her new song, 'Beautiful, Beautiful'. Her voice is unique and pretty amazing. My sister in love, Shannon just introduced me to another song on this "My Paper Heart" cd called 'Behind the Scenes.' So if you dig christian solo artist's music, download some songs or by the cd-pretty awesome.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unexpected Blessings.

I'm in total awe of the fullness of God's unconditional love and grace He has over me and my family. I'm not saying that I feel this way all the time, I still have lots of trust issues with Him, but He knows that and we are dealing with them. One thing that I am sure of is that in chaotic and heart breaking times, God shows that He is still there, loving us, holding us up and comforting us. At least that has been my experience in losing Charlie and now, Andy. In January, we found out that we were expecting, again.

We (I) was a little shocked because I was taking birth control pills and they always work, right? We weren't trying or planning on having another baby, at this time. I'll admit at first I was worried and not too excited because I didn't want to do this alone again, having a child in the middle of a deployment, like Ethan. Not just for me but for Jeremiah, missing out on so many things that he never got to experience with Ethan. I know he was heartbroken when I had to tell him on the phone about Ethan rolling over ( I did video it, too!) . But then I looked at the bigger plan, the bigger picture. We were going to have 2 children. 2 very unique gifts God created to be brought into this world. That God entrusts this responsibility of 2 children to Jeremiah and I. WOW. God created this child for a purpose, for a reason. Like Charlie. Like Andy.

So, needless to say, we are extremely excited about this new miracle in our lives. I've already felt him/her kick. I have a little belly. They should write a manual on how things with the 2nd child comes quicker. Belly pops out sooner, and you feel things sooner-maybe because we've already experienced this once and know what a kick or flutter feels like. The time is quickly flying by with this pregnancy. I'm beginning to feel like I'm in the nesting phase and have monsterous (I don't know if that's really a word :p) amounts of energy, even after chasing Ethan around all day. I tell him everyday that he will be a big brother and pat my belly and say, "Baby!" He responds with echoing my words, "Babee!"

Today I (Jeremiah was out flying :( was able to see our baby for the first time. This ultrasound was to determine the exact due date, because again, this child wasn't planned by us. We will get another one in 5 more weeks! I was totally stoked because I had to wait until 20 weeks with Ethan. After holding my bladder for an hour-yikes!- I was able to see him/her. My heart is smitten.

Here are the stats:
Heartbeat: 149
Measuring: 15 weeks, 3 days
Sex: don't know yet-little stinker had his/her legs crossed and a bit too early
Weight: 4 ounces
Due Date: October 1, 2010

On a side note, today is a special day for me. Not only did I see our baby, but 9 years ago, Charlie asked me to date him. I find it so special when God uses dates that normally would make me sad, into a joyous event. So in keeping of the spirit of this 'anniversary', here is the first picture that Charlie and I ever took together. His face is a little red, he was allergic to alcohol, but apparently that didn't stop him.

Mary-Anne & Charlie
March, 2001
I love you and miss you!