When You're Exhausted...

...it may help you to take a little lesson from Zoë. She's got it down on how to fully grab life by the horns and yet still work in all her beauty rest.

First, you stay up late enjoying play time with friends while mom and dad sit in a class.

Then you make sure to get a good nights rest, eat a lovely breakfast, and play well before lunch.

When lunch comes around, make sure you have kept yourself awake enough to eat most of it. Falling asleep on an empty stomach is no bueno as you will wake up hungry and more cranky than if you hadn't taken an early nap at all.

Finally, once you're feeling full enough, don't worry about whether or not mom takes you out of your booster seat, fall asleep right where you are.


Prefect combo of grabbing life by the horns but not completely losing those extra hours of beauty sleep by staying up a little late!


Praying for Him: His Reputation

So, honestly, some weeks kind of feel like a repeat of the last. Or that they are so, so similar it's almost like I've already been praying for this. I don't know if I just think a little differently than Omartian or I just don't have as much experience in praying for my husband, but either way, I almost lag in praying for the weeks topic in Ben's life simply because I find it repetetive.

So I find myself just praying for Ben. Whatever seems to come to heart.

This isn't because I don't care about his reputation; it is completely the contrary: I really care about his reputation. When something happens that seems to possibly taint his "record" it brings worry and prayer to the forefront of my mind in that area for Ben.

However, I think I stepped into reading this with the expectation that each week would be something completely new and not be so related it feels like I'm just praying for the same thing over again. And oh how expectations can ruin situations in a jiffy! If I'm right on the money, Satan is trying to use this as a ploy to stop me in my tracks of praying for Ben.

Thankfully, that has yet to happen. Yet, I really need to remain on my guard, making sure that I don't find myself complacent in praying just because everything is going rather smoothly at this time.

While I don't have much to say about praying for your husband's reputation (or a close friend's or your own) this week, I do think that I'm looking forward to being done with this series because then instead of working on just the chapter I'm in that week, I will feel a bit more free and have a bit more knowledge to pray over whatever area God seems to be saying is in need in that moment. Not that I'm not free to do so now, I just won't be commited weekly to a certain topic of prayer.
On May 1st, I began this journey of praying for my husband using Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I have always felt that praying for my hubby should be at the top of my list, yet I seem to really do it consistently or, better yet, to know how. Somewhere at the beginning of the book, Stormie suggests taking a 30 day challenge and praying through a chapter a day. I tried and failed, because, well, let's face it - life with a toddler changes constantly and some nights still turn into sleepless ones. So this series was birthed as a way to hold me accountable, spread the time frame a little more (and if you read all of them you will note that it will end up being longer than 30 weeks), and help me to "journal" my thoughts as I take this journey. Enjoy!


An Enjoyable Weekend

So I had to post about this weekend. Mainly because my mom came into town and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Friday night was low key. We went and tried out a mexican restaurant that recently opened down the way. The owner seems to be a professed Christian as scripture is everywhere. (Even on the towing sign, you guys! I wish I had a phone that takes good pics! Ha!)

Zoë was so excited her Gigi was here and kept saying it all afternoon and then kept asking her to do stuff with her while she was here. (I must make note: Zoë's version of "Gigi" is this mouth closed version because she can't say a soft "g" sound, only a hard "g".) Of course, Gigi spoke Zoë's love language by bringing her a book; it happened to be her very first Curious George book.
Gigi being an elephant. Zoë had joined in but moves a little too quickly for me to capture it. There were elephants at the zoo, of course!

[image source]
Saturday we ran to some stores my mom wanted to stop at. We happened to pick up Zoë's very first step stool. I think it's so stinking cute! She won't really use it much yet, but as she's starting to show an interest in where we go to the bathroom and wanting to wash her hands (mostly because of the BUBBLES!), we went ahead and bought one. I love it sheerly because it fits right next to the toilet, but if we want it folds in half, practically flat, and she'll be able to carry it by the time she's 3 or 4 to anywhere she needs it very easily.

While we were out, my mom and Ben enjoyed doing this Bungee jump thing at the mall. Zoë laughed while they went up and down and Daddy looked like he was going to hit the ceiling. Poor dear wanted to get on once they were done :( She loves to bounce. (Does me telling you that she's always jumping in her crib when we go to get her in the morning or from a nap say anything to you?)

Zoë also showed us just how much she is loving her new found confidence in walking as she will walk anywhere we are, not just at home. She walked through most of the Katy Mills Mall without tiring! Of course, she napped really hard as soon as we got in the car. Didn't even wake up when we ran into TJ Maxx for a minute or once we arrived home!

The rest of our Saturday was spent hanging out, eating an early dinner at Johnny Carino's (I think I could gain several pounds from eating too much of their bread. OMG!), and watching "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" with my mom. She's currently going through the entire series on movie so it was fun to watch it with her as we're both avid Harry Potter fans. I don't think she's ever read the books, but maybe we can convince her too. :)

Though my mom had to leave around 10 on Sunday, she didn't leave without having some fun dancing with Zoë! Zoë got all divafied with some sunglasses Ben brought home from his works lost & found. (They'd been there since before Ben has been managing the store, which is coming up on a year.)

Then they danced around the living room for a bit:

(Pardon the blurry/fuzziness. My manual mode is messed up on my point&shoot, thus this is how movement is captured :/)

Zoë didn't stop asking for "Gigi" once she was gone. Made my heart sad that we don't live somewhere my mom can be more involved. Though she doesn't understand that Gigi had to go home yet, I think it's going to make it even harder when my mom leaves because she'll really get that it will be a while before she sees her again.

We all enjoyed our time with my mom/Gigi!


15 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

How Far Along: I am 15 weeks and 5 days. 170 days until I'm 40 weeks.

Baby's Size: 4 inches long from crown to rump (about the size of a navel orange) and weighing a wopping 2.5 oz. (Hey, that's up an entire ounce from last week!)

Baby's Development: If I can produce a baby with hair (Zoë had practically none for several months and to break the wonderful myth of lots of heart burn = lots of hair, yeah. Tons of heartburn. No hair.), Little Bean's hair is starting to grow and is producing pigment if they have dark hair. If I could see inside my womb, I would be able to see the devloping blood vessels under their translucent skin and I may see them suck their thumb :)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Well, I don't have a scale at home and I won't see my OB until later this week, so all I know is that at my last appointment, I had only gained 1.5 pounds total.

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Same old same old. You can see my 14 week Bumpdate for details.

Gimme' some of that!: NADA! Nothing sounds good. Still having to force myself to eat.

How I Feel: Umm..I still feel really tired. Nausea isn't as bad as it has been, but I still have some really tough days thrown in there where I can't go without Zofran. Boo! Needless to say, the whole "2nd trimester, 2nd wind" saying? Nope. I prove that one false too!

Maternity Clothes: All the time. Every now and then I just really feel like being in "comfy" clothes (read elastic waist exercise shorts/pants and a t-shirt) and so I'll rock the "my torso is too long to wear this when I'm pregnant" look. (read: my shirt rises and the bottom sticks off my belly leaving a gap. Don't worry, I always wear a maternity cami underneath. And I stay indoors on those days unless I just have to get something from the store.)

Movement: Yes! Yes! Yes! Let me tell you, though the nausea sucks, it's a little easier to be reminded it's for a purpose when I can feel my little one moving inside. It's actually been neat because this baby loves to push into me as much as possible (if I'm laying on my right side it's pushing in there, vice versa for left), and because of the difference in how it feels, Ben has been able to feel where the baby is! (For my own memories sake here: it sort of worries me that he's already been able to feel the baby...like I'm starting to wonder if we missed a second baby in there. But my mama heart just tells me that I have an excessive cuddler on my hands. And that I will loathe my rib cage and pregnancy as soon as we start running out of room.)

Sleep: Aside from one night where I couldn't go back to sleep after a bathroom wake-up call at 3:30, my sleep has been awesome. Of course, I'm having loads of wacky pregnancy dreams and even had one that left an awful taste in my mouth and a really icky feeling in my heart...like people not being nice and confrontation and all that jazz. 

What I Miss: Being able to eat and enjoy food. I want to actually enjoy what I'm eating. To want to eat and not worry about it leaving me nauseated after; there is still no rhyme or reason as to what will or won't leave me feeling awful afterwards. I'm also missing not worrying about crossing my legs (I get terrible swelling starting at 20 weeks and have already noticed my veins telling me they're on overload ;/) and not limping like I did something to my hip. This happend when I was pregnant with Zoë too, but I guess my right sciatica overroad memory of that. (Ben is the one who tells me I had problems with my left hip not popping back in place.)

What I'm Looking Forward To: Hearing my baby's heart beat this week. It's always a sweet sound to my ears to hear the thumping of the life growing inside of me. 

Favorite Moment of the Week: This may start to get old if something like this happens every week, but Zoë came up to me, pointed to my belly, and said "Baby" (pronounced: bay bah) followed by a huge grin up at me. I asked her if she'd say "hi baby" and she immediately looked at my tummy waved her huge "hi" while she smiled and then said "hi baby". Then she kissed my tummy. Oh she is going to be such an awesome big sister!!!!


Frankly Friday [v. 9]

(Linking up wtih Amy from Taking Steps Home) :)

Let me be honest up front: if you have had a miscarriage or are TTC and traveling the journey of infertility, this post may be difficult for you to connect with. However, I want to remain a open with my readers as possible and because this is what has been playing in my mind a lot lately, I felt the need to hash it out, even if only for myself.

For those of you who are new here, I had a miscarriage back in March. (You can read all the posts I've written regarding this here.) Though that baby was a complete surprise and the timing of everything wouldn't have been so great, I had already experienced the blessing of a God-planned baby rather than my own. And I still can't imagine life without my little Zoë. (Who isn't so little anymore. :/)

Thus I quickly accepted the new life within me. I readily embraced it. I had my moments where fear tried to take hold of me, but I chose to cling to the truth of Psalm 127:3-5, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies at the gate."

And then I lost the baby at 7 weeks.

I was devastated. Shocked. Angry.

There were so many emotions that encompassed the loss of the little life within me. Even to the point that I almost didn't want to think about getting pregnant again. I didn't want to resurface the discussion Ben and I had been having before we found out we were pregnant - trying to maybe get pregnant closer to the fall. The fear of losing another baby was too real, too raw. And I knew all too well how much control I had over whether I would be pregnany full term or not - none. Nada. Zip.

That thought made me toy with the idea of never trying to conceive again.

And then, we were slightly surprised to find out we were pregnant. Again.

And though I slowly found myself warming to the idea of welcoming our 3rd into our family, I found some other strange emotions floating around in my head and heart.

For a while I couldn't quite put my finger on them, but the more I tried to figure it out, the more I realized what it was. And I found myself a little shocked, but at the same time sort of not, with what I was feeling: I wasn't completely ready to embrace the life I'm currently carrying because I still wanted to be carrying the one I was supposed to greet come November.

Maybe I'm alone in feeling this. Maybe someone who has had the same happen with them can relate. And because of some comments I've heard from others who have miscarried and then welcomed a life that was conceived not long after the miscarriage, I am hopeful that in time the Lord will help me to see the full beauty of the short life of my child born to heaven on March 20, 2013. I am hopeful that He will allow me to completely embrace this child growing within me.

But for the time being, I frequently find myself wishing I was further along. Wishing that I could know the child who I shared my body with for only a short amount of time.

While I really do find myself wishing that, I simultaneously hate myself because it means that I'm subconciously wishing away the life that I've begun to feel move within me. It makes me feel heartless.

But in reality, I wish that I could know, here on this earth, both babies. (No...I'm not asking for twins. The idea of two complete infants at the same time scares the patooties out of me.) Maybe that's why I find myself wishing that I was still pregnant with our second, because something in me thinks that if I was, then after that baby was born, I would later become pregnant with the one I'm currently carrying.

Yet, I am not God. I have no idea if that's really how it would work.

And in the midst of all these crazy jumbled thoughts I'll realize that by dwelling on this desire, I'm losing opporunity to pray for the life currently in me. I'm missing out on the opportunity to connect and care for my Little Bean right now. I missing out on praying that God would allow this child to be used for His glory and that part of that would be this LB would come to know Him at an early age.

My dwelling on the past and feeding on the desire for it to be different steals from the here and now. It doesn't allow me to fully depend on God. It keeps me from enjoying and seeing God working in my life now. It also doesn't allow me to see how He has worked in my life in the past. Nor does it help me to look to the future with the hope I have of eternity with Him.

It is a tactic straight from the pit of hell. And at times, though I hate to admit it, it has fully worked.

This isn't the only situation this has or can be used in. Really, anything we face that has a similarity to the past can find you in this place. Sometimes there don't even have to be similarites to find yourself wishing that wherever you are in life was a little different.

However, I hope that I'm learning and will store away the lessons I'm learning from this situation: you should learn from the past, but once you've learned what you can from them, that is as far as it should go. Trying to change the story that God is weaving will only leave you missing out on the now and missing out on being in the center of His will.

I don't know about you, but I really don't want to be anywhere else but the center of His will. Yes, my flesh desires at times to win out and I find myself wanting to just live life how I want, but I've already been there and done that, it is not fulfilling one bit. It is empty. It doesn't leave me with the peace I have when I do choose to whole heartedly seek God. It doesn't give me a heart that is still in the midst of turmoil because I know that when I'm fully seeking God that trials will come but they are a refining tool to make me more into Christ's likeness.

And so I encourage you: seek His face whole heartedly. If you find desires to be other than where you are creeping up, ask Him to change your heart. Ask Him to silence those desires so and to open your eyes to the story He is weaving in your life.

I'm not perfect, but I am hoping that this lesson will never leave the forefront of my mind. Or that when it seems to stray, God quickly brings my mind back to Him and how changing my story is asking to not be in His will.


Sharing the Cuteness

I just thought I would share with you some of the cuteness that runs around my home.

I mean, look at that. How can you not just want to squish her?

Thinking really hard with the cutest little pony tail. Oh how I love her!

And I just can't get enough of all. those. CURLS!

How could I not share the cuteness? (I think I need to hit publish before I decide to not share it with anyone and keep it all for ME!)


Praying for Him: His Integrity

"Integrity is...who you are when no one is looking (p. 117)." (italics Omartian's, bold face mine.)

Just a few sentences later she quotes Matthew 5:37, "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond thses is of evil." (NASB)

I immediately smiled.

Why, you ask?

Because when I first met Ben, that is one of the verses he quoted to me followed by a statement how he has always wanted and wants to keep that verse true about his life.

You guys, I have to say, that as far as a man is able while depending on God, I married a man of integrity. He honestly strives to be the same person all the time. What is true of him at work is true of him at home. What is true of him when I'm watching is true of him when I'm not around. What is true of his work ethic when his store is full is true when he is working by himself or has a moment that no one is watching.

However, because this really is a strength I feel Ben has been given by God, it hadn't really crossed my mind for God to protect that and allow it to remain true of Ben while God is granting him life here on earth. I just assumed it would continue. (How silly, naïve, ignorant of me. Shoot. A lot of descriptives could go there.)

But now I know otherwise. And now I will constantly pray Psalm 25:21 will always remain true of his life: "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You." (NASB) I want my husband to always desire to tell the truth. I want him to desire no part of his life to be a lie, even if it feels it may save his rear end. I want his desire to be to see God's glory made known and that part of that is through living with integrity.

I'm glad that my eyes were opened to this and reminded the importance of praying that God protect what is going well, what is strong character.

Prayer for the difficulties as well as what happens to be going well is of utmost importance in everyone's life. May we always keep this at the forefront of our minds.
On May 1st, I began this journey of praying for my husband using Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I have always felt that praying for my hubby should be at the top of my list, yet I seem to really do it consistently or, better yet, to know how. Somewhere at the beginning of the book, Stormie suggests taking a 30 day challenge and praying through a chapter a day. I tried and failed, because, well, let's face it - life with a toddler changes constantly and some nights still turn into sleepless ones. So this series was birthed as a way to hold me accountable, spread the time frame a little more (and if you read all of them you will note that it will end up being longer than 30 weeks), and help me to "journal" my thoughts as I take this journey. Enjoy!


Literary Junkies [v. 4]

Oooi! I haven't done well continuing to link up with my Literary Junkies comrads here in the past few months. I'm not really sure why, but I really wanted to make sure I did for this months because I want to stay connected with my fellow "book lovers"! So I'm off to link-up with Taylor at Pink Heels Pink Truck and Lesley at By the Porchlight.

Pink Heels Pink Truck

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!

Ah...well, I'm trying to get myself into The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. But did you notice I said trying?

I just can't seem to really pick up the feel of this book and though I pride myself on trudging through almost every book I've ever picked up (I couldn't finish Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison), I just am not sure that I could finish this one.

This would only make my "couldn't finish" number up to 2, out of I have no clue how many I've read. It just bothers me to start a book and not finish, unless of course you're given a bazillion books for College Lit and you only have to read excerpts. Then I'm ok with saying it's not really been "picked up" to begin with and will do so later in my life. When I feel like picking that particular book up.

I'm also slowly working my way through this book. Of course, this won't apply to everyone, but so far, I'm really enjoying this book.

I will say I generally don't buy parenting books. I may ask questions to people on Facebook or do some online research, but I'm not huge fan on just picking up every parenting book.

However, my mom bought this book for me and I thought I'd give it a shot. I come from a long line of yellers (don't worry, my mom would be the first to tell you). I mean we yell just to get someone's attention from across the house. But angry yelling also came into play at times. And I'm willing to bet our family isn't the only one like that. Or that we're the only family who it continues to travel down the line.

I'm not very far into this book, so really I'll have to let you know what I think once I'm either further in or completely finished...though I'm going to be the former will happen first. Ha!

2. What is one book you think every person should read at least once in their life? Why?

Oh dear. You know, I have to give a shout out to Melissa from Little Mrs. Married for my answer to this question. Had it not been for her recent post about this book, I'm likely to have forgotten how great it is, even though it's on my "I could and probably will definitely read this book again."

So you wanna know what it is?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

Oh you guys! Yes, this is an amazing Christian fictional work based off the book of Hosea from the Bible, but I'm willing to guess that anyone can enjoy this romance novel.

The story is one that pulls you in from the beginning and you just don't want to put the book down. It is full of a story of grace, unconditional love, and redemption. Just a truly beautiful piece of art! (After all, that is what literature is, right? Art?)

So so so good!

3. Do you think you could ever write a book? If so, what genre would it be?

Hmmm...I've thought I could. And I've started to write short stories. And then life happened. Or I've received some negative criticism that stuck with me from my teacher's in high school. Which I happen to keep playing over and over in my head.

But, maybe I should try again. And just see what happens as time progresses.

As for genre...I'm not really sure. It'd definitely be a fictional work. I'm not into history or anything of the sort.

4. Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you look for the same things in an audiobook that you do in one you'll read?

I have tried. I really struggle to stay awake and/or stay focused on listening. But honestly, if I'm going to listen to an audiobook, then I want it to be something that'd I'd read the hard copy of.

5. Can you suggest a book of each type for others to try:

Fantasy - Harry Potter Saga (Of course!) by J.K. Rowling and The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

NonFiction - Columbine by Dave Cullen (Please note: this is a heavy, heavy read, but from the way it was written I think they're really telling the truth that Cullen took his time doing research. A lot of effort went in to shedding light on all that actually happened.)

Fiction - The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Romance - Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers falls into this category (Yep. I'm using it twice.)

Classics - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Young Adult - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

And that wraps up this months Literary Junkies. If you are a fellow book lover, feel free to hop on over and link up! Love to hear what you have to say about books you're reading or have read.


14 Weeks [A Bumpdate]

I thought I'd give you a peek at the previous weeks. I've been proud of myself for keeping up with pics this time. Also, please note how freakin' early I started! That was completely on accident as we thought I was almost 6 weeks when we found out and around 7 weeks when we started taking pictures. Another note: notice my "bump" gets bigger and smaller...not in order. Most of my bump in these pics is bloat.

 However, this week, I give you true bump:

Said bump does get larger if I have to use the bathroom, just ate, or eat food that bloats me, but it doesn't really get much smaller than this.

On to the bumpdate :) (By the way, if you missed the announcement and answers to Qs, you can go here and here to catch up.)

How Far Along: I am 14 weeks and 5 days along. Only 177 days until I'm 40 weeks!

Baby's Size: My Little Bean (LB) is about 3.4 in from head to bum, roughly the size of a lemon. (Was anyone aware that a lemon is that big? I mean last weeks fruit was a peach. This was a news flash to me.) Also, LB weighs around 1.5 oz. 

Baby's Development: If I had my own ultrasound machine, I might have been able to see LB make some facial expressions.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: At my last appointment I had only gained 1.5 pounds total. This wasn't much of a shock as I had actually lost weight between other appointments. My doc was pleased that I was at least not losing.

Food Aversions (and "no nos"): Don't even talk about BBQ to me. The sheer smell makes my stomach churn! However, it's the only actual aversion I have. Everything else, I'll eat and then find out that I shouldn't have: pasta sauce (lots of it...little bits, like on pizza, is ok. And ironically, tomatoes in salad or on a sandwich are ok.), avacado, apples (but not the juice in a smoothie), bananas (yeah...I had a not so fun experience with them. Now looking at them makes me gag :/), peanut butter was ok, then was an "Don't let me smell it" (that was rough considering Zoë eats PB&J for lunch practically every day), and now is ok sometimes. Those are the things I can think of that are absolute "no nos", however the list seems to grow or change on a daily basis. Very strange to me as I didn't really have this problem during my pregnancy with Zoë.

Gimme' some of that!: NADA! Something may sound good, but it lasts for all of maybe 5 minutes. I have yet to have a craving that I just HAVE to have whatever food I thought of.

How I Feel: mmm...this is a toughy as I'm getting slightly better, but I'm still extremely exhausted. (If you follow me on twitter you might have seen this tweet earlier this week.) Also, the nausea comes and goes. I have started to string good days where I can get by without Zofran, but then I'm hit, sometimes several days in a row, where I have to have it in my system during the day or I'm likely to throw-up. However, I'm really trying to remind myself that all of this is for a great purpose and gives me more hope of hearing a heart beat at my next appointment.

Maternity Clothes: I have to wear maternity jeans. I've been wearing them for a couple weeks now. I loved wearing the BeBand with Zoë. This little one won't let me. If I fold it over, it's too tight. If I leave it like normal, it cuts into my stomach and makes me sick. So maternity jeans/shorts have been the most comfortable thing I've got. Or stretchy athletic shorts/pants. As far as tops, most of my t-shirts are just long enough for my long torso. I still "fit" them, per se, but they don't really cover maternity bands, thus I generally am wearing maternity tops or regular tops that I found I could wear during pregnancy with Zoë.

Movement: I have actually started to feel flutters every now and then. But they're small and not consistent.

Sleep: Can anyone say INSOMNIA?! I mean, seriously. I don't remember being like this with Zoë at all in my pregnancy with her. I'm not really sure what it is, but my mind will randomly start thinking on different things and nothing works to shut it down. I've had several nights where I'll be up for 2 hours because I just can't soothe myself back to sleep. This drives me crazy because less sleep makes me more nauseous. Boo!

What I Miss: I miss not feeling like I'm sick all the time. And actually desiring to eat what I've cooked. I will cook a meal, think it sounds good, and by dinner time the smell makes me sick. Fun times. Fun times.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Being able to feel the LB move on a consistent basis. Also, hearing the heart beat at the next appointment.

Favorite Moment of the Week: Though Zoë doesn't truly understand what is going on, we talk to her about it like she does. One day while I was eating breakfast she walked up to me and saw me patting my tummy. I looked at her and said, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy. Do you want to say "hi" to the baby?" She looked up at me, patted my belly, and smiled a huge smile. It's moments like this that make me feel great about welcoming another little one into our family. Though I'm sure there will be some bumps in the road, I'm certain that Zoë is going to make a great older sister!


My High of the Week

Linking up with Amy for her Frankly Friday post. And this week, it's a happy one!

I'm pretty sure that Sunday was my high this week.

Not that the rest of it has been bad. It's just nothing can compare to the wonderful time that I had with three of Ben's Aunts and his cousin who were in town. Thus, we were able to visit. (Well, his cousin and her family live about 30 minutes from us when there is no traffic, but still...we don't get to see each other too often.)

I was so excited that they contacted us to let us know they would be in and wanted to get together with us. Both Ben and I always enjoy their company; frankly, I wish they would all move to Texas. (Let's face it, unless we absolutely have to, neither of us ever want to call Louisana home again. We love Texas. Not the heat, but whatever!) Well, ok we'd just love to have them around all the time. I couldn't honestly make them move with the possiblity of us ever moving up to NWA to be closer to my older sister and her family and my Uncle Paul and his family.

(Yep. I'm fine staying in Texas and the only reason I would hope we'd ever leave this state is because Ben's job moved us right down the road from my older sister. Then all the March-Daigle cousin's could play together! And get in trouble together...yikes!)

Anyway, Zoë was able to play with her second cousin, Hudson, who is a little stud! I mean seriously you guys, can it get any cuter than this:

Those blue eyes with that blonde hair kill me. Ben and I say he's going to be a little heartbreaker!

She also spent time with each of her Great Aunts, though I was terrible and didn't get a picture of her with each of them :/ Bummer.

Ben's nanny sat and played with the iPhone with her for a while and I was able to snap a pretty darn cute picture of Zoë with Aunt Janell. (Aunt Janell = Ben's Nanny. For the good ol' cajun folk from Louisiana, Nanny is the term for godmother and Paran [pronounced "paw ran"] for godfather.)

It's a little blurry, but it was the best I could get with little squirmy over there.

After all of maybe two minutes, Zoë had the iPhone pulling up Siri and then hiding her. She thought it was great and Aunt Janell made a game of "peek-a-boo" out of it. (Or "pee pie" as she called it and had Zoë saying within all of 5 minutes. Ben had never heard it called that so I found it funny when he was asking. May I say that the reason I found it funny is because I usually can call Ben my walking Encyclopedia. Caught me off guard when he didn't know what "pee pie" was. Also, note that I don't know how to spell it...so I'm spelling it like it's pronounced, thank you very much!) Anyway, they tried to get Zoë to ask Siri a question, to no avail as we're still only in the one-word-at-a-time world.

However, Zoë said "pee pie" to her, and Siri replied, "I don't understand. I will play music for you." Or something to that affect. She promptly started playing whatever country music Aunt Benita had on her phone (I have no clue what it was as I don't generally listen to country.) and Zoë started dancing for everyone. She decided to see if she could get Aunt Louisa to really join in with her and this is what we videoed:

I love how laughter seems to just flow out of Zoë. Not to mention, we were all enjoying the entertainment she was giving us. Oh, and do you see her head of curly, curly hair? It takes a little bit of water (or being outside in the humidity), but after a little playing with it, it looks like that. I'm kind of jealous :)

Anyway, we sat around chatting for a while, just enjoying one another's companies while the not-so-babies played and entertained us.

Then we went to lunch and enjoyed one another's company a little longer before we had to part ways. The kids were getting fussy from being overdue for naps and two of the Aunts were headed back home to Louisiana.

And the time we had with them has just stuck with me for the rest of the week.

Hope you've had something happen that's kept your spirits up this week too! It certainly is a nice treat!


Bits About Me

If you look on my sidebar, you will see a button for the Texas Women Bloggers. Though I'm not the best with keeping up with everything going on over there, I do try to participate in their link-ups. And so today, I'm participating in their Getting to Know You link-up.

Getting to Know You Link Party with the Texas Women Bloggers
1. What part of Texas do you call home?
Though I'm new to Texas (just moved here last November...woah! We'll be closing in on a year here soon!), I already am calling Houston home. We like it here and have no plans to ever go back to Baton Rouge. Whether or not we'll actually stay here, we know that it would be an act of God to get us back in Louisiana.
2. How long have you been blogging?
Well, so I originally started blogging in 2007 when I was going through a rough patch in college. I've thought about deleting all those posts, but if there is one thing I've learned is to not try to erase the past but learn what you can from it. I don't anything I wrote was inappropriate, I just know that I've grown a lot since then. My blogging kind of waned for a while and then I "restarted" when my older sister encouraged me to blog to document my pregnancy and life with my now precious 17 month old.
3. Why did you start blogging?
Ha! Accidentally kind of answered that in the last question. When I first started it was to get my thoughts out. When I tried my hand at it to blog regularly again, it was to document life with Zoë.
4. When we visit your blog, what can we expect to discover?
Unfortunately, to see a pic of me and my family you need to go to my about me page. Hoping to change that here in the near future so you're greeted by my smiling face when you first stop by. You will quickly see my tabs on my family and a tab about books. I love my family and probably talk about them almost as much as I talk about my relationship with Jesus. Books...well, I love to read and so if my current pregnancy and 17 month old haven't completely stolen my brain then I will inform you on what I'm reading and what I do/don't like about it. (You can read my recent announcement and answer to Q's asked regarding this pregnancy here and here.) So pretty much you're going to find that I'm an open book who talks about almost anything and everything here and my relationship with Christ permeates it all.
5. How did you come up with your Blog Title and what is its meaning?
I really struggled with coming up with something catchy I liked that I would be able to keep no matter how life changed over here. I'm not saying that I haven't thought about changing the title, just because it isn't that artsy and I love the arts (I mean, I'm a pianist, I married an artist, and though I'm not great at either, I enjoy dabbling in poetry and creative writing), but for now Tidbits From My World works. I finally landed on it when I realized that I was pretty much going to be sharing just that: tidbits. I can't completely write a minute by minute play of my life and there are some aspects that I believe should remain personal. However, those pieces that I want to share are tidbits that give you a glimpse into my little corner of the world. And thus, the name was born.
6. What do you love about being part of Texas Women Bloggers?
Hmmm...well, I'm really new to all this. And I haven't looked around it or found other bloggers through it was much as I would like to say I have, but one thing I've loved is when pictures are shared from all around this beautiful state for Wordless Wednseday. Makes me fall even more in love with the state of Texas.
7. Who inspired you to blog?
Well, the bloggers that I am almost always looking to read and find can sometimes give me great ideas for post, whether they know it or not are the following (in no certain order):
These ladies generally write posts that make me want to become a better writer and type thoughts and life events into posts.

8. If you could pick a favorite post from this past year, what would it be?
Oh goodness. I haven't read any of my posts from the past year. To help me pick one, I'm going to consider "this past year" to be any post written in 2012. And as such, there are three posts that tie it. I just can't really pick one. One is ridiculously simple but made an announcement that has changed my life, in the best way possible, forever. Another documents the first birth story I have, which also left me asking a lot of questions for the next time I was planning for a birth. And the last, well it documents a story that still cracks me up to this day, so even though it may not be by best writing, I enjoy sharing it.

Looking forward to see what others have put in their link-up posts!

Happy Thursday everyone!


Praying for Him: His Trials

This week, I think I'm going to leave you with some of the scriptures that spoke to my heart on this topic and a few quotes from Stormie. I just don't feel that human words really ever do this topic justice.

I know that I so easily look at trials funny or don't seem to remember the hope that I have in the midst of them. And even more so, I find myself trying to pray them away instead of pray for God's unfaltering strength through them for both myself and my husband.

And so I want to leave you with the quotes I really liked from Stormie and the scriptures which really spoke to my heart and reminded me just how I should be praying when trials face Ben or me.

The first part of a quote I liked, Stormie shares a story about how some of their friends stood through a trial and how the wife "fervently prayed that [her husband] would not get discouraged in the battle, but be able to stand strong through it (p. 112)." - Yes! Yes! Yes! This is what I want to do when trials come our way!

"His purpose for our trials is often to bring us humbly before Him to experience a breaking in our inner, independent, self-sufficient selves, and grow us up into compassionate, patient, spiritually strong, God-glorifying people (p. 112)." Mmm...I'm not always a fan of the breaking when I'm in the midst of it, but I know that when I look back, I'm always thankful that God never gave up on me and always wants to refine me.

"If your husband is going through a difficult time, carry it in prayer, but don't carry the burden. Even though you may want to, don't try to take away his load and make it yours (p. 113)." Gah...I constantly need this reminder. I tend to take on those I care for's problems, when really I just need to be there to walk through it with them and cover them in prayer. Such a good reminder!!

Now for the scriptures that hit me when I was reading (all NASB):

James 1: 2, 3 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." Yes. This one is quoted. A lot. But I really think, at least for myself, it is always a great reminder. Scripture that will never grow rancid in my spirit, well I hope that it never goes "bad" or "gets old". 

Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." I'm just going to let this one speak for itself. I need the reminder to see life this way a lot.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Another "popular" verse that I also think speaks for itself. A great verse to pray over everyone in my family, including myself. Great reminder.

Romans 8:38, 39 "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This verse is a great reminder that even when trials seem dark and you may seem all alone, nothing can separate you from the love of God, thus you always have the hope of knowing that no matter the outcome, you're in God's hands. A much needed reminder for myself when I try to start carrying the burden that is meant to refine my best friend.

Psalm 55:16-18a "As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me..." The reminder that God hears our pleas in the midst of struggles and that no matter the outcome will redeem my husband's soul in peace...just a great reminder!

I'm pretty sure there are way more scriptures that apply to this topic, but these are the ones that Stormie mentioned and these are the ones I'm currently clinging to and have at the forefront of my mind. 

I hope that I will remember to seek out God and pray these scriptures over Ben, or even myself, when the battles come, no matter how difficult it may be.
Over a 30 week period, which I started with an intro on May 1st, I will be doing a weekly series where I talk about my journey through Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I felt led to pray for my husband, wanted to incorporate the book, but knew that doing a 30 day challenge was next to impossible. (Let's face it: life with a baby just-turned-Toddler changes and there are still nights with many wake up calls due to teething or illness. I'd already tried once and failed.)  So this series was born as a way to share, encourage, and hold me accountable to the commitment I made. I'll keep a list of links for the series on each post so you can easily access them all. Enjoy!