Wednesday, March 23, 2011

He’s Knocked Our Socks Off Again!

One of my favorite quotes is “Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed…It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks.”- Max Lucado

Hope is always the word that comes to mind when I think of our journey to parenthood. My good friend Stephanie gave me a silver stone that has the word hope on it when our first IVF failed and it has sat on my bathroom sink ever since then and I see it everyday. Hope was all I had after that devastating time in our life and at times I barely held onto it, thank goodness my Hope held on to me. And He definitely surprised us out of our socks when we found out we were expecting our precious Ava Kate! We both hoped we would be blessed with more children but at the same time we felt so much gratitude for our precious miracle baby that we knew if that was the completion of His plan for our life we would be complete. After experiencing the disappointment of having my own plan and trying so hard to make it happen and constantly being brought back to Jer 29:11 and the knowledge that it is His plan that will prevail and then watching His marvelous plan be revealed and experiencing what I had knowledge of, that His plan is far better than any plan I could ever dream up, I have just had so much peace about the future for our family of 3. As Ava has gotten older people had started asking about our plans for more children and if we would be doing IVF again or adopting and I never really had an answer for them except that there was no plan and I couldn’t bring myself to make a plan all I could do was trust. A few months back I shared with my ladies bible study group that we were feeling ready for another baby and that every week at the end of church when they read off the list of things they felt God wanted the prayer team to pray over I always hoped they would say infertility. One Sunday after that we were at church and sure enough when Pastor David read off the list of things the prayer team had felt God was calling them to pray over, one of them was couples dealing with infertility. I looked at Justin and said we have to go down. When we got to the front we were met by one of the girls from my bible study who is on the prayer team, Jennifer, I asked her if she was the one who had put infertility on the list and she said no it was another one of the members of the prayer team that had really felt God was wanting to do some healing in the area of infertility in our church. She then prayed over us, for healing and for our future children. She even sent me a letter of words of encouragement and scriptures in the mail that next week. I just continued to feel God’s peace. And Justin and I both really felt after that time that God was going to give us a baby naturally this time around even though we both knew if He did it was going to take a miracle. At times I would start to think to myself okay maybe we do need to make a plan, I am getting older and I would like our children to be close in age but every single time I started to feel the need to rush and try to make my own plan I was brought back to my Hope. He is all I need, His plan is perfect for us just as I saw with Ava Kate, He knows my age, He knows how close in age our children need to be, He knows better than me so just let Him lead.

Sunday night I was laying in bed and realized I was late this month, then I began to realize I had been really tired, I had been sick at night and other symptoms and signs of pregnancy kept popping in my head. As my mom said it was as if God whispered to me Sunday night “You’re pregnant.” I didn’t sleep very well that night thinking about the possibility of being pregnant. Monday morning when I woke up I just knew I had to take a test so I asked Justin if he would go get one before work, he say “why?” I said “I just have a feeling.” So being the sweet husband he is he went and got me a test. I hurried to take it before he had to leave for work. I tried not to stare at the test while I waited for the result. I kept looking for the N for Not Pregnant and then all of the sudden I realized there was no N because it said Pregnant! I yelled to Justin who was in Ava’s room changing her diaper and said “This says I am Pregnant!” He said “What?!?!” and came quickly into the bathroom holding Ava in his arms. I said “This does say pregnant right?” to which he replied “yes!” Then the tears began to flow and we embraced each other and Ava. After our celebratory tears and hugs Justin put his hand up for me to give him a high five, I love it! I knew I couldn’t go to work after finding out news that big so I sent my boss a message that something had come up and I might be in later. We called Justin’s mom first since he had to hurry and get to work and since she lives in Houston so we couldn’t tell her in person. When I told her Ava was going to be a big sister, she said “what” in a very puzzled voice and I said “I’m pregnant!” She was ecstatic and shocked! I decided to go out and tell my parents in person and with the suggestion of my friend Kimberly stopped at Kohl’s on the way out to pick up a Big Sister shirt. I had no idea Kohl’s was open that early in the morning and when we walked in they had one Big Sister shirt in Ava’s size. We put it on her in the parking lot and headed out to my parents. When we got there mom said “What’s your shirt say Ava?” as she read it outloud, “Big Sister” and then said “Where’d you get that?” with a look that expressed what in the world are you wearing a big sister shirt for? Then she looked up at my face and I was smiling and nodding my head yes and all of the sudden her jaw dropped and the tears began to flow. Then dad walked in and we basically had the same response with my dad and my grandparents. I think it was so unexpected that none of them even thought to realize the Big Sister shirt meant Ava was going to be a big sister. I went in for bloodwork that afternoon which confirmed again the wonderful miracle God had done! Initially I told Justin I was going to try and wait a while before sharing the news with everyone else but when God does something this big it is just about impossible to not shout it from the rooftops! I am not very far along and we would love to have you join along with us in praying for a healthy and smooth pregnancy and delivery in November when our family becomes a party of 4! We know the power of prayer! God is so good!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

24 Facts About My Favorite 2 Year Old!

It is hard to imagine it has already been 2 years since I was holding my little 7lbs baby girl in my arms. I am not sure how I feel about that, part of me wants you to stay my little baby forever while at the same time each new stage seems to bring with it more laughter and joy. In fact lately it seems you bring more laughter to our life than anything, you constantly have us laughing with the funny things you say and do. In honor of you being 24 months old I’ve decided to share 24 facts about you.

1) Sometimes when I ask you a question instead of just responding with a yes you respond, “Yes sir captain” complete with a salute and I have no idea where this comes from but it cracks me up everytime!

2) You have started singing a lot lately and it totally melts me, you love to sing “Happy Birthday” and I love the inflection in your voice when you get to the last verse. You also sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”, “Jesus Loves Me” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

3) Anytime we start to pick up your toys lately you start singing “The Clean Up Song”.

4) You are sleeping all night lately, this is not always consistent and when you wake up in the morning I bring you to our bed and we either snuggle and fall back asleep or watch a show, I love this time of the day with you!

5) When you really like the way something tastes you say “uuhhmm, it’s uhlicisious!” (delicious)

6) You still love Little Bear and Olivia but you also love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse now too.

7) You are very polite and say please and thank you most of the time, which makes your mommy very proud.

8) You are stubborn and often throw big fits when you don’t get your way, and I don’t have any idea who you get this part of your personality from.

9) You are finally starting to play on your own more and it is really cute to watch you playing in your little kitchen and cooking for your babies or reading books to your stuffed animals.

10) When you get in trouble or are doing something you know you shouldn’t be often you’ll put your hands up to your mouth and start laughing sheepishly and say “Ava Kate’s funny!”

11) Since you don’t always stay in time out when I put you there, I recently had to introduce the spanking spoon and the other night at dinner after daddy got onto you for something you picked up your dinner spoon and said “I got a fanking foon daddy!”

12) You have already picked up a bad trait of mine, a deep affection for shoes. You especially love to try on other people’s shoes!

13) When you smile and tilt your head and look up at me with those sparkly eyes it totally wrecks me!

14) When you leave with daddy in the morning and I say “I love you” you holler back “I wud you too!” and those are some of the sweetest words I’ve ever heard!

15) You take your shoes off constantly, in the car, at school, at Kidzone. It is a constant battle we have.

16) You have gotten attached to your “wuddy” (lovey) again recently especially at bedtime.

17) When you do something to hurt mommy or that makes me upset or sad you look up at me with those worried puppy dog eyes and you usually will say “sorry” and then you often say “you happy now mommy?”

18) You used to just let me lay you down awake at bedtime after we said our prayers together and you would fall asleep on your own but now you usually want me to stay a while and pat or tickle your back till you fall asleep.

19) You love to play chase and hide and seek and you say “I getchoo mommy (I get you)!”

20) You are pretty crazy about Buzz Lightyear and anything Toy Story.

21) You like to say “wow, bootiful” (beautiful) now and it’s one of my favorite things to hear you say.

22) You have no interest in potty training yet.

23) You love to say “monser (monster)” and “goss (ghost)” and say both in a deep whisper with a funny look on your face.

24) You keep getting more and more of those beautiful curls and I will never be able to bring myself to give you a haircut for fear of losing them!

It’s all of these 24 facts and a million more that make me love and adore you the way I do and even though the first time I saw you I thought I might explode with love and could never love you anymore, somehow my heart finds more room for that love to keep growing every day! I love when you’re happy, I love you when you’re sad, I love you when you’re tooty, I love you when you’re mad, I love you when you’re laughing, I love you when you’re crying, I love you when you’re smiling, I love when you’re fighting, I love you every way, I love you every day, I love you more than words can express, I love you my precious little mess!

Love ,


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ava Kate's Ice Cream Shoppe Birthday Party

This year I decided to do an Ice Cream Shoppe party for Ava Kate's birthday! It was so much fun planning all the details and I think Ava and all her friends had a blast eating lots of sweets and playing together in the backyard! We had no plan or schedule for the party and instead just the let kids run wild and play and it was perfect, the only thing that could have been better was if the wind hadn't been so crazy. And her sweet daddy even made her a little ice cream stand!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Q&A With A 2 Year Old

I've had a few friends do birthday interviews each year with their children and I loved the idea so I decided to begin this tradition with Ava Kate. Here is how our interview went.

What is your name? Kate

How old are you today? 3

Who's birthday is it today? Pop

Who are your friends? Jonah, Ethan, Lisa, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

What do you like to eat? cupcakes and cake

Where do you like to eat? on top of the mountain

What is your favorite show? Buzz Lightyear (spoken in a very deep voice)

What song do you like to sing? Nutcracker (she is referring to The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy although I'm not sure how she sings that one)

What do you like to do at school? markers

What do you want to do today? cake

What do you want for your birthday? Buzz Lightyear

What is your favorite toy? Buzz Lightyear, he flies (she says with her arms thrown up in the air)

Who do you love? Buzz Lightyear (notice a theme here), Jonah, Ethan, Owl, Kitty Kitty

Happy Birthday to Our 2 Year Old Irish Princess!

I love that Ava's birthday falls during Spring Break, Justin is always off and I took the day off so we could celebrate our precious 2 year old. We started off the day by singing "Happy Birthday" in bed when she woke up. We sang it several times as she shouted out "faster", "bigger", "tiny" and we attempted to sing the song according to her requests. Such a bossy little 2 year old we have, wonder where she gets that from! Then we let her open her presents from us in the bed. She loved her ballerina costume with matching outfit for her baby. She also got her first charm bracelet with a clover charm to commemerate her St. Patrick's Day birthday and her own jewelry box that plays her favorite song, The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy which she refers to as Nutcracker. Ava Kate loves chocolate donuts probably even more than her mommy so we had a breakfast of warm AM chocolate donuts. Grandma came over and gave Ava her new purple tricycle complete with sunshade and horn! Nana and Grandma joined us for lunch at Mr. Gatti's and Ava loved the bowling. After lunch we went to The Grace Museum and played for a while in the tot center. After all that playing mommy and Ava were both ready for a nap before Ava's family birthday dinner. Since Ava loves hamburgers Nana and Pop grilled hamburgers and made homemade french fries and then we finished the night off with chocolate cupcakes which Ava had requested. Then Ava opened her doctor's kit and Fancy Nancy doll from Nana and Pop and her silky Fancy Nancy PJ's from Aunt Natalie and the boys. It was a perfect way to spend the day celebrating our sweet 2 year old!