Monday, December 29, 2008

Only 1 week to go!

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and has enjoyed (or is maybe still enjoying!) spending time with family and people that you love. We had a nice quiet Christmas at home and it was great! We went to the Christmas Eve service at McKinney (the church that we will probably eventually join but haven't finished "shopping around"). It was sweet little Maylee's first outing and we loved getting to be there for it. She was so pretty with her little red dress on and big white bow on her head. I can hardly wait to see her and Cayden together! Anyway, our friends Brandon and Stephanie sang during the service and did amazing and it was just a nice way to kick off the festivities of the following day. We had a nice dinner with my parents that night and enjoyed being at home. Here's a picture of me that night, at 38 weeks. I can hardly believe how big I am...


I feel like everywhere I go people gawk at me because I am enormous!!! Everyone says that I'm all belly, but still...I just feel fat!

This Christmas was extra special for me, being 9 months with child. It's hard not to think about baby Jesus and Mary when you have a baby moving around in your belly all day long.

Christmas morning we ate breakfast, opened gifts, and lounged around in our PJ's. Despite the fact that Collin and I weren't going to do gifts because we bought a nice new camera back in November which was to be our gift to one another, I cheated. I got him a Wii and he was SO surprised and really excited! He told me that he was mad at me for getting it, but surprisingly not mad enough to want to return it to the store...imagine that! :) We've had fun playing it. Here's a picture of him once he realized what it was...his face says it all!


Collin helped my dad lift something crazy heavy in their backyard on Christmas afternoon and messed up his back. Well, I say he "helped". My dad was turned around doing something else and Collin just did it by himself. What a stinker! He had major back problems a few days ago but it's slowly getting better. We were praying that Cayden would hold off coming so that Collin's back could heal up. The sleeping arrangements for the daddy's at the hospital are not the most comfy, so we want his back to be in good shape! Luckily, our little boy helped us out and didn't come quite yet.

I had my weekly checkup at the doctor's today. Since last week, we are scheduled to be induced on Monday, January 5th. My doctor told me last week that if I wasn't dilated to at least 2 cm then we would have to check into the hospital at midnight on the 4th and I would have to have something inserted to help my cervix dilate more. Sounds fun, I know. We were really hoping and praying that I would be at least a 2 at this appointment. Well, I wasn't. Still a 1 1/2. BUT, I am effaced 80% and because of that, my doc said that we won't have to check in early. She said that you usually efface before you dilate all that much and that 80% is far enough along that she thinks I'll be fine. I thanked her and promised her that I would walk a lot between now and then. My mom and I walked this afternoon and I plan on doing as much walking as I can this week, as much as my fat feet, over-exerted lungs, and tired legs will let me. So, unless little Cayden gets restless and decides to come on his own (which every now and then I start thinking, "Maybe this is it..." because I'm having so much cramping, but it always subsides), he should be here 1 week from today! We check into the hospital at 9:00 AM on Monday. The doc also told me that she's on call this weekend so if a slot opens earlier than 9 AM, she'll pencil me in and call me. So, there's a chance we could be going in on Sunday night! She knows that I am SO ready to have this baby!!!

We are pretty much ready for him to be here. There are a few last minute details to get taken care of, but for the most part, we're ready. All the bags are packed, the electronics charged, the car seat base is properly installed in the car, etc. I am typing up some Bible verses to take with us to the hospital to help me get through labor so if you know of any - maybe some that helped you - I would love to hear them! The nerves have really set in as far as delivery goes, but I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be. A lot of my friends say that's how they felt so I guess that's normal. I keep telling myself, "God made women's bodies to be able to do this!"

We're also trying to spend some time with Ace because his world is about to be completely turned upside down. He's had a hard time with the transition of moving and we're a little concerned about how he's going to do with a baby around. I will close with this picture of him curled up with me in the recliner. I was reading the book, "Same Kind of Different As Me". It was SO good...I read it in less than 2 days. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I didn't send out Christmas cards this year. I feel bad about it but I figured being 9 months pregnant, people would understand. So, if you're reading this and you sent us a Christmas card, thank you! We love getting them and I apologize that you didn't get one from us this year. Here's a little Christmas cheer from us - sorry you didn't get it in the mail!

Medium

Monday, December 22, 2008

The countdown is on!

Well, I had my 38 week doctor's appointment today. My pregnancy is perfectly textbook healthy and Cayden is doing great. I don't feel all that great (between the cramping, heartburn, aching body parts, swollen feet, and running to the restroom every 5 minutes but who's complaining...) but as fas as the doc's concerned, the baby and me are doing fabulous. If this little guy doesn't decide to come on his own (and believe me, I'm trying everything I can think of to make that happen!) then we got the word today that we will be induced on January 5th. Two days before our due date and two weeks from today! We were hoping for a little earlier but the hospital is really booked up around this time of year plus we're having to work with my doctor's schedule and the holidays. So, at least there's an end in sight. This little guy should be here in 2 weeks (or less if he decides he's ready sooner)! So exciting!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long time coming...

I have been meaning to post this for a while now but we've been so busy and time is seeming to fly by faster than ever these days. So, here's a little of what I've been meaning to write about. *Just a forewarning...this will be long!

We've had 2 great baby showers since we moved to Fort Worth. The first was here on November 1st. My mom's best friend and a woman who is dear to my heart, Theresa Cockerham, along with Larissa and a couple of other dear ladies threw me this shower. I was waiting to post this because my new friend Leslie, who happens to be a great photographer, took pictures and I was waiting to get them back. I haven't gotten them yet so here are some random pics from various people. Sadly, I was horrible about taking pictures at this shower so I don't really have any from my camera.

My mom made this diaper cake...look at how she painted Cayden's name along the base. So cute!

My mom and I before the shower started (sorry it's a tad bit blurry!).

Theresa decorated in a very cute baby blue and chocolate brown theme. Here are some of the tables before the shower started.
She had pictures of Collin and I growing up in the centerpieces and it was precious! It was fun to walk around and look at all of the pictures!
There was an excellent spread, thanks to Theresa. She always does such a great job!
Larissa had her ultra-talented friend Shelley make the cake and it was AMAZING!!!
Can you tell that I was really excited about this gift?!? It's a baby's first Bible and the person who gave it to me had Cayden Day engraved on the front. I love it!
We got so many great things for Cayden and had a really fabulous time!

The following weekend we made the drive to Houston for our baby shower there. My sweet sis-in-law, Carissa, along with my mom-in-law threw us this shower and it was great! Carissa and her husband Nick, along with my in-laws, totally outdid themselves making it special for us. Again, I was not good about taking pictures and didn't whip out my camera to get any pictures once the shower began. I did, however, get a couple of pictures of the decor before it started.

Carissa made these letters - how cute are they?!? She gave them to me after it was over and I have yet to decide what I want to do with them. I want to do something cute and fun with them, I just don't know what yet.
Collin's Grandad made these train letters when Collin was little and my mother-in-law pulled them out of a box a while ago along with some other little boy toys of Collin's that Grandad made. We discovered that we had all of the letters to spell Cayden's full name except that we were missing 1 E. So, Grandad made another E and they had them setting on the mantle at the shower. How cute!
Carissa decorated in a really precious alphabet theme (which is extra cute since that's Cayden's nursery theme). And she made the cake herself...all while having a 6 month old at home! It was not only adorable but also yummy!
My friend Kristin's mom gave me this diaper cake. Isn't it cute?!?
We got most of the rest of what we needed for Cade at this shower so it was a huge blessing. It was so nice to be able to see friends that we hadn't seen since moving and, of course, to spend time with family that we miss so much.

Also that weekend, Carissa took our maternity pictures for us. The weather turned out to be great - here are a few of the shots. Thanks Carissa for doing such a great job and for giving up your Saturday morning for us! We love you!
This isn't all that I had intended on posting about but since this is already so long (Collin just pointed out to me from the other room that I've been "typing for a while now"!), I won't bore you any longer! If you're still reading this, then thanks! We hope that everyone is doing great and is getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things are happening!

So I had a doctor's appointment today at 35 weeks 5 days. They did our final sonogram and told us that they think Cayden is weighing somewhere around 6 lbs 3 ounces! They said that was about normal for 36 weeks but I was surprised that he was that big! No wonder I am getting so uncomfortable! And did you know that boys typically weigh more at birth than girls? I learned that reading my What to Expect When You're Expecting book. So interesting...

Now for the exciting part...I am already dilated about 1 1/2 cm and 50% effaced! I was so happy I almost hugged the doctor! Sweet Larissa had a terrible time during labor last week because her body was not cooperating...she was not dilating much on her own and it made for a difficult induction. I started getting freaked out that I could be in a similar situation and have a body that wasn't cooperating so when I learned that my body is doing what it should, I was thrilled! I know that people can walk around for weeks dilated so it doesn't mean that the baby is coming any sooner or anything, but I am glad to know that my body is working with me and not against me!! And just in case, I am going to try really hard this week to finish my Christmas shopping!

I have been meaning to be better about blogging lately but it just hasn't happened. Everything with us is going great. Collin's busy at work but doing well and I'm trying my hardest to get everything ready around here for a baby! We have started making Ace sleep down in the utility room for the past few weeks and he hates it. We knew that we couldn't have him sleeping with us when Cayden comes because Cade's bassinet is in our room so we moved Ace downstairs at night. We wanted him to have several weeks to make the transition and man, the cat does NOT like it and makes sure we know about it! We found a pediatrician and I am so excited about him! I have heard amazing things about him and his practice and I'm thrilled that he's our pediatrician. They have hours on the weekends, 1 evening a week, and are really good about not over medicating. I am hoping that we don't have to spend much time at his office but I feel good about who we've chosen for a doctor for Cayden. My hospital bag is about 80% packed with the things that I can pack ahead of time. And I'm planning on packing the diaper bag when I'm done typing this. It seems surreal to think that in just over a week we'll be considered full term pregnant. Aagh!

We took a "Joy of Parenting" Class through the hospital last weekend. They taught us Infant Choking and CPR (which is the sole reason that we took it) and we feel a lot better about bringing our little boy home after doing that. I have a fear that Cayden is going to choke on something so I wanted to be sure that we knew CPR before bringing the little guy home. The rest of the class was pretty pointless and honestly brutal to sit through. I cannot see getting a whole lot out of it unless you have never in your life been around a baby. Most of what was taught we feel like is instinctual. There were a few things that we learned that we will be implementing, though.

Baby Maylee is the sweetest little thing. It's still hard to believe that my best friend since 3rd grade has a baby! And everytime I hold her I think about how awesome God is that He allowed Ris and I to go through this experience together. And now Maylee is here...it won't be long and her best buddy Cayden will be here...crazy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Announcing Maylee Gail Simpson!

It has been a long few days but Maylee Simpson is finally here! She made her grand debut at 11:26 PM last night! She was 9 lbs 4 oz and was 21 3/4 inches long. She has a little strawberry blonde fuzz for hair and is the most precious little thing! Poor Larissa's body was not cooperating and after having her cervix stretched for 12 hours on Monday and then being induced for 12 hours, having her cervix stretched for 12 more hours, and then being in labor for 17 hours yesterday, they finally did a c-section. I am so excited that I can hardly stand it!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankfulness

We have so much to be thankful for this year. God has provided for us – like He always does – but He has blessed us with a lot of the desires of our heart in 2008. I am thankful for our salvation, our health, for Collin’s new job, for the opportunity to be close to my parents for the first time in 7 years, for good friendships and wonderful family, and for never being in need of anything…there are so many things. But this year, I have such a special thing to be thankful for. I am tearing up just typing this, but I am SO grateful for this precious little boy growing inside of me. I remember back to this time last year…Collin and I wanted a baby so bad. We hadn’t been trying to get pregnant very long and were very hopeful and optimistic but as time started going by and it wasn’t happening, I started to get worried. It seemed like everyone around us was getting pregnant fast and while we were thrilled for them, we secretly wondered if anything was wrong with us. All I’ve ever really wanted to be is a wife and a mom and the thought that it might not ever happen for me was devastating. Every month that we weren’t pregnant was heart breaking. God revealed a lot to me during that time of waiting. He showed me overwhelming love and more than anything, He showed His sovereignty throughout this whole process. He grew Collin and I even closer and provided such an encouragement and support for me in Collin. When I finally saw those 2 pink lines on the pregnancy stick on May 2nd, I burst into tears immediately. And looking back on it, I am amazed. We had no idea at that time that we would be moving 300 miles across the state in just 4 ½ short months. If we had gotten pregnant any earlier than we did, it would have made for a big mess. We have needed these months since we moved here to prepare for the baby. We could have made it work, don’t get me wrong, but God knew all the details and made it a smooth transition for us. Thankfully, nothing was wrong with us and it was just a matter of timing and waiting on Him. He is always so faithful to me and yet I always stand amazed at His perfection with all things in my life.

We weren’t trying to get pregnant for very long compared to so many people but when you’re worried that it might not happen for you, it seems like longer. My in-laws tried for years and years to get pregnant before Collin came along. I read blogs of girls all the time who have been trying for 2 years or 4 years or longer and are having to go through all kinds of fertility treatments. It absolutely breaks my heart. I in no way want this to sound like I’m complaining because it took us longer than we thought it would to get pregnant. I just want to share how especially thankful we are for our little blessing. God answered our prayers with this baby. I want Cayden to always know and feel how very loved he is and how much we wanted and prayed for God to bring him to us. My cup truly runneth over this year… Thank You Lord for all of your many blessings and for answered prayers in Your perfect timing. My friend Stephanie emailed me this poem the other day, saying that it made her think of Cayden. I cannot read it without tearing up and smiling at the same time.

A Little Boy
Scuffed up knees, a freckled nose with dimples here and there.
A daring, caring, sharing heart; a mass of tousled hair.
Boundless curiosity, the spirit to explore.
Two twinkling eyes, a smiling face, and energy galore!
A love of life, a bit of sass, a source of untold joy.
A wonderment, a dream fulfilled, God’s miracle…… a Boy!!!

If you’re waiting on God to answer your prayers this year, please know that He hears you. And that even if you’re having to wait for something, there is a reason and He will work out all the details. It will be better than you can even ask or imagine. Cast all of your cares on Him because He really does care about you so much. And His strength truly is made complete in our weakness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guess What?!?

Cayden has turned and is no longer breech!!! I had my 34 week doctors appointment yesterday and was surprised to learn that this babe is now head down! So, unless he switches back (which is unlikely), I will most likely not have to have a c-section! Cayden was moving around SO MUCH last week and I'm sure it was during that time that he switched positions. I had been telling Collin for several days that I felt like he dropped, which I know seems crazy because it's too early for that. It just felt different...when I sat down, it felt bigger towards the bottom of my stomach - more pressure. Neither Collin nor I figured it out that it was because his head is now down low and I was feeling that. Ha! I felt silly yesterday when I put two and two together. My feet are still swollen but my blood pressure is still good and everything else is perfectly normal. And I only gained 2 ounces in the last 2 weeks. Since I learned that, I have devoured almost an entire bag of candy cane hershey kisses. Have you ever had those? I LOVE them! I figured I could indulge since my weight gain was very slim the last 2 weeks :) I'm not eating them for myself...I'm trying to fatten this baby up! Haha...I'm obviously in denial.

Collin and I bought part of our Christmas present to one another this past weekend. We had decided that we wanted to get a new digital camera before Cayden's born. We shopped around online, found what we wanted, found the best price, and on Sunday afternoon we went and bought it! We love it so much! We're still learning how to use all the features and everything but we're looking forward to all the pictures that we'll be able to take with it! Here's a belly shot that Collin took of me on Sunday at 33 weeks, 4 days.

Collin did his ride along with his cop friend on Saturday night. He had a good time and came home with lots of stories. Mostly stories about how silly people are and some of the ridiculous reasons why they call the cops. But he did have a sad story about a 15 year old boy who they arrested. He was drunk and found with a marijuana pipe. So sad... But Collin got home safe and sound at about 2:30 AM on Sunday morning. I couldn't sleep with him gone so we were both really tired the next day but he's glad that he did it and has a lot of respect for police officers.

I hope everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving. I am thrilled about all the food this year, maybe because I can eat without feeling guilty about it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

To God be ALL the glory...

God humbled us and showed off a little yesterday so I have to share how awesome He is!

When Collin began feeling God pulling us to another city, we had no idea exactly why. As he began looking for another job and as time went on, the market was getting worse and things at his company began to decline. Over the last 6 months, he began feeling like the company might have to pass out layoff's after the first of the year, which only caused Collin to look harder for another job. He accepted the job that he has now in August, we moved in September, and he started October 1st. As anyone who pays attention to what's going on in the world knows, October was a rough month in the financial world. We learned yesterday that a Financial Planner at Collin's old company (which was his old department) was laid off. We feel confident that if Collin was still there, it would have been him and this woman both laid off. That's not to say anything negative about Collin. He is a hard worker and was loved at his old job but he had less experience than everyone else in his department and was the youngest on the team (besides the interns, of course). So, all that to say, we could be having a very different week this week. God not only got Collin out of that situation at the perfect time but he provided him with a great job making more money with a boss that he really likes! We are counting our blessings right now for sure. Praise be to Him, the giver of all good and perfect gifts!

If you are struggling with something today, I encourage you to give it to Him. He truly does work all things together for our good. He looks out for His children constantly and is working in our lives even when we don't feel like it. And His timing is ALWAYS perfect.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" -Matthew 6:26

The woman that was laid off is named Sue. If you think about it, you can join us in praying for her. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to lose a job right now...right before Christmas and in a field that is really hard to find a job in currently.

In other news, this is the first weekend since we moved here that we don't have any major plans. I am so excited! I think we'll just hang around the house tonight, run some errands tomorrow, and then tomorrow night Collin is going on a Citizen's Ride Along with his new friend Brandon, who is a police officer. Please say a prayer for him! I'm sure it's totally safe but I'm a little paranoid. We went to dinner with Brandon and his wife Stephanie and some other friends on Monday night and Brandon had bruises and scratches all along his arms from chasing a guy down. He spent a long time talking to us about his cop stories and while it's interesting to hear, it makes me nervous thinking about my husband being with him!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh my...

That little ticker to the right is getting awfully close to the end! Less than 50 days to go until we are 40 weeks! This pregnancy is going by so fast, I can hardly believe it! We are now 33 weeks along and it's crazy to me to think about how big Cayden is already...according to Babycenter, he is over 4 pounds and is over 17 inches in length. I believe it too...his movements are becoming so overwhelmingly strong that they make me jump sometimes! He does these body rolls that make my stomach twist in crazy shapes. There's nothing like it!

Last weekend, we took a Lamaze/Childbirth class. It was a Friday night (6-10) and all day Saturday (10-6) class through the hospital. We really liked our teacher - she made it humorous and was very knowledgeable. We learned a lot about different pain management techniques and different laboring positions. We got to try all the different things out, which felt a little silly in a room full of strangers, but I'm glad we did because it allowed Collin and I to see what really works for me and what positions were most comfortable. We learned how to time contractions, detailed info on c-sections (we were the only ones in our class that had a breech baby but the teacher indulged us and gave us the skinny on what to expect, should it come to that), and all kinds of info. I had heard horror stories from several friends about the awful videos that were shown in their childbirth class so I was a little nervous. We only saw 2 graphic videos and the worst of those wasn't as bad as what I was expecting. The teacher did bust out with a baby doll and a pelvis and showed us how the baby fits through but it wasn't as bad as it sounds. We left the class feeling better about the labor & delivery process and more prepared.

I promise that I am going to post about our baby showers, I am just waiting on some pics from the Fort Worth shower. I hardly took any pictures but my friend Leslie took some so as soon as I get those, I'll post about everything!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Final Hurrah

Since we, along with our dearest friends the Simpson's, are about to embark on the journey of parenthood, we decided to take one final evening to get dressed up and go out on the town before the babies arrive. Clint, Ris, and I met Collin downtown (since he works there, he was already there) last night and ate dinner at the Reata. The Reata is a restaurant that I have always wanted to go to but have never been. It's a 3 story restaurant - the 3rd story is the roof and you can eat outside or under this beautiful dome. We ate under the dome and had a great view of downtown. Plus, the Lord blessed us with a full moon last night so it was especially beautiful. I have always loved downtown Fort Worth at night. There are lights in all of the trees and on many of the buildings. It's so pretty. No matter what time of year it is, it always feels a little like Christmas to me with all the lights. I love it! It was neat for Collin to get to be down there after dark - it's always light when he arrives and when he leaves, so he had never gotten to see it lit up. The weather last night was perfect. We really could not have picked a better night to go. Collin got a ribeye and I had chicken fried steak and it was SO good! I should have taken pictures of our food, but I didn't. We each got a dessert (something different) and then shared. They were so yummy! Here's a picture before we devoured the desserts.


Collin's office is right across the street from the Reata so we were all able to go over and see where he works. It was so nice and I loved being able to see where he spends his workdays! We took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures while we were there.


Is this chair not hilarious?! This is one of the seating options in the reception area/waiting room in Collin's office. It looks totally out of place. There's a normal leather couch and a few normal chairs and then this. Larissa and I were joking about how awkward it would be if you came into the office and that was the only chair left for you to sit in. Ha! You cannot tell from this picture, but the chair is so large that my feet weren't touching the ground! That's a big chair because I am 5'7"! We had a great time last night - it's so weird to think that pretty soon the 4 of us won't be able to do that without having to get babysitters!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby Update

I have not been great about updating what's going on in our lives lately, so I am going to try and be better about that. I'll start with my favorite topic, Cayden!

I went to the doctor on Monday for my most recent check up. Little Cayden is doing great. He is measuring right on track with my due date and is an active little cutie, so all seems to be well. I have been coming down with some sort of cold or something so the doc put me on a z-pack and I feel better already. And I was told that about a week after I'm done with my z-pack, Collin and I have to go get flu shots. I was thinking that since I was pregnant I shouldn't do that this year, but my doctor looked at me like I was crazy when I said that so I guess whoever told me that was a liar. When I told Collin about that, he was less than thrilled. He got a flu shot last year and then got the flu but he'll suck it up for Cayden and get one :)

My feet are still crazy swollen so that's not fun but my blood pressure is still great so that's a blessing. Hopefully that will continue throughout these final weeks. I had a sonogram to check the little guys position and sure enough, that stinker is still breech. I really felt like he was but at least we know now for sure. I think that if he turns, I will know it. The doctor says that we don't need to worry at this point but that I need to start thinking about whether or not I would want her to try and turn him (a procedure that does NOT sound fun) should I get to the end and he's still breech. She said there's still a chance that he'll turn on his own but the more time that goes on, the less likely that is. She gave me some exercises that I can do to try and encourage him to flip on his own. So far it hasn't helped but it's only been 2 days. I feel him trying to turn on his own but, for whatever reason, he's having trouble. Poor little guy. We will do another sonogram in 2 weeks to check his position again and then a big one at 36 weeks to check his measurements and everything. I am so curious to know how big he is!

We've had a couple showers in the last few weeks and are pretty ready for this little guy! There's just a few last minute things that I need to get. The glider that we ordered came in last week so I went and picked it up last night. Collin and my dad set it up and it's WONDERFUL! I love it so much. I could sit in it all day. Plus it has an ottoman so I can prop my fat feet up while lounging in it, so that's a plus.

My mom is starting to think that he might come early with my feet being so swollen so she's helping and encouraging me to be completely prepared by early-mid December. With me, she had to have an emergency c-section at 36 weeks and they were not prepared, so she keeps saying, "If that were to happen, I want you and Collin to be prepared!" She's sweet. She even keeps making comments about having Cade's stocking ready (she's making it) in case he is to grace us with his presence before Christmas. I really don't think that will happen but I guess you never know. It's better to be prepared, right? I'll post about the showers over the last few weekends soon. We've had so much fun and been so blessed by all the things we've gotten!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thoughts about last night...

No matter your thoughts about the election results last night (and believe me, I am less than thrilled), Beth Moore posted a blog today that is worth reading...

A United House
To my beloved Sisters who I esteem so highly and consistently find to be part of the solution to our problems in the Church rather than the cause,

Please join me in praying for our President-elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and his precious daughters, Sasha and Malia. Go with me before the Throne of our sovereign God and ask Him to grant wisdom from above to President-elect Obama and the indwelling presence and power of Jesus Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..."

Please also join me in the active and deliberate pursuit of unity and purity in the Body of Christ at this historical time in our country. I implore you in Jesus Name to have zero tolerance for prejudice whether it is regarding party-affiliation, color (whether you are Black, White, or Brown), economics or the like. Disagreement is not sin. Prejudice is. Satan has plotted events and planted attitudes that, should he be successful, will result in havoc. We must not stand for his schemes or cooperate in a single way. We would severely displease God and invite untold chastisement upon Christ's Church in our nation. Speak clearly to your children and graciously but emphatically draw a line in your work places and social circles regarding your stand against prejudice of any kind.

"Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.'" (Matthew 12:25) A united house stands. A divided house falls. The devil has much to gain. But he also has much to lose.

We are the Body of Jesus Christ and we have an opportunity to show His character. This is our watch. We stand for what is right not from our feet but from our knees.

I humble myself before you and make these pleas under such bold direction of God that I could not resist it nor disobey it. He made it a fire in my bones.

I love and esteem you so much. Shoulder to shoulder, Dear Siestas. Let's leave not one inch for the enemy to come between us.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall is in the air!

This is my favorite season. I love the leaves changing colors and all the fall gourds and fall smells and most of all, the yummy fall foods! Here are a few fall recipes that I love!

Ashley's Pumpkin Bread
INGREDIENTS:
3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (15oz) can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (8x4 inch) loaf pans. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Roll
INGREDIENTS:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup flour

FILLING:
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4 T butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat sugar & eggs. Beat in remaining cake ingredients. Grease a 10"x15" jelly roll pan. Line pan with waxed paper, then grease and lightly flour the waxed paper. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until a little brown. While cake is baking, sprinkle powdered sugar heavily over the kitchen towel, using a sieve or sifter. Turn hot cake onto the towel. Remove waxed paper. Trim off burnt or crusty edges. Sprinkle more powdered sugar over the hot cake and quickly roll up with towel inside. Let cake cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare filling by beating together all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Unroll cooled cake and spread with the filling mixture. Roll up cake with filling on the inside. Wrap in waxed paper and then foil. Refrigerate or freeze. To serve, slice cake about 1/3 inch thick and sprinkle with powdered sugar. This is so yummy and pretty, too!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch
INGREDIENTS:
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
1 butter recipe golden cake mix
1 cup chopped pecan bits
1 cup melted butter
Vanilla Cool Whip

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Combine eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Pour it into the greased pan and then pour the dry cake mix over it evenly. Sprinkle pecans on top. Then drizzle the butter over it, and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. This definitely needs to be served with Cool Whip!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup crisco
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 bag chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Cream crisco and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin. Add dry ingredients (flour, soda, and seasonings). Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
**I always add extra cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. And I don't put the nuts in ours, but these are so so good! It seems like a weird combo but the pumpkin makes the cookies very creamy. Try them and I promise they will not dissapoint...we love them!

So I just noticed that all of these recipes are dessert type recipes. I guess it goes along with the season, though! We eat a lot of sweets this time of year! I am planning on trying a new butternut squash soup recipe soon so if that turns out to be any good, I will post it. That seems fall to me! Another thing that I like to make around this time of year are gingerbread waffles. I don't have the recipe for that handy or I would have posted it. It's a Rachael Ray recipe so I'm sure you could find it online if you're interested. What do you like to make around this time of year? Another thing that my mom and I like to do is to make apple cider and put red hots in it. Yum! I have loved looking at all the pictures of people taking their kiddo's to the pumpkin patch. I can hardly wait to dress Cayden up and do that next year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I am looking forward to...

I came across these pictures the other day and I just had to share! If Cayden looks anything like his daddy in the pictures below, it's going to be all over for me...what a cutie!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who says girls get to have all the cute clothes?!?

Look how precious these overalls are?!? I picked these up from BabyGap for Cayden last week. They are so soft and I can hardly wait to cuddle him while wearing these this winter!

And I love love love this velour outfit - I picked this up last week at the same time. I have visions of Cayden running around wearing this next Thanksgiving. So fun!


Also, have you voted yet? We went and voted last night and I proudly wore my "I Voted" sticker on my sweater when we went to dinner afterwards. This is such an important election - make sure you vote!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The need to nest...

*Update- it has come to my attention that the below sentence reads like I am giving birth on Saturday. I am NOT giving birth to this baby 2 1/2 months early! We went and did our hospital tour this past Saturday. That's what I was trying so say! Sorry about the confusion!*

We went and did our tour of the hospital where we'll be delivering on Saturday. I really liked the tour guide and was impressed with the hospital. I learned that they have a brand new NICU and can handle babies born after 28-29 weeks (which I'll be 29 weeks tomorrow) so that made me feel good. The hospital is close to us so we won't have to drive downtown or anything, so that's nice. And one thing I'm super excited about...it's close to a Subway and a Sonic. The 2 things that I have been missing eating while pregnant is deli meat and corn dogs so Collin won't have too far to drive to get me those things post delivery :) Here are some pics of us in front of the hospital.

In the above picture, Collin and Clint were showing off their pregnant bellies (Collin had my sweater under his shirt!). Silly boys! Larissa and I both got a tad bit freaked out while there. Just being at the hospital and seeing all the equipment and talking about all the details with hospital types...it's overwhelming. Although we have known this truth, you sort of come to the realization of, "This baby has to come out of me...and soon!!" When we found out we were pregnant, 9 months seemed so far away, but now that we're getting so close, it's almost surreal. I have definitely felt the pressure to get some more reading under my belt this week. I bought the What to Expect During the First Year book on Sunday and borrowed another book from a friend. I want to be as prepared as I can be not only for labor but for adjusting to life as a new mommy. Am I normal for being a little freaked out? I would love to hear how you were feeling when you were approaching the home stretch!

Last weekend, our baby furniture came in. It's sitting in my parents garage in boxes. I want so badly to set it up (especially since some of Cayden's bedding came in the mail yesterday) but it makes no sense to do that at this point. It's been a struggle for me to not know where we'll be living and if we'll even be able to find a house that we love and get moved and settled in before the baby comes. I LOVE decorating and not being able to get his nursery ready right now is hard for me. But, I'm so thankful that we're here and I know that everything will work out beautifully. In the meantime, I am just trying to get everything together so that when it does happen, we can set it up in a hurry.

If you have any advice on preparing for baby - both for the delivery part and for once we get home, I would love to hear it! If you don't feel like sharing on here, call or email me!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pictures and baby update!

We have not been good about taking pictures lately so last weekend we took a few! On Saturday night we went to dinner at this BBQ place out in Glen Rose and then we went to see The Promise. It's a musical about Jesus life that they have done since I can remember. I hadn't been since I was a child and, obviously, Collin had never been. He said it reminded him of pagaent at Houston's First Baptist Church. We went with my parents, some of their friends, and our friends Larissa and Clint. We had a good time - here are some pictures from the night. You can kind of tell how big I am getting - Clint joked in that shirt that my stomach sort of looked like a disco ball! Ha!

I had to post this picture of the boys at dinner - it makes me laugh.

So, now onto the baby update. This has been a weird baby week for us. I went to the doctor Monday morning for a check up and to do my glucose test. My doctor saw how swollen my feet were, especially my left one, and basically freaked out. I asked her if it was normal to have one foot way more swollen than the other and fully expecting to hear her say, "yeah, sure" she shocked me by saying, "Actually, no - it's not normal". She ordered a doppler flow study of my left leg to be sure I didn't have a blood clot. So, I went downstairs and checked into the hospital and had that done. It just took about an hour and came back that I do NOT have a blood clot. Praise the Lord! So, my doctor thinks that Cayden is just sitting on my left side. And since he's still breech - I didn't have another sonogram but I can just tell, he still only kicks me really low - then that means that he's probably sort of sitting up on the left side of my body facing the right side of my body. Imagine a little boy sitting up in a school desk. Larissa thinks it means he's advanced :) I tend to agree. He's definitely GT! So, back to the swollen feet thing, my doc put me on a low sodium diet and ordered me to spend several hours a day with my feet propped up, preferably level with my heart. I've been spending a lot of time in a recliner. And can I just tell you that EVERYTHING has sodium in it!!! An 8 oz glass of 1% milk has 130 mg of sodium. It's insane. It's been a bit of a challenge but the results this week are fabulous! My feet look like new feet. I went out last weekend and had to buy new shoes because none of my shoes (except flip-flops and it's starting to get chilly here) fit. I normally wear a 7 or 7 1/2 and had to buy an 8 WIDE and another pair that's an 8 1/2. Crazy. And now this week that the swelling's gone down, the shoes are a little big! Oh-well. Larissa reminded me last night that I still have at least 2 months to go so they might still swell a bit more even with this new lifestyle change. And in the meantime, I'll just wear those little thin flesh colored socks to fill out the extra room. But my blood pressure is still "stellar" in my doctor's words so that's really good.

My doc's office called a couple of days ago to let me know that I passed the glucose test with flying colors (which I was extra glad to hear because diabetes runs in my family and I was told that I was at advanced risk) but I am anemic with the latter part of this pregnancy so I am now on an iron supplement. So, that's been our exciting baby week!

Hope everyone reading this is doing super!!