Last weekend I attended the Women of Faith Conference in Dallas. It was a nice weekend of encouragement and just getting to be around sweet friends. I was awful at taking pictures so I don’t really have any from the weekend to share. I am going to try to get better about taking more pictures with a baby on the way! The conference was at the American Airlines Center. I had never been there (it’s probably about 4 years old now – built after I moved away from the DFW metroplex) and it’s huge! The speakers were, for the most part, great and I enjoyed them tremendously. Sandi Patty was there and it had been a LONG time since I had seen her. Natalie Grant (who is adorable and after seeing her in person totally reminds me of my sweet friend Kasi) sang and spoke a little and did a tremendous job. Nicole C Mullen was there and can I just say that I completely adore her?!? She’s incredibly ripped (like incredibly…arms like I had never seen on a woman) and just seems like the sweetest, most giving, and humble person. I was totally blessed by her heart. Patsy Clairmont spoke and I hardly have words…I laughed so hard! I hope that when I get to be her age that I have that much energy. I bet that she is the most fun grandma! Sheila Walsh spoke, and while I wasn’t familiar with her going into this, she’s one of my new favorite people. She spoke on prayer and on all that God has taught her about prayer in the last few years and it was so so good. She wrote a book called “Get Off Your Knees and Pray” and I almost bought it. But then I realized that I could get it online for cheaper so I plan on ordering it or putting it on my Christmas list. There was an organization there called New Life that I had never heard of. It’s a lot like Living Water, if you’re familiar with that organization. They help provide clean water to families in Africa and provide schooling and food to children, etc. The way it’s set up is that you adopt a child (they have brochures of all of the children with pictures and a little blurb about them) and for $1/day you are able to provide clean water, food, clothing, schooling, etc. for that child. They told of shocking statistics – like most families walk 5 miles EACH WAY, DAILY to get dirty water to take back to their family and that 1 child dies in Africa every 15 minutes from lack of clean water due to a disease as preventable as diarrhea. Heartbreaking. I sat there and cried. They told a story of a little boy from Rwanda, named Emmanuel, whose father was killed 10 or so years ago by insurgents. His mother fled with the children to Uganda but had no way to provide for her family. Praise the Lord that all of her children were adopted by New Life, including Emmanuel. He was able to get an education, he learned English, and was led to Jesus by some of his teachers. He was gifted musically and was able to grow in that gift. He became a huge Sandi Patty fan and said that he could relate to many of the things that she sang about…he called her the woman in the box (meaning the TV). Soon the word of his talents got out and he was invited by the president of Uganda to come into his home and perform. Due to the contacts that he made, he eventually got a scholarship to Georgetown, where he currently attends. He was at this conference and came up on stage and was able to share how God has changed his life. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. He talked about how he came to America and was so amazed because our dogs are so well taken care of, getting pedicures and things. He said, “I came here and saw how animals are treated…and I know that if God can take care of animals this well, he can provide for the children in Africa!” It was sweet and eye opening at the same time. The coolest part was that, since Sandi Patty was there, she came up on stage and they sang together! They were both crying and it was so touching! Alright, now that I am crying all over again…I’m going to move on!
I left Friday morning to head north for the conference, by myself. I should preface this by saying that it’s been a long time since I’ve made this drive (usually about 4.5 hours) by myself – I have gotten spoiled by Collin who always graciously drives and lets me sleep (I am a HUGE car sleeper!). I was not looking forward to making the drive alone and had decided ahead of time, in order to avoid multiple potty stops, I wouldn’t drink much while driving (and I didn’t drink much of anything that morning either). And it worked. I only had to stop twice, I think. I was pretty proud of myself – if you could possibly understand how much I have to potty these days, you’d be proud of me, too! Well, we got to our hotel that afternoon; checked in, walked to dinner, and then walked to the American Airlines Center (I think it was something like 1/2-3/4 of a mile from our hotel). The American Airlines Center holds some enormous and ridiculous amount of people and it’s HUGE! We were on the top level (the third level) and let me just tell you, it was a steep little stair climb to get to where our seats were. I am very much afraid of heights and it scared the heck out of me. So, in an effort to try and eliminate having to make multiple potty runs and avoid the scary stairs, I didn’t drink much water. To further illustrate my point I think that I should also tell you that we tried to walk a different way back to our hotel that night and got lost, so we added at least ½ a mile onto the already long walk. By the time we got back to the hotel, I went to take my shoes off and OH-MY-GOODNESS…I had marshmallow man feet. Humungous swollen ankles….cankles! I had cankles for the first time in my life! Part of this little naive pregnant girl thought that it might just be because I had worn new shoes (dumb, I know) and they were a little tight. The swelling got worse on Saturday. By the time that I got to my parents house on Saturday night, my parents could hardly believe it. We took pictures to document but they don’t do justice at all. Why is it that the gravity of the situation never comes through in pictures?!?
I had a check up yesterday and was really looking forward to going over the measurements from last week’s ultrasound with my doctor (my doctor wasn’t the one who did the ultrasound). The place that I had the ultrasound done hadn’t sent over the results yet so I was pretty bummed. The doctor that did the ultrasound told us that everything looked good (and he specializes in detecting down syndrome and other fetal abnormalities through ultrasound) and healthy so it’s not like we’re worried or anything. I just wanted to talk about it with my doctor. She told me that since they hadn’t rushed the results over that it was a good sign. They only do that when something’s wrong. I also wanted to hear my doctor say, “Yes, it is indeed a boy!” I’m starting to get a little paranoid about that because everything is now blue and I just want to hear someone else confirm that Baby Day is indeed a boy. The sonographer pointed out his little boy part but I didn’t really even see it coming out from between his legs (although Collin did). I told my doctor that and she goes, “So, what did you think it was just a floating wiener!” Ha! I know that we saw it and it’s definitely a boy so I don’t know what I’m worried about. I’m just the type of person that needs lots of confirmation! I talked to my doc about my swollen feet and she said to just keep my feet propped up as often as I can and drink lots of water (which I knew and was already doing). They’re looking a little better everyday but they’re still a little puffy. One of my co-workers told me yesterday that she could definitely tell they’re swollen and that it looked like my shoes were too tight! The joys of pregnancy :)