Thursday, December 31, 2009

video chatting

we got a video camera for christmas thanks to paw paw & maw maw. we've been shooting lots of video and trying to figure out how to share it. so, here is our first attempt at uploading it and sharing it. some of our sweet little lady talking to us

Merry Times

I love Christmas. I love the meaning, I love getting presents, I love the eating, I love the quiet and the chaos, I love stockings and ornaments, I love time with family, I love the traditions. Going into the holiday this season I was struck by how busy we get. It seems like so many people I talked to were just "so busy." This really bothered me. I'm not sure why we run ourselves ragged or put ridiculous pressure on ourselves during a time of year that I think was intended for something else. I think back to a "silent" night over 2000 years ago. Jesus entered our world as a sweet and needy baby in the presence of his parents and some animals. There wasn't a bunch of rushing around or busy-ness. I was fortunate because I'm still on maternity leave and a 6 week old doesn't require much, so the holiday was chill for us. And I like that.

Charis wishes you a Merry Christmas!
Adam and I are trying to figure out what traditions we'd like to have for our family. I absolutely love traditions, so it's fun trying to come up with things we'd like to incorporate for our family. In reality I don't want myself or my family to lose sight of the season. I mean- there is video proof of a 7-year-old Amy counting presents and greedily going through her pile. We all get caught up. I'd just like to intentionally make the effort to come back. Maybe it was the rain or maybe it was having a new baby, but we got to spend a quiet Christmas day together watching When Harry Met Sally and Scrooged, and holding our sweet baby girl or watching her discover her world. It may be cheesy, but she's been our best present. I am thankful God knows what's best for us. I'm thankful He gave us Jesus.
I wasn't good about taking pictures, but here are a few of our sweet little lady.

Charis in her santa dress

spending Christmas watching Charis play

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Windy Gap

The first time I went to Windy Gap was the summer after my sophomore year of high school. My parents had gotten divorced and my dad was remarried. I had gone to a different high school than what my junior high fed into b/c those years sucked. Fortunately, I was involved in a church youth group with leaders that loved me, so I wasn't completely lost. I knew a little about Young Life, but as a Christian kid I didn't approve of it. But, the Lord has something in store for me. I found myself on a van to Windy Gap with a group of kids from North Myrtle Beach. It turned out to be the best week of my life and the best thing for me. I learned more about what it meant to follow Christ and more about God's love for me. It was amazing.
Since the summer of 1994 I have been back to Windy Gap many a camper, work crew, leader, and staff. This week our Region went for it's Winter Staff Retreat & Christmas party. We got to take Charis for her first (of many) trip to Windy Gap. And it was a great trip. I am proud that we made it through her first road trip...even if it was just 3 hours away for 3 nights. She did awesome. Plus it was great for me to go and just be with my family and not have to be "on" the whole time. (usually part of my job is to help my boss organize and run this)

the family at the GAP
One of the highlights of our trip was capturing Charis rolling over!! Yes, I admit, I am that new mom that thinks everything her baby does is cute and amazing. You've all been there ladies, so don't judge. Adam is really diligent about giving Charis "tummy time." I mean-really diligent. Last night he had her on the floor of our cabin and she is bobbing her head up & down. I decided to take a picture of it because she is just so cute! After I snap the first picture she proceeds to roll over! And I was able to capture it on film (well digital). It was just so cool. I must say that I'm not ready for our little lady to be doing anything major. After being told a million times that "this time flies" I am trying really hard to soak it all up and enjoy her being a baby. In the meantime I will soak up her little milestones too.
Think of it like a flip book

Sunday, December 6, 2009

every kiss begins with Kay

This post has nothing to do with Kay. It's just that the horribly cheesy commercials play all the time, so it's in my head. This post is about the fact that our baby girl is ONE MONTH OLD!! holy moly. That's just crazy. I'm constantly in a stay of disbelief that my life is where it is. This isn't what I planned. So much of my life is not what I plan. God is continuing to show me that He has a plan and to trust in His perfect and pleasing will. Oh how thankful I am that He has given me this amazing little girl at a time like this.
I guess the best way to really capture this past month is through some highlights, revelations, and experiences we've had. So, here goes...

Charis at 1 month!
  • i love the sounds Charis makes...she hums, moans, grunts at all times. nothing is sweeter to me than those noises.
  • i love to watch Adam with her...dancing, singing, rocking, even sometimes when he says something and i ask "what" he says, "i was talking to my daughter."
  • i love the way her head rests on my shoulder in the nook of my neck. love that.
  • i learned the hard way that babies "wake up" after 2 weeks, so the 6 hours of sleep was just a fluke. ohhhhh okay.
  • after being told how fast this time goes, i am making a conscious effort to enjoy all the moments...the sweet ones and especially the hard ones
  • we've loved having so many visitors. i love seeing others loving on our baby girl. some of my girls from Country Day have come to visit and that's been so fun watching them.
  • we celebrated our first Thanksgiving with some friends. i'm not sure she was fazed. But we did make our first turkey (local, organic, & free range i might add).
  • i love to kiss all over her...her cheeks, her neck, her hands, feet, but especially the space on her neck. oh i could squeeze her.
  • i love the way her hands stretch out just like Adam's.
  • i am amazed at how i can wake up from the most wonderfully deep sleep when i hear her making her noises at any hour.
  • she has the sweetest cry.
  • we've watched Adam's Saints win some great games! (like beating New England)
  • we are learning a new normal for us that includes this new person...i mean--for the rest of my life. getting out of the house takes more work, planning and the perfect timing. eating is a feat too...usually we take turns.
  • i've learned that getting up in the middle of the night isn't that hard for me, it's the evening hours after 9pm that i start to fall apart.
  • my love for her grows with each new day. i mean for real. when she smiles (even if it's not the real ones yet) my heart sores. and when her bottom lip pokes out in a frown, i am so sad and find that i would do anything to take away her sadness.

my mom bought this outfit in Germany...a scarf?!
This has been an incredible month. Didn't think I'd be here this time last year. But could not imagine it any other way. I am more in love with my husband too. I am so thankful for the way he helps me, especially in those moments I need him most and don't know how to ask. I love the way he loves Charis and how he says it so much. This is definitely an adventure for us. Everyone tells you it's the best & hardest thing you'll ever do. Well, you can't understand that until you are in it. We are in it and I'm beginning to understand it. I still can't believe I am a mom. wow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

what's in a name

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned (called) you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
I love this verse. the part about being redeemed and the part about being called by name and the part about being His.
I continue to be flabbergasted by the fact that we have the privilege and power to name someone. That's just crazy to me. Adam and I decided on a girl's name way before we even knew we were having a girl. We also decided to keep the name secret, which turned out to be fun b/c that's all people really wanted to know. There is something about our names. They become our identity. Well, here is how we chose Charis Root.

Charis is grace in Greek. We both love the concept of grace and the fact that we have been redeemed by God's grace. Other definitions of the word charis is "that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness." And I hope all those words will be words that our little girl will be identified by throughout her life.
Root. Well, I could just say that Adam and I are hippies at heart. Maybe a little true. But, it started because we liked the idea of using a concept from scripture for a middle name. Root comes from a passage in Ephesians 3 (v.17) that says "being rooted and established in love." Another part of the meaning of Root comes from Adam's love of trees and the image of trees throughout scripture. The root system of a tree is it's foundation; it's what nourishes the tree and keeps it grounded. Root is a reminder to us that we are rooted in Christ's love.
We do hope she likes her name, but we also realize that her name is a reminder to us. Each time we look at her and hold her we are reminded of God's redeeming love in our own lives.

Monday, November 16, 2009

the first week

As I sit to write this Charis is nestled close to Adam as they nap on the couch. It is so fun and so sweet to see my snoring (I like to call it heavy breathing) baby napping on her daddy.

in the Moby with daddy
This first week (and a few days) as a new mom has been amazing. The story of my pregnancy and journey has been remarkable. The main message I feel like new moms get is "just wait." In fact, we got it today from a waitress at the Charlotte Cafe. Just wait for what? I assume it's just wait til you are sleep deprived...frustrated...worn out...spent...exhausted, or just wait til they aren't this cute...and talk back. I'm really not sure what I should be "just waiting for." So instead I am soaking up and enjoying these moments. My whole pregnancy I heard about how fast this time goes. I feel like I heard someone say "the days are long but the years are short." This scares me. It makes me sad to my core. I am making a conscious effort to enjoy every single moment with Charis. When I'm nursing, when she's fussing, when she's sleeping, when I change her for the 10th time, when she's screaming, when she's starring up at us...I'm trying to soak up every moment with her now.

just the sweetest sight
I'm sure everyone thinks this, but we do have a great baby. She has weathered lots of visitors, which we love. She is eating great...starting to see that super cute baby double chin. She sleeps like a super star. Really. She's lasting sometimes 6 hours at night. I am so thankful for that sleep. I have yet to learn how to nap during the day while she is napping. But, I think I will start soon. Just a few "firsts" for her...she's slept in her crib for the first time, she's enjoyed her bouncy seat for the first time, she found her thumb for the first (& only) time, and she hung out in her Moby wrap. It's funny how the smallest things become so amazing!

45 seconds of pure bliss!
I'm not lying when I say I'm not exhausted. I may still be on some adrenaline high from last friday. I am thankful for the big and small moments. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed at how much I love this little lady Charis Root. My love for my husband has grown deeper over these past 10 days. And my love for and awe of our Abba Father has increased. I am humbled. I am so thankful. I am hopeful. I am in awe. I am overjoyed. I am constantly reminded of God's ridiculous love for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What a Story!

I have been wanting to do this post, but am at a loss for words. How does one put into words the feelings that come with the birth of their child? I will try to share a glimpse of the incredible happenings...starting with the beginning.
the birth story
As I had posted before, it was my hope and desire to give birth naturally. On Friday, 06 Nov. there was just something in my heart that knew it was THE day. The day we would finally meet our little girl. We decided to go on a long walk that day (it had become our daily activity) at Freedom Park. Then, I took a nap b/c you need lots of rest "just in case." After I woke up my water broke. I wasn't experiencing contractions at the time and from what we had read and researched we had plenty of time. I talked to our Doula, Brooke, who said the same. So, we went to Mac's for dinner. At some point during dinner I started to experience some contractions, so we went back home. At around 7:30 I talked to Brooke again b/c my contractions were so close together and pretty intense. (we were still thinking we had a long time ahead of us) I did my best to rest between, and Adam was the best coach ever...constantly encouraging me, rubbing my back, doing whatever needed to be done. At this point I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Just before 10pm we called Brooke back b/c nothing changed...they continued to be intense and close together. Since we were delivering in Concord, Brooke said she'd feel better if we were closer, so we decided to head to my sister's since she lives up there. Adam packed up the car and we were on our way. The moment we pulled out of the driveway I felt the urge to push. And we still had the trek up 85...with hazards on and going about 80 we were on our way to my sister's. With each contraction, though, I wanted to push. We had Brooke on the phone with us, and decided that we needed to go straight to the hospital. We pulled up and I told the lady at the desk that I needed to push (not register). The nurses took me back to check me and I was "complete" (i.e. 10 cm and ready to push). I knew this!! So, they took me to a room and I was ready...except we had to then wait for the doctor before I could push. Brooke got there just when we did. My sister and mom were there to take care of the registering so Adam could be with me. Once the doctor was there I was ready to go! I pushed through a few contractions and then decided I wanted to use a squatting bar. This was the best! After 2 contractions with the bar, Charis was born.

minutes after birth...LOVE her!!
I was so proud of myself. I really did it. I really just gave birth to this amazingly beautiful girl without drugs! I did it with the amazing support of my husband (he was the best and most perfect coach). We did it with the amazing support of Brooke. And I would say that the pre-natal yoga and research was helpful. But, ultimately, I had let go of what I wanted and the desire to prove myself, and trust that God was in control.

a picture of the new family!
Adam and I both realized that this feeling you get when you have a baby doesn't necessarily come instantly. There is no "way" it's supposed to feel. But that it's very individual and very amazing. When she was born, I was just overwhelmed. I knew I loved this little girl instantly and I just couldn't believe how much God loved me to give me this little lady to love. I'm still pretty overwhelmed. I just want to look at her and kiss all over her. I am definitely doing my best to enjoy these moments...I am. I am loving every moment of this.

I just love this picture...she was bobbing her head

Sunday, November 1, 2009

a quick break

Tomorrow I officially start my maternity leave from work. I am looking forward to having some time off and a break. Even though that break will include taking care of a new baby and beginning a new journey into parenthood.
I am very fortunate because I love my job. I love that I get to care for other YL staff and hang out with some fun high school kids. It has been easy for me to hand things off in both the office and on my YL team b/c I have some great folks helping me out. But, it also feels a little weird to not be working. I think I'll be okay though. :)
I remember when I told kids that I was pregnant. They have been incredibly excited from the beginning. They have loved me and my belly baby for these past 6 or so months. I have gotten to share with some of them what God has been teaching me in this process and that's been the best part. I love these kids. I want more than anything for them to not only encounter Jesus, but to want to follow Him. My hope for them is to know just how much God loves them and desires to be in relationship with them. I am so thankful God chooses me to be used by Him to reveal Himself to them.

me and my super fun friend, Elizabeth
I have been getting texts and facebook messages lately from girls asking about the baby. I can't believe how excited they are and I can't wait to share this new journey with them. It's going to be so fun watching these girls love on my little girl. In the process, I also get to learn a little bit about teenage girls.

a group of CCDS friends at our shower!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just add baby

I think originally we were thinking we wouldn't put a lot into a baby room. For me it's because I don't have much creative vision and it feels a little much to put so much into a room for a baby. But, as we began putting this room together, I realized it wasn't about how much I spent or my "theme" or color scheme, but more about creating a space for us to be with our baby. A space to rock her, to read to her, to play with her, to be together. We both find ourselves wandering into her room just to be there, and sometimes we'll sit in there together and just talk. I've come to love this little space that I think is perfect for our baby girl and us. We have been so fortunate to get some donations (crib & bedding) and to find some fun additions. it's still random but i love it. so, here are few pics of our little place for baby girl patwa who will soon be here. whoa!

this super fun mobile i got from Etsy

a fun vintage light from my bf and our prints from Asheville

our dresser/changing table w/ fun Anthropologie knobs
and fun pink artwork from my friend, taryn

a view of the the stuffed lamb from nesting!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reflections on Motherhood

My early fears in finding out we were pregnant were mostly centered on not feeling ready to be a mom. It seemed to me that women who plan to start a family are a bit more “ready.” Oftentimes I was struck with such an intense fear or anxiety about entering motherhood. I’ve been watching my sister and close friends become moms for 12 years now. There is a sort of sisterhood in motherhood. Unfortunately, it’s not a sisterhood I always long to be a part of. Becoming pregnant means a sort of passage into this new “sisterhood.” And, like most places where there is a majority of females, it doesn’t always feel like the most welcoming of places. I have learned a lot in these past 8 or so months. About myself, about God, about other women, about this sisterhood of motherhood.
One thing that has struck me is the lack of ability to celebrate with one another in the choices we make as moms. I’ve noticed pride and defensiveness, judgment and criticism, and comparison. None of which have been drawing me into this next journey. Not only have I seen and experienced this in other women, I’ve noticed it in myself. There have been countless times that I’ve talked to Adam about this and been so overwhelmed by it. Why do we care so much how others choose to raise their children or run their lives? Why can’t we, as women, come around one another and support the choices we make? And celebrate in our differences!
Another part of this fear for me has been the knowledge that I will screw up as a mom. What if I can’t do it? I have been so encouraged by others, including high school kids, about being a mom. BUT. When I look at all the moms that have gone before me, they look like they have it all together. It’s as if we are afraid to admit we don’t have it all together or know exactly what to do. It isn’t until I really talk to moms that I see some vulnerability and humility. Otherwise I feel like we live in a world that is telling us to act like we can handle it all. Can we? Then where does God fit into this if we can handle it all on our own?
In sharing my own hopes, desires, plans, whatever with others I’ve been confronted with this harsh truth—it feels like no one wants you to succeed. One of my hopes is to have a natural birth. This isn’t a new concept at all. I don’t even think it’s crazy. But, usually when I share this with other women I am confronted with words and attitudes that don’t feel encouraging. I’m not going around with an “I’m better than you” attitude about this. I’ve done reading and taken a natural childbirth class, I have a husband who is supportive, and we’ve invested in a doula to help. And, I’m completely realistic. I know that all that matters is a safe arrival into this world for our baby girl. And in reality, a natural childbirth provides that the most. “God created my body to do this” is my mantra that I plan on reminding myself in labor. Giving birth is a HUGE deal whether we have a c-section, painkillers, or natural. None makes a woman “better.” Yet, I feel like I constantly have to defend this desire of mine.
In college I took a Parenting class for my major. And something my professor said has always stayed with me…”parents are doing the best they know how with what they have.” I believe this is mostly true, and it’s allowed me to have a little more compassion for moms out there. Granted, we may think otherwise at times.
I have amazing girl friends and am incredibly fortunate and thankful for the variety of women in my life. This journey is teaching me to celebrate with each of them in the uniqueness of who they are as women, as moms, as friends. I have been so frustrated with a sense of competition or pride that infects this sisterhood. More than anything when I’ve shared something about my plans; I’ve just wanted others to encourage me in that. But, unfortunately I’m met with a “you have no idea til you get there” or “are you sure you want to do that” kind of attitude. Why does it even matter? I’m not saying it’s all other people because God’s been holding up a mirror to me as well. He’s revealed all the yucky parts of my heart that have been critical or judgmental towards others. He’s teaching me how to be more compassionate and gracious towards others. He’s showing me my need for this sisterhood because what I want to do most is run away from it and do this by myself. I realize as women we need each other, whether we have children or not. You may think someone’s choice or decision is crazy, but if it’s not endangering anyone, encourage them and celebrate the fact that God has created all of us to be different types of women, of friends, of moms.
At about 33 weeks I had my biggest “meltdown” which I like to describe as a thunderstorm. ☺ I felt all these fears and emotions coming to a head. God has been nudging me to talk about them, and I had some. But on this particular day, they flooded out of me. The excitement of having a baby and the fear of entering the unknown. The uncertainty of the future. The frustrations and hurt I felt from others. The heartache for my friends. All of it just BOOM exploded. And my husband was there in it with me and it was wonderful. Shortly after this, maybe a week or so, I sensed an incredible peace. It felt almost tangible. God was reminding me that He’s got me in His hands. He’s equipping me. He’s preparing me. He’s chosen this journey for me. He’s given me a partner who loves and supports me and is in this with me. He wants me to trust Him. I will mess up. I will encounter discouragement from others. I will need Him more than ever. I will also learn to celebrate with others. I will learn to encourage them in their own choices or desires, even if they seem crazy to me. I am a part of this sisterhood now. I will embrace it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

it's time

no, not that time. but it's time for a new post. my hope it to get something on here soon about this journey. adam has encouraged me countless times to put it on here. so, i'm continuing to think about it.
we are less than 2 weeks away from being a mom and dad. crazy. this has been an incredible journey. i will share more soon.
i just realized we are a blog post away from introducing baby girl patwa to the world...those of you that visit us here. can't wait.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sometimes I forget... loved I am. Don't we all? As if God's love for me isn't enough, He loves me through my husband, my family, some very amazing friends, and with the rolls and kicks of this little girl growing inside me.
I have this amazing friend that has loved me in new and amazing ways...she gets me, even though I am "out there." She has taught me so much about my own heart and pursuing the hearts of others. She makes me excited to have a baby girl b/c of the way she talks about girls and our hearts and how special God makes each of us.
Adam and I got to spend an evening with her and her amazing husband, Chris, as they captured this special time for us through the lenses of their cameras. You should see these two work and set up was so fun to play model for them...even at 33 weeks pregnant. Here is a link to their website so you too can see just how amazing she is with her words and her passion.
Jen Hunt Photography
(i just realized this may be tacky of me to share this, but i don't care...i want everyone to see what my amazing friend is capable of AND i love my pregnant belly too)

Monday, September 21, 2009

I am a broken seashell

I am not one of those people that feels like "the Lord really laid this on my heart" kind of people. I probably don't hear from Him so much because I'm usually doing all the talking. So when (if) it happens I feel super special b/c it's something that He wants me to hear specifically from Him. And it happened recently.
While I was at the beach for our YL staff women's retreat, God spoke to me. And it was really cool. So cool that as I thought about it today, I felt that it's worth sharing. During our time there we looked at Jesus healing the bleeding woman (Mark 5:24-34). This has always been a story I loved b/c God not only healed her physically, He freed her spiritually, mentally & emotionally. She left her encounter with Christ changed on all sorts of levels. morning I went for a walk on the beach. It was such a great morning. I spent my walk praying (me talking) and just observing. I noticed that a lot of people were out looking for seashells. So, I started looking down to see if I could find a really cool one. This beach had some great shells. This is when it happened...

I was looking for shells--kinda. I love the spiral ones. And i was looking for one that was perfect and whole. In the meantime I'm passing up and over looking hundreds of other shells. That's when I felt the Lord say, "See, I don't look for the one that is whole or put together, but rather the one who is broken. And in that brokenness or imperfection I find beauty." I was so struck by this. And I really thought about how sometimes I even feel that I can't go to Him broken, but yet that's when I need Him the most. Then there are the shells that look perfect, and the moment I pick them up and turn them around, they are broken. Or the ones that just have their insides exposed. All are beautiful in their own way. The bleeding woman was a broken, but beautiful shell. I am a beautiful, but broken shell. An God is inviting me, beckoning me, to come to Him. In fact, He seeks me out as I try to hide among the other broken shells, or as I try to show my best side to fool Him (& others) into thinking I'm okay, I'm not broken. Yet, with any further digging He finds that I am not whole and I am ashamed of this. And still He passes up the perfect & whole shells to pick me up and take me home because to Him I am beautiful, I am a treasure.

I was so thankful that God showed this to me and continues to allow it to sink into my heart.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Year of Surprises

It has been a year of surprises for me...and by year I mean the one that started November 8th, 2008 when I turned 30.
I started the year with a surprise birthday party (amazingly pulled off by my husband, sister, and best friend). It was absolutely amazing and the best surprise ever. Since I was turning 30 I wanted to be celebrated big time...and I was. Then in March we took our first trip to California where I was surprised to find out how much I love it (northern Cali that is). Driving along the Pacific Ocean had to be the best. But, the surprise came on March 15th after our trip when we found out I was pregnant. Yes...SURPRISE!! What an amazing journey that has been so far...I have come to love this little life growing inside of me. When we found out she is a girl, I was surprised to realize that I was excited about that. I always saw myself with boys...mainly b/c when it comes to bows and monograms and all that girly stuff, I'm at a loss. Plus, we girls can be mean. But, I was excited and that was a big surprise. Last week I got another surprise when I took a quick trip with about 14 other YL staff women to the beach. I am technically the Regional Womens Coordinator or something like that, so it is part of my job to care for the women on staff and to give them a voice in the greater mission of YL. I actually love this part (surprise). Anyway...these women, some of whom I just met, through me a surprise baby shower while we were at the beach. It was such a sweet surprise. They really got me! I got our stroller and they spent a few minutes sharing things they appreciated about their parents and even things about me, then they prayed for us. It was simply wonderful.

walking into the room--shock!

the ladies "surprising" me!

i mean--who knew a stroller would be so exciting!!

So, here I am, 7 weeks away from becoming a mom. Yes, I'm excited. But I am also freaked out. I know that I'm in for some more surprises (especially since the "year" isn't up yet).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

it's the final countdown

since i've was up at 4am, i thought i'd really give y'all some updates!
think (proceed to jam for 5 min)

okay so this really has nothing to do with the band Europe or their song, but as I approached the 30 weeks mark, it kept coming to mind. really, just the line: "it's the final countdown!"
for me there have been a few places in time of this pregnancy that really mark it for me. the beginning when we found out. of course. 12 weeks...when we told others our news. 20 weeks...b/c that's halfway. and now 30 weeks. i mean--this is the home stretch. in a distance event it's that last few laps or meters or whatever. i can't necessarily get to this finish line any sooner or with more effort, nor do i desire to. i have to admit that this pregnancy has been amazing. what a journey it's been for me. i'm entering motherhood. (that's a whole other blog post) i am so thankful for the journey God has brought me on as he prepares me for something bigger than myself. spiritually, it's drawn me closer to God as I am constantly amazed that He designed and created us this way--to have another human growing inside my belly. those words alone are crazy. but, when i'm lying in bed and this little girl is doing all sorts of crazy kicks, rolls, and punches i am in AWE with a God who loves me, who created me to be who I am just as he knits together our baby girl in my belly. i love it. it's definitly been emotional and not because of the hormones. it just is...things become clearer, relationships already begin to change, you think more about stuff (like another person), you encounter things that are new. physically, it's been great. the beginning not as much fun as now. i was waiting with anticipation for my belly to expand...i couldn't wait to be bigger. now, it's a joke with me and adam about how huge i thought i'd get. pregnancy has done a reversal on my self-image...i love my body more now than i ever have. (not sure i will be able to say that in November, but hey) my body is doing something it was created to do...carry this little one. yeah, it's strange and strange things happen, but i have really been feeling great. and for that i am so thankful. i would like to thank swimming and pre-natal yoga for this too. i hope my final 10 weeks continue to be as great has the first 30 have been.
we've taken a picture each week sinc 20 (mainly b/c i wanted to make a flip book). so enjoy the growing belly! (i'm missing weeks 21 & 22)

20 weeks 23 weeks

24 weeks 25 weeks

26 weeks 27 weeks

28 weeks 29 weeks

30 weeks!!

inspired yumminess

so, around late spring/early summer i decided i would try to make it to one movie a week. we were doing pretty good on this, especially since movies (after their first 2 weeks) at AMC are only 5 BUCKS on weeknights. in the beginning we saw a slew of movies...i can't even remember. but, now it's gotten tricky b/c there isn't much out (playing at AMC) that we are interested in seeing and we have to wait 2 weeks to pay only $5 or use these passes we have. anyway...

a couple weeks ago we saw Julie & Julia. we loved it. meryl streep is amazing and we just fell in love with julia child. well, all i wanted to do afterwards was EAT. i was so inspired. no, this is not turning into a julie-type blog where i cook my way through julia child's cookbook. at one point julie had made this bruschetta that looked amazing. i love bruschetta. as they ate it, adam and i both commented on how good it looked. so, later that week i headed to the Tailgate Market for some farm fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. i used ciabatta bread and lightly browned it in a pan with olive oil. then i topped the yummy goodness on top and ta-da!! i mean--it was really amazing. I know it's not good to brag about yourself, but for real. All you have to do is mix together chopped tomotates, garlic & basil (a bit of s&p too). let sit in fridge for a couple house to marinate. heat olive oil in skillet and lightly brown/toast slices of ciabatta bread. spoon topping onto slice and enjoy.

the finished product (pictures just don't do it justice)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lagniape for us

This post is mostly b/c it's time for a new one and because I can.
Shortly after we moved into our new house and got our cable hooked up, Adam and I discovered a little lagniape (a little something extra). By cable I do mean channels 2 to 13 for about $12 a month. we were channel surfing we discovered something was showing on channel 7...usually it was fuzz b/c channel 7 is HBO. But this time is wasn't fuzzy, it was crystal clear. Could this be? Yes, it's true, in addition to ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, the CW and those others we have HBO. And we both are a little obsessed with it...I've watched movies over and over just b/c I can (HULK and a Jason Bourne to name a couple). And...we've just gotten into True Blood, the Vampire serious. I have to admit it's a bit sketch and it goes beyond my affinity towards vampires (thanks to Lost Boys).
Thank you TimeWarner for our nice little gift.

Friday, July 31, 2009

last day

As I drove into work today, I realized that it was my last time making the drive from University area to Cotswold, where my office is. How exciting!!
For the past 2 years we've gotten to live right by UNCC at a discounted rate while Adam was in school. He's been able to walk to class and meetings. It's really been a gift to us. But is the only transition word I can think to use, yet it implies negativity. Oh well. But, our time there is over. No more frat parties. No more close quarters. No more steps. No more pool. No more apartment living (for now). No more taking our recycling to Reedy Creek park. We are moving "in town" as I like to say. And we are both so excited. It's going to be great (& more grown up feeling) to be in a house. It's going to be HUGE to be close to church, my work, and friends. It's going to be great to take walks in a neighborhood instead of a campus. It's going to be fun to be so close to places like Sir Ed's and Ben & Jerry's. Mostly, it's going to be fun (& a little strange at first) to have a nursery. We were fortunate to find a rental with enough rooms to have a separate "study" for Adam and a nursery for baby girl patwa. And I'm thankful for that.
I know this seems dramatic. It kinda is.
We hope to have people over come anytime!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

24 hours of Booty

This past weekend we participated in 24 hours of booty, a 24-hour cycling event to raise money for cancer. When I say participate I mean that I volunteered & cheered and Adam rode with some guys on a team called Hope for Sydney.

Adam with the team jersey on getting ready to start
Our friend, Sydney, was diagnosed in December with a significant brain tumor. This event was amazing. I remember one time going to a Race for the Cure race with my mom and seeing all the survivors of breast's completely overwhelming. I realize that both my parents are cancer survivors, and for that I am so grateful. This event was similar...there are teams biking for loved ones who have lost their battle, who are in the fight, and who have won their battle against cancer. Cancer really does affect just about everyone.

Hope for Sydney Team

What made this experience even more incredible was doing it with Sydney.
me & Syd before our shift on Friday
We decided to volunteer together Friday & Saturday. Sydney said to me, "Everyone is here for a reason and I want to find out why they are here." Let me just say that Sydney is friendly and super bold. I realized my own inability to ask questions of strangers. Not Syd. She has no shame in asking, "so why are you here?" During our volunteer shift on Friday we met a handful of folks and got to hear their story (mainly b/c Sydney asked them why they were here). We met a man who lost his wife, Christine, to breast cancer in February. He shared his story so freely that I had this moment of awe that here the 3 of us were in the middle of "bootyville" as this guy shares what cancer did to his wife's body and spirit. It was heartbreaking. Then there was the teacher from Hickory who started "Team Jordan" for one of his students diagnosed in 2007 with Leukemia. This is just one of many races they ride in. Jordan is doing well and still under intense chemo. We later met his dad too. And there was Brian, a cancer survivor himself, who matched Sydney in spunk and energy. Later he took Sydney to meet his family and they totally embraced her. It was fun to cheer for him as he rode the Survivor's lap. These are just a few stories from the thousands that were there. Watching Sydney with other people is amazing. I wish I had the boldness she does. I wish I even had the desire she does.

Syd working hard! (notice the cool tat & free t-shirt)
Adam and Hope for Sydney did great too. They rode at different times throughout the 24 hours; some even through the night. They raised a bunch of money for cancer research. But ultimately they rallied around this amazing family, the Gaylords. It was so fun to see so many people come out to cheer on the cyclists and to love on Todd, Sydney & the girls. I love seeing our community in action. I imagine it's exactly what God desires for all of us.

Vail & Haven sporting their Hope for Sydney tees! so cute!
Next year you may see me and our little one on a bike. (it may be safer for her to ride with Adam) But I know I want to ride on Hope for Sydney team every year!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

my girls and their amy

When I was 13 I moved with my mom, sister & brother into a house in a neighborhood in Cotswold area. It was the turbulent 9th grade...jr. high sucked and my parents were recently separated. We moved next door to this family with 2 beautiful & adorable little girls. I spent the first couple months stalking them...not in that creepy way, but in that I'm 13 (almost 14) and have no life so I babysit all the time kind of way. You know.
Me & the girls at Carowinds...probably 12 or so years ago.
Anyway, early that spring it snowed and I finally got the nerve to go out and meet them. McKendree was 3 and a half and Barret had just turned 1. We played in the snow and I fell in love with this family. I started babysitting for them right away and often. They became my family away from my family. I went to the beach with them and other families for about 4 years and spent every New Year's Eve babysitting them. As I got to see these wonderful girls grow up, they got to see me grow up. Burley and Nancy loved me like their own daughter. And they always called me "my Amy." I love this family.

me & the girls with Isaiah at a gra
duation party for me in 2001.
In 2005 Burley was tragically killed in a traffic accident. I was heart-broken...not only b/c I felt the loss myself, but b/c this family lost a huge part of them. I can't say enough good things about Burley...he was an amazing husband and an incredible father. It's been a new journey to walk through with "my girls" as now they are older (20 & 17) and dealing with major life issues..including the loss of their dad.
About 2 weeks ago Nancy got remarried. She found love again and for that I am so grateful. I can't imagine the hope that brings to her. I got the privilege of being there celebrate with them and read some poetry at the wedding. Remarriage is bittersweet, and all I want is for Nancy to be happy and for my girls to be happy.
Nancy & her new husband, Mike, exchanging their vows.
I love these girls. I want them to know that God loves them deeply and I pray that in the midst of this journey they experience His healing and His love.

Barrett, me & McKendree @ their mom's wedding (aren't they beautiful!?)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're Halfway there...


forgive the Bon Jovi song, but as I keep thinking about being HALFWAY through this pregnancy, this song pops in my head. and it's all a little true...we'll be living on a prayer (or more) and we'll make it (i swear).

so, yeah, 20 weeks marks the halfway point for us. i can't believe we are entering the second half of the pregnancy. my belly now looks more like a baby belly and less like a fatty belly. i feel so great. i'm trying to stay active b/c i know as i get bigger, it'll just be harder to do. i pee a lot. i've decided to take a tally today to see how much i go. i mean--last night from 7-10pm i went about 8 times. and i've been getting up in the middle of the night for the past 6 or so weeks. i know, i know, just wait til i have a bigger little person pressing down on my bladder. i get it. i'm just surprised at how much i have to go already!

i am both excited and petrified of being a mom. i must say that so far the journey has been amazing. God has really been meeting me in the places of my insecurity, doubt or fear. He has also really bonded Adam and I as we talk about parenthood and all the expected (& unexpected) stuff that goes along with it. He's going to be an amazing daddy to our little girl. I can't wait.

Here are pictures of both of us at this halfway point!!

Adam wanted me to pull up the orange tank b/c he said i looked weird!

Monday, June 15, 2009

it was always

I just got back from a trip out to Frontier Ranch with 36 high schoolers and 6 other leaders for the most amazing week ever. I'm trying to think of the best way to share this with y'all...i'll settle for a list. So, here are some of the MANY highlights of the week:
- Being able to take girls to camp...I haven't done that in 4 years!
- Being in Colorado and at Frontier.
the most perfect Rainbow
- Laughing until I want to pee in my pants (i can get away with this too)
- Hearing about how much God loves me and my high school friends..."God loves you the most and knows you the best"
- Eating at a crazy western steakhouse with neckties, dancing, a mascot, an indoor slide & texas-sized servings of food.
- Seeing my friends' faces light up...constantly as they are surprised!
- Watching the walls come down...that so many of us build up to protect ourselves.
- Having real conversations with my friends about real stuff.
- Dressing up & being silly
- Winning the Golden Glove for the cleanest cabin!!! Yeah we did!
our Cabin with the GOLDEN jealous
- Experiencing God through nature, my high school friends, the camp staff, humor, and through His Word.
- Having my friends share their excitement about our baby--telling me they can't wait to meet her and loving her already.
- Camp food...mainly the best dessert ever called Trainwreck. oh wow.
- Reading "Same kind of different as me"
- Being able to love on my high school friends, just like I was loved by my YL leaders & Youth Group leaders when I was in high school.
our group on Western night

and really so much more! I love how God shows up at camp, I love the way Young Life uses every detail of camp to reveal God's love to teenagers. I love that YL camp is placed in beautiful places where we can't deny His existence or His love for us. I love that God allows me to be apart of what He is doing in the lives of others.
This past week was more than I could have hoped was AMAZING.