Saturday, May 30, 2009

2009 Wedding Extraordinaire

It's official now. Chad's brother, Andrew, has married his girlfriend of almost 5 years, Ms. Trish. The ceremony was beautiful. Everything went great as far as I could tell. I'm sure they're glad it's over and they can begin life.

Weddings always make me think about our wedding day. It was a great day. Chad and I will be married 8 years in October. Time really flies. You always hear people say: "I wish I knew then what I know not". I don't. I love the journey we've had. It's not always been easy, but it's been so much fun.

Chad and I have been through some things other people haven't had to face, but that's cool. It's made us closer to each other and our Lord. I know more about him now than in 2001, and I love him more than I ever thought possible. Chad and I don't have to be together all the time to be happy and secure in our relationship. We have mutual respect and understanding. He knows me and I know him. And, we're just getting started.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Mondo Post

Thanks for all the comments on yesterday's post. I really did want to know how the masses felt. And you told me. It was a great human interest experiment.

Moving on.

I got a text(I loves me some text) this morning that read: "Shallow spirituality leads to shallow Christians". I received this in reference to a conversation I was having with someone about Johanna and her, most likely, home going(I like that so much better than dying or passing away). I'm not going to give you the deets of the conversation, because you don't need to know. Was that harsh? Probably, I'm sorry it wasn't intended to be harsh. I just don't want to offend anyone directly involved. The gist of the conversation was as follows. Chad and I have accepted the fact that Jo will go to be with Jesus before we get much, if any, time to spend with her. We are OK with that. In fact, God has become incredibly big to our family in the last month. I couldn't begin to describe all of His blessings to you. You wouldn't believe me.

Back on track. Others we are around have not accepted the fact that Johanna will die very very young. And there's nothing we can do about it. In fact, we have been reprimanded for being accepting, or reminded constantly that God can heal her. Quite frankly I'm tired of hearing it. Let me be OK with what God is doing in me(literally right now). I don't know if the nonacceptance of this very obvious fact(to me anyway) is a lack of understanding, or something else entirely. I have said it again, but I chose to repeat it again today. God doesn't always heal the way we want Him to. Sometimes His healing is more perfect than touching the sick body. Maybe God wants to heal Jo by giving her a perfected heavenly body, and a permanent home with Him. I still think she will have red hair like Clayton, even in her perfected body.

I guess this is my point. We are supposed to surrender ourselves to God's perfect will and plan for our life. Maybe we don't have to like it, or even understand it all the time. But, we do have to surrender to it. It could be detrimental if we don't. Ask Moses. He didn't listen to God's will about striking the rock, and he was banished from the promised land. God means business. I believe God's lesson for me, at this point anyway, is to trust Him, and not to live in la la land that Johanna is going to be born healthy, wealthy, and wise. Hebrews(probably Paul) (this is paraphrased) says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I'm hoping for strength, wisdom, peace, and comfort. I have evidence of all of them. Christ didn't heal Lazarus when the peeps wanted Him to. He did it on His time table to teach them more. That's His lesson with Johanna. He's going to take her home with Him, to teach her family a bigger lesson than healing. I'm excited now.

I have a bit of scripture to go along with it. I never really liked the book of Job. It just didn't appeal to me. Let me just say, I have a new love for Job. He was a cool dude. I hope it can be said about me, that in all of this I didn't curse or blame God. Woot for Job.

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42:5-6
Enjoy your Friday. It may be Saturday by the time you finish reading the "War and Peace" post. It's wedding weekend for Chad's baby brother. It really will be a blast in more ways than one. I'm outie. Wedding deets to follow. Later tater.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TV Families

Love 'em or hate 'em?

I'm talking about the "real" families. Not the Jeffersons or the Cosbys. More along the lines of the Gosselins or the Duggars.

I will confess that I am a Duggar fan. I admire some parts of the way they raise their children. I like that there family is centered around their faith. Christ and Church is the main theme of our family, so I guess I feel a kinship with them in that respect(except with less little ones). There are a lot of naysayers out there that bash the size of their family. Why? They are raising their children and not using any government assistance. They have been good stewards of their resources, and that allows them to be able to afford their large brood. I say keep having babies if you want. That's a personal choice that should be made by only the persons involved. There are other parts about their family that I don't agree with. But, that's why we live in America and not Nikkiland. If we lived in Nikkiland then everyone would have to do things my way(that's not a half bad idea, I'll get my vice president to work on that).

I will also confess that I was a Gosselin fan back in the day. I really like their show in the beginning. They seemed so real. I liked the way they interacted with each other, because it was more like a regular family. However, lately it feels more commercialized. That's just my opinion. That being said, Monday night's show(which I happened to watch) brought in 9.8 million viewers. That's amazing. They seemed to be honest about their marital woes, but go to a counselor, each other, or the Bible for answers. Again, that's just my opinion.

I really do want to know your opinion. Do you love 'em or hate 'em? Do they have their children's best interest at heart by trying to provide a better life for such a large family? Or are they exploiting their children for fame and money? I don't have an answer to that one, so I would really like to know your opinion. I find this topic very fascinating. It's our human interest piece for the week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Will Not Be Moved

I don't know if anyone else that reads is a Natalie Grant fan. But, I am. I like her music. I just think it's good. It's a little more contemporary(I guess that's the right word ?) than the music our church uses during our worship services. I don't want to get into the contemporary vs traditional argument. But, since it's my blog I get to voice my opinion. And, ya'll know I have one. I like the traditional hymns for worship. Personally, for me, they are more conducive to worship. How can you beat songs like "There is a Fountain", "How Firm a Foundation", "It is Well With my Soul", "How Great Thou Art", and "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name"? That's just to name a few of my faves.

I rambled all of that to say this, which has absolutely nothing to do with the previous statements, to say I really like this song. It's strange how my mind works sometimes. I really like Natalie Grant's song, "I Shall Not Be Moved". I saw her at Women of Faith last year, and liked her stuff even more. For your viewing and listening pleasure. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a Great Day

Nothing's different, it's just a great day. I think I finally got enough rest over the weekend. I may or may not have napped everyday since Friday. Awesome. I wonder if I could take a nap while I'm at work? We have empty exam rooms, I would probably use one of those.

I really don't have anything profound stirring around in my mind. I guess that's good. I'm not contemplating the meaning of life, or why we are faced with the things that life brings us. I'm not too weepy, or sad. I'm actually verging on the brink of happy and joy. It's been a while since I could honestly say that. It may not last long, so I'm gonna hold on to it as long as I can. I'm grateful for the up days. They make the down days more bearable to me. I'm thankful for the day that God has given me. It's full of laughter for many reasons. I'm just glad for the laughter.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lazy Days

It's a great day. I got to sleep in, thanks to a little drug called Benadryl. Completely safe and a wonderful nights sleep. There's not much on the agenda today. A little laundry, lunch, a nap, and then I have a bachelorette party for my almost SIL(just for you Lt. Sam). Chad's brother is getting married on Saturday, and she's having a farewell to singlehood dinner tonight. It should be a blast. The restaurant where we are eating is a fantastic place right on the river. It's a great place to eat.

Anywho, that's about it. I think a certain red head has filled his diaper and is waiting on a change. See ya on the flip side.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What's In A Name?

Johanna Raye Carswell

It's special to me, but what does it mean? We basically picked it because we like it. I worked with a lady named Johanna a few years back and I fell in love with her name. It's been my favorite girl name ever since. I knew that I if I ever had a daughter, I would have to make her a Johanna. Raye is my maternal grandmother's name. I think it's a great southern name. Chad and I are all about family names. They were great once, so they should be great again. That's the theory. Before we knew about her T18, and before we saw her and knew that she was a girl, we were going to use Caroline or Cole depending. The first time that I saw her, I knew Caroline would not fit. We didn't know anything else about her then, but I knew that Caroline was not the name for this particular special girl. After we knew for sure, and one of the benefits of chromosomal testing is that you can know for 100%, that we were having a girl, we knew she needed a great name. Johanna Raye it is.

We didn't really think much about what the name meant at the time. Well, my obsessive mind had to know. You're gonna love it. I about jumped out of my seat when I read the meaning of her name. Here goes.

Johanna is of Hebrew origin, and is a female derivation of John. Here's the good part. It means ....... Drum roll please. Johanna means "God is Gracious". WOW!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Wish........................

When I started this blog, I purposed within myself to always be honest. And, when we learned of Johanna's T18, and I decided to share with everyone our story I again decided to be honest with what I was feeling and going through. With that in mind I have a wish list today. Just random stuff, but important to me at this very moment. And, it's my blog so I can post it.

  • I wish, people wouldn't trivialize what Chad and I are facing. Yes, we are OK with what God is doing, NO we don't always like it just yet. I guess I just don't like people telling me that God is going to heal Johanna. I know God will heal her, but His healing is often different than our "idea" of healing. A home in Heaven, away from the hurt of this world is a better healing than having to stay here.
  • I wish, I could be blatantly honest when others start complaining about their physical problems. I'm talking about things like a sinus headache, a slight catch in the back, seasonal allergies. I'm tired of hearing about it. That's rude though. Their stuff seems petty to me right now, but then again those are real problems, and they are real to whomever is going through them.
  • I wish I could leave work right now and go get a pedicure and a massage. My boys got me a prenatal massage for Mother's Day, so I really need to schedule that appointment.
  • I wish Johanna didn't have T18.
  • I wish I could stop wishing for the previous wish to not be a wish. (That's a confusing sentence.)
  • I wish I were back in my bed taking a long nap. I plan to do just that later this afternoon.
  • I wish I could always be on top, never on bottom. But, if I never saw the bottom, would I recognize the top? Nope.
  • I wish I could give Clayton the world. He'll have to settle for all my love. So far, he seems to be happy with that.
  • I wish I could spend more time with my brother and my 2 SIL's.(He's not married to 2 women, just 1, and then Chad has a sister, see 2 SIL's)
  • I wish I could take Chad's Type 1 Diabetes away so that he wouldn't have to deal with that all the time. I wish he didn't have to be concerned about seriously low blood sugar. But, then again, the challenges associated with diabetes has brought us closer to each other, and closer to our Lord. Same thing with Jo's T18.
  • I wish I could have Johanna long enough to get her ears pierced. I know it's silly.
  • I wish I had a cinnamon roll right now. I want the Pillsbury kind that you twist into a little cord. They are more like a crescent roll than a Cinnamon Roll, but with all the sweetness of a cinnamon roll. Yummy.
  • I wish I could express my gratitude and love to all of you who have been so kind to us. You may never know how much help you've been. Thanks!
  • I wish my Jesus would come back today. Wouldn't that be awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

I needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for letting me vent a little. I just want to be honest all the time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

169 Beats Per Minute

Another prayer answered. Johanna still has a great heartbeat as of today. 169 beats per minute. I had to do a 1 hour glucose test. Nasty. Those things make me so nauseated. Anyway, that was fine. Blood pressure was high, but I could feel that it was before they ever checked. I have to keep a check on it here at work, and go by sometime next week for an official check at the MD office. That's about it. I go back in 4 weeks for a 20 week US, and an appointment with Dr. H. He's my fave. So nice and compassionate.

I'm late getting started at work today, so I had better quit playing, and get something done.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prayers and Praises

First off, Johanna and I have an appointment at my regular OB tomorrow at 8:30am. It's a standard appointment to check a few of my vitals, and to check for Johanna's heartbeat. Obviously Chad and I are anxious about the appointment. We want Johanna to still have a good strong heartbeat. I know that she is not a healthy baby, and that she may not live to be born, and if she does she will not live long after she is born. The mommy in me wants to be able to hold her before she goes to be with Jesus. We may not get what we want, but God is great and sufficient for whatever tomorrow brings.

Second, I have 2 praise reports related to Johanna that I really want to share with you. Before you read, please don't think that I have given up, or that I am over consumed with Johanna's death. I know that God can heal her if He chooses, but I also believe that He just may be doing something bigger than healing our baby. I don't know what that is, but I am willing to go with Him and see what He has for me.

OK, here goes the praises. Number 1, there is a funeral home in Lenoir that offers free funerals to infants 1 and under. That's good news. Funerals are expensive, no life insurance company is going to give a terminal infant life or funeral insurance. God has met a need that we don't even have yet. Isn't that amazing? Number 2, a very sweet lady that I have known for a number of years, has offered to make Johanna a dress to be buried in. This lady makes fantastic dresses. Think Strasburg Children type dresses. She is a fantastic seamstress, and in fact makes lots of clothes for her grandchildren. Her stuff is Be-A-Utiful. I am very grateful that someone would offer their time for our daughter. God's love is amazing, and is shown so differently sometimes. These are 2 minor needs that I have prayed about recently, and have seen God work them out in fantastic ways. Thank you God.

I wanted to share all of that with you for a couple of different reasons. Ya'll are praying for us, and deserve to know how your prayers are being answered. Also, everyday is not easy, everyday is not good. But God has a way of making things easy for us. I can't explain it, but if you have ever been in God's working hand, then you know what I mean. I've said it before, but it bears repeating, God has a way of taking the difficulty out of difficulties.

I'm out, and headed to bed.

Sorry for the Abscence

I haven't forgotten about ya'll, and nothing has changed. We are super short staffed at work, and we have revival this week at church. Lots going on. I hope to update this evening. Have a great day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Fought the Tree....................

..................and the tree won!!!

That's right folks. In all of my superior intelligence(it's OK to laugh here, you really will be laughing in about 10 seconds), I backed my little orange car into a 100+ year old oak tree this morning. Nothing says TGIF like a a dented and scratched car, and a severely damaged tail light. Wanna know the best part? My inspection is due, like uhm TODAY. You can't pass inspection with a broken tail light, now can you. Nope, definitely not gonna pass inspection now.

Obviously I was a little(or a lot) upset with myself for backing into a tree that is older than I am, and has been in the same place since we moved into this house 2 years ago. Then, I was mad at myself for being a total dolt. Then I just had a good laugh. Why did I laugh? I laugh at other people with broken tail lights, and dented cars. I laugh because they were a dolt and backed into junk. So, if I laugh at others, I have to laugh at myself too.

One more thing to make your day even better. Pregnancy hormones(I guess that's what is causing this) has turned the skin around my eyes into lizard skin. It sounds gross because it is. Seriously my eyelids are red, swollen, and itchy. Then, later in the day when the swelling starts to subside they flake. Like a snake losing it's skin. NASTY!!!!! They are getting better. I haven't worn makeup on my eyes, except for mascara, all week. That seems to be helping. And, yesterday I "happened upon", or took from a co worker's desk since she is on surgical leave, some Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion. Thanks DM. Definitely less reptile like this morning.

That's my Friday. Hope you have as much fun in your day as I have already had at 9:44am in the morning.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Waiting is the hardest part of anything. It doesn't matter if what you are waiting on is full of excitement or full of dread. Waiting is the hardest part. I absolutely love this verse.
I think the first time I ever really pondered on its meaning was after a message by Bro. Tom Gilliam. He is an evangelist that I have had the privilege of sitting under many, many times. And will indeed have the privilege again next week at our church's spring revival meeting. Anyway, he posed this thought. At first glance this verse seems to be written backwards. Soaring, then running, and then walking. Oh, but we know that's not. God is of course sovereign in everything, and that includes writing the Bible. Try thinking of it like this. Soaring is a quick activity, it doesn't take much determination or dedication. Running is slower than soaring, but still it is a quick activity. However, walking is slow and methodical. Often times we want to soar or run to get to the end of whatever we are facing. But, when we do that we often miss what God has planned for us along the way. When you fly to Nevada, you miss the mighty Mississippi, but if you were to drive to Nevada, you would be able to cross the Mississippi slowly and take in its grandeur and magnificence.
Sometimes I want this part of my life to be behind me, and to have moved on to something new and wonderful. But, if I don't take the time to let God work, and essentially walk with Him, instead of trying soar when I should be walking, will I enjoy or understand new and wonderful when it happens? God promises me that if I wait on Him then He will help me to walk without becoming weary. I like that. I need that.
It's a little jumbled today, but I'm a little jumbled today. Nothings wrong, emotions are good. I just have thought going in 5,000 different directions.
One more thing. Please remember "A Stirring Life". As I posted yesterday, their daughter Olivia went to Heaven earlier in the week. Her body was delivered today. Continue to lift this family up to the Lord. Chad and I will be there at some point in the next few month, but at this point I can't imagine the needs that they have. But God knows what they need, and He knows how to provide what they need right when they need it.
I'm off to play the piano for our youth choir. Should be fun. See ya.

(Sorry this post is so messy. Blogger is doing something screwy. Don't blame it on the operator. Always blame it on the computer.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Date with the Perinate (A Rhyme every Time)

Chad and I went back to Charlotte today to meet with the Perinatologist and have a Level 2 ultrasound at the Perinatologist. There may or may not have been a slight side excursion through the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. I was excited(and possible the instigator), Chad was not as excited(actually not at all). He was afraid we were going to get arrested, or wind up on the wrong side of a tack strip. He's not completely to blame. Previously on one of our excursions we "accidentally" wound up inside of Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC. We weren't supposed to be there, and this happened very shortly after 9/11. Needless to say tensions were high in my Jeep Cherokee. Anyway, we made it out of the airport unscathed.

Anyway, the appointment with the geneticist was pretty uneventful. She basically confirmed most of the things we had learned on our own. It was nice to meet with her, and to have definite answers to our questions.

After the geneticist, we went back downstairs for a Level 2 ultrasound, and an appointment with the perinatologist. Good news first. At this point Johanna still has a great heartbeat. The fluid on her neck is starting to resolve. However, Dr. S. told has the Johanna probably has a serious heart defect. This was not unexpected news to Chad and me. We had done enough research to know that T18 kids just simply do not have healthy hearts. Dr. S told us that Johanna probably has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome(HLHS). Again, this is common with T18 kids, and we were expecting to hear this. In HLHS, the heart's left side, including the aorta, aortic valve, left ventricle, and mitral valve(all very imoportant) are underdeveloped. The left side of the heart pumps oxygenated blood to the entire body. Pretty important. Here's the short version of what that means. In utero the babies heart has an opening called the ductus arteriosis, when babies are born, this opening closes in a few hours or days, and the heart begins to beat normally. The left side of the heart is not as important to survival as the right is while babies are still baking. Babies with HLHS can't survive when the ductus arteriosis closes, unless there is surgical intervention. Surgery is only an option in chromosomally normal babies. Johanna is not chromosomally normal, even though she is exactly how God wants her, so surgery is not an option for her. Does your head hurt yet?

Chad and I were expecting Johanna to have a major heart defect, so this news was not unexpected. With all things considered, we felt today's appointment went really well. Johanna still has a strong heartbeat, and that was what we were hoping we would hear today. God answered another prayer for us regarding Johanna. Even if she isn't healthy like Clayton is, she is still as much of a miracle that he is.

And, by the way, she already has chubby cheeks just like her big brother, and her mama. Too cute.

Thanks for remembering our family in your prayers. I have said this before, but I feel the need to express our gratitude again. We do not take lightly the fact that other people are taking their time to petition the Lord on our behalf. My heart is overwhelmed by your love and thoughtfulness.

I'm outie peeps. Hope ya'll have a great day. Ours has been.

"In Such A Time As This"

In such a time as this, prayer is needed. Not for Chad and me(but please don't stop praying for us either), but for another T18 mommy in waiting. "A Stirring Life". Her unborn daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with T18 around the same time that we learned of Johanna's diagnosis. Olivia went home to be with her Lord earlier this week. Obviously, my heart breaks for this Mom and Dad. We have never met physically, but have traded bloggy comments, and prayers for each other and our daughters. Olivia's mom is to be induced this morning to say both hello and goodbye(only for a time though) to Miss Olivia. You may not know this family, but please petition the Lord on their behalf today. I would imagine they need the comfort and peace that only God can provide.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Are you good and confused now? It's only 9:28am, and I am, so welcome to the crowd.

The real point is that Chad and I(and Johanna too, though of no choice of her own) go back to Charlotte tomorrow afternoon. We are seeing both the Geneticist and the Perinatologist. Hence, the title "Ist". I'm both excited and anxious about the appointments. I

I don't have a clue what to expect from the geneticist. I have worked my google fingers to the bone in the last 3 weeks, so I feel like I have a decent, if uneducated, grasp of what's going on with Johanna. I have some questions in mind about what to ask her. I just don't want to get to her office and sound like a total fool, or on the other hand sound like a "know it all" that's learned everything from the internet. Oh, the conundrum(I just really wanted to use that word in a sentence, if you are a long time reader you know that I LOVE big, smart words) I find myself in. Not really, just going for the dramatic.

After we meet with the geneticist, we then see the perinatologist again. This time he will be doing a detailed ultrasound of Jo's heart. Again, I have absolutely no idea what that US will bring. My hope and prayer is that she is still alive, and has a good strong HB. She always has had a strong HB in the past, maybe tomorrow will be no different. Regardless, God still knows what He's doing, and tomorrow will go exactly as He has it arranged.

If you think about us tomorrow, please pray for our family. I would love to have a great day with my hubby. I know that it isn't the ideal situation for a date day, but I'm trying to make the best of it. And, I don't get many chances to spend the entire afternoon with my Chad. Should be fun, or something.

Here's what's happening the rest of the week. It really is a busy one. Tonight and Thursday our youth choir is singing at 2 different revival meetings in our area. Tonight we will be at Gilead Baptist up on Lake James. This one should be special for me. My Dad pastored this church all throughout my formidable(big word) years. Jesse and I grew up there. I met my husby at Gilead, and we were married there. I haven't been to a service there in quite a few years, so it should be a blast. On Thursday evening, our youth choir will be making an encore performance at Bethlehem Baptist in Morganton. This is the church where my brother pastor's. I don't know this church as well as Gilead, but they are so incredibly nice to Jesse and Amy. So, what more could I ask for? Not that I have a choice anyway. Our choir leader was very sick on Sunday, so I really, really, really, hope he's feeling better today.

That's what I have for today. It's kinda rambled and disjointed. Adios Amigos / Amigas.

PS "Simply Donna" Feel better soon. Miss ya!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Belated Mother's Day

I would have liked for this post to have been up on Mother's Day, but I am a total dork and could not figure out how to post a video clip on the blog. Well, my very wise mother gave me a suggestion(click the help link, it will probably have something to help.........who would have thought), and wouldn't you know it worked.

I don't always watch the videos that people put on their blogs, so I don't understand if you don't either. But, if you do have the 3 minutes and 24 seconds to spend, please, please, watch this video.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Interview with Mom

I saw this float around on Facebook, and other blogs. It was an interview Moms did with their small children. Well, mine only has a vocabulary of about 6 words. I don't think it would work with him. Every answer would be Mama or Bye Bye, with some incomprehensible gibberish thrown in for good measure. With that being said, I swiped it and decided to answer the questions about my Mom. Now that I'm all grown up(you can laugh here if you would like), she's my BFF.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
"I love you"

2. What makes mom happy?

3. What makes mom sad?
"Anything that hurts her babies"

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
"She doesn't get our(Dad, Jesse, and Me) sarcasm and humor sometimes. That's OK Mom, neither does Chad or Amy, or possible the rest of the known world."

5. What was your mom like as a child?
"Uhm, I don't know how to answer that. I've only known her as an adult."

6. How old is your mom?
"Do you think I'm insane?"

7. How tall is your mom?
"Taller than I am, but that's not saying very much"

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?
"Paula Deen, and anything on HGTV"

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
"Probably has a party, and is thankful her house is quite again for a few days. No, in all seriousness, she is very busy helping Dad with his ministry."

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
"Making sweet tea. Hers is the best. No matter how hard I try, mine is never as good."

11. What is your mom really good at?
"Cooking, and Research"

What is your mom not very good at?
"Again, do you think I'm insane?"

13. What does your mom do for her job?
"She's the preacher's wife. That's a job all to itself."

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
"I have no idea. I guess because she would always cave to what Dad, or Jesse and I wanted. Mom, what's your favorite food?"

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
"Everything. She is an amazing lady and friend."

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
"Jane Jetson. Don't know why, she's just the only one I could think of."

17. What do you and your mom do together?
"Shop, eat, talk, shop, eat, talk. Sometime we change the order up a little for the sake of variety."

18. How are you and your mom the same?
"We are both preacher's wives, short, freckled, like massages(but really who doesn't), and pedicures.

19. How are you and your mom different?
"I am super obsessive, organized, and incredibly up tight about absolutely everything. Mom is super relaxed, and can go with the flow so much better than I can. I need to be more like her."

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
"She is always there for all of us. I mean, if you need something, no matter how small or seemingly silly, she will drop what she's doing and be right there for you. I've never really thought about that. I guess I have just always known that Mom loved us more than she loved her own life."

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
"Dad takes care of Mom, in a way that is so incredibly sweet. I don't know if this is the right answer, but on the outside looking in, this is my favorite part."

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
"Savannah, and Key West"

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!!!! If you can, tell your Mom how much that you lover, and how much she means to you. Love ya Mom!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

What do you get..........................................

.............when you let a 1 year old ice his own cinnamon rolls? Pure and utter joy, and a kitchen that needs to be pressure washed. How can a single person get that much icing everywhere? I have no idea.

How is your Friday shaping up? I'm off, so automatically it's starting out great. Clayton and I are headed off the the Grands (my grandparents). Gonna visit, have lunch, and then head home for a nap(for both of us I'm sure).

We have a busy day tomorrow. Chad's younger brother is getting married at the end of the month. So, I'm hosting a bridal shower for my almost SIL. That's about all I have on the schedule for tomorrow. And, I am thankful.

Enjoy your day Woozles!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

NDOP(Gotta love Abbrevs)

Today is the National Day of Prayer. It's a day set aside for our country to pray for our leaders and other various things. Great idea. However, as a christian, everyday should be a day of prayer. In 1 Thessalonians Paul commands:

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
OK, I was just going to include v.17, but I really like the verses 16 and 18 as well. Give thanks in everything? I may not like, but God tells me too. But, that's another post for another day.
I have a few prayer requests for you guys. Some are "serious", others aren't as "serious", and then I have a personal praise I want to share with you. Here we go.
  • My friend "Simply Donna" is on her way to NYC for a vacay. She despises flying, so she needs a little comfort right not
  • My SIL "What A Blessed Life" is working her way towards nursing school. I say, more power to her.
  • My SIL "Jamie Lynn" graduates high school this year, and is of course facing adult hood full force. She needs wisdom and direction.
  • "Lil Red Momma" is pregnant, a little further along than I am, and has had some blood pressure issues. Obviously pray for her and her baby.
  • "A Stirring Life" is a fellow T18 mommy in waiting with Ms. Olivia. Obviously a prayer request dear to my heart. They need peace, guidance, wisdom, and comfort.
  • My dad "Thoughts and Ramblings" is a very, very busy man. He's a fantastic minister, and a wonderful friend.
  • My brother, a non blogger, is also a pastor. Churches are always in need of prayer, and therefore their pastors are always in need of prayer.
  • There is a family in our church that needs prayer for their son, and themselves.
  • We have a busy summer at church, that's topped off with a mission trip to Wyoming. Pray that our church would be able to minister to many people, and spread God's love.
  • Last, but not least. Remember our family, and Johanna. We want the Lord to work and be seen in everything that we do, and in every decision that we make. After all, it really is all about Him.

Here's my praise object. In casual conversation with my Mom this morning, the Lord answered a need that we may have related to Johanna. It's a need that hasn't come to fruition just yet, but my Type A, obsessive, planning, personality requires that I have answers to as many things as possible, as soon as possible. I am choosing not share the specifics related to the need just yet, because I don't people to think that, because I plan way ahead, that I have given up on a miracle that God could do. I have not. God is able to do abundantly, exceedingly, above all that we ask or think(paraphrased). God is working in our lives. I can see somethings already, other things I may not see until I bow in front of Him in Heaven. He has done more Chad and me already than I could ever have asked for.

I'm outie. I'm off to lunch with my brother. He is so much fun, you should all be jealous that I get lunch with him, and you don't. HA!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When Did You Feel Like A Mom??

I am somewhat of a curious(nosy) person. I always wonder about other people's lives. I don't really know why. I like to think of it something like a science project. Whenever I'm driving, and I pass certain houses I wonder about what they are doing in there. I realize that I probably don't want to know, but I still wonder. So, I am wondering about your life now. What are my bloggy buddies doing out there in Internet land? And, what are my real life buddies doing out there in real life land?

With Mother's Day right around the corner, here's what I'm wondering?

When did you feel like a mom?

I finally felt like I had my Mom's Club Official Member card this past Easter. That's right folks, Easter. It wasn't the c-section, getting up at 3am to feed him, changing 515 poopie diapers and the countless pee diapers, teaching him to hold his own bottle, feeding him cereal, baby food, and then real table food, his dedication service, seeing him walk on his own for the first time, hearing that laugh, or even holding him at 3am when he woke up screaming with his first ear infection(or apparently teaching him the evils of the run-on sentence). Nope, none of that did it for me. It was making up his Easter basket. Please don't laugh too hard at me.

At our house every holiday is reason to celebrate something. We, and when I say we I mean Chad, make cookies. Decorated with colored icing and everything. They are truly amazing. Santa, the Tooth Fairy(when that day comes), and the Easter Bunny don't make stops at our house. Seriously, they are so busy, and Chad and I(or mainly me) are capable of helping them out a little with their incredibly important duties. Don't bash me or send me hate mail. I think it's a personal decision, and therefore I/we decided personally to take all the credit for ourselves. HA. Kidding!! We just feel that teaching our kid(s) the importance of giving, and thankfulness for that gift is the more important than the giver. And, Santa and the Easter Bunny are kinda scary. They sneak around your house in the middle of the night. No, thank you.

So, I would really love to know. If you are a mom, when did you finally feel like a mom? Was it the moment of birth or before? Or are you like me and have a totally random event, more than a year after your child was born, that made you feel like a mom? If you aren't a mom, what is the simple thing that your mom does that lets you know how much she really cares for you?

Have a good one peeps!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

14 Weeks

Woot!! We have made it to 14 weeks. That means we are 2 more weeks down the Prego road than we were when this whole thing started. I don't have a lot of nausea when I'm pregnant, but during the 1st Trimester I am incredibly exhausted. Thankfully that is starting to subside, and I feel more like my normal(term used loosely) self. I am finally able to stay up longer than Clayton, and get the laundry done. Seriously, we were living out of the laundry baskets for a while. I don't like that at all. It feels like chaos all the time, and I do not thrive in chaos. I need my routine in a bad like way.

Here's my real point(I don't really have one today, but just go with it). Before we get to that point I have decided to term Trisomy 18, "T18", it's shorter and easier. One more thing, guys I'm gonna talk about preggo girly stuff from here on out. This is your chance to leave, or forever hold your peace. Here we go.

T18 babies normally have a larger than normal placenta that they get to float around in. Johanna (or should I guess actually me) has one. I have only gained 4.5 lbs so far. And remember for the last 2 weeks I have been stress eating. I have been pleased with my little weight gain so far. I had gained a lot more when I was 14 weeks with Clayton. Anyway, my clothes don't fit. AT ALL. I haven't been able to wear my jeans for a while now, so I went ahead and made the switch to maternity jeans a month or so back. I was still able to wear my scrub pants to work though. Well, this week they are not as comfortable as they once were. It amazes my how something that small can make your clothes fit so tightly. When Chad and I found out we were expecting again, I assumed that I would need maternity clothes more quickly than I did with Clayton. But, this is crazy. I'm gonna have to go to Mimi's House of Mumu's by the end of next week.

It's so worth it though. I love this little girl so very much. I didn't think it was possible to love a person as much as I loved Chad, then we had Clayton, and I again thought I would never love another person as much as I love him, then I found out I was pregnant again, and I immediately loved this little person as much as I love Chad and Clayton. We found out that Jo is a "special" child, but we don't feel any differently about her. I absolutely love being pregnant, and it is my intent to enjoy this pregnancy, however long or short it may be, as much as I did with Clayton.

That's all I got for today. I feel incredibly blessed and loved this week. God has an amazing way of taking the difficulties out of difficulty(it made sense to me).

Monday, May 4, 2009

15 Things I'm Lovin' Today

My SIL Amy posted this on her blog, and I thought I would steal it(in sisterly love of course). I love lists. Love making them, checking them off, reading them, actually I love everything about lists. It's my totally obsessive-compulsive, type A personality.

1. Dt. Mtn Dew, but only if it's poured over ice. I don't like the way it tastes unless I am drinking it over ice.

2. Chicken wings and Alfredo anything. I could actually eat them separate or together. Doesn't really matter. I know protein and vegetables are the appropriate foods when you are pregnant, but I just can't do pure protein right now. It was the same when I was prego with Clayton.

3. 24. I have never really gotten into a show like this, but I find it quite fascinating. Jack Bauer is a man of amazing abilities. I think the show would only be better if there was a little Donald Sutherland added in too. He could be Jack's dad. Donald Sutherland reminds me of my Granddaddy.

4. Another day with Jo.

5. Clayton's super cool personality, and amazing red hair. He is starting to say a few things, and he is getting incredibly expressive when he talks. Also, he has started talking with his hands, just like his mommy. Chad tells me that I couldn't talk if my hands were tied, and that's probably true.

6. The Papermate "Write for Hope" pen. This is my favorite pen by far. It writes great, and it is an inexpensive ball point pen. But, this special edition is pink. A portion of it's proceeds go to Breast Cancer research. And did I mention that it's pink?

7. Chad's recession garden. I have laughed about it all weekend, but it really is pretty cool. I wouldn't know what to do with a garden if I had to. But, Chad, being the country boy that he is, knows exactly what he's doing. I asked for corn, squash, and strawberries. I got corn, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets(gross), beans(green beans, I had to ask too), potatoes, green peppers, okra(gross), blackberries(don't ask because I don't know why we have these), I know there's more, but I can't remember what else.

8. Pineapple Mango wallflowers. Thanks for the tip Amy.

9. Spring. That also means that summer is right around the corner. I totally love summer. It gets hot here in the south, and I love it.

10. Chick Fil A's diet Lemonade. Get the large, add 4 packets of Splenda, and honey you have a grand day.

11. The way that Clayton says "Hey There". It's really high pitched and super excited. Like you are the best thing that boy has ever seen. Please keep in mind that he tells the dogs hi the same way that he tells Chad and me hi.

12. My Crackberry. I resisted the change to a data phone for a long time, but I don't think I could go back to the dark ages now if I had to. I can stay in contact with all 97,000 (read that 3) friends all the time. I can Facebook, email, blog, and play brick breaker all from one simple pink device. Have I mentioned that I love the color pink?

13. I love my God, and He loves me. I don't know why, but I am sure thankful.

14. Our Sunday School class. Chad teaches the high school class, and I'm there for moral support. Some days for him, and some days for the kids. Our class has to be the most ADD class in the entire educational building, but I love it. It is so much fun, and we(Chad and myself included) really do learn a lot from the Bible and from each other. If you are an adult you should definitely consider working with the youth of your church if you don't already. They are amazing. They know so much about life at such a young age. And what other age group could you hang out with and totally act like a nerd, and have the people around you think that it's funny?

15. My family. They are truly amazing, and helpful. I wish everybody had a family like mine. We are so goofy, loud, and sarcastic, but it's a lot of fun. And when you are in tough spot it's nice to have fun people around you. Laughter is truly the best medicine, and it's truly uplifting.

(I just ran spell checker on this post, and it had a field day with my "Nikkisms". Chad asked me recently if I actually listened to myself talk. What is that supposed to mean? He's just jealous he didn't think of some of these words first.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lessons from the Acorn

Yes you read the title correctly. And, no I am not losing my mind. Well, maybe. But, that's a different post entirely.

Tonight was our annual Ladies banquet at church. Think 150-200 ladies, laughing, eating, talking, and eating. Fantastic foodies. I had the alfredo, and it was fantastic. I loves me some alfredo, and it's the preggo craving of the week. Seriously I think I have had it about 5 times since last Friday.

The speaker chosen for this year was Ms. Beth Gilliam. She is wife to Evangelist Tom Gilliam. They travel constantly, ministering to God's people, and teaching us how to grow in the Lord. She is a FANTASTIC speaker, and a super nice lady to simply have conversation with.

This evening she spoke on saturating ourselves in the word of God. She used an illustration of an acorn that becomes a mighty oak to make her point. Please keep in mind that before she traveled full time with her husband she was a kindergarten teacher for a number of years. She even had illustrations for us. She really had her stuff together. She illustrated different parts of the acorn / oak trees life, and related them to growing in the Lord. Constantly changing, and becoming more what the Lord would have us to be. The very last point in her message (I don't mean like a sermon the preacher preaches, I mean her speech but I couldn't think of another word to us) was about the oak tree learning to be thankful for the wind and storms that the Lord had sent. Uhm, was she talking to everyone or just me? I think just me.

I have made the comment this week that Chad and I were accepting of what God is doing in Johanna's life(and I am), and subsequently ours, but that I didn't like what He was doing. OK, Nikki, open mouth and insert foot. As Ms. Beth was speaking I became convicted of that attitude. I should be thankful for what God is doing. At this point I don't know how to be thankful of the fact that I may never get to hold my daughter in my arms and sing her to sleep. I don't know how to be thankful of the fact that if Johanna is born, I might have only hours to spend with her. It's hard for our human minds to find thankfulness in such a situation. How are we supposed to be thankful for the hurts that come our way? I'm not talking about the petty stuff that we all face day to day. I'm talking about the biggies. I think we qualify for a biggie right now. Maybe not, but I feel like this is a HUGE deal for our family.

My prayer tonight is for God to make me thankful for what He is doing. I still don't like it. Is it OK to be thankful for a situation, and still not like it? I honestly have no idea. I don't understand what God is doing right not. I don't know if I will this side of eternity or not. But, I do want a thankful heart and spirit in ALL aspects of my life. He has done so much for me, how can I not be thankful? I wouldn't give Clayton or Johanna to save the life of any one of you, but He gave the life of His son when He sent Jesus to Calvary for me. I don't want a bitter spirit. I don't want to become angry with God, or with those around me. I don't want to question God forever about His ways. I want to learn and grow.

Drying tears now. I'm glad I have already taken off my mascara or we would be in a mess. Note to self, invest in water proof mascara.

Job said it the best.

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. Job 1:20-22

This is my prayer today.