Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I <3 Photos

My whole life I have loved to take photos. Of just about anything. Anyone. Anywhere that I was. 

Since becoming a mother, I have taken the whole photo taking to a whole new level. There are some days when I will have taken a out 70-80 photos during our very normal, every day days. 

I have also recently fell in love with my iPhone 5. It takes pretty good photos and videos for a phone. I love how handy it is because I have it on me all the time. Like right now... Because i do NOT want to open that crappy laptop. 

I love to edit my photos and get asked a lot - many times each day - which apps I use to make them oh so pretty. 

These are my favorite photo apps. 

A Beautiful Mess is probably my favorite and I even found a new feature on it tonight while we were on our  5 hour road trip! 

I also love Fuzel because you can make collages in super cute designs. 

Rhonda is adorable. But for some reason it is difficult for me to navigate and find my way through.  

Instagram - duh! Everyone should have an Instagram profile. Find me, follow, and we can see each others photos!

AfterLight is all things lovely. You gotta try this one out. 

I don't use instaframe much anymore unless I just need a simple side by side photo. And then I use ABM to edit it anyway :)

Collect is one of my favorites! Because I take so many pictures of everyday life, I want to see them laid out before me. Each day, I 'collect' my favorite photo and put save it onto the calendar for that date. I love love to go back and look at our life for that month in photos. 

What are your favorite photo apps? Do you take a ton of photos too? How do you organize them all? Are you always the photographer and never the subject of the photo? I highly encourage you to take one self portrait a day for the next month! It seems silly at first, but you'll appreciate all the shots of you in your every day life. Go ahead, I dare you! I wanna see them! I'm on day 10 and its starting to get pretty creative. 

Here are a few if mine self portraits. 

Share your links when you start your challenge :)


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Mind is Full

Today Joel and I participated in a biblical counseling class at our church, Sovereign Hope. The topics covered were Depression and Anger. It was an incredible class and I thought for sure the whole teaching was being directed at me.

My hand was flying all day taking notes and I learned so much about me but even more about God. I am in awe that He is so big, amazing, awesome, sovereign (I could go on and on) that even if we learned as much as I did today, every day, for all of eternity, we'll never fully know how awesome He is. Now that's a God I want to serve.
I'm still trying to process it all. A few notes I took:

More can be done than we often ask or imagine by God's grace. - We must be CONSUMED by the gospel - progressive sanctification.

Sadness is trying to be stomped out for the idol of happiness.... appropriate sadness is being treated as a disease :(

EVERYTHING changes at the Cross!

God is ALWAYS working in our lives.... Always - in every circumstance.

The day of judgment has NOTHING to do with sin when you believe :)

All sinful anger is an ungodly handling of life.

Anger is murder in the heart.

You have to WANT to change - God WILL change your desires.

Trusting God is living out His Word.

And so much more. 
I want to take more of those classes soon!

Joel had today and tomorrow off as we were originally going to be having company, but plans changed and we spent the majority of the evening at the ball fields. There is nothing sweeter than seeing the love of your life teaching two little beings that mean the whole world to you, how to improve at their passion. They LOVE softball! Joel made the girls take a 2 week break after State to just rest and not think about the bright yellow ball! Well, today, 2 weeks were up and they were chomping at the bit to get ready for try-outs at the end of summer. 
This is one of my favorite photos. I love these people so much.
Avin is fascinated by her big sisters. She will be pitching in no time I'm sure.

I'm so late writing this post - and feel I'm talking in circles because it's almost 2 hours past my bedtime - because our laptops are on the fritz. This one drops the internet right in the middle of writing... the other one just stops working and goes black.  Do you know anything about computers? What can I do to fix these guys? What is your favorite laptop? To MAC or not to MAC... that is the question.

Tomorrow will be a post full of photos as we get our 'splash' on as a family!
I could get used to Joel being home... all the time :)


Sunday, July 28, 2013

NOT Starting on Monday.

I've always been a 'Monday' girl. You know, start a new routine on Monday. Start keeping your food journal on Monday. Start getting up earlier.... on Monday. 

I've been planning to get started on Monday for almost 10 years now. No seriously, that seems like an exaggeration to most, but Joel could tell you that it is most certainly true about his wife. 

When it comes to my health, it's been the same way. But I'm so tired of that. I'm tired of being out of breath. I'm tired of being so sleepy all the time. I'm tired of shopping the bottom of the jean pile at the store. :(

Joel and I were talking the other day and we have decided we've been living life about 20%. It's time to kick it up a notch. If we want some drastic changes to happen, we have to change drastically!

So, I'm not starting tomorrow. No Sir Ree! (who is Sir Ree?) Is that how you're suppose to say it? I'm waiting until August 1st to do it all! My sweet friends Jenny & Joanna have been amazing supporters on my want to get healthy and fit.  Jenny is starting a biggest loser challenge the month of August and I'm ALL IN! I love a good competition. It's not going to be easy - but it's going to be great for me to make changes! Joanna is going to help me with a work out plan so I can get active again too.

You can join Jenny's facebook page here. As soon as Joanna has a page for her personal training business I'll be sure to link her up too for you local peeps.

I'll be loggin' and bloggin' my personal journey here. If you'd like to join me, I'd LOVE that!

What is your favorite way to stay in shape? What are some of your best healthy recipes?

Oh and look at what this little one is up to lately! (just started tonight about 20 minutes ago!)

She's growing up too fast. She keeps life interesting.

PS I love comments... please leave me some :)  I mean, if you wanna.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Some days are better than others, and this was one of those days... Proverbs 16:20.

I've been waiting for a day like today for a long time.

One thing you should know about 'working from home' and 'direct sales' is that you are ALWAYS working. It's hard to shut off the brain about what to do next. It's hard when you hit a brick wall, flat in your face, quite often wondering "what in the world are you doing?" "what in the world should you do next?"  - I depend on The Lord during this times when I feel exhausted and don't know if I can do it anymore.... And then we have days like today - and you ALL make every moment of trying to figure out how to make this all work, how to plan it all to make it fit in the hours we have each day, how to remember why I work hard, and then harder, WORTH EVERY MINUTE!

Joel and I celebrated our 5 year Scentiversary (cute right?!) on June 30th so we planned a big open house, appreciation day, sale for our friends, neighbors, customers and hostesses. It was a HUGE success! We had such a blast celebrating our years and accomplishments with everyone that showed up today - and we couldn't have done it without everyone who has supported us throughout the years.

Arly got a hold of my phone at one point and took some photos:
Scentsy girl forever!

(I'll never forget the moment when he said he was ALL IN!)

I loved every conversation today. I felt so blessed to get to know some of our neighbors even better (even some that had NO idea we sold Scentsy after living here for 2 years- epic fail on my behalf!)  We even had the opportunity to chat with 2 sweet ladies who are interested in changing their lives too! What a beautiful, blessed day.

Tonight we sat & relaxed outside on our UNfinished sitting area on our deck (UFO UFO!) with some very dear friends. It was the PERFECT ending to a blessed day.

Signing off with much love in my heart - and ready to work harder than ever.


Here Comes the BOOM!

Strong title huh?

Well, I didn't even know this was the title of a movie until Joel brought it home from RedBox the other night (yes we still have it... we are 'those' kind of RedBox users!)

I <3 Kevin James! King of Queens is one of my favorite, laugh til you cry, TV sitcoms. Mall Cop <--- LOVE segways! Grown Ups.... HILARIOUS! I'm looking forward to Grown Ups 2 coming soon.

Now, something you should maybe know about me... I don't sit and watch a whole lot of movies. Not without my phone anyway. I love to cruise Pinterest, and other home decor sites so I can gather decorating ideas for our home. (That's a whole other post - or ten - later because our home looks like we just moved in and it's been almost 2 years!)

But as I was surfin' Targets furniture sale via my iPhone (which there are a TON of super cute trendy pieces that I would love to have - and on clearance!), I actually put the electronic device down, and started laughing. This movie is so good. It has a great, feel good story line to it.  I highly recommend it.

Note: I am NOT into UFC, fighting or anything bloody. Just not my style I guess. But this movie was GREAT!

Now I feel like I'm Sisco & Ebert giving my "TWO THUMBS UP" when I should be calling for Mr. Sandman.

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day! The big girls and I set up the garage today to have a BIG HUGE APPRECIATE BLOW OUT PARTY Scentsy Family Style. We've pulled out ALL of our Scentsy, Velata & Grace Adele. Tonight we hung up signs all through town and tomorrow morning we'll put on the finishing touches. If you are around our area tomorrow from 10am - 3pm stop by! We'd love to see you! We'll have cool refreshing drinks all day long too :)

We've been working our Scentsy Family business for 5 years now and this is our way to say THANK YOU to our community, friends, family, customers and hostesses for helping us be successful. 


Thursday, July 25, 2013


Tonight we are having a sleepover. Our dear friends had quite the scare this afternoon as a wildfire started just behind their home and they had to evacuate. As you can see in the photos below taken from Chad's facebook page, this would be quite the sight. 
Their home is the one in the photo above - and you can see it to the right of the blue house in the top photo.

As we got the call that they were being evacuated and needed a home to stay, we, of course, welcomed them with open arms. Our casa is their casa any day!

I can't imagine what they are going through. We sat at the dining room table and enjoyed some late night cocktails... Mango Daiquiri's to be exact. With pineapple rum... YUM! - - something to calm the nerves.
We also discussed how fast these wildfires can happen when it's been SO DRY and SO unusually HOT for western Montana this summer. We were talking about how they were evacuated and what if, heaven forbid, their house burned down... How do you deal with that? What do you grab? What do you leave? How do you know who to call? How do you get your 'stuff' back? Where do you go?

It really made me stop and think "wow, we need to get our ducks in a row!"
When it comes to fires, it can happen so quickly. Joel and I live snugged up to a mountain and if lightning struck the side and started a fire, we would have to leave immediately. There is one way in, one way out here. My family is very ill-prepared when it comes to a situation like that. 

Here is a checklist of items that you should have ready to go, in a small fireproof box or somewhere that you know EXACTLY where everything is at.

  • Social Security cards
  • Driver's licenses
  • Credit cards
  • House deed
  • Vehicle titles
  • Marriage license
  • Birth Certificates
  • Insurance policies
  • Health insurance cards
  • Prescription medications
  • Important personal computer information downloaded to a hard drive
  • Valuable jewelry, guns, 
  • Photographs
  • Home videos
  • Items with sentimental value, such as wedding dress or baby keepsakes
  • One week's worth of clothing
  • Pets with ID tags, carriers, and pet food

Prepare to Evacuate
►Dress to prevent burns – sturdy shoes, cotton or wool clothing, long pants,
gloves, and a bandana to protect your face.
►Contact your neighbors and tell them about the fire.
►Park the car in the garage, facing out with windows closed and keys in ignition. Do NOT leave the vehicle running!
►Close the garage door but leave it unlocked. Disconnect automatic garage doors
in case of power failure.
►Place documents and mementos inside the car in the garage. Don’t forget home insurance information, your address book, the computer hard-drive, prescriptions and eyeglasses, cell phone charger, extra car keys, and credit cards. Take personal items and clothes for minimum of five days.
►Confine pets to one room or inside pet carriers.
►Leave a note in your home with contact information.

If Time Allows
►Cover windows and other openings with fire resistant material.
►Shut off propane or natural gas valves.
►Remove excess gasoline and barbecue propane tanks from property.
►Attach garden hoses to spigots.
►Fill trashcans/buckets with water & place them where firefighters can find them.
►Place a ladder against the house opposite the approaching fire.
►Move combustible deck furniture inside.
►Close windows and doors to prevent sparks or smoke from blowing inside.
►Remove curtains or drapes.
►Turn on each room light and porch lights to make the house more visible.
►Move stuffed furniture away from windows and walls.

►Let authorities know of neighbors who might need assistance evacuating.
►Use pre-planned routes, away from the approaching fire front.
►If you are trapped by fire while evacuating in your car, park in an area clear of vegetation, close windows and vents, cover yourself with a blanket or jacket and lie on the floor.
►If you are trapped by fire while evacuating on foot, select an area clear of vegetation along a road, or lie in the road ditch. Cover any exposed skin. Avoid canyons that can concentrate and channel fire.
►If you are trapped by wildfire inside your home, stay away from outside walls. Close doors, but leave unlocked. Keep your entire family together and remain calm. If it gets hot inside, it is much hotter and more dangerous outside.

After the Fire Passes
►Check the roof immediately for sparks and embers.
►Check inside the attic for hidden burning embers.
►Check the yard for burning woodpiles, fence posts, or other materials.
►Keep the doors and windows closed.
►Continue rechecking your home and yard for at least 12 hours.

This is a reality for most of us in my area. It's time to get prepared folks. I know I will be! 

Please say a prayer for our friends' home and the hundreds of homes in the path of this fire. Lift up the firefighters and crews working through this heat that they will all be safe. Pray that The Lord will send some much needed rain our way.


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XO. Jari

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Urge to Purge

I have this old habit of collecting things. You name it... I've probably collected it. From hair ties, scrapbook paper, stamping ink to wrapping paper. Pens, markers, office supplies. Embroidery hoops, fabric, yarn. Facial lotions, perfumes, nail polish. Owl trivets (don't laugh! That was a serious collection :) and acrylic paints.

By collecting, I mean that whenever I thought I wanted or needed an item, I couldn't have just one. I had to get the WHOLE series, the WHOLE shelf at the store. Then I would continue searching for that item to purchase (even though I already had at least one if not a dozen of that item) just to say I had them all. I would shop online, at estate sales, and every store I could think of looking for that item.

I think it was kind of a sickness. I mean, at the time, Joel and I didn't have the money for me to go shopping all the time... so I started using credit. <---- now that's a cuss word in our house!

Looking back over the years, it seems like I was trying to fill a void. Fill that hole in my being. You know, that hole in your heart when no matter what you do, what you have, you just can't satisfy it.

By 'collecting' all these material things, I had really stressed our finances.... which in turn stressed my marriage. Little did I know at the time that the ONE true thing that could fill my heart, that space that I was trying to stuff little objects into, was a Savior that I had heard of before but never had a relationship with.

When I got saved about 4 years ago, my whole life changed. Maybe not externally, but internally for sure. I didn't feel empty anymore. I craved relationship with Jesus and with my husband. There were times before I was saved that my marriage was not a-ok.... like at all. I knew I had put us in credit card debt and there was no way that I could pay it off by myself so leaving wasn't an option. I know now that The Lord used our finances to keep us together. There is no doubt about that.

Now I have a whole basement full of 'hole fillers' that are causing so much stress in my life. Our life. Joel and I will be out of credit card debt by the end of this year (PRAISE - because it's been WAY TOO LONG!) and now it's time to get rid of the root of it all.... the STUFF!

I have this urge to purge people.

We are going to be getting rid of HALF of everything in our home. It's time. There is too much clutter. Too much heartache and guilt associated with the junk. I'm excited for this journey. I'll be sharing my before and afters with you here. It's going to be FABULOUS!!!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rejuvenated by Friends!

Today is the first day since going on my big trip with a 7 month old by myself... airplanes, airports, shuttles. Hotels, skywalk (SO CONFUSING!) and stadium seating.... that I have felt like I am feeling like MYSELF again!
Obviously that was hard work on this mama!

I am SO EXCITED when I look at the notes from Scentsy Family Reunion! It's finally all starting to soak in... so many amazing opportunities in our new future and fabulous new products - and even more to come!

I can't wait to share more with you... I've been busy working today and I'm still on a roll :) I don't even want to sleep tonight - but I know that if I don't sleep, I'll be excited like a..... I don't even know how to explain it because I'm not a spring chicken anymore. Anyway.... here are a few photos to show you just a sliver of why I'm excited! MY FRIENDS!!!!

These women are a few of my favorite people in the whole world! I only got to see a small fraction of the people I wanted to see in Indianapolis, and of those few - these are the only photos I have! I guess this is what happens when you have a baby connected to your boob the whole time! Ha! TMI? That's my life!
And this is why it has taken us so long to recover from our trip.....
 I love Scentsy because of the FAMILY I have gained! That's a whole new post for a new day.

Back to work!


Monday, July 22, 2013

I Love You More Than Ever....

I never knew being a wife and mom would bring so much joy, laughter, heartache and tears. (Sounds like a country song)

Heartache - Many days we get lost in the hum drum of life.... That makes my heart ache. Like all the days just blur together and the only thing that changes is the clothes on our back. When looking back, I know that I missed out on many teachable moments because I was too consumed in the daily living. Laundry, dishes, cooking and diaper changing. 

Laughter - It's the little moments that mean the most to me as a mom. It's the funny little things the girls do. For instance, randomly I asked them "When you think of the olden days, what pops into your head?" Arly replied "Big hair and bangs with blue eye shadow and side pony tails!" - - YES! She did just say that... and I'm obviously VERY happy that I missed that stage in life! However, for those of you reading who 'like totally' took part in that fashion... you aren't THAT old! ;)

Joy - When I see the girls accomplish something, I experience complete joy. Whether it's Arly learning a new song on the piano, Alyn finally getting the beat and snap clap of 'Cups' or Avin learning to pick up her finger food and put it in her mouth. I'm blessed to be their mama and really need to start looking for these moments more. 

Tears - I get so frustrated when I am not the person that I know God designed me to be. I get lazy. I get too emotional and you know what happens when a girl is overly emotional.... yep, yells at everyone and just cries. It's hard being a good wife all the time. I've had to say I'm sorry countless times because I'm pigheaded.

I don't know where this is going other than I truly am learning how to LOVE MORE each and every day. Every day I am capable of loving more because of a God who loves me. For that I am thankful.

Note: The family photo above is the only family photo I have of us other than the day little Avin was born - and I wasn't lookin' the prettiest that day. Well, I'm not lookin' that pretty today either but everyone else in my family makes this photo perfect. 

PS. Jessie, it's time for a photo session :)


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oh What a Week - Sharing Sunday 7!

A sweet friend has been a constant reminder to me about being intentional with my time. If you haven't been able to tell by now, I am a scatter brain, chaos up in the noggin', all the time gal! I've NEVER had a routine... NEVER had a system. I have always just kind of went with the flow of everything. And because I never had routine, we usually allowed other people or situations control our time. ALL the time. This was very hard on our little family as my attention was pulled in SO many directions. I would drag my girls in the car for hours during the day so I could meet up with people on THEIR schedules. This would mean that my sweet girls would be doing most of their schoolwork in the car, at Starbucks meeting with other customers or team members, or traveling to towns as far as 30 minutes each way just to deliver some products. I'm a people please... as are so many people I know... and it is exhausting and it wears by family out too.

I've learned over the past year or so - actually more like 6 months - well, ok, I'm still learning... that EVERYTHING I do, EVERYWHERE I go, needs to be INTENTIONALLY planned out.

This isn't easy for me to do. In fact, I have to work on it every day. I know that it sounds all fine and dandy - but how in the world do you get started planning EVERYTHING?!?! Let me share with you a few tools that have helped me make my plans and set my goals every week.

Let's start with - The Sunday 7! Allison is the genius behind this concept... you can read all about it here.

This has helped me prioritize the way I plan things out. It has also been a huge help in setting mini goals every week that will ultimately lead to my BIG goal! Whether it is calling a friend and building relationships to meal planning and date nights. Organizing the laundry room to planning field trips for the girls. I love the Sunday 7 and NEED the Sunday 7! Every Sunday night - yep tonight - I sit down and plan out the whole week. Wanna see something super cute too?!? Emmy at MAAY (planner girl) and Allison teamed up to make this lovely printout that matches the new planners! HOW FUN!

I LOVE my planner from MuchAdoAboutYou. These planners are fabulous! I've used these for 2 years now and just got my new 2014 one that starts in August. Last year I got the girls the student planners too - works PERFECTLY for home schooling. LikeMAAY facebook page to get up to date info on her release and cut off dates for the planners.
(no photo source)

I'm thankful that I have found something that works for me. I know it can be somewhat overwhelming to plan. And then to sit and look at Pinterest and starting planning on how you are going to plan. Don't make yourself dizzy and worn out. Just start somewhere. This has worked for me and I pray it will work for you too. Give it a try. What do you have to lose? Maybe a little organization in your life? Maybe some more time added to your week? Maybe an intentional date with your husband? Or your child?

Tell me, what do you do to stay intentional with your time? Will you give this a try?

PS. I'll post photos here tomorrow of my Sunday 7  this week when I can get a good photo without my big huge phone shadow :)


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are You Comfortable?

I've been hearing this word for a long time.... like 3 years.
Comfortable. What does that mean to you?
For me, it seems like for the most part I have lead a pretty 'comfortable' life.

What is comfortable? I mean I have good health, a handsome hubby, 3 lovely girls, a beautiful home in the mountains, 2 great cars, even a snuggly dog. We go to church every Sunday, our kids play sports. Joel has a good paying job and our Scentsy Family business is growing like crazy. We home school our kids, volunteer whenever we can, paint our toenails every weekend. We have food in our pantry, take walks in our neighborhood and love spending time with our family and friends.

That, I would say, is pretty 'comfortable.'

But lately, I've been hearing "Time to get UNcomfortable." I don't know exactly what is coming... but I do know that it is time. It's time. I've even felt physical pains in my being that it needs to happen now.

I want to live an EXTRAordinary life. I want to make a difference in the Kingdom of God. I want to have such a solid foundation with my feet firmly planted on The Rock that I start getting 'comfortable being uncomfortable.'

It's time to get life right. I've been lazy. I've been too easily influenced into doing what others are doing even when it's not the right thing or the right time for me. I've been too easily enabled to make crappy decisions - - with my health, finances, etc.

I saw this video when a friend showed it to us about 3 years ago. I've thought about it often but for some reason, it's all I can think about the last few days. I want to do something crazy. But it all starts with baby steps.
Make The Lord our first priority.
Tend to and care for my husband - Love and serve him everyday.
Show our girls the way the should go - be a good example for them, in EVERYTHING I do.
Get out of debt so that we can GIVE MORE.

Those are my baby steps. This will lead to something CRAZY. Something CRAZY that I am suppose to do. Someone CRAZY that I'm suppose to be.

What about you? Did this video do something to you like it did to me?!?


Friday, July 19, 2013

Coolin' Off... Pool & Cocktails

Today, I was a YES MOM. I didn't say no! It was so hard but I learned something from my sweet friend who has been working on being a 'yes mom'. She has taken her kiddos bowling and hiking this week and when she witnessed the joy in the eyes, it's something she wants to continue doing.

Me too!

Today, I had both of the big girls bring a friend to our big, huge, way awesome water park - just ask the girls!

We stayed and played for 5 hours! 5 hours friends! I was by myself with one 10 yr old, one 9 year old, two 8 year olds and one 7 month old.... by myself. And I was a YES MOM!... (Did I mention I was by myself?)

No really, it was FABULOUS!
The big girls got along so great and little Bear and I relaxed all afternoon. She LOVED the water

 .... got wiped out and took a nice long nap while I worked on my bible study - Gideon by Priscilla Shirer (AMAZING study - if you ever get the chance - DO IT!)

When we left the pool, we went to DQ - YEP! YES MOM! They felt so 'treated' today and it was SO fun to hear about them talk about how much fun they had on our 15 minute drive home with ice cream drippin' off their chins. It was one of the best, lazy summer days we've had in a long time (first one this year for sure!)

Tonight, I wanted to do something special for my hard workin' hunk of love. (OK, I won't ever call him something cheesy like that again...... or maybe I will. But I'll try not to... I'll just call him Julio! <---- if you know us well, you already know that is what I've called my husband for a decade now. If you don't know us that well, well... now you do :)

He LOVES Bloody Mary's! I wanted to make a cocktail for him so I threw this little recipe together... I combined a few different ones from pinterest and came up with this one. It got his approval!

THE Bloody Julio - that's what I'm going to call this drink since he sucked it down faster than I've ever seen a drink disappear from a glass.

Ingredients are shown in the photo.

 3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup olive juice
1/4 lime juice
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 big shakes of hot sauce

Stir it all up and serve in a glass of ice with some jumbo olives, pickle spear and if I would've had some celery and pickled asparagus on hand I would've totally used that too!

What's your favorite cocktail? I would love to try it! Please post it in the comments here! :)

I also made a homemade pizza - just your regular crust with some red and green pepper and pineapple! Yum!

If you are on instagram - follow me! - -and join me in Elsie's challenge of one self portrait a day for 30 days. Today is 3/30 for me. It seems silly at first and hard to 'get a good shot' but I think it will help me be a better photographer and actually get a few photos of me. You know, if you're the mom who's always behind the lens you rarely get photos of you. So.... yeah... it's fun! Join me!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Believe In Miracles

Many of you know our story of how we grew our family.
Many of you do not.

I will tell you the story... but first, I want to tell you that EVERY child is a miracle of God.

I'm going to give you the short version and if you want me to go into detail, I can do that later.

When I was pregnant with our first baby, Arly, during the end I started having high levels of protein. Then came the high blood pressure. The last week of carrying her I had gain 14 pounds... YES, in ONE week! How is that even possible!??! One morning at work, all of a sudden, I couldn't see. My feet turned into icicles. I called Joel, he took me to the doctor and my blood pressure was something crazy like 200/120 (seriously... HIGH!) They induced me right then and there. Pre-eclampsia is nothing to mess with.

Two years later, I was ready to deliver Alyn. I had developed mild Toxemia... still high proteins and high-ish blood pressure. We induced about 2 weeks early and her delivery was super quick.

Now we were busy parents! Two sweet, healthy baby girls almost exactly two years apart!

During my 6 week check up after I had Alyn, they decided to check my protein post pregnancy. They found a TON of protein so then started my journey of seeing Internal Medicine doctors who advised us that we should be done having kiddos for fear that my kidneys couldn't keep up with the pregnancies.

Now that was a tough pill to swallow. In all honesty, I think we had decided already that we were done but you know when someone tells you that you can't or that you shouldn't makes you want to do it even more! Rebels... aren't we?!?

When we moved to MT from SD, I started seeing a nephrologist so we could take a closer look at what was really going on? Was this something that was pregnancy related? Did I just dump lots of proteins my whole life? The only time they check them is when you are pregnant. Anyway, I did lots of testing - first every 3 months, then every 6 months and then annually. They checked my kidneys by ultrasound and LOTS of blood work. They were always functioning well... but what's up with the super high levels of protein?!? We still don't know.....

What I do know is that during this transition in our lives, we learned about Jesus. We were saved and by His grace, I started to 'heal.' Wow! <---- a whole story for you later! :)

During my next visit, my protein levels started to decrease. After 2 years they were almost to the 'normal' range! I asked my OB/GYN if it would be ok if we could have another child and he said "I don't think so" He said it wouldn't be a good idea. I was crushed. I started to pray and pray and pray. I prayed that the Lord would bless us with another healthy child and that I would be healthy enough to carry, deliver and love my children forever.

I found a different doctor. I now have the most wonderful, friendly, Christ loving woman as my care provider! She is the most positive and laid back person and she was amazing! She prayed with us during our visits and right before delivery.

So yes, you guessed it, we were blessed by The Almighty Father and were given this sweet angel, Avin Janes.

She has forever changed our lives. She has us ALL wrapped around her chubby, stubby little fingers. We can't get enough of her. She was the easiest pregnancy for me and the delivery was great.

I know that life is only given by The Lord. I'm forever grateful that He chose us for the girls we have. I pray that He will continue to bless us with allowing us to have at least one more. He is perfect. And amazing. And miraculous. I believe in MIRACLES.

Speaking of miracles.... Look at sweet Elly Grace. My lovely friend gave birth to this miracle at 28 1/2 weeks on Tuesday. She is 2 lb 12 oz and doing great! God is AMAZING!
Please pray for her health and to grow quickly so she can go home! We love you Elly Grace!