Wednesday, December 24, 2014

thoughts on grace and motherhood

Wanna know two ways God likes to show us how selfish we are? Number one: marriage. Hopefully there is no gradual slip-into-marriage-type experience. One day you're engaged and living with your family or by yourself, then BOOM. Your life is suddenly not your life anymore and you're someone else's other half and that someone else probably wants you to make him coffee and wash his clothes. Your brains probably aren't identical, causing the occasional argument. On Sunday afternoons, no less. Pretty soon you start realizing how much you thought the universe revolved around your needs and desires, and cultivating a servant spirit becomes top priority. 

Number two: having a kid. Oh my word. I had no idea. Really. 

The first week we were home with Peter Chris stayed home from work. I was so sleep deprived I honestly couldn't function safely, and of course I was healing, so poor Chris had to handle everything. He was such a wonderful blessing, jumping right in to his daddy role. :) Right around Thursday afternoon I felt this strange, awful feeling rising in my gut. After a moment of contemplation, I realized it was utter terror: Chris was leaving us on Monday and it would be just me and the baby. Now, most of you know I have like zero baby experience. The last time there was a baby in my life was when Charlotte was born and I was 5 years old. I don't work in my church's nursery, and I've not babysat. You can understand how simply changing a diaper seemed like a daunting task. 

Well, Monday came and Chris left and I bawled. I really did feel overwhelmed and it was only Monday and 7 AM. Peter needed to eat every 2-3 hours, needed at least one diaper each session, breastfeeding was a total disaster, my house was filthy, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Because Chris was tired from work, I tried to let him sleep through the night and take all the shifts. I lost a LOT of sleep that second week, and with each passing day I grew more and more exhausted and cranky. The day came where I actually felt myself getting angry at Peter for being so needy. Just take your pacy and let me sleep for FIVE MORE MINUTES FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!!!! 

And then it totally hit me. Obviously I knew how dumb and horrid it was for me to be upset at a baby who constantly needs something and has no way to communicate that except by crying. I knew this was my new job and priority. But I had no idea it would be a huge life lesson. I am selfish, and God loves me anyway. I am just as needy and whiny as a little baby, and my heavenly Father answers my prayers every time. The diligence with which I have to tend to Peter's needs is nothing compared to how my Father watches over me and is orchestrating every move in my life. At any hour of the day, be it midnight, 4:30, or 7 AM (Peter's nightly shifts) I can call on Him and He hears me. Not just hears me, listens to me. When I am hungry, either physically or spiritually, He provides nourishment. When I am dirty from sin and guilt, He cleanses me. When I truly need rest, He restores my soul. 

Grace is everywhere. Peter looks at me while I change his diaper, and how can I not fall in love with those eyes? His little noises as he gulps down a bottle make me smile. He kicks his feet and "talks" to us at night and we talk back. He's just starting to smile when we get in his face and make silly sounds. This motherhood thing - the messy, the overwhelming - is showing me so much about grace, about love engulfing and defeating selfishness. I'd much rather keep sleeping when the next shift rolls around, but love gets me out of bed and doing it all again. I'd rather leave the dishes in the sink forever, but love makes me wash again, again, again. I'm not very interested in changing the diapers and wiping down not only Peter, but the changing pad, wipes dispenser, and wall, but love pushes me on and is the motivator for everything. Thank you, God. 

By Him all things consist. If it weren't for Him being the only perfect Father in existence, we could not exist. The very second He decided to "skip a shift" in His care for us, we would completely perish. What cause for thanksgiving! 

This gem was hidden in the monotonous, messy tasks of motherhood, and I am so grateful God allowed me to discover it. :)

Merry Christmas!

We wish you a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Peter Pics!

I know I've texted or Facebooked a lot of these, but still. :P These aren't all in chronological order. Just a big post of pictures of my little guy. :)

My first pic with him. The face of death after giving life. :P

We were all wiped out after about 36 hours of no sleep.

Poor Chris had to handle the first several awful diapers. ;)

Peter's first doctor visit at 5 days old.

Middle of the night bottles are the best. :P

Well that escalated quickly.

He likes bath time so long as he doesn't get cold. :)

How he tells me he's completely done with a bottle. lol

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

peter's birth story // part two

It was rush hour when we drove to the hospital. This reminded me of one of the reasons why I hadn't planned on giving birth at UIC or Hinsdale; I would NOT want to be stuck in traffic with crazy surges going on! We finally made it to UIC and sat in the waiting room with my midwife. Colleen was about 3 weeks away from delivering her third baby, so when the nurse came in to get me all registered, she walked up to Colleen thinking she was the patient. lol "No, the OTHER pregnant lady!" 

On the way to my room was the first time I really sensed God was going to make all this okay. Our nurse asked if I had a birth plan. I was like, "Whaaa? She's asking for my birth preferences??" We gave the plan to her and she not only entered everything into the system, but made copies for us to give to anybody else who needed them. Right after that, I realized God granted another desire of my heart. I had the room at the very end of the hall, which meant no one would be walking by and peeking in if they wanted! Nurses wouldn't be wheeling carts past my door. I'd have a little handful of quiet and privacy, two things I never expected. :P 

The first nurse and midwife on shift were absolute angels. The nurse was an older lady named Anne, who happened to be my doula's nurse 4 years ago! The midwife was a young, punky girl who was lots of fun. When she checked me the first time, I was already 90-100% effaced, which meant they could start the Pitocin right away. I was thankful to not have anything delayed. So they hooked me up to the IV and Pitocin, strapped on TWO monitors (ugh), and said they'd be back in every half hour. "Try to get some sleep," they said. I politely said "okay" and was thinking "are you nuts" because this stuff they were dripping into my blood made my middle totally implode and that doesn't feel like a pedicure, just saying. 

Chris slept. I did not. [Side note: my husband is totally my hero. I couldn't've done a single bit of this without him at my side. He was there always. He was and is my strength. I wouldn't say my love for him grew, because my heart is already full of forever for my darling, but it certainly deepened through this experience.] All night, from about 6:45 PM till 5:30 AM I just laid there learning to breathe deeper for each contraction. Anne came in every half hour and upped my Pitocin dosage by a unit. In the beginning it was easy. Contractions were no big deal. I was eating popsicles and posting on Facebook, for goodness' sake. The midwife came in at one point and whispered, "You doing okay?" And I just groaned, "I'm soooo bored!!!" She thought that was funny. Yeah, looking back it was funny to say that when the hardest part was still coming, but it was taking forever. 

Fast forward to about 5:15 AM. The contractions were very strong and close together. After realizing I wasn't getting much of a break at all in-between contractions, I decided to text my doula to let her know I wanted her. :) I also had the midwife come check me. My goal was to hold out until I was a 4 or 5 before getting an epidural. (And yes, my plan was to get the epidural if I got induced. I gave myself permission for that one.) When she checked me, I was a 5 almost 6. I was like, "Awesome! Now call the anesthesiologist RIGHT NOW." He came in and told me Chris had to step out. That totally, totally threw me. Chris had been with me for EVERYTHING up to this point and this was the scariest part of labor so far in my mind. I wanted him there. But for the room to be a "sterile environment" or something, he had to go. My body was losing it at this point. I was terrified of being alone with a nurse, the guy, and needles bigger than I wanted to think about. I was exhausted and starving. I started to shake. I was trembling so bad that the nurse had to hold my shoulders to keep me sitting upright and straight, and she asked me my name and what I was doing there. :/ But then the numbness took over and I was distracted by how funny my lower half felt. (Blessing #3: I didn't have any scary side effects from the epidural. Just major itchiness which went away eventually.)

The epidural was one thing that didn't turn out like I expected. I guess I expected to be totally numb down there and not feel a thing. (It's happened to a lot of people that told me their stories.) But I actually felt a lot. I felt each contraction, which ended up being a good thing when it came time to push. 

My midwife came in and checked me. I was an 8 or so. I texted my other midwife, Colleen, and had her come. [SO glad she was there for the birth!!] Around 10 AM I was a 10 and was told to start pushing. Chris tells me I pushed for almost THREE. STINKING. HOURS. There was a clock on the wall opposite me so I guess I knew the time but I for sure wasn't keeping track. Each time a contraction came, I'd push like my life depended on it. It was the most exerting thing I've ever done, and I was running on empty as far as sleep, food, and drink goes. My midwife knew I didn't want an episiotomy, and I for sure didn't want a C-section. Since this was going on and on, she eventually sat down, looked at me hard, and said, "Rachael, you have two pushes to get this baby out." I felt the pressure. I pushed like I hadn't pushed before. Finally his head was out, and I expected the rest of him to come rather quickly, but he was still not wanting to exit and enter the world. His hand was behind his head or something, making his elbow come out with his shoulders. The cord was around his neck, but it was no big deal thanks to my awesome midwife. After a very long struggle and effort, my son was born. :) My birth plan said I wanted immediate skin-to-skin, but somewhere in the moment that got lost, so I looked and they were scrubbing him to death. And that's where what my doula calls my "primal moment" came in. I said (hopefully not too loudly) "JUST GIVE HIM TO ME!" 

They handed him to me and I had a million thoughts running through my head. "THANK GOD it's over!" "No one let me near Eve up there because things would get ugly." "This kid is HUGE and so strong!" "Someone put food - any food - in my mouth now." "Awww, Chris is crying!" "Thank you, God, that he's healthy!" And that really was the most amazing answer to prayer. The epidural didn't affect little Peter at all that we could tell. He was alert from the very first moment. His eyes opened and he nursed just fine. I was so, so thankful and relieved. 

We went home a little over 24 hrs. later. Chris and I couldn't WAIT to get out of the hellishness that is recovery in a hospital room. People came in every half hour or sooner, most of them doing non-necessary, annoying things. As soon as the papers were together, they wheeled me out, we strapped him into his carseat, and took off with the heat blasting. (It was BITTER cold out and snowing.) He slept all the way home (yay). We came home to an "It's a Boy!" sign in the yard, a welcome home message in the frost on our front door, a clean prepared house (thanks, family!) and an amazing basket of goodies and dinner from a dear church friend. It was just wonderful. 

So in the end I am actually telling people I'm glad he was born at the hospital. There were enough circumstances that make me think that if I had tried it at home, it would've been a VERY long, excruciating experience that might've dampened my desire to do it again. :P Now that my body's gone through birth, hopefully the next time will be faster and smoother, and I can have the baby at home like originally planned. But God used this experience to show me how His hand is everywhere. He knew I did everything I could to make what we thought were the best decisions, and when the timing just got crazy, He made Plan B go just as well. I am so humbled and thankful. And it's pretty surreal to look into little Peter's eyes and say "I love you" and have him sigh contentedly. Motherhood is a great gift. None of us deserve it at all. :) 

A picture post is coming soon! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

peter's birth story // part one

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anais Nin

By dates, Peter's due date was October 18th. Once I had my first ultrasound, however, they bumped it forward to the 29th because he was measuring small and they didn't want to categorize him as unhealthy when he was doing just fine. After that, I decided he would come sometime in-between the 18th and the 29th.
Big mistake. :P 

The 18th AND the 29th came and went without so much as a whisper that he was coming. So I found myself at 41 weeks with my endurance draining away. I was done hearing people ask when he was coming, I was done looking like a whale in every. single. thing. I wore, I was done weighing over 200 lbs., and I was done hurting. I stopped going to church because every time I went I got asked, "Where's that baby?!" and because I couldn't sit straight through a service. I had to get up to ease my hips and get some air. Eventually I felt more like a distraction than anything. 

Once you go past your due date, my midwives prescribe two non-stress tests (NSTs) and two ultrasounds a week to make sure the baby's doing okay and the fluid levels are good in there. The first NST and ultrasound didn't go super great so I got super nervous. My BIGGEST fear was that I'd have to have a C-section after preparing this whole time for a natural waterbirth at home. My second biggest fear was having to induce at a hospital. So when he barely moved for the NST and ultrasound, my heart just dropped. I had been feeling him move like crazy and had even had some contractions in the night so I KNEW he was okay, but that doesn't cut it when it's an official test, so.... The second set of tests was totally different. They went so well that I broke down in tears of thankfulness to the Lord for giving my ridiculously worried and emotional self a break. 

At 42 weeks and still nothing, I started all the natural induction methods. You name it, I tried it. Acupuncture, massage, herbs, membrane sweeping, etc. Still nothing. I was starting to think this baby would stay in forever. (Life looked a little bleak like that, let me tell you.) Chris and I had to face the fact that we had to go induce instead of continue waiting until something DID go wrong. We decided Monday we would go.

On Saturday, November 15th, my midwife Colleen came over to do another NST. It went okay, but not great. She told us that UIC (our hospital) had so many inductions on Monday that they couldn't take us, so we had two options: go right then, or go Sunday night at 8 PM. I didn't want to start all the labor process when I was already tired and done with my day, so I said let's go right now. It was such a quick decision. My brain and emotions didn't catch up. I started to pack in a fog. I hadn't even thought through what going to the hospital would require. I grabbed some slippers, some lip balm, pictures some little friends from church had made me for the birth, random things. And then we left. I closed the door after looking at my piles of homebirth supplies and shook my head in disbelief. This was so not what I wanted. So not what I planned. 

But God knew all of that, and had a much different experience ready for us than what I pictured and feared. :)

Peter // 1 Month

 I guess I'm one of those weird people that always feels that time passes slowly. Peter is 1 month old today, and it definitely feels like it's been 30 days. :P Yes, it's been a blur, however. When you're feeding a baby and doing his diaper every 2-3 hours, the days kinda blend together eventually. (What day is it again??) My love for him has grown every day, and he's already teaching me much about myself and the love my Heavenly Father has for His children. 

Peter's Faves:
getting his diaper changed
his puppy vibrating chair
his swing from Grandma
listening to Mommy's Grooveshark playlist
his Boppy Lounger
being held :)


Peter Emile Marsceau!

Born Sunday, November 16th, 12:54 PM.
9 lbs. 7 oz. 21" long

Yeah, let's not talk about how late I am with this. :P I had no idea how much work goes into simply keeping another human alive and clean. More updates (including his birth story) coming soon!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

still here

Yes, I'm still here. 

And yes, I'm still pregnant. Tomorrow makes 41 weeks. 

I haven't blogged at all lately because I've been in a bad rut of lack of Bible reading, lack of positive speech, lack of thankful thinking, lack of motivation, and a whole lot of apathy. All I've wanted to blog is controversial material and ranty sermons. Nothing you'd want to read, I'm sure. :P 

And you know that line from Bambi, right? Yes of course you do. (All good, cultured children watch Bambi. :P) "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." 

And so I'm not blogging for the time being. I'm playing piano and reading The Westing Game and cleaning my house and eating Halloween candy. I'll be back when the baby's here. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

books for preteen girls

There's a tricky side to being a voracious reader: people end up asking you for recommended reading lists. I'm one of those people that blanks as soon as anyone asks me for recommendations. :( It helps to sit at a computer and leisurely come up with a list as titles come to you. Goodreads helps too. ;) 

Anyway, I thought I'd share a list I compiled a while ago for a friend. These books I think would appeal most to preteen girls. Some are quick reads and some take longer, but I love all of them. :) Of course, unless you're reading the Bible, all literature will have flaws, so I won't pretend these are perfect. I'm a fan of at least reviewing what your child is reading, if you don't have the time to read the book yourself first. Never take someone's word for it, and never judge a book by its cover. (Unless the author is Nicholas Sparks or Stephenie Meyer. :P)

The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Indian Captive by Lois Lenski (and anything else by her)
The Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott
The Dear America series
The Sarah, Plain and Tall series by Patricia MacLachlan
I am Regina by Sally Keehn
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (and anything else by him)
Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The Heidi series by Johanna Spyri and Charles Tritten
The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (and anything else by her)
The Prairie River series by Kristiana Gregory
Hidden Rainbow by Christmas Carol Kauffman
The Grandma's Attic series by Arleta Richardson
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
The Borrowers series by Mary Norton
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Du Bois
The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stuart
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Got any faves that should be added?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chili in July

Okay so maybe chili isn't the usual thing people make in the dead of summer. Do I care? No. I needed something with a good bit of iron in it since I'm still avoiding the prenatals containing iron. Found this recipe on Pinterest, and it appealed to me because 1) it's made in the Crockpot (no hot kitchen!) 2) the ingredients list was easy and affordable, and 3) it wasn't overly spicy. 

This is cooking right now for dinner. It cooks for 8 hours, which for me is a perfect amount, since it doesn't require me putting it together around lunchtime or during teaching hours. It's a new fave of Chris's and mine, so I thought I'd share it. 

P.S. - Anybody know what happens when you substitute tomato paste for tomato sauce? I don't know how I missed that while making my shopping list. :{ At least it's a Crockpot recipe. ;)

Monday, July 28, 2014

another peek

His face! We got to see his face this past Thursday! I had scheduled this appointment because the doctors wanted to double-check his growth and measurements. Everything looked good, and by the measurements they concluded that I was 26w1d pregnant and still due on October 29th. 

Chris was able to go with me again this visit, which ended up being super fun because we saw him sucking on his fingers vigorously (first pic), and then sticking his tongue in and out again and again (second pic - he's on his side and his mouth is WIDE open). When the doctor came in to wrap everything up, the first thing she said was, "Ooh! Chubby cheeks!" :) 

This week was somewhat an important one, as Chris and I decided to change plans and do a home birth. I am beyond excited, and am thankful it's still legal in this rule-happy state. One thing that helped me make this decision was the documentary The Business of Being Born. This was recommended by a friend, and I have to say it was one of the most informative and honest films I've seen. I highly recommend it to women who are considering different birth options. (Warning: the documentary is graphic and does contain brief but very strong language.) 

Now that I'm in the third trimester (oh my word!), I feel like a switch has been flipped and suddenly I'm getting next to no sleep. :( Poor Chris somehow manages to sleep amid my tossing and turning and sighing. If I look dead next time you see me, it's because simply changing a pillow isn't doing the trick anymore. :P 

We are getting more and more excited as October gets closer. I'm thankful it really hasn't felt like forever, or that pregnancy is unbearable (so far). Now I'm off to my glucose test. woohoo. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

they're watching

"If Christians lived according to their faith, there would be no more Hindus left in India." ~ Muhatma Gandhi

"Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian." ~ D. L. Moody

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

last night's surprise dinner

Here's a little cooking tip my mom never taught me: There's a little sandwich of time between 2-4 PM when you can make a brand new dinner recipe without fear, because if it doesn't turn out, you have time to throw it all away, take out the garbage, and spray air freshener everywhere before the husband gets home and no one knows a thing. Or, if it turns out to be spectacular, you throw it in Pyrex and into the fridge, clean up all the dishes, and voila, dinner's ready at 6 and no more work is left to be done. 

Thankfully, last night's dinner ended up in the latter category. 

Minus all the dishes being done. But I digress. 

While I don't eat shrimp "naked" (that means anything without breading isn't an option), I like the smell of shrimp and garlic and tomatoes and all that wonderfulness. I was really scared making this recipe because I've never cooked shrimp before in my life. After intense Googling, it sounded like walking a tightrope: undercook it and everyone will die of bacteria-related causes; overcook it and no one will be able to get it down their goozle pipe because of its tasteless rubber texture. GIMME A BREAK. I decided to make it anyway. (See first paragraph.)

You can find the recipe along with Natasha's beautiful tutorial photos here. I used chili powder instead of chili flakes because I didn't have any, and neither did Meijer. I also used a cup of chicken broth instead of dry white wine. (I won't judge you if you cook with alcohol. It all cooks out anyway. *cough sarcasm cough*) 

I think this would be best served over angel hair pasta. Make sure you wash your strainer out immediately after draining all the pasta, however. (See third paragraph.) 

So let me tell you how the story ended. I hesitantly made the recipe knowing that if I botched it, it was like throwing $18 into the garbage because that's how much a pound of shrimp costs these days. No pressure. The sauce was easy and smelled great. I dumped the angel hair into the hot water right when Chris got in the door. He walked up to me as I was stirring the sauce with the (cooked?) shrimp in it and said, "Is that...shrimp??" I nodded, and the next words out of his mouth were: "I love you!" SO, just saying, this could make your husband (or boyfriend or family or cat) REALLY happy so just go ahead and make it. The end.

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's a BOY!

Shoot. I forgot to update my little Blogger friends. Anyway, yes, on Thursday we found out that we're expecting a baby boy! Chris and I were just about 100% sure it was a boy, so it wasn't a surprise. :) 

We're keeping the name under wraps for now, but here are some pictures. The little stinker wouldn't let us see his face, but I'm hoping when I go for another scan in 5 weeks he'll cooperate!

He has Chris's delts. lol

His little ear, which can already hear!

His perfect foot. When he's born I'll still check for all his toes. ;)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

20 weeks

Today I am approximately halfway to meeting my baby, and only 11 days from knowing whether it's a son or a daughter. :) People say it flies by, but time is doing nothing but steadily dripping for me right now. I am staying occupied, however, with constant preparation. This is the third weekend I've hit every garage sale I can find looking for baby stuff. I've come home with everything from chunky books to bassinets to Bumbo seats to those dated Fisher Price toys...yeah. My little closet over at my family's is already filling up. But oh my word it's so FUN. I have been blessed to find many unbelievable deals on very nice things I'll be able to use several times over. 

Thank you for continuing to check on me and see how I'm feeling. :) The support and kindness that has been shown to me and Baby has already been humbling and overwhelming. I'm not feeling sick anymore these days, but I do get bad headaches now and again which I'm offsetting by eating constantly, drinking SmartWater (THANK YOU, Coca-Cola!! :P) and sometimes drinking Pepsi (yes, my midwife said it's okay). I still can't feel Baby move, but I got to hear its heartbeat last checkup so I know its still in there havin' a ball! 

Believe me, June 11th can't get here soon enough, but I promise to let you know if it's a boy or a girl when the time comes. :) I. can't. wait. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BFA Concert

Last night I played in my last fine arts concert! Very weird feeling, considering I've been in it every semester for 6 years! It went really well even though we all were exhausted. I don't think anybody got lost. ;) It was a lot of fun and I was very thankful it went so well. 

Here are the 100% organic brownies I made for the pre-concert dinner. The nuclear goop on top of course is not organic. It is not even food. :P

RB and I have kind of left off our 2-semester tradition of getting a pic together after the FA concert, but we figured since it was the last one for both of us, a picture was definitely a good idea. ;)

P.S. - Yes, I'm sick of my black dress, too. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I hope you've kept up with or at least been informed of all the stuff going on at IBLP lately. I'm sharing this article because I think he hits the nail on the head. In the end, we need to pray for everyone involved, including Bill Gothard. The little cliche about praying about it as much as we've talked about it needs to apply here. Sometimes the people involved with a cult don't have an immediate explanation or way out. They need our compassion and prayers. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

more tea!

What made the tea fun was the wonderful people that agreed to sit at my table. ;)

I rarely play my violin anymore, so it was nice to play in a trio with my sister Charlotte and one of my best friends, RB.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ladies' Tea ~ Vintage Paris Table

This morning was our church's annual ladies' tea. This was my first year hosting a table, and it was a lot of fun! I had several friends sit at my table and none of us are etiquette experts, praise the Lord. Here are some pics.

I was so happy with how it all turned out! Here's where I found everything:

Coffee and tea pots - eBay
Dishes- wedding gift
Silverware - wedding gift
Napkins - gift from my grandma
Glasses- Dollar Tree
Tablecloth - Wal-Mart
Chocolate favors - Le Chocolat du Bouchard
Centerpiece - my own collection/library

Mom helped me come up with a way to artfully arrange my six antique French books for the centerpiece. (They were the only "vintage" thing I had.) 

Welcome to Paris! Have a cup of tea and a scone. ;)

I also had a lot of fun scouring tons of napkin fold ideas for my mom's table. I ended up picking this one, and after adding the gem to the center, it really turned into a flower! I was so excited with how they turned out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

oh, hello.

For the record, I'm not a fan of ultrasound pics. Black landscape, little unrecognizable white blob, no color...melts your heart, right? 

Well, my heart didn't melt until I saw a perfectly clear little hand with 5 fingers. This was my first look at my first child, and even though it wasn't as clear as I was hoping, it was still a miracle to see a living, moving person inside me. :) 

Next trip I learn the gender! Stay tuned! 

p.s. - what do you think? boy? girl?

Thursday, April 17, 2014


"There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are." - Brennan Manning

So many things I want to say about this quote, but suffice it to say - life is too short to be anything but real. Be yourself. We don't have time to play the game of sorting through phoniness. Drop the one-sided (or two-faced) friendships. Move on. The coolest people in life are the ones who are just that: people. They don't try to hide it and look like 100% 24/7 edifying saints. What's the point of iron sharpening iron if there's no one around admitting they're dull? 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

a note of thanks

Hey there!

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been calling, emailing, and messaging asking me how I'm feeling. I think pregnancy is the most frustrating thing ever because you feel too sick and tired to do anything but not sick enough to cancel life, so you just hang in-between feeling worthless. :P And since there are people out there dying of heart failure and cancer and whatever else, I definitely don't deem it important enough to put myself on a prayer list or anything. 

Needless to say, thank you for thinking of me and praying for me! Thanks to those who have already donated little cool things for Baby. I'm so thrilled to have started a little stash! 

I'm afraid if you still want updates you will have to continue to contact me myself personally because.....*drumroll*....

I don't dig the whole belly bump pic and "dear baby" post things. Some can pull it off without making it look stupidly cheesy or self-promotional. Some. Like, 1 in 5,873. 

So, thanks again and as they say in the South, bless your heart for caring about Chris's and my little cutie!

Monday, March 17, 2014