Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crafting to pass the time

First of all, a pregnancy update for those of you who've been wondering!!

1 week 1 day until my due date and, YES, Ethan is still on the INside!!

He just did a nice flippy thing as I typed that! :) He's definitely a squirmy little thing. They say they run out of room to do much moving at this phase, but not my boy! He's as monkey-like as ever, jabbing and poking me and flipping around in there! PHEW!

As an update, I was making some progress at my 38 week appointment last Wednesday.

**** TMI alert!!! ****

I was 2 cm dilated and softening then and I am almost positive that he is sitting lower now, as he has been kicking me lower and pressing on different nerves--plus my belly sort of flattened out over the weekend!! I definitely feel and look different this week, and have had plenty of Braxton Hicks and cramping, and some "practice contractions," too. Nothing to get excited about, though--just a lot of discomfort!!

This Wednesday (the 29th) I go back to my doctor and she's planning to sweep my membranes. Any of you ladies have that done?? I've heard it can get things going if they're already going (which they apparently are for me)...or it can just cause a lot of cramping and spotting. Either way, it'll work (or not work) within 48 hours, so we'll know by Friday evening. I'm figuring I'm up for anything to get things moving! I am beyond ready to be done.

If nothing is happening by Friday, I'm betting I'll easily make it to my due date of May 6. I'm helping with a ladies' luncheon at church Saturday so they all have mixed emotions about whether they WANT me there or not--but I figure if I'm still pregnant, I'll be glad for the distraction!

By the way, our son was born at 40 weeks and 6 days, which is another 14 days away, so...we could have a while yet to wait!!

Here's a picture of my from 38.5 weeks after church. How can a belly grow this much without exploding, I wonder????

As for crafting, I've got a few projects going on to keep myself pleasantly occupied and not obsessing over when Ethan will make his debut! :)

I love making these decorative file folders and my mom spotted this paper and requested it for a set for her kitchen to hold recipes, coupons, invitations, etc. I love how they turned out!

I'm also working on robot-themed birthday party invitations for an old high school friend I re-connected with on Facebook. I've had fun with these!

Then I tried my first note card holder with 4 note cards inside, all with different sentiments. It's in my shop as a Mother's Day or Grad gift. I think I'll be making more of these.

Thankfully, I have about 13 more robot cards to make and paper for another four or five sets of folders to keep me busy!

In the meantime, we're just waiting for Ethan to make his debut--and of course I'll let you know as soon as I can after he's here!! Thanks for your well wishes and prayers...

**** UPDATE!!! ****

Wednesday, April 29.

Saw my OB today--no progress!! He's not any lower or any more engaged and there are no signs of his impending arrival. My blood pressure was good and my belly measurement is fine--I even gained .5lbs of the 2 I lost last week! That's a good thing, by the way, because I definitely wasn't "eating for two" as I should have been.

Anyway, we checked out fine and she expects us to easily make it to my next appointment on Tuesday, the day before my due date. Of course, things can change quickly and I'll keep you posted!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Guess Ethan's birth day!

Wondering when Ethan will finally make his debut??

To help you decide, I'll tell you that Andrew's due date was November 20 and he was born November 26. Ethan's due date according to my doctor is May 6. The ultrasound tech said she would put it at May 8. My calculation from the date of conception gave me May 13.

If you want to guess the other stats, Andrew was 8 lbs. 4 oz. and 20" long and born at 10:27p.m. Ethan is expected to be about the same size. As for a time, all I can tell you is that I went into labor in the wee morning hours and had an 18-hour labor. I'm hoping to start the same, but have Ethan much faster! :)

To vote, or change your vote, LEAVE A COMMENT...or visit:

My Pregnancy Blog

and click on the "Expectnet.com" link on the right sidebar.

Here's what we have so far:

April 30--Drew (Dad)
May 1--Jaime, Julie J., Tiffiny
May 2--the Paradisos
May 3--Aunt Julie, Jennifer P.
May 5--Aunt Jane (aunt)
May 7--Uncle Carver, Uncle Dave, Aunt Sarah
May 8--Great Aunt Donna
May 9--Shelly
May 10--aunt Laura, Judi J.
May 11--Grandma and Nana
May 12--Brooke
May 13--ME
May 15--G.G. Nannie
May 20--Dorothy and G.G. Poppie

Give it your best shot--there will be prizes!! :)


At the end of pregnancy, you need a lot of distractions so you can think about something other than your discomfort, how much time you have left and whether every twinge is the start of labor.

Friday, I sent out an all-call, asking my friends to come hang out for a lil' Girls' Night In. We watched girly movies, did facials and manicures, ate snacks and just enjoyed being together.

Soaking my feet. Andrew had to join in.

The girls, watching "Enchanted."

Me with my virgin lemon drop martini.

Then Saturday, my mom, Andrew and I met my brother and his family at a beautiful park near their home in north Phoenix.

Nana and Andrew, looking for bass in the pond.

A picnic.

Lovin' on Mama.

Feeding the ducks.

Train ride.

Playground fun.

And M&Ms before the drive home!

Now my hubby is out of town for four days and three nights, to I'm trying to keep myself occupied until he returns. My mom is staying with us every night, partly to keep me company and partly for the "just in case." Tonight is Bunco and tomorrow night I go to our home group, so it's just a matter of staying busy during the day while resting as much as possible. Phew! It's hard work, having this much fun! :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Fave Five #14

Read more entries over at

Living To Tell The Story

1. Easter was such a wonderful day. We actually attended our Saturday night Easter service so while it was weird to not be in church on Easter Sunday, it was nice to sleep in and enjoy our morning together!

My mom did the cooking and cleaning on Sunday at her house, leaving me to sit and relax. My hubby even got to take a nap!! I also had a spiritual breakthrough that night that has really made a huge difference in my daily walk with the Lord and has definitely helped in the anxiety department! You can read that post


2. The Saturday before Easter was a fun day. Our park had an Easter party, so Andrew got to go in the bouncy house and ride a train. My hubby took him so I could go house hunting with my sister-in-law (as I will mention in #3).

Later, we made cupcakes! He loved icing his...

...and adding sprinkles...

And eating it, too.

Yup, I had one, too. OK, more like six or ten (but over the course of a few days).

3. The aforementioned sister-in-law (this is the one who introduced me to my hubby and that has lived with us for going on 6 years) is house hunting in our neighborhood because housing prices are so affordable. We're thrilled that she's hoping to stay close by (but sad at the prospect of losing her as a house-mate)!

She put in an offer on this house and it's about a quarter-mile west of us and move-in ready. It's gorgeous, perfect for her needs and just has a really nice, spacious, open feeling. We're praying for God to work out the details so she can snag this baby!! We've seen a lot of houses and this one is definitely a winner.

4. My doctor has officially declared me "FULL TERM." Or Ethan, actually!! Here's us the day I turned 37 weeks. Large, and in charge, baby!!

This is such a huge relief. Premature births are way too common and they don't always know what causes babies to come early, so there are no guarantees. I feel very fortunate to have made it this far and without any complications.

An additional praise is that Drew and Andrew came to my appointment, which made it extra-fun. She said I'm softening and at 2cm dilated, although he hasn't dropped yet and there are no signs of impending labor. I'm measuring right on and she expects him to be about as big as his brother if he arrives around the same time (Andrew was born 6 days past my due date and weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz.).

AND, another praise...she gave Drew the go-ahead to leave town next week to Florida for four days!! We're glad he gets to go--I really want him to, it's a church planting conference with our pastor--and hope Ethan and I can HANG ON until he gets back!! Drew has made me promise to call him if anything happens, and he'll get back ASAP. I feel sure that things will be utterly uneventful while he's gone! In the meantime, no long hikes or heavy lifting for me!!

My mom is coming to stay this weekend while Drew is having some alone time and doing some spiritual "questing" before Ethan's arrival, then she's staying every night he's gone, too. Thank you, Lord!

5. I am just grateful in general for my recent spiritual growth, which was "set off" by that weird anxiety I had two weeks ago. I've had some wonderful visits from friends since then, have been able to bless people since I'm feeling well and have found so many encouraging nuggets of truth in the Word. I just feel so grateful to God for His providence and protection, and all the blessings in my life.

#6. BONUS! :) "The kindness of strangers." Beth over at "The Power of Your Love" made and sent this precious newborn hat for Ethan to wear in the hospital instead of the hospital-issued hats. I can't wait to see him in it!! Thank you, Beth!!

Excited to see how everyone else's week was!! One of these FFFs will soon include Ethan's arrival! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gotta have some blank cards on hand

I, in fact, have to un-list items from my shop to give people at the last minute because I--the queen of cards--don't always have an appropriate card on hand for a last-minute "thank you" or "get well." Oops.

So I created these to work for any occasion and, yes, they are BLANK inside!

I love this new paper!
It's so pretty, I didn't even embellish them.
This set of three includes a FREE bookmark.

Here's the inside.

Makes a lovely gift, too!
Buy them

This set of 2 did get some layered goodness and a 3-D butterfly embellishment.

The back has some flocked action and you can see the FREE bookmark, included.

This set is

I'm always pleased when I make items that I myself would buy!!

Do you have some cute cards on hand for your last-minute card needs??

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter re-cap & freedom

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!!

We headed to my folks' house across town, after not having been there for over a month (A new record).

Andrew hunted for eggs.

And enjoyed munching on the candy inside.

We had a lovely meal of steak, mashed potatoes and salad.

And the traditional elements, of course: deviled eggs & olives, and a lemon Bundt cake with jelly beans.

Andrew had to take a dip in the 69-degree pool! Brr!

And here is our family by the pool.

A kiss from my hubby!

Me, largely pregnant, relaxing.

36 weeks/9 months and feeling every bit of it!

Andrew watering the vegetable garden.

It was a lovely Resurrection Day and so nice to be able to show up and enjoy without doing any of the work! Drew even took a nap! Thanks, Mom and Dad!! :)

and now on to the FREEDOM part.

What a perfect weekend to experience true freedom in Christ!!

After my bout with anxiety about two weeks ago, I've really been focusing on God's PEACE. I believe we're going to be on this peace theme for a while and although I feel I've already come a long way, I also feel that God has a lot more work to do with me on peace. I'm open to whatever He is trying to show me and whatever He has for me to walk through, to get me where He wants me to be. Last night, we made a lot of progress.

Although I've been able to keep the anxiety under control with a lot of "renewing my mind" and daily time with the Lord (reading, journaling and praying), my thoughts would still turn to worry--mostly about future things that have no bearing on my everyday life. They were decidedly UNpeaceful thoughts and rather vague...even borderline ridiculous. So of course I knew they weren't from God.

On the way home from my folks' house last night (Easter Sunday), my hubby and I were talking about it. I said, "There's still something lurking there {a worry in the back of my mind} and I think the enemy will continue to torment me with it until I confront it."

I finally pinpointed it, praise Jesus. Or God revealed it to me, I should say. I wasn't worried about going through 'X' experience or having to deal with 'Y' happening to my family or the world turning into 'Z'...I was worried about going through them alone. As in, God not being there. As in, coping and surviving by myself, apart from God. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I believed that God wouldn't be there in my darkest moments, or that He wouldn't be enough for me.

I confessed that sin--of believing the lie that God wouldn't be there or would leave me or wasn't enough, etc. and embraced His truth that He will never leave me nor forsake me! He is always with me...and He is enough!


But I knew there was still a teeny tiny little lie still there. I talked it through, telling my husband that I couldn't quite identify it...then BAM! God brought it to my mind. Even beyond the thoughts about God leaving me, or not being enough...the deeper, darker aspect of that worry was that I was afraid that I would abandon God. The enemy wanted me to believe that when times got tough, even if God was there and was enough...I'd be the one to to bail. That it was all up to me and I would choose my own way, or would decide I couldn't do it or couldn't bear it. I...would leave God. Then I really would be alone, see? The enemy was covering all the bases, saying, "Times are going to be tough. God won't be enough to see you through. God will abandon you! God can't help you! And even if He could...YOU will be the one to give up and bail out, and then you'll really be alone."

Talk about hopeless, huh? Isn't that just like him to say? What a terrible entrapment, a horrible lie, an awful snare! And the enemy sure had me for a while. Well, for 31 years, actually.

Until I confessed the sin of that belief, too, along with the one that many of us may struggle with, which is "What if it isn't real?" Wrapped up in the idea of God leaving me, or me being able to 'lose' Him, is the idea that all this Christian stuff is a big farce to begin with. Or more precisely, that it's a nice idea and a pretty good option for living your life--but that God isn't powerful enough to grab hold of us and hang on and even if He is, we can still let go and lose it all on a whim!!! That is one huge lie to let go of!

I have studied God's sovereignty. I love the principles I've learned about God's sovereignty! And now I can re-visit it all and apply it in freedom and in peace, without this "cloud of doom" hanging over it. I am so excited!!

I feel like I've had a breakthrough and like the enemy has LOST this stronghold on my life. What a perfect weekend for it, too!

Along the same idea is another thing I've struggled with through my Christian walk, which is "Why me, God??" Why do what You did, why send Your son, why redeem us?? and it all comes down to LOVE. That is, after all, what kept Jesus on the cross and what raised him up again! In the midst of the busyness of life, when I think, "What am I DOING, Lord?? What are any of us doing??" I have to remind myself: It's all about love!

Angie says it so well in this post, I encourage you to check it out.

Bring The Rain

Thanks for reading! I pray somehow that God will use this breakthrough He led me through to bless your day, or better yet--to draw you closer to HIM!

P.S. I'll be posting more about God's peace and sovereignty as I continue on this journey! Stay tuned!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday's Fave Five #13

Read more entries over at

Living To Tell The Story

1. I had my Baby Shower on Saturday!! It was such a blessing in so many ways. I already posted all about it

2. I got fun goodies from participating in a Spring Swap. Check out that post

3. I've made it to 36 weeks, and a month from my due date! I figured I was already adequately huge to get maternity portraits. I adore the ones of me with "my boys" and I am so grateful for them, especially my hubby. I posted the best ones

4. These flowers from the baby shower have made the whole main part of the house smell amazing and they are delightful in the middle of my dining room table. I adore the lilies, especially with it being Easter!

5. Finally feeling like my normal self again. Last week was challenging and what was probably just a minor hormonal surge became three days of self-induced anxiety, which is very unlike me. After a lot of prayer and really choosing to focus on resting in God's peace, I am definitely grateful to be feeling well again. Thank You, Lord!