To My Beautiful Mama

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother's Day! I am so blessed to have you as my mother!

I am who I am today because of you, and you've always been there for me whenever I needed you.

You led me to the Lord, and you taught me how to follow Jesus by your instruction and especially by your example, and I am so grateful for that. You are a wonderful model to me of what a wife and mom should be. . .

. . . and I hope I can be half the mother to Wyatt that you've been to me!

I love you so much, Mama, and I'm so glad you're my mom!

Your Daughter,


First Moms And Babies Feature - Kara

Welcome to the first installment of Moms And Babies!

I've been inspired by so many lovely ladies through blogging - and alot of them are moms and have cute little kiddos. So after a bit of brainstorming, I decided to do a mom/baby feature on my blog! See the new little tab in the corner to read more.

Basically, I'll be featuring new moms, along with their babies, every week or two with an interview on my blog. At least until I run out of mommy-blogging friends to interview, which could take a while.

So, without further ado . . .

The first mom to be featured is Kara! I've been following Kara's blog, Just1Step, for a long time now (is it two years, Kara?), and she has a ton of great advice and insight into being a mom and following the Lord.

She also has wonderful picture-taking abilities. I have Blog Photo Envy every time I visit her site.

She has a sweet little boy who is over a year old now - but I'll let her tell you more about him!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'll be 28 years old on May 14th. I'm a follower of Jesus. My 3-year anniversary with my wonderful husband, Dave, is on June 21st. We have one son (see next question). I work four days a week as a biostatistician and I stay home on Fridays with our son. I would love to say that I give the majority of my free time to God and to learning about Him, but instead I tend to waste the majority of it on frivolous worldly things. I love music, plants, photography, blogging, being organized, running, and reading.

What's your baby's name and how old is he?

His name is Krewson Lee, Krew for short. We also call him Crouton and Witto Boy. He was born on March 5th, 2010, so he's about 14 months old.

Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Well, every day is different. I could give you the condensed version or the long version. I'll go long. :)
Monday - 6:30am wake up, let out dogs, get Krew milk, take already-awake Krew out of crib (he wakes up at 6:30am every day), take Krew into bathroom and try to entertain him while showering and getting ready for work. Hand him off to Dave to take to daycare. Drive 25 minutes to work. Work 8 hours. Drive 25 minutes to pick up Krew from daycare. Drive home. Feed Krew. Let Krew play outside covered in food remaining from dinner. Give Krew bath to clean off food. Put Krew to bed. Use remainder of evening to cook, eat, clean the house, go through mail, edit pictures, blog, read, and tackle the million of other items on my to-do list.
Tuesday - Same as Monday up through Krew's bath. Then I go to Bible study with some girlfriends.
Wednesday - Same as Monday up through Krew's bath. Then we all go to church small group.
Thursday - Same as Monday.
On days when I'm home with Krew (usually Friday through Sunday), he typically wakes up at 6:30am, eats around 7:30 or 8am, naps around 8:30 or 9am for a couple hours, eats again around noon, eats a snack around 2 or 3pm, takes a mid-afternoon nap of about 30 minutes whenever he chooses, eats again around 5:30pm, and goes to bed around 7:30pm. I try to get all my stuff done and play with him around that schedule. :)

If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

Happy, determined, independent.

What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Just watching him, as cheesy as that may sound. Everything he does is fascinating to me. I love watching him study the world and try to figure it out. I love watching his face as it goes from happiness to joy to confusion to surprise to giggles and laughter to seriousness. I love the words he tries to say and the way he points at everything. He's non-stop entertainment. Others may beg to differ, but I know Dave feels the same way. :)

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Have patience. There's more involved than just weight. Your body changed. Things moved all over the place. It took me probably four or five months to lose all my weight, but even then I didn't fit back into my biggest pre-pregnancy pants until seven months. It took that long for my hips to move back. Also have acceptance. Things are probably never going to look the same again. If they do, you are very blessed. I still don't fit into several pairs of my pre-pregnancy pants, and my stomach no longer looks the same despite the very few stretch marks I got. Consider the changes to be your wonderful mark of mommahood. They are the mark of a blessing.

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

I am very blessed in this area in that Dave and I have had minimal ups and downs since Krew was born. That's not to say we haven't had any disagreements or issues. We have. But God has blessed us with pretty complimentary personalities, so we've been able to work through it all somewhat easily. Still, I want to remind all mothers to remember that your marriage comes first. I know that many non-Christians and even some Christians will argue with me over this. But I stand strong in the belief that this is God's will. Are there exceptions? Well, yes, there are gray areas just as there are with nearly every other argument. Such as an abusive or wandering husband. I don't claim to have any knowledge as to God's will in that situation. But in general, I stand by the belief that Jesus is #1, husband is #2, and children are #3. My other advice would be to make sure your husband knows you love him...daily. Hug him, give him kisses, be intimate when he wants it, spend time sitting down with him, talking to him without distractions. And of course tell him you love him. I think it's very easy for moms to become so preoccupied with their kids that they forget there is this wonderful man standing next to them who would be touched by an equal dose of their love and affection.

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

Self-foaming baby wash. Aquafor. Travel baggies for messy clothes and poopy diapers. Wipes, wipes, wipes. A butt thermometer and infant acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen on hand at all times. Lily Padz and a big nursing cover if you're nursing. A noise maker. A changing mat for your diaper bag. Swaddle cloths. I actually wrote two blog posts on recommended baby items if anyone wants to check them out. :)
The "Must-Haves" Baby Registry List
The "Must-Haves" Baby Registry List - My Additions

What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

There have been a ton of wonderful moments and outings - I don't think I can pick a favorite. So instead can I share my least favorite? Over Christmas this year, we were 12 hours from home, visiting my family for over a week. Krew got pink eye in both eyes, had two teeth coming in, and came down with a bad virus (fever, congestion, runny nose). It was the most miserable parenting situation I've faced thus far. He was irritable, clingy, threw complete temper tantrums if the slightest thing didn't go his way, and refused to go down for bed (think hours of crying). Nearly every moment was a struggle. He didn't want anyone to touch him except me or Dave, yet he wanted us to be touching him always. On top of that, I was worried about his health and frequently wondered if I should be taking him to urgent care. This craziness lasted for the entire vacation. I remember being so exhausted, thinking to myself, "Dear God, please don't tell me this is my new child. Please let my old child return. I can't handle this new child. This new child is out of control." Fortunately, after returning home to a schedule, the virus going away, quite a few times of not getting his way, and a lot of crying at bedtime, he returned to his formerly jovial self. I was so so so so grateful. I also learned the importance of structure and schedule with my child.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Don't expect it to be all sunshine and butterflies after your baby is born. Some new mothers have a wonderful first few months, but many do not. I actually developed postpartum depression that severely clouded my first few weeks at home with Krew. Even after the depression lifted thanks to medication, there were still times when I didn't feel like being a mother. There were times I cried and wanted to scream. There were times (and still are) when I thought to myself, I cannot believe I have to raise this child for the next 18 years. It doesn't make you a bad mommy, it doesn't mean you don't love your child. It means you're human. We are imperfect creatures trying to live a perfect life and be perfect parents to little human beings who are also imperfect. Clearly, it's an impossible situation. I recently read, if the Perfect Parent couldn't raise perfect children, how do we expect to? Adam and Eve messed up and their only parent was perfect in every way. We have to turn to God for the strength and wisdom to make it through each new day as it arrives. And trust Him to pick up where we fall short. :)

Thanks Kara!
Head on over to Kara's blog to read more.

If you have a baby and are interested in being featured, please shoot me an e-mail at I'd love to "introduce" you!

The Death Of An Evil Man

I have some thoughts floating around in my head on Osama Bin Laden's death today, and I want to get them out there while they're fresh, so excuse the second post in one day.

There have been alot of conflicting reactions to Bin Laden's death from what I've seen on Facebook, Twitter, and the blogging world. Some people have been rejoicing at the death of this man, and some people have been stating their belief that it's wrong to celebrate the death of anyone.

I'm not going to say anything on the reactions of people who don't know the Lord, but for those of us who follow Jesus, how should we react?

Personally, I think there is an appropriate reaction, and an inappropriate reaction.

Did Bin Laden deserve to die? You bet. In the Old Testament, the Lord required the death penalty for far fewer crimes than all the atrocities that Osama Bin laden committed (just read Deuteronomy). (You should know that I am for the death penalty, but that is not what this post is about, so let's not go off on a tangent here.)

Did Bin Laden deserve to go to hell? Absolutely. But he deserved it no more than any of us do before we are saved through the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:23).

Should we rejoice that he is suffering in hell? Definitely not. Even the Lord isn't pleased that Bin Laden is in hell. He does not wish that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Do we have to mourn his death because he went to hell? No. The Bible acknowledges that the people will celebrate when the wicked perish (Proverbs 11:10), and there is no place saying we have to dredge up some sad feelings when an evil man dies.

Can we be "happy" in the sense of being satisfied that justice was done here on earth? I think so, because our God is a God of justice (Psalm 50:6). And through Bin Laden's death, justice has been done for all those whom he killed.

Those are my thoughts on the subject.

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An Old Receipt

My mom found a receipt in my kitchen cabinet the other day.

I was about to tell her to throw it away when she mentioned that it was from September 8, 2008. Two and a half years ago.

I was kind of curious to see if my buying habits have changed since then, so I grabbed it from my mom and took a look. Only four things were on the receipt.

A ball of yarn. Facial cleansing wipes. Knitting needles. And finally, a knitting "How To" book.

Those things may not seem particularly significant, but in an instant I remembered the day we bought those items.

Derek and I were newly married. It was an exciting time, but it was also a stressful time. We were both unemployed in September 2008.

Derek had resigned from his previous job because he was about to get a really good job as a financial analyst, but then the stock market did it's thing in 2008, and the company that was going to hire him started a hiring freeze and the job fell through.

I was fresh out of hygiene school and working for a temporary agency, when I had a needle-poke incident at one of my temp jobs. The lady who ran the agency became angry at me and acted like I did it on purpose, and didn't give me a single job after that.

Those four items were a huge treat for me, because we really couldn't afford them. But after several weeks of not working, I was getting bored and needed a project. I told Derek that I might like to start knitting again, and he took me to Wal-Mart to get some knitting needles, instructions, and yarn.

He was also very sweet and let me get the facial cleansing wipes. It's just nice to be able to remove all the makeup from your face, and something so simple was pretty exciting to me at the time, because we really didn't have money for things like that.

As I sat in my kitchen and looked at that old receipt, I realized again how far the Lord has brought us.

Two months later, Derek would get a job in a very difficult market that would pay the bills for almost two years. It was also a job that opened the door for the treasurer position he holds now.

I got a temporary job for the month of December that helped us through the holidays, and a few months after that the Lord led me to my current position, in an office that I love.

Those days of unemployment are a distant memory. I almost forget that they happened. But I shouldn't, because the Lord used that time of financial difficulty to bring us closer to Him, and to strengthen our newly formed marriage. And ultimately, He brought us through.

Sometimes it's hard to see the good in a situation, but hindsight really is twenty-twenty. As I look back on every major difficulty we have faced, though I may not have been able to see it at the time, I can truly say that the Lord really does work out everything for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)! What an amazing assurance!

How has the Lord taken a difficulty you've faced and worked it out for your good?

Oh, and as a sidenote, I never did finish that blanket that I started that September. It was a good distraction for a while, but then I got into a much more addicting hobby.

On September 18, I wrote my first blog post in over a year, followed by 585 more blog posts . . .

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sagey Bedroom Reveal!

Remember way back last fall, when I was trying to decide on a green paint color for our new bedroom, and I assured you all that I had a vision?

Well, it has finally been brought to life. Our bedroom is finished!

I painted the walls "Sagey" from Behr paint.

The bedspread I got from my grandma, and I bought a couple brown throw pillows to go with it. I got the curtains (which are black-out curtains, so we can sleep in) from Wal-mart.

Derek gave me the metal tree wall-art and the candle sconces for Christmas. I got the bronze vase and flowers and some white candles from Wal-Mart, and the suitcase from Hobby Lobby.

I bought the various frames from a thrift store (all for eight dollars), spray-painted them brown, and then printed some sepia photos of Derek and me to put inside (though I think they'd look pretty cool hanging empty on the green wall too - just an idea).

The only other thing we need to do is get some curtains for the French doors, and we'll be completely done with the bedroom! I'm really happy with the finished product. We live in a rural mountain area, so I wanted something that felt fresh but also warm at the same time, and something that would fit in well with our beautiful surroundings. And for me, that's exactly how it turned out!

Here are some pictures. I think the last one is probably the most accurate representation of the wall color.

Walking through the doors.

Details . . .

I hung up a collage of pictures of Derek and me.

Here's a video tour, just in case the pictures didn't quite do it for you:

I'm still saving up for decor and furniture for the bathroom and living room in the basement, but I'll do reveal posts for those rooms as I complete them as well. I think the bathroom will probably be next!

Blogging And Stuff

I figured it was about time I joined the rest of a blogging world and make a button. So if you do the button thing, here's mine!

I also signed up for this Top Baby Blogs website. I figured it might be a fun way to find new bloggers. I don't have a ranking yet, so if you want to, you can vote for me by clicking through with one of these links. And if you join, I'll vote for you too.

Vote For Us @!

Don't worry, I'm not going to get all annoying about the voting thing.

And in other blogging news, I have a mom/baby feature in the works . . . more on that to come. If you have any questions you'd like to ask new moms, please let me know!

Mm'kay, that's all for now! I may or may not be off to watch the royal wedding that I DVR'd (*ahem*). At least until we have to leave for my doctor's appointment this afternoon. Prayers for good news about my blood clot are appreciated!

I hope you each have a fabulous weekend!

Amazing Clotting Ablities

I've never even been to the hospital as a patient before this year (well, unless you count when I was born). Now it feels like I get to go every week as a patient.

So, I've been having this ache in my leg since Saturday. It kind of felt like a muscle cramp. I was slightly concerned about it, because I know that I'm more at risk for blood clots right now. And my mom (who has had a blood clot before) told me it feels like a muscle cramp.

So I call my orthopedic doctor yesterday, just to check. And guess where they send me?

Off to the hospital I go for an ultrasound. I'm telling myself that most likely it's not a blood clot, because I've been on injectable blood thinners all week. And who gets a blood clot while on blood thinners?

Apparently, I do. My blood must have some amazing clotting abilities.

Blood clots in your legs are dangerous, because the blood clot can dislodge and move to your heart, lungs, or brain, possibly causing a heart attack, pulmonary embolism (when a vessel gets blocked in your lungs), or a stroke.

Thankfully mine is small and in a smaller peripheral vein, so it's less likely to cause problems.

I'm on aspirin for the rest of the week and I have to keep my leg elevated. Then I have to have a second ultrasound to see if my blood clot is still there. If it doesn't dissolve, I'll have to be on blood thinners for three months.

Please pray that when they do the second ultrasound my blood clot will be gone! I'm afraid if they put me on the blood thinners for three months I won't be able to feed Wyatt anymore, and I'm just not ready to give it up. So if you all could add me to your prayer lists, I'd appreciate it.

And just in case you are wondering, this is how I get my blogging done now that I'm a mother on crutches:

I know. I'm talented.

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