Read More

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Easy-Peasy Labor Delivery (I pray)

     The massage therapist laughingly said, "Candise, it's sad that you are looking forward to labor, just for the break!"
     Some of you might be thinking...she is soooo impatient, that  baby girl will come when God is ready for her to come. I agree, you are exactly right!
     However, I will elaborate a little on why I am ready for this precious little gift to be here!
     First of all, I've been having contractions on and off and sometimes for an entire day since week 34...I am a week and half from my due date today and have only progressed to 1cm...She's at the -2 station so she's entered my pelvis thingy and therefore preventing me from bending, walking or sleeping like any normal person. If I am going to be in this much pain, I want it to be for something...seems like we are getting nowhere!
     Then, I am definitely looking forward to that break! Yes, I am actually looking forward to labor!!! It's our third time around, we know what to expect. The decision for pain management has been made for me, eliminating the stress of knowing I will have to make that decision. My plan {God might have different plans, but I am praying we are on the same page} is to labor at home til a certain point, then head to the hospital...get shot up with a sweet epidural and then relax! Easy-Peasy-Lemon Squeezy...maybe I'll even get a nap in! ha....then, that precious little girl will come and we'll be in the hospital for a few days, peace! ahhhh....The amount of chaos and noise that goes on in a delivery room and the few days that follow are no where near the activity that goes on at my house on any given day! Then, once we go home, Jim will be home for a week, loving on his favorite little boys like no one else can and I can just relax and enjoy my little girl. Like our little mini-sleeples-vacation!
     And finally, a lot of my impatience is simply due to anxiousness in meeting this little girl. We can't wait to see who she is going to look like, Jim or me! Taylor is the spitting image of Jim (with my personality), Andrew has a few of my traits, complexion, eyes, but looks a lot like his brother (with Jim's personality). Now get this...if Carrie Ann comes out with a head full of dark brown hair---you are for sure to hear about it! I'm the odd ball out in my family, being the only Filipino (half). I don't look like anyone I know or that I am related to. Andrew's my closest resemblance, and well, he's a boy! 
    So maybe now you can see that I have the same anxieties and reasons most of us have when we are trying to speed up labor and delivery.
     Today we finally got to finish the playroom. Only have to get our chair and do wall accessories. I'm keeping the laundry caught up, just in case we are caught off guard. The boys' lovebugs are on pins and needles, texting everyday wanting to know how we are doing.
     I'm headed back to see the doc on Monday, and on Wednesday, CA will be 39 weeks and at that point the doc will do what she can to help speed things along.
     I have a million blog posts that are just waiting to be jotted down....i.e. recipes, Cooking Club, my boys!!! Stuff like that. Pray for us as we head into this, the final stretch. We will be a family of 5 in the next few days or so and we are beside ourselves, anxious, tired and a little exhausted as well.

Cheerful laugh for the day!

Another perk of pregnancy I will own personal little food tray!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Due South Designs of Atlanta: GRAND OPENING GIVEAWAY!!

Hey Ya'll!!! Check out my friend Rachael's new website for her monogramming, appliques and vinyl business..... She's having a Grand Opening Giveaway too!!!!! Make sure you top by and see what all she's got!!!!

Due South Designs of Atlanta: GRAND OPENING GIVEAWAY!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

3 things I WILL miss after pregnancy

     Okay, maybe 4...or 5!

1.   I will definitely miss keeping Carrie Ann so safe...well as safe as a mother of 2 toddlers can! I've only fallen 3 times.  I'll miss taking the Lord's Supper while pregnant...I've gotten emotional everytime we do this at church while I am pregnant, knowing that this will be the last time they get to partake until they are Believers....I think too much!
2.  Sympathy votes...people are prejudice towards pregnant ladies...most of the time...there are exceptions to this, but I remember sticking out my barely 6 month pregnant belly as far as I could to the parking guard at the Nashville marathon in hopes that he would feel sorry for me and let me park up next to the worked...or when you are in LensCrafters and they break your glasses and you burst into tears and they want to do whatever they can to make the pregnant woman feel better and to stop spewing like a hydrant so in a tizzy they give you 50% off a new set of lenses and frames.
3.  I will definitely miss the extra 3 seconds the big belly bump allows you to add to the 5 second know, the food falls, hits the bump, bounces, goes air bound and then....the 5 seconds begin!!!
4.  Sucking in my stomach to make people think I actually do ab workouts like my husband!
5.  The great excuse for everything that goes awry....oh..officer, I'm pregnant and I think my water just broke, or yes, Insurance agent, I forgot to pay our insurance this month, did you know I was pregnant? and then the very next month... Jim says-hey hun, got a call from ins. agent...said you paid the insurance twice this month...hey honey, why is there a gallon of milk in the pantry? CANDISE!!!!....upon monitoring our online banking...YOU PAID OUR MORTGAGE TWICE THIS MONTH... to which I respond, shocked myself--I'm sorry Jim, it was a tough day, being pregnant and all!--gotta use the pouty lips with this one and it usually helps if you are looking pretty cute at the time too!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Five Things

I  don't read, nor do I send forwards, but my super chic and stylish pregnant college friend Sally tagged me on her blog and I thought I'd waste some perfectly good napping time with you!
Five Things


Answer 5 questions with 5 answerss
Tag 5 other bloggers


1. Where were you 10 years ago?

--In my spring semester of my freshman year of college at Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS.
--Lost as a goose when it came to my salvation.
--Insecure in who I was, appearance and eternity.
--In a dead end relationship with a guy that was going no where fast.
--I was all into ME...a cute little community college cheerleader who seriously needed a reality check.

2. What is on your TO DO list for today?
--Go grocery shopping {check}
--Shop for a diaper bag for Carrie Ann {check}
--Pack hospital bag.
--Hang Carrie Ann's ballet slippers up in her room.
--Cook supper.

3. What 5 snacks do you enjoy?
--Double Stuf Oreos.
--Cheese and Crackers
--A chunk of raw cookie dough
--A cheese stick....beginning to see where my weight comes from!

4. Where are 5 places you have lived?
--Tupelo, Mississippi...this is our second time to live here.
--Falls Church, Virginia...when Jim worked on Capitol Hill
--Okolona, MS....after college, with my mom, until I married Jim and moved to Tupelo, the first time.
--Columbus, MS...The W!
--Clinton, MS....the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college.

5. Name 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire.
--Fund and financially support Centerpoint Church in Annapolis, MD, and FFC counseling center here in Tupelo and our missionary friends who are in California and all over the rest of the world through the IMB.
--Buy Jim's parents a new house, just down the road from us.--
--Buy my sister and her family a house, preferrably near me, but we'd get them a car too.
--Set up college funds {annuities probably, since that is what Jim does} for our children.
--Get a house on the beach so we didn't have to ever search through beach house rentals ever again!

Now I am tagging:
--Amanda of
Refelctions by Amanda
--Amanda at Colby Michael Jones (who at this very moment, January 22nd, 2010 is in the hospital having her second son, Chase)
--Lesli at
a les than ordinary life
--Cris at The Curry's
--April at A Day in the Life of All of Us

Trash to Treasure in my Bathroom!

     When we were picking the colors for the rooms in our new house back in May 2008, we made a purpose to not be afraid of color. We were fearless! Every wall is a different color and we just recently added our fifth shade of blue to an accent wall in the boys' new room. I got one room of my very own to girlify...our master bath. Pink was totally out...Jim's rule, so I picked red. It's a pretty dark, lipstick red. Too bad the painters used flat paint {don't get me started on that}. I wanted a spa-like master bath...Candles all around, warm and sweet aromas, relaxing...feminine. Here's what I ended up with!

It's not that bad actually...
The picture is the Millennial Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. It was a wedding gift from our pastor...his brother took the picture on one of his many trips to the Holy Land and Brother David had made this particular print into a poster. It's one of Jim's favorite pics. Above the jacuzzi tub, directly opposite our french doors that overlook our back yard and small lake, it's kind of perfect.
The curtains were a great find on the Walmart $1 stack of fabrics. I bought 9 yards of this shear material and attached it to a spring rod I already had. Nine bucks was worth the sad attempt to spa-ify my master bath!
But look what it has turned into! This is where the boys prefer to take their's a big tub, that's why I like it too. Jim's smelly running clothes have found their home in here as they await their turn in the washing machine. My pretty red flower, you know, the one that got stolen off my back porch {here}, used to sit on the back left corner. It has been replaced with dolphins, sharks, boats and dinosaurs.
It's sad, I know.

Can you imagine the thoughts and ideas that literally raced through my brown-eyed head when I spotted this marketing print in a local department store!!!

I stalked that store for a month waiting for their graphics to be changed and this master piece to be tossed to the side!!!
Well, yesterday was trash day for them and treasure day for me!!!
I absolutely love the Sea of Galilee picture, but no one ever sees the pretty thing in our bathroom except for us. I have better plans for it.
This picture is perfect for this room.

Doesn't it add a certain spa-like ambiance!!!
Here it is at a different angle, just in case you just don't get it yet...

I called Jim in, so excited to show him.
He looked....sigh....turned to the Sea of Galilee picture I had placed in our bedroom and said, I like that one better. I mean, that's just a canvas on the wall. I don't like it. {Shhh...he doesn't know that it's really a reallly thick plastic, might sound worse to him}
What do you think of my trash to treasure find?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just to make you smile!

Just thought I would share some cute shots of Andrew in the Lion suit today during playgroup.
No, he doesn't have on any pants...he had on just a shirt and diaper all day because he soaked his pants earlier in the morning and I just washed all his clothes and didn't want to dirty anything else...and lazy too!  Jim will think I'm so redneck!
Andrew is very photogenic...he knows when I say cheese, to smile and pose for the camera...guess he's used to it!

He's missing a sock, too, I see...and yes, that's my other son behind him in the half-matching Packer's helmet and blue pants! What a crew I have!


     I'm all about re-using whatever baby boy items I have accumulated over the last 3 and a half years. So ever since learning that our third little sports star was going to be a girl, I've been hard at work re-inventing! Not sure where or when I got this little hat, but it's quite tiny and since both my boys were born in the dead of summer, there hasn't been much of a need for it.

I know, I was thinking the same thing...It's perfect for Carrie Ann...being that she will be born between today and February 10th!
It was missing something though, when she is tiny enough to wear this hat, she will still look like a scrunched up alien and hard to differentiate from a male scrunched up alien, so I found this piece of pink satin ribbon in my craft closet tonight and got a little crafty!!!
I weaved the ribbon in and out of the crocheted cuff of the hat. I taped the end of the ribbon to help guide it through, making sure to keep the ribbon from twisting along the way.

I tied off the end of the ribbon in a square knot and cut the ravelled ends at an angle.
When I actually do pack that hospital bag, this darling little hat will definitely make it's way in!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Precious Child of Mine

     As a parent you can doubt yourself quite often when it comes to whether or not you are teaching your children the right things and if you are setting an example for them that is pleasing to the Lord. In my short 3 and a half years as a parent, I have felt this A LOT. I'm constantly asking the Lord if He is pleased with the job Jim and I are doing, what more can I do, am I doing enough? Am I being a good enough example for Taylor that will want him to know and love my God as I do? Have I messed up so badly at times that he will deny God's gift of eternal life--Lord, have mercy on him and me! Amidst my doubts and questions, God always seems to give a glimmer of hope and a little thumbs up as to say...You aren't doing so bad my child!
     At the grocery store last week I came across a book rack that had "The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You!" on it....stopped me right in my tracks...backed up and OH WOW.....Taylor and Jim love The Berentain Bears and wow...there's one about God, Sunday School and Prayer!!! WooHoo....for $4 I got the God Loves You one and on Monday night, Jim was reading that book with Taylor for like the 50th time since Friday! Seriously! Upon opening the book, it has "God is Love." - 1 John 4:16, inscribed in the front cover. Towards the end of the story the cubs learn about the rainbow and why God gives us rainbows.
     Here's where this 100th post gets interesting! Taylor then asks Jim, "Daddy, where does God live?" I am in the kitchen washing the supper dishes when I hear this and I am eager to hear Jim's answer for him because I get it all the time from Taylor.  Jim responds, " He lives in Heaven." "How do we get to Heaven daddy?" I am serious! I'm not exaggerating one bit, I promise!!! Jim thinks a second as how to answer this BIG question from such a little guy... "Well, Taylor, we get to Heaven by trusting in Jesus, believeing that He died for our sins." By now I have turned the faucet water off and am trying to listen very carefully...this was getting interesting! Taylor then climbed off of Jim's lap and sat on the couch beside him, clutched his hands together and bowed his head, and prayed. "Dear God, thank you for the rainbow, thank you for my vegetables and I trust in you, AMEN!" I hurried over to them and asked Jim if he just said what I thought I heard? He nodded, with a smile on his face. Taylor jumped up from the couch and yelled, "Mommy, I trust in God, can I go to Heaven now?" 
     Oh, how I love that zeal of a child! I sat down  on the ottoman and pulled Taylor onto my lap and he asked again, "Mommy can we go see God in Heaven now, I trust in Him?" "Taylor, I want you to go to Heaven, but not right now, I want you here with me right now!, I heard what you just said and I hope and pray that one day you will actually understand what you just said." A little disappointed that he couldn't go to Heaven at that moment or that I didn't mention a timeline for when we could, he hopped down and went on with his next piece of business! Oh wow, is all I could think. I rubbed Jim's knee and said, "Well hun, we're obviously doing something right!" 
     I returned to the kitchen, thanking the Lord for that little piece of encouragement, maybe I haven't ruined Taylor after all. How glorious it will be, that day when Taylor actually does understand he has a sin nature and that Jesus took the fall for him and that HE is the one and only way to God.
     If we do nothing else productive as Christian parents, let it be that we teach our children about Jesus and His saving power from death and hell. In Ephesians 6:4, Paul teaches us, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." It doesn't matter if we ever teach them proper grammer, their alphabet or even the importance of eating their vegetables, what's important is our purpose as parents- To raise our children to be disciples and missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ! That's our ultimate goal and our mission as Christian parents.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6

BTW....this is my 100th post! Unbelievable, I know. I started blogging back in October as an outlet for my angst and to help me sleep better at has worked...maybe too much because I'm addicted and can't seem to get enough of others' blogs either! Jim has really enjoyed getting to "read" what's on my mind and many times he'll say...oh...I didn't know you did that, or I can't believe you blogged about that! It has been so much fun and I am so thankful that God has provided this outlet for me! So, have a great day and happy 100th post to my Lemonade Stand!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

See Carrie Ann's Nursery!

     After hours, days and weeks of thinking and planning, Carrie Ann's nursery has become a reality, minus the baby of course! With borrowed help, borrowed ideas and a borrowed sewing machine-Melissa and I were blown away with what came of what was once a toddler boy's sports themed room. {Melissa is my partner in Crafty-Crime, she is a junior at Ole Miss and I bribed her with food, smoothies and make-up to get her to help me!} 
     I know you may think that a nursery isn't that big of a deal, don't feel bad if you do-Jim doesn't understand my excitement either. But, it is to me. This is the first nursery I've gotten to do since we started making babies 3 1/2 years ago, and according to Jim-our LAST! :(
My idea for color and theme came from two sources, this Cocola Couture Delilah bedding:

And this love seat/chaise lounge that a great friend offered to me, for free!!!

Okay, okay...on with it....So what was once this....Taylor's room....

is now, this......

I know, WOW!!!
Okay, let's back up...Here's her pretty door hanger {I borrowed this idea from someone else's nursery, if it's your's thanks!!!}

The yellow dot disc will have her birthdate and size on it. When I was making this, Jim was sitting in the living room...kind of perplexed, wondering how I was going to make that Pac-Man looking thing into a carriage!

When you walk in, to the left is the jack and jill bath that she will share with her brothers. It is our fifth shade of blue and a beach theme...I'll share its' details when I girlify it a little bit. This pretty red mirror was a rush gift from the Troubadors at the W...It used to be blue and white, then I painted it black and finally, when we had our first house, I painted it red and added these white beads left over from has been sitting in the craft closet awaiting adoption until now!

The little red and white hat box was a $3 find at Hobby Lobby that will hold her baby keepsakes that will probably never make it to a baby book. Look how optimistic I am! Her name was made with my new Cricut machine that Mrs. Debbie gave me for Christmas. {See tutorial here} That red striped thing in the far right corner on the floor is a memory/bow holder I made and haven't found a space for just yet. The changing table/little dresser was white and I took pictures of it's transformation as I spray painted it brown, but my camera ate those files and so all you get are the knobs.
I bought this drawer set along with the white wicker rocker that sits on our back porch for Taylor back in 2006 for $75 from a friend. I knew I'd grow to love it someday!

To the right you see the chaise, with 2 blankets, one that was the original baby bedding comforter that I bought for Taylor at the New 2 You consignment sale here in Tupelo when it was over at the National Guard Armory back in 2006..I paid $20 for that bedding back then and you wouldn't recognize it today. The other blanket, the brown and red one, I made. It's one of two that I made for CA and the only two I will ever make...they were hard! The little end table was made by my real dad when I was an itty bitty baby, or so I am told. the lamp on the bottom was an Ikea find--it has cherry blossoms on it.

These frames were all Ikea finds as well! Jim picked out the big center frame...didn't he do a good job...I was proud of him!!! Melissa put the brown/polka dot material inside the center frame...When I find some red or white ballet slippers, I'm going to hang them in the middle of that frame. The two side mirrors were just black square mirrors I found at Ikea for $2 and Melissa stamped them with a gold damask design that matches the design on the back wall curtain.
On this same wall is the window...oh the window treatments.....

I got all this material, plus the bedding material from PHi Fabric Warehouse on South Gloster. I love that  place!!! The red is a silky type material with red velvet polka dots on it. It had to go floor to ceiling to match the main back wall. The cream sheer is of the same fabric, but with tone on tone vertical stripes. I tied them up with brown ribbon and they puddle at the bottom. The black fabric you see hanging by an extention rod is dark material that makes the room darker when the curtains are drawn in the evening or during naptime to make for a more peaceful sleeping baby!!!  The curtains and shear are attached to the top of the wall using a .99 wooden stick from Hobby Lobby and a staple gun...may Jim never see how many holes I have put into this wall!!!

I haven't found the perfect spot for the tutu that Jennifer made for CA, so for now, it adorns the closet door, right beside the bow holder that Melissa and I made. {See tutorial here}

Now, for the main attraction!!!

The crib is on it's third turn with all the teething marks to prove it! The Delilah bedding I spoke of earlier was wayyyy too expensive and was just way too busy for the chaise lounge, so I took to making my own bedding but using their original idea. Cocola Couture suggested blue walls...well what do you know---This wall was already blue compliments of Taylor's previous decor!  I had to girlify it so we hung this light brown, sheer material that we found at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $2 a can't beat that people! It has a darker brown damask design printed on it. I added a cream border to it to frame out the wall and existing applique using some frabric I already had hanging out in my craft closet.

For whatever reason, when Jim and I put this applique on the wall almost 2 years ago, we didn't center it....I was 8 months pregnant then so there is absolutely no telling what I was thinking. Melissa cut the cherry blossom to the right out of some off white paper using the Cricut and we attached to the wall using spray adhesive.

By making a duvet for the existing off-white bumper and re-covering the old quilt with the same material from the windows, I saved myself Jim, a lot of money!!!

See those dark red ties...there are like 36 of those babies on that bumper. I made them from the same material on the windows and I guilted Jim into turning about half of them right side out for me after I sewed them!

I even made a new bedskirt.....Isn't is sooo cute!!! Guess you gotta see it in person to really appreciate it!

Check out that mobile!!! This was the original mobile. Jim's mom gave to us for Taylor.

I took it apart, and spray painted the skeleton...note to self: open garage door when spray painting in garage in sub-freezing temperatures!

Using coordinating ribbons, and some shatterproof Christmas ornaments, Melissa and I came up with a one-of-a-kind crib mobile!!!

So there you go!!! It's feminine and chic...not at all what I expected it to be when we started planning, but now I LOVE it!!!
That's what I've been soo busy doing these last few weeks. Still gotta add some accessories here and there, but otherwise I am so excited that Carrie Ann's nursery will be one she can grow into for years to come.

Gone Bananas!

     It is finished! The nursery if finally finished!!!! So while you wait for me to upload all my photos and unload my mind onto my keyboard, here is something for your entertainment!!!

Last night I went to Walmart. Everytime we go to Walmart we buy bananas, even if I am going just for mascara, I buy bananas. Every person in our family eats one everyday, that's 4 bananas a day. That's 28 bananas a week!!! So when the banana rack looks like this, you scratch your head and wonder what you are going to do...

I messaged my friend who is a mgr at the other Walmart in town, just to find out if maybe this banana shortage had something to do with the devestating earthquake in Haiti. This is what he had to say: "Our bananas are supplied by Dole. It is based in California. The bananas they supply can come from Guatemala, Honduras, or Costa Rica...Bananas are the largest selling items in a Walmart store"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Location, location, location

     As I sat in front of the full-length mirror in my bathroom this afternoon, piling on the concealer and mascara, in preparation for my sweet date with my hunky husband this evening, I noticed something... If I slouch, the girls rest on the top of my protruding belly. If I sit up straight, and hold my shoulders back, they are in somewhat of a decent location. If it's a good day, and I have on a good Vicky support holder, they are almost back to where they were on my wedding day! Oh Joy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week 36: outies, a tire iron and 1 whole cm

     I'm a wimp, a big ole wimp, especially when it comes to pregnancy. I moan and groan the entire 10 months-making it seem like pure agony. Poor Jim, he has a horrible outlook on pregnancy all because of me. He constantly says, "I can't wait to have my 28 year-old wife back." Thing is, he's never going to get her back!  I'm scheduled to turn 29 just 3 days before my predicted due date! Ha! Pregnancy isn't for the birds, I could handle that. People like Pam, Allison and Michelle Duggar---those ladies who fully embrace and enjoy every single minute of their pregnancies-I've decided, must be made of steel.
     Today I had my weekly checkup for week 36---I decorated the specimen cup for the ladies in the lab. Thought I would give them something to smile at while they were messing with my----.......

    I've dilated 1 whole cm {woohoo} and thinned out 50%, but my cervix is still high....Have no idea what that means, but, the doc says she will be out of town next week but doesn't think I will have her next week anyway....Glad she's so optimistic! I guess she sent Carrie Ann a little sonographic memo with her little doplar thingy she uses to hear her heartbeat every week---don't come til I get back!  We can't believe that in no more than 3 and a half weeks our little daughter will be here! Taylor is so exited! He keeps asking if he can tackle her when she gets bigger. Andrew, well, he is still as spoiled as ever, with absolutely no clue that his world is about to be rocked like never before!
     I've been thinking about some things that I will NOT miss after these 3 and a half weeks are up.... my OUTIE belly button. {I'd show you a picture, but I just don't like pregnant bellies} It's funny to say that because I didn't have an outie with the first two babies and I was telling my doctor today, this thing hurts!!! She told me that your belly button is the weakest most sensitive something or the other....she lost me with her first big word...but none the less....I keep hitting it on everything....feels like a huge bruise in the middle of my stomach! Andrew thinks it's a toy button, there on my belly, just for his entertainment. Whenever he is in my lap he will lift up my blouse to find it and press it in, over and over and over! Giggling all the while!
     Jim will certainly not miss the {figurative} tire iron he has to use to roll me over at night! It's tough to get this little girl from one side to the other. I get all snuggled in on my side, comfy, no organs being smushed, yet...ahhh.....then "Hey hun, will you scratch my back?" I can tell by his voice that he asks this with a smile on his face, knowing I'm a sucker for a genuine smile from him! {This is a nightly request}  ARE YOU SERIOUS??? I just rolled over and you want me to rolll back over, scratch your back that you can reach better than me, and then roll back over and hopefully find that comfy place in the pillow again....that would burn like 350 calories to do all that!!!! Someone get the guy a back scratcher, please!!!
     I definitely won't miss accidently turning off the shower water with my big protrusion. Nothing like really enjoying the hot steaming water massaging your face, when suddenly, it stops because your belly has pressed against the knob and turned it off!!!
     My boys and I will definitely not miss me not being able to play and interact with them as I have always been able to do. Jim misses our family walks around the block. Andrew just wants me to hold him...And how I long to hold him without having to immediately put him down because I feel like this baby girl is going to pop right out! ha! All the lumpy and dark patches of varicose veins will not be missed at all either!!!
     There's still lots to do...finish the nursery...her sheets came in today, got her fabric for the bedding and curtains on Monday...the tour will be posted the second I finish!!! Make her door hanger, order her diaper bag at the monogram place, oh, and pack the hospital bag...I keep forgetting that! I did, however, get a new night gown for the hospital. I have worn the same white and blue gown with the boys, but a pink/purple one from Vicky'S is better for this occasion! I can't forget my pink slippers, don't let me forget my pink slippers!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who in the world would steal a FLOWER?????

See this flower? Think it's pretty? Me too! It was used as a display in a department store for Mother's Day a few years ago and as always, I asked for a freebie! And guess what ya'll? I got TWO of those mugs! It's definitely not for everyone, but Jim and I like them and have always found a place for them in our house.

Here is the one we have in our half bath. Brings your eye away from the pipes. Stop looking at the pipes!

The other one was on the ledge of my bathtub, but this past Fall the boys thought it would make a great floaty and took it for a swim during bathtime. I sat it out here on our backporch to dry out. Looked so nice, I decided to leave it. It adds just the right amount of color.

Doesn't it look so pretty, adds just a nice hint of color! ERRRRRRR, wait, back up...where's waldo? Where's my flower???? It's supposed to be right there!!!!

OH MY WORD---where's my flower? And I didn't leave that blue lawn chair just sitting out there, it was behind the grill over on the far left...hmmm.....and that other tan lawn chair, laying on its side...who knocked that over.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We embrace our conflict!

     Marriage can be tough. Even tougher when you add outside influences to a relationship you thought could stand up against anything.  Back in our previous sunday school class, Jim & I participated in a marriage/parenting series led by a pastor in the church and his wife who had been married for like 30 years and had reared 3 or 4 children ranging from high school to college & career ages.
     Three very important points they made during the series have stuck with Jim and me ever since then. The first and second is to periodically assess your marriage and your children. -Where are you, how are you doing? What can you do better? What changes need to be made? I'd say we do this quite often. The third and most appealing point they made is that ALL good marriages have CONFLICT. We embrace this one really well!!! It helps to know that there is going to be conflict and that it is okay that there is conflict. It's not the end of the world. The important aspect is how you respond to that conflict. 
nbsp;    We thought our first year of marriage was GREAT. It wasn't hard, we didn't have to try at the relationship. We hadn't known each other long so we were still learning all kinds of neat things about each other. When I was pregnant with Taylor, our first son, we had just been married for a year. Our house was on the market and we were preparing to move to Washington, D.C., for Jim to work for his company on Capitol Hill. It was exciting and sad all at the same time. Nesting and setting up a nursery didn't really get to happen as I had thought it might, except we did have a really clean house. We opted out of doing a "nursery" so our house would show better. We didn't buy a crib for Taylor until he was 2 months old and we had already moved to our 2-bedroom high rise condo just inside the Capitol Beltway. Sure, our marriage got tougher, but we attributed it to the stresses of moving to a new place, totally out of our comfort zones and to being new parents.    
By the second pregnancy, we were house shopping in Fairfax County, VA.  I was going to get to nest and set up a nursery finally!!! WooHoo...but during my 7th month of pregnancy, merely 8 weeks before my due date, Jim's boss called. It was a Tuesday morning. The look on his face said it all. "Jim, I know we just told you last week you would be there for the long haul, I know you just put a contract and deposit down on a house just 3 days ago, but we have decided to close the D.C. office, we now realize we can not reach the world for Christ through political means so we want to bring everything back home and use you in a different way back here in Tupelo. You can let Candise decide, you can come back before or after the baby comes. It is your decision." We flew to Tupelo 2 weeks later to finalize some housing stuff on the house we had decided to buy, which was in construction at the time. And 4 weeks after that call, we made a 2-day drive back to Tupelo, MS. A house without countertops, a bathroom vanity or having dust, dirt and workers all around isn't the best environment for nesting or setting up a nursery. It was not a great experience to say the least. Andrew arrived 4 weeks after we moved back to Tupelo.
     The stress that would come with adding a fourth to your little family hit us by storm. It was hard. There were outside influences as well, but mostly, we allowed the stresses inside our home to get to us the most. We were full of joy, but the happiness wasn't always there. It was hard to embrace the conflict at some points. We didn't always respond to it in a godly way. We probably both said things we will regret, but we don't even remember them now. But along the way, through our respective Bible studies and quiet times, God showed us that marriage isn't only work, it's hard work. We weren't communicating, Jim walked on egg shells around me. He never knew what kind of mood I was going to be in when he walked through the door every evening. I chalked it up to hormones, exhaustion, and that darn job that uprooted us from what I had just gotten familiar with and a 'new' house that kept having problems that I had to deal with while he was at work, trying to stay socialble so I wouldn't lose my mind, and all the while mothering 2 little boys.
     I never thought Jim could do good enough by me in the house. He in turn thought I had some pretty high expectations of him that were simply impossible for him to meet. We thought, man adding that second child sure does change the first one didn't! We were completely avoiding the fact that we were out of the honeymoon stage, we were going to have to really really work hard if we wanted to have a great marriage. Don't get me wrong, we knew we were doing good, we knew it was a valley and we'd climb out, but we wanted a GREAT marriage. We wanted to be above the status quo.
     We got on our knees, we asked God for help. We did more than half of the Fireproof dares with one another and journaled our progress along the way. It wasn't always easy. I don't think I remember a single thing from all the dares, except that it was hard, but fun. We learned it wasn't going to be easy all the time like it had been in the beginning. Now, we put in the extra effort to do things that relieve stress for the other. Jim has become more aware of things I do around the house, and where he can, he takes over. I know he loves loves loves a tidy house and despises clutter...I'm still working on this one, but I am contiuously getting an A for my effort! I try to look more appealing to him, making it easier for him to want to show me the affection I so desire. {Note to self: sweats aren't attractive after 5 days in a row!}
     This weekend we sat and assessed our marriage.  We are happier than ever before. More in love than ever before. Even with me complaining and groaning everyday of this pregnancy, and him, taking on a second job, just for the fun of it, we wouldn't want it any other way, well, except we'd like for this little girl to hurry and rear her pretty little head! We know that we are so much better prepared for the arrival of our third child than we were our second. We have prepared our hearts and marriage for the hard stuff that we know will come-the lack of sleep, less alone time together, more mouths to feed-so tighter budget. We've laid out our expectations and our apprehensions this time. We have been blinded to them in the past. I was just telling Jim that getting to nest without having to worry about selling or buying a house has meant the world to me. I have finally gotten to have a nursery-a little girl's nursery-even better!

     We aren't going into this naive, we know there are hidden foxes out there just waiting for us to walk by so they can snap at our tired feet, but at least we know they are there and we know what to do when they attack. We are excited and looking forward to all that God is doing and is going to continue to do in our growing family!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It is Well with my Soul

"Oh Lord, please don't let me die during labor!"  That's what I was praying while the choir was singing "It is Well with My Soul" at church this morning. I love our choir. I love it when I can close my eyes and imagine it's angels singing in Heaven all around the Mighty Throne singing HIS praise. As tears welled in my eyes, the emotional crazy person I am, I began thinking about the condition of my soul and that I knew that if something were to happen to me, it's okay, because IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL-Jesus has been the Lord of my life since I was 19 years old.  But then my thoughts switched to labor and how, if something were to happen to me during childbirth, like if I bled to death for instance, it'd still be okay because I know with Whom my soul lies. I guess I cried because I thought of how much Jim would miss me! And who would nurse my baby, Lord, I really wanted to give nursing another try this time! And would their new mama be as fun as me?
     I know ya'll think that I am nuts, which is partly true, I know I am not the only person who has ever prayed this! I know I have put this request before the Lord at least 2 times in the past! Death during childbirth used to happen all the time back in the day. With modern technology, really educated doctors and lots of cool tools at the hospital, death during childbirth is not as common these days. However, my good friend Lauren did go through this when she gave birth to her little girl last year. It was one of those instances where if it had been back in the day, she wouldn't have made it. She began hemorraging and they had a difficult time getting it to stop. But she was at the hospital and the Lord gave those doctors great wisdom and they knew what to do. So, if you don't mind, when I let you  know that I am in labor and headed to the hospital, pray that I won't die! And that the doctor and nurses will have wisdom when helping deliver this precious gift into this world!
     {This pic is of Lauren & me at our 10-year High School Reunion this past October, isn't she just gorgeous}