Month: May 2009

  • INTRODUCING… our [Roadside] Wonder!





    Olivia Caroline
    which means
    ‘Messenger of Peace and Joy’
    entered the world

    May 20, 2009

    [proud, wonderful daddy with his second daughter!]


    We are so blessed with a precious baby girl!! A baby sister for Zoe’, a beautiful little daughter for Ben and me!

    I had forgotten how completely darling a newborn baby is! We are all just completely smitten with her, and are head over heels in love! She has done so well so far, eats and eats and sleeps! I just love to hold her, smell her, kiss her, hold her… A new baby is just as precious and innocent as can be.

    My heart feels like it’s going to burst with the love I feel for my little family… My wonderful husband who has been such a supportive trooper through the past few days, my darling little girl Zoe’, my precious newborn baby. Any questions I had about whether I could love another child as well as the first have disappeared! The love that  God gives a parent for their new child is just amazing!

    [a few hours after birth]

    Zoe’ has done so well in adjusting so far. I think largely due to her daddy really taking good care of her, making sure she is not overlooked in all the changes that are taking place in her little life. So far she has taken everything in stride. We had told her that mommy is going to have a baby, but weren’t sure how much she understood. But now that Baby is here, it seems like Zoe’s reaction is that, well, we had told her a baby is coming, and now she’s here!

    She comes and wants to hold her, but isn’t overbearing like I thought she might be. After holding her for a bit, she says she’s all done, and then wants to go play. My parents and brothers are now here, and Zoe’ is just thrilled to pieces to have them here! I think all the action around here is helping her adjust well too. But wow, hard to believe my little girl is now the Big Sister!

    [Grandma Yoder with her new grandbaby]

    [a lovely bouquet arranged for Olivia by Aunt Rebekah!]

    [Baby with Aunt Rebekah]

    [Grandpa Yoder with newborn baby]

    [Nana Barkman with Big Sister Zoe' and new baby]

    [Proud Uncle James!]



    The past few days have been rather eventful, as is any new birth entering the world! This birth had a few more unexpected twists than I was expecting, and I find myself thinking it surely must all be a dream! But this is what I remember of my ‘dream’…

    Nutshell Version:
    After 48 hours of labor, baby girl is born in car en route to birthing center.

    Long Version: [and beware, it is detailed. This is for my extended family and friends, whom I can't tell the story to on the phone due to time]

    I was due on Tuesday, May 12, but the days kept passing on by, with me hoping I wouldn’t have to count much higher with each new day! With Zoe’ 11 days late, and now Baby Olivia a few minutes shy of 9 days late,  I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m just a slow cooker – it takes me a long time to hatch a baby!

    My contractions began Monday afternoon, and by 10pm were 5 minutes apart. Although getting close, they were bearable, so we decided to try to get some sleep and see what would happen. At 5am the next morning Ben and I were heading to the Birthing Center with contractions 3-5 minutes apart and getting stronger.

    We took Zoe’ to Grandpa Yoder’s on the way out, and arrived at the Birthing Center to find I was dilated to 4cm. That was encouraging, and we were told to head out to the town for one last “date” before the baby came and to walk around to encourage the labor. I was still able to walk and talk in between contractions, although I felt rather like a spectacle when a contraction came.

    So we did! We went to Panera Bread for breakfast, and I was very relieved that it was a very slow morning in business for them! Then we went to the beach with the intention of walking for a while. By the time we got to the beach we were both so tired from not resting well during the night, so we tried to sleep in the car for about a hour. Rather uncomfortable while I was in labor, but I was so tired I managed to rest somewhat.

    We attempted to walk along the beach, but that day was crazy weather for May, and it was very cold and so so windy, so we gave that up quickly and headed to the mall to walk instead. This was the midwife’s suggestion – I would never have dreamt of going to the mall during labor! WHAT in the world would people think??? She assured me that people are often in their own world and would probably never notice, until my contractions got really hard. So we walked and walked and walked. A lot of window shopping going on, and objects suddenly became very fascinating as I’d suddenly have a contraction and try to breathe through it!

    Mid-afternoon we headed back to the Birthing Center, labor was not getting much more intense and I was getting very tired from walking so much. We rested for a while again, and then tried walking again for several hours to speed the labor. Herbal tinctures and things would kick up the contractions for a bit, but I wouldn’t progress.

    The problem was that the baby would not settle head-down. With each contraction her head/body would try to go diagonal, then after the contraction would go more vertex. But she would not settle in the vertex position, which made the contractions ineffective, no matter how hard they were.

    By evening I was wiped out from being in labor so many hours already, and my contractions were slowing down because of that. We were advised to either get a motel for the night [to relieve the pressure of being at a birthing center] or just go home and see what would happen.

    We ended up going home, although we were told by the nurse that when the baby does right herself, that things could happen very fast, and she was concerned about a car birth! So I knew it was a possibility, but for as slow as things were going, I didn’t think twice about it.

    I was a weeping, wailing wreck on the way home! My poor, dear husband! I would collect myself, only to have another contraction hit, and then I’d start crying all over again! Completely exhausted from having contractions for almost 24 hours already, plus this day was my sister Claudia’s birthday and I was so hoping my baby would be born then! I was already a week overdue and the thought of already being in labor 24 hours and not being able to dilate past 4 cm was completely overwhelming.

    We tried to sleep through the night as much as possible. My body was so tired that the contractions slowed to about 20 minutes apart, which allowed me to rest in between them. When I was laying down, they came about 20 minutes apart. When I was up and walking around they would come about 5 minutes apart.

    The next day we had a chiropractor appointment to try to straighten the baby again. I thought my bag of waters was leaking as well, so we went to the Birthing Center to check that out. Somehow, they weren’t able to detect that it really was my water leaking, and I was sent home again. Ben asked if it would be crazy for him to go back to work the following day, and the midwife thought that would be okay, since this labor could drag out for quite a bit more time.

    All this time I was having contractions anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart, and was becoming so exhausted from not being able to sleep well for several nights.

    It was Wednesday evening by this time, and we hadn’t seen Zoe’ since Tuesday morning, so we went to Ben’s parents’ house for supper and to spend some time with Zoe. We found a very happy little girl who was taken care of so well! She loves spending time at Grandpa’s house, and seemed to be having a great time! I think it was harder on me than on her to be away from her so long!

    My contractions started coming 3-5 minutes apart again, and it just annoyed me because I knew the baby still wasn’t in the right position, which made the contractions basically ineffective in progressing the labor.

    We called the midwife and told her that my bag of waters was indeed leaking, quite rapidly. She said that from that point on we had 24 hours to have the baby, or we had to go the hospital. Regulations. We could either return to the Birthing Center that night, or be there at 7am the next morning to try to get things going again. I was so tired I couldn’t bear the thought of trying to labor through the night, so we returned home. Again.

    Ben ried to call a nurse friend who has worked labor/delivery for years, and were not able to get a hold of her. Left a message.

    The next 24 hours looked overwhelming to me. Wednesday night at 10pm marked the point of being in early labor 48 hours, and I was completely exhausted.  I didn’t know how in the world I was going to be able to have this baby! And knew that if the labor did not progress and the baby did not turn, that a C-section was still a possibility.

    So we returned home. Ben rubbed my feet to try to help me relax as much as possible, and my contractions were still coming about 5 minutes apart.

    We got into bed around 10:30pm, and shortly after got a text from Lois, the nurse friend, who had just got the message, and said we could contact her if we still needed something. Ben went out and called her, and while he was talking I felt the baby’s head move. Definitely move, as if something seemed to click into place.

    Immediately I went into active labor, with contractions back to back. Ben heard that something was different, and came running back to see what was going on. He was still on the phone, and told Lois to come over as soon as possible. She lives about 2 miles away and was there in just minutes. She saw what was going on, checked me, and I was dilated between 6-7 cm. She told us we need to head out as soon as possible, and she was going with us. She grabbed a couple of towels just in case we needed them, and we were literally running out the door as fast as we could after getting out of night clothes.

    The Birthing Center is an hour and fifteen minutes away, although this time I think Ben would have done it in one hour. He was driving as fast as possible, but trying to be as safe as he could! I was in the back seat, trying to make it through the contractions that were coming back to back with hardly a break. I was since looked back and just laughed and laughed, because my normally calm, collected husband was more worked up than I have ever EVER seen him! He was in the front seat shaking, praying, saying this was his nightmare coming true, and all sorts of funny things!

    About 40 minutes into the trip, Ben had to stop for gas! In all the trips to and back from the Center we had tried to stay filled up, but this was the one trip that mattered and he didn’t think we’d be able to make it the whole way there! As he stopped for gas, I called out, “This baby is coming!!”

    Lois got in the back seat with me, Ben jumped in the front after getting just a bit of gas, and we took off again. But the baby was indeed coming, and Lois told Ben to pull over as soon as he could, he needed to deliver this baby!

    The first place we came to was about 3 miles down the road, a Hampton Inn. We must have been quite a sight, and I’m so glad it was around midnight vs. the middle of the day, because this area normally got a lot of traffic!

    [picture taken the following day]

    So Ben wheeled into the parking lot, squeezed into the side of the car with Lois, and two minutes later we had a baby girl! :) All the birthing equipment we had and needed was bath towels!

    Lois was an angel from the Lord that night… I have since looked at the whole timing of her contacting us and Ben being on the phone with her as just simply DIVINE. She was so calm and knew just what to do, and although the car situation was far less than ideal, she was just wonderful through it all! I feel like I just can’t sing her praises enough!

    After a few minutes of making sure the baby was okay, and she was a wonderfully healthy baby, we continued the trip to the Birthing Center. In all the shuffle of the baby coming so far, we lost the one cell phone we had between the three of us. So we weren’t able to call anyone until we arrived at the Birthing Center, and  Ben ran in and told the midwife that, well, the baby was already here!

    [in the car, approximately 15-20 minutes after birth. Notice the car seat base just pushed to the side!]

    [still in the car, cutting the cord after we arrived at the birthing center]

    And that, my friends, is the story of our Roadside Wonder, as Ben calls this Baby! :)



    We are all doing wonderfully well and are so blessed of the Lord with a safe delivery and healthy baby!

    And now, it’s off for another feeding, and then to try to get some sleep!


  • Ways to Use White Sheets.


    Ways to use white bed sheets – and not on your bed! This also includes white tableclothes, and other large/long white pieces of fabric.


    This is something I’ve been doing around the house this spring, wanting to bring a fresh, clean look into the house before it gets too hot. Some of what I did was because of practical reasons, other things were just fun.

    I had quite a few old white tableclothes/sheets on hand that were given me by my grandmother and a few other people the past few years at Goodwills, garage sales, etc. – I love white linens! But I wasn’t using nearly all of them and don’t have much storage space, so decided to put them around the house, along with some other white fabric scraps. Really, this could be done with any color, but I’ve been using the white.

    There are a million uses for things like this, I’m sure! I’ve discovered only several. Would love to see your ideas played out too!


    -fold a small damask cloth and use it as a runner instead of covering the entire table


    -fold a large linen tablecloth in half, then hang from a rod with little pinchers/clasps. I can’t remember the name of those things :) but they come in a pack at Walmart for just a few dollars if you don’t have them on hand.


    I did this look in the kitchen mainly because there is so little sunlight that is able to come into the house, due to long eaves and many trees surrounding the house.  This makes the room feel lighter just because of the color.



    -drape a square cloth over an old chest or trunk


    -fold a designed tablecloth and use it as a runner on a buffet table




    -hem a large sheet or tablecloth and hang from a suspension rod in the hallway. This was done because there is a bathroom dead-ahead at the end of the hall, and it bugged me that that was the first thing I’d notice. So this adds a little touch, but mostly hides the bathroom!



    -fold and sew the hem of a plain white sheet, then hang on a rod suspended from the ceiling (this sheet was so old and stained, I had to bleach it for a while to get it clean). I had extra rod hangers from the rod in the kitchen, so I just bent and fastened them to the ceiling, then hung my panel on the bamboo rod (again, credit goes here for the bamboo idea!)




    (this is some repeat from the previous post as well)

    -sew a white sheet together with a sheer fabric (the size was determined by how big the window was and how much sheer fabric I had on hand, and I had two windows to make it for), or just use the sheet by itself, fold and hem, then hang from a rod



    -drape a tablecloth over a table, and drape an accent color over that


    Just a few of the things that keep an overdue pregnant woman busy! :) I’ve been enjoying the more vintage, shabby-chic look all this white adds to the house, as well as making it feel light and airy. It’s not as classic as some looks, and I don’t know how permanent it will be, but for now I like a rather eclectic look around here!


  • Master Bedroom Summer-Do


    Guess you could say I’ve been on a rampage the last few weeks. Knowing the baby is coming soon, getting somewhat bored with my house because it’s been the same way for several years, and praying for creativity to help me give some rooms a new look without spending money! And it’s been so *fun*! But also really special as I see God answering my prayer for creativity.

    This spring I’ve really been wanting a new, fresh, but very simple look to things around the house. Partly because this is my 3rd summer in the Deep South, and although I absolutely LOVE colors, vivid color, I remember from the past 2 summers that certain colors I’ve had can also make a house feel warm in the intense heat of the summer!

    We live in a rental house which we were allowed to paint a very neutral color when we first moved in, but no color other than “navajo tan” was allowed throughout the house. This was a big switch for me, because the first house we lived in was painted and painted and painted – a glorious selection of favorite colors! And it always felt so cheerful and bright! But also, my furnishings were very neutral then, to allow for the wall color to have the main say. So when we moved to a house with light walls everywhere, it all felt very ” blah” – things felt very neutral. Too neutral.

    My focus this spring was the Master Bedroom.

    I had been able to find some bed furnishings several years ago on clearance racks at Pottery Barn and other favorite places for just a few dollars to bring some color in there, and have loved added things with texture and such things. But when spring time rolled around this year, for some reason I just wanted a very light, free look to this room. But a look that I could change back to color when it got cold again…

     I took before and after pictures, but can’t find the before pictures anywhere, so I must have deleted them from my camera before uploading them.

    These were the color accents in the room before, and the duvet I found at Pottery Barn for about $7, I think… Loved them, and think I will probably return them when the weather turns cooler again.


    But for the summer, I decided to go with just white. White with a touch of light green. I would love to hit a few Goodwills or garage sales just to find some treasures for this room. It feels pretty basic, but I guess that adds to the airy feel I was wanting anyway.

    I found this white duvet at Goodwill for around $15, and I was planning to cut it up and use it for another project. But after I had it for an hour, I thought it was far too beautiful to cut in pieces, and that got my mind rolling for a summer re-do for the bedroom.

    The lightweight cotton with a satiny stripe that inspired me:


    I had simple red curtains that I was embaressed for anyone to look at closely :) – those were taken down and I put up white panels.

    I had seen this idea in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine a little while ago, so I added the sheer underneath it just to try to hide the blinds better.

    The window by the bed.


    BH & G had this idea – to swoop back the one side and just nail it to the wall. Simple enough! And adds a whimsical look that I like.


    This bamboo rod is where I must give credit where credit is due. Not original with me at all, but with this very inspiring lady.  She had done something with bamboo rods, and when I was needing something to hang my curtains on, I remembered her idea. We have oodles of bamboo growing wild in our backyard, so this was the cheapest (free!) route! I just tacked it up with a piece of brown fabric and nailed it to the wall.


    There is a little corner in the bedroom that we really don’t use that much, but I wanted it to look like it fit into the room. The chairs and table were given to us when we first got married.

    The “shutters” I found for a couple dollars each right after we got married – they’re actually vents/grates for the floor. Needed screw anchors and screws to nail up these heavy things.

    The table is covered with a white tablecloth first, then some scrap green upholstry fabric I had on hand.



    These beautiful pillows were given to me by a dear friend and embroidered herself! I love them!



    Our furniture is a little crowded right now to allow for a cradle close to my side of the bed.

    Branches from the Great Outdoors in a black vase. The little wooden box was made by Ben when we were dating – his idea and gift for my birthday – to hold all our love letters! I love it!

    The second lamp isn’t lit because it doesn’t work. :) But it balances the look on the dresser, so I keep it there anyway!


    I had an odd assortment of frames and candlesticks that I picked up at garage sales here and there, so I spray painted the candlesticks black (they had been a wide range of colors) and painted some of the frames white. The black frames I had on hand.


    More wedding pictures framed and hung on a narrow wall.


    The bed pillows… The bed feels like it needs more texture – with so much white it’s hard to make it stand out, so I’ll just look for some more things and add them when I find them!

    The white pillow I bought at a yard sale from my mother-in-law. :) Love the texture on it. The green pillows I made out of the same green fabric on the little round table.


    This pillow was designed by my Uncle Freiman – a master artist! This doesn’t nearly give justice to his amazing talent, but it’s just a little taste! He has often designed pillows that my grandmother hand embroiders and sells at novelty shops. This one I special-ordered what I wanted, and my grandma helped me learn to embroider!

    Carpe Diem means – Seize the Day! A perfect waking-up motto! :)


    The Baby Corner! This is still awaiting the bedding that my mom picked up at a garage sale. When the baby is born and mom comes down to be here, we’ll be able to finish setting it up.



    It looks like I’m really into this paper lantern thing, but I had three hanging above the bed before the changeover, just in reds and white instead of just white. :) They do have little battery-operated lights in them, so it’s a very charming little feature.

    The sheer panels were an idea that I saw in a Pottery Barn magazine, only their idea was suspended by curtain rods from the ceiling. I didn’t have extra curtain rods, so just used little nails to secure them. The sheer panels were used at our wedding by little runners to announce the coming of the bride! I love the nostalgia they have for me in our room!


    Clean and simple, but very refreshing and a cool feeling even on a hot day!

    Total cost: $15 for the duvet


  • The Little White Bed

    I am up from attempting a nap with a 21-month old… Sometimes she settles fine, but this is one of those wiggly, giggly, teasing days. And after about 1/2 hour of neither of us getting anywhere, I decided I’d better try my nap time later – after she’s already asleep!

    I asked Little Baby yesterday if he/she realizes that he/she’s already supposed to be here! :) I was expecting to go late this time again, but am somehow optimistic that I won’t go 11 days late, like before. Why the hopefulness, I have no idea. But I remain hopeful nonetheless!

    Tuesday: due date, midwife appointment, time to treat myself at Starbucks. ;) I normally drive the almost 1.5 hours to the appointment, do what shopping has been necessary, then drive back again, without stopping at the many tempting coffee shops and bakeries and charming little botiques. But this was a day when I decided the few extra dollars spent at Starbucks will be well worth it! I should have asked if they give free drinks to pregnant women on their due date. :) I saved the cup and made myself another iced coffee at home the next day…


    Tuesday was my due date, and I also had a midwife appointment scheduled. And it was confirmed that the baby is head down! What an answer to prayer! Today is the 4th day in a row that it has been down, so I am hoping and praying that that will be true until delivery! If not however, I know the Lord is faithful and what He chooses for this delivery will be good…

    And since I’m on a rabbit trail already, nothing what the title of the post suggests, here we go again…

    We have been having absolutely gorgeous weather, which makes the days lovely to be outside as much as one likes! That definitely helps pass the time, since my little projects and to-do lists were completed for a little while already.

    Our evenings have been spent on long walks as a family, or picking dew-berries, or just being together. Lovely, lovely! I wished I would have taken my camera last night as we walked the road looking for berries. It was near dusk, and I didn’t think there was enough of natural lighting for good pictures. But just the sight of my little daughter holding her very own little silver bucket, mouth and chin stained from berries, little dress spotted with berry juice, and her little voice constantly piping up that her bucket was empty and she wanted more – all that was enough of delight to make me be okay with not having the baby yet, if I can see such delight on my little daughter’s face!


    The Little White Bed is a project I’ve been working on the last month or so. A friend of mine knew I was looking for a toddler bed for Zoe’, and a few months ago mentioned to me that she had seen one that was simply adorable in a local antique shop. I wasn’t able to look at it for another month, but when I stopped and peeked, I was totally smitten. And thought my friend completely unselfish for telling me about the bed, rather than buying it herself and waiting until she had a little girl! So, Anita, I am very indebted to you!

    I had some birthday/Christmas/piano money that I had been saving up for something, I wasn’t sure what. When I saw this bed, I knew where part of that money would be used!

    The antique dealer told us the bed came from the late 1800′s, and is solid walnut wood. The detail on this bed just amazed me, because most of the toddler beds I’ve seen are either plastic or else cheaper wood. This is simply an heirloom!


    Ben and I couldn’t decide what to do with it – should we strip it and paint it, or should we strip it and stain it? Because it’s an old bed, I was afraid that either one would make it look more new, and I didn’t want that.  We went back and forth, and one weekend when he was gone I decided to just clean it up and see what it would look like then.

    One gallon of bleach later (it was so so filthy, I couldn’t use even a strong cleaner to get the grime off), the bed was clean.  The picture below is the clean foot board and the not-yet-clean headboard.


    But too clean-looking for an old bed with peeling paint. Plus there was blue paint in the carving detail that I wasn’t too fond of. So I went over it with black antiquing glaze and let it sit for a little while.




    Then rubbed it off. It looked much the same as before I had cleaned it, actually, but I rather liked that old-fashioned look plus I knew it was clean.  We decided to keep it that way, so that if in the future we decide to repaint or stain it, either one can be done without a problem. But this natural look is growing on me more all the time…


    That was fun, although very time consuming. But the most fun part came when we set it up in the nursery, where both babies will be sharing a room. The crib was moved into the closet, and the Little Princess corner began to be set up!

    Because we are in a rental, and not able to do any painting, I have been collecting white/cream/brown accents for the nursery since I was pregnant with Zoe –  that way it has a peaceful and natural look, regardless of the gender of the children. The only exception is a touch of pink around Zoe’s bed.

     I think that perhaps I would like to add a real accent color throughout the nursery though, only I haven’t decided what color! So for now, it’s a white and brown nursery. In the years to come, my kids will probably say, “Mom! You used brown in the nursery?! That is so old fashioned!” Perhaps it will be one day, but I love it for now! :)

    I debated about using these paper lanterns that I already had on hand, or using a cheap white mosquito net. The net was ruled out because it hid too much of the bed, but the lanterns looked too lonely by themselves so I added a white sheet panel behind the bed. That added what I was looking for.


    This bed is just too adorable. The one side is stationary, while the other hinges up and down. (Forgive me, I just have to show every little darling detail!)

    Stationary side against the wall


    Hinging side to the room. Most times I put the rail up while she sleeps – otherwise we have a cheery little “Hiiiiiiii!!” several minutes after putting her down for her bedtimes!

    I added a white rug by the side of the bed that was just extra around the house, to try to distract from the rather ugly blue/grey carpet throughout the whole house.


    This is one of my favorite features about the little bed – isn’t it just precious???  You know it’s old when you see this!


    Then adding accents… Ben and I have a down comforter on our bed, as well as the guest bed, and I have become an ardent fan of down comforters and featherbeds! So I looked on ebay for a down comforter for Zoe, but had a hard time finding the right size. I ended up buying a white down throw, which fit the bed so perfectly, and was also a lot cheaper than buying a twin size!


    Then it was all just too white, so I pulled out this blanket that was given to Zoe. It’s a heavier weight cream color with pink edging, very pretty, but somehow I just didn’t use it with her.


    But the pink didn’t work with the room, so I used scrap brown fabric to cover the pink. Don’t look too close though – this was my first attempt at this, and as I struggled with it, I was sure there was a secret to doing it, but I sure didn’t discover it!  Hence the far-away picture to hide the flaws! :)


    A little pillow I made when Zoe’ was a baby.


    And a second throw pillow for the bed out of scrap fabric, scrap ribbon, and a white flower pin (that I can still take off and use with an outfit on occasion!).


    The sweet thing is that Zoe just adores her little bed! She wants to show it off to people that come by, and will often climb in it and just pretend to be sleeping – just for fun!

    And the finished little corner! It’s been a work in progress, pulling together little odds and ends without wanting to spend much money! But a fun little project!


    Just perfect for our little Princess!


  • Big Days


    The past few days have left me with a bit of ”overwhelmed” feelings… In some big, happy ways, and in some more sad ways.

    [Pictures are from Fishing with Daddy... Ben's idea last night after supper! It was such a gorgeous evening, the bugs weren't bad at all, which is a rare thing! I was feeling so exhausted last night, so I just sat in a camp chair and took pictures. :) ]



    Good overwhelming things first… :)

    … The love I feel from my family – mine and Ben’s! I think especially of my mother-in-law, who, the past few weeks while I have weekly midwife appointments an hour and a half away, has been so gracious to watch Zoe’ for me. She is always so cheerful and willing if my appointments are on an open day for her, and it means that most of her day is given to watching my child! Thank you so much, Mama Yoder! Zoe’ is always so excited when I tell her she’s going to Grandma’s house for the day!

    … The love that I feel from my friends. In so many different ways, all unique to the person itself. Some of them calling to see how the last few days of pregnancy are going, some offering to help on a busy yard sale weekend and watching Zoe’ so I wouldn’t have to run after her and be in charge of setup, some willingly keeping Zoe’ for the day while I ran to various appointments, and then calling me and telling me to go straight home without picking Zoe’ up at the end of the day – that I’m just to go home and take a nap! WOW, I have felt so loved and cared for by all these dear people!! I told Ben the other night that I almost don’t know how to receive all this care! It feels so big! A huge, huge thank you to everyone!

    [this was Zoe's first fishing trip, just down the road from our house at the neighbor's pond. She was as fascinated as could be!]


    there is a little fish in this picture! :)


    running to show mommy! she was just delighted to have the fish in her “Patty! Patty!” and to give it “eye-yay!” i think she would literally pick up any kind of critter. i don’t want her to be wimpy, but even this mommy shudders a bit when zoe’ runs and tells me she was holding a frog in her hand and was petting him!! and she’s thrilled to pieces!


    Some of the things that feel big in a harder way…

    … My little Baby still unborn still has not settled in a birthing position. I still have 4 days to my due date, so I’m trying not to worry, but I do know that this Little One spinning in circles so close to the time of being born is not a good thing. He/she had been head-down for a little while, but the past almost 3 weeks has been turning in a different position every day – mostly breech. My midwives have told me that only 3% of all babies actually end up staying breech until labor begins, so I’m just hoping I’m not one of the 3%! If I am though, I will have no other option but a C-section. And while I do believe there is a place for C-sections, and that they have saved many a baby and mother, that is not what I want just because my baby is breech!
       This is something I didn’t have to worry about at all with Zoe. She was head-down for months and had dropped at least a month before she was due.
       I have been wanting a water birth so much for this baby and me… That is one of the main reasons we have been driving 1.5 hours one way to the only birthing center in all of Georgia, because they offer that option and I know of no hospitals that do. I know that a C-section is not the worst thing that can happen – there are far, far worse things, and I will be grateful just for a baby that enters the world healthy and alive! But that is one thing that I have had to continually go to the Lord about, committing to trust Him no matter what happens with the birth of this child, choosing to trust Him because I cannot control anything! I have done all I know to do to turn the baby – ridiculously-embarassing exercises (!!), walking as vigorously as a full-term pregnant woman can, the chiropractor who specializes in the Webster Technique… All this leaves me to realize: I am not in control – there is Someone else who is, and I must leave my cares and worrying in His hands!


    after fishing for a bit, we went riding in daddy’s big truck - one of the loves of her life! just down a few dirt roads within a few miles of our house, so zoe’ was allowed to ride on daddy’s lap. :)



    … Been a little homesick recently. The bouts with homesickness have gotten better, but when I hear of my mom and sisters going to mother/daughter banquets and I’m not able to be there… well, that makes me cry. :) We haven’t been home since Christmas, so that’s probably why I feel a little sad. I’ve never gone that long before!

    … Just my own humanity and weaknesses. Knowing I am far from perfect, and as a result do hurt other people sometimes, even though I don’t want or even mean to! I can get so frustrated with myself…
       God has really met me here though, and although I feel so unworthy, He tells me I am His child – imperfect, with faults and weaknesses, bad days, and all. And He loves me. Not because I am perfect. Because I know so well I am not! And He tells me He doesn’t require perfect, only persistence. He loves me because I belong to Him, because I am His child.
       I can relate with that because I know what it’s like with my daughter. I love her not because she is the most beautiful child (although I think she is!) or because she is perfect (that she is not!) or because she makes me look good all the time (peeing on the floor when we are guests somewhere, and then her little friend slipping and falling into it! So embarassing! Anyone relate??) But I love her fiercely and forever, no matter what she does. She is mine. That’s why.
       My heart is so humbled by the realization that God my Father loves me the same way, and even more than I could love Zoe’. There is no reason He should, but He does. As unworthy as I feel to receive that love, I want to live in that reality, in that freedom…


    So today, I ate a fruit juice “popsy” [popsicle] with my precious daughter, who teaches me in all her innocence. Teaches me what it means to be a precious and beloved Child!

    These are big days, but they are good days. Days of learning, days of growing…



  • FaMiLy DaY SaTuRdAy


    Saturday morning was Auction Day for the chickens. It was also Birthing Classes for Ben and me, as well as a long anticipated date!

    We all woke up early Saturday morning to assist Ben with catching the chickens and to go along with him to take them to the auction barn. Ben was just going to go by himself at first, but then we thought the whole experience would be much too exciting for Zoe to miss out on! So we all piled in his big blue truck and off we went…

    We sold about 30 chickens, mostly roosters. Remind us never again to get run-of-the-mill chickens! We still have around 30 fowl at home, waiting until the next sale!


    This little auction joint had all kinds of wee little animals and chickens.


    Zoe and Daddy. She was in gloryland, animal-lover that she is! Her little eyes were as big as saucers the whole time, it was just darling!


    “Patty! Patty!” She’d say, meaning she wanted to hold them in her hand.


    There was also a bigger section for larger animals. Sheep, goats, pigs, small cows…


    This picture I just had to take for the sake of her poor, ridiculously big eyes!!



    Trying to coax the little goats to come and let her give them “aye-yay”



    We didn’t even have time to stay for the actual auction, just delivered our chickens and were told we would be getting a check in the mail sometime in the next week or so! But it was a great experience for Zoe, I would love to go back again – even though I do not consider myself an animal lover by a far cry! – just so she can be wide-eyed again for a few hours!

    Our little family rushed home in the Blue Bulldog (Ben’s truck that I affectionately nick-named when we were dating), quickly changed, took Zoe’ to Grandpa & Grandma’s house, then drove to our birthing classes a little over an hour away. We did take birthing classes with our first baby, but I guess because we transferred they wanted us to take them again. A little bit of a bummer to use up a wonderful Saturday in that way, but I, and we, definitely do feel better prepared for the arrival of this wee little one!

    And afterwards, there was a dinner date at Carrabbas! Thanks to a gift card from Christopher, a baby gift two years ago for Zoe! That tells you how often we’ve eaten at Carrabbas in the past two years! :) I have never heard Husband rant and rave about food like he does at this joint!

    I wanted to take some pictures of the two of us sometime Saturday. After all, we *were* on a date, and that doesn’t come nearly often enough! :) But the only place I remembered was at dinner, and well, it looks sort of like a mug shot. But this is us – 10 days before my due date! Notice how I try to hide Big Bump under the table. Rather convenient! :)


    We wished we would have had time to do a little sight-seeing in Savannah or at least hit the mall to do some window-shopping :) but with the stage of life we are at, a little girl waiting for us at Grandma’s house, we were able to do a little grocery shopping on our way home and that was it! But because times with just the two of us are so rare, we just enjoyed that too! Lots of driving time, which equals talking time, which is something that seems to be a challenge with an ever-busy toddler and a little one coming in a week or so!

    And it was a lovely day…