Monday, December 17, 2012

My God is so BIG!

We finally have our mac back! It was our own fault that it had to go to the mac doc but thankfully we paid nothing and we got lots of help from the best little brothers a girl could ask for!

((I hope Marie's little brothers are just as amazing!))

So to get back into the blogging world (I have plenty to say!) I'm gonna share this quick thought that popped in my head this morning in light of the recent tragedy and some personal financial frustrations...

I sang this song all growing up and now I enjoy listening to my big kids singing it. Unfortunately, at 28 years old I'm finally beginning to truly believe the words. My prayer is that it doesn't take nearly that long for my babies to grasp and cherish this truth...

"My God is so BIG! So strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do. My God is so BIG! So strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are His. The valleys are His. The stars are His handwork, too. My God is so BIG! So strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do."
(I guess Marie wanted to do jumping jacks instead of the motions!)

This is the most beautiful and for so many the most painful time of year. Take some time to treasure the fact that our God, who sent His Son for us, is SO BIG! And make sure to tell people about it!

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 16}

Thank You, God, for bills.

I'm just sitting down to pay our bills (because it's payday! Yay!) and it occurs to me that I'm not only crazy grateful that we have money in our account, but that we have a house, electricity, internet, phones. I'm not crazy about school loans but I'm so thankful for my education and a diploma for both of us! I'm thankful that we have all these blessings that result in bills.

So while I don't love bills, I'm so grateful for what they represent.

I'm also so thankful that God has grown us in how to manage our money (at least a little!) and we haven't seen red in awhile! Beautiful thing. He's got us covered.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:9-10

(Read Psalm 34! Chocked full of goodness!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 15}

Thank You, Father, for my Marie Love.

My first born. Oh, how I adore her.

Supposedly female first children have the tendency to butt heads with their mommas. It might have something to do with the fact that we are exactly alike. Armed with this knowledge, I've been praying since her birth that we would develop a close, trusting, lasting relationship.

She is so infuriating and so wonderful. She is obsessed with her little sibs, even the future sister she is sure will come "when Kempy is bigger."

The blessing that is my daughter is immeasurable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Days 13&14}

I just cannot seem to keep up. Every day I think of something great I want to write about. But then suddenly it's the next day and I think of something else and totally forget what I thought of the day before...

Anyway, here's me trying to catch up again. I have so much I am thankful for, and each thing deserves at least a little attention.

Day 13:

Thank You, Savior, for worship.

It is just such a blessing to be able to worship the Creator any time anywhere. I was listening to praise and worship on Pandora while in the shower and before I even realized what I was doing, I had my hands raised and tears in my eyes. My daily (well... almost daily) super mini vacation (aka a shower) turned into an impromptu worship session.

But one of the coolest things about worship is it doesn't just mean singing.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Everything we do can, and should be, a form of worship. How amazing is it that we can worship our Savior right where we are? We don't need to be perfect, have it all together,  have a good voice, or be gifted at all. We simply come.

Day 14:

Thank You, omniscient Father, for the Word of God.

Can I just tell you, the Bible has COME ALIVE in my life lately?? Since I started getting up early with Derek I've had a lot more time to study it. I have no trouble spending the whole hour+ before the kids wake up just enjoying the Word.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
There is no limit to what Scripture can do in a person's life; for a person's soul. Read it. Know it. Love it. Share it. I will never cease to do all four of those things because even if someone doesn't believe in the inerrant Truth of God's Word,  it is still true and ALIVE! Nothing I say can out-say/out-convince/outdo the Bible.

And I am so thankful that we have free access to the living Word here in the US for at least a little longer!

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Days 11&12}

Day 11:

Thank You, Great Physician, for our health.

We have been so blessed with great health. Our extended families have suffered from the dreaded cancer, but the 5 of us have not had anything out of the ordinary. We know that we live in a fallen world and are never guaranteed great health, so for now I will praise the Lord for the blessing of an illness-free little family!

Day 12:

Thank You, Jehovah Jireh, for our garden and freezer.

We tripled our garden the 2nd year, and in prep for next year, we tripled it again! Not only do we both love to garden, the harvest is fantastic! And we were super blessed with a freezer from the inlaws for Christmas! We're a few days away from payday which means the cupboards are getting bare, but we have plenty of veggies, a whole drawer full of beef, and cans of potatoes at my disposal.

I think gardening is a form of worship. I cannot look at a garden full of fresh veggies and not be in awe of God's provision. I'm so excited to teach my kids about gardening, so that no matter what, they have access to food.

Geesh, we are a spoiled little family. Thank You, Father, for being such an amazing Dad!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 10}

Thank You, Abba, for my parents.

Skipping over the whole part about how they raised me, I'm so thankful for how much they love their grandkids, how they are always willing and desire to take care of them and their grown-up kids, how they love the Lord and how they love each other. I love all the wisdom that they possess but never force it on us. They cherish family above all else.

Thank you, Momma and Dadda, for my growing up years, the many years to come, and the handful in between. Love you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 9}

Thank You, Father, for First Baptist Church.

In spite of a fire recently that has put our worship center out of commission, this church has pulled together and barely missed a beat. God is moving here. I am convicted and encourage almost every single week. It's so easy to find a place to minister. My kids love it and are learning so much. We are so blessed to be a part of this local church family.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 8}

Thank You, God, for my job.

This is the life.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 7}

Fourth post of the day! I hate doing that, but I really want to keep up with this being thankful thing. It is really helping my attitude, especially today. You know, the day after election day.

Thank You, Precious Jesus, for my Kempy.

Today, Kempton Charles is 3 months old.

With time I only get more desperate to stop time!

I thought for most of my pregnancy that Kempton was a girl. And honestly I struggled a very little bit to connect with him the first day or so. But it's almost like that is what makes us so close now. Somehow.

It does not matter how angry, frustrated, upset, tired, irritated, unhappy I am, this little man makes me smile with ease.

Photo by dandl

He has been smiling since he entered this depraved world, and started giggling shortly after that. He will always strain to see me if I'm not holding him. He loves his big sibs. He sleeps like a champ.

I absolutely adore this child.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5a

30 Days of Thanksgiving (Day 6)

Thank You, Heavenly King, for the US of A.

Source: via Brenda on Pinterest

We live on this amazing continent that is gorgeous and doesn't suffer from extreme temperatures.

We have luxuries at our disposal every single day that most in the rest of the world don't even dare to dream of.

We get to take our lazy bones to the nearest polling station in complete safety and exercise our paid-for right to vote.

And, believe it or not, we still have religious freedoms.

We have men and women who willingly give absolutely everything for us to have all of the above.

Thank you, past and present military, for everything.

Even though I am sorely disappointed in yesterday's results... (

...) I'm still eternally grateful for the freedom to vote. 

And even more so, I am grateful that I am not a citizen of this world but of heaven...

"For many walk... as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:18-20
Oh, and in case you hadn't heard:

"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings." Daniel 2:20
President Obama was gifted 4 more years, not by the American people, but by God Himself. May he, through the fervent prayers of God's people, recognize that gift.

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 5}

Thank You, God, for prayer.

How amazing is it that we can go to the Creator of the universe at any time?? And how absolutely ridiculous it is that we don't.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
How do we become righteous so that our prayers are powerful? By praying! 

This adorable picture depicts what I am most thankful for about prayer today (and probably most of the time!)

Sometimes I just don't have any idea what to say. I know I'm not the only one. The other day I laughed at myself because my complete prayer went like this...

"Please... Just... Thank You."

Praise the Lord that "the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words"! (Romans 8:26)

Thank You, Jesus, that You always live to make intercession for us! (Hebrews 7:25)

What on earth does that mean - to make intercession for us? I came across this definition from Warren Wiersbe:
"Intercession means that Jesus Christ represents us before the throne of God and we do not have to represent ourselves."
Oh, another thing to be overwhelmingly thankful for! 

Anyway, back to the main point of this post: prayer is a gift and I am so grateful for it.

*If you have a prayer need, it would be a blessing to me to be able to pray for you!*

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 4}

Thank You, Jesus, for my BRF.

No, our running technique is not this bad! We're just horrible actors.
I have this amazing friend who has challenged me not only in running and eating healthy, but also spiritually. I am so blessed to have this dear, godly friend living right next door!

Thank you for choosing Conor Ct, Alysha! I don't know how I survived without you. I'm so grateful you are in my life. Love you!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Days 2&3}

Look at that, I missed day 2 already. Not that I wasn't thinking about what I am thankful for. I committed to praying for this particular thing all day yesterday, and that just made me even more grateful for it! But alas, motherof3 didn't have a chance to blog.

Day 2:

Thank You, Jehovah Jireh, for The Crossing.

That's where Derek works. What an amazing blessing it has been! If Derek's boss hadn't believed in him after just one interview, who knows if we would have ever made it out here to Indiana.

Probably over the last year we were in PA, Derek would go through these almost depressed episodes. He felt useless. He was working constantly, and we were still struggling financially. And we had almost zero ministry involvement. He would just sorta sink into himself for hours at a time. It was not ideal for our marriage.

Finally, God opened this door to work at the Crossing and we took the leap. Totally worth it! He now gets to speak truth into the lives of young men, and mentor them, and teach them. He's using his spiritual gift of teaching and fulfilling his calling as a believer, every single day! AND, he's learning amazing new skills and working with his hands all day long. There is just no denying that God was intimately involved in bringing us here.

It's so amazing to know my husband is part of changing lives and leading souls to the Savior. I definitely got a little teary watching some of these interviews. Check them out. Also for some peaks into what really goes on and more testimonies, check out the blog! And then make sure to listen to the Spirit when He moves you to be involved! :)

Day 3:

Thank You, Father, for this house.

I've gone on and on about how much I love the Conor house before, so I'll just keep it short.

I love this house.

Remember to be thankful every day! We all are so blessed!

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving {Day 1}

Every year I mean to do this and always forget until several days into November. Thanks to many friends doing this on facebook, I'm remembering this year just a couple hours before November 2nd! Thank you, thankful facebook friends! :)

I hope to write a short post every day for the next thirty days. It probably won't happen but that's okay! I'm no superwoman by any stretch of the imagination and I'm totally okay with that. Oh, and also there is no special order to each post. I'm just going to write about whatever comes to mind that I am thankful for.

Oh, and (again) also, it's okay if you don't care. This is mostly for me anyway :)

Tonight I am sitting across the kitchen table from the love of my life... the man of my dreams... my other half... my perfect puzzle piece.

Thank You, all-knowing Father, for my husband.

We've hit some sizable potholes on this road called marriage, and while most of them I would love to have never hit, I am so grateful for where they have brought us. We are quickly approaching our 7th anniversary, and I think it is safe to say we are happier than we've ever been. And it's crazy that we are still getting to know each other.

I love getting to know him.

At least once a week I find myself saying, "This is the life, isn't it?"

And of course, he always agrees with an "Mmmhmm."

Derek, I'm so grateful for...

Your love for me
Your love for the babies
Your work ethic
Your desire to know God
Your passion for ministry
Your patience, especially with me
Your drive to do your very best
Your commitment
Your willingness to help me
Being my best friend

"Like pieces of a puzzle molded for each other... I am your perfect fit and you are mine."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

I grew up eating condensed tomato soup (aka "pink soup"). My kids love it. It's just delicious, especially with a grilled cheese sandwich (aka "toasted cheese"). I felt like I was giving my kids a healthy lunch. But then I took a quick look at the ingredients and was not super excited about what I saw. So I've been wanting to make my own.

What better time to make soup than the best season of the year??

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest and one evening (while Derek was out of town because he doesn't like tomato soup) I made it. YUM.

Unfortunately, Marie's weird texture aversion made her not a huge fan, but my parents, Jack, and I loved it!

First, I'm going to walk you through how I made it, then you can go to where I found the recipe for more details. You can make this a slow-cooker soup, too!

Chop up some celery, carrots, and onions, and sautee in just a Tbs or so of olive oil.

Then add 4 cups chicken stock, Tbs dried basil, tsp dried oregano, half a bay leaf, and 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice.

Bring to a boil then let simmer until carrots are tender. 15ish minutes.

In a separate pot, melt a stick of butter over low heat then add 1/2 c flour. Stir constantly for 5 min.

Then slowly (I forgot the slowly part) add one cup of soup and stir. Add another 3 cups of soup and stir until smooth.

 Transfer this roux to the large pot of soup. Stir constantly until soup thickens.

Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1.5 cups skim milk, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, salt and pepper.

Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Dish some out, top with croutons, and thoroughly enjoy!

Go HERE for the original recipe. Then make this deliciousness. Then come back and tell me any changes you made, especially if you find a way to not use a whole stick of butter!

By the way, I had about a serving left so I stuck it in the freezer for lunch later. Much better than buying a can full of high fructose corn syrup!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I will tell of what He has done for my soul.

I've always wanted to be a woman of prayer. Kinda like I've always wanted to be a runner. In both cases, when it gets hard or I don't feel like it, I fall away and eventually start from scratch.

By the grace of God, I finally became a real runner. There is still so much room for improvement, but in spite of falling away here and there, I don't start from scratch anymore.

It's time to put my prayer life in that place. It truly has been a dream to be the type of person that you could say, "Ask Lindsay to pray for you. She'll do it and God always hears her prayers!" I've said similar things about a couple of women I've known in my life. Things happen when they pray. And you will never come across a woman of prayer who isn't a shining light for her Savior and simply a blessing. God always works in the pray-er first before working on the pray-ee.

The last few weeks have been such an amazing blessing and a huge trial all at once. God has been doing some serious work on me, specifically in the area of prayer.

All this to say, I came across this passage today and was so overwhelmed by it and thinking over what God has done in me recently so I just have to share.

Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear; but certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me.
Psalm 66:16-20

Do you have a verse/passage about prayer that God has used in your life? Please share in the comments! Or share with me a link to your own blog post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Um... oops.

As way more of you than should probably know... I had a rough week last week. And I did a great job of whining and complaining about it. I also did a horrendous job of keeping up with the challenge.


Here's the problem... when I'm down, I eat. When I'm stressed, I eat. When I'm tired, I eat. I even realized in the past couple days, when I'm happy, I eat! I like to eat.

The point is, while I was having the worst labor day weekend in my memory, I could not wait for bed time when the house was finally quiet and I could turn on some netflix and browse pinterest and eat. Specifically animal crackers and mountain dew. I found comfort in those things.


Well, finally Derek got home and different discipline ideas I tried with Marie were working and I was feeling better. So I finally looked at what the challenge was for the week and began working on my verse. And whatdyaknow, I could have used this verse days before!


... Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light...

Thank You, Lord.

Now it is almost Wednesday of week 3 and I just looked at what the challenges are.


Week 3 - September 8-15
  • Light arm work
  • One soda a week
  • No food after 9pm
Memory Verse: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him." Psalm 28:7

Thankfully we just ran out of soda. I'm excited to get some arm work in. I totally forgot that was this week. As for the no food after 9pm... that's gonna be a lot harder than I thought it would be! If I really wanna lose this pesky weight, I just gotta do it! But man, even these simple challenges are so much harder than I thought they'd be!

On to much happier things... yesterday (one day short of five weeks after my entire abdomen was sliced open and my sweet Kempy was yanked free) I went for a jog! Not only did it feel great, it was so easy that we (my BRF and I) did the first two days of Ease into 5k. And tonight we totally skipped week 2 and did the first day of week 3. And I still feel great!!

I was so afraid that I would be all the way back at the beginning... before I became a real runner. When I hated every minute of it. 

But no, as soon as we started jogging, I was overwhelmed with excitement and joy!

I'm still a runner. And I have the goal of attempting that beloved 4-miler next week!

So just be prepared... many running posts will likely follow. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Self Challenge - Wk 2

Week 2 - September 1-8
  • 9 cups water each day
  • One dessert a week
  • Meals fit on small plate (no seconds)
Memory Verse: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30

Yesterday was the start of week 2 but I totally wasn't thinking about it and did a terrible job. Thankfully I did not eat any dessert! But I did decide to make minor tweaks...
  • 9 cups water each day
  • One non-chocolate dessert and one chocolate dessert
  • Meals fit on small (dessert) plate (no seconds)
  • Cup of raspberry leaf tea daily
My problem with desserts is chocolate. I LOVE chocolate and usually find some way to eat it every single day. So I wanted to give myself a little leeway or I would probably be just plain miserable the entire week.

I added the tea because it seems to be helping shrink my belly still just a tiny bit. So I'm sticking with it!

Now for an overview of last week:
  • 8 Cups of water - 6 out of 7 days.
  • Vitamins twice a day - 6 out of 7 days (just missed one morning dose)
  • Daily easy walk - 6 out of 7 days 
  • Verse - memorized!
I did not mess up all on the same day so that's good! I decided that I'm not gonna be strict about taking my vitamins twice from now on because they are seriously expensive.

I've been fluctuating between the same 4 pounds so no real weight loss during week one. :/ Serious set back but I still feel confident because I know that I'm growing in my desire to please the Lord in my eating and my desire to eat well!

How are you doing?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Letter Lacing

Found this on one of my favorite blogs...

You can print the little cards for free if you follow the link!

My kids are loving this so I had to pass it along. I love the idea of using pipe cleaners because even with the little holes, Jack has had no problem stringing them on.

I found these letter beads in color which adds the possibility of color sorting which Jack did without any instruction! I was so excited to find he had put three green beads on one end of the pipe cleaner and three yellow beads on the other end. That kid blows me away regularly.

Marie did amazing with matching up the letters, and having the pictures on the little cards helped her feel like she was really reading. This is a super cheap and fun school or busy bag activity that both my 4 yr old and 2 yr old loved!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Family of 5

We love being a family of 5. I mentioned this on facebook, but I felt like elaborating mostly for my own benefit :)

When our first squishy girl made her appearance... wow, there's nothing like becoming a parent for the very first time. You experience emotions that only parents have the blessing of experiencing. That saying becomes overwhelmingly true...

Our whole world changed drastically and beautifully when this baby girl entered it.

Then came my little man. I could barely see him, I was crying so hard. Love at very first sight. There is something so special between a momma and her boy.

Now we have Tiny Baby Kemp. To preface this... while I was pregnant, I was struggling a little with messing up our "perfect" little family. Why did we feel the need for more kids when we already had our beautiful girl and handsome little man?

Enter this little mister and suddenly we all knew that this family would never be complete without him.

Each new baby brings on a new, intense, overwhelming, beautiful emotion that I'm totally unprepared for. It's amazing. I don't think this family is "complete" yet but for now it is perfect.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Self Challenge Update - Wk 1

Reminder of this week's challenge...
Week 1 - August 25-September 1
  • 8 cups of water each day
  • Take vitamins twice a day
  • Daily easy walk
Memory Verse: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139:23-24

I haven't missed taking my vitamins yet. I may have counted a trip to Kroger as one of my walks, but I think that's acceptable :) And I think I'm doing good with water. I have trouble keeping track. My verse is memorized, also. Go me!

But I wanted to share a couple tips as far as water. I learned this many years ago during one of my many weight-loss adventures:

  1. It is a lot easier to drink lots of water when it is not ice cold. I've heard that ice cold water can help boost your metabolism, so I'm not saying don't ever drink ice cold water. But when you're not super thirsty, but you have some cups of water to catch up with, go tap cold and it'll be a lot easier to gulp it down.
  2. It is also a lot easier to drink lots of water when you love your water bottle and carry it with you at all times

I have barely been without a water bottle in reach for almost our entire marriage. {{That's 6.5 years.}} That is a lifestyle change that actually stuck! I highly recommend taking on this habit. 

The other day I decided to leave my water at home because I was going somewhere that I knew would have water available. During the drive to this place I kept catching myself reaching for my absent water. It was annoying. Not doing that again. 

Yes, I totally had my water in the diaper bag last time we ate out. And it came in handy because Marie had finished her chocolate milk and wanted a drink. I didn't want her sipping on my coke so I whipped out my trusty water bottle (which is currently a cup with a straw from BBC that holds ice so well. LOVE IT!).

I've been through my share of water bottles (this is BBC cup #2 and yes it is broken, but still works!), but they do not go to waste! 

Oh, here's a freebie: commit to only using your water bottle/cup for WATER. Trust me, it's a good idea.

(If anyone out there reading this is joining me on this challenge or a challenge of your own, I want to know about it! Post some updates in the comments. I'd also love some ideas to add to the challenge or for future challenges! Oh, and tips are welcome.)  

Friday, August 24, 2012

'Night 'night time.

 First of all, I highly recommend Biblically based parenting classes/seminars/etc. Of course you need to think through everything you're taught, but there are people out there that actually know stuff. I've learned a lot from godly moms and dads over the last 4 years. One tip I very recently learned just proved accurate tonight!

Of course you know we've recently become a family of 5. This along with having a cold and a couple run-ins with mastitis have caused my poor big kids to feel neglected. When kids feel neglected, they tend to act out. The tip was to spend quality time with the kids before bed time. We usually do the reading, singing, praying thing before bed. But it wasn't cutting it. So the past few nights we tried to be more focused. We read to them together, sing several songs, and have each of them "thank Jesus." Lots of lovin's and kisses later and sweet silence! It's not a ton more than what we were doing, but they can tell that we are focused on them, not just going through routine, and they love it.

I feel like I'm constantly learning this, but it's so important to remember... when the kiddos start acting out, especially in unusual ways, dropping everything to focus on them even just for a few minutes, makes all the difference!

The babies are so much more important than the dishes.

Or "me time."

Note to self.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5 Week Self Challenge

We leave for vacation in 5 weeks. We are very excited! But I don't really want to be hanging on to all these excess baby pounds.

I am going to be realistic, tho. Nursing has never helped me drop the pounds like it does for some people. In fact, I'm one of those "lucky" few who's body hangs on to extra pounds for the purpose of nursing.


Giving my baby what is best is much more important to me than being thin. BUT, that doesn't mean I'm not gonna try for thin anyway!

Keeping reality in mind, I'm going to give myself 2-3 challenges each week for the next five weeks. These are things that I want to make a part of my life, so they will continue through the rest of my life. Each week will just be in addition to the previous weeks.

Some of these will probably seem silly and simple but I need to start here. Also, I won't be cleared to do any real workouts til just before leaving for vacation so the exercise challenges are going to be light until after vacation when I work toward my next milestone goal!

First milestone = Pre-Kemp weight by vacation.

Week 1 - August 25-September 1
  • 8 cups of water each day
  • Take vitamins twice a day
  • Daily easy walk
Memory Verse: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139:23-24

Week 2 - September 1-8
  • 9 cups water each day
  • One dessert a week
  • Meals fit on small plate (no seconds)
Memory Verse: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30

Week 3 - September 8-15
  • Light arm work
  • One soda a week
  • No food after 9pm
Memory Verse: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him." Psalm 28:7

Week 4 - September 15-22
  • 3 fruits a day
  • 1/2-1 hour focused daily walk
Memory Verse: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Week 5 - September 22-29
  • 3 veggies a day
  • 10 cups water
  • No processed food (just for this week. This will be a gradual process!)
Memory Verse: "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Vacation - September 29-October 6

Second milestone = Pre-Jack weight by Thanksgiving (+ Thanksgiving 5k/10k)

Third milestone = Pre-Marie weight by Kempton's first birthday (+ half marathon/s in June/September)

Prayers would be appreciated :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

If I had it to do again...

I can remember the very spot on the big blue tarp that I was hazily staring at when I heard...

"It's a... BOY!"

I was sure I was going to hear GIRL.

So technically I was wrong. But I had been doubting for months. Derek says I wasn't wrong, I knew he was a boy, I just wanted him to be a girl for Derek's sake. He's right. But I stuck with girl because it was my initial thought. 

And my dad was sure he was a girl until he had this random dream a day or two before Kemp was born where he heard the doctor say exactly what he ended up saying... 

"It's a... BOY!"

Do I regret not finding out earlier? No. Not at all. I loved not knowing! It was fun and worth the experience.

Would I do it again... wait til birth to find out the gender? No. Once was enough. And as the next baby will be our last, I will need time to prepare my heart. 

We knew there was potential for this, but thought since we plan on having at least one more babe that it wouldn't be a problem. It was a tiny bit... Derek said, "I feel like we should have Kempton AND Amber. It's like we're missing one." 

I have to admit, it took a couple days to bond with my Kempy. Surgery and nursing pain weren't helping at all, but it was still frustrating. But the last day in the hospital, I spent it alone with my Kempster and fell head over heals in love. It's amazing how much a person can love such a tiny creature who does nothing but eat, sleep, and poop! 

Love my little man.

So in summary, I enjoyed the experience, but in the end I would probably say knowing ahead of time was better. We will definitely be finding out ahead of time with the last baby. Will we tell other people? That is to be determined ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Birth of Kempton Charles

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We came in. They cut me open.

"It's a... boy!"

Born at 11:39am. 9lbs, 4.8oz. 22 inches.

They sewed me up.

The End.


There are definitely benefits to having csections.

There may not be much to talk about as far as events, but the emotions involved are huge. The night before my csection for Jack, I was an anxious mess. Very little sleep happened. You know that feeling of overwhelming butterflies, involuntary worry, straight up freaking out? Several days before Kempton arrived I was anticipating a night full of that.

But can I just say, there is NOTHING like having a praying family. My sibs and parents were praying for me. My church family. My Christian family. I fell asleep Monday night completely at peace. It wasn't until about 7am that I started getting anxious, but even then it only took getting out of bed to push past it.

I even did some garden harvesting before leaving the house at about 9am.

Last family of 4 photo.

 The whole experience was quite a bit different than the first two. It was much better and much worse all at the same time. The surgery took much longer, which is better in that I feel the doctor did a very quality job, but worse in that it's just plain not fun being operated on. Also, I could feel tingling in my legs the whole time which made them very antsy but there was nothing I could do about it! But I was able to move more quickly since I didn't have an insane amount of numbing. There were several times I felt very tired and needed to calm myself down so I would close my eyes. I realized quickly that I was scaring Derek. He definitely thought I had passed out at one point.

Speaking of Derek, he totally watched the whole procedure and loved it!


So now let's talk about the whole thing about how Kempton was only 9lbs 4.8oz. Yes, many a woman has pushed out a 9 pounder. Geesh, many have gotten much bigger than that out the natural way. But, as I mentioned in this post, I decided I needed to leave the csection/vbac thing completely to the Lord. While I tried to induce labor, God and I had all sorts of conversations about the outcome. Pretty much every time I pulled into the doc office, I said, "God, this is Your thing. Don't let me get in the way of what You want. I know that You know best." Toward the end, we knew our newest addition was not as big as his older sibs but I decided if the little mister ended up 9lbs or bigger, I would be confident in the csection decision.

Thank You, God, that Kemp was at least 9 lbs!

Next, would we do the whole not-finding-out-the-gender thing again? That is a question to be answered in another post. Along with the details of the surprise that we had Kempton rather than Amber!

Patience, my friends.

I'm so in love with our newest little man and his big sibs! It's amazing how much Marie and Jack love him. It took Marie a few hours to warm up but Jack bolted to him as soon as they arrived at the hospital. "Baby mine," he likes to say.

Now they beg to hold him. Jack will wrap his arms around and not let go. Marie tells me to take good care of her brother, tells me not to cry when I cringe during nursing, gives him stuffed animals while he sleeps. It's a dream. We love being a family of 5.


Friday, July 13, 2012

So glad I said yes.

9 years ago at the top of the Warren Dunes, Derek asked me to be his girlfriend.

I hesitated because I knew I was still struggling with a past relationship. But I also knew that I really wanted to be Derek's girlfriend. So I said yes.

I'm so glad I did.

For the first six months of our relationship I put that poor guy through the ringer. But he never once even considered breaking it off. He was in it for life starting on this day 9 years ago at the top of the Dunes.

About six months into our relationship I was working a gruelingly boring 8 hour shift in the dressing rooms at Marshalls.

I'll never forget that shift.

I was staring out at the store that was practically empty. I wasn't even really thinking about Derek. I was probably thinking about how insanely bored I was and wondering if it was worth the $6/hr or whatever it was.

But suddenly it hit me. I love him! I just knew it out of the blue. And was giddy about it. I watched him fight for me for the first six months. I watched him put up with me, adore me, treat me like a princess, have overwhelming patience for me.

I knew from that moment that I loved him and I haven't stopped since.

I'm so thankful God gave me a peace about saying yes 9 years ago, because I needed to see him fight for me. I have no doubt in my mind that he will always fight for me. He is so good to me.

It's important to mention that even though Derek has always been so amazing to me, if God hadn't gotten ahold of my ridiculousness six months after I said yes, I wouldn't have come to the place of recognizing it. God broke me just days before that shift at Marshalls and I'm so grateful for it!

Our whole relationship is completely owed to Him. It's such a beautiful thing when God writes your love story :)

Happy 9th Anniversary, my One and Only Forever Love.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday, Marie Love

To my Goob,

4 years ago, at 1:51pm, we became parents for the first time to the most beautiful baby girl. You were so squishy you could barely open your eyes, which seemed to be fine with you as you loved to sleep more than anything the first few months of your life.

But wow have things changed! Now you are Little Miss Active. Your daddy and you can go non-stop all day long.

One new thing that you do that I just adore is you love to tell me and daddy and Jack that you love us. "Mommy, did you know that I love you?" are the words that brighten every single one of my days! You've become a little bit more of a snuggler as you're getting older. You are a wonderful big sister, always looking out for your brother and wanting to spend time with him.

You are sure that this new little sibling of yours is a little sister. I hope for you that it is. But if you get another little brother, I know you will love him just the way you love your JackJack. I'm so proud of how much you've grown since becoming a big sister. I pray that one day you will be blessed with being a momma because I know you will be amazing at it, in spite of all your momma's failings.

I constantly pray that God will draw you to Himself, that you will be sensitive to Him and give your life to Him very soon. There is nothing I or your dad want more for you! I also pray often that no matter what kind of ups and downs we go through in this life, that you and I will always have a strong relationship. I want to hear you say, "Mommy, I love you SO much" all the days of my life. God is continually working on me to be the best momma for you possible. But I will fail, and I do fail, and you already know that. And you always forgive me. Thank you! And don't ever stop!

Every time I ask you to stop growing up you tell me that you have to. Sometimes you say Daddy said it was okay, but I'm quite certain that's not true! I know you have to, but make sure you are always my baby girl.

We love you so much more than life, Baby Girl.

Happy 4th Birthday!
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