Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Reading List...

I love to read and now that my little ones are all pretty much settled and sleeping well I find that I am actually having time to do a little more of it!  I thought I'd share a few books that I've enjoyed lately and are planning to read:
February:
Desperate: Hope For The Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Me and Sally Clarkson -- I'm discussing this book weekly with an awesome group of ladies and it has been so encouraging!  It is so great to hear from other Moms who have been right where I am!

Staying in Love: Falling in Love is Easy; Staying in Love Requires a Plan by Andy Stanley -- I have to admit I'm only reading the participant's guide for this one because I'm watching the instructional video with another great group of Moms every week.  But I have really enjoyed it.  He is very practical and has great illustrations and it has really helped to keep me focused on building my marriage.

March:
Fit To Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood by Rachael Jankovic -- her first book was so encouraging to me and as both of our families have grown since then I know she will have even more great advice and encouragement! I simply cannot wait to read it!

Sacred Marriage:  What if God Designed Marriage To Make Us Holy More Than To Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas -- I read parts of this one for a class in college and it was awesome.  I am really looking forward to watching the instructional video and discussing it with my awesome girls' group each week!

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon -- Her other two books (THIS one and This one) totally rocked my world a few years ago and my eating/ lifestyle habits haven't been the same since.  I was really excited when she came out with this book, particularly because it has a complete section on dealing with health issues/ illnesses naturally.  It will be a great resource!

April (getting ready for the baby!)
Beautiful Babies: Nutrition for Fertility, Pregnancy, Breast-Feeding, and Baby's First Foods by Kristen Michaels -- This book is written by one of my favorite nutrition/real-food bloggers and I am really curious as to how she agrees/ disagrees by my other favorite baby nutrition book and what new info she will bring to the table.  (Yes, I am a nutrition nerd :)  Also, if you pre-order it now, she is giving a free enrollment in her online class (of the same topic) which is a $199.00 value!  Pretty cool.

Redeeming Childbirth: Experiencing His Presence in Pregnancy, Labor, Childbirth, and Beyond by Angie Tolplin -- I've heard good things about this book and am eager to read it.

Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent -- I can't wait to hear these stories and get excited about welcoming my new little one into the world!

May:
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth -- This is my crunchy book that I have to read in the weeks before my due date to get me ready to make it through childbirth naturally.  Totally helps to make me feel like I can do it :)



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Abbi's Grace turns 2!

It is really hard to believe that my baby had another birthday!  M spunky Abbi Grace is now two years old!

Ever since Karlie's birthday, Abbi had been talking about "Abbi's birday soon!"  All she wanted was a pink and purple cake and for her grandparents to come.  Since we were still unpacking boxes and trying to get adjusted after our move, we were thankful that we could handle her requests :)  

The "party" was scheduled for after nap-time and the girls were so excited they could hardly stand it.  So we went outside to wait for daddy to come home:



Then we let Abbi open a couple presents while we got the food ready:

Daddy found this amazing double-decker cookie cake and just had to get it for Abbi.  She is currently obsessed with the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" book so this was perfect :)


Waiting on the cookie cake!

She sees it coming and is just so excited!




Our attempt at a family picture while Abbi kept grabbing at the icing :)


It did not disappoint!


Her other obsession is "Monkey George" so Grandma and Papa gave her a stuffed monkey and the Curious George Collection!  She was really excited!






Such a fun and special birthday for such a fun and special girl!!!

(And yes, I do know that I am well over-due for yearly posts for both Karlie and Abbi.  Soon!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A long overdue up-date!

Wow; we sure have been busy!  It has taken us a while to get settled into a new routine, but I think we are finally getting there.  Here are some random pictures and updates in no particular order:

-- the girls have done well adjusting to the move.  Karis never missed a beat and has been absolutely ecstatic about all the new friends she is getting to know and new places she is going.  Karlie and Abbi had a more emotional time adjusting to all the changes but are doing well now. Karlie went through a stage where she would break down emotionally at the flip of a hat and Abbi had a really hard time going to the nursery at our new homeschool co-op, but we worked through those issues and now both of them are as happy as can be!  They love their new teachers and friends!

-- Mark has been unbelievably busy at work and working later hours which was hard (for me, especially) to adjust to at first, but things are calming down now that the new business has started and he really likes his new job.  

-- I have been immersed with Mommy friends now that I am back in VA and cannot believe what an encouragement it is!  I have a Tuesday night book study on parenting little ones with some absolutely wonderful ladies as well as a Thursday morning book study on marriage with a different set of awesome ladies!  I am soaking up all the precious fellowship and encouragement while I can, because I only have about 3 months left before that sweet and blissful, but sleep-deprived newborn stage hits us all over again.

We have been incredibly, amazingly blessed by our church family back in NC.  They have spent multiple work days at our old house, painting and cleaning, and helping to get it ready to sell.  I still cannot believe all the hours that they have put in!  And it looks amazing!  eBut yesterday we received some horribly disheartening news and really need your prayers for our house to sell at a decent price:   Our next door neighbor's house was foreclosed and the bank did a quick sell at $30,000 less than the house was worth. As you can imagine, it totally destroys the selling value of our house which we are putting on the market on Friday.  With all that we have put into our house, we cannot afford to drop the price too much so please pray that someone will believe it is worth its true value!!!!  We cannot afford 2 house payments for long and desperately need to sell it ASAP.

I am super close to being in the 3rd trimester but still haven't figured out who will deliver this baby!  I had 3 top choices but it appears that the end of May is a popular time to have a baby and all 3 midwives are pretty booked and afraid to take me on.  Please pray that God will give me wisdom to know what to do and who to contact!  I am hoping that perhaps they will agree to be back-up for each other because one of them is bound to be available when I go into labor, but that is not the common policy so I don't know if it will work.

Now for the random pictures:

Abbi absolutely loves the rocking chair I got from my grandmother:

Mark's new business had its grand opening and it was a lot of fun!

Mark and his partner/ best friend

The girls and Nina and I enjoying snacks at the reception:

The man who owns the Chinese restaurant in the mall is super nice and thinks the world of Gavin and Mark and offered to do a Chinese lion dance for entertainment at the opening.  Kind of random for a sports place, but it was really neat and the girls were thoroughly entertained :)


Lots of snuggling and tickling with Daddy:





Karlie playing with Daddy's phone:


So excited that we have tree in our front yard that they can climb!




Sweet sisters before church on Sunday:


Getting some Pup-pup love: