Thursday, November 29, 2012

fabric journal cover

I used some scrap fabric to make a composition book/ journal cover for a friend.  I followed this tutorial, but added a small pen pocket to the front.  next time I would also add some elastic stitched in the back flap to serve as a bookmark.  

15 weeks

Here is what is going on with our little one this week according to;

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")
If you're having amniocentesis, it'll most likely happen between now and 18 weeks. This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. If you're getting very anxious while waiting for the results, it may help to know that most women who undergo amniocentesis get good news about their babies — bringing welcome relief from their worries.You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.
Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women.

As for me, the minimal nausea that I've been having is subsiding even further and now when I wake up in the morning I feel good, and don't feel the need to immediately eat something so that I don't feel sick.

I've been getting up several times an evening to use the restroom, but I guess that's to be expected.

I still haven't gained weight, although the shape of my body is definitely changing.

A few times I've wondered if I felt the baby move, but I'm not fully sure yet.

First appointment with my new doctor next week, so I should have more of an update on our  progress then.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

::this week::

This has been a rough week.  Noah has had diarrhea, and therefore a diaper rash.  He has been unruly, and been getting into everything.  Our car was totaled. Our computer is broken.  Our dryer is broken.  We've had to deal with car insurance companies and issues.  I've had to deal with health insurance companies and issues.  Basically, it has been a lot.  And all at once.

And I have not handled it gracefully.  I have let my circumstances cause stress, worry, and overwhelm me.  I have let them dictate my joy and peace.  I did not first turn to the Lord through these circumstances, using them to press into Him.  I tried to handle them on my own, in my own strength, and failed.  I let the enemy win.  I lost perspective.  Perspective that God is good.  sovereign.  present.  loving.  faithful.  graceful.  perfect.

I am so thankful for His grace, despite my lack of faith, despite my lack of trust.  I am so thankful that He is my rock.  I am so thankful that my husband has been patient with me, gently, and consistently pushing me towards the Lord in all of this.

praising:  that although our car was totaled last weekend, that everyone involved in the accident was unharmed.  for God's favor... one car accident and 2 tiny fires in our house in the last month but the Lord has completely protected us and no one and nothing (other than our car) have been damaged.

praying:  against some serious spiritual attack that's been coming our way... for protection, to be able to see the attacks for what they are, for my heart to be guarded in truth, rejoicing despite whatever our circumstances are.

reading:  Isaiah, 2 Samuel, 1000 Gifts

cooking:  split pea soup, BBQ chicken pizzafish tacoswarm sesame slawblack beans rice and corn casserole, chocolate molten lava cakes, roasted squash, banana bread, chicken salad

thankful for:  our health.  that the insurance company and person causing the accident have accepted liability.  a new opportunity for me to make some more money and watch the kiddo of another friend... in perfect timing, just before one of the kiddos I'm currently watching came to an end.  that the nausea is pretty much entirely gone and I'm feeling like myself again.

doing:  2 year doctor's appointment for Noah.  walk with a friend.  making dinner to celebrate my MIL's birthday.  hosting community group.  having dinner with two sweet friends.

creating:  more Christmas presents

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

This soup is inexpensive, simple, nutritious, and delicious.  Perfect on a winter evening with a good loaf of bread.  I initially hadn't intended adding the pasta, but ended up with way more broth in the soup than I tend to like (I like stew consistency better than a thin soup), so I threw the pasta in last minute the thought it was perfect with that addition.  If you don't wish to add the pasta (or you like your soups soupy, not stewy), either reduce the broth by 4 cups, add more beans, or add some diced potatoes in with the veggies when you saute them.

-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-3 carrots, diced
-3 stalks celery, diced
-1 large zucchini, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp thyme
-1 tsp rosemary
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-1 tsp salt
-10 c chicken broth
-1 (29 oz) can diced tomatoes
-2 (15 oz) can cannelini beans, drained
-1 lb fresh spinach
-1 box (13.25 oz) desired whole wheat pasta shape (optional)

In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, and celery, saute until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add zucchini and garlic, saute until fragrant, an additional minute.  Add thyme, rosemary, pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and cannelini beans.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir in spinach.  Add pasta, simmer 5 minutes, remove from heat and allow the pasta to finish cooking and soak up some of the broth until it's your desired consistency (I let it sit about 5 more minutes).  Serve.

Roasted Squash

I followed the method (ingredients and cooking instructions) for this roasted acorn squash recipe.  I used 2 carnival squash that I had on hand, reduced the butter to 3 Tbsp, eliminated the olive oil, reduced the brown sugar to 1/4 c, and used 1 tsp dried rosemary instead of the fresh.  I thought they turned out really well... I don't tend to be much of a squash person, an aversion to cooked orange vegetables that has been plaguing me since childhood, but this had made me a believer that squash can be flavorful and delicious.

Friday, November 23, 2012

14 weeks

Here is going on with our little lemon this week according to;

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.

In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.

Welcome to your second trimester! Your energy is likely returning, your breasts may be feeling less tender, and your queasiness may have completely abated by now. If not, hang on — chances are good it will soon be behind you (although an unlucky few will still feel nauseated months from now).

The top of your uterus is a bit above your pubic bone, which may be enough to push your tummy out a tad. Starting to show can be quite a thrill, giving you and your partner visible evidence of the baby you've been waiting for. Take some time to plan, daydream, and enjoy this amazing time. It's normal to worry a bit now and then, but try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby, and having faith that you're well equipped for what's ahead.

As for me, doing well.  Still feel nauseous for a few hours here and there, but not bad at all.  My energy and endurance are returning and jogging is starting to be easier again, for the last few weeks I've had to take walk breaks along my normal route.  I'm still not eating much sugar or sweets because they still aren't sitting quite right, as well as foods with lots of oil or butter.

I still haven't gained any weight, but my tummy is definitely sticking out.  There's only one pair of jeans I can still comfortably wear buttoned, but they all fit as long as I unbutton them and tie the button hole with a hair band.  All of my maternity clothes are still too big, so I'm in this awkward phase where nothing seems to look good on me or fit quite right.

I go back to the doctor Dec. 4 and am looking forward to hearing the heart beat again to reassure me that our little one is doing fine.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

::this week::

praying:  for the needs and struggles of others.  for our city.  nation.  the nations.

praising:  God's grace... His many blessings.  some additional provision for our ministry.

reading:  2 Samuel, Isaiah, 1000 Gifts

cooking:  chille relleno casserole, hummus, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, ramen noodle pad thai, mac and cheese, slow cooker African peanut stew, tuscan bean soup

thankful for:  a four day weekend for our family with no real plans and lots of time to relax and enjoy each other.  God's provision.  abundant food... that my fridge is full of yummy things while others in the world don't have enough to eat.  good friends.  the thoughtfulness of some sweet friends who have looked for ways to serve and bless us.  family.  amazing weather.  a healthy family.

doing:  having a low key Thanksgiving with just us and J's parents, hoping to relax, eat lots of yummy food, and stay in my jammies all day long.  date night with my love, via a recent gift certificate from a sweet friend.

creating:  more Christmas presents

May you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving, filled with laughter, love, food, and the presence of the Lord!

Monday, November 19, 2012

family photo shoot

here are just a few photos from a fun photo shoot that some friends did for us yesterday.  we (and they) are by no means professional photographers, we just took our bottom of the line Nikon camera and did the best we could with no technical expertise. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I made this pumpkin cheesecake.  The few changes I made were to use neufatchel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese, instead of regular cream cheese.  I also used light sour cream.  And I used graham cracker crumbs (of 12 graham crackers) instead of the gingersnaps, although I do think a gingersnap crust would have been quite lovely.  Then, once I had finished baking the cheesecake the top had cracked (probably because I didn't use the hot water bath) so then I came up with a way to cover up the cracked top and add some additional decadence to the dessert.  I made cinnamon whipped cream and spread over the top of the cheesecake, and then candied some pecans with brown sugar and sprinkled them over top.  This was really good, but really rich and heavy, definitely a special occasion and not everyday dessert for our household.

Friday, November 16, 2012

::this week::

praising:  new life in Christ for someone Jeremy prayed with this week.  healing for someone we got to pray with this week.  some more promises of provision for our ministry.

praying:  for greater faith, courage, boldness, love, and power... for an awareness of the opportunities God gives me and the obedience to use these in those opportunities.

thankful for:  having Jeremy around a lot extra this week as he was off Mon-Thur.  an awesome conference that we got to go to on Sunday, and having a bunch of sweet alone time with my hubby that day!  finally getting to meet a guy who has become a recent ministry partner for Jeremy... they are very like minded and share similar beliefs and approaches to ministry... so grateful to have so many great people pouring into us!  great weather.  so many sweet friends.  a gift card in the mail from a thoughtful friend who wanted to bless us with a night of not needing to cook.  a thoughtful hubby who looks not only to his needs, but also to mine... giving me a morning this week to have some much needed alone time.

reading:  2 Samuel, Isaiah, 1000 Gifts

cooking:  salmon cakes, baked mac and cheese, dressing, squash casserole, pumpkin cheesecake, slow cooker ratatouille, wonton soup, sweet and spicy sugar snap peas, ramen noodle pad thai, chile relleno casserole, pizza, pumpkin gingersnaps

creating:  more Christmas presents.

doing:  hosting a girls night, community group, and a birthday party for a sweet friend.  a walk/ lunch date with a friend.  a Christmas card photo session with friends.

pondering:  Isaiah 2... hope for the nations... the hopeful and good promises for the "last days"... not just the "bad" ones of trial and tribulation.  what it looks like for me to believe these, claim them, declare them, & bring them into our time, rather than just accepting the bad as a sign that the end is coming, but having hope and bringing that to the nations.

the conference from last Sunday... wanting to not let it be just a cool experience, but something that changes me forever.  pushing me into greater faith, power, courage, hope, peace, joy, and boldness.

 walking in the Spirit... learning how to stir up the Spirit... it is easy for me to get in the Spirit during times of worship, prayer, etc. but learning how to stir that up on a regular basis... to always walk in Him.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

We've had a can of salmon in the pantry for almost a year, so I had an itch to come up with a way to use it.  These turned out well, and are relatively simple, inexpensive, and nutritious.  I made a few dipping sauces to go with them, but wasn't really happy with any of them and ended up using Sriarcha, feel free to accompany these patties with ketchup, tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, or teryaki.

-1 (15 oz) can salmon, bones and skin removed
-2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, toasted and chopped into crumbs
-1 egg, beaten
-1 stalk celery, finely chopped
-3 scallions, finely chopped
-1 tsp dried dill
-1/2 tsp old bay
-1 tsp hot sauce
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tsp dijon mustard
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in medium bowl.  Mix well with a fork, breaking up and mashing salmon into small bits.  Refrigerate mixture for at least a half an hour.  Form mixture into 6 patties.  Heat oil over medium in a skillet.  Add patties, cook 3-4 minutes, flip, cook an additional 3-4 minutes and serve.

13 weeks

Here is what is going on with our little shrimp this week according to;

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.
This is the last week of your first trimester, and your risk of miscarriage is now much lower than earlier in pregnancy. Next week marks the beginning of your second trimester, a time of relative comfort for many women who see early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue subside. More good news: Many couples also notice a distinct libido lift around this time. Birth is still months away, but your breasts may have already started making colostrum, the nutrient-rich fluid that feeds your baby for the first few days after birth, before your milk starts to flow
As for me... still feeling about the same as last week.  A LOT better than a few weeks ago, but still some nausea here and there.  Overall, I am just graeful to be able to eat most food again and function in a normal way.  I still haven't gained weight, but my belly is getting round and squishy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

I served this over whole wheat pasta, and topped it with cheese for a simple dinner.  It would also be a great side dish to accompany any meat, and lends perfectly to dipping crusty bread.  I really enjoyed it, and the fact that Jeremy ate eggplant (which he won't eat) says a lot also.

-1 (29 oz) can diced tomatoes
-1 eggplant, cut into large chunks
-2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
-2 colored bell peppers, cut into large chunks
-1 onion, cut into wedges
-1 (16 oz) pack mushrooms, quartered
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 tsp dried rosemary
-2 tsp salt
-2 Tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/8 c olive oil
-1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

Combine all ingredients, except tomato paste, in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours (or until desired tenderness is achieved), stirring every hour.  Stir in tomato paste and allow to cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.  Serve.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup

When I get sick I don't crave the traditional chicken noodle soup like most people.  I tend to crave Wonton, Egg Drop, or Hot and Sour Soup.  I've always been intimidated to try making my own Wonton Soup, but it really wasn't hard, just a little time consuming making the wontons, but not nearly as lengthy as I would expect.  This turned out really well... maybe the best wonton soup I've ever had (if I do say so myself), I could really taste each of the flavors in the filling.

-32 square wonton wrappers
-1/2 lb ground pork
-4 scallions, sliced
-1 inch chunck ginger, peeled and minced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 tsp soy sauce
-1 tsp sesame oil
-2 tsp cornstarch
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper

-8 c chicken broth
-1 Tbsp soy sauce
-1 tsp sesame oil
-4 scallions

Combine pork through pepper in a bowl, mix well.  Arrange 8 wonton wrappers on a work surface, place 1 tsp of pork filling in the center of each.  Wet you index finger (it is handy to have a bowl next to you to dip your finger in) and moisten all four edges of each wonton wrapper.  Pull one of the corners diagonally over the filling to make a triangle.  Press the edges firmly to seal, squeezing out any air bubbles.  Bring the left and right corners together, pressing to secure.  Place wontons on a baking sheet, dust with cornstarch, and cover with a damp towel.  Repeat steps with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.  In a large pot, combine broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil over medium heat.  Once soup simmers, add wontons.  Cook 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.  Sprinkle with additional scallions and serve.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

12 weeks

Here is what is going on with the little lime this week according to;

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.

Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

Your uterus has grown to the point where your healthcare provider can now feel the top of it (the fundus) low in your abdomen, just above your pubic bone. You may already be into maternity clothes, especially if this isn't your first pregnancy. If you're still fairly small and not yet ready for maternity clothes, you've no doubt noticed that your waist is thickening and that you're more comfortable in loose, less restrictive clothing.

You may begin to feel heartburn (also called acid indigestion), a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone to your lower throat. Many women get heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, and those who've previously had bouts of heartburn may find that it gets worse. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a lot of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Particularly when you're lying down, gastric acid can seep back up the pipe, which causes the uncomfortable burning sensation. For many women the problem doesn't begin (or get worse) until later in pregnancy, when your growing uterus starts to push up on your stomach. The discomfort may range from mildly annoying to intense and distracting.

As for me, I am happy to say that I am over the hump, haven't thrown up in almost a week, and have been feeling mostly well/ normal.  It's so funny how the nausea seems like it is never going to end, and then all of the sudden, one morning I wake up feeling good.  I am so thankful to feel good again, be able to jog, cook, and eat most foods without feeling sick.

My stomach is continuing to stick out more and more, but I'm in that awkward stage where you can't tell if I'm pregnant, ate too much, or just never lost the belly from my last baby.  I'm looking forward to when my little bump is a little more pronounced and looks more like a growing baby.  I still haven't gained weight... well... I've gained back the weight I had lost while I was so sick, but I'm now at the same weight that I was when I got pregnant and I'm still wearing my normal clothes just shooting for looser tops.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

::this week::

I am THRILLED to say that I am starting to feel better... to feel like me again... to have energy, not feel constantly sick, and to just enjoy my life again.  I am SO grateful that I'm not one of those women that feels sick their entire pregnancy, because 6 weeks was hard enough for me.  I forgot how much I love and enjoy my everyday life... probably because it has been a while since I have enjoyed anything.  It feels so good to settle back into our normal routine, to take morning walks to the playground, to jog, to cook, and to just enjoy and be present with the people I'm around.  I feel like I have a whole new appreciation for feeling well, and for the simple but amazing life the Lord has given me.  I am so grateful for the sweet kiddos I get to hang with, for this beautiful city, the beautiful park within walking distance, playgrounds, sunshine, free time, access to varieties of foods, and the community we have here in New Orleans (just to name a few).

praying:  for the needs/ struggles/ requests of many that have been made known to me over the last week.  my heart is aching for so many people right now.  pondering if this is a specific attack on our church and/ or city right now.  if this is a reflection of the busy end of the year for everyone.  is this is an attack pushing God's people from thankfulness, rest, peace, joy, and the Lord's presence during the holiday season.

praising:  restoration in my relationships with the Lord, family, and friends as I feel better and have energy to invest in those relationships again.

reading:  Song of Songs.  1 Samuel.  1000 Gifts.

thankful for:  a big bag of hand me downs for Noah, plus some recent great yard sale finds for him.  thrilled that it doesn't look like we'll need to buy any new clothes for him for this size/ season.  AMAZING weather this week.

cooking:  baked crab rangoon, Thai coconut corn soup, pizza, huevos rancheros, lentil salad, applesauce muffins

creating:  Christmas gifts.  decorations for a birthday party we're hosting next week for a sweet friend.

doing:  hosting a friend for dinner.  slowly slipping back into my routine and things I like to do as I begin to feel better.  Chick Fil A lunch to chat with some mommas and let the kiddos enjoy the play place.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baked Crab Rangoon

I made this baked crab rangoon.  The two changes I made were to add 1tsp Sriarcha sauce to the filling, and place the wonton wrappers in a mini muffin pan, stuffed with filling and baked for 20 minutes at 350.  These were good, nowhere near as decadent as the takeout version, but good and healthy enough to enjoy whenever I'd like.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts

Slow Cooker Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts

The day I made this I was nauseous, and the flavors didn't do well in my stomach, so I planned not to blog the recipe.  But now that I've been eating the leftovers for 2 days I am really enjoying them, and thinking the reason I didn't like them the first day was nausea and not the recipe.  So here you have it.  I tend to like the char and crispness of roasted brussel sprouts better than this, but these were good, and you can't beat the ease of dump and let it sit for several hours.

-2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed, large ones halved
-2 Tbsp butter
-1/2 c water
-1/4 c maple syrup
-2 Tbsp dijon mustard
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours.  Serve.

Applesauce Muffins

I made these Martha Stewart Applesauce Muffins.  The only two changes that I made were to eliminate the frosting, and to use 1 c whole wheat flour in place of 1 c of the all purpose flour.  I thought they turned out well.  Very moist and subtle with hints of apple and fall flavor spices.  These are a great healthy breakfast muffin without the frosting, but for more of a sweet or dessert muffin use the frosting. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

::this week::

I've been feeling a little discouraged this week.  Since by this point in my last pregnancy I was starting to feel better, I was really hoping to be going in that direction by now.  Not to mention, this pregnancy has also been a lot harder than my last one, because I have been more sick.  I have been throwing up pretty regularly this time around and have felt pretty bad most of the time for the last 4 weeks. This has affected every area of my life. By the time Jeremy gets home in the evening (and after I've been watching other people's kids all day) I'm usually worn out, and feeling awful. So I have done a very poor job of emotionally connecting with my hubby the last few weeks, and asking him deep questions, listening, and encouraging him. I've mostly just laid on the couch, trying not to throw up, and doing the bare minimal cooking and housework I can get by with. Same thing with my friends and community group. And the Lord. I feel like I've had nausea in every of my life for the past several weeks... physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have felt so bad that I haven't been able to do the things that I enjoy, that make me feel like me, that fill me up (like cooking, exercising, hanging out with friends, crafting...). I am beyond thankful for the grace of the Lord, and my husband, and my friends during a season where I haven't been much fun to be around, haven't been myself, and haven't been very encouraging.

One other praise on all of this is that our "Desperate Women of the Bible" study was such a rock, encouragement, and refreshment for me during this time. If it had been up to me each Friday morning I would have rather cancelled, and not seen anyone, not had people in my house, and not led a study, I just wanted to lay on the couch and not do anything, but it was really good for me to see ladies each Friday, to invite the presence of the Lord together, to encourage and be encouraged, and not spend my morning feeling sorry for myself. So each week, if for only 2 hours on Friday mornings I felt like myself again, and was able to take my eyes off of my circumstances and put them onto the Lord and His Kingdom. And as a result, the rest of my Fridays were always much better than the rest of the week.  I'm so sad that this week concludes our study, and that I will not be seeing these ladies each Friday morning going forward.  But I am so grateful for the season we had together, and our last day was such a blessing... we went around the room and prophesied, encouraged, and spoke truth over each other and it was SO great and encouraging!

Also, I'm assuming that most of you have seen that Jeremy has resigned from his job effective 1/1/13. We are in the process of acquiring non-profit status for our ministry. This involves a lot of paperwork, details, legal terms, etc. It hasn't been easy every step, but God has provided exactly what we need at each step, and things are falling into place. We are also in the process for raising our support for next year. Again, it's crazy that we have no idea where it will come from or how much our income will be as of January, but it has been really cool to see how God was stirring the hearts of His people to give to us even before we had ever sent a single support letter or asked anyone for money. It has been a great reminder that He really is in control, and how futile my plans and efforts really are.
praising:  some of the details that have been coming together for Bastion Ministries.  feeling like we are finally moving forward.  seeing God starting to build our monthly support team.  grace in relationships with the Lord, my husband, family, and friends while I have not been myself or very encouraging for the last month.

praying:  to feel better.  to feel like "me" again.  to have energy to do the things that I enjoy and that fill me up.

thankful for:  extra help from my mother-in-law with Noah so that I could have a day to rest.  for friends who brought us dinner one night.  for new landlords, who are so nice and we genuinely like, and that were very responsive to a problem and got us a new stove this week.  for some downtime at home with just Jeremy and Noah this week to enjoy each other.
reading:  Ecclesiastes, 1 Samuel, 1000 Gifts, assorted cookbooks (lamenting my lack of cooking and new recipes lately and dreaming of feeling well enough to try new things again)

cooking:  spinach artichoke dip, pizza, sesame soy honey baked tofu, pasta with bolognese, slow cooker maple dijon brussel sprouts, steak, mac and cheese, pad thai, chinese green beans

doing:  still not much, as I'm still not feeling well.  dinner with friends.  Bible study.  a community group Halloween party.  finally got our ministry announcement letters sent.  relaxing.

creating:  Christmas presents... looking forward to when Christmas is over and being able to share what I've been working on.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

11 weeks

Here is what is going on with our little fig this week according to;

Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.
She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

If you're like most women, you're feeling a bit more energetic now and your nausea may be starting to wane. Unfortunately, you may also be suffering from constipation (caused by hormonal changes, which can slow digestion) and heartburn (hormones again, relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus). Just remember, all this discomfort is for a good cause.  Don't worry if nausea has made it impossible for you to eat a wide variety of healthy foods or if you haven't put on much weight yet (most women gain just 2 to 5 pounds during the first trimester). Your appetite will likely return soon, and you'll start to gain about a pound a week.

I am starting to feel just a little bit better.  I hadn't thrown up in almost a week, until yesterday, although I do still feel pretty nauseous most of the day, especially in the morning and evening.  I'm still very picky about what I can eat without feeling awful, mostly eggs, cheese, bread, and some forms of protein.  Still no sugar or sweets at all.  I have started wanting 1-2 glasses or orange juice every night before bed, I remember this with my last pregnancy also, in fact, orange juice was the only spontaneous craving/ purchase that I ever felt the need to indulge and leave the house for specifically.  Also, as with my last pregnancy, sushi sounds like exactly what I want, all day, every day, if only I had an endless budget to eat it constantly, (and didn't have to worry about bacteria or mercury).

I still haven't started gaining weight, probably mainly due to not being able to eat  many foods that are bad for me.  Although I do think that my stomach is continuing to inch its way further out.  Most of my clothes (minus one pair of skinny jeans that I need to unbutton) still fit me, although I am starting to get a little self conscious over my little pooch beginning to form, because I'm just not quite ready to look pregnant yet.

I'm still pretty tired, and just not feeling well overall, so I'm still taking everything pretty easy... a little physical activity here and there, a little time with friends here and there, but mostly just laying low right now and relaxing at home until I feel a little better.

I couldn't help but look back at my post from when I was 11 weeks pregnant with Noah.  I think I was already showing a little more then than I am now, possibly due to the fact that I kept more food down last pregnancy and never threw up at all.  I'm also a little jealous that it sounds like I was feeling better than I am now at this time last pregnancy, but as a whole this pregnancy has been worse on me with sickness, so it makes sense that it would take me a little longer to feel better.  I'm still hoping for relief soon from the nausea.

(If you're wondering why I'm wearing a white tank top in my pictures 2 weeks in a row, it's because with my last pregnancy I had wished that I had done all of the photographs in similar fitting clothes so that you could really see the difference each week, and I figured that a white tank top is the perfect canvas to display my growing belly.  maybe at the end I'll do a big photo of each weekly photo all lined up beside each other.)