Friday, November 30, 2012

Update

What a week--we had Thanksgiving. It was good. Our kids did a play about the first Thanksgiving. It was cute. I have pictures. I will post them I promise. I can't find the camera.

On adoption...
We had our final home study on the day before Thanksgiving. Our case worker came and toured the house and interviewed Isaac. On previous dates, she had already interviewed Owen and I. She finished her report and submitted it to the AZ courts. We are "Officially Waiting". What does that mean? I really have no idea. We are legal to adopt in AZ and we have submitted our match letter to the agency. We could get a call tonight--or any time from now until 18 months from now. What we do know is that we are ready and praying for God's perfect timing to expand our family. We have also been praying for our birth mom. It's hard to describe loving 2 people we don't yet know. The kids are excited to have a new baby--all except Wesley who totally doesn't get it. Poor kid, he is going to be blindsided.

On families...
Our family is doing good. Owen and I are doing great. We are enjoying this holiday season and LOVE that the kids "get it". The Christmas tree is up and we've had our obligatory picture with Santa. We are enjoying doing fun things with the kids in the nice weather. Believe it or not, Owen is running with me, pushing the boys in the BOB and Clara rides her bike. She has made it 3 miles!
This has been a sobering year for us in the relationship department. We have some very important relationships in our lives that are struggling. Our hearts break for the pain that we have seen lately. Please join us in praying for the people in our lives. Pray that the Lord would protect your marriage--those marriages around you.

On Kids...
I promise I will post pictures soon of the kids. This is mostly about them and not about things I am learning or going through--but sometimes it's about that too. Like I said, I can't find the camera. Clara is doing great in school and has started reading 3 letter words. Talk about satisfaction! I told my sister that teaching Clara to read is enough to make me commit to homeschooling all the way through...I can't believe I said that out loud.


I think that is it for now--I promise pictures to come!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Define Necessity



On this Black Friday, let us keep what's really important in the forefront of our minds. I cringed hard the first time I saw this picture...my stomach so full from yesterday's meal that I didn't even want to eat breakfast. I am praying that my heart would  be full of Christ and out of His love, I would not be caught up in consumerism, spinning my own wheels to get stuff I (and those around me) definitely don't need. May I keep this image in the forefront of my mind as I shop for gifts to tell people how I love them...
If you are interested in purchasing gifts that make an impact for orphans, please visit www.orphanwares.com


Saturday, November 17, 2012

In light of the election

In light of the election, let me direct you to my friend Jen Hatmaker. Well, actually I only wish we were friends. She's a great thinker & writer!  We've never met and probably never will. But that's OK at least I have her books & blog.

To be honest, I've never written on my blog regarding politics because I feel fairly uneducated about what's going on in our country. GASP? Well, I am only being truthful. My life is more about ABC's, potty training, teaching my children to love each other more than the toy that they're fighting over and reaching out to other moms than it is about two parties fighting to gain control of a country and government that seems a little uncontrollable. I don't have hours to devote to reading media that may or may not be accurate and I don't turn on the TV when the kids are up leaving our TV time very minimal AND I'd rather be snuggling up to Owen than listening to two other people yell at each other about two other people. OK. enough said about that. You get it I think.

But let's get back to my friend Jen. (just let me keep pretending OK?) She wrote a fantastic article. The first article that resounded enough with me that I actually understood it and feel strong enough about it to put a link on my blog. So, for your post election reading pleasure click HERE:

And, just in case you need a good hymn to help you remember who's really in control:

A Mighty fortress is Our God


A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 in 1

So I've thought about other titles for this post. "How I lost a pre-schooler", (this might be slightly alarming) "The post in which I tell you how much I weigh" (trying to avoid morbid curiosity) "My weight loss journey"...but 30 in 1 just about best describes it. so that's 30 pounds in 1 year. And you may be asking yourself, "Is she really posting a weight loss post?" Yes, yes I am. It's not to brag or to toot my own horn. First and foremost as with all things on this blog, it's more for my own record. Second, it's to remind any other fellow mama's that weight loss is possible in the midst of raising children and it's TOTALLY worth it.

Well if I am doing this for a record, it's 34 pounds (not 30) but who's counting? (Let's be honest, I am totally counting!) I've had 3 kids in 4 years. That in and of itself can be a little hard on a body. After each pregnancy I held on to say 5-10 lbs instead of getting it all the way off before I got preggers again. At the beginning of 2011 I was about to birth my 3rd child and I was enormous. The year prior had been rough in the eating department for all members of my family. Judah was in the throws of his aspiration diagnosis and symptoms. He was not eating hardly anything and was considered failure to thrive. I was in "make my baby grow" mode and then I found out we were expecting...this would be our 3rd pregnancy in 4 months. I got sick--really sick with Wesley. And although I didn't want to eat, I ate everything that Judah didn't eat. Everything--slathered in butter, dipped in olive oil, high fat high calorie. Anything he wasn't eating I ate--didn't finish his dinner (or even touch it) I ate it and mine. I knew I was in trouble with the weight gain when at my 25 week appointment my OB told me that if I didn't slow down the weight gain "we wont recognize you". Although that stung a little it didn't make a big impact. I kept eating. Fast forward a few months, Judah pulls through his aspiration and is eating fantastically but I have created some bad habits that have put a major stretch in my pants! So February 21 I delivered Wesley...and on the delivery table just minutes after he was born I remember saying "This is the part where in my heart I think I must look awesome, but in my mind I know that couldn't be farther from reality!"
Wabam! 

I recovered from delivery quickly and started back running. I lost those first few obligatory pounds of water weight and maybe a little more and then I plateaued for a whole year. Yep. A whole year. Wait, you ask, didn't you train for a half marathon? Yep--I trained and ran some 200 miles over a course of 5 months but I lost maybe 5 pounds. Frustrating? Definitely. Discouraging? Totally. What was going on? In December just before the half marathon I went to my doctor who referred me to another doctor...that doctor did a bunch of tests for scary things like adrenal gland problems, diabetes etc. One came back border line and the others  normal...Here I am not even 30 and having testing done for significant diagnosis because I can't loose weight. Then the truth hit me...It's completely my fault. It's my eating. Those habits that I created to cope with Judah's eating issues were having serious consequences. I had a little pep talk with myself and decided that I would get things under control after the half marathon. The first of January I started reading The Southbeach Diet Book and it made a lot of sense to me and seemed to be very manageable. I decided to wait to start after the race because I didn't want to make such a huge change and make the race even harder to complete! The day after the race I started the diet and within the first 2 weeks I had lost 7 lbs. By the 3 week it was about 12 total and the weight just kept coming off. By June, just 6 months after I had started the diet, I'd lost a total of 30 lbs and was at my pre-baby weight. A few months later I still loose a pound or two depending on the month. My clothes that I was wearing before i ever got pregnant fit and some are even too big. I feel stronger and more comfortable with my figure than I ever have been. It's not always what I look like, but knowing what I can do with my body--running a half marathon, giving life, being strong for my kids, having tons of energy. I still adhere to the 3rd phase of the southbeach during the week, but have fun here and there during the weekend. It's become more of a lifestyle for me than a diet. Most of the times when I am tempted to eat things that I shouldn't I have a small portion instead of eating HUGE portions. I don't eat a ton of bread or pasta's but I have those things occasionally. Nothing is off limits. Our whole family is eating more REAL food and less fake processed food. It's good.

I realized in this process that I am a total emotional eater. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. Now when I am feeling like things are a little hectic and I just want a big chocolate chip cookie (which will remain my weakness until the day I die!) I will wait on the cookie and go on a run. My head is clearer when I come back and I don't feel like that cookie (I may still have a treat though). I also have seen how training for the marathon has made me much more disciplined. It's like something in my mind clicked in relation to the training and translated to a lot of other areas. It's also made me more laid back (laugh if you want, if you knew me 6 years ago you'll get what I mean).

So, in summary, all of this was worth it. As I take a look back at the past year I can see that it was good for me to get a little health scare. It was worth it for me to work so hard and not get the results I wanted. It was worth it for me to take an honest look at the way I was eating and realize I had some major things I needed to change. Most of all I want to remember that my body is a temple and even in the way that I feed & maintain this body should be a reflection of my love for God because he dwells in me.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

McDonald's Moment, Number three--

So if you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, you can do so by clicking Here & Here

Bada, bop, bup, ba, I'm lovin' it....Ok well at least I am lovin' remembering  that this is part of my story. When it has been a while since I have relived these moments, I just sit back and think how awesome this part is. It is only something that  could be designed by God.

I was going along through the summer just after graduating high school. I was 3 months away from escaping the turmoil that had been my life for the past 3 years. I was ready to go and ready to live in LA chasing my dream of becoming a professional vocalist. I worked here and there, spent a lot of time with friends and also continued to be a leader in my church youth group.

One day my home phone rang. I was home and it was an LA number so I picked up. It was the admissions counselor that I had spent much time with. I felt like we'd been planning my life together for quite some time by that point! Our conversation was short. To the point. Some how there had been a mistake and the money he thought would be available for me to go to APU was no longer there. I was devastated. I was shocked. I was shaking. I felt panic. I called my mom. When she got home we discussed our options. My mom said she'd work a second job, I could work part time and we'd go to the bank tomorrow to figure out what kind of loans we could get on such short notice. This was about 5 weeks before I was scheduled to leave.

I told my mom, "No. This is not how it was supposed to be. This is not what God planned."

I went to my room and prayed. When I came out my mom's heart had changed too. She said three words. "Go e-mail Keith."

I sat down immediately and keyed an e-mail explaining what had happened. I remembered that at some point in our communications Keith had mentioned that his advertising company had an office in LA and they offered internships. I asked Keith to explain in detail what the internship program would look like for a student like me, who the contacts were, how to apply etc.

Minutes later I had an e-mail back from Keith explaining in detail the in's and out's of the internship program. It was overwhelming to say the least. My eyes were welling with tears as I felt my dream of APU and a vocal career slip away with each requirement that I knew I could not meet. The last line of his e-mail though are words I will never forget.

"Emily, I don't want you to have to go through all of that. Please tell me how much you need. I would like to help you through college."

Instantly my tears of fear and disappointment turned into tears of joy and gratefulness. Who but GOD himself could orchestrate such an amazing series of events? Who but God could put a perfect match to our needs? It's like I ordered up a divine appointment at Mickey D's that day and asked God to super size it. He did!

Three days later, my mom & I received a check for the exact amount needed for that year's remaining tuition fees. Not only  for my freshman year, but Keith renewed his commitment to help fund my college education for all four years of my education as needed. Amazingly, even after I discovered that I was no longer purposed to be a famous Christian singer and changed my major, Keith still supported me.

In the final post about this story, I'll talk about the impact this has made in my life, my family's life...what it meant for me to go to APU and a few journeys that this allowed along the way. A piece of encouragement that I'll leave you with though, one that I have to cling to daily is that no matter what God has purposed for you, He's also prepared the way & the means for you to get there.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ok..maybe we do need Halloween

We did a Halloween last night for the first time! I know I know, I am not the greatest mom. I pretended not to know what Halloween was until my kids did. It all comes down to laziness folks.

The pay off was sweet though. We had no children fighting being in their costumes, taking off hats, or crying because they didn't get enough candy--our kids thought they died and went to Heaven. Judah said, "Mom! We should go Trick o Treating every night!". It was fun.

I think Clara may have a future with Disney. She has that doe-eyed princess look down pat. 


Although Wesley can't say "trick or treat", he totally "got" what we were doing. He had no problem walking up to people and putting his chubby little hand out to get some candy. His killer smile didn't hurt either! Below, showing off his loot. 

 Judah kept saying how he needed to add his candy to his "Pirates' booty". Thanks uncle Colin for teaching him that one!
No, the elephant isn't ours. But she's so cute I couldn't resit. We visited 'Auntie' Lindsay and Uncle Colin for dinner and to partake of their "safe" block party trick or treating. It was a great night over all. Thanks for hosting us!