Thursday, January 31, 2008

Baby Update

We went in for a routine baby appointment today.

I've been praying since we found out we were pregnant that God would take my fear and hold it captive so that I can enjoy this pregnancy and trust Him with the life inside me. He's done an amazing work in that area, because I can feel myself embracing this new little one more each day. Even when the doctor took a minute to find the heartbeat, I wasn't afraid. What does scare me a little still, is going to my appointments alone. I'm so thankful that Gary's schedule is flexible enough to come with me to help corral the girls, but to be by my side most of all. I'm not counting on getting the horrible news that we did back in August, but should we have to do it again, I couldn't without Gary by my side. So thanks, Gary, for making the effort to be there. I know you wouldn't have it any other way.

So... here's the scoop. I've lost 1/2 pound since my appointment a month ago. Of course that's not too unusual, so it's no big deal. I start every pregnancy this way! In my last pregnancy, I broke even at 22 weeks - I lost a lot of weight and then gained it all back by 22 weeks! My blood pressure was 88 over 56 or something insanely low. Gary always turns to me and asks, "Are you alive?" They're not concerned about it, but it does explain why I blackout for a few seconds every time I stand up! (And they're not concerned?!) Finally, we got to hear the baby's heartbeat, which was 175 bpm (up from 171 last time). So all is well!

I can't believe I'm putting this up for the entire world to see, but here's my 13-week baby belly.

You can't really tell I'm showing yet in my clothes, since this is sweater weather, but I guess I am. I do, however, keep wondering if this is baby #1, 2, 3 or 4 that you see. (In other words... is this "new" or "leftover"?) Let's hope I'm starting to pop and it's not leftover from any of the others! Sorry about that flash... yikes. I should've cropped it out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New friends

Today I played hooky and didn't go to Bible Study. (*gasp!*) I'm a little behind now, and playing catch up when it comes to Beth Moore isn't always an easy task, but the trade off was worth it!

I went down to Littleton to meet some bloggy friends! It was so fun. I was a little nervous, because I really didn't know most of them, and had only spoken to one on the phone a few times. I'm not generally a shy person, but that's only after you've gotten to know me. At first, I feel like I'm very shy and reserved and not myself. I'm working on it though. My sister Amy was supposed to come along, but woke up sick, so I was really on my own!

I realized at the end of my hour-long drive that I'd forgotten to bring along the directions to Joanne's house. I didn't figure it was a huge problem, because I could just look her up and mapquest her, right? Nope - unlisted. So, I hopped in my car after I dropped off the girls at my mom's house, and said to God, "Okay, Lord. Drive my car! I have no idea where I'm going!" The truth was, I had an idea, but really, it's a miracle that I drove straight there. I was surprised, but not really, because God's cool and does things like that. :)

Okay, so anyway, I met six new friends today and had the best time. Joanne served a delicious lunch and we lost track of time talking away the afternoon. I honestly felt like I was having lunch with old friends that I've known forever. I guess when you have a sisterhood in the Lord, friendship just comes naturally!

(Joanne, I took this from your blog. I hope that's okay!) In the back (L-R) is Joanne and Meredith. In the front (L-R) is Kate, Holly, me, and Kimberly. Kerry had to leave early, so she's not in the picture. (Photo taken by Meredith's daughter, Abbey!)


In other bloggy news... I've won a blog award! I'd like to thank Joanne for giving me the Daily Dose award. I'd give it right back to ya if I could! But since you have it, I'll pass it on to a few of the many blogs I visit everyday who haven't already received this prestigious award themselves!

Amy... okay, yes, I go here everyday, but sista! Update your blog already!
Cheryl... a blog friend who feels like a "real life" friend.
Kathleen... my BFF since 3rd grade whose unique perspective on life ALWAYS has me in stitches. I might be bad at commenting, Sunny, but I stop by several times a day. I miss you!
Michelle... a best friend who might as well be a sister. I'd miss you even more if it weren't for your blog!

Okay girls, don't revel in the win for too long. You have to pass it along! (But if you don't, it's fine by me. I know how you feel about these silly blog things, Kath. *wink*)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oops, I did it again... (PART TWO - finally!)

Okay, I apologize. So this isn't exactly coming "later today or tomorrow" as promised. I'll tell you what - I wasn't even planning to make it a two-parter, except that I was at a good stopping point right when my morning sickness reared it's ugly head and I pressed "publish post" just moments before tossing my cookies. I mean, y'all, (aren't you much more apt to be easy on me with a southern accent? I don't know, it just seemed appropriate), this morning sickness just sneaks up on you and can ruin your whole day. I had intended to come back sooner, but the morning sickness stole my blogging mojo. But I'm back. Sorry to keep you all in suspense. I hope you've not lost sleep over this story. It's not that good.

Alrightythen. So the other night I thought lasagna sounded good, and despite my sordid lasagna past, I thought I'd give it a shot. I was a little pressed for time since I should have started it sooner than I did, but surely - SURELY - that wouldn't be a problem.

So I took the box of noodles out of the pantry and perused the recipe on the side. Now, if you're just laughing that I'm STILL using the same recipe off the same box, let me tell you that it's yummy and it's working for me. Someday I'll venture into something more daring, but for now, it's what this chef is sticking to.

I rolled up my sleeves and began making dinner. I browned the meat... I combined the cheeses and eggs... sauce! I needed sauce! Now, I've made it from scratch before (those who know me are probably raising their eyebrows thinking, "Really?!" but it's true. I have.), but like I said before, I was pressed for time. So I went to the pantry and got my two JARS of sauce. I opened the first one easily and picked up the second. It wouldn't budge. I banged it on the counter like I've seen others do (why?) and nothing happened. I think I may have injured my hand slightly from trying so hard. (I was really wishing at this point that I had a husband in the house. Yeah, Gary would've been a good choice, but I'm talking about a husband. In college, my friends and I called those rubbery flat things that it seems like you always get from Realtors that you use to open jars, "husbands.") Short of busting the jar open, the thing was being stubborn. So I headed back over to the pantry and crouched down to the bottom shelf. I tried the next jar. It didn't budge. I tried the next jar. Voila! It popped open. However, it smelled a little odd, and was it any wonder? I opened a jar of SALSA for cryin' out loud. After I added it to the collection we have going in the fridge, I tried my last and final jar and thankfully it popped open. Can you imagine if I'd thrown salsa into the lasagna?! Ha! (Wait - would that be good?)

So I began the layering. At this point, I can't help but have flashbacks every time I make lasagna. I have to make sure I'm adding noodles. Thankfully, I was. This was going to be GREAT! I'm on my last layer, when it dawns on me: I had forgotten to layer the cheese. Meat, noodles, sauce, meat, noodles, sauce... Seriously! When will I learn?! What am I so busy thinking about that I can't make lasagna like a normal human being? So, I gingerly lifted up each noodle layer, and tried to creatively spread the cheese mixture around evenly. I was so thankful I remembered the noodles. Imagine how impossible it would have been to do without them! It was tedious and took forever, but I did it.

Now, I did have a glimmer of brilliancy when I made this lasagna. I split it in half and made an extra to freeze. I must say, I was proud of myself. This thinking ahead thing is a big step for me. After I put one batch in the oven, I covered the other with foil and put it in the freezer. That's when I read the fine print on the box that read, "Please call 1-800-xxx-xxxx for make-ahead or freezer directions." Fantastic. I can't imagine I did anything to cause explosion or poisoning when we're ready to eat that frozen lasagna, but I'll keep you posted.

A few years ago, I got one of Rachel Ray's 30-minute meal cookbooks. I tried one of the meals. I'm not kidding when I say it took me nearly 2 hours. So believe me when I say that YOUR lasagna would've baked for an hour by the time I finally got mine in the oven.

I almost took a picture of the disaster my kitchen had turned into. Meat grease splattered everywhere, ricotta cheese on the counter, shredded mozzarella on the counter and on the floor, sauce on my shirt and on the floor... I mean, how do I make such a mess? Good thing I don't mind cleaning it all up.

In the end, the lasagna turned out just fine and everyone in my little family liked it. I just wish I could cook without it being a fiasco. I even made Southern Eggs last night in preparation for a brunch I hosted this morning and had to call my sister at 10:30 because I panicked and couldn't find the recipe - this was after I'd begun making them. (By the way, I found the recipe in my book right where it belonged just as Amy answered the phone. Sorry, Amy!)

I'm wrapping this up now because right on queue, my evening morning sickness has kicked in again - every night around 8:30 or 9:00. But before I depart the topic of cooking, I have to direct you to the Pioneer Woman's site. If you've not gone there before, go NOW. She has some delicious recipes up, that inspire me, yes, even ME! to cook. (This is what you were curious about, Michelle...) I tried her pot roast and mashed potatoes a couple weeks ago... mmmmmm-MMM! So delicious. Her recipes aren't that complicated, but what's best are the step by step pictures and commentary she includes. And she's super-duper funny, which in my book, makes cooking so much more bearable. You can also visit the Pioneer Woman's blog, which is laugh-out-loud funny.

This concludes this session of Kitchen Woes with Angie. Stay tuned for future episodes, including, "Where's the Cornstarch?" and "Macaroni and Hardly-Any-Cheese" and "Waiting for Jello" (which is not MY story, but it's too funny not to tell you).

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oops, I did it again. (PART ONE)

There's a sign in my kitchen that reads, "I have a kitchen because it came with the house."

Cooking is not my forte. I might be good at other things, but cooking is not one of them. I have friends who are excellent cooks. My mom is a great cook. My sister will jump at the chance to try a new recipe. Me, on the other hand, well...

It's not that I can't cook, it's just that I'm not good at it. It doesn't come naturally to me. If I don't royally screw up the recipe and final product, I'll at least make a good mess and make a trillion mistakes before all is said and done. Nevermind that waaay back in my 4-H days I actually made a lemon bread that won a ribbon at the Colorado State Fair. No. That Angie is long gone.

It turns out, that if I were looking for a blogging "niche," I could easily write a year's worth of posts on my cooking catastrophes alone.

Case in point: one of the first meals I made for Gary as a newlywed was lasagna. I remember being so excited. I pulled down the box of noodles from the shelf, and began reading the recipe. Yes, folks, the recipe on the side of the box. Don't laugh. I mixed the cheeses and eggs together, I browned the meat, I prepared the sauce... this would be delicious and my new man would be SO impressed. I began layering, topped it with cheese, sprinkled parsley on top and put it in the oven. With my creation safely in the oven, cooking it's way into Osborne family history, I buttered the French bread, made the salad, set the table... this would be a feast. The smell after an hour was heavenly. I had done it! I made lasagna!

I remember feeling giddy with anticipation as we sat down to eat that night. Gary was going to be so proud of his new bride, and this would set the tone for years of great home-cookin' and delicious meals. I went to cut the lasagna... and my heart sank to my empty stomach. Something wasn't right. Would you believe that in all the lasagna preparation, in all of the reading-the-recipe-off-of-the-box-of-noodles, that I forgot to open the darn box and USE the stinkin' noodles?!

With my dreams of being a domestic diva crushed, I went to the cupboard and took out two bowls and two spoons, and we proceeded to have lasagna soup. It was very disappointing.

Gary has been very gracious over the years and doesn't tease me about this. He leaves that up to my family. But it did set a standard for my cooking... a low standard that's not usually too hard to surpass. And so you know, I've successfully made lasagna a dozen times since then. And it's yummy.

But the other night was not one of those times. Oops... I did it again.

No, I didn't forget the noodles this time, but it was a comedy of errors...

Stay tuned for PART TWO, coming later today or tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When you can't help but laugh

I'm typing this as Tinkerbell and Rina (that's Ballerina) flutter and prance around the house. My back is to them, but I hear their giggles, and occasionally silence, which is a little nerve-wracking, especially when it's followed by fits of laughter. But we had a nice, quiet PB&J lunch together, so I'm hoping they use up all their energy before it's naptime. What? You don't believe that I was honored enough to dine with such distinguished guests today? The proof is on their faces:

These two silly girls totally wear me out (WHERE do they get their energy?!), but I'm so thankful for them. I think getting through the last four months might've been a trillion times harder if they weren't around to cheer me up and lighten the mood. There are a hundred examples I could give, but one keeps recurring every week. And if you laugh at it, it's okay. I laugh too.

At least twice during the week we drive to the church for MOPS or Bible Study or something, and the cemetery where Joshua is buried is right across the street. Sometimes, I'll drive through the cemetery to get to the church, and take a route that takes us right near his resting place. For the longest time the girls were oblivious to it (thankfully), and it was just kind of "my thing." But one day, it occurred to Emma what this place was. Granted, I never stopped or said anything, but she's a smart girl. I don't know what triggered it for her, but one day she said, "This is where baby Joshua died."

I had to explain to her, in the simplest of terms, that no, he didn't die there. I explained that he died in my tummy, but we buried his body there, and God came and took him to heaven. (How do you explain that to a 4 year old?) She seemed to understand, and the ensuing conversation centered around that we would die someday and go to heaven and see Joshua and Jesus.

Since then, we can't drive through or even pass the cemetery without a conversation about dying, heaven, Jesus, baby Joshua, balloons (we floated balloons up to Joshua the day we buried him), my tummy, seeing friends in heaven, getting old, playing with Joshua... the topics are endless, and it surprises me what she comes up with. There are days I wish there were another way to the church, but going by the cemetery is inevitable. At least twice a week. *sigh*

It used to be hard for me when she'd ask questions, but I've learned to brace myself and take it with a grain of salt. I always wait for her (or Addie) to lead the conversation, but more often than not lately, our talks are a source of joy rather than sorrow.

The funniest part is always after Emma states, "Baby Joshua is in the grass/under the ground/dead in the dirt (!)" (it's okay if you're stunned - I was too, but then I had to laugh at how her little mind puts things together), and then Addie follows up with, "Baby Jesus died." Oh, how I laugh! I know it's not funny! But you have to hear the sad voice and see the pouty lip that goes with it! This new contribution to our conversations began around Christmas time, and I think with all of our Christmas story talk, Addie got a little confused. She ALWAYS chimes in with the fact that "Baby Jesus died." So then I explain in the simplest of terms... it's the same every time.

The other day we were driving through when Emma started talking about the pictures of baby Joshua. I was a little taken back because we've never shown her any of the pictures we took, or even told her that we took any. I asked what she meant, and she explained that the doctor (who we had just been to the week before) took pictures of Joshua in my tummy. "Oh, no, honey!" I exclaimed. I suddenly realized that she didn't understand. I sort of panicked without Gary there, but tried to tell her that after Joshua died in my tummy, we went to the hospital and the doctor took him out, and that we even got to hold him. And that now, God put a new baby in my tummy and the doctor took pictures of the new baby. I think she understood, but that was tricky. We often wonder when it will be right to show her pictures of the baby brother she never knew.

This new clarification got her thinking though, and driving past the cemetery this week she asked if the new baby was going to die too. I told her we would just have to ask God to let us keep this one forever.

Yesterday we drove through the cemetery because I wanted to see if Joshua's marker was in yet. IT WASN'T. We're getting a little (a lot) frustrated, since it was promised to be in before Christmas. It's almost like one more hurdle we're waiting to get past. I hopped out of the car quickly to see if it was in, and of course had to explain to the girls what I had just done because they were full of questions after my 10-second journey. I explained that we're waiting for the people to put in a sign that will have Joshua's name on it so we can remember him, and Emma asked, "Oh, like a sticker?" I laughed. Yes, Emma, like a REALLY EXPENSIVE sticker!

Our usual conversation about dying and heaven and Joshua was interrupted when Emma spotted a large pink casket that for some reason, was sitting all alone, waiting to be lowered into the ground. "Ooooo, mama! Look at that pink thing! It's pretty, what is it?!" Not wanting to have that conversation, I plead the fifth and kept driving.

She quickly forgot about it and told me that maybe Jesus just wanted Joshua more than we did. I'm not sure about that... but maybe... I started thinking about it, when Addie piped up with, "Baby Jesus died. Sad."

And I was back to laughing again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Whose hand is in bed with me?!" - or - The tale of my night

Let me warn you: after reading this, you might feel like you've just wasted five minutes of your life. Hey - I've warned you. And I'll probably end up reminding you of this warning as you read.

So last night I fell asleep on the couch shortly after Gary went up to bed. I woke up around 11:45 and after checking a few important emails and blogs (my friend Kelly had her baby yesterday and she's beautiful!), I stumbled up to bed. I should've just slept on the couch because I could not get back to sleep.

I stretched my legs, I prayed, I tossed and turned, and yes, I even counted sheep. No really, I did. Nothing. Then my mind began to wander, which usually means it'll be a long time before I sleep.

First, I remember laughing out loud about the random titles they give each Amazing Race show. Have you ever noticed? They pick a random quote out of the show and that's what they name the show. I don't know why, but that's SO funny to me. Last week's was, "I Just Hope He Doesn't Croak on Us," which is what one of the contestants said as their elderly taxi driver started making some rather odd sounds. Can you imagine if we titled each of our days with random quotes? That's a funny thought to me. I warned you...

So that made me think of these commercials on TV that I get a kick out of. Who knows what they're even for; medication maybe? They're the ones where the people look like the food next to them. Like the guy in spotted pajamas next to the pepperoni pizza, except they're usually more clever than that example. I think they're creative and if you've not seen them, you're missing out.

At this point, I somehow had this vision of a small plastic Batman figurine jumping into a bowl of milk. We don't even own any small plastic Batman figurines, so I think I was on the brink of dreamland on this one.

But! That shook me back to reality and made me think of the milk I forgot to bring in! Darn! We have our milk delivered on Wednesday mornings, and yesterday I left it outside all day. It was cold, and in an insulated cooler, but still, I should have brought it in. First thing in the morning, I thought. (I've yet to do it.)

So then that made me think of the time our refrigerator was too cold and our milk froze! Our milk in GLASS BOTTLES froze. Oh my goodness, what a mess. Glass and milk everywhere. Whoever said, "Don't cry over spilled milk" never had this happen to them. I had to clean everything in our fridge because it either had milk and/or glass on it.

I think I dozed off at this point, but just for a few minutes. It was one of those things where you feel like you were asleep for hours, but in reality, you look at the clock and it's literally been 2 minutes or so. I woke with a start because there was a cold hand next to me, on the far side from where Gary was sleeping!!! I picked it up in a panic, thinking, "Whose hand is in bed with me?!" That's when I realized it was mine. Have you done that? You fall asleep on your arm and it falls completely asleep (even if you're not!) and it gets cold, and literally you wake up so groggy you can't figure out if it's yours or not. I sure hope that happens to someone else, otherwise maybe something is wrong with me.

Once I established that it was indeed my own hand, I began to think about sleeping and why I couldn't. My sweet Gary was sleeping soundly next to me (notice I said soundly not quietly - maybe that was the key!), and my girls were sleeping peacefully in their rooms. But that's when I heard Addie whimpering. I wondered if she were having a bad dream. Poor thing. I only heard that one whimper, so I wasn't worried, and instead thought of the bad dreams I would have when I was little. Once I dreamed that my dad was thrown into a cage and taken away on the circus train.

That made me think of the silly thing I did when I woke up from that dream. I think I was in 5th or 6th grade and must've thought I was some deep thinker. (Which, it's obvious from this post that I am, isn't it?) I woke up and wrote a quote down that I swore would make me famous someday. I still have the little slip of paper, and someday if I find it again, I'll post it for you. It's a good laugh. I wrote, "Dreams can make you realize just how much you love someone." and it was followed by this: "~Angie Olson". Oh, so deep! So profound! I think in my 11 year old mind, that squiggly line would be the key to my fame someday.

Still with me? I warned you...

So the squiggly line (~) made me wonder what keyboards look like in other countries where the symbols and letters are all different. I made a note in my mind to Google it in the morning.

At this point, I must've fallen asleep. And aren't you relieved? I am. I'm pretty tired today, and a nap is on the schedule for me, even if Emma insists she doesn't need one. All that thinking made me tired.

Okay, I'm off to bring in the milk before I forget.

Can't say I didn't warn you...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Whew... we made it.

We made it through Christmas.

We made it through New Year's.

We made it through January 3rd.

I was so anxious about the holidays this year - the holidays which I usually want to hold on to as long as possible and squeeze every bit of joy from to fully enjoy the time. But this year was different. It wasn't that the meaning of Christmas was any different to me, of course it wasn't. Everything just held a slightly different perspective for me than it did before. I felt almost foolish shopping for so many gifts and lavishing so many wonderful presents on my girls. Gifts don't matter. They don't make you truly happy. It made me feel empty. The songs were just as magical and exciting as before, but my thoughts went a little deeper with them this year. Mary, did you know? How did you make it through? How? Breath of Heaven, hold me together. I prayed that everyday.

I actually got sick before Christmas, which turned into really, really sick the day after Christmas. My in-laws came to visit and I was not a good hostess. I literally laid in bed feeling sick as could be for about six days straight. Happy New Year to me! I was miserable. The doctor said it was just a bad virus, but I still swear there was a touch of pneumonia in there. I had a touch of vertigo with it (how awful! Have you had it? Ugh!), which meant no reading for me, just laying in bed. And lots of thinking. I would've loved a distraction from all that thinking. Every day after Christmas, I couldn't help but wonder if "today" would have been the day my baby would have been born. It was futile to think about, and I got frustrated when I realized that it's not even a question God can answer for me someday. My baby was never meant to be born around now - God planned that from the beginning. That's a very frustrating thing to think about. As I laid in bed on New Year's Day, I saw a story about the first baby born in 2008. I admit I felt a little bitter. Would it have been him? I'll never know.

By the time January 3rd rolled around, my in-laws had gone back home and I was out of bed, feeling a bit better. I remember waking up that morning feeling really melancholy. Would today have been the day? Would Joshua have been born on his due date? The day came and went quietly. I was thankful for that, and almost surprised by how ordinary it felt. Were there really no alarms sounding or reporters to cover the day which might have been? Of course there weren't, although more than once that day I remember looking around at people, thinking, "Don't they know?" Of course not, silly.

My mom and sisters stayed with Emma and Addie while we went to Josh's grave on Thursday, my first time since we laid him to rest back in September. Gary brought a shovel to push the snow away from his spot. Tears stung my eyes as Gary frantically moved snow around, trying to uncover his son's grave. It just wasn't right. I'm sure Gary didn't mean to look frantic, but I couldn't read it as anything but. It was so cold outside, and our baby was laying underneath the ground. Nothing about that moment seemed fair or right or explainable. To make matters a bit worse, his grave is still anonymous because the marker still isn't in. They promised it would be before Christmas, then before the 3rd, and now it's supposedly scheduled for the 11th.

I feel like I was kind of on auto-pilot, flying in a holding pattern until January 3rd. I guess I sort of thought I'd have permission to move on and not feel like life was sucked out of me anymore. I knew I'd still feel deep loss and sadness, but I guess I thought I'd wake up on January 4th feeling like it was a new day, a new chapter. January 4th was almost worse. I woke up the next day and still... nothing. Still an empty place in our family which we thought would be filled by now with tiny toes and gurgles.

As sad as this all sounds, I actually feel surprised a lot of the time that we've made it til now. The world seemed a dark and lonely place on August 30th and 31st. It seemed like nothing worse had ever happened to anyone, nor would it again. My pain is not diminished by learning of others' grief, but God has shown me over and over again that I'm not alone. He's also shown me that they made it to the other side, and it's an amazing thing to look back and see that I'm on the other side too. Yes, I still have some sad days, but we've learned to be thankful for the trial God walked through with us. I didn't feel his warm breath, but I'm so, so thankful that we got to hold Joshua Dale for just a few hours. Was it under ideal circumstances? Oh, absolutely not. Would I change it? You bet. But I can't look back and not be grateful. We still have a kajillion questions that we'll ask Jesus someday, but until then, we just hang on to the hope we have in the Lord and trust that He's taking care of Joshua for us.

And God is good. So good. We found out before Christmas that we're expecting again! The news was bittersweet, that's for sure. I cried tears of joy and tears of fear and tears of sorrow for the baby boy I was missing. But a baby is always a gift from the Lord, and He's given us another gift. This baby won't replace Joshua, nor is that our intent. We felt like our family wasn't complete, and when we left it in God's hands, those two pink lines showed up in no time. Are we ready to do this again? I don't know. I know that we're scared. After what we've been through, it's hard to not be a little gun-shy. We were talking about summer plans, and it was hard to agree that I couldn't go on a trip at 34 weeks... would I make it that far? Normally I'd never question it, but nothing is certain to us anymore. And yet, I can't, CAN'T live in fear everyday of this pregnancy. Romans 8:15-17 in The Message says, "This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"

Oh, I love that! I read that the other day and have held tightly to it since then. So instead of thinking, "Here we go again" between trips to the bathroom (to puke, mind you), I'm eagerly asking, "What's next Papa?" Okay, maybe not quite so eagerly, and I assure you that there's not a smile on my face as I'm hunched over the toilet, but I am trusting that through fatigue and through energy, through morning sickness and feeling great, through new life or through death, He's with me and I'll make it. He promises that.

So, with mixed emotions, but mostly great joy, I'm counting down the days until August 8th (hey! 08-08-08!) until I can hold a new baby in my arms. I'm counting on it, God, but I'm trusting you with my life, and the one growing inside me.


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