Friday, May 28, 2010

Prayers during Trials

"Our first and natural inclination in any trial is to pray for God to remove the difficulty . But God's first priority is often to strengthen us in the midst of the difficulty rather than to take us out of the difficulty. That's because He can see the treasure that lies at the end of the trail."

I don't know about you, but that is very convicting to me. I complain instead of thanking God for trials. I have very short-sighted vision, while God sees the whole picture. Trial develop perseverance which in turn develop character. Most of the time I know I would just choose the easy life instead of the life that will mold and shape me into the image of Christ.

"For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." -2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Prayer Request

Friends would you please pray with me for this sweet family? My heart aches for them. The mother is the daughter of one of my Dad's first cousins. She's my age. I can't imagine what she is going through right now, but she and her husband are an amazing testimony of the grace of God.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Most Wonderful Day!

Yesterday was such a fun day. We haven't spent the entire Sunday as a family since Christmas break! After church was the Spring church picnic. Conner was running all over the place and Shep, well, he was just content to sit in his little high chair and eat anything and everything we gave him. At one point he was the only one on the blanket, but he just kept eating. It was so nice to eat and chat with people and not feel the pressure of deadlines and homework. It was so relaxing.

After ALL four of us getting a nap (can't remember that last time that you know why it was such a wonderful day!=), we headed to the Austin car show. Conner was SO excited. Conner knows all their names. The kid can spot a BMW, Porsche, Range Rover, Mini Cooper,'s crazy.

Shep and I in the Porsche Carrera convertible.

Don't mess with this Momma in the Maserati. That is a nice car.

It was such a beautiful evening. As we headed to our car, I was a bit sad. We passed all these cute little restaurants downtown. I wanted to eat somewhere, all four of us (I was feeling very brave!) and wished we had some money. I remembered a local pizza place Zack has gone to a few times that has 1/2 off pizzas between 5-7 for Happy Hour. We decided to do it! We had the most amazing Greek pizza with Feta, olives, artichokes and EVOO for $9! The boys did pretty well considering there were no high chairs. I went in knowing it would be chaotic and not a dinner to leisurely sit and chat.

I think I miss Sunday afternoons together more than anything else during the school year- even more than all the nights alone. I'm so glad we get to spend then together for the next couple months!

Here's a video from a month ago, or so. It's pretty funny. (Don't mind my voice...I hate hearing me voice on these things!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Party Time!

Shep's 1st Birthday Party! Conner had definitely had cupcakes on the brain the past 12 hrs.

The birthday boy with his "1" outfit. Mistake by Mom. Conner wanted a shirt with a number "2" on it. I told him we would make one. Shep wasn't so sure about the party hats.

Two year old brothers are a big help at opening presents. There had actually just been a melt down because we had put the presents away because child number 1 was trying to open them.

Shep really liked this shirt. When I handed it to him he got real excited and started to talk.

Cool new book!

Trying to figure out the blow-thingy with our 5 yr old friend!

I actually have a picture with my child...haha! Mommy and the birthday boy.

Where has this been all my life? I bet they wonder why we don't eat cupcakes every day. Can you imagine having chocolate for the first time? I bet words cannot describe it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Conner was coloring last night and Shep wanted up at the table to color, too.

It's funny...second borns always know just what to do.

Notice we traded coloring books. First borns always think the other guys' looks better.

Shep's first drawing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Everyday Joys

My busy 2 year old that played so hard, he fell asleep while he was eating dinner.

I'm glad I get to look at this sweet face everyday!

Sharing some ice cream at Chick-fi-let for Shep's birthday!

My Mother's Day gift bag. What meant the most is all the thought that went behind each little gift! I did hint that I wanted Julie and Julia and had seen it for super cheap at the grocery store. The rest were special surprises! We have been wanting to watch African Queen for a long time, but apparently we hadn't been able to find it anywhere because it had not yet been put on excited! I love scarfs and Zack picked out a cute one. I had mentioned the other day that I had dropped one of my bigger pearl earrings. Zack noticed and got me some new ones! I felt so loved!!

While Shep was napping this morning, Zack did some of his work from home so I could take Conner to Target, just the two of us. He picked out this silly hat in the $1 bin. Going somewhere with just ONE child is like vacation! I can't believe I didn't get out more when I just had one!

Shep had some alone time this morning, too, but his wasn't as fun. He had his 1 year appointment. He weighed 24 lbs and was 31 in long. The boy refused to sit on the scale, so Mommy got to see how much she weighs. I was pleasantly surprised=)

Have you seen these? My new discovery. I love coconut. Notice the bag is empty.

Friday, May 7, 2010

1 Year

Happy 1st Birthday, Shep!

Shep is so big now. Here are some of the things he can do. Shep can say ma-ma (he says MA!!! very emphatically), more, bus and ball. Let me tell you. This boy is crazy about playing with balls. If you ask him where the ball is, he'll go find one. Tonight I saw him crouching down on the floor looking under a chair. He exclaimed, "Bahhh"! Sure enough, there was a ball under there. He can throw real hard=) He can clap, wave bye-bye, play peek-a-boo and walk real well. He can do a few big boy things like color, build with blocks and drive cars/make car noises. It amazes me to see how many things he picks up from watching big brother!

Shep is finally, mostly sleeping through the night. He goes to bed between 7-8 and gets up between 6-7. He still naps twice. He weaned himself about a month ago. Shep loves to eat! He is pretty good with both a fork and a spoon. His latest love is blueberries. Today he had scrambled eggs for the first time and he LOVED that.

His personality is really developing. He's funny. He's a real snuggly boy, but very busy. He's just a sweet, late back guy in general. He's going through a clingy face about now and always wants to know where mommy is. He loves his big brother and can't stand it if Conner is asleep. He always ends up wandering back in Conner's room to find him and wake him up.

Shep's 1 yr appointment is Monday, so I don't know his stats yet. He seems like he's had a growth spurt lately. He has shot up and thinned down. His 12-18 mo shirts are getting too short. He still doesn't have much hair, but what he has is real blonde now.

We love you, Shep!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Here at Last

Shep's Story, Part II

It all started a year ago today. I really thought he was going to be born on May 6th, but that little boy took his time. The day of his birth has gotten a little foggy in my memory, so I'm writing this down mostly for myself!

Shep was born the last week of classes, so it was crazy to say the least. Early Wednesday morning I awoke from a dream in which I was having contractions. It was 4:30 am and I really was having contractions. It was different than with Conner. They were not very intense and not very regular. I wasn't sure what to think. I laid in bed awhile and then got up to take a shower. They then got less frequent for awhile, but never went away. I didn't call a nurse because I had an appointment at 9 am that morning. Zack couldn't usually go with me to appointments because of school, but he was going to go that day because it was my last scheduled appointment.

When we go to the appointment, I told the doctor what had been going on. When she checked me I was 4 cm and about 60%. She told me to head over to the hospital and that she would come over shortly to break my water. I was excited, thinking that the baby should be here by the afternoon and that my doctor would get to deliver him! I went next door to the hospital to check in and Zack drove Conner to a friend's house who was going to keep him until my Mom and brother arrived. I was all settled in my room around 10:30 am, which was the same time I arrived to my room with Conner. Conner was born a little before 5 pm, so I remember thinking, I should be holding my baby in just a few hours! It's supposed to go faster the second time, right?

I told the nurse I wanted to try to have my baby naturally and didn't want the doctor to break my water. The nurse told the doctor and I got permission to walk around etc. Zack and I walked the halls for about an hour. The nurse checked progress. I was surprised. It was not going how I had thought. My contractions were very strange. The nurse said it was up to us, but advised me to just go home. They don't like you to eat at the hospital, so the nurse discreetly told me I should just go home and rest and eat a light lunch and see what would happen. I live five minutes from the hospital and since this wasn't my first child I felt pretty confident I would know when I needed to go back.

So, we left. Conner stayed with our friends and I spent a VERY uncomfortable afternoon. The contractions were strong enough and frequent enough to leave me pretty uncomfortable and exhausted, but not strong enough to really do anything. We headed over to UT so Zack could turn in his thesis. We had to park really far away, so I hoped the long walk, plus all the steps I would be climbing might help. It was weird walking around in labor. I remember thinking, I wonder what people would think if they knew I was in labor...haha! We went back to our house. I laid down awhile, had a light lunch and took another shower. By about 5 pm the contractions were definitely stronger and more frequent. I decided to go back over to the hospital and see if anything had happened.

Around 5:30, the nurse checked me again and I was the same- 4 cm and 80%. I started crying. I was so tired and so discouraged. It had already been 13 hrs! Soon I got a new nurse (since I was there twice and for so long, I had 3 different nurses). I really liked her. She was pregnant, too. Then things started to move quickly and get pretty intense. The rest is pretty much a blur. I remember the contractions started coming one on top of the other and lasting forever. The doctor on-call came in around 8 pm and I was crying. My contractions never got that painful with Conner. He checked me and I was 8 cm and almost completely effaced. My mind was in a whirl. Maybe I would get to 10 cm in 2 min, but what if I got stuck there awhile. I really didn't know how much more I could take. I remembered reading about that point of labor. If you can get over that hump, it usually means the baby is about to come, but I wimped out. I got an epidural. My night in shining armor arrived around 8:30 and I was texting people by 9 pm=) About that time I felt like I was ready to push. The nurse went to find the doctor. She came back and told me that the doctor was with a woman who had come in with pre-eclampsia. I was still waiting at 10 pm. I was a bit annoyed, but grateful that I was not there with complications. I tried to have a good attitude. The nurse told me to please tell her if I felt an overwhelming desire to push. The doctor ended up having to do an emergency c-section on that other patient. He came in around 11:50. Boy, was I ready to have my baby. I pushed 15 min and he was out! (That part was a whole lot faster!)

The chord was around his neck. The doctor was surprised. Nothing in his heart rate had ever indicated such. That explains why it took so long for him to come out. The chord would always pull him back in after each contraction. I remember thinking that he looked long as the doctor pulled him out. They set him on my chest for a brief moment, but then took him because he was a bit blue and not crying yet. None of the nurses seemed worried, so I was pretty calm. Soon we heard him cry and I relaxed. I tore a teeny little bit, nothing compared to last time. We finally moved to recovery around 3:30 am. I was exhausted from having been up for almost 24 hrs, but full of joy and peace.

Tomorrow I'll post more about Shep and some pictures, so check back!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Almost There!

We are almost there! I really didn't know if I was going to make it, but God is faithful. There would be that day here and there that the boys would both nap at the same time or that rare occasion when I would get so spend a few precious hours with my husband. This week is the last week of classes and next week is finals. Zack is checking things off one by one. I'm so proud of how hard he has worked. I really don't know how he does it.

Kinda funny story. Kinda the story of our life right now. Zack has several projects lined up for the summer, but he was going to take the whole week-end off next week. I planned lots of fun things for us to do: the farmer's market, the park, the pool, watch a movie etc. Guess when Zack's final is? Saturday, May 15th from 7-10 pm. He has one final and of course it had to be the last possible day, at the latest possible time it could be. I really just about cried, but decided to just laugh and move on. Will this school ever end??

Zack has gotten a lot of performances this semester. His piece for percussion trio was performed 4 times, twice at UT, at Baylor and at Central Florida. His piece for piccolo and vibes was performed once at UT and the 12 instrument version of Triple Venti Latte was performed once on a local student radio station. He may do a off campus concert of his music in the fall, his percussion trio will be played at UCA in October he will have a horn piece and symphonic band piece premiered in the Spring (they have not been written yet...summer projects). It's been really exciting and makes all the long days and nights alone worth it.

Thanks to everyone who has said a prayer for me from time to time. I'm much excited to have my husband around a little more the next 3 months and trying NOT to think about the fact that we still have two more years of this.