Monday, August 31, 2009

Trust in the Lord

If you are a frequent visitor of my blog you are aware of my struggles with trust in my walk with the Lord. This isn't because the Lord isn't trustworthy, and He has even shown me this multiple times. However, I struggle with control issues and thus completely trusting the Lord with His plan and not my own.

I have recently felt challenged by the Lord in this area. I am humbled by how the Lord is always there and always provides. I am humbled by His plan for our lives. I am not sure if I can put to words how I feel but here it goes.

Richard often refers to me as momma bear. I am more protective of our kids than he is. I worry a little more and like to keep them a little closer than he does. I am thankful for His ability to let go and let our boys live a little. I know this has helped them learn the balance they need as they are growing and learning about the world.

The momma bear gene is always a little heightened when I am pregnant. This, of course, is magnified by the fact that I am a NICU nurse and have a very distorted view of "normal" in regards to pregnancy and birth. I feel overwhelmed with love for this little peanut who helplessly depends on my body to support him or her until he or she arrives. I am also a worrier and struggle with not knowing the unknown.

I am confident one of the reasons the Lord chose Richard to be my husband, is that he is not a worrier. One of his strengths is his ability to trust the Lord and listening to God's plan for our family. He also helps me remember that I am not in control and gently reminds me to trust God's plan. (I am a little surprised he hasn't made a sign that says "TRUST THE LORD" that he could hold up everytime I need a little reminder).

Wednesday we will be 14 weeks! A major milestone for so many reasons: we made it to the 2nd trimester, I will hopefully start feeling better in the next few months, and we are that much closer to meeting our precious child. This also means we are only a few weeks from our 20 week ultrasound. This is always such a high anxiety provoking event for me! Being able to see for ourselves that this little one is healthy and whole will be a relief.

Each day that goes by and our baby continues to thrive is a blessing in my eyes. I find myself enjoying this pregnancy and not worrying as much. I am praising the Lord for the puking and feeling rotten as I know this is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. I also know that I have no control over what we will see at the 20 week ultrasound. This frightens me a little. There is no guarantee this little one will be ok. However, God has spoke to me during quiet times and through the songs during worship on Sunday and through the faithfulness of friends.

He has said yet again, "Becky, I am in control. I have a plan for you, for this child whom I am given you, and for your family. Trust me. I love you."

So I don't know what will happen at that appointment, or tomorrow for that matter. I do know that whatever challenges are presented to us, the Lord will be there right beside us. I pray for the strength to praise Him despite how the plan coordinates with my own. He has provided, supported, and held me up before. He will do it again. I will not be alone.

Until then I will continue celebrating each day of this little one's life. Whether that be weeks, days, months, or years. I will praise his precious name.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spiderman Party

Elijah had a Spider Man birthday party this year by default. He wanted a Robin party (from batman), but I spent HOURS looking on the internet for party supplies and came up empty handed. Thanks to my sister Nikki and her husband Tom, Elijah became obsessed with spiderman after our trip to Montana when he opened a spiderman lego set from them! Whew! We jumped on the spiderman train, and I talked it up until the big day! Overall, it was a great party and such a fun day!

Elijah did get a little overwhelmed when everyone arrived and he didn't get to eat his cake and open presents right away. We had the slip and slide set up in the backyard for the kiddos and the adults just relaxed while they played. Here are some fun pics from the day!

You can't have a party without fun balloons!

Elijah trying out the slip and slide. He was a little frustrated by his inability to slide all the way down, but still had fun.

After some hot dogs, fruit, and chips the kiddos played superheros in the basement while the adults ate.

The Spidey cake!

Happy Birthday to Elijah!

Choosing the perfect piece of cake.

How can he be 3 already?

Great Grandpa Tony and Great Grandma Sharon with the birthday boy!

We ended the night with a bonfire. It was so much fun and we were so pleased with how well it went! The kids had a blast and Elijah was one happy boy! (I am thankful that Jonah's birthday is a few months away though, that was exhausting!)

Elijah's birthday fun!

These are some fun pics from Elijah's birthday. We had a wonderful time celebrating him all day long. He of course enjoyed the extra attention as well. Jonah struggled with it, but I guess that isn't too surprising!

The birthday boy eating delicious blueberry muffins compliments of daddy. (Of course he had to put a candle in and blow it out!)

Doing the "Hokey Pokey" with Grandma. This has become a popular dance in our house after the recent wedding we attended.

Lunch at Space Aliens with mom, dad, Jonah, Grandma Irene, Auntie Laura and Grandma Teresa. It was even Token Tuesday!

Opening presents. Notice the "helper" who probably opened more of the presents than the birthday boy!

Playing games.

Jonah hit a jackpot and we got 75 tickets from one play!

We had bible study that night and celebrated with some delicious cake and ice cream.
(Notice the shirt he is wearing Prachars? Yep, it is still a popular choice from the costume box in our home. Thanks!)

Making a wish...

Grandpa and Grandma came over with their present...

Spiderman hotwheels! The beloved "bus" is being saved for the baby.

What a day we had! All day we kept asking Elijah who was turning three today, and he would slowly raise his hand with a giant smile on his face! By the end of the day he thought he was 3 1/2 though! He also wondered when his next birthday was. Oh, to be a kid again!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grandma Irene comes to visit!

Grandma Irene (Richard's mom) came for a visit! It has been quite chaotic around here so I haven't had time to write about it yet! We had a wonderful time with her and the boys loved spending some one on one time with her while Richard and I were working. She hadn't seen them since last November and since she lives in sunny California, we don't get to see her very often.

We picked her up at the airport and surprised her with our exciting news! The boys had their big brother shirts on and did a great job not saying anything until she guessed it. It was so hard to wait so long to tell her, but so fun to be able to tell her in person!
She was able to see some old friends, and lots of family at her niece's wedding in Fargo. She was also able to help Elijah celebrate his birthday, which she hasn't been able to do yet. The boys had so much fun playing with her, showing her their new "tricks" and snuggling. It was a little easier for her to leave this time since she is hopefully coming back when the new baby comes. They were pretty excited to hear this and thought it was a good idea for her to come and just play with them!

Unfortunately, I was the sickest I have been yet with this pregnancy while she was here and ended up getting IV fluids in the ER. She was so sweet and helpful and I really appreciated her company and help while I was trying to make it through each day without throwing up too much!

The boys have been talking about going to visit Grandma in California! Wouldn't that be fun! Too bad we don't have a money tree in the backyard and the only breaks Richard has from work are during holidays (when I am working) and when I have breaks he is working. We are looking forward to seeing her again in February/March!

Urgent Prayer Request!

Update #1: Nikki is out of surgery and they did not find a blockage, but three areas that were infected and swollen. They are still unsure of why this occurred, but hopefully she will start feeling better now and the antibiotics will do their job! Thanks for praying!


Dear friends and family,

Please pray for my sister Nikki! She is living in Montana with her husband and is having surgery right now. We don't know many details, just that she has been not feeling well for over a week and had been previously seen by a doctor who had done a few tests to try find out what is wrong. She has been having abdominal pain and I am afraid she might have a blockage of some kind.

Sorry for the limited info, but that is really all I know. We are just trusting God and praying the surgeons are able to discover the problem and a fix. Her wonderful husband is taking excellent care of her, so even though she is so far away, we know she is in good hands! However, they both have recently started new jobs (this summer), so please pray for all those details to work themselves out with time off, etc.

Thanks and I will update as soon as I know more.
Love, Becky

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My baby sister is off to college!

Today my baby sister Laura moved to Moorhead, MN to attend her first year of college at Concordia. She is officially a Cobber! She headed down a week early to join the cross country team for a team trip before school starts. I got teary eyed watching her drive away. I remember holding her in the hospital and feel a little like another mother hen. I am looking forward to her being so close and hoping we can make some regular trips down there to visit her.

My parents are experiencing empty nest syndrome for the first time, so we are going to have to fill that gap with our rambunctious toddlers so they don't get too used to the quiet!

We love you Laura, and can't wait to see God using you for His kingdom! I pray you are able to embrace this adventure and all God has in store for you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Elijah!

Today my baby is 3! I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday he was born and being the perfect little newborn that he was. Funny that I still remember the labor so well! He was born at 6:47am at a whopping 7lbs 6oz. He was 2 weeks early and a lot smaller than his big brother (8lbs 14oz). He was such a sweet baby and we were pleasantly surprised to have a "normal newborn" experience. We instantly fell in love with him and it hasn't changed.

One of our first pictures of the birthday boy!

Inspecting his cuteness!

How the years have flown by! I wish they would slow down so I could enjoy each moment just a little longer. I love the independence he is developing yet the dependence on me that still exists. It is a beautiful mix. He is still a momma's boy! He loves to snuggle and lets me kiss his sweet cheeks whenever he flies by.
One years old.

2 years old.
Dear Elijah,

Today you are 3! You have been waiting for this big day for a few months now and I can't believe you were able to go to sleep last night. You are turning into a busy, curious, and confident little boy right before our eyes.

You spend most of your days as either Bruce Wayne Batman, Robin the boy wonder, Peter Parker aka Spiderman, or any other superhero that happens to interest you that day. You have an amazing imagination and love playing with your big brother who you adore.

You are very stubborn and strong willed (not sure who you got that from). You love to read books and listen to silly songs. You also love searching for "slug bugs" while we drive around town. You spend most of the day in a superhero costume, with a superhero cape on, or with your blanket as a cape around your neck.

You also have a stuffed dog that you sleep with who you have named "Elsie" who sure gets lots of loving. You are quite attached to your blankie too. You have inherited my sweet tooth and won't pass up a cookie or some ice cream. Your favorite bible story is David and Goliath and you love singing songs at night before bed.
You would preferred to be carried when we go on walks and love watching movies. You have been potty trained for 2 months and are doing so well! You are very proud of this and that you can do it "all by yourself" just like your big brother. You like to walk the fine line between obeying and breaking the rules. You also LOVE being outside and wrestling with your daddy and big brother.

You aren't so sure about being a big brother yourself and have threatened to hurt your new brother or sister for snuggling with mommy and also offered to big a big helper and feed the baby a bottle. You are looking forward to teaching this younger sibling all about superheros and how to "fight" with you and Jonah.

You respond to Elijah, Lou, or 'Lijah lou. You also think your full name is Elijah Rock (after a song your dad loves) not Elijah Richard. This is of course when you do not prefer to be called by your superhero name!

Your dad and I love you so much little buddy! We are so blessed to call you our son and can't wait to see what God has in store for you! We hope that you grow to love the Lord and allow Him to use you in mighty ways. I am learning to let go a little more each day.

Happy Birthday Lou!

Love always,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Miraculous Surprise!

I have been waiting so long to post about this wonderful surprise that I can hardly believe I finally get to spill the beans.

WE ARE ......

To say we were shocked is an understatement. It has been a LONG road and a journey that I would gladly travel again. Struggling with infertility has been one of the hardest things I have ever faced and I have never felt closer to the Lord. It has been over 2 years of waiting (which I know isn't a very long time compared to so many who struggle for years).

As most of you know I struggle with trust. It has been a challenge, to say the least, during this trial of course. I felt like so many times I had given this struggle to God, laid it at His feet and said let your will be done Father. However, deep down I was holding onto a glimmer of hope that I would have more children some day and this couldn't really be happening. At the beginning of June (just 2 years after we started trying to have another child) I really did give it over to God. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace about it and decided to focus on His plan instead of my own.

Wouldn't you know, that is when God decided to bless us with another child! He works in mysterious ways! His timing is perfect and I know He will provide. We are unsure of Richard's job for this year, besides the coaching position, since he did not get the teaching position he had hoped for. However, I know God will provide and we will be just fine.

Because I discovered this surprise while Richard was at the lake with the boys, the was the first
time I was able to surprise him with a pregnancy! I wrapped up the pregnancy test in a necklace box and told him it was a late Father's day present. I tried not to be too eager for him to open it only minutes after he pulled into the driveway and he had no idea what was coming. He opened it up and when he realized what was going on, all he could say was "Is this for real? Is it true?" And we hugged and cried and praised the Lord for our miracle!

We had our first appointment yesterday and I haven't been that nervous, anxious, and excited all at once for a very long time. I have been feeling very sick (nauseous, puking, tired) and have been trying to praise the Lord instead of complain. I haven't been as sick as I was with the boys, which has made me nervous and worried, but thankful at the same time because it has been easier to function when I am only puking a few times a day instead of all day long.

The doctor couldn't hear the heartbeat and felt I was measuring small. I was an emotional wreck while we waited 20 minutes for the ultrasound. The sweet ultrasound tech quickly confirmed fetal heart tones and we all cried! We were able to hear the heart beat (a beautiful 164 beats per minute) and see the little peanut wiggling all around. It was such a relief to see that everything is okay. I know this doesn't guarantee anything, but I feel much better about it and know God has a plan. I pray He will prepare me for whatever the outcome is and He will be glorified in the process.

The boys are excited. Well, Jonah is excited and Elijah is not sure what to think. Jonah said he only wants a little sister and Elijah doesn't want a baby at all. We are hoping Elijah will warm up to the idea in the next 7 months.

Here is our sweet little peanut! Our due date is March 4!

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So know I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." -1 Samuel 1: 27-28

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Goodbye Mountains

It was hard to say goodbye on Sunday. We had such a wonderful time with Nikki and Tom and enjoyed our vacation so much it was hard to see it come to an end! The hardest part was probably that we don't know when we will see them again. I am so glad we were able to go though and spend that time together. It was really good for the boys to see how far away they really live and to know what their apartment looks like.

We were treated to a delicious farewell lunch of pancakes and eggs. We snuck a little shopping in before heading out of town and finally got on the road. We broke the trip home up with an overnight stay in Dickinson, ND at a waterpark hotel. This was a fun way to end the trip and we were also able to meet up with friends of ours in Bismarck, ND for lunch.

Richard and I
The crew in front of Nikki and Tom's apartment
An attempt at a picture with the Kieffers before leaving.
Thanks again Kieffers for being such wonderful hosts! We had a fantastic time and hope to see you again soon! However, Richard said it will probably be awhile before we drive that way again ;0)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Trip to Bozeman Part 3: A Day at Yellowstone

Saturday we packed a cooler for lunch, and headed to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. It was only about 2 hours from Nikki and Tom's place. I had never been there before and it was amazing to see God's beautiful creation and the animals. We also had fun checking off states as we saw license plates from all over the US.

The views were breathtaking and it was quite relaxing to drive through the park and get out every once and awhile to explore. Jonah was fascinated by the wildlife and enjoyed checking them off on his junior park ranger checklist! We were a little disappointed that all we saw were elk and LOTS of buffalo. We had hoped to see a moose or bear, but maybe next time.

First, we drove to Old Faithful to watch the famous geyser erupt. We only had to wait about 20 minutes and it was quite impressive. It wasn't as big or as loud as I had imagined, but still amazing. I think the temperature of the water is over 200 degrees F! After we watched the geyser we found a picnic table and had a nice lunch break.

Thanks to Laura we still were able to get some "classic" vacation pics (even though I forgot my camera at home)

Old Faithful

After this we drove through more of the park and made our next stop at some water falls. Elijah had just fallen asleep so I stayed behind and waited with him while he napped while the rest of the crew hiked up to the beautiful water falls. The pictures are stunning and I can only imagine how amazing it was in person!

In the words of Laura: An "Epic View"

Jonah and Daddy checking out the view
So beautiful!

Our great hosts!

Nikki and Jonah

After a long hike to the top...

It was a great day at Yellowstone and it was too bad we couldn't spend more time there. There was so much to see and do! Maybe next time we can stay a little longer. We were glad we made the trip and Jonah was especially glad to add another state to his list!

Yellowstone River

Friday, August 7, 2009

Trip to Bozeman Part 2

The first couple days we were in Bozeman we (Richard, Laura, the boys and I) relaxed and did a little exploring while Nikki and Tom put in a full work day. It was fun to see more of the adorable town they are living in and we especially enjoyed cruising around downtown checking out some cute shops and purchasing some fun souvenirs.

We were also able to meet up with my best friend from childhood who moved away from Grand Forks when we were in 5th grade. She relocated to Bismarck, ND and just recently moved to Bozeman, MT. We have kept in contact but hadn't seen each other since my wedding. It was a very short visit, but so fun to see her and for her to meet our boys! She has a pretty sweet job at the country club as the events coordinator!

Me and Mandy

After this we headed to the small town nearby where Nikki works and were able to meet her coworkers and see the facility where she practices. That was fun, it is a beautiful place and she is really enjoying her new job.

Another beautiful view outside the apartment

The rest of our free time was filled with swimming in the pool at their apartment and relaxing in the hot tub. Our plans were drastically changed one morning when Jonah locked the bedroom door where all our bags were and shut it shortly after we had gotten up. Luckily my sister's purse was not in the room with my purse and Richard's wallet. Laura and Richard headed to the store and bought some tools to take the door knob apart so we could get in. To add more fun to the day, Jonah stuck his gum up his nose while we were waiting for Richard to open the door! Thankfully it wasn't up too far and I was able to get it out!

That afternoon we were able to go to two museums that we had originally planned on taking in that morning, but couldn't since Jonah locked us out! Nikki was able to join us so for this which was nice since we hadn't seen too much of her. The first museum was The Museum of the Rockies and was lots of fun! Jonah set the pace and raced through the museum. It would have been fun to spend a little more time there because it was very interesting (lots of real dinosaur bones and history from then until now). Nikki had scored free tickets to this museum and the Children's Museum so we didn't feel to bad for speeding through it. The Children's Museum was fun but very small compared to the one in Iowa so we were also thankful we didn't have to pay to get into it.

Walking like the Dinosaur's outside the museum!
Poor Jonah will hopefully not be scarred for life by another adventure he had in Montana! He had accompanied Laura and I to the grocery store and when we returned to the apartment he ran ahead (since he knew the way). He was so far ahead of us I didn't worry about not seeing him until I heard him crying down the sidewalk. He came running up to me and in between big sobs and alligator tears he told me he had gone into the wrong apartment and saw a man laying on the floor without any clothes on! Poor guy! After that incident, he stayed close when when we were going in and out of the apartments.

Our evenings were spent relaxing and spending time together. It was so fun to just be able to visit, laugh, eat, and play together. We are sad they are so far away, and hope we get to see them before too long! More Montana fun to come!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trip to Bozeman Part 1

Ready to go!

Last week we packed our bags, packed our car and set off for a 800 mile trek to visit my sister and her hubby in Bozeman, MT. They recently moved out there and we miss them so much. My sister Laura joined our crazy crew for the trip. We had a blast and made so many memories during the process.

I am embarrassed to say that I forgot my camera at home (insert Gasp), but was saved by my little sis who is our family photography guru. (I will have to confiscate her pictures and add some to my posts later). It was fun to watch the boys' reactions as we traveled from the rolling plains of ND to the beautiful mountain filled landscapes of Montana. Neither of our boys had really seen any mountains before so they were pretty amazed by these beautiful peaks (as were the rest of us).
(View outside my sister's apartment)

My wonderful husband drove the WHOLE way there! We left Grand Forks around 730am and pulled into Bozeman a little before 10pm. We had a minor delay on the way when our beloved van, "Sally", decided to stop working outside of Miles City, MT. After a brief 2 hour delay, we thankfully discovered it was nothing serious and were able to continue on our journey.

The boys were marvelous during the trip entertaining themselves (mostly) with their books, superheroes, and movies, Richard was amazing (driving the whole way without complaining one bit), I slept for a large portion of the trip and read two books to fight off the dreaded motion sickness and Laura was our navigator and made sure we were headed in the right direction.

Nikki and Tom opened their home to our crazy crew and we were very fortunate to stay with them for the entire visit. They were excellent hosts and we hope we didn't wear them out too much!

I will have to finish this up later, and hopefully add some pics to go with it! Stay tuned for more fun from Montana.
We love the mountains!