Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Adjusting to SAHM-ness

In the back of my mind somewhere in dreamland, I would always envision myself in the future with children and praying that I could have the privilege of staying at home and making that my work place for awhile. When we found out we were pregnant with Avery and as the pregnancy progressed normally, I would think about the fact that I would soon be a working mom. At that time I was starting to struggle in the classroom. Not with my craft, just in my mind with the workload seeming to pile on and having to focus on so much more than just my students. I would joke that I wanted to stay home but knew that the reality of that was slim to none. Nick was working crazy hours and I knew that between both of our schedules it was going to be hard! I was and am still not against sending my child to daycare if that is what needs to happen and I was ready to put Avery into a church daycare setting when she would turn about 13 weeks old.

God had different plans.

You see this whole time that my mind was spinning and worrying and stressing, He was whispering for me to be still and listen. Not only would I not drop Avery off at daycare, I wouldn't return to my classroom with my fifth graders, and I would pack everything up and move to Texas on pure faith to pursue His calling for Nick to be a youth pastor and myself to be a stay at home mom! Holy moly.

And that's where I still am almost a year later..a SAHM. Let me tell you it is NOT easy and brings so many challenges. And I only have one baby. I struggle A LOT. Before I had someone helping me clean my house when I didn't feel like doing it. We had the money to eat out whenever and wherever we wanted to if I didn't want to cook. Now I find myself trying to come up with meal plans and cleaning schedules and throwing them out the door a couple of days later! I can honestly say that I ha a cleaner house when I worked outside of the home full time. Yep, it's true!

Now my living room is a play room and decorated with riding toys, books, blocks and a toy chest. I wouldn't change any of this because with it all comes my precious daughter. I get to watch her change literally every minute of the day. And she changes every day! Learning so many new words and becoming this sweet little toddler that I can watch grow, play with, and love on any time of the day. It's a blessing. A blessing I never thought I would get to have. It is hard, frustrating, and can bring me to tears just like the classroom sometimes would do, but I wouldn't change a thing.

I have no clue what God has planned for my career. Whether he wants me to continue to stay at home, or leads me back to the field of education. All I know is I am so thankful for this time. I am going to try my best to soak up every second. I'm not really worried about finding my groove in the home. I'm just going to try to do the best I can to keep things somewhat tidy, cook for my husband as much as I can, and play with my little girl. Thank you Lord for weaving it into Your perfect plan for my life to give me time at home with my baby!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Avery is 1!

My sweet teeny tiny infant is teeny tiny no more. She's a big one year old! This year has been quite the whirlwind to say the least. A big move, leaving a job, getting used to a completely new life and lifestyle all while learning to mother my new baby?!? Crazy. But oh so fun it has been (-: Let me tell ya a little bit about my girl:

1. She is SO happy! Almost all the time. She loves to laugh at her doggy Sadie; and mommy and daddy too! She's such a smiley girl.
2. She loves kids! She literally goes crazy around big kids and I know we are in lots of trouble when he figures out the walking thing. She will be chasing them everywhere!
3. She loves to play and can entertain herself quite well! Most of the time she just wants to be in the floor with her toys and books and just explores on her own! 
4. She will eat anything! I am blessed with a great eater for now at least. It has been fun to give her new foods and watch her reaction as she tries them!
5. She talks all. day. long. In her own secret language.

She likes Mickey Mouse Club and Sofia the First on Disney. She says mama, dada, sissy (for Sadie), man man (for my mom), bye bye (which sometimes comes out as dye dye), uh oh, yeah, ow, hey, nana (she has a Texas and a Georgia nana) and a few more I'm sure I'm leaving out. She loves to give everything "love" right now and will cuddle anything. Even a pot holder she likes to play with. She goes right to bed with no fuss. We put her down wide awake and she cuddles her babydoll and goes right to sleep. She has been waking up lately to play in her bed here recently. She just talks and plays! But it's pretty loud.. (-: 

She loves to tell everyone "Hey!" in the grocery store or out shopping. I can hardly shop for people wanting to stop and continue the conversation with her. She loves it! She is a busy bee. Constantly on the move and getting into everything. She hasn't mastered walking yet, but is starting to try a little. She hasn't been interested at all until here just recently. 

The best thing about Avery is that she is ours! Never could I have imagined such a precious gift from God. I could write out a million more things about her. Avery Caroline you are an angel and everyone loves you so much! Happy first birthday sweet girl! Can't wait for year number two and all the fun we are going to have!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wait..what?! TEXAS??

So it's almost been a year ago that our lives were turned upside down. I started back to work 31 weeks pregnant and was feeling every minute of that! Nick was working at Mattress Firm and there ALL the time. The days he had off were days that I worked so we were literally just passing ships. We were thankful for his job though and obviously sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do. I can remember laying in bed one night and Nick coming in around midnight or later and waking me up to tell me he needed me to start praying about something. And that something was a youth ministry position in Bogata, Texas! I didn't say much at that time; I mean all I could think about at that moment was in about a months time I was going to have a baby. I told my sweet friend Liz at work the next morning about our conversation and how overwhelming it all was, but the one thing I could not do was shut that door. I wanted to shut the door at first...I mean my whole family, Nick's parents and sister and her family, my friends, and everything I know was within 2 hours of where I was living in Marietta! Did I really have any busy leaving that? Is that really what God wanted with a new baby on the way that EVERYBODY in my life and even people I didn't know had been praying for us to have for so long?? Ugh. It was confusing, it made us so sad at times, but we knew that the Lord had some sort of plan for us to make a big change and we could not push His plans for us aside and keep living this very comfortable life we were living.

So the prayers continued. Nick talked with several people in the church over the phone and via skype and the ball began to roll. I broke down and told my other sweet friends and teammates at work that I there was a possibility that I might not return after my maternity leave. They were all so supportive as I knew they would be. As my due date approached and I was being seen by a specialist twice a week, trying to just survive teaching while being so uncomfortable, and getting ready for Avery to come at any moment, we had to take a break for a minute to focus on that huge life change that was about to happen. She came into the world on October 23, 2013 and we were quickly swept into parenthood and all that comes with having a newborn at home. After a couple of weeks, we knew that we had to talk with our families. Nick had spoken with the church and we were asked to come out for a visit the first week of December. We knew we needed to tell them soon so that we could prepare for our trip.

The conversations were tough. People were upset. And all we could do was trust the Lord and hold tight to His promises and know that we weren't crazy. Or were we?? You really start to doubt yourself some when the people that matter the most are telling you what you are doing may not be right. We continued on though and went to visit FBC Bogata when Avery was just shy of five weeks old! Yes, we crossed the country by car with that little one and she did just fine (-: The church was so welcoming and we knew right away that we would be moving soon...and we were excited!! God was calling us back to the ministry and that is exactly where we were supposed to be. On the way back home we shed some tears of sadness even though we were truly excited! We knew that we would be telling our families and friends that we would be moving to Texas and taking that new grand baby with us )-: It wasn't easy ya'll.

After we got home, things became real pretty quick. We had jobs to quit, families that wanted to have multiple conversations about us going that were never easy, a house to pack, and a newborn baby to take care of. We explained as much as we could that this was God's will for us and we had to go and follow Him, but it's a hard concept to swallow sometimes. And it was for many people around us. How can you leave your job in the middle of the year? Don't you know it will hurt your chances of getting one in the future? What about your retirement? Nick is doing so well with his job, don't you think its crazy for him to leave? What about Avery? How will you survive financially? Don't you know you will never make it? I could obviously keep going, but you get the point. And understand I hope! These were all very valid questions. But the one thing still remained true. The Lord was calling us to go, and we had to go.

As time creeped closer to Christmas, everyone calmed down some and we enjoyed some much needed family time. It was a hard time for sure, because we had nailed down a date to move (January 10th) and it was getting very close. I was trying to pack up a house with a newborn while Nick worked long holiday hours and it was tough. LOTS of time to think about the questions everyone had for us and part of me was really scared. I resigned from my job and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I loved my school, teaching, my teammates... When it came time to pack it up I had a very hard time. I didn't really talk to anyone about it either. I just wanted to be strong, get it done, and move on. I mean I didn't have a choice. Telling my sweet little fifth graders Mrs. Richie wouldn't be coming back was pretty tough too. Lots of hugs and tears. It broke my heart. Leaving my classroom broke. my. heart. I poured all of me into that classroom for 6 years and I had to leave.

Well, we got everything all packed up and the church sent us a crew of wonderful men from the church body that drove all the way from Texas to Georgia to pack us up and take us with them! What a blessing it was! Leaving our families was super tough and many tears were shed of course. But we got in our car and left Marietta, Georgia. A place that proved very comfortable for us, that provided very good jobs, let us be close to both of our families, all of our friends, and was home to us. The drive was long and this time we had Sadie with us (our dog) and our good friend David to make it more interesting. We made it just fine and arrived to half the town of Bogata (literally) waiting with open arms to cook us a meal and unpack our moving truck! Our house was full of furniture and boxes in no time and people were unpacking things and asking where it needed to was crazy! So a new life began. We arrived on a Friday and our first Sunday at the church was my 30th birthday!

Honestly, we haven't looked back really. We miss our family and friends back home (and yes I say home because I was born and raised in Georgia for 30 years.. I mean it is home) SO MUCH! It's just when you are in the center of God's will, you have a peace that is unexplainable. I am able to stay at home with Avery right now, financially God is providing in every way, and we have people here that love us like we are their own. The church is growing and thriving, Nick's youth ministry is exploding spiritually, and God makes it clear to us that we are right where we are supposed to be. Some days are tough. And some days I question things. I mean who wouldn't? We are love our small little town of Bogata, Texas and are loving watching God move and work in our church and community. Big things are happening ya'll.

Thank you Lord for revealing your plan so clearly and giving us the boldness to accomplish Your will and GO!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I have SO much to tell you..

Let me just start out by saying how ridiculous it is that I haven't blogged in almost a YEAR! I really wanted to be that mom that blogged every minute of my baby girl's life, but obviously that did not happen (-; I do have so much to say, but for now I am just going to give you a little snippet of my life in the now so far and we will go from there. Sound good? 

* I had Avery in October of last year and a few weeks before she entered into the world, we were feeling a call to move to TEXAS! Crazy. We visited the church the first week of December when Avery was about 5 weeks old and loved it. I resigned from my teaching position, Nick quit Mattress Firm, we packed up our life in Marietta and headed to Bogata, Texas on January 10th, 2013. It has been quite the adventure so far and we are loving it! I am staying home with Avery right now and doing a little subbing on the side.

*Avery is over 10 months old and I am planning her first birthday party!!! What is happening?? She is growing like a little weed. This child is the sweetest. She is so good natured and hardly ever gets upset. Right now she is working on the walking thing, but momma is not pushing it (-; I don't want my baby to grow up.

* Being a stay at home mommy brings its challenges for me. I love being the one with my baby girl all day long, but sometimes I feel like am a terrible SAHM! Lol! Oh well...I know that's a normal feeling and I am working on it.

* We have made wonderful friends and family (our family away from family) here. It would have been SUPER hard for us being so far from everyone we love if the people here weren't so amazing. I thank the Lord for them daily. Actually I'm going to stop right now and thank Him again. Yep, they are that wonderful. The way people love on Avery just makes my heart very happy! Just thankful.

* Being away from family and friends. Well I'm not gonna's hard! Harder for me than Nick. Not that he doesn't miss people, he just stays a lot busier than I do. We all know the busier we get the more we can just adapt, adjust and keep on going! I have a good bit of time to just sit and think... Not good sometimes.

* Not being in a classroom is WEIRD! I will be honest. I was wanting some sort of change before God picked us up and moved us here. I just didn't know what that was?? I still don't know. Right now I am straightening out certification issues with Texas. They would issue me a certificate if I wanted to go teach tomorrow, but I would have to take and pass two different tests within a year. I do NOT want to take any tests!!! So that makes me re-evaluate which direction I want to go.. I miss teaching for sure...the actual in the classroom, teaching lessons, building relationships, making it fun and exciting for the kids and so on. You know the fun stuff (-:

* More babies?? That hasn't been too much of a conversation as of yet. It comes up every now and then, especially with Avery nearing a year old. Questions like should we start trying now? What if it takes as long as it did before? What if I miscarry again?? Will we keep trying then? I think we are pretty clear that one more will be plenty. Especially if things are difficult. Now the Lord could totally have other plans, but for now that's what we feel like should happen. If He says Avery is it..then we will be perfectly content with that too. His will not ours. Always.

I think what I will do is just take each of these "topics" and give you much more detail on each. That way I can get back in my groove. I miss this for sure and I am glad some of you have mentioned it and missed it too! Thanks for that! If and when the baby process starts again, you will be the first to know. It's just how I have to deal with all of it!

Now off to bed I go! We have an awesome Sunday lined up as our church has been in renovation mode for the past few months and it is our first Sunday back to normal and the big reveal! Exciting! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Avery's Birth

I have been wanting to blog everyday for the past three weeks!! I knew I needed to blog sooner vs. later so I wouldn't forget even a second of bringing Avery into this world. Finally I am taking a few minutes to type everything out. As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes when I was about 28 weeks pregnant or so. For some reason I just knew that GD was something I was going to have to deal with and had a bad feeling that I would have it all along. I am glad to say that I was probably the one of the most easiest cases for my doctors to deal with! My sugar levels were never out of the normal range and I didn't really change my diet all that much. I was able to see a specialist every couple of weeks and see my baby girl on ultrasound just as much! Not only were my sugar levels normal, but I was carrying a small baby. This is not typical of GD babies. They are usually measuring in the 85% for weight and above and my baby was in the 30% up until the end of my pregnancy. The specialist was adamant that we induce by 40 weeks because when you have GD your placenta can stop doing its job if you wait much longer and it is better for the baby to be out of the womb vs. wait. For this reason, my specialist and OB decided to schedule an induction.

So scheduling the induction was ridiculous. At 38 weeks I went to an appointment and the doctor that I was supposed to see had an emergency c-section so I saw a midwife. This was the appointment that I was supposed to schedule my induction with. I asked the midwife and she said that they would start working on scheduling with the hospital the following morning. I called the following day and they had not called the hospital yet. This went on for two more days when finally I was told that the midwife was supposed to do an exam to see if I was dilating at all, and did not. I had to go back to the doctor a couple of days later to be checked and I was 1 centimeter dilated and 80% effaced. Not much happening. My doctor said that the induction scheduling process had become very difficult with the hospital and he would try to get me in as soon as possible. This was Tuesday, October 16th. They called on Thursday the 18th and said that the first opening they had was Monday, the 22nd but would try to fit me in earlier if they could. We waiting for a phone call over the weekend and never heard back so Monday it was!

I was told to call at 5:00 on Monday evening to see when they wanted me to come in. I called and was told to be there at 6:30! Nick and I loaded the car right away and went and got some dinner in the little bistro at the hospital. It was a weird feeling to be there knowing that the next day I would have a baby! I was super nervous about the whole process. We made our way to Labor and Delivery and got all checked in. Within a couple of hours they started me on the drug Cytotec which would begin to soften my cervix. I was still only one centimeter no changes in almost a week. Cytotec is given every 4 hours if needed to soften the cervix. Most people only need 2 to 3 doses, but you can have up to four. After my first dose I was not feeling contractions and no changes were made so they gave me my second dose. After the second dose, I started feeling contractions and they were able to show me on the monitor when I was having one! I did not need another dose of Cytotec. I felt my contractions all night long and didn't get a whole lot of sleep. They also were checking my vitals frequently, so it was pretty difficult to sleep. The nurse offered me Ambien, but then began to tell stories about how it affected patients and the crazy things they did. I politely declined after that (-:

The next morning at around 8:00 am, they started Pitocin. They checked me again and said that Cytotec did its job beautifully and my cervix was soft, but I had only dilated to 2 centimeters at this point. The Pitocin kicked in pretty quick and a couple hours later they broke my water. I was beginning to feel contractions pretty regularly at this point so I went ahead and had my epidural. I was checked again around 10:00 and I dilated to 3 centimeters. The epidural worked for a few hours and I was able to fall asleep at this point for a little bit. When I woke up, I did NOT feel well at all. They were taking my temp regularly and realized at about this time that I had a temperature of 100.5. They weren't very concerned right away until Avery's heartbeat began to climb close to 200 bpm. I began antibiotics and Tylenol and my temp would drop but then rise again. My doctor came in and I was feeling better and just knew that it would be down. It was 102.5! At this point she looked at me and said that I had a Uterine infection. What?!? She said this happens about 50% of the time and we just needed to work on getting my temp down. I was continuing to dilate and my epidural was NOT working. They redosed me about 3 times and it was not helping at all. My contractions were close and painful and by early evening I dilated to 8 centimeters. When my doctor checked me around this time, she noticed that my cervix was off to the side and still pretty high. She wanted to do an ultrasound to check it out. This is when we realized that Avery was facing up. She was head down, but sunny side up!

My doctor at this point told us that with her facing up, my fever, and her heart rate going up and down, that I might have to have a c-section. Before we would go that route, she wanted to try to turn Avery. Now remember that I have a fever and feeling pretty awful at this point after being in labor for almost 24 hours. She tried to turn Avery and it was unbelievably painful! She felt sure that it worked and did another ultrasound. It did not work. At this point it was shift change for nurses and this sweet little nurse said that they should try raising one of my legs at my head and continued to explain another way that they could turn Avery...

This is when I looked at the doctor and very politely said that I was DONE. I could not go through that again and then possibly a few more hours of labor and THEN pushing. I was done. My doctor agreed that it was time for a c-section. This process began quickly and there were lots of people in the room getting things ready to go! I was drained and just going through the motions at this point. Before I knew it we were being rolled to the OR! They got me on the table, put the curtain up in front of my, and began the operation! For some reason at this point I became very uneasy. My arms were tied down, I couldn't feel anything or move, and it really bothered me. Thankfully it was so fast and before I knew it I heard the sweet cries of miss Avery! I began to calm down at this point and Nick brought his phone over to show me a picture. I couldn't believe how beautiful she was! My doctor sewed me up and they rolled me back to my room. During recovery time I was able to hold my sweet girl. Everything that I went through to get her here safely didn't matter anymore. She was here and perfectly healthy!

We stayed in the hospital for four nights. I had to be on antibiotics for 48 hours to make sure my fever did not come back. My fever went down through the first night and did not return thank goodness! They checked Avery's sugar levels a couple of times while we were there and they were perfect. Mine were fine as well! C-Section recovery really hasn't been that bad! I never needed the strong drugs, only Ibuprofen. I am still sore, but my incision looks really good. I am just trying to let things heal in their time and not over do it.

I can't begin to explain how blessed Nick and I feel to have her. The past few years have been so rough, but God has given us the most precious gift! I love to just look at all of her little features and watch her change everyday. I honestly can't get over how beautiful she is. She definitely has my eyes, but I do see a lot of her daddy too. Most say she looks just like me and I will take it (-; Thank you all so much for your prayers, kind words, and so much more over the past few years as we have waited for God's perfect timing in having a child. Now she is here and the fun begins!

Friday, August 31, 2012

33 Weeks

I am a terrible blogger! Ugh. I so wanted to do better with this pregnancy and blogging, but the first half I was sick as a dog and the second half I just didn't feel like it...hah! Just wanted to update you on some things as we are turning that corner and moving into the last few weeks of pregnancy!!!

* At 29 weeks or so I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. The weird thing? I haven't changed my diet really at all, and my sugar levels have been normal. I visit a maternal fetal specialist every two weeks to show them my sugar chart (I have to check it 4 times a day...) and we get to have an ultrasound to see how Avery is growing! One danger with GD is that the baby can grow to be rather large. She is just fine and measuring right on track!

* At 31 weeks Avery measured 3 lbs 8oz! She is growing and growing!!

* I have felt fine and things are going great with the pregnancy! Since starting back to work, I have seen a little swelling in my feet and ankles and a little bit of pressure every now and then. Of course there is the whole not sleeping well, tossing and turning, and trying to get comfortable at night...but that just goes with the territory. My blood pressure is looking great!

* Avery is quite the little mover! Some of her movements are starting to feel uncomfortable as she grows and runs out of room in there. I know I will miss feeling her flipping around and kicking me (-: Weirdly enough she is very still when Nick tries to feel her. I mean she will be bouncing around and the minute he puts his hand on my stomach she stops! It's so weird!

* I have gained around 9-10 lbs now. I definitely hope to stay under 20!! I know the last few weeks can bring on the pounds though...

* We have had two baby showers with two more to go! We are getting the things we need and it is exciting!! I have another shower next weekend that my best friend Lindsey is hosting and then one for work that my lovely teammates and friends are hosting.

*Avery's room is coming together!! I put the bedding on the crib last weekend, hung up and put clothes away in the closet and drawers, and just need to do some washing this weekend! I ordered her name to be painted in letters by a very talented friend and can't wait to get them up on the wall! My cousin Chelsey and her husband gave us a printed wall decal with the verse from 1 Samuel 1:27 that says, "For this child I have prayed; and the Lord has granted me the desires of my heart". I can't wait to have it up as well! We are too scared to mess it up and haven't attempted yet (-:

We have certainly been very blessed in this pregnancy and continue to pray that God will continue to take good care of all of us until she arrives in October!

Monday, July 2, 2012

24 Weeks

Today marks a big day for this pregnancy...for me anyway! All along I have set milestones. Because I found out SO early (less than four weeks), I kept telling myself, "If I can just make it to week __".  The first was 5 weeks, then 7, then 10, 12, 15, 20, and now 24! I am not quite sure what my next one is?? I am thinking 28.  I am not as fearful anyone of losing Avery, now it's turned into a fear of what could happen if I do go into pre-term labor. It's always something!!! I have anxiety of the nursery being nowhere close to being done, not having the furniture we need, blah, blah, blah. All along I have to tell myself that this worry that I feel is ridiculous and God has been so good to us. I have to trust His plan.

On another note the summer is half way over )-: I am also having a lot of anxiety about going back to work. I so wish we had the means for me to stay home. I want so much to be able to not stress, get ready for this baby, and know that I won't have to go back to the grind of teaching once she is here. Wishful thinking I know. It's just a dream for now!

Pregnancy wise I am doing pretty good! The nausea stopped at about 19 weeks, but soon after I started coughing my head off and haven't stopped since. Yep, I have been coughing for over a month now! Talk about miserable. I have been to the doctor twice and everything they have suggested hasn't worked. I just don't know! I go to the OBGYN on Thursday and plan to talk to them about it then. I seem to be doing some growing in the tummy department over the past couple of weeks and can feel Avery what seems like ALL the time! Just yesterday I was able to feel her from the outside with my hand on my stomach. I'm hoping Nick can feel her soon! I know he really wants too (-:

We have the nursery all cleaned out and I plan on painting in the next week! I can't wait to have the paint up on the walls! Then will come figuring out furniture and getting what we do have put up! Exciting! I find myself really wanting to get things as organized as we can before I go back to work. I just know how exhausted I am going to be coupled with how much Nick just makes sense to get what we can done in the next 5 weeks!

I am so thankful for this time off from work! We just got back from a wonderful vacation with my family and had such a good time. It is always so bittersweet for it to end and I miss them so much already! I plan to spend as much time as possible relaxing and taking the rest of this summer all in.