Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas!

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great…

that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11

Friday, December 23, 2011

And then came you

Late in January, Alexander John came into this world. Strong and fair, weighing in at a hefty 10 pounds. And He knew where he would go and what he would be. As he pounded nails and built cities in his dreams, He was creating in him a passion for His name. And when the day came and he fell on knees broken, He changed him. Old to new, sorrow to joy.  And he waited for her and for this. 32 years.

10 months later, in late November, Andrea Beth was born on her sister’s day. 8 lbs. 6 oz. And He knew where her feet would walk and how her heart would ache. As she rocked babies to sleep with visions of motherhood in her mind, He instead was creating in her a passion for His name. And when her eyes were opened to His glory and she surrendered all, He wrapped her in arms of love, saying He’d never let go. And her hurts were healed, sorrows swept away. And she waited for him and for this. 31 years.

And after years of waiting, He brought boy and girl together.  With a story all their own, and a love so strong, holy covenant made in early September, with laden branches of fruit setting the stage.  And they worshipped Him. Receive the glory, Lord. Joy filled their hearts. The start of life’s adventure.  Together. 5 years of humbling love.

And life continued and they waited, pattering feet on their minds. Vials of medications filling countertops, doctor visits.  Monthly tears, barren womb. Hearts steadfast on His promises. Knowing He was all they need. And they prayed and they asked, “O Lord, only your will…” They walked and their eyes saw the Lord magnified, holding them in sorrow, eyes weeping. Two babies at His feet. Three years they waited on Him.  For this.

And then came you. A sweet answer to prayer. Three years waited, you were given by Him. So unworthy; undeserved kindness from the Lord. You will see, oh we pray, how good and loving our God is. Baby, our hearts were distrusting at times, your life unknown. But He knew. Ours for today.  A blessed little gift, so undeserved.  To ask for days in this fallen, broken world seemed folly, but we so wanted you. To hold and love.  To show just how amazing He is.  How He keeps us and loves us. 

You are grace from Heaven. The Almighty giving. Answered prayer. 

Sweet baby ours, you’re on our minds…hearts and mouths petitioning for more and more grace, for more days we don’t deserve with you, for a lifetime of being mommy and daddy. We love you. And we’ll wait…6 more months until you are in our arms.

We are happy to announce that Baby Brogle is due July 8th, 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baby B–10 & 11 Weeks

Weeks 10 and 11 just flew by!  We moved into our house, began putting things back together, hosted a cookie exchange, and went to Wisconsin for an early Christmas and to celebrate our nephews and niece on their 8th birthday.  Talk about a busy 2 weeks.  It was so nice to be back with family…we had a wonderful time and then made it back in time for a Christmas party with friends.  I love the hustle and bustle of this season, fit with pauses to sit and enjoy the babe of Christmas, not ours but Jesus.

In these two weeks baby has been doing some active growing!  We had our first trimester screening right at 11 weeks 2 days and little Baby B grew so much from our ultrasound 2 weeks ago.  Everything looked great and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love seeing our little babe dancing around in there with a heartbeat strong as can be. 

How big is baby? 

Week 10 baby was as big as a kumquat or green olive and week 11 jumped to a fig or small lime.  I’d say that was quite the jump and the ultrasound proved it.  At 9 weeks we had a little teddy graham and at 11 there were long arms and legs moving around.  Watching babies grow in the womb is absolutely incredible.  God knits without mistake and His handiwork is amazing. 

How am I feeling? 

I’m still feeling great.  I still have not been nauseous nor have I gotten sick.  Mainly I’ve been plagued with non-stop sleepiness.  By the time it hits 3pm I’m about done for the day unless I push through in which I’m asleep or in bed by 9.  But that’s nothing to complain about!  I know I’m lucky to have felt this good so far and I’m not taking that for granted.  Hoping it continues.  Also during these past two weeks the bleeding has come to an end which has been great for my psyche.  Worrying less = happier mama.

How am I changing?

So far no major changes.  The bloating has gone down a bit so I can now button some of my normal pre-pregnancy jeans and pants.  Still feeling a little sore and mostly just tired. I think I am as tired as some are sick during pregnancy.  I will be tracking weight gain, not for any reason other than I think it’s interesting.  Other news at week 11, pelvic rest was lifted and I was given the go ahead to exercise again, starting out very slowly!  I’m very excited to keep moving and attempt to keep my muscles strong.

Little Tidbits:
Weight gained:  2 pounds
Maternity clothing purchased: Given 2 pairs of Maternity jeans for Xmas!
Days worked:  Slowing increasing.  Week 10: 2, Week 11: 4
Hours slept:  Stopped counting, now if only I could nap!
Vacations booked:  1…we’re headed to Florida in early January!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby B–9 Weeks

Whew…it’s been a whirlwind week.  So much so, I don’t have a picture of me…but I have one of the baby!  But that being said, week 9 ushered in change!  We moved into our house, all three of us, and so far we’re settling in quite nicely.  Week 9 was filled with packing and unpacking boxes, spending time with my mama who came to visit, and doing a little Christmas shopping.  All the chaos and company made the week fly by!  And through all of this, the SCH gave us a little scare, hence the follow-up ultrasound this week, which showed a very happy baby growing right on track.  Easing mama’s heart already!

How big is baby?

Baby B this week has grown to the size of an olive or grape!  The baby has been busy growing~spinal cord is evident, arm and leg buds form, and now our little one looks like a baby! Can hardly believe that in just 7 short months we’ll hopefully have a baby in our arms…we’re finding like most parents, the growth that’s taken place already pretty fascinating.  God’s doing an amazing work inside!

How am I feeling?
I’m feeling fantastic!  While my mom was here, I kept worrying at my lack of pregnancy symptoms but she gently reminded me that I was just following in her footsteps.  So far, no morning sickness or nausea, and other than being extremely tired, I’m feeling really good.  I’m still trying to take it easy and rest and am looking forward to the SCH going away so I can be active again.  I’m hoping it disappears with the first trimester!

How am I changing?
I can say that this week I’m still noticing a little bit of a belly.  We were looking back at my belly 2 weeks ago and laughing over how my abs may already be gone!  Hoping to get them back postpartum and if I’m anything like my sister, I’m thinking there is a very goo probability I will…let’s hope!  While mama was here we picked up a few pairs of maternity jeans from the Gap.  Hoping I don’t have to wear them too soon but I’ll never know!

Fun little facts:

Boxes unpacked:  Too many to count
Ultrasounds to date:  3
Trees decorated:  1
Heartbeat heard:  167 bpm

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Year Older

And I suppose, another year wiser.  I’ve learned much this year and lived to tell you the tale.  This year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving.  It only happens every 7 years or so and this year I was lucky enough to celebrate Thanksgiving on Wednesday and have Thursday to myself. 

And I had so much to be thankful for.  Having a birthday near Thanksgiving takes being thankful to a whole new level.  I mean, people are listing their thanks everyday leading up to your day.  Very humbling if the day rolls around and you find yourself lost for words.  Thankfully that didn’t happen.

Reflecting on year 30 was on the tip of my mind.  Alex and I ventured out to Buca for a birthday lunch, aka the only restaurant open that was not serving Thanksgiving, and then headed to the movies.  And as we filled our stomachs into a garlic induced coma, we reflected.

Year 30:

-The year God gave us children.  Showed us not only how merciful and grace filled He is, but He answered years of prayer by allowing us to conceive.  Although we have yet to hold conception in our hands, He has heard us and that has been good for our hearts.

-The year we bought a house.  We hope to close tomorrow after a headache of things gone haywire…from a undervalued appraisal to renegotiating the price to getting everything in order, we’re hoping we’ll have new keys in the morning.

-The year our marriage turned 5.  I’m not quite sure what I would do without Alex.  The thought makes me sick inside and I’m so grateful for His support and encouragement of me…He makes me better.  Everyday.

-The year I made my own birthday cake.  Salted Caramel 6-Layer Chocolate cake courtesy of Martha herself.  And let me tell you, it was so incredibly delicious.  Being the nice person I was, I shared with those at work so we didn’t have to eat every last morsel.  Picture to come, but our camera cord is packed:(

I didn’t know last year what the future would entail.  The days to come were hidden from me and as I searched to know my heart and girl who lived within, I found refuge in Him.  He showed me glimpses, perfect photographs, of the girl within.  The passions within her heart, the words needing to come out, the reassurance that He was able to do the one thing I’ve ever wanted to be.  This past year will be far from forgotten.  And although not every one got crossed off the list, there’s always this year.

And I enter 31 with heartfelt gratitude, for 30 blessed years, undeserved.

Baby B…8 Weeks

One more week has passed and that means Baby Brogle is 6 weeks old today!  Things have been a little crazy around here.  Hitting 8 weeks brought all sorts of changes to our lives.  We were set to close on our house in a week but the house under appraised.  Luckily the seller agreed to sell us the house for $15,000 less than we had agreed upon which was a huge blessing, but it took them awhile to agree.  So we’re praying we can still close on time.  Boxes have filled our living room and we’re now officially living on essentials!  After last weeks little scare, it’s good to know things are getting in order.  Also, I celebrated my birthday!

How big is baby?
This week baby is as big as a raspberry!  Such a big jump.  Blueberry to raspberry seems like quite the growth spurt to me!  Although I can’t tell any difference, we definitely saw a difference between our 6 and 7 week ultrasounds, so we can only imagine what has happened from 7-8 weeks.

How am I feeling?
I’m still feeling great though I have definitely slowed down.  After our little scare I’ve been told to rest as much as possible and am currently on pelvic rest.  Work has been really gracious and has limited my hours quite a bit which has been nice.  So if I’m not working, which is only once a week, you will find me on the couch!
How am I changing?
Somehow I’ve been blessed with a belly that distends easily.  Not sure what is really the cause, but paired with the hematoma, I’m now wearing a belly band with most of my pants.  Mainly because the Doctor does not want more pressure on my belly than necessary but also because to be honest, it’s just more comfortable.  Though I do have quite a few pairs of jeans that still fit just perfectly!
Odd little facts:

Cake eaten:  Surprisingly just one piece
Years older:  1
Favorite part of Thanksgiving:  The stuffing
Bleeding episodes:  2
Shows watched:  Far too many

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Being Thankful

Thankful.  Grateful.  Content.  Overwhelmed.  Satisfied.

Words describing the heart giving emotion of thanksgiving.  We set aside a day but in reality it’s a lifetime.  Eyes viewing life through a lens of either thankfulness, disappointment, or selfishness.  What our eyes find their gaze upon…why, that’s soul changing.  With eyes lifted up, how can our hearts boast anything but thankfulness.  It’s when our eyes peer parallel or towards the floor when we get into trouble.  This is nothing new. 

Thankfulness is flowing for so many reasons these days.  But that hasn’t always been the case over this past year.  I’m sure it wasn’t the case for many of you.  But today, on the morn of the feast of gratitude, I can speak thanksgiving over so many things.  And at the end of the day, they all lead back to the same perfect Someone.

1.  My Husband.  For provision, love, and grace upon grace. (Eph. 5:25-26)
2.  Marriage and its sweet covenant.  (Genesis 2:21-24)
3.  My family. all the drama and love intermixed.  (Colossians 3:20)
4.  Children. The ones we long for and the lives He’s given.  (Psalm 127:3)
5.  Friends. The body of Christ all around.  (Proverbs 17:17a)
6.  Shelter. A roof over our head.  (Psalm 91:1-2)
7.  Food.  Abundant blessing.  (Psalm 111:5)
8.  Water.  Refreshing and giving.  (Matthew 6:31-32)
9.  Church.  The House of Worship.  Faithful Leaders.  (Hebrews 13:17)
10.  Women’s Ministry.  Gives life to my heart.  (Titus 2:3-5)
11.  The sun/moon/stars.  Providing life.  (Psalm 113:3) (Genesis 1:15-18)
12.  Mothers.  Givers.  (Proverbs 31:28)
13.  Suffering.  For it produces gratitude.  (Romans 5:3-5)
14.  Fathers.  Providers.  (Proverbs 17:6)
15.  Bible Study.  The word abiding.  (Colossians 3:16)
16.  Provision.  All we need with perfect timing.  (Matthew 6:8)
17.  Prayer.  Power in a word.  (Philippians 4:4-7)
18.  Work.  Every kind, in every way, for the Lord.  (Colossians 3:23-24)
19.  Perfect timing.  There is a season for all things.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
20.  The body of believers.  Brother, sister, friend.  (Eph. 1:16-17)
21.  Salvation.  Undeserved and life changing.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)
22.  Mountains, seas.  Abundant beauty.  (Genesis 1:9-10) (Psalm 95:4-5)
23.  Our 4 legged friends and animals of every kind.  (Genesis 1:20-24)
24.  Rest.  What we need to keep us going.  (Hebrews 4:9)
25.  The cold of winter and warmth of summer.  (Job 38) (Genesis 1:14)
26.  Worship.  Songs of praise; lifting of hands.  (Psalm 33:1-3)
27.  Healing.  Aids the body.  (Psalm 30:2)
28.  Grace.  Undeserved favor.  (2 Corinthians 12:9) (Romans 5:20-21)
29.  All nations.  Coming together.  (Psalm 96:3)
30.  The giver of Thanksgiving.  God in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Living in me, by the grace He has shown, through His son, on the cross.

“All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and your saints shall bless you!  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power…My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever!”    (Psalm 145:10-11, 21)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baby B - 7 weeks

Now that the news is out, I can let you in on the earlier weeks!  The road to baby, as you know, has not been an easy one, but instead a refining one.  But that to be said, we’re excited to hopefully meet this little one in less than a year.  After finding out we were expecting, we were both a little cautious and anxious as to what was ahead.  We chose to share the good news with family and a few close friends immediately, as we are so thankful for the prayers said on our baby’s behalf.

Weeks 4-7 went by quickly.  We had multiple blood draws to make sure my HCG numbers were doubling as they should.  With the encouraging news that things were progressing normally, we slowly allowed ourselves to enjoy this time with our little one.  And any time anxiety rose up in my heart, which it did on many occasions, I was thankful for the Word that fought against.

So here we are at week 7.  Our first ultrasound was scheduled for the 17th of November and we were very excited to see that little heartbeat beating away.  We went in and it was overwhelming emotion to see that little heart beat.   And since I love the “How big is baby?” emails and of course I want to document the whole 9 months, I thought it would be fun to have weekly updates.  So here we are at the beginning!

How big is baby?

This week baby is as big as a blueberry!  Considering how small it started out as, a grain of sand, I’d say it’s grown a bunch!  So amazing, especially after seeing our little one to think this little blueberry will soon be a flesh and blood baby here in the outside world.

So how am I feeling?

I’ve been feeling great!  So far so good.  No morning sickness at all, but that didn’t surprise me in the least.  If I would have been sick I would have been the only female in my family to take on that symptom!  A little tired, a little sore, but all in all, no sickness to account for.  On the other hand we’ve had a few moments of uncertainty.  I’ve had quite a bit of bleeding and headed back to the Dr. on the 21st for ultrasound #2.  We saw baby growing away, heard it’s little heart beating at 150bpm, and found the cause of the bleeding.  I have what’s called a Subchorionic Hematoma.  It’s small, less than a cm and the doctor’s are not worried in the least.  Alex and I on the other hand have been resting in Him with a few bouts of uncertain worry.  But that’s to be expected I’m sure!

How I’m changing?

Not many changes going on yet.  Just the normal aches of pregnancy.  Looking forward to the days when there is a bump!

Odds and Ends

Weight gained:  0 pounds
Ultrasounds had: 2 (1 @ 6w4d and 1 @ 7w2d)
Oranges eaten:  At least a dozen
Boxes packed for our move:  A few
Pages read in my favorite baby book:  Too many to count

Friday, November 18, 2011

Looking Ahead

I cannot wait to be back in a house in time for Christmas!  I’m already looking ahead and thinking of where our Christmas decorations will go.  I don’t go all out and most of my decorations are rustic in style, but none the less, I’m excited.  Especially for our tree to go up!  The past 2 Christmas’ we haven’t put a tree up; there just wasn’t enough room.  So this year, it’ll be up right after we move in!

I know there are a lot of people who don’t want Thanksgiving to be lost amongst Christmas.  I’m in that camp too…especially since, like this year, my birthday will fall on the holiday.  But at the same time, it’s still fun to start dreaming of Christmas.

This year I’m racking my brain on how to display the Christmas cards in our house.  Normally they just reside in a bowl on the table for people or us to peruse through.  But this year, I’d love to do something different.  I’m thinking a garland of sorts to display our cards

What do you do to display your cards?

And speaking of cards…anyone order theirs yet?  I’m swooning over all the seriously adorable designs and I think we’ve landed on a couple of favorites! 

Not sure which one will win out, but can’t wait to hear what you have all decided on.   Are you a card family?  Or do you save the cash and do something else?

Don’t forget to hop on over to Tiny Prints to see what’s new.  All the above designs are from there and my favorite part about their site…you can add something to the back of the card for FREE!  That’s something I love to hear!

Happy card perusing! 

And don’t forget to inspire me with how you display your cards!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Second Half

I’m pretty certain our last tour ended with the dining room.  So here’s to the rest of the tour.  Before I get there, though, I do have to say, I really can’t believe we will be moving back into a house in 26 days!! It’s really a huge blessing, that I for one, was certain wouldn’t be happening for quite some time. 

When we chose our current apartment 2 1/2 years ago we were certain we would only be there for a year, tops.  But with the current market and some great self-control on my husband’s behalf, we’ve saved so much staying put and now all that hard work has paid off.  It feels really good and I’m pretty proud of my husband and his God-given abilities at saving, casting vision, and providing for our little family of two.  Seriously, if it were up to me, we would’ve bought right away, just because, and who knows what would have happened!  Working on self-control, that’s this year’s lesson:)

But back to the tour, because, let’s be honest, that’s what is exciting.  Next up, the kitchen.  It boasts original 1960’s cabinetry that for the most part is in excellent condition.  Just a little TLC to the interiors.  We plan in the future to remodel the kitchen and take down the wall separating it from the living room, but that’s a dream away! 

DSC_1375                                   seriously, who doesn’t love pretty lace curtains:)

Next up, the living room.  I’m excited for this space and the fun that will be had here for years to come. 

DSC_1373DSC_1374Colors will change, but it gives you an idea.  The sweet iron railing leads the way to the front door.  Not sure what to do there!

This is the spacious lower level where we envision football game watching (once a new couch is on the agenda) and playing with toys…hopefully!  The lower level also houses a large laundry/storage area, a 3/4 bathroom, and a bedroom.  The only picture I could get of the bedroom was off the mls, but yes, there is carpet all over the walls, as well as corkboard.  Taking you right back!

And here’s the upstairs floorplan in case you are like me and a visual will help you envision the home.  Seriously, I do not have that gift of seeing something from nothing.  That my friends, would be my husband’s area.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tiny Prints Deal

Have you heard of Tiny Prints? Well they are a card and stationary site that has some really adorable cards, especially for the Holidays.  I know it’s only the end of October, but before we know it cards will need to go in the mail, so I have a coupon for you!

Before we get there, how cute are these cards for the Holidays:

Seriously adorable!  So here’s the deal.  If you click on this link over to Tiny Prints, you can save on your Holiday card purchase with a special $10 off coupon!  What a great deal for seriously adorable cards starting at just $.60/card.  You can even personalize the backs of the card, say with a holiday letter!  Here’s the link:

Happy holiday shopping!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Come on in

Let me show you around.  Though she’s a little different than we imagined on the outside, in the inside she’s just right.  Created and built with love in 1960, she’s only had 2 owners.  We’ll be number 3.  Amazingly the interior has not changed much since then and to our excitement, she’s in wonderful condition.

We love the 1960’s charm.  From the hollow core doors and flat panel cabinetry to the copper-esque drawer pulls on the hallway closets.  We just wish at times, that she also had her original bathrooms.  Were they pink or blue or green?  Although she’s been lovingly updated in the bathroom realm so much of her history still shows.  Including carpet on the walls in the basement bedroom.  Really retro!

You may wonder, since we’re in the business of home remodeling and house-flipping, what we’ll do.  Well we’re going to live with her just as she is for quite some time.  Oh, we’ll paint walls and even put up some wallpaper to fancy her up, but no gutting.  We’re happy she’s in very livable condition and again, we love the 1960’s vibe going on.  Oh we have dreams for her for sure, but we’re happy to keep the projects small at first and live in her.  See what suits us.  Besides, we need to save up a bit:)

But here she is on the inside, almost half of the 2200 square feet.  Inside she boasts 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, more than I ever imagined we’d be able to afford, so we’re really reveling!  In the coming days or weeks I’ll give a little play by play for the rooms.  There’s much to be excited about so hopefully you will enjoy walking along. 

Starting things off is the 3/4 master bath off the bedroom.  It’s newly tiled and looking good as of right now.  Not sure what it is with beige, but these previous owners followed every HGTV rule of thumb to go neutral.

DSC_1363This is second bedroom across from the master.  We pray it will one day be filled with baby things, but we’ll see.  For the indefinite future it will be empty.
DSC_1365Third bedroom on the main level will be my “office”.  I scored a gorgeous custom wing back chair at work the other week for 97% off so it’s the jumping point for this room.  I’m sure it will morph into office/craft/dressing room.
DSC_1367The linen closet.  Seriously I wish you could see it in person.  It’s quaint and cute and more storage than we’ve ever had.
DSC_1369Dining room.  This for us, surprisingly was a must.  Many houses got nixed because they were without formal dining.  Who knows why, but it just seemed important.  By the way, the master and second bedrooms have windows like this as well.
DSC_1371That’s it for now, the rest will come later.  Be ready for the main floor bath, basement, kitchen and living room.  Just looking at pictures is getting me excited!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

life giving


One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” (Luke 8:21-25)

He is our anchor. 
Jesus.  Messiah.  Jehovah. 
Mocked, spurned, aching, tired. 
Weeping, rejoicing, loving, life-giving. 

Dirt stirred by ancient sandals tied, His feet walked, trickle of rain He felt.  Advocate, with voice great, “Forgive them Father, for they know not,” fighting for victory, so undeserved by me.  He must repeat, ten-fold those simple, powerful words, day after day, for me.  For who can stand before; not I.  And yet, I can.  And you can. 

I AM said come and I went.  Heart set on hope; not of one uncertain, but of one promised, long before time began.  His refuge is better than anything this life can offer; He commands the waters and the winds and they obey. 

Do you believe He can calm the storms today?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Welcome to 3224

Sorry for the lapse in posting but we’ve been busy.  Over the past week we fell in love with 3224.  She may not look it on the outside, but she’s incredibly beautiful on the inside.  Strong and sturdy, with aged bones, 50 years young.

We’ve been looking for at least a year and finally felt at home here, within her walls.  She reminds me a little of the house I grew up in mixed with my grandparents home.  Very similar to our last house love on Abercrombie.   Although we haven’t signed the papers yet, not until the end of November, all contingencies have passed so essentially she’s ours.

Now our heads are filled with floor plans and paint colors and room layouts.  Grand plans for years and years down the way…but for now we plan to embrace her just where she’s at.  Sit with her in the wee hours of the night and let her speak to us.  Showing us how to preserve and honor and love her well.  We’re in love with 3224.  Our home to be.

I’m hoping you’ll enjoy walking along with us as we embrace our new home and watch it change as the months go by, little by little.  Maybe even stop on by, we’d love to have you!

Friday, October 7, 2011

When Life is Busy

A whir of minutes turn to hours and before I can glance up, the day is over.  One glimpse back over my shoulder, regaling moments clipped on the pegboard in my mind, registered as memories, helping to remember.  These days have been filled with life, with joy, and finally with the crisp air of the season changing…crimson and ochre.

I’m not sure where the weeks have went or when the words slowed…but I’m anxious to be back here…writing, living, communicating.  I’ll be back, famous words re-spoken.  So many things are on my mind, ready for a day of quiet clarity to sort through it all.  It’s coming and until then, enjoy a memory unclipped from August at the fair.

until then…

Friday, September 30, 2011

beautiful day

The fields heave with fruit abundant, for the harvest is ripe.  All around the threshing floor is full, sheaves fallen.  For He knows the time and hour, the day and season are in His hands.  We are satisfied, hearts full in quiet trust.

"Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” 
John 4:35

Crops are gathered, work hard and toilsome, but the reward sweet, like honey.  Silos overflow, not due to human hands but evidence of the Grower.  How quickly we forget, laboring day in and out, in vain.  With human hands, building up, mouths speaking from human hearts.  Rooted down deep, there lies within, the spirit of the living God.  Yahweh.  Jehovah.

In our midst He lives and moves and has His being.  Let us not grow weary or faint, for He, like an oxen great, dips down beneath, our yoke bearer.  Our arms are weak, burdened by pride, emptying to Him who on our behalf, makes us strong.  The harvest is ready, white and beautiful.  Who will sow,  who will reap?  Non the matter, for if we take open hands, calloused over, and offer to Him, He will bring in life abundant.

”This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review: When the Hurt Runs Deep

All around us, day in and day out, people come and go and I’m certain so many are hurting.  This world, fallen and broken, does not reflect Eden, where hurt was swept away.  We live with hardship, pain, doubt, denial, and deep, deep hurt at the things our eyes have witnessed.  From famine and tsumani, suicide and cancer, to the day by day aching's, as we wait, wonder, and ponder.  Our hearts often question, “why me?”, “why now?”.

One of my favorite bible study authors Kay Arthur, faces these wonderings, ponderings and questions regarding hurt and pain that surround us in the world in her new book When The Hurt Runs Deep: Healing and Hope for Life’s Desperate Moments.  She offers a fresh, straight forward approach to helping us answer these questions in a way that not only glorifies the Lord but offers healing for the heart.  Divided into 18 chapters the  book begins with a glimpse at a few biblical lives as they faced trials and hurt that came their way.  She has not only seen and witnessed hard times but has walked this road personally, and it shows within the book.  Her wisdom is biblical, personal, and applicable.

The book walks through anger, suicide, the question of why, and suffering among others and throughout the book nuggets of wisdom abound to not only comfort the heart but to bring the readers mind to Christ.  She mentions in the beginning that the “soveriegnty of God…is the very key that unlocks and heals our hearts (25)” to which I firmly say Amen.  And she spends the rest of the book walking through hard issues to which she continues to go back and rest in the place of our Sovereign God.

As someone who has walked through hard things and had my eyes witness hurt and pain firsthand, like so many of you, this book was a great reminder of who I trust in, why I do, and how redeeming and good His love is.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.  It’s a great resource and the appendix offers a great study guide for two or more.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review program Blogging for Books.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Black Bean & Lime Quinoa

As the days of summer slowly retreat and tongues long for the fruit of autumn, I couldn’t resist sharing this ode to summer side dish.  Talk amongst friends peaked a curious mind to unearth the grain often forgotten in our house.  Quinoa.  A complete protein, with nutty wholesome taste, that takes on the flavors it is combined with.  For us, lime did the trick.

This simple side is so versatile and delicious; you can change up the ingredients to your taste.  Only thing, make sure you add a distinct flavoring for the quinoa to soak up.  Many like to make the quinoa in chicken broth, imparting that taste for a more savory side.  Whereas this dish is rich in lime.  We all know the greatness of lime and cilantro…chipotle rice anyone?  This is similar with just a few more ingredients.  Perfect for a  light lunch or dinner accompaniment.

I sought out fellow bloggers for a how-to on preparing quinoa…looking to these for inspiration:  Our Best Bites and Healthy Tipping Point.

As far as the recipe, the inspiration came from here:  Epicurious.  I followed the dressing exactly and changed up the ingredients more for my taste.  This batch included red pepper, jalapeno, fresh corn, red onion, tomato, black beans, cilantro, salt, pepper, and some garlic.

This is when cooking gets fun…use your imagination!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let Us Love One Another

“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the
same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together;
if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”  
1 Corinthians 12:24b-25

Today I had the special opportunity to guest post over at Hoping in God.  My good friend Jackie, whom I met through our blogs, has been featuring a great series on how to love your infertile friend.  My post today shares that when we can see past the lines of infertile/fertile, young/old, married/single, and live as women of God all bound together in the sisterhood of Christ, we can bring Him glory and bring love to one another.  Check it out here!

This morning while reading through my reader I came across 2 great posts that were so good and applicable to us as women that I needed to share them.  Take a look, they are great encouragement!

When It’s Hard to Find Time for God in Prayer by Ann Voscamp

The Superpower Every Girl Has by Emily Freeman

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

She Gives Love

With grace and strength she carried me.  9 months whole, serving her family as the pangs of labor took over.    It was a day of celebration while life within beckoned for release.  She waited for me, rejoiced over me.  I am my mother’s daughter.

She has seen the world.  Days have been filled with love bursting forth intermixed with sorrows increasing.  She’s seen loss time and time again.  She’s witnessed the taking of the soul in her midst, praising her Savior amidst pain.  And she has given herself, empty, to those who took up residence in her womb.  Not only her own, but open arms have embraced so many; step-children, grandchildren, and friends alike.

She has worn strength and dignity daily as she stretches herself, putting her own needs behind.  Love comes openly and honestly.  She doesn’t even know how eyes are fixed upon her, watching, learning, participating alongside.  She taught me submission, by acting in ways that give Him glory.  Trusting in quiet and gentleness.  Without her, where would we be?

She is worthy of praise, especially today, on her birthday.

Happy birthday Mom!  We love you so very, very much.

”We do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in our prayers.”
Ephesians 1:16

Friday, September 2, 2011


With the chance of showers, the air is the same.  How we prayed and He answered, parting clouds, soaking up rain, unearthing the light of day. For such a time as this.

Alex and Andrea037

Sunshine floods in; eyes wide open with view familiar.  We’re toasting the day, sampling wine from the vineyard.  Thankful for the grower and the seeds He’s sown.

Alex and Andrea002
Love awakens with the peal of bells. “Here comes the bride…” It’s a day glorious, not by way of scenery or style, but with words spoken, covenant making words.

Today marks the day.  Words spoken softly; unrehearsed.  These words bind, holy covenant on our lips in unison with our Maker, our cord of three.  Words of love.

Celebrating years we don’t deserve, unmerited favor, and a love not ours, but a gift.  
That day, 5 years past, we never imagined the days set before us; 
heartache, loss, joy, and gladness.  And yet, we’re here. 
Stronger, solid, thankful and so in love. 
Still walking the road...

5 years.  4 cars.  3 homes.  2 babies.  1 God.
Today we're off enjoying the day right where it all started.

"You are our God, and we will give thanks to you; 
you are our God; we will extol you.  
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; 
for his steadfast love endures forever!"
Psalm 118:28-29

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Love

The gentle breeze, carrying with it the glimmering light of day.

The unfolding smile of a stranger with eyes held on laughter.

The roar of a crowd, gathered with childlike anticipation.


Spending the afternoon in the arms of a loved one.

The wafting aroma of peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, and pretzels. 

The booming voice of the announcer across the loudspeaker.

Glimpses of the eternal through the beloved, all american game.

Laughter, love, tears, and joy intermixed, joining strangers together.

It’s summer love; hearts together, all rooting for one victory.

Joy in the ordinary. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Celebration Pasta

The day is short and time sweeps by.  Are you making the most of the time at hand? 

Is there celebration for the gentle breeze through the trees or the shimmering light of summer?  Taking time to pause and reflect, opening hands to be thankful for what is right in front of us.  The still of the day or the chaos at night.  We are growing thankful.  Slowing down to take in the slightest glimpse of glory; right here in our midst.

These past few weeks we have had much to celebrate.  For us there were the big and the small, intertwined.  From the closing on a new rental property to the cooling days of summer.  From a glass of red wine to the unexpected gifts given.  For answered prayers and the gentle laughter amongst community.  There is much around to be thankful for and this meal is perfect for the breaking of bread with two or twenty.  Taking in the bounty of summer and placing it on the plate; it’s summer in a mouthful.  Bright, playful, and awesome all at once.

Celebrate today.  The littlest of things to the grand, once-in-a-lifetime achievements.

”…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Chrust…”  
Ephesians 5:20

Celebration Pasta
Inspired by Me
Serves 2-3

3 Large Ripe Tomatoes, diced
2 Cloves of Garlic
3 T Olive Oil
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
1 t dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Dried Pasta

Fresh Basil
Parmesan Cheese

1.  Prepare pasta.  While the pasta cooks, add oil to pot set at medium high.  Let the oil heat for a minute or two and then add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes being sure not to burn the garlic.  (I add a tsp of kosher salt to the oil at this point) Add more oil if necessary.

2.  After the garlic softens and is aromatic, add the tomatoes.  Stir occasionally and let them break down.  Add the splash of vinegar and oregano and let simmer for aobut 10 minutes.  Taste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Plate pasta, add sauce, and finish with fresh basil and cheese.

3.  Enjoy pasta and life to the fullest.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who Can you Call?

Today via a favorite blog of mine I found out about a great deal for calling cards/blog cards/mommy cards.  After perusing the site I was sold and went for the great deal.  Basically Minted is having a great promotion right now:  They are offering 25 free cards + a holder to keep in your purse or diaper bag for the cost of shipping only.

I do have South Face business/calling cards made by the amazing Anne at Gaddere, but I didn't have any cards linking to the blog.  So I went ahead and put in an order for some since this is such a great deal.

The cards are super cute and fun, with vivid colors and funky designs.  Check them out!  Here are some of my favorites from Minted's website.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Settling in Deep

Even goes the tide and with it goes my heart, settling in deep.  Ways of life whip past, journeys begin and end, and with the fell swoop of daylight we begin again, taking it all in.

Being reminded over and over of simple truths from mouths of men aged long ago as well as wise men in the here and now.  Change comes slowly, but it comes, gently urging hearts to conform.  Waiting is but now; the return on the pause of life is abundant joy, worthy of the jilt of life, I suppose.

In these walls, daylight spills over awakening hearts and minds, and while there are no secrets here, the mood of the day is stilled.  We consume ourselves with life words, from the life giver, opening hands to catch the tender rays of sparkling light. 

With the length of days, so it is with abiding, gently growing shorter as the harvest draws near, rendering our hearts the satisfactions longed for.  Here, in these walls, we are living abundantly, with the fervor and love not of ourselves. We lay ourselves at the door, ushering in the Spirit to consume us.

Walking, running, hoping, loving.  When your heart opens to the giver of all good things, what do you find?  Is there a deep resignation to the will of the One who leads?  Is there a stutter to your step as you try to steady weak knees as He says “go forth”? I find myself often residing with Peter, gazing down to rustling waves rather than lifting heavy eyes north to find hands that hold, steady and firm.

Today let us shift our gaze north, star gazing at the One who knows them by name, opening hands to be held firm, offering hearts to be gently molded for joy, and lives to be lived fully for the day.  For the day is enough; let us hope.  The morrow will wait, and all the while, let us petition for more of Him who gives abundantly.  

”This I have recalled to my mind, therefore I have hope. 
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”
(Lamentations 3:21-24)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Encouragement for the Weary

As dawn breaks on the new day, my heart and my head need to be shaken awake.  I long to sleep and rest and spend the day with You.  The gentle wake of reality hits as sun breaks through the shades and the day is upon me.  The needs of the day quickly make themselves known and work has begun; making, sweeping, helping, holding.

About the day I go, taking in my surroundings; friends, family, those unknown to me, living the life the has been accorded to them.  Babies cry, toddlers question, mommies groan under pressure, men are off to work.  Life is happening all around me; and here I am, grappling for enough strength to get me through this life all around.  Grace to listen to the day of mommies, strength to see the calendar laid open and my thwarted plans unveiled, faith to wade through the lies that await me. 

And along the way words spring up in my cavernous heart;

“Come to me all who labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I await and find my being in the rest from the Father who knows we grow weary.  Who knows the ushering in of August has wracked my heart with grief.  Who cares so for my broken heart.  Who carries me through the echoing of mother’s continual talk of life with pattering feet.  He knows my every need, before the feelings every hit my heart.

My heart is growing weary, my tongue is tied only by His grace, and I know I’m not alone, traveling through the bunkers this world has laid among us.

And again, by His mercy I find myself echoing promises, for that is the only way I know to keep moving forward, step by step, through this life, through the day, through tomorrow. 

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

My eyes are set on autumn, the ushering in of a new season, praying that with the reaping of wheat there will be abundance for my soul.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it

Almost 5 years ago I said yes; to a man, to a commitment, and to our future.  For better or worse, in richer or poorer; these words were not in our vows. 

IMG_0893_1                                                                 our younger selves (2005)
Instead I promised:

-to be faithful to you and never leave you
-to respect and submit to your leadership
-to trust your judgement in leading me as God leads you
-to provide you with an abundance of encouragement and to communicate openly and honestly with you  
-to listen when you speak and keep what I hear
-to trust you and honor you and follow you 
-to be your helper and your most trusted friend.

These 4+ years have proved to challenge my faith and my trust.  Life has pulled on my heart strings as I open my hands, letting go of preconceived notions on how life is supposed to look.  Life with you isn’t preconceived, or according to the world’s plan, and doesn’t look like others’. 

In 4+ years we’ve done crazy things; bought 2 houses in the middle of a real estate meltdown and the Lord sold them, we sold our house in order to best create working capital, and now we embark together down a new road, following Him.  I fell in love with your spirit when we were dating; I’m recalling back how often you asked “Honey, what if I want to stop working and build boats in a barn, will you stick by me?”


Little did I know that phrase would be a metaphor for our future.  Flipping houses, selling houses, buying houses, renting houses.  It was a glimpse into your heart, full of passion and energy, and entrepreneurial spirit.  Naively I said yes, not fully understanding what you meant.  But I see it now, raw drive, extreme attention to detail and you take your provision job so seriously.  And I’m thankful. 


Every year a time hits when I’m reminded that I need to trust, not only you, but the Lord.  For His provision and plan. And with new eyes, I get a glimpse of this crazy, wonderful, passionate man I married.  Who with extreme passion in your eyes and a childlike giddiness in your voice, lights up our life with new possibility.  This brings change.

I’m not so good with change.  I like to plan things out as we dream together, without having to think we may be steered another direction.  Gentle pruning.  He’s pruning me to be better listen and trust and encourage you.  I’m becoming a better wife.  Day by day, moment by moment, I’m being reminded that life is not run according to me.  And through the pruning, my heart surges with new love for you and this amazing spirit the Lord has put in your heart.

Honey, I’m so proud of you.  And I’m sorry.  I know I don’t always appreciate the passion within.  It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been so, so worth it.  It’s our adventure; up, down, steady and crazy all in one. 

I love you just the way God made you.

Congratulations are in order today; to you and our new adventure!