Hi Baby!


So now that you've watched our little video, I figured I'd go ahead and start our fun little series of showing the wee babe grow. Spraguelets are fun to document, as will be witness by the next 30 weeks. 

 I don't know that I really was 'showing' by 11 weeks, but I definitely noticed by body change. My belly seemed to stick out more although I haven't gained any weight, but there isn't the distinct 'pregnancy bump.' Soon enough, Soon enough. 

These posts will be a few weeks behind. I've allowed myself some margin to document these, so as to not get overwhelmed. I'm excited to share and document this life-changing event and I'm especially excited to look back to see all the growth. Hooray for growing babies!


Oh Babies.

Over & Out!

Being Celebrated: Thank you!


It was such a heart warming thing to post our little video and feel all of your support and love. Ben and I, when driving home from church last night, kept reading and laughing to all the responses on Facebook. Thank you all for your kindness and genuine celebration. It means a whole bunch and we definitely feel celebrated. So thank you. A million.

This day is for catching up on all the the duties of my life (hello sock pile.) , and getting to see a sweet friend for lunch. Then, pages and pages of reading for school. Hip. Hip. Hooray.

Thanks Again. You make a girl and boy feel real nice (and a baby too!)

Over and Out.

A Happy Little Announcement!


Ben and I have some exciting news. But rather than telling you with just plain words we spent some time making a special video. We hope you like it :)

Dear John: A real letter


Dear John,

I thought about doing a little picture, as per usual, but I wanted to write more than a sentence or two, so I figured I'd just go ahead and write a post.  These past few months you've been particularly impressing me and I wanted to tell you about it.

 I remember when we first started dating I had this image of what I wanted you to be 'someday'. And I remember trying to sneakily suggest the changes I thought would be nice (remember how we would have the conversations of 'if we could just change one thing about each other what would it be?') Oy vey. You're gracious. Then I remember getting into premarital counseling and then marriage and learning to give all that up.  Reading somewhere from some couple married for a really long time, the guy made the comment : "I'm not committed to 'this marriage' but to you for the rest of my life," and it changed me. I realized that I had been trying to fix us to some mold of what I thought marriage was supposed to look like. If I was going to be committed to the marriage, I wanted it to be filling me in a way it wasn't meant to, but if  I was committed to you instead, ( which meant you right now, not 'future' you,) that would mean a lot of things. Mostly, me quitting trying to make us something we weren't-like a polo-wearing, hip, coffee-shop-hanging-into-the-wee-hours couple. I think both of us are quite glad I got over that. Especially you and the polo. Ha. you in a polo.  

But its funny to me how once that point was reached, just how much room was left to get to see you. Like, really you. Rather than thinking of how I wished you would have said something differently, I got to think about why you chose the words you chose, and why you make the decisions you make. I feel like once that point came, being married to you was far more interesting than the dating phase, because I actually began to discover who this guy was, and I really really like who that guy is. Your choices made more sense, and actually were better than what I would have done. And my faith in you and your judgement skyrocketed.  You can lead a family well.

Lately, I've been especially impressed with the person that you are. You, my good-looking man are fine workmanship.  And I have to say, its impressive. You're a better man that I had conjured up you could be. You're more loving of a husband, a stronger leader, and more a man of integrity then I even knew was something to aspire to. And here you are. And I'm with you. I'm a Lucky Girl.

So, to the comic-book loving, video-gamer, who takes care with his words, and does what is right, not for anything other than because its good and pleasing to the Lord, I want you to know I'm a proud woman. You are the champion of my heart and I have at least 100, no make that 970 stories that I could list of the days when you were extraordinary and went above what was required of you. What a man! I'd rate you a 1.

That-a-boy, That-a-boy. 

See you at 5, you're awesome. I love you.


P.S. I'll give you five dollars if you figure out how I can have so many stories. (Update: Within 5 minutes you figured it out. Pure genius.) 

Saturdays are for Adventures


I've noticed my inefficiency at taking pictures as of late.  It's very unlike me, and yet it has been allowing me to live a little more inside my self. Rather than the observer, trying to capture pictures to share, we've just been doing.

On Saturday, we woke up, and we went to breakfast. A sweet little family to our right sang a little prayer and the youngest kept repeating loudly "God is good!" It was sweet and I agree. We then ventured to a comic book shop we'd never been and spent a while talking with the owners. Its always a treat to actually know whats going on. I used to feel so out-of-sorts. Now I'm pretty bold. Asking them about stuff, you know.

One thing that always proves its a true comic book shop is the quality of it's bathroom. If any women buy comics, you can attest to this. I think the latest adventure reached a whole new height for comic book store bathroom nastiness. The bathroom, at the very back of the store in a sort of secluded area, had a toilet, but no seat. No toilet paper, and a sink who actually had a whole in its faucet, which seemed to act as a wash your hands, and get a drink of water. Men really wouldn't really have a problem with this, in that they could stand, but in terms of any needing to squat I'm not really sure how they manage. It was random, and my squatting technique is basically beyond impressive (I know you were wondering.) I guess I shouldn't say it was random. It was exactly as expected, but uprising in that whenever i think "wow, this is funny in a bad way" I find one that's even more hilarious. They had good comics, a soda machine, pretty awesome wall art and a whole room for magic playing; which in comic book reader speak=all you really need for living. If Ben and i ever own a comic book store, that bathroom is going to have potpourri and a french looking couch. Maybe not. that might bring down business. Oh well. Where there's magic, they will come.

Then, Ben took me to a sweet little bakery that we surprisingly pass all the time, and it had some amazing macaroons. We ate them in our car since the place was packed and talked about music. We like music. We headed home, picked up some Flintstones vitamins on the way because they are delicious spent the rest of the night watching random t.v. shows.

So, folks, life has been changing in a very nice pleasant way in that we've had 3 consecutive weekends of rest. We're excited for the upcoming months, and as we now actually have snow, we're enjoying the coziness of home.

I hope life is restful for you as well and you're staying warm.

Over and Out.

Ben After Shaving


This is what Ben looks like after he shaves:

And in winter, that's not so fun.
To all the wives, let your men grow some beards. 

Over and out

Life Lately


These past weeks have been especially special. We've spent most of our time indoors and together. A lot of t.v. watching, a lot of things that aren't particularly glamorous, and yet special..like  dancing in the kitchen, goofing off, and general tom-foolery.

Some of my favorite things have been making brownies, breakfast in bed pretty much all week, ben shaving (it happens infrequently-so its cause for celebration), looking at the snow and going through clothes my sister has borrowed me.

Today was a special moment, we decided to stay in all day-until we realized we were running out of toilet paper (the story is in the details) which resulted in us planning a little coffee date. We were sitting and watching people and based on what they looked at on their computers ended up being our topic of conversation ( A little creepy, a little awesome). I learned so much about Ben. Topics included whether or not we're going to let our kids have facebook,what we think about dating sites, if a movie was our life-what movie would our life be and in general awesome life stories.

I've got to tell you, Ben is really funny. Now I know most people say that about their spouses, but Ben is especially funny. It's in his stories, the one he forgets until awesome days like this, that have me rolling.

Which shows you really always can learn more about your spouse. So then, dates are nice. And having toilet paper is a very good thing.

I hope you're enjoying your days and staying warm.

see you soon

dear john #27

Why happiness isn't the point: a look at suffering


Holidays are always an interesting thing. For us, its happiness surged to the max, and its filled with a lot of laughing, a lot of that feeling of " I belong here" and a lot of general just good things.
And when we come back,  we realize how exhausted we are, and we become introverted for a few weeks until we come alive again.

Normally, during this introverted time, and in general, in the winter-I get kinda gloomy. Life seems a little less awesome. After the 'high' of the holidays comes the 'low' of the reality of cold winter for the next 4 months (okay, 7...) This was my norm. But, surprisingly this hasn't happened yet. At first I assumed it was because we were having an unusually warm winter and I think it might be in part due to that, but I don't really think so. I think God's doin' something.

Happiness is something kind of mysterious to me. Recently I had a conversation with an individual who believes that God's main objective is for the happiness of His children and His entire theology is built on that. I would say that, 6 months ago, I might have agreed. While, I think this sounds nice, really nice actually...I don't necessarily see that in the New testament. I did a little search of the word 'happy' in the Bible, and it does come up, but only 10 times. 5 of which are in the Psalms, and the 5 other  prior and none are talking about God wanting us to be happy.

Now I'm not saying God doesn't enjoy us being happy, I think He delights when His children are-but I don't think that's His ultimate objective. I think His Glory is His ultimate objective...the pursuit of happiness, is always that. A pursuit; And I think there are better things for Christians to pursue. This has actually come kind of hard for me. So, I hope its not sounding as if I'm immune to this idea. Especially because for the past many years, I have based my relationship with Christ on how Happy He made me, to the point I would fake it. But what does the christian do in depression? What do we do when we aren't happy? What do we do when our emotions are not positive, and we don't see Him blessing, but all we see is suffering? What if prosperity isn't happening in our lives.  Is God no longer valid? These are the questions that were happening in my heart. My theology was breaking down on itself, and I had to either say God is not who He is and thus decide not to believe, or say I don't have the right view of Him. I chose the latter, and these past 6 months have changed me.

If I embrace this to be true, this idea that God's goal isn't my happiness, then this changes some things.

First of all, it forces me to reconcile this idea of suffering. What do we do with it? As I looked through the Old and New Testament, I see its not always bad, in fact it often is intentional and always results to bring God Glory.  This has been the hardest part. This idea, (that seems to reoccur numerous times in the Bible) that suffering is used for good is one that I would in honesty rather skip over. Before I believed when I experience suffering in my life (which is intentionally stated 'when' not 'if,') I would begin to question God. I would think to myself, "How could this be? Doesn't God love me? Isn't God good?!" But, God has not once promised to keep me out of suffering. In fact, He's promised me that this whole Christian deal comes with suffering, following Him often means persecution as all the First Christians would attest to that. Suffering is part of the deal.

If this is true..what does it mean? It means that I've reached this point in my faith where I have to willing to accept the fact that God loves me, and God is good, and all the other attributes I've known of Him are still true, even when I suffer. God is for us, not against us. Always. I no longer can attach an attribute to the ultimatum "Do this, or I won't believe." I no longer say "If you were good, then you'd heal my mom." or "If you were all powerful, you would fix this situation in my family's life." "If you really were in control you'd make this stop.  No. God is good. Period. God is in control. Always. God is who He says He is, no matter my perception of the situation.  And while healing, and fixing  and removing pain are things that God is readily able to do. God's glory is the point, always. and often times through extreme suffering God's ultimate glory is shown (Case in Point: Jesus.)

God has chosen the best plan and we are living. And that also includes all this stuff.

This is hard to reconcile. But,  with this truth, all of a sudden, I realize that the outcome of my life can be redefined. I once would say "I'll be content with my life if this and this and this occur." And I believed that God HAD to, was REQUIRED to do that for me. He wants good things for me, and I had defined what is good. Pain was not included. But what happened is that what I had defined as good wasn't happening, and pain is happening. While I think God delights in giving blessings to his Children (as I can attest to for hours,) His objectives are not only blessings for His Children. A parent doesn't exist for the child. The child is the joy to the parent. We are here for His Glory.

That has given me a lot of change in heart. I realize that for most of my life, even the parts that I feel were not full of accomplishment, and were full of suffering I do see God bringing about His Glory. And I realize, through even what I used to deem 'failure,' God has and will bring deep Glory from it. And if this is my purpose, and if this is what I choose to focus my life on then all of a sudden life is a joy. And coincidentally, I find myself filled with peace,( which sometimes will lead to the emotional feeling of happiness.)

Realizing that God doesn't have to take me out of suffering, but God will use it, and never leaves me in my dark times, or when I lose what I love; that gives me Hope. It also gives me a sigh of relief. Being able to reconcile the fact that God is good always  Period. And that suffering isn't beyond him, but he actually uses it-while it blows my mind, (and I certainly don't have this figured all out, I'm a baby yet, and still struggle with it), it's so much more beautiful than the idea that He can't control it. That its just one big 'oops.' That when babies die, and when my family suffers, and when I feel we're being wrongly accused, and when friends are in deep pain, God is there. And God is using it somehow to bring ultimate goodness. Its crazy, but its truth.

So, this season has been joyful. While my life, and these next few years aren't necessarily going exactly according to what I previously planned, I see God's work, and I see His Glory. Which for the rest of eternity that's what I will be focusing on.

I hope those that are going through the blues of winter, and suffering realize that God never wastes pain. He is Good. He loves you. And any other individual involved, just as much. God is in complete control and is somehow using every situation for His glory. One verse that is so beautiful to me is Genesis 50:20. After Joseph had been abandoned by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused of essentially raping his boss's wife, being forgot and left in chains, He rises to power in Egypt and faces His brothers who started all the suffering he experienced.  In famine, and he says to them:

"20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

And He loves on his brothers.  Its so beautiful. There is no situation that God doesn't work to good.

That's been on my heart lately. I hope ya'll are encouraged and see God and His Glory and rest in the truth that God isn't letting us go. He is for us, he loves us, and He is good.

Over and Out.

Dear John