//Life According to Instagram//



One perk of having an camera always on hand is the way it causes me to reflect. Things I so quickly pass by without giving any real thought to and quickly lose all recollection of have now become something I've thought about every time I retake a look at these. Coffee dates, funny moments, conversations. These represent a whole lot and I like that.

I don't think I've officially wrote this yet here, but for all identifying reasons, I plan on staying at home once our little girl is born. This was a pretty hard decision to make for Ben and I. It was a lot of long hours with Ben and I talking it through, going through pro and cons lists and a lot of prayer. Going through college at a Big 10 University, I heard and read the term 'opting out' in reference to stay-at-home moms and never wanted to feel like I was opting out- as if I'm choosing to not take advantage of amazing opportunities presented to me-by choosing to be at home. The more I think about it though, I really don't think that'll be the case. For us, I think it'll be opting in. Opting in to all the silly memories to be had, the growing of children that will someday be gone, building up a family and demonstrating what sacrifice looks like; even by the act of choosing to live with less tangible so we can have more intangible.

There's a lot that I could say. I even practiced little speeches in our car to explain our decision, but I think what it comes down to for Ben and I is what a young woman said while doing my hair for my wedding, she casually commented "there will always be time for this kind of work."

{Now, I wanna give a shout out to moms working out side of the home. For all sorts of reasons I think working out of the house while being a mom is a perfectly awesome decision. We plan on potentially having that be one of our decisions in our future. Both my Mom and Ben's have had their fair share of working outside to give their families the best available to them. I think its a seriously positive thing to do! You teach your kids valuable lessons about hard work and sacrifice and from all my friends who work away from home and from personal experience, the relationship you have with your little ones is just as intimate as any others. This choice really does depend on each couple and what would be best for them at that stage of life.  Ben and I decided for our values, lifestyle, future choices, current stage in life, etc. this is what would be best for ours. Hear my heart-Too easily women read these kind of posts and feel all sorts of guilt. You shouldn't. I know every mom processes what would be best for her family and acts in that. You're doing best for your family. Be confident in that truth.}

So with that, I'm excited. I'm excited for all the little things. To keep things interesting for myself and her by going on random adventures and to be able to relive those memories with the scrapbooks and story telling when they grow up. I'm excited to grab lunches with Ben and bring our little girl, and to take all sorts of pictures like the ones above.

I hope I'll keep remembering that the work of raising her (and any others the Lord blesses us with) is time sensitive-it can only be done now and at some point it will no longer be available. Other types of work, in my case especially, can and will be done later. I have a mental checklist I go through every time I get discouraged with my fears of all this. I think it has its fair shares of struggle just like anything else. I hear its hard not to lose identity when being a stay at home mom, amongst other things. God has already been working on my heart and showing me just how much I will struggle with this without a proper perspective of Him. I have graphs (I'm a strong Myer's Briggs J) of the reality of my life to remind myself that even this is just a season. Eventually, sooner than later, our babies will be all grown. This season will be done. Learning how to embrace each season God takes us through has been a good learning lesson. Especially in learning to be joyful in each one. I'm joyful to, Lord willing, reminisce of these days with Ben. To reach the season where the 'just us' is reinstated and to be happy with the ways we spent the time when it was 'all of us'. To get to do that with our family-I get giddy just thinking of it. 

I'm content with where we're at and with where we'll be in a few weeks (15-16 weeks!) All sleep deprived and going crazy...I'm looking forward to include a fuzzy head baby in these photos and to document what its like having a sweet little person to get to grow and nurture. I look forward to the adventure of it all.

Thanks for reading.

Hi Baby! 24 weeks!


(if its hard to read, click on the picture and it'll make it larger!)

These pants are magical. Not only did I find them for under 20 dollars down in Florida, but they still fit me. Say WHAT?! yes. Yes. they do. I'm near the point of naming them. (As is proper for every inanimate object that I love.) I dont know whether to call them some magical name filled with whimsy-which would be appropriate, or call them something more practical like "My favorite purple pants." I'm thinking "magic pants," "hot threads," or "unicorn dream pants."

In equally exciting news, this weekend we have very little plans. For having weekends typically be hectic, having this weekend off is leaving Ben and I both a wee-bit giddy. Board games and various other adventures will be included in the next 48 hour period.

Ben and I were talking about just how pleasant life is right now. We'll be going to hawaii in a week and a half for Ben's company's Annual General Meeting, ( I briefly mentioned last year's here.) I have one month left of LDI before summer comes and preparing for our baby really begins. I get to take Ben to meet the whole Thompson clan to Colorado this summer, and seeing Ben in preparation for this Baby puts a certain kind of joy in my heart.  The layers of Ben being a good man are always much deeper than I think. I become amazed, and sooner than later, he's showing yet another way He's an awesome husband. That little girl is one blessed nugget. I'm a blessed nugget.

I've also been thinking about just how blessed we are to have what we have. Talking about all the stuff we need in preparation for a babe can, if I'm not careful, cause me to begin to be in a attitude of want. In reality, we have everything we need and then some. Being realistic about that, and even about what we really will be needing for our baby has allowed a lot of contentment with where we're at.

Praise the Lord.

Hope you all have one happy happy weekend and take some time to realize just how much awesomeness is going on in your individual lives!

Over and Out.

Melvin the Machine


I was reading the Daybook today, and she posted a link to this beauty. It's actually pretty awesome. The premise is to do an activity as inefficiently as possible. There's a whole lot of creativity in this, and the sort of thing that Ben and I both geek out for. Watch and be amazed. 

Happy Monday!

Twins Game!


We got the pleasure of going to the Twins Game this past friday for free! Our co-leaders got tickets as well, so we made a date of it. It was pretty fun to show up and see a good chunk of Hopesters there (about 40 tickets had been raffled to small group leaders) It was definitely a blast. The company was pretty awesome, If I do say. 

 It was raining for a good part of it, but luckily we missed the rain and it didn't really start to pour till after the game was over. It was a great time. Go Twins!

Over and Out,

Hi Baby! 23 weeks!


I take quite a few pictures when taking these. Sometimes people see me and I feel a little weird. Nothing like a pregnant woman doing moves in front of a tripod. I'm getting used to it and I think they are too. Most of the pictures turn out something like this:

 I get excited to think of the day our baby girl sees these. Hopefully they will all make  sense to her. "Yes, that's my mom and her crazy faces-it makes sense where I get them."

I get especially excited at the kind of joy I hope we can teach her to take in the fact she's a Sprague. We're an expressive, honest bunch of people. A group that knows how to celebrate and that lives to love the Lord. Generosity is a big deal to us. While I'm sure we don't always exhibit this stuff, I want her to realize that she comes from a clan that really has a history of this and that she really does belong. Most importantly-Christ is where our family's anchored. I hope she grows to make that a reality of her own life and her family as well.  

I hope she gets identity from the culture of our family, but also in the unique gifting she has due to her identity in Jesus. If she's anything like Ben, she'll be a thinker, and yet have a great way of relating, if she's like me-She'll be all about relational things.  It'll be neat to see if she's something completely different or some hybrid of the two. Soon enough we'll find out! 

However God is forming you, we're excited to celebrate you. 

It's the Little Things


Twins Games. Fo' Free!

Getting Laundry Totally Completed and having my husband rejoice over having a full sock drawer. That man knows when he sees sacrifice. 

Having Cinnamon Rolls that leave our house smelling like Candy Land (Or how I imagine it would smell like. Magic. Thats what it smells like. Pure Magical Nectar.)

Having hard conversations and then realizing how those once hour and a half conversations have gone down to 15 minute ones and leave us affirming each other. Pastor Steve once talked about conflict, and how if its successful, your relationship should be better for it. I like that I can see that with us.  We're better for it. That husband of mine knows how to pastor his family. I hope our baby girl sees how well her dad treats her mom.   

Ben Hugs. Best Thing on this side of the universe (my guess-on the other side too.)

Baxter. Our Beta Fish. Just chillin'.

Going to the book store and finding a book that was definitely a divine appointment (mm! Praise you Jesus.) Which leaves me thankful. That one copy hidden in the shelves-which happen to address so many of the struggles I've been going through lately- and I just happen to find it. That God sure knows how to love on his girls. 

Seeing opportunities come into my lap that allow me to do things I'm passionate about. Seeing the tangible-ness of what God says he'll do. 

Ice cream.

Baby Kicks. 

Ben already setting the ground works for modesty. Protector Dad coming through.  Lucky Girl. 

Ben's stories. He's the best storyteller ever. 


Baby Nursery Colors


Baby Nursery Idea 1
Baby Nursery Idea 1 by brttanysprague1 on polyvore.com 

Ben decided he wanted pink, grey  and green for the colors, so we're playing around with it. I think I like it. 

Life According to Instagram



I recently got instagram for android. I was pretty pumped. It's been fun playing around and I'm excited to do all the projects I've seen for instagram photo's once I've built up a collection.

 Lately, unfortunately, Ben and I have been sick. Normally he gets it, and I get to miss the bullet, but this time I got to take one for the team. It's caused a lot of sleepless nights-which has the plus of getting to feel our baby girl kick at 2 AM and 4 AM and 4:30 AM-but causes me to be a little bit on the tired side, and causes my mouth to say things before my brain computes. I probably pull that once a day anyways (we're working on it.) But being sick causes even my reasoning-even when I do try to process things-to not be too sound. Thank you gracious friends who know my heart!

Because of the whole sickness ordeal, I've tried to hang back a little bit from people. Good ol' crisis prevention. Ben is nice. He laughs when I'm being sassy, and lets me pretend quit every commitment   I've ever made (other than my relationship with Jesus and Him, obviously.) And the classic "are we gonna make it?" line that has pretty become a part of every hard day is always met with "yeah babe, we'll make it." 

I love that man.

P.S. In awesome news, when we went to the Dr. for our baby check up they gave us a frame that records the heartbeat of our baby girl!!!They recorded it with the little doppler gadget, and now I have it to play over and over again.  I played that little pitter patter all the way home. It's probably sweetest sound I've ever heard.

The Helping Role in Marriage


Marriage has been probably one of the biggest challenges, and greatest adventures I have yet to be on. The way my relationship with Christ has deepened because of it, and the way I've had to die to self- learn what living sacrificially means (and I bet I don't even know the half of it!) has been something that has left me feeling incredibly grateful and humbled. 

There was a realization yesterday that even having babies will be  just a season of our marriage. And when I estimated on the high end a 80 year life, having baby-babies (small things) will only be about 5-10 % of our life. This has allowed a lot of the stresses over things like fear of not accomplishing some of the goals I have, curiosity about being lonely as a stay-at-home mom, or wondering if I'll be able to find my worth from Christ and not from how my children behave, to  be put into perspective. It's has allowed me to get excited about this upcoming 10% and the rest of it too... 

I think of the almost 2 years I've been with my husband and I look at who I am, and who he is-and it's crazy to me. Learning who that (gorgeous, breath-takingly good looking) man is and what he's passionate about, and re-evaluating what God's design was with this whole marriage business has brought a lot of joy, peace and I think a lot of rest for both Ben and me.

Part of examining our marriage has left me examining my role as Ben's wife.  I had a whole list of what I thought marriage was going to be-and what my role as a wife was- prior to being married. Being Ben's helper was not on that list. Maybe I thought it was, but only as long as helping him was obviously beneficial for me. Yet biblically, when we first get a glimpse as to what marriage is, thats exactly what Eve gets to be. Adams Helper. Now there's a gazillion devotionals on the meaning of being a helper biblically and what not, and I definitely recommend reading them. However, what I've been noticing is how interesting it is when she chooses to eat the fruit and offer it to her husband. She's the one leading and in control of the situation and she is definitely NOT helping him. 

In those early months (and I still catch myself) I think my view of our marriage looked a lot more like Eve running the show than I would like to have admit. I would think that Ben wasn't built to lead in some area of our marriage so I would take it on myself to 'help' him. This looked like me making suggestions (aka preaching/manipulating) on how things should be. I second guessed him, and when proven right-I used it as ammunition. If you examined my heart, I could tell you now I was not interested in truly helping him-but demanding my own way.  Ben is a man who will not force his leadership. He can lead perfectly well (better than most male-leaders I've seen) yet does not force his way and isn't a manipulator. Its honorable of him and has caused me to have a lot of respect for that man. It took me a long time for me to realize just how often I would spit in the face of God's design and usurp the leadership that was given to Ben by refusing to actually think his judgement was quality. Or by taking advantage of his refusal to be a dictator. Good thing God is faithful (and both God & my husband are gracious and forgiving.) I started realizing just how unsatisfying our marriage would become if I continued to do this in my heart. This left me asking, what should I do?

First, God asked me to be willing to lay down my list of everything I thought we should accomplish in this marriage, and letting Ben define what we would do. I'm pretty sure when I first asked him about 'dreams' and whatnot he didn't have much to say. (Probably because he was so used to listening to me talk about what we were going to do. (oy vey)) But as time progressed, I've found I liked the adventure Ben's leading us on. He doesn't lead half-hazardously (which I tend to do) but leads with intention and well-thought through decisions. He's a man of adventure and really has some awesome places and things he'd like to accomplish. Ben hasn't chosen to ignore the desires of my heart-and in his awesome leadership has worked hard to encourage some of the things I had hoped for. Yet, I've found a lot of the things I hoped for come out naturally in what God's called him to (Surprise, surprise!)

I began to look to him to figure out what He wanted in a wife, rather than assuming I knew what he needed and started looking to him to help me define what it means to be a helper to him. I found yet another  happy surprise. The things he desired of me were things  I can do pretty well. Yet, were a challenge enough to me. As my perspective of who I needed be changed, so did my perspective of who he was. 

I began to see him as priority rather than just seeing him as a friend / meeter of my needs. I can't express how different that perspective has changed my attitude and heart towards him. I'm blessed with a man who takes his role as a husband seriously. But even if he didn't, I'm becoming more convinced that God would still require me to do the same. Allow him to lead, and be a helper to him. God started challenging me when I would challenge Ben's leadership. Are you being a good follower? Are you encouraging him in his leadership? Are you being the kind of spouse you know he needs? I find when I focus on those questions between me and God rather than on whether or not he's been encouraging me well, leading me well, or being the spouse I want, our relationship changes. Mostly I begin to see the ways he IS good at leading. And the ways he does know me well. I find myself more content over time.

I could keep going and I would say that this heart changing has been a process of these two years. For a very long while I didn't feel inclined to love Ben and respect him the way I knew I was being called to. But action changes hearts. When we choose to act in love and respect, we find ourselves finding legitimate reasons to be in love and full of respect. It's a cool trick. Catching my husband doing things that call those things (admiration, thankfulness, respect) out of me is a pretty pleasant past time. Try it with yours today!  

I hope all you lovely wives that have committed to marriage recognize what an awesome gift your husband is (even if it doesn't seem that way at this time.)  What would it look like for us to be helpers to our husbands? to do GOOD for them on a daily basis? Not because they've done right by us, but because its what God's called us to do. How do you think that would influence our relationships with our spouses and with God? 

Just something I've been thinking about.

Over and out,

Hi Baby! 21 weeks



Every week when I take these pictures I get surprised at how big I look. It makes sense, being over half way through, but it still gets me every time. The overall consensus was right! I was impressed with all of your abilities to accurately predict that our little girl was in fact a girl (as much as 'fact' as it can be.) We're excited to bring a little girl into the mix of three nephews on my side, and to bring a sweet baby girl into Ben's side too! It really has been neat to begin to think about how beautiful a future baby is. Especially in light of the life and relationship what we have with Christ-it gets me excited to have her experience just how good God really is and to watch her develop her own faith. This morning, when I went to a Good Friday Service, we had the preacher and the congregation from the Baptist church down the street (that's a predominately black church) come worship with us. It was AWESOME to get to feel our little girl kickin with the music and with the sermon. Let me tell you what, they know how to worship our Jesus.  Baby and I listened to good ol Gospel all the way home.  So thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ and pumped for heaven when having all the churches in the neighborhood gather will be an everyday reality. 


Happy Good Friday! Praise Jesus that from His death we have life. 
Have a blessed Easter both in remembrance and celebration for whats now able to come! 

Dear John #33


I'm pretty convinced you're the best friend I've ever met. 

It's A.....!!


We thought of a gajillion ways where we could share the news with you all. It makes sense that the final decision of how we made this little video includes an ice cream bazaar and an excuse to go play outside. We're so excited to meet our sweet little baby and excited to share with you all the fun that's been this baby's growth!

Music is by JJ Heller-When I'm with You.