Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'Tis so Sweet!

I am officially more pregnant than I have ever been. Our first born came 7 days early and 5 days before the due date our second born made her debut. Here we are, due date quickly approaching, just a few more days. I feel like a time bomb with a count- down timer. Will it explode at zero or will there be an empty sounding click as nothing happens when the time “runs out”?  Although I am so ready to hold this little man in my arms and kiss his cheeks there has been a certain peace that has come with each passing day as I wait.
This pregnancy has been quite the emotional journey for me. The Lord and I have had many talks about this whole baby #3 thing. See, I am what some of you would call…well, stupid. J Both of my prior pregnancies I have had “natural” deliveries -meaning no epidural. (Side Note: I am not against epidurals for other people. In fact there may be a day, could even be this time, which I choose to get an epidural. I just personally, for me, haven’t had a peace about it yet. But I am totally ok with, never for a second judge, and am even happy for all women who do get epidurals. Ok, side note over.)

With my first pregnancy my labor was fine. Yes, painful but completely manageable and even what I would describe as a great birth experience. My second pregnancy the labor and delivery were difficult - an unpleasant experience- with a much greater level of pain than I occurred during birth experience #1. Something I wasn’t just jumping up and down to experience again. So when I got pregnant this time I really was torn rather or not the epidural was for me. And thus the inward battle began, as well as the long conversations with my Lord on the subject matter.

As I was reading in the Book of Numbers the Lord gave a clear mental picture/comparison for me of the fear the children of Israel felt as they were afraid to face the giants of the land.

My Giant was the fear of battling labor.

The story continues and the leaders encourage those who were letting fear hold them back from receiving a greater good by saying “…the Lord is with us. Do not fear them! (the giants)” (Numbers 14:9)
Unfortunately this story ends with the people missing out. They had fear, they lacked trust, and in turn they saw no reward.

Of course the verses always are great such as “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13” But this time around I needed verses about fear. 

Many times my conversations looked something like this:

“…I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?” Man can cause great pain, that’s what man can do to me! My inward self battled.

“…Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Even to face the giants? Again I would argue - yes even to face the giants!

Fear. Peace. Fear. Peace. The cycle has continued for weeks. Then through the journey I find surrender and trust equaling lasting peace. “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

So, as I wait, ready to meet my little man I can’t help but see all that the Lord has taught me through this journey. As my spirit has calmed, my faith has grown, now my journey continues. I haven’t overcome the “Giants” that await me yet but I have taken the first step of trusting in a perfect God’s, perfect design and as He leads (even if that is to having an epidural) I will follow so that I may have the reward that awaits me.

 In the early morning hours I found myself awake. Just thinking and soaking up the movements of life within me. In the quiet darkness of the room a smile crept across my face as the words to this old hymn came to mind
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Yes, I can trust Him. Not only through the uncertainties of what labor and delivery will hold but every day as life takes its course.

Through the exhaustion of sleepless nights… I can trust Him!

Through parenting…I can trust Him!

Through loss and pain…I can trust Him!

No matter what…I can trust Him! Oh, for grace to trust him more!

There is no question in my mind that through this pregnancy I have walked through the refiner’s fire. Am I excited about the pain of labor and delivery? Not really. But I am at peace about it and I will trust Him through each breath, each second, which will result in each contraction. I will face the giants I see in the land. I will run the race set before me. I will trust the God who supplies all my needs. I will let His strength be made perfect in my weakness. I will not lose heart. I will allow my shepherded to lead the way. Ahhh, peace.

Isaiah 40:11
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.”

What a perfect thought!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Family Fair Trip #2

Werner family tradition has it that we always go to the State Fair for a fun family outing. This outing is especially fun because Dad pays for it. J (Is that shallow?) We always get lots of food, community plates, which we all nibble on. Normally the day is ended with yummy cinnamon rolls and funnel cakes. Delish!

Last year we were even able to make the traditional trip despite the wreck. It is AMAZING how far dad’s recovery has come since last year’s trip to the fair! God is so faithful!

Ran into some family friends while looking around at the mobile homes. I think the theater seating works rather well here, don't you?

When our own little family went to the Ice Capades the girls asked about riding rides. I told them they would have to wait until they came with Papa and ask him. Elizabeth had her heart fixed on the biggest ride there. We did go to check it out but much to her sad heart she wasn’t tall enough. Next best was “the biggest slide EVER!” according to Kate. Aunt Lauren bought the tickets, never dreaming there would be such a ridiculous height limit for a slide. I would have done the same thing. Unfortunately after the purchase was made the height limit was discovered and neither of the girls was tall enough for the slide either. L This led into a rather long series of events trying to find a ride they could both do. Long story short they ended up enjoying the chair lift ride with Aunt Lauren and then they also got to ride a kiddie ride. The girls LOVED the airplane ride and their giggles and glee was, to me, worth the hassle.

Excitment before boarding the plane ride. 

 All smiles after the ride was over too!

I had a really great time with the family at the fair! It is always something we look forward to and each year looks a bit different. Thank you for the tradition Nanny and Papa! We love you!

View all our great photos on our Picasa Web Album:
State Fair

Monday, September 26, 2011

State Fair: Trip One

Over the last year there have been a number of moments that I have cherished as a parent. About a week and a half ago we went to the Great State Fair of Oklahoma with our little family. We really enjoy the fair and normally go more than once.

(The girls got choosen to do the duck race. They were even on a short clip for the news as their duck tied for first place!)

It was a cloudy rainy day and despite the 102 temperatures just two days prior this day required long sleeves and a jacket.

For me the joy started when jumps and shouts filled the house after Brandon asked the question “Who wants to go to the fair?”  When pulling in the parking lot the excitement couldn’t be contained and again giggles and squeals filled the back seat. After getting in the gate as a parent we had to take care of “business” before getting involved in all the fun. Brandon pulled the girls off the main path out of the way and knelt down to their level. “Do you girls know what to do if you can’t find me or Mommy?” He began helping the girls make a plan should we become separated in the crowd. “Elizabeth, who can help you find us?” “Ummm” Elizabeth began as she contemplated before giving her confident answer “Jesus!” Brandon smiled “Yes, you could pray and ask Jesus to help you find us…there is another person here….” Brandon continued his safety speech. I couldn’t help but smile as my imagination saw little Brandon standing there years ago getting the same type of safety speech given by his dad to him.

We ended up getting tickets to the Disney on Ice show that evening. We came into the building where the show would be and excitement was in the air. Getting settled into our seats over the loud speaker came the announcement in that deep voice “Ladies, and Gentlemen, boys and girls the show will begin in five minutes!” Elizabeth gasped and quickly looked at me with glee on her face and sparkles in her eyes.   Soon after darkness filled the arena, music began to play, and the show was underway. My heart smiled, and call me ridiculous, but tears even came to my eyes as I watched my little girl so filled with wonder, engulfed in the lights, music, and action of the show. She sat there, cotton candy in hand, completely amazed. It made me happy as I remember being the little girl, filled with amazement and wonder completely engulfed in the show, setting next to my Aunt Rhonda who year after year took us to the ice capades at the fair. We would always ride in her blue Camaro, and she would spoil us rotten with the souvenirs from the event, cotton candy, a snow cone, and often times a ride on the camel out at the fair before we headed to the car. I had no idea how much money she spent on us and I’m sure I was never grateful enough! But the memories are beyond dear to my heart and I love getting to be in the other role now finding myself filled with joy as I watch…discovery.


There have been so many moments that I have been able to witness this wonder, excitement, and just plan joy as new discoveries are made. Memories are made. It’s priceless. Words don’t describe it but my heart holds each moment and fills in where my words can’t explain. 

Truly, one of the joys of parenting!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"My You've Grown!"...What's your Guess!

Well the full moon didn’t do its job this time around. Honestly I’m ok with that. Sunday night, the night before the full moon, I seriously thought I was in labor. I kept telling myself it wasn’t real but then the contractions were getting harder and not seeming to stop. I felt blah and my back hurt a lot too. Could this be? Brandon and I were just getting into bed and Brandon decided we ought to time the contractions, 7 minutes apart lasting over a minute. Only 5 minutes later came the next one, nice and strong. Maybe this was the real deal! Shortly after they spread themselves back apart and I was able to get a full nights rest with only a few contraction interruptions. I am ready to meet Little Man but, wow, it revealed a few things I needed to deal with before baby comes both on The List and Mentally. Monday I awoke with a new motivation to finish things up! Ironically, Monday, the actual night of the full moon, I had few contractions than I have had for weeks. (Normally at night I have several “Braxton Hicks”.) And in the days since then contractions have been fewer than they have been for several weeks! I feel better about things now though. I am really excited and I feel more ready.

It’s always fun to talk to others about their pregnancies and birth experiences. Here are a few weird things pregnancy does to me:

1.) Rather LARGE protrusion out of my mid-section. :) Let's look at the progression shall we...

0 Weeks

21 Weeks
24 Weeks

29 Weeks

36 Weeks
37 Weeks

2.)    I LOVE the smell of laundry detergent. Doesn't really matter what brand either...just scented. The unscented stuff doesn't have the same effect. :) Yep, I enjoy it so much I literally will sniff each handful of clothes as I take them out of the washer! Mmmmm, smells good!
3.)    I LOVE the smell of clean cars. When I get into the vehicle, large inhale. Ahhhh, refreshing!
4.)    I crave ice in ridiculously large amounts.
5.)    It makes me organize shelves, cabinets, closets, sheds, and make To Do Lists that must be done! (It’s actually quite rewarding and fulfilling to accomplish so much. I enjoy the motivation!) And yet with all of that organizing the house still remains to get clutter and piles around! Job security for sure! :)

I am curious to know when you think Jackson will make his big debut. So, I plan to bribe
you.  Here's the deal - from now (Wednesday, September 14th until Sunday, September 18th, 2011) leave a comment with your guess of Baby's Birthday and Birth Weight. Closest guess, without going over, receives a $5.00 gift card!  (Makes me feel so "real blogger" to be doing a give away! *Blush*) There will be two gift for birth date and the other for birth weight. In the event of people with the same guess the prize will go to first entry. Also, if I go into labor guessing is immediately closed! Given due date is October 1st.
Happy guessing!

P.S. We moderate the blog comments so your comment will not show up immediately. Winners will be announced after Baby Jackson comes! Isn't this fun!?!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

First Week is in the Books!

A new chapter in my life started this past week as we began the adventures of homeschooling. Elizabeth loves to learn so we decided to go ahead and start Pre-K with her. I had never really thought about exactly what all I would do for curriculum and such. So many things sounded good and I had collected a mixture of different activity books throughout the years that it left me with almost too much to choose from.  As I started planning what our Pre-K education would look like it became apparent to me that I was not going to be capable of teaching Pre-K and that my children would have to find an education elsewhere.  Besides, if I was having these overwhelming feelings in Pre-K what in the world would it feel like to be teaching a middle school or older student!? My mother made so many things look so easy!

But, I decided to shake off the feelings of overwhelment, and go with a motto I knew my mother would approve of- K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetie!). So what are my basic goals?

Elizabeth loves to learn – Nurture and keep that love alive.
Reading, writing, and arithmetic.

We are working in simple ways on all of those things. I have two basic books that I am working out of right now to accomplish those goals. Last week things went great as we began our adventure. I have a feeling I will learn a lot over the next several months. There are things I would like to add to our curriculum. However, I feel right now I need to be realistic and just work on getting into our groove with the basics. Lord willing, I will have an infant around soon too which will make things a tad more challenging. Maybe next semester we can branch out even more into all the extra possibilities!

It is really great to be able to learn from my mom, mom-in-love, and close friends who have walked this road already. Learning from others mistake and successes makes things a bit easier. A tradition that my mother-in-love had was taking a first day of school picture of the kids starting school. I liked the idea and hope to keep it up!
Elizabeth Grace- September 5th 2011-Pre-K  

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Photo Shoots from The List...Check!

There were a few photo shoots I had on The List to accomplish before Jackson arrives. Both have now been checked off The List! I thought you might want to see a few of the shots from these accomplishments. (FYI-It’s an accomplishment because it was on The List.)
The first was to take some pics for my cousin Brittany who is turning 16!!!! I was really excited to do these and it was just as fun as I was hoping. She is such a beautiful lady! She is quite a bit taller than I am and so I had to use the step stool for almost all of the shots! Hehe.
I was glad she brought along a friend. It always helps to have someone else to get real smiles out of the one having to pose and Sam was more than willing to help carry props for this rather large pregnant woman. :) It worked out nicely.
I still can hardly believe Brittany is sixteen. She was the first baby I got to watch being born. I was nine years old. The age at which I first watched a baby being born only occurred to me this year. Seems a little young but I loved every second of it. I wasn’t in the room alone either there was a small cheerleading squad of about 17 of us including nurses. It was definitely an experience I will never forget! I really feel as though a lot of the reason I open my labor and delivery rooms to so many people is because of the experiences I had watching babies be born-starting with Brittany. I also feel as though it just fueled my fire even more to want to be into the nursing field. To this day I still have dreams of going back to school to get my RN (later in life). Labor and delivery is still a field of great interest that I would love to work in.
It is perfectly understandable that not all women are comfortable with having a peanut gallery in the room but I am comfortable with it so I try to take the opportunities to give people who might not otherwise have the chance, the opportunity to watch the awesome miracle of birth.  (I’m interested to know how many of you are thinking “Oh, Rachael, that’s just weird letting lots of people in the delivery room. Birth should be a private event.” vs “That’s really cool to let others have that experience.  I might do the same thing.”  I am fully aware both sides are out there but I will refrain from taking a poll. J )

Anyways, Happy 16th Brittany! Love you bunches!!! Don’t forget in your 16th year of life. Think before you act…you don’t get do-overs. Just do right! (As my mom always says.J)

The other photo shoot was a final maternity shoot for me. I also wanted to include some family shots.  My friend Morgan came out to take the pictures and it was lots of fun! The weather was AMAZING!!! We got some fun shots and, of course as with all of my photo shoots, learned along the way. Practice, practice, make adjustments and then practice again. Here are a few shots from that day.

Brandon wasn’t the most thrilled about taking part in our “fun” photo shoot. Therefore I had to put up with attitudes like this...

But he was a good sport and complied with my requests to get into sweet poseslike this: J

And here are some more shots from the evening...

Here are some of the photos edited a bit differnetly...

And then after all of the posed pictures let's just keep things real. This is the parents this child is really getting. Classy...quality...good parents are hard to find these days! :)
Will our children survive us? TBA!