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Monday, August 29, 2016

While We're Waiting

Each time I write one of these posts, I'm astounded that another week has passed. 37 days, friends! Last week went fairly well, though one day I was stuck on the couch because I could barely walk across the room and I've also been fighting a cold. This week will be the last week before I begin instructing again, so I'm focusing on getting things accomplished around the home. This week is also our final ultrasound, and I'm excited to see some little fingers and toes and making sure the tech doesn't tell us boy or girl. We've made it this far, no need to find out now. And with that, some links for your week. These reads are thought provoking and take a little time to digest. You've been warned.

God's Will Isn't That Complicated by Jarrid Wilson

Is God the Center of Your Marriage by Josh Squires

Freedom To Breathe Starts With The Knowledge That You Are Forgiven by Sally Clarkson

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Learning In Summer

Since summer was busy, I've combined what I've learned in July and August to bring you what I've learned this summer. Bonus: you'll find several pictures taken over the summer at the end of this post.

1. Praying during tantrums helps both mommy and daughter. 

With toddler-hood comes tantrums. When she's flailing and frustrated, I've learned that calmly stopping, bowing my head, and closing my eyes to whisper a quick prayer to God helps us both. It prevents me from becoming frustrated with her attitude and it makes her stop dead in her tracks to assess the situation. After a few seconds, she'll come over to me and try a new, more effective, approach. 

2. Netflix is for road-trips. 

Say what you will, but when we had an eight hour drive to the beach, Netflix was key to getting there with an antsy toddler strapped in her car seat. Baby Genius songs were a lifesaver. 

3. Plan, but then go with the flow. 

Before going to the beach, there were a few different things I did to keep my sanity and to keep organized. Once there, I reminded myself that vacations were meant for enjoying. Em's diet that week wasn't perfect, and that's okay. Everything was everywhere, and that was okay. We didn't use everything we brought, but no big deal. One thing I would highly recommend taking to the beach is baby powder. We typically use Desitin, but sand mixed with cream is not a good combination. Baby powder is the way to go. 

4. The phrase "rainbow baby" refers to a child conceived after a miscarriage. 

I'm considered a rainbow baby myself, though it sounds strange to say when I've never heard the expression until recently. 

5. Losing the pacifier has been wonderful! 

In July, we decided to wean our daughter from using a pacifier at naptime and bedtime. Life is much less stressful without that crazy thing, and we won't have to worry so much about pacifier confusion when the new baby arrives. 

6. Toilet Training is hard. 

It's no easy task to toilet train, but we've begun the process. Our daughter enjoys flushing the toilet and washing her hands, but has not gotten to the point of asking to go potty. Anyone have any tips or tricks they'd like to share for this process? 

7. Blanket tunnels and Tupperware frog ponds are wonderful for any child with imagination.

I'm all about creating new things that don't take a whole lot of time but keep a kid entertained for fifteen minute intervals. The most recent inventions have been throwing a blanket over the couch and ottoman to make a tunnel and pouring some water in a Tupperware container and setting it on the table with some frogs and lizards from the Dollar Tree. I grabbed some small plastic lids to use as lily-pads for the frogs to float on.

8. The Gilmore Girls reunion airs on Netflix November 25th. 

With a new baby at home, you bet I'm going to settle in and watch the new episodes once the oldest child is in bed. 

9. His and Hers prayer lists for the fridge are amazing.

I've been feeling frustrated by my inability to remember everyone I've said I'd pray for. In the past, I've tried keeping a list in notebooks, but then I'd lose the notebook or would forget to open it when praying. It dawned on me that I needed a list in a place I frequented. Using PowerPoint, I made two lists, slipped them in binder sleeves, and placed them on our fridge. Now I can use a dry erase marker to write down prayers and then erase and replace whenever it's time. Doing this has allowed me to continually pray throughout the day. I've also found myself praying over my husband's list as well because what is important to him is important to me. If you would like your own copies, sign up for my free monthly newsletter and you'll receive them in September! If you are already signed up, YIPPEE!, you'll receive them too! 

10. A devotional series is in the works. 

After much prayer, I've decided to bring you a devotional. Details will follow in a separate post on a later date. I'll keep you posted on my Facebook page

11. Pictures are worth a thousand words. 

Below are a few pictures with some short captions of little things I've learned over the summer.

She loves to help in the kitchen.

I've learned patience with this pregnancy.

Big sister loves giving hugs and kisses.

Hard work pays off in the form of homegrown vegetables.

She loves sand.
She loves her new play set. We just need to add mulch and sand.

My husband captures good pictures.

If all else fails, give her sunglasses.

I see my whole childhood in her little personality.

Like mother, like daughter. 

Applesauce with sprinkles for a girl with a cold is a win.

Where we first met. My how we've changed. 
But not too much.

She became Grandpap's girl on a Sunday evening at church.

Monday, August 22, 2016

While We're Waiting

Asthmatic symptoms have taken over my nights and part of my days due to a cold that began a few days ago. I'm not sure if pregnancy sensitivity is the culprit, but I have never in my life dealt with wheezing. Both my brother and sister had asthma as children, but not me, so this is strange and every bit of unnecessary. Hopefully medication will kick in soon and this awful elephant-foot-on-my-chest feeling will remedy itself. Aside from that, all is well. Nothing is abnormal with the littlest Hughes. He or she is just as active as ever and attacks my belly as soon as I'm ready to rest. Sleepless nights have already begun in preparation for life with a newborn. 44 more days! Until next week, here are some links for you.

When You  Forget Who You Are by Susie Larson

Revive Me Lord by Tara Dickson

How To Survive The Seasons by Alia Joy

Friday, August 19, 2016

Short & Sweet: Rest

Today's Short & Sweet will live up to its name.

I'm drained. Yesterday, I dealt with a sore throat and today it's sinuses, sensitive ears, and a cave-enclosed head. Yet, I have little room for complaints. This whole pregnancy has been smooth and I've been healthy. Along with that, feeling this way comes in perfect timing in the grand scheme of life. September involves teaching and October involves a newborn. So today, while exhausted and sore, I'm choosing to be thankful. Today, instead of focusing on my circumstances, I've focused on praying for others dealing with a multitude of difficult situations. But now, it's time to focus on getting rest for both baby and I. No more computer screens. No more newfound piercing screams from my toddler. No more extreme thinking. Rest. Quiet. Peace. 

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 

Monday, August 15, 2016

While We're Waiting

Eight more weeks, folks. I must've looked pregnant enough to warrant the "how many weeks left" question from over twenty people at church. God has been good during this pregnancy. Aside from a few nose bleeds, some light middle-of-the-night leg cramps, and an achy body, everything has gone smoothly. Though I know these next eight weeks may be the slower weeks of pregnancy, I have no complaints. When people asked how many weeks I had left, I actually had to think about it. Maybe it's having a toddler to keep up with or getting ready for my writing courses or giving you words for your week, but I haven't felt all that pregnant. Baby kicks and a slight loss of sleep at night remind me that a baby boy or girl will enter our worlds shortly. With that update, here are some links for your Monday.

One is a prayer for those who are sending their kids back to school, one is for the atypical woman, and one is an hour long video that I highly recommend watching. You'll probably want a pen and notepad while you watch. Enjoy!

This Prayer For Your Back To School Week by Leigh Sain

When You're Not A Typical Woman by Abigail Dodds

Have You Abandoned Your Boat by Priscilla Shirer

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Short & Sweet: Keep Trying

5 years ago, my dad became an ordained minister. Yesterday, my brother said yes to preaching after feeling led to do so for about a year. That woman in between them, that's my mom, the wife who left her husband on a ladder with a log in hand on a Sunday because he stubbornly refused to get right with God until the cabin was built and the mother who desperately wanted her babies (my sister, brother, and I) to grow up in a good and loving home in every possible way. Without her willingness to seek God, I have my doubts that any of us would be where we are. I'm thankful for her desire to know God, for her countless prayers, and for the loving home she's inspired me to have for our little family. 

Fellow moms, I don't know about you, but I fail daily as a wife and a mom. Many moments are spent in tears and frustration, though it gets better with time and perspective. Growing up, I never felt like my mom failed as either wife or mom, though on multiple occasions she's told me otherwise. I'm thankful for her honesty, because it gives me hope that my daughter will see her mama's attempts at patience and that she will ultimately know that I was fully human but gave every ounce of effort into raising her. It gives me hope that my husband will forgive and love and pray for me just as my dad did for my mom, and that we will stand alongside one another on this parenting journey. 

In this season of raising little ones, it's not always easy to muster the courage and strength needed for long and tiring days. You do it anyway. Loving relentlessly, living your best by the fruit of the spirit, and praying for your spouse and children, you attempt motherhood. There are weak days, days when you feel your child only sees the ugly, and days when you convince yourself that if there were a gold medal for slacking, you'd win with the best time. The good news is this: God extends grace on your bad days, your children are forgiving, and your spouse loves unconditionally. When you feel like giving up, keep trying, and remember that your bad minute, hour, or day does not define you. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

While We're Waiting

A week away on a beach vacation, and now I'm back to bring you new links for the week. Let these words resonate with you. Rag-picker or Olympian, your life is important when your identity is hidden in Christ. Enjoy!

A Tabernacle of Trash by Amy Carroll

Meet The Rio Olympians Who Put God Before Gold by Morgan Lee

What Makes Rejection So Awful by Lysa TerKeurst

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