Life as it Is.

It’s not always quite what we expect.

:)

After a fantastic weekend with Dru, Lisl, and family…

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(Honestly, those twins get more delightful every day…)

…wherein we talked, ate, went to Goodwill, laughed, cried, (…okay, I cried during the presentation at church)…

and generally had a fantastic time catching up and sorting out life…

I got sick.

Monday was my birthday. I was very ill.

Not just a bit of sniffles. But so miserable I considered whether I really wanted to live.

I did. Most of the time.

But by Monday evening, easily the most miserable birthday of my life, I could hardly eat or drink, both of which are necessary in my stage of pregnancy. Craig prayed for me again, getting rather serious about it. And God, in His mercy, heard his cry. I immediately started feeling better, fell asleep, and slept for nearly 12 hours. (With lots of water breaks.) I felt like a different person this morning! Weak, hoarse, and still in recovery, but in recovery!

There are the details. :) Now for the fun part!

From my mother-in-law…and in a way, from Anja…

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I got two pieces of artwork…done by Anja. The first is from a picture of Bomani, in Craig’s hands. The second is Ama, our Thailand mother.

I cannot tell you how much those two pieces are worth to me…and how grateful I am for that gift.

And from Craig? He is genius. I was saving up for a chopping block. I chop veggies all day every day. :) And was dreaming of a chopping block! But he beat me to it. Not only is it a chopping block, it’s gorgeous. And it’s end grain, which is amazing! (if you want to know what I mean, research end grain versus edge grain.) Craig is honestly, the very best husband in the world. Not just because he bought me a chopping block. But everything else that makes up who he is…

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And there is life. The good with the bad.

:)

Peace.

What God has Done for Me.

The past week has been…crazy. Not in a normal sort of way. In good and terrible and scary and fantastic, change-your-life ways.

It started out with extreme nausea. I am only at 7 weeks pregnant, tomorrow, to be exact. And the nausea this past week was overwhelming. Like, I-cannot-survive-this sort of nausea. Along with that, I have been hungrier than I ever remember being in my entire life. I think even hungrier than with my other pregnancies, but one cannot be sure. :) It’s been a number of years…and I may have forgotten.

But seriously, how do you eat so much, when you cannot stand food? It’s not funny. And I was not seeing out over the top.

So we went to see a counselor in Oklahoma. A number of friends and acquaintances have been there, and have received life changing help. It may seem strange that we went for “morning sickness”. (Which for me, is all day, worse in the evening.) But we knew that this elderly gentleman believes that pregnancy nausea is not necessary, and can be taken care of. So that’s what pushed us to actually go.

We were number 4000 something, who has come to him for help. Many people, but not 100%, leave his office healed of many different physical issues. And the emotional and spiritual issues…having those taken care of is out of this world…amazing.

Mr. Pratt believes that there are spiritual roots to most emotional pain and issues. And that is where he goes. The result, for me, was/is unlike anything I have experienced with any other counseling I’ve taken. It’s final. It’s real. You don’t need to go back and forgive again. It’s done.

He also believes that a lot of these spiritual issues cause physical illnesses and problems. And while he did anoint me with oil and pray for complete healing in every part of my body, the other things we took care of were connected to my extreme nausea and other problems.

And so, after a rather intense 4 hours or more, we walked out of there, and I was nausea free. Went to Subway, with its spicy air, and ate. I was so excited!

But for me, it’s been a process. A continuing walk. Mr. Pratt calls it a “walkout”. While some people are healed as with the touch of Jesus, for others, it’s a process of walking out of the former way of thinking and living, and the nausea with that. A lot of things seem to be caused by fear. I had no idea how much fear I had. Fear of nausea. Fear of how this VBAC will go. Fear of driving in large cities. Fear of what people think of me and the way I dress. Fear of my beautiful, little girls getting hurt. Fear of financial stuff. That only touches the surface of all the fear I had. Yesterday, I realized that I “should” be afraid of driving to Waco tonight. But instead, I am looking at Jesus, and knowing that He will take care of it. It’s quite a different way to live. :)

And so I continue to battle the nausea. When I realize that I am working in my kitchen, doing dishes, making a meal!!, eating things I could not have eaten last week, I know there has been a huge, huge change. But I still fight it. I find myself, at times feeling nausea, and just becoming afraid…and then is when I need to look at Jesus, and worship Him. And believe. Sometimes it means obedience and walking out in faith. Eating something that I really am terrified will make me want to vomit. But when I start eating, I am fine! Very shortly, I will need to start taking my prenatal vitamins again. I quit when I got sick, as I know they add to the nausea for some people. So honestly, I’m afraid. But I’m going to kick that fear in the ____ and go take my vitamins.

Other times, I just have nausea and feel so confused. Then I also need to look at Jesus, and trust Him. I am a child in this…learning…taking tiny steps…wanting to follow Him…

So that was Friday, which was actually the twins’ birthday! But we celebrated it on Saturday. Craig’s parents came on Thursday. They had planned to come for the twins’ birthday, and so it worked out well for us to have babysitters on Friday! Saturday was a lot of party fun! Blog post coming on that!

Tonight I’m going to Waco for an ultrasound. :) My friend from church works at the pregnancy crisis center there, and is doing an ultrasound for me! I just need to know how many babies we’re dealing with here…

:)

Peace.

Faith and Glasses Pink

This morning Hazel was walking around, begging for her “glasses pink”. They are quite the treasure to her, yes. But they do float about, and I actually fished them up with the broomstick, from over the side of the porch yesterday. Daisy likes them too, and wears them, but they are officially Hazel’s.

So I looked for them! I looked in about every room of the house. Weird. They were nowhere to be found. Okay, not terribly weird. Things go into strange places around here…

I finally just told her that we will find them sometime, but right now, I can’t find them. Sorry!

That did not cut it. She became slightly desperate. I knew they had been around yesterday. So they could not have gone far! But really, could I just pull glasses pink out of nowhere?

Then the thought came to me. See, I’ve been considering this “faith” thing. I have allergies that have gotten bad enough that I often don’t sleep really well. It’s making me tired. Run down. For some reason, I start sneezing in the evening and when I lie down, I get congested. So this faith thing has been working on me. On Sunday our pastor told us that if we want more faith, we need to get into the Word. That inspired me to do it! And I keep asking Jesus, “Is there something we should know about these allergies…?”

All that to say that, I asked Hazel if she wants to ask Jesus to help us find the glasses pink. I was a little scared. Cuz I had looked for them already. And so I really did need help to find them. She immediately agreed, so we just asked Him. Then I went outside and took a walk around. Not out there. I started another search through the house.

And then I saw it. Down on the floor, at the edge of the mattress in the plum room. Hard to spot. But not hard when Jesus is helping.

I need the faith strengthener more than my kids do. They have not yet been scarred by life and bombarded by lies.

Today, very clearly, I know Jesus is here. I know He heard us. I know He cared about

glasses pink.

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Uhem…

Bomani has this thing right now where, when I catch him doing naughty things, he says, “Hazel”. “Hazel did it”. I took him aside again today, and tried hard to explain that it is wrong to lie! Jesus is not happy when you lie!

Just a minute ago, I went back to check on the kids. They were playing too…happily.  They were in their bedroom, and the door was locked. We have been training them hard not to lock doors, as Daisy locked herself into our room the other day, and that doorknob has a keyhole, and no key. We finally got her out by putting Bomani in through the one, unlocked window.

All that to say that, I wasn’t happy when I tried their door and found it locked. Bomani quickly unlocked it for me, and opened the door. Before I had a chance to say anything, he looked up at me and said,

“Jesus not happy?”

Did I keep a straight face? No.

:)

Whole30…One Week Down!

Today on Whole30 has been really hard. I was so hungry! And yes, I did need to go shop for groceries…but still…I was longing for a crunchy apple crisp…or two tortillas fried, with cream cheese and raspberries between…

So I did go to HEB. And stocked up! Came home hungry…and this is what we cooked up…

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(The meat was HEB’s sale this week…$2.99/lb.)

My daily and sometimes twice a day snack…

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The meat loaf I took to the Whole30 party last night. That was a fun party!

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The other day I was craving something sweet, so I roasted sweet potatoes with salt, cinnamon and butter.

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Tomorrow is Sunday!!

Food. And Boots.

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I am having way too much fun with my high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

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Whole30 breakfast! I’m surprising myself with how much I enjoy vegetables for breakfast. Not just any vegetable, though…

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Those are my healthy fats. :) Coconut oil (you can tell my kitchen is warm!) and clarified, grassfed butter.

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Grandma gave Bomani some boots! He wears them a lot and is quite proud. Especially since Craig got himself a pair too. I think I know what to get for the twins’ birthdays!

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This meat loaf was quite delicious. I made sure I did NOT overbake it. And the ketchup is good! The kids eat it by the spoonful…

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Cilantro freak. :)

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I need to work on my plating skills…

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For $3 at HEB. Get one. I use it every day so many times a day that I usually rinse it out and keep it by the sink! It’s perfect to go out to the garden and snip herbs into…or fill with tomatoes to wash…or drain ground beef…or drain anything!

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We are so thrilled to have tomatoes and peppers from our garden! I believe this was all Craig ate for dinner last evening…

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And this was lunch. The kids and I ate nearly an entire, large head of organic cauliflower, roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley and chives…

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I’m almost scared to say this, but I’m finding the Whole30 challenge to be so easy and fun! The hardest thing for me is missing my creamy drinks. I made almond milk today, so this afternoon I might mix something up. But I may not add stevia, so…we’ll see…

Lata.