beautiful snowfall

the view from our kitchen window this morning...

I cannot believe it is almost DECEMBER! We have 7 1/2 weeks until we get to meet our baby girl. Christmas is 4 weeks away....and it is snowing outside!
I woke up this morning and remembering it was snowing when we went to bed, I jumped up to see how much more we got. It was beautiful outside. Alot of people had not been out in there cars yet, so the snow was still clean and white. Even now, there are still little flakes falling. I love snow days. They always make me went to snuggle up at home with some hot chocolate and read a book. We got our Christmas decorations out on Friday, so it's a comforting ambiance. I love it.:)
I love this time of year (not that I don't like any other time of year, but winter is my favorite). :) As the wind is blowing and the snow is falling, I'm thankful for the roof over my head and the blankets I have to wrap up in....but no matter what situation we are in--warm or cold--I'm most thankful for my husband....my family....friends old and new....grace...forgiveness....regardless of our home, we are so blessed to know we are secure in Christ.
I guess this a bunch of random musings....my heart is just overflowing this weekend and I am just overwhelmed with how grateful I am to the Lord for the people in my life.



what? no santa?

So a few weeks ago at work, it was change of shift and we were sitting at the nurses station talking. I don't know how, but we got on the subject of Santa Clause. I started telling everyone how last year, we were eating dinner for Christmas Eve at my mom's and my step siblings were all there. Someone made the comment to my step-neice that she needed to go to bed early or Santa wouldn't come.....I completely forgot that some people still "trick" their kids into thinking Santa exists and I said "too bad he's not real"....the look I got from my step siblings was sheer death....it's a good think Lily didn't hear me or I would've really been in trouble.
After relaying the tale, I stated, "Nick and I are not going to let our kids believe there is a Santa...or Easter bunny...or tooth fairy....but more importantly, no Santa". Immediately everyone starts with "what?!" "grinch!" "seriously?!". I grew up not believing in any of those things. We never went trick or treating for Halloween....we had maybe 2 easter egg hunts, but never did easter baskets....my parents never told us there was a santa or tooth fairy....I don't know if they wanted to be realistic or didn't want to deal with 4 kids on a sugar high :) I then go on to explain that why would I want to deceive my kids into believing that there is a Santa only for them to find out later it's not true? Christmas is not about Santa...it's about Christ. Immediately some get defensive saying "well, I have religion in my life". I respond "it's not about religion, it's about faith and Christ". Well right then, call lights start going off and we have to get to work......
Later someone asked, "what if your kids spoil it for other kids whose parents are letting them think there's a Santa?" I answered that it's not my job nor my place to let down kids who believe in Santa. I'll teach my kids that some kids will believe in Santa, but they are not allowed to tease them....it's not the kids' fault, how could they know any better? The rest we'll make up as it comes....but I don't want to take away from what Christmas or Easter really mean.
Since then there hasn't been much else discussion....every once in a while someone will make a comment about it, like "but there's not santa, right?" or "keep your kids away from abby, she'll spoil the fun"....I know they are half joking, half serious....but it doesn't really bother me much. I guess we'll see what other conversations come up. :)



baby chain

So most people make a chain to count down the days of Christmas. This afternoon after church, I don't know why, but I decided we needed to have a baby chain :) So I got pink paper at my mom's, cut it into strips, and Nick lovingly stapled all 60 links :)
I think it's fun......




Chad and Ashley welcomed Abigail Michelle at 8:09 Friday morning! She has gorgeous blue eyes, a lot of brown hair....she's BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations you guys!! Can't wait for our play groups! ;) ha...



immunizations...vaccines.....yadda yadda yadda...

Many of you have heard recent talks about vaccines and autism...or parents deciding not to get their children vaccinated b/c they don't like the thought of viruses being put into their children's body....
I'm not getting on a soap box here, but I think that that too many people are adapting others' opinions instead of doing the research themselves.
First off...this whole autism and vaccine thing....there is no link so far to vaccines causing autisI am not convinced that vaccines can cause autism...I think that they can aggravate symptoms that a child already has. People ask "then why are there more cases of autism being diagnosed??" I think that it's b/c we are paying attention now! Years ago, kids were just written off as disruptive and rebels....now people are paying attention and helping them instead of ignoring it......
However, I agree that there should be a huge push to make our vaccinations mercury-free.
this is a good article, but after researching the case discussed I can find no information on how they were able to prove a vaccination caused the autism.....if anyone else finds info on it, let me know.
One thing I hear alot it "why get the MMR, Dtp, or polio vaccine when you never see those diseases anymore?" I say.....vaccines are a major reason why the diseases aren't seen as much if at all! this is a common type of argument heard by those against immunizations. According to the CDC website, diseases such as like measles saw a sharp decline starting in 1963 when the vaccine was introduced!
Another argument I've heard is regarding putting those viruses in your child's body.....
there are 3 types of vaccines :
-Live attenuated vaccines contain bacteria or viruses that have been altered so they can't cause disease.
-Killed vaccines contain killed bacteria or inactivated viruses.
-Toxoid vaccines contain toxins produced by the germ that have been made harmless.
-Component vaccines contain parts of the whole bacteria or viruses.

Most of the vaccinations children receive are live-attenuated. http://www.drspock.com/ lists the vaccinations and the types they are.
Now, don't get me wrong, I think that some vaccinations aren't necessary for children. Such as the Gardasil vaccine...the new one for girls/women to protect against hpv which can lead to cervical cancer. What they don't tell you is that the only way you can contract hpv is through sex. Now, why would I want to give my daughter a vaccine like that?! I see it as enabling her...giving her another reason to have sex before she's married...I mean why not? right?
This week I had a conversastion with a friend of mine who couldn't see why her newborn baby boy needed the hepatitis B vaccine.....hepatitis B is commonly known as being spread through sex or dirty needles.....what people don't realize is that it can also be spread through the baby being bitten by another toddler while at daycare, or a child at school leaks through their diaper or underwear and your child happens to get some "fluid" on their hands...
Anyway...what I'm getting at is why would you want to subject your child to the risk of getting a serious illness when you have resources available to you to protect them??
Organic food, exercise, obsessively cleaning and washing your hands can only do so much, but ultimately in the end you are still in a world that doesn't live like you do and many people aren't as careful!!
I'm not saying those who don't get their children vaccinated are bad parents or anything like that at all! It's their decision and if you've done the research and are still convinced that you are making the right decision...then that's great! At least you're reading up and developing your own opinion instead of adopting the opinion of your best friend.
I want to encourage everyone to research both sides of the argument yourself.
Like I said...I'm not insinuating that anyone is a bad parent or doing something wrong...this is just a big topic and I've heard too many people echo someone else's opinion and when you ask them questions regarding their decision (because I want to learn more), they can't answer you and it's frustrating.
I, for one, am going to have my child vaccinated. I don't like the thought of putting her through shots, but at the same time I want her protected and I don't want it hanging over my head later, if she should get sick...that I could have done something and I didn't.



wonderful Saturday

This weekend was busy and fun. Saturday morning we had an open house/baby shower for Nate and Natalie Klauser and their baby girl, Elyse. She is 2 months now and absolutely adorable! It was so much fun to see them and how the Lord has blessed them! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so I didn't get any pictures, so the above is one of their family pictures.
Saturday afternoon, we threw a bridal shower for the lovely Joni Stauffer at my mom's place. She's getting married in Florida on January 23 to Joe Bowman....whom I still haven't met! I don't get to go to the wedding either, so I'm thankful we had a chance to get some people together to celebrate with her! :)



thoughts on pregnancy...

This weeks marks week 30 for baby Flies. 10 weeks left. The latest question I've had lately (mostly from patients at work) is "how have you liked being pregnant?" The answer is I like being pregnant...I do not like pregnancy.
Now, I think I should elaborate b/c y'all could be thinking I'm crazy by now...although I am quite serious.
First off, I am not complaining. I'm so thankful that my body has been able to carry this baby safely. God's design is amazing. These are just my thoughts on what I've experienced (and on some things I haven't, but know they are still a possibility). I think it's important to be honest...so I am. :)
I LOVE watching my belly grow....I love watching her jabs and kicks and rolls make waves on my stomach. It's fun to know she's moving and shaking in there...this is Nick's and my baby girl...all happy and content in her watery world..blithely unaware of what I'm going to bring her into in a few weeks...
I do not like pregnancy. In the first trimester and now in the 3rd trimester, I was exhausted ALL THE TIME. I could not get enough sleep. Now usually when I'm tired I'm able to push through the day and be fine, but pregnancy tiredness shoots you down. It's hard to function. All you can think about is sleep....even though you have to be at work or get a bunch of stuff done that day....does your body care? nope.
The nausea--aka morning sickness. This is one I didn't have alot of problems with. About week 8 to week 11 I would wake up nauseated.....I had to eat small meals throughout the morning and I would be feeling fine by lunchtime. Sometimes I had a hard time and couldn't eat or more at all...it was better just to sleep it off. Smells make you feel sick...normally I like the smell of coffee, but even now I can't smell it too long or I feel sick.
Hunger....all the time. No matter how much you eat. You can be full for 5 minutes and then starving again like you haven't eaten in weeks. And instead of being able to ignore it or satisfy it with a drink of water...your body starts to shake and you sweat and you have to have food that minute or you'll absolutely die.....regardless of what you're doing that minute.
The irrelevant weight gain. I understand that a woman's body needs to put on the extra pounds to protect the baby, prepare your body, feed your baby.....but seriously.....do you need to have the extra cellulite on your butt and legs? I mean where does that become necessary? I'm already feeling huge...please let's make it worse by putting on unnecessary pounds without trying.
Emotional craziness. One thing you shouldn't say to someone who's pregnant "it's just your hormones"...because at that time, I don't care. Let me cry over rotten mangoes. Let me be upset over not having enough sour cream to make the perfect mashed potatoes. I know I'm pregnant and my hormones levels are sky high.....but I can't seem to control it. Just hug me and let me be upset....I'll get over it in a few minutes.
Heartburn. This has been plaguing me for the last 4 weeks...and it HURTS. I know it's from pregnancy hormones slowing down gastrick motility (which also leads to constipation...sweet) and b/c baby is getting bigger (which is a good thing) and taking up more space which results in my stomach being pushed up which makes whatever I eat or drink push yuckiness into my esophagus causing the burning.....but SERIOUSLY. I'm popping Tums every hour...and they do not taste good. If the heartburn gets bad enough, I have a major coughing fit.....lately this has been happening in a patient's room and it's embarassing b/c they look at you like you have the plague, so then you have to explain it's one of the many ways your body reminds you your pregnant.
Constipation. This is one that goes throughout pregnancy b/c like I said, the hormone surge slows down your gastric motility which means food is in your intestines longer which means more water is pulled from it which means by the time it's done being moved through.....you get it, right? anyway....so i carry a water bottle with me everywhere and yes, i do take a stool softener every day, thank you very much. My husband would be so proud of me for telling you that too.
Hemorrhoids. I have not had the honor of experiencing these buggers, but I hear they are quite painful. They are caused from being constipated too often, baby getting bigger and more pressure in your pelvic area, and then from pushing out baby at birth. I'll say no more b/c I don't even want to think about it.
The shortness of breath. Oh my word...this is not fun. Again, it's from baby getting bigger and taking up your lung space....how long or short your torso is makes a huge difference too. You can't lounge back b/c if you do, you can't breathe. Walking and going upstairs makes you feel like you just ran a marathon b/c your are so out of breath. Sitting down, you have to sit completely straight or you can't breathe (but sitting up straight, of course, causes a major back ache, so you're uncomfortable no matter what you do). When I'm at work or talking on the phone and I get going on a conversation I have to stop a few seconds for air b/c I don't have the lung capacity to carry on a conversation like I used to!
The back aches. These are from your center of gravity changing and your expanding belly pulling your spine forward. My consant back ache is across the center through my shoulder blades. Sometimes changing how I'm sitting or standing helps, but there are lots of times (like last night, actually) where not matter what I do it hurts so bad I'm close to tears. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who is willing to rub and knead my back which helps a ton.
Now, a new one I've had lately is constantly having to go to the bathroom. Baby kicks your bladder and oops...you hafta go now. You're in the middle of a deep sleep? Don't worry, it won't last long b/c you'll have to get up and go the bathroom in about 2 seconds....my reaction is to want to drink less so I'm not having to go so much...however, this is super bad b/c then you can get kidney stones real easy.....you get dehydrated which makes your Braxton-Hicks contractions worse...you get even more constipated.....there's no solution but to just go.
Swelling. Now if you read my blog earlier, you know I've had a brush with this. It's from extra fluid in your body not having anywhere else to go, but into the interstitial space of your skin. Everyone gets this at the end of pregnancy, but most people (like me) get it around the 7th month. Mine isn't terrible, but if I'm on my feet too long (like at work) or sitting with my feet dangling down for too long...my feet and ankles swell and it is SO uncomfortable. One of my coworkers had it so bad by her 5th month, you could make hand prints in her legs....she also had preeclampsia and had to be put on bedrest for the rest of her pregnancy and that was why her swelling was so bad.
Stretch marks..I've been fortunate to not really experience these. I do have one teeny one right where my belly button was pierced, so it's not noticeable unless you're actually looking for it. I know I still have 10 weeks left, so there still may be time :) But stretch marks a genetic...my mom didn't have them at all...I don't know about my dad's side of the family...but I figure I have a good chance of escaping them (hopefully, anyway) :). I know lotion and stuff doesn't prevent them, but it makes sense in my mind to keep skin moisturized, then it should stretch easier, right? so I still try and take good care of my belly and keep it lotioned up :)
et's see.......oh yeah.....varicose veins. Again, so far I've escaped them, but I still have 10 weeks and baby isn't going to get smaller. I'm sure I'll have a few by the time baby arrives.
Okay, so I think I'm done. :) I'm not trying to scare anyone who hasn't been pregnant and is planning on getting pregnant someday. Some people will tell you they LOVE pregnancy and that's awesome...
It is a beautiful thing to know that your body is growing and nurturing this little child. God's design for a woman's body to carry a baby is incredible and I am thankful for the experience. But I still say, is some of the previous stuff necessary? I mean really. :)
I want to say again I am not complaining; I have been blessed to have had an easier time than some other women I know and for that I am thankful....it's just frustrating when some of these "pregnancy symptoms" are hindering you from doing normal activities like you used to...like bending over to pick up a pen I just dropped on the floor? Instead of just leaning over to get it....I have to stand up, hang on to the counter and bend down with my knees, grab the pen and then use the counter to help pull myself up.....what's it going to be like in another few weeks when my belly is definitely ginormous and in the way??? ;)
anyway....I would love to hear thoughts from you who have been pregnant...did you like pregnancy? Or were you ready to be done sooner rather than later??



a sad day....

Yesterday was a sad day.
I had to take my wedding ring off.
My fingers have started to swell a bit and it's gotten harder and harder to get my ring off. At work on Friday, some of the nurses I work with were like "if you don't take it off now and you swell more, it's going to cut your circulation and they're going to cut your ring off". I'm thinking "no one is going to cut off my wedding ring".
So yesterday afternoon I was at my mom's and I had to soak my hand in ice water for a few minutes, then douse my finger in olive oil and after some super hard tugging and twisting, my ring came off. I started bawling and called Nick. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to not be able to wear my wedding ring!!
My mom came in the door a few minutes later and I started crying about it again.
Needless to say....I got a cheapie from Target....it's a ring, but it's not the same! I know not wearing my ring doesn't make me unmarried, but it's sentimental and that ring means so much to me!
Anyway....today has been better...I wore the cheapie...it's a little too big so it moves around and I'm getting annoyed...then I found an opal ring in my jewlery box that my dad gave me for high school graduation....I usually wear it on my middle finger, but I decided that's the ring I'll wear for now...it's a little big too...but it's nicer than the cheapie :)
In the meantime...pray for my husband...I think my mood swings are getting to him...yesterday I cried about my wedding band...tonight I almost started crying because 2 of the mangoes I bought were bad.




I have TWO amazing things to share with y'all....

On October 21, I blogged about Travis and Angela expecting baby #4....yesterday Travis told Nick and Nick told me that God has blessed them with TWINS!! It is so mind boggling and while I know they are still trying to process this blessing :) they are incredibly happy and Nick and I are SO excited for you both!!

THEN....I have two friends, Katie and Ashley, who have known and loved me longer than anyone else (besides family) who knows me. :) Ashley and her husband, Chad, are expecting their first baby here in the next 4 weeks (woohoo!!!)......Katie and her husband, Tony, miscarried their first child, Ella, a few months ago. Today the 3 of us were at Ashley's baby shower and Katie informed us that the Lord has blessed them with another baby!! She is 11 weeks along....and I am ecstatic!! Congratulations, you guys!!!



belly photos...thank you, Steph!

photos by Stephanie Flies
(see more under picasa link to the right)



Arizona...fun with Alan and Steph

Nick and I took a long weekend to Scottsdale, AZ to see his brother and sister-in-law...one last hurrah before we have the baby to lug around :)

I don't even know where to start. We love going out there to see them...it's always a fun and encouraging time and we are always so sad to leave! This trip was the shortest one yet, though, and it flew by so fast!
We hung out by the pool---I got to lay on my stomach for the first time in months on their raft!!(those of you who are tummy dwellers when you sleep or read...you get it)
We ate out at this yummy restaurang, T-Cook's. It's in this super nice hotel that been around forever. It had such a romantic atmosphere...
Saturday we did more pool time :) and then went over to Steph's Aunt Jane and Uncle Tom's. They have an amazing home and are such fun hosts. Tom makes the most amazing drinks...he made me a non-alcoholic pina colada..it was fantastic. Jane made some super yummy food AND I had my first glass of wine in months. It was a Riesling and SO SO good. Tom, Alan and Nick had football on throughout the evening (and the weekend!). :) Steph and I even got into the Texas//Texas Tech football game with them that night. It was a good game and I say if every football game was like that I would watch football more. :)
Sunday late morning we went hiking it was super gorgeous out and there was a wonderful breeze so it wasn't sweltering :) My feet and ankles got all swollen (of course) and I got short of breath really easy (baby likes to hog space and my lungs get the shaft now)....but thank you guys for being patient with me :)
THEN we had the idea of taking belly pictures with Steph since she does some photography (and is amazing by the way) I'll post pictures that she took after this (she also has them on her blog and picasa album)...
We made dinner that night and spent time with their friends Greg and Amy (who are super neat people by the way)....there was a little issue with the pumpkin bars :) but the meal was amazing (nice work, Steph).
Then suddenly it was time to leave and head back and now here we are...
Needless to say we miss them so much already--and I think it gets worse each time we have to say goodbye. Thankfully they'll be back in December around Christmas and we get to see them again. woohoo! :)



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