Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Major FIND for any and ALL expectant parents on a BUDGET and possibly overwhelmed with trying to create the nursery they'd love to have for their little bundle of joy to come home to.. without spending a fortune. I thought I had some good ideas to save money.. second hand things refurbished, painting things, being artsy or trying to be :) Buuuut upon looking at TONS of pictures I became very sad because I knew what I wanted for our little one's room, but there was NO way we could afford the price tags. I imagined all kinds of mismatched pieces thrown together that we just hoped would work.. and then realized it didn't in the end. I also imagined registering for the cribset and matching decor from the baby superstore that we liked more than the others, and all of our friends and family getting together to buy those types of things for us, leaving the many smaller items on the registry for us to buy. Not that I don't expect to buy SOME things on our own- I know we will! But the little things add up very very quickly.
SO what if we were to save money on the decor by designing and putting the major nursery items together on our own, and leave the registry open for things like the carseat, pacifiers, and wipes?
I give you the greatest online find I've had in a long, long time.

Creative Baby Nursery Rooms

and a link I found on the previous site is here:

Cheap Baby Nursery Decorating Ideas

The first link is a website FULL of amazing nurseries that people designed and put together themselves that are INCREDIBLE. I like them more than the ones I see set up at the baby superstores! Seriously a m a z i n g.
And: LOW COST.. which brings me to the second link!
This one is an Ebook that I downloaded for $6.95 that has 60 or more ideas on how to save money and still have an awesome nursery. These are really GREAT ideas, and I also received 2 other Ebooks. One was a Baby Nursery Safety Checklist to go through to make sure the nursery is baby ready in every way. The second was additional creative ideas for the nursery.
Very cool, highly recommended, and worth every last penny.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bekah Joy Brooks..
Jaden Patrick Brooks..
What does everyone think?? Girl or boy?
It is hard to see, but the words in between the pictures are scriptures :)
Jeremiah 1:4-5
"The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born, I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Psalm 139:13-15
"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day to my lovely readers!! :)

Brian and I celebrated the day of love by enjoying dessert at one of our favourite italian restaurants last night. We haven't been there for a couple years, and we enjoyed talking about all the Lord has done in our lives and in our relationship from that time to now. It was sweet. We also enjoyed a hot caramel apple impanada with ice cream and a non-alcoholic pina colada :) YUM!

Today was difficult, as I was really missing my sister. I paid a visit to her gravesite after church. The snow was about a foot high and my bare feet nestled inside my little brown flats decided it was a better idea to simply throw a snowball at her instead of walking through the snow. I'm sure when my time comes, I will be greeted with a giant snowball.. but at least then frostbite will be a thing of the past :)

Today we were blessed as we visited with her 2 little girls that are growing up so quickly, and my brother-inlaw and his wife, Mindy. The ladies all got haircuts and I received a glorious back massage from my "almost" 11 year old neice, Jessica. These ones have a large CHUNK of my heart.

Tomorrow we have another BABY APPOINTMENT!
Ultrasound update soon! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Lord has been teaching me a very important, and tough to swallow lesson this morning. I had a few dreams last night that I was glad to wake up from but was disturbed and annoyed and honestly frustrated by. So as I began to process them with the help of the Lord, I was much less annoyed and frustrated and much more understanding and open.
Basically, the dreams I had were of things or people that I truly miss from my past being placed suddenly into my here and now.. as if they were never gone. I was excited to re-invite these things/people into my life, but it quickly became very chaotic. In many cases, it was completely messing things up for the worst in the present. I guess through it all, I'm just learning that there's a reason for all of these memories- good and bad, and there is a reason why some are left in the past (even the good ones!) I've always desired good memories to be back in my life, but if I truly received that desire, the plans the Lord has for us RIGHT NOW would be put in complete chaos.
Again, I am learning that living in the present day is the only way to live. Remembering the past and dreaming of the future, but not allowing either of them to take away from the here and now. Because the here and now, my present day adventures, are my steps into the future dreams and the memories of tomorrow.

Some quotes:

"When your memories become greater than your dreams, you know you've begun to die."

"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be."
-Marcel Pagnol

"When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
-John M. Richardson Jr.

"If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future."
-Winston Churchill

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the moment of time over which you have any control: now."
Denis Waitley

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pregnancy brings so much change. A baby brings so much change.. but even before this child takes their first breath, my life is changing all around me.

Today I want to share
some little, somewhat humorous things that I've noticed changing.
  • Almost everyone I come in contact with no longer asks me "how are you?" but they add one little word to the end.. feeling. How are you feeling, [insert pet name that for the most part I wasn't called by them before such as sweetie, darling, honey, etc]?
    So.. when you become pregnant, you are suddenly endeared by all with these terms of endearment. I like men, because unless they are family, they do not ask about how I am feeling.. and they only call me Marsha.. it makes me feel like a "normal" person again :) Strangely enough, the first few weeks of being asked this question were fun.. as it reminded me that I was carrying a life and not a parasite that sucks up any nutrients I manage to get passed my super-smeller of a nose and passed my mouth which refused anything that wasn't dry and salty. So glad that is over :) Hello 2nd trimester! well.. 5 more days, and I'll be there ;)
  • Brian and I went to the chiropractor today. In my normal appointment, which is every 2 weeks.. He adjusts my neck and spine and if anything random is bothering me, he'll fix that too.. like my jaw today :( He had to use "the puncher." It is this tiny little device that when he presses the button, feels like a tiny person came up and punched me in the face with their fist that packs the punch of a not so tiny person. Anyway.. now they are monitoring my weight and blood pressure.. totally throws me off. haha.
  • After the chiropractor, we went to the library. After checking for a learn to knit class.. I went to find a prenatal workout video. Here's what I came home with..

  • Mashed potatoes are a thing of the past. Do not even show me a picture of them :(
  • I liked oreos before, but it seems I have grown an emotional attachment to them now.. as I cry if we run out when they seem as important as air and prenatal vitamins.
  • I have the appetite of a 14 year old boy.. minus their craving for lots of meat and mashed potatoes.. (not to the point of overeating for those of you concerned for my after-baby body.. lol)
  • I'm drinking milk daily.. and liking it.
  • Upon requesting to go fishing with my dad in PA this summer.. he refused and said I would be, "big and fat by then.." Very true.. he would have to do all the reeling in of anything I stare at forEVER. That would be NO fun. Nor would be a 2 hour drive to the hospital if I went into labor.
  • I have nightmares of going to places like Cedar Point over the summer and walking around huge and sweaty and miserable as everyone else goes on all the rollercoasters. Of course there are no lines in my dream either, so they get to ride them all in one day while I sit on the sidelines and eat container after container of dip-n-dots trying to keep cool. I guess the dip-n-dots thing isn't so bad ;)
  • Every once in awhile now, I'll feel a little twirl in my belly as our little sweetie does somersaults.. and it is *bliss* At least someone gets to flip around and upside down this summer while I sit and eat my dip-n-dots...
  • Almost every night, around 11 or 11:30, whatever emotion I happen to be feeling at that time, be it even the slightest of sadness, or one joyful thing.. or pretty much anything I'm thinking about in that moment becomes escalated 100 times and I cry uncontrollably. Without fail, it ends in laughter as I laugh at how ridiculous it is that I am crying about _______. Brian has learned to laugh too, but not too much or I feel like he's laughing at me, and I lose it again.. just to start laughing at myself again for crying over such a silly thing.
  • The following shows have brought me to tears in the last month: the morning news, curious george, a baby story (from the theme song until the show was over..), what not to wear, home improvement,.. and I know there are more, but I can't seem to remember them due to a little "friend" I like to call PreggoBrain. She causes the following moments:
~The strap on the laptop charger fell one day and was dangling on the couch. I jumped, and thought without looking over, "Oh, it's just the silly kitty." [We do not have a cat]
~Upon losing my phone for the ump-teenth time, Brian called it with his phone and we followed the noise.. to the top rack of the dishwasher?! I still do not know how it ended up there. Good thing I didn't run it yet!
~I put our rental payment in the OUTGOING US MAIL slot instead of the RENTAL PAYMENTS slot in our apartment building.. after the post office was closed. I ended up writing another check and putting it in the RIGHT slot and waiting for the mailman the following morning to retrieve it for me. He laughed at me before assuring me that I was not the first one to have done this.
~My parent's huge german shepherd tried to go in the front door of the house full of dirt and snow, so I made him stay outside. By the time I walked to the back room of the house, he was sitting on the deck. I asked how on earth he got there in all honest confusion before realizing that he simply walked outside to the back of the house..
During week 10 of pregnancy (last week) the baby begins to grow hair. I'm convinced he or she is taking after both mommy and daddy and growing some nice BLONDE roots..

Friday, February 5, 2010

March and the Mysterious Fish with LEGS?!

March could not come soon enough!!! WOooooo!
Why, you may ask?

Well, I'll tell you :) But first, if you are a regular reader and are my friend on facebook, poke me :) I'd love to know who my readers are! If you aren't my friend on facebook, just leave a comment and let me know a little about you :) Thanks!
Ok soooo why March? WELL...
  1. M is for My NEW YEAR! The beginning of my spiritual new year, that is.. might sound crazy, but it doesn't feel like a "new year" to me until this frozen tundra has reached the beginning of the end.. and begins to thaw. The sun comes to visit more often, and though it is still cold, there isn't much longer before those buds begin to show and the birds wake me up with their beautiful singing and I take ALOT more walks! Which will be good for the baby :) Since 2008, every March I make it a point to have some time with the Lord and ask Him to completely blow me away this year! That it would be more amazing than any year before that and that I would have great expectations. He hasn't let me down yet! 2008-2009.. I graduated from the Honor Academy.. and eventually got back together with Brian after moving back home. Then from March 2009-next month.. I moved, quit my J-O-B, got engaged, married, and pregnant, (whoa!) and took up Mary Kay as a true business approach instead of just piddling around with it. WOW What a year! Every year I think to myself, "Ok, Lord.. how are you going to top that one?! And.. can I take much more than that?? I'm going to need some serious help!" It's a little scary asking for more this coming year. But why limit Him? I know He's enjoying this more than I am, and that He will pour out His best for our lives again and again.. but really! This is getting intense! I'm so excited to see what the coming year will bring :) And So incredibly thankful for the one that's coming to a close. He still has a little less than a month to show off with this year.. and I have a feeling He's either going to use it to blow me away some more this year, or to help me catch my breath before the next one starts! Wow, it amazes me when people think the life of a Christian is a boring one. Maybe there are some bored Christians out there.. but like anything and anyone else, your life is what you make of it! If you're bored, it's your own fault. Do what makes your palms sweat just thinking about, or your heart race just trying to fathom the possibility of such a dream becoming reality...becoming a memory to be cherished. There's no reason or excuse for anyone to not have the desires of their heart, when those desires are from the Lord. Each and every one has to be tested first, but it is so worth it!
  2. A is for AWESOME NEW APARTMENT! We get to start moving OUT of this apartment, and into the home where we will welcome our little one to in just 5-ish months after that! Speaking of this new home! What a gift from GOD! The place I've been in since MARCH of last year, and that Brian has been in since we got married in AUGUST came with such wonderful welcomings and a beautiful view of the lake from our much enjoyed balcony and sliding glass doors from our 5th floor. Then winter came. The strong winds coming off of the lake that were in the summertime this nice summer lake-breeze became this bitter, hair ruining, instant chapped skin, eye-drying-have-ta-squint-but-where's-the-car Freezing GUST that was absolutely ridiculous. Good thing we paid $20 for the garage parking :) All the other cars looked the same with their tops covered in a white icy mess. A yelling, cussing, not so friendly neighbor lived above our apartment since the week before the wedding. I'm not sure if he's cooled it a little or if we're just getting used to it.. but either way, we look forward to hearing the pitterpatter above us of the little kids upstairs at the new place than this yelling, cussing, scary man. We've been praying for him, as we believe it may be spiritual warfare from what we hear him say, and from what the police have told us about him and his apartment. Please also pray for him. Although it's caused some sleepless nights, we feel blessed that it was us and no one else. We are blessed that we've had the opportunity to lift him up. It was not easy to do, but I believe our prayers have moved mountains in his life. Or at least they will one day :) SOOO I got Way off track, but here's the rest about the new place! It is owned by friends of Brian's parents from church, and the rent is only about $30 more than what we're paying now (which if we stayed here, our rent would go up, so really it is LESS than what we would be paying here if we were to stay) AND we do not have to pay for the gas heat, water, sewer, or trash pick up.. the only utilities we have to pay is electric, which overall, we can control how much we use :) WOOHOO! Most other places are alot more for rent AND you have to pay utilities. Especially for two bedrooms!
  3. R is for... Rainbows of COLOR! We can start PAINTING! Yes! We are allowed to paint this new place so no more WHITE walls! :) We just have to paint them back when we move out. Can someone say, "Cutesy NURSERY!??" YEssss!!!
  4. C is for CLOSER to W A R M weather :) I know I already mentioned this in the first section, but I figured it was worth mentioning TWICE!
  5. H is for Hard, but happy Celebrations! Toward the end of the month, I'll be celebrating the lives of: my sister and her son, whom I'll be 5 years closer to seeing again, and celebrating the birthdays of the my almost 6 and 11 year old nieces and my almost 3 year old nephew :)
March is coming! Which means SO IS St. Patrick's day! GREEN! My fave color :) And Brian and I are both part Irish.. though we only kiss *each other* and don't drink.. we'll wear our green and freckles and maybe go out to eat :) Do you have anything you're looking forward to for March? Or even for 2010? I love comments :)
Well, dedicated to Fishermen everywhere, here's the end of this post, written in Green for you Irish folk ;)

My awesome dad (he really is an incredible man and I look up to him so much!) was fishing in Pennsylvania this afternoon and caught a catfish/eel looking fish with fringy EXTERNAL gills and FOUR LEGS!!! He threw it back, but after 45 minutes of searching the internet, I finally found a match. I give you, the WaterDog Fish:

Pretty creepy, eh? Catfish head, eel body, and four legs.. ick! .. but kinda cool at the same time..
Has anyone else ever seen or caught one of these before? It's a first time for me. They must be kind of rare since it was so hard to find online!
thanks to and for these photos! Oh, and google image search ;)
OK, ok.. you know I couldn't just end this post with a creepy looking fish thing..
so here's a pic of me and my daddy on my wedding day :) Right by the lake we've gone fishing in since I was a little girl! Love ya, Dad :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Healing Tears of Joy

As I take my seat on our living room couch of this 5th floor apartment, enjoying every bite of my early-morning snack.. I look across to the two framed photos on our television stand. Tears of joy run down my face as the Lord's faithfulness and love is shown to me.

I have had my share of fears.. fearing Brian and I would not get back together after our year apart at the Honor Academy. I have feared for years that I would never be able to fulfill the desire in my heart to be a mother. Sure, there's always adoption, which I also have a burden and a desire in my heart to be a part of.. but I wanted to be able to bring forth LIFE through pregnancy.
As a child, there were many things I claimed I wanted to be when I grew up and it changed more than my mom changed the living room around. (She did that a LOT!)
I also changed my mind about what activities I wanted to be involved in. Thankfully my mom didn't let me try them ALL, and the ones I did try, I couldn't quit. So I was a girl scout until they made me a volunteer instead of a scout, and I was in baton until the new leaders went crazy.
One thing that still has not changed from when I was still in diapers until now, is my desire to be the kind of mom I saw so many of my friend's moms being, and to make sure I was not the kind of mom I saw so many of my friend's being hurt by, and I'm not just talking about physical abuse here. There were some very sad situations I wish I could have done more to help with.

So here I am "all grown up". I'm a wife, and soon I will also be a mother. These are things I have always dreamed about. These are things I've always wanted. They just always seemed so distant. It is incredibly mind-boggling to be living in the present something you've always imagined to be far off in the future. This is my RIGHT NOW. These dreams that I thought were such nice thoughts I also feared would never happen. I feared it so much, I began to believe it. Well Satan, get behind me, because my God is FAITHFUL and fear is not of the Lord, and neither is deceipt. I will continue to munch on my breakfast and allow these tears of joy to cleanse away all the fear and doubt I allowed into my heart for so many years. No more. Now my dreams and the desires of my heart will only be trusted in the hands of the faithful One. My Beloved.. my everything. My Jesus.