yup, it's true. 
our family of 3, will soon become a family of 4. 
my due date has been changed a few times, but i'm officially due: 
June 7, 2013

no lying here- it's been rough. 
really rough. 
since about week 7 (i'm 13 weeks now) i've been very sick. 
most days i don't eat and when i do eat, i throw up. 
not fun for anyone. 

but nonetheless, we are thrilled! 
thrilled to have a summer baby, 
thrilled for joshua to be a big brother, 
thrilled to be growing our family, 
thrilled to hold another infant & call it ours, 
thrilled to do it all again
 (ok not thrilled about all parts of *delivering* another babe)
but thrilled.

so as i did with joshua... 
a little Q&A:

Q: When did you find out you were pregnant?
A: We officially found out on October 4, 2012.

Q: Was Manny there? or How did you tell Manny?
A: yes, after figuring out i was over a week late for my period we decided to take a test. we couldn't read the first one... he was sure it was positive, i was sure it was negative, then i decided it was positive. so we took another one just to be sure.

Q: What were your first reactions?
A: pretty much, like whoa. what have we gotten ourselves into...?

Q: What are you feeling now?
A: mostly, just feeling sick.

Q: How far along are you?
A: 13 weeks.

Q: When is your due date?
A: June 7, 2013

Q: Are you showing yet?
A: not really. i've lost a considerable amount of weight (the whole don't eat & then throw up does that) so that doesn't really help the "showing" thing. just feeling a little pudgy around the middle.

Q: How have you been feeling (sickness wise)?
A: well if you haven't figured it out so far. i've feeling pretty miserable. thankful that most days i take a morning nap with joshua and on days when i can barely move we just hang around the house and chill out. well, i try to chill out and then chase the 1 year old :) most days i'm sick most, if not the whole day. it's been rough, but we're making it through. but i will be very happy when food sounds good again...

Q: What other symptoms have you experienced?
A: hmm, exhausted. dizziness. and my hair falling out.

Q: Any strange food cravings?
A: like i said, most days ALL/ANY food sounds disgusting! but especially eggs. yuck. the few times I do want to eat it has been milkshakes and sour candies.

Q: Any gender preference or predictions?
A: I think a boy would be easier, a girl would be fun. LOTS of people are saying it's a girl...

Q: Will you find out?
A: YES. 

so yes, that's me. 2nd pregnancy. techinically out of the 1st trimester. 
praying this sickness goes away soon.

Joshua Manuel: 12 months, 1 year old!

how is it possible that i have known you for a whole year? that i have held you and kissed you and changed your diapers for an entire year? you are such an incredible boy. you are so smart, so funny, so opinionated, and so wonderful. everyday you make me laugh and everyday i am so thankful that God has given me you to raise and love and teach.

this month you finally said "momma!" that made me pretty happy. you can also say "hi" and "bye" and "dog." you babble sentences of stories all the time. everything you say is so important and you have all the hand motions and tone inflections to go with your stories. you also like to "sing" and can repeat syllables of music like humming. not only do you talk, you also yell. and scream. like i said, everything you talk about is very important, and you have no problem making sure you are heard, even if it means volume levels that are through the roof!

along with all this screaming and yelling, we are starting to have to discipline you for the first time. but Joshua, you are too smart. the other night your were just yelling and yelling at me {in anger} and i had tried talking it out, explaining to you what was happening, putting you in "timeout" in your room, and nothing was working, so i patted you on the mouth. not 2 seconds later you screamed again and started hitting your own mouth! child, sometimes i just don't know what we are going to do with you!

this month Auntie Karla got ENGAGED to Dan! we found out you are going to be a BIG BROTHER! and we BOUGHT A HOUSE! it has been a very eventful month :)

not only are you walking like a pro, you are running! you can kick a ball, throw a ball, and totally know the difference when told which one to do. you still love to dance. your favorite toy would still have to be your music table, always the go-to toy. you have also taken up a love for laundry! every chance you get you grab laundry from our room, your room, or Kma's room and run around the house laughing your head off.

for halloween, we did trunk-or-treat at the farm and then on halloween night went trick-or-treating with Aunt Amber, Uncle Sam, Izzy, and Liam. you were the cutest tiger i have ever seen :)

for your birthday we celebrated a few times! on your actual birthday we went to lunch with Auntie Kari, and then had pizza, peas & birthday cake at the house with Grandma Mary, Grandpa George, Auntie Karla, Dan, Uncle Matthew, Aunt Christine, Johnathan, David, Kaitlin, and Timothy. {Kma, Opa & Uncle Johnny were at Johnny's last football game.}

on Sunday, you were dedicated at church by Uncle Sam and then we had a big celebration with all our family and friends! it was so fun & you are so loved! i'll post more on that later.
photo credit to Eric Chin
so Joshua, you are 12 months old. we made it to a year! everyday you make me smile. i am so proud of you and i cannot wait to see what your next year of life will hold. i could go on and on talking about how much we love you and how wonderful you are, but please just know we are so blessed by you, we love you way too much, and we praise God for you everyday.
we love you more and more everyday. 
your momma & daddy

from waiting to chasing...

it really hadn't hit until just now... 
one year ago today i was sitting in  strange room, waiting for Manny and my mom to get to the hospital, waiting for my contractions to get stronger, waiting for my body to react to the medicine, waiting for the minutes and hours to pass, waiting for November 1st, waiting to meet our baby boy! 
today i'm chasing around this crazy baby boy. i'm picking up his messes, feeding him lunch, changing his diaper, holding him, kissing him, talking to him, laughing with him, and loving him!
 this boy is all spunk and fun and silliness. he's all boy and messes and crazy. 
he's all opinions and 6 teeth and running.
this crazy boy is ours. 
i'm so thankful!

the nursery!

it only took a year... 
but here is joshua's nursery! 
i talked about what it would look like. 
i worked on a lot of different project for this year. 
i really love his nursery. 

i talked about the layout/ floor plan. 
we ended up moving to a new place so his room actually looked like this: 
{sorry for the over exposed picture} 
i talked about an ABC wall. 
this is by far my favorite part of his nursery!
 some letters i bought. and a lot i made. 
as you can see his initials are the only letter type repeated & they're the largest.
my favorite it probably the G- a race track with hot wheels :) 
i also really like the yarn-wrapped W
one letter is not finished... can you tell...? 
i was suppose to wrap the C in a Colorado map. never happened. 
but really, i am very proud and really love this thing!

talked about the crib & bedding. 
and that's exactly what i did :) 
the crib was a gracious gift from my parents. 
i love that bumper. 
the only difference between when i first decorated the room & now...
is this cute boy standing up in that crib!

 talked about the dresser that would double as a changing table. 
craigslist for $35- check
painted my my lovely husband- check
adorable knobs from ikea for $2.99- check

i didn't have any other Nursery Decorate posts... 
but i did a bunch of other really great things for his nursery... 

including this mobile made from paint chips:

this glider i got off craigslist for $35:
i just recovered the foot rest & made a matching pillow :) 
the nightstand table i got from ikea for $19.99 and the lamp from target for $16

 i love the bedding i got for the extra bed. ikea! (don't remember price)

here's the reading nook: 
"bookshelves" ie ikea spice racks painted orange
all his stuffed animals
and a bucket full of books!
(plus a fan)

and lastly, the bookshelf:
this is obviously only one shelf. 
but i took a bookcase we already owned, my dear husband painted it white,
and i mod podged scrapbook paper onto the back. 
it's probably one of my favorite things in the room!

so that's the breakdown of sweet Joshua's nursery. 
once we move and set it up again, i'll some new pictures :) 

Joshua Manuel: 11 months

are you really 11 months old? is that even possible?
well i guess it is... you are walking everywhere

you are very talkative. very opinionated. very loud. very cute. very sweet. very smart.
and just pretty wonderful.

this month you decided eating anything mushy was lame. also being fed was lame. all big boy, all the time. you eat plenty! you love toast with avocado, all types of big boy food, chicken, turkey, and blueberries still.

you have a very strong opinion about everything and have no problem telling me how you feel. you are very aware and always watching what is going on. nothing gets past you! you've started to have a little more separation anxiety... you just know more and want to be with momma more. it's hard at church and i don't like to see you sad, but this too shall pass & soon you'll remember how much you love church! 

you are moving from 3 naps to 2. some days it is a struggle because if your first two naps aren't long enough you get very cranky but then don't want to sleep. the transition is always difficult but we're figuring it out. you usually wake up between 7 and 7:30am and go to sleep between 7:30 and 8pm.

you love to dance! you also LOVE music. your favorite toy right now is this little bear that sings and lights up. you like to go "bye-bye," especially when we go to Kma's & Opa's house. you love hanging out and playing with the big kids - your cousins & all your friends at church. you're learning how to play chase. that is very fun!

you've grown out of all your 9month clothing & are in size 4 night diapers.

you are learning how to give hugs and kisses (i really like this part). you really just smile all the time! even when you are sick, you smile...

yup, that's right this month you got the flu AGAIN. for the third time in your short 11 months you got the flu. it lasted almost 6 days and you threw up plenty. you also had the runs something terrible. it was super sucky. and i really hate it when you are sick. not to mention you got sick when we were moving...

yup, that's right this month we moved! we were suppose to close on a house at the end of the month, but that fell through. so we moved in to Kma's & Opa's house and now we are looking for a new house. thankfully you have your own room here. you love seeing Kma, Opa, and Uncle Johnny everyday. you have lots of fun exploring and walking all over the house. we are thankful we have somewhere to be as we figure out where we should live next!

my joshie, my joshie, i love you my joshie. even when the days are hard and long and i'm way past weary with sickness and house stuff and life stuff YOU MAKE ME SMILE. deep down, love more than i ever thought possible, smile. i am so thankful for you. i'm thankful for your laughter and silly vampire teeth. i'm thankful for your silliness and mischievousness. im thankful for your loudness and opinions. you keep us on our toes and we love chasing you around.

we love you more and more everyday! 
your momma & daddy

His mercies are new every morning

yesterday was rough. 
it was our first real day in this "temporary" living space
{my parents home}
joshua woke up at 5:45am soaking wet in his own waste
the poor baby was freezing cold and the stench was unbearable
he's been stomach-flu-sick since thursday
bottle & cheerios for breakfast
throw it all up
lots of crying.holding.sad. 
overwhelming amounts of work
{it's sprinkler shutdown season}
small naps because his stomach is less than full
eating a few ounces at a time
so much work to do
another mess in the pajamas
another nap
no real appetite for any real food
i'm struggling. more tired than i thought possible
piles and piles of laundry to fold
more work
he's in bed by 7:40pm.
we're asleep by 9:40pm. 
{earliest we've ever gone to sleep}

and this morning...
normal wake up 
happy baby
accomplishing work 
good naps
plenty in his belly 

and i couldn't get it out of my head- 
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

it's been a rough couple weeks
but reading Lamentations 3
i am reminded of so much

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him

my hope is in HIM
not in the things of this world 
{they are fading}
my hope is in HIM

and every morning His mercies and compassions are NEW
praising God for the setting sun and the rising dawn 
for new mercies 
and new mornings
for my hope

first world problems...

it's a hashtag. 
for real. like 4 months ago no one even knew what a #hashtag was. but now people are all about #hashtagging #this and #that. whatever is does, making people feel important. 

but #firstworldproblems is a #hashtag that has got me thinking a lot lately...

all this social media. it's often times just a sounding board for complaining, self-empathy, and "o look how important/awesome/wonderful/funny/cool I AM" 

so often i get on Facebook {which is often} and everyone is just complaining.
baby didn't sleep. 
i'm tired. 
i'm bored. 
my friends are lame. 
i didn't get _____.
this is stressful. 
and then all these "first world problems" 

stuff the majority of the world doesn't even have the option to think about! 
on wednesday, my phone screen broke. i pretty much could only call the people on speed dial. 
i was unable to do work really. i couldn't contact anyone etc. 
so i got on Facebook asking if people had an extra phone lying around. 
a sweet friend graciously dug out a phone & charger and left it in the milk box for me to pick up. 
i picked it, put my sim card in, and started playing with it. 
admittedly it's pretty hard to work & much different than any other phone i've had. 
the buttons are just the opposite & where i usually press "send" i'm pressing "delete"
my sinful heart grew something ugly. 
i was grouchy and frustrated and just not fun to be around. 
but the #hashtag 
popped into my head. 
with this phone i can still call everyone i need. 
i can still do my work. i can even snap a picture of my cute boy.
this grouchy and ungrateful heart of mine was rocked with the thought that the majority of the world doesn't even have the option to be grouchy and ungrateful about any phone at all. 
for some people doing their work means walking miles. for some people talking with their mom is not even possible because of distance. for some people having just a land line would be world-shattering-wonderful.

and i think this is so true of so many people right now. 
we use social media to complain about all these things that aren't even an option for the majority of the world. 
can we just be grateful & appreciate the blessings of this "first world" we live in???

this phone
this house
these problems
for food on the table
formula in the cupboard
toys in the basket 
crumbs on the floor
busy schedules
soccer games & birthday parties
grocery store trips
filling the tank with gas
fresh water all.the.time
for so much. 
everything around me. 
even when it feels like a burden, something to complain about. 
Lord, remind to be thankful for these

{i don't write these things because i think i'm so much better than everyone else, it's just what God is teaching me right now...}

Joshua Manuel: 10 months

{camera is still lost, no replacement yet, very few pictures, so I'm just going to write, because i don't want to forget}

my growing boy! O how you bring so much joy into our lives!
you are very opinionated. you are a ham & a flirt. you love to laugh & make other people laugh. you also really love dancing. your favorite toys are anything that make music. your favorite foods include blueberries, peas, and squash. you're all about feeding yourself and being a big boy. no more squishy-mushy food for joshua!
you got 1 more tooth- total of 4 now. your hair is growing in quite nicely, a little lighter than i thought it would. you say Dada all the time & also say the cutest "Hi" i've ever heard. it's sort of soft and drawn out and very sweet. you are growing out of the baby stage. some people have been calling you a "toddler." really, i don't know if i can handle that. really, i can't believe you are going to be ONE year old in just 2 months. you are real close to give up nap #3. and could start walking any day now. really, my baby... you can't be ready to walk can you?
you're also into everything. that's pretty much the understatement of the year. any trouble there is to find, you find it. anything that's not suppose to be picked up off the floor and eaten, you eat it. every tiny piece of paper, shoe, crumb, or spec of dirt there is to find, you find it & put it in your mouth. i'm having to vacuum more than i ever have before... and it's still not enough. you find the smallest spaces to crawl into and get stuck in. you pull things down, knock things over, and tear everything apart. it's lots of work for momma & daddy but we love to see you exploring and adventuring!
"helping" momma with the laundry
stuck in the strangest places
we spent a lot of time away from home this month. a dear friend and brother in Christ was killed in action in afghanistan. it was a very hard month for your momma & daddy. but you brought us so much joy! we are more thankful for each moment with you than ever before. you LOVED being with your friends. i think you will the best big brother! you aren't intimidated by their size, volume, or roughness. you are loud right back and have no problem tackling anyone who's messing with you.
hanging with the Ferni's
on a much yuckier note... you got the flu AGAIN. and graciously shared with all your friends. you were the first one. the first throw up. ALL OVER momma at red robin. yup. you threw up all over me. at red robin. for about a week you had no appetite. it was really no fun, but you were such a happy boy even in the midst of being sick and having no appetite. and you seriously shared your sickness with about 10 people. yes, 10 people got the sickness you did! pretty impressive sharing joshua! let's hope for no more flu again for a while.

we love you so much. we love your smile and laughter and contagious joy! thank you for making us laugh and smile, even on days when we didn't think it was possible. we thank God that he made you ours and that we have the blessing of being your momma & daddy. you are one incredible baby boy and we can't wait to see the great plans God has for your life.
bath time is great fun!
 we love you more and more everyday!
 love, momma & daddy

would you like to sit down for coffee?

this cute girl & i having coffee
let's chat a bit.
would you like some coffee?
i'll make it in my $13 coffee pot & i'll take mine with some french vanilla creamer {but not too much}. you? joshua is taking a nap. let's enjoy some quiet.

august is over. this month has been insane. i've cried a lot this month. i've looked to the future a lot this month. i've enjoyed my boy a lot this month. we've been away from home a lot this month. i've been working on my heart in my marriage a lot this month. this month has hurt.

but i'm thankful. i'm thankful for my family and my church. i'm thankful that our church can be the church and live out the love of Christ to those around it. i'm thankful that my boy makes me laugh every.single.hour. i'm thankful for so much. and yet it seems i can't find the right words.
maybe it's guilt. maybe it's pain. i really don't know.

and now it's september. my boy is 10 months old & i still don't have a camera & i feel insanely guilty that i'm missing every picture opportunity and there will be no record of this time and how he grew and what he learned and how he made us laugh.
and it's september and i'm learning that life just keeps moving. no matter who you are or what you've gone through or how you think you can't go on. life keeps going. and i don't know how that makes sense. shouldn't life stop? shouldn't she get a break?
and it's september. manny turns 26 next week. nicole and andrew get married. i've got dentist appointments. and need to get my hair done. need to do a lot of things.

i just want to be in His presence. in the glory of the Lord. is my life full of Him. or is it full of stuff and the world? because i know this house is full of stuff. i want it to glorify the Lord. i want my whole life to point towards Him and His saving power and love and grace and forgiveness. how do i get there? what do i do? what do i change? 

that's what i would say if we met for coffee...
what's on your heart today?

tuesday thoughts

 been a while since i've had some tuesday thoughts... 
joshua finally ate a regular breakfast this morning! 
i was literally singing praises for the rice cereal/ applesauce breakfast he ate. 
it's been just over a week since he threw up for the first time {at red robin. all over me.}
he really hasn't had much of an appetite since then. 
but then this morning he ate a regular breakfast. 
cute boy eating peaches (before sickness)
the other day my dear friend amanda showed me her lastest sewing project. 
it inspired me. 
i broke out my sewing machine for the first time in months. 
and sewed one pillow cover {for joshua's nusery}
and turned 1 curtain panel into 2 {for our master bedroom}
so glad i finally got those things done. 

i've also been extremely motivated to organize. 
there is so much stuff. 
and most of this stuff hasn't even been looked at since we moved here {one year ago}
so i'm going through everything. 
organizing and figuring out if we should keep it or toss it. 
{don't worry Manny, i'm not touching any of your stuff}
hanging out. skipping church with my sick boy.
so i lost my camera. hence the not so great itouch pictures. 
i have no idea how i'm going to afford to get a new one. 
my plan- sell some of that stuff i don't need. 
hopefully people want my stuff. 
i really want a new camera. 
smiley boy. {picture quality so low, need.new.camera.}
it seems like the weather is starting to turn...
all these people "i love fall bLAH BLAh BlAh"
i have no desire for summer to end. 
i hate being cold. 
i like summer. i like being warm. 
joshua doesn't have any clothes to wear for fall. 
stay summer forever!
{manny told me i live in the wrong state... i think he's right}
angel baby glowing the glory of God's light. {haha}

joshua grew three inches over the last few months. 
all of his pajamas are too small. 
poor kid. trying to squeeze his toes into too short sleepers. 
and i can't find any 12mo sleepers for a decent price. ah!
sweet boy fell asleep in my arms

i think that's all i've got for today. 
going to go reorganize my craft supplies/storage/area. 
want to buy my desk???

THE life

"He who has the Son, has life;
He who does not have the Son, does not have life."
1 John 5:12

the days have been long and hard. 
i really have had no words. certainly not the right words. 

an incredible husband, loving father, great friend, brother and son. a hero. 
Major W. David Gray was in killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012. 
his lovely wife is a dear friend. 
his three beautiful children call us Miss Kim and Mr. Manny and seriously love our Baby Joshua.
i didn't know David all that well, but the short time i spent with him i knew one thing- he was a servant of Jesus Christ. he lived his life to glorify the King. and in his death God is so glorified.

the pain has been, at times, enough to make me want to throw up. 
the tears come easily and quickly. 
it hurts. 
to know that such an amazing man was taken from this life, just too early for our earthly understanding. 
i've been clinging to this Truth:
 "God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1-7

 the Word also tells us... "better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere" psalm 84:10
and yesterday as hundreds gathered in the big chapel to honor and celebrate the life of a hero we know that is true... David is spending eternity worshiping the King of Kings, the Name above all Names, the Lord Jesus Christ. 
and as we honored and celebrated we stood in the Truth of Christ's promise: 
 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10: 9-13

David lived his life to honor God. he was Christ to all he met, to all he served, to all he loved. 
his life was the ultimate testimony of Christ's love, forgiveness, and promise. 
David has the Son, he has THE life. 

it's hard to fathom how we go on from here... 
as a friend wrote this morning: 
"Maybe revival's fire will begin to burn a little in each of us and we will channel our inner David Gray and tell our friends and neighbors how much Jesus loves them, not just in words but by being living examples of Christ's love and by putting others needs ahead of our own. Thanks David for inspiring me and I'm sure countless others."

pray for heather and her beautiful children. 
pray for the hard days ahead as they travel for more services and David's final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery.
pray for peace and strength beyond all understanding. 
pray for grace and love. 
pray for the days when there's no one there and the pain is too much to bear. 
pray for soft hearts and that Satan may have no grasp.
pray that David's legacy would continue to live on and serve as a testimony of what it means to serve the Lord with your whole life, even to the point of ultimate sacrifice.

Joshua Manuel: 9 months

We can just call this month "Milestone Month"
I'm literally amazed at all the things you learned and mastered this month!

Let's take a quick inventory... 

You went from crawling/ laying on the floor to a sitting position.

You pulled yourself up in your crib ... and then on all the furniture, walls, and surfaces possible.

You learned to dance.

You said your first word- Dada ... and now you say it all the time.

You learned to wave bye-bye.

You took your first steps ... and now you want to walk everywhere. no fear.

You went from army crawling to big boy-up on all fours-crawling.

You are starting to clap more and on purpose, especially when I sing to you.

You got your first 2 teeth!
Another milestone, you spent your first night(s) away from mommy & daddy!
We took AlethiaYouth to Joplin, MO for our first missions trip! 26 students & 9 leaders. We did lots of landscaping and hard work in the hot hot heat. You played and played and played with Kma, Opa, Auntie Karla & Uncle Johnny. It was incredibly hard leaving you, but I knew you were just going to have a blast. We got to facetime quite often and Kma sent lots of pictures. Kma and Uncle Johnny did get the flu, but you took good care of them.

Speaking of the flu, you and I got flu the week before we left. You seriously threw up {not spit up} 3 times in one night. It was incredibly scary for this first time momma and I felt so inadequate. But you really just threw up and were extra sleepy but not incredibly sad or upset. I found it very funny that you had such an aversion to watermelon {which you formerly loved} after throwing it up. I mean it made sense, but I was surprised that at such a young age you knew!

In other news...
Your favorite toy is the music table. You really don't need any other toys right now.

You put everything in your mouth! every.single.thing.
You also get into everything. drawers, cords, outlets, paper, tupperware, everything.
You're eating lots of food. You especially love peas and blueberries! 

We went on a fun hike with Kma, Opa, Unlce Johnny, Aunt Inge, and Jake.

We also went to the lake while they were here visiting. You LOVED the water!
You just giggled and splashed and tried to swim the whole time. You also ate quite a bit of sand. yum.

9 month stats: 
Diaper size- 3
Clothing size- 6-9months
Weight- around 18 pounds
Shoe size- ??? your feet are too fat to fit in any shoes!

still pretty much the same as last month...

This month has been great. I can't believe you are getting so big. Becoming so independent. 
I love hearing your giggle and saying Dada over and over again. 
You are such an adventurer and rarely cry when you fall down or hurt yourself. 
We are so thankful for every moment with you! 

we love you more and more everyday! 
love, momma & daddy