things i don't want to forget:

i don't want to forget joshua at this age.
i don't want to forget this crazy dancing, talking, running, playing, eating, laughing, grunting 1 year old.

i don't want to forget his kisses.
i don't want to forget how he says "baby" or how when i asked him what his brother's name was he came running to my belly pointing and saying "baby."
i don't want to forget how he smiles at me every time i go pick him up from a nap.
i don't want to forget how he shows off and already knows how to make people laugh.
i don't want to forget how when i left to go to the bathroom, he opened the box of teddy grahams {left by the sofa, from my snack}, put a large handful in his bowl, and returned to find him sitting next to his bowl enjoying his own snack.
i don't want to forget how he says "BUY" like an old man from the south.
i don't want to forget how he throws his head back to enjoy a bite of something really good. 
 i don't want to forget his crazy, crazy hair.
i don't want to forget how he loves tools & makes power tool noises all the time.
i don't want to forget how much he loves his blankies.... and how much i don't understand how he all of the sudden loves them so much.
i don't want to forget how smart he is: every time i say "nakey boy" he knows it's bath time, every time i say "let's go change your diaper" he runs to his room & changing table, every time i say "it's lunchtime" he runs to his highchair, or when he wants more milk he tries to open the refrigerator.

this boy... he really makes me laugh everyday. he also frustrates me & makes me feel like i have no idea what i'm doing. but most of the time i'm laughing!
i love this boy!

24 weeks

How far along?  24 weeks
Baby Size: weighs over a pound & about the length of an ear of corn
Gender: BOY
Name: not telling :) but it's a good one!
Total weight gain/loss: from where i started... i lost 12 with all the sickness & now have gained back 14. so total gain of 2
Maternity clothes?  Ha! Not really. i did purchase a pair of long jeans from those should be coming in the mail today so praying that they fit & that help make some of my other clothes work a little better... really, i just have no clothes.
Stretch marks? Didn't get any with Joshua until the last few weeks & those have pretty much faded away. hoping the same thing will happen this time!
Sleep:  i just flip over a lot... and get freaked out that i'm lying on my back too much. i'm just pretty tired at the end of each day so sleep is welcome even if it is interrupted by the flipping side to side.
Best moment this week: getting to see him again! i had to go back for another ultrasound because they didn't get good enough views of his spine & heart last time. good news is they got all the images that wanted & he looks great {even measuring a little big}, bad news is that he wasn't really moving and not in a great position to see his face or anything. he's a stubborn one ;)
Miss Anything?  just being able to lay on my back while sleeping...
Food cravings: well throughout this whole pregnancy {even while really sick} caesar salad has sounded wonderful. otherwise now that i'm finally eating, i just want to eat everything!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  not really... eggs still don't sound good but nothing crazy.
Have you started to show yet:  in the past week or so i've really started showing. good for me, not so good for my lack of winter pregnancy clothes :)
Labor Signs: surprisingly yes... i think. i really didn't have any braxton hicks with Joshua and i think i'm already having some starting a few days ago.
Other symptoms: got some heartburn for the first time over the weekend. yuck. and the sciatica is pretty bad most days. boo.
Belly Button in or out? In, but funny how long it took to go out last time & how quickly i can see it popping out already.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy :) just tired at the end of the day & easily annoyed. 
Looking forward to: getting my maternity jeans! 

hey baby #2, 
i hope you are doing well in there. out here it's cold & snowy & my belly is getting bigger each day. your older brother now says "baby" and i think he knows that you are located in my stomach. you are kicking me like crazy anytime i stop to take a breath & notice. so i just assume you're kicking all the time :) daddy is the only one who's felt you move besides me. this weekend we helped Kma & Opa move to Monument. it will be so great to have them close when you are born! because you were so stubborn during your ultrasound i barely got to see you & don't really have any good pictures of you. so i'm getting very curious about what you are going to look like... and wondering what the color of your hair might be... only 16 more weeks until we get to see your cute little face. 
i can't wait! 
love you already more than you, 
your momma, daddy & big brother Joshua

considering lent: 3 years of journey

every year this journey of lent gets me...
leaves me questioning, searching, digging deeper.
today i read-
Today, we begin our Lenten pilgrimage in a 40 day trek to the cross, where we remember the sufferings of Christ and His stubborn love toward us.

that hits me hard, right in the gut. HIS LOVE. HIS SACRIFICE. 

it's good to go back & read - year 1: lent of don't & year 2: lent of don't plus some
and in all honestly, i fail at lent. every year this considering, this lent of don't has left me flailing, falling, failing.
and that's okay too. it brings me closer to HIM. to the SAVIOR of my life. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME.

but i know this:
i want more for my life, more for my family.
every Christmas as the lights and the tree and the ornaments and presents and traditions grow i can't help but question, why isn't Easter bigger?
on Easter we celebrate His DEATH & RESURRECTION!
for goodness sakes, without this we would be nothing. like dust.
but we are ALIVE IN HIM.
i want to shout it from the rooftops, sing until i can't sing anymore, live it with my whole life!
but for some reason Christmas gets all the attention...
i've talked with a sweet friend and she gets it too. the confusion & frustration & questioning. for that i am grateful. her family, they take the Trail to the Tree- an Easter Devotional.
i think i'd like to get our family on this trail as well.

but for now, we've agreed on this 40 Days of Water with Blood Water Mission 
the basic concept- give up all drinks except for water for the next 40 days & the money you save not buying coffee, beer, etc you donate to get safe drinking water to Uganda.
i think this will be a great challenge. a challenge for sure.
but a good challenge for this lent. as we prepare to celebrate the risen one. 

Lord, prepare our hearts as we chose to focus on You. for the next forty days allow us to humbly approach Your throne with thanksgiving for the gift of water, for the gift of LIFE EVERLASTING & the gift of YOUR HOPE. we praise You & thank You. amen.

LOVE day

commercials, cards, gifts - everyone is shouting "EXPRESS YOUR LOVE"
...on this one day of the year...
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14

and i say, let's embrace it!
i love this LOVE.
this precious gift. straight from the Heavenly Father to us.
for HIM, for our lovers, for our children, family and friends.
LOVE. i'm in love with it.
because in the end it's all about HIM.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16

without HIS love i certainly wouldn't have much love for that husband of mine that forgets to take out the trash or doesn't unload the dishwasher {not very often, i must say}.

without HIS love i certainly wouldn't love that boy of mine that chooses to scream at me most of dinner prep time.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17

without HIS love it would be near impossible to love friends and family that easily disappoint.

without HIS love anger, bitterness, and unforgivable easily become my attitude.
 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-8

so celebrating the LOVE day isn't about expressing love because i'm being told to.
it's about THANKFULNESS for the love i do have. from HIM, for others, from others. 

 And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37–40

my days.

ever since we actually moved into our house, my days have looked drastically different (than they looked prior to living in our own home...)

most days look the same.
most days i don't leave the house.
most days it's meals & naps & playtime & cleaning.

and i easily find myself thinking of how meaningless & boring & lame my days are...

it's easy for me to place my pride in the things of this world.
in work, school, and even the money i make.

but the Lord has literally stripped me of almost all of those.
i'm not taking any classes (nor do i plan to anytime soon) & work has waaaaaay slowed down.

it's just me & Joshua & this babe growing inside.

our days look the same.
our routine is pretty set.
and i question, how are we using our days to glorify the Lord? 

it's easy to just go through the motions of meals & naps & playtime.
it's easy to get bored & feel insignificant when i spend my days with someone who barely speaks.

most days, i let the routine and ideas of meaning set by the world rule my attitude...
i want to change. i need to change. 

Lord, change my heart. allow me to see ways to bring You glory in the everyday, in the routine & the naps & the meals. i want my life & the life of my babes to reflect Your love and grace. allow me to raise my boy to love You with his whole life. i know it starts now. i know it starts in the days just him & me, not leaving the house. give me patience for the hard days and grace everyday. thank You for providing and giving me these days. thank you for my precious boy & the babe growing inside. thank you for this gift of being their momma. thank you for this life.