Tuesday, September 30, 2008

way to go me!

I'm so proud of myself for posting 11 times in September that I decided to send myself on a trip to New York! ....Well...I am proud of myself and I am going to New York, but the two are separate ideas! It would be cool if I could just reward myself with vacations all the time, but this is good enough for me.

Justin and I are heading to a music conference at the Brooklyn Tabernacle this weekend. We are flying up Wednesday then riding back on Monday with some friends of ours! I'm so excited!!!! We're going to do some touristy stuff on Wednesday and Thursday and then enjoy the conference during the weekend. We get to sing with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on Sunday so I will be so pumped up and I have a feeling that this is the weekend I could actually feel Baby Blakley move for the first time! How could he not with all the excitement?!

We're planning to see Phantom of the Opera, eat some New York style pizza (my idea!) and see what else we can get into (that we can afford). I'll miss you blogging buddies over the next days, but I'm sure I'll check in because the internet is everywhere and I can only stay away from it for so long!

Monday, September 29, 2008

intro to pregnany 101...

That's right...I guess I've been clued in to pregnancy slowly since I have only been sick one day total (sorry, y'all) and since I'm liking the idea of these new maternity clothes so far. I got a little more integrated into pregnancy last night,however, at our favorite Elkin Mexican Restaurant La Fuente. We walked in (like we do many Sunday nights) and request a table for two. The host guy looks at me and smiles saying, "2 and a half?!", which I thought was pretty funny. I was obviously in a maternity shirt, so I wasn't offended. For that moment...

Then I really laughed because we got to our table and he puposefully moved the table over some so that there was a little more room on my side!! HA! I could've been offended, I guess. It really was courtious, but I was just amused. It's probably a good thing it's my 2nd trimester and not my 3rd. (Atleast from what I've heard from you post-pregnant ladies!) More stories to come, I'm sure...I already don't really appreciate the tummy touching!

As soon as I posted, I remembered another story! ...the ladies at my office in Mt. Airy are already planning how to rearrange the office furniture ...because I'll soon be too big to easily get around the filing cabinet in our work room! Good thing I've been in a great mood lately!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

pregnant erin....18 weeks

Alright people...here's what you're missing (those who don't live close by!) I'm getting pretty big! I do like the new maternity clothes I've found, though...I feel so spoiled with new clothes!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Contrary to popular belief...

Even though the poll results were 70% girl vs. 30% boy....we're glad to prove the 70% wrong! We're so excited to be expecting a boy! Everything looked good today...it's definitely a boy! AND he has so far proved himself to be just as lazy as me and Justin. He refused to move!! Thankfully, I have a patient and generous ultrasound tech. She kept trying to get good pictures since the candy bar and coke I had didn't seem to wake our baby boy at all. So...we're gonna go again tomorrow morning and hopefully get some really good pictures...so check back! We did see him moving his mouth today...he's already singing!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Discover Your Child's Strengths Through Play

I was looking for good articles to include in my client newsletter next month at work and I ran across a good one that I thought I would share with you moms who drop by my blog. I see so often at LifeLine how parents have no clue how to really play with their children because "playtime" usually equates to time infront of the TV, video game, or time that the child is "out of the parent's way." This article gives a great perspective on play time that I hope to keep in mind myself. Check out the article Discover Your Child's Strengths Through Play and let me know how you played as a child.

As for me, at one point in my young life (some time before 4th grade, I think), I literally had a system of numbering in my room to keep inventory on all my toys. This means Malibu Barbie could have been A1 while Ken was A2, and so on. Every toy had a sticker with its assigned number on it! I was psycho organizational even as a young child. Too bad this is NOT characteristic of my house now! Justin would probably hate me!! There are certain areas of my life that are super organized, but somehow it just doesn't translate to my overall day! Perhaps this is why I went in a closet at church the other day and actually wondered if anyone would let me get in there and just spend a day organizing it. (crazy!) Why can't I think that about my own closets!!! They need serious help right now, too!

Ok, let me know your childhood ways that have made it into your adult life...(and don't tell anyone I blogged at work today!!)

how not to feel girlie & beautiful #2...

Realize that you now weigh more than your husband...ouch!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

how not to feel girlie & beautiful...

Warning: this is a ridiculous story that I am probably going to regret sharing, but nonetheless...

First of all, thanks to you wonderful ladies who suggested maternity shopping at Target. I have to agree (now more than ever, as you'll soon see) that I was very pleased with two pair of pants I found there. I shopped there last weekend (as I was in a bind and needed black pants for a conference) and came away (spending more than I meant to) with a great pair of black pants and a pair of jeans. I just had to buy the jeans because I actually haven't fit into a pair of jeans I've owned in months, so I decided that I deserved some during pregnancy. And I'm thrilled with both pair!...I've got a little taste of the maternity pants as I have to pull up the jeans every couple of steps, but I figured it was better to buy them a little big and I trust I will fit in them soon enough.

On to my ridiculous story.... Before I discovered better maternity shopping at Target and JCPenny (I got some great shirts there Thursday!) I was drawn toward Motherhood Maternity which seemed the most obvious place to shop. So, I quickly bought a pair of black pants from there about a month ago that were on clearance and seemed to be a smart buy. (Disclaimer: I have two pair of khaki pants and two adorable shirts from there that I am completely thrilled with). This black pair of pants, however, may never get worn again! I got them out for the first time today to wear them to church with a cute new maternity top. They fit great and were very flattering...that's not the problem. The problem is...they apparently seem to like me even more than I like them. The black from my pants completely rubbed off on my legs, making them black all over!

You may ask when and how I first realized this. Well, alright, you asked, so here's the answer! I discovered this when I left a ridiculous black stain from my legs on our toilet today!! Yes, I went to the bathroom after church, turned around to flush and realized that the seat has a marvelous imprint of my legs! (There's a picture for you!) We have yet to know whether it's going to come off! My Clorox Clean Up doesn't even touch it, so I may be straight-up bleaching my toilet seat. How embarrassing! This is why my title is "how not to feel girlie and beautiful!" That'll do it! An imprint of yourself on the toilet!! (And let me tell you, I covered it pretty well!)

Anyway...I'm sure this isn't every pair of black pants at MM, but you have been warned!! As for me, I think it's strictly Target and JC Penny. MM has stressed me out both times I've been in there anyway!

Well, there's a glimpse into my life today...hope its not an indicator of the rest of my week. As long as I remember to wash those pants by themselves, maybe I'll be ok!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ready to move...

So, yes, we have been looking at houses for basically the whole time we have lived in Elkin...always open to any prospective house, but never certain about what God is leading us to do. Since I became pregnant, we have looked with more fervency, hoping to downsize (from this enormous parsonage!) and find a place without stairs (I'm scared to walk down with a baby and Jazz at my feet) and a more practical layout for us. Many houses have seemed "ok," but have not prompted us to make an offer as of yet. We found one several weeks ago that I thought might be "the one" but it's still over 40 years old and in need of many updates that we would need to do in order to ever hope to sell it again in the future. Everything we can possibly afford around here is usually cloaked in a great 70's feel!

Much to my surprise, I went away last weekend and came back to a husband who is seriously looking into building a house! We never thought of this as an option, so its caught me off guard a little bit, but starting to excite me. Justin looked through dozens of floorplans with a company we are hoping to work with and finally narrowed down to one that is very open and in our price range. Next thing I know, we're in Greensboro on Thursday talking with a building representative about what is feasable. Then today we were in Statesville looking at model homes to compare.

What a week! I have always wanted a newer home (translation:10 years or younger), but just came to the reality that is not an option here in Elkin...with our income..and this market. Now I'm starting to allow myself to get excited about having a brand new house built the way we want with brand new everything!! (INCLUDING A DISHWASHER!) So...I'm simply asking you all to pray for us as we seek God's will in this. We have yet to settle on a piece of land, so everything will hopefully remain in a "slow" process so I can have time to get used to this idea fully. But not too slow because BABY BLAKLEY IS ON THE WAY!!!

Thank you for you prayers!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

my world has been rocked...

Yes...because my precious, furry, wiggly, cuddly dog is apparently a ferocious, daring bird catcher. I'm appalled. Justin told me last night that he witnessed it all. Two birds were just hanging out on the ground around this bush and our yard and apparently Jazz took advantage of the situation. Before Justin knew it, Jazz had a bird in her mouth, while the bird was flapping around hysterically. The bird finally got away, minus a chunk of her butt and a few feathers! What am I going to do!? My adorable dog is now a monster!

Unfortunately, that's not where the story ends. The first bird flew away, only to get caught in a link of the fence. Thankfully, Jazz was looking everywhere, but failed to look in the one spot the bird was helplessly hanging. Since she couldn't find that bird, Jazz apparently went on to find another. TWO birds were in MY DOG'S mouth within a matter of minutes!! I'm so glad I didn't witness this. I don't know if I could've looked at Jazz the same. Well, thankfully, our neighbor came by at that moment and distracted Jazz from the birds and Justin was able to help poor bird #1 to get out of the fence. I just can't believe this happened in my own yard with my own pet! I just don't know what to think. How can I bring a baby into the unstable environment!? :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

an endless list

I just got back from an amazing weekend at the Women's Prayer & Evangelism Conference. God is so good and I was able to hear from some gifted women who have encouraged me to renew my personal prayer life in fresh ways. So...when I got home tonight, eager to begin with my new prayer journal, I wanted to begin with praise, preparing my journal for exciting reminders of who God is. God quickly gave me the idea of pulling out magazines I had around the house and starting on a "collage" of words that portray names and descriptions of who He is. As I turned the pages again and again, it was not difficult to cut out an abundance of words that describe our Heavenly Father.

The reason this was easy, however, was because advertisements use so many descriptions to describe their products that are actually words meant to describe the One True God. I was convicted again. How many times am I sold on products to make me better, prettier, etc., things that can easily become idols in my life? Ask God to reveal to you what people or things have taken His place. What words do you use to describe insignificant things that should maybe be reserved for worshipping Him alone? Believer, be renewed today in your definition of who God is. If you have yet to know a relationship with God, read the following list, knowing that God wants to become these qualities in your life! The capitalized words are the ones I found (in just 3 secular magazines) to just begin to describe God. Let me know what names God has given you lately. How has He revealed Himself to you?

God is....

the PERFECTOR of our faith
standing with ARMS WIDE OPEN
longing to be your DAD
our ROCK
waiting to be your EVERYTHING
CLOSE to you at all times
JOYFUL as He sings over you
still in the work of SAVING those who are lost
longing to SATISFY your every desire
AVAILABLE to CALM every stress, every fear, every worry
waiting for you to see his VISION
the ONLY true answer
the FREEDOM you are longing for
MORE than you can ever imagine
EVERYWHERE, watching and listening 24 HOURS, 7 days a week, and he NEVER SLEEPS
WATER to our thirsty, dry bones
STRONGER than our strongest moment
a JUST God, DIVINELY ruling His creation, and always RIGHT
waiting for you to COME AS YOU ARE
coveting a RELATIONSHIP with you
LORD over all
the only One who truly RADIATES WARMTH
to be TREASURED greatly
still doing works BEYOND our comprehension
wanting to speak to you through His LOVE LETTER
ready to COMMUNICATE in a PERSONAL way with you DAILY
a God of HARMONY
offering you REST
wanting to be your CLOSEST FRIEND
able to claim VICTORY in your life
a SHINING light
your ROCK
asking you to seek His HIDDEN mysteries
calling you to TRUST in Him
HIGHLY exalted, the ROYAL king
wanting to be our FOUNDATION
able to TRANSFORM our biggest messes
ready for you to celebrate His GOODNESS
wanting to be your BEST FRIEND
a healing DOCTOR
offering you a FREE GIFT of his Son
one of whom we stand in WONDER
BEAUTIFUL, beyond description

Pray these descriptions of God this week. Stand in awe of who He is and ask for His strength to stay pure in a world that wants us to use these words to describe temporary things. He has a PLAN for you and wants to make Himself CLEAR to you as you seek His face. He will indeed show Himself to be WIDER and more PERFECT than we can even begin to COMPREHEND. Praise God for He is limitless!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

playing catch up...

I feel like I'm always playing catch up on laundry and cleaning....so why not on my blog? (on which I am way behind!) Well, the laundry and cleaning is under control for the moment (as much as it can be), so I've made it to the computer tonight to actually catch up on a few blogs and I thought I might write a few words of my own.

Things that really matter:

I'm up way later than usual tonight...mostly because I am so excited about what God has done!! Long story short...I was asked to counsel with a woman (friend of someone I know) who has been contemplating suicide. I have been praying all day about tonight...for the Lord's wisdom and guidance...and (long story short again)...despite the ridiculous barking of my dog (since we had to meet at my house), my extreme deficiency in counseling, and Satan's attempts to interfere in other ways, this woman prayed to receive Christ tonight! I'm ecstatic and I'm sure I'll share more about this later! Please pray for her. God is so good!

Things that ultimately do no matter but seem to make up my days:

I have to gripe for a moment...

Here's my shopping scenario from last week:

1. Justin and I walk into Old Navy to look for some maternity clothes for me (translation- I go to the maternity section, he goes to the men's - it's best for everyone around!)

2. I take 4 pairs of pants into the dressing room, come back with none. At this point I'm done shopping at Old Navy (since I don't think I've even been in there in about 3 years).

3. Justin picks up two pair of 34/36 pants that he is excited about because he can never find them that long and he doesn't need to try them on because (of course) they will fit perfectly.

4. We walk out of Old Navy with clothes for him (not pregnant...still super skinny) and no clothes for me (pregnant...and craving pants with "bendability!)

5. Why every time we go shopping am I more prone to buy him clothes anyway because it's easier than shopping for me!? No fair!!!

I've joined The Grocery Game and I'm already addicted and saving money. Check it out...$1 for a 4 week trial...tell them I sent you! More to come on this, too!

We're addicted to The Office again! Just two more weeks (September 25th!) and season 5 begins! In order to prepare we have purchased season 4 and are enjoying a laugh even as I am writing this!

September 25th is a big day for us....The Office season premiere and (hopefully) we will also be learning whether we are having a boy or a girl!! Can't wait to feel like I can make some plans...

We are still on the search for a "family friendly" house...getting pretty close...please pray for this!