Tuesday, November 30, 2010


All Wrapped Up Christmas Card
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010


Visiting Family!

Cora's Birth Story

The story of our baby’s birth begins on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 9th. At my 40-week appointment, Dr. Giovannina Anthony told me that I was 3cm dilated. I scheduled an appointment for Friday at which we hoped I would be at least 6cm dilated (I wanted to avoid the complications of needing an induction). Once I got to my car I prayed that my body would meet this goal.

God answered my prayers. Wednesday night I started having contractions around bedtime. The contractions were too painful to sleep through, but not close enough to make a trip to the hospital. Meanwhile, Dale couldn’t sleep because of the laryngitis/bronchitis that he had been battling for the past couple weeks. We laughed at the absurdity of our situation while we held hands and watched cable’s quality programming at three in the morning.

On Thursday, I unsuccessfully tried to sleep since the intervals between contractions widened. I went to our weekly Bible Study that night and around the time that we were going to sleep my contractions intensified. Another sleepless night ensued.

Feeling weary, Dale and I went to my Friday afternoon appointment. Much to my relief, I was 7cm dilated. My sleepless night hadn’t been in vain! As we made our way to the hospital, we went for a walk along the Elk Refuge. Knowing that a little one would accompany us on our next walk felt very surreal.

Around 7:00 pm Dr. Anthony broke my water. The contractions quickly intensified. Ignoring the advice of trusted friends, we decided not to hire a doula. Instead, Dale assumed the role of “dude-la.” He was the perfect labor coach. He gave me water, encouraged me to change positions, helped me get in the hydrotherapy tub, sang to me (I requested it), and numerous time he read to me the day’s devotion from the book Jesus Calling:
Trust Me and don’t be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. Do not let fear dissipate your energy. Instead, invest your energy in trusting Me and singing My Song. The battle for control of your mind is fierce, and years of worrying have made you vulnerable to the enemy. Therefore, you need to be vigilant in guarding your thoughts. Do not despise this weakness in yourself, since I am using it to draw you closer to Me. Your constant need for Me creates an intimacy that is well worth all the effort. You are not alone in this struggle for your mind. My Spirit living within you is ever ready to help in this striving. Ask Him to control your mind; He will bless you with Life and Peace.

Every line of the devotion spoke so clearly to the struggles we were experiencing. While I knew that the “life” being referred to was eternal life, during labor the “life” spoken about applied so clearly to our baby and how the experience was drawing us closer to God. Also, Dale’s partnership during our natural labor and delivery intensified, widened and deepened my love for Dale to a degree I never imagined.

After midnight, the time for pushing arrived. Five or six pushes later, our baby emerged from my womb and into the world at 12:55 AM. She landed in Dale’s eager arms and he joyfully proclaimed, “It’s a girl!” After marveling at her for a few seconds, he placed Cora on my chest. The swell of love I felt (and continue to feel when I look at her) is utterly indescribable.

The story ends with us in a dark hospital room-- holding our precious baby girl and smiling.

God is so good. We feel immeasurably blessed by the opportunity we have had to partner with our Creator and welcome Cora into our lives.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting closer

I'm at about 38.5 weeks right now. There's a lot of suspense about when this little baby is going to arrive! I really enjoy being pregnant and it's hard to imagine what our lives will be like once this precious little life emerges.

Specific prayer requests:
- the baby arrives within the doctor's definition of "on time" (I would like to avoid all interventions.)
- safe and uncomplicated delivery
- strong heart
- that Dale and I will be infused with new love for one another and our child
- that I remember that my strength comes from the Lord

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book List 2009-2010

As far as I can remember, these are the books that I have read in the past year or so.
In no particular order...
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
Ordinary Women Extraordinary God, Noel Piper
The Reason for God, Timothy Keller
Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende
The Mission of Motherhood, Sally Clarkson
Feminine Appeal, Carolyn Mahaney
The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges
Holiness, the Heart God Purifies, Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
Created for a Purpose, Darlene Sala
Forgotten God, Francis Chan
The Christ of Christmas, James Montgomery Boice
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Birthing from Within, Pam England
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg
Baby Wise, Gary Ezzo & Dr. Bucknam
Spanish for Educators, McGraw Hill book
Blue Like Jazz, Don Miller
Coaching Principles, ASEP
In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan
The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan
The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver
Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
New Moon, Stephenie Meyer
Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer
Crazy Love, Francis Chan
What to Expect When You're Expecting, Heidi Murdoff
Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson