Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mother Daughter Date

In a few weeks, Kennedy has her Daisy Scout Father/Daughter dance.  Last year was the first one and she loved every minute of it!  This year we decided she *needed* a special dress for the occasion!  She and I had a Mommy/Daughter date to find a dress!!!  It was also time to get her a more age appropriate Bible.  Being that she reads many grade levels ahead, I wanted her to have a Bible that would be understandable but yet not too babyish.

Being able to spend time with her just one-on-one doesn't happen very often anymore.  Usually it is about 30 minutes before bedtime, or a quick little game while Quinn is napping.  This day was much needed for both of us.  As I have said a million times before, this girl is amazing and I can't imagine my life without her!  I treasure the memories of that day already!

We went to Lifeway (love that place).  I had gone in a few days earlier and picked the brains of some of the employees so I could narrow it down a bit.  We grabbed 4-5 different Bibles and took them to the big, comfy leather couch.  She flipped through each to check out the illustrations and maps.  She read a little bit out of each one to make sure the reading level was ok.  She checkout of the feel of it and the cover design.
She ultimately chose this Adventure Bible.  
NIV Adventure Bible, Pink/Green with Clip Closure  -
Additional Views

And we got her a deovtional, too.  I can't find a photo of our version, but it is called "God's Little Devotional for Girls" by David Cook.
 


Next we hit the mall!  Kennedy has an affinity for twirly, sparkly, fancy dresses - so we tried on a LOT of them!  I am sharing the photos of her trying them on so her grandparents and great grandparents can feel like there were in the dressing room with us!  And being that we were in a dressing room, the lighting was AwFuL.  So these photos make her look a bit ill, but she really was having the time of her life!!!
I was surprised she wanted to try on a green dress!!
Yellow is a current favorite color....we had quite a few yellow dresses!!!
She says she loves white because it is like a wedding dress!





Hmmm...which do you think she chose?  I will not be revealing that yet!  We will wait for the day of the dance!!!!

After picking a dress we had a big pretzel and a fruit slush in the food court.
 Our next stop was to Claire's!  We don't feel Kennedy is ready to have her ears pierced yet but I have told her should could try clip-ons.  Little did I know that they are pretty hard to find!  We did get some magnetic earrings.  But of course, she has already lost 2 of the backs!  In the photo below she is wearing her first pair of actual clip-ons that DaNgLe!!!!  She loved shaking her head all afternoon and asked to wear them to church that night!  I forget how exciting new earrings can be - especially when you are six!
I am so thankful that Kennedy has a father who desires to take her to a Father/Daughter dance and sees the amazing benefits of a strong Father/Daughter bond.  I may be almost as excited for the dance as Kennedy is!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Fun


Kennedy has such a love for all holidays!  I really enjoy anticipating them right along with her!    This year I gave Kennedy & Jeff a little something thing each day leading up to Valentine's Day, starting with February 1st.  I read about the idea at mommybydaycrafterbynight.com.  I borrowed some of her ideas and added some of my own!!!  Kennedy gets into it so much!  If her new mini valentine isn't sitting out in the morning she asks where it is! 

This first one is actually just for Jeff.  I got this cute tak3-out box at Michael's.  I used a Martha Stewart tutorial to make felt fortune cookies.  I then put in 10 "fortunes" which are actually 10 reasons why I love him!!! 
This was actually just a fun snack Kennedy and I made!  Crazy enough, I never got a picture of the final project! Sad, because they were so pretty!  We took them to our Super Bowl Party. I found the tutorial at prudentbaby.com 
This was part of our dinner one evening.  Usually we just cut a circle and put an egg in the middle.  But today I made it a heart!

Another mini valentine!  I made Rice Krispie treats and formed them into balls. I was going to do hearts but was too lazy!  Then Kennedy's were dipped in pink and Jeff's in red!

And another mini Valentine!  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Decor

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I would share what we have up around the house! I had fun creating most of it myself!

This heart wreath is probably my favorite.  There are multiple tutorials floating around Pinterest and I wanted to give it a try. It was supah easy!!!



This garland was also very easy! I used my new Martha Stewart heart punch with some yummy My Mind's Eye papers.  Then I strung them together with embroidery floss and hung it on the old window.


I used the same method as the heart to make these "puffs."  The candle holders were actually from a thrift store and really yucky looking.  I just painted them white!

This is our mantel right now....very simple and plain.  The print on the left can be found at one of my favorite blogs: eighteen25 . This old window is one I found while out junking with my friend Janet!  It had broken panes so I took out all the glass, sanded a lot and painted it white.  Then I backed it with some burlap!

Hope to be back soon with some other Valentine things we have been doing!!!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2 Years Ago

Life has really changed in two years.  For all of us I am sure.  Sometimes we are better off then we were - others times life seems worse.  I know several people who don't like to think about the past - fro various reasons.  But I have learned that going back and revisiting certain seasons in my life is good and healthy for me.  So I am going to share with you what life was like for me 2 Januarys ago. It was a rough few weeks but God showed me a lot and I learned a great deal. (btw, this is really long)

1/15/2010: Friday:  I took a pregnancy test (ok, I took two!).  They were positive!  I remember being thrilled but a bit nervous, too!  Guess who I told first!   KENNEDY!  Which may or may not have been the best choice at the time.  She was at preschool when I took the test.  Jeff was at work.  I was bursting to tell SOMEONE so I told her when I picked her up from school.  We went shopping to get something small to surprise Daddy with the news.  I honestly can't remember what it was!

1/16/2010:  Saturday: I had a migraine. Those nearest me know that when I stress, I get migraines. 

1/18/2010:  Monday: I had another migraine.  (I normally get only a handful a year as I can manage them fairly well.)

1/19/2010:  Tuesday:  My first appt. with my OB, Dr. R!  Because I estimated I was 8 weeks along and due to losing Sam, they scheduled me in to see Dr. R early!  I was so thrilled for the sonogram!  Dr. R seemed a bit surprised that we were pregnant again but was happy for us. At the sono, the tech was quiet. She asked if I was sure I was 8 weeks.  I said it was just a guess and I could be a little bit off.  She said I was measuring only 5 weeks. That kind of threw me...I didn't think I was 3 weeks off.  She looked around a lot and kept measuring.  She eventually said she saw a sac, but no baby.  She tried to reassure me that 5 weeks can be early to see something and I shouldn't worry too much yet.  But I could tell she wasn't so sure.  She and Dr. R told me to come back in a week.  That week was one of the longest of my life.

During that week I talked with God a lot.  I obviously was praying that there would indeed be a baby growing in me next time I went in.  I couldn't imagine walking down the road of saying goodbye to another baby again.  But I also continued to proclaim my trust in God and that his will is good.  Saying that out loud and to myself is one thing, but deeply believing it when things are rough can get hard. Often I prayed for God to give me a sign either way, so I could be prepared at the next appointment.  Meanwhile, we didn't tell anyone else about the pregnancy (or as it was called, possible pregnancy).


1/24/10:  Sunday:  I had another migraine.  It didn't help that Jeff's Auntie Ann was suffering from cancer and had taken a turn for the worse.  Or that Jeff discovered a blood clot in his leg that stretched from his groin to his ankle.  But God doesn't give us more than we can handle.  And I was really feeling like God was telling me this baby was going to be just fine.

1/25/10:  Tuesday:  My 2nd appt with Dr. R.  She was trying her best to seem upbeat, but wanted me to get the sono and then come back and visit with her.  So we went back to the sono.  Each and every sono I had had up to the point had been so exciting!  We were so eager to see our little ones on the screen, watch them move, maybe even hiccup!  Not this time.  We were so hopeful that we would see a little bean in there but also knew this could be devastating.  The tech searched and searched and measured and measured.  But again, no baby.  She did say that my sac was now measuring 6 weeks but she still didn't see ANYTHING in the sac.
We went to visit with Dr. R.  She was very sorry about it all...she said it was likely a blighted ovum.  I didn't know the details of a blighted ovum but went home and researched my heart out.  Dr. R. was a bit confused as to why the sac was still growing, though.  She did say that can happen with a B.O but she asked me to have my blood drawn and levels checked.   Soon after that we went home feeling pretty helpless.

I had so many things shuffling through my head.  Why did I have to and tell Kennedy she would be a big sis when I was going to have to turn around and tell her that she really wasn't?  Why couldn't we have a definitive answer now and not continue to play the waiting game?  Had I missed God in all this?  Why?


1/26/10:  Wedensday: Dr. R's office called with my HcG results.  She gave me numbers that I didn't understand.  She basically said my levels matched someone who would be 6 weeks pregnanct and that I needed to come in Thursday to check them again.  Seriously?!  I was a mess.  A real mess. And surprise!  I got another migraine.

While researching HcG levels and blighted ovums, I found this website: The Misdiagnosed Misscarriage  I was flloored by the information I was reading.  I read story after story of women who had been told they had a blighted ovum, whose levels were just like mine and had been told they had likely already miscarried or that they would soon.  Some went ahead and had D&Cs.  But MANY of the women had amazing stories of their doctors being wrong and them having healthy babies.  I was so confused at this point.  Jeff was doing his best to keep my spirits high but the waiting game was intense.

1/28/10: Thursday: I went into the Dr's office for more bloodwork.  I was feeling pretty bad.  They asked me to come back the next day for one last sono, just in case. This is my blog post from that day: http://danijeffholsapple.blogspot.com/2010/01/gravity.html

1/29/10: Friday:  I went alone to this appointment.  Jeff had already missed enough work and I was pretty sure I knew what the out come would be.  Unfortunately I know WAY too many people who have suffered miscarriages so I was trying to prepare myself for what I felt lied ahead.  Pain, bleeding, more appts.  I just wanted to get the appt done and get home.

I saw a different tech this time.  She looked over my chart and said she would do her best and look really thoroughly.  She had been doing this job for 24 years and she was really good at it, or so she said!  She looked and looked, both outside and inside.  I could tell she was really wanting to find a baby in there.  She said my uterus was extremely tipped, also known as a retroverted uterus.  In all her years in the job, mine was the most tilted she had ever seen. I thought it was interesting no one had ever mentioned that to me before.  Right before she was ready to flip off the machine she asked to try one more time.  She set the sensor on my belly and I saw it!  And I heard it - immediately!  There was a flutterling little heartbeat in there!  And it was pounding away!  My jaw dropped open - she was silent.  I said, "That's a heartbeat, right?" And she whispered "Yes!"  I started crying - she almost started crying!  We were both truly amazed!  I had this intense sense of relief and overwhelming joy!  That was our baby!!!  With a heartbeat of 134!  I was so full of gratitude as I walked the hall to Dr. R's office.

I was beaming when she walked into the exam room and she looked at me and then quickly looked away.  She said, "I really don't want to give you this news, Danielle.  There doesn't seem to be a baby."  I looked at her in shock and then said "But I just saw a heartbeat at the sono."  She looked so confused and and said "What?!"  I told her again and she jumped off her stool!  She said a curse word I won't mention and gave me a huge bear hug!  Apparently they hadn't given her the sono results yet and she had only seen my levels!  I will never forget her reaction and excitement!!!

The rest of the pregnancy was something God continued to use to teach me about him and myself!  He is my rock, He is my shelter, He is my fortress.  Through this I have learned to lean on him more and trust in him fully.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Isaiah 26:4
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Coll 3:1-2 " Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."

Psalm 121: 1-2
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of Heaven and Earth."

Psalm 34: 4-6
"I sought the Lord and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord
heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles."



And now....16.5 months later, our Quinn is a valuable part of our family in the flesh!!!







We thank God daily for this blessing he has given us! 



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