Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Values

As I stated in a previous post, I would love to go to Blissdom at the beginning of February. So I am entering a couple of contests to attempt to win myself a ticket to that lil old conference! Because I sure as heck can't pay for it myself, that's why! My husband is in ministry, remember?!

SteaZ is running a contest and wants everyone who enters to blog about values--what you value as a blogger, what success means to you, and how attending Blissdom will help you achieve it.

As a blogger, I value other bloggers' stories. I LOVE hearing about others' lives; good or bad. But I'm really picky. The stories I'm reading must be well-written. They must be honest, and a little humor never hurt anyone. I value guts: the courage to write about intensely personal stuff; sometimes details about life that would hurt your play group, your Starbucks Barista, your PTA, or maybe even your family. I am not brave enough to not care what people think of me or whose feelings I'm hurting, so I really admire those who can. It takes a very special, very strong kind of person to face criticism OR hand it out publicly! Now about honesty--I don't like fake, contrived honesty or humility. I can see RIGHT through it. That's all I'll say.

Reviews, review blogs, and mommy/frugal/sponsored blogs give me mixed feelings. Again, I value good writing. So when every single review I'm reading follows the same formula, I get a little bit annoyed. You know the formula:

"Well I wasn't sure about trying ABC's product, but boy, gosh-golly-gee-whiz, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it is really SUPER DUPER AWESOME! ABC has generously provided me with one *insert product here* to give away to one lucky reader! To enter, jump through the following hoops, which ultimately benefit my blog and ABC company."

Yes, I enter those giveaways. I for SURE want to win some of them (HP Touchsmart computer? yes, please! I didn't win one. Darn!). But I LOVE when bloggers find a different way to write their reviews. There HAS to be a different way. If I was ever given the opportunity to do a review and a giveaway, I would be really excited to write it differently. The new rules that are causing bloggers to start separate review blogs are great, in my opinion. That way I can read about the blogger's life, and go to a completely different site to read about their product preferences. I'm still not sure how I feel about the two being mixed together.

Connection between bloggers is something I value and envy at the same time. Because I'm not a BIGTIME blogger, I don't have those special blogging relationships with others. I would LOVE to go to Blissdom to help me with those relationships. Not only would I soak up a TON of information about blogging and writing (remember I love good writing!), I would be able to form connections across the Blogosphere and just get to hang out with some really cool people. The information about writing and blogging would help me better tell my story to others. It's a win-win!

So SteaZ, these are some of the things I value. I hope you value them too!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Under Pressure

DUN DUN DUN DA DA DUN DUN--DA DUN DUN DUN DADA DUN DUN
Or is that Ice, Ice, Baby? I never can tell!

Guilt. Oh, the guilt. The constant feeling that you are doing the wrong thing for your child; or that one decision you've made is going to scar him/her forever. Or worse, the fear that someone is going to call your state's child services department because you lost it at Wal Mart...and THEN the guilt that you lost it at Wal Mart. You are convinced that you are a horrible mother.

Any moms out there hear me on this one? Can I get an Amen?

Here in Missouri, there seems to be a big push *no pun intended, ew!* to potty train by age 2. I've noticed this recently with a couple of my friends who are starting to potty train their little ones who are younger than Zeke. I asked a friend of mine about it, and she informed me that the culture around here favors advancing the normal "babyhood" stages like solid foods and potty training because, quite frankly, baby food and diapers are expensive.

OMG.

I'M BEHIND!!!! *Again, no pun intended, ew!*

Not only was Zeke still eating some baby food when we moved here (he was 16 months), but I haven't even STARTED potty training him! He seems to have no interest in it whatsoever, unless of course I am on the potty, then he's ALL up in the potty business! But if I sit him on the toilet before his bath, he cries, puts his arms up and says "Mama, hug!" He's not ready. But how do I NOT feel like a horrible mother who is headed straight for a 12-year-old in Pull Ups?! I'm sure I'll get over these guilty feelings eventually because really, he's just not ready. But these feelings will be replaced by more, when someone tells me that "Your Baby Can Read" has subliminal messages about world domination or John Lennon or something. GREAT. Zeke will be advanced in his reading skills AND be brainwashed? Awesome. I'm up for Mother of the Year, folks.

P.S. Yes, Zeke watches "Your Baby Can Read" and we LOVE it. Judge away, people!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm not worthy!!!

Given the fact that I don't post every day, not to MENTION the fact that I don't really have a cohesive theme for this piece of interweb, I barely even qualify as a blogger. But STILL, I really really really really really really REALLY want to go to Blissdom in Nashville this year:

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010

Why do I want to go? Well let me tell you.
* Nashville is fun.
* Nashville seems to currently be the epicenter of the Blogging world AND the church world. What I mean is, there are a lot of really cool bloggers in Nashville-- Lindsay Ferrier, Jessica Turner, Angie Smith, and some of my pastor wife friends, too! Lots of amazing churches are there, too including Crosspoint Church and Cornerstone Church.
*I love conferences, hotels, and hotel food!

SO...I'm just saying, you know, if you want to HELP me go to Blissdom, you know, I would really be THANKFUL and stuff... if you want to, you know, let me stay at your HOUSE, or room with you at the Hotel (remember, I love hotels...especially this one!), or, you know, pay for me to go...I'd be your best friend! Well, your best blogging friend, anyway. Because I'm a wanna-be blogger, you know!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa, Maybe?!

These pictures were created, and the digital "scrapbook" page was designed and put together by my friend, Tracy Cochran.

Here's a little glimpse into Zeke's visit with Santa this year (it was our friend Bob from church. I'm convinced that's the only reason he would even get near him)



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Easiest Christmas Cookie Recipe EVER!



Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:
1 tube of sugar cookie dough (or you can make your own sugar cookie dough if you're feeling ambitions!)

Seedless Raspberry Jam

Sprinkles

Frosting:
Confectioner's sugar
Water
(you could also use milk or lemon juice, or mix it up with some butter, depending on how you like your frosting!)

Directions:
You may notice that there really aren't any measurements! If you like precise measurements, sorry! :)

1. Bake the sugar cookies according to directions, either by slicing the cookie dough or rolling it into 1 tbsp balls--totally up to you. Set them on a wire rack to cool.

2. Once the sugar cookies are cool, take half of them and spread a little bit (about 1 tbsp) of the jelly on the bottom (the bottom should be a little bit flat because of the cookie sheet). Put the other half of the cookies on top, flat side down. Now they're little sandwiches! Let them sit for about 30 minutes, until they're pretty well stuck together. You can refrigerate them if you want.

3. Make the frosting by putting some confectioner's sugar (start with cup) and a couple of tablespoons of water in a bowl, and mix. Add confectioner's sugar and water (or other liquid--adding a little lemon juice would be really tasty with the raspberry jam!) until you get a good consistency--it needs to be thin enough to go on the cookies, but thick enough to stay on.

4. Dip one end of the cookie in the frosting (like you're dipping an oreo in milk), then dip in the sprinkles to coat. Set on wax paper. You can leave them out to dry or put them in the refrigerator, but you want the frosting to harden.

** You can really make this into any type of cookie you want! Put nutella in the middle and dip in melted chocolate chips? YUM!**

ENJOY!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where I stop telling my age on my birthday

I think I've reached the age. 27. This is it. This is where you stop telling people your age. I always thought I'd grow old gracefully, but here I am, an old lady, in my LATE 20's, and I am swearing to never again tell my age. *sigh*

I'm totally kidding! Yes, I have transitioned into my late 20's, but I feel great! I'm stronger than I ever have been, and honestly I still feel like I'm 17.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. I felt so loved yesterday! I am honored that you guys even remember who I am! Seriously, I thought I had long since been forgotten by some of you. Sure, Facebook reminds you of everyone's birthday, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to stop by and acknowledge it! Awesome! I had a wonderful day, and you helped make it even more special. Thank you.

This year was easier than last year. My 26th birthday was tough. I had a pity party for most of the day. It was my first birthday as a mom, and I was listening WAY too much to what the World was telling me about how I should be at 26. I SHOULD have been in a successful profession; I SHOULD have been finished with my Master's degree (TWO years prior, might I add); I SHOULD have been out partying with my friends, and I SHOULD have been free, unencumbered, and happy. I WAS NOT any of these things. I was sad, lonely, taking antidepressants for PPD and spending alllllllllll day with a 9-month old infant. I was changing diapers, breastfeeding, listening to crying and putting down for naps. I think I cried on and off for a good 12 hours.

Last year I had no idea that in a year, this year on my birthday, I would be doing this:
On Tuesday, I was told to rush my son to the doctor (now 40 minutes away) because his respirations were high--he breathed 26 times in 15 seconds. He was coughing, sneezing, and wanted nothing to do with toys, snacks, or books. So rush him I did. After a breathing treatment in the office, we were sent across the street to the hospital for X-Rays, and when we arrived back at the doctor's office, the doctor, with complete surprise in his voice, informed me that Zeke had the very beginning stages of pneumonia. So we left with a prescription for Albuteral, a nebulizer, and antibiotics. What scared me the most is when the nurse asked the doctor outside of our room, "are we admitting him to the hospital?" and the doctor said, "not yet." Ummm excuse me? Not WHAT?!

So this year, on my birthday, I snuggled my little boy. This amazing little person who, last year, cried and pooped and nursed and spit up, this year needed my love and attention, and some medical intervention. I was so thankful on my birthday to have him, and to be at home, not in a hospital. In the last year (really, in the last 4 months, since moving to Missouri) I have learned to enjoy him and relate to him in new ways. We have carved out our own little relationship and we are doing better than ever before. Maybe someday on my birthday I WILL have a successful career, my master's degree, or SOMETHING. Who knows? But this year, I am just SO thankful for my little family. Especially my little boy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween!!!

Here are a couple of pictures from Halloween. We had an Open House and were able to see lots of friends from church. We had cookies, cake, cupcakes, LOTS of candy, and warm apple cider. It was wonderful!
Here we are--the skeleton, the color blind bowling coach, and the So You Think You Can Dance contestant!

And here's a better shot of our little skeleton. Yes, it glows in the dark...as I found out when he woke up from his nap screaming, terrified of himself. :)

Hope you had a happy Halloween, too!

Friday, October 16, 2009

First Hair Cut...

...Leaves Toddler Looking Less Like a Baby, More Like A Little Boy.
...And a Little Bit Blurry, Too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Swimming Lesson...

....Leaves Toddler Exhausted

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can you feel when your last breath is gone?

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: 'Here she comes!"

And that is dying.


Henry Van Dyke

Monday, September 28, 2009

Orlando Sentinel Contest

I know that many of you do not live in, or near, Orlando.

I don't care.

Please, please, PLEASE go to this website and vote for my friend Melissa. She really deserves to win this contest, the "Orlando Moms Get Fit!" Giveaway. If you somehow get lost on the website, her story is called, "My Long {Weight Not} Lost Journey." It is very well-written, and a wonderful representation of her personality. She works really really hard during the week to help her family out financially and needs this extra boost.

To read more about her weight loss journey, go to her blog.

It doesn't matter where you live, just go vote!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Surprise!!!

Last night we had the privilege of having some great friends over, along with their three kids. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, their kids wore our kid out, and there were cupcakes. Oh, and have you ever seen an 11 and 7 year old play a sword-fighting game on the Wii? It's amazing! After they left, I busied myself with the dishes in the sink. I heard Josh saunter up behind me, felt him put his hands on my shoulders and lean in close. With a heaving sigh, he said..."I want more kids." I dropped my sponge and breathed in as tears welled up in my eyes, imagining another baby--how would we handle it, where would he or she sleep, when would we have him or her, and ohmygoodness a cute, cuddly little baby! Surely we will get by relying on the Lord and our love to pull us through! All of this in the instant of my breath. Then came another revelation:

"I am TOTALLY kidding."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Development

The Boldmans LOVE Missouri! We are so blessed to be a part of the work God is doing in our church, as well as the whole area. Sometimes I feel unworthy of such a huge, important responsibility, but then I look back and remember all of the special things God revealed to me to let me know that this is his direction and we are here for a purpose. Anyway, I digress.

When we left Florida, Zeke was barely walking. He was mostly crawling with one leg up, Quasimodo style. I used to chase after him and say "I am theeee bellllll riiiiiiingerrrrr!" Not really. But you pictured it, didn't you?! He would walk holding onto us with both hands, but not much on his own. Within a week of our arrival in Missouri, he started walking on his own. He rarely even crawls. And I rarely do impressions of Quasimodo. But I was kidding about that. Right. He has also gotten better at throwing, and talking. He even says "mom!" It is incredibly precious. I attribute his giant leaps in his development to our move. Unlike our living situation in Florida, we have actual space for him TO walk. We spend more one-on-one time together, as well as time as a family. There aren't as many things here to distract us from the quality of our interactions. What a difference we've seen in our little boy, and in our relationship as a family. The Lord is good!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little nudge...

So with some encouragement from a really neat lady that I've never met ...
I've decided to continue blogging. About whatever I want. Because that's what Bloggers do.

Did you even notice that I'd stopped?!!! Sheesh, some audience YOU are!
love
Rachel

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Beautiful Evening

Just look at those curls--You can't tell me that this is not the most precious child you have ever seen!
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ages and Stages

Today is gray and rainy. Not bad, if you can curl up in a ball under a blanket with some coffee and a good book. Really bad if you've got a toddler.

Zeke woke up in a bad mood today. He was all smiles when I walked in his room to rouse him from his slumber, but it went downhill as soon as I turned on the light. By the time I got him onto the changing table to strip him of his water balloon/diaper, he was already whining and hitting me. SO, now we're working on a nap. But I'm out here on the couch shaking in my Nikes, because I have no idea what to do with my kid for the rest of the day. We can't go to the park. I don't want to drive all the way to Joplin to the mall. What to do, what to do. Really, this is a struggle I face every day. So I've created a schedule for him, based on The Babywise Mom's suggestions for learning activities.

But I'm not going to start that until Monday, because I have to keep myself organized and on a schedule or else I will go nuts. ADHD? Uh-huh.

Today--what should I do? When Zeke wakes up from his nap, what activities can we do to keep ourselves occupied? And on a daily basis, what do/did you do with YOUR young toddler?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Encouragement!

"...and in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is always hope. By the grace of God, who is merciful and loving, there is always hope that the sun will rise. Have you ever seen the sky at 3:00 a.m.? It's different. There's a different color, and a glow that is only present at three. My heart soars when I think of this quote. I first came across it in a newspaper article about my friend who died when I was fifteen. She had just turned sixteen, and had her driver's license for a few days. The dark night of my soul was so dark and heavy I couldn't breathe, let alone get my hands around any semblance of hope. But when I read that quote, I got it. I understood that it would get better. And when post-partum depression hit me like a tidal wave, I recalled those words and held on tight to my savior, who set the alarm clock for 3:00 a.m. so I could see the sun come up.
MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My baby is growing up!

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Zeke eating a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich all by himself!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weigh in on an important issue--

What are your thoughts about egg donation? What potential ethical and moral problems do you see with either donating or receiving eggs?

Please leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Haiku

Cheap Grocery Haiku

Food at Aldi: CHEAP!!
Quarter required for cart.
No quarter, I'm sad.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh, so sad!

As much as I'd hoped that their "big announcement" would be that they are canceling the show and focusing on their family, I think I'm wrong. I've heard through various media outlets that Jon and Kate Gosselin are filing for divorce. I don't have cable, so I can't watch the show, but I'm sure I will hear about it tomorrow. I wish they would go back to their original website, here, and see the love they had for each other, and the Lord, and how much hope they had for the future. Or maybe that was all an act. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why, hello!

Sheesh, WHERE have you BEEN?!!! I mean, REALLY! Think you could stop by every once in a while?!!!

:)

Every time I want to write an update, I get lazy. I'm sorry. I feel like every post starts with an apology and excuses for why I haven't written. If I'm admitting that I'm lazy, does that count as an excuse? Or is that a valid reason?

Today I was able to run errands around town, and make several stops in order to get the best deals on the items I needed. Even though it took more time, I saved some money and got some quality produce on sale at Publix. Then, of course, when I got to Walmart I realized how much less expensive their products really are! I got a bunch of bread stuff--sourdough rolls, bagels, mini bagels, and hot dog buns. Most of them were on sale, in the back of the store, with the "day old" stuff. So because I knew we wouldn't eat them ALL within the next couple of days (although I am certainly willing to put forth an effort) I froze most of it! I feel so proud of myself, and oh-so-frugal-blogger-ish!

I love my "Believing God" Bible study. I think I'm growing and stretching in my faith and belief. I hope it shows.

Well, I feel the laziness setting in again! Time to sign off.

Hope everything is going well for you!

Rachel

Sunday, June 7, 2009

GOD just did something...

....and I have to share it with you. If you haven't already, please read one of my previous posts--click here.

I just received a video in my email from my mother-in-law. It might seem insignificant to you, but I truly believe that this video made its way to me because the Lord knew that I needed to feel His presence and know that he is still there, listening and CARING. Even in the smallest little details, he's there, he knows, and he is concerned. I love it. And even though this video is meant to be really cool and just a neat thing to watch, I have tears in my eyes. After you read my previous post, please watch--




Isn't our Lord amazing?! Can I get a hallelujah?!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

The God Who Cried, "Purple Lizard!!"

Week two of my new Bible Study, "Believing God'" by Beth Moore, has barely begun and God is already revealing to me some pretty intense Truths. I know the title may have caught you off guard, but read on: I promise I will explain it.

In Day 1 of this week's homework, we were introduced to Isaiah 45:18-25, which reads (in the NIV):
18 For this is what the LORD says—
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited—
he says:
"I am the LORD,
and there is no other.

19 I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob's descendants,
'Seek me in vain.'
I, the LORD, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.

20 "Gather together and come;
assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
who pray to gods that cannot save.

21 Declare what is to be, present it—
let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the LORD ?
And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none but me.

22 "Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.

23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.

24 They will say of me, 'In the LORD alone
are righteousness and strength.' "
All who have raged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.

25 But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel
will be found righteous and will exult.

Our homework asked us to consider the challenges we face in believing God, and how they relate to these verses. The Lord gave me a vision. I was transported back to Kindergarten, on the playground at my church, where I went to school. I saw my friend Taylor (who I am privileged enough to still call a friend, after all these years) running toward me saying, "Look! Come see!" And this is what I wrote:

In Isaiah 45:18-25, I hear you partly as angry, and partly pleading like a child who wants a friend to come with him to see a really cool lizard on the other side of the play ground. "PLEASE! I swear! There's a purple lizard over there!" And I say, "No way. I've never seen a purple lizard--I DON'T BELIEVE YOU." And I miss out on seeing a really cool purple lizard. I say I trust you, with my mouth, but my spiritual life thinks of you as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." I guess I feel like you don't work for me. You do amazing things for others, and I believe in your miracles from the past, but I don't believe in them today. My mind is too skeptical and I am too cynical. Over-spiritualizing everything just seems to cheesey to me. My tendency is to shut down my spirit when I sense you're getting close. I've never seen a purple lizard. In fact, I'm terrified of them, which made my honeymoon fun. Have you ever been to Mexico? There are gigantic lizards EVERYWHERE! They just chill wherever they want, mostly directly in my path, scaring me half to death by their mere presence. Anyway, it would be really super-cool to see a purple one, from a distance, of course. You want to show me one! You do! I know you do! But I don't believe that there is one on the other side of the play ground!

The thing is, when I was in Kindergarten, if Taylor had come running to me and told me about a purple lizard, I would have stopped what I was doing and bolted over to the scene of her amazing find. Even if I didn't think purple lizards were real, I would have gone. So why, when the God of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE wants to show me something, and requires that I believe what he said in the past, I say, "Nah, I'm good. Purple lizards aren't real, silly!" And, even if the purple lizard had run away by the time I arrived, I still would have believed Taylor. So again, why not believe the God who MADE EVERYTHING?

Since I wrote that, God has shown me SO MANY lizards, which, of course, has made my skin crawl, but has also reminded me daily of his promise. There is SOMETHING AWESOME at the other side of the play ground, if I would only believe what he's saying! He is NOT The God Who Cried Purple Lizard, because everything he's ever said has been TRUE.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I am so honored!!

I am so honored to be...honored!!

CLICK HERE!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I have no words for this right now.

I have no words, other than to ask you to pray or think good thoughts, or send good joojoo or whatever you do, to this family. They lost their 10-week-old son to SIDS last year, and have just miscarried. Go here to catch up with their story: CLICK

I'm afraid today will be a day of "downer" posts for me--more to come.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

D-Day

Today was D-Day. The day I begin the process of reclaiming my body from the depths of postpartum icky-ness. The day I stop nursing. If you don't want to read about breastfeeding and/or all the stuff that goes with it, please go to another blog now. That's right, move along, nothing to see here. In fact, here's one for you: Click here. There, I gave you one for free. Now, go! Away with you!

*Sigh* There were moments over the past year when I cursed breastfeeding. When Zeke would push me away and scream, arch his back, and act like nursing was the worst punishment the Lord could bring on him, I wanted to give up. Throw in the towel. But with the support of my husband and sheer determination to make it because everyone said I couldn't...I pressed on.

*Sigh* There were moments in which I LOVED breastfeeding. Even in the last week or so, when I was only nursing him twice a day, sometimes I could feel his body relax when he latched on. In the early days, our bond didn't happen immediately. I didn't feel that initial, overwhelming, heart-swelling love immediately upon delivery like I was "supposed" to. We didn't gaze into each other's eyes like La Leche League says you should. However, in the following months, Zeke and I got into a routine after he nursed. He would prop his head up on one arm, and just...smile. And coo. And giggle a little bit. That was our time together. Of course, as he grew and wanted more independence, he stopped. I miss that time.

*Sigh* Today, he exercised his independence by throwing several mini-tantrums. But, after we got into a little car accident (not my fault, and yes, we are fine) and we were waiting with Josh for the Highway Patrol, he snuggled on each of our shoulders. SNUGGLED. Today, while we were playing with his Little People Noah's Ark, he handed me each animal as if he was giving me a tiny treasure.

*Sigh* I am definitely excited to do the following--
diet. I have lost all my baby weight without dieting, and now that I am exercising so much, I want to see how much water weight breastfeeding has added to me.
cleanse. I want to do a cleanse to get rid of all the....junk in me.
take supplements. I need to support my workouts and supplement with protein and vitamins to boost my immune system.
wear a regular bra. No more little clips at the shoulders for me!
stop wearing nursing pads. I'm sick of the lumpy look underneath my shirts.
I'm just looking forward to getting back to "normal." I don't even remember what that's like!

I am SO PROUD to say that I nursed my baby for a whole year. They said I couldn't do it! They said I'd stop when he got teeth! They said I'd give up! HA! I stayed strong and perservered, and I'm glad I did. I am sad to see this relationship between me and Zeke go, but I have the memories and I will do my best to cherish them forever.

Hooray for boobies!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bye Bye, Baby!

The inevitable has occurred. My baby, my sweet, cuddly, bundle of joy and love...
...yeah...that one. Well, he somehow turned into this:

...A PERSON. A real, live PERSON. With feelings, and opinions, and a big PERSONALITY!

Tomorrow, he will be a year old! I remember where I was a year ago today--at a friend's house playing games, I mean OWNING the guys at "Gimme 5," eating dessert, and experiencing the WORST headaches I'd ever had in my life. All the while praying that the hospital would have room for me in the morning. Turns out that the hospital did NOT have room, but the headaches were eventually enough to get me admitted and have the baby just 6 short hours after.

I was NOT ready to be a mom, but the Lord thrust me into this life and I am a better person for it. Now I can say that I made it through the first year.

We celebrated on Saturday the 18th with a party at my parents' neighborhood clubhouse complete with an amazing playground and pool, food that EVERYONE ATE, THANK GOD, and an all-natural carrot cake. And some not-all-natural brownies. Zeke made it through with very few tears (I think one of the other kids touched him at one point, and, well, he just can't handle that. We're working on it.), and even ate a little bit of cake! He crashed after the party and has been progressively playing with his new toys!

Today, Sunday the 19th, we had a dedication ceremony during our church service. Afterwards we spent time with some family. Today, Zeke did not crash. He refused to nap all afternoon...overstimulated much?!

I'm happy to say that with the help of Zoloft, I survived the weekend!

To say that this year "flew" by would be a massive understatement. Tomorrow I will nurse my son for the very last time. Pray for me, as I haven't really taken the time to process what that REALLY means and how I will feel about it. He's a big boy now, and it's time for him to move on toward greater independence. Am I ready for this? Just about as ready as I was to have him in the first place. But the Lord brought me through this first year and I am confident that He who began a good work (motherhood) in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (until the Lord comes). Philippians 1:6 is what I am living and breathing right now.

Updates to follow as I finally get my body back! It's bittersweet.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Attention, Orlando-Area Moms!

We interrupt the preparations for Master Zeke's First Birthday Extravaganza to bring you this important message:

National Mom's Night Out is Thursday, May 7, 2009!!!

Come to Seminole Towne Center in Sanford from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for an incredible night of pampering, activities, giveaways, special discounts, and more!

As it gets closer, I'll post more info. What a GREAT way to celebrate...US!

Now, back to cake baking and sandwich making.

I need a nap!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Holy (?) Week

Yesterday was Easter. Or, Easter was Yesterday. However you want to write it, Holy Week just ended. In a non-denominational church like ours, Holy Week isn't THAT big of a deal. Easter Sunday is the main event. But in the church I used to attend, as well as the one my parents currently attend, the whole week is a big deal. There's Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and then the biggie, Easter Sunday. For more detailed information about Holy Week, check out this site. While our church may not observe each of these services, my family had a very busy week leading up to Easter. So here is Holy Week, Boldman Style:

Palm Sunday: Josh preached, which meant that the entire previous week was taken up by preparation and study for the sermon, as well as his normal duties, such as leading Youth.

Holy Week Wednesday (this only occurs in the Boldman Family Calendar): Josh led the Youth group. He actually got home early, at 9:30 pm! Woohoo!

Maundy Thursday: Worship team practice. Again, Josh got home early, around 9:00 pm! I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! Two days in a row!

Good Friday: It WAS a good Friday! Josh takes Fridays "off" so we went to the pool with Zeke! Later, we went to church for communion.

Holy Saturday: Easter Egg Hunt. Josh was at the church from about 7:30 am until 1:00 pm, and we joined him there from about 10:30 to noon. We had a blast! We then went to my niece's birthday party.

Easter Sunday: He is risen!!!! Josh was at the church by about 6:30 a.m., led worship for all three services, and got home around 1:00. We went to my aunt's house for dinner, and the Easter Bunny dropped off a basket for Zeke while we were gone. He had no clue what was going on, but I thought it was cute!

Of course, the list of things Josh did during the week is NOT limited to those on this particular list! The behind-the-scenes work that goes into a big week like Easter or Christmas is immeasurable. It was a wonderful week, and an incredible celebration of our Lord's resurrection. Many people's lives were touched, including my own. It's easy for me to get caught up in the fact that I barely saw my husband last week. But the purpose of trials and frustrations in life is to make me uncomfortable and to call me to holiness. So, while the week did not feel particularly Holy while we were enduring the long hours and stress, looking back I can see that it served to test and grow my patience; help me connect with people I normally would not; and overall, to make me more like Christ.

What does Holy Week mean to you?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

...And Then it Rears its Ugly Head

Sometimes there are days like we had this weekend: everything is perfect. We go for walks, we play, we read books together, we spend time together as a family. On Saturday, Josh and I even took Zeke to the pool for the first time, and he LOVED it! Here is a picture of the sheer delight:
Sunday was great, too. Josh preached, Zeke and I went out to get lunch for him, and we all had a relaxing afternoon. Monday? Also pretty good. Zeke skips his nap on Mondays so I can teach my class at the gym, and he had a great time playing with Miss Alex and Miss Kate. His afternoon nap was a little bit short, but he went straight to sleep when it was time. And then there are days like Tuesday that make me wonder, "Who is this little alien child, and what the heck did he do with my sweet baby boy?" It's on these days that Zeke refuses to sleep, thus rendering him completely exhausted and unable to function like a normal one-year-old--whatever that means. He hits, he pulls, he tries to bite me, and he has incredible emotional melt-downs that rival any case of PMS I have ever seen.

You see, on days like we had over the weekend, or even on Monday, I start to think I'm doing okay. This "mommy" thing doesn't seem so bad, and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel wherein I might, maybe, possibly, someday be able to stop taking my medication. I feel alive, energetic, fit, healthy, and awake. But then I have a Tuesday. A Tuesday filled with anxiety over whether or not my child is going to ever go to sleep, and worry because I know I'm coming up on the time when I will have to spend 3 hours straight with him and I have no idea what we are going to do. I feel lazy, slow, bloated, fatigued, and tired. I don't want to get out of bed. If I am out of bed, I want to get back in. The tears, oh the tears, they rush in quickly then disappear. And then they come back; and then they go. And then they come back. And back. And back. And once the tears are gone I'm left with the sadness. The pit in my stomach and heart that let me know I'm not as "better" as I thought I was.

Yes, I have SO MANY MORE good days than I did when Zeke was first born. But the bad days can be really really bad. Maybe they're so bad because I have so many good. I guess then it's worth the trade. I've come a long way since last May, and thank God for that journey. But it's a journey I am still walking, and a fight that I am VERY much still in. On days like Tuesday I am reminded that the fight is not over, and I still have to claw my way out. I have to rely on the Lord to supply my strength, and my Husband to give me some much-needed relief by taking care of the baby while I get out for a while.

Oh, to feel "normal" again. Oh, to have never experienced this in the first place.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

I'm brand new to Menu Plan Monday! In addition to being posted on the fridge, I can also refer my wonderful husband to my blog when he asks, "What's for dinner?!" I don't plan for breakfasts or lunches, so here are our dinners for this week:

Monday: Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli--it was really good!
Tuesday: Frozen Burritos; Rice and Beans
Wednesday: Leftovers (Josh at Youth)
Thursday: Skillet Chicken and Chickpeas (Recipe from Woman's Day)
Friday: Easter dinner (yes I know Easter is not on Friday)--Ham, Potatoes, Veggies. We may be inviting people over to share our gigantic ham; and this may switch to Saturday. Haven't decided yet!
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Easter! Time for fun and food with family...and me not cooking!

Want to see what the other cool kids are cooking this week, and maybe get some ideas for yourself? Head on over to OrgJunkie and check it out!

Serious.Life Magazine--April edition

Serious.Life Magazine


I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published a new issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is FREE, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues. www.seriouslifemagazine.com

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Changes

Hi everyone!

I really have no idea who reads this, but my page view counter keeps going up, so I know SOMEONE is out there! If you're reading this, will you please just leave a tiny little itsy bitsy comment for me? Pwwwwwweeeeease?! You don't even have to leave your name, or write what you thought about my post. Just say "I read it", click "post comment" and move on to the next blog!

I want to figure out my "blog identity." The reason for my lack of posts lately is not that I just don't have anything to say, it's that I have no idea what is post-worthy and what is junk. So rather than make a fool out of myself, I've just kept to...myself. So I want to play around with themes for the blog. After speaking with a dear, sweet, wonderful friend on Friday, I realized that I have been given an incredible gift--I am married to a pastor. I never thought I'd say that--really, both of those phrases in relationship to each other were never on my radar before 2005, when I met Josh. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a friend while running over the summer of 2005, just weeks before I met Josh, in which she told me that she felt "called" to be a pastor's wife and I responded, "you're crazy" and went on to list all the reasons why I wanted nothing to do with the ministry. I had a bad taste in my mouth at that point for pastors. Well, exactly a year later, I married a pastor and she married...a non-pastor (?--is that even a word/proper phrase? Whatever. My blog. My vocab.). I love being married to Josh, even though the "pastor" part was not in my original plans. I need to start living in light of the gift I've been given. So I'm testing out this theme of my life as a pastor's wife. Maybe you'll walk away with some insight. I'll still talk about my life, and the boring stuff that happens around my apartment, but I will hopefully have a little bit more purpose. Maybe I'll get bored and change the theme tomorrow! It's all about playing around, right?! I'm sure I'll stumble upon my blog-identity somewhere along the way!

Stay classy, blogosphere--
Rachel

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hi there!

I know I haven't posted a new entry in a really long time, and I'm not going to now. However, I do want to leave you with this LOLZeke:


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stomach yuck

What a week!

On Tuesday night, I made a fabulous dinner of hot dogs and corn bread, made with cornbread mix and a can of creamed corn. It was delicious; mostly because the hot dogs were Nathan's. Oh my goodness...YUM. Well about two hours later, my stomach started rumbling its protest for what I had eaten. I was quite upset, because it was so stinkin' good! I went to bed that night with a stomach ache, thinking that the cornbread just didn't agree with me. My sweet husband said to me before falling into a blissful sleep, "If you need ANYTHING tonight, you wake me up and let me know, ok?" I replied, "Okay honey, I love you," thinking that there was no need for his offer and that I'd wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to start the day. I woke up several times over night with an awful taste in my mouth, and an even more horrible feeling in my tummy. Anyone remember the "Ramona the Pest" books? In one of them she is laying in bed praying, "Please God don't let me throw up" over and over, and then she sits up: "Please God don't let me throw---" and you can imagine the rest. Well my story didn't happen QUITE like that, but I started breathing heavily, rolled over to Josh and said quite loudly (it was 3:30 a.m. at this point, by the way), "Honey, I need you to get me a bowl." He jumped up the fastest I've ever seen him, and brought me back a bowl just as swiftly. My hero!! I retreated to the bathroom and alternated between that location and the bed for the rest of the "night." I didn't throw up until later in the morning, but the bowl was my constant companion. My AMAZING husband took care of the baby while I slept and just stayed horizontal for the rest of the day. My mom also came over while Josh was at youth, to help take care of the baby. I haven't thrown up since Wednesday, but the OTHER symptoms have continued until today...if you know what I mean. Today was the first day I have been able to really eat since Tuesday night. And I'm slowly getting my appetite back. I'm starting this week 5 lbs. lighter than last week! Everyone wants to lose a few pounds, but this was not a fun way to do it.

We thought Zeke had made it through without catching it.....until Friday when he woke up from his nap in a puddle of...well, you know...

We thought Josh had made it through without catching it until just before he had to leave for youth and...well, you know... The jury is still out on Josh--we're not sure if he's really got it or not; and he's at the church right now so I haven't heard how he is feeling.

Here are some prayer requests (yes I realize that this whole post was too much information, but I've just got to express myself, ya know?!):

*That Zeke will get over this QUICKLY.
*That Zeke will start eating normally again and not lose too much weight
*That Josh will NOT get this at all.
*That my milk supply will bounce back from me being dehydrated and unable to eat these past few days
*That once this horrible virus has made it through our house, it will NOT come back!!!!!

Thanks!
Got any advice for keeping this stuff at bay?!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The most hated man in America...

...is The Bachelor's Jason Mesnick. I really really really REALLY feel for Melissa, his original pick--the woman he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. It's hard enough to have your engagement broken off the day before finals at a teeny-tiny private university your Junior year, then watch, dumbfounded, as your ex-fiancee gets over you and starts dating someone about 2 seconds after arriving back on campus in August...I can't imagine how it must be to experience that in front of national television. Welcome, Melissa, to a little "club" that helped me through my own public h-e-double-hockey-sticks six years ago--the almost-brides. The break-up of an engagement is many things: torturous, heartbreaking, stomach-turning, and sad. But most of all, it is incredibly, horrifically embarassing. Think of it this way: you have spend the past however long (it doesn't really matter the length of the engagement) making a big deal out of your relationship. You yell from the rooftops how awesome your fiancee is, how awesome you are, how much everyone should pay attention to you because you are just so stinking happy! You've made plans, you've spent time with HIS family, hopefully you haven't put down deposits (but you may have). Then when it ends, *poof*, you have to tell everyone, "Oh, just kidding. Remember that person I said I was going to be with forever, and how much we love each other? Yeah, nevermind." In extreme cases, you may have to send back gifts. I, thank the Lord, did not have to do that. You are then treated with pitiful kid gloves by everyone you know. Your friends who get engaged after this happens to you will not tell you. You'll find out from other people. You won't get invited to things. Friends who were mutal between you and your fiancee will pick sides. You want to think it won't happen, but it will. Most of our friends? They chose him.

Please don't hear (read) me wrong. Everyone has the right to change their mind. But that decision and the resulting heartbreak should not be played out on national television. And I can't emphasize enough that it's okay for the breaker-upper to enter into another relationship. However, it is NOT COOL to do that basically in front of your ex's face. YOU. JUST. DON'T. DO. THAT. I had my ex's new relationship shoved in my face for the following almost two years, because they stayed together after we graduated. She was younger than us, so she was still in school, and I was working at the university. It was not pleasant.

At the heart of this heart break is the idea and value of a promise. I place a very high value on promises made and kept. I considered my engagement a promise. Other people may disagree and say that there is no promise made until the final "I do," but I think especially for women, that ring means so much more. Hearing Melissa ask, "Then why did you put a ring on my finger?" broke my heart. She asked many questions that I also asked. Neither of us got answers. In situations like this, you rarely do. When Melissa said, "You chose me, but you didn't want to fight for me," I cringed. We all want to be fought for; to know that our love and our relationship and our commitment is worth something. If you've read any of John and Stasi Eldredge's books, you know that our great, unanswerable question is "Am I worth fighting for?" Melissa's question was not answered. My question was not answered.

Oh sweet Melissa, if I could tell you one thing it would be that it is NOT your fault. You are a unique person who deserves to be treated with respect and honor. Should a relationship not work out, you deserve to be part of that decision and not left vulnerable. You should be kept safe. I have learned that no one can TRULY answer my question but the Lord. HE is where I find my worth. But it sure helps to know that He sent me someone to answer my question on earth. It is because of the Lord that I can look back on my first engagement and say, "Thank you Lord that it did not work out." And it is because of that experience that I was prepared for my next (and last) engagement and eventual marriage. Melissa, I know it feels like he stole your engagement experience (because no one ever imagines having TWO or more engagements), and he DID. But someday, some wonderful man is going to STEAL IT BACK. And it will be so much better than walking up a pathway wondering if he loves you and if you're the one he's going to pick. You are worth SO much more than what he could EVER give you! You have a tough road ahead of you, but you will make it through.

I am SO happy to be out the other side of my engagement experience. It made me who I am and led me to Josh, so I am able to be thankful for it now.

Melissa, welcome to the "almost brides" club. Relax, kick up your heels up and grab a drink. You'll need it. Can't wait to kick you out, though!

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm alive-ish

Hi everyone!

I wanted to blog all last week, but I just couldn't. I don't know if it's because I didn't feel like it; or I was tired; or I just couldn't find the words. On Tuesday evening one of the other associate pastors at our church passed away very suddenly. We carried on the rest of the week and through the memorial service with a tremendous sadness of a magnitude that I, personally, have not experienced in a long time. It is difficult to know that today, Josh went to work and did not have lunch with Pastor Rod. I was happy to make a lunch for him, but did so with tears in my eyes because I knew WHY I was making the lunch. Josh and Rod spent a lot of time together, and had been to lunch the very day he passed. Rod's presence will be missed greatly. His leadership and guidance will be missed even more. And his love for Christ, well, that was immeasurable and will be missed the most. It's comforting to know that he is with our savior and is at peace. People keep saying, "I just know he's up there in heaven with so and so, doing such and such..." and I don't think that's true. I think Rod is up in heaven with Jesus just soaking it all in, and completely concentrated on praising our Lord. He is asking questions and talking to those who have gone before, and is not concerned with anyone or anything else. And that's the way it should be.

Other than last week being a total mess, things are going well. Zeke seems to have worked out his napping issues with some help from a curtain to keep the light out of his room. He is also sleeping in "big boy" jammies; a tee-shirt and pants. Today when I went in to feed him in the morning it just didn't seem possible that he is a boy now, not a baby. And no, it does NOT make me want another baby. I'll leave the procreation up to all the other women in the church, who seem to be handling it quite effectively on their own. :)

Love to you all.

Rachel

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Harvey Hamel the Camel

I thought I'd dedicate today's post to a very important member of our family--Harvey Hamel the Camel.

Harvey is a sweet, too-cute stuffed camel given to me by my sweet, too-awesome friend from college, Amanda, at a baby shower. I love this simple toy for many reasons. One, I love stuffed animals and have since (probably) infancy. So really, any stuffed animal is a friend of mine. Two, how often to you see a stuffed camel? It's so unique! And very manly, at that. No wimpy teddy bears for MY kid, only the finest middle eastern livestock will do!

A frequently asked question (faq for all you techie abreviators out there) is, "How did Harvey Hamel the Camel get his name?" Zeke and I have been going to Tiny Tales, which is a story time for babies at our local library, every week since he was about 8 weeks old. We have only missed a handful of weeks since then, and only for serious illness! For real! It's the best 15 minutes of my week! One week, the story teller did a bouncing rhyme about a Pony named Macaroni and it went a little something like this:
(bouncing baby on your lap)
I have a little pony,
his name is Macaroni,
he trots and trots and then he stops (stop bouncing and wait a couple of seconds)
My silly little pony, (stop for a couple of seconds)
MACARONI!

Zeke absolutely loved it and I started doing the rhyme with him at home and he just giggled and laughed and thought it was the coolest thing ever! But I felt weird because he didn't have a pony to associate with the rhyme. So I looked over and there was his camel poking his little head out of the toy basket. So I started,

I have a little camel,
his name is......is.....uhhhhhhhhh.... HARVEY HAMEL!

And thus, Harvey Hamel the camel was given his name.

A few months ago, when we felt that Zeke was old enough to have a stuffed animal in his crib, we put Harvey in with him. We would put Harvey off to the side and let Zeke "find" him rather than putting him near him (paranoid about SIDS, for sure). We would often find Zeke cuddling Harvey around the neck or by the tail when we went in to wake him up. Then we noticed that when Zeke learned to crawl, he would immediately flip over onto his hands and knees and crawl to Harvey when put down for a nap. So to eliminate that, we started putting Harvey on his chest for naps. As soon as you put the child down, the thumb goes in the mouth and Harvey goes under the other arm. If you give him Harvey at any other time (during play time, etc.), the thumb automatically goes in the mouth. Now, Zeke has trouble napping because he stands up and throws Harvey out of the crib, then gets upset because he's gone. It takes a few tries to get him to go back down, because he often will immediately stand back up again and throw his BFF across the room. So it seems that our attempt at a comfort object has backfired. I know in my heart that it's only temporary, but do any of you moms have any advice, besides chaining the stuffed animal to the crib using those little plastic links and a hand-made collar?!!!

We love Harvey, but it's getting a bit frustrating!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shadow Feet

By: Brooke Fraser

Walking, stumbling
On these shadow feet
Toward home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing
Less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began

And I have sensed it all along
Now fast approaching is the day

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction
Buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
But I've heard rumours of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

You make all things new

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Sometimes I am just SO ready for Jesus to come back and fix everything, aren't you?! More on this later... please pray for some important decisions that have to be made and meetings that are to be held today.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me!



Oh, what a day.

Today, I certainly did NOT forget my laptop on my way out the door to the gym, meaning that I would have NO music for Body Pump today. No way! I am always composed and put-together in the morning!

I did not only realize this fact when I was already at the gym, had already dropped the munchkin off in the Kids' Club, and was happily filling up my water bottle.

When I realized that I didn't have any music (not even my back-up CD, folks!), I did not FREEZE for at least 30 seconds, then yell "CRAP!" thus scaring all of the Personal Trainers and muscle-heads out on the gym floor.

I did NOT leave my child in the Kids Club while I left the gym and sped home to get my laptop. To do so would be absolutely irresponsible and secure my spot as worst mother in the universe!

Don't worry, when I got back to the gym 10 minutes late, at 10:40, my laptop did not decide to act tempermental and did not need to be restarted in order to recognize that an audio jack was even plugged in!

I did NOT skip the Lunge track to get through the class faster! If I had done that, Les Mills would be very angry, for sure!

I did NOT promise my class chocolate chip cookies next week as penance for my MAJOR screw-up...and I CERTAINLY was not on the verge of tears through the whole class!

And last but not least, I did NOT do 100 pushups (10 for each minute I was late). No really, I actually didn't do that.


This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Come to the Gym, Kim!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Serious.Life Magazine

I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues. www.seriouslifemagazine.com


--Rachel

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's here! It's here!!

Yes, my fabulous new 24.7 slingback diaper bag from O Yikes!; courtesy of Thrifty and Chic Mom, has arrived! I am so blessed to have won this amazing gift!

My first impression when I opened the box was, "Man, that's BRIGHT!" The colors are incredibly vibrant and cheerful, which I love. Anything to draw attention, am I right?! I was also
impressed by how light the bag itself is.



When I opened the large compartment, I felt like it was Christmas morning. Neatly tucked inside were two fabulous matching accessories: An insulated bottle holder, and an accessory case!




SOOO CUTE!!!!!







Quite possibly the best part of the bag is the one that will put an end to my husband's least favorite question, one that comes up every day at LEAST once-- "Where are my keys?!" Inside you will notice a nifty caribiner, for that very purpose.



Inside the smaller compartment, there is a matching changing pad for when you've gotta change a stinky diaper in the nasty bathroom at your random neighborhood restaurant...or Borders...helllooooo, clean your bathroom...whatever.



As an added bonus, my tiny little laptop, the Dell Mini, fits perfectly in the outside pocket. And the power cord fits great in the outside bottle-holder pocket. As if those features weren't enough, the bag puts an end to my husband's SECOND least favorite question, "Where is my phone?" by providing an outside phone pocket, right on the strap!

I took the bag out on a test run to Starbucks last night, after I was done pulling my hair out from my baby's fussy day. I figured that there was no better place to test out the hip-ocity of the bag than at SBUX. Sure enough, as I was ordering my grande frosty caffeine and fat free three shots of sugar free caramel why-bother coffee-ish drink, the barista said, "Oh, I LOVE your bag!" She was so surprised to hear that it was a diaper bag, I think she almost spilled a drink. Her eyes got even wider as I pulled my laptop out of the bag and sat down at a table to "work" or, "look important" in all my fabulousness. I consider that a successful test run!

This morning was my first opportunity to try the bag with the uber-goober: Story Time at the library. As I was leaving the apartment, I had to keep checking--"do I have everything?" This bag is so light, and distributes the weight so evenly, that I had a hard time believing I had everything I needed! O Yikes! makes a pretty big deal of their claim that the slingback style promotes bonding due to increased body contact with the baby, and that you can wear the bag while wearing your baby, if that is your thing. I am not a baby-wearer (don't judge me!), but I am a baby-holder, and it was INCREDIBLY easy to carry my 20 lb. 9-month-old with the bag on my back. I did not feel lopsided AT ALL. You ladies know what I'm talking about--that lean to the right or the left to try to keep the bag on your shoulder...or worse, the shrugged up shoulder to try to accomplish the same goal. It hurts, and who knows--could lead to long-term damage.

I absolutely love this bag. I plan to use it as my gym bag, as well, toting my laptop when I teach classes, and using the accessories case for my microphone cover and extra batteries (for the Britney Spears microphone I wear when I teach! Yeah!). It will be easy to just take a few diapers out and throw the case in while running out the door.

The only small not-so-fabulous thing about it is that the bag does not fit me as tightly as shown on the website. I am a pretty small person, so I have to use most of the velcro on the straps to get the bag to fit properly. But I love that there is an extra strap that clips so if the velcro were to separate, the bag would still stay on. No worries!

Here are two pictures of Zeke and I at the library this morning, chillin', lookin' at some books, and testing out this fabulous bag:



As you can see, smiles all around. I'm telling you, this bag is great. If you want one of your own, head over to O Yikes! You'll get 15% off if you use the code "RachelThrifty15" in the comment section at checkout! You need one of these! Your back, and your baby, will thank you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nooooo...not ME!!





That's right, it's "Not Me Monday!" Time to confess. Bless me Father, for I...

I did NOT take at least one nap every day last week while my husband was on vacation.

I did NOT eat at a restaurant almost every day last week.

I did NOT take a heavy-duty antibiotic on an empty stomach after being specifically instructed by my doctor to take it with food. Therefore, I did NOT spend the rest of the afternoon on Thursday praising the porcelain goddess.

I did NOT look at our pediatrician like he was crazy when he told me to start "isolating" Zeke when he ignores us telling him "no."

I did NOT "isolate" Zeke when he ignored my instruction to stop grabbing the spoon during feeding time.

I did NOT laugh when I saw the chunks my son has bitten out of his crib.

AAAAAND last but not least...

I did NOT make my son skip his first nap so I could teach my body pump class today. I did NOT put him in the gym's day care and think, "He's your problem, now!"

So, what's your confession?

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

AAAArrrrgh

Oh, how I want to write a blog entry right now...

However, I have no motivation, even less energy, and fewer ideas.

My Skittles are great, though!

Still haven't gotten my diaper bag in the mail--you will be the first to know when I do!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

O Yikes

Thanks to Thrifty and Chic Mom, whose blog I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago, I am the proud winner of a FABULOUS O Yikes Slingback diaper bag in Tangerine Raspberry! I can't wait to receive it, especially since the day before I found out I won, I was shopping for new diaper bags and not really finding anything I liked! So this is what it will look like:



As soon as I receive it, I will post a review. I'm expecting to love it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Lord's PERFECT timing!

Yesterday I was startled to realize at 1:30 p.m. that my husband had called me four times and left two messages for me on my cell phone, all within the span of the previous 30 minutes. Thinking either something was horribly wrong or incredibly exciting, I called him back before listening to the messages. He informed me that my friend Miranda, who was due to have her precious baby (gender was to be a surprise!) in mid-February, had broken her water and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. My initial reactions were shock and excitement, which then faded to worry as I realized what this meant. Of course, my totally thoughtful husband had decided NOT to stop by and pick me up on his way to the hospital because he thought I had probably just put the baby down for a nap...which was totally true.

First of all, she was between 33 and 35 weeks along--her due date was always sketchy, so she could have been anywhere between those two weeks. This, of course, is not the most horrible time to deliver, but you just never know with those early babies. Second, she had planned an all-natural birth in a birthing center, with a midwife. So for her to now be in a hospital delivering her baby was quite the change. My friend Kristi and I jumped in her car, borrowed a friend's car seat (mine was with Josh, in our only car) and headed down to the hospital with our babies in tow. While we were waiting to hear the happy news, I was able to see my friends from the Social Work department at the hospital, and it was really fun to re-connect with them. They are amazing people and I miss them so!

Finally, at 7:05 the happy daddy came down to tell us that Kate Rebecca had been born at 6:19 p.m. and was 6 lb. 4 oz. She was taken to the transition nursery for a couple of hours just because she was a little bit early, but they did not anticipate any problems. So here, my friends, is what happened that day and why my dear, sweet, earth-mama friend was taken to the hospital:

Her husband woke up yesterday morning to the sweet sounds of his precious wife vomiting. Ew. They decided to go to the midwife to see if there was anything she could do for her, or if there was any medicine she should be taking. When they checked her at the appointment later that morning, she was SIX CENTIMETERS dilated!! That's right folks, she made her way almost to transition labor WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT!!! THEN, as she's waiting for a room at the birthing center right next door, they check her again and she is ALMOST 8 CENTIMETERS DILATED--you read that right, she made it INTO transition labor without hardly batting an eyelash! So because her water had broken at an undetermined time, the midwives decided not to take any chances with infection and to get her to the hospital. She was pushed through triage and admitted, bing-bang-boom, and had the baby at 6:19 that night. She was able to deliver WITHOUT ANY DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the hospital staff was able to respect her wishes to darken the delivery room and make it comfortable for her. Praise the Lord for His awesome plan, which is vastly different from ours...but always works out for our good!!!!!

Welcome to the world, Kate Rebecca, and Miranda--you are my HERO.

Rachel

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year, New Me

Every year begins with the same good intentions, doesn't it? We all have these lofty goals in mind--we're going to lose xxx pounds, give xxx to charity, clean the house, stick to the diet, exercise, take up a new hobby...and the list goes on. Those are just a few of my resolutions from years' past--I'm sure you could add to the list. This year, I wanted to just throw it all in the trash--forget the resolutions, just live and hope for the best. But I realize that I am a very goal-oriented person. Competitive? Maybe! After reading Jessica's blog post regarding her themed resolution, I have also settled on a word: PURPOSE. And yes, for those of you who are musical theatre nerds, I am currently singing the lyrics to the song by the same name from Avenue Q. :) Here are my resolutions, revolving around that one, tiny word:

1. Participate in a bible study regarding purpose. My small group is going through "The Significant Woman," which is all about finding your purpose.

2. Begin a journey in purposeful prayer. Not just praying to pray, but praying because I know it changes lives. Mine, and others'.

3. Continue and maintain my healthy lifestyle--eat healthier and cook more, and continue exercising. I would also like to complete an additional training this year to teach classes besides bodypump.

4. Grow as a wife and mother--this is my true purpose right now, and I need to live and flourish in it.

I'm sure I could list more resolutions, and I will as I find the words. But this is just a start.

I don't know how I know, but I'm gonna find my purpose! That's for all you Avenue Q fans out there :)

love
Rachel

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not a creature was stirring, except for....

...A GIANT RAT!!!!

First of all, we had an amazing Christmas. The days surrounding December 25th were filled with time spent with both of our families, and lots of presents for Zeke! He came through all of the festivities unscathed, except for a few missed naps. But that's what the holidays are for, right?!

On Christmas night, we came home from my Aunt's house, put our tired little guy to bed, and were getting ready to settle down on the couch when I saw it--I thought it was a squirrel at first--a rat on the coffee table, where our Christmas cookies were. I saw it on the edge of the coffee table, jumping down with its long, nasty tail trailing behind. I very calmly said, "there is a rat on my coffee table" and walked down the hallway to the bedroom and shut the door. Of course, Josh followed after me with the obvious question of, "What?" So I explained the situation to him through a cracked-open door, shut it again, and tried to get my heart to slow down. Of course, the rat was nowhere to be found by this point, but upon further examination we found its "evidence" all over the living room. I had found a piece of "evidence" that morning, but didn't worry about it too much, deciding to keep it in a plastic bag to show an exterminator friend at church on Sunday. So I packed up some stuff, gathered up my sleeping child, and headed to my parents' house while Josh tore the apartment apart in an attempt to find and get rid of the rodent. Eventually he settled on the theory that it had been nesting in our couch, so they were immediately thrown out. The next day, he thoroughly cleaned the entire apartment in a very non-eco-friendly way--with bleach. Sorry, mother nature, but there was a RAT. They are DIRTY. Bleach is CLEAN. I'll recycle something this month to make up for it, I promise. Ahhhhh, sweet rat-free bliss. UNTIL later that night when Josh found it chilling in our kitchen and scurrying underneath the refrigerator. So we set traps. We put out peanut butter. And we waited. At around 12:30 that night/early the next morning, the behemoth took the bait. There it was, back paws stuck to the glue trap, in the middle of our kitchen. We thought we had it...until it found a crack underneath our cabinets (it obviously knew where it was going), wedged itself into the crack, and pulled itself off of the glue traps to freedom. Soooooo we spent the night at my parents' house again.

And then we moved.

So for the past week, we have been taking all of our worldly possessions in shopping bags from our old apartment to our new one, in the same complex, about 100 yards away. And by "we," I mean Josh. If you have an infant, I recommend that you live wherever you are living until he/she turns 18. It's darn near impossible until they're legal adults. I'm not going to lie to you...this was a MISERABLE experience. BUT--we are blessed beyond all measure because of a few "coincidences" that helped make this a smooth transition:

* Our good friends, Kristi and Tim, were out of town for the week, and let us use their cars from Christmas Eve until New Year's day. One of their cars is an SUV--we would not have been able to move so efficiently without it.

* Our new apartment is on the top floor, which eliminates the problem of people stomping on our ceiling at all hours of the night and early morning. Also, we do not have to hear anyone suck at RockBand.

* The new apartment is all carpet, as opposed to the hardwood of the other one, which means that Zeke can crawl all over the place, rather than me trying to keep him on one tiny rug in the middle of the living room.

* No hardwood floors means that the apartment is about $20.00 cheaper per month.

* Second floor means vaulted ceilings, which makes the space feel MUCH bigger.

* A dear friend at church GAVE us two couches!!

* We got out JUST IN TIME--when Josh went back to the old apartment to get the last of our stuff, he discovered a very flooded apartment. The rat(s?) had chewed through the hose on the back of the fridge that connects to the ice maker. The whole apartment was flooded, all the way back to our bedroom and bathroom. Luckily, our remaining belongings were in rubbermaid tubs and not damaged.

* The apartment complex is trying to reimburse us for the food we have had to throw away and buy new.

So even though this was a horrible, miserable experience, we can see the hand of God in it. We have been provided-for through the whole thing, and the good stuff just keeps on coming!

Hope you had a great Christmas, sans rodents.