Treasure the Moment

For anyone who hasn’t yet seen this beautiful reminder, you should take a minute to read it. It brought tears to my eyes – it is so true. I am SO thankful for the things, like Jessica mentioned, that I was able to really enjoy when I was still unmarried in my parents’ home. And now it is applicable to parenthood, too – the moments flee SO quickly. I need to listen – really stop and listen – when my little girl cries out for me. Look her in the face – she simply lights up when I give her my full attention – smile into her deep blue eyes, and tell her I love her. Watch her tiny feet kick when she’s excited, marvel at the completeness and perfection of her chubby hands as her fingers grasp mine. She’s a miracle, she’s a blessing, and she’s growing so fast. I must treasure these moments.

0613140910 0613140911 - without border 0613140911a

 

Baby Update!

Hello, all! It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything; the simple reason is because when we DO have a few minutes when we’re not working, eating, or taking care of the baby, usually sleeping or some other necessity takes priority over blogging. :P However, many of you have been asking to see more pictures, so here are a few that I’ve taken over the past few weeks. (They are slightly blurry; usually my phone is more handy than our camera to catch those precious, momentary expressions.)

Enjoy! :)

0414141142 0421141008 0427141948b 0501141314 0507140951 0519140955

Guilt-free Chocolate Milkshake!

I’ve been counting protein for most of this pregnancy, trying to get 80-100 grams per day in creative, well-balanced ways that don’t leave me feeling stuffed and heavy at the end of the day from over-eating. Matthew has been a great support, helping and encouraging me along the way. It’s been a fun journey as I pay more attention to what I’m eating and try new things, counting protein and realizing that every bite I put in my mouth will get to my baby. (Helps me remember better the importance of eating right – MY choices are affecting someone who has absolutely no control over what nutrition they are receiving!)

Anyway, at a recent midwife appointment, I was counselled to now guard carbs as well, avoiding as many simple carbs as possible to avoid putting too much weight on the baby before birth. So there was a bigger challenge: still get all that protein, but avoid some of the sources I had been accustomed to using, primarily grains (rice, whole wheat bread, granola, etc.). This seemed much more daunting. I’m still figuring out how exactly to manage these things, but one thing that has helped me tremendously – and makes me look forward to getting up and starting the day! - is having a chocolate milkshake every morning for breakfast!

A chocolate milkshake? you might be asking. I thought you were trying to avoid simple carbs… which would include sugar.

Well, that’s true. But this “milkshake” has very little sugar in it (and what it has is all natural), and it’s packed with protein and other nutrition, so I can enjoy it and feel pretty good about it, too – such a blessing! I wouldn’t even normally call it a milkshake because it has no ice cream in it (I’d usually call it a smoothie), but it’s so delicious, I have fun calling it a milkshake and then drinking it for breakfast! :) So here’s the recipe:

1 c. milk
1 egg (yes, raw – I never thought I would do it, but you’d never know it’s in there!!)
1/4 c. frozen strawberries, unsweetened
1 c. raw spinach (again, it’s amazing - you’ll never know it’s in there, except for a few green flecks….. and just think of the health benefits!)
1-2 Tbsp. dry milk powder (for extra protein)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt)
6 ice cubes (approximately)
2 tsp. raw honey, or to taste (optional)

Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a cup and enjoy! Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

I can’t really take credit for this recipe: most of it was an idea from a book. But I took what was written there, added a few ideas of my own, and have been enjoying it every morning for nearly two weeks now! There are lots of good ingredients in there… and it’s a really easy way to get a side-salad’s worth of greens………….

I hope someone else can benefit from this idea, getting good nutrition while enjoying some of the wonderful taste sensations God has given to us in food. If anyone tries it, I’d love to hear what you think of it, and if you make any of your own variations, I love to hear about those, too!

Enjoy! :)

(By the way, this recipe has approximately 22 grams of protein. :) )

IMG_0066

Joyful Reflections

I LOVE my new role as a wife and mother-to-be! I am thoroughly enjoying every day of this new life God has placed me in, as I continue to learn more and more about what it is to be a Christ-honoring wife and homemaker.

 

The past several months have been a wonderful time of learning, new experiences, growth in several different areas of life. I have had a lot of fun organizing, decorating, and working in our little apartment, as well as watching and learning about all of the multitudinous farming ventures that are going on around us (and participating in a few of them, as time and opportunity allow :) ). I’ve REALLY enjoyed cooking – especially searching out new recipes and trying different things that I wouldn’t have taken the time for before I was married. And of course, a good bit of time has gone into preparing for the baby – whether it’s reading about pregnancy and birth, attending classes and midwife appointments with my wonderful husband, thinking about how to organize our home and lives to accommodate this new little blessing, or simply taking more time to rest than I ever needed before!

 

I’m still learning about life from this new perspective of being a wife and mother, with all of its accompanying responsibilities, challenges, and joys. But God is good, and I pray that, by His grace, I will live every day, tackle every task, and enjoy every relationship that He places before me for His honor and glory!

 

The Holiday Season – A Time for Thanksgiving to God!

Great is the Lord and greatly to praised and His greatness is unsearchable! (Ps. 145:3)

 

In the midst of this wonderful season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the approaching New Year, we should not forget to be grateful to the God of Heaven for His many blessings. As I have contemplated the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I imagined thousands upon thousands of celebrations where gratefulness to God was missing. His name was never mentioned once and His works and gifts were not ascribed to His benevolent kindness. Instead of being grateful to their Creator, individuals and families were thankful for something or someone in His creation apart from Him.  Sadly, this imagination was a reality all across this great land of America.

 

As children of God, we must not forget to declare our thanksgiving for our Heavenly Father and His dear Son. Rather, our lips should be full of His praises. Our tongue ready to speak of His goodness. Our eyes looking for His handiwork. Furthermore, our hearts and minds meditating on His loving-kindness. It is important to remember, that the individual who lives in constant forgetfulness of God will not appear much different than the person who rejects and denies God. A powerful and convincing way to be in the world and not of it is to be ready to declare with joy and adulation, our thanksgiving to the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

 

Thanksgiving is the beginning of what some call the Holiday Season. Sadly, Thanksgiving is often forgotten as Christmas and New Years arrive. This shouldn’t be the case for believers in Christ. I propose that as believers in Christ, we should take thanksgiving throughout the entire season. At every possibly opportunity, may we testify of the wondrous work of our great God in our lives. When we gather with family and friends, let us share our thankfulness for God and His work in our life.  May Thanksgiving to God be in unison with each beating of our hearts as we traverse through the remainder of this year and all of its festivities!

Can it be so?

At times we look at each other with the feeling and thought that our wedding must have been yesterday…..

IMG_4263-001

 

Or we must have just gotten back from our honeymoon……

Part of our honeymoon!

 

Or our 1st month anniversary was last week…..

One-month anniversary dinner!

 

But we know this is not the case, for now we are 9 days from our 1/2 year anniversary. God has been so faithful over these last several months. It is amazing how fast time has already flown.

IMG_1012

 

One very special blessing we have received from our heavenly Father is the little life forming in Amanda’s womb.

IMG_1551

We are excited and also humbled that God has blessed us with this gift and responsibility of laying the ground work which our children and their children will grow and build upon. We know that this time in our lives is crucial for our family and we pray we are living  for His honor and glory!