catching up...

God has been working on my heart a lot lately. And in the midst of the busyness, I am trying to obey. The last few weeks have been unbelievably busy. Its hard to believe I have had a chance to listen. I am looking forward to sitting here in about a week and being able to breath a sigh of relief, because I will have made it through this busy season. It is the end of the school year for Joshua so I have been extra busy with end of the school year stuff for him and next week is going to be just as busy. I have volunteered this year as his teacher's room mom (there are actually 2 of us working together - praise God for my co room mom, Amy) and we have a lot going on. Jordyn's dance recital is this weekend - I am so excited for her!! She is thrilled to be on stage. So this weekend will be busy with rehearsal and the actual recital. Next week, our big event for Safe Journey will take place. I volunteer on a small team who helps plan events and help run the meetings for Safe Journey. Elevation partners with Safe Journey to provide support to teen moms. The Senior girls in this group will be having a graduation ceremony next week and our team has planned and organized the event. I have also had a lot of volunteer work come through with my E-Kidz volunteer position. I also planned a baby shower for my dear friend, Chelsea last week.

And while all of this has been going on I have graciously and joyfully accepted the title of "aunt" again. I am so excited. I haven't posted about this new honor for privacy reasons. But I am so excited to be able to share on my blog loud and clear now!!! About 6 weeks ago, my best friend Amy, got a phone call that they were chosen to be parents of twin baby girls who were not yet born! On May 12, the girls were born. They were seven weeks premature but doing great! Yesterday was a big day because the waiting period for the mother's termination of rights to the girls was up!! The babies can be officially adopted by our dear friends Amy and Ken!!!! They are the sweetest babies. I am so excited to be an aunt. One of the babies is home already and the other will be following early next week!!! Today, I got to have my first official job as babysitter!!! It has been a busy time for them and for me because I have been helping them out in anyway I can!!!

So I just wanted to write a quick update on what has been going on around here. I promise to write some more in depth posts (with pictures!) after I get through next week! And with any luck I should be up and running on a new laptop. I have really really missed mine!!!

In the midst of this busyness, I have realized once again, I have taken on too many things. I have vowed again not to overcommit myself. I want to be able to enjoy a relaxing summer with my kids. I also want to spend some time planning for our baby girl who will be here before we know it. I am almost 20 weeks - halfway there! In the midst of this busyness, God has really spoken to me about where my priorities need to be and has shown me some areas where I need to cut back and get rid of. That is hard for me. But I am going to do it!


lame blogger lately...

i have been really lame at posting lately. last week we had a little mishap with my laptop and it crashed - we think that the hard drive is done, gone, whatever... i am so sad and stressed out at the same time. all of our photos from the last year are on there. we did back up some but we hadn't done it recently so i think we are missing josh's baptism, jesiah's 3rd birthday, easter, etc. i also used my laptop for everything. you don't realize how dependent you are on a machine until it is gone. for the life of me i can't get into any of my sites that are password protected - unless i remember the password. there are so many areas of my life that require that - elevation stuff, the kid's agency stuff,etc. and to top it off my list of usernames and passwords were saved on the laptop - of course. my email was also run through outlook so i can't access all the saved emails/docs/pics that are in there. i have lost almost all of my email addresses. anyway, undue stress and not at a good time.

i have been really really busy the last couple of weeks. josh is finishing up school in about 2 weeks - which means end of the year everything!!! i have a lot of volunteer work i am involved in at his school and at church. i am also planning a few baby showers. jordyn is having her ballet recital at the end of the month!! so, my hands are into a lot of projects right now. not to mention the regular daily stuff i am responsible for. although, i must say my husband has been a huge help!! he has started taking josh to school every day for me!!!

i am looking forward to a time where things will be a little less busy and slower paced. i have come to realize that there are a few things that i am going to have to clean off my plate. i have realized that i don't ever have time to do anything fun or for me b/c of my overscheduled life right now. i would love to use my free time to blog/write, create some scrapbooks, and do some garden stuff outside. (yes, this not an outside gal has begun to do some gardening - our gardener hasn't been showing up the last 8 years we have lived here!)

so all that to say, there is a lot going on here, i have just not available to write. hopefully that will change soon!!

lastly, i did a very simple post to make our announcement ... so i just wanted to follow up and tell you that we are so excited and so blessed to be having another baby girl!!!! everything in the ultrasound looked great! she is healthy and looking good!!!!



is the big day! jamil and i will be going for the baby's ultrasound and my monthly midwife appointment. as long as the baby is cooperating, we should be able to share the good news!!
so check back sometime tomorrow and hopefully i will be able to post the news of whether we are having a girl or a boy!!!!


mother's day weekend...

jamil has so lovingly changed the name of mother's day to mother's day weekend. he realized after being married for more than eight years that it really is a weekend of celebration and not just one day. and boy did i get spoiled this past weekend...

on friday, jamil took the morning off to watch the little kids, so that i could attend josh's mother's day celebration (the celebration was so sweet! i cried the entire time!) when i returned from the morning out, jamil has surprised me and taken the rest of the day off!! he sent me off for the afternoon to get a massage, manicure and pedicure!! it was fabulous. i had an hour pre natal massage at urbanna cityspa and teabar, with a massage therapist that jamil knows from church! (if anyone wants a referral i would love to give you one, the place is awesome and lydia is fabulous!) after my massage i went next door to get my nails and toes done!! as i was heading back to the car, i spotted a marble slab ice cream place - of course how could i resist - i pampered myself yet one more time!! i am telling you this was a pregnant mom's dream come true - a massage, mani/pedi and ice cream - wow!!!

i headed home to do the family thing and then after i got the family fed and settled my sister and i went shopping and out for sushi!!! we ordered a sushi we had never had - it was heaven. i have been thinking about it all week!!!

on saturday morning, jordyn and i went shopping to finish up buying our mother's day gifts. then we picked up lunch on the way home. after eating some yummy subs, we headed out as a family to a nearby park, where we rented a paddle boat for the afternoon! it was so much fun. the kids loved being out on the water. it was so fun and so relaxing. after we did the boat thing, we took the kids over to the park where they played in the sand and tossed the football for awhile. after we left there it was time for dinner so we went out for pizza, wings and salad.

on sunday, jamil and i both had the sunday "off" from volunteering at church. so we were able to go to church as a family. after church we went to the macaroni grill for lunch. then when we got home, i was able to take a long nap. for dinner, my sister cooked the main dish - so her and my parents came up for dinner. i made a strawberry pie for desert!! a home cooked meal, not cooked by me and strawberry pie - yum!!!

i was able to have a very relaxing and fun weekend, thanks so much to my hubby! who so generously gave of himself and took over a lot of the duties so i could relax and not have to cook for the majority of the weekend. i am telling you by the time monday rolled around - i was wishing it didn't!! but it did and we are back in business - it was so nice to have a weekend like that, it has helped me to get through the busyness of this week!!!

top ten reasons i love my husband...

a few weeks ago i was tagged by my friend, jenny to create a post that tells 10 reasons that i love my husband. so here goes. first i am going to list the "rules" of being tagged and then my list!!

Rules: 1) Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules. 2) List the top ten things you love about your husband. 3) Tag 4 people and link to their blogs at the end of your post. 4) Let the people know they are tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

top ten reasons i love my husband, jamil:

1. jamil is an extremely Godly man. he is full of love for Christ. jamil is a huge part of the reason why i have a relationship with Jesus! his actions reflect the love of Christ.

2. jamil puts up with me unconditionally. he has endured every mood swing through each and every pregnancy. he has put up with all of my wacky cravings and pleadings for whichever food i "have to have right now!". he is always patient and kind to me even when i am not that way with him. and even when i am not pregnant, he puts up with the mood swings.

3. jamil works very hard to provide for our family so that i can stay at home and care for our children. in the past jamil has worked four jobs (1 full time and 3 part time/side jobs) so that we can have me at home with our family. he does what he needs to do without complaining so that i can fulfill the calling on my life to be a wife and mom. he supports and feels that i am called to be at home with our children. even when times are tough, he finds a way to make it through!

4. jamil's outlook on life and each situation we tackle is always positive. he is an extremely optimistic. jamil can really turn a negative situation into something positive.

5. jamil is hilarious. he has a wonderful sense of humor! he can make me laugh and smile like no one else.

6. jamil has a gift for encouragement. he loves to encourage other people. he thrives on being an ecouragement to others.

7. jamil is tall, dark and handsome - what more can i ask for? when i was single, i wondered if my hubby would be taller than me or would i be taller than he? it is fun to be able to wear heels and my hubby still stands taller than me!!!

8. jamil is great with our children. he has always been the type of dad that is very involved. on the day that joshua was born - jamil was the first to change his diapers! and ever since then, he is a dad who bathes our kids, changes diapers, packs lunches, goes to school functions, plays with the kids (sometimes a little too much wrestling goes on here) and loves on them. jamil is a great daddy and i am so lucky to have him. i honestly feel that if he weren't so involved i wouldn't wanted to have such a large family.

9. jamil is very generous of his time. he is the type of person that would stop and really speak to people he knows (and sometimes those he doesn't). he enjoys giving of himself to others to really find out what is going on in their lives. jamil is never too busy to give a person he loves a few minutes or more of his time.

10. jamil is super laid back. he is very easy going. for me being a more uptight person, he really balances our family out. it really helps to have him so laid back, if we were both uptight - wow it would be intense around here. and if we were both laid back - nothing would get done. so we balance each other out!!!

so those are the top 10 reasons i love my husband! jamil has been a blessing in my life and i love him so very much!

i am going to tag Chelsea, Patti, Jess and Kelly to do the same post!!


a year ago...

a year ago we walked through one of the most painful times in our life. over the last two weeks we thought about the events that happened on each day one year ago. as we reflected on what was happening this time last year it brought up a lot of hurt and pain. and as we have seen the very same pain running through our dear friends this year it makes our experience raw again.
a painful, ungodly cycle that has happened over and over for seven years. one we have watched and personally walked through.

this past sunday a year ago was our last sunday at a place we called home. a place where we poured every ounce of our energy, our time, our loyalty and our love into for nearly seven years. a place where we built relationships, family and connections. a place where we built ministries that were bringing glory to God and you could see Him working.

when God began opening my eyes to situations i had been blinded to, i wanted to close them again. God wouldn't allow me to. He kept showing me things i needed to see. i needed to see because He was about to perform a big change in our life that i couldn't see yet. when things got so bad, so hurtful, so painful, so unlike Him, I knew He was calling us away from what we called home.

leaving was one of the hardest decisions we had to make. even harder was saying good bye to a group of people who didn't deserve this divorce. the day we said goodbye was exactly one year ago, it was very painful and very confusing to all. it was like a divorce where the kids were in the middle and the ones getting hurt. the room filled with tears and looked like those there were at a funeral.

the pain that we endured for having to leave a place we called home was one we will never forget. we will never forget how we were treated after giving so much time and energy to building this home. we will never forget how unappreciated we were, after giving so much love and loyalty to those dwelling in the place we called home. we will never forget how God showed us the true hearts of the people in charge of the place we called home. a place we no longer could give to, or trust in. it was time to go even with the burden we carried. a burden full of frustration, hurt and unforgiveness.

during this time we often asked why. we asked each other - why? we often asked the ones who loved and supported us - why? no one had the answer. no one understood why this continued to happen to loyal followers over and over. daily we cried out to the Lord and asked Him - WHY? only He has the answer. only He understood why this happened.

i leaned on Him knowing He was the only one who provided peace and comfort to my broken heart. my shattered self. losing all we lost when we left was hard. i was pruned to the skeleton. with nothing left. i was afraid to trust again. i was afraid to give again.

this mother's day sunday marks a year since we were free from the the place called home. a year ago this sunday, God showed us to a new place where we now call home. after a year of healing and leaning on Him we recognize the freedom we have from the other place that was just an illusion and built on little truth.

now the place we call home is full of love, trust, loyalty and appreciation. each and every sunday we get to experience something we had never experienced before. we are able to grow and learn and have eagerness to do so. it is inspiring and refreshing to be taught God's word at church! we we are able to serve and be appreciated for the talents God has given to us. we have been a part of a miraculous place where Jesus is touching not only our lives but the lives of so many others.

so today a year later, the pain is still there. but it is a lot intense. today, i am praising God for who He is and how He worked in our lives to bring us to a place of true worship. He brought us to a fabulous church home. He also brought us true worship in our personal lives by blessing us with so many things. all of this is a result of us walking through the pain to get to where He wants us to be.


not in atlanta this time...

we did not have to travel to atlanta for the photo shoot that i mentioned in my last blog - sorry to keep you hanging!!! from now on i think i will wait to post until i know we are going somewhere!