quite the little girl...

last week, i took jaelyn to our pediatrician for her 18 month well check.
jaelyn is doing great!!!
what a blessing for a completely healthy and happy baby girl!

jaelyn is still a little peanut...
weighing in at 21 pounds (under the curve, guess it is like the 0%)
but now worries because she gained a pound since her 15 month check up!

and she measures 32 inches long (50-75%)

jordyn loves to dress her up!
excuse the wild hair - it was just one of those days!

jaelyn loves to talk on this old cell phone!
so sweet!
she is quite the talker, she says lots and lots of words.
and repeats everything too!!


i'm a doula...

the last several weeks have been quite an amazing journey. there have been a few bumps in the road and a few moments of completely being overwhelmed and full of doubt and fear. but throughout the journey God has been at work and showing me His will for me.

a few weeks ago, i told you that i was getting my certification to be a doula. so i thought i would tell you a little bit about where i am in the process and what has been going on in my life surrounding this big huge God led adventure.

i do not need to be certified to be a doula. so i am not waiting for my certification to "become a doula". God has given me this passion and desire for this field and i am claiming it. i am a doula! so i gladly and proudly accept the title of a doula!

part of my certification requires me to actually assist three families during their childbirth. that was the part that really scared me. i was really nervous how i would find clients who would hire me without my certification. but since it is part of God's plan. i have set it aside and let Him handle that part and when i did. when i accepted my title and claimed the role. He showed me that He will bring me the mothers and the clients that He wants me to support and encourage.

i have received confirmation after confirmation that this is God's will for me. it has been wild. you know when you pray about something and you ask for God to confirm it in a huge way like maybe a billboard. well, i feel like my confirmations have been even bigger than that. God has put so many different opportunities in my path. He has brought me so many connections and new friends already. and i just started pursuing this. but He has had this plan in the works for a long time, i just didn't know it!

i am so excited about my new journey!

since i haven't been so great about blogging lately and have a lot to write about, i will continue this in another post. for those of you who really don't care about reading about the doula stuff, i am working on a blog and website that in the future i will be putting the details there. but for now, this is part of my story and my life so i am sharing it here!


a day at the zoo....

on the last official day of spring break, jamil took the day off and we headed to the riverbanks zoo in columbia, sc {along with everyone else in the state of nc & sc} it never crossed my mind how busy it would be during the week of spring break. despite the crowd and managing four kids at the zoo, we had a great time! i remembered the camera but minus the media card, so we only had the internal memory with 21 pictures to take. oh well, here are a few pictures of the family at the zoo!

josh took this one.
this is where the super cool monkeys "hang"
but they were hiding and hard to get a good shot

a shot with me and the kids
right by the elephants, who were pretty stinky that day!
a fashion mishap: yes, i was wishing i had brought my
brown sling and not the black one, ooopss!

joshua showing jaelyn one of the animals,
i can not recall which one

my three big kids!

there is just something about palm trees that i love!

oh, look at the baby giraffe!
my very favorite animal that we saw!
love me some babies!

jamil & little buddy!

daddy & his girls as we are leaving the zoo!

what a great family day!!!


a piece of my story (part 2)...

this entry is the second part of a piece of my story and has a very exciting announcement at the end...

so, i continued to pray over the next few months. not sure exactly how God wanted to use me but know that i was willing to be used how He wanted to use me. it is really a scary feeling to know that God is doing a work in you but you can't really figure out exactly what it is. but i gave it all to Him.

i began a bible study in january and we are reading a joyce meyer book called a leader in the making. the women in this group all have a passion for other women and are in this study to find out how God wants to use them. this bible study and the reading that i have done has been instrumental me hearing from God over the past few months.

in the beginning of march, after watching a few shows which i love to watch about childbirth and babies, i started thinking about becoming a nurse midwife again. i began to pray specifically for God to show me if this is a dream that was mine or was it His. i clearly kept feeling Him telling me "no, not now". in my blog hopping i stumbled upon a few blogs that are written by nurses. and somewhere in that i found a blog written by a mother who was pregnant with her second baby and she had a few posts in there about being a doula. and i was intrigued. and i felt something stirring inside of me!

if you don't know what a doula is, basically it is a birth or labor assistant. she is someone who is hired to care for the mother during the her labor and birth. the word doula means "woman servant". traditionally, this role is given to friends and family members of the parents as a support system. with a doula, she is not only an encourager and supporter, but she is also educates and serves as an advocate for the parents. she is present at the labor and birth the entire time working with the father and any other support person in the delivery room to help the mother during this time regardless of whether she chooses to have interventions or a natural childbirth. a doula does not perform anything medical or give any medical advice.

i had researched this some time ago, but wasn't sure this was for me, i had bookmarked a few websites but felt i was really suppose to go in the direction of the medical field. so after visiting this blog, i went back and looked over the sites i had saved. i began doing research about being a doula and began praying. God quickly and clearly answered my prayers. i felt Him telling me that this is what he wanted me to pursue. things fell into place and i have begun my certification process to becoming a doula.

i am so excited about this new journey that i am on! it feels so great to have a direction and a place to put the passions i have. i can not wait to see how God works in this new journey. there is so much more that i want to share with you about this journey. i will be working on a series of posts that will share this journey. i am also gathering ideas for a new blog that is specifically on being a doula.

so there it is, my big exciting announcement!!! thanks for reading this piece of my story!

being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
philippians 1:6
many blessings ~


a piece of my story (part 1)...

several weeks ago, i wrote this post and i have been working on "my story". everyone has a story, and everyone's story is different. a few things have developed in my life and i wanted to share a piece of my story with you. i am posting it in two parts! so, here goes...

as a young girl, pre-teen age, i loved children. i started babysitting at like 11 years old or so. i babysat for a lot of different families. i would get so upset if i didn't have a babysitting job over a weekend. i loved it that much. i babysat all through middle school, high school and college. it was no surprise when i earned a degree in elementary education with a concentration on early childhood and became a teacher. i was only a teacher for two years when I was blessed with a child of my own. i quit my job as a teacher and happily became a stay at home mommy.

being a mom is when i developed a new love for babies and toddlers. with each baby i gave birth to, i became very passionate about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. i also became very passionate for for other women, especially those in the child-bearing and child-rearing season. after my second baby was born, i felt like God had placed a calling on my life to become a labor and delivery nurse and eventually a nurse midwife.

by the time i had my third baby, i was the coordinator of a mops (mothers of preschoolers) group and the passion i had for other young mothers was undeniable. the thought of another women going through their season as a mom without knowing Christ burdened me. i know that i couldn't be a mom without God being the center of my life. my passion was so strong to tell other moms about Him. God allowed me to minister to other mothers during this season of my life and through our mops group. that was one of the sweetest seasons of my life.

after my season with mops was over, i was heading into a new season of my life, to pursue a nursing degree. God had other plans for me. i attended nursing school for one semester and loved it! after that semester, it was made clear to me that it was not time to finish my degree. nothing fell into place, so i withdrew from school and put that dream on hold.

it was a few months later when i realized God's plan for me. that was when he blessed us with another positive pregnancy test and with our fourth baby, jaelyn. during this season of being pregnant and becoming a new mom once again, God began to teach me that my family is my first ministry. i took advantage of this time and began to get my life in balance and just focus on my family. i didn't lead any type of women's ministry, i didn't volunteer much at my church and i didn't do many things outside of my family. as much as i want to pursue my passion to minister to other moms, He wanted me to realize my family comes first.

shortly after jaelyn turned one, i felt the passion in me stirring again and wanted to pursue what exactly God had in store for me. my passion is two fold, because i am passionate about other women (women's ministry) but i am also passionate about pregnancy & childbirth. i began to pray about what how God wanted to use me. i also began to research nursing schools during this time, i also began to volunteer at my church as the nursery coordinator.

after praying and researching nursing schools, i got the big red stop sign from God and felt like it was not the right time to go back to school. it was made clear to me that the strenuous hours in school and clinicals was not going to fit into our family's lifestyle. so, i put it on hold and i continued to pray.

but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
and all these things will be given to you as well
matthew 6:33

....the next piece of my story/part 2 will be posted tomorrow, come back and read it, i promise it will be posted and it has an exciting announcement in it!

many blessings ~


one and a half...

seriously, this momma can not believe that
her sweet baby girl is eighteen months old today.

one year ago

this year

jaelyn is growing and changing so much,
many days, i hear myself asking,
"where is my baby girl?"

it surely is bittersweet.

jaelyn is such a busy bee these days. she is all over the place and into just about everything that is in her sight and in her reach. i spend most of my days chasing after her!

and she spends most of her days trying to keep up with her big brothers and big sister. gone are the days when she would just sit and play.

as if three loud and vocal kiddos were not enough, we have been blessed with another talker!! yup, jaelyn talks so much and has a word for everything. it is super cute to hear her talking.

jaelyn has started climbing! she climbs up on the little chairs and loves to "sit-sit". we found her sitting in jordyn's loft bed, she climbed up the slide and made her way into the bed. crazy, i can not take my eyes off of her.

she is a pretty good eater and is a great sleeper. she is still taking two naps a day! it is crazy to think that when she was a "baby" she gave us such a run for our money and was so hard to get to sleep. now it is a piece of cake! we put her in her crib and she goes to sleep. honestly, sometimes i miss her getting up and rocking her. i can't believe i am saying that!

jaelyn is such a sweet baby girl!! we could not imagine our lives and our family without her. she is such a blessing and every day i could just eat her up!!


holy wonderful easter weekend...

wow, is about all i can say! we had a very busy but a wonderful easter weekend. i am going to put the events over the past weekend in one big post. i will try to keep it short and sweet!!

to start off our easter weekend, on friday evening we went next door to my in-laws house for a cook out. the kids had a great time playing with their cousins. we ate and the kids had an easter egg hunt.

my four kiddos with my nieces!

on saturday, we pretty much stayed around the house, getting ready for easter sunday, ironing clothes, baths, washing hair, etc. we also made some food for the next day and dyed easter eggs. one of my dear friends who now lives in georgia came in for the weekend so i got to spend a little bit of time with her in the afternoon. of course i did not take a picture.

the kids went to find the basket in our closet!

that evening, we gave the kids their easter basket. i think it was last year when i started this tradition, i load up a huge basket full of stuff the kids can use over spring break. it is a way to replenish toys and activities that we are out of and it keeps them busy over spring break. last year, i filled it with a lot of arts and craft type stuff. this year, i filled it with indoor and outdoor activities. it had play-dough, bubbles & wands, hula hoops, jump ropes, balls, painting activity, some candy, silly bandz, gum, water guns and a swing for outside for jaelyn, little people dolls for jaelyn, chapstick for jordyn. they loved it although i don't know how busy it will keep them throughout the week, because they played with most of it today already. the novelty may wear out soon, but let's hope not.

here's some of the goodies!

a quick shot of all four before we left for church
easter 2010

on sunday morning, we headed uptown to time warner arena where we had one huge church service. i was able to go to the service and just attend. we did not have a full blown ekidz, so i did not have to serve. which i missed serving, but enjoyed the little break. let me tell you, the service was amazing. i have never been so proud of my church and my pastor. the time and effort put into pulling off a service as big as this was so worth it. we had over 11,000 people in attendance and over 700 salvations made.

WOW!! i was so overwhelmed and so moved by what God did in that arena. God's presence was felt and known by so many in the large crowd. we had awesome music, videos, our students were on stage worshiping, thousands and thousands of items were donated to local charities and we had 50 people baptized. it was truly amazing. i could go on and on and probably will in another post all about elevation. but until then, we made the news several times. you can go here to watch a news clip on tv and you can go here to read an article in the newspaper.

after a little bit of nap time, we ate dinner with my parents and took a few shots of the kids before dinner. i never did get a great shot of the four of them let alone a family picture.

today, i am still in my pj's and trying to catch up after the busy and extremely emotionally exciting weekend. i hope to get a few things done and out of the way today, so that i can spend some time enjoying the spring break week with the kids! i also plan to spend the week taking some pictures of the kids as we go out and about and do some fun things, we have plans to get together with some friends and also take a trip somewhere fun on friday!!