Thursday, May 14, 2015

Living in the Real World

Elephant in the room: Yes, I've been gone a while. What started out as a time of reflection for me, to evaluate the point of my blog and its future direction, turned into a much longer hiatus than I had predicted.

To be honest, the long break has been nice. I have enjoyed living life in the real world. When you're blogging, it's so easy to allow your blog to become an obsession, to spend all your time focussing on what to post next, that you forget to focus on the life right in front of you. Life in the real world.

WARNING: This kind of tunnel vision can happen with any type of media, whether you are creating it or simply observing it.

I also felt blogging was pulling me away from baking, creating, writing, etc. for the right reasons. Was I trying to develop a new recipe because I was trying to please my husband or because I couldn't wait to post about it (hello, pride)? Was I writing something because God had laid it on my heart or because I felt pressured (by myself) to "get in another post"?

I don't want to be puffed up with pride, and I don't want to post things that are teeming with selfishness or other wrong motivators.

We need to be God-honoring in all that we do.

So, even though I have not fully decided where to go from here on The Shore, I wanted to say something about where I've been, mentally.

We are still waiting for little man to arrive... he should arrive this month. Pretty soon we'll be changing diapers, nursing, and everything else that newborns require.

We can barely contain our excitement over it all because it feels like we've been waiting so long to have a kid! I still can't believe how much God has blessed us in giving us this new life to shepherd and take care of.

He is so good.

I hope & pray you know that from your own life experience, that God is good even when things seem bad. God is good.

Love to you all,
~Mrs. D.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

6 Ultrasounds, A Lesson in Prayer, & 2 Big Blessings!

As of this week, we have had 6 ultrasounds done for our baby boy. If that seems like a high number to you... well, it should. That is a lot more ultrasounds than normal! We had anticipated the standard 2. Circumstances dictated otherwise, though.

The first one was the standard "Congratulations, it's an it!"* ultrasound. This is the first picture we have of our baby:

The second one was to check our baby's amniotic fluid levels (which were fine, thank the Lord). We also found out that it is a boy. I think I posted this picture when we revealed the gender earlier this year (although I just recently figured out how to use our scanner, so this is a much clearer shot):
I still find it hilarious that he's mooning the camera...
The third one was to check for the vital organs that they didn't check in the second ultrasound (because they were a little more focussed on the whole fluid thing in ultrasound #2).
Look how much he grew from the first one!! Crazy!
The fourth one was to get a better look at his brain (because our son was such a wiggle worm in ultrasound #3, they couldn't get a good look at it).

After our fourth ultrasound, however, the doctor gave us some news we did not want to hear: Our son's amniotic fluid was now low.

Granted, they did not immediately whisk me away to the hospital or anything (so it wasn't a total red alert), but we had to have another ultrasound a week later to check little man's fluid.

I must confess that I am a complete worry wort about certain things and this news really sent me for a bit of a mental loop. Why did it send me? There was nothing I could do about it except to leave it in God's hands.

Red Beard reminded me that praying was the best thing we could do. My mom reminded me, too. And that was really hard for me to hear, I'm sorry to say.

"Oh, what peace we often forfeit!
Oh, what needless loads we bear . . .

The fifth ultrasound resulted in the same thing. His fluid was still low. Thankfully, it hadn't gotten any lower (that was somewhat of a relief). But we had to come back in another week to have it checked again.

= Not what this mama wanted to hear!

More prayers, more waiting.

Due to a scheduling conflict, we had to wait a couple of extra days beyond the one week mark before going back. I must confess that, although I didn't want to wait a few extra days, God really gave me a peace about it once I decided I was going to trust His judgment and His timing in this situation (which, I'm convinced, helped lower my blood pressure by ultrasound #6).

All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer."

This week, we had our sixth ultrasound and got some awesome news: His fluid was finally up to where it should be!! It went from a 9 (whatever unit that's supposed to be) to a 15.9!!

Praise the Lord!! That was wonderful news!

And another sweet blessing? We finally got to see our son's face on screen. Every time they had done an ultrasound before, his hands were in front of his face. (On ultrasound #5, his hands and feet were in front of his face!)

Our insurance only covers one ultrasound, but I am confident that God will provide the funds for us to pay for the others. (Maybe we'll hit our deductible before we even go to the hospital! lol.) I'm just grateful that so far, everything is fine with our son. To God be the glory!

What are you trusting God with today? ~Mrs. D.
*Gilmore Girls quote.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Scrap-tastic: Baby Quilt on a Budget

We were snowed in a few weekends ago when I suddenly became motivated to put together a baby quilt for our soon-to-arrive Baby Boy. He's not due until the air outside is a bit warmer, but I thought a quilt might come in handy for tummy time, picnics, sitting on the beach, whatever.

I searched through different designs and dozens of fabrics on the web before deciding two things:
  1. I'm pretty sure I can calculate the size of the squares I want for the size of the quilt I want, therefore I can design a quilt the way I'd like it to look.
  2. Buying new fabric online, in addition to batting (etc.), puts quilting out of our price range. I need to use, as much as is possible, what we have on hand.
So, I raided my stash of fabric, kept in a clear rubbermaid under the bed, hoping to have enough for a non-girly 40x40-ish inch baby quilt. 

To be honest, I surprised myself by the amount of fabric in my possession that qualified for use in this project--some came from old curtains and button-down shirts, some was leftover from old projects, some I had bought a few years ago for a project I never made (oops).

Here is the quick brainstorming and calculating I did on an index card. 
Nothing fancy. 
Here is the quilt top all sewn together (final size: 38x42 inches).
Laid out on our bed.
I still need to purchase some cotton batting in order to complete this project, but I plan to wait for a good deal on it (keeping that final cost as low as possible). I have an old flat sheet in a robin's egg blue that I'll cut down to size for the back.

It's not a designer quilt made from trendy fabric prints, but as an extra something to have around for Baby Boy, I'm thrilled with how it's turning out so far.

The total cost to this point? Free. :)

And for anyone wanting an updated Baby Bump at 30 weeks, here it is:
Next time, I'll try to take one with a different outfit on. I didn't realize until after I'd cropped this pic that I'm wearing almost the exact outfit I wore in my last Bump shot in January. Oh well!

I hope your March is off to a roaring start! ~Mrs. D.