May 31, 2008

6 Week Belly Shot.




Umm.... guys? I am only SIX weeks in, here.

WHY AM I SO BIG ALREADY??!!?

?!?!?!?!

?

!

May 27, 2008

The Mother of All Hair Posts.

This is what Ezra looked like yesterday.




And this is what he looks like today.






Here's what happened.

I was all, "Chris! We should give Ezra a buzz cut this Summer since he sweats like a juice box!"

Chris: "No. He would look very silly in a buzz cut."

Me: "Nooooo he wouldn't!!"

Fast forward a few days. I'd trimmed Ezra's hair, and Chris loved it. It was short but not too short. Ezra looked dashing.

Then I noticed that I'd missed some spots, and that the top still seemed way too long. So, I picked up my scissors again.

It all went downhill from there.

Let's just say he looked exactly like Loyd from 'Dumb and Dumber' by the time my second trim was over.

NOT OKAY.

Chris was at work, so I decided to take the plunge and just cut it ALL off. I'd rather have a big bald headed boy than a boy who incites images of LLOYD FROM DUMB AND DUMBER every time I look at him.

Chris was very sad when I sent a picture of the new 'do' to his cell phone. He does not like the buzz cut.

It is growing on me, however. At first I wasn't too keen on the look, either. (UHMM... Probably because it made my baby-child suddenly look like a fourteen year old.) But we went outside in the heat today and Ezra did not look like a sweaty, wilting flower! He did not turn bright pink! He just ran around looking like happy fourteen year old with military aspirations! Hooray buzz cut!

Maybe I'm just taking out my repressed scissor fingers on my son, since I cannot cut my own hair. Speaking of which... Operation: Grow Hair - an update!



It seems like it is MUCH too hot to be carrying around all this excess hair on top of my head. A small part of me wants to chop it. Because it FEELS like this:




Luckily, I found this photo of Kate Moss the other day:



...and am using it as an inspiration to keep on GROWING. Who knew? My hair is just like Kate Moss'. (Moss's? Moss'eses?) Big and blonde and poofy and lion's mane-ish. The kind of hair that makes you feel like you're wearing a heavy diva wig on your head in the humid, 90 degree weather!

She's got about 6 inches on me in this image. And fortunately for me, my hair grows like CRAZY when I'm pregnant. So... I'm sure to catch up in no time. Right?

Right. UNLESS I CHOP IT. (Which I won't.) (Or maybe I will.) No, no... yes! NO.

May 26, 2008

The Now.

Chris' parents will be here in less than an hour. They've been driving for three days straight and just narrowly missed a tornado about an hour ago while in Kansas, but they are ALMOST HERE. TO LIVE. Chris, Ezra, and I are buzzing with excitement.

Family! Here! With us!

We know that God has planned all of this perfectly. We are pregnant, and they are... suddenly here. What a joy for all of us- what a perfectly timed reunion!



School Portraits. Couldn't you just DIE?


In pregnant news- I am feeling tired and wanting to eat sub sandwiches morning, noon, and night. With pickles. We already have a girl's name picked out that could potentially transfer as a boy's name too, but probably not. Oh, how I'd love to have a little girl. Or a boy. HURRY HURRY HURRY, Baby Bean!!!!!!!! I'm so impatient, it's craaaaazy.

I found out my friend Jess is pregnant as well and has the exact same due date as I do. We also had the same due dates when I was pregnant with Ezra and she was pregnant with her son Josiah. We are creepy weird pregnancy twins, and I love it. Yay Cheatwoods!

Lastly, you can expect my fashion blog to slowly morph into a hip, fun MATERNITY fashion blog over the coming months. (As well as some of the items in my store!.) Tell all your preggo friends that they can visit the site to get tips on how to keep your sense of style even as your waist line expands-- and how to do it without running into your nearest overpriced maternity store, none-the-less!

Moop!

May 22, 2008

Pregnant! Week Five.



Thank you all so much for your excitement and well-wishes! We are THRILLED and have been having a blast telling our friends and family the exciting news this past week. WE'RE GONNA HAVE A BABY!!!!! &^@%*&^@%#*(&@#)(@!!!

Here are the deets:

I'm about 5 weeks along right now. Baby is the size of a sesame seed. I feel really good except that I am bloated. ALL THE TIME. This happened with Ezra, too. I felt like a hot air balloon for the first couple of months. Wee! Quite uncomfortable. I also have moments during the day where I get extremely sleepy and all I want to do is nap. But, um, that doesn't happen so much with it being crazy-toddler-central round here. Ah, well! Also, I just want to eat cookies and cheesecake all the time. I don't remember feeling this way when I was pregnant with Ezra, but I sure as heck feel that way now. I'm limiting myself, of course, and drinking lots of water during the day.

Baby will be here around January 24th- Ezra came a little early, so I'm guessing it will be mid-Jan sometime.

I did not get morning sickness at all on my first go-round, so I am praying it will be the same with this pregnancy. So far, so good. My mom never had morning sickness either. I wonder if it's a genetic thing? Does anyone know?

Chris and I are contemplating having a home birth this time as well. We are still in the 'research' phase of all of this, but it is something I am leaning towards more and more. For now, I have my first appt. scheduled with a group of midwives that are based out of OU Medical Center. If I use them, I would give birth in a hospital, but have a natural birthing plan set in place and a midwife-guided labor. (Like I did with Ezra.) Either way will be great I'm sure, we're just trying to figure out which option fits us best at this point.

How crazy is all this? It still hasn't sunk in that there will be another human in our family in less than a year. Woah!

We went to a friend's house for dinner tonight, and there was a little baby there. Ezra wanted to hold the baby and 'snuggle' the baby and you could tell that he is REALLY excited to be a big brother. He was so sweet with her, I almost keeled over right then and there from the dangerous levels of CUTE floating about the place. It was totally ridiculous. He's such an amazing boy.

Ezra knows that there is a baby growing in mommy's tummy, and he has matter-of-factly determined that it is a baby sister. He's so excited! Then, he goes on to explain that there is also a baby brother growing in HIS tummy as well. Hmmm... good luck with that one, buddy. hehe.

May 19, 2008

The Sticker of Truth.



I took Ezra to the dentist this morning. I was a little bit concerned about how it would go... seeing as how last time he stepped foot in this office, they knocked him out cold and stuck drills all up in his grill. (But at least he got a stuffed Monkey out of the deal.)

I was prepping him on the way there- "They're going to look at all your big boy teeth and clean them with a brush! Won't that be fun?"

He seemed none too convinced.

When we arrived, he played quietly with the toys in the waiting room for about 5 minutes, and then they called him back. He hesitatingly followed 'Miss Ginger' back to the X-ray room. He got scared and started crying, but he only cried for about two minutes before he calmed back down and started listening to Miss Ginger like a trooper-- biting down on this and tilting his head like that and sitting perfectly still as the "Spaceship camera" was positioned next to his face. I was amazed at how well he did. AMAZED! And so, SO proud.

Next, he had his teeth cleaned. He listened and followed directions perfectly the whole time. Even when the dentist came in later and picked and prodded at his teeth with the pointy tools, he didn't freak out. Everyone was really shocked at how well he was doing- for a three year old in an unfamiliar place.

As I watched him in the dentist's chair, I couldn't get over how old he has gotten. He's his own little man- following directions and becoming brave. He fills entire rooms with his presence- making people laugh and always being so eager to please. He's an absolute joy to be around.



As I watched all of this unfold before me, I felt my thoughts turn inward. Inward to the deepest places of me... Inward to the place where Ezra's brand new baby brother or baby sister is already beginning to grow and take form inside of me.

I am pregnant.

And there's so much joy in me over this fact that I can hardly say the words without bursting into tears.

Ezra got a BA-JILLION stickers at the dentist's office today for being such a good boy.

And I got one too.



I laughed as I stuck it on my shirt, then I wore it proudly out the door- beaming all the way home.

The Tragic Death of a Nokia 6068.

About three days ago, I got a brand new cell phone in the mail. It was shiny and new and had a CAMERA in it! I'd never owned such a fancy phone before! It had the ability to seamlessly connect to any HotSpot wifi and all those calls were free!



Oh, how I loved my new phone. I petted it and kept it clean and shiny and even left those stickers on all the LCD displays. It was my new pet! We were going to grow old together!

However, after just THREE DAYS in my care, it now looks like this:



This is what happens when you put your shiny new pet on top of your car and then drive away. The poor dear clung to the top of my car for about 6 arduous miles. What a fighter! But once I got onto the freeway, it just couldn't hold on any longer. The last thing I remember is seeing it roll away behind me in my rear view mirror- breaking into a million pieces and scattering it's shiny bits to the wind.

RIP, dear pet. (Your replacement will be here by the end of the week.)

May 16, 2008

The Family Exodus.



Big, big changes around here.

Amazing, astonishing, "Wait... is this really happening?" kind of changes.

Chris' parents (and his Grandfather) are moving to Oklahoma City.

And for all the times I have lamented the lack of family nearby, I still can't get this life-changing fact to SINK IN. Family. Coming HERE! Halfway across the country... To us!!

An exodus.

It all has happened so quickly. Chris' dad found a job. His mom and dad will come out here next week and start looking for a place to rent for the next year. Once they find a place, his mom will fly back to Reno and organize the moving company and then she and Chris' grandpa will fly back out again.

For the most part, I can't even imagine what it will be like to have family nearby. We haven't lived by family for 7 YEARS. What will it be like to have people so willing and able to help with Ezra? To watch him so we can go out on dates and run errands and play the occasional late night shows? And for Ezra...? To suddenly have more than double the number of people who love him as their own flesh and blood living nearby- anxious to teach him and love on him in a way that only family can? What a lucky boy!!

Ezra is thrilled. Every time we go on a walk around the neighborhood, he points to houses and says, "Dat be Grama Granpa house? Huh? Dat be fun?"

We giggle and laugh and answer eachother with exaggerated "MAYBEEEE's!" and then do it all over again as we pass the next house on the street.

The timing of all of this seems absolutely perfect. We are so excited to have them all here- we just know that they will fall in love with this city like we have. It's an AMAZING place to live... and now? It will be even more amazing.

(Thank you God for answered prayers.)

May 11, 2008

Close Call.

First... how cute is my husband? That last post was the best mother's day card EVER. I am so blessed to have Chris in my life.

Also... Happy mother's day to you momma's out there!

************************************



Last Wednesday evening, I was lazing about the house- browsing the internet and organizing piles of random stuff in my bedroom. Chris was asleep on the couch and Ezra was snuggling with him, and all was quiet. It had been a very nice day.

That's when I thought I heard something strange. What was that noise?

Then it clicked. The old WWII sirens were echoing through the neighborhood.

Tornadoes.

I thought it might just be the thing where they briefly sound the sirens to just let people know that the weather is a bit weird- to let us know that we should be alert and keeping their eyes on the TV. I thought it was no big deal.

I casually walked into the living room and fliped on the TV.

Immediatley, I heard the weatherman saying that MY neighborhood needed to take shelter. That I should be underground.... That this was serious.

I woke Chris up. "Umm... honey? They are saying we need to be taking shelter. Right now."

We fly into prep mode. I grab Ezra some pants. (Oh, why is he interminably pants-less?) I grab a jacket. And a blanket. And a banana. (Hey- I was freaking a bit. A banana made sense at the time.) Chris gets the weather radio and the flashlights and we drop into our shelter. I scurry back out to grab Ezra's new library books because, hello? Entertaining a toddler in a bunker requires some assistance. Dur.

Our neighbor calls. She's not sure what to do. Chris runs next door in the torrential rain and scoops up their young daughter and runs her straight back to the shelter while our neighbor grabs some things and follows behind a couple of minutes later.

After only a few minutes, the winds come. And they are STRONG. Even from under the ground in a steel bunker with the lid closed tightly, we can feel the rumble and hear the garage door flexing above us. Trashcans topple over and our gate slams open.

The kids are fine- perfectly content down there and clueless as to what's happening above them. We read stories and they play with flashlights. I tremble and feel panicked. Chris tries to find the most accurate information on the radio. They think a tornado is on the ground, but the rain is so heavy that they can't be sure because no one can see anything. We are completely relieved to be in a safe place. I ask Chris if we have house insurance. He laughs nervously and says that we do.

After about ten minutes, it was safe to come out again. We looked around briefly and saw no major damage- just tree limbs down here and there. Trash cans scattered. Everything was okay.

I was surprised at how very little warning we had with this storm, and grateful to have a place so near to take shelter in. No major damage happened in the city, but these storms went on to produce dozens of tornadoes throughout the state.

We were SO very lucky, we know this. Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by these recent storms- those who weren't so lucky as we.

Stitches, and Random Fabric...

Ezra would to start with saying....hhhk888888888d1ffhhvghhhrhrfhbfbnb fbbchbdbdhdh.

I am pretty sure that translates to: Moma, I love you with all my heart and thank you for how well you take care of me and show me God's love.

Honey,

I think back on that leaders meeting back in Cali. The one where your heart began to flood with a mothers love. The B.E. days (Before Ezra) We were so young and lacking in wisdom. But oh, how we were in love! After years of heart break through rocky soil, huge mountains, and barren deserts, we were finally a "Family"! Well...not quite a family. We were missing a little monkey. God, in his faithfulness began to place a new kind of love in our hearts. First in yours, then in mine. This love, a seed, after lots of food and water would became a Mothers love. For 4 years now I have seen a true miracle. One in which God has taken an already amazingly beautiful woman and stitch by stitch has created an astonishingly beautiful Mother! The crazy part is....there seems to be no end in sight. Each day seems to bring new stitches, and new fabrics that at first glance seem awkward and out of place, but with time and a second glance become part of the most beautiful creation I have ever seen.

So on this mothers day, I celebrate my amazing wife. She shows me God's character with mothers heart every day!

Thank you so much honey for all you do for Ezra and I. You teach us about God's heart every day. Thank you for the long days, the tears shed, the laughter, the frustration, the joy, the faithfulness, and the incredible heart you have for us.


Love
Chris and Ezra

Emery: After reading this post you are entitled to a one hour long massage. Yes I said one hour. Redeemable at any time today but most likely after Ezra goes down...


....right now Ezra is having a melt down, and all I want to do is finish this post.
I'm sure you can relate..:)


WARNING: This post has not been edited. I am a terrible speller.

May 5, 2008

The Heart Around My Neck.

About six years ago, my dear friend Jessie Clarke was praying for me as we met with a small group of people in someone's living room for our 'homegroup'- a group that formed through the church we both were attending at the time in California. As she was praying for me, she felt like God gave her a picture- like a short film that flashed through her mind regarding the status of my heart.

Six years ago, I was a broken down girl with a broken down spirit. My heart was literally like a beat-up old pickup truck on the side of the road- it had stopped moving forward and I'd abandoned it there- expecting its very last journey to be the short tow to the scrap yard. I was smack dab in the middle of all the drama of Chris and I's young relationship... smack dab in the middle of the pain and anger and loneliness. Part of me hated God. The other part knew that God was the only way out. I was a mess.

When I met with the homegroup that night, I was on my last leg. Ready to give it all up. Then Jesse shared this picture with me as she prayed:

She said she saw that my heart was broken and cracked. It had gashes in it and had even split in some places. But then she saw a pair of hands reach down and tenderly gather up all the pieces. And these hands started to sew. But not with ordinary thread... with thread made from solid gold. And she said that as my heart was mended with this thread, it became even more beautiful than it was before it had been wounded. It became this amazing work of art, and the gold woven throughout it and around it made it strong and luminous.

As she spoke these words over me, I cried deep tears. And I asked God to make it true, make it true, make it true. To help me get to that place. As soon as I got home, I scribbled the picture she had for me down in my journal- a shining jewel in the midst of the heartache those pages contained before it. And in the months that followed that night, God began to answer these prayers. My heart slowly, slowly began to mend. I was a stronger person for it all. And life got flavorful again. My taste buds came back and every day was like a good meal.

Now, fast forward about four years. You'll find me casually browsing at a Goodwill Thrift Store in Reno, Nevada. I'm home visiting family for the holidays, and I'm doing some shopping with my sister-in-law. Right before we leave the store, I spy a necklace out of the corner of my eye. It looks like it could potentially be cool, so I snatch it up without much thought and I buy it on our way out the door.

After owning it for awhile, I grow to love this necklace. You would hardly ever see me without it hanging around my neck. It has become my staple item... a thing I feel naked without. But, still, it is more of a fashion statement than anything else. I like the look and feel of it, so I wear it all the time.

Now, fast forward one last time to a few months ago. Once again, I find myself in a dark place- where the world is overwhelming and all I want to do is disappear most days. A cloud of melancholy has settled over my head and it has been unknown months since I've seen the full radiance of the sun. One Sunday, while at church, I work my way over to the corner of the building and I kneel down, slightly bent over, begging God to show up and clear the fog. I tell Him that I just can't take this much longer- this forcing down of life like a child eating broccoli. Doing it because I have to, not because I want to. I am begging Him to speak to me- I am knelt down and crying out like I haven't done in years. I am desperate once again.

And that's when I see it. A flash of gold swings in front of my wet and blurred vision. And I feel like God says, "Look and remember. I've hung it around your neck."

I grab at the swinging pendant of my favorite necklace- the one I wear every day- and I stare at it. I cradle it in my hands and focus all of my attention on it. And the long buried memory of that picture God had given me six years earlier suddenly rushes... swells... no, TSUNAMIS into my heart again- so powerfully that a sob catches in my throat and I feel like I could burst right then and there.

There, right in front of my face, was a promise. A promise that had been literally INCHES from my heart for years, yet miles away from my mind or memory.




A heart. Wrapped in gold thread.

Just waiting for me to reach down and grab it.

Just waiting for me to remember.