Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from The Rivers!  We love you all so much and pray you have safe travels during this holiday season.  God bless you all! 

Monday, December 14, 2009

As Thy Days

I never wanted children - or so I thought.  When Sweet Hubby and I were first married, I told him we would start discussing children in 5-7 years.  After our first year of marriage, he asked me when I thought I might want to start trying.  I told him, "Umm, let me pray about it."  A week later, God changed my heart and I was ready.  Good thing, because 2 weeks later, I was pregnant!

The week before we found out we were pregnant, I had 2 SVT spells.  SVT is basically a really fast heartrate.  For me, it was 200-220 bpm.  I didn't think anything about it because it was normal for me to have a spell every few months.  By 7 weeks of pregnancy, I had 5 spells.

I met with a cardiologist who referred me to a wonderful electrophysiologist in Nashville.  I was put on a beta blocker in hopes to control my fast heartrate.  It worked...for 2 weeks.  My dosage was increased and it worked for another 2 weeks.  By 18 weeks of pregnancy, I had been to the ER several times and was given adenosine.  Adenosine stops your heart and then immediately restarts it, hoping that it starts back in normal rythym.  It hurts.  That's all I can say.  It flippin' hurts.  The doctor added another medication.  I had to stay 2 nights in the hospital to monitor Babbling Brook's reaction to the new med.  The meds did not affect her heart rate at all!  Praise God!

At 18 1/2 weeks, we had our routine growth scan.  Everything looked great except for the placement of the umbilical cord in the placenta.  We had to return for another sonogram in 4 weeks. 

The night before the next sonogram, I started experiencing some crampiness and told Sweet Hubby I thought I was having some Braxton-Hicks contractions.  The sonogram looked great.  The tech had one last thing to check before we could go....my cervix.  The room fell silent.  She measured and measured and measured.  I could tell by her silence that something was wrong.  My cervix was short, dilating and I was contracting.  Diagnosis: Preterm labor.  Treatment:  Medicine and IMMEDIATE bed rest.

The night before the next sonogram, Babbling Brook was not moving like she should have been. Come to find out, the medicine I was on (new med) caused my amniotic fluid to decrease to a dangerous level. The good news was my cervix lengthened, however, I had to be taken off the new med and continue bedrest.

We went back the next week and my cervix had shortened, amniotic fluid was back up and they were going to try a different medication and continue bedrest.

Next week, FINALLY - good news. Cervix was great, amniotic fluid great, heart rate great but continue bed rest.

Bed rest lasted 12 weeks. At 35 weeks, I was taken off bedrest and the medication. I still had to continue my heart meds though. At 36 1/2 weeks, Babbling Brook arrived. June 21, 2008 1:06pm 5lbs 7oz. 100% healthy! Praise God.

When I was originally put on bed rest, Sweet Hubby and I prayed for the small milestones: at 23 weeks, we prayed that she just make it to 25 weeks; at 25 weeks we prayed for her to make it to 28 weeks, 28 weeks make it to 32 weeks and finally we prayed that we were ready for her as long as we could bring her home when we were discharged. God listened and God answered.

During all of this, Sweet Hubby and I clung to Deuteronomy 33:25, "As thy days are, so shall thy strength be." Had I known what all we would have had to endure through the pregnancy, I might have said NO WAY, I can't handle that. I am so thankful that I had no clue.

God gives you strength to face today, not tomorrow or yesterday, TODAY.

Our sweet Babbling Brook last Christmas

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giving Thanks

First, I am giving thanks to God for all of the blessings in our life.  I am also very thankful for the valleys and lessons learned. 

My parents and aunt joined us for Thanksgiving this year.  This was my first Thanksgiving to host and it went off with out a hitch.  My aunt said it was because "we are all pretty laid back."  I thought Sweet Hubby was going to pass out right then and there.  If any of you know my mom (or me), you know that there is not a laid back bone in our body.  We had a laugh and she rephrased.  She meant to say, we all get along and know how to deal with each others' personalities.  We had a great visit and I am so thankful they were able to join us. 

I found myself missing my sister at times.  Like the time that my mom spent the entire 4th quarter of the Texas vs Texas A&M game yelling at the TV and never taking a breath.  Kelly and I would have loved to make fun of her then.  Especially since she was cheering on Texas for the first time. Ever. In her life.  I think I remember her threatening me not to tell a soul...hmm?  Wonder what she meant by soul?  I think the secret is safe with us, right? 

Babbling Brook came out of her shell and let her true ham-self shine.  She made silly faces, fake belly-laughed to get attention, danced and babbled words that not even I could understand.  Of course, with us in the kitchen preparing "the meal" she was always "hu-mee pease" (hungry please).  She eats more than I do - definitely her Daddy's girl!

We had a sonogram Monday and the baby is growing (approx 2 inches) and is a wiggle worm.  The heartrate is a steady 164bpm.  We should find out the sex sometime in January.  So exciting! 

How was your Thanksgiving? 

God bless,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Story

Sweet Hubby and I met mid-August of 2000. I was a feisty 20 year old know-it-all, seen-it-all, been-through-it all college girl. He was an 18 year old naive, shy, singing, football playing senior in high school. It was not love at first sight. We were both in relationships but God certainly planted a seed.

A few years later, we saw each other again.  I was fresh out of a relationship and not looking for love.  After an evening of singing (him) and talking (probably me), he finally mustered up enough courage to ask for my number.  We went on one date but cut it short after dinner because I had "homework."  (I really did!)

I saw him about 6 months after that date but still was not interested.  You see, I had a rule.  I didn't date boys that wore wranglers.  I assumed all boys that wore wranglers were the egotistical cowboys that I went to high school with.  I was young and know better now!!

We went our separate ways.  Both spent time in relationships that obviously didn't work out.  Three years after our last encounter, we reconnected through Myspace.  Corny, I know.  I found him.  I wrote him a message letting him know how proud I was of him.  If you don't know this already, Sweet Hubby is an amazing singer!  After a month of talking on the phone and catching up, we saw each other.  Two days later, I was his girlfriend.  This was very close to love at first fourth sight.

After 3 months of dating, one evening (8/7/06) he looked at me and said, "Marry me."  I replied, "OK!!"  He really didn't even ask.  We set a wedding date for 7/7/07.  We did get married on the original date but it was for the second time.  Sweet Hubby was on tour and his last tour date was in Las Vegas.  He called me 4 days before his Vegas stop and asked me to check on plane tickets.  I asked him if I needed to bring a dress and ring (for him).  He said yes.  I booked a chapel, flight and worked out all the details for our wedding in 2 days.  I arrived in Vegas at 10:30am and we were married by 1:30pm Saturday, September 30, 2006.  It's our fairy tale story.

No, our parents were not upset at us for running off to Vegas because we promised them a traditional wedding.  No, I did not ask Sweet Hubby to not wear wranglers.  Yes, I am the luckiest woman to have such a great man and father to our children.   

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Settling In

There are boxes still in the garage and paint samples on the walls, but we are moved in.  We sleep in our rooms at night, wake up to the morning paper, and Jaxson travels down 3 steps to the backyard with no leash.  Praise God!  We have a house. 

And a baby on the way.

I cannot tell you all of the hurdles and obstacles that were thrown in our way before we finally had the stamp of approval.  I may one day write it all out but for the meantime, if you really want to know, give us a call and we will tell you the entire crazy story! 

Speaking of crazy...last Saturday was a mess.  Babbling Brook and I headed into Franklin for some errands - now 11 miles (15-20 minutes) away.  As we were driving, the sun was directly in Babbling Brook's eyes, the backseat was warmer than I realized and before I knew it, Babbling Brook was carsick.  No extra clothes, just a bunch of wipes and wet ones.  Instead of traveling the 11 miles back to the house for some clothes, I chose to run into Kohl's to get her a new (on sale) outfit.  I wrapped her up in her shopping cart cover and went inside.  I found a cute outfit, got her dressed right then and there and checked out.  We ran a few errands and then headed back home.  Once home, I did the usual routine, grabbed diaper bag, keys, opened Babbling Brook's door, locked the doors, got Babbling Brook out of the car, shut her door, grabbed for the keys to open the door.....keys?  Oh yeah, instead of placing them in the diaper bag, I sat them down in the backseat.  Then I remembered I had 3 other keys to the other doors of the house.  I went to the back door, unlocked the deadbolt but couldn't find the key to unlock the door knob.  Ok, I will try the front door...same thing.  Oh crap.  What am I going to do.  Sweet Hubby is in Ohio with all spares.  Think.  I don't want to call a locksmith.  After an hour of calling our sellers, my husband, and trying to locate my neighbor, I remembered something.  There was a cut out in our ceiling from our attic to our laundry room.  The atttic stairs are in the garage, thankfully I parked in the garage so we were already in there.  So, I locked Babbling Brook in the backyard (gate has outside lock) prayed for her safety, went up to the attic --but only after getting a ladder so I could reach the string to pull down the attic ladder.  I found the cutout that goes to the laundry room.  I went back down, found a flat head screwdriver, checked on Babbling Brook, went back up the stairs, removed the cutout using the screwdriver, shimmied down to the washer and TA DA-- was in the house.  Now that you all know our secret passage way, I should disclose that we have an AWESOME alarm system.  :) Not to mention, I do like to hunt and am a pretty good shot.  I'm just sayin'.

Sweet Hubby and the group are still traveling every weekend.  They are finishing up their Christmas album as I write this blog.  I will keep you updated on when/where you can get the album! 

Babbling Brook?  She hasn't grown in height much - less than an inch in 4 months.  What can I say, she is very much my daughter.  She is sweet and loving but very independent.  She doesn't like to wear socks or shoes, no matter how cold the wood floors are.  She loves to chase Jaxson, play in the shade, and Sesame Street.  She can already say "A, B, C" and signs "Please" whenever she wants something.  She has manners.  When she signs "thank you," she adds a kiss.  She is smart and her main love language is words of affirmation.  I love our daughter, she is probably teaching me more than I could ever teach her. 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner!  My parents and aunt are coming to visit.  I am super excited to host my very first Thanksgiving in our very first home!!!  The events of that day should be enough to blog about.  I'm sure we will have some stories to tell.  While my parents are in town, they will get to go with us to a doctor's appt and hear the baby's heartbeat.  (last time was 169)  You tell me - boy or girl??  The pregnancy hasn't been much different from Babbling Brook's.  I want fruit and veggies, no meat, not big into sweets and I haven't been sick except for an actual stomach bug.  We should find out at the beginning of January what we are having!!  We don't care as long as we have a healthy baby.  Of course, I would love to give Babbling Brook a sister.  I have an amazing sister that I can't imagine life without.  BUT I would also love to give Sweet Hubby a son.  He doesn't care either what we have.  Let's just pray this time that I have no bed rest. 

Till next time-- God bless,

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Time flies!

You know the saying, "Time flies when you're having fun?"  Well, it also flies when you are busy, life is chaotic and hectic and really the only time it doesn't "fly" is when it is 4pm on a Friday afternoon--Right?  

In a nutshell, this is what has been going on with us.


July --Beyond the Ashes (the group Sweet Hubby sings lead for) sang 20+ shows!  (that is a lot) Sweet Hubby and I both got really sick.  I am still battling the cough.  My wonderful sister and her 3 children came to visit us for 5 days.  Babbling Brook took her first unassisted step July 10.  (Sweet Hubby was not here to witness it but did get to hear me shriek in the phone when it happened.)  I had a birthday and am officially 29 and holding.  My sister had a birthday is officially not telling anyone her age.  I had a spiritual breakdown on a Wednesday night --asked for prayer and by Monday was FREED.  Praise God!!  We contacted a wonderful mortgage lender and within 24 hours she had us pre-approved for a home!  She then directed us to a realtor, who within a few hours, had us 40 homes to look at.  (that will make your head spin)

August -- Looked at 6 homes, loved 2.  Sweet Hubby has been home 1.5 days in the last 2 weeks.  We are ready for him to be home!  Babbling Brook hasn't crawled in 5 days and is now trying to RUN.  It was billing week and a full moon last week for me at work = hectic.  Babbling Brook is also starting to show her independent side.  Our neighbors gave her a rocking chair and she does not want help getting in or out of it.  If you make a move towards her she will wave her hand/arm and say, "No, don't."  And so it begins.  

So, like the rest of you, we have been busy.  I promise I will try to keep up with this better.  

And Jaxson?  He has been asleep through it all.  He truly has the life. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Birthday, Baseball, and Besties

I apologize for not posting anything in the last couple of weeks.  We all know how time can get away from you.

May 30, we celebrated Babbling Brook's 1st birthday with family and friends back in Texas.  Her birthday is not until June 21, but this was the only weekend that worked with everyone's schedule.

Babbling Brook and I had not been home since January 25, so there were quite a few people we needed to catch up with.  Her birthday party was a great success.  We really enjoyed seeing friends and family.  We got to see all 3 kids (kids: Hunter, Derek, Kylie--Audra's cousins) play baseball.  I miss not being able to go to all of their games and cheer them on.  They would probably prefer that I only go to one game a year to spare them the embarrassment.  

Cynthia Bellar, from Lindale, made the cake and did a spectacular job.  The top tier was strawberry cake, and the bottom dark chocolate fudge.  I highly recommend her!

God bless,

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Congratulations Matt and Katie Mason on the arrival of Waylon Matthew Mason!!  We are so blessed to have you guys as our friends and family.  We love you!

That's right folks, Waylon made his debut yesterday, 05/27/2009.  It is hard to believe that nearly a year ago we were holding our very own newborn--who weighed 2 1/2 lbs LESS than Waylon.  It is hard to remember our Babbling Brook that tiny.  Remember this:

Babbling Brook 06/21/2008 

I remember spending the first night with her in our home with the bedroom light on (all night), wondering HOW DO MOMS GO TO SLEEP?  I am not sure how much I did sleep in the first few weeks, but I do know the light remained on for quite some time!  We sleep with ease now--all of us.  It's not the same kind of sleep as before but it gets the job done.  

Babbling Brook and I are headed to Texas tomorrow.  (Sweet Hubby will be on the road this weekend.  This will be the very first time he has ever spent a night in our bed without me.)  We will celebrate her 1st birthday with family Saturday.  We haven't been back since January and....I'M SO EXCITED AND I JUST CAN'T HIDE IT.  I'M ABOUT TO LOSE CONTROL AND I THINK I LIKE IT.  (and then we all flashback to the Saved by the Bell episode...c'mon girls say it with me...I'm so excited...I'm so excited...I'm sooo scared....!!!!!)  If you are in Bullard, stop by my parents' house and visit awhile.  If we aren't there, you can find us at the ball field watching Hunter, Derek, or Kylie playing ball...or at April's...or the Jalepeno Tree...or Legends...or OH just call or message me if you want to come out!  Can you tell we don't have any good eatin' joints around here?  There is something Tennessee lacks --good mexican food (tex-mex) and good burgers.  

To go along with the theme of this post "flashback"...LEG WARMERS ROCK!!

LOOK closely and you can see her two front teeth...she has 6 teeth total now!
Goodnight all!

God bless, 

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Babbling Brook and I enjoyed our lunch break underneath a shade tree today.  My oh my, Tennessee is BEAUTIFUL this time of year.  If you can make it past the torrential rains and not drown, then you are in for a BIG treat.   April showers bring plenty of May flowers...and green grass...and blue skies...and mosquitoes....

Sweet hubby, Babbling Brook and I are beginning a new journey!  We handed in all of our financial information to our mortgage lender and are HOUSE HUNTING!  We are planting our roots here in Tennessee.  What a better time to do it!  The housing market is definitely a buyers market.  We are super stoked and can't wait to give Babbling Brook (and Jaxson) a yard to play in.  

Sweet hubby is currently on the road but should be back in time to celebrate Memorial Day with us.  We are very busy with this new schedule of his but are very thankful for this opportunity.  Lives are being touched and souls are being saved!  Woohoo!  Praise the Lord!!

I am still working from home, full time, along with chasing after Babbling Brook.  She turned 11 months old today!  I can't believe how fast the past 11 months have FLOWN by.  Today, she was getting into something she was not supposed to, as I took her hands and placed them to her side, she looked at me and said, "Au-da, no."  Yep, that's right...NO is the correct answer.  How can you not laugh at those moments?  She knows what she is not supposed to do but instead of staying away, she tells herself "no" and proceeds anyway.  

Here are a few pictures from our lunch outing today:

God bless!

Friday, April 17, 2009


My first blog...I never know how to start these things.  I am not eloquent in my writing skills and I am sure some of my "country" roots will shine through in my grammar.  So here goes, from my heart spilling onto this screen.

God truly amazes me.  I cannot tell you the last time that I have cried.  When I say cried, I mean a true heart wrenching cry.  I shed a few tears for the humane society commercial EVERY time I see it but I have not had a good sit down bawl your eyes out cry in .....years. 

Until now.  

My life is wonderful.  I have a loving, hard working, true man of God, handsome husband, a beautiful, full of life, spunky, independent 10 month old daughter, and a very loyal chihuahua (not yappy either).  We are blessed day in and day out.  

Recently my husband made a career change.  He has been given the awesome gift of reaching people through song(s).  He is an amazing singer.  When I first met my husband in 2000, he was singing good ol' country music.  He pursued this career path for more than 10 years.  He would sing both country and gospel and was always struggling inside on which direction God wanted him to go.  In January, he made the decision to surrender to full time Christian music ministry.  God immediately opened doors for him.  He is now the new lead singer for a Christian trio called Beyond the Ashes.  www.myspace.com/beyondtheashesonline.  Through his career change, the Lord has been softly speaking to me.  My personality does not take authority well, so I know He knows how to get me to listen.  Ha!  I have been struggling with my heart being so cold to life.  I know that through my own life's struggles that I have become a hardened person.  My husband's heart is so pure and loving, while mine can be more on the guarded side.  I have many walls built and I don't know if anyone has ever taken them all down.  One of my constant prayers is that God will tear down my walls and USE me.  I am scared because I can feel this transformation...this growth.  I do not like being vulnerable but it is through weakness that His power works best.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)  

As silly as this may sound, I have a twitter account.  I follow my husband's group and a few others.  The others are friends or friends of friends that have inspired me.  One is Angie Smith.  She is an amazing Godly woman.  When I say amazing....I mean the most amazing person that I have ever met.  During this past week she has been posting prayer requests as her facebook status.  I read most of them and usually say a quick prayer and move along with my day.  Today after reading several posts of hers, I became very curious about this story.  The Lord kept pulling on my heart strings to dig deeper and find out what was going on.  My goodness!  It is an amazing story that I could not possibly re-tell here.  www.mycharmingkids.net  Bottom line:  Stellan is a 5 month old baby boy that was not supposed to even live to see his birth.  He has SVT (heart beats way too FAST).  The doctors cannot seem to get it under control with medication and he is undergoing heart ablation surgery Tuesday.  You can follow his mom on twitter http://twitter.com/mckmama  Everything about this story amazes me.  God is so AWESOME!!!  Stellan is a fighter.  Now I am asking you to help fight for him!  Pray for the doctors, the nurses, Stellan, his family...every one involved with his surgery Tuesday.  My heart is so heavy.  

I am off to get some rest....1:30am now and I do have to work tomorrow. TGIF!

God bless,