Saturday, December 11, 2010


Babbling Brook loves helping me in the kitchen.

 Calm Creek loves watching us cook.

Our gluten-free sweet potato pancakes.


It takes a little extra time when you have a 2 1/2 year old helping.  There is a little more of a mess to clean up when her tiny hands can't quite stir the batter.  BUT it's these times, these memories, that she and I will cherish.  She will remember that time when Mommy taught her how to make pancakes/pumpkin mousse/cookies/baby food...etc.  Slow down.  Enjoy this chapter because before you know it, time has flown by.  

God bless,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

#1 Fan

fighter for what's right
God-seeking, God-fearing
imperfectly perfect for me
my soul mate
father of my children
love of my life
my better half
pushes me to be a better person
has great hair that now only the boys in the family have
has the most amazing blue eyes that our daughter inherited
apple of my eye
I am his memory and his phone finder. He is my strength and my voice of reason. I know him better than anyone else (probably even more than he knows himself). He cannot tell a lie or pull a prank with me. His lullabies are sweeter and always on key but thankfully, our children do not know the difference. He sacrifices so much for us and we are thankful for all that he does. He is my Sweet Hubby and I am his #1 fan.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I was going to send a text to some of my family/friends with an update on life these days.  My text quickly turned into a book so I decided to blog instead.  It seems as if my time is limited and trying to keep up the blog is not a top priority.  (sorry folks)  Sweet Hubby has been on the road quite a bit lately.  He was only home 1 1/2 days this week and now he is headed off to the Lone Star State.  For their complete schedule click here.
Babbling Brook recently figured out how to get in and out of her bed.  The nightly games have begun.  The game of the week is, "Mommy, I want hug."  I am not near the sucker as Daddy is for this game.  I really don't know what she does between the time I put her to bed to when she falls asleep but I often find her socks and pajama pants on the floor beside her bed.  This afternoon she was completely naked.  We can hear her sing and recount her day as she drifts off to dreamland.  She has my energy 100%.  I know she is only 2 1/2 but I promise, she will turn 13 at her next birthday.  She is sassy and we think she even rolled her eyes at Sweet Hubby yesterday.  She has a softer side, too.  I love the way she takes your face in her hands to kiss you goodnight or goodbye.  She has such an innocence in her love, especially towards her daddy.  She misses him dearly when he is gone and is beside herself with giddiness when he is home.  It is amazing to watch her love for him. 
Calm Creek is 5 months already and will be on the move soon.  He can roll over from stomach to back and back to stomach.  His favorite thing to do is stand in your lap.  He is very much a mommy's boy (and I love it).  He is sleeping 8-9 hours at night and eating cereal 3x a day.  He is only in the 3% for weight but hopefully that will change soon.  His sister was small before she started foods too.  She did grow 2 inches over the summer but that only put her in the 10%tile for height.  What can I say, I grow small babies. 
Sweet Hubby and I are so thankful for our perfect mini versions of us.  Both of our babes bring us joy and teach us patience. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blessed and Thankful

I want to share with you our life on a daily/weekly basis.  I work 7am - 4pm M-F from home for a teleradiology company as their systems analyst.  It is a real 7am - 4pm job.  I don't have the choice of doing my work only when the kids are sleeping.  I have to answer the phone--even if it is mid-tantrum. 

Sweet Hubby is the lead singer for a Christian trio, Beyond the Ashes.  They are projected to sing about 235 dates this year.  This means, he is gone every weekend except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They usually leave out on Thursday night and get home in the wee hours of Monday morning.  Occasionally, they are gone for longer. 

Babbling Brook is a night owl.  She would stay up as late as possible if we would let her.  Her bedtime is 8pm.  Now that she is potty trained, she wakes up around 6:45am (used to be 7:45-8).  She is a busy, curious, babbling 2 year old going on 13.  She has a heart of gold.  I had my wisdom tooth out yesterday and she has asked several times, "Okay?"  She is very perceptive and independent.  It only took 2 weeks to potty train her and the only time she wears a diaper is at night.  We are so thankful for our little helper. 

Calm Creek, is just that, calm and laid back.  At 3 months, he decided he no longer wanted to be rocked to sleep.  It's a little bittersweet.  He is as determined to suck his thumb as I am for him not to.  I wonder if this is any indication of how independent and determined he will be?  He still wakes up for one feeding at night.  He is a joy and lights up our world.  He adores his big sister and watches her dance and be silly.  He loves it when you sing to him and believe it or not, is WAY MORE VOCAL than Babbling Brook was at this age! 

Sweet Hubby and I make a great team.  His schedule allows us to all be home during the week and raise our children.  We clean, mow, change diapers, do laundry, bathe children -- together.  None of it is one's job over the other.  I am blessed.  I, however, will probably always do the majority of the cooking.  Sweet Hubby will agree that I am the better cook. 

I often get asked, "how do you do it?"  Meaning:  How do I work 40 hours with 2 children at home and a husband that can sometimes be gone all week long?  I don't believe that I actually do it by myself.  My husband was called to minister to lost souls.  He was called to spread God's word.  Along with his calling, I was called too.  I know that if it weren't for God, my days would be full of stress, bitterness, resentment and so forth.  I know this, because I have seen this in others.  I am very blessed and very thankful to have a job, 2 beautiful children and a husband that is a true man of God.  Don't get me wrong, there are tough days and even tough weeks but I am still very thankful. 

My prayers go out to all of the military moms and dads with spouses overseas, to the single parents that never get a break, and to all parents in general.  We have been blessed and trusted by God to raise our children.  At the end of the day, can you say, "God, I did my very best today."  I know I can't.  I fail miserably at being a parent some days.  I go to bed asking God to forgive me and to give me strength and wisdom to do better tomorrow. 

God bless,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Calm Creek

Our baby boy arrived May 16, 2010 at 1:34pm. He weighed 6lbs 8oz and was 19 3/4 inches.  He is now 3 months and still as calm as he was the day he was born.  He is so sweet and cuddly.  Babbling Brook is quite fond of him and cannot give him enough kisses.

And, We're Back...

I know it's been way too long since my last post.  I haven't been busy surviving a flood, giving birth, traveling to Texas, raising 2 babes while Sweet Hubby was out of town 25 of 31 days, and now back working full time from home. No, not busy one bit.  :)  Can I just say that if you don't really know me - I am very sarcastic.  Think Chandler from Friends.  That's me, especially in awkward situations.  I don't like serious.  However, most say I'm more like Monica.  I guess I would be Chandler and Monica's daughter if they had children -- and if they were in fact REAL PEOPLE! 

anyway back to reality. 

We've been a little busy but not too busy to have a very eventful morning yesterday.  I am sitting at my desk, in our master bedroom, working.  Sweet Hubby entered the room with the vacuum cleaner, plugged it in, and "click," followed by a very loud, "beeeeeeeepppp."  He tripped a breaker which in turn shut down my workstation and cut off the alarm system that was still armed from the night before.  Great.  We run out to the garage and flip the breaker (or whatever it's called).  Phone rings, "this is your alarm company and we have received notice that there is a burglary."  I tried to explain what happened.  Then she asked for our passcode.  Not the code that turns off the alarm but the passcode that lets her know that we are all okay and there is not a burglar in the house and she doesn't have to call the cops.  If only, I could remember the passcode.  I give her one.  She calls back -- wrong code.  I give her another one.  Wrong again.  Meanwhile, I am digging through our filing cabinet trying to find the paper that I wrote it on.  Audra is freaked out over the excitement that she has an accident on the floor.  We are in the middle of potty training. 
FINALLY - I found the code!!  By this time, they have called 4 times and we were too late on giving them the correct code.  Authorities are on their way.  We clean up Audra's accident (we have wood floors thankfully), put some shorts on her, and greet the cops at the door.  Casey opens the door and tells them everything is okay.  Cop unsnaps his holster and is ready to draw his gun.  The cop asks for Casey's DL.  No problem except his DL has our old address.  I run and get mine which has our new address. 

Cops leave.  We laugh and vow to never plug the vacuum cleaner in our room while I am working.

The end. 

Oh and Calm Creek?  Sleeping through it all. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

We are all

Growing up, I lived in complete fear of God.  It wasn't necessarily the teaching of my preachers and mentors, it was more my guilty conscience holding on to the rights and wrongs.  I thought that if I did a bad thing that it would forever haunt me and my children would even suffer. 

As I started to grow in my faith and in the Word, I started to understand the love He has for us.  After Babbling Brook was born, a new light bulb went off.  I started to think of Him for what he is, OUR FATHER and not just God.  There is nothing Babbling Brook could ever do that will make me stop loving her.  Yes, when she disobeys us, she has consequences but I still love her.  This is the same for our Father.  There is nothing we can do that will make him stop loving us.  Period. 

We have all had people hurt us and at some point we may have even prayed for their revenge.  We have all probably said, "God will take care of them." And in our eyes that meant, He will punish them and make them suffer the way we are suffering now.  It is easy to get caught up in the drama of who needs revenge especially when someone hurts us or someone we love.  I know this because I am guilty but I also know that I, too, have hurt people. 

Now that we have a second child on the way, I am understanding God's love for us all even more.  Our son will disobey us just as Babbling Brook disobeys us but we will love him the same.  We all fall short, we all sin, we are no more special than the person next to us, than the person who has hurt us deeply, or even the person who has loved us unconditionally.  We are all God's children.  He loves us the same.  He forgives us the same.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Babbling Brook

I thought I would take a few minutes and update you all on what Babbling Brook is up to these days.  I will start off by explaining her nickname.  Our last name is Rivers.  A small river is called a brook and sometimes even a babbling brook.  Our sweet 20 month old daughter has been a lover of verbal communication since she found her voice.  Sooooo.....her nickname is Babbling Brook.  Got it?  :) (and once, while on a family vacation with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins I was given the nickname Babbling Brook ---but mine didn't have so many meanings --just that I was a lover of verbal communication.)  It is going to be tough to find a nickname for our son that can top Babbling Brook.  I forgot --Brook is also a name of a person (often spelled Brooke) so Calm Creek or Roaring Rapids doesn't have the same effect.  

Now that we have finished our lesson for the day, on to what is new in Babbling Brook's life.  She is a vivacious, independent 20 month old.  In the past few weeks - month she has increased her "verbal communication" to 3 word sentences and sometimes even paragraphs.  Example:  "You bye-bye?  Where's keys?  I don't know."  --all in the same breath.  Common everyday words and phrases:  Here you go, I got it, Thanks, Thank you, Pleeeeaaasseee, Daddy, Hi Jaxsiee (Jaxson), I don't know, There it is, Elmo, High five....the list goes on.  If you ask her if she wants to go "night night," she will lay her head down and SNORE.  I have no clue where she learned this but it is funny nonetheless.  She still loves to dance.  Her baby dolls get lessons on where their eyes/ears/mouth/nose are and how to play "patty cake." 

We have enjoyed every phase in her life.  She is an amazing little girl and she will definitely be a great nurturing big sister.  I am sure she will even add a touch of bossiness -- we don't call her "Doni Junior" for no reason.  :)

I know these pictures aren't the best quality but I did not have time to get the good camera.  These were taken from my phone.  She was loving on her baby.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Like a Child

Isn't it amazing just when you think you have someone figured out, or think you know them, you are hit with the unexpected?  When Sweet Hubby and I first moved to Tennessee, we joined a young married bible study.  We have spent nearly every Wednesday evening for 3 years with these couples.  We have seen a few couples come and go, endured pregnancies between us, prayed for one another and have really developed a great bond.  I can tell you a special God given gift for everyone in our group. 

As I sat in our study this past Wednesday night, I realized that we really didn't know each other all that well.  It's almost like we know each other on a level and then it stops.  We don't know our history, our struggles both past and present, our miracles, our true testimonies.  Don't get me wrong, we have cried before one another and showed some of our vulnerabilities but some of us have stopped at certain levels.  I love the ones that can be so open and honest and really show all of their layers.  That's what makes a testimony so powerful. 

While I am probably considered the "truth teller," I have some major walls and there are not a lot of people that can break them down.  I am not sure at what point these walls were put up either or if it is just in my genetic makeup.  I come from a family of strong women.  We don't cry at the big stuff but show us a humane society commercial and we all have to get a box of tissue.  Women!?!  Maybe, it's not that we are strong but that we are broken somewhere so deep that our walls keep us from falling apart. 

When I was 14, my dad was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes and Hepatitis C.  Over the next year, he lost a lot of weight and some days could barely muster up enough strength to lift his head off the pillow.  I asked Jesus in my heart at the age of 7.  Long story short -- I really didn't become actively involved in church until I was 14.  I went to church camp between my freshman and sophomore years of high school and my life completely changed.  I rededicated my life to Christ.  I joined a church and was there every time the doors were open.  It was my escape from the reality of home, of a dying parent. 

During this time, I really had the joy of experiencing God's peace that goes beyond all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)  At the time, I didn't know that's what it was.  Some would say it was naivety or the unknowing of what was truly going on.  I really believe that I had a childlike faith that my dad was going to beat this and get a second chance at life.  I didn't believe he would actually die.  Nearly 2 years after being diagnosed, my dad was put on the liver transplant list.  This was our only hope.  Once you are placed on a transplant list, you are given a pager.  Before he could even get his pager, we got "the call."  It was 12:30am.  I had just hung up the phone (yes I know it was too late to be talking).  As I placed the phone back on the receiver, it rang.  My first thought was, "Oh crap, I am in big trouble if this is for me."  It wasn't.  It was Baylor Medical letting us know that they had a liver for my dad.  My mom was on the other line listening.  Talk about a freak out moment she was not ready for.  Peace overwhelmed my soul.  I hugged her and told her that everything would be fine and for them to go on, I would take care of any necessary phone calls.  I called my sister and had her take one side of the family and I would take the other.  Family was called, prayer chains were started.

My sister and I arrived at Baylor Medical Center right as they were taking my dad to surgery.  I told him that I loved him and would see him soon.  Never goodbye.  I went to sleep in the room and woke up to the doctor's voice telling us he had made it through. 

It's been 13 years since my dad's surgery.  He never thought he would see me graduate high school and God has blessed us with so much more.  He not only saw me graduate, but he was able to walk me down the aisle, meet all 4 of his grandchildren (soon to be 5) and have a second chance at life.  I am so thankful for the years God has blessed us with.

Miracles are not a thing of the Bible.  They are all around us, we just have to open our hearts and listen.

Romans 5:1-5(NLT)  Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 


Catching up

It has been a busy few weeks.  Sweet Hubby finished painting our living room last night.  Next up, the kid's rooms.  Last night we found a soft water stain on the ceiling in our guest room, so the joys of owning a home have kicked into full gear.
We are officially, for the time being, a 1 car family.  We sold our Jeep Tuesday and will be purchasing a bigger vehicle in our near future.
Babbling Brook had some major bad hives a few weeks ago due to (we are thinking) a virus.  At one point, she was basically one big hive.  She handled it like a pro and it didn't slow her down much.
Last week we had a sonogram and everything still looks great!  Praise God.  Oh, and it snowed and lasted 5 days!  It was beautiful and cold. Babbling Brook asked to go outside from the time she woke up to the time she went to sleep.  Whew, I think we are all caught up!

Baby Bump 22 weeks (taken from my phone)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Never a dull moment

As I walk through this pregnancy, I find myself always looking over my shoulder wondering when we are going to be hit with the unexpected.  This has been a relatively smooth pregnancy -- something we are definitely not used to. 

Nothing we do is dull.  We always have a little bit of excitement added to everything we do, sometimes, not by choice.  During these exciting times we never lose sight at who is really in control.  God.  He controls every aspect of our lives.  We know this and have faith in Him.  We have asked ourselves, how will we handle bed rest this time?  There are a few that are a little more stressed than I am about it.  I know that it is something we cannot control and I have faith that God will not give us something we cannot handle.  Sometimes it is easier said than done, but ultimately you (me) have to let go and give it to Him.  Stress and worry will not change the situation. 

Take for example last Friday night.  It was late, Sweet Hubby's concerts for the weekend had been cancelled due to weather.  We were just settling in to bed when a BLARING beeping sound filled our house.  All 6 of our fire alarms were going off.  No smoke, no fire.  We opened up the doors thinking, maybe, it was our carbon monoxide detector.  Nope.  Sweet Hubby disconnected 4 of the 6 detectors.  I had Babbling Brook in my arms with one ear against my body and my hand covering her other ear.  Jaxson (our Chihuahua) was howling in his kennel.  Sweet Hubby is frantic, trying to figure out how he is going to get to the unreachable detectors.  We don't have a ladder taller than 4'.  He calls 911.  They advise us to get out of the house.  By the time I put on some warmer clothes (it was snowing out) an ambulance was pulling up.  A couple of minutes later, 6 firefighters were entering our house.  They replaced all of our batteries and connected our detectors.  BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.  I can see 3 of the men in our garage shrugging their shoulders.  Why are they still going off?  Verdict:  bad detector in the garage.  They are all on one circuit, so when one goes off, they all go off. 

Never a dull moment.

God bless,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Elvis My brain has left the building

I was telling my husband that you all probably think I am a bit scatter-brained or even ditzy at times. I'm really not. I am a planner to a T, very detailed and probably a little OCD. However, during both of my pregnancies, my brain has chosen to leave my body.

Wednesday, I took a trip to our local grocery store. While checking out, my sister called. I am a 1) female and 2) a mom, so multi-tasking is something that just comes natural. That is, until I am pregnant. I check out and place my coupon pouch with phone inside in the buggy/shopping cart. <---what do you call it? I am still talking to my sister using my bluetooth. I walk to my car, press the trunk button on the remote and cannot for the life of me figure out why it won't open! Two people in the parking lot help point me in the right direction. I was at the wrong car. Same make, model and color - different license plate and owner. All the while, I am still talking to my sister (or so I thought.) Turns out - I dropped my phone back in the store and we were disconnected shortly after leaving the store. I am sure the people around me thought I was crazy for talking and laughing to myself (can't really see my bluetooth under my hair). Oh, the joys of pregnancy!

On a medical note - so far the pregnancy is going great. We had our routine growth sonogram yesterday and should know the results within a few days. Baby Boy weighs 8 ounces and is currently on target for his growth--except his legs are a little short. Not abnormally short - just a week or so behind. Somehow it doesn't surprise me that he has short legs. Have you seen Babbling Brook? Sweet Hubby? My dad? Short legs are not uncommon in this family!

We are asking, please, to keep us in your prayers as we move further along in the pregnancy. At my growth sonogram with Babbling Brook, everything was perfect. 4 weeks later (23 weeks) I was put on bed rest for preterm labor. We are praying that this does not happen with Baby Boy.

God bless,