Thursday, August 26, 2010

Through the eyes of a child

I'm so excited to begin a new bible study with my Saturdays. We are reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.

First, let me explain my Saturdays. We were so named by our study leader Leslie Miller after diving head first into our last book titled, "Plan B." Simply explained, all the good stuff happens on Saturdays. To learn more, you'll have to read the book, and I highly suggest you do, it was wonderful.

Now, back to our new book! I began reading "Crazy Love a little over a week ago. I honestly wasn't sure how this book would affect me. So many in our group had already dove into it, and were raving about how it convicted them, but I wasn't sure in what way I would connect with the text.

The first chapter is titled, "Stop Praying." Woah. That one hits you in an odd way. What on Earth could this say to convict me. Boy did I have a surprise in store. Chan encouraged his readers to stop praying for a moment and focus on the God that we are praying to.

"The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him. It may seem a hopeless endeavor, to gaze at the invisible God. But Roman 1:20 tells us that through creating, we see His "invisible qualities" and "divine nature."

Again Woah! I never stopped to think before I began to pray. Maybe that is something I missed out on by being raised in a Christian home. I never thought twice about striking up a conversation with God. He was my buddy on high! The ultimate Dad that I could talk to. When I truly stop to think about the creator of the universe being available to me at any given point in time, I'm in awe. The artist who painted the stars in the sky and suspended the galaxies in the heavens loves me and want to be a part pf my life. I'm speechless...

I'll hush for a minute. Go to and click on the Awe Factor of God link. This video will really give you a glimpse of what I am trying to put into words.

While reading this chapter I thought of how I see God and what he means to me. Have I become complacent? Am I oblivious to the miracles that happen around me? My mother, a cancer patient constantly recites the following verse to me.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their vocie is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world." Psalm 19:1-4

I never paid much attention to it. It was just one of those things that she would say and I would notice the breathtaking sunset in front of us, or the night sky littered with stars. Mom has this thing about the sky and its beauty. Reading this chapter opened my eyes to the fact that she truly sees God's beauty, not just colors she would use to reproduce this picture in front of her eyes on a canvas. She is thanking God for the gift that he is giving her; a chance to see his majesty paintd on the ultimate canvas. I want to see God's miracles through the eyes of a cancer paitent, thankful for every moment God has given them.

And what about little children; experiencing God's wonder and magnificence for the first time. The look on a child's face when they discover the zoo, taste a new and interesting food, or get tossed above their daddy's head into the sky. Are they not seeing God? I want to see God's miracles through the eyes of a child again. Completely amazed and alive to those miracles for what they are; incredible.

I don't want to become numb to the greatness of God. I pray that I can open my eyes and see the gift God has given me. Becuase they are EVERYWHERE. I want to be a grateful steward of those gifts.

If this book is as good as the first chapter, I am going to be in for an amazing journey over the next few weeks with my Saturdays. I look forward to learning about God's Crazy Love for me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

7 months pregnant today!

Times flies when you are preggo! Or at least it has seemed to fly by for me. I've spent the last few days and weeks really thinking about what I expected this pregnancy to be and how it has actually been.

We all have dreams about becoming Mommy's at some point in our lives (well the girls do anyway) and I suppose I expected this 40 weeks to be somewhat of a fairytale. NEWSFLASH pregnancy is not for the faint of heart. All joking aside, there is much more that we aren't told, and find out when its our turn to become Mommys.

Surprise #1. Your Metabolism changes during Pregnancy

Ah yes, we all grew up hearing stories about preggo cravings and the women who dipped pickles in their ice cream (sorry but that one still grosses me out.) I struggled with keeping my weight healthy before becoming pregnant. Actaully, after the Clint and I first met I gained quite a bit of weight. We enjoyed eating out more than we should have and didn't really care to count calories, we were in the early stages of love!! Then one day, he proposed and I realized I had to fit in a wedding dress. Whoops! It was time to get a handle on healthy eating habits again. After I re-taught myself some restraint, I found it somewhat easy to maintain the healthy goal I had set for myself for wedding day up until I found out I was pregnant. It was like a switch flipped in my brain, "Sure Brenna, eat that ice cream, the baby NEEDS it." Before a few evening snacks on ice cream would have come and gone with no major inbalance on the scales, but throw a baby into that equation and poof! Instant weight gain, or at least for me anyway.

I had no idea my body would react to a few indiscretions in my diet in this way. Maybe my few slip ups, were actually more than I realized, but nontheless, I gained, and quick! My doctor didn't seem to be too worried about the amount I had gained, but I was. I wasn't used to seeing the scale read the way it now is. Number 1 rule of pregnancy: DON'T DIET!! So ladies keep this in mind when you begin your 40 week journey. Start healthy from the beginning and you won't have a meltdown when your reach the target weight gain of 25-35 pounds (projected for the whole pregnancy) at 25 weeks! My advice, there is no time like the present to begin eating healthily. Even if you haven't been up to this point. While you don't want to lose weight necessarily, you want to make sure the little monkey in your belly is getting what they need. No skipping meals! So fill up on healthy snacks and smaller meals spread out across the entire day.

Surprise #2. My Belly isn't as cute as the ones in those Adorable Preggo Shots advertised in the Mall.

Why oh why did I set myself up for this one! I am not exacltly the type of woman that can imagine herself bearing it all in one of those tastefully nude preggo portraits, in fact I had to cover my eyes during a good bit of "Sex and the City" the movie, but I thought. "hey, if my belly is going to be that cute, why not get a few photos of Clint and myself loving the baby through my protruding belly! WRONG! Not only do I scare myself silly everyday hunting down stretch marks with laser sharp eyes, but I have a self-titled condition called Cone Belly. At any point in time by belly resembles an air traffic controller signalling traffic to the left or right.

Cole loves to roll and flip in my belly. He wanders from one "corner" to the other in no time at all. This child is going to break records, I promise you. So the fact that my belly never holds its shape for long doesn't surprise me much. In fact, it makes me smile. BUT that doesn't mean I am going to frame a photo of the Cone Belly and hang it over my dinig room table. Sorry, I just can't bring myself to do it.

Then there is the recent development of poison ivy/ pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). I'm not sure which has attacked my belly and on upward on my poor body, but after reading the name, you'll understand why I really don't care to find out. All I need to know is 1. is will not harm my child in any way, and 2. it itches and there isn't much that can be done about it. So what's the point in diving any further into this condition. I can breathe the words :poison ivy: in the summer and it attacks my body, so it could very likely be that as well. I'm gonna just let this one go...

Surprise #3. "Oh Brenna, did I forget to mention that the women in our family swell very badly, and retain water from very early on?..."

Why no Mother, you didn't mention that detail.... Ughhh... My poor ankles are no more, or at least until little man is born. My legs continue into my foot, and are connected with, yes you guessed it, cankles. Its not pretty girls, but its just how it is. I began retaining water and swelling at 4 months pregnant. And we aren't talking puffiness, its full blown foot sausages. I laugh so I don't cry.

The good news is, my blood pressure is fine and there is no danger at this point for Cole. I just keep my feet elevated when at all possible and drink lots of water. The ironic thing is, drinking water helps to control water retention, along with eating bananas and gobbs of other tips I've read over the last few swollen months.

If these surprises are the worst I have to deal with, I am incredibly lucky. I count my blessings everday. There are so many things that I could be dealing with, beleive me, I've read the "What to Expect, When You are Expecting" book and it makes me shudder to think of all that I could be dealing with.

I read in another of my pregnancy reference books, "The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy," the Pregnancy Gods know when you gloat about your perfect experiences. So believe me, I'll let each and everyone one of you know when something isn't hunkey dorey! I knew I had it coming when I miraculously avoided morning sickness all together.

So the fairytale may not be what I thought it was going to be, but at least I'll get my prince in the end. And isn't that what makes every little girl's dreams come true? I can't wait to see by sweet Baby Cole!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book Review: Mommywood by Tori Spelling

I've never been one who could sit still and read a book full of facts. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I admit, I never truly read those chapters required for socail studies homework. I simply read the questions and skimmed for the answers. Sue me. So when it came time to research this new adventure into pregnancy and Mommyhood, I was a bit overwhelmed. My first trip to the Pregnancy section at Barnes and Noble was a bit much for me. Don't get me wrong, I love a good book. I can become totally engrosed when it comes to a good mystery or story from the heart, but a book of straight facts, well, thats another story.

I've buckled down and I DO read my weekly passage from the book Courtney Meador so graciously loaned to me, "Your Pregnancy Week by Week." Sometimes I nod off a bit, but I am dedicated, and I really DO need to read and research to be informed. Who wouldn't want to know what produce item the baby resembles each week! But for fun, I wanted to invest my time into a few light-hearted texts. First on my list, "Mommywood" by Tori Spelling.

Reading "Mommywood" while on vacation this summer.

Tori Spelling is querky, just like me. While she may be a tad bit more worried than I am on a normal day, I can totally relate to her thought process. She worries about how her life experiences will shape her parenting skills, and how to fit inside a box she was clearly not raised to dwell within! While I certainly wasn't raised inside an LA mansion, I totally loved reading about how Tori depserately tried to give Liam and Stella a proper suburban upbringing.

This book follows Tori as she adventures through pregnancy and the first years of her childrens' lives. Her television show, Tori and Dean Meet Hollywood gave me a bit of background info on their family dynamics. Aparently, the childrens' grandomther, Tori's Mother, wasn't the role model most women model after for their offspring. What is so amazing is how Tori turned a situation that was less than wholesme into something positive. Who has the perfect childhood? Not many. But one thing I took away from the book, was how to let your sun shine through the clouds. Tori is an absolute joy!

One wouldn't think a top-paid Hollywood type would bend over backwards to sew a ladybug costume for her infant or agonize over the fine details of an egg toss at the annual 4th of July picnic. I guess that just adds to the charm of her story. I must say, I began with this book, and not with her first, "sTori Telling," but let me assure you, I will be reading both her first and third books now. I can't wait to get to Barnes and Noble to find them!

All in all, I give this one 4 out of 5 stars!