Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's been such a long time since I have participated in a linkup, but after reading a blog post on blogging community, I knew I had to jump back in! This is my first time linking up with Momfessionals for her Friday Favorites. I always love reading other's posts about their life lately so it's going to be great meeting other bloggers!
1. Baby K is the size of a lemon today!
A couple weeks ago, I announced the Feb. 2016 arrival of our first baby! This week, I shared my First Trimester Review which was so encouraging simply knowing that that crazy first trimester is over. Today marks day 1 of week 14! Some days I forget I'm preggo and some days, I'm as sick as a dog. But we can feel baby kicking and swirling around at night if I'm super still. Can't wait for more kicks in the future!
2. The Cat is still in the bag...
I have been working hard this week on my "secret" that is in the works/wee early stages but I'm so excited that my dream-for-forever is finally becoming a reality. Stay tuned!! I promise you won't be disappointed ;)
3. This Blog Post.
Community within the Blogging World was such an encouragement! Not to mention, this recent post by Emily of Ember Grey is packed full of ways to get connected to this awesome community of blogging women. Also, if you haven't heard of the Peony Project and you are a blogger/writer/lover of blogging, go check it out on Facebook! It's a Christ-based community of women bloggers and it will rock your socks off.
4. Sunshine come my way!
In just a bit, my hubby + I will be enjoying this is sunny California! Favorite things to do in San Diego... go!
5. Give me Jesus!
This week, I've written about finding purpose in not just your business but in all areas of your life. Have you asked yourself these questions? Also, I shared some September goals. This is my first time ever sharing goals since they are so scary to me but I'm learning to conquer them! Also, I'm memorizing monthly scripture. Join me?
What have you been up to lately? Any Friday favorites for you?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

September Goals & Scripture Memorization

So I've never actually done a "monthly goal post" on this blog before because honestly, I'm good at setting goals and less good about completing them. I don't give myself much grace. I'm trying to remind myself that goals are good. With that said, I was inspired this morning during my quiet time to set monthly goals starting this September that are realistic to complete and will help me to use each month wisely. Especially before the baby comes which will totally change everything up, I am convinced!
This morning, the Lord prompted me to memorize a verse (or two or three) a month! I hope that you can do this as well because I am SUPER excited about it. I want to be saturated in scripture. *I am sharing these goals early so that in case you want to start memorizing a verse a month, you will have some time to pick a verse and prepare!
 September's verse is Ephesians 2:4-5...
This is my main goal of September.
To not only memorize it, but to act upon this verse. To have faith in His love for me when I feel unworthy. To share it with someone who doesn't know the amazing love and salvation of Jesus Christ. To share it with a fellow sister in Christ who needs to be reminded that she is alive through Christ and dead to sin. I want to be saturated in these words of God. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
September 2015 Goals
- To complete at least half of Bailey's prompts for Blog-tember & meet new bloggers through the link up!
- Spend more time in prayer for my husband and others
- Read the Bible with my husband more often
- Memorize Ephesians 2:4-5 and be a doer of the Word, not only a hearer
- Get our home organized
- Start moving forward with the dream I have (it's a secret!)
- Be a more intentional neighbor
I want to hear your September goals! Have you been inspired to memorize a verse a month like I'll be doing? I would love to know so we can hold one another accountable!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Purpose in the Business

I've always been more creatively-minded than academically-minded. I can't tell you the square root of well, anything really, but I can paint a mean sunset. I attended art classes in the summers when I was younger. I would rather write short stories over multiplication in elementary school and I loved being in choir rather than science. At the moment, I am sitting at my freshly painted teal kitchen table surrounded by pencils, colors, paper, ideas, a candle, and notebook stuffed with ideas and dreams.
I own a photography business which puts my creative ideas into reality. But now, I'm working on something new. Something that I've always dreamed of. I've always loved pretty words and bright colors. In school, I spent my time daydreaming, writing my name on the back of test papers and drawing flowers. Over and over...
As I put this dream into reality, I get stuck. It isn't because I ran out of inspiration or ideas (that's what pinterest is for) but I always hear that small voice in the back of my mind asking me, "why?"
Why am I doing what I'm doing? Why do I take photos? Why am I pursuing this big dream of mine?
As a follower of Jesus, I always want to have a Christ-based reason behind what I do what I do. I never want it to be all about me. I don't want my dreams to be my dreams but what God has for me. When I say I follow Jesus, that literally means I must be following Him where He is going and doing what He is doing. Jesus always loved. He always served. He always had a purpose behind His actions.
You may be training for a new job. You may be a new mom. You may, too, have a business of your own. Whatever your find yourself doing, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions. I really am writing them for my own heart and life but I know that I'm not the only one who has a desire for God to be glorified in our lives in all areas.
1. Am I doing it with selfless love?
We as humans do everything for a reason. It's in our nature to be selfish. But that isn't what God has called us to. God is love and if we are His children, we should do all things in love. God tells us in His Word that if you do not have love, you are nothing. Your actions are nothing without love as the motivator. I want to love others well like Jesus did. So whether that is gifting a free product of mine to someone who will appreciate it or a simple word of encouragement during a photo session, I am showing love like Jesus does.
2. Am I serving others in this?
Jesus led by serving. Any truly great Christian leader knows that it is only by serving that makes authentic leading a possibility. So how can we serve in our business? Ask this question over and over until God reveals practical ways in which you can serve the people that you are working for or who are working under you. Serving your family shows a heart of true leadership. "Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28.
3. Do I have a clear purpose in this?
Ask yourself what is the purpose behind what you do. What motivates you? What gives you drive and passion? God created all of those things for a reason and I really believe that they (drive, creativity, passion, ideas, dreams) have the ability to give God all the glory even if you are sitting in an office or painting beautiful murals all around town.
4. Is my purpose God-glorifying or is it "me-glorifying"?
Through Jesus, we have the ability to rise above that temptation of self-glorification. In this culture, they are telling us it's all about us. "Do what makes you happy". "You are the star of your own show". "It's all about you". When the truth is, it's all about Jesus. God literally created us for His glory. I think the fall, sin, has twisted our minds into believing the opposite. Whatever you do, whether in your job or community or family, ask yourself how you can better glorify God in your words and actions rather than believing the lie that you have to be the best, make the most money, be the most popular, or do whatever it takes to get successful. Jesus wants us
5. Have I thanked God for this opportunity?
A thankful, grateful heart is the best perspective to have in the things that we do each day. Whether it's in our job or role as a parent or spouse or student, when we acknowledge that it is God who has given us this opportunity, we are reminded that it is for Him, the reason we do what we do.
I hope this has encouraged you to take a look at the heart of your business, parenthood, marriage, student life, work, or whatever it may be! We are all doing something. Are we doing it for God?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My First Trimester Review

The day has come that I thought never would! Our first trimester is in the books! It was a hard one, y'all. Most days I wondered if this would be my first and last pregnancy, haha! Here is a quick rundown because if you love reading preggo stories as much as I do, you're in for a treat. I've always wanted to document each and every moment and step in my pregnancy for us and our families and friends to look back on. At a few points in my life, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to ever have children so I'm thankful that God blessed us. He is able.


How We Found Out
     I was four days late (which isn't normal) so we decided that we would finally take a test. I think Joe and I both didn't want to get our hopes up but we ended up only being able to wait for four days, haha. While he was at work, I bought two packages of pregnancy tests at Target and waited a couple hours for him to get off of work so that we could find out together! That was a must. He got home and found me in the bathroom waiting for him, I was so anxious! Finally, I went to the bathroom and almost as soon as I... well, peed, two pink lines popped up. It was so quick! I almost threw up I was so surprised. We tried out three more sticks and they all said "pregnant!" We cried and cried and laughed and jumped up and down. Joe said that he knew I was pregnant and actually prayed for us and the baby that morning while in the shower. So sweet! It was actually perfect timing because that next Monday (it was a Thursday in early June) I was scheduled for a new-patient visit to a new OB-GYN because I hadn't found one that I loved yet. The next morning, I called into the office to tell them to change my new patient appointment to a prenatal visit! Three or four weeks after the first appointment, we got to see our baby and hear it's heartbeat for the very first time! The heartbeat was loud and clear which was what I was praying for even though baby was so tiny. At seven weeks, that tiny little human was as real as I am. A precious life. We were both estatic. Joe and I went through a hard time physically for a year and a half so when we found out we were pregnant, it was a miracle! God is faithful. That night, we celebrated with dinner and ice cream downtown at our favorite places.

The Weeks to Come..
     We found out when we were only 5 weeks pregnant so I had a full week of excitement before the sickness hit. And it hit hard. I will spare you from the gruesome details so let's just say I couldn't move without getting sick, eat crackers or drink water or ginger ale without throwing up. I was so sick that I became dehydrated which is scary for me considering I only have one kidney. I was able to get fluids through an IV two days in a row at the hospital and that helped some but without taking my medicine four times a day, I was sick. Thank God that around week 9, I started throwing up less and less. Today, at week 13, it's been over two week since I've gotten super sick. I am finally getting my appetite back and my energy is slowly returning. I am so thankful to God for keeping the baby growing strong while I was so sick. My husband was my life-saver during this time. He helped me with everything and didn't complain once. He is the best husband ever. Our church family brought tons of food so that we could survive and my mom, sister, and mother in law both came to visit and keep me company. So thankful.

     We told our families all in the same weekend. Around 6 weeks, we went home for Joe's birthday. We planned on having a party for him at my parents house and his parents were coming too. It was the perfect time to tell everyone. The week before, Joe and I bought a onesie for him to unwrap and open on his "birthday party" with our families watching. I got it all on camera and their reactions were priceless. Joe's mom was the first to speak up as they all stared at the newborn onesie in amazement. "you're kidding me!" then my stepdad said.. "so we're having a baby!?" Then my mom starts bawling and my sister starts jumping around the house screaming. Haha! My brother was in NYC at the time so we immediately FaceTimed him and he cried as well... in the middle of a subway, haha! My dad was in Disney so we had to wait until Sunday to tell them. I bought him a late-ish fathers day gift that was a tumbler that said "world's best grandpa". I think it took a minute to sink in that it wasn't a misprint but later on, my stepmom said he shed a tear ;) They were so excited! And my three sisters were ready to be aunts! We absolutely loved sharing those moments with the people we love most. God is so good.
   Since Joe and I both moved away from "home", we were excited to announce it on Facebook where all our family and friends could see! But I will admit that we told most of our closest friends from church weeks before because we just couldn't keep it a secret!

    Baby: is healthy so far and is growing at a perfect, normal rate. Last week, we heard the heartbeat again and even heard a little kick. Baby's heartbeat was 164 which makes me think GIRL but we will see! We have about a month until we will know. Baby is due on my birthday, 2/27/16! I have a running list on my iPhone of everyone's gender guesses. It's actually a tie right now! Whether it's a prince or princess, we don't mind! We know that God has already created a wonderful future for this little baby. By 13 weeks (this Friday), baby will be the size of a peach! I love peaches ;)
We may finally have some ideas on some names... yay!

Mommy: is super emotional and cries at least once every two days. I do not crave sugary foods at this point but have started to eat and enjoy them. I still can't smell or stomach coffee or sweet tea (two of my used to be favorite drinks).  But I hope that changes by the time my loved pumpkin spice latte rolls into town. I love anything that contains bread or something savory. I still don't have any energy to work out but my plan was to start at the beginning of the second trimester so this week we shall start. (didn't happen.. Joe and I both have a stomach virus.. yay.) I firmly believe that the more you exercise, the better labor will be. Now if I can just get up...

Daddy: is super excited and so helpful. He had a dream a few nights ago that baby k was a girl and decided he was excited for either! He has been team boy all the way. He's gonna be happy either way!
If I am organized enough, I will be documenting every two weeks or so. Fingers crossed! :)
We are praying for a strong and joyful baby. Thank you Jesus!
"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him."
-1 Samuel 1:27

Friday, August 14, 2015

SURPRISE! S'more Sweetness Coming Soon...




God has decided to bless us with s'more sweetness in our lives...
Baby K arriving February 27th, 2016
#sweetbabyk is already so loved!
Let the preggo posts + baby planning commence!