He has a plan! 

This thought of “why did this happen to me?” “What was God’s plan during this?” has come up in many different groups in my life lately and I’m holding to the scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord and He will direct your paths! He has a plan for your life and it may not seem like it is a plan to prosper you (Jeremiah  29:11) or for your future but he has a plan. It may be years (or a lifetime) from now until you can see what God was doing in your life. Every season, every hardship or challenge or hurt, every triumph and joy… it was all on purpose and all part of your plan to make you who you are! No matter what you have gone through, take courage that the Lord has a plan. He will reveal it one day, stay steady and faithful to the Lord, let him show you his plan while he teaches you and grows you along the way! There was a purpose to your past and there is hope for your future, but for now be present and let God worry about the rest!!! 

In the waiting…

Lately my favorite worship song has been wrecking my heart and soul, reaching me deep, allowing me to reflect on my life and relationship with the Lord. Every time I worship God with this song I hear it differently, I focus on a different part of it, a different verse or even word hits me!!! I can’t control the emotion, I’m overwhelmed by His spirit!

 

🎶 Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. 🎶

 

I have experienced many different seasons of waiting.

Waiting to make that decision to let go of my past and live only for God. Waiting to find a godly husband who would love me beyond my past, waiting till the right time to then become that wonderful ‘perfect for me’ man’s wife, waiting to be ready to be a mom, waiting until my husband was ready to be a dad, waiting for my first baby to grow, waiting for her to arrive and join our family, waiting for her next smile and next cuddle and next milestone, waiting for her to say “I love you mommy!”, waiting for her next kiss or big hug. Sometimes even waiting for the next meltdown that needs calming and love. Then waiting to be ready to grow my heart enough to decide we were ready to grow our family, waiting through the unknown of infertility and unhealthiness, waiting to find out we were actually expecting another perfect baby, waiting to finally tell the world and our family, waiting while growing our baby boy, now waiting for him to make his arrival into our life. And so many more moments that came between the bigger waiting seasons.

In every stage, the waiting showed me something. The waiting at times was very challenging filled with sadness, impatience, hurt, sickness, confusion, full of the unknown… but at other times the waiting was exciting, happy, wonderful, full of joy… The waiting sometimes was short and sweet and flew by, but other times it was long, and hard, and took way longer than I ever thought it would have.

But no matter which it was, my God never failed me, he never let go! God provided me the love, support, peace, hope, and grace to survive or even thrive in the waiting! He was always 10 steps ahead to prepare me for the next “waiting”! I’m thankful for the waiting, I’m thankful that through it all, trials or triumphs, God changed me, grew me, held me tight and allowed me to experience a God!!

 

🎶“Miracles happen, when we fix our eyes on Jesus”🎶

 

I’ve seen miracles happen in my life in the seasons of waiting. I am thankful for my waiting. Life happens so wonderfully and sometimes so challenging during the waiting. I am thankful I have allowed God to use those times to stretch and grow me. So  I will continue to praise Him not only in the triumphs and victories, but more even so in the waiting.

 

🎶“Slow down, Take time, Breathe In, He said He’d reveal what’s to come. The

thoughts in his mind are always higher than mine. He’ll reveal all to come. So take

courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting. Hold on to your hope as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing.”🎶

 

Song credit to Bethel Music “Take Courage”

Alexis, 4 months

My sweet baby girl,

You are now four months old, you keep growing and changing and dad and I don’t like it one bit!! Ok, honestly we love it, but we just aren’t ready for it, you are changing and growing up so wonderfully and we do love it! As I sit down to write this you are playing in your exersaucer like such a big girl! You love playing in it, you figured out very quickly how to turn yourself around to all the different toys. You also love playing with mommy and daddy, you watch our faces and get this biggest smile I have ever seen. It is not just a smile with your mouth, you smile so big, your eyes light up, your hands cover your mouth, and your whole body crunches in… it really is the cutest thing ever! You also love standing! You rarely ever want to just sit and do nothing, you are way to fidgety for that! You never stop moving, not even in your sleep really. You are sleeping pretty well these days, but you are still in the bassinet in mommy and daddy’s room. I am sure you are ready for your big baby bed, but the truth be told, mommy isn’t. You sleep great, but you sometimes cry out, without waking, and often you find the paci or your fingers, but sometimes mommy (and daddy when mommy has work) has to help you find your paci. I actually think if you were in your own bed in your own room you would probably sleep better, but what if you don’t, then mommy has to get out of bed to check on you. I will get stronger and let you move to your own bed this month though.

You are taking a little while these days to warm up to people. You normally do not mind if anyone else holds you, but you sure do give them a very concerned look and you study them so much, it is very cute. You are learning that so many people love you and I am sure soon you will learn to ham it up for them also. However, mommy and daddy are still your absolute favorite! You love being held by us and snuggling with us. You lay your sweet head on our shoulders and just love on us. You also love being held with your cheek pressed up to our cheeks. When you bashfully smile you crunch your little body in and turn towards however is holding you. When you are excited you smile really big and then stick your hand in your mouth, yes your whole hand, well you try at least, you mostly get just a few fingers or parts of your fist in. You actually put your hands in your mouth constantly; your fingers, knuckles, thumb, fist, etc… whatever you can get in your mouth you are happy with, you don’t discriminate against any part of your hand, or even someone else’s hands! You are typically very calm and sweet. The only times you fuss are when you are really tired or hungry. When you are tired mommy holds you close with a paci and rocks and/or bounces you for a few minutes and you pass right out (ok most of the time, sometimes you want to nurse to sleep more).

You eat wonderfully!! You LOVE nursing and it is one of mommy’s favorite things we do. I really enjoy knowing you are happy, content, being taking care of and you know when you nurse. Sometimes you take a little break and stop and stare and smile at mommy, you melt my little heart! One of daddy’s favorite times with you is when he plays, sings, makes up silly songs, and flies you around. Normally he is doing this while mommy speed races to get stuff done around the house!! You love time with your daddy… he is your favorite playmate for sure. You also love waking  up to him!! You always get the biggest smiles when he comes around. Sometimes he has to take you and play just to make you happy, and he has to do this away from mommy because you smell me/my milk and cry for it.

You can roll over from your belly to your back now! You don’t really preform well at night, but your prime time is normally after your breakfast (after 11:30am or so). You also inch your way around when we put you on your belly. You are very determined and quite successful!

Lexi-belle, you really are the highlight of our life and we could not imagine our lives with out you in it. We love you more than we can explain or even control, God has truly blessed us with you, and not just mommy and daddy, but all your family and friends.

Love you more than you know,

Mommy

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Alexis at 3 months

Dear sweet Alexis,

You are now three months old and are changing everyday! You smile at us with your whole body. When you are happy you smile and shyly turn your head into our chest. You sleep wonderfully through the night, with a bedtime of approximately 2 am and you wake up around 10 to eat then back to sleep until 2pm. You already have a college kid’s schedule, but we are working on changing that a bit!

You love playing with certain toys now. You love seeing all your toys on your activity gym and while you sit in your bumbo, you are such a big girl! Speaking of being a big girl, you try to sit up with all your might. You pull your head and legs up and scrunch those abs, you don’t have the strength just yet, but you try nonetheless. You haven’t quite figured out how to make your hands work for you. You know you want to grab or touch something, but you can’t make your hands do just that. Everything goes in your mouth, typical! You found your thumb one day by accident and enjoyed sucking on it for a few minutes, but you typically enjoy your pacifier (we call it a ‘paci’, and lately ‘wubby’ bc you prefer your “wubbanub” giraffe paci). You also love gnawing and sucking on your fists or four fingers, whichever you can get in your mouth the best. I believe you may be teething soon with all the gnawing on your hands and our fingers.

You had your first Christmas, it was wonderful and special! You took your first plane ride and loved it! You are so curious (ok to be honest its just being nosey), just like your momma! You love watching people and the tv, you just need to see and know what’s going on around you. Yes, you read that right, you watch tv, not much but you will turn your head all the way back to see it, or the computer, iPad, iPhones etc… LOL.

You have started grabbing mommy’s hair, which only hurts when I put you done or need to nurse, and it is so hard to get you to let go!! You also grab daddy’s hairs- but you grab his chest and arm hairs… he lets you even though it hurts!

You are happy all the time. You do need a few minutes to wake up in the mornings. We normally get you up and softly talk to you, hold you close, and then change/bathe you and get you ready for the day. You are very hungry after this, so you nurse and mostly fall back to sleep for maybe an hour. Then you are awake for an hour or so and go back down for a long nap (3+ hours). You will nap in your bed, but you prefer mommy’s arms the most, so often we just snuggle on the couch together. These moments are really my favorites with you!

Daddy and I can’t kiss you enough!! Your sweet squishy cheeks are soooo kissable and lovable, you really are the most adorable, sweet, cuddly, happy, good baby!!! We love you soooo very much!

Love,

Mommy

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Christmas 2012: Alexis’ First

This year for Christmas I began celebrating at MOPs when our church’s First Lady Donna Chambers spoke to us with a new vision of the Christmas Story. She focused on specific characters. The one that hit the closest to my heart this year was Mary. I have a deeper understanding now that I am a mom. Gods master plan was a teenager and a baby. There was no other love to protect His master plan than the love of a mom! God have Mary the ability to raise the messiah, she had fears and doubts I’m sure, but God trusted her. If God trusted Mary with the messiah, then we can be trusted with our own children! That was so comforting to me, I have been equipped and chosen to be Alexis’ mom! How amazing is that! One if the best gifts I could have received!

Christmas Baby
Christmas Baby
Meeting Santa
Meeting Santa

We continued celebrating with a Christmas Eve service at Shore Fellowship Church. It was so overwhelming to see how wonderful our God is and how blessed we truly are to be loved so much by our God that he gave His son for you and I, He sent him as a tiny baby! I had a proud momma moment, Alexis played baby Jesus in the Christmas video. She was so angelic and precious, she played her part well 😉 (I’m not biased or anything lol).

Playing baby Jesus
Playing baby Jesus

We celebrated in the traditional Giordano way at Uncle Johnny’s and Titi Melissa’s; tons of food, presents, laughs, and love! On Christmas morning Joe and I swapped stockings (we had already gotten gifts a month prior thanks to Black Friday!). We sat by the “fire” (thank goodness for iPad apps and appletv mirroring). Then off to Joe’s parents we went! We had had a lighter Italian dinner (lasagna, minestrone soup, and salad) then swapped gifts, read the Christmas story from The Bible, and had some good quality time with Joe parents, sister, and nephew.

Alexis opening gifts
Alexis opening gifts
Giordano Cousins
Giordano Cousins
Alexis opening gifts
Alexis opening gifts
Loving her new baby dolls
Loving her new baby dolls
Christmas gifts
Christmas gifts
Christmas Morning
Christmas Morning

Then it was home to finish packing for our trip to Idaho! I was a little anxious because I always am over prepared, but with an infant I’m not sure there is such a thing, but I was going to try nonetheless! The next day we started our journey from Philly to Seattle then to Boise! Alexis was PERFECT on the airplanes, read about that here.

We were greeted in Boise by my mom, her boyfriend Darren, and his daughter Alaina. Of course right away my mom grabbed her sweet grand-baby, I know she misses her tons between visits. The next day mom made French toast, we opened lots of gifts, and had lots if laughs. Then Joe, Alexis, and I went to my brothers to see his family and introduce them all to Alexis. Lauren was confused at first because they had spoke about ‘Lexi-Belle’ so much she named her baby doll that, so when we showed her the real ‘Lexi-Belle’ she went to her room to get her own ‘Lexi-Belle’. She was so precious, I miss my niece terribly and wish we were more apart of their lives, but living on opposite ends of the country don’t make that too easy. I just have to cherish the time I do get. Then it was back to my mom’s for all my favorite holiday foods cooked by my mom! We had honey-baked ham and turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes, and Texas Roadhouse rolls with cinnamon butter. YUMMMM, I’m getting hungry thinking about it all again!!

Nana and Alaina playing with Alexis
Nana and Alaina playing with Alexis
Christmas dinner
Christmas dinner

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My sweet nieces
My sweet nieces
My brother and I with our nieces
My brother and I with our nieces

The next day we all packed up and drove the hour and a half up to moms new cabin in the mountains. It was gorgeous!! It felt so cozy and homey!! We were without cable and Internet, but quality time was way more important than that! We went skiing a the nearby Tamarac lodge, hot springs swimming in Gold Fork, and had so many laughs and talks hanging out and relaxing at the cabin!

Our family at the Cabin
Our family at the Cabin
Nana & Papa-Dar going skiing
Nana & Papa-Dar going skiing
The Cabin
The Cabin
Skiing
Skiing
Three Generations
Three Generations

We had such an amazingly blessed Christmas time. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!! BLESSED AND HAPPY!!

Our favorite gift
Our favorite gift

Alexis at 2 months

Dear sweet Alexis…

Today you were two months old. The last two months have been incredibly exciting. This last month my favorite moments has been watching you smile. You first began to smile at daddy and I wanted to see it for myself so bad, a few days later you smiled at me. It stopped my heart and made me cry. You have the sweetest little smile and your whole face lights up. You are continuing to grow, you’re probably around 9 pounds or so and around 22 inches long now. You’ve progressed into newborn clothing and I love getting to dress you. It’s like having my own little baby doll! You seem to be okay more in your car rides these days. You still don’t enjoy when we go under 45 miles an hour or stop at stoplights, but you handle it better now.

It seems to be you can sleep through anything. You sleep during the day through mommy doing dishes and TV and vacuuming and all kinds of good loud stuff. You even can sleep during church worship, which is very loud. You are even sleeping mostly through the night in your bassinet now. You typically start getting sleepy around midnight and you finally dose off around 2 am. You sleep till around 9 am and nurse, but then you go right back to sleep till around noon or 1pm. I love watching you sleep. Your naps are still mostly taken in mommy’s arms or while we are out and about in your carseat.

You take your paci better now, but you have found your hands! You are always trying so hard to get that thumb in your mouth, but until then you are sucking your fist and knuckles. You can grab mommy and daddy’s fingers and guide them to your mouth also. Sometimes you even suck the roof of your mouth with your tongue, which is something mommy did too.

You are mommy’s little buddy while she run errands and shops. Shopping is not as productive because you do not like being in the stroller if it stops moving. You always love movement, whether it is being held in our arms, swinging in the swing, walking in the stroller, etc. We love showing you off to everyone. Mommy always tries to match all your stuff (your outfits, bows, and blankets). Your ‘signature’ outfit consists of animal prints and lots of baby pink! Everyone always comments on how beautiful you are, even strangers (mommy cannot go into a store, even Wawa, without someone stopping her to see you and comment!); I have to say I agree with them. You really are such a beautiful baby!

Some things we do with you or say to you are:

  • Daddy and I crack up at you all the time. The million crazy different faces you make are so entertaining!
  • When you have a big poopy, we say “Jesus take the wheel”. That came from your first few nights as home you almost did not know how to handle such craziness coming out of such a tiny baby!! LOL
  • Mommy sings “Nana’s song” a lot: “I love you, yes I do, I love my girlie, I do , I do , I do” and we follow that with tons of kisses!
  • Daddy sings to you all the time and you LOVE it. He has this special hold that can mostly calm you down from anything.
  • When you are hungry and daddy is holding you, you try to latch on to his biceps. It is pretty funny.
  • You love standing up with our support and you have great control of your head and neck.

You are such a wonderful little girl and each day is a new experience to learn something new about you and I love it! It is hard to believe that 2 months have already come, it feels like yesterday we had you; but it also feels like you have always been a part of our lives and we cannot even imagine life without you. You are loved by so many and you are truly a blessing to us all.

Happy two months my sweet baby girl.

Love,

Mommy

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First trimester…

My first trimester was not what I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, at 4 weeks 2 days, I immediately bought saltine crackers to keep by my bed, lots of ginger ale, preggo pops, and tons of other goodies in anticipation of morning sickness. I dreaded that part the most. However, I never got sick!! I was fully anticipating feeling sick all the time and was very happy when I didn’t. I felt a little  queasy in the late afternoons, but a quick nap or rest would do the trick to get me feeling better! All in all, my first trimester was a time of excitement, joy, happiness, and lots of naps!!

I kept a journal of the progress of my pregnancy and wanted to share it all with you, here are my entries for the first trimester!

Week 5: The idea of carrying and growing a little baby that God created and blessed us with is sinking in and consuming my thoughts! I am being careful about what I eat and drink, and I rest  a LOT!! We have already started discussing baby names, boy- Joseph Daniel, girl- Kylee or Kinsley Elizabeth or Alexa Michelle.

Week 5
Week 5 in the nursery to be

Week 6: Our first doctors appointment was uneventful, tests were ordered and that was about it! I am already in love with this growing baby and more  and more in love with my sweet husband. I feel great, but sluggish in the afternoons and tired most of the day, but enjoying it all!

Week 6
Week 6

Week 7: Valentines Day!! Joe got me and ‘Alexa’ (the name he wants if we have a girl) two dozen pink roses, carmel chocolates, two new beads for my bracelet, and cards for me and our ‘baby girl’! The anticipation of getting to see my baby at the first ultrasound is weighing on my mind and I cannot control my excitement!

Valentine's Day gifts
Valentine’s Day gifts

Week 8: I cannot describe what I felt when I saw my little tadpole with a little fluttering heartbeat (163 bpm). We are thinking we are having a girl, but it is all based on ‘feeling’ really. We have told some of our closest friends and family and it gets more and more exciting with each person we tell! It all becomes so real with each new moment! I feel great! I am very tired and am getting a cold, but it doesn’t seem to bother me.

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Week 8 Week 8

Week 9: I am very tired and can’t shake this congestion I have. We have told more people, and I can’t wait till everyone knows!! My belly is growing, at night it is double the size it is in the day! It is a wonderful reminder of my ever growing baby! I will be glad when everyone knows, right now I feel like everyone thinks I am just getting fat (cause that’s how I feel!). (PS I think we decided Alexa Michelle if its a girl!)

Week 9
Week 9

Week 10: I have more energy this week and I am taking advantage- I organized the spare room and hall closet, I have to start making room for baby soon! We had another doctors appointment and we got to hear the heartbeat!! Everything looks great! I was so anxious going to the doctor, but relief and comfort spread over me with each fast pounding beat of our baby’s heart! We told our family and friends this week, we couldn’t be happier!! Oh and I bought some stuff for baby at a resale shop: boppy, play gym, nursing cover, and maternity pants and shorts!!

Week 10
Week 10

Week 11: At the beginning of this week my belly bump wasn’t there at night only, it popped out to stay! My mom came to visit! Now everyone knows our wonderful news and it feels awesome to share our excitement! There is not a moment that goes by that I am not thinking about my baby, gosh I love this baby so much already! We bought the baby’s furniture this week from Eryn, my sister in law. I can’t wait to find out if its a boy or a girl, I want to start planning the room!!! I feel great this week, but I am starting to get out of breath very quickly now.

Week 11: Mom came to visit
Week 11: Mom came to visit

Week 12: We had another ultrasound. Everything looked perfect. I am more at ease and still so excited. I feel great, which I thank this baby for LOL, well I constantly thank God! ( I am still out of breath easily, there is major pulling on the sides of my stomach, and my back is hurting, a lot!). Wow, He is wonderful! Joe has been realizing more and more that we will have a baby. It is very sweet to see his excitement and the process he is also going through. Cravings begun a bit: all things cold! pickles, popsicles, tomato-cucumber salad with Italian dressing, juices, milk, and fruits!! I mostly have aversions to basically all foods, but am finding a way to eat anyways. I bought more things this week: baby jeans at target for $1.50, and a baby girl and a baby boy outfit, I can’t control my excitement! lol And I was loaned a ton of maternity clothes from my good friend Michelle and my sister-in-laws friend Jenn!! Thank you ladies!!!

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Week 12 Week 12

Week 13: This week flew by! We had another doctors appointment and all looks great! The baby is growing and so is my belly!! The heartbeat at this appointment was 156 bpm. I get more and more excited as I see my baby changing and think about the sweet baby developing and growing!! ahhh, bliss!

Week 13 at the AC Rodeo
Week 13 at the AC Rodeo

“For this child I have prayed”

January 28th, I had to be at work at 6:15, the night before I decided to take a test that morning, just to see. I wasn’t late yet, but it was only a dollar store test anyways. The only thing that kept me from screaming was the fact that I knew Joe was sleeping and it would scare him. I was so incredibly happy to see two lines: PREGNANT! I took another one with me to work to test again, positive too! So I loaded up Ella (the sweet baby girl that I nanny, I shared my news with her because I knew she couldn’t tell anyone else yet!) around 9 am when I knew the stores would be open and bought a shirt that said ‘Pregnant is the new sexy’, a Michael Jordan baby outfit, and a picture frame. I stopped by my house and I quickly changed my shirt and came out to Joe holding a teddy bear dressed in the Jordan gear. He knew, he had guessed, it wasn’t common for me to come home at 10 am with Ella. We were so excited! In shock! We were going to be parents!
My whole life I have wanted to be a mother. I mothered everyone around me growing up, it was all I had ever wanted! Even starting college, I knew I wanted to strive for a career that I would allow me to be a mom, and even if with my Masters degree, I still dreamed of one day being a mommy! This was also one of my greatest fears in life. My mother had endometriosis young that caused a lot of problems for her which lead to a complete hysterectomy at age 26 (maybe 28, I forget). When I hit puberty I began having signs of endometriosis and my fears began. What if I can’t have children? What if I could never be a mommy to my own child. These aren’t fears that most 14 year olds have. Over the years that fear grew, so much so that I began letting myself give up that dream. I was going through a very rough period of life and began believing, much to satan’s doing, that I would never have a husband and child. Then I met Joe, my dreams began to come back more and more. The more we feel in love, the more I realized that I never had to give up the dream of a husband and that life I wanted to bad. My years seemed to pass quite joyfully, I had it all! Well I had everything I had ever dreamed but one thing: a baby. Joe and I weren’t quite ready to start trying, but I was ready, I had baby fever so bad nothing could take it away. The fears were there though, I may never be able to have children. What if my endometriosis had caused me to become infertile? What if my punishment for complete disregard for the Lord for many years was to never have children? I was the age my mother was when she no longer could have children. I was terrified. I prayed about it a lot, but I wouldn’t give it truly to God. I am kind of a control freak, that combined with my lack of faith that the Lord knew what he was doing kept me from giving it to God fully. Then we did a study in our connect groups called Sun Stand Still. Having a child became my sun stand still prayer.
I began to give God the control of my life in all areas, not holding back. It wasn’t easy! One day I was putting Ella to bed and she had fallen asleep in my arms. I sat there and just held her. I thought about how much I loved this little baby girl, she wasn’t even my daughter, but I could love and care for someone else’s child this much, maybe God was preparing my heart to accept the notion that maybe the child I had longed for for so long would be someone else’s, maybe if I was infertile adoption would be ok. Maybe my dream just wasn’t what I had imagined initially but the same result. I was content with whatever God had planned for me life. I had a peace about it all.
However, shortly after that, with clever persuasion, my husband and I tried, just this once. After we both kind of kidded, yep I’m pregnant! LOL Well, a few short weeks later… well the beginning of the blog describes what happened next! The day after we found out, I was in church, and started crying, all my fears were gone, completely! I have always believed that the Lord give us desires deep in our heart, and he doesn’t do that just to rip them away from us, He isn’t an unkind God, he wants the best for us and loves us. The fears that I had for many years, GONE! I had this sweet baby growing inside me! WOW! I couldn’t believe it! I was overwhelmed with emotion, wonderful amazing emotion!
Since we had seen a few friends pain having gone through miscarriages, we decided to keep our wonderful news quiet until around 10 weeks. We told our parents and siblings right away, and then a few weeks later we told a few very close friends. Then we shared the news with the world at 10 weeks! It was so exciting, everyone was ecstatic! And so our journey began as we prepared to be parents! We couldn’t thank and praise God enough! I can’t wait to share more and more about this new adventure that we are facing!

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My version of Twas a Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were laid by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nana soon would be there.

The girlies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
Uncle Joe in his jammies, and Aunt B in her’s too,
Had just settled their brains for a short winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a BMW, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a pretty little driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nana.
More rapid than eagles her coursers they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the BMW full of Toys, and St Nana too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nana came with a bound.

She was dressed all in bling, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all stylin with diamonds and fur.
A bundle of Toys she had flung on her back,
And she looked like a queen, just opening her pack.

Her eyes-how they twinkled! Her smile oh how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her lips like a cherry!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the blonde of her hair glistened like the snow.

The sophistication of a wine glass she held in her right hand,
And the Christmas lights encircled her head like a wreath.
She had a narrow face and a flat little belly,
That was rock hard when she laughed, nothing like a bowlful of jelly!

She was thin and lean, a right jolly sweet elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
Then giving a hug, up the chimney she rose!

She sprang to her BMW, to her team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to-r all, and to-r all a goodt-ninght! Thank yer!”

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Finding simple joys…

A few months ago, at a women’s conference at my church, I had a realization! God had been laying on my heart and making me aware of how unhappy I allow myself to be. I have always done this. I go through ups and downs of happiness and it has nothing to do with anything except how I allow myself to feel. Sadly, the ones that get the short end of the stick of my unhappiness are the ones that care the most about me and would do anything to make me happy. I do not allow them to do anything right, even if they do everything right. So, I was sitting at the women’s conference, listening to Mrs. Cremeans speak about being content. Not being content where God has you is like saying “God, I see what you think are good plans for me, but I do not agree… my happiness should look like this!” Wow, I cannot begin to say how much pride is involved in that statement and thought process!! I broke down to my best friend afterwards about how I do not allow myself to be happy, I do not allow my husband to do anything right! She always shoots it straight, which I LOVE about her!!! She told me I need to chose to have joy!! Simple concept, right? Yep, it is that simple!! I have to wake up everyday and choose to be joyful!! I have to accept what God is doing in my life right now, not what has been done, or what I want to be done, but what He is doing now, today, this step, not the next!! He is an amazing God that way, I need not worry about what the next step is, He already knows the next step, I just need to follow Him! 

So for the past few months I have been choosing joy. I have not been 100% successful, but I have been pretty joyful! I have let some walls down to my husband and I accept all the good he does for me. Our marriage is better than it was 6 months ago, as it always should be! My life in general is just happy. I still have low days, but I try to have a better view of it all. God plans my life, I need to stop doing the planning and start living out the plans that He makes! this is still a work in progress, but aren’t we always a work in progress! 

 I leave you with this: find joy in every moment of your life (yes even when your flight is delayed making you miss your connecting to have to get rerouted to a totally different city causing you to not reach your destination at your mom’s for Christmas till the next day… true story, I am writing this on the plane, but instead of getting angry or cry, I handed the not so kind or empathetic girl at the counter a candy cane and wished her Merry Christmas with a smile on my face!!) Every moment has the possibility to bring joy, you just have to look for it.