life these days

Hectic: With kids (all boys) ranging from ages 13 to 6 months, we are constantly juggling our schedules. Band concerts, baseball practices, homemade baby food making, and endless laundry seem occupy every bit of free time we have.
Bittersweet: Our boys are growing like weeds. Between puberty to learning to sit-up, our days are never the same. I feel like I’m constantly praying for time to just slow down. It is all happening way too fast, and I wish time moved slower so that we could enjoy each of these stages just a little longer. On the other hand, I’m ever so grateful for healthy children who are growing and thriving. What a blessing!
Healthy Changes: Chris turned 40 a few weeks ago and has really pushed that we get healthy. Yesterday we started Whole 30. Today is day 2 and I can barely keep my eyes open. I miss my daily Coca-Cola intake. I miss sugar. I’m currently gnawing on a carrot secretly wishing it was a warm chocolate chip cookie. I will make it. We will make it. 29 more days to go!


Vincent Waller

We would like to formally introduce our newest bundle to our family...

Vincent Waller

Born September 4, 2017
1:29 pm
8 lbs 9oz
20.3 inches


{oh, baby!}

It’s been over a year since my last blog post.  Believe it or not, I’ve sat down to write a post several times and never finished.  It’s crazy how the hustle and bustle of life will keep you on your toes and father time just keeps ticking by.

Of course, a lot of changes have come about.  For one, when I left off in 2015, I was jobless.  I’ve since found employment working for a university at an animal teaching hospital and have been there over a year.  The job doesn’t come without its challenges, but the animal lover in me loves helping those sweet fur babies and I’ve also met some really great people there (always a plus).  I also get to work with my sister, kind of.  She too got a job at the same hospital, in a different department, and we started the same week.  I rarely see her at work (it’s a pretty big place), but it’s nice having her there when I need her. 

Our boys have grown tremendously.  Avery, who will be 9 years old next month, will be starting 3rd grade in the next few weeks, and Trevor, now 13 years old, will be starting 8th grade.  Both boys are excelling in school and continue to amaze us with their sweet personalities.  Avery loves anything sports related, and Trevor is still into science. Of course we are treading new waters with the teenage years, so any pointers are greatly appreciated. :-)

Chris and I are still going strong and will soon celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.  It seems like yesterday, doesn’t it?

We also have some new and exciting news to share for those of you who don’t know yet. We are expecting baby boy #3 in 9 short weeks.  

This pregnancy has not had any lack in adventure, that’s for sure.  The pregnancy started off the first week or so with Avery getting the flu and having to be quarantined at my mom’s house in hopes that I wouldn’t get the flu too and leaving Avery and I both miserable on Tamiflu.  I then landed myself on bed rest of for a few days because of my blood pressure (luckily that passed without complication).  Everything seemed okay for a little while until my kidneys decided to become a rock quarry. I passed 2 kidney stones within a 2-week time frame and thought I was in the clear with no medications and no trips to the ER begging for mercy. But then, about a month ago, I woke up around 4am in excruciating pain. I knew the pain, but in the back of my mind I was scared that it had something to do with the baby. We hurried to the ER and spent the next 14 hours on the mother-baby floor hooked up to IV fluids and pain meds hoping to flush this bad boy out.  This unfortunately didn’t work and I ended up in an OR room two days later having a stent placed in my right kidney.  I’ve been fortunate enough these past 17 years of having kidney stones that I’ve never had to have a stent placed, only the surgeries to break-up stones.  I’m here to tell you, stents are no joke.  The weeks rocked on and I learned to somehow get through the pain and a surgery date was planned to have this stent removed with high hopes of smooth sailing until September. Ha-to think I was that lucky. Two weeks ago tonight, I found myself back into that same familiar ER with another kidney stone in my right kidney. Come to find out, there were two stones on that side. Even my urologist was impressed at my body’s ability to be so cruel.  I ended up staying 3 nights in the hospital which included having an emergency surgery to remove the left stent and break that stone up, place a stent in my right kidney, some quality time with my IV pump, and finding out I have gestational diabetes.  I had my 3rd surgery in a month’s time this past week to remove my right stent and have the other two stones busted.  To be stent free feels amazing!  If you’ve ever had a stent, you know what I’m talking about!

So, that leads us to today.  We are about 8 ½ weeks until d-day and we still have so much to do to prepare for this sweet boy that’s coming soon! Very soon!  

My hope is to be more diligent about posting so that these sweet (and sometimes not-so-sweet) memories aren’t forgotten. 



Hello, again, world!

2 blog posts in a weeks time. This might be a record.

It would seem by the lack of blog posts that our little family has fallen off the face of the planet.  I won't lie, sometimes I wonder if I have too.  Life gets BUSY.  I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you that, you're all living busy lives too.

Anyway, we're alive and functioning. As a mom, I sometimes wonder when DFACS is going to roll up because I'm the mom pulling up at the school on two wheels, wearing Christmas PJ's and rain boots, with no bra.  Yes'em, true story.  In fact, I wear my rain boots often with my PJ's in the car rider line. But, the kid makes it to school and that's all that matters, right?

Avery had his tonsils and adneoids removed and his lingual frenulum cut a little over a week ago. The little guy was pitiful!  Between an ER visit for him getting too dehydrated from not being able to drink anything, to me having finals and trying to work, to my Christmas rush at my shop, to Avery ending up with a nasty croupy cough and on steroids and breathing treatments, I may or may not have wondered if I was going to have to check myself into the pshyc ward.  But, we made it.  Little dude is on the mend, and everything else is working itself out. (Oh, and I forgot to mention that our Christmas tree died after only having it a week. True story.)

Trevor is still rocking 6th grade and has taken up playing the trumpet.  He's actually doing well with it.  We still make him practice outside though (just kidding, maybe).  He and Chris are gearing up for the new Star Wars movie this weekend, I'm sure that'll be a hit for them, and a night alone at home for me (not complaining)!

I'm hoping this week brings a bit more stability and sleep.  Maybe I'll make it through the car rider line in 'real' clothes this week....probably not, but anything could happen in this family!

Peace & Love to you all!


I believe

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of Heaven and earth;
And I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virign Mary;
suffered under Pointius Pilate, cruicfied, dead, and was buried;
the third day he arose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, 
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

This time of year I see more and more articles and debates regarding the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas.  Within these articles and debates, I always see the comments where a Christian is being torn apart by a nonbeliever.  My heart always sinks.  Many times, I'm the Christian being attacked. It's an awful feeling, it really is.  I always wonder in these instances why nonbelievers get so defensive and, a lot of times, rude to us believers.  Why does my belief anger these folks?  

It was only a few short months ago, I got into what I thought would be a friendly debate on a 'friends' Facebook post regarding my faith.  It turned ugly, fast.  I felt like I had been chewed up and spit out because I was a Christian.  I was called ugly names and was harassed to the point that I was literally curled up in a tiny ball and crying my eyes out all night.  Not only was I hurt that people I considered 'friends' could speak to me in such a way, but my heart hurt because I couldn't help but wonder what in their life was hurting them so badly that the thought of me being a Christian angered them.

Admittedly, I don't study my Bible regularly.  I miss church more than I go.  And I sin on a regular basis.  However, I believe wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ and I believe He's my Lord and Savior.  I've seen his presence and I've witnessed his miracles.  

In a six months’ time, I experienced life and death.  In August 2008, I gave birth to my own miracle, Avery.  For 37 weeks, I carried this angel in my tummy.  I felt every movement and I excitedly watched my belly move around daily.  From the first ultrasound where my baby was only a spec, to the day I delivered, I knew without a doubt that Jesus existed.  No amount of science could explain the love I had for my baby. 

As I celebrated the life of my newborn baby, six months later I found myself standing at my Pop's bedside.  I'm watching my Pop's chest slowly rise and then slowly fall.  My 6 month old baby was one room over cooing and babbling.  We all knew it was just a matter of time before Pop left this world.  His face grew paler and his breathing got slower and slower.  He looked sick and uncomfortable.  He gave my Nanny one last squeeze on the hand and took his last breath.  At that very moment the most peaceful presence came over my Pop's body.  No more pain, no more suffering.  I knew that instant that I had just felt the hands of Jesus.  I'll never be able to adequately explain the feeling, but I felt Jesus more than any other time in my life that day.  He took my Pop straight to the gates of Heaven and he made sure his love sustained us all through our grief.  We would need it badly.  Three months to the day later, we were in the same house, saying goodbye to my Nanny.  As we prayed over her and sung our favorite hymns, Jesus came and took her home.  I saw that same peace and I felt His presence.  He was there, my friends, He was there.

To me, the presence of the Lord isn't defined by literature, history notes, or 'lack of scientific proof.'  I don't need it to feel the love of Jesus.  I feel it in my bones, in my heart, and I've seen it with my eyes. The love of Jesus is real.  He is the reason for the season.  He is the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas, and he is the one I live for every day.  No nonbeliever will take that away from me.  My faith can’t be shaken.  I encourage all of you who believe to not get discouraged or angered by those who try to tear your faith down.  Don't give them the power.  Instead, pray that they too find the peace you have found in Jesus and continue to share His love with all.  Amen!


living by faith

Living by Faith is sometimes easier said than done, or so I've found in my own life.  During the last few months, I've had to cling to Faith more than anything.  We all experience seasons in our lives that bring us to our knees.  I recently realized that I had not been turning straight to my Savior when life came slapping me in the face, I was turning to worry and fear--flight or fight mode.
Losing your job can make you feel worthless and incompetent.  I worried for weeks wondering how in the world my family was going to survive this time in our lives.  Then, a few weeks later, we had to make the decision to put our precious fur baby, Molly, down.  Talk about kicking someone when they are down--I was lost!  Our home seemed lonely without our Molly girl and our hearts absolutely broken. Trying to explain death to children is tough. Actually, trying to understand death at any age is difficult.

I took Avery to see a counselor the day after Molly died.  He kept asking why we couldn't dig her up from her grave.  He asked if he got sick, would he die too?  I had a hard time answering his questions because in reality, I was asking myself the same ones.  Sitting with Avery as this sweet and God sent lady talked to us, my heart was truly opened and my Faith changed.  Avery talked about how Molly still lived because she's with Jesus, and Jesus lives in his heart.  He talked about Heaven and how amazing it was.  He talked with such confidence in his Faith. I sat in amazement. If only we all had a child-like Faith.

From that day on, I have turned to Jesus more than ever.  My Faith has grown so much in these passing weeks. God has shown me that he's in control and he has our back.  He's given me peace, taught me patience, and provided for my family.  I don't know what this season means, or where it's going to lead me and my family, but I know that my Faith is in Him, and I know that He doesn't close doors, he opens them if you just have Faith!

Hebrews 11:1



patience and obedience

A lot has changed since my last blog update on January 12, 2015.  A.LOT! 
The kids are doing well.  We are all counting down the days until school is out, we recently rescued a new puppy, Josie, Chris is still trucking along at Coca-Cola, and me, I’m in a phase of life that requires much patience and obedience to God.  
This past February, I took a new job.  A job that I was hopeful for.  A job that I thought would be the answer to many prayers for my family.  Today, I sit from home, typing this blog, and am now unemployed.  The job didn’t work out.
My anxiety and depression took over me the last few weeks and I’m just now beginning to feel somewhat “normal” again.  Our lives have changed.  I have changed.  The word “normal” has changed.
We’ve had to cut back on everything we do.  Our house is a few degrees warmer to save on electricity.  Food is only bought when needed and on sale.  Meal plans, budgets, a whole lotta’ coupons, and many prayers are making our lives function right now.  I’ve been able to get a few odd jobs to help, but losing a yearly salary and a nice paycheck every month was something I certainly took for granted.
Looking for a new job stinks.  I hate interviews.  I get sweaty palmed, anxious, and I am an all-around nervous wreck for the 30-60 minutes I’m having to talk about myself.  Walking into the unemployment office and taking a seat also really stinks.  I never thought I would be in that line, but I am. 
Coming home after dropping Avery off at school seems weird to me.  I’ve been getting up and going to school or work for 20 something years.  It’s been hard to feel accomplished each day.  Some days it’s been hard to function at all. 
Changes require patience and obedience to God.  I’ve never been great with patience.  I’m a go-getter’ and I like to have a plan.  These changes weren’t in my plan.  This was not how it was supposed to be, but it is what it is.  God has never not provided for me, but as a human being, it’s so hard to let go and let God sometimes.  I’m trying.  I keep praying, I keep praising, and I keep believing.  I keep telling myself that this is just a bump in the road on the way to something greater and better.  I’m not going to lie, waiting on the better is hard work.  But, in all this messiness, I’m learning that we have it way better than we deserve and never realized it.  I’m learning money doesn’t buy happiness and that family and friends are what makes me happy.  I’m learning that patience and obedience were lacking in my life and I’m now leaning on them more than ever.  I’m learning that God still hasn’t let me down, and that he has provided me with a great support system to get through this.
It’s still not easy, I’m still trying to cope with the changes, and I’m still waiting to see where this road will lead.  But, I have faith (boy, oh, boy have I had to show faith!) and I have the promises of God to get my family and me through this time—it just requires patience and obedience.
Please be in prayer as my family and I navigate through these changes.
Also, I’ve been doing many updates on my monogram Facebook page, check it out: https://facebook.com/thesilverneedleshop