I had a meltdown this week. My glucose screening came back 8 points high forcing me to schedule an appointment for the 3 hour test to determine if I have gestational diabetes. I felt like a complete and utter failure as a pregnant lady, mom and person. And I felt fear creeping in.

So far this pregnancy I haven't dealt with tons of morning sickness, fatigue, discomfort, or pain. I had even kept most of my negative thinking at bay and had peace that our babe would be healthy upon arrival. But, after my first bump in the road I started to let fear take hold of my heart and worry jumped out at like a giant troll that had been looming under the pregnancy bridge for 28 weeks. Needless to say, my hormones took over and I had a complete snotty-nosed-puffy-eyed meltdown. Crying to Josh for about 30 minutes about how "hard everything is going to be..." and how "I'm not ready for labor and motherhood..." and "what if...what if...what if..."

It was ugly. Josh did what he could for my out-of-left-field emotional breakdown and said "everything would be ok..." and "we still had time to get ready..." and "He would paint the nursery this weekend..."  But his kind words fell on deaf ears and I was still restless. I let each domino of negative thinking and fear slam into the next until it was too late to keep talking about it and I fell asleep staring into a dark abyss.

The next morning brought new mercy and sunshine. It was a lazy morning of eggs and toast, a few e-mails and a bit of time for a walk. God spoke to me. He nudged my heart as Willow rustled through piles of leaves and sniffed her way through 2 miles. "Speak love" He said. "Your words have power and life."

While the wind blew the orange and red trees into a dance around me, I asked for forgiveness about my pessimism and despair. With each gentle breeze it was as if He blew away fear and settled my heart.  Tethering it to truth, faith, and peace. I looked down at my belly and said "I love you baby. I can't wait to meet you". It shocked me at first as I said it, because I realized that was the first time I had spoken these words out loud to the little being growing inside me. Of course I had felt it in my heart, but these feelings, which are so important and so deep, had never been verbalized.

"I love you baby." I repeated. "I can't wait to meet you." And I made a promise, instead of negative thoughts, worry, confusion, stress and fear, above all there is one thing I want to surround my home, my little one, the rest of my pregnancy, and my entire journey as a Mom...Love.



An engagement photo and the engagement roses and ring.

Six years ago on October 25th I started my Wednesday as usual. Class. Loads of stress and homework the hope of a late afternoon nap. The day before my boyfriend of 1.5 years, Josh had mentioned grabbing a bite to eat together for dinner the next day. So I nestled into my nap around 4 with an alarm set to wake at 5:30 (intending to snooze till 6) to make it just in time for dinner.

At about 5:15 my roommate Natalie woke me from my slumber with a little note card and a deep red rose from Josh. On the notecard there was a picture of me and Josh at the beginning of our relationship, a line from our song (Until You, by Dave Barnes) and a riddle sending me to his house for the next clue.

I was used to Josh being sweet and romantic so I honestly just thought he was doing this to cheer me up because school had been so stressful lately. When I got to his house there was a similar set up with card and rose in his (very tidy) bedroom with one of our good friend waiting there. The notecard had a photo from about 6 months into our relationship on it, the next line of our song, and another riddle sending me to the on campus coffee house...where another friend was waiting with another rose and card with a picture from about 9 months in our relationship, the NEXT line of the song, and ANOTHER riddle...

I started to suspect this elaborate plan was more than just a "cheer-up" routine.

When I got to the 6th place and saw my best friend Liz sitting there holding a card and rose and she said "You look so beautiful!" I started crying and knew that Josh wouldn't have gone to such lengths if this was REALLY important. The final clue she gave me sent me to the place where Josh and I had our first kiss - in front of my dorm from Sophomore year.

I pulled into 30 minute parking at the dorm and saw Josh standing infront of the building with 6 more red roses in his hands. I ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. Before I knew it he was saying  "I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you..." kneel. (*Queue waterworks) "Will you marry me?" "Yes!" I exclaimed and hugged him and he slipped the perfect solitaire diamond on a white gold band onto my finger

Just like that this rock of a 6' 5" man who showed me unconditional love and  has the kindest heart of anyone I knew became my fiancée. I was giddy! We called family starting with our parents to tell them the good news and then siblings and then through out list of friends who weren't a part of the scavenger hunt and headed out for our special date at my all time favorite restaurant Bravo! in Indianapolis.

When we arrived the the best surprise of all was waiting - both of our families had driven 2.5 hours to celebrate and have dinner with us! It was a feast of the decades with gifts, and toasts and tears and hugs filling our private room. I'm pretty sure we all ate our weight in carbohydrates and left with our faces hurting from smiling so much.

Me and Josh at Bravo!

The Dads and my man! 

  My sisters were there, too! 

The feeling of happiness being surrounded by all the people I love and cherish was compounded because they were there to celebrate me and Josh! It was the best feeling ever. I honestly think that very night compared in joy to the day of our wedding.

Josh made my engagement story one that I will be proud to tell our kids and grandkids for years to come. He set (and continues to set) the bar high for how a lady should be treated and what a man needs to do to make her feel special. Tonight we dine at The Red Pony - one of the swankiest places in town.  6 years, 5 wedding anniversaries and one baby on the way later, he is still my ruddy, strong, handsome man and I'm his beloved princess. I love you, Josh.

Telling a good friend of our engagement at the local donut shop.   


Travels with Bébé

Bonjour Mon Petit Bébé,

We are 28 weeks this coming Saturday. Life has been busy but even before you've taken your first breath in this world you weave your way into each moment of my life. Your a fiesty kicker and seems to be most active right when I'm falling asleep or mid morning after breakfast while mommy is reading and working. Seeing and feeling your bumps, kicks, and hiccups still enthralls me and is one of the best parts of every day.

This last week we spent some time at a worship retreat in Asheville, NC. Making memories around camp fires, smelling mountain mist and soaking in the Lord's presence. You especially loved worship and would dance in my belly while I swayed to the rhythm. I felt encouraged by other worship leader moms and spent some much needed time before the throne.

Traveling from Asheville to Bloomington we spent the last weekend with your G-Ma, Aunt Drassy, and Aunt Jo in Bloomington, IL for your first shower. I don't think it has soaked in that the person I'm growing is the little person who will lay in our new pack and play and that your little arms and legs will  be the ones I squeeze into the onsies and stretchy pants we received. Being a first time Mom I'm totally unprepared for how your are going to turn my world upside down. I acknowledge it with my brain, but my heart hasn't quite stretched enough in this lifetime to understand the joy you will bring.

Now I have traveled my way to the top of IL in Chicago spending precious time with the littlest Ewing girl, my sister and your Auntie Em. You are going to love her. She is sarcastic, and whitty, and smart, and beautiful and is full of so much humor and life. Bring 8 years younger than me, I took her for granted growing up, but as with most family relationships, they grow stronger the older you are and I'm so thankful I get to spend some treasured moments with her just us two, bashing around the windy for a day.

But through all my travels I find myself trying to picture your little face more and more.  Will you have red hair like everyone suspects or will your surprise us with brown or blonde locks. Will your little noggin be long and oval shaped like mine or will you have a square face like your papa. You light up my dreams from time to time, but never long enough for me to soak in your button nose and rose bud lips. My heart aches for the day when we are finally face to face, my little bébé.

For now...avec un amour profond,


A Kick and a Soft Heart

I laid down on my freshly made bed after a shower with my hair in a towel and soft grey robe wrapped around me. Opening my robe, I looked down at my bare belly protruding with the life growing inside. "Kick me" I thought and poked my squishy side hoping for a reaction. "Come on..." I begged as I poked just above my belly button where some hard extremity of my growing child had come to rest.

The thumps, bumps, and jabs of this little one had come to be my favorite part of every day. They rarely ceased to pass by unnoticed without pause or an extended period of literal navel gazing hoping to catch some movement with the naked eye or shouting for Josh to come and put his hand on my belly to feel the movement and share in my joy.

As the silence of the house surrounded me chores and check lists all faded to the background and I remembered reading that around 25 weeks babies in the womb begin to recognize mama and papa's voice. Their ear drums are tuning into noises in the world outside the womb. So, with selfish motivation, I began to sing so I could catch another glimpse of my precious ones movements. I sang the first song that popped into my head. "Sing My Love" by Sarah McMillian. 

In 2008 when I started this blog I was going through what I now refer to as my season of personal spiritual awakening. God was stirring my heart with every day mundane things. The world around me felt alive and I ached to spend time in the Lord's presence. Worshipping. Resting. Reading. I wrote an entry which has become the highest trafficked page on my blog BY FAR and it was all about how the song "Sing My Love" impacted me. A simple phrase in that song "He always knew me..." ripped my heart from my chest and allowed me to see my life through God's eyes. 

I saw myself as a little girl with dandelion crown around my strawberry blonde hair paying in the back yard with my sister. I saw an awkward pre-teen singing wearing a red polo standing on the top row of sopranos in chamber choir. I saw a self-conscious teenager trying desperately to look thin and fit in at all costs. I saw a college girl lost and confused about new-found freedom wanting to be noticed by anyone polishing a "fun-girl" image every second of every day. And I saw God there at every. single. moment. loving me and smiling over my life. A proud Father, who was (and is) shaping me into the person I was born to be.

Selfishly singing this song on the bed last week, I got to the line "He always knew me..." and the baby kicked. A strong jab right in the middle of my abdomen that changed the atmosphere. Shifted my mind to the Lord and suddenly His presence was in the room so strongly I started weeping. Crying so hard I could barely finish singing the song which then morphed into another song, and then another, and then a strange lament-praise in my own words. Very "unpretty" in the technical sense. But lovely truth that flowed out of my mouth softening my heart drawing me back to the Father. 

Back to MY Father. Where I am unconditionally loved and accepted. Where grace soaks into the deepest parts of my bones and where I am known. Known not by my performance or talents. Known not by my salary or accomplishments. Known not by my attitude good or bad nor by my past clean or unclean. But known just because I of who I am. Because I am His. A daughter of the Creator. A daughter of light. A daughter of the King.

And my baby...my precious, beautiful, amazing child that hasn't even inhaled its first breath in this world yet, is already known by that same God. And there really isn't any amount of tiny baby jabs that add up to the amount of goodness that that truth holds.

My cup runs over.