Blessed Beyond Measure!

"'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'"
Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17

I am in complete awe of our Father and the ways He provides for His children! To be honest, I have been worrying and questioning quite a bit lately. It is unbelievable how much is needed to prepare for a little one's arrival! Our friends and church family were so incredibly gracious this past Sunday when they gave us a shower. We got so many items we needed, and I am very thankful for their willingness to help us prepare for Riley! On Monday, though, when I was looking at our registry and realizing what we still needed, I became pretty overwhelmed and really began doubting God's ability to provide it. He lovingly reminded me that He has provided SO much throughout both mine and Daniel's lives, so why would he quit now?! I just needed to trust...

And then it all began...the discounted items found on Craigslist, and the items given to us by friends started flooding in. To back up a little, two weeks ago, I found this (minus the Boppy pillow) on Craigslist for $60!

This week I found the Boppy pillow with cover on Craigslist for $15! Then yesterday, I came home from work to find this in our living room...

We bought the car seat at a garage sale in Arkansas, but we still needed the stroller to go with it (we wanted to go the "travel system" route). We were planning on ordering the stroller directly from Graco, but our friends, Brent and Candace, gave us this Graco stroller! Our car seat fit perfectly into it! They're not the same pattern, but I feel like the colors somewhat complement each other, so I am HAPPY with it! What could have cost us around $200, only cost $30! God is good! :)
As I was taking pictures of the above items this morning, I had to get a couple pics of all the clothes we've been given as well! We haven't bought a single item of clothing for Riley. The clothes in this picture were given by Candace/Brent and my sister-in-law, Jill. I am SO grateful for both of their giving spirits! It's so humbling!

And these are all clothes that were given by my parents, mother-in-law, best friend, Kristen, friends at church, etc. Once again, completely humbling!

As I began to write this blog about how amazed and grateful I am for our Father's provision and blessings, I received a phone call from my best friend, Kristen. We were chatting casually and after I told her about all that we'd been given in the past week, she asked what we still needed. I named a few things and then she asked specifically about bedding. I said we hadn't gotten it, yet, but we were going to look into buying it soon. She said, "Don't! My family bought it for you and it's being shipped there." WHAT?! This emotional, hormonal, pregnant lady definitely teared up on the phone right then and there! I don't know why the Lord chooses to bless us in so many incredible ways, but all I know to do is praise Him continuously!

"Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him...For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does...We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." Psalm 33:1, 4, 20-22


Easter 2009

Easter '09...I know it was a week and a half ago, but I'm still trying to get caught up on posts! We had a great Easter this year. We had a potluck meal at church after the morning service, and I signed up to bring a dessert. I was planning on just making a boring cake of some sort when I received an email from Parents.com. Included in the email was a link to "Easter desserts," so I thought, let's just see what they suggest. I found an easy-sounding, cute Easter basket cake. Now, I'm not all that creative, but I thought, I can do this! And I did! Here's my version of the cake...

  • 1 box (18.25 ounces) cake mix
  • 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting(I used cream cheese icing)
  • Pink icing color(I used blue food coloring)
  • 1-1/2 cups sweetened coconut
  • Lavender Marshmallow Peeps(or whatever color you want to use)
  • Malted-milk eggs
  • Jelly beans


1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions for making two 8-inch round cakes. Transfer pans to wire rack; let cool 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack and cool completely.

2. Using a serrated knife, cut a 6-inch circular indentation in top layer, about 3/4-inch deep. Frost entire cake, stacking layers, with vanilla frosting. Use a large serving fork to create a basket-weave design in frosting on side of cake.(I used "whipped icing", so it was too soft to create the basket-weave design...oh well!)

3. In a small bowl, dilute pink icing color with 2 tablespoons water. Stir in coconut to tint, and spread on a baking sheet to dry slightly. Fill indentation in top of cake with tinted coconut. Nestle Marshmallow Peeps in pink "grass" and add malted-milk eggs and jelly beans. For handle, cover a wooden basket handle with two strips of green felt and insert into cake.(I didn't put a handle on it, as you can tell, but I think it still turned out cute)

After church Daniel and I came home and had a mini photo shoot. I just wanted an Easter picture of us, but he decided we should take several. So, enjoy! :)

Can't wait until next Easter when Riley will be out in the world with us! :)

We HAD to get one by the beloved truck!

I'm liking the angle of this one...all Daniel's idea

Love him!

I'll close this post with a Riley update. He is doing very well! We went to a regular appointment this past Monday and his heartbeat sounded great and I'm right on target with my stomach growth. We'll go back again on May 11 and then after that we'll start going every 2 weeks rather than every 4. I'm still amazed that yesterday I made 26 weeks! Just 14 more (or maybe less!) until we get to meet our sweet boy face-to-face. I can tell you one thing...he is an active little man! The past few days, especially, I have been feeling him kick so much! I love it! I'll leave you with a pic of me at 25 weeks in a very cute shirt that my brother and sister-in-law gave me for my birthday. :)


Walking Through the City

Several months ago I decided it would be fun to sign up for the annual Crescent City Classic 10K Race. I knew I wasn't going to be able to run it, but I definitely wanted to walk it. My friend, Amanda, agreed to walk it with me, and our plan was to train each week for the race. Well, that didn't so much happen, so the week before the race I became a bit nervous as to how I was going to do. I knew I could finish it, but I really didn't want to be the last person crossing the finish line! I did a little last minute training that week, lots of praying, and hoped for the best! :) The Lord certainly answered my prayers because not only was it a gorgeous day (around 68 degrees during the race), but we finished in an hour and 49 minutes with no injuries and few complaints! Yes, my back was killing me (I'm pregnant!) and my feet were a little sore, but I felt great when we crossed the finish line! I can't wait to tell Riley one day that I did a 10K when I was 6 months pregnant with him! Amanda asked during the race if I could feel him kicking, and I told her that even if he was I wouldn't know because of all the movements I was making myself! I'm pretty sure he was either sleeping most of the time of holding on for dear life! :)

It's important for non-New Orleanians to understand that the CCC is more of a party for most participants, rather than a serious race. The first few people who crossed the finish line (Kenyans, I might add) were serious, but the other 19,450 (19,500 total in the race) saw it as a fun time to see the city and party...hence the t-shirt of the lady in the picture above! Would you believe that we even passed some fellow walkers who were walking while carrying cups of beer?! I mean, only in New Orleans!

Just a few of the people who were between us and the Start

Waiting for the race to begin!

My beloved number that was held on by straight pins because I didn't have any safety pins. :) Thankfully, no injuries to myself or Riley!

We finally made it to the Start! It only took us 8 MINUTES to get from where we were when the cannon went off (yes, they used a cannon) to the Start...remember that when you see the picture of us approaching the Finish line (and the time on the clock)...

Flamingos, anyone?! We saw people dressed in all types of costumes!

Enjoying the beautiful day!

We made it! The clock says 1:57, but remember those 8 minutes?! :)

Amanda and I after the race...still smiling!

Daniel came and joined us for the after-party...free jambalaya, smoothies, and other goodies!


Bring on the Strawberries!

Every spring, Ponchatoula, LA hosts the largest Strawberry Festival in the country! Ponchatoula is only about an hour from New Orleans, so we decided to head up there with some good friends on a Sunday afternoon. None of us had ever been, so we were excited to see what all was involved in this festival! There, of course, were fair-type rides (the ones that are squeaky and you're not real sure just how safe they are!) and live bands providing entertainment. What I was amazed by, though, was all of the food created from strawberries! Strawberry shortcake, strawberry beignets, strawberry funnel cakes, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate-covered strawberries, FRIED strawberries (which were amazing!), and the list goes on and on! We tried several of the items listed above and they were all so good! Here are some pics from our afternoon...

That just screams, "YUMMY!"

Sweet people dipping their fresh strawberries in chocolate to sell

And yes, we definitely bought some! :)

Prego woman getting ready to indulge...I really think that was one of the best chocolate-covered strawberries I've ever put in my mouth!

Good times at the Strawberry Festival!

Naturally, we brought home lots of strawberries! How can you leave a strawberry festival without some fresh strawberries?! I immediately went to work cutting up the strawberries while Chef Bramlett made some homemade buttermilk biscuits...again, YUMMY!

And then it was time to create the Strawberry shortcake.
Homemade buttermilk biscuit
Kemp's no-sugar added vanilla frozen yogurt
It was amazing!!!
There are many reasons I love Spring, but all of the wonderful fresh fruit is one of my favorite parts! Soon and very soon it will be time to go pick fresh blueberries and blackberries at a farm about an hour away...can't wait!


I'm still alive!

I was afraid when I began this blog in January that there would come a time when I got so busy that I put blogging on the back-burner. As you can tell, it happened the past two weeks! But, I'm back and have lots of updates! So as not to bore you or overwhelm myself, I'm going to post short updates each day this week.

We'll begin with my birthday...March 28th. I turned 30 this year - still hard to believe, but I was thinking yesterday that I actually like the sound of "30" better than "29." That may seem weird, but I've been known to be weird sometimes. :) I am very happy with where I am in life right now, and I am so grateful for the amazing 10 years the Lord gave me in my 20's. I'm looking forward to the next decade. I know the Lord will continue to surprise me with exciting opportunities and great memories!

This year my birthday was on a Saturday, which was really nice! Daniel and I got up and went to several yard sales in the morning. I've never been a huge yard sale fan, but being married to Daniel has caused me to begin appreciating hobbies I haven't enjoyed in the past. We then went to lunch at a yummy New Orleans restaurant. The weather was incredible that day, so after lunch, we decided to head to City Park and enjoy some time by one of the ponds. Here are some pics from our time at the Park...

Daniel watching the ducks

Pretty white swan swimming among the ducks

I never knew there was such a thing as a black swan with a red beak! They were pretty, yet a bit evil looking!
My husband doing one of his favorite things...napping!

What a perfect day to be outside enjoying God's creation!

After leaving the park, we went by the grocery store to buy something for dinner that we wouldn't normally buy. After walking around the store with no idea what we wanted to eat, we ended up leaving with a Digornio frozen pizza...which we truly never buy! :) It was so yummy! Soon after that, several close friends came over and we enjoyed an amazing frozen yogurt cake from TCBY and played several rounds of charades. It was such a great birthday...and the best present for the entire year is growing in my belly...moving and kicking all throughout the day! I can't wait to meet him!