Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Things

As many of you know, I am an incredibly busy lady... I work full-time, I'm a full-time graduate student, I sing with The Symphony Chorus and at my church New Season Christian Center, I teach Sunday school, I am a wife, an expectant mother and have a home to run... it can get quite stressful!! Somehow I manage to have a social life too, don't ask me how! It's kind of in my nature to multi-task and it's hard for me to limit myself on my activities because they are my "happy things". In my ideal world, I'd just give up my full-time job so that I can have time for all these other things that I love so much - ha! With Baby Picon on his way, I know that I will have to cut some stuff out of my schedule, but he is going to be my "ultimate happy thing" so I am not complaining =)

Still, it is nice to have quiet time to myself or down time with my husband. I have a few other "Happy Things" that get me from one day to the next with a smile on my face:


I go to a really nice spot near my job called Lily Nails and get a manicure about once every two weeks. It takes about 15 minutes and then I usually stay and read a magazine while my nails dry for another 10 minutes. This little break is perfect in the middle of a busy day at the office.

My Nook

This is what saves me during my commute! It's about an hour and a half each way to and from work so I take the time to read books that I love. I'm really into Fiction (but I love Joyce Meyer so I'll read anything by her) so I like anything with a good story and fun writing style. Currently, I am reading "The Lost Hero" a spin off from the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series. YESS this is a children's book!! I keep trying to recreate my "Harry Potter" experience but so far nothing is as good. This series is really fun though and I enjoy reading it. Still, it's no Harry Potter. AND don't knock children's books! LOL if you haven't read the Harry Potter series you've been missin.


I love listening to music on Pandora because it's so random and i love being surprised by new songs and new artists. I mostly listen to a station based on Josh Groban because I adore him and love anything that sounds like that. I wouldn't call myself a classical music junkie but I have developed a love and appreciation for it over the past two years. It is sooooo much better than all that fake crap out there that people call music. REAL INSTRUMENTS not computerized sounds... it's like a miracle! lol


Yea, yea I have issues. I am on FB most of the day simply because reading about my friends and looking at new photos or articles they post gets me through the day! It's a fun way to take a break from office stress and what can I say? I love Facebook. I joined Facebook way back in the stone age when it was only intended for college students... it's been interesting to see how popular it has become.

Enrico's Pastry Shop

My new favorite bakery right in my neighborhood. They serve yummy Italian pastries and a great espresso. My favorite right now is a custard filled powder donut ...as much as I love them I try not to stop in too often but I admit that I see them about once a week :)

The Bachelor

I can't believe I'm admitting this but YES I watch... it's just entertaining television. I'm really smart, I am!! I made straight A's my first semester of grad school LOL.

Apricot Scrub

One wash of my face with this stuff and I instantly feel energized!

Aveeno Lavender stress-relief lotion

I can't explain it.. maybe it's the aroma therapy but this is a really great happy thing.

Fage Greek Yogurt with honey

It's like my new crack!! LOL Soooo yummy!

It's just nice to find joy in simple things and I'm learning more and more how important it is to appreciate and take time for these little things in life. There are many, many more but this is a short list of my "happy things". Do you have any "happy things"?



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Are YOU pregnant? No?? Then SHUT IT !

Here's my "rant" for today folks -- since becoming pregnant, I have had to make lots of adjustments in my every day life. I can't walk as fast as I used to, I go to bed earlier, I eat a lot more, I can't sit in the same position for extended periods of time because of aches and pains and forget about my sleep quality! For those who think that just your belly grows during pregnancy and it's "cute" I would like to say that you are soooooo wrong! Women have been doing this (and making it look easy) for years but that does not mean it is easy. Carrying a baby changes everything about you physically, mentally and emotionally. It seems silly to think that on top of all these changes, a pregnant woman has to deal with yet another annoyance- inappropriate comments by "friends" "co-workers" and at times just "random" people on the street. People say such bizarre things to pregnant women... I am part of a birth club on Babycenter.com for women due around the same time as me and we basically share stories and advice about what we are going through. The comments many of these women have had to deal with just blow me away! And yes, I too have endured many comments myself.

Everything from "Wow you look huge" to "Wow you look tiny" and "I wouldn't do that if I was pregnant" (one of my favorites) has been said to me. Ohhh and I loved one I got from a friend-- "you can control your emotions when pregnant April". REALLY? I'm sorry, are you pregnant? Have you had the experience of an emotional roller-coaster because hormones are surging through your body and not just screwing with your emotions but making you snore loudly and making your hair grow in random places??!

I learned early on in my life being from a large family where babies were being born all the time NEVER to judge a pregnant woman. Just smile and tell her she looks great... and don't be such a baby and hold everything she does against her. It's not personal!! She is the one bringing a child into this world, the least you can do is swallow your darn pride, get off the "ME" train and show some compassion!

I am done ranting :) Thanks for reading my faithful reader :) Below is an article I read online this morning that has a pretty good list - THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY to a pregnant woman. Here is the link to the actual article. Study this, pass it on to your friends and enjoy!

"I Feel Pregnant, Too!"

Unless you are actually carrying a child in your uterus as well, then no you don't feel pregnant.

"You're Huge."

Maybe she is looking a little large, but she doesn't need to hear it. Would it be appropriate to comment on someone's weight if they were not expecting? No! Same common sense rules apply to pregnant women, too.

"You Really Shouldn't . . . "

Exercise. Pick up that box. Stand up. Pregnant women are not ill, they are merely with child and making them feel like they have a serious condition only alienates them.

"I Don't Think You Should . . ."

Get an epidural. Have a natural birth. Have your mother in the birthing room. A pregnant mama's personal birth plan is just that: personal. If she want's your opinion, she'll ask.

"Enjoy Your Last Few Months of Freedom."

Having a baby is exciting and the last thing any expectant mom wants to hear is that she has just issued her personal life a death sentence. Negative comments about child rearing shouldn't be spoken of.

"You Probably Shouldn't Eat That."

Pregnant women are pretty tuned in to what they can and can't eat — as well as what they want and don't want to eat. If she's going for it, then by all means, let her enjoy.

"Your Baby Is Going to Be Huge/Tiny."

What's on the mind of nearly every pregnant woman? How baby is getting out. Doctors looking at ultrasounds are the only ones ever allowed to estimate how big baby is going to be — and even then, anything less or more than normal is bound to set off a mommy-to-be.

"What If Your Baby . . ."

Is a hermaphrodite? Has a cleft lip? Is deaf? Mamas-to-be spend a great deal of downtime thinking of their own "what ifs" and they don't need anyone else adding fuel to the fire.

"You Look Tired."

Carrying a baby for nine months is hard work. Chances are if she looks tired, she is. However, the last thing she needs is anyone reminding her how exhausted she feels or looks. Nothing short of, "You look fantastic," should be said to a pregnant woman about her appearance.

"Anything Yet?"

If you haven't received word that her baby's been born, then chances are that she is not holding out any information. Everyone is eager to welcome the pending bundle of joy into the world, but none so much as an expectant mama. Asking her if anything has happened yet only reminds her that she's still very, very pregnant

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From "Hotel Womb" to "Hotel Picon" -- Nursery Fun is starting!

I am as of right now, 27 weeks pregnant -- the average pregnancy is about 40 weeks long, so that's about 13 left to go and there is so much to do to get ready for Baby Picon's arrival!! In the next 3 months I have to transition my office to prepare for my leave of three months (how ever will they survive?) come up with a financial plan with Poppa Picon, Take childbirth classes and get as prepared as possible for the JOY of delivery (yea, that was sarcasm) and PUT TOGETHER THE NURSERY!! I am soooo excited for this :) There was a time when I thought that Baby Picon would have to share a bedroom with us so the fact that he will have his very own room is so wonderful for me. I have so many ideas and thought this would be a good place to put them down so before the work is actually started.

At the beginning of my pregnancy, I felt like whether I had a boy or girl I did not want to impose a traditional "color-scheme". I am a girly-girl and I LOVE pink but vowed that if I had a daughter I would not impose this on her.... But, I have to admit - ever since we found out we are expecting a little boy, my heart just melts every time I see BLUE :) I have held back from buying things since I wanted to do most of the shopping towards the end of the pregnancy but I did pick up some blue onesies and PJ's this weekend at Target.... (what?! They were on clearance!) So, for baby Picon's nursery I am going to buckle and incorporate blue because it's just so friggin cute!

Here is a picture of Baby Picon's nursery now (this isn't the greatest picture but its a good space):

First things first --- the walls are white. We actually painted most of the walls white when we first moved in because the previous tenants had some eclectic color choices. At our old place, we went all out and put color on the walls but this time we decided to go with basic white. We thought about just painting Baby Picon's nursery but have decided against it... he will keep his white walls. We do plan however on painting the ceiling! What color do you ask? Well yes, BLUE of course. Here's a great little blurb from an article I read on Pregnancy Today:

Carey Weisinger of Rowlett, Texas, got a brilliant idea for her baby's room. "I bought strings of large star lights and had my husband hang them around the room as a sort of border at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling," she says. "There is usually no stimulation on the ceiling, so I wanted to add some to our nursery. Don't forget the importance of decorating the ceiling or having an interesting, graphic fan, since babies look up so much."

We decided to paint the ceiling blue with big, fluffy white clouds so that Baby Picon can have a great view while lying on his back. I think the blue will really make a "pop" without being too much and will be a great choice for baby. Now about those plain white walls... we purchased some decals from Wallies and I just love them! Here are some pics:

The airplanes idea basically came from the blue ceiling with clouds.... We are not big sports people and Poppa Picon has a love for aviation so this was the obvious choice. I absolutely LOVE the "chalkboard decals" because we can scribble Baby Picon's name onto the airplanes or sweet little messages about how loved he is. I think these decals will make a great addition to the plain white walls.

As for bedding, I'm not sure but i think I might go with a solid color.. yellow I think would be nice to match the yellow in the decals. This is a great set though I'm not sure about the little teddy bear design:

I plan to have the words "You are my Sunshine" put up right above the crib like this:
The furniture in the room will be brown to match my mother's rocking chair that is being passed down to me for Baby Picon. My mom got this rocking chair as a gift from my dad when she was pregnant with me and I have so many great memories of sitting in this chair with her :) I can't wait to read books to Baby Picon in this chair:

Speaking of books... we definitely need a good bookcase for the nursery because Baby Picon will have a well stocked library. I hope to find something at IKEA or a small furniture shop nearby.

The crib has already been selected and should be here in a few weeks! I won't include a picture of that because some things just should be a surprise...

I am so excited for this weekend when the nursery decorating will begin! Do you have any ideas for Baby Picon's nursery? Feel free to let me know, I'd love to hear them.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Limited Forgiveness?

Last night I was watching a special on TLC about the Pastor Ted Haggard from Colorado Springs. I had been very familiar with his story reading about it on the news about 4 years ago and seeing his interview on Oprah. I also read his wife's book entitled "Why I Stayed" which is a lovely memoir that recounts her journey as a wife and the commitment she made when she said "I do". Gayle Haggard is an extraordinary woman and I have a great deal of respect for her after reading her book. So many couples divorce for reasons FAR smaller than what the Haggard's went through and I think it is admirable that they decided to fight for their marriage.

For those who do not know, Ted Haggard was the Pastor at "New Life Church" in Colorado. A mega-church (as some call it) when he was exposed by a male prostitute and later admitted to having a homosexual relationship with this man outside of his marriage. Naturally, Ted was removed as Senior Pastor from the church and put on a "disciplinary process" by the elders. The world was stunned by this and many people could not understand his continual statement "I am not a homosexual." The world just couldn't understand why he wouldn't "come out of the closet" and admit to being gay. Instead, he just said he was a heterosexual man who struggles with homosexual feelings.

This post really isn't about the debate on homosexuality --- according to our bible as Christians, this is sin. Ted Haggard did not want to live this lifestyle but instead wanted to fight for his marriage and family. He wanted to be restored and of course in the world we live today, I can see why non-believers found that difficult to understand.

What really affects me most about Ted's story is that the elders from "New Life Church" basically had him excommunicated or banished from their community. He was told he could not LIVE in the area anymore ... he could not contact anyone from the church and he could NEVER hold a position again. This blows my mind!! How can one human being tell another that they can NEVER AGAIN return to a ministry God called them to? We might say "you need to take a time out" and that is for the purposes of restoration and building that person up after their fall. Even worse, he could not contact anyone from his church family. If I sinned and was told that I could no longer talk to anyone from my church, I personally don't know how I would get through it.

Seeing the documentary about the Haggard family; how they were abandoned by their closest friends, how they are ridiculed in the media, just made me really reflect on the things I complain to God about sometimes. I have felt betrayed by my loved ones and certainly have felt abandoned. It takes an incredible amount of strength to admit your faults, rise up and continue pushing forward when everyone has turned their back on you. I said a prayer last night for this family and thanked God because whenever we think our situation is the worst in the world, we remember that someone else is struggling with an even greater obstacle.

Today I am thinking about forgiveness... why is it that we put sin on different "levels"? Humanity likes to categorize things so much... How come we have "white lies"? Is one sin really bigger or smaller than the other? Romans 3:9-10 says :What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:“There is no one righteous, not even one.

When someone falls short, doesn't Christ forgive them? So we should learn to forgive whole-heartily. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you - Colossians 3:13

And finally, EVERYONE is undergoing a process... yes, even you! We are not "all done" and "fixed up" .. we all carry baggage, we are all on a journey and this will continue until the day we see our father in heaven.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns -
Philippians 1:6


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Thoughts on Marriage - "The Dying Trend"

I subscribe to a really great blog from "Focus on the Family" specifically targeted to young married people and it has really blessed my life! Here is a link to their website. This morning, while reading some of their new articles, I got to praying and thinking (uh-oh!) and was truly inspired by what some of the bloggers had to say. The New York Times recently published an article about marriage and why it is becoming less and less popular with today's young people. It seems as though marriage is just viewed as a "dying trend" and young men and women are either waiting longer to get married or opting out of the idea altogether. I read this article a few months back and it made me sad, being a young married woman and having experience and seen the blessing that it is. The article contributed many factors to the reason why this is the case... obviously, women now account for more than half of college students and half of the workforce and as a result, marriage and babies are put off longer than in years past. Commitment is also an issue that was brought up. Nowadays, most couples just prefer to "live together" without putting their commitment down on paper. They even use the words "hubby", "wifey" etc. with no rings or strings attached. Personally, I wish they'd all just leave those titles for those of us who have actually committed and are doing the work but that's a whole other blog post. In a nutshell, I guess that young people are finding that the risks in marriage outweigh the benefits and it is no longer high up on the list of priorities. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth!

My husband and I took a pre-marital counseling class at our church before our wedding in 2008 and it was so helpful. The class used the book and workbooks called "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts" by Les and Leslie Parrot. Here is a link to their website. Les and Leslie Parrot are Christian marriage & family therapists and this book is scripture based which was very helpful because I could read it together with my bible. Biblically speaking, marriage or the relationship between a husband and wife is comparable to the relationship between Christ and the Church. As our Pastor who was teaching the class put it -- "marriage is the ONLY human experience we can have that models this relationship (Christ & his church) ... the only way, in our humanness to grasp the love and commitment that is shared, to understand the fullness and depth of that connection! This is something that has always remained with me ... how amazing is that?! That type of deep, spiritual intimacy simply can't be shared with a "boyfriend".

I was 23 years old when I got married (I'll be 26 in a few months, buy me presents! lol) and I remember when telling some people I was engaged; getting "the look" or even a few times "the question" - WHY? I found humor in this question and my answer was usually something like "because I fell in love and want to be married"... though I am assuming the answer they were looking for was "because we are pregnant". Being married young has really been an opportunity for growth in my life, not to mention the joy that overwhelms me because I have the privilege of experiencing and practicing true love during my youth. To me, there is nothing more beautiful to share with my husband.

I'll be the first to say, that marriage is not AT ALL what I expected. It changes a relationship and is not by any means easy. Love is not a feeling, it is a way of life... a way of life that Christ emphasized so greatly in his teachings while he was here on earth... a way of life that we are called to embrace and practice to have communion with the father. Trust me, on the days when my husband is getting on my nerves I have to remind myself -- LOVE IS A CHOICE April, Love is a way of life April! LOL... I did not marry a man who fulfills 1 Corinthians 13 perfectly, and I do not live in this perfect way either... but in getting married we committed to growing in love together.

Living together and sharing a life has brought about many rough patches. I don't know very many young married women and it is harder to relate to my single friends because our priorities are sooooo different. But I've learned to let my husband be my best friend and put family first :) As an expectant mother I have also learned to appreciate my relationships with older women; wives and mothers who may not share the knowledge of my generation but can TRULY relate to me.

My husband is everything I am not in so many ways -- he is pure in his thoughts of others (I can be cynical) , kind with his words (I am the blunt one who often finds myself regretting what I just said), he is logical (I am emotional) and the list goes on and on. You would think that the fact that his strengths tend to reveal my weaknesses would be a bad thing for me... but it is just the opposite. I see this as my opportunity to grow and become a better ME every single day. I am grateful to be on this journey and though it isn't always easy I embrace the process!

Our relationship is far from perfect, and YES marriage is a huge commitment but it is also the very best thing that has ever happened in my life! While I can understand this "new way" of thinking, waiting longer to get married, putting career first etc. I just can't help but SHOUT from the rooftops how wonderful it is to make this decision while young. Society may say many things and research may prove them -- but what does God say about it? Being a wife and expectant mother there is really only one way I can sum up how it feels -- "I was made for this".

I hope that my married readers can relate... and to my single readers - I hope that when it comes your way, you aren't afraid to take this leap of faith no matter what the world is saying about it today :)



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getaways -- yes, pregnant women can travel !

Before you go crazy and ask "should you be traveling?" I will start off by saying that yes, it is perfectly safe for me to travel until my 7th month of pregnancy and after that it's cool as long as I stay in the country. I don't know why some people think that you can't travel when you're pregnant but it is totally fine. The concern is that towards the end there is a chance you will go into labor... in that case, you don't want to be at a resort in Costa Rica or something. LOL

Anywell - I am trying to take advantage of the next few cold months and visit some fun places. Once the baby comes, there will be no trips for nearly a year and I love, love, love to travel. My husband and I went on a Caribbean cruise in the Spring of this year and it was great! I love traveling with him because we are the same "type" when on vacation -- LAZY. I am not one of those people who gets up at the crack of dawn to see everything and participate in every activity. I like to slowly get out of a peaceful slumber, have some coffee, read the paper and play my day out by ear. One or two museums a day is more than enough and FOOD is super important on vacation. It' s really great because Jay and I don't get on each other's nerves when traveling. We both have the same idea of how a vacation should be - though he does like to "do the activities" a little more than I do. But it's easy to compromise and we always have a good time on our trips.

This month, we are taking some group trips with friends and that is always a nice thing that I enjoy. Even though some of my friends don't have the same traveling style that I do, it's usually great cause I will go to some extra activity and they will meet us for a late breakfast after we sleep in the morning :) I LOVE to go away with our friends and/or family and we really aren't that type of couple that needs to be "joined at the hip" the whole time. I am perfectly fine relaxing at the hotel while he does whatever activity with our friends or visa versa... and we don't need to be on the "same team" for sports and games either! Actually we prefer to be against each other HA! My last "friends" group getaway was to the Poconos in early October. We had "field day games" and it was fun except that I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and still had the morning sickness in full force. Nonetheless we had a great time. Before that, it was a getaway for the 4th of July about two years ago to Lake George. One of my most memorable trips ever!!! So you get the idea!

This weekend, we are driving to Boston with our good friends Esteban and Caroline. Esteban is JJ's best friend for many years and Caroline is his lovely wife and my good friend... Here is a picture of them:

Since Jay and I got married, we've enjoyed the company of others couples (we miss you Danny and Jillene!) and we've had some good times. We have done a weekend getaway to D.C. before so I'm really excited about Boston! We are staying at the Radisson right in the center of the Boston theater district. We are going to hit up the museum of fine arts and the freedom trail. I love museums and historical sites so I'm really excited!!

When we get back from Boston, we are going away to Canada next weekend! This is also a trip with friends - our Symphony Chorus family! We are doing a mini-tour in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal and going to be singing for audiences out there. We have been part of The Symphony Chorus for 2 years now and this group of people is really a blessing in my life. Not only have my talents developed but I feel that I have grown as a person while being a part of this group. At one time, Jay and I were sort of "in between" churches and this group was our fellowship with other believers. Here is a picture of TSC:

We've made some life long friends and I'm so excited to pack up on the bus and spend the weekend blessing others through music! We are also going to visit some cool sites, the capitol building and all that stuff so I better get the snow boots ready :)

I definitely can't wait to embark on some new adventures before Baby Picon arrives and next year, he will be joining mommy and daddy on their trips! We must see the world!



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Got Connections :)

My Pastor talks a lot about "being connected" and "getting connected" and "staying connected" on a regular basis.Whether in sermons or just during announcements, there is always something he is encouraging us to get connected to. The main 3 entities to establish this connection with are Creator, Church and Community. We call these "the three C's" and there are several ways to take a personal inventory and see if we are indeed connected or at least on the way to being.

The word "Connection" is often used in the mainstream media to describe relationships between people. "We had a strong connection" or "She is a nice girl, I just didn't feel that connection" are typical statements you would hear on The Bachelor or other popular shows. But what does that mean exactly and what message do these types of statements send about connection? Especially in our relationships with others, it feels like the common thinking is --a "connection" either happens or it doesn't; and if it doesn't, we move on to the next person we could find that connection with. Connecting with people is almost in the hands of fate or the universe and we take no responsibility at all. But this is what has me thinking .... we are responsible for maintaining our connections (relationships) and this requires hard work. How can I be connected to God if I don't pray or seek out this relationship on a daily basis? Here's a really great quote I read today on a friend's Facebook status:

“A significant source of cynicism is the fracture between my heart and my behavior. It goes something like this: My heart gets out of tune with God, but life goes on. So I continue to perform and say Christian things, but they are just words. I talk about Jesus without the presence of Jesus. There is a disconnect between what I present and who I am.” - Paul Miller, 'A Praying Life

This not only outlines the importance of maintaining a connection with God but warns of the "disconnect" within ourselves -- What I present vs. who I am. When I perform my self inventory and look for ways to be connected with my Creator, Church and Community I must also ask the question -- is who I am connected with what I present? Is my heart really in this?

In that same token, our connections with each other as a body, as family, as friends need to be nurtured and respected. It isn't my job to "fix" anyone but it isn't an excuse to leave them high and dry either. Relationships take hard work especially real, solid ones. I can enjoy all the things I seemingly have in common with a friend and pass the moments having a great time but that doesn't mean we are connected.... real, unconditional love is something we can achieve even though it's hard.. but just because you love me unconditionally, it is not my free pass to walk all over your feelings. We need to make adjustments, accommodate each other, communicate openly and not be afraid to show acts of love. The "work" everyone talks about in relationships is what will establish and maintain the "connection". Not a twist of fate, or a change in the circumstances. Can we work hard and keep this connection in tact in spite of the circumstances? I think that's the question which makes real, solid relationships last whether romantic, between family or friendships.

Today, I am reflecting on my own connections... with God, within myself and with others... Grateful that I don't have to float or wander alone but have relationships to be connected with :)


Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 - Change :)

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all.

- The Beatles

I think it was the philosopher Heraclitus who said that our only constant is change. For those who hold having a "constant" with great importance, I guess change doesn't seem like much of one at all. In my life, it is the only thing I can be sure of and it's only a matter of being prepared for when the next big change will take place. Situations change, places changes, jobs change, relationships change… sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse and sometimes it can seem to be for the worse only to be revealed as a blessing in disguise later.

In 2008 I was married to wonderful man and life changed yet again for the better. With marriage come a lot of sacrifice and a certain “dying to self” that a lot of people don’t realize. Selfish people don’t have much chance of making it in marriage as just the act of joining into this bond requires a selflessness that one can only understand when they’ve been there. I can’t go out 2 or 3 times a week like my single friends, I can’t just spend money whenever I want, and to be honest most of the time I actually PREFER a nice quiet dinner at home on a Friday night. The truth is, the sacrifices one makes in marriage are so minimal when compared with the benefits of being part of the most sacred, special, and only human experience that comes close to Christ’s relationship with the church. Love is the greatest gift of all and I can’t express enough how grateful I am for it.

2011 is bringing forth the biggest change of my life! I am going to be a mother and with that realization I can only describe a huge balloon bouquet of emotions being held together by a single ribbon -- "peace". I half-know what to expect on my journey to motherhood and I half-have-no-idea! But much like marriage changed my life I expect this to completely change me as a wife, as a daughter, friend, and Christian. Slowly but surely, I have been chipping away through the forest and clearing my own path and it is “happy” to be on the path and “sad” to realize that not everyone is meant to walk this path with me. Nonetheless, I am excited for this New Year and ready (as I have always learned since childhood) to embrace change!