24 Weeks!

Time just seems to continue to fly by, especially with the holidays in the mix.  This Friday I had my next appointment and everything still is developing well, for which we are thankful for.

Well, since I am at 24 weeks now, I am starting to think about baby showers and registries, etc.  There is so much out there, yet trying to find the happy medium where I only get the things that I NEED and not just go crazy with registering for a lot of extras that may or may not truly be necessary.  If any of you moms out there have any great suggestions as to things that you felt were a necessity, please let me know.

Even though, I am the oldest of 8 and have had a lot of experience with kids, doesn't mean I know everything about what would be necessary to have when starting out with a baby in the house.  My mom had everything she needed and when you are home dealing with a younger sibling, you just automatically use what was there.  Now, to try to come up with a list for myself is a bit intimidating as I want to make sure I don't forget anything.  I don't want to be running out to get things the first day I am home.

Well, here is what the little one looks like now.  Isn't it amazing the progress that takes place?  I still can't fully grasp that this is truly what is inside of me.  I am just overwhelmed with the intricacy of this new human and that God has it planned perfectly to happen this way.

Here is what I look like now:


First Braxton Hicks Experience

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

"Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that start about 6 weeks into your pregnancy, although you won't be able to feel them that early. You probably won't start to notice them until sometime after mid-pregnancy."

Well, it came as a sudden surprise to me the other day.  I was at work and suddenly was feeling this cramping and pain in the lower part of my abdomen that lasted about 5 minutes, but felt like 10!  I didn't know what was going on, so I asked my co-worker (who is a mom of 3) and described to her what I was feeling.  She promptly informed me that I just experienced my first braxton hicks.

At first I thought, "Oh great! This will be added to list of all the other experiences one has while being pregnant!"  But then I thought about it for a little while and decided that since I have had my share of menstrual cramping in the past, I am sure I can handle this one!  I have heard, however, that it can get worse as I get closer to the end and it NEVER compares to the REAL contractions that I get to look forward to as well.

So, there you have my most recent update! :)  I can sure all the moms out there are just chuckling at me as you would love to tell first timers like me "just you wait for the REAL contractions!"   Since I am only 23 weeks along right now, I know I have a long road ahead of me for many more interesting experiences, right?


Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

We wish you all a Blessed Christmas season as we remember the birth of our Lord and King!


Special Giveaway @ Growing Home

You can check it out HERE for yourself. I don't know about you, but there are a lot of really neat things that are being offered!  I am excited for the opportunity I have to eventually be a Christian Homemaker myself.  Can't wait for that day to be closer and I can spend every minute with our little one in my arms!


Christmas 2011 Decor

Here are some of the decorations we have at our house this Christmas. Some of the things I have had for years, some I got on sale after last Christmas, and some i have made myself using left over supplies. It is always fun to change it up from previous years and experiment with what I have to try to come up with some new things.
These cute blocks I got on discount last year after Christmas

I am reusing these vases.  The tall one is from our wedding and the short one is from a bouquet of flowers Andrew had gotten for me.  The candle was a gift from a friend last year.

Last year I didn't have curtains so I hung all our Christmas cards with ribbon from the curtain rod.
This year I wanted something different yet simple, so I hung ornaments from some left over ribbon.

I had to find a new spot for all of our wonderful Christmas cards, so I followed this idea which I know is found on Pintrest and also mentioned by a friend on her blog post.  I used some leftover ribbon I had that looks like organic hemp with a little gold trimming on the edge.

This is a wreath I made from an old garland.  I just wrapped it around in a few circles, tied a ribbon at the top and added a few berries for color.


20 weeks!

I can't believe that I am already halfway through! These last couple months have gone by fairly fast and I know with the holidays ahead, the next few will just fly by as well.

This Friday we had the privilege of seeing our little bundle for the first time. Andrew was able to be there as well and experience what he or she looks like, etc. I have not noticed any movement yet as there is a lot of fluid still around the baby, but still waiting in anticipation for when that moment arrives. I know once it starts, it doesn't stop, so I suppose I might as well enjoy the 'quiet' time I have right now. :)  The little one was very active and made it difficult for the tech to take pictures, but she finally was able to get all the information she needed.  The baby kept putting his/her feet and hands in front of his/her face, but toward the end allowed us to get a could good views of the face.

Here is what our little one looks like now

Here is what I look like now


Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with the family! I know you Canadians celebrated yours over a month ago.  :)  I hope you had a great time as well.

Here are 10 things I am thankful for...

1. To God for graciously sparing me through another year.

2. The love and support of a wonderful husband.

3. The love and fellowship with both the Moerdyk and Bergsma families.

4. The health of a growing child inside me for the last 19 weeks.

5. The stability of a job I enjoy and one for my husband.

6. The ability to worship Christ without any persecution like in other countries.

7. A warm, cozy house to live in, especially as the weather gets colder.

8. The ability to purchase a new family vehicle this year.

9. The blessings of a church family environment.

10. To God for the gift of grace and forgiveness.


Baby Room Finds

Here are some Craig's List finds that I came across and wanted to share with you!  Isn't it always nice when you come across something that can work perfectly in your home and costs at least 4 times as much brand new?!?!  I always get excited when that happens.  Well, this is just a sneak peak at these two items.  You will have to wait in anticipation for the finished furnished room once I get everything I need for it.  For now, here is the crib and changing table. :)



It snowed here today and seeing that just made me start thinking more about Christmas and all that I have to do yet before hand! oh well. It still looked beautiful outside, though I wasn't quite sure if I am ready for the snow. :) Still nice to look at.

I was just looking at these websites in preparation for ordering Christmas cards and noticed theses specials that I wanted to pass along.
Snapfish has 100 prints for $1.00 or 300 prints for $3.00 till Sunday.
Codes: SPOOKY100 or SPOOKY300
They also have a buy get one free on their photo cards.

I don't know if you need that many prints, but like me, I know some of you design a regular print size 'card' and order prints instead of the more expensive photo cards.


16 weeks

Here is an update on how things are going so far with baby and me! Friday morning I had another doctor's appointment where we heard another strong heartbeat. Everything is looking and sounding good so far, according to the doctor, for which we are thankful for.

Here is a picture of what baby looks like now:

Here is a picture of what I look now:


Abortion & the Holocaust?

Here is a very interesting video connecting abortion to the holocaust.


1st Trimester Experiences

Just wanting to share with you some of my experiences from the 1st trimester.  It all started around 7 weeks along when I started to not feel the best at certain times during the day and in the evenings.  The increase in my sense of smell was the first major factor that I noticed.  I had an onion in my pantry that when I would open the door to get anything, it got so bad that I had to hold my breath.  I finally had to have Andrew take it out and throw it away for me, as I couldn't stand it anymore.  So, no onions at our house for a while!
The next thing on my list were eggs.  I had breakfast one Saturday morning with eggs and thankfully I didn't have to work that day, because I was laying flat the rest of the morning!  They made me so sick to my stomach that I couldn't do anything else but lay down.  So, with that said, eggs have not been a part of my diet for the last could months now and I am anxious to start eating them again!

The third food item that gave me a problem was syrup.  I don't know if it was the sweetness of it or what, but something about the syrup just didn't sit well in my stomach, so there went my waffles, pancakes, and french toast for beakfast or dinner.  I am finally starting to use syrup again and things are going much smoother than before, for which I am thankful for, as just plain cold cereal gets old when it is the only breakfast item you can eat for 2 months.

Cooking dinners had its good and bad moments.  Many times I just simply didn't feel up to cooking at all.  Some times I would try to, but then start to feel sick standing over the stove as I was frying up ground beef, chicken, or just simply dealing with most meats.  I could hardly stand to eat them as well.  So, Andrew graciously made dinner several nights for himself and whatever I felt like eating at the time.  There were only a couple items that were neutral enough in flavor that wouldn't give me an upset stomach.  At first it was Spaghetti, but then I couldn't stand the tomato sauce anymore.  Then it because the regular beef stroganof box mix, but like I said earlier, I quickly became tired of the ground beef and soon was only eating the noodles and sauce with very little ground beef.  Andrew gladly finished off the meet from my plate.

As for Cravings..... well, I never really had any so far.  I feel like I am starting to get them more now that I can eat a few more food categories.  In fact I am starting to crave things that I haven't been able to eat in a while, like desserts or any other sweet thing.  I was looking through my cook books just last night looking for a nice little recipe for some kind of bars or banana bread or cake that I can make here soon and I was drooling over almost everything that sounded really tasty!  I have a feeling that I might have a hard time making a decision.  The only thing I did have a few times while I didn't feel the best was vanilla ice cream and applesauce. Not together of course, but just the fact that both of these items have a fairly neutral flavor and were cold, they were just soothing to my nauseated stomach so I would have them occasionally before bed.

Other than that,  I really can't complain about my first trimester experiences.  Other than feeling sick and having to lay down a lot, I didn't really vomit much at all, for which I am thankful for.  When I hear about others who had to go to the hospital because of dehydration.  I am very thankful that things are going as smoothly as possible for me and everything is healthy still.  Now that I am fully into my second trimester and not feeling the nauseating tendencies anymore, I am so happy to be able to have my normal routine back for the most part.  I can cook meals without feeling sick and I can clean the house without much of a problem.  I just simply take it easy and don't push myself too much.  But I can now go on walks with our dog and not feel sick halfway through, as well as help Andrew with getting a few things done around our house in preparation for the baby.

How about other experienced moms out there?  I am sure you have had similar experiences or your own different experiences.  Do you have any words of wisdom for me as I move forward in the coming months, Lord willing?  I would love to hear from you all!



Andrew and I want to share our excitement of our expanding family!  I am 12 weeks along now and finally through most of the challenges (i.e. nausea, tiredness, etc) of the 1st trimester.  I have had a lot of fun following the weekly stages of growth and knowing what is being shaped or formed each week, etc.  Friday morning I went in for my first Dr. checkup where we were able to hear the heart beat.  Quite the experience!  What an amazing thought that God has designed a living being growing inside for a while, heart beat and everything.  What also amazes us is the fact even though our little one is only like 2 inches big, he/she is fully formed to look like a normal child!  Fingers, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, feet, etc.  They are fully shaped the way they will be when you deliver but only a smaller version.  Amazing the detail and care that God personally takes to shape each child that is developed.

For fun, here is a picture of what our little one looks like right now.

Due date is April 21, 2012.  I know it is popular for others to find out what they are having and maybe even give out names, but Andrew and I decided that we are not following that trend.  What is the point of a surprise, right? We are eager to wait and see what gift God will be presenting up with.

So, sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I have had all I can do to make sure I feel good for work and getting enough sleep, etc.  As far as my meal plans.... well, they kind of got set aside for a while as meals were on the fly most nights, as I never knew what I would 'feel' like making or eating, or even if I felt good enough to make anything at all.  Thankfully Andrew has been very helpful and has made dinners for me when he got home from work.  He has also been helpful in cleaning the house, doing dishes, getting me water and something to eat while I am laying down not feeling the best.

Here I am with my little belly!


.2.8....yup, that's me!

I turned 28 this past Tuesday and here is what transpired that day....

I woke that morning with the worst sore throat ever and the beginning stages of what seems to be evolving into a nasty cold! ~Sigh~

On a more positive note: Andrew came home from work with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. See for yourself! :)

Also, we went out for a relaxing dinner at Arnies Family Restaurant for a nice home style cooked meal

...and then he told me that we were going to find a salon that was still open for the evening so I could get a pedicure! That is exactly what we did. We found one that was open till 8pm! Andrew sat in the massage chair next to me (as they weren't very busy) and got a back massage while he waited for them to finish massaging my legs and feet. I told him to pay close attention to the girl so he can do the same at home! :)


A Day to Remember

I find it hard to imagine what it was like to be one of the many who were in NYC 10 years ago. Here is a tribute to all who lost their lives for the sake of helping others. My God help us be prepared to meet him one day, should anything tragic happen or simply our time on this earth is done.

Pray that our nation will never forget. No matter how much people want to run their lives on their own, God is still in control. Nothing can happen without his all seeing eye. One day will find out what His ultimate intentions were.


A Fence & Trees

We dearly love our dog Roxy! Roxy likes to play outdoors but we have had to clip her to a chain since we got her, so she wouldn't run off chasing birds, squirrels or anything else that she might feel would be intruding in HER yard. So, we decided to invest into a fence. That idea was great, but we had one problem. There is a tree in the way of the fence line. It is dead anyways, so we might as well chop it down! It took some time with having to work with it bit by bit as we suddenly had all kinds of fire wood too for camping.

Here is a picture of the side of our yard with the tree and in the winter: (it was the only yard picture I had)

Here are a few pictures of us in progress (and with all the leaves on the trees):

The beginning pile of logs to be split for firewood!

The posts are set!

Here is the finished project:

This is the little corner behind our master bedroom
(with our beautiful flowering lilac and budding rhododendron bushes - this was taken in the spring)

The other side of our yard

Now.... to figure out where to build some flower gardens, etc. I think I have some work cut for me to which I better get busy with!


~One Year~

One year ago I married my best friend and I am still happily married to him today and love him even more!

Here is a little history for the special occasion and a few pictures to go with it.

Fall of 2006
It all began when I was invited for dinner at this new seminary student's house, whose wife had similar interests as I did in design, etc.  While I was there for lunch, I looked through their wedding album and as we got to a picture of their bridal party and family picture, I was kindly pointed out a nice young man that was part of the bridal party and family who was 'still single and my age'.  How convenient!  I laughed it off as did to everyone who tried to be 'helpful' and point out nice young guys for me.

February 29, 2007
I saw Andrew (and his brother) for the first time in church (as he was down visiting his brother and sister-in-law) and then again at his brother's house that evening for his sister-in-law's birthday party.  I was duly warned that he was coming down for the birthday party.  We didn't say but 2 words to each other this whole night, however, but we did catch each other's eye in the narthex of church.

About a month after, Andrew decided to come down on his own 'for a visit'.... and maybe to have a chance to be able to see and talk to this girl that he has so much interest in.  It was at this time that we exchanged emails and started communicating with each other.  Andrew came down for a visit a couple times after that, but we simply communicated via email for the most part that year.

March 2008
Andrew came down for his niece's baptism.  It had been some time since we had seen each other so we couldn't stop talking to each other after church.  At that point I knew I was definitely interested in moving forward into something more serious.

July 18, 2008
Andrew and I officially started dating.
From then on, we traveled back and forth every other weekend to visit each other.  At the time it was only a 4.5 hour drive for us so it didn't seem that long.   When you are traveling to visit someone you are head over heals for, the time just flies by!

September 19, 2009

Andrew surprised me in Grand Haven with a beautiful ring and the sunset in the back ground.  He was not alone!  He had my whole family up there with him and one of my girl friends and her boyfriend at the time.

You can read about that {HERE}.

July 31, 2010
Wedding bells were ringing!

We were happily married this beautiful sunny day.  I couldn't have asked for a better day.  Everything went very smoothly (with a couple bumps which nobody notices anyways) but other than that, I really can't complain.  I hope everyone else also enjoyed themselves as much as we did!  You can look at the rest of the wedding details {HERE}.

July 31, 2011
It is now one year later... and now look at us!