Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Baby Butler is 25 Weeks!

Baby Growth:

That’s exactly what I feel….I can tell Jase is a cauliflower-sized little guy right there on the side of my belly!


My Symptoms: I still feel GREAT right now and I’m enjoying every minute of it!! Everyone keeps telling me it’s not going to last and I’ll get really uncomfortable again during the third trimester…..but I’ll deal with that when it comes (thank you negative nancies, for the warning!).  For now, I am soaking it up and LOVING it! I am incredibly thankful for feeling so good because I REALLY thought knew I was going to LOVE being pregnant, so I was a little disappointed that I haven’t felt super awesome and loved it like I thought I would…..up to this point anyway. I can honestly say now that at this point in my pregnancy I am truly LOVING being pregnant!!! I am SO in love with this little man already, and SO in love with his Daddy!! Cloud 9.

I have tons more energy, my skin is fairly clear, I am sleeping better, I feel happy, and it seems easier to breathe/move/turn over. I feel strong, I’m eating healthier & drinking more water, and overall it’s just been a good few weeks.

My hands are slightly swollen today….and this is the first time that has happened. That’s what I get for eating a high sodium meal too close to bedtime. (I’m not even going to tell you what it was because you’ll think I’m lying about the whole eating healthier thing…haha! But it’s because I had a ladies event at church last night till late, so Jon made dinner….and his cooking repertoire includes about 2 staple recipes…..neither very healthy.)

I have also been waking up every morning with bloody boogers, (sorry, I know that’s gross), but if that’s the biggest complaint I have then I’m pretty okay with that. I am so hoping I don’t start getting nose bleeds though. Everyone who knew me in high school can remember I used to get some SERIOUS nosebleeds!!!

OH, and I came back negative for Parvo & shingles (I’m immune to both?), thank God… so that was some good news. Ahhhh, the joys of working in a school!

Weight/Belly: I think I am up right around 20 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, but the weight gain has slowed the last couple weeks. I’ll have to ask the doctor next week when we go for the glucose tests how much their records show I have gained total. My face is getting fuller, but for the most part I’m gaining in my belly & boobs. I know there’s obviously not a 20 lb baby in there, but that’s definitely the two areas that are growing the most for sure! Especially my “bust”….Sheesh! Those things are serious!!! I know they have grown AT least a whole cup size, and maybe even more?? I just wear sports bras every day to try to keep those suckers contained. I have constant cleavage (which I don’t usually have), and that means boob sweat. Gross.


{Ha! This picture cracks me up! My MIL is a hard core animal lover and has a soft spot for pit bulls, so she got me & my SIL these shirts for Christmas because they support a good cause. We took a picture to send to her….and who would have thought….Jon thought it was SO HOT!?!? (even with my belly hanging out the bottom!) You can definitely see my big belly here and that he is hanging out over on the right side.}

I thought I saw some stretch marks one day this week (it’s hard to tell because I can’t see the bottom of my belly) but Jon swore no….it was just indentations from my pants. Whew! I’m now using (and LOVING) coconut oil on my belly. (Thanks for the tip, Amy!) I have some I use in smoothies, and a separate jar I use for my hair. I know, sounds crazy….but saw it on Pinterest and LOVED how it made my hair look/feel, so I use it every couple weeks. Now I’m adding it to my daily routine for my belly too. I love that it’s all natural & cheaper.

I will say…I’ve read that stretch marks are hereditary and depend on each person’s skin elasticity and genetics. So really, if they’re going to happen, they’re going to happen. But surely all the lotions, creams, oils, and butters HAVE to help at least a little, right?? Everyone swears by them, so hopefully they’re helping.

Maternity Clothes: Yep, rocking em out. I still wear some regular clothes a lot of times too. Thankfully a lot of my shirts are long so they work, and even if not I just wear a long tank under and it’s cute. My MIL got me my first pair of maternity jeans for Christmas and they are AWESOME!!! Woo hoo! Pretty much everything I have has been given to me (what a blessing!) and I am SO thankful!! I just cannot bring myself to spend money on maternity clothes. I do not consider it an “investment.” I would rather spend my money preparing for the baby, putting it into savings, or paying extra on the mortgage…not on myself and my wardrobe.


{Rockin’ the new maternity jeans…..thanks, Donna!}

Movement: Jase is moving like crazy and his movements continue to get more intense each week.  I make Jonathan come feel ALL the time! I’m sure I annoy him sometimes…I always want him to stop what he’s doing & run over to feel because I want him to experience (to some degree) what I feel. I think he is surprised at how strong the movements are and he told me he gets why it takes my breath sometimes…some of them straight up feel like punches in the gut! I love that you can see him from the outside too.

It feels like he has spent the majority of this week poking his little booty out the right side of my belly. I really want to do a 4D ultrasound (or even 3D- whatever!) because I don’t have another one till 36 weeks….and I am itching to know how he is turned in there!!

I know this sounds funny, but I think he really likes going to church. He always gets SUPER wild during preaching! Haha…

Sleep: Sleeping MUCH better this week! Not enough, but definitely better! By the time we get home from work around 4:40), go to the gym or church, eat dinner & clean up, get ready for the next day, and spend a little time together, it’s 11:30! I try not to get in bed past midnight….so I usually get around 7 hours or so. Good thing I’m low maintenance in the morning & can get ready super quick! I really appreciate that extra 30 min-hour!!

I’ve been “catching up” on the weekends though when I can (I know there is really no such thing as catching up). Saturday and Sunday I took about a 2-3 hour nap and it WAS fabulous!!

Cravings: These guys…. No bake energy bites …..yum!! I have made them twice this week and eaten most of them myself, although Big Jon loves them too. They seriously taste like cookie dough to me!!! I’m not going to make them anymore for a while….I’m eating way too many of them.

Work Outs: We worked out 3-4 times this week. I jogged a little more on the treadmill (although my speed is more of a “fast walk” pace) and did some light weights and planks. I know I am making a spectacle of myself because people are ALWAYS staring at me in the gym….and it’s NOT because I look hot. I wear Jonathan’s t-shirts and the same 2 pairs of workout pants every time we go. I’m SURE it’s a sight seeing that big ole belly flopping around everywhere!! It’s always so funny to hear everyone’s comments to Jon about me while we are at the gym. And I seriously feel like I have to stop to pee every 5 seconds while we are there….annoying!

Best Pregnancy Moment This Week: My biological brother (Ryan, and his wife Katie) & sweet childhood friend (Lacy) BOTH had their precious babies this week!!! I am so excited for each of them. Baby Preston & Baby Josiah are both doing well- praise the Lord!


{Check out my HANDSOME little nephew, Preston! What a little stud already! He is beautiful!!}


{And the lovely Lacy with her sweet Josiah!! She looks AWESOME for just having a baby, and so thankful he is doing well and continuing to get stronger. Prayers are being answered, for sure!}

Goals for next week: Keep working on the “to-do” lists. Nursery, bedding, taxes, long-term sub plans, etc.

OH, and we’re going to a black tie dinner for Valentine’s Day (thank you, Advocare!)….which means I get to see my hot hubby in a TUX!!! AND….that I have to find a formal dress to wear!  Like ASPA. Hahaha….this could get interesting. I’m going to check out some consignment shops if I ever get a free second. I mean, what do you even wear with a 7 month preggo belly??


Thoughts: I had the CRAZIEST dream last night about labor & breastfeeding. In my dream, I was SO groggy after the baby was born that I couldn’t walk or go to the bathroom by myself and I barely remembered the delivery…and I was so, so sad about it! I was also having a really hard time breastfeeding because my milk was super thick??

So…can you guess my two of my biggest ‘real-life’ fears?? Haha! Obviously they are both manifesting through my dreams. I am praying all goes smoothly with delivery and I am able to delivery naturally….and that all goes well with breastfeeding (there are SO many benefits for mom, baby, & family that I’m pretty passionate about it, so I would be pretty devastated if it didn’t work out). I know the classes we are starting in February will ease some of the anxiety about them both because being knowledgeable about something always makes me feel more confident and better prepared.

P.S. This has been QUITE a hot topic (natural vs. epidural) and I prefer not talking about it honestly, because I feel like this is a VERY personal decision for EACH mom and not one to be judged by others. But people are ridiculously critical- both ways!

Just to clarify… I am not against epidurals or c-sections by any means and know they can both be necessary & GREAT. I am not a HARD CORE all natural person who thinks it’s the only way and you win some super mommy points for having all natural….that’s silly. But, we have prayed about it a LOT and feel very comfortable with our decision to go that route. Obviously EVERY labor/delivery is different and there is no way to plan for the unexpected, so of course I have an open mind that anything can happen once we get in there. However, Jonathan & I are planning to use the Bradley method and are mentally preparing to go that route. He knows the few things I do NOT want….so hopefully that will be honored.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

God’s Perfect Timing

Today I was looking back through my prayer journal and am SO thankful to be able to write PRAISE next to something we have been praying about for a long time! My oldest sister, Tammie, has several debilitating health issues and is always in a lot of pain, making it really challenging for her to drive and work. We have been praying for her disability to be approved years, and it was FINALLY approved this past week! Praise the Lord!! What a blessing an awesome testimony for her.


Obviously she had no choice but to wait…but it got me thinking. What are we doing WHILE we are waiting??

I feel like there are so many people WAITING on something right now.

Maybe it’s  a new job. Direction. A ring. A spouse. A baby. An adoption. A house. Healing. A restored relationship. An answer.

I know so many people who have been praying and praying for SOMETHING to happen in their life, and in those moments of waiting, it seems normal to ask “Where is God? Does He even hear me? Does He really care?”


I wrote a post a while back about waiting on the Lord…but let’s be honest, it is so much easier said than done.


Here’s what I’m learning. We claim we trust God….and most of us think we trust God. But when it comes down to it, do we REALLY trust Him??

We trust God with our eternity, but it’s so much tougher to trust Him with our NOW. We live in a generation where we like quick fixes, and we expect our prayers to be answered in the same way. Quickly. Preferably in our own time, and in the way we want. We are not content with anything else.

We assume when God doesn’t answer us immediately that He doesn’t hear us; that He isn’t working in our life; that He doesn’t love us; that we have done something wrong and are being punished. It seems like He is blessing everyone else BUT us….and we begin focusing on and comparing our journey with others’. That is NOT at all what God intends.


Your journey is your own, and God has you EXACTLY where He wants you, and for a reason. Our goal as believers should be to continue to seek Him, draw closer to Him, TRUST Him, and have faith in His works….which includes (as difficult as it may be) accepting HIS TIMING.

God is ALWAYS at work. And God is LOVE. He always has your best interest at heart. He wants the VERY best for you, and that includes HIS perfect timing. We forget that we  can only see right now, but God sees big picture. Sometimes He is busy working other things out so He can bless us above and beyond all we have asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20). Sometimes he is trying to help us to grow closer to Him….to learn to trust HIM alone, lean ONLY on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), and develop our faith. When we try to rush things and make things happen in our own timing, we can end up causing ourselves a lot of heartache and pain. I know I have seen this time and time again…particularly when people rush into marriage. We tend to always be thinking of the next step, and sometimes God just wants us to BE STILL. To listen. To let Him finish a work.


Looking back now, I can see that every time the Lord has had me WAIT on something, He was trying to teach me. To help me grow. To increase my faith. To allow me to encourage others who are going through something similar. To cause me to focus more on Him. To spend more time in His Word and in prayer. To get my attention in some way.

I read a story once (and I can’t remember it EXACTLY, but I know it goes something like this) about a lady who was married to an unbeliever. She went to church (without him) EVERY week… and she prayed for him to come to know the Lord every single day. She told God she didn’t care if it took years, that she would keep praying for Him and she trusted Him to do a work. After ten years of faithfully attending church solo & praying for her husband without seeing any fruits of change, she was discouraged and began to think the Lord wasn’t hearing her prayer. She was tempted to give up. After hearing an encouraging message one Sunday, she decided to continue praying for him. When she went home that Sunday, her husband confessed to her he was ready to accept Christ as his savior. After ten years of faithful praying, her prayer was answered. Now….imagine if she had chosen to give up. She may not have been able to spend eternity with her husband.

So here’s my challenge. If you are in a season of waiting, do not give up. Try not to question God’s timing. Rather, ask Him what He is trying to show you during your waiting. What is it He is wanting to do in your life, right now?? Dig in to the Word, spend more time with Him in prayer, and find comfort and peace in Scriptures that speak to you. And definitely do NOT make a move until you hear clearly from the Lord. So many times we try to rush things and make them happen in our own timing, and like I said, when we do things out of God’s will, that usually results in chaos and heartache. 

And of course, remember….


There is SO much freedom in trusting God’s PERFECT timing. And it’s such an incredible blessing to look back  and see He was really in control all along, working everything out perfectly, to bless you abundantly.

Some TRUTHS for us to resolve in our hearts & minds:

· I will always have unfulfilled longings this side of Heaven. (Romans 8:23, 25; Ephesians 3:11; Hebrews 11:13-16)

· The deepest longings of my heart cannot be filled by any created person or thing. (Psalm 16:11; 73:25)

· God is enough. If I have Him, I have all I need. (Psalm 23:1, 73:23-26, Colossians 1:9-10)

· God’s love for me is infinite and unconditional. (John 15:13, Romans 5:8, 8:32, 38-39, Ephesians 3:14-19, 1 John 4:7-10)

· I don’t have to perform to earn God’s love or favor. (Ephesians 1:4-6)

· God ALWAYS has my best intentions at heart. (Psalm 21)

· God is good, and everything He does is good. (Psalm 31:19, 34:8, 100:5, 106:1, 119:68, 136:1, Ephesians 1:3-14)

· God never makes mistakes. (Isaiah 46:10, Romans 8:28-39)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy

I love eating healthy and the way it makes me feel. I love knowing that by making good food choices, I am taking care of this ONE body the Lord blessed me with and am hopefully helping to ward off many of the preventable diseases and illnesses plaguing our nation.

I am passionate about nutrition period, so of course things have not changed now that I’m preggo!

That being said...I have to admit that eating healthy during pregnancy has been more challenging than I expected (up until now). Most of my friends who are pregnant (and also normally very healthy eaters) agree.  During the first trimester especially, I didn’t eat nearly as healthy as normal, and I was pretty upset about it. I had (and still do) major food aversions to grilled chicken (I’m not a big meat eater anyway, so it was tough to lose this source of lean protein) and couldn’t stand the thought of veggies or salads, or even raw nuts. Natural peanut or almond butter didn’t even sound good and I definitely didn’t want eggs. That pretty much eliminated the majority of what I normally eat. I also didn’t want water (I don’t drink sodas or tea or anything, so I was drinking very little at that point), and the off and on nausea made it tough to get down anything besides raunchy carbs.

I have also had people constantly encouraging me to “eat bad, live it up, eat as much as I want, now’s my chance” etc. I always smile and nod, but have tried not to take this pathetic advice to heart for a few reasons (and I don’t mean that ugly.) I am responsible for growing a human being, and I am his only source of nutrients right now. He has no choices about what he is putting into his little body to help him grow, so I want to give him the very best possible.  To me, this is the first step in making the BEST possible choices I can for my baby! I I also do not plan to let myself get huge and out of control either. Not only does that put unnecessary stress on your body, but I also know a woman’s body does not bounce back as quickly after the baby. I want to get back to normal as soon as possible…(although I know it will take some time & I need to rest post-delivery….I def will do that, & I know breastfeeding will help too.) But like I said, pregnancy, both during and after, are NOT an excuse. My reason for wanting to get back has nothing to do with vanity….it’s truly because I know it’s healthy. Excess weight is not healthy, period. AND, it’s important to me to stay looking good for my hubby.  I vowed to give him the very best version of myself possible, and that includes taking care of myself physically.

That doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with my weight either. In fact, I’ve gained more than most of my friends at this point- probably 15+ lbs. Of course I monitor it to keep it in a healthy range, but it’s not about a number on a scale.  I’m more concerned with proper nutrition. (Like I said, I want to keep the weight in a healthy range, but I only weigh myself maybe once every 2 weeks.)

Anyway, that first trimester was a toughie. Thankfully that is behind me and I have been able to get back to “normal” over the last couple months…and I feel SO MUCH better! The difference is incredible. It’s interesting…since I’ve started eating better,my energy has picked back up too. Coincidence? Of course not. Nutrition affects so many aspects of our health- digestion, energy, sleeping, immune system….the list goes on! This has been a great cycle because eating better has given me more energy to work out….which also helps with my energy, mood, AND helps me sleep better! Now I know I’m not anything impressive in the gym, but I am moving. That’s especially important  because I try to sit a lot while at work. (It’s really easy to be an your feet ALL day as a teacher….and while it’s important to be active, I know my body also needs significantly more rest than normal…and I get REALLY tired when I am up or walking too much).

Before sharing some of my tips, I wanna say that I am FAR from perfect!!  I have overeaten, splurged, eaten more sugar than I should, and skipped workouts. Remember when I was craving COOKIES for like 3 weeks straight? Yea, not good. And I ate school lunch a few times a week for at least a few months when I felt too exhausted to pack anything (let’s be honest….just not that healthy!). Plus, I have bought some sugary cereal more than once to help satisfy my sweet tooth.  But just like when not pregnant, it is NOT about being perfect….it’s about consistently making better choices.

So here are a few things I’m doing now to get back on track and make sure the next four months are as HEALTHY as possible!

*Buying organic. I am more worried about pesticides now than ever, so I buy organic as often as possible and wash all of my produce. (I used to be SUPER lazy about that and never wash anything except apples.)
*Starting with a healthy breakfast. I am HUGE on  breakfast!! I have written countless blog posts, and it’s always one of the FIRST things I talk to someone about when they’re trying to make healthier choices.  (We WAY overcomplicate it…it’s very simple….eat a big, healthy, balanced, breakfast; drink water; eat REAL food- not processed junk.) I either eat eggs & and Ezekial bread or English muffin, OR drink a shake. Either way, I know those are two well balanced, high protein options to get my body off to a good start.
*Taking TOP quality vitamins. 
*Avoid food & drinks they recommend to avoid. I don’t eat hot dogs, lunch meat ( have eaten deli meat a few times if it’s sliced fresh in the store and warmed, but still limit), shellfish, unpasteurized cheese or juice, certain fish, etc.  I don’t drink sodas or coffee (not even decaf) because they can dehydrate you….and of course I have to limit caffeine. I choose to get my daily caffeine (120 mg) through Spark. Honestly, most of the things on the “Do not eat/drink” list aren’t that good for you anyway. Am I being overly cautious? Maybe. But like Jonathan says, why the heck would you even risk it?
*Eating smaller portions. This hasn’t really been an option.  Typically, portion sizes are what I struggle with. Yes, I eat healthy, but too much is still too much. Now I don’t have much of a choice, so hopefully this new habit will stay with me after the baby is born. My belly gets SO full that I don’t have room for big meals, so I eat smaller portions and eat every 2 1/2- 3 hours like clockwork. I am never hungry or thirsty (and we should never let ourselves get to the point where we feel either of those….that’s how you make sue to stay well hydrated and keep your metabolism burning).
*No plastics. I drink out of a BPA free water bottle and have a filtered pitcher at school. I also don’t heat up anything in plastic in the microwave (which isn’t good for anyone unless it’s BPA free, and even then I’m skeptical…. y’all know I’m not a fan of microwaves anyway.)
*Cooking at home more. No matter how healthy of an option you pick while eating out, it is just NOT going to be as healthy as the way I prepare it at home. For example, when I’m craving Mexican, we go to Moe’s. What we eat there is healthier than what we would eat at a normal Mexican restaurant. Still, last night I made burritos for us at home….and not only were they delicious, but SO much healthier. I used lean ground turkey, low sodium taco seasoning, Ezekial tortillas, organic brown rice, low-fat shredded cheese, veggie packed salsa, & spinach & organic tomatoes. I gave Jon some corn for his too. We loved them, they filled us up, and I’m certain it was healthier (and CHEAPER) than what we would have eaten at Moe’s.
*Making smoothies daily. This is something I started right before Christmas and I am loving it. It helps with my sweet tooth, and I love knowing I am packing in so many healthy items. Plus, they are super filling and an awesome afternoon snack! Here’s my favorite recipe: spinach, kale, celery, 1 scoop Amazing grass (berry flavored), 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp either natural almond butter or coconut oil, lemon juice, 1 scoop ground & milled flaxseed, 1 c frozen berry medley, water & ice (this makes enough for 2 smoothies)
*And after talking to Joann and Erin (and seeing that Larissa is enjoying it too), I plan to start juicing. This will be a totally new endeavor, so I’ll keep ya posted! Anyone have any great recipes or a reasonably priced juicer they love??
Pregnancies are all unique and I know everyone has a different experience, but with it comes incredible responsibility. I feel so much better now that I know I’m doing my best to give my body and baby what they need.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby Butler is 24 Weeks!

 Baby Growth:


(I am technically 25 weeks in this pic, but I just got the stickers…)

Jase is the size of a cantaloupe!!!

My Symptoms: I still feel really good!! The “honeymoon phase of pregnancy” that comes during the second trimester is NOT a myth, after all!! (I was really starting to think everyone was lying to me!) My energy has picked back up, I feel happy, and am enjoying the changes my body is making- especially feeling big boy moving ALL.THE.TIME.

I am SO thankful I’ve been healthy up to this point, too, and am praying that continues. I’m attributing it to my Advo vitamins & LOTS of hand washing (and of course being covered with my hubby’s prayers)… because sickness is seriously ALL around! As a teacher, I come into contact with TONS of students every day. I teach over 150 kiddos just in my classes alone (all coughing, sneezing, and sharing their germs ALL over their keyboard & mouse). People have been dropping like flies with the flu….and not only that, we’ve had some crazier stuff going on. (Parvo, shingles, & hand-foot-mouth.) I know Big Jon prays a big hedge of protection around me & Baby Jase every morning, and I am so thankful for his prayers! They are working!!

I am starting to get some heartburn…but it’s nothing unbearable. (actually…there have been 1-2 times I’ve felt like I’ve thrown up in my mouth.)

Weight/Belly: Loving this belly!!! Looks like a straight up basketball! Jon said you can still see the lines from where I used to have abs on the sides. I don’t really know about all that, but I decided to show you guys some raw belly pics this week. (I don’t know if that’s gross or offensive to anyone….??)


Maternity Clothes: So thankful for a sweet friend hooking me up with some of her maternity pants….definitely expanded my wardrobe! (You can see Big Jon in the reflection…)


Movement: Ohhhhh, myyyyyyy, gooooooodness!!!! Jase is a WILD MAN!!! I can see him HARD CORE from the outside of my belly now….all the time. It is still SO cool to me every.single.time and I am awestruck seeing all those movements. What a fun blessing! I stop and stare (and talk to him when no one else is around) every time he is moving. I could feel either his head or booty (not sure how he’s turned) pressing out on the right side and can tell my belly looks a little lopsided today. His movements are so intense that they “tickle” on the inside (I don’t know how else to explain it) and even take my breath sometimes. It is SO NEAT!!

And I have to say, I’m even more thankful than ever for those movements. One day this week I was NOT feeling so hot. My belly was really hurting (I assumed it was round ligament & some stretching, but still, you can’t help but feel nervous) any time I stood up and I couldn’t lean back in my chair or put my feet up. I couldn’t feel Jase moving as much as normal either, and I ended up taking two Tylenol (the first time I have taken ANYTHING besides vitamins this pregnancy….I HATE taking medicine). I decided if I didn’t feel better by the afternoon I was going to call the doctor, but thankfully I ended up feeling better.  Still, it was enough to make me appreciate EVERY kick & flutter even more.

Sleep: I am sleeping better now. I am not waking up to potty as much and the only time I really wake up is to roll over. Rolling over is still a challenge, but it helps to roll over slowly on my tummy (I actually end up getting on all fours rather than putting any pressure on my belly) rather than across my back, which left me totally breathless. Thanks for the tip, Catherine!

Cravings: DUH! I just realized….I have eaten an orange almost EVERY DAY of this entire pregnancy!!!

Work Outs: I walked a few times this week (even jogged a tiny bit….I mean, if you can call it that…) & did some light lifting. I have also been doing some squats & planks to try to keep my core strong, but still REALLY need to get on some prenatal yoga. I am such a believer in yoga period- you’d think I’d be more disciplined in doing it. So far I haven’t at all….blah!

Best Pregnancy Moment This Week: We ordered some fabric swatches for bedding, finalized shower dates, & started getting the invitation lists together. We ordered the invitations & are getting going on planning the showers.

Goals for next week: Still working on & finalizing the registries (we ended up going with Babies R Us, Target, & myregistry.com). PRENATAL YOGA DVD. Get a juicer.

Thoughts: It is really, really starting to feel REAL!!!

I love hearing everyone else’s birth stories too…because thankfully I have FINALLY come to the realization that EVERYONE’s delivery is TOTALLY different. There is no way to predict anything, so now it’s just interesting to hear all of these stories & helps me feel a little more prepared for WHATEVER may happen.

I will say….I’m thinking about writing a book & calling it “Things you DON’T say to a Pregnant Lady!” Here are just a few of the fun things I’ve heard lately. “Are you SURE you’re not having twins? Or triplets?” “How much longer- like another couple weeks or so, right?” “I wasn’t NEARLY as big as you at this stage in my pregnancy!” ”Yea, my friend just had a 12 lb baby.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Butler is 23 Weeks!

Baby Growth: Whew! It feels SO good to be able to finally call him by name!! Jase is measuring a week and 2 days ahead. They looked at the measurements of his head, belly, and leg to determine that. They said as long as he is measuring within 10 days of his original due date, they won’t change it. I’m guessing he’ll be here by the end of April or early May!


Jase is rockin’ it out at the size of a grapefruit!


My Symptoms: I feel GREAT!!!! I am so thankful to finally be able to say that! (Better enjoy it while it lasts!) There haven’t really been any issues at all, other than trying to roll over. Rolling over is for the birds. Who knew such a small movement could be so challenging??

Oh, and my belly button is stretched out so far, it almost hurts. It pokes OUT, so I try to wear tank tops under everything to keep it from showing. There just isn’t much I can do about it though.

Weight/Belly: We had an appointment on Thursday, and I had gained 5 lbs since my last appointment. No stretch marks, but the baby bump is SERIOUS! It still catches me off guard when someone asks me about it in public. I’m sure I react like “How did you know?” (or at least that’s what I’m thinking in my head). Ohhhh…..Maybe THIS gave it away…


I have GOT to stop taking these pictures at like 9:30 after a super long day!! Not cool.


Layers are a prego’s best friend! Haha, look how short this would be if I wasn’t rockin’ those tanks!! I mean, let’s be honest….you would see bare skin….and nobody wants to see the pale bacne I got goin’ on right now.


You can’t really tell I’m pregnant from the back, right? I mean, duh….you shouldn’t be able to. But when I turn around….WHOA!!! (And yes, I’m slightly pigeon toed.)


See the belly button? Ew!!


Maternity Clothes: Yep! Rocking a good mixture of maternity clothes & regular clothes now.

Movement: This week’s movement was INTENSE! It almost took my breath away a few times. He is DEFINITELY getting big & strong in there and you can see the movement from the outside.

Sleep: Getting right around 6-7 hours a night. Not quite enough….I know.

I am sleeping okay, but rolling over is A-NNOY-ING!!!

No more crazy dreams this week though.

Cravings: No cravings. Funny, I had way more cravings at the beginning or pregnancy than I do now. I will say that I have to eat WAY smaller portions than I’m used to because my belly ALWAYS feels so full. I have had a tough time eating grilled chicken for most of the pregnancy, so I’m doing my best to get enough protein. I’m finally eating much healthier and back to my salads, fruits, veggies, eggs, smoothies, etc. And chocolate.

Work Outs: I walked a few times this week.

Best Pregnancy Moment This Week: Announcing the name!!! Oh, and picking out baby furniture! (Holy moly, Georgia Baby is my new favorite place!!!) We ordered it Sunday and it will be in sometime between 4-8 weeks.


We are going to stick with a very “simple” theme of just a few patterns and his monogram.  I LOVE this bedding…& then I can pick a couple of bright colors (maybe teal & red? one or the other? both? don’t know yet) to accent with. L.O.V.E.


I love the name on the wall too, so I’m going to find a way to get JASE on there somewhere.


Who would have ever thought to put a rug on the wall?? Such an awesome idea….how come I haven’t seen that on Pinterest? We will DEF be doing that….super cute!IMG_2351IMG_2352

This is our furniture set. LOVE it. It’s GREAT quality so it should definitely last us through all of our kiddos, & love that it transitions to toddler bed and even full size furniture set. That is brilliant in my opinion!!


I’m also getting Big Jon to transform our room by adding some bead board, painting the trim & doors white (it’s cream right now), and painting the walls light grey. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while anyway. So it will go from this….


To more like this….


We also started registering…Babies R Us & Target, and plan to get on myregistry.com. Mom has been a huge help because I HATE doing that kind of thing. It also REALLY helpful to have a few friends’ “can't live without” lists. I printed those bad boys out & they were super, super helpful!!  Check out Emily’s Ultimate Baby Registry Guide!

We also heard his heart beat @ the appointment (it was 130 this time) and met one of the other doctors at the practice. He was super nice and has 3 sons himself….two of whom I have taught! Small world, huh?

Goals for next week: Start some “Can You 24?” and prenatal yoga DVDs. Finish the registries. Finalize shower dates. It’s getting REAL, friends!!!

Thoughts: We signed up for some classes at the hospital….both childbirth and breastfeeding. Most people have told us they opted NOT to do them, but it’s only $100 and I am the kind of person who likes to be as prepared as possible. I don’t have as much free time right now to research the snot out of everything like I normally do (long-term sub plans, paperwork for maternity leave, taxes, Bible study, etc. are taking up most of my “free” time), so this seems like a great option & Jon can be involved too. It gives us some set time to talk about, think about, learn about, and prepare for the baby, and I think it will help us both feel better and not like we are going in to this totally blind! Plus, we’re going with some of our other friends (the Adams') who are due within a couple weeks of us, so I KNOW we will all make it fun! No worries, I’ll be sure to take pictures!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lies Women Believe…About God

I’m leading a ladies’ Bible study right now called “The Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.”  This is hands down one of my favorite studies because it opened my eyes big time to areas in my life I was allowing the enemy to deceive me, and it ended up transforming me spiritually.  Even though it was hard to really look at myself in the mirror and truly examine my own heart, I grew so much through the study and still re-read the book every summer at the beach. Even now, I recognize when I catch myself starting to listen to or believe something that I know goes against God’s Word.

Here’s the deal. Satan uses lies to lead us into sin and bondage. Every sin can be traced back to a lie. He wants us there because he knows he can make us feel defeated, frustrated, overwhelmed, discouraged, insecure, ashamed, unworthy, etc., and then the Lord can’t use us. Anyone else felt that way? I know I have.

When I think of bondage that affects women, these are some areas I think of: addiction (alcohol, drugs, pills, shopping, FB, working out, food), lying, debt/shopping, eating disorders, guilt, past, need for approval, fear of rejection, unforgiveness (toward others or self)/bitterness), gossip, fear of failure/rejection, worry, self-pity, jealousy, depression. And NONE of us are above any of these things. We have to constantly guard our hearts because we are all once choice- believing one lie- away from getting into this.

Think back to the garden when the serpent deceived Eve to get her to eat from the tree…her ONE limitation! Read Genesis 3:1-24. That’s EXACTLY how the enemy is still working in our lives today. When I think about Eve & how she must have felt, I feel like I can relate. There have been so many times I have caught myself thinking “Did God REALLY say that?” or “Surely he can forgive me just this one time without any consequences. It wasn’t THAT bad and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

Satan knows where we are most vulnerable to being deceived, and that is where he will target his attack. A number of lies are particularly deceptive because they are “half-truths” rather than outright lies.  The enemy knows most believers aren’t going to believe anything that goes directly against God, so he has to be more “cunning.” He specifically wants to attack our relationship with the Lord though and what we believe about God.

There is nothing more crucial than what we believe about God because what we believe about God is foundational to our whole belief system and determines the way we live.  If we believe things about Him that aren’t true, we will eventually act on those lies and end up in bondage.

Most of us would never SAY that we believe these lies about God. In fact, we may not even realize that we are believing them (yet another attack from the enemy), but the truth is, our lives may reflect that we have fallen prey to believing them.  Sometimes our heart is wicked & makes us “feel” things that aren’t true, and if we aren’t grounded in the Word & don’t have these things resolved in our minds, Satan may be attacking have found a little crack to sneak into our lives.

Lie #1: “God is not really good. If He were, He would…”

· “We know God is good, but deep in our hearts we may question His goodness to us personally. When turbulence, trials, disappointment, or pain come into our lives, Satan tempts us to question God’s goodness. Once we doubt God’s goodness, we feel justified in rejecting His will and making our own decisions about right and wrong.”


· God is good, and everything He does is good. (Psalm 31:19, 34:8, 100:5, 106:1, 119:68, 136:1, Ephesians 1:3-14)

· God never makes mistakes. (Isaiah 46:10, Romans 8:28-39)

Lie #2: “God doesn’t love me.”

· “We trust what we feel to be true, rather than what we know to be true. (We know we are supposed to believe God loves us, but often believe He loves everyone BUT us.) We look around at our relationships- a loveless marriage; rejection by an ex-mate; grown children who won’t call home or visit; approaching 40 and not a suitor in sight- and our feelings tell us “God doesn’t love me.” The truth is, God DOES love us regardless of whether we feel it or not, what we have done, where we come from, etc. He loves us with an infinite, incomprehensible, unconditional love because God IS love.”


· God’s love for me is infinite and unconditional. (John 15:13, Romans 5:8, 8:32, 38-39, Ephesians 3:14-19, 1 John 4:7-10)

· I don’t have to perform to earn God’s love or favor. (Ephesians 1:4-6)

· God ALWAYS has my best intentions at heart. (Psalm 21)

Lie #3 “God is not really enough.”

· “When we walk out of the church doors and into the world, do we really believe that Christ is all we need? As with the first 3 lies, we would never say this aloud; but our actions prove we believe otherwise. We don’t believe God is truly enough to solve all of our problems. Many of us are looking for other people and things to fill the empty places in our hearts- food, shopping, friends, hobbies, vacations, our job, our family.”


· God is enough. If I have Him, I have all I need. (Psalm 23:1, 73:23-26, Colossians 1:9-10)

Lie #4 “God’s ways are too restrictive.”

· “The Scriptures teach us God’s laws are for our good and protection. Obedience is a pathway to freedom. But Satan places in our minds that God’s laws are burdensome, unreasonable, and unfair, and we will be miserable if we obey them. (Ex: In the Garden, he caused Eve to focus on her ONE limitation…bondage to food).”


· God’s ways are best. (Deuteronomy 6:24-25, Joshua 1:8)

· God’s restrictions are always for my good. (James 1:19-27)

· Resisting or rebelling against God’s ways brings heartache and conflict. (Psalm 68:6, Proverbs 15:32-33)

Lie #5 “God should fix my problems.”

· “This lie is deceptive in 2 ways. 1) Makes us believe God is like a cosmic genie hired to serve us; and 2) Suggests our goal in life is to be free from all problems- to get rid of everything unpleasant or difficult because our lives should be problem free. This deceptive way of thinking explains why lots of Christians are bitter, angry, and frustrated with life.”

· “The truth is, life is hard. We live in a fallen world. We are going to have to deal with temptation, sin, disease, pain, and death. But the good news is God is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), and although He doesn’t wave a magic wand to make our problems disappear, He uses problems to shape and mold our lives the way He did with Jesus, who “learned obedience from what He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).”


· Life is hard. (Romans 8:21-22)

· God is more concerned about glorifying Himself and changing me than about solving all my problems. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

· God has an eternal purpose He is fulfilling in the midst of my problems. (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4)

· God wants to use my problems as part of His sanctifying process in my life. (Job 23:10)

· No matter what problems I face, God’s love is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Ask yourself these questions.

1. If I’m REAL with myself, which of these lies have I believed about God?

2. How has believing the lie came about in my actions/attitude/thoughts/behavior?

3. Which of the “Truths” and Scriptures stuck out to me that I need to focus on in my life right now?

Moving from Bondage to Freedom:

1. Identify the area(s) of bondage or sinful behavior.

2. Identify the lie(s) at the root of that bondage or behavior.

3. Replace the lie(s) with the Truth.

Start asking ourselves important questions with EVERYTHING (media choices, thoughts, etc.):

  • ·What is the message here?
  • Is it really true?
  • Am I being deceived by a way of thinking that is contrary to the Truth?

Here is a link to the book: Lies Women Believe

I HIGHLY recommend it if you’re looking for some new reading material and/or a new study.

DeMoss, Nancy Leigh. Moody Publishers; Repreinted edition edition (April 2002).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

And we have a NAME!!!

We contemplated not finding out the gender...but we decided we wanted to know, and it was a great decision for us. I LOVE knowing we have a little man growing in there!! It made me feel more connected to him and I know I'll feel more prepared knowing what to expect.

Then we contemplated (and even planned on) not telling the name. I didn't wanna hear negative comments & I didn't want anyone to steal it. But I've just gotta be honest. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVEEEEE the name - so much that I don't really care what anyone else thinks or if anyone beats me to it, because THIS is meant to be his name.  Names are very important and we prayed about it and talked about it a lot before deciding this is what our little guy is going to be named.

Teaching can ruin names for you. I love most of my kids...but no matter how much you love a particular name, you can really just never name your child after a kid in class you've seen pick his nose and eat his boogers. (Hahhaa, I know that is nasty, but it's true. Even in middle school. Yeah.)

SOOOOO, here's what our little man's NAME!!! After lots of prayer & thought....

Drumroll, please.......


And we'll call him Jase.

Jase Butler! Ahhhhh, I stinkin' LOVE it!!

We have told a few people, and it melts my heart to hear people call him by his name. I love knowing that he can hear now, and it's so sweet hearing people talking to and loving on Baby Jase already. I especially love hearing Jon talk to him & say his name. He always says when he's moving around like crazy "Hey Jase, what are you doin' in there buddy?"

So here's the backstory. I remember going on a walk with Jonathan one afternoon when we first found out we were pregnant and we were talking about boy names. I was certain at that point (4 weeks prego! didn’t become “uncertain” until later) that is was a boy. I mentioned Jase then & loved it, but Jon wasn't sold.

I REALLY, REALLY like and was dead set on a one syllable, strong sounding name for a boy. So I kept Jase on my list.

Jon said he thought we would just "know" when we found the name. (Turns out he was right.)

We kept looking through list after list, and Jase was the only thing I liked. After our gender reveal party, we were driving home and Jonathan said out of the blue "How about William Jase?" I LOVED it. It was is perfect! And he was right....we just "knew."

Even cooler than that, William is a family name. It's Jonathan's grandpa's name and my mom's grandpa's name, so I love that we can tie that in from both sides. And I am a middle name baby myself (my first name is Amber) so I think it's kinda cool he gets to go by his middle name too- like his mama!

I think it sounds strong and southern, and so far everyone who we have told has loved it. (You can tell when people are being genuine.) And of course he may not ever play sports, but Jase Butler just SOUNDS like an athlete to me! Also, we don’t personally know anyone named Jase…so it’s “new” to us.

Even more than that, I LOVVVVE the meanings (from what I’ve found).

William= strong willed warrior, guardian/protector

Jase= healer, the Lord is salvation

Of course now Duck Dynasty is out & I'm sure everyone will think he's being named from that. I look to see the name becoming more popular (because let’s be honest….Jase is a little cooler than Willie or Si!) Honestly, we loved the name before we'd ever even heard of the show! But I will say, after watching it, I LOVE Jase! He's my fave. His dry sense of humor is hysterical to me, and everyone knows I'm a sucker for a beard.

Obviously. I mean, check out my hubby right now and his "No Shave Winter" look he's got goin' on!  It doesn’t bother me at all….I love some facial hair! (And he can SO pull it off!)


Hoping our little guy doesn't come out looking like this!!


We can’t WAIT to welcome Jase to the world in a few months!! I love praying for him by name & talking to him and being able to call him by his name. There is just something really special about that!

And whew! I’m GLAD to have that off my chest so I can call him JASE instead of Baby Butler! I’ve almost written Jase on the last few “weekly update” posts because that is just who he is now.

Love this sweet little man already.


Jase~ Mommy & Daddy already love you SO much!!  And we haven’t even met you yet! I can’t imagine how full our hearts are going to be when you come into this world in a few months! We have put so much time, thought, and prayer into your name and we know this is exactly what God wants you to be called. You are such a blessing already!