Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Year of Updates Part Two

I know, I know... You've all been waiting in suspense for my next blog post. Well, wait no longer! It's here! :) I need to update you guys on the other things that happened this past year; so here we go!

Warning: This is not a "hey, I'm going to read this to make me feel better" type of post. It's got a couple of stories about death, but ultimately it's about God's great love for us! So, just be warned!

This is my precious Granny. She passed away December 28, 2012. I was, unfortunately, not home to get to say goodbye to her, but it was just how Granny would have wanted it - TJ and I were with the youth on a trip. And I don't regret that one bit, TJ and I got to spend time with her on Christmas Day and she would have rather for us to have been with the kiddos than with her. She loved that TJ is a minister. She loved that we devoted time to the "young people" and tried to help them know Christ better. This was taken on mine and TJ's wedding day 4 years ago. I am so very blessed and humbled that I got to know her and have her in my life for 25 years. She taught me how to shop, eat good food, love people no matter what, how to love my husband by the way she loved Poppa, and most importantly how to have a relationship with Christ. She was loved by so many and we are all so blessed to have known her. I stopped by to see Pop yesterday. It was the first time since the funeral - I have had the flu and did not want to get him sick. He was doing pretty good. We talked for a few hours and he seemed to be in good spirits. He talked about Granny and how much he loved her. He talked about the day they got married - over 70 years ago by the way! He said that she made him a better man. If you're reading this please take a moment to pray for the widows you know in your life and also, take some time to visit them. James 1:27 tells us to look after orphans and widows in their affliction.

And on a lighter note (in a way...), we adopted a sweet kitty named Calvin! :) We decided to get another cat in August this year because we, ahem TJ, loves cats and we were beginning to get lonely without one running around the house. Our sweet Jay-Bird died in January 2012. I actually found him, Jay, when he was a few months old at a vet's office while visiting my parent's dog who had been hit by a vehicle. (side note - my parent's dog, Scout, was just fine. She had to stay at the vet for a week to be monitored and I just wanted her to know that she was a good dog and that we weren't leaving her there.) While at the vet, they had a cute little "vet cat" - a cat that lives at the vet because someone dropped him off and the vet didn't want to put him down. I thought he was the cutest cat ever! He was so soft and instantly "took a liking" to me. He was black and white and had a black dot on his forehead. I called TJ when I left the vet and told him about the cat. TJ said he'd go by and check him out. He did and came home with him too! I wanted him to have a "j" name and couldn't decide on one that fit him so we went with Jay. This was in the Spring of 2008, before TJ and I got married. Jay loved TJ so much because it was just the two of them for a little over 6 months; they lived in the bachelor pad. :) When I moved in Jay was tolerant of me and then he grew to love me just like TJ. He was a very strange cat, he hated when other people came over, especially my dad. He was comfortable with just the three of us. Skip ahead a few years and we have moved to Hyt and Jay starts having issues with his kidneys. Our amazing vet, Hyt Vet Clinic - Dr. Champion Jr, took such great care of Jay. He really was so compassionate and kind during our time we spent with him. He gave Jay an experimental treatment for his kidneys, it was kind of like dialysis, but it did not work. One night, after coming home from a terrible, no good, very bad day I found Jay laying in the floor; his back legs weren't working and he was in really bad shape. It was around 8:30pm and our vet was closed so we had to take him to the afterhours vet in McAdory. They were awesome there too. We made the decision to put him to sleep so he wouldn't have to suffer. It broke our hearts. We took him to Lawley the next day and buried him close to his outside kitty friend, Oreo. Here is Jay....
Like I said we adopted Calvin in August 2012. He has been so much fun! We actually went to PetSmart to find a female kitten, but this crazy male cat would not let me pet any other kitties in the cage! He would either knock them out of the way or position his head to where it would always be under my hand wherever I put my hand. I told TJ that I guess he was the one we were supposed to get and we got him. His name was Gilligan then. It was a terrible name. :) And since he "chose us" (as a nod to our Calvinistic friends) we named him Calvin. It really does suit him perfectly. He is such a Mama's Boy. He also passes gas something fierce. It smells worse than a grown man's. And here is our sweet Calvin...
I honestly can't write too much else from 2012 that I can remember. If I think of anything noteworthy I'll let you know! :) We find out what gender Baby Phelps is on February 13! That is my sister's birthday too! Much love peeps! Until next time!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Baby Bump! (or its just my fat that I normally suck in, but whatever!)

I'll post more on our crazy year tomorrow. Today I wanted to document my expanding belly. I can still wear some of my regular clothes, but they are becoming uncomfortably tight. I have a pair of maternity jeans and just this week (the past four days) I've worn them twice... They are so very comfy. Everybody should wear maternity jeans/pants, even if your not pregnant! :) TJ and I thought it would be fun to document the growing belly, known as sweet Baby Phelps from now on. It has been fun so far. I'm not the biggest fan of being in front of the camera; I'd much rather be the one taking the photos, but I am not going to be selfish because I want Baby Phelps to see how much he or she is loved. So here is what we have so far...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Year of Updates! :) (part 1)

Well, it has been 13 months since my last post on thankfulness. I feel like a slacker but then I think back to what this past year has held... It has been full of ups and downs.

In December 2011 I started working at Student Life - a ministry designed to support the 24/7/365 job of the Church to support their Children and Student Ministry. While not every day is full of the wonderful parts of ministry, it is good. I love being able to help serve churches, volunteers, and ministers in the areas of growth and discipleship. I can say this because TJ is a youth minister and I have lots of minister friends - Youth Ministers are some of the most helpless creatures ever created! I'm kidding - but only a little ! :)

We also started doing a small group/Bible study group with three other couples around that time. It has been challenging and rewarding. I have grown to really count these people as some of my best friends - and they truly are friends because they've seen me at some of my worst moments. I believe that God, in His perfect design for us, created us for community. We are designed to "do life" with other people. I mean God Himself is three persons existing as One, Great God. He said to Himself in Genesis, "Let us create man in our image..." So yes, there are times when I need alone time and space, but I truly love the community TJ and I get to be apart of weekly.

We had the chance to go to the beach with our small groupies in June. It was great - great weather, great friends, and the best seafood in the world! Amber and I did a spray tan before we left so we were looking good too! :)

In July our sweet friends, Andrew and Rebekah, told us they were expecting their first little one! :) It has been such a privilege for me because I have gotten to document, through photos, Rebekah's expanding belly! (Side note - Rebekah and I do photography together! :) She is super talented and we both enjoy working together and I think we do a pretty fabulous job. Here is the link to our Image 1:27 Facebook Page - Enjoy!) Below is one of my favorites that I have taken of them so far!

We had a super busy summer and fall with all sorts of youth ministry activities.

BIG NEWS! We had our FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY November 1, 2012!!! We decided to keep it low key because we had so much going on. We stayed home, painted cabinets, and just hung out together. It was so nice! We did have a great dinner at Surin 280, I got to get the soup that I just love! It's a coconut, curry type soup. I could seriously drink like hot tea or something... Ahh, just thinking about it makes me want to drive to 280!

Another BIG thing happened in November... Are you ready? We found out that we were expecting our first baby! AHHHHH!!!! Crazy, right?!?! It was (and still is) so surreal. I took the test while TJ was still at work with one of our church members, Rick, and I remember just laughing to myself, thinking that it couldn't possibly be real. Well, those things don't lie - I did another test and sure enough before I could even cap that thing, those two little lines showed up! It was so hard to wait that hour to tell TJ but I really wanted to tell him in person. I went to pick him up from Rick's house and he just kept jabbering away. I tried really hard to get him to leave so I could tell him. Finally, I got him away and told him to stop the car and I just said that I had news... He looked at me like he thought I had done something terrible - I just gave him the pregnancy test and he was just as stunned as I was! We both just laughed, like it was a joke. But it is no joke! I am 14 weeks and 3 days... We got to see Baby Phelps at our 6 and 10 week appointment and then, just yesterday, at the 14 week appointment we got to hear the HEARTBEAT! Best sound in the whole world! And when we go back in a month we have the chance of finding out what gender Baby Phelps is. We are still in awe that God has picked us to be this kid's parents, we will do our best - with help from Jesus! - to raise this child to love the Lord and love others.

I'll have to add another post in the next day or so because we had a little more happen too. I just don't want this post to be too long! Until next time, learning that melodious sonnet!