Category Archives: grow

Multitude Mondays #3

Multitude Mondays are basically posts (on Mondays of course) that lists the things I am thankful for.


17. Milk. RAW milk. We’ve been getting raw milk from a local farmer for almost 3 years now and we love it. We’ve visited the farm several times and love our little Mennonite family. We also get delicious cream, Kefir and eggs from them and it’s such a blessing to have a great local source for this nutritious nectar of life. It’s seriously like freakin’ melted ice cream.

18. A feverish baby. You read that right. Although I would never want my little ones to have a dangerously high fever, I don’t mind the low-middle ones when they come along. It tells me that their bodies are building up their immune systems just as intended. In the most recent case, Liv was feverish for a few days but we’re pretty positive it was teething (even though there were no other symptoms) as she now has two bottom teeth that have popped through.


19. Homemade Mac & Cheese – I’m still working on getting the right cheese ratio but something about knowing all the real food (and almost all local) ingredients that are in it makes it taste even better. Recipe from GNOWFGLINS

20. That God is the God of Past, Present and Future – I stress easily. I hate it…and then I stress about stressing. (I’m working on it) But the Lord is so sweet to remind me that He has tomorrow covered. All the things on my to-do list are finite but He is the Alpha Omega.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. -Ps: 27:14

It is a challenge every day, every moment to just let go and trust Him. The things I want to do are good things – be a better homemaker, maintaining a small sewing business, etc. – but if they are pursued on my own, then it’s all in vain. I pray I can remember this more often. Last year when I was first pregnant with Liv, I was beside myself with fear of the birth. Right after we found out, we attended church and the sermon was about how God is already ahead of you. He was already by my side at the birth and it gave me such peace through the rest of the pregnancy and He was, without a doubt, at her birth. It’s laughable how quickly I forget His promises but I am so thankful for His continuing grace.


Until next time,



Liv’s Birth Story

Disclaimer: I do not go into any gory details or anything but please remember this is a birth story so there are delivery/birth terms used.
I have been meaning to sit down and write this for a while but I’ve been…well…a little busy. ;-)  Now, with Jack’s birth, we used Hypnobabies and had planned to use it again this time. I had been listening to my tracks for a couple months now and then, by the grace of God, heard about this book called Supernatural Childbirth. I checked it out from the library and read it in almost one night then Jon followed suit the next night. It was so good. We were missing the spiritual side to Hypnobabies and this really helped us to see the scriptural support for trusting my body to birth this baby by trusting God in how he created women to birth. Also, how to let go of the fear of the pain and really relax through labor. I know you’re thinking ‘yeah right…no pain in childbirth’ (believe me, I thought it myself several times) but it’s true. And I can’t wait to share with you how it all happened.
    My due date was October 20th and it being my second child, Jon and I thought there’d be a good chance that Liv would be early…or at least earlier than Jack (who was 41w1d). Surely, she would, right? Well, we were wrong…so very, very wrong. Oct 20th came and went and so did the rest of October. Every now and then (maybe once a week), I would have some contractions that would start up while I was laying down but once I got up and walked around, they would fizzle out. 41 weeks passed, and Jon’s parents were on their way into town. When we planned their trip, we planned for the end of October assuming she’d be here but there I was mega pregnant picking them up at the airport. It was so great having them in to help with Jack and to help keep our mind off the feeling of being a watched pot. Sarah, my sweet patient midwife, was always so encouraging when I’d text or call reporting that I was apparently going to be pregnant forever.
     Now, I have to take a minute to brag about my amazing midwife, Sarah Jones. She’s seriously amazing. We interviewed a few very nice and capable midwives when preparing for Liv’s birth but the Lord clearly led Sarah and ours paths to cross and we’re so thankful He did. She listened to and respected our desires for this birth while still giving the guidance and medical advice that we needed. She sought the Lord every day for His wisdom and grace to shine over us and this pregnancy and it showed so much through her care. She really helped this birth to be a birth we experienced whole-heartedly instead of just the birth happening to us (if that makes sense). We are so thankful for her, Gina (her birth assistant) and our amazing doula Maria. :)
     Ok, back to birth story. We did a Bio Physical Profile sonogram that Thur when I was at 42 weeks and Liv was still doing great (an 8 out of 8), placenta was still strong and fluid levels were high. We decided to keep waiting on the Lord as patiently as we could and continue trying natural induction methods. That Friday night, it felt like maybe my water was leaking but I wasn’t sure so I just went to bed to get as much sleep as I could. At 3 am, I woke to a contraction and went to the restroom. There wasn’t another one that followed but I did leak a little more. I went back to bed but was awakened again at 4 by an even stronger contraction. This one really got my attention and then there was another 10 minutes later. I woke Jon up saying that “this could be it.” I went to the bathroom again and texted Maria, my doula, as well as Sarah then another contraction came. Just a few minutes later, I called Maria to see if she thought we should have Sarah come out and the contractions were now 3 minutes apart (quite a jump from 10!). Maria listened to me during one and said, “Yeah, call Sarah.” We called Sarah but Jon said he wanted to keep timing them but to go ahead and get ready to come. By this time, my in-laws had gotten up (they had been sleeping on our couch). They started to get dressed and ready to take Jack to my dad’s house since we were planning a home birth. Well, they never got a chance to even leave as things progressed so quickly.
     Jon filled the birth tub in the corner of our room while I focused on the Scripture cards I’d made.My mother-in-law would pray aloud with me and help me focus. I got in the tub around 4:50 am and just focused on relaxing and releasing my body during each contraction. My first labor had been very difficult for me mentally as I fought my body a lot of the time. I wanted to really surrender this time to God and fully trust that He was in control. There were a couple times that I’d start to panic in my mind dreading the pain and intensity of everything – especially when it came to pushing. But I’d just fight the thought with Scriptures and tell myself, “No, I will not be fearful. Lord, you have appointed this time as the time Liv is coming so I will relax and allow it to happen.” Immediately His peace would wash over me and I felt encouraged once again. I kid you not…my contractions would be intense but never ‘get me out of my body’ painful. We had scripture signs everywhere and Jon propped up one of them on our bed so I could focus on it during my contractions. It was wonderful. Sarah showed up around 5 am and Maria soon after. I was most comfortable on my side but then eventually sat upright with my legs folded to either side. I think I got checked at one point. I remember saying how I hoped she’d come soon and Sarah said, “Oh you’ll have her before sunrise!” Whoa! I was definitely in transition but it was nothing like my first birth…so much more calm and manageable. Every contraction was powerful but I would just ask everyone to pray out loud as they came on…then I would repeat something that one of the others would say that really spoke to me…like “Prince of Peace” or “redeemed” or “surrender”. Linda, my mother-in-law, would bring in hot water from the stove top to warm my bath. It felt so good during my contractions.
     After God of course, Jon was my anchor. I would stare into his calming eyes and just pray out loud. During one contraction, I remember thanking God the whole time just for my husband’s wonderful eyes. Haha. Other times, just thanking him that we were all asleep just an hour and a half ago and now we’re all here safely. After an hour or so (felt like 15 minutes), Sarah checked me again and said I was very close (an 8 I think). I was ready to push and everyone encouraged me to. I held on to Jon’s hand, leaned back in the water and just pushed and breathed. Sarah would have me look in her eyes and breath deeply…making horse lips helped A LOT. I would try to hold off as much as I could and then said, “ok, gotta push more!” Jon was bracing himself for a long time of pushing but then heard Sarah say, “OK, Jon, there’s the head.” After just 3 minutes of pushing, our baby girl was here!
      Jon pulled her out and laid her on me and I was just so relieved and thankful. It was the most beautiful birth I could’ve ever hoped for and all thanks goes to God and my amazing birth team…Sarah, Gina, and Maria (and my wonderful husband). There was such peace in the room and the Holy Spirit was definitely there. We had done it – a beautiful, quick, pain-free, supernatural childbirth…all glory be to God! She was here…finally here.
      Liv Catherine was born at 6:23 AM, a healthy 7 lbs 14 oz and 20″ long.
     We got my mom on the phone as things went so quickly that we didn’t get a chance to call her earlier…then called my dad and Jackie soon after. Everyone helped me out of the tub to deliver the placenta on the bed…Jon cut the cord and Liv started nursing good. And, believe it or not, Jack was still asleep! He woke up a couple hours later to quite the surprise – a new sister! He was a little unsure but, since then, has embraced her and is a very sweet big brother. Liv’s growing good and has doubled in weight in just 6 weeks. We did have quite a scare with a urinary infection this past week but she’s already back to her smiling self. What a joy she is to us…we are so blessed and thank you all for your prayers and love.

"I'm not so sure about this!" -Jack

Our amazing midwife, Sarah

Photography by Images by Rebekah

Photography by Images by Rebekah

J + B + j + l

Baby Moon version 2.0

This pregnancy has definitely flown by faster than the first…prob due to the energy-bunny known as Jack. :) With all the busyness of raising our rambunctious, sweet boy and Jon’s work, we were really hoping we’d get a chance to do another baby moon or at least a one night getaway before Liv joins us…but just weren’t sure it’d happen. My mom very sweetly (and eagerly) agreed to take Jack for us. Now, could I actually let him go? Well, it was very, VERY, VERY hard but I did it…we did it. I only cried 3 times total (that’s not bad, right? esp with being pregnant ;-)) and Jon may or may not have got a little verclempt too. But we survived and reunion was sweet. :) Thank you again to my mom for taking Jack but I know she enjoyed every bit of it.

Here’s some pictures from our time. We stayed at the lovely Wildwood Inn in Denton as we didn’t want to go too far from home with me being 36 weeks. It was the perfect distance and place to stay to feel like we got away without having to do a ton of travel.

After checking in to our beautiful room (and ogling over the jacuzzi tub), we headed out to Sanger so Jon could experience The Tomato – my favorite pizza place in college. Sadly, they burned down in 2007 but have now reopened so after the many trips to Round Table (Jon’s CA fave), I was excited for Jon to see my pizza place. He really enjoyed it and we met and talked with some nice locals as well. Afterwards, I took Jon on the Bre’s-life-in-college tour and we drove by the Fry house and then got ice cream at Beth Marie’s on the square. With the twinkle lights up in the trees and a beautiful cool breeze in the air, it was the perfect way to start to unwind for our 2-night stay.

By around 10, though, I realized it’s the time we normally go in and check on Jack and as a result, burst into tears crying, “It’s time to go see buddy and we can’t!!!!! Who’s idea was this anyway?!?!?! Wahhhhhhh!” But after Jon gently reminded me that it was (oh yeah) my idea…I finally calmed down and we got a good night’s sleep.

In the morning, we tried out a local spot for breakfast (the B&B had a continental breakfast but not filling enough for this preggo) and then went to the Shops at Highland Village to walk around until our movie started. We ended up sitting in the Barnes & Noble for an hour and a half reading magazines (him woodworking, me sewing) which sounds so lame but was heavenly. (It’s the little things) It was so nice outside that we decided to skip the movie and just keep walking around the shops. We found and bought a new puzzle for Jack and kept seeing what seems like a million little boys every where we went. Our code saying was ‘uh oh, don’t look’ which of course made the other look and see whichever cute little boy was in our midst to remind us of our sweet little one. Plus, my mom would send us picture updates and had, at that moment, told us he had found a picture of us on one of her shelves and was carrying it around with him. Cue crying session #3,402. haha But I pulled it together and we grabbed some lunch and visited with old friends at The Village Church offices.

Our view at breakfast

Walking by a store called Jack's Outfitters...he was everywhere!

One of the picture updates we got from Gemma...sweet boy

We then headed back to our B&B to enjoy the beautiful pool and spa. There was hardly anyone else staying there so no one was around. The pool water was too cold though and the hot tub wasn’t on but they got it going so we were able to get in for a little bit before it got too hot which was nice for me and my preggo belly.

36 week Liv and daddy

After drying off and resting a bit, we headed out for dinner at Giuseppe’s then coffee and dessert at another local stop. Overall, a wonderful and relaxing day but we were eager to see our Bud in the morning! :) We woke up rested but still enjoyed a leisurely morning with Jon watching tv while I took my last of practically 15 baths in the tub (really only 3). We grabbed lunch at The Greenhouse then met mom to get Jack. He was banging on the glass of the Starbucks wall (lovely I know) staring out and it took him a second to realize it was us walking up but when he did he had the biggest grin. :) Now, we’re back home and resting and ready to kick it all back into gear tomorrow. Liv will be here before we know it but we are so thankful for this time to hit pause and just rest. Hope everyone had a great weekend.


J + B + j

Well-Watered Garden

I’m 33 weeks now and, for whatever reason, feeling much more uncomfortable this pregnancy than the last. Jon kindly ventured a guess that it’s because I haven’t exercised as much this time (mainly due to the insane heat we’ve been having and that I have a toddler) but one of my guesses is my inability to take baths this pregnancy. Who’s right? Probably Jon but let’s not dwell on that. ;-)

We love, love, LOVE our rental house in every way except that there’s no tub. I know, first world problem, uh? But if you know me at all then you know I love a good bath….like, nightly. Well, my good friend, Christine, is a total doll and has let me come over a couple of times now to soak. But, not only did she let me just borrow her tub…she practically turned her bathroom into a spa. Now, that’s a friend! Had to share a few (appropriate, I promise) pictures of Spa de Bailey. :)

Fill 'er up, please.

Beautiful lit candles

A folded towel waiting for me

Don't be fooled...It may say size small but I feel as big as a whale right now


And my favorite part was the framed Scripture on the counter which, although I’m sure meant for much deeper spiritual things than my desire to take a bath, really applied to me at that moment. It’s definitely been sun-scorched in this here north Texas land and my frame sure is in need of strengthening. But most of all, thank you Jesus, that we are like a spring whose waters never fail. I have so needed this encouragement as I mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare for Liv’s birth…and as this pregnancy gets more and more uncomfortable. He will satisfy all my needs and will never fail me. Such a timely and refreshing reminder for my soul when I was only wanting a refresh for my body.


P.S. – Thank you, Christine, for not only opening your home but your tub. :)

Finally, some food!

Well, we hit the one year mark a couple weeks ago and just as I’d hoped he’s finally interested in food. Jack, not Jon. Jon has no problem being interested in food as we all know from his fabulous cooking. But, yes, Jack is finally really interested in what we’re eating and how he can get a piece of it. He’s still not really swallowing all of the food he’s given…I’d say probably half of what goes in gets spit back out BUT it’s progress!!! We’re trying to create more of a rhythm to the day – more on that in a bit – and so he sits with us at breakfast and dinner and we’re going to start ‘snack time’ after nap time. Here’s some cutie patootie snap shots of the cutie patootie.

And then it’s clean-up time of course:
How’s Liv, you ask? She’s doing good. Measuring right on track and kicking up a storm. Staying head down though just like we like. :) Someone (who has obviously never been pregnant) asked me the other day, “Wow, how is she going to grow any bigger in there…there’s just no more room!” You have no idea, lady…no idea. This ain’t even big yet. :sigh: ;-)
Much love!
J + B + j + bl (baby liv)