Wednesday, July 30, 2008


so i told you that loralai started to eat solid food (well, pureed, but it's solid to her.). right. so she's not really keen on the whole idea. she'd eat off her mama milk cow for the rest of her days if i let her. since i'm not going to nurse her into kindergarden, i figured now was as good a time as any to let her taste the deliciousness of smooshed bananas, sweet potatos and that gross rice cereal. sweet potatos seemed to be good to her - smooshed bananas were alright - but that rice cereal, not so much her favorite. she's sneezed it on me twice and now she grabs the spoon as it's coming to her mouth and she purses her lips like, 'no way woman.' this from a baby who puts EVERYthing in her mouth. but not rice cereal.

yuck, mom. just plain, yuck.
the other night we had our friend, doug, over for dinner. it used to be a sunday night tradition to do dinner w/ him (that was pre-baby). but i think we're starting to bring back a few things from the old days - and if not every sunday, at least more often than the past few months. and when doug comes over, so does his dog sammy. sam.

sam, sam, sam.

sam is a great dane - in case you didn't notice. i've known sammy for three years now and it always amazes me at just how dang big that dog is. he weighs in close to 130 pounds. doug can pat his shoulders and sam will put his front two paws on doug's shoulders - while standing. it's insane. the kids that live around doug's house all compare him to a horse. anyway, see for yourself. but know this - as big as sammy is, he is the most loveable big dog. there's not a mean bone in his body. in fact, when you take him for a walk, he'll hold the leash in his mouth and run...but be careful. b/c if you try to run w/ him and play rough w/ him, he'll play back. only he doesn't realize how big he is. make sure where you fall is going to be soft ;)

maddie and sam. (maddie weighs 67lbs - sam: 125ish lbs)

sam and doug.

and because we always post stuff about the baby, i thought the frank dog needed a little love. so here is a picture of our sweet black doggy, frances. (frank, frankie, francesca...she comes to all sorts of things)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


if you read my previous post, you read that i miss old people. let me explain.

i don't have any old people in my life anymore. i don't have any grandparents and i really don't have anything that i'm a part of where older people are present in my life. in comes church. last sunday was our first sunday in our new building. and while it was the beginning of a new building for worship, a new starting point for the body of Christ to reach out to non-believers and help people to walk with God - it was a starting point for me too.

as i found my way to my seat (a few minutes late into the service while the first song had begun) i stood next to something so beautiful. it was a woman in her mid-eighties wearing a skirt, glasses, silvery curled hair and her hands lifted high in praise. i can honestly say that i've never seen an older person openly and so honestly worship God. i got goose bumps. i'm not sure why - it's not uncommon to see someone worship; but something about her was just so authentic. she didn't come to church with anyone. she sat alone - sort of. i mean she wasn't alone because there were people on all sides, but she wasn't coupled with anyone in particular. so i introduced myself to her. through the rest of the service we worshiped God together. as i sang loud, she matched me and would sing louder - my hands up - her hands higher. her voice was edgy and loud and proud and she was shouting to God. and every now and then she would look at me and smile. and as the sermon began, she took notes and every now and then would lift up an "Amen" or "hallelujah" or "that's right". before we left to make a dash to get loralai, i told her that it was truly a pleasure worshiping with her and sitting next to her.

i hope she knew that i was serious. even though you can be right next to someone in church, your experience can be so different. God can move you and speak to you in such different ways during the same sermon or time of worship. and as we left, i told todd about my experience. i told him that i just missed having older people in my life. i used to love conversation with my grandad. i loved his insight, his wisdom, his life experience, his stories and the way he loved. i prayed that day for God to show me how i could be of service to the woman i met at church or how i could be a part of ministry with older people. i even told todd that i should do lunch with my new friend from church once a week.

in comes God.

i went for a walk tonight. i opted to skip my gym experience for a little fresh air since it felt so nice out. i ran up a few streets, walked a few more and was running up another when i happened across a woman taking out her trash. she lives a few streets over and lives in one of two houses next to each other who have beautiful yards. i always admire how beautiful her grass is in her front yard (hey. you notice these things when your husband obssesses over having green grass) and how beautiful hers and her neighbor's flowers are. so in mid jog i stopped after i saw the woman stumble a bit as she was taking her trash to the curb. at first i thought i was going to catch her in a fall. but when she steadied herself i decided to ask, since i was stopped anyway, if she lived in one of the pretty-yard houses. she said that she did. and then, she proceeded to ask me if i'd like a tour of her yard. so for the next thirty minutes i got a guided tour of her front and back yard, with a peak into her neighbor's yard, too. his yard is impeccable. and apparently he tends to both of their lawns - he plants her flowers, buys her flowers and doesn't ask a penny in return. through conversation i learned that rebecca and her husband charles thomas (she calls him tommy) have been married quite some time. she's turning 80 in november; he's turning 87. they share a birthday month and, i'm guessing, about 60+ years of marriage based on her saying that they fell in love when she was 18. she went on to tell me about their two daughters, her failing health, his failing health and how (with today's economy and them having to pay for their own health insurance because her husband's retirement plan didn't include insurance) they get by with the help of friends helping in the yard, their church family bringing a meal over every week and other friends helping with food. rebecca said all of this while her head shook and her hand gripped the rubber bottomed cane that she held.

she wasn't asking for help - just talking. i find that some older people will tell you their life's story in a matter of minutes. some people get annoyed by that but i find it to be a gift - sometimes my ears get a little tired, but i try to stand tall and keep my interest up. there's much to learn from older people. they've lived so much; experienced so many ups and downs. and when rebecca asked me if i went to church, i knew i'd met my match. she went on to tell me that people just wear "slacks" to church these days. i told her that my church was a casually dressed church, too, but that i was sure that Jesus wanted us to come just as we are. she said, "yep. and you know, he's been real good to us. real good." so without permission, my tongue began forming words, "rebecca, would you like for me to come over and clean your house once a week?" and before she could even think about it, know my last name, or the number that sits over the top of my front door, she said, "sure." so my tongue kept making words and they said, "well just leave the place as it is, have your cleaning supplies out and give me my marching orders when i come over and i'll get to cleaning." she just smiled and said, "well alright." so we decided on thursday nights at 7.

on my walk home i was both excited and burdened. awful isn't it? i selfishly started thinking, "how long will i have to clean? will this last for years?" i have to be real with how i feel or else i think i'd be a liar. but as soon as i felt those emotions come in, i kicked them to the curb and started praising God. i knew that this was my opportunity to be in the presence of older people. it was God giving me an opportunity to serve - to be a servant - to be Jesus walking. after all, Jesus was a leader by being a servant. my hope is that in my cleaning rebecca's house, i'll become a more cheerful giver. that even in my chores, i'll find God's love pouring out.

and so i sat todd down when i got home and told him how my tongue got ahead of me and how God made my path cross with rebecca's tonight. i told him how excited i was to be able to serve but how nervous i was because this is new for me. the emotions are mixed, but i know that God moved tonight and i'm honored. in our pastor's sermon on sunday, he said that we aren't called to relieve our brothers and sisters of their pain but to BE the relief. be the love of Christ, be the hand they need, be the feet when they can't walk, and turn the vacuum on and dust the house when the years have crept up and the knees don't bend like they used to. so my hope is that i'll be a help to rebecca and her husband...and the rest is up to God.

pray with me, will you? pray that i'll be able to love on rebecca in the same way that people loved on my grandparents when they were in need.

isn't God so sneaky? i love how he lines things up.

8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Psalm 116
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD :
"O LORD, save me!"
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


i have a few things to say but they probably don't relate well. instead of doing a few blogs - just enjoy this collage of words.
we've had a few visitors over the past week. mom came last week (see blog below) and then todd's brother and wife came over the weekend. we actually had two dates last week. amazing. we made ourselves incredibly sick on popcorn and reeses pieces saturday night when we drove through the pouring rain - and walked through it too - to a movie. it's still really weird to be away from loralai. but we were thankful for the time to be together and enjoyed the movie. the pictures above don't relate to the date - they're from a quick beach trip we took on friday. i'm posting them b/c i just think that loralai is so dang cute in her full body swimsuit and non-matching hat. she is such a fair-skinned little babe (she definitely got that from her mama) that we try to cover her from the sun. but the hat always blows off and her head is almost always looking's like she's trying to leap out of our arms and into the sand. she had a lot of fun pushing the sand around with her feet. she's changing so fast and all the time. just this morning she showed us that she can do a little army crawl. oh boy. and this afternoon i left her in the livingroom where she usually plays safely. but when i returned to the room from being gone for about 2-3 minutes, she was stuck. under the couch. she'd scooted over to the couch and had her legs shoved under the couch. she wasn't frustrated, though, so it was really cute. she just looked up at me like, "ummm, ok, now what?"

sunday was our first church service in our new building. oh wow. it was just so awesome. and it was so amazing to finally see the hard work that had gone into the past 8 years. i went to port city when i was in college. when i gave my pocket change as a tithe, then, i had no idea that those few cents would help in the creation of this church. but it's just proof that God uses everything - every penny, every prayer - everything. church was so powerful on sunday. the music, the sermon, the people. i sat next to an older woman. i think she is in her 80s. we got to our seats as the first song was being sung and my heart lit up. to my right was a couple that i went through Starting Point with three years ago and to my left was the older woman. God knew exactly what he was doing. i miss old people. (more on that in another blog). but i was just so moved. oh man - Jesus showed up in a big way on sunday.

i'm out of words and i have too many things floating around in my head to try to organize thoughts. so come back on friday and i'll have something posted. and it will make sense. i know this blog is probably pretty lame to read - but it's been a long day and i'm pooped.

on a good note, my best friend is getting married in a week. it's hard to believe. i'll miss my gilmore. but i'll welcome the owings. i love you merf.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a date. a cake. and a baby.

mom has her summers open b/c she works in the school system in the county where i grew up. she's not a teacher - she's an audiologist - but gets the holiday perk like teachers do. and so she's able to visit a little more often during the summer. so, she came in town yesterday morning and spent yesterday and today with me and loralai. we had a lot of fun. we got to run errands together - do a little target shopping together - bake a cake together (that maddie ended up eating 1/4 of by sneaking her big 'ole tongue up on the counter - dang lab) - feed the baby together - bathe the baby together - read books to the baby and reminisce. it was lots of fun. it's such a treat to get to have your mom love on your baby - and to see your baby love your mom. so precious. and then, she treated todd and i - to a date! wow. we haven't been on a date in 5 months. living in a town without any family makes all parental duties be left up to us - which they should. but then there's that saying that it takes a village to raise a baby. so yesterday, part of the village made its way here ;) after we put loralai to bed, todd and i went out to eat to water street rest. downtown. it was really a nice time. we weren't gone long but long enough for us to have adult conversation. to stare at each other while talking rather than talking while staring at the baby. what a boring blog i'm writing. anyway - it was a fun couple of days and so i thought i'd share the pics of our time. (too bad i didn't catch a picture of maddie devouring part of the cake).

mom and loralai relaxing. precious.

our first date w/out the babe.

protecting the big brown eyes.

the cake eater.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


the precious one.

catching up. we made a trip to raleigh over the weekend. it was supposed to be an easy trip up to see todd's sister who just had twin baby girls (tiny. 5lbs 10oz - but in twin world, they're big and healthy). on the drive up we had a little bit of chaos. 1, the baby didn't want to sleep in the truck. and 2, the truck decided that it would be best if it broke down.

that made for a stressful saturday three hour drive to raleigh. umm, right. normally it takes two hours to get there. needless to say, our saturday was thrown way off. we ended up having a tired baby, we were carless and stressed that it was going to cost a lot of money to get the truck fixed. but as i speak, todd is on his way to meet his parents halfway to pick up the truck - which is fixed and all problems were covered under warranty. wheew. thank you jesus!

so raleigh was interesting. it's always somewhat interesting to be amidst such a big family. the dynamic can be vast and the ride is sometimes pretty wild. it was fun to see family, though. and it was so sweet to see the twins. it was just amazing to me how tiny they were. you'll see pics below. their thighs aren't as big around as loralai's biceps - do babies have biceps? well, a silver dollar. that's how big around those little babies' thighs are. oooh - so tiny.

and then tonight we decided - before todd left to go get the truck - that we would give loralai some food. other than me ;) she ate rice cereal for the first time. she was a champ and swallowed the food - while grabbing my hand and wanting to hold the spoon - but i think i waited too close to bedtime to feed her. in between bites, she would put her fingers in her mouth - she's not a thumb sucker. she's a middle and ring finger sucker. so maybe i try it earlier tomorrow night ;) and then there's the teeth - or tooth. we think she's working on growing a toof. she's in love with her teethers when they're cold - or a frozen washcloth. she'll chew and chew and chew and chew - you get the picture. anyway, enjoy the pictures. life is good. crazy at times and always a science project, but good.

me with baby ella.

baby anna and her daddy, chris.

cousins: david (anna and ella's big brother) and loralai.

mmm mmm, toes.

totally whooped after the raleigh trip.

yummy 'ole washcloth.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


fair warning: this is the longest blog i've ever blogged. read at your own expense (time, that is)

I’ve really hesitated putting this in writing because I didn’t want it to come across as a note of pity or an act of wanting attention. And I think I’ve moved enough hours between myself and these moments that it’s a little safer to speak of them. For a while I was embarrassed and ashamed that so many things happened to me while I was pregnant. It frustrated me when people would say “oh bless your heart. You poor thing.” Poor was so far from my mind. I was so excited to feel Loralai move so early – it was about 13 or 14 weeks when I started feeling lots of fluttering. I knew she would always let me know how she was doing.

I was so frustrated when I was slowed to a near halt with my first pregnancy “symptom”. Sore feet. I mean sore. Like walking on rocks sore. Oh wait, water retention happened before then. At about 16 weeks I had retained so much water that I wasn’t able to wear my wedding rings or my shoes. I think my midwives thought I was a total pig – I wasn’t. I was just a camel. Truly. And I was thirsty like I was stuck out in a desert. Ask my husband – I drank nearly a gallon of water a day (that is not an exaggeration).

Next up – the sensation of bruised feet stunk but to add to that, I had the sensation of pins and needles pricking my calves and feet. I had to have my feet propped up on a stool at work, at all times, to eliminate pain. I cooked while sitting on a bar stool because to stand meant I would shift right to left foot to ease pain – I would cry. Oh dear, the nausea. The nausea started at week six – letting us know we were pregnant – and didn’t cease until about 18 weeks. I recall gagging in mid conversation with a friend at work. Very impressive.

Taste aversions – wow. Oh food – not my friend and yet I couldn’t live without it. I had to eat or I would be nauseous. Gag reflex – it was so strong that upon sneezing if there happened to be too much mucous in the mouth, I would vomit. I prayed so many days on my drive to and from work – “please God, just let the car stop before I puke.” He always allowed me to have a stopped car – and to be without speeding tickets.

Mucous. Holy mother of Moses – I made enough mucous that I put all slugs to shame.

Sciatica. Dang that sciatic nerve. That thing made me cry on more than one occasion. I especially remember trying to walk from the parking deck to the office building – I recall stopping 10 times on the short trip one morning. Then sitting at my desk crying (it’s what I did best some days) while my coworkers got an ice pack for my bum/back area. The sciatic nerve inflammation bouts lingered all through my pregnancy.

Carpal tunnel syndrome – or so we thought. As it turns out, it was tendonitis in my wrists. And, it still exists today. Only now I have a brace I wear.

Round ligament – did you ever know a round ligament could be so troublesome? So much so that I laid in bed holding my husband’s hand so that my body wouldn’t move an inch – while I cried. Oh the tears. Oh the pain. I couldn’t move without it feeling as though a knife was being jabbed in my lower abdomen/upper groin area.

Braxton Hicks – we thought about naming Loralai, Braxton – or hicks. Whichever. Because the Braxton hicks began at 25 weeks and didn’t stop until 42 when she arrived. My midwives assured me that they were “normal.” My husband now says this, “it may not be ‘ideal’ but it’s ‘normal.’” I understand that now. But when you’re having Braxton Hicks 10 times an hour (again, no exaggeration) and people think you’re kooky when you suddenly have a shortness of breath mid conversation or when you hold your tummy and look amazed due to the sudden tightening of the uterus – it gets old. I thought for sure that I would have rock hard abs post delivery…I mean all those hicks should have done some Braxton good.

Varicosities – if you don’t know what this is, let me explain. It’s when small veins cluster together and form a knot of sorts. On me it looked like a golf ball was lodged under the skin on the side of my lady area near my groin. This too made me cry. And this also made for lots of sitting. Standing just meant more pressure was being pushed down on the varicosities …oh my sweet Lord it hurt. So to relieve the pressure I swam. I joined a swim aerobics class – thank you swim aerobics friends. You were a much needed Monday night comic relief…while doing the frog and running in water I realized that being pregnant was a lot of fun with people who had long gone before you and had their own hilarious stories.

Acid reflux – one night while sitting in bed I felt like I had swallowed some pop rocks (remember those?) only they didn’t pop. They just sizzled. And they were sitting dead still in my throat. I yelled to todd, “TOODDDDD something is WRONG!” and the fear rose up in me. Stupid fear. But I had todd googling acid reflux, heart burn – anything he could find that sounded similar to what I was experiencing. But while I was waiting for an answer from him in the other room, I was working myself in to pure hysteria…I had myself dead already. I had convinced myself that the burn in my throat was some sort of flesh eating strep bacteria and I was surely dead as a roach crawling across my kitchen counter. But nope – just acid reflux. So, Tums (which I gravely HATE and gag at the smell of even when not pregnant) and I became very close friends. I had a bottle at my bedside and couldn’t leave home without them. Thank you tums – my bones are now strong and my throat forever coated in your luscious tummy tum tum tums.
….side note: one Monday evening while at swim aerobics, I had to leave class. Why? Because I nearly puked in the pool while doing my water running – who knew that a uterus could jump so high that it could push acid straight into your mouth causing instant heaving. The YMCA doesn’t like people to puke in their pools. So I excused myself. They understood.

Hot flashes – you think you ladies in menopause have it bad. I wanted to put a fan under my desk to turn on full blast pointing straight at my crotch (I was inspired to do that by a friend of mind who DID – you know who you are). Instead, I caused todd to sleep in sweatshirts at night while we kept the house at a balmy 65 degrees in the dead of winter. Hey, a guy’s gotta sacrifice during pregnancy too.

Stretch Marks – this is where I sigh. They first appeared on my breasts – no biggie. I figured they would show up there as the ta-tas grew quickly. But I was pleased by them b/c I knew it meant that I would be able to feed my baby. Then they showed up on my bum. Again, no worries. I already had a bubble butt – but during pregnancy it became larger. Shoosh. No comments from the peanut gallery – I’ll throw the peanuts right back atcha. Where I sigh is Christmas. Standing in my mom’s bathroom I saw them – they were on my abdomen. I knew I was doomed. I laid in my mom’s garden tub,while todd held my hand, and I cried. It was as if I was mourning my body. – more on that in a minute.

PUPPS – even if I typed out what those letters stand for, they wouldn’t mean a whole lot. Basically it’s a rash that nearly did me in. It occurred in the third trimester and this is when I hit the wall. The rest of the symptoms I could deal with. But this. This is when I started yelling – at God. I was SO broken about this. I felt so deprived of God’s love through this. I begged him for mercy. I was given steroidal crème, strong antihistamine pills, told to take oatmeal baths, kept the house colder than cold, stepped on ice packs, put ice packs on my body – ANYTHING to relieve the itching. And when I say itching…have you ever had poison ivy? It’s worse than that. And it covered my entire body – and made its way to crevices of the lady body that it ought not be. I was beside myself with anguish. I was excused from work and put on bed rest. Nothing relieved the itch or the huge welps that arrived with the itch. I definitely cried out ‘why me God?’ I felt so left out. Every other woman that I’d ever known seemed to have such an easy – carefree – pregnancy. So why couldn’t I?

I thought I’d worked so hard to get to where I was physically. I ran – I ate healthy – I didn’t smoke – I rarely had a sip of wine pre-pregnancy – I prayed – I worshipped God – I was desperately trying to surrender everything to him – and THIS is how he repaid me? Seriously.

Right. Seriously. His plan was different than mine. While he didn’t inflict me with this anguish – he stood by me while it happened. There were days that I felt like God was miles away from me. I would pray – I would meditate on his voice – I would call out to him – I would audibly praise him – I would sing out to him – nothing. I believe that during my pregnancy, God was quiet. At times, silent.

I’ve never spoken about this to anyone other than Todd.

Before we were pregnant, I was in a growth spurt. I could hear God’s voice – I was closer to him and his heart than I had ever been. I craved him.
But here I was in the midst of something physically and emotionally challenging and he was no where to be found. Yet he was everywhere. I dug down deep while pregnant – I sought his word and begged him to show me himself. His word was in me and so I knew that even in the quietness that I was feeling, he was near. I knew that he would never let go of me – that the Holy Spirit was still protecting me and Loralai and that I was still loved immensely by the king of kings. But I’m telling you as a child of God who loves her time with Jesus and finds the greatest excitement in hearing the voice of God – I was void and it was hard.

And I was holding on – to junk. Old stuff. Stuff that needed to be shot down, thrown out and given back to the enemy. It wasn’t mine to begin with, didn’t come from God and I was commanded to let go of it.

My body is a living sacrifice to God. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit – I am called to cherish it as such. It is the dwelling place of God. I am to feed it, nurture it and love it so that it can be a living example of the body of Christ. My body wasn’t created so that I could be a bikini model, have an ‘ideal’ size or weight according to the ways of the world.

I’m not sure I have the words to let you know the depths of searing it took to get that engrained in my soul. I needed refining – but with refining comes pain. In order for iron to be shaped and made beautiful, iron must hit iron and it must be hot to mold it. So were my pregnancy symptoms. God was breaking me of so much and he allowed something so big, something so precious and important to me to get my attention – my full attention.

I think that I’d forgotten that my body was God’s first – not mine or todd’s. It was his. When I looked in the mirror, I had better been darn sure that I was looking back through the eyes of God and not through the world’s. For a while I wasn’t. But now – now I’m getting there. I can definitely say with a humble heart that it’s been hard. I consider myself to be healthy and in shape – I love to run and want to always be physically strong so that I can live a long life.

The most beautiful moments of my life were the wee hours of February 19. When I went into labor something amazing happened. I could hear God again. Finally. Oh how I had waited. It was like hearing your mom’s voice on a day when you desperately needed to be held by her. And when todd prayed over me in the hospital, I could feel Jesus’ presence. And when the doctors were pulling Loralai out of my womb, my hands lifted in praise and I just started saying “thank you jesus. Yes jesus! Praise you jesus! Thank you jesus!” (the nurses probably thought I was a total nut) But there it was – the gift. Amidst all the crazy symptoms was something more precious than words.

Answered prayer.

We prayed for each symptom to go away – and it did. (except for the tendonitis – but that’s minor and I can deal with that). We prayed for a hardy baby – a baby who sleeps well - who was formed physically perfect – a baby who loves jesus – a baby who would eat well and have a peaceful spirit. In the quiet of my pregnancy, God was never far and he listened. And he answered. But he answered according to his time – according to his purpose. I – Ashley – was called to just simply wait on him to answer.

And I was antsy and demanding and selfish and rude and frustrated and broken and grieving my dad’s death and scared and uncomfortable – and do you know that through all of the junk I dished out, that Jesus held me? He held me every time and loved me despite myself.

I’ve yet to be able to speak to another woman about my symptoms. I think it’s because I’ve really been embarrassed that SO much occurred during my pregnancy – but what’s there to be embarrassed about? At one point or another in our lives, God will refine us. He will make us into the men and women that he wants us to be – but what will he use – what will it take to get our attention – to make us revere and submit to him?

I’m humbled that my pregnancy showed me the power of God. And I’m thankful.

I’m forever changed.

I’m still not crazy about my stretchmarks. Only now I’m amazed. I’m amazed that God allowed Loralai to grow so perfectly in my womb. Perfectly. The doctors were in awe of her health and her peaceful disposition. And still she is both – health and peace. She wears the mark of her mama – her dimples. And I wear the mark of her – my stretch marks. Only I call them my love marks.

God thank you for my body. Thank you for showing me how hardy you made me. Thank you for allowing my body to be tested and pushed and for showing me that even when your presence seems far that you are ever present. Thank you for allowing me to feel my baby so clearly every kick of the way. I praise you for showing me that my body was made for more than a bikini or a cute pair of pants…that it was made by you and for you, to glorify you. Thank you for reminding me that I am more than a number on a scale but a child loved more by you than any mom could ever love her baby. Thank you for teaching me your ways and your word even when I felt I had failed to learn. Thank you for refining me and helping me to know you even if it is just a glimmer more. My body rejoiced and cried for ten months for the glory of you – thank you. I am grateful that my experience might somehow be able to encourage another woman. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

the blessing of it all.

the love marks

Saturday, July 5, 2008

the things that make her giggle

loralai is almost 20 weeks - wow time flies. but, about a week and a half ago i kept getting hiccups. we noticed that each time i got them, she giggled. i have a feeling she's going to fit in really well here - i laugh at other people's expense, too (america's funniest home videos is a family fav of todd's and mine). sorry the video is so dark. we had the camera and shot while we could - we didn't think about lighting. oh well. at least you can hear the silliness :)

oh yea - go to the bottom of the page and push pause on my music player before you push play on this video. that way nothing will stand in the way of you and the giggles.

the hiccup giggles from ashley dengler on Vimeo.


alright. i know you people who read this blog are exercise people. so i need your help. i need ear stimulation. i'm so tired of my playlist on my iPod. please help. i don't care the genre. i like it all: except rap. i do not like rap. or sad love songs. i need some pep, people. so if you can, will you send me some songs that you like or that are on your playlists - suggestions please. thanks :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Baby on Board is going Green!!

And, we've got green. Oh yea, that's right - GREEN! Eat your heart out you people who don't like stereotypical boy/girl colors, or mamas and papas with boy and girl babies.

And even better news - we have leads on retailers who want to sell our stickers. Currently they're being sold at Sweetwater Surf Shop (we got a nice mention on their website) I'm also working with the local Once Upon a Child store who said they'd like to sell the stickers, too. So do what you do best - pray - and let's hope that God blesses us with retailers all over the U.S. that want to sell these stickers!! Spread the word.