I’ll Be the Best Dressed Baby

Wow, Mommy, ever since you found out I’m a girl, you’ve really been having fun shopping! It seems like almost every day we’ve been somewhere looking at baby clothes! I hear you talking to your friends about what you’re finding, or calling my grandmother and telling her.

I wish I could see all the things you’re buying, but I can only hear you, so I just have to imagine what everything looks like. Your grandmother told me about colors while I was waiting to be placed inside of you, and I’ve already picked out my favorites, and I did hear you talking about some things you bought for me!

I really like pink; pink is probably my very favorite color. Of course I’m a girl, so you know I’m going to like pink! I know it’s not your favorite, but I AM going to be the one wearing them! I like that pretty teal blue, too, and yellow. Yellow reminds me of summer, which I’ve been told is the best season ever! I can’t wait to see the rainbow of all the colors in my closet! I bet it’s already getting full!

I heard you showing my grandmother some of the things you got the other night. She sounded excited, too! You were talking about little dresses, and cute play outfits, and even bathing suits! And flamingos. Your grandmother told me how much my grandparents like those pretty pink birds, and how you had to get some flamingo outfits for me to wear to some kind of flamingo party. It sounds like fun! I can’t wait!! And it sounds like I have the clothes for it already.

I also heard you and my grandmother talking one day about buying me some pretty little socks. Grandmom said they had bows and rhinestones on them. I’m sure I’ll love those! Your grandmother also told me you never liked to keep socks or shoes on your feet when you were a baby. She said you always found a way to kick them off, no matter what, and your mother had threatened to glue them to your feet! I don’t know how socks and shoes feel when you’re wearing
them, but I love wiggling my little toes around, so I hope they don’t squash my feet too much! Or I’ll probably do the same thing.

Of course I won’t need a lot of shoes until I learn to walk, so you don’t have to worry about that yet. Just socks. Pretty ones.

Your grandmother also told me how she used to make a lot of your own mother’s clothes when she was little. She said she had so much fun doing it. She told me she kept a lot of them because they were so pretty she just couldn’t get rid of them. Your mother still has some of them, because she couldn’t get rid of them either.

She also told me about the fun she used to have with your mother going shopping for clothes for you. You’d all three spend all day shopping and looking around to find just the right outfits for you to wear. She told me she’d love to be able to go shopping for me just one time, but she’ll just have to be happy knowing we’re having fun.

But she also told me about a very special dress that both your mother and you wore when you were christened. Your grandmother’s sister-in-law made it all by hand especially for your mother for her christening day, and you wore it as well. It’s been saved for me to wear, too, when I’m dedicated. Isn’t that exciting? And so very special. I’m part of such a wonderful loving family, aren’t I??!!!

And please, I’m a girl, so I’m really going to need a few headbands and bows. Please? They don’t need to be big….just cute!!! And they need to match my outfits!

Thank you, Mommy! I love you! I’m going to sleep now and dream about wearing my flamingo pajamas I heard you talking about! I bet they’re adorable!

XOXOXOXOXO

Did You See How Big I Am?

How’d you like my pictures today?? You could really see what I look like now, can’t you!? I’m so excited, because it’s getting closer to the big day! Well, I know it’s four more months, but still…

I’m the size of a mango now. You probably don’t like mangos, but they sound really good. And my legs and feet and toes are all formed, and so are my arms and hands and fingers! I know you saw me waving at you, didn’t you! The ultrasound tech took a lot of good pictures, and I was smiling at you as hard as I could. And that wand tickled me again, and I started giggling!

I hope my hair looked ok…I have some now, and I hope it’s curling like yours! I can’t really tell. Your grandmother said she tried to get your hair to curl, but it wouldn’t until you were older. So she put bows and headbands on you whenever she could. I know you don’t like them, because I’ve heard you telling your friends, but my grandmother thinks they’re cute! And I want some! Please?

Ultrasound And you’ve finally started to feel me moving around. I know you didn’t know what it was at first, but that was me! I sometimes have trouble getting comfortable as I’m growing, so I have to move around a lot. I’m sorry if it hurts, but I can’t help it right now.

What did Daddy say when he felt me kicking you? I could hear the amazement in his voice when he felt me the first time, but I’m not sure what he said. My doggie brothers were making too much noise.

I hope you save all the pictures of me that you have so far. I want to see them, too. Your grandmother said I’m just as beautiful as you and your mother are. Of course I think she’s supposed to say that…

Are you getting more excited now, Mommy? I sure am! I want to come out and meet you and snuggle with you and Daddy, but I know it’s not time yet. Waiting is so hard, isn’t it???

What do you think you’ll say when you see me the first time? What will Daddy do? I wonder how I’ll feel? I’ll probably be a little scared, because after all, I’ll have been inside you for nine months, where it’s all warm and soft, except when I’m laying on your backbone, and that’s not very comfortable. I’ll be counting on you and Daddy to protect me, and love me, and I know you will. I know you’ll teach me all I need to know about the world, and so will my grandparents.

I get so excited thinking about it, I just want to jump up and down again….

Sorry, I know it’s late and you’re trying to sleep, but I just couldn’t help myself! Maybe I’ll go to sleep now, too, because it’s been another exciting day in the womb, and posing for all those pictures was hard work!

Good night, Mommy. I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

I Can’t Wait Til Next Year!

Before God placed me inside of you, He had your grandmother tell me all kinds of wonderful things I had to look forward to when I was born.

Of course she told me all about you, and about my grandmother and grandfather, but since she never got to meet Daddy, she could only tell me what she saw on the day you two were married. God let her and your grandfather watch. Did you know that? And from what she said, it was a beautiful day for two special people who are now going to be my parents!

One of the stories she told me was all about Christmas, and how beautiful everything is with all the lights and the bright sparkly ornaments on the trees. And about all the presents, wrapped in pretty paper and bright red and green bows. She told me how Christmas is one of your favorite times of year, and I’m sure it’ll be mine, too!

She told me about the true meaning of Christmas, about how Jesus was born on Christmas Eve, just like I’m going to be born in the spring. By the way, she knows exactly what day I’m coming, but she said I can’t tell you! You’ll have to be surprised! She also told me how Santa Claus always comes on Christmas Eve and brings toys and other gifts for us kids, as long as we behave and listen to our parents. And I will, too. That’s going to be so much fun next year to see what he brought for me!

This year you and Daddy had a great Christmas, getting gifts for ME already!!! You also got some ornaments for your tree reminding you of me, and I can’t wait to see them! I also heard you talking about your stockings that Santa had filled. I wonder what he’ll put in mine next year!!! I hope mine has my name on it, and I hope it’s really big!!

 

I’ll be crawling by next Christmas, and I’m going to really enjoy crawling around all the presents that your grandmother told me will be there for me. I hope you’ll let me open them. You’ll have to help me, of course, but we are going to have such fun!! Maybe my doggie brothers will even help.

And I loved all those cookies you and my grandmother made! Especially the white meringue ones with the chocolate chips inside. And the buttery ones with the sugar sprinkles. I didn’t quite get enough of them, and I hope when I’m old enough you’ll let me help make them. That’ll be fun, won’t it, Mommy?!

And speaking of eating, at least I did get to have a taste of my grandmother’s Christmas dinner before you started feeling bad. I’m sorry I’m making you feel so sick, but I don’t have any control over that. I guess it’s just part of having me. But I promise you I’m going to be worth it. I really am! And I sure hope you feel better soon.

I guess I should say Merry Christmas to you and Daddy now. It’s really been fun, but all the excitement has made me really tired. I know we all had fun, and I can’t wait til next year, ‘cause it’s going to be even better!!!

Good night! I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

A Grandmother’s Dream

I guess I’ve been writing so much about baby Rachel lately it was bound to happen again. And it did. With little Rachel’s entry into the world being so close it’s natural to dream about her.

The last time I had such a dream, or should I say the first time, in that dream baby Rachel was probably about 3 months old, because she was a lot bigger than a newborn, and she was holding her head up and looking all around.

In this dream though, she was a newborn, wearing her newborn pink and blue striped hospital cap, and swaddled in her pink and blue striped hospital blanket. She was tiny…tinier than most newborns, it seemed, but then again, I haven’t held many newborns lately. Or should I say I haven’t held my newborn granddaughter yet…except in my dreams.

Like I did a few nights ago. She was so soft, and so adorable! She looked so much like her own mother when she was born almost 28 years ago! I held her in my arms and was instantly in love! She was so beautiful…so tiny…here was my own daughter’s daughter. And I was holding her, cuddling her, and just looking at her in amazement while she looked back at me with enormous blue eyes and smiled the biggest smile I’d ever seen!

Then I was feeding her, and actually using the same baby bottles Ashley had showed me in her kitchen the other day. They certainly weren’t the kind I’d used for Ashley! So…..

However, there were two other parts of my dream I’m still amazed at. Perhaps because of my newest blog series, Letters from the Womb, in which baby Rachel is talking to her mommy, my subconscious mind was working overtime. Because in my dream I was having a conversation with my NEWBORN granddaughter, who was actually talking to me. In sentences. She was telling me she was hungry, and then she suddenly started talking about my mother. Her great grandmother. Who’s been gone almost ten years.

Now imagine how I felt when I turned my head, still holding baby Rachel, and I clearly saw my own mother sitting beside me. Little Rachel was talking to her as well, in fact they were planning a birthday party and giggling like two little kids!

So this sounds strange to you? Not to me, if you look at this dream with your spiritual eyes, rather than your earthly eyes.

You see, my granddaughter is being named after my mother, Ashley’s grandmother. My mother was a very important part of my daughter’s life, and losing her was terribly difficult for Ashley. You can read more about this in Another Rachel.

For several months after my mother passed away, I’d have dreams about her. Dreams in which she was still very much alive, still living in her own home. The dreams were so real I would wake up shaking, because for a few moments I thought they were real, and I was actually wondering how to tell her I’d given her clothes away, and how to tell her we’d buried her next to my father.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5

But this dream was different. Instead of being upset that my mom thought she was still alive when she wasn’t, in this dream seeing and hearing her talk to a newborn baby was quite natural. Because babies are a gift from the Lord. This speaks to me that our unborn babies’ spirits are living in heaven before their spirits are sent to live in their mother’s body, in the new life being created within her.

And since my own mother is living in heaven, I have no doubt she and my granddaughter have had many opportunities to connect and get to know each other. I have no doubt that baby Rachel communicated with my mother in the language of angels that is spoken in heaven.

And I have no doubt my mother is as thrilled and excited about our new granddaughter who is about to enter the world as we are! Because she already knows so much more about this little one than we do.

As I write this we are about five weeks away from meeting our granddaughter. My mother has already met her; talked with her; laughed with her; encouraged her; and loved her. Baby Rachel will bring a small part of her great-grandmother back into the world with her, along with her own unique personality and gifts the Lord has bestowed upon her.

I know when I look at this newborn baby for the first time, hold her, and look into her eyes, I will sense just a tiny part of my own mother’s love. All the way from heaven.

Thank you, Lord, for that wonderful dream!

I’m A Girl! I’m Rachel!

I’m so excited!!! You finally found out!!! I’ve wanted you to know for so long!!

You were so sure I was a boy. I’ve heard you and Daddy talking, and I couldn’t help laughing. Boy, did I surprise you both!! You were so sure, at least most of the time, but every once in a while I heard you saying, “well, maybe it IS a girl…”

2015-12-13 13.50.44My grandmother knew though, even before she found out for sure. And I’m so surprised you didn’t give in and let her go ahead and tell you. I know you wanted Daddy to find out with you, and you wanted to see each other’s reactions, but I don’t know whether I could’ve waited, knowing all you had to do was ask. I’m still amazed you wouldn’t even let her tell my grandfather though.

It was so funny that day when my grandmother said something about me, and said “he”. You were sure you knew then, and I was laughing so hard, and clapping my little hands….I almost did a cartwheel inside you, I was laughing so hard! I may be only the size of a peach right now, but I’m surprised you didn’t feel me jumping and kicking!

I heard you all making plans for the day you’d find out, and I was as excited as you were! I thought Daddy would never get home from his work!!! I know you felt the same way.

2015-12-13 13.34.45I woke up early that morning…did you feel me moving around?? I just couldn’t keep still!! You and Daddy were excited, too, and when my grandparents got there I knew it wouldn’t be long! Now I heard you talking about a big balloon, and it sounded like there was a party going on, from all the excitement I heard!

Then all of a sudden you were yelling, “Pink??? Are you sure??”

Yes! I’m sure!! I’m a girl!!! Now you all finally know!!

I don’t know how many people were there today, but I sure heard a lot of voices, and a lot of people talking about dresses and ruffles and bows and all kinds of fun girly things! Mommy, we’re going to have such a special relationship, you and me! I can’t wait! And I know Daddy will be so protective of his little girl…you’ll probably have to talk to him about that, because I heard him say when I’m older he’s not going to let me out of the house without him!

2015-12-13 13.55.49And by the way, that cake my grandmother brought over for the party? It was delicious! I’d like some more of that, please. With some ice cream? And a big glass of milk!

I’m sure you have lots of pictures from today, too, and you know I’m going to want to see them! I want to see your faces when you found out that I was Rachel and not Ryan. Ryan will come along a little later I’m sure.

So now instead of just calling me “baby” and “it”, you can call me Rachel and talk about “her” and what “she” will be like! Isn’t this exciting, Mommy? I knew you’d be happy!

And by the way, your friend who lives down the street, who was there today, well, she’s going to have a baby also. She hasn’t told you yet, and I can also tell you she’s having a little boy. How do I know this? Because God told me. I’m going to have a lot of fun playing with him, too. He might even be my first boyfriend!

But don’t tell Daddy! I don’t think you and Daddy are ready for that just yet. After all, I’m not even in your arms yet. I’m still inside of you.

And it’s been a busy day for all of us, so I’ll say good night now. I know you’re tired, because I hear you yawning. Good night, Mommy. I know you’re going to dream about me tonight. And I’m going to dream about doing fun things with you, going for walks, having you read to me, swinging on the swings in the park, oh, it’s going to be wonderful!!

Sleep good! I know I will! I love you!

XOXOXOXOXO

Telling the World

We sure had a good time today, didn’t we? I heard Grandmom ask you so many times when you were actually going to tell everyone about me, and so finally you did! I know it must have been really tough not to tell people until you had your announcement planned just right, but I’ve been wanting you to announce me since I came to be inside of you!Three dogs

And I’m glad you got my doggie brothers involved in the whole thing, taking their pictures and letting THEM make the announcement. I heard all of the commotion when you were trying to get them to cooperate with the lady taking the pictures! They sound like they’re going to be such fun to be around, and I’m sure when I’m a little bigger, we’ll all have a wonderful time together.

Drake with signEspecially that Drake puppy! You kept telling him what to do all the time, and it didn’t sound like he was cooperating too well. I bet he’s really going to be a lot of fun! And please don’t let him steal my socks!

I heard you talking about all the people congratulating you because of me. It’s so exciting, isn’t it! Your grandmother told me everyone would be so excited for you and Daddy! Just like all her friends were when she told them you were coming into the world. I heard you reading some of the congratulations messages, and it sounds like you have some really great friends! I can’t wait to meet them all! Do you think they’ll like me? Will they babysit for me?

I can’t wait to meet you, Mommy! And Daddy, too! I mean, I’m already here, sort of, even though I’m only about the size of a lime. And you’ve already heard my heartbeat. Wasn’t that a great moment? I’ve been hearing yours all along, and now you’ve heard mine. They beat together, you know, yours and mine. Isn’t that amazing how God designed us? And everything you eat or drink, I get to taste as well. I particularly like ice cream, and milkshakes, just like you do, so please keep giving me those. They’re yummy!

Some of the people are already asking you if you think I’m a boy or a girl! I wanted to scream out, “I’m Rachel, and I’m a girl!” But of course, I can’t talk yet, and no one could hear me either, if I did. But your grandmother also told me that YOUR mom already knows, just because…. I know your mother, my grandmother, is a very special person, and she’s going to be a big part of my life, just like her mother was such a big part of yours!

You’re already showing that little bump in your belly where I’m growing. And you’ve already had to get some new clothes because of me, but I think you’re enjoying that part as well. I know how much you like to shop, and I also know as soon as you find out I’m a girl, you’re probably going to have a great time buying things for me. And I’m sure I’ll love them all!

It’s been an exciting day, and I’m yawning, so I’m going to say good night now, and I imagine you are, too. I know I’m making you tired, and we both need our sleep right now.

Good night, Mommy! I love you! I’ll talk to you later!

XOXOXOXOXO

Love At First Sight

Today was a really big day wasn’t it mommy? You and Daddy actually got to see me for the first time! I was right there, just taking it easy, resting inside of you. I was trying to pose for the pictures but that ultrasound wand sort of tickled me and every once in a while, and I had to move around and start laughing. You couldn’t tell though, because I’m still only about the size of a raspberry.

My arms and legs aren’t quite formed yet, so I couldn’t wave at you like I wanted to, but I was smiling at you. Did you see me smiling? Your grandmother told me I have a beautiful smile, just like yours. And just like your mother’s!

I heard you and daddy talking about me while you were looking at me on the screen. You were both so amazed to see tiny little me right there inside of you. Now you really understand that I’m here with you, and you’re really going to have a baby. Me!!!

And my grandparents were excited, too! Especially Granddad, because I heard him crying. That was so cool!! And I heard my grandmother saying how she was just so overwhelmed that her little girl was having a baby of her own! I heard her starting to cry as well!!

2015-10-14 16.40.14And I heard the nurse giving you all my first baby pictures. I may not look a lot like a baby to you right now, but that’s ME in those pictures! Over the next few weeks my arms and legs, and fingers and toes, will be forming. My heart is already beating, and soon you’ll be able to hear it. Just like I hear yours every minute I’m awake. It lulls me to sleep when I’m tired, and reminds me how close we are. Mother and baby. Inseparable.

2015-10-14 16.07.05I know you’re already wondering what I’m going to look like, and in the next few months you’ll get a few glimpses from the ultrasounds, but you really won’t truly know until I’m here. Which will be sooner than you think. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but the days will pass by quicker than you think. Not quick enough for me either, because I can’t wait to be in your arms and look into your eyes. That’s going to be the most special moment ever!!!!

Well, I need some more sleep, so I’ll say good night for now! Don’t lose those pictures, because I’m going to want to see them all when I’m old enough!

I love you soooo much!!!!

XOXOXOXO

Surprise!

Hi, Mommy! It’s me again! It’s sure been a week of surprises for everyone, hasn’t it!? And I’m so glad it’s all because of ME!!!

You had no idea at all, did you, Mommy, when you went to the doctor that you’d get such news!? You just thought you had a bad cold. Little did you know the doctor would come back in and say, “I have some good news for you. You’re going to have a baby!”

How did you feel at that moment? You actually had to ask the doctor to repeat what he’d said because you were so shocked! You and Daddy had wanted to have a baby, but you didn’t really think it would happen this soon.

I was jumping up and down for joy to know you finally knew about me. Even though I’m not quite as big as a blueberry, and you certainly couldn’t feel me moving around yet, but I was sure excited! Finally, you knew I was there!

But you had to keep the news all to yourself, because Daddy wouldn’t be home for another week, and you didn’t want to tell him on the phone, because you wanted to see his face when you told him. And it wouldn’t be fair to have told Grandmom and Granddad before Daddy, so you couldn’t tell anyone except the doggies. How in the world did you manage to keep such a secret? Were my doggie brothers excited when you told them? I couldn’t really tell from the way they were barking.

But your mother, my grandmother, knew. She knew as soon as she saw you that next weekend. I guess it’s just something that moms know. I’m sure you’ll find out one day as well. You just looked different; you acted different. And you wanted a milkshake so bad you thought you’d starve if you didn’t get one immediately. That milkshake tasted pretty good to me, too, although I would have preferred chocolate rather than vanilla. Next time, please remember that!

2015-10-11 14.31.08And when you told Daddy when he finally got home from the boat, was he ever surprised! I wish I could’ve seen the look on his face, but I can only hear your voices. I’m sure when I’m older you’ll show me the pictures so I can see his reaction for myself. I wonder what was going through his mind when it all sank in. He was going to be a daddy! Just like you’re going to be a mommy! I wanted to listen to your conversations that night, but I fell asleep. Too much excitement for one day!

And my grandparents’ reactions were wonderful! I heard the excitement in my grandmother’s voice, but what really got me was hearing my grandfather choking back tears. I’m sure he was crying. I can’t wait to meet him, because I know he’s going to be the best grandfather ever! He and I will have so much fun together! We all will.

Well, Mommy, it’s sure been an exciting week, hasn’t it?! There’s so much to think about, and dream about. Just remember when you’re dreaming about our future, I’m doing that, too. Before I left heaven, your grandmother told me all sorts of things to think about, and look forward to. And she especially asked me to smile at you every day, and kiss you as soon as I’m able to, to remind you how much she loves you. And so does your grandfather. I wish you could have met him, because he’s just as wonderful as your grandmother. My great-grandparents.

I promise to smile at you every day, and kiss you, and hold your finger tightly, and just remind you of all the love that’s surrounding you, and me, and our whole family. We have so much to look forward to!

I love you and Daddy already! And my grandparents! So very much! Good night, until we talk tomorrow!

XOXOXOXOXO

My Garden of Friends

I love gardening. So did my mother. I guess it’s something I inherited from her. The beauty of flowers evokes a special feeling for me. Each species is unique in its own way; each particular flower has its own characteristics and a special place in my garden.

One day while I was working in my yard and caring for my favorite roses, the Lord impressed upon my heart that my very special girlfriends are like the flowers in my garden. My own special garden of friends. Each one of them is unique…a unique species of flower placed there just for me. A beautiful collection of colorful blooms nourished by pure love for each other.

Each particular flower has a unique beauty. Each one adds something special to my garden, and combined together, they create a beautiful and amazing panorama, unique to my garden, and my garden alone.

Like my actual backyard garden, my garden of friends is filled with both perennials and annuals. The perennials are firmly planted, with deep roots, and will withstand anything that comes against us, because they are always going to be there for me. They will always be planted and blooming in my garden.

Some perennials have been there for years. Some of them, while still perennials, have been there for only a short time, but have firmly taken root and are impossible to uproot. They will be forever in my garden.

Without mentioning any names, let me tell you about my wonderful perennials.

pink-rose-bushThere is a gentle pink rose, full of the joy of life, with eternal youthfulness and the energy that goes with it. Her subtle but sweet perfume is particularly welcome on warm summer nights as the crickets chirp their special songs while the moon brightly lights up the sky.

day lilyThere is a bold day lily, blooming faithfully every summer, bursting forth with strong colors that last for weeks. Day lilies are strong, and prolific, and almost impossible to destroy. She generously shares her blooms as stories of encouragement to all of us.

gardenia-bushThere is my gardenia bush. She is delicate in appearance, but enduring through many trials. Her blooms bruise easily, but she is faithful and continues on through all adversity. My gardenia always projects a sweet scent of love and joy as well as humor.

sunflowerI have a sunflower, sturdy and shining brightly like her golden namesake She may sometimes bend when the wind gets too strong, but she continues to stand in strength and wisdom, always ready to offer encouragement and hope.

purple-tulipsI have a beautiful purple tulip (one of my very favorite flowers). She has loved me for years, over many miles, and we have encouraged and loved each other through a number of trials. I can always count on her to make me laugh and give me encouragement when needed.

lily of valleyMy lily of the valley is graceful yet strong, and the love we have for each other multiplies with each year. She is always there for me when I need to talk, and projects the most wonderful aroma of God’s enduring and gentle compassion. My lily of the valley has bloomed in my garden for many years, and will continue to do so.

There are also annuals. Friends who come into our lives for a season or two, and then gradually fade away, only to be replanted in someone else’s garden for another season. Annuals are beautiful flowers as well, and quite important for the several seasons they grace my garden. Sometimes they return to briefly brighten a vacant spot, but being annuals, it’s still only for a season. Their colors are vibrant and give my garden a special zing, and although their roots are sturdy for the season, they fall victim to changes in temperament and circumstances, and just cannot last for more than a few seasons.

Many times we think we can actually get these annuals to last, and turn them into perennials, that will last through many seasons, and hopefully find a permanent home in our garden.

hibiscusUnfortunately these colorful impatiens, Gerbera daisies, pansies, and hibiscus just don’t last for more than a season. They are in our lives for a short time. Even the hibiscus, that appears so strong and sturdy, and blooms every day of its season, eventually fades and moves on, leaving us only with beautiful memories, pictures we can look at and only wish those lovely flowers would return.

Which are you? Has the Lord placed you in someone’s garden for a season, or for a lifetime? Are there flowers missing in your garden that you wish would return? Or are you a flower that left someone’s garden and are feeling the urge to return, but don’t know how to replant yourself?

This is the season when our gardens come back to life. The season for the faithful perennials to spring back into bloom, and for some of the annuals to be welcomed back into our gardens, for as many seasons as they are called.

I know who will continue to be the perennials in my garden, and even a few more may be added. And I look forward to seeing how many annuals will decide to return. And how many new annuals will be brought into the yard, to be fed, watered, and welcomed into their special places, for however long they decide to stay.

Whose gardens will you be blooming in? Will you be an annual or a perennial?

It’s the season of new beginnings and new adventures!

Happy Gardening!

Good Morning, Mommy

Good morning Mommy. Yes, I’m talking to you. That little voice you’re hearing is me. You don’t even know about me yet, but guess what!? You’re going to be a mommy. MY Mommy! And I already know that you’re going to be the best mommy in the whole world!!

Did you know I already hear your heartbeat? I hear each and every breath you take. I hear the sound of your voice when you’re talking to Daddy. I hear you when you’re talking to my grandparents. I love to hear the sound of your voice. You don’t even know I’m in here yet, but I’m listening to every word you say.

But you will. And very soon.

Right now I’m really, really tiny. Actually I’m about the size of a poppy seed. I’ve only been here for a little while, so it’s really too early for you to know I’m here. But soon you’re going to go to the doctor, and she’s going to tell you the wonderful news. I sure hope you’re going to be as excited as I am! We’re going to have a wonderful time together, you, me, and Daddy.

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

You see, God created me just for the two of you. I have your eyes. And I have Daddy’s laugh. I have your smile. I have Daddy’s chin. Without the beard of course. I have my grandmother’s spirit, and my grandfather’s funny sense of humor.

Your grandmother, my great-grandmother, has been taking care of me for the last few months while God prepared me for you. She’s been telling me all about you. She is so proud of you, and she loves you so much. She’s so excited about giving me to you. She even knew my name before you did. Because she knew you’d be naming me after her. I’m your Rachel.

Mommy, we’re going to have so much fun together. We’ll go to the beach. We’ll play in the park. We’ll go shopping, and you’ll buy me all kinds of pretty clothes. Daddy will teach me to fish and hunt. I know they’re not really girly things to do but that’s what Daddy likes, and I know he’s going to have a great time teaching me. And I’m really going to make him proud of me. And you, too.

I can’t wait until you find out about me. We have a while to wait before we officially meet, and I’m already counting the days! And soon you will be, too!!!

Well, I’m getting tired, and I need my sleep. And so do you. You have been feeling a bit tired lately. I’m sorry, but that’s because of me. But I’ll be worth it! I promise!

I love you so much, Mommy, and I’ll talk to you later!

XOXOXOXOXO

Baby Shower Treats

You read a few weeks ago about my being a frustrated baker. Well this frustrated baker was busy again last week “baking” up goodies for our daughter’s baby shower. As well as actually concocting a few edible goodies as well.

My basic philosophy on doing special parties is, if you’re going to do it, make it special, and make it memorable. Pinterest is certainly one of my favorite inspirations, and I scoured through many, many different ideas before deciding on what to finally do…..

Since our Saturday blogs are usually about food, I’m not going to dwell on the decorating aspects. But I do have to say this “frustrated baker” had a great time creating edible as well as non-edible culinary delights! With a little help from a few friends with the actual REAL cakes!

In planning the shower, one of the first things I needed to decide on was how to make the food fit with the theme. And since the mom-to-be’s theme was “beach princess” it gave me a bit of a challenge to come up with the right names for the food. After all, you can’t just call them sandwiches and chips!

So the chicken salad croissants became “crabby croissants” with the addition of some handmade crab eyes. Gummy worms, one of the mom’s cravings, became gummy eels. Dipped pretzel sticks became pretzel fishing rods. Colored chocolate drops became sea pearls. And chips and dip…well, “take a dip” signs were very appropriate! Along with a bowl of goldfish crackers. The steamed shrimp, well that didn’t need a label! Homemade sand dollar cookies were also one of the desserts.

 

We were also blessed with two very special and delicious cakes! The beach princess cupcake dress was complete with a beachy mermaid crown, starfish tiara, and burlap shell and pearl sash, all of which will be utilized in Baby Rachel’s first photo shoot. The two-tiered beach cake made by one of the mom-to-be’s friends featured real painted shells, and a very special beachy hair bow, all of which we were careful to tell her NOT to eat!

 

But the two main non dessert items that this frustrated baker contributed were a fabulous (if I do say so myself!) four-tier diaper cake, as well as an array of diaper and onesie cupcakes.

I will share the “recipe” for my diaper cake below, but please, if you’re going to attempt one, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. It took me a few attempts to master the art. Feel free to email me if you have questions.

Recipe for Ashley’s Diaper Cake

90-100 newborn diapers
Paper towel roll (empty)
Curling ribbon
Decorative hat pins with colored heads
Decorative 1-1 ½” wide grosgrain ribbon
1 cake-shaped bank (from Target)
6-8 pacifiers in colors to match shower theme
Decorative baby socks, floral headbands, assorted ribbon flowers or silk flowers
String of decorative pearls (from craft store – I got mine from Hobby Lobby)
Paper crinkles
Clear plastic plate to “serve” cake on

I arranged the diapers in the bottom three tiers of a set of four tiered cake pans. Place ov2012-04-17_23-19-09_206erlapping diapers, 40 in bottom pan, 30 in next, and 20 in the next one. If you think you need a few more, add those as well. Tie tightly together with the curling ribbon so that when you “dump” them out, they won’t fall apart. As you take them out, place them on the cake plate with the paper towel roll in the middle to hold them together. You should easily stack three layers around one roll. For this particular cake I added a second roll, cut it the proper height, and stuck it in the other one. Be sure to use double sided tape on the bottom of the cake plate to attach the layers or it’ll slide off!

The floral bank was the top layer on this one, and I was able to stick it on the paper towel roll because of the hole in the bottom for the money. For the bank topper I’d found a princess tiara crown on a headband, and stuck the band part through the money slot on top. But you can be creative and find something equally as great.

Now that it’s assembled, decorate as desired. Use the grosgrain ribbon to wrap around the layers to hide the curling ribbon. Pin it together in the back of the cake with the colored pins.

Decorate with the pacifiers, socks, headbands, silk flowers, etc. Place the paper crinkles as “icing” between layers and around the base of the cake. Drape the decorative pearls in each layer, stuffing a bit of them between the layers to hold them in place.

Be creative! It’s fun! And if you need more help, there are lots of videos on line to assist you. And if you do make one, please let us see it!

Here are just a few more decorations! (Sorry, couldn’t resist! Remember, it’s our first grandchild!)

Waiting for the Phone to Ring

A couple of months ago there was something I really, really wanted. I’d had a job interview for what I thought was an exciting opportunity. I had a great feeling when I left the interview. I’d interviewed with two different people, and we seemed to hit it off perfectly. We’d even talked about the training program, and the places we’d call on during that training period, and all the fun we’d have during the process. The salary was great, and the benefits were more than I’d imagined. The decision was going to be made the following week.

So I wrote my thank you emails, and then I waited for the phone to ring. I didn’t get a response back from the emails, but that really wasn’t that unusual. At least so I’ve experienced, in this day and age.

I figured I wouldn’t hear back from the decision maker until at least the middle of the next week, because I’d been told a decision would be made by the end of the week. So as the days went by, I waited, somewhat patiently, at least for a while. After all, I hadn’t really been looking for a new job, but this one had just come across my email, and someone said I‘d be perfect for it, so, well, why not try?

The phone never rang, and the email never came. In fact, I heard absolutely nothing back. Not even a “thank you so much for talking to us but we chose someone else”. Just silence. And then I started really thinking the worst about myself. How could I have been so wrong?
MostAnsweredPrayer
I’d even prayed over it every night, and asked God to please, PLEASE let the answer be yes. I even thanked Him in advance for the new position. I imagined myself in that new job, and even planned what I’d do with the pay increase.

But the call never came.

God didn’t answer my prayer.

Or did He?

Sometimes His answer is “no”. And that’s not what we want to hear, because we really think we know best; that we know better than God does. And we make sure we tell Him that. I’ve written about this before, but it’s important to write about it again, especially in this particular instance.

Because it wasn’t my time. And it wasn’t the job He wanted me to have. He had something much better in mind for me, and He knew that I wasn’t ready for it yet, because He still had certain things for me to accomplish in my existing job, before He could release me into the next one.

And He did just that, and quite by accident, or so I thought. But then again, the Lord never does anything by accident. It’s all a part of His plan for us. I answered another email that someone had sent me, even though I figured nothing would come of it, and as a result of answering that email, I started my new position this week, with an even better pay increase, and much closer to home, which will allow me to spend the time I want to spend with my new granddaughter when she arrives next month.

That’s just how the Lord works. He knew when the phone was supposed to ring, and who was going to be on the other end of it. And He made that phone ring when I was least expecting it.

Psalm 27:14 tells us to “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” I wasn’t willing to wait, but He made me wait. Because He had something so much better to give me.

Waiting is difficult. We are by nature impatient. We want what we want, and we want it now. Or better yet, yesterday. We want that phone to ring, and sometimes the silence is deafening. We think God is ignoring us, and even begin to feel that He’s deserted us.
psalms-27-14
That’s when He shows up. At just the right time. Because it’s His time, not ours.

If you are standing in faith for something, and praying over it, waiting for something to happen, don’t give up. It’s not done in your time; it’s done in His.

That phone is going to ring, and when it does, and you answer, you’re going to get exactly what you need.