Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The title to this blog pretty much sums up Grey's and my life for a while.

Long story short: our little girl is really low and back to head down ready to come on out and meet us a little early (sorry for the TMI, but that's just they way she is!), plus it has been impossible to stop my contractions when I am up moving around.  The only way they seem to stop is laying down for LONG periods of time.

After a weekend stay at the hospital, complete with iv fluids, shots to stop contractions, etc., our doctor insisted it is best for us to be on strict bedrest for as long as they see fit.  It could be a week (I am hoping), but is more likely to be until the day she is born.  We are home now and I suppose this means our bed won't be made for a month or two. ;)  Henri (our cat) seems quite happy with this new situation, so at least someone is thrilled.  :)  I am ever so grateful for a boss who has been graciously flexible with me, which takes away a lot of possible stress.

Grey got two doses of steroids for her lungs this weekend, which were to get her breathing kicked into higher gear, in case of an early arrival.  We are still holding out for a little girl born in about 7 weeks or so, but I have really given her life daily back to the Lord, since the "bigger picture" is perfect - and that includes whenever God has chosen her birthday to be!  

Probably one of the more disappointing aspects about all of this is that I am not allowed to travel.  I will miss the Hope Mommies retreat this weekend, as well as my nephew's second birthday party.  Grey is worth missing anything and everything, but I still had hoped to be a part of the life-changing Hope Mommies Winter Retreat, and Cohen's second birthday.  

I originally hadn't planned on sharing this to the whole entire world, as this is not how we envisioned a second pregnancy to be.  But then I decided this blog is a journal of our life, and probably the only "baby book" my daughter will read one day...but more importantly, God has a perfect reason for all of this.  

We are so blessed with amazing friends.  My Sunday School friends filled my email inbox with Meal Train sign-ups this morning.  Friends have sent encouragements, Scriptures, and even tv shows I can start watching.  I have a stack of books on my nightstand, lots of Holden Uganda work to be done, etc.  God has taken care of every need already, a very humbling place to be.

PS  And a husband who does laundry and cleaning! :)

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.  Psalm 68:19

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I am super nosy and hardly ever am truly surprised...but today held such a surprise for us!!

The Snyder area youth gather for C-40 (Community-40) annually, an event that brings the youth closer to the Lord through speakers and worship leaders who share with them Christ's powerful message for their lives.  It is an event that Chet and I love, and are so grateful to see God working in the local young leaders.

Well, this weekend was C-40.  We were not able to host a home like we did last year, due to me working yesterday and being so pregnant.  Even though we weren't going to be a host home, we wanted to attend the worship sessions.  Last night our friends, the Mebanes, invited us to eat dinner with them.  We were a little confused they wanted to eat dinner during C-40, but we of course agreed to eating with them, since we love time spent with friends.

Our pastor Reid had invited us to speak about HUF at this morning's C-40 session.  All week, that was the plan....
Reid called Chet, Kara and I up to speak, and asked that I give a brief summary of our story before we showed the new presentation.  I was about 30 seconds into sharing Holden's story when Reid interjected and asked that he say a few words.  [Mind you, I was really thinking I messed up and must have said something completely wrong, so I was quite embarrassed at this point...]
Reid then announced that at last night's session (while the Mebanes kept us busy eating dinner), Kara had secretly come to C-40 and talked about HUF without us.
He told us that their goal was $2,500 and that they "hadn't quite reached that goal".
The big surprise:
Snyder's YOUTH gave $3,169.35 to HUF from what they had in their pockets and purses right then and there.  These students are 12-18 years old, and raised THOUSANDS of dollars in a few minutes to give life to people most of them will probably never meet on earth.  What an amazing moment and feeling....

I can't even tell you how cool it was to see all those kids and college leaders who had given so much...what a surprise!

The entire service this morning spoke to my heart, and convicted me to do more for the Lord.  Ryan Dalgliesh gave a powerful message about God being BIGGER than we've ever even imagined in our lives.  This surprise was an example of how MIGHTY our God is.

My goal is to start focusing more on following God's will through His Word in each step I take... thank you Snyder youth for the example.

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Her name is...

Grey Erwin

So many people have asked, and I have been hesitant to share her name "publicly", but Chet told me last night that we should tell people since it is 'leaking out' any ways.  We love her name and I hope she does too one day. :)  Little Miss Grey has a middle name as well, but since her Daddy chose it and wants to share on her birthday, I will keep my lips sealed until that special time. 
We had wonderful doctor appointments yesterday!  I could not stop smiling all afternoon...I am probably one of the only moms on earth that are excited to have a breech baby, and was thrilled she is breech now.  (We are getting a c-section, so breech is not bad, and only means she is not as eager to come early!)  She is still as shy as ever for the camera, so we did not get any good facial pictures.  She gets her reaction towards cameras from her mama, for sure.  I know how annoying I must be to Tisha now!  :( (SORRY TISHA!)  We did get some great photos of her long fingers though [the ones covering her face]; I love that she has inherited that from my side of the family.  Her cousins Kayson and Hannah both have long fingers, and I am already planning on a piano purchase in the future...

I had my glucose test and will get the results within a day or so.  Grey and I certainly do enjoy our sweets, so I am hoping we passed!  We will be in Lubbock each Monday for NST from here on out; I'll gladly drive 3 hours a week for the reassurance it brings. 

Baby Updates
3rd - Possibly having a c-section in about 8.5 weeks!
*Current food craving:
Apricots - This was the same weird craving I had with Holden, although being a summer baby, they were in season with him. I have had to make do with canned ones (bummer for zero nutritional value) since I refuse to ingest the sulfur that comes with dried apricots while pregnant.  Other than apricots, I really don't crave foods pregnant.  Nope, we don't discriminate...we just like them all! ;)
Grey is exceedingly perfect in growth, so we except a chunky little girl upon arrival.  We saw some chubby cheeks peeking out under her hands yesterday.  I am in love. :)
*Weight gain:
Not posting on a blog.  :)  Let's just say we are doing a-okay. 

Today's wonderful news:
JD Smith (Holden Uganda Co-Founder) is currently in Uganda right now, visiting the well projects, Sanyu Babies Home and Dr. Patrick, as well as coordinating and filming the building of a well and accomplishing business.  His visit there is such an exciting step for HUF, so those of us on American soil are doing our best to not be jealous. ;)

This morning I received a call from his wife Kara about his visit to Holden's well.  It MADE my day, and made my heart burst with JOY! ♥   During his visit, he was able to hold and love on a 17 month-old toddler whose family was drinking clean water.  Of course, Holden is 17 months-old, so this made me cry.  He also met 100 people in a short 20 minute period who were lined up to fetch clean water from the well.  Once again we were powerfully reminded that each well represents LIFE!  I dream of taking Grey to these wells one day soon...

{{Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30}}

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January update

Here we are halfway through January!  I was told this month would fly by...and I am so glad it has!  Back in August I was thinking January seemed so very, very far away.  Right now March seems so very, very far away, but I know it will be here in just a minute. 

January has always been one of my least favorite months.  I am not a fan of cold weather, resolutions end up disappointing most people, and the view in West Texas is extra dull and drab.  Lastly, being the animal lover that I am, I always feel sad for the animals stuck out in the cold ...sometimes I want to anonymously place heat lamps throughout the neighborhoods for all the cats and dogs.  ;)

Thanks to Edie Wadsworth's blog, I was given a fresh perspective on January!  This past week I have attempted to discover some things uniquely nice about the month.  My little list so far:
1.  More inside time means more reading.  Even if "reading" means Pinterest, it's relaxing, right? ;)  I am enjoying a lot of restful indoor activities. 
2.  I appreciate flowers a lot more.  As I drove through Lubbock the other day, I noticed a person had beautiful, healthy pansies growing in their flower bed.  The purples and yellows were in stark contrast to the surroundings, and may have been the prettiest flower beds I have ever seen.
3.  January is a great time to enjoy soups and comfort foods.  Mmmm! 
4.  Snow is beautiful, and our dry ground has been blessed with several snows this winter. 
5.  January is kind of a new start; a way to clean up anything and everything.
On another note:
Chet has been at Weaver Construction for a couple weeks, and is loving it.  I love that he loves his job!  It is so neat to see my husband being blessed, because I wholeheartedly believe he deserves it.

January update on Baby E:
Our little girl is growing right on track!  At our last ultrasound she weighed approximately 2 lbs. 2 oz. and once again she is a GIRL - no boy surprises! ;)  We have another ultrasound this upcoming Monday, so we can see if she has packed on even more weight.  I will also take the glucose test and start Non-Stress Testing once a week.  I cannot say enough how much I LOVE having two of the most caring and intelligent doctors, willing to do anything to keep our little one safe.
She is a little eager beaver (impatient like her mama) and already head down ready to meet us.  I keep reminding her that she will have plenty of time on the outside world after she comes, and that she should enjoy her cozy womb home for a little while longer.

I have gone through a very hungry stage this past month.  I am going to assume our little girl is growing with me.  My weight gain is once again higher than I set out to gain in the beginning, but I truly would gain 200 lbs. (and love all of them) for a healthy baby!  Notice the chunkier cheeks??  (And that isn't just on the Little Miss ha...)

A picture of us this morning.  Please ignore the foam mattress leaning on the wall in the background.  (Oh and that is a sneak peak of the color of her nursery walls!) 
Thanks to several friends, she now owns a few adorable girl outfits.  I am still considering buying some blue, green and brown bows to make all the boy clothes we have a little more feminine. ;)
We have a precious friend painting her furniture and another precious friend making her bedding.  We are very blessed!  Her nursery might just be ready by Spring Break... 
We hope to meet her and tell her how much we love her face to face in about 9 weeks!
Life has been busy adjusting to changes this new year...God is so good to us!
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:  Philippians 1:6

Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Recap

This is an attempt at documenting our life, so it's not an exciting post by any means.  I just want to recap the 2011 holiday season.

In just two days I will be back at work.  This break has simply disappeared!  Some people say they get bored during the holiday break, but I can definitely say when I am home I am ten times busier.  I have not enjoyed a bored day yet since my lists of to-dos don't ever seem to let up!  :)  Pinterest doesn't help me in that area either.  ;)

Christmas was so much better on my heart this year.  Last year was such a blur, I can only sketch together pieces of the season.  I am most grateful for the JOY that the Lord has restored to us this year.

We still 'minimalized' Christmas between the two of us, but we enjoyed several family celebrations.  Sadly I was out of it and did not document the season with pictures.  Oh well.  There's always next year. :)
I spent a day in Brady with my sister's family and the Shuffields before Christmas, which was so nice!  Chet could not join me due to work (more on that later).  He missed everyone, but will certainly be there next year!  My nephews are at the age that Christmas is magical, which is so fun to be a part of.  The Shuffields treat us like royalty...a family we treasure.  I realized on my drive home from Brady again just how blessed I am to have such precious families in our lives that are Family.

Christmas day was wonderful and simple.  We woke up to a beautiful white landscape and made breakfast in bed.  Chet and I spent the whole day together and loved sharing couple time.  He even helped me in the kitchen baking for several hours.  :)  I am hoping this is the last Christmas we ever have to wake up late and have a quiet house though!  We went to Holden's gravesite and reflected for a little bit.  Although we still cried, it was not because we would ever take Holden away from celebrating Jesus' birth in the very presence of Jesus Christ.  It was simply because we missed our 16-month toddler celebrating with us.  

The next day we had Chet's family Christmases.  That morning we met at Trey and Carrie's beautiful new home for the Erwin Christmas.  Then we all headed to Connie's amazing Winter Wonderland house for the Sterling Family Christmas, where we enjoyed very yummy Mexican food (quite possibly the best holiday meal I have had in a while)!  Must be pregnant since I am mentioning the food before anything else, huh? ;)  It was the first holiday since I have known Chet that every family member was present, which was special to see.  We also participated in the traditional gift exchange, a Chinese gift exchange and a fun game Shea came up with.  Chet's nephews, niece and cousins' kids are all getting so grown up.  It was a good day to visit with the family, and I especially liked getting to have lunch in the living room with Brooke and Carrie for 'girl time', since the tables were all taken up.

Chet surprised me with an offer to paint the nursery (this is big, as much as he hates painting), so he sent me to Dallas to visit Brittney and Blair for a couple of days last week.  I always love to catch up with two of my closest college friends!  I arrived home to a very bright nursery.  (I like the color...it's just going to take some getting used to since it's brilliant.)  It has been a slow process in our hearts getting ready for this baby, but a painted nursery makes me feel more ready to start tackling the rest of her nursery.

We spent the last few days and New Year's weekend sifting/sorting through our entire house cleaning and organizing.  I had a mild (OK major) panic attack on Friday upon my return home from Dallas, when I realized we were going to [Lord willing] bring our daughter home in about 11 weeks.  I almost wanted to sell our house and move, just so that we would be forced to organize everything.  (I have a theory that we should pack up our entire house every 4 years, as if we are moving, and then move back in.  This would keep us a lot more aware of the enormous amount of stuff we have!)

I have always been one to keep an orderly home, but this last year of my life has been so disheveled and crazy.  As much as I would like to blame the awesome emergence of Holden Uganda's growth, on top of regular lives and jobs, I simply cannot.  2011 and I were a little out-of-sorts with each other, and it showed in the fact that nearly every closet and drawer in my house was "the junk drawer".  Ugh.

I woke up today with such a renewed mind, as I walked around with my coffee and realized our home is much more back to normal again.  When my home is in disarray, it feels like a 'house'.  Today it is home.
I am so grateful that the Lord cleaned out my heart in many ways last year, more than anything physical could ever amount to, but I am also grateful that I can breath easier in the fact that my home and life are going to get back to organized as well.  My biggest goal for this upcoming year is finding the right balance between "Martha and Mary" (thanks Jaci!).  I want my main focus to be on the eternal, yet still have a place here on earth that is welcoming, warm and inviting.  I believe much of my stress over the year has been due to the fact that I could not stay on top of our lives, as I once was always able to.  And I also know that my life is not going to slow down with a baby...

The Lord has given us a huge gift in the stewardship of Holden Uganda, and we are excited that there are even bigger plans for HUF in 2012 than 2011.  (yikes!)  Many fabulous changes are happening in our family right now, and I look forward to this new year with such joy!!  Chet has been blessed with a new job opportunity (starting soon), one that we are incredibly grateful for.  God's provision over us is always greater than anything I could ask for or even dream up.

There are two words I can use to sum up 2011:  restored joy
There are two words I can use as I anticipate 2012: His faithfulness

We pray that 2012 is a year that the Lord's blessings are showered on our dear family and friends!!  I want to write one thing to my new Hope Mommy friends:  God is the same today as He was at the beginning of time.  His plans are perfect for you.  As impossible as it may seem now, I believe that you too will look back in a year and understand how things (painful, awful things) are what will draw you closer to Him.  You will have joy restored.  Christ's love for us never ends.  I appreciate my "mentor" Hope Mommies sharing this with me a year ago...so I want to share it with you.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17