Friday, December 31, 2010

Thinking About the New Year

So I'm not real big on resolutions.  Maybe it's because I'm leary of making a "promise" that I probably won't be able to keep...(Sounds familiar in light of my previous blog entry, huh?!?)

Plus, usually the reason why I end up breaking my resolutions (to lose weight, exercise regularly, spend a designated time every day studying my Bible, the list could go on and on...) is because of some underlying issue such as lack of discipline or apathy or laziness or whatever.

So I decided that this year I wanted to pray about a verse to memorize and that I would like to be my focus or purpose statement for this year.  Hopefully and prayerfully, if I meditate on this verse and really focus on applying it to my heart and my life this year, I'll be able to make more decisions that honor the Lord and that consequentially will very likely be good for me too! 

This year at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, our pastor asked us to write down a "gift" that we would offer Jesus, and then we placed them under the Christmas tree at the front of the church.  This had nothing to do with a New Year's Resolution or anything like that, but I did feel that God had been preparing my heart all week long that I need to offer him two specific things from my life: (1) my time and (2) my words. 

I want to spend my time in a way that honors Him so that at the end of the day when I'm spent and exhausted, it'll be because I served Him, my family, and others all day long and not because I spent all of my time shopping on the internet or lurking on Facebook or whatever and then had to rush around like a madwoman in order to get things done that needed to be done around my house or for my family.  I also want to be more disciplined in when I wake and when I go to bed at night.  Needless to say, I have gotten really inconsistent, and it is taking a toll on me and my effectiveness around my house and in my responsibilities.  Making these changes should also enable me to spend more quality time with my Savior in the mornings as well.  Sometimes I feel like I treat Him like a Drive-Thru window.

I especially want to honor Him with my words this year.  I want the words that come out of my mouth or from my fingers to be words that bring life and truth and encouragement and not words that tear down or cause discouragement.  My hubby sometimes "accuses" me of being too diplomatic with my words.  And he's absolutely right.  I usually use my words to tell people exactly what they want to hear, rather than what is true or right or truly beneficial.  I want to speak words of life into my children's hearts to build them up and not tear them down.  And perhaps most importantly, I want to offer words of encouragement and appreciation into my hubby's life.  Sometimes he unfortunately gets the "leftovers" of my day which may or may not include a lot of complaining or just general negativity which isn't fair to him or in the best interest of our marriage. 

So this new year, my "theme verse" or New Year's Resolution, or whatever you want to call it is Psalm 19:14. "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." God has really impressed this verse upon my heart the past few weeks, and I know that He's challenging me to not just memorize it, but also apply it. 

I know that it won't be easy and that there will be times when I'll fail, just like I would if I were making a New Year's Resolution to lose weight or blog every day or whatever, but I know that He will meet me with new mercies every morning and that I can do my best to make it my goal to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9) because He is so worthy. 

Happy New Year, Friends!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So Let's Try This Again

Wow.  So much has changed in our family's life since I last blogged.  I thought that the whole "blogging thing" would come naturally and easily for me because (1) I love to talk, especially about my family, (2) I LOVE  to write, and (3) I WANT to scrapbook (just ask the entire shelf of my craft closet that is full of scrapbooking supplies that haven't been opened or used yet) but can never find the time (go figure).  And of course, you do know that Stay at Home Moms have ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to do whatever it is that they want to do, right?  :)

Part of why I've been scared to commit to blogging is because I put pressure on myself to do whatever it is that I'm doing at the time really well.  I know that sounds silly since this would be my blog and the only person with expectations for it would be me, but I get a little impressed and intimidated with the bloggers (especially SAHMs) who are able to come up with a post every day.  Don't get me wrong...I'm certain that coming up with something  to write about wouldn't be difficult at all, but actually finding the time to actually write about it would be.  So most of the time I just quit whatever it was that I was trying to do because I didn't meet my own expectations (which is something I'm gonna try to lighten up about in the new year).

But regardless of whatever's kept me from blogging, I've found these things to be true:
(1) I need to find the time to do a few things that I enjoy, and I've always loved writing.  (Please don't get me wrong and read this as a "woe is me" comment.  I love my family and serving them is the highest of callings; however, I change roughly 13 diapers every day, and that's not high on my list of things that I enjoy. So maybe I'll enjoy the diaper changes a little more if I'm also getting to do some other things that I DO enjoy.)
(2) I love my family, and this is the perfect outlet for me to share about our family's happenings with friends and family, both locally and those who live out of the area.
(3) My babies are growing up, and I've yet to figure out a way to keep that from happening.  I want to remember these days, and I've already allowed too many events to go by without making any note of them for memory's sake. 

So even though blogging will require some time, it's an investment I'd like to make because I know I'll appreciate the payoff.  :)  I'm not making any promises about how often I'll blog or how many pictures I'll post or anything like that.  I can't promise that it won't be eight months before I blog again.  I also can't promise that this will only be a blog about my family or about politics or about religion or yadda, yadda, yadda because all of those things are important to me, and I can't commit to making this a politically correct blog. Asking me not to talk about my relationship with Jesus would be like asking me not to tell you about my babies.

So here's the latest picture of the kiddos to tide you over until the next time I post one.
Grace is 3 and a half, Carter is 21 months, and Caleb is 4 months old.  And I will be 29, going on 30, in a week, but on most days I feel like I'm 49, going on 50. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Carter's First Birthday (Only 2 1/2 Months Late!)

Slowly but surely I want to try to catch up on our life's happenings over the past few months.  I really want to find a more regular time to blog, even if it's just once a week.  I love writing, and I know that blogging is a great way to keep in touch with our friends and family both near and far.

On March 23rd, our best guy turned one year old!  He completely melted his mommy's heart over the first year of his life.  I said over and over again in the months leading up to his birth that I was so afraid that he'd become a momma's boy because we all know what kind of connotation that brings...!  Well, I take that back and have no problems with my little momma's boy!  (Besides, he's starting to show more and more of a connection to his daddy, so I know this stage won't last forever...)

We had a small party with a few friends and family at my parents' house.  Of course it was a rodeo theme to match his nursery.

The birthday boy!

Carter's birthday banner that I made on my Cricut that Carter's daddy got me for Christmas!

Table centerpieces

Grace's play house that she decorated with crepe paper!  So cute and funny!

Here are a few of the memorable gifts...NOT that they weren't all memorable, but these just really stuck out as I was going back through the pictures.

Shortly after his birthday, he learned the word "ball," and now he yells "Baaaaaallll!" every time he throws it.

His big friend Mandy bought him these aviator glasses, and yes, he is even more adorable in person in them.

His grandma made him these book of all different modes of transportation.

Grace and her BFF, Tori

Below are a few pictures from the hayride which was, of course, a hit again.

The rest of the party consisted of a little of this...

And this...

And then the best part...a WHOLE LOTTA this!

Not quite sure what to this whole thing for me, Momma?

Yes, Sweet Boy!  That WHOLE THING is for you!

(So glad we stripped him down for that excitement!)

And ironically, tomorrow we celebrate Grace's 3rd birthday!  I'm having a hard time learning how to reign in birthday parties, so this time we really are only celebrating with our immediate family!  I've also learned that there will be plenty of appropriate times when we can have a big fiesta, but that time is not this year when it's the middle of July, and the party planner is in the middle of her third trimester!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pregnancy Update--Week 25

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along:  25 Weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  10 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Yep...I think pregnancy must become more obvious once women start wearing maternity clothes.  I've had so many comments lately from people who didn't even know that we were pregnant!
Best Moment this week:  Hehehe...having to cancel my gestational glucose test because the kiddos were sick. 
Gender: It's a boy!  And he STILL doesn't have a name yet!
Movement:  Yes!  This little boy move a lot!
Food Craving: WATER!!!!
What I miss:  Sleeping on my belly and sleeping through the night!  Oh yeah, and my waistline!
Sleep:  I had been sleeping OK besides being irritated with having to go potty all the time.  But the past two nights I haven't slept well at all.
What I am looking forward to:  Making a firm decision on his name and figuring out room arrangements!
Belly Button:  In.  It's never popped "out."  It just kinda becomes "flat."
Symptoms:  My feet are starting to swell by the end of day, but I think that's also due to the heat.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pregnancy Update--Week 24

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along:  24 Weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  9 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Yep...lovin' the elastic waistband.
Best Moment this week:  Hearing Grace refer to the baby by his first name  (Well, his tentative first name...but it may have to stick because she won't call him anything else!)
Gender: It's a boy!  And he doesn't have a name yet!

Movement:  Yes!  And I love it because it's not at the point where it's really painful or uncomfortable!
Food Craving: Just food in general...
What I miss:  Sleeping on my belly and sleeping through the night!  Oh yeah, and my waistline!
Sleep:  I am having really strange dreams.  They always involve people I know, and somehow, they always involve people I'd prefer not to dream about!  (To set the record straight...they do not involve anyone who is dear to me!  If you are in the phonebook of my cell phone, then it's NOT you! Hehehe!)
What I am looking forward to:  Making a firm decision on his name
Belly Button:  In.  It's never popped "out."  It just kinda becomes "flat."
Symptoms:  I feel great!  Just a little bit extra tired, but that's about it!  I had a lot of back problems with Carter though throughout the second half of the pregnancy, and it seems like that must go with the territory of having a boy because I've noticed the past few days that my back is hurting pretty badly by the end of the day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pregnancy Update--Week 23

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along:  23 Weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  9 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Um, yes.  I think I exploded over the past two weeks...
Best Moment this week:  Feeling the baby move regularly every day!
Gender: It's a boy!  And he doesn't have a name yet!
Movement:  Yes!  And I love it because it's not at the point where it's really painful or uncomfortable!
Food Craving:  I had been craving breakfast tacos, but my appetite has been kinda strange the past few days.
What I miss:  Sleeping on my belly and sleeping through the night!
Sleep:  I am having really strange dreams.  They always involve people I know, and somehow, they always involve people I'd prefer not to dream about!
What I am looking forward to:  The rest of the second trimester!  What were we thinking having a baby at the end of August!  My entire third trimester is gonna be over the summer!
Belly Button:  In.  It's never popped "out."  It just kinda becomes "flat."
Symptoms:  I feel great!  Just a little bit extra tired, but that's about it!  I had a lot of back problems with Carter though throughout the second half of the pregnancy, and it seems like that must go with the territory of having a boy because I've noticed the past few days that my back is hurting pretty badly by the end of the day.
I'll try to update this specific topic on Mondays since that's when we officially count the weeks.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Planning Ahead for Sundays

As a young mom of two preschoolers, with another on the way, I know exactly how hard it can be to get the entire family ready for church on Sunday.  I also know that the destination of Sunday mornings can cause even more stress.  By that I mean that even if we've had a rough Sunday morning, woke up late, didn't get breakfast, couldn't find one of the kid's shoes, etc., we still feel the need need to play ourselves off as the perfect Christian family who looks properly dressed and appropriately put together when we walk through the doors of our place of worship. 

First of all, I'm thankful that my church ( is filled with real people who accept me as I am, faults and all, and even on the days when I don't feel like putting on make up.  If your church makes you feel like you need to be someone other than who you are in order to "fit in," then you might want to re-evaluate your relationship with your church; HOWEVER, I would bet that 9/10 times, the pressure to be perfect comes from within and not from our church.

Nonetheless, here are some practical tips that our family has decided to "implement" in order to eliminate as many excuses for not going to church and as many potential Sunday morning problems as possible. 

  • Set Sunday morning worship apart as a priority.  In order for you to "go the extra mile" in order to make sure that you make it to church on Sunday morning, you've got to determine ahead of time that it IS a family priority.  Decide as a family that with the exception of some major illness or family emergency or the occasional family vacation, that you WILL make worshiping together as a family the most important event on your family's weekly calendar.  I've seen families go to great lengths to protect a baseball game, hunting trip, or family member's birthday party.  Are we willing to go to the same lengths or beyond to protect our plans for Sunday morning?
  • Take it easy on Saturday evening.  Give yourself a family "curfew" so that you can be home to get stuff taken care of for the next day.  Don't be legalistic about this and turn down every single social event on a Saturday, but if you know that your kids need to be in bed by 9:00 p.m. in order to be well-rested and manageable in the morning, don't drag them to some social event that begins at 8:00 p.m. and ends at 11:00 p.m. and expect them to be willing to get up in time in the morning.  If you must attend something in the evening (it happens!), get a baby-sitter so that at least the kids will get to bed on time OR just bite the bullet, get up and make it to church, and then reserve your Sunday afternoon for family nap time. 
  • Determine ahead of time (this is a hard commitment!) that one person being sick and staying home from church does not require the ENTIRE family to stay home from church.  Obviously if one of your children is sick, a parent is required to stay home and take care of them.  However, I've seen this situation cause an entire family to miss out on worshiping together.  Send the other kids with the other parent to church.
  • Set out clothes for the entire family the night before.  Every Saturday night during bath time, while Stephen is taking care of the kids, I go into each of their closets and pull out what they're going to wear the next morning to church.  This means the entire outfit, including shoes, socks, hairbows, rubberbands, etc.  I KNOW that it seems extreme, but we have had too many chaotic Sunday mornings complete with bad attitudes and angry parents, and have finally learned our lesson. 
  • Get all your "stuff" together the night before!  For us, "stuff" includes getting the diapers bags ready and getting our Bibles in a common place (right by the diaper bags) so that we don't have to worry about that on Sunday morning too. 
  • Have convenient things available for breakfast.  Not only do you want to get there, but you also want to avoid being late as much as possible.  So have something easy to eat with minimal preparation available.  For us this usually means that I make some muffins the night before.  
  • Don't just attend your church's corporate (large group) worship service.  Get involved in whatever your church offers as a small group (like Sunday School).  There is much more accountability in smaller numbers, and you will grow and make more friends and meaningful relationships in that area.  PLUS, (and I don't recommend doing this every week unless you're made of money), you can make plans ahead of time to eat lunch together after church with a family or a handful of families.  Then you HAVE to make it church because no one wants to be stood up on a lunch date!  :)
All of these tips come from personal experience.  I know that you may read this and think, "well, you have to make it to church because it's your job."  Well, I guess technically it is my job, but that doesn't make it any easier on our family, and it certainly doesn't make it any more of a priority just because I'm expected to be there.  I can't tell you how many Sunday morning arguments have been because we didn't have our act together and were undisciplined with the way we handled our time the night before, and we've sat in church beside each other with arms folded and eyes narrowed because we were angry from something petty that had happened that could have been avoided with a little planning.  It's not worth it!  Thankfully we've learned our lesson and have made deliberate choices since then!

On that note, I'll see you Sunday!

P.S. I intend for this blog to cover a lot of our family happenings also, but I can't figure out how to upload the pictures from our new camera onto this dern computer, so I'm working on that.  Pictures of my kids are a lot cuter than anything that I have to say!

Thursday, April 1, 2010're pregnant again?

I couldn't tell you how many times we've heard that question...even from the kiddos that I work with in the children's ministry at church!

Here's a list of other popular questions that we field on a regular basis:
  • Were you trying to get pregnant?
  • Aren't you on birth control?
  • Do you know how to keep from getting pregnant? (No, I'm not kidding...)
  • When are you gonna stop?  (Uh, Hello...I'm not Michelle Duggar, although I do respect her and aspire to be like her in so many ways.)
It is very difficult for me to answer this question for two reasons: (1) I don't want to be judged for the convictions that Stephen and I have been led to regarding birth control, and (2) I don't want ANYONE to think that because our convictions might be different than theirs, that we are judging them for their choices regarding birth control.

A little background info might be somewhat helpful...
I have taken birth control before for contraceptive purposes.  I did what most women do and started on the Pill about 5 months before we got married.  We had no intentions of getting pregnant or starting a family as soon as we did.  I did not respond well to the hormones within the Pill, and I wasn't a very pleasant newlywed.  Also, I am TERRIBLE at routine, mundane things in life such as taking a pill once a day (yes, you can infer from that that I am the worst about taking prenatal vitamins).  I am terrible about brushing my teeth every day, giving my kids any meds that they have to take for an extended period of time, and I was HORRIBLE about taking attendance in my classroom every day back when I was teaching.  So, all of those reasons combined, we decided to look into other methods of family planning.

Also, Stephen and I believe that life begins at fertilization...not just at implantation. I wanted to learn about how other methods of hormonal birth control work (i.e. the ring, the patch, the shot, etc.), and so I began to do some not-so-scientific research on a not-always-accurate resource known as the Internet.  However, one thing that seemed to have overlooked before I started taking the Pill was that there is a subtle, not-so-widely-discussed way that the effects of the Pill can end an existing pregnancy (because, like I said, our family believes that life begins at fertilization, not just at implantation).  The most well-known way that the Pill can prevent pregnancy is be preventing ovulation (I have no problem with this).  Another way that it prevents pregnancy is by thickening the mucous around the cervix so that the sperm cannot travel into the uterus (Again, no problem here.). 

Disclaimer:  I promise to never again write a blog post with the words mucous, sperm, cervix, or uterus. 

The third and final way that hormonal birth control stops pregnancy is what led us to make a different choice.  You can look it up for yourself if you have any questions.  The lining of the cervix is affected by the hormones in such a way that if ovulation occurs and an egg is fertilized (which to us=pregnancy), it will not attach to the lining of the uterus and will just flush out of the woman's body.  (To our family this existing pregnancy has been terminated.)

I know that this may seem that we made drastic decisions regarding our family planning due to a little-known, overlooked fact about birth control that some might call "the fine print."  There's a reason for the fine print, though, and I'm sure we can all think of times in our life when we wish we'd read the fine print. 

Like I said before, we have many friends and family members who use forms of hormonal birth control to prevent pregnancy, and this is not something that affects or determines our friendships with others.  In fact, this may be the first time that I've ever shared our convictions with some of you.  However, unless asked directly about it, we don't typically discuss this with others because of the reasons that I stated above. 

 So to address the question about whether we were planning on getting pregnant this time.  No.  But on that note, not one of our three pregnancies was planned ahead of time (by us).  We have never looked at a calendar or considered several months into the future and thought, "Well, now would be a good time to get pregnant because we want to have a baby on _________ day." 

So what do we do to prevent pregnancy?  Well, we have babies which makes us really tired.  :)  Just kidding.  We have no concerns about preventative forms of birth control, as long as they are preventative only.  Methods such as condoms, the calendar method, vasectomies, tubal ligations, etc., don't concern us because they merely prevent pregnancy from occurring in the first place and do not interfere with an already existing pregnancy.  We've obviously not had anything surgically done to prevent pregnancies, but I don't think it's necessary to post on the World Wide Web what we do choose to use. 

So, to answer the other questions briefly...(Ha!  Like Courtney Wilcox can be brief!)
Yes, we know how to prevent pregnancies...I just really love my husband, and I'm convinced that he loves me too. 

I don't know the answer to "When are you gonna stop?"  But I can tell you this: we have no intentions of having a family that warrants attention from any show produced by TLC.  After your third unplanned pregnancy, you become very aware of some things that seemed out of your control but that really are.  We just want to control our family planning in a way that allows us to sleep at night...if we want to.  Ha!  :)

Hope that answered some questions!  Please don't ask me about this when you see me because I'm pretty sure that my face is red just typing some of these anatomical words, so I can only imagine what would happen if we discussed it face to face!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We're (still) Pregnant!

OK, so we have had a baby within the past year (and he'll be one-year-old a week from today!), but we are pregnant again!  In fact, I was seventeen weeks along as of yesterday, so we're pretty close to being halfway there!  And yes, each pregnancy has been considerably more difficult than the one before, probably because the end result of a pregnancy is a new child! 

We are due on August 23, 2010, and we could not have chosen (although this pregnancy, like all of the others, was not planned at all) poorer timing!  It's the first day of school for LCISD, and I'm just hoping and praying that my mom will get to be involved with everything!  Cross your fingers that she'll retire!

Also, like all of our previous pregnancies, I don't have any hunches regarding the gender of our baby.  BUT, I'm relieved to say that while we don't have any hunches, we also don't have any preferences...good thing, huh!  We used up the only two names that we could agree on (we'd had them chosen before we were ever married!), and so we're having some trouble coming up with names for this one.

I'll be posting more within the next week, and I'm working on getting brave enough to offer an explanation (although I don't feel that I owe one) as to how we are very successful at being fruitful and multiplying!  And be expecting at least one really good post with lots of pics to celebrate my boy's first birthday! 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Catching Up

So it's almost been a year since the last time I posted on here. Wow...what a great year it has been since then! My OCD tendencies lead me to want to fill you in on every last detail starting where I last left off, but that would be impossible, especially if I want to fill you in on what's going on in our lives NOW! So maybe along the way, I'll post some stuff from the past year, but for right now, I just want to catch you up on the latest news in the Wilcox family. I can't promise exactly which direction the blog will take, but it will mostly just cover the daily happenings in our life!