Monday, September 29, 2008

Rockabye Baby!

Oh my gosh, I found the coolest baby music EVER today. My friend, Patti, at work, also 6 months preggo, found these cds this weekend at a chic boutique in Cameron Village, and passed along the joy. They are called Rockabye Baby! They are rockin songs put to lullaby! Seriously! These are my fav's - Coldplay, U2, Radiohead, and Bob Marley. I mean are you serious?? After a weekend of registering for baby stuff that was all strange and crazy to me - THIS I can get into. There is hope for those long nights putting Kieren to sleep...

Prayers for Raymond

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share a friend with you all and ask you to pray for him! His name is Raymond, and he is a friend who we met and worked with in Uganda, when I went there for a mission trip in August 2007. He was volunteering at that time with the Greek Orthodox Church, and has now graduated school and is working with the US Army in Iraq! What?! He is safe and not 'on the battle lines' but I ask that you will join me in praying for this brother in Christ. He has other Christians that he lives and works with - Americans and other foreigners from all over the world. Pray for his faith, his safety, and that God would use Him in this difficult place right now.

This world is so crazy with 'technology' and somehow Raymond, my Ugandan friend, called me today from Iraq on my cell phone! What a gift! Pray for him as he somehow still encourages me from across the world!

Love to you Raymond!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Challenging Article I Read Today...

Loving Our Neighbors When Times are Hard
by Jimmy McCarty 09-25-2008

Times are hard. I work at a homeless shelter for single men with a resource center in the front offices for homeless individuals and families, and business has been booming lately. We have seen a dramatic increase in people coming through our doors seeking assistance. Some have seen their budgets tighten dramatically due to increases in gas and food prices and are simply frequenting food banks they used to donate to. In fact, our food banks in the area are running out of food because of the increased demand. Others have lost homes and need a safe place for their children to sleep at night. And still others have recently lost jobs and are looking for ways to prevent ending up on the street, often with their family.

For those of us with the time to write, read, and comment on blogs, let us not forget our neighbors who must spend that time looking for work or food. Let us who have an empty guest room not forget those whose only ceiling tonight will be the stars and only bed a bench. Times are hard, and it is in times like these that the body of Christ must act as such by recommitting ourselves to bringing good news to the poor, healing the sick, welcoming the stranger, and feeding the hungry. Our faith in the ways of the world has failed us yet again. Let us recommit ourselves to the ways of God’s kingdom.

At the same time we must not forget our global neighbors. We, as Christians, cannot succumb to a narrow view of the world or xenophobia and forget our sisters and brothers around the world. There are children in Haiti literally eating mud pies to survive. The numbers of people starving around the world has skyrocketed. There have been riots that have erupted on multiple continents because food is no longer affordable. Our sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe are dealing with an inflation rate in the millions while we contend with one around 5 percent. Times are not just hard for us. They are hard for billions around the world.

In our world where money can be sent overseas in minutes, we can visit any corner of the world we want to within hours, and we can talk to people at any spot on the planet within seconds, we have no excuse to forget those around the world in need. We are connected with them because they are family. As a family that gathers around God’s table, where all are welcome, we must make sure everyone has a plate and that it is full.

Times are hard, but let us not forget our neighbors down the street or around the world. Let us remember it was not those who gave out of their abundance that Jesus commended, but the woman who gave her last two pennies, out of her need when times were hard, that he praised. Yes, times are hard, but God is still good and we should be too.

Jimmy McCarty is a student at Claremont School of Theology studying Christian ethics, a minister serving cross-racially at a church in inner-city Los Angeles, and a servant at a homeless shelter five days a week. He blogs at

Pregnancy Questions and Answers

This made me laugh today!!

Pregnancy Q&A

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q : Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q : Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Great Quote

"It's extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can't find $25 billion dollars to saved 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases."

- Bono, rock star and anti-poverty activist.

24 weeks size

We are now in the 24th week of my pregnancy, and Kieren is the length of an EAR OF CORN! She is looking sweet and yummy! And get this - my uterus is the size of a soccer ball. Now that's a size I know - and it's BIG :)

Love you all!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book Review: Simple Spirituality

It's been a while since we've done one of these, but this book definitely deserves it. It's written by a guy named Chris Huertz who leads a missional community called Word Made Flesh. We've been aware of WMF for a while but got to meet and get to know Chris when he was on sabbatical last fall at Duke. Chris is an amazing guy who wants to genuinely love the poor around the world.
This book is a deep look at discipleship. It's inspiring, challenging, and encouraging. I instantly started using quotes from it in talks on mission trips this summer. Chris wants for you to fall in love with Jesus because he knows that relationship will move you to loving action towards others.
I love this book so much that I bought five more copies and have been giving them away. I think it's a significant look at discipleship that everybody should experience. Don't miss it!

Living Hope Ministry in South Africa

Hello friends!

Living Hope, the ministry we worked with in Cape Town, South Africa, has created a new video about all the incredible things God is enabling and empowering them to do in South Africa. We are so proud of all they are doing - God is so good!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Are you okay??!??


Thought I would update a bit on how I'm feeling lately, since that is the MAIN question I am getting these days with the obvious baby belly leading me around. I am feeling GOOD! The only strange things I am feeling are being really tired and back-aches, both of which are totally normal. I am also starting to feel Kieren move and kick more and more, which is so FUN! The other night Casey woke her up talking to her and then she kicked back for a while. They like to play already :)

I think one thing that is really helping me to feel strong during the pregnancy is working out. I work out 5-6 days a week, nothing as intense as I use to, but just gym machines and weights. My favorite night of the week is my kick-boxing class on Wednesdays - still there and loving it! It's hard but it's honestly when I feel the best emotionally and physically. It is funny sometimes, because people at the gym are now noticing I don't have a new beer gut, but a baby cooking, so if I pause, breathe heavy, or sigh, I always get an "ARE YOU OKAY?" It's nice but funny. Don't worry everyone, I will be careful with my workouts!

Thanks for everyone's support as Kieren grows and grows. We are enjoying this fun phase of the pregnancy where I have energy and we can just enjoy dreaming about our little girl. God is good!

Lots of love,

Friday, September 12, 2008

Encouragement of the week

Jeremiah 17:7

"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

She's a Squash

Kieren Joy is now 22 weeks, and I just learned today that she is the size of a spaghetti squash! Fun!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Babies Everywhere!

Hey there!

So there is definitely 'something in the water,' because I have SO MANY friends who are pregnant or just had a baby! Crazy! My best friend from high school, April Neslund Mucci, has been a great friend through my pregnancy because she has been sharing in my joy/delight/pain/backache as she has also been pregnant. During a trip to Lakeland, Florida in early August we got to take preggo pics together, me at 4 months and her at 8 1/2 months. How fun!

I was able to make a trip over to Lakeland when I was in Florida for labor and meet her new son who was just born, named Jacob. Such a handsome boy!

What a blessing to share life with wonderful people who I have known since high school. Many great memories and new ones made.

Here are some other great Lakeland friends from my visit in August:

Brian and Callie Neslund

April Neslund Mucci, Cassie Pflieger Miller, and Sarah

The NEW youth group at my church from high school, First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland. I got to hang out with them this summer in Georgia at the Fun in the Son camp!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


'Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life' by Martin E. Seligman

Well the books are back :) We are both finding the new rhythm of late summer/early fall and are finally finishing up some books. This book was recommended to me from a good friend, Allie Russos and it was a great read. I would recommend this to anyone who wishes they were more optimistic, positive, and wants to embrace life to the fullest. Personally, I can struggle with being a 'realist' and not always thinking positive, but this can really have negative effects on my life and heart. This book has given me some great tools to change my thinking and look to the now and future in new and positive ways. For anyone who struggles with depression, or just wants a better outlook on life, I encourage you to check out 'Learned Optimism'!


United Way Videos

Hey everyone!

I am really proud to be working for the United Way this fall, a non-profit organization all over the US that partners with local agencies in each area fund and partner in building stronger communities. We are just starting our fall campaign here at the Triangle United Way, which is why I am on board here, and it's very exciting and inspiring. I wanted to share our site because we have some videos that United Way has created about their new campaign, and you should check them out! Go to this site:

And I really encourage you to see the video called 'Meet Patti.' Her story is incredible, and she is working with the United Way this fall to give back all that has been given to her. Amazing!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kieren's first outfit!

Okay, I admitted it this week. I am beginning to 'surrender' to the pink. In small doses. But who can resist this cute gift from my great friend Sarah??


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Meals on Wheels

This week I was privileged to take a trip with my new job at the United Way to serve on a Meals on Wheels route.

Here is what Meals on Wheels seek to do:
Since 1974, Meals on Wheels has been providing nutritious meals to the home-bound elderly and persons with disabilities in Wake County in an effort to improve health, reduce isolation, and prevent inappropriate institutionalization. Serving close to 1350 meals daily to homes and nutrition centers, Meals on Wheels provides the frailest of our community’s citizens with a voice to achieve healthful independence.

This is one of those organizations you hear about so often, but I had never volunteered with them personally. It was a real blessing to me, because these people are seeking so much more than just a meal. The friendship and human interaction is probably way more fulfilling then anything they can eat, while many of these people have little to no family or friends in their lives. This is an incredible organization that is truly encouraging people in real and deep ways. If you are looking for a way to serve, think about Meals on Wheels! If you live in Raleigh, you can check out their site at

This is a video a mom made about her experience on her Meals on Wheels route with her daughter, and will give you a great peak into the incredible outreach done through this organization.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah's bump - week 20

Hey guys - here is the GROWING bump - wow! 20 weeks already! Half-way there and now counting down towards when we all get to meet Kieren!

On the beach in Ponce Inlet, Florida

Being LAZY on the couch in Florida

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Get-away!

Hello everyone!

Hope you all are having a wonderful labor day weekend - because I sure am! Every labor day weekend since college I get together with a group of girlfriends from school, and this has been one of the best reunions. We studied abroad in London for a semester, and since then have called ourselves 'Chanda' because of a personified overhead chandelier in our flat in London. These girls are incredible friends, and every time we get together we laugh our faces off, eat great food, and catch up on all of life. It is SUCH a blessing, and I leave each weekend feeling loved and grounded. This one will be no exception. Here are some pics of our fun as I start to head home today!

Katie and her daughter Layne, Sarah, Shanel, Amy, and Cathleen

Layne (Katie's daughter) and Kieren meet for the first time :)

Layne in her 'chanda' onesie

The girls with the belly

Lounging around the condo

An annual game of phase ten