Monday, January 30, 2012

Mary

When I was in ninth grade, I remember sitting at the lunch table with all my friends, and a college student named Mary came and sat with us. Mary was a student at Davidson College, right down the road from where I lived. At first I thought it was a little odd that a college kid was hanging out with a bunch of high school freshman, but after spending some time just chatting, I learned a lot about Mary. First, she was bubbly. She smiled  a ton, and seemed to be genuinley happy. Second, she seemed interested...in me.  Third and most important, Mary loved Jesus more than anyone I ever knew. I still to this day have no idea what Mary majored in, or much about her life outside of our relationship. But I knew Mary loved Jesus...and that was enough.

Mary was a Young Life leader. And she quickly became a friend, mentor, and spiritual leader in my life. I was raised in a Christian home, and went to church, but Mary taught me what it truly meant to have a heart seeking after God, and walking with Him daily. I started attending Young Life "meetings," small group Bible Studies called Campaigners, and went on weekend camp trips to Windy Gap in the mountains of North Carolina. I can say today that my experience in Young Life is responsible for strengthening my walk with the Lord and helped to lay the path for the rest of my life.

Mary graduated, moved to China for a year, met a boy and got married, had a baby (named Katie!), had another baby named Caroline, and remained a close friend through it all. She was there when I became a Young Life leader myself in college, and led high school freshman girls to weekend camp at Rockbridge in Virginia. She was there when I made the tough decision to step down from being a leader to focus on nursing school more closely. Mary was there.... It was the type of relationship where we talked through email and occasionally on the phone every few months...but picked up right where we left off and always had a closeness that I couldn't really explain.

Last year Mary and her family made the decision to move back to China full time to persue mission work and their passion for ministering to the people of China. I got to see her a few weeks before they left, the first time I had seen her in over 4 years since she got married, and the last time for...well, possibly forever. John and I made the decision to financially support her family while they were there, and we recieve monthly updates on her and her family and their life in China now.

Mary changed my life, and helped make me into the girl I am today. She is a woman that I admire, respect, and love so dearly and am so thankful that God brought her into my life through some of the hardest years of my life.

I'm sitting here thinking about Mary this morning, and her family. Landon is upset and I am trying to come up with a song to sing to him to calm him down. The only song I can come up with is a Young Life song, and when I sing it, I think about Mary, because she sang it so many nights at club. And I think about her family, across the world, loving on the people of China. I hope and pray that Landon has a "Mary" in his life one day. That teaches him to walk with the Lord, that its okay to be different in high school, and that teaches him to be a boy following hard after Christ in a world that says not to.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our birth announcement from Shutterfly!

Okay, I'll be honest, they said that if I posted this on my blog then I'd get $10.00 off my next order and I'm wanting the discount! BUT, I figured I'd share it anyhow...he's a cute little fella!

 
Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.
I will make a Shutterfly plug though- we order all our Christmas cards and prints from there and I love them all- they're great quality, well priced, and are a great company to work with.

Crock Pot Italian Chicken

I caught the bug...the Pinterest bug that is. Seriously, how do you survive those middle of the night, 3am feedings without it? It is what keeps my eyes open and awake!

This week we have had some gorgeous weather, Landon and I have enjoyed taking advantage of the mid 60 degree, sunny afternoons. However, this past weekend was a different story. I kept looking at the sky just waiting for snow to start falling. It was in the 30s and rainy, and cold.

I decided to try out one of the many recipes I've pinned on Pinterest over the past month or so, and it turned out great. Simple, Easy, and so good to have on a cold rainy night. I thought I'd share the recipe.

Crock Pot Italian Chicken

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours

Ingredients:

•4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

•1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix

•1/3 cup water

•1 package (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened

•1 can (10 3/4 ozs.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
•Hot cooked rice or noodles

Preparation:

Place the chicken breast halves in a slow cooker. Combine salad dressing mix and water; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cream cheese and soup until blended. Pour cream cheese mixture over chicken. Cook 1 to 3 hours longer or until chicken juices run clear. Serve Italian chicken with rice or hot cooked noodles.

 
**: I served this over Uncles Ben's Wild Rice & Chicken and it was amazing! It also makes yummy leftovers. Enjoy!**

Thursday, January 19, 2012

one month

Landon turned one month old on January 18th. This first month has been full of every kind of emotion I can imagine. We have loved having our little boy here. This month we have enjoyed his little smiles, sweet snuggle times, and being a family. He has brought so much joy into our lives.

 

DSC_0659

DSC_0651

DSC_0628

DSC_0789

how God changes our hearts

When I first started working as a nurse on the oncology unit, I thought all cancer patients were like my grandma. Sweet, old, and innocent. It wasn't until I really started working with these patients that I realized how wrong that was. Now don't get me wrong, a lot of them are like my grandma. But then you run into those whose path in life was polar opposite, and it is only due to their disease that our paths crossed on the 9th floor of Baptist Hospital. David was one of these patients.

When I first met David, I went into his room to try to assess him that morning only to be told that I'd have to wait, he was going off the floor to smoke and he'd be back later. When he came back nearly six hours later (uh...panic...where was my patient?!), he demanded every narcotic pain medicine he could get. David was stubborn, and bossy, and a drug addict. He lived near the hospital so he would roll his little IV pole to his own house and do God knows what while he was there. There were only two sides of David that I could tell, asleep and angry if you tried to wake him, and awake and angry. He was a "challenging" patient to say the least. I dreaded having him in my assignment, and prayed each morning that I had him that he wouldn't cuss me out. This was David, or so I thought.

Over the next couple years, David was in and out of the hospital like most leukemia patients are. Sometimes for chemo, sometimes for fevers and infections. Over these couple years, I got to know David, his wife Pam, and their son Davie who is 12. I got to see the complete disfunction they lived in, and the hard life they had. Both David and Pam had substance abuse issues, and Davie rarely was in school during "school hours." He would come live at the hospital with his dad and see his dad in all his rage and anger, dealing with cancer. The one thing I learned about David, he loved his son more than anything in the world. The only reason he even came to the hospital was so that he could fight the cancer and see his son grow up. Last year he told me he just wanted to see Davie graduate. David was given a bad hand in life full of poverty, drugs, and not the greatest parents. David brought his perscription pain meds and hid them under his hospital bed, only so his wife Pam wouldn't take them all while he was in the hospital and she was at home.

David didn't believe in God. He didn't believe that a loving God would allow there to be cancer, or suffering. He was angry, and that is the one word that I could use to describe him. When I first cared for David, I dreaded it, but over time my heart changed and softened towards him. I felt for him, my heart ached for what he had to go through and the circumstances he dealt with. He truly was doing his best for his son, and I admired that about him.

I found out from a coworker that they took David off life support sometime Monday morning. After 4 relapses of his leukemia, his body finally had had enough. Looking back, David taught me so much about loving people who are nothing like myself. He taught me that God can change hearts...because mine has been changed.

If you get a moment this week, pray for David's son and wife as they deal with their loss. Pray that they come to know the Lord as their Father and Savior through this.

Since this time last year I had been praying for God to teach me to truly love people well...and now I realize, thats exactly what he did through David. Who would have thought the most awful, frustrating patient would become one of my favorites.

Don't Carpe Diem

Well ya'll, my first month having a child has already come and gone. Landon turned 1 month old yesterday and I am pretty sure I cried about it.
Everywhere I turn everyone has told me to soak up every second I have with him because he grows so fast, and so that is what I've tried to do. But there are days, moments, or minutes that I don't. That I want to cry because he is crying and I don't know what is wrong, because he won't nap for me when I desperately need a nap, or because he wakes up at 4am. A friend on facebook shared this article...and it speaks so much to how I have felt this past month and how I am sure motherhood in general will be. I think you can relate regardless of if you are a mom or not, and so I'm passing this article on to all you bloggy friends.


It is so worth reading :) Enjoy!


Monday, January 16, 2012

daily dose of cute-ness


Little man is finally beginning to enjoy bathtime! Okay, maybe enjoy is not the word, but he isn't screaming quite as loud. This was taken after the torture of bathtime once we had a chance to snuggle and get warm. I love a happy baby!

Our third week at home was quite the challenge- Landon decided he was going to cluster feed every hour to two hours and when he wasn't nursing he was fussy. Plus, he wouldn't nap! What three week old doesn't nap? This week has started out much better with nursing every 3-4 hours and napping really well again, so hopefully we are through that three week growth spurt madness.

On Wednesday we go to our one month appointment- I cannot believe my little pumpkin is one month old. Why does time go by so fast? He is changing everyday and interacting more and more. Although I will miss this sweet newborn stage I get so excited thinking about the little boy he is going to grow into and look forward to that. We are so blessed with our happy healthy little boy, and I love this time I am having with him at home. Going back to work in March is going to be the hardest thing ever!! I would love to be able to stay at home for a little while with him and have been praying over that, that the Lord would direct us in what is best for our family and provide the means for us should that be the direction we feel led.

We are also currently praying over a possible job prospect for John that would allow us to settle down and join the church we've been visiting for nearly two years. Due to the uncertainty of where we would live, we haven't made a decision yet on becoming members, but I would love to if we end up living in that area.

Overall, we are loving life with our sweet little boy and cannot believe how full our hearts are for him. Hopefully now that we've gotten this crazy feeding/napping situation calmed down I can post a little more regularly again!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2012

After quite the hiatus from blogging, I am attempting to get back into gear and start the new year off right. So, to kick it off, I'm linking up with Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2011 with Ashley.
Me!
38 weeks pregnant, the day after Thanksgiving, heading to pick out our Christmas tree!
38 weeks

I Love You
Our sweet little family…2011 was such a special year for us.
DSC_0063
Still Laughing...
Landon’s first bath time…I wanted to cry because he was so pitiful, but this picture literally makes me laugh out loud each time I see it. My dad’s comment when he saw it was “I’d scream too if a big duck swallowed me!”
DSC_0085
Winter Wonderland
Going to find the perfect tree!
DSC_0027
Birthday
Our most important day this year…the birth of our son, Landon Cole,  12/18/2011.
DSC_0014

Friends
Our sweet friends Sarah and Aaron at the baby shower for their little girl, Kaylyn. Sarah and I live almost 5 hours apart, but she is honestly one of my best friends in the world and has been a huge support through pregnancy and these first few weeks of motherhood.
new bern weekend 026
I Was Inspired...
by my Dad, who is an amazing photographer- and encourages me to capture life from a different perspective. The first picture is one he took in Nova Scotia, one of my favorites.
250465_2044783115198_1112970925_2451318_2371718_n 206064_2219833491348_1112970925_2665340_355355_n
Spring Fever
my gerbera daisy!
268575_10100108907485543_22207017_46221417_3071512_n
Travel or Vacation 
Our vacation to Ocracoke Island, NC this summer…truly one of the best weeks John and I have had, and such a special time for us as our last big trip just the two of us.
DSC_0040 DSC_0082

Summer Days
Our lake puppy! Josie loves boat rides and her life jacket!
IMG_0415

A Day In My Life
Another Josie picture, on days when I’m not up at 430 heading to the hospital, we have a few minutes on the couch together, snuggling and watching the Today Show. Of course…this was before there was a baby in the house!
iphone 171

All Smiles
This shot of John and Landon makes me smile and makes my heart so full. He is the best father and has been such an amazing husband and supporter through this process for me. He is so in love with his little boy.DSC_0353

Autumn Harvest
Two pictures! Fall means football for my family, so the first is a shot of us all tailgating at the first game of the ECU football season this year. Second is a maternity shot with the pumpkin,  taken in October.
DSC_0074 307291_293749503987688_126040824091891_1147500_1126292016_n

Family or Home
There is kind of a story behind this picture. I have a photo/gallery wall in our living room with various pictures from our life, trips, wedding, etc. On the wall is a picture of my hand and John’s hand on our wedding day showing the bands on our fingers. So once Landon was born, I asked my dad to take a picture of our hands plus Landon’s little hand, the addition to our family. I plan on framing it and hanging it next to the one from our wedding day.
DSC_0067

Celebrate!
Our family has had so much to celebrate this year, and luckily it will carry over to 2012 for us. My sister got engaged to her boyfriend, Tommy and are planning a June 2012 wedding. This was our first small celebration and the first time seeing them after they got engaged, so we turned our tailgate into an impromptu engagement celebration for the two of them!

DSC_0054
DSC_0047

Let's Do It Again...
This is a picture of Captain Charlie’s, the houses on Bald Head Island where the lighthouse keepers used to stay. John and I spent our anniversary trip on Bald Head and loved every minute…we can’t wait to go again. It is a beautiful place.
bald head island 2011 091

I Miss You
A picture of the Provision Company, the best little hole in the wall restaurant there is. And maybe its not the Provision that I miss, but the town its in, and the setting. Located in Southport, NC with an amazing view of the water, this is representative of a place where I feel like my soul can breath a little easier. It never fails that in the middle of the winter, I miss the coast the much and cannot wait to get back to the simple way of living that it offers. Hurry up spring. :)
bald head island 2011 026
Beautiful
Landon’s little hair swirl….my baby boy, there is nothing more beautiful to me.
DSC_0413
Macro
One of my mom’s day lilies that I tested out my macro lens on this summer.
251052_10100108905664193_22207017_46221382_2631058_n

Holidays
My sweet niece Macy, holding Landon on Christmas day.
DSC_0230

My Favorite
Of course, another Landon picture. I can’t help it. The birth of a child is incredible, and I want to soak in every sweet moment that I have with him because he is already changing and growing so fast. I love these sweet little eyes.
DSC_0382

Hopes and Dreams -
No image here, but for 2012 I hope for health and happiness for my growing family. I hope we savor every sweet minute we have with our little boy and enjoy every stage of his first year. I hope we remember that the sleepless nights, tired days, and frustrating moments are all memories and precious. I hope that my marriage continues to strengthen through this new phase and that 2012 brings us a place to call home, something we’ve been praying for for almost three years.

Here’s to 2012!!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

december 18th

Yes, I realize it is January 1, 2012. But December 18th changed my world. Actually it all started on December 17th...the day I went into labor. I remember everything pretty vividly still- which I hope I always do.

Let me first rewind to Friday, 12/16, the day of my 41 week appointment. My original due date was 12/10, and that came and went like it was nothing. So Friday morning I drove myself into the doctors office and PRAYED that I was showing some signs of having this little boy. I left the doctors office crying. I was still barely 1cm dilated, the same I'd been since my 36 week check. I also left with an induction appointment for the following Monday.

I went into labor Saturday morning around 2:00am, and roughly 35 hours later, we had our baby boy in our arms.

Landon Cole Perdue was born on December 18, 2011 at 12:54pm. He weighed 7lbs 5oz and was 21 inches long. And he is perfect.







We are all doing great- so in love, so blessed by this healthy baby boy.
Hope everyone had a Merry Merry Christmas, and the happiest New Year :) Here's to 2012!

Blogger Template designed By The Sunday Studio.