Saturday, September 1, 2007

Summer FuN!

All good things must come to an end!

This Summer, Abby and I tried to stay as cool as possible! This was achieved by trying to plan as many water events as possible! Practically every Wednesday our WBS group got together at some sort of pool or water park. Abby and I also took 2 weeks worth of swimming lessons @ the Jr. College. We even did the beach once!

Here's a photo slide show of all the fun we've had with friends this Summer!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chiara Hawley!

I was so flattered that Chiara would take time out of her busy days to write about me on her blog! Her goal was accomplished! I was completely encouraged and very touched by the words she wrote. I'd like to respond by telling you a little bit about the woman of God I've come to know!

First, let's talk about Chiara's never ending service and dedication to ministry!

Every other Sunday, she serves in the church nursery! She's there faithfully watching our babies under 1 while we are able to hear Pastor Mike speak! This is a huge commitment! In fact, I know of times where the Hawleys left LATE for vacations just because they were serving in nursery the weekend of their trips! That's dedication, sacrifice and service! When Carter has been sick too, instead of calling the church and saying she can't serve, she and Ryan team up! Chiara brings Carter to church and when she goes into the nursery, Ryan takes him home!

Last year @ our Women's Bible Study, Chiara was in charge of our CARE ministry! She coordinated meals and took donations for group gifts for our leader. For this coming year, she's leading her own group, having the desire to help other women grow in their walk and in their role and wives and mothers! I know she will be great at this (and I signed up for her group!)!

God totally blessed me by signing up for Partners! I'd asked to meet with another young Mom so I could bring Abby with me to the meetings. I was "Partnered" with Chiara! This really is how we've gotten to know each other! I was very thankful that she agreed to take me through! I still have 2 chapters to go! It's been an awesome experience learning from her as we go through the Study!

Chiara and her husband Ryan head up our married couples ministry at church. This requires huge commitments! They (and the Gilmores) coordinate the lesson plans, the ministry teams, scheduling for the entire year, everything!!! She also handles cooking for all of us Thrive leaders whenever we meet! That's a huge undertaking! Plus, she and Ryan try to attend all the group dinners/outings which is another big time commitment!

Once a month, I know Chiara meets with a group of women too with the sole purpose of keeping each other accountable as Godly women! Then, meets weekly with her specific partner to be even more accountable!

Misc. Service
With the upcoming Family Flick Event, Chiara signed up "wherever needed". She's willing to be used wherever needed. That's huge. Not all people would feel comfortable saying, I'll do whatever you need me to do! This includes me!!! She's now signed up for numerous flyer outreach days and I'm sure a LOT more! I know for my planning part in the event (games!) Chiara has been so helpful being a creative mind to bounce ideas off of! Just being available to talk to when you need advice or help with something, Chiara has been excellent! She's also serving at the sign up tables for Thrive and Navigating Motherhood over the next couple of weekends AND this is after she'll have served in the nursery!!!

Other service acts, she babysat Abby for 3 hours while Robby and I had our ultrasound and Dr's appointment. This was all during Carter's nap too! She entertained Abby, when she could have been doing something else with that time! Also, she's volunteered to take care of our friend Tobi's son while she's on bed rest preparing for baby #2!

Chiara put together a wonderful women's tea table and encouraged all of the women in our WBS and Thrive groups to come! She made her table look so pretty! There were also little personalized gifts for each of us! What a great way to put her hospitality talents to use!

Now, let's talk about her example!

This is something too that I really admire about Chiara. Every Thursday night, she and Carter drive to Thrive together while Ryan drives from work to meet them at church early when they start to set up. This was one of my biggest challenges where Chiara has set such an awesome example! With Robby serving on the worship team, I really HATED having to get Abby ready for church by myself. Seeing Chiara's attitude as she does it weekly has really made me have a change of heart! I appreciate that and all the hard work she and Ryan do for this awesome ministry!

She sets a wonderful example of how to raise children! Carter and Abby sometimes see each other as many as 4 times a week! Chiara sets an excellent example for discipline that I strive to achieve! I'm constantly learning from her, what I can do to be a better parent to Abigail!

She's so good at encouraging others! Just by showing up for events planned helps encourage those who planned it! Whether it's a Mom's Night Out or a Wednesday or Friday morning activity, she's there to help support other Moms! It's not easy to get out of the house sometimes with kids! She's helped plan Mom's Night Out events and Wednesday morning activities for our WBS group over the Summer and has sent numerous positive emails to help encourage me as I set up dates for us all to go out!

Another great example we can learn from is Chiara's promptness! If an event is supposed to start at 10:00, she's there BY 10:00! There was one week where we were supposed to meet at a park and at 10:03 she hadn't arrived and I got worried! She's that ON TIME! It turns out we got the days mixed up ;) Chiara is considerate of people's time too, when we meet for small groups Wednesday and Thursday, making sure we pick up our children ON TIME. That's a HUGE relief to the child care workers!!!

Another thing, Chiara is very honest. She is open with her struggles and weaknesses, posting things we can learn and grow from on her blog! She's someone women can relate to and look up to as a wonderful Godly example of a wife and mother and child of God!

I am so blessed by her friendship!
Thank you!

Sleepless nights!

This week, Abby has woken up numerous times and on multiple nights. She's had a little bit of a cold all week long which contributed to her waking up! Of course though, on the nights she has slept, I haven't been able to sleep! After going to bed around 11:30 tonight, I woke up at 4:00 unable to go back to sleep.

With less than 6 weeks to go until our little guy should arrive, I'm not sure how to feel. It's definitely in my mind constantly that he'll be coming soon and, am I ready for the changes it'll bring to our life? Abby and I are in such a routine! We get up the same time every day, we're able to get out of the house easily, she sleeps through the night, she has a nap schedule! All that is about to change and for a long time too!

I've wanted to do so much this year! I wanted to help with Navigating Motherhood, and serve in the multiple kids ministries! I've just had to say "no" at least until I see how I'll do with the second baby coming!

I'm not anxious about him coming. I'm not worried at all which is great! I'm excited to meet my little boy! I can't wait to see what kind of temperment he has! So far, he's been a MELLOW baby! This would be great if he stayed like that! One of my friends said he's storing up all his energy for when he arrives!!! Scary thought!

With Abby, I had a hard time adjusting to being a Mommy. I was totally new to it! Everything stressed me out. I constantly wanted Robby to help me and, if he wasn't home, I'd constantly be calling him for advice! I've become a lot more independent, thankfully!

I want to do better (is that proper English, can you say that "do better") this time! I want my kids to see the best in me. I want to not get frustrated and not have meltdowns! :) I want to know that I can be a Mommy of 2!

All these random thoughts running through my head! Feeling the baby kicking every now and then. Savoring our dates, not knowing when our next outing will be! Enjoying these last few nights of just our family of 3 before he arrives. Trying to get as much sleep as I can before he comes!

Enough thinking, it's time to get ready for church! The family will be up in 30 minutes!