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Thursday, March 31, 2011

26 Weeks....(Almost!)

How far along? Tomorrow will mark week 26 for me:) yay!! Getting closer to meeting our precious Lyla!

Total weight gain/loss: Overall, I have gained about 10 pounds total. Right now, the weight is mostly in my stomach, which is great, but makes for horrible backaches:(

Maternity clothes? Maternity shirts! My friend Hannah gave me a bunch of her shirts, so I have been sporting those this week. So far, I can still fit into my regular pants with the help of the maternity belly band:)

Stretch marks? So far, I do not! 

Sleep: The past two nights have been restless! I have read that I am supposed to sleep on my left side, but I end up switching between the right and left sides!

What I miss: GOOD sleep and my family (Georgia family and Texas family!)

What I am looking forward to: My parents and sister visiting at the end of April and then getting to see my Graves family in May for Johnathon's graduation! I miss our families so very much!! 

Best moment this week: Buying paint for Lyla's room....I love that we are getting closer to finishing her nursery! 

Movement: Oh yeah! I think that I have figured out the difference between the hiccups and her actually moving! As I am typing this, Jeff has his hand on my side and she is kicking away! I love it when she will kick for her daddy! 

Belly Button in or out? a barely innie...but  I am sure that I will wake up one of these days I will wake up and it will be an outtie!

Wedding rings on or off?  ON!

Weekly Wisdom: Keep up with the extra fiber when you are pregnant!

Milestones: Finished the week! It's been a tough one! I also finished my last assignment for my online class! Praise the less thing to worry about!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A wedding and a funeral

This weekend was full of celebration. It started Friday when we had the funeral service for our friend Zac Taylor. It was incredibly hard and so much of me still wonders why this had to happen. There are a lot of things I don't know, but I DO know two things: God is still in control and Zac is in Heaven with Him. If anyone reading this does not know Jesus as your Savior, I pray that you will ask him to take control of your life TODAY! Romans 10:9 says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Jesus loves all of us so much and wants us to spend eternity with HIm. My friend Zac was 22 years old. So many of us think that we have plenty of time, but the truth is, we are not promised the next breath. We HAVE to be ready and we HAVE to make sure our loved ones are ready! It is our responsibility as Christ followers to GO AND TELL! I am so glad that we have the hope that we WILL see Zac again! I am so excited to see the lives that are already being changed because of his death. I miss him and my heart still breaks for his family and sweet wife Hannah, but I know that God is using this for HIS glory!

As soon as the service ended, we drove to Atlanta for my friend Whitney's wedding. Whitney and I have been friends forever it seems like. In high school, we started calling each other twins, because we had so much in common. Sometimes it's unbelievable the things we have the same. For instance, a few years ago we discovered that we both had a scar on our right leg due to a dog leash...seriously? It is so random sometimes, but I love it! Anyways, Whitney asked me to read a scripture in her wedding and I was overjoyed to do so. While it was pouring rain during the ceremony, it was absolutely stunning. 
(Exchanging vows by the fireplace)

(so glad mom and dad got to come-I love hanging out with them!)
(My very best friends from High School...such a fun reunion!)
(And I can't forget my hot date:))

We ended up having to get a room last night on the way home because the weather was so bad-so, today has been spent in bed. I am completely worn out physically and emotionally! But so happy to have gotten to celebrate with friends this weekend.

ps. I also got to see my grand dad for a split second this weekend. He called me jenjen as soon as I walked in and told me he loved me. He also starting laughing hysterically when I told him that Jeff was taking a nap. Haha. He's so funny. He makes me smile so big every time I see him. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We you can't see His hand-Trust His heart!

I have debated on whether or not to even write something about the past 24 hours, but my heart is so heavy and broken that I don't see how I could not.

Yesterday around 4pm, Jeff and I lost a dear friend. We came to know the Taylor's (Joey and Vanessa) when we moved to Mississippi and quickly discovered that they are the some of the kindest people we would ever meet. Not long after meeting them, we met their son Zac and daughter in law Hannah. Hannah and Zac were newly married and started coming regularly to our new young married sunday school class. Immediately, we feel in love with them. They had a little boy in January and I loved following Hannah's pregnancy because she was due the same day my best friend Lindsey was. Zac died yesterday. My heart aches so bad for My precious friend Hannah and her 2 month old baby boy Jax. I cannot imagine the pain she is going through and there honestly are no words.

I am writing this in hopes that many those who follow my blog are also prayer warriors and will lift this precious family up during this painful time. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything and we are all surely turning to Him when we really just can't understand. My pastor Frank Cox always said "when you can't see His hand, trust His heart" and until we are able to be with Zac again, that's what we will do......

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our Babymoon

We have finally returned home after an incredible week off. We left Tuesday morning to head down to Gulf Shores Alabama for a few days of rest and relaxation. The week was just perfect!

We laid out in the sun during the day....(I got too much sun even though I coated myself in sunscreen!)

And went out to eat at night....
Our favorite place was Lambert's. I had been once before, but Jeff had never been! It is always such a fun experience no matter how many times you have eaten there. Their claim to fame is their "roll throwing"

You simply raise your hand for a roll and they throw you one-even if it's from clear across the room!

We also ate at LuLu's which is a restaurant owned by Jimmy Buffet's sister Lucy. The food was good and the atmosphere was fun, but the best part of LuLu's was their krispy kreme doughnut bread pudding!!!

It was incredible and you can actually get the recipe online. Beware: I am almost positive that this dessert contains at least 2,000 calories since they make it with 2 dozen doughnuts.

The rest of our trip was literally us just relaxing (which was MUCH needed) We spent a lot of time by the beach and by the pool. Jeff downloaded a march madness app on his phone so he was totally occupied while I read my magazine! :) (Usually, he gets bored quickly when I want to lay out-so I was actually thankful for the "MADNESS":)

After we left Gulf Shores on Friday, we headed over Pascagoula, Ms. to help with his old youth pastor's disciple now weekend. It was so great to see many of the students that I have worked with for 4 years now and to see our friends Shawn and Rachel Mahannah who live in Tampa. I miss them so much and always have the best talks with Rachel. We have so much in common and just really get each other:) It was so encouraging to catch up with her and of course to be challenged throughout the week to "Just Obey". We are commanded to go-we must have permission to stay! I am so excited to see what doors God will open for me to serve Him and the people in our community!

We were so blessed to be able to get away for a few days and just enjoy friends and each other. It was the perfect get away before our sweet little angel gets here!:)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pillow Talk

We made it down to Gulf Shores yesterday afternoon. I am so relaxed already! This is definitely what we BOTH needed! Our condo is absolutely gorgeous and we have an incredible view of the beach! I love staying right on the beach...nothing compares to it!

Anyways, the reason I am blogging today is because I wanted to document something that happens frequently in the Graves' home-pillow talk. Most couples would say that some of the best conversations can happen when its just the two of you and your head hits the pillow. However, that isn't exactly the same kind of pillow talk I am referring to, although we have had some great late night talks that way too.  You see, Jeff frequently talks in his sleep. I mean this happens quite often. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I can understand what he is saying, other times it is like we are having a conversation wide awake. You may think I am crazy, but I never miss an opportunity to talk to him when he is asleep. You never know what he might I always talk right back to him. I remember one night right after his Grandfather (Gran) died, Jeff started talking about him in his sleep and so I started asking questions to keep him talking. Most nights aren't serious talks, like that one. Last night, however, the "pillow talk" happened TWICE! I have been racking my brain to try and remember our first conversation but I can't for the life of me...who knows, maybe I was asleep too. But our second conversation went something like this:

I rolled over (as I frequently do now to try and get comfortable) and I saw Jeff's eyes wide awake. Normally this might scare me, but for some reason it didn't. I asked him what he was doing awake and he just started laughing. I knew then he was really asleep. He has this distinct laugh that he does when he sleeps. I guess his dreams are really funny. Anyways, he muttered a few things and I asked him what he was laughing about (see, I could have gone back to bed at this point, but I LOVE talking to him when he's's fun!) He told me that we weren't going to be able to go anymore. Of course, I wanted to know where we weren't going now. He said that our group wasn't going to be able to go now. (At his point he starts counting on his fingers) He said "Me and him and the others" He held up two fingers on one hand and another finger on the other hand (pretty good for a sleeping person) I asked him why we weren't going to be able to go and he said "because everyone is failing" haha. This part cracked me up....I guess I talk about school too much!!! He said "Everyone is failing" about 10 more times and then said "It's stupid" a couple of times and then went right back to sleep. I laughed to myself for a little while and then went back to sleep myself.

Today marks day two in Gulf Shores for our "babymoon" as some are calling it (the honeymoon before the baby comes) We have plans to lay out (Jeff installed a march madness app on his phone so he can watch while we lay out and I have a magazine screaming my name) We are mainly relaxing and then planning to hit the town tonight for dinner and the outlets nearby. :) So so so happy to be here for this much needed break!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Getting Ready for Lyla

While I am only 5 1/2 months pregnant, I know that the next few months are going to be extremely busy! We have several weddings to attend back in our home towns, Jeff's brother is graduating, his other brother is getting married, my parents are planning a visit to's just crazy! So, this weekend we decided to go ahead and register for some baby things and buy her furniture. I wish anyone could have seen us trying to register for this little girl! I think we walked up and down the aisles about 20 times just trying to figure out what everything was. This was definitely A LOT harder than registering for a wedding! I mean, you know you have to get bottles, but then you have to determine the brand, the size, the angle...It gets pretty complicated! Jeff made us go by the "Must Haves" list that the store gave us, so if you see us registered for shampoo and detergent, that's why:) He was so patient and so interested in everything. I know he is going to be the best dad! I still need to go back and add a few things, but overall, we got a great start! While we were "in town", we decided to go ahead and purchase the furniture we have been eyeing for quite sometime. It is a 3 piece set and the crib turns into a toddler bed and eventually a full size adult bed. We thought this was a smart purchase!
This is the bed and changing table and then we also got the tall 6 drawer dresser in espresso.
It should be here in two weeks along with her bedding and mattress. I cannot wait to start putting her room together:) Lyla's furniture

We are on spring break this week and I cannot begin to express how amazing it feels to be off:) We have been working on the house for the past couple of days and enjoying time with friends, but tomorrow we are leaving for the beach for a little get away! :) This will be our last trip "just us" before Lyla gets here. I am really looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Flood

Tuesday night, we had a tremendous rain in Quitman! We woke up yesterday morning to discover that schools were closed and families were having to be evacuated from their homes because the town flooded!!  Our house was fine-no damage..Praise the Lord! However, the Junior High that I work at was completely flooded. They called off school again today, but teachers had to report to take care of our rooms. Since it is getting a lot harder for me to do simple tasks like pick things up off of the floor, I immediately began praying that God wouldn't give me anymore today than He knew I could handle. As soon as I walked in the door this morning, many of my friends met me to tell me that my room had been spared from the water. There were only a few rooms in the whole school that received NO damage and mine was one of them. This is absolutely crazy to me, because my room is at the VERY end of the hall, closest to the door! God DOES answer prayers. SO, today I spent time helping some friends clean out their rooms and I was able to catch up on a few things of my own. Of course, this is still a huge mess because we were right in the middle of 9 weeks exams, and they will have to be made up. They are still trying to determine if we are cleared to have school tomorrow, but it is not looking good. Please continue to pray for the families who had damage to their homes and for the teachers at the junior high who lost a lot of things in their classrooms.

On another note: I had another doctor's appointment yesterday and they assured me everything is looking/sounding good! I don't think I will ever get tired of hearing our little girl's heartbeat! The past two days, I have felt really good (probably because I haven't done that much work and because we are on spring break next week-I cannot wait to be on the beaches of Gulf Shores with my hubby!!! ) For now, I think a nap is calling my name! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

A special package

Today was a rough day! It is hard being a first year teacher, but when you add being pregnant on top of that, it makes for really long days sometimes. We are in finals week which means grades being posted, reviewing all day long and bulletin boards being updated. I came home quite defeated today because I know that it isn't going to get better soon since I still have 4 months to go (2 of those months left of teaching) HOWEVER, God must have known that I would need a little pick-me-up. This came in the form of a precious package from my wonderful mother in law!!! It seriously couldn't have come at on a better day! We have received a few things here and there for Lyla and I seriously LOVE it all. Little girl stuff is the best and my mother in law certainly has great taste!! I have looked at it all about 10 times already (note: I have only been home from work for about 20 minutes- I just can't stop adoring the sweet little things that will soon belong to our little girl!) So even on the hard days -like today- it is such a sweet reminder that this is all worth it to have our precious Lyla soon! Thanks Elaine for being such a blessing today!!! I love you so much!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Meet Virginia

A year and a half ago, I moved to Quitman, Ms. after marrying my wonderful husband Jeff. Marrying him not only meant moving away, but it also meant taking on the role of a youth minister's wife. For anyone who is in the ministry, you can relate to how challenging this can be at times, and also the most rewarding.  It is one of the greatest joys of my life to serve along side  my husband working with students. When we first moved here, I had no clue what we were doing...still probably don't. Thank goodness God is in control of this thing and not us! Quitman is so different than Lawrenceville which is where I grew up. However, right away I noticed how amazing the people were here. Anyone who has ever visited us can agree that some of the greatest people we will ever meet live right here. The students were no different. They welcomed us right away and have grown into amazing warriors for Christ. The whole reason I am blogging today is because I just had lunch with one of our seniors from last year-Virginia. I loved her from the moment I met her and knew that she had an amazing talent and spirit for the Lord. It has been so neat to see her grow into her faith and lead others around her because of her passion for Jesus. I loved having a 2 hour lunch with her today just listening to all that God is doing in her life. She and her boyfriend, Tyler have taken jobs at a church near the college they attend. Tyler is a youth minister to his own youth group now and Virginia will be leading the congregation and youth group in worship each week. I couldn't help but tear up seeing how God is using this amazing couple to further His kingdom and felt so unworthy that she seeks my advice!  What an honor to have been part of this journey with them. Praising God today for blessings like this!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

22 weeks

I saw this on my cousin's blog and LOVED it...a great way to remember your pregnancy!
Size of baby: As of our appointment last week she was 14oz. However, all of my pregnancy apps say that she is about 1 lb this week:) 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I will admit that I have gained 9 lbs during this pregnancy so far. (It feels like a lot more!!!!)

Maternity Clothes: I have been doing everything I can to avoid maternity clothes. But I discovered last week that is no longer an option. I can still fit into my pants/jeans with the help of the best invention ever-the belly band, and am still squeezing into a few shirts that were big on me to begin with. I did break down last week and had Jeff drive me to the Target (2 hours away) so I could buy some decent maternity shirts. (I just love Target and they actually have a decent maternity line) 

Gender: It's definitely a GIRL! We have had 3 doctors confirm this so I have every reason to believe that when she is born, we will not be surprised. To my disbelief, some people have told me that doctor's can actually get the gender wrong...but I think we are safe to go ahead and paint the nursery PINK:)

Movement: It has been the neatest thing to feel her move around. The movements have been getting stronger and I could literally sit for hours with my hands on my stomach just feeling her move around. I felt her from the outside for the first time this week. I love it!!!

Sleep: My sleep has been MUCH better lately. One reason is because my amazing hubby bought me a boppy wedge pillow for my back. It makes a world of difference. Work has been really stressful lately too, so when it is time to go to bed, I am completely worn out. 

What I miss: My regular clothes. I have resorted to wearing a lot of Jeff's t-shirt simply because I cannot fit into mine:( I am sure he doesn't mind sharing! 
Cravings: Honestly, this changes week to week. The entire pregnancy I have craved fruit. Dry fruit, natural fruit, canned fruit...fruit fruit fruit. I did have a wild craving for steak this week-which Jeff catered too by having some friends over and grilling out one night. :) 

Symptoms: Shortness of breath and VERY SWOLLEN feet this week:(

Best Moment This Week:  Feeling Lyla kick from the outside. Such an amazing feeling. It is unbelievable how much I love her already!!!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Welcome to our Blog!!!

Welcome to our blog!!! A little over a year and a half ago, I married the love of my life and moved to a small (very small) town in Mississippi. Everyday is an adventure and we have wanted to start a blog for quite sometime now. We found out in October that we were expecting (a little girl Lyla Rae) and so I thought, there's no better time to get this thing rolling. So, welcome to our story! Everyday we are growing more in love with each other and growing more to look like our Savior. We hope you enjoy the ride with us:)