Here is Ila at 37 weeks. I can go into labor any time now. We had an appointment this evening and found out I'm 1cm dilated and her head is down. That really means nothing but it's fun to hear that my body has done a bit of work already. Last night I had a good amount of contractions that woke me up but stopped after about 40min. I'm so ready to meet Ila and go into labor. I'm really looking forward to birthing again. It's a lot of work but it's a really good feeling that I am so thankful I get to experience. I keep going back and forth on if I want to go early or not. Part of me says "I'm not ready" but the other part says "Ila, come on out!!!" so I think I will just give this to God and rest in the fact that He's already picked the day she will be born. That is comforting to think about.
This morning Lulu and Levi woke up to their Easter baskets full of fun goodies. We had an early start because we had to be in Seattle around 8:30am for our church service.
My mom drove with us and we made it to Quest Field where the Seattle Seahawks play football. Our church Mars Hill Church rented out the stadium and 8 out of the 9 campuses (Albuquerque, NM is the 9th) came together to worship and CELEBRATE Jesus rising from the tomb. And it was one amazing celebration!
We found our seats. It was raining of course (this is Seattle). But Mark found some great 48 yard line, covered seats that were on the 200 club level so they were even padded. This entire worship celebration was free to everyone and the last count we heard was over 17,500 people attended.
Here was our view of the stage. Mars Hill Church did a great job.
My brother Todd and his wife Stephanie came and celebrated with us. They now live in Seattle and it's been so nice to see them so often. We love you both so much!
Then about 7 min. before the service started the choir came out. It was so exciting sitting in a football stadium knowing we were all there to worship and celebrate Jesus! Goose bumps.
Then one of my favorite things was that instead of raising the famous 12th man flag that they fly at the Seahawks games, a Seattle Seahawks player came out and had them raise the Jesus flag. This is a pretty amazing thing to do in Seattle. Seattle is the most un-churched city and to be flying a flag that says Jesus is just unheard of. Another goose bump moment.
Then we had a great time of worship. The band and choir were great.
Then Pastor Mark Driscoll came out and gave the powerful Easter sermon. You can watch it HERE.
Then after Pastor Mark was done they had more worship music and invited anyone who wanted to be baptized to come down. They had 20 tubs and the last count we heard was around 500724 (final count) people got baptized! I was crying watching all the different people who were down there. Young, old, men, women. It was such a blessing to see them get baptized.
Here we are after. My dad had to work so he couldn't join us. We had a great time and it was unforgettable.
After church we headed over to my parents for Easter brunch. My mom had baskets for Lulu and Levi.
Papa was there when we got there and Levi got to snuggle with him a bit.
Then the kids got to do their first egg hunt. My dad hid the eggs before we got there. I remember when I was little we hunted for hard boiled eggs. Lulu and Levi were hunting for candy filled and money filled eggs. I hope next year I can join in.
Levi found an egg!
Papa and Grammie-goo with Lulu and Levi.
Here we are, all 5 of us!
I hope you had a wonderful Easter. He Is Risen!
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:37-38
Yesterday was a great day for us all. We had Lulu's birthday party at 8am with my parents and my brother there to help celebrate. Lulu woke up and was so excited to see all the decorations, presents and her cake that she has been so excited about. She was so patient for everyone to arrive. I thought for sure she would go bonkers waiting but she really did well. The night before my mom came over to help Mark and I set up. She helped me finish the cake too!
Lulu asked for a princess castle cake this year. I had a lot of fun making this cake. I used 2 boxes of cake mix to make this. And made 3 batches of frosting to frost and glue it all together that I turned pink with a natural food coloring from Whole Foods. I baked 2 - 7x11in cakes out of one mix, then I baked 2- 5" small round toppers and 5 cupcakes with the other mix. Then the towers are sugar cones that I placed on top of the cupcakes. There is a layer of frosting gluing all the cakes together. I used jelly beans to use as the castle stones. And my mom made the darling flags.
The cake was a hit with Lulu!
Even Levi loved it.
The men ate in the living room. My mom made a delicious egg casserole that I hope she can make for us after Ila is here!! Click HERE for the recipe from her blog.
Then Lulu got to open presents. She got a lot of fun things. A new ballerina outfit and a new BIKE!! She loves it and she did a lot of riding yesterday. That's one of the main reasons we did an early party. We knew she would want to ride her bike.
We ended the day by going to the 5pm service with my parents at our church. We had a visiting worship band do our worship, Rend Collective. It was a real treat to hear them. They are from Northern Ireland and have been touring for the past handful of months with Chris Tomlin. After church we got to meet them and get their new album, they even signed it for us. Click HERE to preview the album.
Four years ago today Lulu was born. What an amazing day that was for us. We didn't know if we were going to have a little boy or a little girl. Mark announced "it's a girl" and that's the first time I knew we had our Lulu. She has been such a blessing in our life. She loves to help with anything. If I ask her to help with cooking she's right there, if I ask her to help with changing a diaper she's right there. She loves to help!
Here is Lulu the day she was born, heading home from the birth center. We packed two outfits, one baby blue and one white and pink. April 17th, 2007 was a beautiful, warm sunny day and when we got home Mark opened up the windows to let the sun in while Lulu and I rested in bed. We will never forget that day. Here is her BIRTH STORY from last years post.
Yesterday I turned 28 years old. I had a wonderful day. Started with breakfast in bed....carrot cake! Then ended with a fun pizza dinner and birthday cake. My parents came over to celebrate and I got to open some fun gifts. The part of my day that I think I will remember as most special is making lunch for my children. This is no special thing, I do it every day. But I stood there in the kitchen spreading peanut butter on the bread and just thinking about how blessed I am to be 28 and home making my children lunch. I remember back to my 21st birthday and Mark (boyfriend at the time) and one of my friends took me out to lunch. We sat in the bar, since I was 21. It seemed really fun then, and we did have a nice time. But I would rather be in my kitchen making lunch with my children. Lulu and Levi both on their own sang me "Happy Birthday." Mark took them shopping a few nights ago and they each picked me out something on their own. I love being a mom. I love the hugs and kisses I get daily. I love the funny stories that Lulu tells me and the pretend things she likes to play. It's hard work and not always fun. I have been a mom now for almost 4 years. I know that God gave Mark and I children so that we would draw closer to Him and daily be on our knees asking for wisdom and grace. This truly has been one of the best birthday's I have had.
Here we all are with my parents. My brother and his wife Stephanie were going to come but Stephanie got the flu. We sure missed you guys!
Here is my DELICIOUS cake that Mark ordered from our favorite bakery. It was very good. That little finger is Lulu's. She had to make sure it was good before we all ate it.
Here is my mom and Lulu putting candles in my cake. In the background you can see my dad reading to Levi.
Mark and I got married May 2005. God has blessed us with four children so far! Our 4th is due May 2013! We want nothing more than to raise our children to love and serve the Lord. We give God the glory for everything. Praise be to Him!