Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am so thankful for my time I got to spend with my dear friend Stephanie in Portland. Steph and I met in Florida a few years back, she had recently relocated to the area, I wanted to run a marathon, heard that she had run one, and thought that maybe I could sucker her into running another one. She will tell you that she didn't have a quick enough excuse so we got her on board. Steph, myself, and one of my best friends from college Sandra, ran and ran and ran our little hearts out, having some wonderful bonding experiences along the way. A few months after Steve and I moved to Kansas, Steph headed back west to her home state of Oregon. She has visited KC a few times, it was due time for me to head out to the NW to visit her. I was super excited, as I had not been to the NW.

We had a wonderful few days together. Great conversations, wonderful food, fun places to visit, good laughs and much more. We definitely ate our way through Portland. There are some of the most amazing food places there.  Here are some highlights from the trip...

German Pancake, absolutely amazing!

Our only breakfast out at Steph's favorite breakfast place

This is actually the house Steph just moved out of, but I loved the look of it. My dream house a deep porch like this one.

I lied, this was breakfast out too at the farmers market, some local food stands.

Mount Hood in the background

One of the Apple Orchards on the "Fruit Loop" we visited

Another Orchard that had samples of every type of Apple!

Some amazing fall colors on the "Fruit Loop"

Needed the scarves for sure, weather was much cooler than I expected, did not pack enough cold clothes

We made it to the coast on Sunday

Cannon Beach, with the Haystack Rock (I think that is the name) in the background

Steph taking matters into her own hands :)

Fish and chips on the coast!

Thanks to my husband who played Single Dad for most of the time away. Thanks to all my amazing neighbors that helped watch Payton on the weekdays Steve had to work and to my wonderful in-laws who came over for a quick trip on the weekend to be some extra hands.  And thanks to Steph for the amazing time. I came home a better wife and mom. Absence makes my heart grow fonder :)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Weeks

Last Friday I was 30 weeks prego! I am starting to get big. The best words I have heard recently were from the Airline steward who thought my belly was so small for being 30 weeks. I don't feel that, I have started to get uncomfortable, but they were sweet words to hear.

I just returned from an amazing trip to the NW to visit Steph in Portland. This was taken on the Pacific coast, more pictures to come soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Word of God

Steve spoke on Sunday continuing our series on Nehemiah, "I want my life back." This week we studied Nehemiah 8. So far in the story, Nehemiah followed the passion God put in his heart to go back to his home and help rebuild the wall around the city. Facing the risk of losing everything to ask the King for permission to leave, then facing opposition and threats against him and the people rebuilding the wall, the wall is finished, and finished quickly. This quieted Nehemiah's enemies, because they realized the Lord was with Nehemiah. Now that the wall is rebuilt around the city for protection, Nehemiah realizes that the people need their lives rebuilt as well.  So what does he do, he turns to the Word of God. The people of that day had such a reverence for God's Word, they stood whenever it was being read.  They hung on to every word, listening to what God had to say to them.

Steve spoke about how even though the Bible is the most reliable book, the most purchased book, ironically the most shoplifted book, it is the most neglected book as well.  People who lived just a few hundred years after Jesus walked the earth, would pay equivalent to $300,000 to have a copy of the Word of God. Do you think you might appreciate the Bible a little more if you paid that much for it? 

We have such easy access to the Bible we take it for granted. There are people who have risked and even lost their lives to get their hands on the Bible or get a Bible in someone else hand.  You might have a few copies at your home that sit around and collect dust. 

The Bible is the Living Word of God, it is active and alive. Through it God can speak to you and change your life. It is amazing how many times I am dealing with something personally and I sit to read the Bible and am either completely challenged or encouraged in whatever area it is I am working through. Many people don't feel like they "hear" God, yet they don't sit down long enough, open up His word and allow Him to speak through the words and stories that He has written. 

I challenge you to spend some time in God's Word. It is well equipped to be the foundation for your life.  If you don't think it has anything to say to you, challenge God to show you something in His word that speaks to your life. I believe God delights in those challenges. Make sure you have a relevant translation (if you have a King James Version KJV, try something that might read a little easier). If you don't have a good Bible, let me know and I will send you one for Free.  Don't know where to start reading. The Gospel John is a good place, or if you want to look for a certain topic check out The Bible Yellow pages that has scriptures broken down by topics.  If you are looking for a wonderful Free Bible to download to your mobile device or for a good reading plan, check out

Don't use the excuse of you don't know how to read the Bible, or you don't have time to read it, keep you from allowing God to radically show himself to you and love on you in ways you have never experienced before.  Give it a try, see what God wants to do in you and through you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Friday morning we were able to make a quick trip to Powell Pumpkin Patch to choose our pumpkins. This is the same place we went last year, it is fun to start having traditions as a family.

Last year we were in sweaters, this year we were sweating!

On the hunt for her pumpkin

Steve loves carrying Payton on his shoulders right now, she loves messing with him

When we tried to send her out in the field to find a pumpkin, she was more interested in getting back in the wagon for a ride

Taking a break, since she had walked 3 feet from the wagon, she must have been worn out :)

All of our pumpkins selected, back in the wagon for the ride

Picking her little pumpkins


Friday, October 8, 2010

Hospital, Hair, and playing in cars

Here is a post full of random thoughts.....

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me yesterday and checked in to make sure I was ok.  I had started abdominal pain, bladder pressure, some nausea, and continued back pain on Tuesday. None of the symptoms were that severe so I had just contributed them to 3rd trimester pregnancy or baby's position in my belly.  I didn't feel top notch on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I am pregnant and growing, so I thought it was part of the package deal.

Fast forward to Thursday morning I woke up at 6am with severe abdominal pain. I knew that wasn't normal. After going to the bathroom every 2 minutes for a half an hour, I felt no relief from the pain. I got online and started researching and started reading about UTI's in pregnancy, I had almost all the symptoms.  I called my Dr's office about 7am to see if I could leave a message to get an appointment early that morning to get checked out. I had the option of calling the Dr on duty, but I didn't feel at that time it was that urgent, I figured that was for women who were actually in labor. After about 30 more minutes as I was trying to stand at the stove and make oatmeal, I was bent over in such pain, I decided it was urgent enough to call the Dr. on duty.  Dr. Estrada (the female Dr in my office) picked up and told me to come into the hospital right away, she was concerned it was Kidney Stones.

I hung up as Steve pulled in the driveway (he had gone to the store to get cranberry juice for me), I was in tears, the thought of having to go to the hospital scared me. In a panic, I called Sara next door and she came to the rescue, taking care of Payton. I am so thankful for great neighbors and friends who I can hand my child in her PJ's to, with no bag, knowing Sara will get what she needs from the house and take wonderful care of her until we got home. That was such a blessing. 

Steve and I pulled into the hospital, went through ER to Labor and Delivery. I didn't know what to expect, but as I entered they showed me my room and told me to put on a gown. In my head I was thinking, "I don't want to be here, I don't want a room or a gown, just give me medicine and let me go home!" 

Needless to say, after 4 hours in the hospital, much pain, many tests, more pain, finally medicine and pain killers, I got to go home with the diagnosis of a "nasty" bladder infection. The Dr did have an ultrasound done looking for kidney stones, since my pain was so severe. No stones found, but we did see little guys scrotum :) 

I came home and slept the rest of the day, took my meds and slept all night (except for every hour pee break). Today I am a different person. Drinking tons of water, I don't have all those pains I had experienced all week.  I am thankful that those pains I felt earlier in the week are not my new normal. I was worried about having to put up with all that for 11 more weeks. 

Totally a side not, but I haven't washed my hair since last Friday (yes over a week) and I have actually liked it more each day. I had curled it for Steve's reunion and I just have more and more body the dirtier it gets.  I have even worked out twice, and with the cooler weather, managed not to have to wash it. I might just curl my hair once a week this winter and enjoy the dirty, body hair!
Picture doesn't do justice, but it really had more body

Playing in cars
One of Payton's new favorite things to do is sit in either one of our vehicles and play. She climbs back and forth between the front and the back, turns dials, pushes buttons, pretty much moves whatever will move. It is always a treat to see what has been messed with when I turn on the car.

Yes that is our almost 14 year Acura. It has over 170,000 miles, no side mirror, missing air conditioner vent, tore up seats, kinda makes noises, but boy does it drive so nicely. Every year we think this might be the year it goes, but with a little investment each year (we just put new tires on it so it will handle the winter) this old faithful keeps moving along. Steve hopes to get 200,000 miles. Steve drives it daily and it really only stays in town, so it might take a long time to get 30,000 more miles. I am just thankful for cars that run, not really caught up in what they look like :)

Have a great Friday!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

St. Louis Visit and 10 year reunion

This past weekend we made a trip to St. Louis for Steve's 10 year reunion. 

We went over on Thursday and were able to make a Cardinals game with my father-in-law while my Mother-in-law stayed home and watched Payton. They had fun Gigi and Payton time and we had a blast at the game.
Friday we hung out as a family, picnic in the park and relaxing.  Steve kept saying that he wanted to take us to one of his favorite stores growing up called Benjamin Franklin. I had heard of the craft store, but couldn't for the life of my figure out why he would like to go to craft stores. We opened the door and I didn't even have to put my foot in the door to see why he loved this store

Steve and Payton were in heaven. I could imagine Steve as a little boy wandering up and down the isle making his decision how to best spend his $1.  

Friday night we were able to watch a great homecoming football game. It was fun to watch Ben taking guys down on the field.  I unfortunately wasn't the best about taking pictures throughout the whole weekend.

Saturday evening was Steve's 10 year reunion.  We had fun, he caught up with old friends, laughed about old stories and I met a few people then found a booth with some of our friends from Olathe (she graduated with Steve) and her husband and I watched football and ate great food.  I was proud to be the wife of Steve Southards!

Cleaned up for the reunion, I even curled my hair!

Papa and Gigi with Payton

The family in black

We drove home Saturday night/Sunday morning to make it home for Indian Creek's 25th Anniversary. We started out 4 hour drive across MO at 11pm, getting home a little before 3am. Taking turns praying, sleeping, driving, and consuming caffeine and sugar, we made it home safely.
We had a wonderful celebration on Sunday for the church's 25th Anniversary. We had a party with a purpose, our goal was to bless others while we celebrated. We wanted to collect 25,000 meals for local food pantries, how amazing that we doubled our goal with having over 50,000 meals collected. We had to find more local food pantries to house all of the food. I love seeing God's people help meet needs in a practical way!