Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's the little things

Here I lay
So due to the lovely pain in my stomach, I was laying in my bed hoping the pain would soon fade. Beach had to run out to the store so Zoe played next to me and I just hoped she would be content in doing such. In order to keep her entertained I started naming the things on her face: eyes, ears, noise, mouth. In getting to her mouth, she of course began sucking my finger. To my surprise, I felt a sharp pain.....could it be....I mean she is 8 months already.....yes, yes it is, her first tooth coming in. In the next few moments my pain seemed to disappear, a smiled widened my face and joy filled my heart as I realized my little daughter had reached another milestone.

This was one I was not looking forward too, with still breast feeding and all. I have had several chump downs with her being teeth-less for me to be not to thrilled at the fact that her weapons could become even more advanced! Yet none of this seemed to matter as I watched her grin up at me. She was becoming older, her hands not so tiny, her personality developing. Yet until I start ovulating again, she will be my only baby.
I couldn't capture a picture of this cuteness as of yet, for when she smiles her lips still hide them. With in the week, another tooth popped up. At least I can take a picture of her enjoying her teething carrot (Doc recommended it!).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Do I have to get up?

I usually end up nursing Zoe in bed each morning (who doesn't love breakfast in bed). Beach is awesome to always be willing to get her and bring her to me. Sometimes this gets me in trouble of never wanting to get up though. How I wish I could just stay there a bit longer with her. I just love to gaze at her face whether in sweet bliss of sleep or with her bright eyes shinning at me. It still hard to believe that she is mine at times.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Eyes of the Soul

I really do have an amazing job.

When I tell people what I do they usually give me an amazed or sad face often followed by a, "I don't think I could ever do that." And while I agree that many people can't do such, I also don't think they know what a blessing it is to my life.

So I work at The Nurturing Center ( is a family-focused therapeutic treatment center for child abuse and neglect. My "official" title is a Individual and play therapist and I have been there now for over six years.

Yes, I have seen a lot of painful things. And yes, there is so much sin in the world that sometimes it seems overwhelming and hopeless. And yes, it is hard at times when you hear the unimaginable things that have happened to theses souls.....

But it has taught me so much. So much about who I am, so much about my Savior and the hope he brings, so much about what lies beneath the surface, so much about how similar we all are -except for a few variables that seem to cause so much division and so much of the pain that is out there.

I'm blessed that theses women (and sometimes men) are willing to share there heartaches with me. There are times I want to just wrap my arms around them to show them Christ's love...but much of the time all I can do is hand them a tissue and lift them up in my prayers. How I wish I could see them grab onto the hope that is there for us all, the only true thing that is going to make a difference in their life. The restorer and redeemer that waits for us. I wish they could receive the hope that I have been so graciously given. Until then, I will continue to plant seeds that may one day be enlightened by the SON.

Weekend without Him

So my husband is amazing and I never give him enough props for all that he does to support me in so many ways. BUT I did know that I was not looking forward to this couple weekends in a row with him out of town (glad for him though!).

While still nursing and pumping it can be hard to get other things done. Add to that a dog that keeps throwing up (what I woke up to and stepped in one morning) AND stomach cramps AND paperwork that needs to be done, AND a baby that just does not appear happy and keeps screaming (yes she got kicked out of the nursery at the gym, again, sigh) AND a dirty dirty house that begs to be cleaned before a visit from a friend I haven't seen in FOREVER = Much scrambling, crying, carpet cleaner, fresh air, and anticipation of my husband's return.

In deciding to go to a fall fest a few minutes before it started (that and the fact that the cute little monkey outfit that I bought Zoe at Tot Trade swallowed her whole), I was scrambling knowing what to put on her. So I threw on this cute TuTu that my friend made for Zo from her extra supplies (Thanks Dianne) and a Black onies from NY (it used to have a cute saying on it but thanks to a wash before wear policy - they all came off - Thanks for the thought though Shalai), and off we went.
I did enjoy the fun, although, felt somewhat silly going with just me and my baby. However, it was a good time and I got a couple of cute pics out of the deal.

So thankful to have my Beach back though!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Creepy Farm Fun

Ahhh, Saturday, a day to catch up all the things that I have let slack throughout the week, but yet it was so pretty outside. So in having a good friend message me this morning about hanging out, I repressed my responsible self and to do list for the great outdoors, pumpkins, adult talk and things that I did not know that existed so close to home.

Off to a farm in Lexington that my friend knew of. I found it interesting that when we pulled up the sign advertised the pumpkins, hayrides, hunted house, and oh, yes, 25% off their bridal gowns. Ok....

So busting out the strollers on the dirt road, we pass up the scary looking hunted house and, drum roll please, Goat town.
Where all goats need tree houses, pulley systems and ramps.

Yes, it says (or did at one time) The Hilton Goatel.

What kind of other animals could they have here you wonder?

You can tell Zoe is thrilled.

Theses were next to the "yellow" water (Eli's, age 2, description of the pond for the animals).

After the excitement of so many animals, it was good to find an outhouse looking sink area with marble sinks....hummm.....

We also found a pretty scary playground, which we saw a sign for later that stated that it was free for children under two.....thank goodness!

Dianne was brave enough to let her daughter try out the unstable looking swing. More thrills.

Let's see what else can we get into......

No how about those pumpkin shots that I have been wanting? Lets try some of those. friends.
Then the jewelry war began.....gotta have the necklace...
"This is to traumatic for me."
"Oh, no you don't....I will take your eye out!"
Ok, perhaps it didn't happen quiet like that but it's always fun to wonder what babies could be thinking.

Gotta love it.....just don't get to used to the orange you pretty girl!

Some lessons I learned on our outing:
1. Another route in Lexington (a town that always seems to confuse me).
2. Marble sinks can be put in even the rustic of areas.
3. Pumpkins are very durable (Eli proved this by throwing, dropping, and rolling the many that he saw! Most of this was done in front of the huge line that was waiting for the Hayride. We provided much entertainment for the folks looking so desperate for it).
4. Bring an extra camera battery so when I do find the perfect shot for a picture it won't die on me before I get it shoot.
5. Need to make time for sun, friends, and fun on Saturday!

Nap time!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pass the peas Please

So after a rough first try with food (the rice cereal didn't agree with Zoe and we paid for it with three nights of a crying baby) we are trying again. Of course I found some great deals on organic baby food when it was on sale (and I had some coupons) so I stocked up in a variety of flavors...all for this moment.

Time to bust out the green. I plopped some out in a bowl and sat down for dinner with the family. When Beach saw the the lovely green and asked what it was in disgust, I told him guacamole (for babies). He seemed surprised but the trusting soul that he is didn't respond to such. When I confessed it was peas, he really didn't want to give it to Zoe. Now granted I hate peas, too, but know that they are good for us and my daughter should get a fare chance of making her own decision. So here we go....

However, Beach proceeded to go on and on about how gross they were, making faces and telling me how everyone in his family hated peas.
Beach: The Lovelands just don't like peas.
Jessica: Everyone??
Beach: Well maybe not my dad
Jessica:What about your mom?
Beach: She might like them.
Jessica: So you mean just you and your brother.
Beach: Well my uncle too. He wrote a poem about how much he hated them.

Ok, I got it... Beach didn't like them. However, Zoe seemed not to mind and even seemed to enjoy them the next night. Does that look like a face that isn't having a good time!

The ironic part came at the end of the dinner, though, when I asked Beach if he liked our veggs (it was one of those Green Giant mixes that you steam). With a shrug, he stated that it was alright. Doing my best to hide my "I told you so smile," I asked him what he thought the green things were in the mix. "Green beans," he replied. Nope.....that's right....they are peas (now believe it or not this was not planned!). He didn't believe me until I broke open one of the pods and showed him.
Not so much talk about hating peas anymore.

Lets Make a Deal

I am sucker for good deals. It's like I get a high off of what I can find, the coupons that area there and what I can get for free. That's probably why most of the clothes I have bought for myself and my daughter have come from thrift stores (thanks to the awesome ones in MI full of treasures that the wealthy have discarded). It's also why we don't ever go out to eat without a coupon, and those times are not that often. I often get told I should teach a class about it, but that idea seems overwhelming to me, although I'm always up to sharing what I've found.

I also love routine. So for the past several weeks, on Tues. we have hit up Brugger's bagel (something I would have never done pre-baby due to the carbs) and get their 5 dollar meal deals (which really is a good deal considering their normal high high prices). But the kicker is how we pay for it, with gift cards. Gift cards that we earned by standing in line early one morning for their grand opening. At 100 dollars a pop, it was a five AM wake up that has been well worth it as we have stretched it into months worths of dinners!

Oh, and I have found a fun new store, Miss Cocky, which is full of really cute USC gear I cannot afford. But thanks to Bid Columbia I bought several 50$ gift certificates for 15 $ each (It was the minimal bid and since no one else bid on it, guess who won). I will be heading back there at the end of the season to see if I can find anything else that is on clearance, stretching just a bit further!
Oh, how I love a good deal. Extra bonuses from the weekly deals of grocery and drug stores!

Monday, September 27, 2010


So I was excited about Zoe's first trip to the beach as it had been planned weeks in advance. I was looking forward to it because there were many other couples from our church going and I was excited about some time with them as well....
Then came the packing.....that of which I hate.
By the time it was time to go that night I just wanted to give up. The last time I went somewhere I tried to pack light and ended up really missing a lot of things. So this time I knew that I just needed to try to be as prepared that was reasonable but still didn't want to bring my whole house for this small little baby.
We all managed to fit in the car and it wasn't long upon getting there that I discovered many things that we should have brought. Luckily, we were there with many other families, with babies, so I could use some of their stuff, otherwise I just don't see how it is even possible for one to make such a trip.
Zoe hated the water (and naps -most of the time-at least inside- and her pack and play and being away from her home) but it made for some fun pictures. All this to say that it meant much holding time for mom and dad. It seemed that that was the only way that she appeared at peace (most of the time).

My amazing husband was also such a support to me......another thing I couldn't do a trip without him! He was there to help with whatever we
to need to be able to get off for the day and throughout the day. It made all the other
things actually doable.

It was such a fun time getting to be with theses amazing couples, to enjoy much time under the tent just relaxing, to take a walk with our growing family and take some fun pictures.

So we had to get some "formal" beach pics and because this was at a point in my packing that I was beyond stressed.....we opted for the cheesy white shirts and jeans. (I thought if everyone has done it, there must be a reason,
right?) Although I wish I had had time/energy/creativity to do anything else, the good thing is we will have family pictures!

More formal pictures to come.....I hope this is something that we can continue to do through the years as we build more memories together. After all what can be better than being at the beach with my own Beach!

P.S. I have no idea how this picture things work and it took me forever to post this just because I was trying to figure it out...sort of got part of it.

Monday, September 13, 2010


BIRTHday has a different meaning after giving birth myself.  Makes me much more appreciative of all my mom did for me and what that day meant to her when she first became a mother those 32 years ago.  So thankful for this new perspective.  

Hope I can keep the focus more off of me and more on what truly matters!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 hours

So I now think of my life in increments of every three hours, as that is the amount of time that Zoe needs to eat or I need to pump (if I'm not with her)....which usually leaves me a little over a couple of hours to try to get something done. It's amazing how that time goes by soooo quickly!
How some of the things that I used to be able to do will not fit in that time slot (i.e. workout a couple of hours and take a shower) and how quickly my body reminds me when those three hours are up.

There have been so many times when I'm running around with her trying to get errands done and I fear the milk alarm (her screaming) will go off. I've never kept such a close eye on the clock. Faster, faster, faster... not fun when my mind seems to have lost itself at the last stop.

So all this pumped milk has taken over our freezer, much to Beach's delight, I'm sure (His response most night: "What do you want for dinner?" Open freezer, "Oh yeah, all we have is breast milk."). Still need to find a better way to organize. For awhile the milk bags would just fall on me and, amazingly enough, hurt my feet with then would land on them in all their frozen glory. For now they are just stuffed in grocery bags by date, very appealing and lovely; need to find a better way!

It completely amazes me how God has created our bodies to provide for our young in such a way. How my view has developed as I once dreaded it when Zoe was young and wanted to nurse nonstop in quit an uncomfortable way to looking forward to our nap nursing in the afternoons when I get off work. What a gift to be able to give to my growing girl and what a gift she is to me!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Breakfast anyone?

Ok, can I just say what an amazing servant husband I have. Every morning pretty much since we have been married, Beach gets up and makes me breakfast, usually containing an amazing omelet. Since our huge espresso machine came into our breakfast is also graced with a latte! He is just the best at making both of theses. It doesn't matter if he has to get up or not, if it means him getting up a lot earlier than me or what we did the night before, his servant heart prevails to the joy of my stomach! Really who needs Starbucks when I have the best barista living with me!

Now the daily latte is lactose free or made with soy/almond/or whatever alternative milk product I can find on sale and the omelet graced with goat cheese. So amazing that I don't even mind waking up having such to look forward to! What a blessing!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Ok....for the record I started this almost a month ago.....working on getting things up sooner!

So creating this other being has changed so many parts of me.
For example, I'm finally going back to teaching at they gym (which means that I can bring Zoe into the childcare there - I couldn't have afforded it otherwise)....Deep breath (why I still get so scared about teaching is beyond me). So I had already talked to them at the childcare placement, which I had heard many good things about, so I thought I was good to go. Drooped her off, she gave me that huge toothless grin and with much assurance from the staff I was off.

I thought I was doing well, until I walked out of the door and a huge wave of emotion came over me. What was this? Why did I feel like bursting into tears, wasn't I just fine a second ago? I had no idea that such feelings were to come over me! Yet another thing in my body/life that has changed....

The same thing happened when I packed up her newborn clothes. It's not like she isn't still tiny but every time I would come to a another outfit that would no longer fit her....the tears began again....alas, needless to say, it was a long packing up process. Completely unexpected!

Is there a way to know when these emotions are to come on? Like a huge warning button that would let me know to be prepared or perhaps it's not the best time to do something. I feel powerless at times. All that I do know is that Zoe is so worth it! This huge emotional roller coaster I've hopped on....I'm hanging on.... so let's go!

Monday, July 26, 2010


For a long time I didn't get blogs....why would anyone want to write for fun (perhaps this thought came from the fact that I HAD to write so much for school and work)? Who would want to read them anyways (again to much school). However, upon finding myself having to sit still for hours within a day everyday to nurse my newborn, I came across some of my friend's bogs. Through laughter, smiles, and tears I was then hooked and excited to read new entries.

I personally narrate things in my head often, as if someone could read them, and have for quite sometime. I even do this with my FB statuses (as silly as it sounds) and then never post them (for I already did so in my head). Then I thought due to my inability to remember much long term ( I have no idea what is wrong with me and I hate it!) I thought perhaps blogging was something that I needed to do to help me remember all that has gone on. I know that I'm not as funny, as good of a writer, or have that much of an exiting life that anyone would ever want to read my blog. But then I figured out that none of that matters, its for me, for me and my family. A way to leave and remember pieces of me. So, thus it began.

The name Zoe means life (more on the extended name later). So this blog is about Loving life and our journey along the way!