Monday, December 12, 2011


We live in a country that is full of the feeling of entitlement (or perhaps it's just our fallen nature in general)....."I deserve this!" "It's my right!" "I've worked so hard!" I know I struggle with this concept a lot. Feeling frustrated when at work, yet again, we do not get a Christmas bonus, and what we did have to celebrate taking more from us or when I feel that I should be treated a certain way, perhaps because I'm pregnant or have worked so hard at something. The list really could go on! Hummmmm.....I'm seeing a lot of "I"s here.
So during this time of year, focusing on what truly matters in Christmas, my thoughts have turned a lot to Mary and Jesus. What it must have been like to be caring the Lord of the universe in your womb? What she wondered, thought and feared? Knowing that I've been thinking a lot about my own pregnancy and birthing options it has brought my thoughts to hers.

Then I thought about Jesus' birth, in a smelly stable, with animals, in a strange city (not so much the beautiful nativity scenes we celebrate but more of what it really was like). I'm thinking this was not a relaxed comfortable labor for the mother of God. I'm sure if I was in her place my thought process would go something like this, "Lord, don't you think I, the one caring the creator, should have an amazing place to give birth? or Why couldn't you have waited until we got back home, where I would be more supported by friends, family and a midwife? Why, at least, couldn't you have saved a room in some inn for are can do all things! Don't I deserve this (I mean you did pick me to be his mother), I mean doesn't Jesus deserve this at least?"

I suppose this just reveals more of my sinful nature and how much I need Him in order to understand His perspective, His timing and doing things for His glory....not so much how I think things should be done and MY entitlements. May I remember this in giving birth, as well as around Christmas time when we look to celebrate His birth and throughout the year as more of these feelings arise!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Faith and fear

I've always thought that I was pretty good on the faith department, at least with the big things. We have had some major things in our lives that we have had to depend on the Lord for (Beach making it through school - trust me this was a big one - and supporting things without debt, Beach finding a job before our first baby made her entrance, and then a couple of months latter selling and buying another home - yeah we closed a couple of days before Zoe was due - and moving in after her due date). They were never really that stressful for me. I know God was going to take care of things and I was going to work as hard as I could to help.....hummmm. Well, perhaps that was not completely all bad, but looking back I did feel that pride creeping in.

However, I had no idea that that was the case....until more recently when my faith has had to look a bit different. We are coming closer to situations that I can't "help" out as much as I have in the past. With the coming of a new baby brings a lot more decisions and of corse needing of money. Money has never been big for me. I much rather find a great deal than get an expensive item, and we had learned to live on not buying much more than the necessities. However, it's hard to cut back when there's not much left to cut.

However, God is growing my faith and seemingly giving me passages to read that deal with just that. Today reading in Luke 5, where Jesus told Simon to put his net over the boat, and how does Simon reply? “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Then their boat could not even hold all the fish that they caught.

My prayer is just this....may I be able to know that it is not my striving, even if I work as hard as I can all night long (which could just produce nothing) but trusting in the Lord, in his timing and his provision. May I look to Him completely, trusting whole heartily, that he will give me all that I need, even when it just does not make sense to my human mind. Lord, here is my net, I will let it down because you say so!

Friday, November 25, 2011

So much to be thankful for!

No traveling...Yes!...not really much shopping...Yes! This was the first year that we had Thanksgiving at our own home! Ever since we moved into our house a little over a year ago Beach has wanted to do family gatherings and this was our first one yet. Even going to bed the night before at midnight from all the preparing and cleaning the day before, he stated, "I'm so excited about tomorrow!" Now it was only our family and my parents and sister this year, but hopefully more to come in the years to come, but it was great.

Beach smoked his first Turkey, another thing he greatly loved, and so did everyone when they got their first bite! Man that is good stuff (this will sure to be done every year)!
It was a long process, but thankful for nice weather!
Smells amazing...
And the taste test!
Zoe got to be a big girl and help with the cooking.
She loved getting in on the action....of corse she wants to do whatever mom is doing.

I love traditions but we don't really have any (beside the traveling) for the holidays, so I decided to start a couple this year. The first was everyone wrote on our new thanksgiving tablecloth of something that they were thankful for. Then in years to come we will continue to add on and get to remember the past years.

The next tradition was to collect beforehand from those that were coming things that they were thankful for, write them out, wrap them in aluminum foil, and place them in the middle of a crescent role. (This was my first completed pininterest by the way.)
Zoe helped get them ready!
I didn't let our guests know and wanted to it be a surprise. After we started eating I happened to look at my dad's plate where I saw most of his role was gone. "Oh no," I wondered, "Did he eat it?"
(OK, this may or may not have been posed afterwards!)
Nope....he had politely just stuck it under his plate, as he thought it was just part of the roll wrapper and he didn't want to offend his hosts. After the laughter lessened, I explained the idea.
We each took turns reading the thankful notes and trying to guess who said what.
Looks like Lauren found one too!
Zoe did not enjoy her bread as much and for some unknown reason bursted into tears while eating hers.
No worries though! Short lived....esp. after we busted out the cheese for her.
We also enjoyed some outdoor time. I want a tradition for the outdoors but don't know of any ideas? With a turkey foamed shaped cappuccino and a cutie toddler running after a ball, it was good to enjoy the warmth left from the end of the day.
The Lord is so good, his blessings and mercy so amazing. Thank you Lord for a great day, for family, for a hard working husband that loves and serves us, for health, joy, Zoe, new life, and growing me in my faith daily to serve you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Double Trouble!

How is it that some minutes can feel like they take FOREVER, especially when the anticipation for something has been building for some time. Probably because I already have a daughter, who I love dearly (that and the fact that I already have all the "girl" stuff), that I wanted to stick with all the pink parade. I thought it would be great for them growing up not even a couple of years apart. AND THEN when I found out that my sister (who is just a couple of weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy) was having a girl, oh I just wanted one so badly.

Finally, halfway through the pregnancy and the day came for the ultrasound. I prayed that God would allow me to be excited if we found we were having a boy and was touched by God's peace. Knowing that His sovereignty was greater than anything I could ever hope for, knowing that He was in control and had the best for our family and our outreach, I was ready for what was to come.

But why oh why does the ultra sound technician seem to take forever, and save the gender for last. I know, I know, I should be supper thankful that everything else was fine (I guess it my heart I already knew that it was), as she went through each body part. And it truly is amazing how something so small, so knit together, and inside me would soon be a major part of my life....but what was it already????

Then baby just wouldn't corporate and show its self, no matter how much we tried. "Would it helped if I moved?" I was willing to do cartwheels right there in the small room if it would have helped.....just don't make me wait to come back another day! Finally, baby revealed itself. The technician asked me if I could tell what it was...ummmm...really, well I don't see the three lines. You don't? Well she pointed them out to me and explained that we were having a girl! The smile broke across my face and I could not believe it....are you sure? Yes, it was to be. The Hughes girls blood runs strong, as we continue to fill the next generation.

The only hard part of it all (at least for now before all the extra hormones hit and I wonder, why did I want girls?)...coming up with a name. We had picked out the prefect boy name before Zoe and where ready to use it....but now, left with nothing...haven't even talked about it yet....but confident that God will give us that one too!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Especially at night and when in the car, she will often say, "Pray," repeatedly until I do so. Usually when asked what she wants to pray for it's Dada. What a amazing reminder of how I truly need to be lifting him (amongst so many other things) up in prayer throughout the day. Whenever I stop praying, she almost always asks for more, and continues to ask until I start again. It's made me think of the broader and deeper things to pray for other than the normal "surface" stuff. I never expected my prayer life to grow from this manner. May she always have a sensitive soul that yearns to talk to her Heavenly father!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My sicky... so many mommy questions?

I hate being sick, but what I realize even more, is I hate when both my daughter and I are sick. It can get really boggling when you feel down for so long. I realized for the whole past half of year I have only really been well 2-3 weeks (between the morning sickness and now the colds). Yeiks....hard to maintain a good attitude through it all. What, Lord, are you trying to teach me through all of this?

So much weighs down on me emotionally, after being worn down physically. Then Zoe has some gunk in her eye...what is that...still not totally sure. Nurse on call says pink eye, that supposed to be super contagious (enough for me to miss work and the fall festival) but then why haven't I, who has a low immune system due to the pregnancy and then also having a bad cold, who gets pocked in the eye and all over my face with Zoe's germy fingers, show no symptoms of such. I should be her breading ground for germs.

I've been learning more about toxins. I've been becoming more of one those women who believe that we need to cut out all processed food and medications, which I never wanted to be. It's hard going against what most people follow, the mainstream info that is out there, "take a pill to fix it", aren't doctor's always right? But now I have this little one to protect and an even littler one inside. Don't I owe it to her to find out more about what I'm giving her? To give her the best care that I can? To not walk into things blindly, just because it seems "normal"?

It's so hard to know what to do. So hard to shift through all the research and information out there. I am thankful that we are starting with a smaller things like her eye issues, instead of something life threatening. So instead of giving her the antibiotic eye drops the nurse called in (for what may not even be pink eye), we went a different route. I changed her diet more, bought some live raw probiotics, put breast milk in her eyes (thanks to a generous friend) and had her adjusted for the first time. This is new for me....and hard...I'm very thankful for the study that I just started on Proverbs and I feel I need it more than ever! Any other moms struggle so much with this?

As a follow up I did have to take her to the doc., as my sitter wouldn't have Zoe unless she was clear....that and I don't think I could miss a whole weeks worth of work for on antibiotics we go (at least this time).
There were no Halloween antics in our house for my sick one (not that I'm a fan of the holiday) but I did throw this little number on (something Beach picked up at a garage sale months ago), briefly, so that she could get a free meal at Moe's that night.
You can see how much she loved it...this was a face she had for most of the week...good thing she didn't wear it for long....and she did not look this distraught in the store...but did love her Moes!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Delayed....MI trip part 2

Finally posted...part II of our trip up North!
So after Thanksgiving comes Christmas....full of a Decorated tree, stockings and presents! My mother-in-law had everything looking so nice (despite it only being October), set up just for us! It made things very special and fun!
I think she liked her Grandma bag!

Zoe got decked out with some new clothes....and loved opening the presents!

Donald had a good time, too!

We, also, got to visit Beach's family.
It was a rare time indeed to have so many cousins together, as they are now in different parts of the country and world!

Beach's own grandmother's house was a fun place for Zoe (and us all)....she had many toys and even some from when Beach was a child!

Zoe enjoyed sitting near me to watch me get her breakfast ready (hence the knife), complete with her new PJs from Grandma.

One morning after breakfast I was working out in the other room. Dad was on Zoe duty and I heard her screaming/crying briefly. Only to later to hear lots of daddy laughter and see this picture.
That's right...after Beach got his flobee haircut from his own dad they decided it would be funny to pretend to give Zoe one, too. She knew, however, that this was a bad idea and nothing should come close to compromising what little hair she had worked her year and a half to grow.

On the last day, with the best weather yet (yes there was even some sun), we headed downtown with Beach's brother, Donald, to check out a pottery shop they love and go to a park. Little did we know that we would be stuck in traffic for hours. Which of course means me singing (which sounded awesome with my horse voice, btw) to Zoe to try to keep her from screaming for quite some time. We finally escaped the traffic by going the wrong way up an exit ramp....yes I was praying much. (We weren't the only ones and the news camera was there to check it out!).

While we did miss much of the warmth and pleasantness of the day we were able to pop by the park before the sun went down. With a huge playground, Zoe was much appreciative!

To end the night, the grands watched Zoe while we went out to eat with Donald at one of his favorite places.
It was a nice time as he was headed off to Asia soon and we are not sure the next time we will get to see each other.

All and all an eventful, exciting trip!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Christmas in Oct....and other MI things

As much as I was looking forward to a break and getting to see Beach's family in MI, my anxiety also began to rise for such an adventure. Zoe's first flight, sleeping in a new place, having to share a room with her, the comforts of home no where to be around....what more did the trip have in store for us.

I prepared as much as I could for the airplane ride, drinks for the ears through straws (thanks mom - somehow the liquid made it through security), new toys from the dollar store, her favorite books and some videos downloaded on Daddy's phone. Tried to plan everything as much as I could, what I didn't expect was that her nap before the plane ride would only last about 20 minutes (instead of her normal three hours), so this tired kid was extra wound by the time we got on the plane. Up and down and all around, waving her little hand in the face of the people behind us (okay perhaps she did get something from Beach - his outgoing nature).

I was so ready once we got off the flight (even more ready on the ride home!). For some reason at the MI airport, Zoe saw something that reminded her of her favorite South Carolina team and she kept yelling, "Cock!" I would try to say behind her that I didn't see any GAMEcocks around (knowing that this MI crowd may not be as familiar with our mascot).

She loved walking the terminal, which had to be well over a mile and seeing Grandpa again was a hit. So was the next day (despite the cold temps), heading to the apple orchard, complete with playground was awesome!
This is the beginning of the week where she let anyone but me hold her still.
Cool slide with daddy and grandpa...mommy sat out on this one!
What a great idea....a barn full of corn kernels for the kids to play with...that is until all the dust flew around!
Of course much pumpkins....including my cutest of them all!
Make that two cutest of them all!
Hot apple cider and pumpkin donuts...what a treat! (I may or may not have only let her hold this for the picture :-)
I'm this fun to go back in later years for another shot from here!
More on the MI adventure to come....

Monday, October 3, 2011

A year and a half!

How can it feel like just a short time ago yet also feel years away and that you have always been in our lives. We made it to the 18 month point, and boy did we. Some of the most stretching, loving, caring, hormonal, challenging, wonderful times of my life.
I prepared so much for my pregnancy caring you and having the best birth that I could, that when you came along I realized that I hadn't prepared as well for you being in our world. Well, that and only living in our new house under a week added to some stressful times. After those first couple of months of crying and screaming (from the both of us it seemed) we finally figured out your dairy allergy, and mommy had such banned from her diet. Once your tummy settled, so did our life a lot more.
With each new stage your brought more and more enjoyment into our lives. I have so loved seeing you grow and develop. How fun the upcoming years will be as you continue to build on such.
I love that your picking up on so many new words lately. Especially finally hearing you say Momma. That has been a long time coming. Perhaps, because I did not recite it so much, as I did most other things. But to hear you squeal my name from the other room and come running to find me with that big grin on your face....melts my heart.
That passion does not fail when your upset, either. It can be hard to communicate and not get what you want, so there have been many times of you screaming and "throwing out." However, consistency is going to be key with you little as hard as it is, we will keep pressing through and hope those times get smaller in between.
As the next year and a half will bring much more challenges, love and growth...I'm so looking forward to having you in my life to do so!