Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pont du Gard

Today the hubs and I went on a date to Pont du Gard; a Roman aqueduct-bridge nearly 2,000 yrs old. Only a quick 25 minute drive to the town Vers-Pont-du-Gard.  It was a spectacular sight to see being one of the oldest and best preserved aqueducts in the world. It may have been one of the oldest pieces of architecture Ryan and I have seen in our travels thus far. 

The bridge is constructed of limestone and mainly held together by the weight of gravity. Its main purpose was to carry water from the springs of Uzes to the baths, fountains and private homes of Nimes. Being one of France's top 5 tourist places, we highly recommend a quick visit!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 20th week! Halfway there!

So handsome:)

Just a pretty olive tree:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bell Peppers and Answered Prayers

I am now finished with my 18th week. At times this process seems to fly by in the blink of an eye, yet there are moments I daydream of when this little bell pepper is here and it doesn't seem to go fast enough.

Sorry this post is a bit long but we haven't given any updates in a while. So here we are filling you in.

For me, week 18 marked many milestones. Not just for the pregnancy, but also for our time in France. Prayers were answered and hearts were encouraged. Both for Ryan and myself.

We've found a church. We aren't sure if it is the church we will attend for the rest of our time in France, but each time we do attend we are welcomed by warm hearts that love the Lord. Last Sunday, while Ryan was coming back from his game up north in Blois,  I was invited to a couple's house for lunch after the service. The husband was a former English teacher and the wife speaks great English as well. I was so encouraged by their hospitality and their eagerness to make sure Ryan and I are well taken care of here. It still amazes me, after experiencing it in all the previous countries, how faith in Christ can bond strangers instantly. After a rough week 17 this was a huge answer to prayer.

A second milestone was the big Sorgues Basket Club win! After losing their first 4 games of the season, the team finally pulled off a win.  Ryan came out firing on all cylinders, hardly missing in the first half and finishing with 26 points and 4 assists.  Discouraged by his personal play in previous games, this was also an answer to prayer.

Following the game, we were invited to Ryan's teammate and wife's house for dinner. Ryan's really connected with Julien so far on and off the court and I seemed to be getting along great with Priscilla. We realized we had much in common with this sweet couple when we looked at the clock and read it was 4 o'clock in the morning. Moreover, through our many conversations, we discovered they were believers. When I heard those words I nearly cried. I had been praying for friendships. To meet other women my age. Not just other believers, but someone I could just chat with. Someone that spoke English. God just seemed to plop this one right in my lap. Another answered prayer.

Week 18 also marked the first time I felt this little bell pepper move inside me. There aren't exactly words to describe it. Maybe incredible and bizarre might be the closest. It is so incredible to feel a living being moving inside you, yet it is so bizarre to know a living being is moving inside you. All I can really say is I am crazy thankful for this little miracle and can't wait to meet him/her soon.

--I'm starting to see a little bump. It's small but it's there I promise. I'm still getting used to my husband saying "Your belly looks like it is growing." I take it as a compliment:)

--I've been feeling great. Like practically normal since I found out I was pregnant. Morning sickness happened maybe 2-3 times. I'm so very thankful because homesickness on top of morning sickness isn't a good combo.

--No cravings yet. Although Ryan thinks I crave something sweet all the time. Little does he know that I craved something sweet all the time even before I was pregnant. But that's one of the joys of blaming things on pregnancy:)

--So far two women have rubbed my belly and have spoken French monologues to me. I just smile and nod and warmly welcome it.

--Apparently now is the time a baby in the womb can hear sounds from outside. My stomach now gets a daily serenade from the hubby. I particularly felt the most movement of our little one during Ryan's last game.  The cheers from the crowd and the banging of loud drums caused the baby to start some clapping and cheering of it's own for his/her daddy.  Another little basketball player????

--I had my 18 week appointment last Friday. The doc said everything looks perfect and healthy. Another answered prayer!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

16 Lessons Learned @ 16 Weeks

Things I've learned since being pregnant

I've learned:

1. Do not wear jeans and a belt that are difficult to undo because toilet runs are way too often and come on suddenly.

2. I can cry at the drop of a hat for no reason at all. Who cries during an episode of The Office? I mean, really?

3. To always have tissues by my side, not only for crying purposes :) ... Pregnancy makes your nose stuffy, runny, and sneezey.

4.  At the rate my finger nails are growing I have to clip them practically every day.

5.  Sleep can be lost when you only have two positions in which you can sleep. Your right and left side.

6.  Hours can be lost daydreaming about our little avocado.

7.  When I browse the shops I'm drawn to all things boy. But I will be completely happy with either:)

8. You can pretty much blame everything on being pregnant which can be extreeeemely helpful at times :)

9.  Even though things can be blamed on pregnancy doesn't mean they always should be. There is no excuse to be moody,  irritable, or selfish. Sin is sin and you control your emotions no matter what the circumstances.

10.  My husband is incredibly patient.

11.  How incredibly amazing this process is and how intracately God designed a woman's body to just do this naturally. I have no control what goes on within my body, but I'm thankful for a Soveriegn God who has complete control.

12.  I know absolutely nothing about being a mother or raising a child.

13.  God's grace is sufficient.  Jeremiah 33:3: "Call unto Me and I will answer you. And show you great and mighty things which you do not know."

14.  I want to be a cute, stylish mom, but how far am I willing to let that go? I've even wasted time fretting over what to register for because I ask myself if it will look "cute?".  But what good comes from that? Looking cute will not help me be a good mother. It will not help me teach my children good morals and values. Most of of all, it will not teach them to know Christ as their personal Savior.
              Ecclesiastics 4:4-6:  "I have seen that every labor and every skill which is done is the result of rivalry between a man and his neighbor. This too is vanity and striving after wind. The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh. One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind."
                Everything in life can be turned in to a competition.  We often have that "Keeping up with the Joneses" sort of mentality.  I've realized I'm longing after something meaningless like "striving after the wind"; something with no eternal value that leaves me discontent. In the end I realize that contentment is found only in Christ!

15.  Ryan will be an awesome dad already by the way he prays for the sweet little avocado growing inside me.

16.  I am blessed beyond belief!