Monday, July 30, 2012

Filling Empty Arms

Note to My Mom and Siblings: When you read this you will cry, just like I did as I wrote it. So, this is your warning to grab some tissues before you read any further.
Some of you know that there are really six children in my immediate family; me, Kyle, Bobbi, Jake, Vivian, and Kenneth. Only five of us are living, because on May 12, 2001 my youngest brother Kenneth came into this world as a stillborn baby.

(Already the tears are welling up inside of me and I am not sure if I will be able to write this post in one sitting, but I am going to try.)

Kenneth was just one week away from his due date when the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and killed him. Yes, my Mom was older when she was pregnant with Kenneth, but that is not what caused this accident. My Mom had been healthy throughout her entire pregnancy and had been to the doctor’s office just a day or two before my brother died.

As a new believer in Christ, God got me through this tragedy. God showed me that He was faithful even when life did not make sense. I always knew that one day when I got pregnant and had a baby of my own it would be hard, because I had lived through my brother’s pregnancy and death. I anticipated being very anxious throughout my pregnancy and worried about my baby’s wellbeing. I also knew that the final weeks of my pregnancy would be the most nerve wrecking, because for me stillbirth is a reality.

Then it happened!! I got pregnant!! Immediately, I began praying to the Lord and asked Him to give me strength and courage throughout my pregnancy. I am here to testify that God has answered my prayers and given me His peace. 

Over the last 35 weeks of my pregnancy, God has used a song by Matt Hammitt called, “All of Me” to encourage me to love Olivia with everything I have. I want Olivia to have all of me and all my love even if I only get to spend nine months with her!

Last week was very emotional for me as I began to organize Olivia’s things. Part of me wanted to stop, because I was afraid that I was doing all of this in vain. I do not know for sure that I will be able to bring a baby home with me from the hospital. Again, God wrapped His arms around me and reassured me that He is in control, so I have nothing to fear.
Believe me when I say that my brother’s death was not in vain! God had a bigger plan and purpose than any of us ever realized! Not only that, but God has blessed our family in ways that we do not deserve!

God’s plan was to take away my brother. However, since September 2010 (almost 10 years after my brother's death) God began to bless my mother with grandbabies!! After September 2012 my Mom will have had 5 grandbabies in just 2 years! Not to mention that my Mom's first two grandbabies we boys! These babies will never replace my brother, but they have brought a joy to my mother that I have not seen in a long time. God is so faithful!
Here are so pictures of the blessings that God has poured out on my family. Please note that my Mom has two more grandbabies coming in August and/or September!
Mom with Kenneth and Lucas

Mom with baby Kaydence

Here are the lyrics to Matt Hammitt’s song if you are interested.

All of Me
By, Matt Hammitt

Afraid to love, something that could break,
Could I move on, if you were torn away?
I'm so close to what I can't control
I can't give you half my heart, and pray it makes you whole

You're gunna have all of me, you're gunna have all of me,
Cuz you're worth every fallen tear, you're worth facing every fear
You're gunna know all my love, even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I'll start.

I won't let sadness steal you from my arms
I won't let pain keep you from my heart
Trade the fear of all that I could lose, for every moment I share with you

You're gunna have all of me, you're gunna have all of me,
Cuz you're worth every fallen tear, you're worth facing any fear
You're gunna know all my love, even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I'll start.

Heaven broke into this moment, it's too wonderful to speak
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you, even if I bleed
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me

You're gunna have all of me, you're gunna have all of me,
Cuz you're worth every fallen tear, you're worth facing any fear
You're gunna know all my love, even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I'll start

You're gunna have all of me,
Cuz you're worth every fallen tear, you're worth facing any fear
You're gunna know all my love, even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I'll start
It's where I'll start

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pregnancy Highlights: 35 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 35 weeks 3 days

Size of Baby Newsham: Our baby is as big as a large cantaloupe or 19 to 22 in, 6 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yes!

Gender: Girl

Name: Olivia Jane

Getting Ready: While Jon and Josh were gone this past week at Youth Camp, my goal/mission was to begin to organize all of Olivia's stuff. We have received clothes, blankets, toys, burp clothes, towels, and more!! On my to-do list was to wash Olivia's clothes and begin to organize them, along with everything else that people have given to us for her.

I am happy to report that I was able to set aside a huge chunk of time, last night, to get some of these things done. I was able to wash all of Olivia's clothes and organize them! I also started packing my hospital bag and setting things aside for Olivia's diaper bag.

I was able to get a lot more done than I thought I would be able to do. I am thankful that I was able to get a lot of this stuff done now! I know that I need to rest the closer and closer I get to labor and delivery, but it's hard to relax when I am thinking about all the things that I need to get done!

Organizing Olivia's clothes

Movement: Olivia continues to move all throughout the day. I love knowing her schedule! I also enjoy feeling her move when she recognizes someone's voice. I cannot wait for her to be outside of the womb and recognize my voice!

Sleep: I am making more and more trips to the bathroom at night time. Thankfully, I am getting really good at being able to fall back asleep after getting up. I hope that this newly developed skill can be put to good use after Olivia arrives.

What I Miss: Honestly, I told Jon this week that I am tired of gaining weight and I cannot wait to get back on Weight Watchers!

Best Moment of the Week: The best moment this week was when I was able to visit with some friends of mine. I have not seen them in a long time and it was so good to visit with them! Both of them had all three of their children naturally. They were so encouraging to talk to about natural childbirth!! I want to have a natural childbirth without an epidural and many people laugh at me and/or look down at me for making a choice like this. It was nice to talk with women who have been through it and listen to the advice that they had to offer from their own experiences.

Food Cravings: I continue to crave salty foods. Occasionally, I want something sweet, but not very often.

Symptoms: My pregnancy symptoms are the same as always. I believe that I've been feeling my stomach tighten, like it does for a Braxton Hick. However, I do know know that for sure.

Due Date: August 28, 2012 (Just 32 days away!!)

Next Dr. Appointment: Monday, July 30, 2012 at 10:00am

Daddy: Jon has been gone all week at Youth Camp with the junior high and high school kids from our church. I am so thankful that Jon has been able to serve in this area of ministry this past week. It has not been easy, but I know that God is using Jon to plant seeds in these boys lives.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Willing Obedience


Yesterday in Sunday school we talked about being obedient to God. We looked at Gideon in the book of Judges. Gideon was plagued by constant fear and doubt. Gideon was filled with fear even though the Lord had clearly spoken about what He wanted to do through his life. Ms. Janet, our teacher, explained that in order for us to be able to move from a fear-filled life to a faith-filled life we must being to be obedient to God’s word. Ms. Janet is always telling us that “obedience equals blessing”. Even in church our Interim Pastor spoke along these same lines, when he shared an example from 2 Kings about a widow who was so obedient that she didn’t even question what Elijah had asked her to do!

There are times in my life when God is teaching me something in church and I don’t even get out of the building and into the car before He has already given me an opportunity to apply what I have learned to my life! This is exactly what happened to me yesterday.

Yesterday after church, a friend of ours approached me and Jon to ask if we would be willing to consider joining a particular ministry in our church. Right away, I began to think about all the reason why I did not want to be involved in this ministry. I gave God a very LONG list of reason why I am not qualified to be involved in this ministry. I was trying to get God on my side and to look at things from my perspective.

Little did I know that at the same time I was complaining to God, Jon was thanking God for answering our prayers and opening up this ministry opportunity for us to do together! What!?

You see Jon and I have been praying about where God would have us serve in the church. We’ve been evaluating the current ministries that we are involved in and ask God to show us if there was anything else that He wanted us to change. For Jon, this new opportunity is an answer to what we have been praying about for weeks. For me, this was not exactly the answer I was looking for and instead of give thanks I gave excuse after excuse about why this was not the answer that I was looking for when I began to pray about this.

This ministry is just something that I have always turned my nose up at, because it is hard and challenging. I could not believe that after all these years of swearing that I would never do this kind of ministry, this is exactly the ministry that God presented us with.

Jon and I have not made any final decisions about whether or not we will work in this new area of ministry. We are trying to take time to pray about it before making a commitment either way.

Even if we decide that this ministry is not for us, God used this situation to teach me that I am not as obedient as I think I am. I hope that the next time God asks me to do something, I will be like the widow in 2 Kings and do what is asked of me, instead of wasting my time and energy trying to figure out is this is really what God wants me to do.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pregnancy Highlights: 34 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 34 weeks and 3 days

Size of Baby Newsham: Our baby is as big as a large cantaloupe or 19 to 22 in, 5.5 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yes.

Gender: Girl

Name: Olivia Jane

Getting Ready: For months we have been trying to get our home ready for Jon's brother, Josh, to come live with us. Thankfully, Josh moved in last Saturday!! Now that Josh is living with us, we have begun to shift our focus to the things we need to do before Olivia comes. I've got plans to wash Olivia's clothes and sterilize her bottles. I also need to start packing my hospital bag, just in case I happen to go into labor early.

Movement: Olivia moves a lot! She really moves when I drink cold water. It's fun to watch her movements. I have learned so much about her already and I am looking forward to seeing how that translates outside of the womb.

Sleep: It has been so hot here in Texas, which means that I have not slept very well this week. The heat does not bother me any other time of day, except when I am trying to sleep. It's made for some sleepless nights, but I think that is just getting me ready to be up with Olivia once she arrives.

What I Miss: I had thought of a good one this week, but I cannot remember it! Thanks to my baby brain this happens more often than I would like to admit. Oh well. If I think of it, I will write about it next week. Maybe that's something I miss...having a sharp memory.

Best Moment of the Week: The best moment this past week was when Josh moved in! We have not seen him since December 2010 and it has been so much fun catching up with him about all the things that he has been doing. We even took Josh out for snow cones less than 24 hours after he arrived in Texas! I am looking forward to seeing how God works in our lives over the next few months!

Food Cravings: This past week, I have been craving salty foods! I would rather have them than other sweet options at home. I have also been drinking a lot of water to try and keep myself hydrated during these hot summer days!

Symptoms: This week I have been tired, but I think it has a lot to do with us having such a busy week.

Due Date: August 28, 2012

Next Dr. Appointment: Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 10:00am

Daddy: This past Monday, I went to see my doctor, and Jon was able to come with me to my appointment! I am so glad that Jon was able to hear Olivia's heartbeat! We also spent time talking with the doctor about our upcoming labor and delivery. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some Major Changes

This has been a busy week for me. Several times this week I have tried to sit down and write a blog post about everything that is going on, but nothing has come out! I sit in front of the computer longing to write about all the things on my mind, but it is overwhelming to know where I should begin. However, today I am determined to share what's on my heart and ask you to pray for me and Jon!
{change #1}
Last Saturday, Jon's brother Josh moved in with us! Josh has come to live with us while he goes to a local community college in town. I have been praying about this for months, because I was nervous and anxious about Josh coming to live with us right before Olivia is born. I am so thankful to say that God has answered my prayers and that this first week has gone by without any major problems! Please pray as Josh tries to find a job and get registered for classes over these next few weeks.
Josh and Jon at church this past Sunday.

{change #2}
As of this past Tuesday, I am 34 weeks pregnant! I cannot believe that I only have 6 weeks left to go in my pregnancy. My pregnancy has gone by so quickly! I am trying my best not to rush these last few weeks, but to enjoy the intimate bond that I have been able to share with Olivia over these last 34 weeks.

This is Olivia's newest outfit! It was made by Whimsical Pudding.

{change #3}
In August, I will begin to work from home! This is another HUGE answer to prayer, because we do not have the extra money needed for childcare. I will be able to work from home and stay home with Olivia all at the same time! The plan is that I will be able to begin to work from home before my due date, so that I can Olivia is born. Please pray for this transition and that I would be able to develop a good schedule/system while I work at home.

As you can see there are a lot of changes coming up in the next few weeks. Thank you for keeping Jon and I in your prayers over these next few weeks!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pregnancy Highlights: 33 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 33 weeks and 3 days (just 46 more days to go!!)

Size of Baby Newsham: Our baby is as big as a pineapple or 19 to 22 in, 4.9 lbs.


Maternity Clothes: Yes.

Gender: Girl

Name: Olivia Jane

Getting Ready: This week we were blessed with our second baby shower!! The ladies at my workplace hosted a shower for me and Jon. It was so much fun and we were blessed with many wonderful things! I will write a more detailed blog post about this later and post pictures. It is truly a blessing to have people in our lives who are willing to provide for us in such incredible ways!

We have one more shower on August 5th that I am really looking forward too!!

Movement: Olivia continues to be very active. Her movements do not hurt me. Honestly, when she moves it is a comfort to me to know that she is doing okay in there.

Sleep: I did not sleep well this past week. I get up to go to the bathroom multiple times a night. On top of that I am starting to have extremely vivid dreams, like I did in my first trimester, which does not make for a very restful night. I know that in some way all of this is preparing me for those late night feedings that I will need to be awake for once Olivia arrives.

What I Miss: This week, I've been thinking about how I miss my belly button. It's almost completely gone. I know that it will come back eventually, but I was just used to the way it was.

Best Moment of the Week: Other than the baby shower, which was an obvious highlight this week. I think that the best moment was when Jon and I had our first set of maternity photos taken by our friend Becky!! I wrote a blog post about this on Monday, Our First Maternity Photoshoot.

Jon and I both wanted to have our maternity photos taken at different locations. I wanted them taken downtown and Jon wanted pictures out at the airport. Instead of choosing one location over the other, we just decided to do two sets of maternity photos. Thankfully, our friend and photographer, Becky was willing to do this for us. Our second maternity photoshoot will be on Friday, July 20th. I cannot wait to see how those pictures turn out.

For now, here are just three of my favorite pictures from our first shoot.

Food Cravings: I have been craving a lot of fruit and vegetables. I bought strawberries, bananas, green peppers, cucumbers, cantelope, and tomatoes at the store last week. I have been eating them all throughout the week and they are amazing!!

Symptoms: I've got lots of pregnany symptoms, but nothing new to report.

Due Date: August 28, 2012

Next Dr. Appointment: Monday, July 16, 2012 at 10:00am

Daddy: I am so thankful that Jon was able to attend our baby shower this past week! He got to open presents and enjoy seeing what everyone got for Olivia. I loved having him with me! He even came to the rescue and opened a jar of salsa that the other ladies could not open themselves.

Jon and I at my work baby shower.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Following In Her Footsteps

My Sunday school teacher, Janet, has been challenging us to think about what kind of legacy we want to leave behind. She’s started a legacy list of her own and has encouraged us to do the same. Janet has reminded us that we need to begin to live out our legacy now! For example, if we want our family members to know how much we loved them, we must show them how much we love them now before we are gone.

Today I’m not going to blog about my own legacy list. I have been praying about my own list and writing things down, but I’m just not ready to share my list with you yet.

Me, Jon, and Lisa in China for Christmas 2010.

This morning, I want to focus on my mother-in-law, Lisa, and the legacy that she is leaving behind. Lisa is still alive and well. Throughout her life she has made choices that are leaving behind a Godly legacy for her family. I do not know if she planned to do this, but she has even left a legacy for me to follow as well as her daughter-in-law.

My father-in-law, David, loves to brag about his wife and rightfully so! Lisa is an amazing woman of God! One of my favorite things that David tells us about Lisa is how much she enjoyed being pregnant. David always tells us that Lisa has never been happier than during the months that she was pregnant with each one of her five children. Lisa had hard labors and almost died in childbirth multiple times, but she never complained. She found her joy in the Lord and being able to bring new life into this world!

For years, it has been my desire to follow in my mother-in-law’s footsteps. I want Jon to be able to tell our children that I enjoyed being pregnant. I do not want our daugther being told that I complained the entire time I was pregnant with her.

Knowing that I wanted to follow in Lisa's example I have been very intentional about my actions and attitude throughout my pregnancy. This is not normal for me, but I am trying to set aside my ways to accomplish something greater!

I have not always done a good job of this over the last 8 months, but that does not mean I am not trying. I do not know what Jon will tell our children about how I was during my pregnancy, but I pray that it is something a little like what David tells us about his own wife.

I am so thankful that the Lord has given me such a Godly example to follow. I am excited to finish my own legacy list and see how God helps me to live it out each day!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our First Maternity Photoshoot

Last week, Jon and I had our first maternity photos taken. Our friend Becky is an amazing photographer and I was so excited when she said that she was willing to take our pictures! I completely trust Becky and her artistic eye. She did an amazing job with our pictures and I can't wait to share them with you!!
Here are my top ten favorite pictures.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pregnancy Highlights: 32 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 32 weeks and 3 days (just 53 more days to go!!)

Size of Baby Newsham: Our baby is as big as a honeydew or 19 in, 4.5 lbs.

Maternity Clothes: Yes.

Gender: Girl

Name: Olivia Jane

Getting Ready: Yesterday, Jon and I attended our first childbirth class!! Jon's Mom, Lisa, is teaching our childbirth classes. We want a natural childbirth, which for us means no pain medicine and as little medical intervention as possible. Lisa's classes are going to teach us just what we need to know for this particular style of labor and delivery. I'm praying that God continues to give Jon and I wisdom to know what is best for our new family.

Movement: Olivia continues to move all the time! I have a feeling that she is going to be a lot like her Daddy, always on the move.

Sleep: I think that I am suffering from pregnancy insomnia! I do not feel tired and ready to go to bed until very late at night. I hope that this does not continue for the next 8 weeks, because I would like to get some extra sleep before Olivia arrives.

What I Miss: I don't miss anything this week. However, I am really looking forward to my second Baby shower next week!! It's on Wednesday, July 11, 2012!! It will be hosted by my LeTourneau coworkers. I will be sure to take lots of pictures.

Best Moment of the Week: The best moment this week was when I attended my very first Baby shower for Olivia! I blogged about it earlier this week. If you would like to check it out, please click here. Jon and I were so blessed by my Weight Watchers coworkers and friends as they generously gave gifts to us, so that we could prepare for Olivia's arrival. I am so thankful to be able to work with such amazing women!

Olivia and me at the Baby shower on Sunday.

Food Cravings: I am craving lots of protein and salty foods. I am also drinking LOTS of water, because it is so hot down here in Texas.

Symptoms: I had my feet swell up for the second time this past week. I think it's unavoidable in Texas in July, but I am doing my best to stay hydrated and keep them from being swollen for the next 8 weeks.

Due Date: August 28, 2012

Next Dr. Appointment: Monday, July 16, 2012 at 10:00am

Daddy: Jon and I went on a Babymoon over the 4th of July holiday!! I will blog and post pictures about our Babymoon later. However, I am so thankful that Jon was able to take a few days and get away with me, before life as we know it changes forever. I am so thankful that Jon was there to let me talk and cry about all the changes that are coming. He's the most amazing man I know and my very best friend!! I cannot wait to begin this new phase of life with him!

Jon and I Babymooning in Grapevine, TX

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just Curious

I can officially say that my due date is next month. As of today, I only have 8 more weeks or 56 days to go in my pregnancy!! Time is flying by and before you know it I will be posting pictures of my daughter for all of you to see and enjoy.

I know so much about Olivia already. Even in the womb I know things about Olivia that no one else knows. However, there is one thing I don't know and that is what she looks like. I cannot wait to see my beautiful baby girl with my own two eyes!!

Will she look like Jon? Will she look like me? Or will she be a beautiful combination of the both of us?

I'm thankful to have a Heavenly Father who already knows all of these details about Olivia! I am thankful that God has been knitting her together over these last 32 weeks and will continue to do so until she is "done".

So...what do you think?

Baby Jonathan

Baby Jennifer and my Mom

Monday, July 2, 2012

My First Baby Shower

This past weekend, I had my very first Baby Shower!! It was hosted by my Weight Watchers coworkers, Amanda and Rose. We had the shower at Amanda's house on Saturday afternoon. I spent a good portion of the afternoon trying on several different outfits, before I found the one that worked best for me. I was excited to spend time with my friends from Weight Watchers!

I was overwhelmed with the generosity these women poured out over me and Olivia!! It is such a blessing to be able to work for Weight Watchers and have friends like this. I'm so thankful that God continues to answer my prayers and provide what we need for Olivia!!

I took lots of pictures at the shower and here are just a few of my favorites!!

Olivia and I are all dressed up and ready to go to the Baby Shower!!

Rose and Amanda my beautiful hostesses!!

The beautiful wall hanging that Amanda made for Olivia! It's perfect!!

The food table

Olivia and me are first in line to get some food!

It was so much fun to be able to visit with all my Weight Watches coworkers and friends!!

It's time to open presents!!

The first gift I opened was diapers!

The ladies found me some of the cutest baby clothes! I love this elephant bib!

I also got some of the essentials like pacifiers and a bottle cleaner.

All of us ladies together!

I am beyond blessed to know these women!

I had to get one picture of me with my hostesses!

This are just some of the gifts I brought home from the shower!

Jon put together Olivia's high chair. I cannot believe that she will be here in a little over 8 weeks!!


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