Landing in Holland

“It’s like you’re planning a trip to Italy, and you end up in Holland. It’s very different, but so incredibly beautiful.”

That’s what a very sweet, Physican’s Assistant told this teary-eyed mamma the other day. And I smiled…

Last week we were told that the 20 week sonogram of our little boy showed several anomalies. A missing fibula bone in his right let. Little toes that weren’t seen. Everything else looked great, perfect, they said. I wasn’t sure what the “missing bone” all meant, but something sounded very wrong, and the news shocked us… A Level II sonogram was scheduled.

That evening, my brain swirling, and trying to figure out what this meant for our boy, and for us, I googled, “babies born without a fibula bone”. I was stunned that it’s actually a thing! Fibular Hemimilia–affects about 1 in 40,000. The more we read, the less scary it sounded, with lots of positive success stories. Of course we still hoped for happier news at the next scan, hoped that they just saw wrong the first time. I mean, 1 in 40,000 babies?! What are the odds?

But as we sat in the dim sonogram room the other day, and were told that no, there is still no fibula bone, and as my large stomach was poked and prodded over and over in hopes of seeing a right foot with little toes, our hope for a physical miracle slipped away… We talked with a specialist. An older woman who seemed a bit mystified by our little boy. There is nothing in our genetics, nothing that could have been done differently as far as early development in the womb, it’s all just so random, and a freak thing…

Or is it?

We looked at pictures of the scan with her. His heart, brain, all his other little limbs fully formed and looking strong. “These are beautiful” she said.

We moved on down to see his leg, a little bowed, and without the aid of the fibula, his foot, and toes, aren’t growing like normal. “I’m pretty sure there will be prosthetics in your son’s future” the Dr said.

We planned another sonogram for a month later, and will meet with a genetic counselor then to figure out what step to take next. If everything continues to go well with my pregnancy, and this little man keeps looking happy and healthy, his condition shouldn’t affect anything about labor and delivery, and even the first year of his life.

Entering the medical world of specialists and orthopedic surgeons looks huge to us, but how thankful we are for the care and guidance we’ve already received, and have faith that with our Great Healer in control, it’s only the start of a grand adventure we had no idea was in store for us!

Our prayer for this precious child, is that:

  1. Some day he can walk and run! Abe prays this every night.
  2. That he’s born a strong, strapping little boy with a fierce zeal for life :).
  3. That we as a family will grow stronger together, and in our faith thru any challenges that arise.
  4. That above all, God’s name will be glorified and exalted.

A freak thing? I think not. God has known from the beginning of time that He had something special, a little out of the box, for this boy. And we are beyond excited to meet him, and walk this journey with him.

Also, someday being able to tell him that God decided to leave his fibula out, and will keep it safe until we get to heaven, will be pretty special we think:)

I decided to share this news with you, our friends and family, in hopes to clarify our situation. I have thought so much lately about other devastating tragedies that families are going through, of much more life-altering health conditions that children are diagnosed with, and our son’s health condition looks so minor compared to all that. We have huge hopes our little boy with live a very normal life, just with a different leg. I just wanted you to be able to hear the news from us, and maybe this will help “keep the story straight” so to speak:).

Whatever you are facing today, may you be strengthened with this:

“We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

For the Mama Who Feels Invisible…

From the moment I slid out of bed and my feet hit the floor, there was something off. A little seed of discontent, maybe even self-pity, festered in my heart as I poured my cup of coffee, and thought about my kitchen counters void of fancy flowers and a Hallmark card. But when I went to lift my little girl from her crib, she wrapped her warm arms around my neck, and I STILL felt a little disappointment, I knew something was wrong in this mama’s heart.

We aren’t a huge gift-giving family, and truly, I’m fine with that. So I’m not sure why I was struggling so fiercely with self-entitlement that morning. I took a hot shower, and my husband fed the children breakfast, and all I could do was tick off a huge mental list of ALL the ways I serve my family, that go unnoticed. Ridiculous, right?! I kept replaying in my head different voices from articles and podcasts I’d heard the week before, how “Mothers are AWESOME, Rock-stars, and we deserve a day doing what WE need!” Scrolling thru Instagram later, did little to leave me feel better. “No coffee in bed, and pretty flowers for this momma!”

I’m ashamed to admit, that most of my Mother’s Day I was a little out of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely day, with beautiful church service, and I left with my heart was full.

But way deep down inside, that ugly self-entitlement lingered.

So the last couple of days, I’ve been pondering, praying about those feelings, and my sweet Jesus has really set me straight. Firmly, but so gently.

For one, I couldn’t be less awesome as a mom! ANYTHING good that comes from me is ALL the Lord’s doing. Strength for the long days of loving, consistent discipline–it’s ALL Him. Patience to remain kind when the plates of Mac & Cheese spill all over my clean floor–it’s ALL Him. The words I use to teach my little boy about the mysteries of death, heaven, and His love for us–it’s ALL Him❤️.

Secondly, He reminded me to open my eyes to the blessings and gifts I’m already given. Every. Single. Day. Those breakfasts my man supervises while I’m getting ready for the day. The delicious coffee he makes me. Those beautiful wild flowers he picked so lovingly for me. (I assure you, even without the store bought cards, the guy loves me so well!) The sweet “thanks, Mommy!” I get after every single meal. The tight hugs, and smacking kisses, the unconditional love and forgiveness that children so freely give. The joy that their sweet antics, and hilarious comments bring.

And Thirdly, I remembered how He, the King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega, left His glorious kingdom to serve the very least of these. To heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to teach truth, and to comfort those He loved. Tirelessly, diligently, day after day He served. Often, with few accolades and little fanfare.

Whenever I feel lonely and unnoticed, the best cure is to look up to Jesus, and start thanking Him for each and every way He cares for me. It’s hard to feel even a tinge of the grumpies when He is our focus 😊.

And I’ve decided that since my kitchen sink is where I spend lots of my time, to make it my little place of worship. While I rinse little plates, and sticky smoothie cups, worship! While I scrub potatoes, and rinse apples, worship! While I scrub dirty pans, and watch my children playing in the yard, worship….

When the days are tiring, and and you feel unnoticed in the serving, what do you do to refocus on Jesus?? I’d love to hear❤️.

…and I’m back!

So friends, I almost completely forgot I ever had a blog, until just last night I kinda stumbled upon it, and got to re-reading some of my most recent posts–that were 2 years old🙈! And decided that, ya know, this may become more consistent or it may be super sporadic, but I think it’ll be therapeutic jotting down my thots in this space. I don’t want to just add to the noise in this world however, and if you are reading this far, I’m already honored. 😊 my hope is to keep long-distance friends a little more in-the-loop on what’s happening in our lives, and by all means, to leave you feeling refreshed and encouraged!

A little update on what’s been happening in our lives the last 2 years:

–Our precious children, Abe and Ellie are now 3 and 2. They are incredible, and precious, and drive me to prayer constantly😉. I can’t wait to tell you more about them in the future!

–We’ve moved to the home farm where my husband Marcus grew up! We spent about a year renovating, and absolutely love living here! We’re deep in the heart of Kansas farmland, with show stopper sunsets and acres of wheat and hay fields all around us. My man is living his dream, and I couldn’t be prouder to be the girl by his side❤️.

–I’m still the typical, SAHM fueled by coffee and Jesus, and desperately wanting to grow deeper in my faith and knowledge of the Lord as I lead and train my precious children. Motherhood is way sweeter, and more difficult than I ever imagined :). (Safe to say, you’ll probably hear much more on this topic as well!) spending time in the sunshine, reading to my kiddos, baking, shopping (especially thrifting!!), and a good talk with a friend, are just a few of my simplest joys😊.

I’m still not entirely sure what the future of this little blog looks like, but I AM excited to be “dusting off my keys”, and being back!

I’ve included a few pics of Abe and Ellie, and our little farmhouse❤️.

Thanks for joining me!

Recipe: Mexican Enchiladas

Hi Friends=).

Abe and I are having a fun little day at home, scrubbing floors, toilets, and chasing dust bunnies. At least Abe thinks it’s fun from his vantage point in his high chair, eating snack puffs by the handful, while watching mom=).

Last night I tried a new recipe, and it’s one I just had to share with whoever will listen;-)! Real, honest to goodness, Mexican Enchiladas. I think the secret is in the homemade sauce, with all those yummy spices, and fresh veggies… The only ingredient in the filling is ground beef, but I think next time I’d add some refried beans or rice. Or both.

Mexican Enchiladas

10-15 corn tortillas

4 oz. tomato paste

1 sm. onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 red bell pepper

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/2 T. salt

1/2 T. black pepper

2 T. chili powder

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

pinch cloves

pinch allspice

2 T brown sugar

#1 ground beef, browned

Mix enough water with tomato paste to make 3 C. put this in blender and add the onion, pepper, and garlic; blend well. Pour into a large saucepan and add spices. Simmer for 20 min. While sauce cooks, heat a bit of oil in a pan. Pass tortillas through oil to soften. To make enchiladas, dip a tortilla in the sauce, put about 3 T. meat in the center and roll up tightly. Place in a greased pan. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is all melty. I did at 350 for about 1/2 hr.

Serves 6-7.

And now I think I’ll go reheat one of those for lunch=D! Moy Delicioso!

A happy day to all!

A tribute to my husband, on Father’s Day…

Hi Hon=), 

This may be a bit unconventional, but I decided to take the opportunity to brag on you publicly, just a bit. It’s your first “official” Father’s Day, and I want you to know how much I think you EXCEL at being a daddy! The past year has been a blur of getting ready for Abe’s arrival, bringing home our tiny newborn, countless sleepless nights, a teary wife, early morning feedings, belly-achy evenings, bottles, diapers, and so much loving on our little boy. The way you helped, rocked, coddled, and loved on us both, wasn’t missed by me. I can’t imagine how it would’ve been without you. 

I love watching your and Abe’s relationship develop, adore watching him light up when you come home from work, melt watching you get down on his level to play, and hear those squeals of laughter, that only come when you’re around=)…

For the many evenings, and mornings, when I was too sick to move, and you stayed up to tuck the baby into bed; the days my hormonal mood swings went crazy, and I KNOW I wasn’t very fun to live with, you exemplified Jesus, and kept loving me…

And I can’t wait to watch you with our little girl…She is exceedingly blessed to have a Daddy like you, and I know you’ll be her greatest Hero.

Life has changed so much. Maybe we don’t have “date nights” near like we used to, maybe the weighty responsibility of parenting leaves us a little stressed some days, but maybe this is just the best thing that’s ever happened to us=)…

So thank you. Thank-you for being ok, with simpler meals, toys on the floor, and a sometimes haggard wife. For sending me on occasional Starbucks runs for a little break, and to regain sanity. For providing for us financially. But above all, for leading and guiding us spiritually. For your daily prayers for all of us–me, Abe, and our unborn baby girl.

I am so blessed to have you for my husband, and father of my children. We all love you VERY much!!! You’re the BEST! =)

Happy Father’s Day!

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and then, there were Four…

I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. And kept pushing it off… I felt like there was a boatload of stuff I was trying to process, and writing just seemed impossible. But, today I decided is the day to put my thoughts to paper, so to speak.

A month ago we found out that I’m pregnant again. Surprise!!! And while it somewhat shames me to admit this, it’s been difficult for me to really feel excited about it… Not about the little one itself, who’s busy settling in these days:), but the timing has felt so wrong. I still HAVE a baby. We were planning to be moved into a larger home before another little made it’s appearance. I do not relish the thought of being largely pregnant AGAIN, during a hot Kansan summer. Having a busy 1 yr old, and a newborn look huge to me.

These have been the crazed thoughts running thru my mind…. And to top it all off, my body seems to hate the first few months of pregnancy, and the last few weeks constant nausea has been my companion, and clinging to the toilet while my guts turned themselves inside out, has been an everyday occurrence={. Pure misery, and I wonder WHAT God’s purpose in all this is…???

And yet, during those hardest, darkest moments, I keep hearing the sweet voice of my Father reminding me to keep trusting. His work is only beginning in me. The last few weeks I’ve heard of  several young mothers dying, and leaving behind precious children, and brokenhearted husbands. Of friends losing the little life that had only begun to blossom in it’s secret place. My heart cries for all these losses, and again, I find myself asking God “Why Me?” When there is so much loss, and pain in the world, with couples longing for children to call their own, how am I so blessed to carry another sweet life?

I don’t understand.

And I don’t think we ever will, until we reach heaven, and our Father explains all that was mysterious to us. I look forward to that very much:).

But until then, I choose to trust. To rest in the arms of my Great God who has carried me thru every high and low. My Prince of Peace. The Great I AM.

And I choose to be joyful today. For even tho life is hard, its sweet. I am blessed to be the wife of a wonderful godly man, mommy to my sweet little Abe, and to carry, and love our little baby #2. 🙂

So, from my heart to yours, Whatever it is you’re going thru today, my prayer is that you will feel surrounded by His grace and peace. You are not alone, dear friend.

“God is our place of safety. He gives us our strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble.” Ps 46.1

Blessings,

Becki

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Recipe: Blueberries & Cream Coffee Cake

For about 2 months now, I’ve really been enjoying eating the Trim Healthy Mama way. For good health, AND to help lose the baby weight;-). I’ll probably be sharing more of my favorite THM dishes in the future, but today I’ve got this decadent “normal” coffee cake recipe for you=). I’m pretty sure with a few flour alterations, it could be turned into a Trim Healthy treat, but maybe more on that later.

We had some out of state friends here for brunch over the weekend, and I thought it called for a little extra special something…hence the cake. And boy, was it a hit! There are still 2 lone pieces sitting on my kitchen counter, tempting me=/….I really hope my hubby takes care of them for me;).

So here ya go.

1/2 C softened butter

1 1/3 C raw sugar (or plain white)

2 eggs

2 C plus 4 Tbsp flour, divided

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 C milk

2 C fresh or frozen blueberries

6 oz cream cheese, cubed

Topping:

4 Tbsp flour

4 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp cold butter

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine 2 C flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Toss blueberries with remaining flour. Stir berries and cream cheese chunks into batter. Transfer to greased 9X13 pan. Combine the flour and sugar, and cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter and bake at 375* for 40-45 min, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*note: if using frozen berries, do not thaw before adding to batter.

Delicious warm or cold=)!

Blessings~ Becki

Recipe: BBQ Lemon Pork Chops

Hello Friends!

It’s a sunshiny afternoon, and I just tucked my little Abe into bed for his nap. I was highly tempted to follow suit, but decided to put the coffee on instead, and try to get caught up on a few things around here:). Blogging for starters! I’ve got another recipe I’d like to share…

Thanks to my family being hog farmers, we’ve been blessed with lots and lots of pork in our freezer! It’s great:). But I’m always looking for new, and interesting ways to prepare it. I came upon this porkchop recipe, and it’s become our new favorite way to eat them;-)! They turn out juicy and full of flavor! Plus, they’re terribly easy to throw together…

I THM-ified the recipe and used xylitol instead of sugar; feel free to use what you prefer;).

4 pork chops

salt & pepper

onion

lemon

brown sugar (or sweetener of choice)

ketchup

Trim excess fat from chops. Place in ungreased baking pan; season. Top each with 1 onion slice; 1 lemon slice, 1 T. sugar, and 1 T. ketchup. Cover tightly and bake at 350* for 30 min. Uncover, baste chops, and bake until done, approx. 30 min.

There ya have it; I hope you enjoy;-)!

Blessings~ Becki

a closer look at us…

Hello friends:). It’s another beautiful day in Kansas! We’ve been having some crazy weather the last while….the last few days it’s reached 70+*! Kinda weird, and I’d love a good snowfall or two yet this winter, but for now, I’ll enjoy these balmy temps=).

I decided to get a little more personal about us as a family this post;). Forgive me if it’s all old, stale news to you;-).

Marc and I met a few years ago at a little get together with his and my youth group. It was a fast and crazy romance, and we said “I do” in May 2013. Our love story is one of those where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God had His hand in it;). This past September our little boy Abraham Lane (aka Abe) was born. We had no clue how exhausting and wonderful parenthood would be, and we are sure loving the ride;-)!

In November, Marc was ordained minister at our little church– Prairie Chapel. It’s a small congregation, and we love the family atmosphere! Everyone has been so kind, and supportive to us through this change. We are unworthy, but blessed.

The beginning of last year, Marc started his own business–Wagler Concrete Pumping. It’s been so exciting watching him take on the challenge of being a business owner! He really enjoys the work, and interacting with his customers. He also has a huge love for hay farming, which he manages to squeeze in during the summer.

As for me, I’m just thoroughly enjoying the role of wife and mommy these days:)! I love spending time with ladies from church, sewing, cooking, and loving on my men;). Life is such a sweet gift.

I finally figured out how to upload pictures! ha! I’m stuggle big time with being techy illiterate={. Anyway, so there’s a picture of our little home sweet home, a recent picture of Abe, and then, us=).

A happy day to you~ Becki

The Cottage

The Cottage

Our little Mr. Sunshine! He's almost 5 mo.

Our little Mr. Sunshine! He’s almost 5 mo.

the men & I;-)

the men & I;-)

Cilantro Lime Chicken

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, sunshine streaming in the windows, a cup of steaming java juice by my side, life is good=). My mom and siblings are visiting us this weekend which is wonderful as always!

I keep thinking about the yummy lunch we had today, and decided to share the recipe with you guys. It’s definitely one we’ll be making again! Perhaps you’ve seen it flying around on Pinterest, but if not, here it is, and you really MUST try it;-). It’ll make you feel like you’re taking life easy south of the border=)!

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
3-4 limes
4-6 garlic cloves
olive oil
cumin
cayenne or chili powder
snipped cilantro (about 1/4 cup)
avocado (optional)

Cut chicken into chunks. Pour a little olive oil in a large skillet, almost enough to cover the bottom. Heat over Med-High til oil is hot. Add chicken and fry til lightly browned. Add the cumin and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to Med-Low and add the minced garlic and juice from limes. careful not to let the garlic burn. Once the chicken is cooked thru, remove it from the pan, and stir in the cilantro.

ahhh…..it smells like heaven=)!

I served it with hot, fluffy quinoa. SO good, and nutritious! Rice would be equally yummy if you’d prefer.

So there you have it=)!

I wish you all a beautiful week!

~Becki