Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I have wanted cowboy boots for years. When we decided to move to Kerrville, I told Josh I would need cowboy boots to live in Kerrville. He agreed. Today he made good on his promise and bought me my first pair of real cowboy boots.
We are settling in like good Texans.
We have our boots and our dog. Now we are waiting for our little cowgirl.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back Online

Tonight we finally have internet at our new place. So now I can take a break from the boxes and try to get some updates and pictures posted. So much has happened! Scroll down and get up to date. =)

oh baby!

Baby Kate is growing! She's wiggling all over the place, causing strange protrusions in my abdomen! Sometimes I can feel something hard sticking into my side - is it an elbow, a foot, a heel, a little fist? Can't tell yet. She did great on the plane ride. She was quiet and wiggled all around. It's crazy how active she is.

We are at about 28 weeks now, which means Kate has eyelashes and can open and close her eyes. She can probably see light and may even turn toward it. The baby newsletters say she should be a little over 2lbs now and about 14 inches long. Amazing!

Father God, thank you for this baby, this miracle. May her eyes be opened to the Light Everlasting and may she turn eagerly toward Him. Thank you.

Merry Christmas

(I wrote this post with the intention to post it while in Colorado, but didn't ever get a chance to do so. )

Merry Christmas! We are having a wonderful time in Colorado with my family - parents, grandmother, brother, aunt, uncle, and cousins. There is still snow on the ground, but no snow from the sky yet. Maybe today. We've spent time playing with my cousins, Josh went sleding with them, and we've played Wii bowling and tennis (one of the Christmas presents). Apparently my sport is Wii bowling - I bowled a 158 on my first time to play. =)

Well, I know I have a lot to catch up on. In the past 3 weeks I've graduated, had a baby shower, we've said goodbye to our friends in Arlington, packed up our house, moved part-way across Texas, started setting up our new house, and come to Colorado to celebrate Christmas.

Enjoy your weekend and take time to reflect on the Greastest Gift ever given.

Hark the Herald Angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled.

Joyful all ye nations rise

Join the triumph of the skies.

With angelic hosts proclaim,

"Christ is born in Bethlehem."

Hark the Herald Angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.

Moving out, but not moving on

Leaving Arlington was hard. Not physically, of course. We got the biggest Penske truck, loaded it up with the help of some friends, and drove right out. But the effect on our hearts was much stronger.

We have really great friends in Arlington. We spent a lot of time getting together with people before we left. I still can't get over the fact that people cried saying goodbye to us. Crying over us? I would not ever have thought that would happen.

When I got in my car to begin the journey, even though I was eager to start my audiobook, I had to just sit and reflect on everything that was happening. I can remember telling my dad when we first moved to Arlington that we probably wouldn't be there much longer than 2-3 years because we didn't have much reason to stay once school was finished. And I wouldn't say we were necessarily attached to Arlington. But we had put roots down and invested in where we were and were blessed with incredible relationships. That's not something you just "move on" from.

In order to get the complete picture of the move-out, however, here are a couple pictures. Here is Josh tearing holes again in the overhang at the stairs in order to be able to get our boxspring and mattress down. This staircase was not built for queen beds or people over 6 feet.
The tug-of-war begins! Our friend Felipe had helped with the move-in at this house and remembers well the struggle with the bed last time.Saying goodbye to our townhouse in Arlington.
We've moved out, but we have not moved on from our time there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You are good

When the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes, You are good, so good
In the heat of the day with each stone that I lay, You are so good

With every breath I take in, I'll tell you I'm grateful again

When the moon climbs high before each kiss goodnight, You are good When the road starts to turn around each bend I've learned You are good, so good
And when somebody's hand holds me up helps me stand, You are so good

With every breathe I take in, I'll tell you I'm grateful again

'Cus it's more than enough just to know I am loved and You are good

So how can I thank you, What can I bring?

What can these poor hands lay at the feet of a King?

I'll sing you a love song. It's all that I have

To tell you I'm grateful for holding my life in your hands

When it's dark and it's cold and I can't feel my soul, You are good, so good

When the world has gone gray and the rain's here to stay, You are still good

So with every breath I take in I'll tell you I'm grateful again

And the storm may swell even then it is well and You are good

So how can I thank you, What can I bring?
What can these poor hands lay at the feet of a King?

I'll sing you a love song. It's all that I have

To tell you I'm grateful for holding my life in your hands

"You are good" Nicole Nordeman & Erin O'Donnell
Album: Sing Over Me

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am no longer a student of higher education! Yesterday morning I received my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling. It's official!

Here I am receiving the diploma and shaking the Seminary President's hand.

With Josh and his parents

with my parents

The ceremony was a solid Southern Baptist event, complete with a sermon, and invitation, and singing several hymns with all their verses. Yes, we sang hymns.

Now it's all said and done. I have my diploma on the mantle, though it too will have to be packed this week.

Oh, and here's my cool Master's hood:

I've gotten some wonderful Congratulations and best wishes from friends and family for my graduation with my Master degree (this one was from a graphic designer friend). It has all been very encouraging - especially since this week has also been full of thinking about and organizing packing and getting all my paperwork done for completing my internships.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Only Human

This morning I found a laugh in an unlikely place. I was reading Numbers 11 and got a kick out of the humorous interaction between Moses and God. I'll paraphrase.

The Israelites are in the desert being led around by God by means of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. God has provided manna for them to eat - which they get simply by picking it up off the ground - not much work involved. Well, some of the people get this idea that they are tired of manna and want meat. I can understand wanting something else...I get tired of the same old after a while too. But of course, these folks complain to Moses saying things like, "Why did you take us from Egypt? We had meat there!" A bit over the line? They conveniently forgot they were also slaves in Egypt.

Here's where it gets entertaining. Moses turns to God and says, "Why did you stick me with these people? What did I do to deserve this? I can't take them anymore! They are killing me with their stupid complaining. Please give someone else to help me...or if not, just kill me. Really, if I have ever found favor with you, kill me now." God doesn't relieve Moses of his duties, but does appoint elders from the tribes to help deal with the complaining people.

Then God says "Okay, guys, you want meat. I'll give you meat. More meat than you can stand." (Reminiscent of the age-old parental comment "You're bored? Oh, I'll give you something to do.") Then Moses - the same Moses who God used to bring plagues into Egypt and part the Red Sea - says "Meat? How are you possibly going to get enough meat to feed all these people? I don't think it can be done." Moses, how quickly you forget.

I found this funny because Moses has seen God at work. He has witnessed more than his share of wonders and miracles. He has already sat with God on the mountain and asked God to show His face. But Moses was only human and I guess the stress of the job got to him. Ministry leaders need vacations, too. At this point he doesn't even want to intercede for the people. Throw them to the dogs, Lord, they're driving me crazy. Moses is focused on himself as he gets frustrated about his own comfort and frustration. And he forgets the fact that God has done much greater wonders than flying in some quail.

I got tickled. And then quickly looked in the mirror to remind myself I can be the same way. I'm glad this story is in the Bible to remind me that Moses wasn't divine or perfect. He was a man, a fallen, broken man. Yet still used by God. Jesus showed us what we can be when we live fully abiding in God. We can become fully human, fully who He created us to be. As I make my way from only human to fully human, it is good to be reminded that even after seeing that burning bush or spending 40 days on the mountain with God, I'll still be dependent on Him.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


A family struggling through the holidays with a father with a broken arm
A prayer offered for a grieving mother and wife trusting God to give her comfort
A Spanish-speaking family almost left off the list
Numerous young children, racing out for hugs or staring at the strangers from living rooms smelling of smoke

11 turkeys, 11 boxes of canned goods in the truck at 8:30am
This morning Josh and I joined hundreds of volunteers to help Mission Arlington deliver 20,000 meals for Thanksgiving to needy families in the area. We joined 2 other families and went to two apartment complexes with a woman who has led bible studies with Mission Arlington in these complexes for 20 years.
We delivered a turkey and box of canned goods to families signed up with Mission Arlington.

Thankful for the opportunity to be hands and feet.

Thankful for the chance to touch a life with a sincere "Happy Thanksgiving" and food to meet a need. Thankful for the chance to pray with a woman who has found God to be her comfort in the midst of pain. Thankful to be able to bridge a language gap to make sure another family had food.

Thankful to join with an organization that is feeding the poor and proclaiming the Gospel.

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving for both our families, everyone here together. It was a wonderful time and a blessing to have our families here with us. This year we were able to be a part of our community before we move. We have so much to be thankful for.

Thankful for family. Thankful for friends. Thankful for life and new life. Thankful for love to give because He first loved us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Have we waited far too long now to surrender? Forgive us, O God, the years we failed to seek your face. Oh Lord, Your mercy turns us into grateful people. We can't seem to find the words, so take our lives that they might be enough.

This is the chorus of a song by Christy Nockels of Watermark. We sang it this Sunday at church as the service proclaimed being grateful. In children's church Josh and I got to help teach about the Feasts of Unleavened Bread, Harvest, and Booths, as celebrations the Lord told the Israelites to keep in order to remind them to be thankful for the things He had done.

Reminders to be thankful.

Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Always giving thanks for what? For blessings? For strength? For family? Yes, and more.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:10-14)

John Piper wrote a book called God is the Gospel. I haven't read it yet, but from the title, and from what Josh has told me about it, the premise is that the Good News is that we get God. It's not about heaven or hell, though they are real places. It's not about rewards and blessings. Ultimately the Good News is that we get God.

God's mercy must turn us into grateful people. And if we can't be grateful for being rescued from the dominion of darkness, then our thanksgiving will be based on circumstances. There is nothing wrong with being thankful for blessings - please give thanks! Let us also remember to be thankful for the Giver. Let us be thankful even if it seems no other good thing crosses our path. Let us be grateful that the mystery of the Gospel is that we can have relationship with God.

We can't seem to find the words, so take our lives that they might be enough.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Mall

I don't often go to the mall. But I did go yesterday. Here is my summary:

1. Standing in line in the ladies' restroom in Barnes and Noble was a little bit too much of "scary future reality" experience for me. Listening to a mother talk with her small child in the stall about poop, where it comes from, and what they are going to do with it, while changing the child into new clothes (I think) and watching the other child dancing around with paper towels, was more than I wanted to think about right now. Pregnant women still in the glow of having their first child shouldn't have to see public restroom reality with 2 children. Especially when that pregnant woman has a full bladder (making her impatient) and a heightened sense of smell (making this bathroom a highly unenjoyable place).

2. When trying on tops or dresses that slip on over your head, if you are met with resistance from the article of clothing trying to get it on, do not proceed to get it on. Inevitably, there will be more resistance trying to get it off, leading to a situation in which you might get pretty close to getting stuck and start worrying you will have to get the store attendant to help you out. If by some chance you do have this experience, don't repeat it.


My mother-in-law sent me an excerpt from the bible study she is doing. She said she thought of me and the place where I am with life changes right now. In the lesson Beth Moore talks about being at the edge of the place for which God had been preparing you. Beth asks: Are you scared now that you see the time of preparation coming to fulfillment? Are you still willing to move forward and take the land? She says that Joshua and Caleb were probably scared, too, but they trusted God was bigger than the giants (Numbers 13). "How God must grieve over two common approaches to His unfolding plan: those who want position without preparation and those who refuse to leave the comforts of preparation to take the position." (Beth Moore)

I get it. And I agree that we must see God as bigger than the giants and be willing to accept what He has, whether that's preparation or taking the land. So where do I see myself? Honestly I don't know anymore. Josh and I made it through these past 3 years of grad school by reminding ourselves that this was a time of preparation. We started grad school after spending a semester in Guatemala - Josh getting to use his architecture and me getting to love and enjoy an orphanage of girls. In a lot of ways we didn't want to be back in the States going to school and hearing about how much money we would be making once we got our degrees. We wanted to be back overseas somewhere. But we trucked on remembering "preparation!"

We still have more preparation. And that's hard. Maybe this move will just be a time of more preparation. Maybe we are standing on the edge of what God has been preparing us for. I don't know. We trust God and trust His plans. I just don't do well with waiting. Funny that waiting and trusting are often translated interchangeably in the Bible.

Maybe it's a little bit of both - preparation and fulfillment. And I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly trust in Jesus' name
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby Seefeldt is a....


This morning we had an amazing time getting to see little hands, little feet, a little face, and no penis in sight. After looking in several angles (since li'l Seef's legs were together) the sonogram tech felt pretty confident declaring this little bundle as a girl.

(Of course, we've heard of this happening to people who prepared for a girl only to have a little boy pop out. I guess not everything is 100%.)

We are pleased to share that Baby Kate - Kathryn Elizabeth Seefeldt - is healthy, moving around, with a sweet little face. We can't wait to get to hold her!

Here are Kate's little feet!And here is her face. Turn your head to the right. Her forehead is on the right of this picture and her chin toward the left. She's staring at you with her little nose in between!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

22 weeks update

*Warning: if you do not want to see pictures of my baby belly, skip this post!

Okay folks, the wait is almost over! Tomorrow morning is the sonogram to find out if Baby Seefeldt is a little boy or a little girl!
At 22 weeks Baby Seefeldt is about 11 inches long and weighs about 1 lb. His or her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he or she's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His or her eyes have formed, but his or her irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment.

Now is your chance to guess. Take a guess based on the way I'm carrying the baby, the way the stars are aligned, or just what you think we are having.
Pray for Baby Seefeldt to show it all tomorrow! =)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Broken In

That pair of boots with miles written all over them that no amount of polish will shine up. That pair of jeans with patches and holes that you wouldn’t throw away for anything because they fit just right. That baseball cap that you’ve worn and shaped and roughed-up to perfection. Maybe to someone else these things look worn-out, but you know they are just broken-in. Finally at the place where it fits your needs. Comfortable, soft, clearly yours.

As I was thinking about how to write about what’s going on with us right now, I almost titled this “worn-out” because in so many ways that’s how I feel. We’ve been on the road every weekend and I’m tired. I can’t make the time I want to for some of those little things, and many of the big ones, I want to do. The house stays a mess, my books stay unread. As I trudge along, I just see myself as worn-out.

But maybe that’s not how God sees me. Maybe I’m just getting broken-in. I’m certainly stretched in many ways, forcing me to surrender my own plans. This past week I’ve felt emotionally run over the washboard a few times. Yet I can see some of the things He has done in me as a wife, trusting my husband and being willing to say “okay” because my husband is leading us. The starch has come out of some of the plans I had begun formulating, even those created after having the previous ones ripped out. I find myself more tightly clinging to the promise that tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, and walking by that faith rather than sight.

Maybe while I look at myself and say “Girl, you are worn-out,” God looks at me and says with a smile, “No way. You are just getting broken-in. You are getting to how I want you to be.” Maybe He wants me with holes and patches, scuffs and tears. After all, those are the marks of use. Maybe to God I can be like a pair of boots, a pair of jeans, a baseball cap, so used and weathered that it calls to you from the closet saying “I’m here and you know I’ll fit. I won’t let you down.” Comfortable, soft, clearly His.

Here am I, Lord.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sarah's Last "Newcomer's"

Last night there were about 20 people meeting in a living room of one of the families from our church. Half of them were interested in "partnering" and joining Connect. Sarah and our pastor Mark worked together to share with them the vision and passion and organization of our church and how they can be apart. We then had some delicious pie and ice cream and talked for a while.

This is a brief overview of a "Newcomers Class" at Connect Church. It is actually much more exciting and interactive than my stale description.

Organizing and planning this event has been one of Sarah's many responsibilites of her job at our church and she has done an amazing job the past few years. This is an important first step in many families and individuals spiritual lives. Many who come to these classes haven't been to church in years and just showing up is a big deal. Sarah has done an amazing job of calling strangers and lovingly inviting, welcoming, and hosting them. She has helped direct the event to involve many from our church and give them the opportunity to initiate relationships and share the Gospel with people that have been led to our church. It has been amazing to see her use her personality, spirit, and gifts in teamwork with our church staff to join with Christ in pursuing and loving people for his Kingdom. Since we are moving soon, last night was her last class and she has been passing off her resposibilites to others. I just wanted to make sure yall knew how awesome of a job she did.

Soccer Mom

Baby Seefeldt has started kicking! Thursday afternoon I was sitting in supervision with my counseling classmates listening to one peer discuss a client she is seeing. I had my hand resting on my belly (in proper pregnant form, of course) when I felt a kick and actually saw my hand move. I of course gasped quietly and the guy sitting next to me asked "What did she just say about her client?" thinking I was reacting to the presentation. I said "I have no idea. My baby just kicked."

Josh finally got to feel some kicks on Sunday. Baby has continued to be pretty active. This morning when I was reading my Bible I was able to see my belly move with the kicks and jabs. It's so amazing.

Most of the time I really still can't believe I'm pregnant and having a baby. It's an amazing blessing and not something I take lightly.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Psalm 123

Psalm 123
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you whose throne is in heaven.

2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he shows us his mercy.

3 Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us,
for we have endured much contempt.

4 We have endured much ridicule from the proud,
much contempt from the arrogant.

I read this psalm one morning as I was sitting in my house, allowing the Lord to speak to me. I was thinking about the image of a maid watching the hand of her mistress, intently waiting for any move or indication. As I moved in my chair, I noticed my dog intently staring at me. He was sitting at my side, watching my every movement. If I shifted, he took notice. If I got up to use the restroom, he followed. If I stayed still with no movement for too long, he would put his face on my lap.

Now, I know my dog was not aware of the psalm. But this was such a read picture of what I had been reading. Sammy's whole life is based on mine. I am his master and he knows that. He depends on me for food, for exercise, for affection, for safety. That morning he was watching my every move to see if it was time to go for our morning walk yet. He was waiting for an indication that it was time to play. He was waiting for me because I meet his needs.

I don't do this so well with the Lord. I don't watch for every movement of His hands, though I want to. I very much want to see every place He is moving in my life. But I'm lazy or think I'm too busy with my things. I'm sure servants had plenty to do too, but they knew the importance of knowing exactly what was happening with their masters. If I truly believed the Lord was the provider and the One who met all my needs, how much more attentive to Him would I be?

O Lord, that I could be as attentive as my dog. That I would watch your hand closely, waiting for you to move. I know that you are the giver of life and the provider and sustainer of that life. I will wait for you, though not very well sometimes, because I have no live outside of you. You are the master of my life; let me look to you as such rather than ask you to keep up with my plans. Thank you for a picture so tangible and clear to remind me to watch you.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Holy Moments

Our church is studying Colossians in our small groups. We have discussion books that the small groups go through each week. While studying Colossians 1, we were discussing everything being made by Christ and for Christ (1:16). One of the questions was "How would you live each day if you really saw everything as being for Christ?"

I realized that I would see more things as sacred. Often the daily tasks, the errands, the to-do lists become mundane and seem to interfere with "ministry." But if I really think about everything in my life being for Jesus, then even the mundane becomes a holy moment.

This, of course, is easier to see when I'm serving in something that feels more like ministry. Washing dishes almost everyday for our team in Egypt can much more easily be seen as sacred than washing dishes in my house. As though serving a team of men and women and God is more valuable than serving just God and my husband in the role He has placed me in. I'd blame it on the idea that my spiritual gift is not service, except I know better than to try that kind of excuse.

Caedmon's Call (one of my favorite bands) has a song that captures this. She sings about the role of a mother at home with her kids, trying to find time to get to the to-do list. And she wonders "Could it be that everything is sacred and all this time everything I've dreamed has been right before my eyes?"

Brother Lawrence, who wrote amazingly challenging letters that were made into the book The Practice of the Presence of God, said he saw no difference between his time of dedicated prayer and his time washing dishes in the kitchen because he felt God's presence in each. I don't have the book in front of me, but I think he even said something about having to refrain from shouting out loud because he felt God so strongly.

I had a friend who once said that each moment is a holy moment because all we have is that moment.

Enjoy each moment today.
"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." Col. 1:16

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Matthew 14:6-14:
On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much 7that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." 9The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10and had John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. 13When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Immediately following this is the feeding of the 5,000. Our friend talked about the fact that Jesus had just received news that his close friend, fellow minister, and cousin had been brutally killed. He withdrew from everyone to get away and be alone. Yet the crowds wouldn't leave him alone and brought to him their needs. The last verse quoted above says that Jesus had compassion on them, put aside his own needs and desires, and met their needs. We talked about how he met physical needs - by feeding and healing, mental - by healing, and emotional - by having compassion for their hurts.

I have realized lately that I have been longing for compassion. Right now we are facing some of the biggest changes and transitions in our life. I am about to graduate with my Masters degree. I am pregnant with our first child. We are preparing to move because of a job. We are trying to buy a house. And, with the exception of the birth of our baby, we are doing this all possibly in December. Hello, holidays. It has been stressful to say the least. We are trying to find a house to buy long-distance. I don't get to just drive through neighborhoods to see what I think.

I'm also facing a lot of losses. We are losing the relationships we have built here - maybe not permanently, but in the way they have been in community here. We are losing our church. I will no longer be a student - though not a bad thing, something very different. Having a baby means the loss of many things too - things I gladly give up because we want a baby and want to be here with the baby. Both of the places where I have been doing my internship have basically offered me a job - I'm giving up those opportunities by moving. I'm also giving up my job for our church, a job that was created for me when we got here. I'm moving farther away from my parents. Not all the losses are negative, but they are all losses and need recognition.

I'm not trying to throw a pity-party. I know we have lots of blessings coming. I have just been longing for compassion. I have heard plenty of "There will be ministry opportunities in Kerrville. Kerrville is a mission field too. You'll be able to find a counseling job. You'll make new friends." and other well-meaning encouragement phrases. The intentions are good and I appreciate the reminder.

But I also want someone to just level with me and agree that packing up your life in the middle of a busy season of the year, and a time when you like to be with community, and moving off to a new place is difficult. I want someone to come to where I am and agree "yes, you will miss Target and the things you are used to." I want someone to say, "Man, that's a lot on your plate."

Then I thought about this passage and realized Jesus stands ready to offer me compassion. He knows my heart. He knows that I will follow wherever He leads, even if I'm not crazy about it. He knows that He has my heart, it's just that my emotions get in the way sometimes. He also knows that I just need some compassion and support right now. And I know from the Word that He will give that to me, no matter what.

Monday, November 03, 2008

19 week picture

Mommy and baby - bulging forward at 19 weeks!

I am now at 20 weeks - half-way there! All is well and baby is active! And baby Seefeldt was celebrating that the Longhorns lost on Saturday night...I could tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pilates and Baby

At the public library I found a Prenatal Pilates DVD workout. How cool is that? The instructor must be 8 months pregnant because her tummy is very big but the rest of her body is still looking toned. Inspiration! The workouts are 10 minutes each, so I can totally do one a day. Some of the exercises are modified to accommodate baby, support the back, and not lie on your stomach. And the instructor asks how baby is doing during the workout! Haha! The thighs and butt workout kicked my butt! I only thought I was in shape! =)

Baby Seefeldt is doing well. I'm 19 weeks along. One book said baby is about the size of a large mango. How cute...Mango Baby! Li'l Seef is moving around a bit now...especially when I'm sitting still counseling and trying to concentrate on what my client is saying. I don't feel movements all the time yet but I have been feeling little ones for a couple weeks now. I still feel good and have quite the healthy appetite! I have heard that baby can hear me now, so I try to sing a little and talk to baby when I'm at the house. I'll try to practice my Arabic out loud so that baby has a head-start on becoming trilingual.

I don't have an updated picture for this week. Maybe we'll take one tonight. Two more weeks until we will try to find out blue or pink!

Monday, October 27, 2008 of a kind

Proud to be a Texan...Yeehaw!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

17 week pictures

These were taken Wednesday night. The shirt I wore that night for our date really showed off the belly! It's kinda fun!
It's funny how in some shirts you can't be sure that I'm showing while in others there is no question. Baby is growing and making me work up an appetite! I get hungry a lot now and really feel it if I don't eat snacks during the day.

Okay, that's all for now.

Not a Good Surprise

Now that I finally got my camera cable and was able to upload my pictures, let me do some picture updating from last week.

We have a relationship with our landlord that is basically "you don't bother us and we won't bother you." We send the check every month and unless there is some problem, we don't talk to him. This relationship usually works fine. Until last week.

Now, I'm a girl who likes her share of good surprises. A good surprise could be something like "here's a flower, I was thinking of you" or "Surprise, I got you that book you've been wanting" or "Let's go out tonight" or a call from a friend or a visit from a loved one. A good surprise is not usually "Surprise, you are getting a new"

Yes, that is what happened to us. Expect no one told us we were getting a new roof. One morning around 7:30 we started hearing stomping and pounding on our roof and sure enough, there was a crew getting to work. Not only were we having the shingles replaced, but the entire roof - they tore up the plywood under the shingles so that when you opened our attic, you saw sky.

Again, not that we knew any of this was going to happen. We did not know that our back porch would be littered with shingle paper, wood scraps, nails, etc. We did not know that anything stored in the attic would be covered in debris. We did not know that this would greet us if we tried to open the front door:

As you can imagine, I was not a happy renter. Fortunately for our landlord, I let Josh call him and mention that we would have appreciated knowing about this little home improvement project before it was started. I think he mumbled some sort of apology and made some lame excuses. I was not satisfied.

But we now have a new roof.

The moral of this story is: replacing a roof is not a good surprise to throw on someone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No Front Porches

Last Wednesday evening Josh and I sat outside on our sidewalk in camping chairs to enjoy the nice weather and talk about our day. If it hadn't been for the mosquitoes, the evening would have been delicious. It was still nice to sit there and watch the world go by. An elderly man walked by on his evening walk around the neighborhood. He had his walking stick and a newspaper boy cap on his head and looked like the kind of neighbor you would like to sit and talk with. He stopped in front of our house to greet us and introduce himself. He made the comment that now that we've done away with front porches on houses everyone sits inside and has become isolated. We agreed and lamented the loss of visiting with neighbors. He told us where he lived, pleasantly took his leave, and resumed his walk.

Yesterday at the doctor's office I had to get blood taken as usual. It's always the same lady who takes my blood. But yesterday was different - not the lady, but the atmosphere. When I sat down, she didn't jump right on getting me ready. In fact, she was still taking her time doing paperwork that I sent Josh on back to work. As she was taking my blood, we heard an ad for PetSmart on the radio and she asked me if I had a pet, which launched us into a conversation that lasted well after my blood donation. I could tell she just wanted to talk about getting a dog, about her cousin's cat, about not liking cats in general. She just sat back (after patching me up, of course) and just talked with a thoughtful look on her face. Part of me wanted to get up and get going, I mean, my appointment was over. But I didn't right away because here was a chance to connect to person who just wanted company. Here was an opportunity to break from my normal pace of "go-go, stick to the schedule." Here was a chance to have a front porch again.

The emphasis on being efficient and pragmatic has left us without front porches. There is always something else to do. We put off things for a rainy day, only to find that rainy day has troubles of its own. So we say, "When the kids are grown..." or "When we retire we'll have more time to..." And until then we push ourselves to do as much as we can in a day.

I don't know what the answer is. I do the same thing. If I'm talking on the phone I try to do dishes or laundry at the same time so that I'm "getting something done." Even in a time when we have so much convenience - prepared meals, internet, video conference, washing machines, and more gadgets, we aren't relaxing any more than before. We are just doing more.

And another year goes by and we think "How long has it been since I've talked to so-and-so?"

I'd petition to bring back front porches if I thought that would help. But I think I have to start first with me. So if you get a phone call from me, even if I call while in the car driving somewhere, it's because I'm trying to change my world and maybe get to be a part of yours for a minute.

17 weeks and photoless

Hello! I had big plans to put some pictures up and update on the adventures from the weekend and pregnancy update pictures. But the camera cable is in Josh's bag at work with him, so I'll have to do it later.

Yesterday I had my second doctor's appointment. I am 17 weeks and everything looks good! We heard the heartbeat again and this time it took her no time at all to find it! Baby has grown! And I have too. =) We have set the date for the sonogram and hopefully for the revelation of whether in March we will be holding a little boy or a little girl. Of course, I have to wait a whole 'nother month to find out...sigh. But at least it will be before Thanksgiving.

I've been feeling pretty good. My back has started to hurt sometimes so some nights I don't sleep well. But other than that things are looking good. I've just been trying not to indulge too much in my sweet tooth. =)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy 26th Birthday to Josh today!

May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you!

Thank you for being a wonderful friend, husband,
and partner. I can't wait to see you as a wonderful father.

I love you!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My friend Song

If you read a previous post about baking a cake from scratch with Song, then you have already had a small introduction to my friend. Song is from China and has been here studying at UTA while her husband works in research there. She and I became friends this summer and have been able to spend time together about every other week.

I think it was in June that Song told me that she was pregnant. She had just found out that she was having a girl and she and her husband were very excited. A few weeks later she and I were hanging out and she asked me when I was going to have a baby. At that point I didn't know I was pregnant (I found out about 2 days later) and so I told her that I didn't know. She told me that she thinks being pregnant is a wonderful thing and she wanted me to be able to experience it. She said it is like when you want your single friends to be married so that they can experience how wonderful marriage is. It was very sweet to me to hear her talk like that and to wish something so special for me. And a few days later I found out I was pregnant.

Last week Song delivered her baby girl. We have talked on the phone a couple times since then and I can't wait to see her and meet her baby. It has been a blessing to know her during this time in both our lives and I know God led me to this friendship for many reasons.

Thank you, Song, for your friendship.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Book Recommendation

Friends recommended that I read A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. They said it is about women in Afghanistan. When I got home I picked up a copy at Half-Price and devoured the book in a few days.
I would recommend the book too. It is not as graphic or "shock-value" laden as The Kite Runner and gives a picture of what life might have been like, and may still be like, for many women in Afghanistan or other Middle Eastern countries.
For me, this story spurred me on even more to want to share the amazing truth of our God. There is so much that we can take for granted as women here in the States. And there is so much joy and hope that we can have as children of God. But life is dark, and one's fate is determined, for those who are not His children.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Reunion

While we were in Egypt Josh's parents took care of our dog Sammy for us. That was a huge blessing because he got to play with their dog Gracie, run around, and be with people who loved him. He also got spoiled and slept in the bed with Josh's aunt and uncle. Haha.

But that also meant that I was without my dog for about 4 weeks. They took him home with them Monday before we left for our trip on Friday and then we were gone for 2 weeks and then we couldn't go get him until the following weekend. I missed my dog! Reunited again!
I was kind of wondering if he would even want to go back home with us. At home he doesn't have a yard or any other dog to play with. But as we were packing up the truck to leave, he jumped in the front seat and wouldn't get out! We weren't even leaving yet, but he did not want to get left behind. He had to get him out of the truck several times.

So, I guess he missed us too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pregnancy update

I am now 15 weeks pregnant, which means that my first trimester nausea is over, I'm not AS tired as I used to be (though I am a little tired still), and I'm starting to show a wee bit. Other people don't notice yet, but I certainly do. Especially when Friday I stopped being able to button my pants! I've started doing the rubber band trick on my jeans and have bought a bella band or tummy sleeve for my dress pants. I am currently wearing the one pair of slacks that still button - because they were big on me to begin with!

One of the weirdest thing about pregnancy for me so far has been the food aversions. I haven't had major cravings (except for wanting mac 'n' cheese for lunch today...weird) but I have had a few aversions. For one, salad. Why salad? I love salad and before being pregnant was eating salads everyday. Now, making one at home makes me sick. I have been able to eat a few in a restaurant, though. Another weird aversion has been humus. Before pregnancy I would make big bowls of humus and eat it all the time. Now the thought of it makes me nauseous. Veggies are not high on the list of foods I enjoy right now, though I am able to eat stir-fry veggies. I dunno, it's weird.

As for the baby, supposedly he or she is about 4 inches, or about the size of an apple. And you can now tell if baby is a he or she. But we won't get to find out for probably another 4-5 weeks. They say that baby can also sense light now. It's amazing! To think of this little baby inside of me who can move, sense light, and is starting to move amniotic fluid through the respiratory tract. And I can't feel anything and many people can't even see the baby bump yet! It's all such a miracle!
There it is! That's my bump! Baby Seefeldt is growing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thoughts and Reflections

I've shared what we did. I've shared pictures to illustrate our adventures.

The thoughts and reflections about our trip are more complicated, though. As you can imagine, with everything that went on, there were a ton of thoughts, emotions, and dreams that went with it.

The Arab culture is a welcoming, hospitable culture. The people we met wanted to give us things or offer us something to show that they valued and welcomed us. I went over to a woman's apartment just to pick something up and she wanted to make me fresh mango juice just because I was there. Many times when we met people they would say "You are welcome here." The people long for relationship.

As a woman, there was not a time when I felt afraid. There were times I felt a bit uncomfortable and was glad my clothing was conservative. I know that it would be an adjustment for me and I would have to learn when to behave how.

We enjoyed our time and want to know more about Arab culture.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun in Egypt

Being in Egypt for 2 weeks means that we have lots of stories and did lots of things! There is no way I could put up everything! So here are some other fun, random (or just not otherwise categorized) things that happened...

On Sunday we went to a church service. Right before leaving for the service our trip leader told us that the pastor asked if someone from our team would sing a song for the service. Randy, our trip leader, thought of me and asked me to do so. One of the engineers agreed to accompany me on piano, so we hurriedly practiced Amazing Grace and went for it. It went well and I really enjoyed doing it. The pastor asked for us to sing again that night. I had even more fun at the night service, singing Here I am to Worship and really getting to worship.We had been dying to get in the water there in Alexandria. So here we are on our last night there finally putting our feet in the Mediterranean!After shopping and playing on the beach, we passed a barber shop that was still open at 12:15 am. So we decided to get Josh's hair cut. The guy did a great job and while we waited on Josh they served us hibiscus juice. How lovely! And the haircut and tip was a grand total of about $3.50.
Kelly and I really wanted to learn how to cook something Egyptian. So our new friend Nabila, the wife of one of that pastors, agreed to teach us how to make koshery, a very typical Egyptian dish. She loved getting to teach us and we loved learning!We fed the team one night and it was a big hit! Yay!

We met a woman who runs a beauty salon. She came over one day to hang out with the ladies and she did henna for us! She is such an artist! It was so fun!Here I am getting my pedicure . She really went after my feet! And it tickled!Definitely one of the best parts of the trip was building relationships with the team. We had a team of incredible people. We enjoyed spending time with everyone. I miss them and find myself wanting to call people up just to say "Hey, so what have you been up to today?"

Here are some memories we made with our teammates: