Thursday, February 27, 2014

In The Word: Hosea

Today, I'm linking up with Elise from Cheers Y'all and Kaityn from Wifessionals This is my first time linking up with a devotional, so if I'm not doing it correctly--I'm sorry!

I enjoyed this devotional.  I had never read Hosea before and I'm glad the first time I did was following this specific devotional.  Throughout the readings, the underlying message I got was: God is always there.  He has never left.

I have strayed.  I have sinned.  I have seen myself detailed in the ugly descriptions read about in Hosea far more than I'd like to admit.  He waits with anger at my sinfulness. He waits with sorrow at my sinfulness.  But He waits.  And that is beautiful to me because I'm human and I'll continue to mess up, but He has made a way for me.

A few points really stood out to me, so I'll highlight them here:

1."Being found isn't as beautiful if you don't admit you were once lost." (She Reads Truth)
     I'm not sure I had ever thought about this before, but wow.  That's quite a statement for those of us who have "always" grown up in church.  But I don't think you can really appreciate the purpose of God in your life if you don't recognize how far He has brought you.

2. Forgiveness is a hard pill for me to swallow.  It's something I struggle with constantly.  Why should I forgive you for treating me so poorly?  Because I'm called to.  That is also a hard pill to swallow, haha!  I'm called to forgive and love like the Lord did with the Israelites.  Ughh.  But I don't want to!  This really stood out: He's been in my shoes.  He's been burned before, much more than I have ever been, but he loved.  But if He can do it, I can do it, too.

3.  He has made a way for me to return to Him, through His son.  And I'm thanking the Lord for that today because the descriptions of Israel's wickedness (i.e. my sins) are definitely not pretty.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and I can't wait to see what others got out of it, too!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend Fun

We had a wonderful weekend!  I hope you did, too!

Friday evening, my cousin and her boyfriend (Aunt Amy and Uncle Tyler!) came to visit Hadley.  They hadn't seen her since Christmas! She's changed a lot since then, so they were surprised at how big she has gotten!

We didn't really do too much, just kind of hung out at the house Saturday.  (I know, we are so fun!...We've turned pretty boring since we had Hadley!)  David and Tyler went running that morning and Amy, Hadley, and I had some girl time.  It was so much fun!

Amy and Tyler are so good with Hadley.  They are going to make great parents one day!  (wink, wink, wink!)

Hadley has some new, soft, blocks that we played with in her room.  We stacked them and she would knock them down and just laugh and laugh!  It's probably the cutest thing ever.  I have a video, but can't figure out how to get it to download on here.  It will "download" but then won't play.  Anyone have any tips??

(This is pretty much how all of our pictures go these days...!)

Sunday was just a relaxing day.  We ran to Target for groceries.  Hadley wasn't content in her car seat so I held her.  Then she proceeded to puke all over the Target floor and I could find no one that worked there to mop it up so no one slipped.  Funny how that works, right?  So I dug through our diaper bag to see what I had and ended up wiping her puke up with a diaper.  Just keeping it real, folks!

Hope y'all have a great week, friends!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hadley 4 Months


You are 4 months old today!  You have officially "seen" your first olympics.  You love to watch the ice skaters and the skiers/snowboarders.  I don't know if it's all the white, or the flying colors, but something definitely catches your eye!

-You are 24 1/4 inches long (growth spurt!!) and you weigh 13 lbs. 8.5 oz.
-You moved up to size 2 diapers pretty quickly after our 3 month post.
-You still fit in your 3 month clothes, although they are starting to get snug.  No more 0-3 month clothes!  You've moved on to 3-6 month outfits.
-You are rolling over like a champ!  But only to one side.  We are working on rolling the other way!
-You grab for toys on your own now and you even have favorites! (Sophie the giraffe and your pink ball are on the top of your list, I think!)
-You still smile all the time.  It's the most beautiful smile!

-You have giggled a total of 3 times!  I'm not sure what makes you laugh, but once I find out, you better believe I'm going to do it all the time!
-You like to "talk" when you nurse.  It's so funny!
-You discovered your toes and like to help with diaper changes by holding them for me.
-You have started trying to hold your bottle at night.
-You still nurse about every 3 hours during the day.
-You are taking a bottle once during the night.  You take about 5-5 1/2 ounces.
-Since you can roll over now, we stopped swaddling you!  You knock your paci out of your mouth frequently so we battle that in the middle of the night now.  But for the most part you do really well.  A lot of the time you will be asleep on your tummy when I check on you!

-Watching Marley!  You think he's so funny and want to play with him!
-Standing up at your play table.
-Chewing on Sophie the Giraffe and playing with your pink ball
-Watching tv.  You stop crying immediately if you see it.
-Rolling over...and over...and over. :)
-Chewing on anything you can get your hands on...including your fingers!

-Taking your zantac.
-Rolling on to your belly and being unable to roll onto your back.
-Being unable to see mommy or daddy.
-starting to be wary of strangers

You are changing every day!  You are such a smart little girl and I love cheering you on.  You get so proud of yourself when you do something new!  Thank you for bringing such joy to my life.  You are so precious to me!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Lesson on Sharing

Well, I had a nice little post planned for Monday about all the fun we had this weekend. (A dinner out!  Just the two of us!  A birthday party and get-together with friends!  Breakfast with Grammy!)

(Before we went out to dinner!)

Hadley came down with a short-lived stomach bug Saturday night, small fever...I didn't think much of it.  After all, she was acting pretty normal.  Maybe a little fussier than normal and wanted to be held, but still playful, still eating.  And completely back to normal Sunday!

(Such a happy girl!)

I went to work Sunday night and felt great--until about 2:00 am.  And it quickly went downhill from there.  I left work early and David stayed home from work Monday to watch Hadley while I slept and tried to feel better.

(Brother watching over his sister!)

I'm glad to report that I'm feeling better today!  I'm going to take another day to rest, but thankfully I think this was just a 24 hour bug.  And so far, David is feeling great.

I'm so glad Hadley is learning (early) how to share!  But....we did sit down and talk about how it's okay to keep your germs to yourself! ;)


I'll be back tomorrow with Hadley's 4 month post.  How is she already for months old???!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday- Love Is In The Air!

This Five on Friday is all about L.O.V.E. !!  What else could it be about on Valentine's day?!

#TeamTeddy  Please go here to learn more about Teddy and his sweet family.  One of the hardest things about my job is knowing that some innocent babies are never going to get a chance at life.  Teddy has Menkes Syndrome, which currently does not have a cure.  Please help us to raise awareness so a cure can be found and babies like sweet Teddy have a chance to experience this life! What better way to show love today than to help spread the word about this disease and work to find a cure!

Hadley has been wearing Valentine's outfits all week!  Some we put on and took right off.  (I mean, hello, who wants to wear a dress when there's a raging snowstorm outside?!)  But the last one I monogrammed and appliqu├ęd for her!  Crafty momma right here!  And I love it paired with this incredibly cute jean skirt she received as a gift from my grandparents when they visited Canada!

Day 1

                                                                            Day 2

                                                                          Day 3

Day 4

                                                             Day 5- Valentine's Day!

I don't go crazy with Valentine's day for David.  He's a boy.  He's not that impressed with the holiday, haha!  Last year, I gave him beer.  And dressed it up like this.

 This year, since he was supposed to go to work Friday morning, I was going to make him muffins for breakfast and put them in this cute box with this cute homemade muffin card.  (I bet you couldn't tell it was homemade, ha!) luck would have it, the snow storm we got completely ruined that surprise.  However, I did make the muffins and he wasn't allowed to eat any until I presented them to him in the box. :)  Not really the surprise I was going for, but what can you do?!

I just think this is a beautiful translation of Romans 12:9-10.  It's a beautiful reminder of how we are supposed to really love each other.


These are the Valentine's Hadley "made" for our family members!  I think they turned out so darn cute!  It helps that she's pretty cute, too. (Craft found here.)

Front: hand up

 Front: hand down


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow Day!

**First of all, I want to take a minute to acknowledge all of the nurses, doctors, EMS, firefighters, etc that have to be out in this mess. While everyone is enjoying the the thought of no work or school, I'm worrying about my sweet friends who have to work and won't see their families for days now. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and know what a huge sacrifice they are making to keep you all safe and happy.

This is what we have been up to today!

David and I built some snowmen while Hadley took her morning nap!  Obviously they are tiger fans.

Hadley was not a fan of getting all bundled up, but I wasn't going to let her miss out on this snow storm!  We hardly ever get this much snow, and I'm sure she will thank me for this years down the road, ha!

Our backyard has a huge hill and became the neighborhood hot spot today!  David and I took a few turns, too. ;)

If you are having a snow day, I hope you are enjoying yours as much as we are enjoying ours!  If you're not in the middle of this crazy snow storm, I hope you are happy to have made it to the middle of the week!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Liebster Award

Lisa from Lisa Loves John nominated me for the Liebster Award!  From what I understand, it's not really an award, but more a way to let other bloggers get to know you better.  Lisa received the award from a few bloggers and I absolutely loved getting to know her through that post, so you should stop by her blog, too!  You won't be disappointed.  She's so sweet!

The rules say I need to give 11 facts about me, answer the 11 questions Lisa gave me, and nominate 5 other bloggers for the award.  So, let's get started!

1. I am the only one in my family with blonde hair and blue eyes!  I do share my blue eyes with my Granddaddy..and now my daughter, too!  (At least for now!  I'm hoping her baby blues stay that way!)


2. I'm an only child.  But I grew up with my cousins so I basically consider them my brother and sister.  They are even known as "Uncle Scott" and "Aunt Amy"!

3. I love to travel,  There is absolutely no way to rank my favorites, but skiing in Beaver Creek, Colorado, honeymooning in Hawaii, studying abroad in Brussels, Belgium,  and a trip to Italy with my grandmother are definitely up there.

4. I have two Bachelor degrees.  I received my Bachelor degree in Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education from Clemson University (Go Tigers!) and my Bachelor degree in Nursing from Queens University.  I do plan to go back to school and become a Nurse Practitioner at some point in the future.

5. I'm super Type-A!  Everything has a list, everything is color-coded, and everything is labeled.  I'm not even gonna lie, it thrills me to no end.  Sometimes I even add things to my lists that I've already done...just so I can mark it off.

6. Friends is my all-time, favorite show.  I just love it!  I've turned my cousin Amy on to it, who has turned her boyfriend Tyler on to it!  We all use Friends quotes daily. :)  In Amy's toast to me at my rehearsal dinner, she even quoted Joey!  And when David and I first got engaged, my mom got us lobsters with our engagement date on them because David is my "lobster".  They sit on the dresser in our bedroom. :)

7. I was in the hospital the night before I took the NCLEX (exam you have to pass in order to get your nursing license.).  I had salmonella poisoning.  I told them they couldn't admit me because I had a huge test I had to take the next morning!

8. I have had major jaw surgery.  I had severe TMJ with headaches and my jaw would lock- the whole shebang.  So in 2008, I had a Le Forte 1 osteotomy done to my upper jaw (The Le Fort I osteotomy involves separating the maxilla and the palate from the skull above the roots of the upper teeth through an incision inside the upper lip. The maxilla is fixed in its new position with titanium screws and plates.)  I can feel the screws on both sides of my nose and I can see the scar on the inside of my mouth! 


9. I have inherited my mom's love of Target.  It will probably be my financial downfall, ha!  I normally grab a Starbucks and walk around the store for about an hour.  It's amazing how I always find things I just "have to have". ;)  I do have to say though, that I've been pretty good about not over-spending lately!

10. I am deathly afraid of the ocean.  I love the beach, but can't stand the water!  On the east coast, our ocean water is murky and you can't see anything.  I'm petrified to think about what is swimming next to me and I don't even know it!  And David's cousins will go fishing and catch sharks of all sizes and I am not a fan.  In the bahamas and Hawaii, the water is crystal clear and while I'll venture into the water there, I still feel so uneasy because now I can see what is swimming towards me!  If something is going to attack, well, I'll see it's just awful to think about, haha!

11. Speaking of my hair, I am a serial hair twirler.  It started when I was a baby and at almost 27, I still do it.  My mom tried to get me to stop multiple times when I was little and my 12th grade teacher called me out during class one time for twirling my hair so much.  I can't help it.  I honestly don't know that I'm doing it.  I do it a lot more when I'm concentrating hard and when I'm tired.  And because of this, I constantly have split ends.  Whoops. 

The following are the questions Lisa asked:

1. How did you pick your blog name?
My last name is Bell and Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  Also, I talk a lot.  Sometimes too much... ;)  So as I tell our story, The Bell's are "ringing" so to speak.  I'm quite the poet, yes? :)

2. What is your favorite Starbucks drink?
Oh, do I have to pick one?!  I'll narrow it down to two.  My favorite coffee drink from Starbucks is a salted caramel white mocha...yum.  And my favorite non-coffee drink is a caramel apple spice.  Yum again.  I'm thanking the good Lord right now that Starbucks will be open tomorrow night when I work!

3. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate all the way!  I love chocolate, although I mostly like dark chocolate these days.  Dark chocolate is good for the heart.  Trust me, I'm a nurse. ;) 

4. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
It depends.  Before I had Hadley, if I was being quick, I could get through my whole routine in 30 minutes.  If I wasn't rushing, it took about an hour.  Now that my sweet girl is here, I haven't even thought about timing myself, ha!  I don't think I want to know the answer!  I don't usually even get a shower before her first nap of the day.

5. What is your dream vacation?
As I talked about above, I've been blessed to travel.  I've enjoyed all of my vacations, but I think it would be so much fun to take a month or two and backpack around Europe!

6. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
The last thing I watched on tv was Downton Abbey!!  Love that show!

7. Beach or mountains?
Oh y'all.  Like I said, I'm petrified of the ocean, but I love the beach.  But if I had to choose, I'm thinking mountains--specifically for skiing.  I haven't been in so many years and I'd love to go again!  

8. If you could have any super power for a day, what would it be?
I had to look up some different super powers because I just don't know that many and the ones I do know, I don't really care about having for a day.  Is that sad or what? Haha!  I didn't realize there were that many super powers out there.  But I like this one: biological manipulation--Ability to control all aspects of a living creature's biological make-up. This includes, but is not limited to, genetic alterations, physical distortion/augmentations, healing, disease, and biological functions.  How cool would it be to help those who are sick, diseased, etc. feel better?  I guess that's why I'm a nurse!

9. Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, coffee, coffee!  Coffee in the morning, coffee in the evening, coffee in the afternoon!  When I first got pregnant, the smell of coffee would send me running to the bathroom and it made me so incredibly sad that I couldn't have my beloved coffee anymore!  It was a joyous day when I realized I could have my coffee back.  I especially like the peppermint coffee mate I mix in... ;)

10. What is your dream job?
I am an incredibly blessed nurse and mother.  My dream job growing up was always to be a NICU nurse.  I worked hard and was blessed to land my dream job right out of college.  I love my sweet, little babies and I love helping them get a start in a world that is already hard for them.  Now that I'm a mommy, my dream job is to stay at home with her.  I want to teach her everything, I love watching her learn new things every day, and I don't want to miss all of her "firsts".  My husband is a wonderful man and provides for our family.  I have the ability to do both of my dream jobs.  I work PRN now in the NICU (1-2 nights a week, depending!) and the rest of the time I get to spend with my daughter.  Blessed is an understatement, really.

11. Essie or OPI?
I've been an OPI girl for a long time, but Essie has increasingly shown up on my radar!  They have so many colors and seems to go on so smooth.  Unfortunately, I can't wear nail polish in the NICU, so my nails go bare a lot of the time.  But when I do, Essie will be my go-to!

Here are my 11 questions:
  • Dogs or cats?
  • What is on the top of your bucket list?
  • What are your three favorite books?
  • What do you like most about yourself?
  • If you could interview anyone past or present, who and why?
  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • Yoga or zumba?
  • What is your favorite meal?
  • What do you wish to accomplish in the next year?
  • Favorite piece of clothing?
  • Favorite sport, to play or watch?

I'm nominating:

If you girls have already done this, then my apologies!  Also, if anyone else would like to do this, please let me know!  I'd love to tag you in this post as well as read your own 11 facts and answers to the questions!!y done this, then my apologies!  Also, if anyone else would like to do this, please let me know!  I'd love to tag you in this post as well as read your own 11 facts and answers to the questions!!