Sunday, September 30, 2007

Get your praise on...

Wednesday was a GREAT day! I MUST share! I didn't have time to get my thoughts together then, but I need to give credit where credit is due. I have to tell you about the way the Lord provided for our family this past week. We're praisin' God in the Duty home because he brought us through a trial these past few weeks and truly answered our prayers. Let me explain.

Two weeks ago I took a glucose test (which is required during pregnancy) so they could check my blood sugar and see if was at normal levels. They tend to increase when you are pregnant so everyone is required to do this. It takes about an hour, you have to drink some nasty orange soda (which is pure sugar) and then they take your blood. No big deal.

Well last week I got a call from the nurse. She said something to the effect of she was calling to tell me the results of my test. I fully expected to hear that I passed with flying colors, yada yada yada. I've never once failed those sorts of tests. I have great health, never had problems. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I've EVER failed a test period! So, when she said that my blood sugar was "elevated" I was beyond surprised. I needed to come in and take a 3 1/2 hour glucose test.

I went in the next day at 8 am, drank an even nastier drink (WAY more concentrated), thought I was going to throw up, got stuck about 8 times in my arms over the period of 3 1/2 hours and read, listened to my ipod, etc. while waiting this whole time. It was pretty brutal...Nothing to eat since 7 pm the night before, nasty orange syrup stuck in my throat and then having the smallest veins ever doesn't help when they have to stick you multiple times to even hit them. Not fun. Oh and need I mention I had massive bruises on my arms this whole week? Very attractive.

But I had to remind myself that this was for my health, the health of my baby and that I really have NO REASON WHATSOEVER to complain considering what other pregnant women go through that I have never experienced. Through both of my pregnancies I have thrown up ONCE. One time. No complaints here.

Gestational (pregnancy) diabetes is very common, yet I (initially) sort of freaked myself out and failed to turn to the Lord first. I wanted to research it on my own and see if it was something I could handle. I was very nervous for the baby. Some websites I read said that it could cause heart defects in babies and abnormalities. I was grieved, sad, upset. I was blaming myself.

After worrying my stomach into knots, Allen and I talked, prayed and just asked the Lord what He was trying to teach us through this and specifically asked that this test come back with no signs of high blood sugar AT ALL. After that and just entrusting the whole situation to the Lord, as I should have done from the beginning, I felt much more at peace. Whether or not I had it my way, I was at peace with whatever the Lord's plan was.

We asked our HOPE group to pray for good test results and had some other people praying for us too.

Last Saturday I was sitting on our front porch swing, just thinking, praying, meditating and I felt like the Lord spoke a solid word to me that the test would come back clear. That I had nothing to worry about. Suddenly I felt completely sure that the phone call I would receive from my doctor would give me that exact verdict.

On Wednesday we found out that out of the 6 tests taken the week before ALL SIX were under where they needed to be.

My blood sugar was LOW! I passed! PRAISE GOD!

I am so thankful that He heard our prayers and answered! PRAISE HIM and thank you for all who prayed. I hope you are as blessed by this as we are!

I may not have initially reacted as I should have to the trial I faced, but the Lord certainly used it to show me how I should respond in the future and deepened my faith and trust in Him through all this.

He was gracious to show me Himself despite myself.

As I am going through the Experiencing God study at church right now I started thinking about the many ways I experienced Him this week. Here goes:

My Hope: "guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

My Confidence: "For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth." Psalm 71:5

Him who is able to do more than all we ask or imagine: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20

The Author and Perfecter of my faith: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

I just had to share because I want this to be a place of transparency and above all I want to give God the glory for this and for everything He does in our lives.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

16 Month Update

Yes, Taylor Joy is past her 16 months and I haven't really done a big update in awhile so here goes.

Taylor Joy is SO full of FUN and ACTIVITY...She's just got to be the most active little girl there ever was.

Her favorite things are going outside to play (especially with Annie "Innie" our neighbor), crackers (which she lets me know every few minutes when she's hungry), stickers "stisters" and, randomly, the vacuum "apu". She thinks it's the greatest. Go figure. These are words that get said most often in our house. And when she wants them, they get said OVER and OVER and OVER again.

She is working on 3 new teeth right now, which will make 11 total. She's a real trooper when it comes to teething.

She has transitioned to her big girl bed (which is actually about 6 inches off the ground...) and she LOVES it! Anytime she sees it she runs and jumps on it and just laughs and bounces around. She thinks its the greatest. She has actually transitioned really well and we are down to ONE nap! Doesn't leave much time for my "alone time", which is often a nap because she and her brother are wearing me out, but it helps me to schedule our day better. Plus, I am learning that no time is my time. I don't even look forward to it anymore because as soon as I do, something comes up. I'd just rather not be disappointed.

Taylor Joy has a personality ALL her own...well, that's not really accurate, I think MUCH of her comedy is a result of Allen. This is her famous scrunchie face. I honestly have no idea where it just started happening one day and now we ask her to do because its so funny!

Here are some other funny things she has been doing:

-at HOPE group when the group starts laughing, it's like she pauses a minute to watch everyone laugh and then when its dying down she lets out this big fake, "HA HA HA!" It's pretty hilarious.

-she has been loving kisses lately and wants to kiss EVERYTHING. She wakes up in the morning and as soon as she notices the fan she says, "FAN!" to which I reply, "Yes, there's the fan." She then proceeds to say, "Hi, fan!" and make pucker noises like she wants to kiss it. I go ahead and take that opportunity to help myself to some. Today we watched a Baby Einstein video and every couple of minutes (in between dancing) she would run up to the TV and try to give it a kiss. And the cutest thing is when we are driving in the car I will just hear these random smoochy noises and look back. That little pumpkin is back there blowing me kisses! Ahhh... my heart just melts.

-putting Taylor Joy to bed is hands down my favorite part of the day. Bathtime is always a great time of splashing in the tub and then we allow some time for air drying, which is basically Taylor running around the room naked and getting some energy out. After getting jammies on we read a bible story and can I just tell you that this child LOVES her Bible! She is always asking for it. I just love that. We lay her in her bed, tuck her in and pray, which she usually initiates by saying "pay" and holding out her hand. We hold hands while we pray and most often she either kisses my hand or attempts to kiss my mouth DURING the prayer. Now, this is very distracting, but oh-so-cute. She then says sweet things like, "nigh, nigh" and "wub u" and I leave the room almost crying because it's so precious and I don't want to leave her.

I'm always thinking that this stage in her life is better than the last and I definitely think that now. I *want* to say that this is the cutest stage ever, but I realize that she still has a lot of stages to go!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Recipe Time!

Anytime I try something new that Allen RAVES over I just have to post it here. That usually means that all wives should be making this for their husbands and getting raves too.

The recipe came from Lynsey Kramer but I found some other versions online too. I adapted it just a touch and decided to use less butter.

Famous Ritz Chicken

3 eggs, beaten
2 cups of crushed Ritz crackers
1 lb. or so of chicken tenders
1/4 cup of stick butter
garlic salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs together in a shallow bowl. Use another shallow bowl for the crushed crackers. Add a generous amount of garlic salt and pepper to the crumbs (1/2 tsp. or so...I just eyed it). Dip tenders first in eggs, then in crackers, fully coating each tender. Place them in a greased baking pan side by side. Cut up the butter and place pieces of it around the chicken. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until they are golden.

I made a bunch so we ate them for leftovers and they were just as good reheated!


Friday, September 14, 2007


Just quickly wanted to let everyone know that it's for sure that we're having a BOY!

Little Beckett seems to be doing great. My belly measures just right and the doctor says he's a "good size" boy. I take that to mean he could be pretty big. :O

I spent 2 1/2 hours at the doctor taking glucose tests, checkup, sonogram and flu shot...yuck! Not my idea of fun (except the sonogram). I loved seeing that little babe!

Anyhow, here's a picture of the belly. 26 weeks down, less than 14 to go.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Step Back in Time

I was looking at some old footage of Taylor Joy and just had to reminisce with all of you. This was taken a year ago! She was 4 months old. What a cutie! Make sure and check out the eyebrow action she had going on. That's the funniest part!

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Our Weekend in Pictures

Me, Allen, Ryan and Cate at the Rehearsal Dinner

The four of us saying hi to Baby Beckett

Taylor Joy's hair in curlers, getting ready for her big flower girl debut

Could anyone else look this cute in curlers???

A family pic...

Taylor Joy munching on animal crackers and offering me a rose petal

I don't remember, but I'm sure she's saying, "Tay" upon seeing herself in the reflection

The four of us...can't believe Ryan is actually married!

On Labor Day we took Taylor Joy to the zoo

She absolutely loved giving the animals "bites". She kept saying, "bite, bite" to give them more bites...

She had no fears when it came to feeding them. At some points we would see nothing but her wrist and the rest of her hand in its mouth...

You can see my belly in this picture!

Sorry there's SO many pictures, but I really did narrow it down. We had a wonderful weekend celebrating with friends and definitely wouldn't have been able to do it without Aunt B, who nannied Taylor the whole time. What a blessing you are, sister! I love you and Taylor Joy ADORES you!

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