Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"For this Child I have Prayed." - 1 Samuel 1:27

Meet "Baby Lew"! This little blessing belongs to our great friends, Mike and Stephanie Lewis. 1 Samuel 1:27 says "For this Child, I have prayed". IS THIS EVER TRUE!

Mike and Steph belong to our "family of 8 plus 3 1/2". Better translated to Bryan and Jen Stiverson, Mike and Megan Blicher, Mike and Stephanie Lewis, Mike and Jenny DeAngelis PLUS Ellie and Jason Stiverson, Isaiah DeAngelis and Baby Lew on the way. Our small group family is growing!

I am so excited about this baby for SO many reasons. First, I know that Mike and Steph are going to raise this child in God's eyes and to do His work. Secondly, Steph was one of my BIGGEST cheerleaders when I was pregnant with Isaiah. At some point we were assigned prayer partners and Steph became my warrior. She would text me EVERY morning to lift me up in prayer, especially towards the end of my pregnancy when I was barely making it through school days without a melt down. God always gave her the perfect things to say to me. She was a blessing and I let her know it! As we began a new adventure in our small group and started to expand we did prayer partners as couples. I think everyone knew that the Lewis' and DeAngelis' were going to stick together. hahahaha (probably not the most "christian" thing to do) At the time Mike and I asked for a healthy delivery and baby along with financial stability so that I could stay home. It was amazing. God was so tangible and real. It was like the Lewis' had a phone line straight to God! Isaiah and mommy were healthy on his "birth" day and it was like the Lewis' had God plant a money tree in our back yard. Now we are not wealthy by any means but Mike did receive a raise and two bonus checks and amazingly (our budget that does not work on paper) comes together every month and we stay comfortable. GOD IS GOOD! Around this time the Lewis' decided to try and start a family. Steph prepared herself for a long road because of some pre-existing issues and family history. Mike and I prayed and prayed that God would bless them with the joy that we had found. 4 months later......BABY ON THE WAY! I will always remember the morning I got the texted picture of the stick. We were in Memphis and I was exhausted but I jumped out of bed and told Mike and ran downstairs to tell my mom. We were stoked. A day later Steph was on her way to the ER with cramps and low HCG levels. The doctors prepared her for the worst (miscarriage or tubal pregnancy). My heart was breaking for her and Mike. We were so far away and all I wanted to do was hug my sweet friend. But all I could do was fall on my knees and pray for this sweet family.
Christmas morning she got the best news....BABY LEW IS ALIVE! The heart rate was low so we joined in prayer again. After several weeks and lots of ups and downs we are happy to say that BABY LEW is THRIVING! REJOICE FOR HE IS GOOD!

When I think of Stephanie my heart smiles. She is a true warrior and champion in my life. She is going to be the most amazing mother to this precious child and I can't wait to keep "doing life" with her. CONGRATS MIKE AND STEPHANIE. WE LOVE YOU!


Have you ever taken the time to stop and watch a sunset? I have watched several in my life and NONE compared to the one I shared this weekend with my husband, son and heavenly Father.
Life has been a whirlwind for us lately. Go, go, go, go, go! We forget to stop and rest until one of us (usually me) has a breakdown. I woke up sick Friday, probably my bodies way of saying..."hey, you, slow it down and rest"! So that's just what I did. A day on the couch, RESTING! I felt much better Saturday so when Mike came home around 3 we decided to head out to Pinellas (mainly to pick up an elyptical machine we found). When we left the ladies house it was nearing sunset and, on a whim, we decided to shoot over to the beach. WHAT A PERFECTLY TIMED OPPORTUNITY. Isaiah was amazing. He loved the water, the waves and didn't even mind the sand. He is DEFINITELY our child (beach bums for life). I sat and tried to watch the sunset through my son's eyes. As if I was seeing it for the first time. MAGICAL!

This is my FAVORITE picture from the day. It truly captured the moment for me. It brings peace and joy to my heart!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Are you there God? It's me, Jenny!

Did you read these books as a young girl? The actual book has nothing to do with this post, the title just reminded me of the day I had.
The past few months I have really been praying about my greater purpose in life. I know there is something else I am meant to do, but I don't know what it is. Mike and I are involved in a small group study that will hopefully guide us in that direction. Until then, we wait!
Most days I feel so blessed and lucky to be living this life. I am fulfilling my dream of being a stay at home mom. I get to spend every hour with my son and watch him as he learns and explores this new world. Most days this makes me very happy....then there are days like today. It didn't matter what I did he just screamed and screamed and screamed. There was nothing wrong with him (other than being tired and fighting his nap) but it led to HOURS of a tantrum. In my last bible study we talked about not waiting until the last minute to ask for God's help. Walk hand in hand with him all day and tell him your desires. Of course when a 4 month old is SCREAMING at you, you tend to forget this. So in a desperated plea I begged God to help me calm this child. Once he finally fell asleep I called Mike and completely unloaded. Tears and all. When I hung up the phone I expected to feel better, but I felt worse. Was I really complaining about this child that I loved before I even knew him? The one I have wanted for years and years? So, instead of cleaning, I decided to nose around on some blogs. I ended up on a blog of a family I don't even know. I really don't even know how I got there. But there I was reading a young mom's entry about how stressed and tired and frazzled and negative she had been with the struggles of a newborn. Her husband kindly pointed these things out to her and she reminded herself, and me, that we need to count our blessings. Focus on the positive. Positive thoughts are contagious.
Then began the water works. There HE was....GOD! Answering my prayer. Did he stop my baby from crying? NO! But he gave me a little tap on the shoulder (thanks to internet) and reminded me that HE hears me and HE is listening. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, JENNY! FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE, JENNY! WALK HAND IN HAND WITH ME THROUGH THE DAY, JENNY! I LOVE YOU, JENNY! YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER!
NOW....I will go do the laundry because I am thankful we have clothes to wash! I will go clean the dishes because that means we had food to eat. I will go wipe Isaiah's tears becuase I have a beautiful, healthy, (most days happy) son. Then, I will say my prayers and know that my Father hears me!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Family News!

What an exciting few months our family has had. I thought I would take some time and share the headliners!
My brother, aka Uncle Bubba, joined the army and is loving life! He graduated in the top ten percent of his class from boot camp and then went on to school in Oklahoma. He is now stationed in El Paso, Texas. I am so proud of him and the path he has chosen in life. Isaiah will be lucky to have him as a role model and mentor one day. Here is a picture of Private First Class James Matthew Lawrence!
Next up was the wedding of the year! My borther in law David married his best friend Kristen in October. Krissy was a BEAUTIFUL bride and David looked so handsome. I wish we could have been there to celebrate their special day but we had a little bundle on the way and doc said no traveling for the mommy to be!
Just DAYS before Isaiah was born my sister in law, Ashley, got engaged in Jamaica. She loves Nick so much and he is so good to her. They have planned their wedding for March 2012. What an exciting time this is in their lives. I can't wait to see the wedding gown she picks. She will be absolutely stunning!
To round off October we welcomed Mr. Isaiah into the world. Here is one of our family shots with the amazing Beth Carter (he was 2 weeks old).
Our newest family news happened this weekend. My mother-in-law, aka Gigi, married Pete! With all the excitement of the year they decided to exchange vows in a private ceremony and have a celebration with family and friends later. So, after a ski trip in Salt Lake City they headed off to Vegas for a wedding. What an exciting day this must have been for them. Pete makes Gina so happy.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our family. What an amazing and blessed year God has given us. I can't wait to see what he has in store next!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Time Flies.....

WHEN YOU'RE HAVING FUN! I love my new life as a stay at home mom. The days are busy and full but for some reason I never feel like I have accomplished much. So goes life with a newborn. Isaiah is growing so fast I don't even notice it until I go back in my archive of pictures (thank goodness for camera phones!) He now weighs about 15 pounds and his personality is shining! His newest (and my favorite develeopment) is his laugh. It is music to my ears. It is the cutest most perfect sound I have EVER heard. It makes my heart smile every time! This week he rolled over from front to back AND from back to front. I was super impressed and I KNOW he is the most talented 3 month old around. hahahaha His favorite story is "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and he has started to take a liking to "Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do you See". He has become a thumb/fist sucker which is fine with me if it helps him go back to sleep on his own. When he was sleeping in our room (in his bassinet) he was up to six hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. We moved him to his big crib around 11-12 weeks and he is now back to the three hour cycle. I know it's best to have him in there but it sure makes for a tired mommy (especially since he spoiled me so early on).
What's been going on with the grown ups? Well I finally decided it was time for me to get out of the house and connect (and get some adult conversation in my life). So....2 weeks ago my friends Tonya and Beth invited me to our local MOPS (mother's of preschoolers) group. I went, I fell in love, I signed up! It is so awesome to be surrounded by other Christian mom's going through the same struggles I will and do face. Every other week a bible study is led by Gwen Diaz (if you don't know who she her) She is amazing and talented and super and spiritual and fabulous and fun and sincere (i could go on and on). Michael and I are doing a marriage study with our family of 8 + 3 1/2 (YES, someone is expecting!!!!!). We haven't really gotten to the meat of the study yet but I am really looking forward to it. We have also joined in with our local Tres Dias committee and are getting ready for a walk in April. I can't wait to see what God does in the lives of these men and women. We are sponsoring our dear friends, the Stiversons, and I just know IT WILL BE AMAZING! Michael turned 30 at the end of January and he is playing softball on our church league. My friend Mary has recently become a "Lakeland Housewife". I am excited because now I have someone to walk and talk with. We are looking forward to breaking out our strollers and hitting the pavement (her "baby" lilly is white and furry and her short four legs can't keep up so she travels in style in her doggy stroller).
Well I am running out of time but I have tons more to tell about. Hopefully I can get back sooner than later but I will leave you with some of my favorite pics from the last three months!
This is Isaiah at 2 weeks old heading to church for the second time.
16 days old and napping in his crib. HE WAS SO TINY!
Two months old an
d headed out for family date night (Yogurt Mountain and a red box movie)!
Look who found his thumb!
This picture has become a FAVORITE in the DeAngelis family. My sister-in-law uses it as therapy when she has a bad day at work. LOVE IT!!!!