Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Reading List for 2010

For Entertainment:
1. The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver
2. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
3. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neal Hurston
4. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
5. Kindred - Octavia Butler
6. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
7. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
8. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
9. The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
10. House at Riverton - Kate Morton (If I like The Forgotten Garden)
11. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

Educational/spiritual growth:
1. On Becoming Babywise - Ezzo
2. The True Vine - Andrew Murray
3. Shepherding a Child's Heart - Tedd Tripp
4. Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus - Nancy Guthrie (This will be my advent 2010 devo)

Books I intend to complete before 2010:
1. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
2. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Drew and Catherine gave me The Lacuna for Christmas so it's number one on the list for 2010. Now, I realize that I'm having a baby in March, so even finishing one book a month may be a stretch this coming year. A goal is just that - a goal. Maybe I can read a whole lot in January and February and then spread the rest out.





Sunday, December 20, 2009

White Chili Recipe

This is my favorite white chili recipe ever!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion
1-1/2 tsp garlic powder (I use fresh minced garlic)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cans (15 1/2 oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz.) chopped green chilis
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately.
Yield: 7 servings

*** I usually roast chicken breasts on the bone the night before then de-bone and cut into chunks before I start cooking. I like the chicken best that way.

This recipe was given to me when I first moved to Kentucky and I love it!!! Hope you enjoy it too!

Grady at 27 weeks!!!!








Isn't he adorable????!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Help! I Am So Indecisive!

Here are two options I'm thinking of for the bedding in Grady's room...

I've started this quilt and really like it, but I realize too that if you stare at it too long, you might have a seizure, because it's so busy. Lots going on with the patterns...


I've also thought that maybe I should scratch that whole color scheme and go a totally different route...like the pattern of the quilt that shown on this blog post of Crazy Mom Quilts, only made with the material shown below...plus the white.















Do you like the blues above or blues on the right better? I just took one of the patterns out entirely in the right hand picture. I don't want anything too babyish, because I want it to last for a while in his room. But I don't want it too grown up or girly either...Opinions???

I really want to paint the room a pale, pale blue (paler than any blues shown) and have a white tree like this painted on the wall. I think I could do that with either of these quilts. Don't you?

Any opinions are welcome...

Erin

Thursday, December 10, 2009

26 weeks

Wow! I can't believe I'm 26 weeks along now...and I feel huge! The crazy part is that Grady and I will be growing for another approximately 14 weeks. I have no idea how my belly can grow any more.

Here is the most recent picture of my belly.
A ton of things have happened since the last time I posted. Jon and I have moved over to Lburg and we are totally enjoying our new house. It has a garage, which may not seem like a big deal to those of you in Louisiana, but in Kentucky-where I woke up to 19 degrees this morning-it was amazing!

We've pretty much got the house all set up. Jon isn't one to sit around and slowly get stuff unpacked and put away...we worked our tales off for about 3 days. Ok ok...he worked much harder than I did...but I did a whole lot of directing. The only room that isn't set up is Grady's room. I wish I had everything all ready. I realize that's impossible and I need to just chill out. I'm just ready to see it all put together. My current mental block is the bedding...really...I'm just not sure what I want the room to look like all put together. The only thing I know for certain is that we are being given a crib and chest from my parents. The furniture is black wood, so I need to run with that. Any ideas????

I had my gestational diabetes test on Monday and was told that if I failed I should here something by Thursday or Friday...so far, no news, so that's good news! As much as I crave sweets right now, I'm convinced that Grady is going to come out expecting chocalate milk when I nurse him. I'm to the point where I am so ready to meet the little guy. I can't wait to see what he looks like and whose eyes, hair, fingers, toes, cheekbones, and lips he has. I'm taken aback daily at God's workmanship in forming a human being. He's kicking and hiccupping and poking me throughout the day. He's bothered when I put pressure on my belly (if I sit my harm on it, or if I rest the laptop or a book on it, or scoot in too close to my desk at work). He gives a big kick to whatever is cramping his style and room.

I've started having some Braxton Hicks contractions (harmless and really not painful). Jon is way more freaked out by them than I am. He's basically banned me to the couch for the past few evenings. He's cooked dinner and cleaned up and taken care of Hayes. Don't hear me complaining - it's just that I am still totally capable of taking care of things around the house and I feel a little guilty watching him do it all. I've heard from several friends that I should thank my lucky stars and enjoy it while I can...pretty soon, I may not have a choice. And soon after that I'll wish I had time for housekeeping.

And we've decorated for Christmas. Here are the pics! The ladder is my fave!



















Merry Christmas everyone!

Erin

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We've Relocated!!!

For 2 years and 9 months I've wondered what it would be like to live in the same town as where our real life was happening. You see, we moved to KY that long ago and found jobs in Lexington...all of which fell together perfectly in a matter of about 40 days. We started praying about moving in the beginning of January 2007 and both had jobs by mid February and closed on our first house in mid March 2007. It is still remarkable to look back and see God's hand guiding our steps throughout this journey...down to which side of town we bought our house. The funny thing is that all the doors opened for us to buy a house in Lexington and have jobs in Lexington, but we were called to be at a church 35 minutes away.

We knew right away that we wanted to go to Hope Community Church which is quite a drive, but it was totally worth it! We started volunteering with the student ministry in December 2007 and have been working with them since. Jon was offered the job as our new student pastor in June of this year and we knew that we wanted to sell our house and move closer to the church. It's been such an amazing journey of next obedient steps with the Lord.

We continue to see God's faithfulness to us on a daily basis. What's so great is that He's not faithful simply in return for our good deeds, but because faithfulness is His nature. God is good. We know his love more every day and have been so blessed to walk in His ways through all of this journey.

All that to say, we loved living in Lexington. There was a purpose behind us being there and not here immediately. And I am so excited for this part of our life...where we live in the same town as our life is happening.

I'm just so thankful for God's provision in our lives. I'm so thankful for God's timing. I'm so thankful for Jon - a husband who seeks the Lord for every step along the way and trusts God fully even when it doesn't seem to make sense.

I hope you're all doing well!

Erin

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Little Boy Named Grady

We found out for sure that we are having a little boy in March. His name will be Grady Daniel after my two grandfathers. My dad's dad is Grady Byron Parker. He's a retired preacher and is a man devoted whole-heartedly to Jesus. My mom's dad was William Daniel White, Jr. He was also an amazing man of God. He loved the Lord and his family more than any man I've ever known. I am truly privileged to have know him. We called them both Pawpaw and if distinction from one another was necessary, we always just used their last names, as in "Pawpaw Parker" or "Pawpaw White." Yes, we were are creative bunch! Anyway...all this to say, both of my granddads were and still are amazing men who have strived to honor God with their lives. I pray that Grady is a boy, young man and man who honors God with his entire life. I pray that his testimony is this: "I have known and loved Jesus for as long as I can remember."

Grady means "Child of Nobility" and Daniel means "God is my Judge." I am praying that our little man embodies the meaning of his name on many levels. I pray that he conducts himself in manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ - honorable and noble. I pray that he never has to think too hard about who he'd rather please - man or God. I pray that his little life is pleasing to the Lord even now...as I know it is!

I'm feeling the little dude roll around, kick and punch me throughout the day now. I've never felt anything so cool. It is the most reassuring feeling too! I love feeling him move around in my belly!

Here is an updated belly picture! I think I've grown a lot since I last posted.



My visit with Mom and Trace was really really good. Here is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend. I think Trace was definitely the cutest cowboy in Kentucky!


Mom and Trace were here over the Halloween weekend, and we had a fun, full weekend. They came in on Saturday and we went to trunk of treats with our church. Then to church on Sunday. After church we went to eat and then Jon rode Trace around the church land on the four wheeler...then we went to my friend Barbara's farm to ride horses.

Then after that, we rushed back to my house and cleaned for someone who was coming to see the house! I've got to say I wasn't really excited about this since I feel like so many people have come to see it and no one has made an offer. I felt like we were doing a lot of work for nothing.

Well, we now have a contract on the house!!! We will be closing on November 30!!! I am so excited. I will most definitely miss this house and our neighbors but it is going to be so good to live in the burg where our life really happens. We are going to be renting for a while and have found seriously the perfect house. It even has huge fenced in yard for Hayes.

So that's all the news for now. Soon I'll be able to say we've officially moved and I've started setting up little Grady's room! Fun times!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cajun Food and my Ever-Growing Belly

Last week Jon and I made a trip down to Baton Rouge for the first time in about 18 months. It's crazy that it's been that long! Our primary motivation for getting down there was for a good friend of ours' ordination into the ministry. However, we also had the underlying motive of good times with friends who are like family to us. I even got to visit with my mom for a few minutes, as she passed through Baton Rouge. She's coming up on the 31st and I'm so pumped to spend a few days with her.

We had the best time with all our old friends and their children. I have to say that I was most excited to finally meet baby Cole, my friend Tori's little boy. He's such a great baby! I fell totally in love!

This is a picture of him in his LSU cape that Brad and Jon dressed him in for dinner one night. Isn't he adorable?!




I'm ashamed to say that I did not take one picture the whole time with friends. Ridiculous! I've got to get better about that by the time this baby comes.

On the way down to BR we spent the night with my Mamaw in Mississippi. I got to visit with my sister Amy and her daughter Bella who absolutely lights up a room. She loves her uncle Jon...

Bella turned 2 in August, and I wish so badly that I could be around her and my nephew Trace more often. They are growing up so fast!

Bella taught Jon everything she knows about feeding babies...

So back to being in Louisiana...I was asked several times if it was weird being in Baton Rouge after being gone for so long. This is my answer after a few days of unpacking (literally and figuratively): I absolutely loved being there. I have the most wonderful friends who are absolutely family to me and to Jon. So much of me would like to be back there...however, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are where we are supposed to be. Our life over the past 2+ years has been a series of small (yet very big) obedient steps. So, no, it wasn't strange to be back there. It felt like a visit with great friends rather than a return home. My home is with Jon...and we happen to be in Kentucky for this time. Yes, I miss my friends immensely, and yes would love to have stayed longer. But my life is in KY...and I love it!

To all of you who hosted us while on our mini vacation: Thanks! We loved every second of it.

As for the baby, I am now 19 weeks along in my pregnancy and my belly has grown so much over the past 8 or 9 days. I'm not sure I can attribute all the growth to the baby...I'm certain that some of it is due to the large amounts of cajun food I consumed while down south. At least I have a really good excuse for the gain. I'm still getting used to a bigger belly being a good thing.
Next Thursday we will find out if our little baby is a boy or girl!

~Erin

Thursday, October 8, 2009

16 Weeks

So we're gonna have a baby! We found out in July that we are expecting a baby March 19. Things are going really well thus far. I didn't have morning sickness, which from what I understand is a minor miracle.

We had a doctor's appointment last week and all went well. Weight gain is good. Baby's heart rate is good. My blood pressure is good. Our next appointment is on October 29th and that's when we'll find out what we're having!!!!
This a picture of my belly from earlier this week. Sorry the picture doesn't include my head...it hasn't changed much.

We are so ready to meet this little baby, and we still have 5 months to go. Life will never be the same; it will be forever better.

Erin

4 Years and Counting...

Jon and I were married four years ago today! It has been an interesting and wonderful journey so far. I'm so thankful for God's blessing in our life.

Here are a few reasons why I adore Jonathan Lloyd Bailes:
Jon loves Jesus and serves Him with all his heart.
He's funny, silly and makes me laugh all the time.
Jon is Jon no matter who is looking.
He is a servant. He will never ask anyone to do something he's not willing do himself.
Jon is a neat freak and has made more of one out of me.
He's a hard worker.
He is going to be an incredible father.
Jon loves his job as a youth pastor...and is one of the best pastors in all the land.
He's a loyal friend.
He can't keep a secret from me...gives me my gifts early just because he can't stand it.
He loves our dog Hayes like he was a real boy.
**He calls me his "little bitty tiny little B"...even though I'm becoming less tiny by the day.
Jon makes me less uptight about all things concerning life.

Just wanted to put all those out there for your reading pleasure. By the way, just avoid any confusion, "B" is our nickname for each other. We can't remember how it started...probably a shortened version of "baby."

I promise to post an update on the baby-growing progress soon. I need to take some belly pictures tonight.

Happy Anniversary B! I love you and I can't wait!