Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Frank the Tank

Isaac had his one month appointment today! He's actually 6 weeks old, but the appt. had to be pushed back because our doctor was sick. So, we had it today and FINALLY found out how much this little guy has packed on. He is in the 90% for head size (dude has a big head!), and healthy as can be and now weighs 11 lbs 8 oz!!! Our pediatrician referred to him as 'Frank the Tank' ;)

With his first month appointment came his first shot :(. Mom cried! I wasn't going to look at the needle 'cause I hate needles and get faint at the sight of them, but then thought, "I need to see what they're doing to my child!", and looked...and cried! I looked right as she jammed it in his little thigh. :*( Poor thing jumped a mile off the table! I was telling a friend later that I had watched and her reply was, "Rookie mistake :)."

He concked out after his appointment, and slept another 2 hours!! Poor guy had a busy day and is exhausted, fast asleep, snoring with his hands above his head :). So sweet.

Here's a pic from this evening after some playtime with daddy. Like father, like son...I have a feeling one of his first words will be LAPTOP.





Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am. Are you?

cute video. great message.

ok, so i was writing you a reply and my computer went on the fritz (actually firefox did)!!! mean facebook!!!

let's try again, shall we?

...your grandpa: PRAYED! keep us posted on how he's doing.

please pray for alan's uncle-he had an MRI today, along with other tests, and a first-time-ever type of biopsy to determine if a spot on his liver is cancerous. if it is, then all they can do is chemo back home to keep him comfortable. otherwise, if it's not, then they can start treatments which will be up at Mayo and take approx. 5-6weeks, with a 20% survival rate...if all goes well, then they'd do surgery to remove esophagus/stomach and after that's survival is a couple years. So, please pray that his test today comes back clear on the liver (we should find out tomorrow or by the end of the week), and that he'd survive treatments, and for wisdom for the doctors, along with patience for the family and John.

as for me...frustrated. but trying to be patient. i know it wasn't anyone's fault this time that it got pushed back again, and i know it's only one more week, but there's this part of me that is just really anxious to know what our future holds: does it mean staying here? does it mean quitting curves and actually being able to afford things again? does it mean moving and job hunting

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gilmore Girls Video

Jodie asked me to post this.


Thank You Matt, Nate & Gabe...

Thank  you again for my mobile. I LOVE to watch it when I'm in my swing!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Spy...

What's out of place in this picture?

Give up? Second shelf...see the silver coffee mug? I've always loved coffee. It stems back from my days on the high school flag squad when we'd have early morning practice and my mom would make me a cappuccino each brisk fall morning for my drive to school. Then it was the sweet aroma from my caffeteria styrofoam mug that a dear friend would provide for me with marshmallows floating on top, ready at my seat for my 8am theory class with Mrs. Pirtle at SCC. Finally, my love for coffee grew while, as a trainer at Curves, I was the morning opener and my alarm which once went off at 7am began to alert me to awaken at 4:30am. I would stand in the middle of the circuit for the first 30min of work, chatting with the morning crew of ladies while sipping my sweet french vanilla filled thermal mug.

Yes, I love coffee. But it wasn't till having a child that I realized I NEED coffee!! It doesn't even have to be caffinated-just the sweet aroma of the french vanilla, or vanilla caramel, or hazelnut (I actually like coffee with my creamer, not the other way around ;), mixed with the freshness of the grinded coffee beans is enough these days to alert my senses. This morning was no exception, so as I was playing on the floor with Isaac during his 'play-time/back and belly time' I was sipping my sweet drink and needed a place to set it for a moment. It wasn't until this afternoon, that while rocking him, I noticed it was still sitting there, on that second shelf, half sipped, but enough to give me my morning jolt ;)

On Suffering

I've noticed lately that my 'quiet time' of the day isn't necessarily during the day when I'm rocking Isaac and reading-it's become more apparent to me that I love the peaceful stillness of the morning hour after I feed him around 4/5am. This is when he goes right down and sleeps the best, and perhaps it's because I'm then left awake for a while before crawling back into bed that I can take the opportunity to soak up this quiet time before my day really begins.

Today, however, my quiet time has me thinking about some friends. They recently had a little baby boy who is only a week old, and whom they found out has a form of cancer called neuroblastoma. Praisefully they believe there's still a chance that the tumor might go away on its own, or that it just needs close monitoring for now and that they might be able to go home soon and come back later for tests. My heart goes out to this new little family. I sit here listening to my baby snoring (literally) in the crib next to me and wonder why I'm so lucky to have this precious, healthy little baby while they are still in the hospital trying to figure out how to care for their newborn son and his condition. I'm praying that the Great Physician would heal this little guy, as only He can do. I ask that you would pray as well.

In the meantime, between this child, the disaster in Haiti, others close to us that we've discovered are also battling illness...I'm sure some have to stop and ask God, "Why suffering?" I personally do not think that God allows bad things to happen, but He is there when they do, in the midst of the pain, He is there to make good of bad that it might draw others to Him and bring Him glory.  I am reading a book right now called 'Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith' by Glenn Packiam, and in it I think he has a great explanation on suffering:

'I cannot answer why some suffer while others do not. I understand that the dynamics of free will and a fallen world play some role. But still, why God intervenes some times and chooses not to at others is a mystery. I believe that, in the end, redemption-God's ability to take what is lost or messed up and make it work for our good and His glory-is more powerful than prevention or intervention. I believe that future glory far outweighs momentary afflictions. But why the momentary afflictions, why the trouble in this world that is allowed to persist? God only knows. And that's the point: There are some things only God knows and understands. To deny as much is to have reduced God into our image.' (Pg. 62-63).

That last line hits me: only God knows and understands. Why? Because He is God. I think about the verse in Philippians 4:6-7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." His will transcends all of our worldly understanding, yet there's so much peace in knowing that He already knows, He is already there in that moment, and we can rest knowing He is in control.

So thank you, Lord, for already knowing, for already using these sufferings for Your glory, and thank you for the peace in the trials, the calm in the storm, and the strength to endure this journey.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

aFteRnOOn with aNNa

We were invited to some friends' house for dinner on Sunday, and then again on Tuesday for some scrapbooking. The girls all fought over who got to hold Isaac and who got to give him his bottle ;) Here are some pictures from our weekend:

miss anna gave me a bottle before church in daddy's office...

...then she called me cute and kissed my forehead. girls are weird.

dinner at miss anna's. ...i know there's a piano behind me!!! can't wait till my fingers are big enough to play it!!!

whatdya think-could i pull it off as a blonde??

miss rebecca fed me...

...while mom and miss anna scrapbooked...

...then miss peggy tried to burp me, but i fell asleep.

actually, my day wasn't done after all this excitement! i still go to go to miss jan and mr. brian's for dinner!,but i was so tired i slept through it all!

Mail call!!!

on wednesday mom & i got some pretty cool gifts in the mail! we love mail!! thank you to some lovely ladies for our gifts!!

thank you, mrs. wendy, for your beautiful blown glass beads for mom's necklaces!!! (the first is Canaan's birthstone which would have been June, and the other has mom's birthstone on top and my birthstone on the inside-how cool!!

Grandma Sherry sent some $$ for me to pick out a play-mat, and mrs. wolfe sent me some money as well!!! So, mom bundled me up for an adventure to Target!! YAY! Unfortunately, the play-mat I wanted was all sold out, so we couldn't buy it, but we did find a lot of cool sweaters for me on sale (18mth-24mth, so I'll wear them eventually, but they were only $3.24 each!!!). We also get to go to Hastings tomorrow with the rest of mrs. wolfe's money so I can pick out more books for my library!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Song On My Heart

I first heard this song by Christy Nockels at the worship conference we attended last July. The words are now echoing in my heart when I think of Haiti.


By Our Love by christy & nathan nockels

Brothers, let us come together
Walking in the Spirit, there's much to be done...
We will come reaching, out from our comforts
And they will know us by our love...

Sisters, we were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us...
We will come reaching, with a song of healing...
And they will know us by our love!

The time is now
Come Church arise...
Love with His hands
See with His eyes...
Bind it around you,
Let it never leave you,
And they will know us by our love...

Children, You are hope for justice,
Stand firm in the Truth now, set your hearts above
You will be reaching, long after we're gone,
And they will know you by your love! (cheesy video, but you can listen to the song)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Loved, Forever" by Tim Weddle

Another intention of this site is to draw on inspiration, or to share things that have inspired me. I read this note from a friend today, and it was a blessing, and wanted to pass it along.

"Loved, Forever" by Tim Weddle

These are a few words I jotted down during a recent wedding. I don't know the couple or have a picture of them. But this snapshot of their life together was an encouragement to me, so I hope it encourages you as well.

She was standing by one of the round tables near the front of the room. Almost forgotten in the festivities of the wedding reception, she passively watched the dances from a distance. Her dark hair had begun to turn grey and age was beginning to take its toll on her body. The three-wheeled walker made it easier for her to stand, although it was evident that walking was quite a task. Her best years were long gone, so the world would say.

So it was a surprise to see her on the dance floor halfway through the evening. Her husband, an equally elderly man with a barrel chest, was not really dancing with her. No, he was just holding her up, and she, with her tired head on his chest, somehow just looked glad to be back out on the floor with her man. It didn’t so much matter to her that she couldn’t walk. And come to think of it, he didn’t care either. At the wedding reception, we were all reveling in the excitement of a new marriage. But alone in their own little world, this couple was living out the vows they’d made so many years ago. They’d had the years of excitement and marital bliss. The days they’d shared together had been wonderful. But tonight, it was evident that the days had turned to years, and the years into a lifetime. Time had turned the page on her youth, and her broken body was a cruel reminder of her mortality.

But tonight, none of that mattered. She was still with him. He’d loved her for with all of his heart, and with all that was left of her strength, she loved him back. Many couples say “for better or worse.” Relatively few mean it or back it up. But here in the middle of a ceremony of eternal love, two life-long lovers quietly showed everyone what forever meant.

And it was beautiful.

Another Alan Story...again...

Sorry, but apparently this must be the day to get caught up on all my blog posts I've been wanting to write. I save my blog posts as my journal, so some of these stories are simply for me to remember and share with Isaac someday...especially the Daddy's Sleep-Talk stories :).

A couple of nights ago I woke up, and wondering what time it was I rolled over to look at the clock on my phone. When I rolled back I was startled to see Alan leaning towards me, caressing the comforter up by his head. I wasn't sure if he was awake or not so I didn't say anything...just stared at his weirdness wondering what he was dreaming about, but then he opened his eyes and looked at me and said, "See, I've found that it really helps to hold him on your shoulder and rub his back like this. He's less fussy and goes to sleep a lot quicker if you do that. He likes being on the shoulder more than cradled after a feeding...," then fell fast asleep again.

Gee hun, thanks for the random advice.

Hallelujah Chorus! (music geek thought)...

I forgot to add a quip from Anna to Isaac during his piano lesson when I posted the other day...

Anna was playing through some hymns and other pieces and started playing the Hallelujah Chorus for him, then stopped abruptly and said, "Oh, this is no fun, I can't play this for you because you can't stand up during it yet!," then began a new piece :).

3 Ups, 3 Downs

We now live next to an army post (see, I'm learning, I used to think it was an army base until I was corrected by a soldier!), and that means we're picking up on the army lingo and abbreviations (EVERYTHING is abbreviated!!). One thing that a gentleman at church who is retired from the army is big on is after every event/happening/function to give 3 positive things that came of it, and 3 negative things that could be improved. So, here are my 3 Ups & 3 Downs from yesterday:

3 Downs:

1. While holding Isaac and talking to another mommy on the phone yesterday morning, the little guy spit-up generously all down my v-neck shirt. Good thing Daddy came home shortly which allowed me to shower :)

2. Our dear fussy baby is going through a growth spurt, and thus decided after only 2 hrs that we were apparently starving him and took another bottle. Bad part was we didn't realized he was hungry (nor did he give the signs at first), just thought he was fussy again, so we ended up rocking him for nearly the entire 2 hrs between those bottles (bottle 11:30pm, tried to soothe him till 12:30am, next bottle 1am-1:30am, rocked to sleep till 2am), which made for a LONG night for mommy and daddy!

3. If it was made of cloth, he spit-up on it, or during changings it was peed upon. We did over 2 loads of just his laundry yesterday, and have another load in the wash from last night! Not good when you need an emergency burp cloth and they're all already soaked :P When he first started spitting-up so much Alan researched it to see if that was normal, and one site said, "You baby doesn't have a spit-up problem, you have a laundry problem." :P

3 Ups:

1. He finally slept great yesterday afternoon, allowing me to get an hour nap in!!! First time in over a week he's cooperated to the point where I was able to have a nap long enough to count as a nap :).

2. I got out of the house for 2 hours!!! Alan played with and fed the little guy after work so that I could get some fresh air. It's slightly sad that a trip to Hobby Lobby and Hy-Vee are such a special outing for me :). It's been so cold here that I don't want to take Isaac out unless I have to, so I've been in this house literally since last Monday...though that trip was again just for groceries. Is it sad that I felt like I was on the red carpet with paparazzi wanting my glamorous photo as I pushed the brimming cart through the frozen food section and, as my presence graced the aisle the cooler lights came on one-by-one?? NOTE: Monday nights are the BEST time to get groceries at Hy-Vee! No one is there!!!

3. I LOVE getting packages in the mail!!!...even though they're addressed to my son these days :). We received the outfits from Old Navy that we ordered with the gift card from Isaac's great-aunt Gladys AND a surprise gift of more adorable clothes from cousin Jan!! Thank you both!!!


(Above from Aunt Gladys. The hoodie and polo are 6-12 & 6-9mth, so will be PERFECT for next fall!!

Below from Cousin Jan. The sleeper will fit him perfect right now, and I LOVE the other outfit for church (our main outting these days!)






Sunday, January 10, 2010

Isaac's First Piano Lesson

Thank you, Anna, for giving our son his first lesson!!

Random Sleep Deprived Conversation

me: (laughing) "Since our son now falls asleep to the sound of running water (music/sound/projector thing), what if the rest of his life he falls asleep every time he hears rain?"

alan: "Or a toilet running since it sounds like that too."

me: "Does that mean if he does a courtesy flush while on the toilet that he'll then fall asleep while still on the toilet?"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

It's probably a good thing that my new year's resolution is not to quit procrastinating considering I haven't blogged in awhile and am just now getting to the cliche New Year's post ;) I have been wanting to write, but have had Alan's family visiting for New Year's, so time was spent with them and not on the computer. However, it's probably a good thing because it gave me a little more time to think about what to write.

In our Christmas letter I talked about the Gerling year-in-review, so no point in reflecting on the previous year too much, other than to say that while it started out hard (see 'Cold Winter's Night' post), it ended with many blessings. Instead, I'd rather focus on the year to come, hopes, goals, thoughts. I have to say, and I even questioned Alan, that I don't know that I believe in new year's resolutions. If there's something so pressing/life changing that you've finally decided to make that change, then why wait for the new year to do it?? Same goes for regrets-if there's something you regret-work on that now, don't wait till the new year to reflect back and say, "Gee, I wish I would/wouldn't have..."

With that said, here are a few things I do look forward to this year, a few things I want to work on/improve and other thoughts for 2010. Oh, and one other thought-my new year's resolutions are less resolutions/lists and more prayers. So here goes:

1. I praise God for the gift of Isaac that was given to us in the last days of 2009! What a joy he is in our lives. I pray that this first year with him in our lives is a special, life-changing time. I ask for guidance in raising our son, even in these earliest of days (and of course especially the tween/teen years!). I need to remember Psalm 86...'slow to anger' ;) and focus on patience while learning how to be a good mom and wife for Isaac and Alan.

2. Recently, and I mean since bringing Isaac home, we've begun not watching TV. It didn't necessarily start out as such, but more so evolved considering every waking minute Isaac was asleep we were literally trying to not be awake either! We noticed that when we focused on getting rest, then doing chores and keeping up with the house, things seemed to stay in pretty good order. And now that Isaac's getting into a schedule, we're finding a few little moments of quiet time in the evenings for reading/private devotion/family devotion/music and talk time between Alan and I. When the TV is off, we seem to focus on what's more important. So, while we're still going to watch movies from time to time (and the occassional Gilmore Girls of course!), we'll be cancelling our cable, or at least the 15 remaining channels we still get ;). So, we'll see how this goes for 2010.

3. To continue with part of #2-time between Alan and I: Alan started this, and I love it and hope to keep it up. We used to make dinner together and talk about our day, but then sit in front of the TV to eat. Yeah, it did feel good considering we were both exhausted from our days and it felt good to have a brain-dead activity like watching TV, but that meant it was cutting out of family time. So, Alan took it upon himself that the first day we brought Isaac home we started eating lunch at dinner together at the table, not starting without the other person, and praying before our meals. I love this quality time to talk with my husband and have his full attention. Oh, and a cool part: he lights candles for dinner too ;)

4. I feel a pattern here....continuing with #2 and #3: I pray for our marriage. I pray this year we may grow in our marriage as never before. We took a class (shout-out to the Smith's!!) at church called 'Love and Respect' based on the book by the same name within the first few weeks of our marriage, and it was such a great foundation for us. I pray this year that we can continue to focus on making our marriage a priority and not secondary to parenting/work/extra activities.

5. Ok, less marriage, more personal: I want to use this year to grow spiritually (closer to God) and intellectually, meaning I rarely take time to study and learn anymore, and I used to love to. I used to challenge myself with books and music, and now with photography, but I've found that I've stopped wanting to learn more and am just content with what I already know. Why stop now though? I have a craving to begin reading again-everything from John Piper to Jane Austin. I've also realized that pumping takes up a lot of time, so...why not multitask!!

On the grow spiritually part: It's not so much that I don't pray now, but I want to grow in my prayer time with God. I need to spend more time in prayer for others, and less focus on always me, me, me. I pray that this year I can remember to, in every decision, think of Him first and consider how what I'm doing/saying/acting is glorfying to Him.

6. Practice Random Acts of Kindness: I'd like to, this year, hopefully attempt to do a better job of putting others first. I realize that many times...most of the time...way too often I put myself before others, even before serving my husband. In an attempt to work on that, I want to try doing more random acts of kindness-not for the praise it would bring me for doing it, but for the fact that it'd mean considering someone else before myself.

Ok, so I'm sure I could go on and on about things I hope to improve on this year, but that's the short list for now. I know I had other things for that list, but this sleep deprivation has crept into my brain and sucked it of all memory for the time being ;).

Although it's belated, I wish everyone a safe and healthy 2010.

In Christ,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Blog 2.0

So, hopefully not many of you noticed that we were hacked this morning.  Apparently the program that I was using to run the blog portion of this site had a security hole...  Apparently, there are people in this world who have nothing better to do than sit and do searches for websites that use that program, and then hack them.  I can't actually figure out how that is even fun, I mean, where is the satisfaction from taking down a website posting a blog about raising a child?  Oh well, maybe he'll visit one of our websites (Amos5Worship was hacked too) to check out his handiwork and maybe see that, yes, Christ even died to save hackers.  Pastor Flack was speaking today of our created purpose to be worshipers, but the misdirection we all have to being rebels.  I can think of no petter picture of a modern rebel than a hacker, but that's what Christ came to do, make rebels into worshipers.  So, hacker dude, if you read this, feel free to email me, no hard feelings, and I'd love to tell you about the Person who could be your Savior.


I stood above my son's crib a moment ago

and I stroked his cheek with my finger and felt his soft skin.

I watched and listened to him breathe, his little chest going up and down.

I watched his little eyes twitch as he slept, and the motion of the passifier as he sucked.

I watched him move his arms up by his face, where he likes them best when he sleeps,

and I marveled at the miracle of life that God had created,

and wondered how anyone could ever say that he was not a life before he was born,

that he was just some embryo...

He is a life, and he has been since day one in the womb, 'woven together in the secret place' (Psalm 139).

“On Needing Him” December 28, 2009

Last night I slept from 10-11:30, then was up till 3am with a very fussy child. No amount of burping, diaper changing, feeding, shushing (though the site did help for a mere 20 minutes) was going to help this child sleep. Wide awake was he! After he'd finally stop fussing, he was still WIDE AWAKE! He seems to have his days and nights mixed up still, which we're working on by making sure he's in more sunlight/more stimulated during the day, not swaddled as much during the day and not in his little night shirt he sleeps in (which by the way is a cute little wrap shirt that makes it SO much easier to change, and has the covered hands so he doesn't scratch himself. The only downer is they sort of look like a Star Trek uniform, but Alan likes that fact), but actually putting different sleepers/clothes on him. Last night was our first true saturday night/sunday morning-meaning the bulk of feeding/changing/cooing during the night was on me so that Alan could get sleep before his 4:30 alarm for work. Some of you know that when he lacks in sleep, his prayers are less than accurate and mumbles through them, so for the sake of the flock, I was hoping I could help the music shepherd get some well needed rest before Sunday service. Here's the problem: the child did not sleep!!!

Approximately 3am Alan finally stumbled into the room to see if he could try getting him to sleep, and although my attitude was less than Proverbs 31, and I was starting to get extremely frustrated, I reluctantly handed Isaac over to his daddy who was obviously not getting the sleep I was hoping my staying up would provide. As I was standing by the crib watching Alan rock him, going on about how I've tried everything to get him to sleep I realized Isaac had totally calmed down and was on the verge of dozing off. I was ticked. I had been up for 3.5 hrs, and Alan had already calmed him. HOW?!?! With that Alan sent me to bed to get some well deserved rest, and shortly after he crawled into bed after laying Isaac in the bassinet. I asked him what time it was-3:15. Fifteen minutes!!!! I was up for 3.5 hrs and he was up for 15min!!!

Alan left the house around 5:30am while I was feeding Isaac, and while I was realizing I had to somehow get through at least till 1pm when Alan usually gets home from Sunday services on what little sleep I had. I was a walking zombie with a splitting headache. It's sort of amazing though how that motherly instinct kicks in about the time I'm holding him and feeding him and realizing that regardless of my lack of sleep, he needs me. Isaac can't do anything without me. It didn't matter how much sleep mommy did or didn't get, how little energy I had, how I had beed with him constantly since 11:30 the night before and was well on my way to sleep deprivation-he needed me and I was there for him.

This blog post started out to be a vent, in fact, it was titled "A New Mother's Vent", with a warning in the subtitle that any man may not want to venture to read on as I was about to vent about motherly/womanly/post-partum things, but I suddenly see that this post has taken a different, unexpected turn...

To return to a few paragraphs ago-Isaac needed me. NEEDS me on a constant basis. I can't be selfish and wish for time for myself, to have a moment where I can do what I want, how I want, when I want-I need to be there for him first and foremost. Funny...isn't that how we should be with God? Shouldn't we see ourselves as helpless and turn to Him in every moment of need? 'Cause I know when I do that He's always there for me. With all the chaos in this world, He doesn't say, "Hang on, let me work with this hungry children in Africa/this abused woman/this homeless man, then I'll get to you," no, He is omnipotent-He is everywhere at all times-and that includes there for me when I need Him.

I'm also realizing from my own post here that I don't 'NEED Him' enough. I try to do it on my own. Just like this morning-I didn't want to wake Alan to help-I wanted to do it all on my own for two reasons: 1. Because Alan needed his sleep for work; 2. Because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it on my own without Alan's help so that I know that for future early Sunday mornings I can do it on my own then too. I was mad when Alan calmed Isaac so quickly; I was so reluctant to hand over the child to see if Alan could soothe him instead of me. Don't we also do that to God? We need Him, yet we don't ask for His help. I needed Alan, but I didn't want to bother him and ask for his help, and yet it was Alan who finally calmed Isaac. I think I can do things on my own and don't ask for the Lord's help, and muddle through it on my own, but if I had stopped and asked for His help, imagine how much smoother things would go knowing He already has it taken care of.

Wow. Like I said, I didn't mean for this to be a was to be a vent-a chance to complain about my day and the fact that this time I didn't shower or brush my teeth till 7:30pm, but I guess God knew I needed Him to talk me through this day. Thank you, Lord, for knowing I need You even when I don't know it.

And with that, my prayer for the day is this: "Lord, search me and know me...and know that I need sleep tonight!"


“How Silently, How Silently…” December 27, 2009

'How silently, how silently the wondrous gift was given...''

Today I was rocking Isaac after one of his feedings and was watching the snow fall outside his window. It was a very peaceful moment, amidst the craziness of this new thing called 'being parents'. It is also a quiet moment that I will cherish in my heart forever. The snow gently fell to the earth, christening the ground with tiny white crystals. I thought of the verse in the song "Indescribable" (Laura Story)-that line that reads "Who has shown every lighting bolt where it should go? Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow...", then the line from Proverbs 31:21-"When it snows she has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet".

Sitting there rocking in the silence of winter, clothed in warmth both physcially and in spirit, I pondered that line from "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" again that says "How silently, how silently the wondrous gift was given...". There was nothing glamorous about Jesus' birth. He was born among the animals, wrapped in dirty rags. How's that for entering the world? But that's God-humbling Himself. Heaven touched earth that night, and other than the star that shone for the wisemen, there was nothing shiny or fancy about His coming...

So why do we get so wrapped up (pardon the pun) in Christmas needing to be about frantic shopping and fancy gifts? I doubt the wisemen rushed to fine the half-off sale before hopping on their camels to make the journey to the King. They took what they had-granted they were kings, so the gifts were pretty nice, but they took what they already had. When the shepherds came to see the Christ child, they brought no gifts; they bowed at His feet and worshiped the newborn King.

This Christmas we decided (well, the budget decided for us) that we weren't going to do gifts this year, not even something small for each other.  Not even the box cheese grater that Alan had his heart set on all year! (sorry, we don't own one, and always joke that I should put it on his christmas list, but every year it never makes the cut). We gave each other a son, and that's enough for our hearts. We still have a few gifts to buy for nephews/niece, but as for our little family, the stockings were hung, but nothing inside; the tree was decorated and lit, but no presents beneath...and we're just fine with that. "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also"; our treasure at Christmas is in worshiping the Savior born to us, thanking God that He sent His son to die for us, and praising Him for humbling Himself enough to be born in a manger.

For Isaac, we want to instill in him early the true meaning of Christmas. We've chosen not to do the 'santa' thing because we want him to know that it's not about the gifts from santa, and telling him to believe in santa, someone he can't see, and who doesn't exist, then turn around and hope he trusts Jesus someday, again, someone he can't technically 'see' but does exisit is not something we want to do. We all have our stories of when we realized santa wasn't real. I'm sure we all had a twinkle in our eye as a child dreaming of santa and what he'd bring, but for me, the day I realized he didn't exist was somewhat of a downer, and I was young enough, but old enough, to be very confused about the whole 'believe in santa' thing. We want our child to know the true meaning, the true spirit, the true worship experience that is Christmas. We will, however, give him three special gifts each Christmas morn, starting next year, to represent the wisemen giving gifts, and in lieu of the santa thing.

In a minute here, we're going to give Isaac his bath and feed him, then, since Christmas eve service was cancelled due to snow, and a tradition we want to begin as a family anyway, we're going to sit at the piano, pray, and sing through some Christmas hymns to worship the Savior born to us that day.

Christmas is about glorifying God (Luke 2:13-14)! Oh come, let us adore HIM!


“Isaac’s First Christmas” December 27, 2009

For Isaac's first Christmas, Grandma Sherry and Grandpa John came to visit, braving the bitter weather and driving in snow to get back home! Grandma got to watch him get a bath, fed him a bottle, played with him during his 'back time' on the blanket, and held him constantly! Talk about spoiled!!

I was looking forward to Isaac's first Christmas eve service, but alas the snow storm meant that Daddy had to cancel the Christmas eve services. It will be neat to tell Isaac someday about how he was snowed in on his very first Christmas!

Each year since we've been married, we've always had family in for the actual Christmas eve/day, so we've had to try and make an attempt each year to carve out some 'us' time for our own Christmas. We usually make cookies, a good dinner, watch White Christmas and It's A Wonderful Life while sitting by the fire (when we lived in Iowa and had the woodburing stove that I greatly miss!). We'd usually wake at the crack of dawn...well, Alan would wake me up at the crack of dawn, to go sit by the tree and exchange gits in our pj's. This year we want to make it even more special and start some new traditions. Alan made dinner for us-a delicious dinner by christmas lights and candle lights complete with some sparkling grape juice! (trust me, Isaac, you'll like it tomorrow ;).  After Isaac's bathtime and feeding we're going to sing some Christmas carols/hymns since we didn't have the Christmas eve service, then read him the Christmas story from Luke. My heart is filled with joy spending this evening with Alan and Isaac, starting new family traditions, and looking forward to future Christmas' with my very own little family.

Merry CHRISTmas to all!


“Another Alan Lack-O-Sleep Story” December 23, 2009

So yesterday Alan got ready for work, then sat down and said he was light-headed and really tired (that night had been especially exhausting with the fussy feedings). I suggested he go take a nap for an hour, then head into work. While I nursed Isaac, I called the friend he was meeting at church and asked if he could meet him 2 hrs later so that Alan could nap. I went in to finally wake him, and he was so asleep that I had to shake him a few times. When he finally came to I said, "It's 3:15 and you're meeting Anna in 15 minutes, so you better get up. I can't come back in and wake you because I have to go start feeding Isaac." Alan looked at me, then looked at the pillow and said, "Isaac, Isaac, time to wake up Isaac...wait, what happened to your head?!?!! (squeezing the pillow)," then looked at me and said, "Oh, this isn't Isaac, it's a pillow." :D

I mentioned it again to Alan last night how funny it was that he'd done that and he didn't even remember it-he was totally talking to me in his sleep!

Oh, while I have your attention, it's come to my attention that I don't have a link to the family email on here-if you'd like to email us you can use the new family one (or just our regular ones if you have them) at I'm not sure, but I think Alan might have one too ( Feel free to write us at them!

Till later,


“I Did Not” December 23, 2009

In the words of another friend who taught me what it means to 'not do' something, here is the list of things I did not do today (so far):

1. I did not set the alarm wrong and oversleep by more than an hour for an early morning feeding only to have a very overly hungry child.

2. I did not throw away the piggy toy on the side of the changing table that Isaac did not pee on like he does not pee on everything every time we change him no matter how many barriers and blockages we do or do not put up during a changing. I totally meant to go for the laundry basket, not the trash can filled with dirty diapers that I then did not sift through to find piggy.

3. I did not kiss my husband goodbye on his way to work, and then again after lunch on his way out the door only to realize that I did not remember to brush my teeth (or hair for that matter) till my shower that I finally got somewhere around 2:30pm, a mere 32 hours since my last shower.

4. Daddy did not burn the bottom of the muffins this morning for breakfast.

5. I did not, after another battle with feeding and latching on, eat a piece or two of Godiva chocolate in bed in an attempt to have a mere moment of stress-free bliss before attempting a nap. A piece of chocolate which dropped on the sheets only to be found by Alan later today as it had melted onto the sheet....

6. I did not notice the big brown poo looking blotch on my arm before my shower from the piece of Godiva chocolate that I napped in.

7. I did not notice, as I leaned over to swaddle Isaac in the crib, the waterfall of leakage that I apparently was nursing the carpet with. (sorry for the blog, my chance to vent!).

8. I am not freaking out about the possible snow storm that could leave us without power/heat in the coming day(s) and wondering if we have enough firewood/diapers/flashlights/batteries/food/etc. to care for an infant in the dark.

...thankfully I did, however, stop to pray.

I hereby welcome myself to Motherhood.

“Isaac’s Busy Weekend” December 21, 2009

Isaac had a busy weekend! Friday was his first check-up at the doctor! He's now 7lbs 6oz and will go get weighed again today when he goes back to the doctor to see about his "lovely" constipation ;) Also on Friday Grandpa Gene and Grandpma Rita got in for the weekend and SpOiLeD him! They both held him, Grandpa even changed a dirty diaper or two, and Gma helped him with his 2nd bath.  On Saturday Miss Anna K. visited and snuggled with him a bit as well. Sunday was Isaac's first day in church! Because of the minor feeding battle between him and I, we were all about 15 minutes late for his first Sunday, so we missed Daddy directing the choir :( Like Great-Grandpa Houston, he slept through the entire service :)

Other things to note: Alan still seems to have trouble with those late night feedings. I wake him, along with the child, and he says he's getting up, then ventures in about 10 minutes later because he's fallen back to sleep!! Last night Daddy actually came in just behind me, so I said, "Holy cow! Take a picture-he's actually up with us on time for the feeding!!!" (telling Isaac this). Suddenly Alan gets the camera out and starts taking a picture of Isaac. When I asked why he said, "Because, you said take a picture!" So, for no apparent reason, other than Daddy was OBVIOUSLY not awake, we have an odd picture of our child before his 2am feeding.

Another fun thing: Daddy was SOOOOO tired on Sunday morning before church (he only got about 3 hrs of sleep that night before heading into church) that he took a Mt. Dew with him that he left at the piano during the first service :). Poor Daddy!!! Thank you, Gpa and Gma, for holding him so we could both nap Sunday afternoon!!

On an odd note: I'm that mom. I can't believe I'm that mom!!! I took the camera with me to the doctor's office for his first check-up!!! I think the nurse thought we were weird ;)

Gotta go feed again, then back to the doctor to check his weight!


“Things I’ve Learned in the First Week” December 21, 2009

Things I've Learned in the First Week:

1. John 16:21

2. How much love I have for this child <3

3. Nap when he naps!!!!!

4. Feeding schedules...don't quite exist yet! But we are on to one and had a good day & night!

5. Grandparents spoil good!

6. He hates being swaddled (the process), but loves being swaddled (the result).

7. When swaddled he insists on having his hands out of the blankets-Insists! This is so that when he sleeps he can put his little hand under his cheek :)

8. The only way Daddy will wake up for feedings is if Mommy turns on every light in the bedroom!

9. How many levels of frustration actuallly exist!

10. Never play paper-rock-scissors for a dirty diaper.

11. How cute all his little noises are...yes, even the little toots.

12. He hates baths, but loves the lotion afterwards!

13. Mommy is better at swaddling for bedtime; Daddy is better at swaddling during the day.

14. How much I panic at night when I think I can't hear him breathing.

15. Give it time. Whatever it is, give it time. 'This too shall pass'.

16. The cat is still VERY confused...

17. Not to believe everything you hear about parenting, and yes, there is such a thing as too much advice.

18. I dread the sound of the alarm for feedings at night, but that feeling fades once he's in my arms :)

19. Nothing sweeter than a sleeping child.

20. Nothing compares to the feeling of a tiny hand wrapped around my finger.

“Picture This” December 18, 2009

Picture this from last night's 3am feeding: Alan in one rocking chair reading to us, me feeding Isaac in the other rocking chair, and Domino curled up next to us on the floor. Yep, the entire Gerling family was in on the feeding :)

At the 10:30/11pm feeding we've begun a family devotional time where Alan reads the verse or passage for the day, we discuss it, then sing a hymn of the week (which ironically this week's hymn is the Getty Christmas hymn 'Joy Has Dawned' which Alan's doing on Sunday morning). Last night Alan decided to grab his little travel guitar and sing a lullaby version of 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem' to Isaac, and he fell fast asleep...Isaac, not Alan :). It was such a precious few minutes watching him drift off to sleep to the sound of his daddy's voice-one that I'll always treasure.

Also-thanks to everyone signing the guestbook! I just looked at it today for only the 2nd time...I was drugged a bit too much the first time and didn't noticed all the great comments :). Thanks to all who are writing in Isaac's guestbook! That reminds me, please know we have not forgotten you and your families this Christmas! Our Christmas cards will be slightly late considering we want to have some pictures of Isaac and birth announcements to put in them, so they might be belated, but hey, the three wise men were 12 days late on getting to baby Jesus, and considering the list of addresses is already made and the letter is already written, I'd say we're still in good shape :)

Here are a couple more pics taken today...

He fell asleep at the end of his feeding after I burped him. Daddy usually swaddles him after his feeding, but he was too cute and didn't have the heart to wake him!

Alan thought he had dejavu from a scene in Home Alone..."AHHHH!!!!!"

We used to swaddle him with arms in the blanket like they taught us at the hospital...but he always seems to break free. We've noticed the last few days that he loves to sleep with one hand under his head like we both do, so now we leave his little hands out of the swaddle :)

There was also a cute moment today when, after a crying fit of frustration (bad diaper, didn't like it changed), he suddenly got really quiet and serious. I know he just cried himself to the point of being cried out, but Alan hasn't seen him do this yet and thought it was the weirdest thing. Alan says he gets the temper from him and the stone-walling from me. :P

Alan has also taken to whispering in the monitor when he goes to check on Isaac. Today he said, "Yeah, she's a really great mom." :)...but later in the day Alan did something goofy, so when I checked on Isaac I whispered, "Your daddy is a weirdo!", and when I came out of the room Alan said, "Hmm...seems like I got some interference on the monitor here..." :)

“Sleep…Oh Where Art Thou?” December 16, 2009

So at one point I had this vision of writing about emotions/thoughts/etc. of the actual labor process and what it felt like that very moment I became a mom...I will say seeing him for the very first time was so surreal-I couldn't believe he was actually here, that he actually looked like he does, how precious it was to hear those first cries...

...but for now I have approximately 5 minutes of peace, so that post will have to wait for another day :)

Isaac's first afternoon/evening at home was more than memorable (see previous day's post), but the actual night routine well very smoothly for his first night. Sure, there were a few moments of utter frustration from him...from me...from daddy, but overall, it was a good night. Then there was last night...Isaac is still doing the acid reflux thing, and while the night before last it had backed off some, last night it was in full swing, so the poor little guy was having trouble sleeping with it. That meant we got to keep getting up and burping,holding/rocking/cooing. We'd done a good job getting him on a 3 hour schedule, and he's starting to wake on his own for those feedings without us waking him up, but last night threw us all off a bit.

So, needless to say, we're all exhausted! (and that includes the cat as well :) who also got up with us all night). With that in mind, we'll be tag-teaming each other on naps as Alan will be going into work for a bit this afternoon, then for rehearsal tonight, so first evening at home without daddy to help will be a bit of a challenge, so mama needs her rest!

I apologize for the fact that some of the pictures are not quite clear or bright enough-we're still learning this camera, but here is a pic of Alan reading to Isaac at 3:30am during a reflux-won't sleep episode.

Naptime before daddy has to leave!


“In Love with Two Boys J” December 15, 2009

Hey Everyone!

Gotta make this short and sweet so I can go feed the child again :). First of all, thank you so much for all your comments, prayers, thoughts and yummy food!! We are so thankful for you all and excited for you to meet this little guy!

Just a refresher since I haven't posted since last week (gee, I wonder why?), and not knowing what Alan has filled everyone in on, here's a recap: We were induced at 7am on Friday morning the 11th, labored for 16 hours and ended up having a C-Section, and at 10:36pm our little 8lb 20.5in boy was born (with Christmas music playing in the background!!) :) Everything went smoothly, and although I was in a lot of pain, it was obviously SO worth it!! I'm healing up great and little Isaac is doing just fine. He has had a lot of reflux/spit up, and at times it worries us because it sounds like he's having trouble getting it up, so please keep that in your prayers that the reflux would back off soon.

We came home yesterday around 2:30pm and had a crazy, crazy afternoon/evening trying to get this little guy, and us, to adjust to home. Domino is still incredibly confused :) Last night Isaac was so tired we had trouble keeping him awake to feed, then trying to get things in order so Alan could go run and get my medicine, and a quick phone call to borrow a bassinet from a friend so that he can stay in the room with us while this reflux thing is going on, so all-in-all it was a crazy first night at home!!! Alan and I were both EXTREMELY exhausted (again, I wonder why?)!! The good news, however, is that we made it through the first night just fine. Isaac is a great sleeper, so it's harder to get him to wake up and feed than to get him back down to sleep, but we're already on a pretty good 2-3hr feeding schedule and I can already tell he's adjusting to it nicely (thus far at least). We figured out today that if I nap while Isaac naps after the first morning feeding, then Alan could get some laundry done and eat, and now after Isaac's lunchtime feeding, I was able to shower, make dr. appts, relax and eat while Alan naps with Isaac. We're learning quickly that in order to stick to a routine, we BOTH need naptimes!!

I also have to say that I didn't know I could be so in love with two boys at the same time!!!! While Isaac stole my heart the minute I met him, I feel like I'm falling in love all over again with his daddy :). Alan has been incredibly great at helping with every feeding, diaper change, burping, he's a better swaddler than I am as well!! He does SUCH a great job with Isaac and is so amazingly patient, even when I'm not! Feedings are very challenging for us to get used to, but Alan is our constant encourager! Not all dad's wake up with the mom for these long nights, and Alan hasn't missed one feeding yet :) (even in the hospital when the nurses were there to help!). So, Daddy, thank you so, SO much for all of your help, encouragement, love, spiritual leader, support and everything in between. You gave me a card that said I'm a great mom-well  I can't be a great mom without a great dad to help me out and love on us both :).

Judging from the monitor, I can't tell if that's Daddy's heavy breathing, or Isaac's little sounds :), but either way I think the little guy is ready to eat again.

Till next time,


“Prego Pic” December 7, 2009

Took this last prego pic after church today :) For those who haven't seen me lately, thought you might enjoy it!

“On a Cold Winter’s Night” December 7, 2009

Can't sleep. Not sure if it's because my human-making abilities are exhausting me these days and I fell asleep before 9pm, or if after getting up for the umpteenth time to use the restroom Isaac got the hiccups when I laid back down, or if it's because I'm suddenly realizing Friday is the day?? I'm getting nervous about delivery and the fact that in less than a week we'll be parents for the first time. I wonder what I'll be like as a parent? Over protective?? Is there such a thing as an over-protective parent? I went into the nursery just now to get something and it's so cold in there tonight, so I panicked thinking oh no, he's going to be too cold at night!...and he's not even here yet! I know for a fact he'll think his parents are weird and crazy :), and that's ok. He'll get used to us ;) Will he like music, like us, or sports? If he does like music, and this poor child ends up with my lips, there's no way he can play trumpet like his dad and grandpa did! :)...

The only thing I do know about becoming a parent is that I need Him in every moment of every day to guide me. I confess, I originally thought that I'd spend so much time in prayer and the Word preparing for Isaac's arrival, but in these last months I've been so distracted 'nesting' and getting everything ready that I've greatly neglected my own ultimate Father. Why is it that we get so caught up in ourselves that we don't take the time for Him? Why is it that it takes a restless night at 2am that draws me to His word finally? And what about after Isaac comes this weekend? Will I take the time I really don't have then for the Lord like I should? I'm suddenly realizing that I haven't been making Him a priority, and in order to be a parent, a wife, a mom, I have to MAKE time regardless...otherwise I'm sure He'll stir me in the middle of the night to finally draw near to Him, like tonight.

This past spring I truly leaned on Him. I wanted something so bad, and I wasn't getting it. I thought I knew what was best for us-to be pregnant again, and I wanted it right there and then asap! What I didn't realize was that I stopped waiting on Him, and I began trusting in myself. And it didn't happen. for over three months we tried, and no luck (to some that's probably not a very long time, but to us it was an eternity considering when we got pregnant before the miscarriage it only took one month). There was finally one Sunday when, after service, a friend put her baby in my arms and said, "Could you watch her for a minute for me," not realizing what I was thinking/feeling when she did so. Then I heard Alan talking to someone new who asked, "And is that your little daughter your wife is holding?"  I was devastated...why had He not remembered me enough to give us another child, and here I was holding her little gift? I came home in tears, and finally fell to my knees. I'd been reading in 1 Samuel Hannah's prayer for a child (she actually asked for a son), and how she asked the Lord to remember her and poured her heart out to the Lord, so I did the same. I prayed that if it was His will, and His will alone, that He'd remember me. And then I left it at that-left Him in control. We stopped trying, we refocused on Him and on each other, and we left the rest up to His timing. The very next month we were pregnant.

God remembered me. ...Have I remembered Him lately? How can I do any of this-carry this child, delivery, become new parents-without truly leaning on my parent-my Father? And more importantly, if I want to show Isaac my love of Christ as he grows, I have to actually take the time to show Christ my love for Him.

I thank Him for stirring me out of sleep tonight to remember Him and refocus on Him. It's sad that it took that to finally make me realize how much I need Him, but I'm thankful for the peacefulness He's given me tonight in reminding me to focus and lean on Him, and the rest will fall into place according to His will and timing. In 1 Samuel 1:27 Hannah says, "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him." I praise Him for remembering us and for this gift that is about to come!

Resting in His presence tonight,


“Greetings” December 6, 2009

Welcome family & friends to our little home on the prairie, cyber-style! My hope is that this site will enable you to stay connected with the happenings of the Gerling family!

As many of you know, we welcomed our son, Isaac, into the world on Friday, December 11th at 10:36 pm, weighing 8lbs and 20.5 in long. Our hope is to use this site to share with you our attempts at parenting as well as pics and video. I'm going to attempt to use the blog to journal my thoughts on what it's like to be a first time mom, from the joy (ahem, pain?) of birth to the stinky diapers and many goobers this child with bring with him! Most of all, I hope to use the blog to post devotionals or ways God is using me and molding me as a wife and as a mom. Psalm 127:3-5 says, "Children are a blessing from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." We feel extremely blessed to see our little family grow, and are thankful that through this site, we can share these moments with you.

Please feel free to use the guestbook to leave notes for us or Isaac, encouragements or thoughts for us! If ever there is a picture posted you'd like, please let me know ( and I can email it to you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whatcha doin' there, dear??

So I woke up last night to Alan petting my little hug pillow, wide awake. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm swaddling Isaac," then rolled back over and went to sleep... In his defense, my hug pillow is about the size of our child, but still...

Isaac's First Piano Lesson

Thank you, Anna for Isaac's first piano lesson!! He looked thrilled ;)...well, he was content and happy to sleep right through it, so I'm going to assume he loved it and dreamt about it :). Guess that means you've added a new student (it's probably best if his parents don't teach piano to him) :D