Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's in a name?

Naming Jacob was surprisingly one of the easiest things that Josh and I have ever had to do. We considered only a few other options, but we just kept coming back to Baby Jake. The only reasons we ever considered changing our minds was that 1) Jacob is a heathen in the Bible and his name even means "deceiver" and 2) Jacob has been the most popular boy's name in the United States for the past three years. But then we decided that a name's meaning doesn't automatically make the person turn out to be that way and neither one of us really know that many kids named Jake. No matter what you name your kid, chances are there is another one of them in the world. Unless you name them something weird like Moxie Crimefighter, which totally isn't our style. We love our kid far too much for that.

But back to my point...

About a week ago, Josh signed up for and started researching our family history. If you've never been on that site, I have to admit that it's incredibly cool. We found all kinds of census records, birth and death certificates, and even a couple of old pictures that had been scanned in- one of his grandfather from his high school yearbook and one of my grandfather in his military uniform. Neat stuff. And through the program, Josh was able to do about a decade of research in a couple of hours and traced his lineage (I know my whole family will read that word the wrong way... I can hardly type it without laughing) to the members of the family that came over from Europe. He's known for years that two brothers came over and migrated to the Carolinas, but what we found out was this: there were actually three brothers and the father came along with them. And the father's name? Jacob. Little did we know we picked the name of the very first Mauney to make his way over to America. How perfect is that?

Now we just have one problem... my husband now has to cope with the fact that he's French. I told him that I'll still love him anyway. Sadly we know nothing about French heritage except for the song that the chef sings in The Little Mermaid. And that perhaps we should start drinking more wine. That stuff counts as culture, right???

*And as a sidenote, the photo is courtesy of the very lovely and talented Jan Scott who took all of our maternity pictures (which we love!). You should check her out at

Monday, February 22, 2010


"Mommy, I'm bored and I'm ready to come out and play!"This has got to be one of the neatest sonogram pictures I've ever seen... our weekly sonogram is the only "perk" to being a high-risk pregnancy patient. Only a few more weeks and we'll see that cute little yawn for ourselves!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

My Dad!

Some time ago, I started calling January thru March "cake season" and boy is it exploding this year! It starts with my birthday, then my Nana's, Michael's and Dad's are in February, and both of my sisters are in March. Now throw in our new nephew Adam and our impending arrival in March, "cake season" is really living up to its name (and adding to the waistline... at least I have an excuse this year!). And that's not even counting Josh's family and some extended family of mine. Oh how I love this time of year! Because really, who doesn't love cake???

But back to the man of the hour...

Unfortunately most of my pictures with him are the old-school film kind and are in albums at my mom's house, but these two from my wedding show how much love I have for the man. We sure miss having him around more, so hopefully that will change soon.

Happy birthday, Dad... we hope it will be a good year for you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

Our brother-in-law, Michael! This is a man who...
Wears spandex more than regular clothes,

Loves his wife enough to dress like this:
Isn't afraid of training hard,

Appreciates the value of a good sandwich,

Makes even the most mundane tasks interesting, Teaches his nephews the important skills in life,

Is the only Ironman in the family (for now... who knows, right?) And is now a daddy!

Happy birthday, Mike. We know you already got the world's best gift, so nothing we say or do is even going to compare. Thanks for being you... we love you and miss you so much!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dear Baby Jake,

After a lot of hard work, your room is finally ready and waiting for you. It's come a long way from where we started and we think you will love it. We look forward to laying you down in the crib that grandpa built and wrapping you in the quilt that sweet Connie at church made just for you. You are already so loved around here and everyone can't wait to meet you... you are the talk of this town for sure! With that being said, our bags are officially packed for the hospital, the car seat is in the car, and all that we're missing is you. And boy are we missing you. We think about you all the time, talk about you constantly, dream about your sweet face, and talk about what you will be like, what kind of personality you will have, and how wonderful it will be to finally hold you in our arms. We know you'll come when you're ready and when it's your time, but make that soon, okay??? We are already so in love with you... see you soon.

All our love and more,
Mommy & Daddy

PS - We really hope you like monkeys!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Labor of Love

It. is. almost. finished.

Remember that first post back in October about starting on the baby room? Never did I imagine then that four months later we'd still be working on it! But after four months, a wall-paper removing disaster (in which we removed the plaster as well), lots of spackle, a new ceiling thanks to my super-handy husband, crown molding installation, several cans of paint, and the search for the perfect furniture, the baby's room is THIS close to being complete! And as much as I would LOVE to share the pictures with you, our shower is this coming Saturday and I want to make sure that it is 100% complete before sharing the reveal. I mean, you've waited this long, right? So what's a couple more days? So instead, I'm just going to share a couple of pictures of this long process. And if you forget what a mess it was to start with, you can see the beautiful mess it was here. And I promise, since you've been so patient, that I will post the "after" pictures after the baby shower. It's worth the wait!

A few things to note here: Being the smart decorator that I am, I painted the walls and then realized that I was supposed to spackle them. Yes, I am a genius. So then I spackled. Then Josh attempted to take down the wallpaper on the ceiling (below) at which time all kinds of glue and gunk ended up on the walls. Needless to say, the walls were painted several times!
Whoops! That looks like more than wallpaper removal

Our lovely hole in the plaster of the ceiling. You just have to love old houses!

And that's how we ended up with a brand new ceiling. Talk about dusty!!!

And just because you're so patient, here are a few little things you can expect to see in the new room. Sorry for the teaser... I couldn't resist!

More to come soon! Stay tuned!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Power of Prayer

I can attest to the power of prayer. Three weeks ago I was laying in a hospital bed being pumped with blood thinners and scared out of my mind. Josh had seen the size of the blood clot on the ultrasound screen and from the look on his face, I could tell he was incredibly worried. When his eyes welled up with tears I shot a fierce look at him and said, "Don't you do that. Don't you start," because I knew that he had to be strong enough for both (well, the three) of us. He held it together and after staying a few nights we were released with a lot of questions. On that day, I was pushed to the car in a wheelchair. When I was at home, I used my husband as a crutch to get from point A to point B. When I sat in the recliner or on the couch, I could only lay on my side as that was the only position where I could find a little bit of relief from the pain. I watched as people helped out around the clock, making meals and cleaning our house. But since the moment we found out something was wrong, people prayed.

When I tell you that people prayed, I need to define exactly how many people we had praying for us. As a pastor, Josh is in touch with a large network of people and is quick to get information out. On top of that, our families were praying over us, friends that we hadn't seen in years were praying for us, and emails came in from people we had never even met. In the hospital and over the phone we had elders from our church and good friends gather around us and pray... it was humbling and comforting and something I will treasure always. Although I will never know for sure of course, during these past few weeks I think I have had more people pray over me and my family than any other time in my life. How is that for overwhelming?

Yesterday we had an appointment with our wonderful Baby Doc and I waltzed into his office without a wheelchair. I laid flat on my back for an ultrasound and did not even feel a hint of an ache in my left leg. I listened as he told me that our baby looks perfect, has not been affected from the medications, and is in the 85th percentile for weight already. And then he looked at me and said, "I cannot believe how well you're up and moving around. The last time I saw you, you needed a wheelchair." When I heard this, I realized that even though he had told us this would eventually happen, even he did not think it would happen this fast. Our Baby Doc is a man of God and did not doubt that I would get better, but his medical mind told him that it would take longer. And even though this does not mean that the clot has completely dissolved (but then again, it also doesn't mean that it miraculously hasn't!), it does show that I have experienced an incredible amount of healing in an incredibly short amount of time. And oh how I will not take that for granted for I know that this gift has come from above. He heard your prayers, and He answered them. When I left the office I had an extra spring in my step for I was told that I could resume my normal activities and even work out if I felt up to it. The risk of this thing moving into my heart or lungs is so very minimal that our fears have been alleviated. I am still on schedule to be induced at 39 weeks due to the fact that I have to stop taking blood thinners first, but oh how grateful I am that this is all behind us. The road ahead is now filled with the joy of our impending baby's arrival... how great is that?

Prayer has been on my heart a lot lately, which is probably why I felt the need to do an entire posting on it. Our church just finished 21 days of prayer and fasting, and while I am ashamed to admit that I did not pray more than usual, I have been hearing God speak to me more than ever. Some folks would read the story above and give the credit to luck or modern medicine, but I know better. There are too many stories and too many "coincidences" in life that are linked to prayer. When my aunt was sick this past fall with carcinoma meningitis and we thought we'd lose her, our whole family and this town I live in prayed. Although she is not 100%, we're so blessed to still have her and she gets stronger everyday. She's beating the odds. When a man from our campus was in a snowmobile accident and they said he'd never make it, those warriors prayed, and he's now moving to a rehabilitation facility after several successful surgeries. The list goes on and on. I don't know about you, but it sounds a lot like cause and effect to me... prayer equals results, even when the results are not what we expect.

Even as I write this, I have to confess that I do not spend nearly enough time in prayer. The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17), but more often than not I put it off until the end of the day when I have no energy left. No energy to talk to God? How sad is that? But even though we're taught to close our eyes and bow our heads, prayer is more than that- it's a conversation with the Maker, and it can be done no matter where you are or what you're doing. Back in the days when I had an hour-long commute, I would find myself talking out loud, as if Jesus himself was in the seat next to me, and it was such a great way to work things out in my mind and free myself of worry. Just speaking the words out loud allowed me to really connect in a way that I couldn't do when I was just silently saying them to myself. And then my husband taught me that prayer is not juts a one-way call, and that God wants us to open the door of communication by opening up His words, which are found in the Bible. Of course my first thought was, but what in the world am I supposed to read? Where am I supposed to start? So I started (slowly) in Matthew and moved on to Mark. Halfway through Mark I read something interesting about Ruth, which led me to read Ruth. When I was done with Ruth I felt compelled to read about Jacob, since that will be the name of our son and found myself in Genesis. I wasn't even through with his story when I was led to open up James, only to find that I must've read it some time ago considering that it had been marked up and underlined. The book of James mentions Job, so that's where I'm going next. Each time I open up those words, if I really open my mind to them and ask Him to reveal something new, I never go hungry. I walk away each time with something profound to think about and a desire to read something else, wherever that may be. My list now includes Esther and Hebrews, 1 Peter and Job... and although there does not seem to be a rhyme or reason to my reading patterns, He always knows where to take me. So if you feel like me and don't know where to start, just start. Just open it up and see what you'll find. Read it slowly and read the footnotes, write in your Bible and earmark things. And even if it doesn't happen right away, don't give up on it. The Gospels are a great place to start, but if you really just want to say you finished a chapter, start with one of Paul's letters in the new testament such as Ephesians or Galatians. Spending time in the word will enrich your life in ways that nothing else can, and all it takes is the time to open the book. It really is that easy.

Have you ever stopped and thought about who might be praying for you? What do you think that they are praying for? For you to find Jesus? For you to find a new job, a spouse, the child that you feel like you'll never have? We were at a church event about a month ago and our lead pastor said, "Every one of you is here tonight because someone prayed you in." WOW. As I look back on my life, on the poor decisions that I made and the road that did not remotely travel straight, there is no part of me that can take any credit for where I am today. I married a pastor- me! The most unlikely candidate in the world. And I know without a doubt that someone, somewhere (or multiple someones somewhere) prayed for me during those years that I wandered astray. And whoever you are, I thank you, for my life is rich with blessings and overflows with joy living in this light. And I want that for everyone. The more I am blessed, the more I am burdened for those who are wandering far from this path. A question we ask almost every Sunday to our congregation is whether we know someone close to us who is far from God. Yes! We all have those people. So what can we do? We can pray. Pray them in. If you do nothing else, you can do that. And prayer works... just wait and see.

Okay, so I was not planning on getting this lengthy, but like I said, this has been heavy on my heart and I had to share. I challenge you to work on your prayer life, and as I say this I am taking the same challenge. Approach things with prayer instead of taking your own way and wait and see what happens. If something you have been working toward has been difficult, whether it be a relationship or friendship, a search for a church family, or a big life change, consider that maybe you are taking your own way instead of God's way and ask him repeatedly (without ceasing) to help you find the way. The right path will be easy- He will make sure of it. Granted, you might end up in Small Town, Illinois freezing your buns off, but things will fall into place in a way that will prove to you it was His will and not yours. And that's a beautiful thing.

"Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? Your should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you will. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great powers and produces wonderful results." My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins."

~James 5:13-16, 19-20

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Twice a Day, Everyday

Never have I been so appreciative of having love handles.

Then again, never have I disliked 8:00 so much, but the little guy will most certainly be worth it. Oh the things we do for our children *sigh* and ours isn't even here yet!