I keep trying to maintain a mental list of all the words Lydia knows now and I'm beginning to lose my grip on said list. So for my own memory's sake, I'm going to try to type up a list. Some of these are words that she regularly says without any prompting, others she understands and will use if we say them first or prompt her to say them, and still others are barely "words" at all but a good "mom translation" knows what she is trying to say.

So here we go... Lydia's 14 month vocabulary...

Hop Hop
Sssss (snake sound)
Oo Oo (monkey sound)
Lala (Elmo)
Nana (for either her Nana or a banana)
Grandpa/Papa (these ones are rare)
Night Night
Mmmm (when eating)
Mmmmuh! (giving or blowing kisses)
Uh Oh
All Done
Bye Bye
Hello (in context of a phone)
Fish (most definitely her favorite animal currently)
Bless You (doesn't really sound anything like that but she says it after I sneeze!)

Additionally, she does signs for more, all done, eat, please, I love you, and help.

Ahhh I love it! She is at such a fun age!
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So I've been trying really really hard this time around to not be a crazy, nervous, nutcase pregnant lady. While I have held firm to the knowledge that God is in control, I have to admit that I was super excited to be going to my first appointment with the OB today to hear the heartbeat. Other than being crazy tired, most of my other pregnancy symptoms dissipated by week 6. This left me with a nagging thought in the back of my mind that maybe something was wrong. Or maybe I just convinced myself (and 2 at home pregnancy tests) that I was pregnant when I really wasn't.

Regardless, I was thrilled when the doctor put the doppler on my tummy and almost immediately we heard the lovely thump-thump-thump of Peanut #2. I had so many little complications with my first pregnancy that by 10 weeks I'd already had 2 ultrasounds (and 2 more followed just a couple of weeks later). So it felt strange this time to not really have "proof" of anything going on. Very happy to have received my proof today. Doctor said the heartrate was around 150 and everything looked to be going as expected. Yay!

On a side note, Lydia was with us at the doctor's office and it was funny watching her face when the doppler got going. She kinda stared at my tummy with a confused expression. It will be interesting trying to explain to her in coming months what is going on!
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." -Philippians 1:6 (The Message)

As I stood in church this weekend singing the song "God of This City" I couldn't help but expand the concept behind those lyrics to other areas. The song could just as well be about greater things to come in a country, in the world, in a local church, or even in an individual. Emotions welled up as I sang...

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God...
Greater things are yet to come,
Greater things are still to be done here...

Sometimes I get so stuck in the moment. I get stuck thinking that the day in and day out of life is all there is going to be. I'll never be anything special. I'll never achieve anything great. I'll never be who I want to be. But those are lies. The Bible tells us that we can be confident as Christians that God is going to continue to work on us... and we aren't going to be finished until the very end! There will ALWAYS be greater things yet to come because he who started the good work in us promised to carry it on to completion! It is an overwhelming and humbling realization. To know that God is working on me. Right now. In this very moment. He has not given up on me or decided that this is as good as I'm going to get. My life, my circumstances, my family, my church, my city, my country, my world... all of them are works in progress, being perfected by the Master Artist himself.

So stay tuned, blog world. Greater things are still to be done here.
Lydia had a very big weekend this past week! It all started on Thursday with her very first trip to the zoo!

She absolutely loved it. Lydia is very much an outdoors girl, so she enjoyed being out in the sun and wind. The weather was perfect! Temperature got up into the 80's with lovely sun and a cool breeze. Besides watching all of the people walking around, Lydia's favorite part was the aquarium. We walked in and she immediately sat up in her chair and started chanting, "Fish! Fish! Fish!" Such a cutie. :) I have a feeling we are going to love having a zoo membership this year.

Thursday night we got to hang out with family at Grandma and Papa's house for family dinner night. Spaghetti, bananas, and brownies made for a happy little girl. She showed off her walking skills and all of her animal noises and, unfortunately, got a nasty boo-boo too! Poor thing's legs just gave out while she was drumming on the folding chair and she smacked her face on it busting her lip. After a little loving and a wet washcloth, Lydia was back to her happy self and we all enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood to finish off the night.

Friday through Sunday Lydia and I took a trip down to Cinci to visit my family. Brent had to work so he didn't get to go with us, but us ladies had a lovely time! Nana and Grandpa had lots of Elmo toys at their house and also lots of balls for playing catch. Lydia just LOVES rolling balls back and forth with people. She also greatly improved her walking skills over the weekend... growing more and more confident each day. She also stood up on her own without holding on to anything for the first time. Not much longer and I suspect she will be doing more walking than crawling. Over the weekend she also decided to learn the word "no" and finds it so much fun to use. At first it just seemed like she just enjoyed saying it, but caught on to the meaning very quickly. "Lydia, do you want a drink?" "No!" "Do you want more applesauce?" "No!" Time to start working on teaching her "Yes" before she gets carried away!

For too long I've felt like my spiritual life has been stalled. It's not that I want it to be that way, or even that I'm just too lazy to do anything about it. Well, maybe there's some of that in there, but I'd like to think it isn't a primary factor. Basically I just don't know where to go from here. Books, Bible studies, even reading the Bible itself (in multiple translations)... it just feels like I've heard it all before. You'd be hard pressed to find something in the Bible that would make me go, "Wow really? That's in there?" Not trying to toot my own horn here or anything, it's just how I feel. I grew up in church. I've been a pretty straight-forward Christian for over 20 years. I've been to more conferences and Bible studies than I can count and I'm having a hard time getting fresh perspective. I've often felt like if I knew what to do, I'd be happy to pursue doing it, but I just don't know what it is that I can do to get that connection to God again.

I've heard it said before that when you get to such a point in your spiritual journey that it's time to turn around and start teaching. Teaching is not my favorite thing. I tend to clam up when it comes to talking in person (one of the reasons I love blogging... I can communicate my thoughts and get them organized before anyone gets to see them!). But I truly do love to encourage people and I love love love talking to people who are truly interested in learning about what God has to say in the Bible. THAT fires me up. Being around people who are on fire. So Brent and I have tossed around the idea of leading a Bible study for new believers through our church before, but it didn't take root. We were already leading a married couples group and didn't want to drop that. But lately our couples group has been changing, and with us now having 1.5 babies, we knew that we couldn't keep up with our current group of young married folks.

Yesterday at the church staff meeting it was brought up that there's a huge need for new believer groups right now. We have around 200 people who are waiting to get plugged into one of these groups and leaders are desperately needed. This was the confirmation we needed. It's time for us to move.

The new group won't be starting for us until June so I'm glad we have a bit more time to officially step out of our current leadership role and prepare for this new one. I'm excited and scared at the same time... have I mentioned before that changes make me incredibly apprehensive? But I fully believe this is a good move for us and I hope to have the opportunity to see lives changed, including our own! Will keep you posted as we embark on this new adventure.
Brent commented tonight after putting Lydia to bed that she is becoming a little sponge. She is definitely starting to soak up EVERYTHING! He was reading her an Elmo book and asking, "Where's Elmo?" then pointing to all of the things that were NOT Elmo and saying, "Is this Elmo? No..." Lydia then proceeded to point to all the different things and say "no."

She's working hard to pick up the words that we use. She's added more since the last list I made including "crash" for when things fall down and some more animal sounds. She recently picked up on "meow" and "oo oo" (monkey), but my all time favorite is when I ask her what the lion says. With a deep throaty sound she goes "rawr rawr rawr!" I love it! We need to try to get it on video soon before she decides she's done with that game. In addition to the words she will say unprompted, she does very well attempting to repeat what we say. On Easter family members were playing with her using bunnies and saying "hop hop." It was so cute to hear her try to say it back (sounded more like "bop"). I think she's working on "more" and "all done" too. Oh, and she's much better at saying "mama" and "dada" now too. Which makes me smile. :)

At long last she is also starting to make some progress with walking. Just yesterday she decided to try a few more steps, so today I tried to encourage her some more. She was doing so well taking 5 or 6 little steps at a time to get to me... one time she was holding something out for me to take it and I backed up a little and made her walk to me to give it to me. She did great! She even did a little walking this evening without any encouragement from me at all. So perhaps we'll finally see her take off soon! She's also become quite a stair climber. We finally got gates to put at the top and bottom of the stairs, but I try to let her still climb up on her own as long as I'm right behind her. Yesterday we took her to the park for dinner and some play time and she climbed up several stairs to a slide all on her own! (Brent was right behind her, of course) And those stairs included some BIG steps that we didn't think she'd be able to do. She is always proving us wrong!

As for baby #2, things are going well. Having been pretty nauseated when I was 5 or 6 weeks pregnant, I was pretty worried that things would get worse before getting better. But I was wrong about that and have felt much better lately. Still very tired, but I don't feel sick as often. Just a little over 2 weeks from now we'll get to hear the heartbeat. Really looking forward to that! Oh, and I've realized that people who say you show sooner with your 2nd pregnancy were not kidding! I'm already ready to get out the maternity jeans and I'm not even 9 weeks yet! I started wearing mostly maternity stuff around 16 weeks with Lydia... I'll be shocked if I make it to 12 this time.