Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Im ready for you when you're ready for me...

Hi blog friends,
I wanted to update some of you on my friend Jennifer that I had written about lately. Her condition has improved a lot. Now, she still has a brain tumor that is terminal. But, just as far as her alertness and all of that, she is so much better. When i saw her, she was just post-op from her surgery, so as her body was fighting brain cancer, it was also healing from brain surgery. No wonder she wasn't really with it and was sleeping a ton! Now she is able to walk around the house with out the wheel chair and is much more conversational. She was actually getting quite frustrated that she couldn't hear and started asking questions like, "Why can't I hear? Why can't i go back to work? Why am I sleeping in a hospital bed and not my own bed?" So the Jones's decided that they had to tell her what was going on. Because Jen can't hear, they typed out a letter to her explaining what was going on. The whole family sat down and worked on this letter. They gave it to her and she read it and just went to bed, like no big deal. The next day they gave it to her again and she read it again. Then they asked if she understood, and she said, "yes". This was as far in that story as my mom had heard, so when she went over to see Jen after Jen got the letter, she didn't know what to expect. When she walked in Jen said, "Mindy, I'm dying" and my mom, ever the wise, said, "Sweetie, we're all dying." I love that. So true. Although Doctors have given her a time frame for how long she may live, none of us is ever guaranteed tomorrow. So then my mom got Jen's dry erase board and wrote, " We love having you here with us, but Jesus and Ray (Jen's grandad who passed away in November, who was her bff) will love having you with them in Heaven." And Jen responded with, "I know!!! I'm not afraid!" I am just amazed by that. I don't know how you look death in the face and announce, "I'm not afraid!". My mom went on to tell me that Jen had prayed at a meal since she got her letter and her prayer was, "Lord, I'm ready for you when you're ready for me..."
This just explains Jen's faith. Having watched them walk through this had made me really look at my own mortality. As someone who struggles with anxiety and phobias, this is a hard thing for me to really do. My mind tends to panic, literally, when faced with the reality of death and dying. I have just continued to see that a.Its ok to be scared. We have a God that wipes away our tears and takes away our fears with the strength of His love. B. We know that in our journey, we are never alone. In the darkness of the night, He is with us. We know he will not ever leave us in our darkest moments.

Its good for me think about that. Honestly, it stirs my soul to worship. Just to proclaim faith in the one who gives life. Anyway, sorry that I haven't really blogged much about health and all of that, but this is just what is so strongly on my mind!

Andrew and I have been going through this puritan prayer book called "The Valley of Vision." It is filled with the most beautiful prayers... and we read one last night that just rocked my soul . I don't have it in front of me right now, but I am going to share it with you guys. If you are looking for new way to pray, pick up this book!

Monday, March 28, 2011

stomach viruses and brothers.

How could a child look this happy in the morning and then get so sick like only hours later! At least Izzy had a fun morning!

Caitlin felt great too! She had so much fun on the slide!
If only we knew what was coming!

My awesome brother and his new car! Fancy!!!

Happy monday!
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was part great and part terrible. It all started friday. I had actually thought to myself last week, "I have been a nanny for over an year and still have not had to deal with vomit. That is so awesome!". Well, I thought too soon. I had my first child vomit experience on friday afternoon. It was awful. And I was able to see the one of few downsides to twins: Dual Child vomiting-on me, in my car, everywhere. Luckily the mom was able to leave work and we tag teamed it. But omg, it was terrible. Right after this sick extravaganza started, I recieved a call from my brother that he was on his way to austin to buy a new car. So I was excited for that, but also, had done zero prep for a guest in our house. Prep involves things like:
-Blow up the air mattress
-put ninja turtle sheets on air mattress
-buy groceries (we literally had to feed him cheese its and grapes for lunch on saturday)
-clean bathroom
-turn on ac

None of those things got done. When I came home, I was overwhelmed from my day with the girls and feeling a little nausea myself. But Chris arrived at 8 and immediately required us to turn on the ac. which i was perfectly glad to help out with that. And we were off to a wonderful favorite resturaunt, Eddie V's. I actually was pretty impressed with how I ate there. I decided not to order an entree and got a delish salad as my main meal and then got a side plate for bites of the boys steaks and sides. It was great!

Well, at 6 am saturday morning, I woke up with HORRIBLE stomach cramps. And I got super sick all day saturday. It was so sad because I was excited to go to lunch with Chris, but didn't get to do that. I literally could not eat saturday. I ate nothing. That NEVER happens. We went to bed super early and I woke up sunday feeling so much better. I still was not hungry at all, but could keep food down.

So the good news is:
-I lost weight this weekend
-I got to see my brother
- I slept a lot

The bad news is:
- i got a stomach virus
-my time with my bro got cut short
-we literally did nothing fun after dinner on friday because I was sicky

All that to say: I dont know how moms deal with vom. I am amazed by you. And, I hope that this smaller appetite me gives me a boost for the week. I'm hoping that my appetite stays that way! I have other fun stuff to share this week! Get excited!

Friday, March 25, 2011

delicious treats and eats

Ok, so I tried something new last night. I have to admit, I was pretty terrified to try it, but it was amazing. I had Morning Star Corn Dogs. Morning Star is a vegetarian brand. So yes, I ate veggie corn dogs. But lets be we really know what is in a regular corn dog? I would rather have a corn dog that I know is made from veggies than one that is made of pig snouts and horse hooves-not that I have a problem with regular corn dogs. If ever I am in Lubbock for the fair, i bee line for a corn dog. But I have to tell you, the veggie dogs are just as good as regular corn dogs. I baked them in the oven so they were nice and crispy on the outside and then I ate them with mustard and ketchup (yes, i mix them together. Don't judge me.) Each of these dogs is 4 ww points - 2.5 grams of fat, 150 calories...just stinking good. I also had sweet potato fries with them and I felt like I was totally cheating, but I wasnt! So awesome! try it! Dont be afraid!

I also made an amazing dessert this week. It is a weight watchers recipe for chocolate chip blondies. Here is the recipe:

-Pre heat the oven at 350 degrees
-spray a baking dish with non stick cooking spray

-In a medium bowl, Mix 2 cups of flour, 2tsp of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt

-In a large bowl, beat 1.5 cups of brown sugar and 6 tbl spoons of light butter
-add in 2 large egg whites and 1 tsp of vanilla
-gradually add in flour mixture-alternating it with water to keep it moist
-stir in 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

-put in sprayed baking dish and bake in oven (at 350) for 30 minutes. Cut into 24 pieces.

These things are like chocolate chip cookies, but moister...and if you put it with 1/2 cup of dryers slow churned vanilla ice have a delish dessert for 6 points. Just the bar is 4 points. Totally worth it.

Im so excited it's friday. Looking forward to spending time outside enjoying this weather! Is it too early to want to go to Barton Springs? Because I might go!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Hi team,
Well, this blog is kind of a "state of the union", if you will. I honestly have really been struggling with...everything. I kind of feel overwhelmed and like I can't get anything under control. I know I have to keep all of this in perspective. Understanding that I may be struggling, but others are struggling SO much more...with cancer, with earthquakes, with divorce etc. So I get that...I do. But here is my struggle. Since I got the flu I feel like I haven't been able to get my eating and exercise under control. I literally am JUST getting back into regular exercise. I also am struggling to get my eating back under control. I think so much of the problem lies with me being tired. My work hours have just extended and so my days are 8:15-5:45ish and I come home so tired. The girls are getting more and more independent as well as strong willed. I know as I write this, my mom is laughing saying this is just karma...But its hard when its someone else's children. They are daily becoming more and more defiant and I am struggling to know how to discipline them. I think so much of it is my day is longer and I am just worn out. I also tend to just eat whatever when I'm tired. So if the girls have pigs in a blanket, I eat them too...10 of them. I just am feeling tired and like I can't get on a schedule and I'm overwhelmed. I cried a little last night with Andrew. With his ever calm and logical wisdom we decided to get up at 6:15 and just do a Jillian DVD at home, that gets me some exercise, but doesn't require me to get up in the 5's like going to the gym does. I just am trying to adjust and do all of this in a way that will get me on the right track...and I am struggling. Ha. So there is my pity party. Thanks for listening. Its a journey and I am learning how to walk it...I am sure some of you can identify. I'm writing this as I watch the little monkeys run around, so if I sound like I wrote it with half a brain, its because I did. Off to the park to feed the ducks and turtles!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

scarlett Jo?

A pic from my wedding. Quite a few people commented that I looked like Scar Jo here....

The beauty her self....flawless...

Hi blog friends!
I have just had a great day so far today. I got up at 5:30 and headed to the gym. Today was the first time in a WHILE I got up early and went. I had a really good run! But usually when I get up in the 5's, I need a nap in the afternoon....Which I just did. Having a job with a built in nap is not too shabby! Ha ha!

So I wanted to share something hilarious with you guys. Since i got married (in 2007- I was my thinnest ever then...and looked pretty amazing if i do say so myself!) People have been telling me I look like Scarlett Johansson. Now, this is rediculous to me because, while I am pleanty cute, I am no Scarlett Jo. She is BEAUTIFUL! I promise I am not telling you this because I am searching for compliments, I have endless confidence...haha. But, I just dont get it. I did see how a few of my wedding pics, I could MAYBE resemble her, but since then, people still tell me I look like her. I have been told like 10 times I look like her. Someone even took my picture at a concert in the fall. Well, all of this comes up, because yesterday, I took my girls to the childrens museum. I looked pretty rough. I was in work out pants, a t-shirt, tennis shoes, and was wearing a hat. And after I got the girls out of their stroller I was walking by a mom and kind of bumped into her and she gasped and then grabbed her chest like she had seen ghost and said, "Oh my gosh. I thought you were her! Has anyone ever told you that you look just like Scarlett Johansson?" And I died laughing. I feel like if ever I am having a rough day and maybe not feeling as cute as I am, God lets me get this little compliment. Anyway, I dont get it, never will...but will NEVER get tired of hearing it. Maybe one day she and I will have matching bodies!!

Thanks for all of you prayers for Jen! Keep them coming!!

I also have a great recipe I'll be sharing this week for chocolate chip blondies- weight watchers style!! yummmmmy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

an amazing day...

I can't even really put into words the day I've had. I'll put it this way...I have not had much of an appetite all day. which is rare. The only other time I remember feeling this way (when i wasn't sick) was at my wedding reception. When Andrew and I arrived at our wedding reception, we were instantly taken to a room with all the food you could eat and all the wine you could drink...and i didn't touch a thing! I was just full of emotion! I was so excited not even chips and queso could distract me! Well, I feel the same thing today...not so much with excitement. But with emotion. Today was an extraordinary day. I woke up and my mom and I hopped in the car and headed to Starbucks (first things first!). Jennifer LOVES lattes. So we went and got coffee for us as well as for Jen and her mom, Chris. Then we headed to their house. I was a little nervous. I just didn't know what to expect...I had an experience a few years ago when a friend of mine had a friend who had passed away from terminal cancer. After that friend had passed away, they asked my friend to go over and clear out her room she had lived in with hospice for the past few months. Well, my friend had been the day before and didn't want to go back alone, so I went with with her. When we walked into this house, it just was...dark. I don't know how else to explain it. But death was palpable. Since then, I have been really wary of walking into a situation like that. So I was nervous today. We walked into the Jones house, bearing Starbucks, and I promise you, that house was filled with life and the Holy Spirit and peace. Such the opposite from my other experience.When we walked in, Jen was just waking up. So Chris sent us to the kitchen to get her breakfast ready. My mom and I heated up her cream of wheat and had her latte waiting for her. When she saw us she said, " Hi mindy! Hi whit!" so it was sweet that she knew us both. We fed her breakfast and Jen was sure to ask about my niece Laney. Jen also is getting used to her new home health nurse, Elaina. I actually ended up kind of being besties with Elaina. My mom was trying to help Chris with all the odds and ends and I saw that as my opportunity to spend some quality time with Jen. Now, Jen's hearing is still not working because of the the tumor, so outside of charades, the only way to communicate with her is with a dry erase board. So I told her I loved her and her scar was cool and all of that! But we decided Jen would probably benefit from fresh air plus she kept saying she wanted to go for a walk. So we bundled her up and got her in her wheel chair and headed out. While we were walking, I ended up really connecting with her home health nurse and really ended up sharing the gospel the with her. The truth is, if you are going to be around the Jones family much, you are going to hear it anyway, so hearing it from me, her new bff-at least eased her into it, right?! Anyway, it was such a sweet time. After we walked for a while, Jen looked really tired, so we decided to go in and let her rest. So my mom spent some time helping her mom get a few odds and ends tied up (like fill out the paper work for Jen to donate her body to science...imagine filling that out for you child...) and we went and picked up lunch and then came back and spent more time with Jen. I have to tell you, I don't think that, out side of my own mom, I have even seen unconditional love like I see in Chris Jones. I see Christ all over her. She is just walking through this nightmare with such grace. She is not in denial, she knows what is happening-and still with such grace walks in it. As I was reflecting on my day, I kept coming back to psalm 23...." even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." I have never walked with someone through the valley of the shadow of death...but here i was today. And you know what we did? We did puzzles. We laughed. We hugged. We celebrated and we grieved. But we DID NOT FEAR. We know as we walk through it, HIS rod and HIS staff will comfort us. I don't think I will ever forget today. What a gift it was...

Thursday, March 17, 2011 Lubbock?

Yes its true. I am in the hub city. I have never made a decision to leave town so quickly in my life! It was pretty comedic to watch me scurry around throwing God knows what into my bag. (if you see me in Lubbock and I am wearing a weird outfit, its because i packed in 4 minutes :). Here is how I came to be in Lubbock-I have written all week about my friend Jennifer. Last night when I blogged I wanted to wait until her caring bridge was updated to tell you guys that her family decided to not do treatment. It would be torture for her and really, only prolong life like 2 months. So they went home from the hospital today and she is on hospice care. After hearing that and talking to Andrew and my parents a ton, I just really felt compelled to want to come see her and tell her how much she has blessed my life and that I love her. But, I didn't want to be a burden or an added person that wants so badly to see her. So this morning I called my mom on my way home from the gym and my mom told me she had also thought I should maybe come see Jen. So I thought I would at least ask my bosses when I got to work. When I got there and told them ,they so lovingly told me to go ahead and go- they didn't even ask me to work today. So I ran home, packed, hopped in my car i am. It is so bitter-sweet. Bitter because of why I am here. Its tragic and just gut wrenching to walk into this situation. But sweet because I get a chance to: a. See Jennifer and tell her I love her . b. See my family who I haven't seen since Thanksgiving. One reason I want to see Jen so badly is because in 2000 My mom's mom, Mimi Kay, was dying in the hospital. She was probably in ICU for a month. And I was really afraid to see her so ill. So i never went up there. And she died. She died having not seen me in month. It is one of my biggest regrets to this day. So I have just made a point to make sure to tell people what they mean to me, given the opportunity. So I am overjoyed with this opportunity. I'll be sure to blog tomorrow to let you know how everything was. Pray, please, for peace in their home. The first night home from a hospital stay is always uneasy. Pray for peace, rest, and comfort for their whole family.

On a brighter note, I got to see my brother and sister in law and my niece, laney tonight. Y'all, Laney is ridiculously precious. Pics to come!

Love you all. Pray pray pray, please.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

thoughts on Jennifer

Hi Blog friends,
Well, I have a little update on my friend, Jennifer. Its not good news...She has a stage 4 Glioblastoma. Which means it is the meanest ugliest kind of brain tumor possible. They have had some really hard decisions to make...I'll let you know once these things become public. But lets just say its been excruciating for this family. The great news is Jennifer feels fine. Literally she has no pain. My mom helped give her lunch today and said Jen ate a ton. Which is really good for her to have a big appetite. Some of you might be wondering why this is such a big deal to me. Jennifer and I aren't bff's, I don't talk to her regularly or anything...but here is why. Since I have been alive, Jennifer and her family have been a strong presence in my life...From the Westminster family retreat in like 1988- I remember Jennifer, Erin Cunningham, Lindsay Fegan, Audrey Terrel and me all dancing together at the sock hop there. I remember Jennifer being at the first play I was in the 3rd grade at trinity. She worked there and we have a picture of us from that day. I have countless of memories of Jennifer, my mom and me going to lunch and a movie when school got out for Christmas or for the summer. I remember when we went to kids camp and Jen came and shared to her testimony of God saving her-after, we played DC talk and she really shook her tail feathers! That girl can groove! I have lots of fun memories from Thanksgivings with the Jones family, and my favorite is seeing Jen on stage at Westminster play that tambourine with Matt Holtzman next to her. She was so authentic in her worship. But mostly hearing her say, " Hi my whit!". I'm HER Whit! Haha. She is just such a strong part of my roots. Its therapeutic for me to be able to write all of this. She is so young, yet has made such an impact on not only my life, but countless lives. I have NO IDEA what the future holds-even how long her future may be. But i know that in everything she does, she points people to Jesus. She has pointed me to Jesus. And I can only imagine what the party will look like in heaven when she runs through those gates. No limp, no leg braces, no right hand issues-and jumps into to Christ's arms and says, "Hi MY Jesus." THAT will be a good day, whenever it is-and we can rejoice in that.

For more on her journey and how to pray with the family, Please see her caring bridge journal

Also, I will write about this more, but I blogged a few weeks ago about my friend, Karisse. Well she just got news of more cancer. A nodule in her leg and in her breast. For more info on her here is a link to her blog Please life her up as well.

Lots of love....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Hi team!
Hope everyone is having a fantastic tuesday! I sure am! It has been breathtakingly beautiful here in the atx. I have thoroughly enjoyed this weather and the time change. Although it meant losing an hour and that it is dark when I get to work, I love getting home from work at 5:45 and getting to go for a run and the sun is still out. Gah, I LOVE spring. I hate the heat, but love getting to it!

I have been doing ok with eating. I really kind of ate poor last week. I think I was able to kind of see that my disappointment from our rejection letters led me to feel like I had a free pass to eat what I wanted. So I am back on the train and when I weighed in on sunday was up .5. Not proud of it, but also, not the worst damage. I also have to confess that I already broke my lent! :(. It was an accident! I just forgot about it. The manager at our favorite mexican restaurant lovingly brought me a free margarita on the house on friday and I drank it! Oops! About half way through Andrew said, "Didn't you give up alcohol for lent?" and I was like, "Oh my gosh! I did! I just forgot!". It was hysterical and typical. So funny.

We decided since it has been so pretty that we would utilize our grill and grill all of our food for the week. I got some of my faves, portobello mushrooms. I just sprayed them with some Olive Oil pam and them sprinkled them with some garlic salt and pepper. They were amazing. I also grilled asparagus, Squash, zucchini and red bell peppers. Last night for dinner I got one of those sandwich thins (which really is like a bun) and put just a bit of light mayo( maybe a half table spoon) and some dijon mustard on it and then a slice of weight watchers pepper jack cheese and then one of my grilled mushrooms and I grilled it on the skillet. Then i had a side of all my grilled veggies and a serving of sweet potato fries with it...and y'all. I am obsessed. It was amazing and the entire meal was 8 points. I was full and satisfied for sure. I am also really loving Fage greek yogurt. They have the fat free greek yogurt and then you can get it with fruit to mix into it or my fave, Honey. I am obsessed. And it is soo filling. I love the honey and yogurt over a chopped up banana. If you want to really make it a meal, Add in some of your favorite cereal or granola. Lastly, I made a recipe last night that was so good. It was originally supposed to be a banana cranberry bread- but i modified it and made banana raspberry muffins. Here is what I did:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup splenda sugar mix
3 table spoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup egg beaters
3 bananas
1 cup raspberry's

In a meduim bowl combine flour, baking soda and Cinnamon

In a mixer beat together oil and sugar mixture, after a minute add egg beaters, after a minute add mashed up bananas

turn mixer to stir (the lowest setting) and gradually add flour mixture and raspberries

after thoroughly combined, pour into sprayed muffin tins.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

5 ww points plus per muffin.

Andrew bell liked these. That says a lot! I hope you have a great week!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

still praying

Hello dear blog friends!
I want so bad to blog about all of the fun I had this weekend-my great run yesterday, buying and planting flowers today, the amazing worship service we attended tonight...but I just can't stop thinking about sweet Jennifer and the precious Jones family as they walk through this trial. So, once again, i want to ask for your prayers for her. Here is the link to her caring bridge website If you are interested, please visit and please post on their guestbook if you have been praying. I know many of you may not know this family-but even so-if they know that the body of Christ is praying all over the world, I KNOW that will bring so so much comfort to them.
One thing I love to do is make people cd's. Many of you may have been lucky enough to receive one of these from me :). Music is one of the most powerful ways I experience comfort. The Holy Spirit totally ministers to my soul through music. So, I decided to make the Jones's a cd. I spent like 3 hours friday going through lots of my songs and picking the perfect mix. My hope and vision is that this would be something that Chris can have in her car, so as she is going back and forth from the hospital to the house, she can have hope in her car. One of the songs I picked is a song called "healing is in your hands". Christ Nockels, who has the most amazing voice, sings it. Here are some of the words:
No mountain, no valley, no gain or loss we know
could keep us from Your love
No sickness, no secret, no chain is strong enough
to keep us from Your love
to keep us from Your love

How high, how wide
No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
How deep, How strong,
And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands

I was Just praying this over them. That they would know, NOTHING can keep us from His love.

Join me in praying for them. I'll do my best to keep you updated!

We bought a ton of food for our week and grilled it all up today. I am super excited for my grilled: Squash, zucchini, bell pepper, portobello mushrooms and asparagus. Its a healthy week, y'all!!!
Will post as soon as I can!!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Jennifer, who i wrote about yesterday, just got out of surgery. It went well and they were able to drain a lot of fluid from her tumor. This is a huge praise and will help her symptoms dramatically. They got a good look at the tumor and have determined it is the same tumor from when she was little. So it is back. Its amazing to think that almost 30 years later it could return. God saved her once and is able to do so again. So, they got a biopsy of it and sent it off to pathology. It is either a level 3 or 4 tumor. We are praying for a 3-the possible treatment for this tumor is much more successful on a 3. We are praying that it is a 3. My mom has talked multiple times with Jen's mom. They are best friends so of course they have been in contact so so much about all of this. Today Jen's mom told my mom, "I'm not afraid of the end. I'm afraid of the journey." to which my mom responded, "over and over again in scripture God says," Fear not. I am with you." She responded with, "It is impossible to not fear when it is your baby." Now, Jennifer is not a baby-but she is their baby. She is their precious child and to watch your child walk through this seems utterly impossible. As a nanny, I have a deep deep love for the girls I keep. But, I know that is nothing compared to a mothers love...So i can't even imagine what that looks and feels like. As I was thinking about all of this, I was just reminded that we have a savior who knows what it feels like to fear the future. That He experienced dread and anxiety. He felt massive pain and suffering. He walked through it. Our savior is not a God who sits in the sky and has no idea what His people walk through. He has walked with us. He suffered more than we can know. This brings me comfort to know that He will provide every ounce of comfort and strength and mercy for this family as they face a journey they do not want to take. Pray with me, that they will walk hand in hand with the savior who knows what it is to walk a road of suffering. I'll keep you updated as I hear more! Lots of love!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

pray, please.

Hi blog friends!
I know its been a while since I really did a blog about my weight loss journey. I will update you on that soon, but for now I want to ask for your prayers. A dear family friend of ours-named Jennifer-is very sick and needs healing very quickly. Jennifer is in her 30's and lives in lubbock. Many of you probably know her. Her parents are basically some of my parents best friends. They go to church together, my dad and her dad teach sunday school together. And we love love their family so much. When Jen was 5 she had a brain tumor and ,by a miracle, she survived. Because of this brain tumor, Jen had developmental delays and is special needs today. Even though she is handicapped, she is still very high functioning. She works and is a social butterfly. Everywhere she goes in Lubbock, she has friends. Above all, she LOVES Jesus because she knows He saved her from her brain tumor when she was a baby so she could tell others about Him and His love. Well, Jennifer and her family just got the difficult news that she has another brain tumor. It is very aggressive and inoperable. It also has lots of fluid on it so it is causing all sorts of problems, including balance issues as well as impairing her hearing. She is having a shunt put in on friday to try to drain some of the fluid and hopefully relieve her from the symptoms she is now experiencing. We have no idea what the prognosis is...but it is really hard to even think about. This family has been through so so much. I'm asking you to please pray for them. Here are somethings to pray for...
1. For healing in Jennifer. For a miracle!
2. For comfort for her family as they watch her suffer. That they would be able to fall into the arms of the savior and trust Him, again, with the life of their child.
3. For the shunt to relieve her symptoms
4. For wisdom for all the doctors and nurses.
5. That above all God would be glorified through this. That His name would be high and exalted!

I will keep you updated. Thanks for your ear!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Hi friends!
I know it has been a few days between blogs. I have not be the best at keeping my blog updated this week and Emily Rice has not let me forget that!
Anyway, I titled today's blog post "rejection" because, well, we have dealt with lots of it in the last week. I basically had a terrible week last week. I got a ticket on friday, the flu on sunday, then andrew got his rejection letter from UT Grad school on monday and his rejection from Texas Tech grad school on thursday. Bad week. For those of you that didn't know, My amazing husband-Andrew has been in a process of applying to grad school for about the past year. His undergrad is in History and he is a history lover. He has a copy of the constitution on his bed side table. He has a list of all the presidents on his bedside table. He is reading a book on Truman right now. He loves history and when he talks about it you can only imagine what an amazing teacher or professor he will be. So this led us to the path of graduate school. We knew UT was a really hard program to get into and that Andrew's undergrad grades might not be good enough. But we thought for sure he was a shoe- in at Tech. He knew many professors there, he even had a professor contact him with the same interests. So we thought that was where we were going. While I was really sad at the thought of leaving Austin, I was so excited at the thought of being much closer to my family, able to attend our church, Westminster, and able to go to Tech home games :). I don't think I fully realized how much I wanted to go to Lubbock. So when we got the rejection letter, I was devastated. Not only at the fact that my amazing husband had been rejected, but that MY plan had fallen through. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. I'm sure I was a very wonderful supportive wife-crying in the corner...haha. So my first response is I get kinda pissed at God. Asking him why it seemed like he was opening all these doors for Lubbock if we aren't going. Then asking him what in the world I'm supposed to do- i dont want to be a nanny forever. What is andrew supposed to do? Should he still try to go to school? Stay in his life sucking job? As I was walking through all of this, I just was reminded that ALL we can do is trust Jesus. All we can do is be reminded that He can see the entire picture and we can't. We have to trust that whatever He has for us is more glorifying to Him than our plan. Now, this doesnt make the rejection any easier. But it does set my heart at peace. Never before have I been in stage of life that I had no clue what was next. Neither of us are really on a career path, neither of us are ready for kids, neither of us know anything...but we love and serve a God who knows it all. So we can rejoice in that. Plus, we do get to stay in Austin with all of our amazing friends, we both still have jobs that pay the bills and we have a church body that we love so much. At Stone on sunday, I think we worshipped more honestly then we have in a long time. We sang "On Christ the Solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. "-isnt that the truth? So I invite you all to pray with us for vision. I have literally prayed my whole life that I would not have an ordinary life. I have always known that "the American dream" wasn't for me. So this might just be the Lord reminding us of that. Sorry for the long blog. I am just really processing all of this!

"My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

pizza mia!

Happy Saturday!
It is beautiful here in the ATX and I hope your day is beautiful too! I wanted to share with you what I made today. I like to cook all my food for the week on the weekend so all we have to do is heat it up and eat during the week. I got a Weight Watchers magazine on our travels to Ohio to read on the plane and have saved it because it had quite a few awesome recipes. One of which I made today in about 15 minutes and am going to take for my lunch this week!
I made a spinach artichoke pizza. Is it not BEAUTIFUL!?!
Here is the recipe:
Buy a whole wheat pizza crust. They have them already made and you just heat it up in the oven for 7 minutes and then top it with:
1/2 cup of marinara sauce (i like newmans own)
2 cups of fresh spinach
1 can of artichoke hearts chopped
1 sliced roma tomato
1/4 cup of reduced fat feta
and 2/3 cup of reduced fat mozzarella

put it under the broiler for 3ish minutes and you get this tasty masterpiece. Its 6 slices and each slice is only 3 points!!! What?? I know. I have an awesome lunch ahead of me!

Also, my husband just, "went for a run" and ran 7 miles. What a freak! Who does that? Andrew Bell does. He is amazing.

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

feelin' good!

Hi friends! I am so excited for a healthy, non flu weekend! I have fun plans and can't wait for them! But first, I went to Weight Watchers today and.....DOWN 2.6! Yay! That is so exciting and I am so pumped for losses in a row and after focus! But, I will say, that most of the weight loss came from the flu. Apparently flu makes you not really want to eat. And I didn't eat much. But, I also made really good choices when I did eat. I am person that if I am sick, I look for a reason to cheat. I feel comforted by food and like I deserve a treat if I'm sick. And my treat just happened to be sugar free popsicles this week :). So I feel good. My hope is to keep on going with losing and maintaining good habits. I feel like I have flipped the switch. I feel like I have focus and drive. So we shall see how it goes!
I wanted to let you guys know about my decision on what to do for lent this year. For those of you that don't know, Lent is the period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Usually about 40 days. Traditionally, people choose to give something up, a habit, a favorite food-something like that. The purpose is to remove something like this so that when you miss it or want it, you think about the Lord, and His beautiful sacrifice on our behalf. I don't always do lent. It usually is only if I feel the Lord leading me to something. In the past I have given up caffeine, fried foods, wine, etc. But this year, I really feel led to give up all alcohol for lent. This is really going to be hard for me. But I have felt the Lord lead me to that and as I prayed, I kept feeling it. So that is my choice. I think it will really benefit me both physically and spiritually. I tend to waste lots of calories on alcohol. It is just empty calories that have become a part of my social life. I also tend to want a drink when I've had a rough week or a rough day...And I think this is going to push me toward Jesus even more. So come next wednesday, no alcohol for 40 days...I will keep you posted on how I do!
Headed to Z-Tejas for dinner tonight and then to the in-laws house tomorrow night for a cook out! Should be fun!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Breakfast with my newest girl crush, Karisse.

Happy....wait, what day is it?

I have been in a fog for the past few days. It is hilarious how quickly one can be knocked on their tail from the flu! I have literally been in pajamas since Saturday, showered once, barely eaten, I did manage to go to starbucks and Andrew was disgusted that I went in the pajamas I had worn since Saturday. I don’t even fully recall going, but there is a starbucks cup in our trash, so i guess it did happen. I think fever driving is probably as dangerous as drunk driving. But, thanks to ny and day quil, tamaflu, soup from my austin mama-susan whiteside- and andrew blowing kisses, because he doesn’t want to be infected, and 3 nights of 14 plus hours of sleep, i believe i am on the mend. I am going to try to work tomorrow. I am pretty nervous to go. 18 month olds tend to have one speed, GO. I doubt if I walk in tomorrow and tell Caitlin and Isabel, "Whitney has been sick so today we are going to lay on the couch and sleep..." that they will respond with "yes mam". The response is sure to be wanting me to hold them both, wrestle with them both and chase them both...but reality is, when mom's get the flu, you don’t get 3 days off, so i know I can do it...Plus, we need our income :)

I wanted to share with you all my amazing experience last week. I got a chance to spend some time with a friend I had not seen in 8 years. Quick history for those of you that don't know, after high school I took a year off between high school and college and took part in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with an organization called Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I trained in LA for 3 months and then went to South Africa on outreach for 2 months. It was such an amazing experience of a lifetime. I met so many amazing people and experienced the Lord in an amazing way i had never known. It was a priceless time of self-discovery and faith forming for me. One of the friends I made while at dts was Karisse. Karisse lived across the hall from me and her roomie was my bff nicole, so we spent lots of time together. Now, i was 18 as was 90 percent of the other students in our dts. Most of us had left home for the first time and we were children, babies! Not Karisse, she was 22, graduated from college and was our mom. I have NO IDEA how she dealt with us. We all loved boys, missed out mommies and got our feelings hurt all the time. But Karisse was so patient with us and loved us-even when we were ridiculous... Well, Karisse was in Austin last week and we got to spend some time together. When she asked what had been going on with me in the past 8 years i responded with, " Well, i graduated from college, got married, worked at a church, went crazy for a while, quit my job at the church, got sane, now i nanny. you?" Here is what Karisse said, " Well, I have been diagnosed with cancer 3 times-including melanoma, breast cancer and a brain tumor, had a bazillion surgeries to remove my cancers, been told I was going to die, been healed time and time again, and now I talk to groups about human trafficking. So, not much." I know, my jaw was on the ground also. Karisse has been to hell and back and still loves and trusts Jesus with everything in her. She and i had really reconnected recently over our blogs. Karisse is also trying to get "healthy"-whatever that means for someone who seems to always have cancer. But she is working to lose a few lb's as well. I was so struck during our time together, because my desire to get healthy is highly influenced by wanting to look good, by wanting to wear designer jeans, by wanting to be proud of how I look...But for her, she chooses to eat healthy food because these foods can help FIGHT CANCER. These foods can give her life. These foods can SAVE her life. It is so convicting to realize what it means to eat foods that can give you life. It re charged my desire to eat well. It recharged my desire to eat clean. It also recharged my desire to hate cancer. Ick. What a bitch. I hate it, but praise God because what the world has meant for harm, He has used for good in Karisse. She is beautiful. She is alive. She is living each day for Gods glory and not in fear of cancer. Lets all eat foods that give us life and rejoice in THE giver of life. Oh Praise Him!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

sick sick sick

Hi friends!
Well, I am typing this blog while I have the flu and am the sickest I can remember being in a LONG time. So if things don't make sense, it is because I am not in my right mind!
I wanted to tell you guys about my amazing weekend. It was focus weekend at Westlake Hills Pres here in Austin. Focus is basically a disciple now type weekend. There were close to 300 students from 6th-12th grades and they are split into groups and put into homes of church members with one or 2 college aged leaders for a weekend of fun and fellowship. For the past 4 years, I was in charge of focus-or on the planning side of it. This is first year I got to just show up and lead students. I had the seniors with 2 other boy leaders. We had 25 students in our house and it was so stinking fun. It reminded me how much I love students and ministry. I had some amazing talks and sessions with these students and saw the Lord move in their lives- and got the flu. haha.
I had shared last week how I was nervous because focus is always a food-tastic weekend full of queso, pizza, candy, doughnuts and more. But i prepped myself for the weekend and I did really well food wise. I took my fave hummus and baby carrots and when the snacks came out, I snacked on that. I also decided to let myself have 1 splurge-I had to pick very carefully, but decided to let myself have some of the chick-fil-a that was delivered to us. I had 6 nuggets and 2 strips and it was amazing. But other than that, I stayed on path and feel great about that. I also think I should have a good week over all because my throat hurts so bad, i'm not super interested in eating....which is a first!
Please pray for healing for me as well as for grace with my employers. It really is hard when your nanny has the flu. I almost want to go back to work soon to help them out, but i know it doesnt do anyone any good for me to go before i'm better and end up getting my sweet girls sick. Pray for wisdom and healing!
Love to you all!