March 30, 2011

Change can be good...

Tomorrow marks my last day with WIAAA.  Although I have enjoyed my time here, it is time to move on to what God is calling me to do.  Next Monday I will be traveling to LA for Americorps Vista training and will start working at FOCC on April 11th!  I am so excited that our nonprofit has this amazing opportunity.  I will be able to gain monetary supporters, get the center up and running, plan fundraisers, and build a volunteer base that will hopefully keep FOCC going for years to come.  I will also be working closer to home, traveling less, and have more flexibility, which will make life easier after the baby comes.  Normally I am completely terrified of change, but the older I get the more I realize that change must occur in order for extraordinary things to take place.  God has thoroughly blessed my life over the past few years and I am genuinely giving control over to Him.  I pray that He guides me to make positive changes for Henderson County through this nonprofit. 

March 29, 2011

Jengo Says a Prayer Before Each Meal

Watch this video to see an amazing little dog!

March 28, 2011

Back Home Again

The pager makes it's beeping noise,
The scanner comes to life.
You see excitement on his face
As he goes off to fight.

No matter what you're doing
Or whatever the current plan,
All you can say is "Later Hon"
As he gets those keys in hand.

You say a little prayer
That God will keep him safe,
That with all the pride and bravery
No one will make a mistake.

You know those men are Brothers
And fiercely will protect
The lives of each other and others--
They will truly give their best!

You and your "man's best friend"
Are both loyal and true.
You keep each other company
Waiting for him to return to you.

And when that front door opens
With "Honey I'm home" again,
You thank the Lord he's back OK,
Your brave and strong Fireman.


One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach
with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes
from his life. For each scene he noticed there
was two sets of footprints in the sand.  He
noticed that many times along the path of his
life there was only one set of footprints. He also
noticed that it happened at the very lowest and
saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he asked the Lord
about it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to
follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But
I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times of my life, there is only one set
of footprints. I don't understand why, when I needed
you most, you would leave me."

The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you. During
your times of trial and suffering, when you saw
only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you."

March 25, 2011

Day 30

Challenge: A picture of someone you miss.

This is a picture of me as a baby with my Great-Grandpa Earnie.  Grandpa was a tough, spunky old guy with patience that I have never seen anyone else possess.  Grandpa taught me how to ride a lawn mower, how to shoot a gun, and how to cook weird animals.  Grandpa lost his voicebox and had a talker, which I loved!  It fascinated me!  I loved spending time singing "You are my sunshine" with him, and when the whole family would get together and he would break out the instruments and the tape recorder.  I wish Travis would have met Grandpa, because he would have loved him as much as I do!  I miss Grandpa, but my memories of him will always be in my heart! 

March 24, 2011

Day 29

Challenge: A picture that can always make you smile.

Although this picture isn't of Travis and I, it makes me smile!  I can just hear the dog saying "I will still be the baby, right?"  I am so looking forward to getting our own 'baby belly' pictures and having Miss Daisy in them with us!  It will be a blast!  :)

March 23, 2011

Day 28

Challenge: A picture of something you're afraid of.

Ever since I was little and watched the movie 'Andaconda,' I have had a fear of snakes.  In my mind, they are just nasty, slimy creatures that need to stay away from me.  When I went to a zoo in junior high school, they took us through the reptile house and I cried because they were so gross and mean-looking.  I really don't want to put a picture of a snake on my blog.  Therefore, you get a picture of a nice snake !  :)

March 22, 2011

Day 27

Challenge: A picture of yourself when you were little.

I have always loved the camera, so here are a few pictures of me as a rugrat!  :)

17 Week Baby Belly

Poor quality phone picture, but you get the gist!  :)  This was taken last night by my dad-in-law!  Getting bigger! 

March 21, 2011

Day 26

Challenge: A picture of something that means a lot to you.

My pretty puppy means a lot to me!  She holds a special place in my heart and I am very glad that we were able to adopt her.  She comforts me when I'm sad and makes me laugh when I'm frustrated.  We love our crazy Daisy!

Day 25

Challenge: A picture of your favorite day.

The day I married my best friend, duh!  :)  It was absolutely not perfect, but at the end of the day I was Mrs. Pence and that's all I cared about!  I love you Travis!

March 19, 2011

Day 24

Challenge: A picture of something you wish you could change.

My dad hasn't been there for me at some of the biggest days of my life.  He missed my high school graduation and wedding day, and will soon miss my college graduation and the birth of my first baby.  I wish that I had the ability to change his addiction and make him a normal, loving father.  However, I have learned and realized over many years of hatred and struggling that I simply do not have the power to change him.  Only he has the ability to do that, with the help of his Creator.  Still, if I could change anything, that's exactly what I would change. 

March 18, 2011

Day 23

Challenge: A picture of your favorite book.

Although I'm not a huge reader, I am just finishing up one of the most inspiring and fun books I have ever read; Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.  Mary Beth is the wife of Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman.  Although I had heard the sad story about their adopted daughter's death, I had not fully understood the family's struggles and story.  Through Mary Beth's writing, I felt her pain and shared in her laughter.  She inspired me to be a better wife and Christian woman.  I totally recommend this book to anyone looking to be inspired! 

March 17, 2011

Day 22

Challenge: A picture of something you wish you were better at.

This is an easy one... I am awful at finances!  I have tried hard to be organized with personal and business finances, but it just simply does not comes easy for me.  I always end up forgetting amounts and due dates, even if I have them written down!  :(  Therefore, FOCC has another treasurer and Travis handles most of our personal finances! 

March 16, 2011

Update on Baby Pence

I had my 16 week appointment with my doctor yesterday and it was very exciting!  I got to meet with the actual doctor, not just my midwife.  He is very nice and told me that so far we are having a perfect pregnancy!  He listened to the baby's heartbeat, which was 154.  Might be a girl afterall... only God knows for now!  :)  Doc said that all my numbers are great and that I'm not developing gestational diabetes, which I was concerned about.  We set the appointment for our next ultrasound and should be able to tell the gender and growth of little baby Pence at that point!  April 12th can't come soon enough!  :)

Day 21

Challenge: A picture of something you wish you could forget.

Although I hate to admit it, my senior year of high school into my first semester of college, I did quite a bit of partying and being a rotten Christian.  I ruined my reputation and witnessing opportunity, and almost messed up my relationship with my future husband.  I thought that I needed to cut loose and be 'cool,' however, I just ended up partying to the point of disgrace and shame.  I am embarassed by my actions during these bad months.  However, I am thankful that we have a loving and merciful God who has forgiven me of my sins.  I am proud to say that I am now on a new path and work hard to set a good example for others.  I hope that I now please my Creator!  :) 

Day 20

Challenge: A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
There are very few places in this world that I would absolutely love to travel to, since I'm sort of a hermit crab... :)  However, since attending Monmouth College and learning a bit about Scottish heritage, I would LOVE to go to Scotland to hear the beautiful bagpipers and to see the gorgeous scenery! 

March 14, 2011

Day 19

Challenge: A picture of your favorite food.

Being pregnant and all, I have had a strange fascination with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I eat about 5 each week!  Also, I drink a V8 everyday.  Yummy!  :)  However, I would have to say that my all time favorite food is chocolate!  How could a woman live without it?  This is my rich chocolate cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory this weekend!

March 10, 2011

Day 18

Challenge: A picture of your biggest insecurity

Since the time I hit puberty, I have always struggled with bad acne.  I have oily skin and I was always in a sport, so I would break out even worse.  To make matters worse, I didn't know how to treat it very well.  In my teen years, I would just add a couple more layers of makeup to hide under.  I thought that my acne problem would go away after high school, but it followed me to college.  There, I developed a good face washing routine, however, and it improved.  However, since becoming pregnant my acne has reappeared!  :(  My doctor says that it is due to hormones, however, I still feel like a teenager again.  I look young anyways, so to have acne makes me even more like I'm in high school again.  I know that it is a small price to pay in order to have our precious baby, but I would feel better if it would just disappear again!

Day 17

Challenge: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life.
Since we're going to Indianapolis for the weekend, I figure I better get ahead on my daily challenge or else I will never get caught back up!  :) 
This is a hard one... I am a true believer that every person, obstacle, and situation has a huge impact on one's life.  Every encounter and experience leaves an impression.  However, certain ones leave more of an impact.  As many of you know, I grew up in a very dysfunctional family.  My dad is an alcoholic/drug user.  My mom worked hard to get us both out of the situation and I am very proud of her for all that she has accomplished.  I believe growing up in this household and situation has had the biggest and best impact on me, however.  Because of growing up poor, I had to learn to go without and I believe I am a compassionate person now because of it.  Without growing up like I did, I would not have the heart for low-income parents like I do.  Therefore, I wouldn't have started Family Outreach Community Center and would not serve my community in such a big way.  Without having a deadbeat dad, I may not have turn toward God to fill that void in my life.  All of these things and more derive directly from my upbringing.  And looking back, I am so glad that God placed me right where He did. 

Belly Pictures

12 weeks

14 weeks15 weeks

Here is the progress from 12 weeks to 15 weeks.  You're definitely starting to see my baby belly and it's so exciting!  I'm going to be huge..  :) 

Day 16

Challenge: A picture of someone who inspires you.

Someone in life whom I have always aspired to be like is my Grandma Rady.  She's fun, active, and if she has a goal in mind she always suceeds.  For example, she just completed her Master's Degree two years ago and, although she was one of the oldest in her class, she stuck with it and now teaches BD kids!!  :)  Growing up, she encouraged me to excel in my schooling and always pushed me to do even better.  Throughout college, she sent me $10 in my mailbox each week, with an encouraging letter.  Looking back even farther, in high school, Grandma rarely missed school events whether sports or music or even silly art things at school.  She was always there- my biggest fan and cheerleader!  Thank you Grandma, for all of the encouragement and love you have given me over the years.  I'm looking forward to you being a Great-Grandma! 

Day 15

Challenge: A picture of something you want to do before you die.

You can look back to my posts in December to see my whole bucket list, but one thing I want to do before I die is to go on a zip line.  I've always been scared of heights, but to see the world from that view would be amazing!  I'm jealous because Travis went on a trip to Mexico with his mom last year and got to go on a zip line.  Booger!  :) 

March 9, 2011

Day 14

Challenge: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

That has got to be my hubby!  :)  Travis is my encourager, lover, and best friend.  When I have a bad day, he's the one I want to hold me and to tell me that all will be okay.  When I'm complaining, he always finds a way to cheer me up.  Trav has a way of keeping life fun and spontaneous, complementing my often boring and structured way of life.  He is the best husband a woman could ask for- always thinking about my needs and what he can do to make my life better.  I am excited to see him hold our baby, because I know that he will be the most fun and loving dad in the whole world!  I am so glad that God placed Travis in my life and could not imagine life without him!  :) 

March 8, 2011

Day 13

Challenge: A picture of your favorite band or artist.

Oh my!  My taste in music changes from day to day... really hour to hour!  :)  One moment I want something that touches my heart and makes me feel grateful.  Other times, I want something that will make me jump around and drive faster.  I like anything from Dolly Parton to The Showdown to Matthew West.  Therefore, you get pictures of all three of these!  And yes Travis- I just confessed to the world my love for Dolly Parton! 

March 7, 2011

Day 12

Challenge: A picture of something you love.

There are SO many things in this world that I love.. cheesecake, Travis, love, dogs, chocolate, family, getting all dressed up, watching the sun rise, and the list could go on and on!  :)  This life is full of so many wonderful and amazing things that it's hard to nail down just one thing that I love.  Therefore, I'm going to take the easy way out and say that I love the Creator of all of these things.  This picture is of the "eye of God."  Every time I see this image it reminds me of how He planned out every little piece of the world- from the stars to each cell in our body!  It's pretty amazing when you think about it! 

March 6, 2011

Day 11

Challenge: A picture of something you hate.

There are few things in this world that I dislike.  Spiders and sushi are on that list.  But more than anything, I cannot tolerate abuse against children.  No child in this world should take yells, hits, and cruelty from anyone, but especially not from their parents.  Although I grew up in a dysfunctional family, my parents always treated me with dignity, compassion, and love; the kind that every child should receive from their family.  I pray that people in our society can stand against child abuse and stop avoiding the situation by turning a blind eye to it.  God help these little children!

March 5, 2011

Day 10

Challenge: A picture of the person you do the most crazy things with.

Alicia and I have been friends since we were in 5th grade and have been with each other through good times and bad.  She is crazy and silly, so when we're together it is a blast.  We graduated high school together and now will walk through our second graduation cermony together in May!  She keeps my life fun and is always there when I need a friend to cheer me up or just chat with!  I love you, Alicia!

March 4, 2011

Day 9

Challenge: A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.

Well, since we don't actually know what Jesus looks like, I guess I will choose someone who I actually have a picture of... :)  I would have to say Mom.  When I got myself into difficult situations in school, couldn't survive one more test without crying, or just needed someone to walk along side me, Mom was always there.  She somehow cheers me up on bad days and makes me laugh even harder on good days.  She has listened to me complain about the silliest stuff and has never stopped encouraging me to succeed.  My Mom is the person who has gotten me through the most in this life and I couldn't imagine where I would be without her love and support!

March 3, 2011

Day 8

Challenge: A picture that makes you laugh.

I absolutely LOVE pictures and videos of pets doing silly things!  There is a reason that God gave us animals- they are loving, funny, and know exactly how to cheer you up!  These are just a couple of the funny pictures I have seen in emails or online.  The big black dog reminds me of Daisy!  And that's something that Daisy would most certainly do!  :)  Silly pets!  

I also love watching this video.  Hopefully it makes you laugh also!

Day 7

Challenge: A picture of your most treasured item

I think this is the hardest one yet to nail down.  Although there are things that I love very much, like my TV and earrings, I cannot say that they are necessarily treasured items.  The item that is most "treasured" or beloved is probably my wedding ring.  Although not very expensive, when I look at it I am reminded of the promise that Travis and I made to each other.  Even when we're having a rough spot or are arguing about something, my circular ring reminds me that the love we have can never end.  <3

March 1, 2011

Bit of a Scare

We had a bit of a scare today... When I woke up this morning, I had a sharp pain in my lower stomach.  I tried ignoring it all day, thinking it was just gas or an upset stomach.  However, it only got worse throughout the day and hurt so bad at times I couldn't even walk.  So I got up enough nerve to call my obgyn.  Although I had no other symptoms that would cause alarm but that didn't keep me from worrying.  My midwife got me in and after feeling my stomach once quickly knew the culprit.  She said that I have torn my round ligament, which holds the uterus.  I am hopeful that the pain will go away within 72 hours!  :)  However, tonight I suffer.  I keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in a little over 5 months when I have my precious baby in my arms!  Please say a pray for my pain and discomfort. 

Day 6

Challenge: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

Oprah is one of the biggest philanthropists in the world and I would love to walk in her shoes for a day so that I could choose which organizations and people receive the gifts/money.  I would start by donating a chunk to FOCC, the nonprofit I helped start in Henderson County.  Then I would give a lot to the small food pantries in rural areas of the country.  Then, I would buy my mom a new house, because she is the hardest working person I know and still cannot get her house completely fixed.  :)  I would also donate some to Alzheimers research in order to find a cure.  Oh man.. think about all the lives I could change in one day if I had the kind of money Oprah has!