Saturday, April 21, 2012

Big girl bed!!!

Little Miss Mylin now has a 'kitty' room!!!!
(some Hello Kitty themed stuff)

Her first night in her big girl bed!

She sure appears happy, doesn't she?!
Well, that first night was 2 hours of crying and getting out of bed long...

But soon she adjusted!
(I snuck this picture in a different night after she was fast asleep)

Come on baby Draper #2!
We're ready for you!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


One evening we found this in our mailbox...

Prank?  We thought so...
But on further inspection...


Joel discovered in was mostly like a mouse nest.
That is so random.
And weird.
And frankly pretty gross :(

Monday, April 16, 2012

S'more please!

We still do lots of pinterest recipes around our house :)
In the past month I have been craving S'more recipes! (among anything that is sweet and sugary...)

I have made S'more brownies for a carry-in
S'more crescent rolls (crescent rolls stuffed with chocolate chips and marshmellows, rolled up, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar) and
S'more 'rice krispie' treats! ( favorite dessert so far!)


We also made some brownie batter dip several weeks ago when our nephew, Ethan stayed with us.
This was his first time using a mixer - he did so well!

Mylin was a little concerned, but still wanted to be part of the action :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

prayer retreat

Earlier this month I was so blessed to go on a 24 hour prayer retreat
My mom, lovely husband, and great friend, Brittany, made sure Mylin was cared for while I was gone!
I was also privileged to get to spend the day with another good friend, at her in-laws house: a free place to stay!

This is the 4th (or 5th?) prayer retreat I've ever been on - and they have all been SO different!  Not just because God reveals different things to me each time, but because I have done them in all sorts of locations.  This is the first time I retreated with someone else and I think I will always do this again!  While we did spend time talking together about MomLife (a joint ministry of ours), our husbands, children, marriages, and just what God was doing in our lives in general, I still had ample time to read and pray on my 'own' in the house with her.  Having this partner calmed my anxiety about staying away from home (I am pretty hormonally anxious woman when pregnant...not to mention when I am not!!!) and also provided the opportunity to just talk about God and life without interuption.

This is how it all began on that Wednesday afternoon:

I ended up spending a lot of time writing down my thoughts on about 5 differently themed sheets of paper (Family, Self, MomLife, to do, Bible Study).  I would recommend this trick to anyone going on a retreat!  To always have a notebook beside me to pour my thoughts into helped me to get rid of the nagging chores I didn't want to forget to do when I returned home...and to help me not forget the passages I read or the words God gave me over certain subjects or requests.

I had struggled with having an agenda during this retreat.  I went into it with 2 huge 'things' I wanted to figure out, plus like 37 smaller requests I wanted insight on :)  Within about 3 hours, through reading and also an insightful conversation with my retreat companion, I realized that why I go to God to seek answers, He desires that I just seek Him

Well...after that I felt like, I've gotten what I came for - I can go home!
I didn't go home though :) But spent time reflecting on this and preparing myself for what I feel like will be a season of waiting, patience, peace, discipline, obedience, and trust (shouldn't all of life be like this?!).  I believe that why I wish I had certain things figured out in my life and for our future, God wants me to focus on learning about and growing in Him - He already knows how all those other issues will pan out - I am in a place to show Him that I trust Him to be in control...and therefore relinquish my control.
We'll see how this goes........

Have you ever taken a prayer retreat?
Where do you go?
How do you prepare?
How does God speak to you during these times?!

Monday, April 9, 2012


God has laid these themes on my heart (and some of them on Joel's as well) multiple times over the last 3-4 months - I'd love to get your feedback on them!
He has really worked on themes surrounding our marriage, lately
Partly because I spent a lot of time collecting and reflecting on marriage material to speak at our MomLife group on communication - and partly because God is using this time in our life to enhance and strengthen our marriage relationship! (I hope these challenges continue every day, for the rest of our lives!!!! We looooooove being married and learning about ourselves and each other)

- It's mutual - not as anti-feminist and offensive as our culture likes to twist it.  It is something we must constantly refer back to scripture for clearer understanding.  It takes humility - which is so difficult always at times
Guard your heart
- God has taught me that this doesn't mean to build up a protective guard around my heart so no one and nothing can get in...but that I must do all I can to nurture and care for my marriage so my heart is full of God and His that my heart will not turn bitter or hateful towards my husband and my God
- To live in accordance with one another...a reminder of how we are 1 flesh, 1 unit serving together our God.  This word shows up everywhere to us - it is sort of weird and also great that God gives us these sacred echos and confirmation to strive for this discipline with each other!

Burning away the impurities
- Like a crucible (a class we have each been through at church, but also the process...) God may use what seems/feels painful to strip off the junk that covers us in order to get us back to the pure hearts and souls we are made to be in His image.  While it doesn't always feel good, I am thankful for His investment in me and my marriage to make it as radical as He intended!!!

What has God been teaching you over and over and over lately?!

Friday, April 6, 2012

March dates

Casting Crowns
To begin the month we went to a Casting Crowns concert with our church in Fort Wayne! 
It was a great time of worship together! 
We were also challenged by some great messages - including how often we make decisions based on feelings and emotions and how we shouldn't let them rule us...something I know I struggle with!

Afternoon in Marion
The next week Joel took some time off work and we went to my final counseling appointment in Marion - I was so excited to bring Joel along to meet my counselor and enjoy a brief marriage counseling appointment.
Beforehand we went to a local Mexican restaurant and frozen yogurt shop - YUM. 
We were so stuffed!!!

Weekend away in Indy (I already posted on this whole trip!)

Towards the end of the month I randomly scored some last minute tickets to a show at the Embassy in Fort Wayne.  I wanted to surprise Joel for this date - this is his curious/held against his will/excited face...

This is his happy/unbelieving face when I showed him the tickets to Jim Gaffigan

WOW did we have a good time at this show!  I'm surprise neither of us peed our pants we were laughing sooooooooooo hard for the entire 2 hours!  I would pay to go see him again in a heartbeat!
The end of March we went on another small field trip with our church to see Gungor at Huntington University.  This concert was so unlike the one we began the month with...I don't even think I could call it a concert!  It was more like an emotional, worshipful, spiritual experience!  At times I was brought to tears and left feeling exhausted by all the emotions I sorted through and was challenged with during their performance.  Have you ever listened to their music?! If not you MUST look them up!!!

We hardly ever have the opportunity to have such a fun month out together celebrating like this month was - but we are so thanful for it before our new child arrives in less than 2 months!  We hope to be able to get away for 1 or 2 more nights in May to celebrate our anniversary - then it may be a long time before we can do so many fun things again!

What have been some of your favorite dates recently?!