Tuesday, 17 December 2013

It's a....


I can't even contain my excitement over this! We are having a girl, a second daughter. I totally had that feeling this time that there was a little girl inside of me (probably because I feel the exact same as I did with my first girl).

I am thrilled to be having a second daughter, and that Penelope will be getting a little sister in May. What best friends they will be! The picture above just seriously brings me to tears of joy, excitement, and anticipation. I cannot imagine all the fun and mischief my two girls are going to get up to, but I know they'll be awesome friends and partners in crime.

And I'm blessed that my Father and my Lord would give me another daughter. A girl to love and serve and cherish for all my days. We are beyond thrilled!

PS: 57% of you voted girl, so once again...majority ruled. This time though the results were a bit more mixed! 

Monday, 9 December 2013

are we having a boy or girl?

In one week we find out if Penelope is getting a brother or a sister! This time around I really have no clue, I waffle between thinking it's a boy or a girl constantly. With Pen, I was positive I was having a boy, so clearly my gut instinct is not to be trusted! I did a poll on my blog with Penny, and the overwhelming response was that I was having a GIRL! So, you guys were right last time..let's see how you do this time around!

We are still deciding whether we'll reveal the gender right away, or wait till Christmas and reveal it in person to our family. I think the Christmas idea is super sweet, but we're not the most patient of people.

So get voting people!!! :) Please see the poll on the right sidebar, or feel free to leave a comment

Friday, 29 November 2013

naming your second

I love names. You can probably tell based on the vast number of blogs I have written in the past on naming Penelope. For some reason, naming our first was easy-peasy. Not so much this time.

We finally agreed on a girl name, but not after a lot of consideration. I ended up choosing the name, but we are both excited and on board with it. The one issue I really had was finding something that fit with Penelope, and one that was not too common. We ended up choosing the most "common" or "popular" name from our list, but I almost didn't choose it simply because it was more popular. After a lot of self talk I realized that I needed to choose the name I liked best, and not worry if there are already kids in the nursery with that name.

Now, for boy names. We had a boy name picked out, which my husband had selected. But after awhile I just felt like I was "going along" with things. I didn't love the name. Now we're back to square one, flipping through books. The problem is, our taste in boy names is vastly different.

My husband loves biblical, highly unusual names (think Hezekiah and and Ephraim). I, on the other hand, like more trendy names or more traditional names (think Lincoln and Henry). I seem to have a love for names that were originally last names, and sound quite masculine. My big problem though is that I'm always thinking of a nick name, and find with boy's names that I like there is often not the greatest nick name. For example, I love Lincoln, but I don't like Linc at all. I love Bennett, and I even love Ben, but then we realized our kids would be Pen and Ben.

Do you see my issues? Do you feel my pain? Totally open to suggestions :)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

being pregnant the second time around {how it's different}

Both my first and second pregnancies, so far, have been nearly identical in symptoms. I feel like it wasn't too long ago that I was in Hamilton, sitting in the midwifery clinic waiting for my name to be called. Here I am again a year and a bit later, in a different midwifery clinic...but it's all really quite familiar.

Still, this pregnancy has felt vastly different. Not because of the symptoms, but because of the difference in my lifestyle and living situation.

an obvious one: getting bigger faster

1. a 400 square foot house vs. a 1400 square foot house
When I was pregnant with Penelope we were living in the tiniest apartment (married dorms as a Christian university). Our house was always clean, because it was so tiny and easy to maintain. Jump forward to this second pregnancy, and we're living in a decent sized townhouse. Maintaining a house over three times bigger is a ton more work. Needless to say, the neat freak in me has really gone soft.

2. no children vs. an active toddler
In my first pregnancy I had no other kids to think about, all my focus and energy was spent on dreaming about my future child and the wonders of motherhood. This time around I have an extremely active toddler (who sleeps a bit like a newborn). Needless to say, there's been a whole lot of fatigue going on around here.

3. being a housewife vs. being a stay at home mom
My first pregnancy I was also at home, but I didn't have kids yet. I always had dinner made when Daniel came home, and our laundry was always folded and put away. Not so much this time around!

4. not knowing a thing about pregnancy vs. having been there once before
I had a ton of anxiety the first time around, but this time I have been way more relaxed. I eat foods I didn't eat before, I stress a lot less, and I find I just feel like I know what to expect in most situations. I'm also trying to avoid mistakes I made last time, like trying to be more active, stretching more, going for more prenatal massages, and eating much healthier.

5. less focused on this pregnancy
This has been my biggest source of guilt, but I find myself way less focused on my baby belly and the little one growing inside of me. With my first barely an hour went by without thinking about my soon to be daughter, but I just don't have that luxury now. I wish I could lay down for two hours and rub my belly and have big dreams for this little one, but it's simply not possible with my first little dream running circles around me!

6. choosing a name is super hard
I don't know why but for some reason choosing a name is so hard this time. I think partially because we want the name to sound good with Penelope, and because we're just a lot pickier this time around.

Some things never change though, and I'm just as excited and thrilled to meet our little one the second time around. And I have the same amount of excitement and anxiousness about finding out the gender on December 16th! Can't wait!!!

baby belly # 2
we're having more ultrasounds this time around

What about you? What was different with your second (or third, etc) pregnancy?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

you can be a christian and be depressed

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble, he cares for those who trust in him.”
Nahum 1:7

I have written this blog post in my head countless times, for the past year. Each time the words were different, and they were always my own. Suddenly today though, something has washed over me and I know that it's time to write this post. I pray, that the words are not mine, but the Lord's. I simply don't have the energy, words, or courage to say what I'm about to say. So please Lord, take over.

I have battled depression to various degrees for much of my whole life. I experienced depression firsthand when I was in the 8th grade. My last experience with depression was less than a year ago, January - March 2013. It was the most harrowing and life altering experience for me. No longer was I simply responsible for myself and my own life, but I had a precious child who also needed my constant care and attention.

I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone, much less a mother. But I know that depression is real, and it’s here to stay. I know that many people of all shapes and sizes, and all backgrounds and experiences, walk this same dark and deep valley. I think some of the hardest people to recognize this though, are Christians. For some reason, the idea that a bible-believing Christian can be so gripped by darkness is unbelievable to some. Depression, a very real and true illness, is swiped under the carpet.

Surely, you can’t suffer from depression if you’re engaged in reading scripture daily. Surely depression cannot exist for the person who has been covered by the blood of Christ, whose sin has been atoned for. Surely, the joy and peace of Christ must surpass all evil, especially the evil of depression.


I can’t tell you how difficult it is to write a post about depression as a pastor’s wife. Even more, I am ashamed to write it as a mother. I remember the lies I told myself this past year, that I cannot be depressed when I’m so blessed. That I can’t possibly be sick, it was all in my head. I tried to fix it, trust me. My husband tried harder. We went to the Lord, we beseeched him. We know he has the power to heal, and we begged for his healing.

I believe the Lord gave me this cross to bear, and I have no idea how long it will last, or when I will experience another “bout” of depression, or for how long. I have no idea why I have this illness. None whatsoever. I do know that the Lord is good, he is Almighty, and he has never forsaken me. I know that there is reason and purpose for my depression, just as there was reason and purpose for my fatherlessness, my abuse, and subsequent promiscuity. There was reason for it all, and I suppose, it is all connected in some ways too.

I know that depression is a dark and wretched place to be. I know that feeling of hopelessness and despair. I know that where there is depression there is satan, but I also know that where there is depression there is science. I know that medication can work miracles for some, and I am 100% supportive of anyone that uses medication. I know that there is no “surefire” remedy. Yes, you can take Vitamin D. Yes, you can exercise and get out in the sunshine. But for some, there is no healing. For some, depression is a lifelong battle that will never go away.

I do know hope too. I do know what it is like to feel completely free from the bonds of depression. I know what it’s like to taste the goodness of healing, to cling to Jesus and rejoice. Somedays too, I know the feeling to dread. Especially as winter approaches, I know the feeling of fear and worry…is the darkness coming for me?

In it all though, I continue to stand firm in my faith. I continue to rejoice in my God and my salvation. When I’m depressed, I’m still a Christian. I’m still a wife, a mother, and a friend. Nothing stops when I’m depressed, most especially not my faith.

{some helpful hints if you have a friend battling depression}

Ø  Always pray for them and with them

Ø  Send them encouragement. A kind phone call, a visit, some homebaked cookies. Something to show them that they’re of value. Know that they might not want to leave their house for a visit, but gently ask if they’d be up for a visit in their own home.

Ø  Listen to them, but don’t try to fix them. Know that they have a real illness. It might be a good idea though, to gently encourage them to visit a counsellor or doctor, if they haven’t done so.

Ø  Don’t make them feel bad for taking medication.

Ø  Finally, the most common response I received was denial. It is the most dangerous and potentially deadly. Do not deny the existence of their illness. If someone comes to you for help, never sweep their concerns under the carpet or minimize them. Depression comes in many forms, and the happiest looking person can be fighting the ugliest battle inside. Love on your friend, don’t make them feel “crazier” by denying their feelings.

 email me at thisrookiewife@gmail.com if you need a safe person to talk to

Saturday, 9 November 2013

life lately...

It's been awhile since I was posting on a regularly basis, and believe me, I miss it! Blogging and writing for me is a process that I often do completely selfishly. It's one of the few things in my life that is purely for myself, not for my husband, or my kids. Just me. I often think of them in the process, and others, and I hope to serve people with what I write, and above all glorify God, but I wouldn't do it if it didn't give me such joy.

I have a ton of blog posts in my brain, but I thought I'd just give a little update on what has been going on, since it has been so long since I have posted.

1. There is a baby growing inside of me...again.

I'm having another baby! It's awesome and exciting and also a lot of other things too. This second pregnancy has been really similar to my first, except that my lifestyle is totally different! I am having a really hard time managing my pregnancy and managing a toddler, loving on my husband, and having a home (a really BIG home too, in comparison to others we have lived in). It's made me second guess my desire for a huge family and I'll blog all about that process and the fact that I have completely idolized big families to the point of not really noticing how amazing smaller families are too.

2. I've been really sick
A little over a week ago I got really sick with the flu (or food poisoning) and had to be hospitalized. It was awful, and happened just as I was entering my second trimester and starting to get a little pep back into my step! Through this process it's also become very obvious (it's been pretty obvious for awhile) that I have a chronic lifelong digestive condition. I'm still in the midst of learning how to deal with it, but I know that the next few months will involve me finding some sort of support group with others who have dealt with it, as well as finding a nutritionist to help me get my health on track. I also know that spiritually, I will need to be relying on God to help me with emotional stress and learning some good Christian-based meditative techniques to help me when I feel anxious.

I know with a chronic conditions that I will always have this to think about, but perhaps that is not such a bad thing. Perhaps it will force me to get my eating back on track and get my butt into gear in terms of moving and exercising and finding healthy ways to deal with emotional stress. I know lately I have let everything slip and it's probably why I'm in this mess to begin with!

we also just got back from a short trip to Great Wolf Lodge!

3. We had a little scare with BB # 2, but all is good!

A few days ago at my prenatal appointment the midwife couldn't find the heartbeat of our sweet baby. At first I wasn't scared at all, last time it took a really long time to find the heartbeat with Penelope, but we always knew it was because I had an anterior placenta and were always told not to worry. This time we had no information about placenta, and that little seed of worry was planted.

We opted to have an ultrasound, and had to wait two days until we were able to confirm that everything was perfectly fine with our baby. I still have little information on placement of placenta, since I need to talk to my midwife about the results, but I am feeling so happy knowing that our child is safe and healthy!

It was a scary moment for us. We're so thankful for a healthy baby and the experience taught me to appreciate this pregnancy, even when it throws my entire life off track. A baby is coming!! and that makes it all worth it!

How about you? What's new with you? Hopefully all that craziness explains why I have been MIA!

at Great Wolf Lodge, wearing the cutest outfit!
Rapunzel shirt and black tights (H&M)
faux ugg boots 
total cost: $15

Sunday, 27 October 2013

our cold, uninviting living room

Okay people, I need some decor help ASAP! I am not good at decorating or DIYs (well, if I had an unlimited amount of money I would be). However, I am just so darn cheap that even a $20 DIY freaks me out, and therefore....my house looks very plain and boring.

In all our past homes I still felt cozy and warm in our living room. It's the central hub of the home, so it has to be cozy! Our first two homes were teeny tiny, but I always felt like our living room was the perfect size. Our limited amount of furniture fit in perfectly, and people always commented that our place felt very "homey" and "cozy". Nobody has said that yet about this place! In fact, most comments are that we need more furniture (which we can't really afford), or we need to rearrange the furniture (which we are also not sure about).

Right now I'm in the midst of adding some special touches to make it more cozy, I''ve taken some "before" pictures, with my re-do plans. Let me know what you think and share with me some ideas (but keep in mind, we are on the strictest of budgets right now!)

So far this just seems like the most reasonable place to put the couch (we have access to the back door, don't worry!) Any other way either blocks something important (like the furnace door), or just doesn't make sense with how the TV has to be situated. Tempted to just get rid of the TV, but...also not.

This couch is on it's last leg, but we can't be buying anything new right now. My plan is to find a very inexpensive way to cover the couch, while also adding lots of brightly coloured cushions for depth, and a pretty and cozy throw blanket. So far this tutorial seems like the best plan.

This is the wall opposite the couch, where our TV is. Pen likes to play in this area. This week I plan on buying 9 frames from the dollar store and making a frame wall above the horse/play house.

After Christmas I also plan on moving the play house downstairs and making that wall a play area for Penny. Her Grandparents are buying her the Ikea play kitchen, and I plan on getting her a chair to sit in and read, plus possibly a doll with a bed. That way it will be like her house inside a house, and it won't be ugly like the Play Skool toy!

This is the back corner of the room. Right now it houses all of Penny's toys (I realize she's not as spoiled as I think when all her toys fit into two small baskets). Today my plan is to move all the toys to our spare bedroom (aka: empty bedroom) as a separate play space for Penny. I might keep the small basket up here with just a few of her favourites.

Once Penny's toys are gone this side of the room will look even more lonely than it does now. This week I bought two white lack shelves from Ikea, and I'm going to have them installed here. I think the wall will still look pretty empty, so my plan is to buy another smaller chair from a local consignment shop that has beautiful upholstered chairs for about $50. 

So now it's your turn, is there anything you'd recommend? Speak now!