Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beauty Tips

Since we are on the subject of Audrey...When I was in college, I discovered Audrey Hepburn movies. I became enthralled with all things relating to Audrey Hepburn. It's funny to think about, but back then it was the 90's and the internet was a relatively new thing:) I even did a little online research (as limited as it was back then) to find info about Audrey Hepburn, her life, her character, etc. One of the things that profoundly impacted me, as a young woman who was desperately searching for herself, was this poem that I stumbled upon, which was sited as Audrey's favorite poem. I plan on sharing these beautiful words with my daughters (and sons) when they are a little older and my prayer is that they will be impacted by them also.

Time Tested Beauty Tips by Sam Levenson

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

I pray that my daughters will embrace the profound message of this poem and that of God's Truth that He created them to be women of True beauty and character. They were made for so much more than just trying to live up to the world's standard of "beautiful".
And my prayer for my boys is that they will learn to respect and appreciate women, not just because of how they look but more importantly, for who they are.

Big prayers for my little ones...only by the grace of God will this lesson be possible to teach in a world where my children can't even go along to the grocery store without being bombarded by images that speak louder than words about how a woman should look, dress, and behave. Some days it seems hopeless...they can't watch Saturday morning cartoons without commercials for BRATZ dolls or Hannah Montana (which if you haven't heard yet, apparently Miley Cyrus ain't the squeaky clean teen she used ta be). They can't watch sports with Daddy without seeing barely dressed, well endowed "pro cheerleaders" (I use that term loosely) and advertisements for "adult products" (and I'm not talking about beer commercials). How does a mother go about fighting against all that? At times I could just cry about the whole thing...But then I'm reassured and encouraged by all the verses in Scripture that speak to this issue. And again I pray... that my children will know that they were created by God and that fact alone makes them special.

Psalm 139:13-15 (New International Version)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

The same God that placed each star in the sky, created each one of my children. The same God that designed the change of the seasons, created each one of my children. The same God that planned for each individually unique snowflake, created each one of my children. They grow, they learn...How could they not be considered beautiful? I pray that each one of them finds encouragement in the fact that "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."(1 Samuel 16:7)

May each of you be encouraged today by the fact that you were created by the amazing hand of the Creator and that no matter if you are having a "bad hair" day, don't have anything to wear that isn't from the 1990's, wishing you could shrink a few pants sizes or haven't had a chance to shower because you are more focused on taking care of little ones than you are of yourself...the Lord is only looking at your heart and He loves you simply because you are His creation! Blessings to you until you return.

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Since I'm on the subject of God's protection, that reminds me...

Our newest baby niece, Audrey Rose Schneider...I see great things in her future. Whatever her future holds, I predict that she will be described as unstoppable. At least that has proved to be true so far. Apparently, she waits for no one...doctors, nurses, her mother, absolutely no one. I mentioned back in July that I had a story to share with you and boy, is it ever a doozy. But I thought that instead of trying to relay this unbelievable story second hand, I'd ask my dear sister-in-law to do a guest post to share the details with you. So here is the absolutely amazing story of Audrey's birth straight from Jill...

“It’s baby time!” I shouted to Lincoln. I got the go-ahead to make our way to Riverside as my contractions were seven minutes apart. Our son, Eli, was so quick to arrive (we were at the hospital for just 5 ½ hours before he popped out) so my doctor wanted me to come in a little earlier this round. We met my mom at the valet so she could take Eli home with her and we were admitted into the triage area. Time check: around 7:00pm. We were so excited but quite anxious because it seemed like we were waiting forever for the nurse!

 Well, Nurse ManHands (as I like to call her) hooked me up to some monitors and Lincoln, being Lincoln, was trying to talk small talk with her. He had her knocking on wood that triage would slow down because they were super busy. She wasn’t much for small talk. Then she did an initial check. “Two centimeters, 80% effaced; go ahead and walk around the floor for an hour and we’ll check you again.” I always see this on the Baby Story, so it was no shocker, although I was hoping I would be a lot further along.

So off I go in my oh-so-trendy gown making me look more of a whale than I already was but hey, my eggo was preggo, I had an excuse. I sent Lincoln to the cafeteria so he could eat dinner because who knows how long we’d be there and I wanted him to be on his A-game. So I walked. And I contracted. And I avoided all windows where I could see my reflection. Once Lincoln got back, my contractions were getting stronger and closer together; so much that it stopped me in my tracks. Yay, it’s really happening!

An hour went by and we moseyed back to our triage curtain. ManHands came back in and does another exam. “Two centimeters, 80% effaced, no change; we’re going to send you home.” WHAT? “I’ll give you an Ambien and you can sleep through your contractions and maybe we’ll see you here tomorrow or later on in the week.” I told her that I wasn’t a pill popper but she highly recommended it...four or five times even. I then asked, “well, when should we come back in?” ManHands said, “When your contractions are 2-3 minutes apart.” WHAT WHAT? To that, we told her that we live forever away and if Lincoln would have to leave work, we’d be a good hour plus to get to the hospital.

“Then 3-5 minutes apart,” she said. NOTE: Keep in mind we had timed my contractions at 5-6 minutes during our walk on the floor. Skip ahead to lots of waiting, more contractions and Nurse ManHands coming back in with my discharge papers and a big see ya later. I remember thanking her as we left.

So, we left. Well, we had to wait awhile for the valet guy to bring our car around. There was actually another girl and her hubby waiting—a familiar face too; she was the other whale of a woman who was walking the halls and they served her with a see ya later too.

So we called mom and told her we’d be coming back to pick up Eli. Time check: around 10:00pm. So we drove. And I contracted.

We got to mom’s and I just had to lay down. So I went back to my brother's old room and things didn’t get better. After about 40 minutes of pain and some loud grunts and groans, Lincoln called the on-call service and told them we were coming back in. Mom grabbed my arm and was helping me out the door and as I stepped off the front stoop, GUSH…my water broke. (At this point, I remember stepping out of my body and thinking “my girlfriends always said I’d know when my water would break”—sure enough).
Sidenote: I also remember hearing mom say something about how it got on her foot. Hilarious. Mom kept asking Lincoln if we should call the squad but he said he could get me there quicker. What a man. 

So we hopped in the van and sped down the road. Well, sped is an understatement. Flying is more like it. I remember zipping over the railroad tracks and thinking my stomach was going to come out my mouth. I was shouting many expletives. During this time, Lincoln is on the phone with the on-call doctor (not my doctor) and she can hear me yelling.


“Tell your wife to calm down.” Scream, scream, curse word, scream. One push.
Lincoln-- “She says she can feel the head.” (I never really felt the head, I think he misunderstood what I was saying.)
Doctor--“You’ve got to tell your wife to calm down.”

Lincoln--“The head’s out.”

Doctor--“Call 911.” Click.

Push number two and I’m holding our baby. I don’t remember much after this. I just remember praying the same thing over and over…”God, please take care of our baby.” At this point, I probably sounded like RainMan, but what else was I supposed to do? I’m holding a tiny little thing (thank goodness she was tiny) in a blood bath in the front seat of our van!

Lincoln’s on the phone with 911 and I, out of nowhere, tell him to stay straight and go to a much closer hospital. Not sure how I came up with that one. We had every intention of veering right to get on the freeway and head back to Riverside. One of the traffic lights was red and had four cars stopped on both sides. Lincoln honked, flashed the lights and sped right through and we made our way to a the horribly marked hospital after doing a u-turn.

As we pulled up to the emergency room doors about 8 doctors and nurses were there waiting for us (thank you 911 dispatcher) and I apparently tried to get out of the van. They sat me back down and went to cut the cord but 3 of the OB kits didn’t have scissors. Lincoln remembers hearing the doctor say, “that’ll do.” I can only imagine. They rushed the baby off (at this time, we still didn’t know it was Audi—Lincoln asked a few minutes later—“well what did we have?”) and also rushed me off to my own room.

We welcomed Audrey Rose at 11:20pm-ish on Sunday, July 18th, 2010. The nurses calculated Audi’s arrival time from the 911 call they received minus a couple minutes-- Hence the 11:20-ish. She is beautiful and healthy and doing fantastic!

A million and one things could have gone wrong—a deer crossing the road, a horrible car accident from speeding & talking on the phone & seeing a small head out of your wife’s hoo-ha, the baby being turned wrong or me passing out. But none of them did. Two pushes, that’s all it took. I like to think that God was watching out for our health and safety and that my Dad was guiding us through our high speed pursuit and dodging traffic. He was, after all, nicknamed “Fast Tommy.”

So here are some of the common questions we’ve been asked, answered!

• No, the baby did not drop on the floor. I caught her. I attribute that to my mad softball skills.
• Yes, I was in the front seat. I don’t know why I didn’t get in the back; I wasn’t planning on having a baby in our Odyssey.
• No, Lincoln did not pull off the side of the road. Driving 80 mph made more sense at the time.
• No, I was not wearing pants, but a really cute purple dress, now nicknamed, “the dress” and yes, I was still wearing my undies when they wheeled me in the hospital. Yeah, I don’t know either. I remember the nurses asking me if I’d like to keep them. Uh…no. Although they were super cute.
• Yes, our van looked like something from CSI. My amazing brother and mama “took care of it.” Enough said.
• No, we are not getting a new car. We just bought the thing and it has low miles! We did talk about it though. This has a whole new meaning to the “Swagger Wagon.”
• Total time elapsed? We left Riverside at 10pm and delivered Audi at 11:20pm-ish.
• No, I do not plan on doing a home birth with our next child. Are you nuts?

God has truly blessed our family and I am continually amazed at His power. We have quite the story to tell Audi when she’s older!

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts In Him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.

Well, there you have it folks. My sister-in-law is tough as nails and we are so proud of her! Audrey is absolutely beautiful and we have thanked God many times for her safe arrival and the hand of protection that was on the whole family as they took their very memorable trip to the hospital! May God continue to bless you, Audrey. We love you!