"I smell ice cream."

- Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen
Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks


*No major belly changes in the last two weeks, but I'm definitely feeling my tummy muscles stretch to accommodate this little guy*

How far along? 18 weeks, 4 days
How big is baby Wilson? The size of a mango (6 inches and .5 lbs). We're officially measuring in POUNDS! Crazy.
Maternity clothes? Almost always now.
Stretch marks? Nope. I've been using Mama Bee Belly Butter and love it so far!
Sleep: I've been sleeping like a rock recently. I'm still tired most of the time, but I've been getting 7+ hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and it has been glorious.
Best moment this week: The moments spent sleeping. Seriously.
Miss Anything? Nothing comes to mind. Ever since I discovered decaffeinated iced tea, my whole life has changed. That stuff is gold.
Movement: Nope. I can't wait to start feeling those first kicks or "flutters" though! A couple times a week I try to lay really still with my hands on my stomach, but so far I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Food Cravings: Still nothing. Though I'm tempted to start craving ice cream all the time just because I think I could get away with it! :wink:
Anything making you queasy or sick: Fish, apples and reduced fat ritz crackers.
Labor Signs: Not even a little bit.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Definitely happy. I'm pretty sure I'm in the fun stage of pregnancy now!
Looking forward to: Feeling this little guy move! Though if he's anything like his daddy, he might keep me waiting a little while longer...

Nothing Like the Movies

This week has been full of firsts for me. It was my first time to report to jury duty, first shot at using public transportation, first time attempting to navigate downtown by myself and first real-life courtroom experience. Now don't get me wrong, I have watched countless trials in my life. I've seen drug dealers put away, predators taken off the streets and dangerous criminals locked up indefinitely. The only difference is, all the ones I watched previously were on TV or in movies (mostly Law & Order S.V.U., if we're being honest).

Deep in my heart of hearts I have always had a taste for justice. I long to see bad guys punished for their wrongs and justice executed to the fullest extent of the law (the Lord has used this desire to completely wreck me and my understanding of grace, btw). So, as you can imagine, this week I was a teensy bit excited to get to be a part of the justice system. I hated the idea of commuting downtown, but I was eager to experience the process and bring scumbags to justice! I tried to play it cool during the questioning... mainly I tried to leave out my thirst for justice and overwhelming experience as an investigator (read: law & order addict). While some aspects of this experience were exactly what I imagined, other parts were new and (somewhat) disappointing. As the lawyers began questioning us during voir dire, it became clear that being charming and relatable was just as important as the questions themselves. The first lawyer up was all smiles. He thanked the jury profusely and made sure to make everyone feel important when they were giving their answers. The second lawyer started out just as charming as the first, but was quickly put in his place by the judge when he started to get a little too chatty about the case... there were warnings and objections and everything! Unfortunately, at the end of voir dire I was not selected to be on the jury. In fact, they didn't select anyone from my side of the room because the first side had more than enough candidates. C'est la vie. Maybe next time I'll get the chance to experience all the ins-and-outs of the actual trial. In the meantime, I'm going to stick to S.V.U. reruns, where the bad guys always lose and the good guys always look fabulous in the pursuit of justice! :wink:

Sidenote: The coolest part of this whole process was finding out that there is a "white noise button" that the judge presses every time the attorneys approach the bench. I always wondered how the rest of the courtroom didn't hear those discussions!

Serving Means Sacrificing

Earlier today I teased our Les Mis-loving student intern about missing our pastor's "performance" of a line or two from said musical while she is out of town on a mission trip. "Serving means sacrificing," I told her in jest.

While the context was humorous, I really believe that true service will require sacrifice. Maybe not always, but if service leads us to put others first, there will come a time (or many) when not putting ourselves first will cost us something. As a believer in Jesus Christ, this principle is inherent to the Christian life. However, as imperfect people undergoing sanctification, it is a lesson to be learned seemingly ad nauseaum.

I've been thinking about service and sacrifice a lot, recently. You may have heard that my wife and I are expecting a baby boy in December! We have decided on the first name, Deacon. For starters, we like the sound of it, and it's a little uncommon. We also like the meaning. Deacon comes from a Greek word meaning "servant." While we pray that our son will come to saving faith in Christ and devote his life to Him, we know that he may not. And if that's the case, we'd still like for his name to be a reminder to him and every one else that his mom and dad believed every person was put on earth to serve the Lord and serve others. (And, yes, we know how silly it will sound if he becomes an actual deacon or pastor... "Pastor Deacon or deacon Deacon!")

Expecting a baby boy also has me thinking about sacrifice. Our church is currently studying faith in the life of Abraham. We know full well what's coming in Genesis 22, when Abraham is asked to prepare an altar and sacrifice his son. I can't even comprehend it and I haven't even met my son, yet.

I don't believe I will be called to raise a knife to my son, but I know God has called me to devote everything to Him. This includes my children. I've always been moved by Hannah and her devoting of Samuel to ministry in the temple (1 Samuel 1) and have hoped that I would have that kind of attitude if I ever were blessed with children. Well, now I have one on the way, and I'm praying that the Lord will find us faithful in parenting. I know the temptation to worship my child(ren) will be strong. I've seen it (and judged it) in others. Now I'll be walking in those parenting shoes, feeling the shame of my own hypocrisy, I'm sure.

I know one needn't be a parent to experience sacrifice (see Jesus, Paul, etc.), but I also know there are levels of sacrifice that will be thrust upon me that I have not even imagined! It's a little daunting to say the least. So, I pray that I won't lose sight of WHY I'm sacrificing. I pray that my self-denial wouldn't give way to bitterness or resentment, but to a better idea of Who Christ is. I pray that the whole process will drive me into more of a moment-by-moment trusting in Christ. And I pray that God would be glorified by Deacon Wilson's life as it becomes a testimony of His great gospel.

Pregnancy Update: 16 Weeks



How far along?
16 weeks
How big is baby Wilson? The size of a turnip (roughly 5 inches & 5 ounces)!
Maternity clothes? Most of the time! Maternity pants are pretty magical... not sure I'm ever going back to buttons and zippers after this...
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: As often as I can get it. Our Summer schedule is pretty packed, but I definitely feel it the next day when I get 7 or less hours. I'm still waiting on that second trimester burst of energy I keep hearing about!
Best moment this week: Finding out the gender! I've been saying we're having a boy for weeks, but it was nice to have it confirmed. Now we can finally call this sweet boy by name!
Miss Anything? Knowing I can make it all the way to work without throwing up. For some reason my morning commute has become peak morning sickness time...
Movement: Not yet. Definitely hoping to start feeling some kicks and pokes in the next couple weeks!
Food Cravings: Not really. But when I find something I like I try to get my fill.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Fish and apples.
Gender predictions: Boy :)
Labor Signs: Nope!
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! Now that we know the gender it's easier for me to just relax and enjoy the process.
Looking forward to: Another ultrasound next week! I hope Deacon gives us a show like last time!