Saturday, December 29, 2012

Team Worth '12 Review

Although it seems impossible, it is already time to recap our year.  2012 began, and ended, with significant changes for Team Worth. 

  • We kicked off the year by moving two states away and living with our brother Ben.  No matter how generous and chill a person is, it isn't easy to live with anyone once you are married.  Still, Ben has made this a great experience! 

  • We looked for a church and found one; which felt like we never left.  Diving into ministry at Bethel has been one of our greatest pleasures this year.

  • Katie held a hand full of photo shoots and got a good start, gaining a lot of knowledge, on the road to starting her own photography business.

  • God unexpectedly blessed us with another pregnancy, we loved our son for the short while that we had him.  Then in late November, for reasons beyond our ability to concieve, Noah passed away.  This event was marked deeply with the love of others pouring into our hurting hearts!  We were irreversably changed through Noah's death, but because of God's infinite grace and the love of His family, we have been changed for the better!

  • We knew the joy of having our first child birthday party!  Eden's birthday was great enough to overshadow the 18 hour car ride with her first ear infection!  It was most enjoyable to watch Eden's face light up as we sang her happy birthday... she just knew it was all about her (a quality we may regret installing into her years down the road)!

  • Finally, we were offered, and accepted, a part time position as the Director of Youth at Bethel Baptist Church in Fruitport MI.  This is a wonderful, part time opportunity for us to minister to the students in Fruitport, as well as gain some experience which should aid him in his desire to do full time ministry.  The position begins January 1st, but Mark will be maintaining his current employment at Hackley Hospital as our family's primary income.

    We are excited about this opportunity  but we know that ministry is as stressful as it is rewarding.  We ask that you keep us in prayer as we begin this new journey.  It is unspeakable how much we appreciate the prayers and support of those who care for us.  If God is not on our side, then we will be completely defeated; but if God is for us, who can stand against us?

That serves as a small sampling size of what transpired in Team Worth this year.  The overarching theme is undoubtedly God's faithfulness, for we faced some tough circumstances, but we are entering 2013 stronger and more united than ever!

As we close up this year, we wanted to also give you the final report on our 2012 goals, as depressing as this report will be.  We do consider it a small victory that we can even remember our goals at the end of the year!

  1. Run a 5k together
    1. This was just flat out a fail.  We almost never jogged together (maybe twice together all year).  We sort of gave up on the goal when we got pregnant...
    2. FAIL
  2. Read 2 Parenting Books Together
    1. This also is a mega fail, but we grew from trying.  We learned that we are too busy and love relaxing when we do get time together too much to actually read any book all the way through out loud together.  Had we allowed ourselves to read separately, we likely would have finished at least one book.  Next year, our reading goal will be carried out separately.
    2. FAIL
  3. Pray Together 5 Nights a Week
    1. If we gave you the stats on how rarely we actually prayed out loud together 5 nights a week, you would easily chalk this up as a fail... and to some degree we do.  But, for the couple of months that we did pray together often, it was one of the best experiences of our marriage!  Praying together brought our united focus back to God, it lowered our selfishness, and it encouraged our personal relationships with Him!  Because of those great benefits, even if only for two months, we call this a partial success.
    2. Moderate Success
  4. Update Our Family Blog Twice a Month
    1. Finally we come to a goal which has been (other than one month) fully successful!  We have thoroughly enjoyed updating our blog with whatever is going on in our lives and we hope you have enjoyed reading it.  We feel as though we have 3 homes and only live in one of them, so we want to continue to blog so that those who love us from afar can keep up with us.
    2. SUCCESS
  5. Get Actively Involved in a Local Church Ministry
    1. As has been previously stated, we (re)joined Bethel Baptist Church and are now very active in the youth, music, and nursery ministries!  Next year Mark will actually be on staff at Bethel and we are thrilled to start that new part of our journey.
    2. SUCCESS

So in the end, we completed around 40 to 50 % of our 2012 Team Worth goals.  Stop on by the blog on January 1st and we will reveal our 5 2013 Goals, one of which we will select from suggestions given to us by our friends (so if you have a goal suggestion, let us know by commenting below or hit us up on facebook).

From Team Worth to all of those who read this blog and support us, we thank you from our hearts and we love you!  We would love to hear about your 2012!

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10 on 10

2012 is coming to a close. I feel that as I get older the years go by faster! December is such an exciting time of year though. There is much to plan for, and look forward too. I wanted to capture getting ready for this holiday season at the Worths. So enjoy these pictures. I must admit they are not ALL taken the same day, so I guess  that's cheating ;). Decorating took more than 1 day around here, so in order to capture these moments they were spread out. Forgive me :).
The Tree!

Eden helping Daddy cut down the Christmas tree!

Family picture at the tree farm!

Eden loved the Christmas lights!

Time to deck the halls! :) Love getting out all the decorations!

This will be filled with candy soon!

Could you imagine if you were there? :)

Eden and Mommy decorating the tree!

Love this ornament :).

Happy Family!

Merry Christmas to all! May you enjoy this time of year as we remind ourselves of the babe born in a manger who came to save us all! 

Head on over to Arlee's blog and see her sweet pictures from Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ryan Leigh

We have spent most of our recent blogs chronicling our loss of Noah Matthew.  We still hurt from the loss but life has returned to some sense of normality.  Today, however, we remember that we lost another child 2 years ago.  Ryan Leigh passed before 10 weeks old.

We light a candle in memory of Ryan and we cannot believe that it has only been 2 years.  On days like today we remember that life has not been all rainbows and butterflies, but that the sovereign grace of God has been a constant in our lives.  Jesus' love has never failed us yet, and we move forward in life with the confident hope that it never will!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Moments Remembered

It has been 3 weeks now since we lost our little boy. I thought I would share 2 things Mark and I shared at Noah's memorial service a little over a week ago. It was a beautiful service. Our pastor shared some very encouraging words. I read a poem, and by God's grace I got through it without falling apart. Mark performed a song by Matt Redman called "Never Once". During the song we all lit candles to honor Noah. So below is the poem, and the lyrics to the song perfomed at the memorial. We were glad to be able to remember and honor Noah in this way.

The Blessing of a son

Noah Matthew
A gift from God you were
With tiny hands
Arms folded over your chest
You arrived too early we thought
But the Lord knew best

     With you, our little miracle
Came much blessing
And overwhelming loss
We held you in our arms
And with hearts aching
We let you go.

          God gave us you
Not a lifetime to love you were we given
But 19 weeks was truly enough
A member of this family you will always be
God graciously gave, and has now taken away
So although we cannot comprehend
We trust His plan

 Never will we watch you play
Or laugh with you
But Dear Noah you must know
That you were loved
And we have been so very blessed

So pain we face now
Knowing each day you won’t play a part
Noah Matthew you’ve left a mark
And our lives are truly changed because of you
In our memory and hearts you will always last

We look forward to the day
When all this pain and sorrow will be washed away
When the Lord will truly fill this void
We will see Him in all His glory
And sweet Noah, we hope to see you

 But for now we will carry on
And NEVER forget you

"Never Once"

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 Goals Update: Crunch Time

As will happen to many people next week, Katie and I looked at our calendar and thought, "Holy crap!  It is nearly Thanksgiving, which means it is nearly Christmas, which means only a month and a half to scrape together some justifiable response for our 2012 goals completion!!"  It is time to throw out another update, especially considering how poorly we are doing on many of our goals.  Perhaps just stating it publicly will help motivate us to complete a few of these in the little time remaining.

So lets jump into it:

(EPC=Estimated Percent Complete)

  1. Read 2 parenting books
    1. Our last goals update was in July.  The only difference from then till now is that we purchased the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" instead of continually checking it out from the library.  So only two chapters into the first book.  Haven't settled on a second book.
    2. EPC:  5%
  2. Jog a 5k together
    1. We had given up on this goal because it wouldn't have been a good idea with Katie pregnant.  Even though Katie is no longer pregnant, we think it is too late in the year to start to train for a 5k and they probably don't even have one before the new year.  I am calling this one dead!
    2. EPC: 0%
  3. Pray together 5 nights a week
    1. This one has been on and off here or there all year long.  It is nearly impossible to estimate how much of this we have completed.  The idea of this goal was to set the habit of praying together every night before bed.  Sadly, though, this habit still is not ingrained in us.
    2. EPC: Roughly 25%
  4. Take on an active ministry role in a local church
    1. This goal is our one goal which is absolutely fulfilled!  We have been actively helping as youth leaders at Bethel Baptist Church of Fruitport since early Summer.  God has recently blessed even further and we are currently being considered for a one year position as Director of Youth.
    2. EPC: 100%
  5. Post on our family blog at least twice each month
    1. This goal has gone well for the most part.  Technically we failed to update at least twice in two months so far: June and August.  Even though two months only had one blog post, we have blogged more than 24 times this year, and we consider that a sucess.  Katie and I are both very open and social people, so blogging has been a rewarding practice for us.  We appreciate you taking the time to read and keep up with our family.
    2. EPC: 83%

It is easy for us to look at these goals and see mostly failure, but a little perspective reminds us that this is the first year we can even remember our new years resolution in November (not to mention 5 of them).  So, although we won't complete 3 of our 5 goals, we consider this progress, a step forward, and hope for even further development next year.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

10 on 10: November

Well we've made it to November,and I am late once again...So here is my 10 on 11 :). The end of October proved to be a very rough time in the Worth household. We had to say goodbye to Noah Matthew, our son that we never really got to know. God has faithfully been walking us through this trial. Yesterday we held a memorial service for Noah. So I captured some moments from before and after. Enjoy these precious pictures from the memorial/celebration of Noah, and the sweet moments I captured of my family!

Vigil candles for the memorial service

Programs for Noah's memorial...I really like seeing his name written out.

A banner in celebration of Noah :)

Many people came to support us, and honor and celebrate Noah.

The candle I lit in honor of Noah Matthew....All  other candles were lit  from  this one.

Mark and I in front of Noah's banner. Mark has been a WONDERFUL support and comfort to me during this heartbreaking time in our lives.

Auntie Heather came over after the service to help babysit. This allowed Mark and I to have a much needed date night! A big thanks to Aunt Casey and Uncle Ben who also helped occupy our little monkey :).

Caught red handed with a cell phone. I just love her face! 

Dinner fit for a 1 yr old princess :)...Mark and I enjoyed dinner out! 

Home from our date! So it's daddy and Eden playtime. Don't worry Eden actually enjoyed this haha. What a little goofball!

I enjoyed capturing these moments! Happy November everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Week of Heartache

::: A note to Noah :::
Noah Matthew Worth, my precious little boy!  I miss you beyond words.  I will never experience the joy of watching you grow up, or seeing you play soccer with your daddy.  Somehow though, for reasons that I cannot comprehend, God had other plans for you little one.  Your life, although short, has had an impact on many.  As each day passes, I continue to grieve your loss, but am thankful for the time I had with you! You will forever be a part of this family, and you will hold a special place in my heart. I hope and pray that the Savior's arms are holding you now and forever!
 Your Mom
Noah's arrival was like nothing I have ever experienced, nor want to again.  Unlike the joy of a full-term pregnancy, there was no joy in hearing his first cry, or seeing movement.  Everything was still.  Too still.  There was sorrow and grief, and more tears between Mark and I than we had ever shared before!  Monday October 29th, was by far the hardest day of my life!  But as I look back, God carried us through with such GRACE. He allowed us to have some healthy distractions while in the hospital.  Whether it was sharing Eden's birth story with our nurse, laughing with her, or having Eden come see us.  It was so good for us not to dwell every minute on the overwhelming reality we were facing.  The Lord also graciously gave us the wisdom to think through the decision that had to be made, about what we would do with our little one after he arrived.  He provided the time we needed alone to weep with our little boy.  I must share that God gave me a wonderful amazing husband who helped carry my burdens in the midst of his own grief.  In the throws of contractions he encouraged me, and told me what an amazing job I was doing!  He held my hand, and told me to breath deep and look into his eyes.  He so badly wanted to take on my physical pain, so that I didn't have to do it alone.  He did not pretend to be superman.  He supported me, but allowed me to see his vulnerability.  God gave me exactly the right husband, he was a tremendous support and still continues to be.

As each day passes, we continue to find ourselves in the valley.  One night I went upstairs and just collapsed on my bed in tears, Mark soon found me and we grieved together.  It is hard when we are both  overwhelmed with grief.  How is it possible to find the strength to be there for the other person?  We have completely come unraveled together, and times when there were no words the silence was filled with weeping.  I must say in the moments of uncontrollable emotion is when Mark and I are so completely united.  We come to the end of who we are.  We can't possibly hold on any longer.  So we lose it together, and the Lord just holds us. That is why we believe the Lord blessed us with the body of Christ.  It is a beautiful thing when we feel the love and support of others.  We simply can't do this alone!  The only reason this valley is bearable is because of the tremendous help of our friends and family.  Not only has the Lord been holding us continually, but it is through others that we tangibly feel HIS love!

We have found that "healthy distractions" are a wonderful thing.  Mark and I have so much enjoyed the friends and family who have visited us.  As much as we need to cry, there are times we just so badly need to laugh. We need to play a game, go to the store, hangout with friends, or just watch TV. We need to know that life can still be enjoyed in the midst of tragedy.  "Normal" everyday things are great, if balanced with time alone.  Even taking Eden on her first Tricker-treating experience was nice.  It allowed us to take part in something "normal", that so many others were taking part in. It was kind of a last minute decision, but we really enjoyed it. Plus, we got to enjoy the candy ;).

For us both, it seems that indulging in a few "comfort foods" this week has been very sweet, and helpful.  For example, the morning we left the hospital Mark took me out to breakfast.  That is NOT something we do, pretty much ever. But to be honest, we felt like we could just use a nice breakfast out, and a place to talk and process things together.  Although our budget  probably wouldn't have allowed it, in the moment we set that aside.  Also, a few times this week we have gotten Cappuccinos.  We have discovered we both enjoy them!  We're not into the gourmet coffee shop ones, but the cheap and extra sweet ones from the gas station are just great.  These are simple things really, but in the midst of all that is going on they have brought a little pleasure our way :).

Not only have I craved time alone with Mark, everyday activities with others, and comfort food. I soon realized that I wanted some kind of change in my life. Maybe this is more of a woman thing :). I think as women when we are working through a hard situation, or starting something new, there is something exciting about changing something about us too. For me, it was a haircut. I have wanted one for a while, but somehow felt this week was a very appropriate time to get one. Change is so very good for me. By no means do I want to move on and forget the situation we are in, but being refreshed in a new way seems to have been helpful in my healing thus far.

So whether you have faced similar tragedy, or not. Remember there is no road map for grieving. It comes in all shapes and sizes; in huge overwhelming waves of emotion and simple tearful moments of sadness. I have to constantly remind myself that this is not a one day, week, month or year process! Surely I know with the Lord's help the days will get easier. But there will always be a place in my heart that aches for Noah.  I simply will never forget him, and I don't want to.

I am realizing that grief is not meant to be carried alone. So please I beg you in the Lord, continue to lift us up in prayer!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Father's Grief

Expressed below is the raw truth about how my grief affects me; some of it ugly, some of it good:

"Grief will be expressed."  In times of great sorrow, this fact is inevitable.  My grief has caused me to weep without control; to cry out to the Lord and beg of him; to lose patience without warrant; to praise God with a deeper passion than I previously knew; to depend on my wife in a whole new way.  My grief wants me to be sad, because my sorrow feels like a testament of my love for Noah.  It fears moving on with my life, because to move on feels like forgetting.  My grief is never fully gone, just temporarily contained.  Even in the midst of the best distractions (playing with my daughter, laughing with my wife, watching sports), my grief weighs on my chest like a pending exam. 

I must not ignore, suppress, or hide my grief, because it will express itself.  Failure to face it would allow it to fester inside of me, to grow into a monster that would be destructive to myself and my relationships with others.

They say that grief can be a wedge.  I take that to mean that grief is something that can take a crack and turn it into a crevice.  Nothing has helped me with grief as much as the strength and depth of my marriage to Katie.  We are in no way perfect, but we have always communicated and worked on our issues as they arise.  This healthy practice in marriage has eliminated cracks for grief to wedge open.  Grief doesn't always draw a couple into a deeper relationship, but it often is the wedge that splits two people apart.  I couldn't heal in this process without my wife!

I have not allowed myself to ask the question "Why?", although I cannot say I never will.  I feel it is not my place to know why; rather, I entrust that question to God.  I trust Him, knowing that He is good, just, merciful, loving, powerful, and righteous.  He determines why, and does not always share it with me.  But I rest in the knowledge that what He does, and why He does it, is right!  My grief would have me ask "Why"; it would assume I deserve the answer, but I am aided by my knowledge of the book of Job: real grief caused for reasons he could not comprehend, yet God never explains why.  Job questions why and God simply replies with "Who are you to question Me?" 

It is said that grief is a process, and that much I am sure of.  It doesn't disappear overnight; it can't be dealt with in a day.  I am not, however, convinced that I have to go through all the stages of grief in order to properly grieve.  I don't feel that just because I never got angry or depressed that I somehow did not grieve as much as someone who did go through those things.  How much I loved Noah, and how much it hurts now that he is gone, is not lesser because I choose not to get angry.  I suppose, however, that it is still to be seen all the stages that I will go through.

My grief needs to be informed of the positive.  I remind it that much good has come of this situation.  There are incredible blessings that have come along with this heartache.  I was blessed with a son; a son that I got to love.  We have been blessed by the overwhelming proof that we are part of the loving family of God, who have all poured out their love and care for us.  I am blessed to be deepened in my dependency on God; and amazingly we have been able to share our faith with people we wouldn't have been able to without this loss.  My grief must be reminded of these blessings, and so many others, in order that it is not allowed to blind my heart.

Finally, two simple things have alone been of greatest comfort in my grief: ears and arms.  It is a great comfort to me to be able sit with someone who I know cares and have them just listen to me express my grief.  Often people feel the need to say something comforting, and although I appreciate their words, nothing comforts me like a person who actively listens.  Secondly, the arms of a heartfelt hug are of nearly equal comfort to that of listening ears.  Nothing, including ears and arms, will take away my sorrow, but knowing that someone cares and wants to bear some of my burden is very comforting still.

My prayer is that by sharing the depths of my grief uncensored others who will go through grief may benefit from these thoughts, and that we can resonate together to turn our loss into gain for the Glory of God!  Remember, we have a Savior who knows loss and grief intimately.  Jesus bore it all on the cross, and there is no depth of grief and sorrow that He has not experienced, and that He has not overcome.  In Him, we have victory over all tragedies.

Mark Worth

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Noah Matthew

James 1:17 tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above”.  We think of this verse when we find our spouse, when we find a job that meets our needs, or when God provides a place to live.  However, there are times we must look deeper to see the blessing.  Allow us to share with you a blessing we received from the Lord that came at great cost.

 A few months back, Mark and I had the privilege of learning that we were expecting another child.  We were nervous, and unsure about how we would handle this life change financially.  We were, however, still very excited.  We trusted that the Lord would provide what we needed, when we needed it!  As the summer progressed and the fall began, we started to plan.  We had seen our little miracle’s heart beating and saw it jumping on the ultrasound screen.  We were looking forward to expanding our family.

Last week we hit the 19th week mark of the pregnancy.  We were almost half way.  I had begun to feel a little movement a few weeks back.  More recently it seemed to have stopped.  I was trying to remind myself that moms feel their babies at different times, and that it could take a little while to feel the baby on a regular basis.  However, over the weekend I began experiencing some complications.  Mark and I decided to go the ER to see what was going on.  I think as humans we hope for the best and assume the worst.  Needless to say, we were trusting God through it all.  Sunday we learned that our little one no longer had a heartbeat.  Nothing can prepare your heart to see your baby on a sonogram; A fully formed little person with no flickering beating heart. Mark and I began to fall apart the moment we saw a straight line crawling along the screen indicating there was no life, no heartbeat.

There were many decisions to be made in the hours following the dreadful news.  Due to how far along we were, it was decided we would go to the hospital Monday to be monitored and induced :/.  Our child’s gestational age was about 16.5 weeks.  It is very unusual to lose a child at this point so on top of our grief we worried about the cause of such a late miscarriage.

Monday morning we headed into the hospital to begin the long process.  We had heard it could take days to convince my body it was time to deliver the baby.  God gave us a fantastic nurse.  I was her only patient, and I felt so loved and cared for.  I could not have asked for a better nurse/ friend to help carry me through such a hard process.  As my body started reacting to the medication, I was very glad for pain meds.  However, morphine apparently has no sway on me (a truly devastating revelation at the time). The pain was so very real; physically and emotionally.  Forcing a body into labor that early is in no way God’s design!  Labor was hard, but thankfully my body responded like it was supposed to, and in a very timely manner.  Nothing could have prepared us for what came next; seeing our precious baby.  For those who have ever wondered if a baby in the womb is really a baby…I have news for you!  Even at 16 weeks, and in the midst of all our grief, we recognized the amazing handiwork of God.  We saw our little ones head, hands, all 10 fingers, feet, toes, eyes, ears, nose, mouth…it was all there!  God is amazing! He allowed us to have a little boy.  We named him Noah Matthew.  Noah meaning (rest, comfort) and Matthew meaning (gift of God).  He truly is a gift!  We cried like we had never cried before with him in our arms. Mark and I prayed and cried our hearts out to God, and then we said our goodbyes.  Noah will always be a part of this family, and we miss him greatly!

 We have learned so much through this process, and for us this journey is really just beginning.  We are taking it one day at a time because that is the only way we’ll make it through.  We are so grateful for our friends and family who having been lifting us up in prayer.  Also for those who have been the hands and feet of Jesus.  Thanks for visiting us, crying with us, and being there for us in our time of need.  We most of all want to thank our Lord and Savior.  Without Him we would not be able to deal with such great heartache.  He gives us strength in the midst of pain, peace in the absence of understanding, and hope to carry on; His love knows no bounds!

After reading this post, surely some will wonder how this is a blessing at all?  We consider this part of our life a blessing in many ways.  These last couple of days we have heard from others who we never knew went through this same heartache, they have ministered to us.  We have cried with strangers and family members alike.  We have felt more cared for and embraced than ever before.  Not only have we felt the love of others, but we have felt the love of each other.  It served as a beautiful reminder of the power of a deep intimate marriage as we cried together and comforted one another.  Our perspective has been irrevocably altered for the better, as a parent and as a servant of God.

But the one blessing we keep thanking God for is that He gave us a son!  In the midst of this situation it would be very easy to only think of our loss, but we also celebrate the blessing of having a son, regardless of how short his life may have been.  It is not for us to know who he would have become, but he was our son and we loved him dearly; and that was a great blessing indeed!

Friday, October 26, 2012

October Review

Team Worth has had a crazy few weeks! In early October we went out east to visit my family in NJ. It was a wonderful time, and we thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Eden's very 1st Birthday! We cannot believe it's been over a year now that this precious little girl has been a part of our lives. She is a huge blessing, and we do not thank God enough for how much laughter, energy, joy, and happiness she has brought to our family.

This is a picture from her birthday shoot :)
Then we made a quick stop up in North Eastern PA to visit some friends. We both strangely felt like it was home :). It It is the area we met, fell in love, had our 1st apartment, and started our family. There will always be a special place in our heart for that area. It is safe to say we miss it! Seeing our friends was awesome, our only regret was how little time we got to spend there. My hope is that as our family grows, Mark and I will have the privilege of revisiting that area to remember the "roots" of our relationship. Right now there is great incentive, but I am hoping that in 30 + years we'll still find an excuse to visit!

Mixed in with all our crazy traveling, our precious Eden has been under the weather. She experienced her 1st ear infection the week before her birthday. Needless to say all 3 of us went a little crazy! I have never dealt with more tears and more moodiness from her before. She had more than an ear infection in her defense. We noticed on our loooooong trip that she was popping through her first molar! We have since noticed she is actually working of 4 of them! Goodness gracious girl! I guess I'd rather a few weeks of insanity then a few straight months. You can being praying for her and us though. She has not been sleeping well, which means neither have I. Mark is working nights, so the pleasure is all mine :). ( Not to say Mark doesn't help other times! He really does...but most nights I am alone.) Eden is still nursing and so I am in the process of weaning, trying to get her to eat more solids at each meal, and hoping to get her on a better sleep schedule. She has been waking up quite frequently the last few weeks.(Most likely due to teething) It is very frustrating! I am tired! In the middle of the night I have a hard time experimenting with  other techniques (CIO, not nursing..etc) because I want her to go right back to sleep so I can too! Lol. However, time is tickin' away. She never dropped the middle of the night feeding on her own, so it's time for an intervention. My goal is to be pretty much done with nursing by Christmas. I desperately want a break before #2 arrives in March. So if you think of us, pray that we'll make wise decisions especially when it comes to middle of the night wakeful periods :). I think it's almost time to just let her cry. But after weeks of not getting good sleep already, I am less than enthusiastic about this. I just wish she could talk and tell me if she is hungry. Due to her lack of enthusiasm about solid food, and her increased activity level, it very well still could be a hunger issue : / . Parenting is not for the faint at heart, that's for sure!

For those wondering, Mark's new job is going very well! He is enjoying it, and just wrapped up his final orientation shift last night! So after a month or more of  working with someone else, he has been approved to work solo. He is nervous and excited about this. Some nights are a bit crazy at the hospital, so it can be hard to stay on top of the work load. In some ways it is sad that orienting is over because Mark is no longer guaranteed 5 shifts a week. During the training period they allowed him to work full-time, that helped him finish training in a more timely manner. However, his position is technically only part time (3 shifts a week). He had heard mixed reviews on how easy/hard it was to pick up extra shifts. We happy to report that he was already able to pick up a few for next week! The Lord is good! Plus he still has his foot in at the other job, and works there about 4 times a month. So although the lack of a permanent schedule gets to me, we are thankful God is providing!

 So as October comes to a close, it is time to embrace the holiday season. How is it that this time of year always comes so quickly? The months just seem to pass by. For Team Worth though, we are also counting weeks. Today is 19 weeks. Nineteen weeks into this pregnancy. So November brings with it the start of the 2nd half of this journey. Many of you may want to ask,  "Are you ready to do it all over again!?" Well, the truth is right now, not really lol. It still seems a bit scary, but you must know we are also excited! We know God will give us the strength in the days ahead to balance our family of 4. We still have about 5 months of preparation, and for that we are thankful! :).

So this is our October : We traveled over 30 hrs by car with Eden, we celebrated a birthday, we visited friends in PA, we've all been sick, we've all lost entirely too much sleep, Mark finished orienting, and we are wrapping up the first 1/2 of this pregnancy!

So whether your October was crazy and fun-filled , or a tough month through and through, remember the Lord is your strength! He is there for you! For each new month brings a new perspective and a fresh beginning. Our hope is that by the end of November we find ourselves even more in love with our great God!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

10 on 10: October

I am late once again with my 10 on 10. I have had a crazy week or so with my darling Eden.  Eden went from an eye infection to not sleeping, to an ear infection coupled with teething. Oh, and throw in a 16 hr car trip. Not that I should make excuses. I definitely struggle with procrastination. Sorry ladies. I tried on 2 different days to fulfill my quota of 10 pictures. I succeeded on 10-12-12…my daughter’s birthday. So here is how I captured it. There was plenty of preparation to be done for her party on Saturday(today), but I also wanted to make sure I enjoyed my day with her. Mark and I even woke up early and reflected back on the day she arrived.
Official Birthday 6:13am :)...Not the best photo, but we were trying to capture the moment. The  room was so dark we needed a flash. Bonus was she didn't even wake up!

Happy Birthday Girl!

Building blocks with Daddy!
Birthday breakfast, pancakes :)

Birthday plates,napkins and more!

A preview of the birthday girl's outfit!

Tissue paper decor.

Daddy and Eden watching Veggietales!

What a priceless look :)


My daughter, the reader! :)

What a fun day we had with our darling Eden! Head on over to Arlee's page to see what she captured this month!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


We have officially welcomed Fall into the picture, here in West Michigan. A new season is exciting. Although I would consider myself a Spring/Summer kind of girl, there is still something refreshing about this cool weather. It makes me desire Pumpkin Spice coffee, camp fires, hoodies, and cool walks :).  We have also started a new semester in youth group. Mark leads worship, and will be teaching every other week. You can be praying for him as he spends time preparing messages, and works his job too! We are excited about this new semester in youth group, and being able to influence the teens God brings into our group.

Mark has recently started his new job at Hackley Hospital as a PCA (Personal Care Assistant). This is very similar to his other job as a CNA, but the hospitals call it another name. It has been a desire of Mark's for a while to work in the hospital. It seems like a great place to work,and it is 2 blocks from home! Also, there are great benefits, it's a good work environment, and a little bit of a pay increase. Mark will be working in the rehab unit, on third shift. We are not excited about the shift change, but feel like this new job is a move in the right direction. So you can pray for all of us as we adjust. He has finished his week of orientation filled with meetings, and computer testing. His first day on the rehab floor he shadowed a physical therapist. Since then, he has followed other PCAs on day shift. This will be his schedule for another week and a half. It was definitely a nice surprise for mark to have 2 extra weeks on day shift :). He will then transition to night shift and continue orienting till the end of October. Please pray that he would catch on quickly to his new job. They do some things differently in the rehab unit. Also, pray that Mark would be able to pick up shifts on top of his normal schedule; This is vital to our budget.

So if you missed our announcement a few weeks back, our family is growing yet again! Eden will have a sibling this coming March. We are thrilled for our newest addition. Life will be hectic for sure, but we are thankful for this blessing from the Lord. Mark and I have thoroughly enjoyed parenting Eden thus far, and look forward to growing in this as we take on 2 children :). The Lord will give us His grace for sure!

There ya have it folks! "NEW" is our word for this month! What's yours? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10 on 10

Wow it's September already!? This means I must face the realization that Summer is over, and embrace the beautiful Fall weather and all the changes it brings. I must say it is refreshing and gets me excited to wear hoodies again, and drink warm apple cider :). The Fall usually brings back a sense of normalcy to our lives too. Most church programs start up again, which is very exciting, and also what I chose to capture in my photos this month. Our youth group Back 2 School Bash was Friday evening. We all had tons of fun! However, before a new year could begin, there was much cleaning and organizing that needed to be done in the YOUTH INC. room. So Last Wednesday youth group was not scheduled, and all the youth leaders gathered to spruce up and rearrange the youth room. Here are some pics from our fun night together, plus some of my adorable Eden :). She of course has to sneak into my pics!

Eden watching her Veggietales!

Dad starting her early. Look how focused she is!

Youth Group Logo.

By the end of the night all these rectangular tables were 2 floors above us,the foosball table moved to the back game room, the air hockey table was torn down, and all circular tables were moved to the game room :).

Love these words!

What a face Eden Grace! :)...She is leaning against the youth stage.

Taking down, and rearranging the tiles.  This was challenging at times. In the end we only  broke 1 I think :).

It's coming together...

New location for the stage, couches and chairs. The stage used to be up against the blue wall to the left.

You'd better believe we devoured our dinner!

Hope you enjoyed seeing our youth room through my eyes. Now head on over to Arlee's blog to see what she captured this month!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August:10 on 10

Finally, here is my 10 on 10 (16 :) for August. Sorry ladies for being dreadfully late! Enjoy these pictures from our adventure to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. One of the most beautiful places in America! Although, we didn't get to see EVERYTHING, we still did see some amazing views! You would need a  few days to really capture and experience the beauty of this place. Pictures do not do it justice.  But I will try! Also, I had to settle for almost all horizontal pics, because most of them would not stay rotated once they were uploaded. Sad! :(. Oh well, ENJOY!! 

On the road!

We started our afternoon at the Dune Climb. My college roommate Merissa, joined us. She is here for the week! :)
(At the top of the 1st dune. Our car is down there...somewhere :)

WAY TO GO! We made it to the top of the 2nd Dune!

Surveying beauty on our trek. This may not look like a challenging hike, but I assure you it was. There is Lake Michigan off in the distance.

First stop on the scenic drive...After hours of climbing, it was nice to not have to walk so much to see such a gorgeous view!

The icing on top of the cake. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on this 450 foot Bluff! We even watched 2  people hang gliding off of it.

View from the top. It was just a gorgeous day!

A mammoth of a climb! Mark and I eventually did this together :).  

View from the bottom of the Bluff!

We made it to the bottom (The easy part)! Getting ready for our 450 foot climb back to the top. Yes those little specs are people at the top! It took us about 30 minutes to get back up!

So there you have it! If you haven't already...Check out Arlee's 10 on 10 for August!