our gender reveal!

Yesterday was one of the most exciting days so far in the pregnancy. Not only did we get to see the baby for the first time since it was seven weeks, but we found out we are having a BOY!! We could not be more thrilled with the news. Of course, we would have been equally as excited with a girl, but it’s just being able to call ‘it’ a ‘he’ now is the best feeling ever!

We knew we wanted to find out the gender before the baby came, but we didn’t necessarily want to find out at the doctor’s office. We didn’t want  to do a gender reveal party, but we still wanted to do something fun and (somewhat) original. We think we came up with this idea, but I’m sure it’s been done.

Before the appointment we purchased two tubes of acrylic paint (light pink and light blue) and a baby pumpkin. We had the doctor put the paint color of the gender in a box we painted up all cute. After the appointment we went to a nearby park and opened the box to reveal the color and painted our pumpkin! We had so much fun doing it this way and we even got to capture our reactions on a video!

Here are some pictures:

Gender Reveal

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Gender Reveal 2

BOY2!

We cannot wait to meet our baby boy, Isaiah! Praise the Lord for new life!

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pumpkin patch.

Fall is by far my favorite season, so naturally I can’t wait for it to get here each year so that I can visit pumpkin patches, drink apple cidar slushies, and wear cute boots…all of which I got to do on Saturday. We took a trip to our local orchard for some fall fun. It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun getting our pumpkins that we will carve in a couple of weeks. Here are some pictures from the day:

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Of course my husband had to get the biggest pumpkin in the patch...

Of course he had to get the biggest pumpkin in the patch…

 

And we couldn't forget about baby Leachman!

And we couldn’t forget about baby Leachman!

 

we’re pregnant!!!

Wow, I realize it’s been a looong time since I’ve posted, but you would not believe the craziness going on in our household over the past few months. We not only recently moved, but I got a new job, we went on vacation, AND we found out that we are going to be blessed with our first child in March 2014. We could not be more thrilled to bring our bundle of joy into the world! God is so, so good!

Here is how we announced our pregnancy to friends:

Baby!

We cannot wait to meet baby Leachman!

diy scrabble “love” letters.

On Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated our SECOND anniversary. Hooray! It’s hard to believe we’ve been married two years. It feels more like 20…kidding. Sort of.

I’m very thankful for my husband and the man that he has become. I truly didn’t think it was possible, but I love him more now than the day we said, “I do.” My husband is the perfect man for me and I thank God every night for such a wonderful blessing. I know, I’m getting too mushy. I’ll stop now.

Anyways, since I have this love theme going on in this post, I decided to share a little project I did soon after we got married that I never posted. This project fits perfectly for us, because we LOVE scrabble. We used to play all the time when we were dating and when we got married we asked for a nicer set for Christmas. We even (don’t judge) bought the Scrabble dictionary with a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Weirdos, I know.

I bought the four square pieces of wood at Hobby Lobby for $1/each. I already had black acrylic paint, so that was all the material I needed for this quick and easy project. I traced the letters on the wood and filled them in with the black paint. Then I added the numbers in the bottom right hand corner.

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Now, if you’re a Words with Friends player, you are probably thinking, “I thought L’s were worth 2 points”. They are…on Words with Friends, but in REAL scrabble it’s only 1 point for an L. So my advice….if you are going to make scrabble letters, make sure you check the real game points if you want them to be authentic scrabble letters.

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I hung the letters above the framed picture all of our friends and family signed on our wedding day. It’s perfect there, because it’s not only about the love between my husband and I, but the love we’ve received from friends and family as well. We are so thankful for the tremendous amount of love, encouragement, and support we get from them each and every day!

Quality Time…’ain’t nobody got time for that’

I got a little crazy last night. I know, I know this is completely out of character for me, but I just couldn’t resist. I took the ‘5 Love Languages’ assessment to find out my primary love language. Turns out I’m a fan of ‘quality time’. It’s funny to me that this is even a love language. How could your love language not be quality time? Doesn’t everyone love quality time with their spouse? I would think if you never spent quality time together, you wouldn’t know the person you are with very well. That doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship to me.

I feel like back in the day, people just enjoyed the company of their spouses. They didn’t have trashy reality shows and iPhone’s to distract them from one another. They spent real, quality time together. They ate meals together without the television on or their cell phones glued to their ears. What has our world become? We have let technology rule our lives. We’ve let it get in the way of those people right in front of our faces.

Plus we’re just busy. Always running, never stopping to appreciate each other. We always have somewhere to be or someone to see. It’s exhausting.

I get it. I’m guilty of it too. I don’t always give my husband my full, undivided attention when he’s talking to me. I sometimes hush him if he’s talking during ‘Revenge’ (don’t mess with me when that show is on!). I sometimes text a friend during dinner when it could have waited until after we ate. I overbook us with too many things in one weekend. I know I have room to improve.

But we need quality time together. We have to make the time to be alone with one another.

But here’s my question to you: can you go an entire evening without any distractions from your spouse?

If your answer is ‘no’, then I challenge you to give it a try. Because quite honestly, the more you show that person he or she comes second to Honey Boo Boo and your precious Blackberry, the more you push him or her away. Eventually they won’t want to spend that quality time with you anymore either and then what will happen to your relationship?

If your answer is ‘yes’, good for you! I challenge you to continue to set aside a night each week where you turn off the tv and your phones and the computer and just be together.

Trust me, it’ll be worth missing an episode of one guy date twenty women at the same time. Anything would be worth missing that. Sorry, Sean.

I will leave you with this video for your enjoyment. You’re welcome.

“I Love You, Because…”

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

This year I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to top last year’s Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt I made for my husband. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but he did love it a whole lot. Ok, our marriage doesn’t depend on awesome gifts or anything, but I wanted to do something equally as special for him this year. So, I searched and searched and searched for the perfect gift to get/make him. Then it happened; I found my pinspiration from a young new mom trying to encourage her helpful husband, found here. How cute is she?

I thought it seemed like the perfect gift for our home. I put my own touches on it, using a different frame, paper, font and felt flowers. I also added to the frame scripture from 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It’s because of God’s love that I am even able to love my husband. So with that in mind, I can share specific reasons I love him to encourage him daily.

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It’s true. He really does do the laundry every week. I’m so thankful!!

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He absolutely loved it! ::pats self on back::

Enjoy your day, all you love birds!

Why We Chose NFP.

I have had a lot of people over the past year and a half ask why my husband and I use Natural Family Planning (NFP for short) in our marriage. This post is not to inform you (in detail) on how NFP works and it’s certainly not to condemn those that use contraceptives; it’s simply to share with you WHY my husband and I choose to use it in our marriage and why it works when used correctly. It is also meant to be an encouragement to any couples considering it for their marriages right now.

When my husband and I were going through pre-marriage counseling, the priest who was going to marry us, mentioned NFP. It was the first time I had ever heard of the topic. He HIGHLY encouraged us to go to a seminar on how it works, why we should use it, and why it works.

I’ll be honest; I was completely against the idea at first. But after five months of studying how to use NFP, lots of prayer, talking it over, lots more prayer, meeting with a mentor, and even more prayer, C and I knew this was what the Lord had called us to use in our marriage. Did I mention we prayed about it?

Anyways, here are the reasons we chose to use NFP:

  • Avoids chemical/pill intake
  • Encourages couple communication & interaction
  • Fosters mutual responsibility by husband and wife
  • Fosters deep respect and acceptance of the total person
  • Values children and openness to life
  • Cooperates with God’s plan for marriage

HEALTH:

The number of young women on “the pill” is disturbing. Why is it disturbing, you may ask? Were you aware “the pill” has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency on Research for Cancer, a research arm of the World Health Organization? The sad reality is that any woman who takes a hormonal contraceptive for four years prior to her first full-term pregnancy increases her risk for breast cancer by 52%. Women deserve to know the truth. They have been failed by physicians in not being warned of the physical damage that they are doing to their bodies.

COMMUNICATION & INTERACTION:

We all know how important communication can be, especially in a marriage. NFP opens communication in a way I could never have imagined. It’s not just talking, but actually communicating with one another. Not only do I understand my body better and therefore respect it that much more, but my husband does as well. We talk about it (my body) on a daily basis and I truly feel our connection is a lot deeper because of it. We are a lot more open with each other about things.

RESPONSIBILITY:

NFP is not for the wife to experience alone. The husband is the “coach” of the relationship. The husband’s role is to continually communicate to the wife on how her charting is going and if she is charting correctly. The husband is to know how NFP works just as much as the wife. He guides her, helps her, and encourages her. It is a joint responsibility and it’s the couple’s job to work together in this. Whether a couple wishes to space their children or limit their family to the number of children they already have, the effectiveness rate of the modern methods of NFP are 96%-99.5% when taught by a certified instructor and used according to instructions. (This is higher than most artificial contraceptives.)

RESPECT:

As I said before, my husband understands and respects my body. He knows what it does and why. He understands that there are going to be days we cannot be intimate and he controls himself and in return, I respect him for that. We know that there are going to be/have been days when we have to completely leave the apartment and find another activity, but that has made our marriage so much more spontaneous and fun. NFP does not lessen the importance of sexual union and sexual pleasure, but it helps couples to find other ways in which to connect. In this way, NFP can reignite the romance of dating for a married couple. It’s wonderful.

OPENNESS TO CHILDREN:

At the seminar we went to there was a couple there that had been married for a few years and were using NFP and one of them made this comment: “NFP opened our hearts to children … Children are a gift, a blessing, not a burden.” My husband and I know that there is always the chance if we use NFP incorrectly, we could become pregnant, but that isn’t stopping us from using this method. The Lord has opened our hearts to children and we know he will provide for us in every situation, as long as we are faithful to him.

GOD’S PLAN:

Many couples say that an NFP lifestyle deepens their faith in God. I find that entirely true for me and my husband. The reality is that NFP is challenging, but it is clear to me that working together through the tough times strengthens and enriches our marriage. And as another couple said when discussing NFP with us: “The value I experience in NFP is in the long run …. It forces you to place your immediate choices in the context of spouse, children, family and Creator.”

NFP was actually created for couples TRYING to conceive children, but it can be used to avoid pregnancy as well. It’s good to know that when we are ready to have children, we know when it can be done. 😉

I encourage you, if you have ever or are now considering NFP to feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at jleachman2@gmail.com. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, try this website: http://www.rcdok.org/ministries/catholic_charities/family_life/Natural_Family_Planning/

And know that NFP is not just a Catholic thing, it truly is for anyone. I know plenty of non-Catholics who use this method. Say a prayer and see where the Lord is leading your marriage.

oh, just makin’ dreams come true.

Twenty-six years ago today an adorable baby entered this world. Come on, I’m not that conceited. I’m talking about my husband here. I love birthdays. There’s something about them that just excites me (even if it’s not mine). I love giving gifts. My gift to him this year was tickets to a Notre Dame football game. He has been a huge fan since he was a kid. He has always said one of his ‘bucket list’ items is to attend a ND football game in South Bend, IN at the ND stadium. That, folks, will be taking place on November 3rd. Notre Dame is playing University of Pittsburgh. I am so excited to have the opportunity to do this with him.

I bought the tickets a couple of weeks ago on stubhub. It must have been through a season ticket holder, who wasn’t going to be able to make that game, because he didn’t have the actual tickets yet (they get them once the season starts). They will be mailed to us sometime before the end of October. Since I didn’t have the actual tickets to give him on his birthday, I made some on Microsoft Word. I put them in his birthday card. I really don’t think you can tell they are fake unless you knew or look really, really hard. Not trying to toot my own horn or anything. But really.

i should make this my career.

I also made him a cake that I (attempted to) make look like a football field. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional cake baker/decorator so cut me some slack when judging the cake.

For the cake, all I did was buy a box of cake-mix (milk chocolate) and added 3 eggs, 1 1/4 C of water and 1/3 C. vegetable oil. This made it extra…damp? (I despise the ‘m’ word – I can’t even type it) I mixed up the batter, lined a 13×9 pan with wax paper (as to easily transfer it from the pan to the cake carrier) and poured in the mix. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes (may vary from oven to oven). Poked a toothpick in and it was perfect! Then I took vanilla icing and green food-coloring and mixed them together for the grass field look. I then used white ‘writing’ icing that I had left over from a previous dessert (it doesn’t expire…kind of makes you wonder what’s in it) and made the lines on the field out of that. It was super easy (especially when you don’t make anything from scratch! haha). And that’s about as creative as I get.

We went to church tonight and then afterwards, went out to eat with some friends to celebrate. We enjoyed mexican food and football field cake. My favorite.

birthday boy.

Needless to say, he loved the gifts! He is really excited to go to the game. I just wish we didn’t have to wait 2 1/2 months now. Now starts the planning for an adventurous weekend in Northern Indiana. Maybe we’ll even make it to Chicago since he has never been there. We’ll see.

1 year down, a lifetime to go.

After one year of marriage we are officially pros, right? It feels weird to say we’ve been married a year. It has flown by, most of the time. I’m grateful for all the time we have gotten to spend together and for this life we get to share together (I can get pretty corny, I know…just wait).

Over the past twelve months we have learned so much about one another and even about our own selves. It’s such an adjustment going from being your own, independent-self to living with another person and having to work together with them on practically everything. I have learned more about forgiveness and submission, true love and respect, honor and trust than I ever thought possible. It’s one thing to know these things are important in a marriage, but to put them into practice 24/7 (especially when you don’t feel like putting in that effort) is truly a challenge.

Marriage is hard. I won’t lie and say everything is perfect all the time and that we never have issues, because honestly…it’s not and we do. I will say, though, that because of this, God’s grace is more evident in my life than ever before. And what a wonderful thing to see. Grace is a beautiful thing. It’s a relief to know that we don’t have to be perfect, to know that our main goal isn’t to look like a Hollywood movie, but most importantly bring glory to God through our marriage and to strengthen one another’s relationship with Christ.

One thing I love about our relationship is how much fun we have together. There is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t have me laughing like a little kid. He always has something fun planned and I love being adventurous and spontaneous with him. We’re our own version of a romantic comedy, only we’re probably the only ones who think we’re funny.

He not only makes me laugh, but makes me a better person as well. He’s always encouraging prayer and time in the Word. He is so generous and caring and he would do anything for anyone in a heartbeat. There are times when I just want to be lazy or let people solve their own problems (how lame of me); that’s not my husband. Never. At the drop of a hat, he is there to help. It always challenges me, which is just what I need sometimes. God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought the two of us together.

I’m so thankful I get to call such a wonderful, Godly man my husband. I’m not an expert on marriage and I probably never will be. I just hope to continue to learn as much as I have this past year and be able to look back on every year knowing we did our best to love and serve one another and the Lord.

Flowers sent to me at work. What an awesome surprise!

Happy one year anniversary, babe. I love you more every single day. Thanks for letting me be your wife.