LIFE

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On Sunday, I will be 30 weeks pregnant with Camille Hope.  Everything after 27 weeks and 5 days has been new territory for me.  As many of you know, this is because my first child, Jack, was born 12 weeks premature.  While pregnancy at this stage of life is new to me, experiencing the growth of a child at this stage is not!  With every stretch mark that appears and every movement of Camille that I feel, I am reminded that my eyes have literally seen the same miracle of growth happen inside the NICU.  While I dream about what Camille’s little hands look like, I remember Jack’s little hand wrapped around my finger.  I no longer have a need for The Bump.Com, nor the Baby Center app for I have seen and know more than any “fruit comparison” can tell me!

Did you know, in the past 30 years there have been numerous medical advances that have increased the positive outcome for premature babies born as early as 22 weeks?  Not that long ago, “in 1960 the survival rate for infants under 3.3 lb., was 28%.  In 2010 it was 78%, and a lot of that improvement has occurred just since the 1980s” (Kluger, Jeffrey. “A Preemie Revolution.” Saving Preemies 14 June 2014: 25-31. Print.).  I can’t believe what medical advances have been made in a little more than my parents’ lifetime!  Just imagine what could happen in my or, even better, in Jack’s lifetime.  These things are possible because of cutting-edge medicine and dedicated caregivers, but ultimately these things are possible because of the miraculous healing power of our Heavenly Father!

The Lord gave me a gift that I will never understand completely, when Jack was born at 2 pounds, 10 oz at just 27.5 weeks gestation.  He allowed me to see miracles that typically He only sees within the womb.  And what I saw in the weeks and months that followed Jack’s birth, was nothing compared to what God sees from the very beginning…

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully madeWonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them”  (Psalm 139: 13-16).

From the very beginning of life, God not only sees but participates in the miracle of each baby’s growth and development.  Don’t you see, medical advances are happening because God is allowing us to understand more about the work He does in a mother’s womb!  The work doesn’t change.  The perspective changes!  America needs a change of perspective.  If the Bible doesn’t change your perspective, and if my personal story doesn’t change your perspective, I hope science will.  The science that shows that while death was the likely outcome for premature babies in 1960, the outcome is LIFE today!

Through the smallest lives, the Lord is allowing us to see the biggest truths.  Babies are teaching us every day that what we once thought was impossible is possible.  Choose to recognize that your perspective does not change reality.  Choose today to stand for LIFE.

*This blog is dedicated to all the doctors, nurses, and technicians of the NICU.  You are participating in countless miracles every day!

Listen and Obey

Good Afternoon,

It is a grey afternoon here in Fredericksburg.  I wish it would just rain.  While I love blue skies and the sun shining, I can’t help but love a good rain.  And we haven’t had a good rain in a while.  Sometimes you just need a good rain.  This kind of weather always makes me want to slow down and cuddle up on the couch.  Today I cuddled up on the couch to spend some time in the Word.

Side note: Yesterday was my birthday!  It was a perfect day spent with family and friends.  Actually, I had quite a few bonus birthday days this year.  My husband’s family and my mom all came in to town for Labor Day, so the birthday celebrating got started early!  But I’ll be honest, I LOVE my birthday and I celebrate ALL month long!  Just so ya know.  ūüėČ

I got a lot of exciting gifts this year, but my favorite was given to me by the Hubs.  Ben got me a journaling Bible!  (If you’ve never heard of one before, it has a single column along each page reserved for notes.)  I have wanted one forever!  Getting a new bible (and especially one like this), always gives me a mixture of emotions.  There is something so exciting about fresh starts, but also, it kind of gives me anxiety… Where to begin?  What kind of pens should I use?  Should I start a highlighting code system?  Clearly, I have a bit of an OCD problem.  But no worries, I’m working through it. 

While I was nervous to get started today, I decided to just continue to move forward with the She Reads Truth plan I have been working through.  I was able to commit to a pen for note taking, but due to a lack of highlighter options, I decided to delay that step…I feel that these decisions allowed me to move past some of my OCDisims, without feeling too wild…Clearly, my version of Girl’s Gone Wild is something entirely different!  Using a highlighter without a “highlighting code  system” in place…Now that would really be living life on the edge…maybe one day.  Haha!

I think all of that was more than one “side note”, but who’s counting?  This blog is actually titled “Listen and Obey” for a reason, and I’m going to get to that now!  Today I was reading about Lot’s wife in Genesis 19:12-29.  This is a piece of scripture that I haven’t looked at in a while and, honestly, it kind of freaked me out!  This woman was literally removed from a city by angels, to protect she and her family from the destruction of their city!  Lot’s wife was told “Escape for your life.  Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley” (Genesis 19:17).  But y’all, Lot’s wife looked back and she was turned into a pillar of salt!  Um, what?  That’s craziness!

In Luke 17:32, Jesus tells us to “Remember Lot’s Wife”.  I found this verse to be very interesting, “why would Jesus tell us to remember Lot’s wife?  Well, the She Reads Truth app helped me fill in the blanks a bit: “Like Eve, she was given very specific instructions from God, and both women were asked to obey without having all the information.”  Jesus tells us to remember Lot’s wife because we are called to “live by faith and not by sight”(2 Corinthians 5:7).  No matter how much information we have (or if it makes sense to us), we are told to told to listen and obey!

Do you ever tell your children to “listen and obey”?  This is a phrase that my husband and I are starting to use a lot with Jack.  As I was praying this afternoon, in response to my bible study, the Lord brought this question to mind.  Do I model this phrase for my child?  I ask Jack numerous times throughout his day to “listen and obey”.  When his is trying to run across the street without holding my hand, I don’t stop to explain why.  I tell him to “listen and obey” because, while he may not understand the dangers, I do!  There are certainly many times that I give explanation to Jack about why he should obey me, but it has its time and its place.  Regardless of the circumstances though, I do expect him to “listen and obey” without question.  I expect this because I love him and desire what is best for him.

I can learn a lot from the example provided in the previous paragraph!  Not only do I want to be a woman that “lives by faith and not by sight”, but I want to be a mama that models the behaviors I ask of my child.  Today I have been humbled as I realize how often I fall short at both.  Through God’s grace, I’m going to strive to “listen and obey” to my Heavenly Father better.  And with as often as I say it to Jack, I will remind myself to do the same.  Today is the first day of my 29th year and I’m praying that I will grow more in Lord with each passing day!

P.S. Thank you Lord for not turning me into a pillar of salt when I am disobedient!  If that doesn’t make us thankful today, I don’t know what will!  ūüėČ

Hello and… Chicken Salad!

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It’s been a long time since I have visited my blog.  So long, in fact, that it took me approximately 30 minutes to log onto WordPress!  “Username?  Hmmm…let me think…Password?  No clue!”  I thought I was one of those people who use the same username and password for everything, but apparently I am not.  So that’s good news, I guess.

Anyway, a lot has happened since I last wrote on Cup And A Slice.  Most importantly, I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a baby girl!  We are looking forward to welcoming Camille Hope on November 23rd.  Just in time for her first Thanksgiving!  If that isn’t exciting enough, I decided to be the MOPS/ MOMSnext coordinator of Fredericksburg this year.  Our first meeting will be on September 4th at First Baptist Church from 9:30-11:30.  Sign-up today!  (Just a small plug for any local mamas out there).  And amongst it all, we are building our first home!  Baby Camille and the Fuller House are having a friendly race.  We are all rooting for the Fuller House to cross the finish line first!

Today on Instagram, I posted a picture of my delicious chicken salad lunch.  A few friends asked for the recipe and thus began my adventure to reunite with my long lost blog.  In celebration, I had a cup of coffee and rice crispy treat!  One last thing before I share the recipe: This is a delicious recipe that my mom lovingly shared with me.  The recipe was first lovingly shared with her by Scotch College (my brother’s high school alma mater).

Scotch College Chicken Salad

1 Roasted Chicken (Roast or Boil your own…or buy one from the store!  I won’t judge you either way!)

1 Lime (zest and juice)

2/3 cup Cilantro (chopped)

1/4 cup Ginger (Two things to consider: 1. Buy a jar of minced ginger.  2. I used only a generous tablespoon because I felt 1/4 cup was a bit excessive and I didn’t want to use the entire jar of minced ginger I purchased!  Just my thoughts.)

2/3 cup Mayonnaise (I used a little less, so use your discretion)

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Directions: Debone the chicken and finely dice.  Mix the chicken along with the other ingredients in a large bowl.  Enjoy this fresh chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens, on a croissant, or straight from the bowl with a spatula!

Haircuts, Snuggles, and Oatmeal

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Y’all what is happening to my baby boy?! Jack is walking and talking up a storm these days. Getting into everything and eating everything in sight! It’s an exciting time, but I’m starting to feel a little sad about it. Jack is 19 months now, which means he is closer to two than he is to one! What?! How?!

Maybe I am feeling this way because baby boy got a big boy haircut this week. Admittedly, his hair was getting too long. He had the #manbun to prove it, so Ben was really putting his foot down about the whole haircut situation. Finally caving, I took Jack to get his haircut on Tuesday. All his beautiful curls are now gone. Gone! For a couple days, I lied to myself about my true feelings of his haircut. Today though, I woke up and told myself the truth. I. Don’t. Like. It. He looks too old and that’s just not okay with me.

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What is okay with me are snuggles. This morning something rare happened. As Ben was leaving for work today, he brought Jack to snuggle with me in bed. (Side Note/ Confession: Y’all I have not gotten up early once this week! Uh! I will not give up though. I will not surrender to the sleep monster). This morning the extra sleep was so worth it though, because Jack got in bed with me and fell back to sleep! This like never happens! I woke up and was in complete mama bliss heaven.

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Then breakfast happened. I made up a bowl of oatmeal for Jack and I made up a bowl of oatmeal for myself. Jack ate his bowl. Jack threw a fit. Jack ate my bowl. Jack threw a fit. I heated up another bowl of oatmeal (for myself). Jack ate every other bite of my bowl. Jack threw another fit. I would give this third and final fit a 10. It had all the drama. Screaming, crying, tears, hands over face, head thrown back, and rolling around on the floor. (I think it’s the rolling around on the floor that pushed this fit from a 9 to a 10. Good form Jack. Good form).

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As Jack was rolling around on the floor, I went back to my happy place from earlier that morning. Like seriously, 20 minutes earlier that morning Jack was my baby sleeping all cuddled up with me. Isn’t that motherhood? One moment is just the sweetest! And the next is well, um, not the sweetest. (I will admit though, it was pretty comical). One moment you want time to slow down for your baby and the next you want time to fast forward! It’s all so confusing! This morning the only thing I know for certain, is that I want Jack’s golden curls back! The big boy haircut was just to soon y’all!

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Crazy Beans and Crazy Mornings

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First things first, I need you all to know that the Starburst Crazy Beans, while the packaging is different, are in fact the same tried and true jelly beans! These crazy beans only come around during Easter and the new packaging had me worried. During my last few trips to the store, I have inspected them but been too scared to buy them…fearful that the new packaging indicated new flavor combos. Thankfully my fears were in vain. So if you need to take a break from reading to go buy them, I understand. Some things just can’t wait.

So onto other things, a lot of you have been asking about my 5:30 (ish) mornings. Thanks for that, by the way. It is encouraging and provides good accountability. We all need that in our lives. So, in an effort to be transparent I thought I‚Äôd give a little update‚Ķespecially since I originally said that I would keep y‚Äôall in the loop. On the whole, I think our 5:30 (ish) mornings have been going well. While it has been incredibly hard most/all mornings, we have really enjoyed the quite time. The last few days though, we have (as they say) ‚Äúfallen off the wagon‚ÄĚ. So last night, we were determined to get to bed on time and wake up on time!

The alarm went off at 5:30 and then went off every 10 minutes until 6:30! ‚ÄúHello, my name is Trish Fuller, and I have a snoozing problem.‚ÄĚ If you are a fellow snoozer you know the struggle is real. Very real. Thankfully though, at 6:30 we got out of bed‚Ķwell kind of. I decided to open my bible in bed. While this was a warm and cozy option, it was not the wisest. I fought sleep as I did some journaling, read my devotional, and (continued) to catch up on my bible in a year readings. It was half way through Exodus 20 that I decided I needed a nap. Ben went to get ready for work and I took a nap. My life is rough folks. So unfortunately, my productive morning was a bit stifled. But, as they say, you‚Äôve got to start somewhere!

Speaking of productivity, I need to get back to my ironing. Don’t feel bad for me though, I’m catching up on Grey’s Anatomy while I iron. Thanks for reading. I enjoy taking the time to write every now and again. Even if it is inspired by my favorite Easter candy. If you have not already done so, please go out and purchase the Starburst Crazy Beans now. You will thank me later, I promise!

5:30 a.m.

Well, this morning, my cup and a slice came a little earlier than usual… Today is the first day of Lent. ¬†Lent is approximately 40 days of preparation for Believers, before Easter Sunday. ¬†Some choose to use this time to give up something, others choose to use this time to start doing something. ¬†No matter, Lent is a time set apart to refocus ourselves on Christ. ¬†Representing with Him and specifically remembering all He gave for us on the Cross.

Last night Ben and I read an article that I have seen pop up from time to time on social Media. ¬†You can read it here if you are interested. ¬†Until yesterday, I have put off reading it, frankly because I wasn’t ready to believe that anything good could come from 5 a.m. ¬†Haha! ¬†But recently, I have felt a nudging to start waking up with Ben in the mornings. ¬†Remembering a sweet couple I knew long ago in South Carolina who woke up every morning to read the Word and pray together. ¬†As a High Schooler, I remember thinking, “when I am married one day, I will do that with my husband…” ¬†So last night, all this came together- we read the article and committed to 40 days of early mornings.

I am not a morning person. ¬†Our alarm went off at 5 a.m. and I said to Ben, “5:30 is early enough” and went back to sleep. ¬†5:30 came and I think he had to yell at me a little bit to wake me up. ¬†Thanks Babe. ¬†I got out of bed begrudgingly and sat on the lid of the toilet while Ben made me coffee… in our bathroom. ¬†Side Note: We currently live in a very small apartment with very thin walls. ¬†In order to make coffee (in the wee hours of the morning), we had to move our Nespresso to our bathroom! ¬†So there you have it! ¬†With coffee and muffin in hand we sat down for uninterrupted time in the Word together.

And you know what y’all? ¬†It was wonderful. ¬†As a Mama you have very little time to yourself, much less quiet time to yourself. ¬†But this morning, I was able to sip hot coffee and sit quietly with the Lord. ¬†I got back to my “Bible In A Year” reading, which I have neglected for a few days¬†weeks. ¬†Spent time journaling as I prayed. ¬†Worked on scripture memory. ¬†(My verses this week are Galatians 5:22-24, because I need to remember that I have the Fruits of the Spirit when my child is throwing a temper tantrum every 5 minutes). ¬†I read some of Grace Based Parenting (for the same reason I chose my memory verse above). ¬†And now I am blogging! ¬†It has been such a productive day already, and Jack has not even woken up! ¬†Well, Good Morning America!!!

It’s only the first day, and I am a believer! ¬†I have decided to blog about this because I know I will need to reread this from time to time. ¬†Also, I know that these 40 days are going to be interesting. ¬†They may even get a little harry. ¬†Turning a night owl into an early bird is not an easy thing to do! ¬†So if your interested in reading about it, feel free! ¬†Also, let me know if you join in on the “fun”. ¬†Maybe we could share our morning musings with one another!

P.S. I made these muffins on Monday for the week and they are a delicious protein packed way to start the day!

Creative Food

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Happy Monday readers! As you may have already heard, I had a weekend away with some girlfriends! ¬†This was such a great time of renewal for me. ¬†It was such a blessing to laugh and cry with good friends. ¬†Our day getting massages and pedicures wasn’t too bad either! ¬†ūüėČ Special thanks to my hubby for flying solo this weekend with Jack. ¬†Ben was a Daddy Rock Star and made his weekend¬†with Jack an intentional time of “Man Time” fun!

While we were having lunch on Saturday, we started discussing the (very real) food struggle with our children. ¬†The subject of what we feed our children can sometimes be a sensitive one. ¬†So don’t worry, I’m not going to get into this topic too much. ¬†I do want to point out two things I think all us mamas have in common though. ¬†(1) We want our children to eat the food we put in front of them! ¬†(2) We would like them to have fruits and vegetables. ¬†So as I was making my grocery list for the week, and¬†thought I might share how I accomplish both of these (from time to time) with Jack. ¬†ūüôā

Usually at the start of each week, I blend up a Spinach Berry Yogurt.  Spinach has virtually no taste when blended into something, but is nutrient dense with vitamins and minerals!  Berries add beautiful color and sweetness, while also providing fiber and antioxidant power!  Since spinach and berries are sometimes hard for babies to eat, the yogurt becomes the vehicle to get these whole foods into their diet.  I use yogurt with fat in it, because good fats are so important for brain health!  Check out the easy recipe below and get creative with your veggie and fruit choices!

Spinach Berry Yogurt

1 Tub Fage 2% Yogurt (Plain)

2 Cups Mixed Berries (Frozen)

2 Cups Spinach (Fresh)

1 Tablespoon Honey

[Puree all the ingredients in a blender and pour back into the yogurt tub!  Done!  (Feel free to use any plain yogurt you can find with fat in it.  The brand I mentioned is the only yogurt I can find at my grocery store that is not non-fat.)]

Like most children (and adults), Jack loves all types of bread. ¬†Who doesn’t love a muffin? ¬†Well, muffins can be another way to creatively feed your baby fruits and vegetables. ¬†If you choose a flour rich in protein and sweeten using natural sugars, muffins can actually be a healthy choice for breakfast or snacking! ¬†I make these¬†Pumpkin Spelt Muffins because pumpkin is rich in Fiber and Vitamin A. ¬†Also, Spelt Flour is a great source of Protein and high in B Vitamins. ¬†Make these muffins at the beginning of the week, put half in the freezer to keep for the following week, and enjoy the rest!

Pumpkin Spelt Muffins

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1/3 Cup (Melted) Coconut Oil

1/3 Cup Honey

2 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 1/2 Cups Spelt Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice (or use the individual spices)

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

[Heat oven to 350.  Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Mix all the dry ingredients. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry.  Place muffin cups into muffin pan and fill about half way with batter.  Cook muffins until slightly puffed and golden brown (about 20 minutes).]

I hope you enjoy these recipes or that they inspire you to think creatively when it comes to feeding your kiddos fruits and vegetables.  There are tons of recipes out there, these are just two that we love. Find what works for your family.  If you have anything that is working in your home, please share with me!