Friday, April 24, 2009


I guess I would describe myself as a bit of a dreamer. I am definitely not a realist which can get me into trouble at times. Thankfully Adam is the realist in our marriage, which provides a good balance.

Lately I have been dreaming about my life, our future, and our family adventures.

Over the last 7.5 months as a new mom I have battled with feeling like I needed to be this perfect, responsible, realistic, Martha Stewart type mom and wife. A mom who knows how to sew her own baby clothes, make gourmet dinners each night, and keep the house perfectly neat and tidy. I am not sure where this pressure came from, I think I adopted some of it from our culture and some of it I just put on myself.

I felt that I needed to let go of my old self and embrace a new self. I felt like my old self wasn't adult enough. Yet I really struggled because I felt comfortable in my old skin, I liked who I had become, I enjoyed being me (I know that sounds strange to say).

Over the last few months as I have prayed about this dichotomy going on in my heart. I have realized that I am a different person than I was before Harper, but that doesn't mean that I have to trade who I was for someone different. I feel like God has shown me that I am free to be me. I don't have to fit into a certain mold.

I desire to walk with Him and to allow him to change the places in my heart that need to be changed but I can still be me. This has been so fun and freeing and I feel like I can dream again and I feel that God has replaced some feelings of insecurity with self confidence.

Here are a few of my dreams. I know that some may be unrealistic but that is why I have this blog to give me a place to DREAM

* GO ON A MISSION TRIP: I have never been on a mission trip and would love to go one day with our community group and all of our families.

* LEARN TO PLAY THE GUITAR: I have always loved to sing and a few years ago I got a guitar a for Christmas. I took a few lessons and could play a few worship songs but then life got busy and I stopped practicing. I would love to dust off my guitar, which is located in our downstairs coat closet and get it re-strung and re-tuned and learn to play again. If you know someone who can help let me know.

* RUN ANOTHER MARATHON: I love how running provides an outlet for me to relax and not think about anything. I can get into my zone and just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. I would love to train for one more race before we start trying to have another baby.

* GO BACKPACKING: When I was in college I worked at a summer camp in Ocoee Tenn, I was a camp counselor and led backpacking trips through the Smokey Mountains. I loved the beauty of the mountains and the chance to get away from the world. I would love to go on a backpacking trip with Adam once Harper is done nursing. I would love to hike a stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

* TRAVEL TO: Costa Rica and do the adventure thing, go on a cruise to Alaska, go to Greece, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. I want to go and not have an agenda and just explore as we go along.

* LEARN TO SEW: I am definately not an artistic person but would really love to sew. I want to make clothes for Harper, little pillow covers and anything else that is interesting. I think that sewing is becoming a bit of a lost art

These are just a few of my dreams for now. I will post more as they come to mind. DREAM ON DREAMERS and SHARE your DREAMS with ME!


In an effort to be a little more intentional about praying for Harper, Adam and I have decided to choose a biblical characteristic or trait that we hope Harper will embody. We are going to pick a new one each week and pray the verses that go along with that trait. This week we decided to choose PURITY. Pray along with us if you will.

After watching a few shows on t.v. this week I was so saddend by the culture and world that we live in. The way that children are sexually abused, neglected, mistreated and preyed upon makes me so angry and terrified for our children to grow up. I was struck by this verse, To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe nothing is pure, in fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted . They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. Titius 1:15-16. This is the world we live in an imperfect world for sure.

It is so frustrating because when I look into the face of any newborn baby. I feel like I can see the face of God, so pure and innocent, unaffected by society, evil, our culture. They were freshly created by a perfect God. Then they enter the world and and are at the hand's of imperfect people. These imperfect people (I being one of them) try to mold and shape the child into who they think they should be often without asking God (their creator) for his help. This is where we go wrong.

It is so crazy to think that our children will grow up in an even different culture than we did. They will have access to cell phones, computers, text messaging, social networking sites, etc. These are things I did not have access to until college. Seriously I did not have a cell phone until I went to college.

I know that when I fear anything the best way to respond is to stop and pray.

As I was looking up Scripture to pray for Harper I was reminded and convicted that none of us are pure or without sin (except for God) and thanked God for his provision through his son Jesus Christ on the cross. Thank God that he cleanses me of all my unrighteousness.

My favorite verse seemed to sum it up.

Deut 31:19
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him.

I loved this verse because it reminded me that both Harper and I face choices each day. Will we make choices that bring us LIFE or choices that cause death. My prayer for our family is that we would choose LIFE. I pray that for her purity in body, mind, heart, and action. I pray that she would evaluate each decision asking herself is there LIFE there? If there is any question in her mind that there is not then I pray that she would make the right decision. I pray that God would create in her a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within her (Psalm 5:10) when the world creeps in and trys to decieve her.

God, help us to think about and invest in things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Thank you for the gift of a precious daughter. I pray that you would help Adam and I to care and steward her well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grandparents are the best babysiters



And she traveled the journey before you,
She has known all the cost of the way.

She paid out the price to its fullness,
That Motherhood only can pay.

She loved when the world was against you
She hoped-when your hope sank and died.

She clung to your hand when the clinging, Left scars in her heart, deep and wide.

She labored-and loved and was happy,
For down deep in her kind heart she knew

Your kindness and love would repay her

For all that she did-just for you

Thanks mom! You have been an amazing, beautiful, sweet, caring, kind, loving, faithful, encouraging, and Godly mom. I am so thankful for you and the way that you raised me and for always reminding me how much you loved me. I appreciate the hard work and thankless effort you put into raising us. I am forever grateful and I pray that I will be the kind of mother to Harper that you are to me. I am truly blessed.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Atlanta or Bust

So my best friend since I was a kid lives in Atlanta. Her name is Grayson (one of the most beautiful names and beautiful people in the world) We met in 3rd grade and I moved at the end of my 6th grade year and we have remained great friends despite the miles between us. We have grown up together and seen each other through many of life changes and stages.

She came to Dallas a few months ago for a short weekend to meet Harper which was so much fun but when she left I just wished we could have spent a little more time together.
Well I found out Wednesday that she is going to be in Austin this weekend for a bachelorette party. I knew that I wanted to get in the car and drive the 3 hours to Austin to see her. However, life with a baby can make spur of the moment last minute trips a little difficult. After talking with Adam and thinking about all the logistics we decided it would be best not to go just for one day.

I told my mom about the situation and that I was a little dissapointed because we haven't got to spend that much time together over the last 5 years. I told her that it would be hard knowing that she is in the same state as me and I can't see her. This morning my mom called and said she had a surprise for me. She had 2 free airline tickets that had to be used before April 30th (within the next 2 weeks) and that we should use them to visit Grayson in Atlanta next week. So next week we are going to Atlanta!!. Yippee!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A few of my recent favorites

Modeling her bathing suit that grammy got her
Ready to crawl
Hanging out in my bumbo
Sweet cheeks

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

Some Pics from Easter and the Arboretum

Hug It Out

Jessica and Adley came to visit a few weeks ago for an entire week. It was so much fun to see what life with a 1 year old is going to be like. Adley is so much fun and loves to explore. She loved Harper and was facinated by her. She wanted to give her lots of hugs. Here is a cute video.

A Letter For My Daughter

Dr Cullpepper

I have been wanting to write this letter since the day of Harper's birth but couldn't figure out how to fit all my thoughts and emotions into words. I have come to the realization after talking to other more experienced moms that I will probably never be able to describe my feelings for my precious daughter but I thought that I would at least try. I had some additional inspiration from a friend which provided me with some motivation.

Harper Paige,

Words cannot express my love for you. I have never known a love like this before. My love for you is unlike any other. I guess this is why God gives us children so that we might have a glimpse or glimmer of his love for us.

You were created in me and were molded and formed by the Creator himself. I can now live to say that I have witnessed and been a part of a very special miracle. This sweet miracle of life that until now I confess I have taken for granted at times.

Watching you enter this world was overwhelming, seeing your tiny hands and little feet for the first time, the little crevices of your sweet little frame. You were just so fun to explore. The way your tiny little toes currled and cracked just like your dads, your cute little ears that bent out just a bit, your precious almond shape eyes (a distinguished feature of the Shumsky family), and your fun little baby rolls. Such a package =)

It was surreal at first and still is at times. I often look at you and start to cry because I discover something new or notice something different about you. I stop to thank God for the gift you are.

You were and are everything that we prayed for and so much more. Your dad and I, along with many friends and family prayed the fruit of the Spirit for you so many times during my pregnancy and God granted our prayer. I can allready see the way that you embody love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control and know that God will continue to shape these characteristics into your being.

Your birth was eventful and memorable. God knew that you needed a grand entrance to be welcomed into the world.

I started having contractions/labor pains about 3 days before you were born. Your original due date was September 9th and I so desperately wanted to meet you and was sure that you would come a week or more early. Each time I went to the doctor to be checked I waited eagerly for her to tell me that you were ready, that you had dropped, and that you wanted to meet us =) but this was not yet the case. You were enjoying your time inside my body and wanted to stay a few days longer. I struggled with this because none of my friends up until this point had gone over their due dates and it was summer time, 100 degree days and I wondered if I were hot, you surely had to be much hotter =) God knew his timing was perfect.

On the morning of September 11th (I didn't want to have you on this day due to our country's horrific history but God showed me that there is hope and new life in the midst of pain and devestation) around 4:00am I started having more labor pains about 5-7 minutes apart. I woke your father up and told him I thought it was time to go to the hospital. I wanted to take a shower first and fought through some difficult labor pains so that I could feel clean and pretty before I went to deliver you. (vain I know).

We got to the hospital and I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first because I wasn't sure if this was the real thing. It didn't feel much different than the labor pains I had experienced days before. The only thing different was that I couldn't talk through the contractions. The nurse admitted us and took me to our room, she checked me and said she thought I was about 4 centimeters dialated. I got an epi-dural and was happy as can be and began calling all of our friends and family to share the exciting news. They were not going to send me home. Today was going to be your big day! Your grandparents rushed to be there and your Aunty E stopped by to freshin me up and do my hair before you arrived (so funny).

We waited, as doctors and nurses came and went. The nurses wanted to speed my labor along but I refused the pitocin. I wanted to enjoy the process. Finally around 11:00am your dad asked the nurse to check me again and I was dialated 10 centimeters and they called the doctor. Thank God for your dad. I pushed for about 20 minutes and the nurse checked your heartbeat and vital signs. She seemed a little concerned and told me to roll on to my side and relax while she called the doctor for a second time.

Your dad and I were getting a little nervous because we were not sure what was going on and why the doctor had not yet arrived. A few minutes later one of the doctors showed up and a few minutes after that another doctor showed up along with a slew of nurses.

They encouraged me to push again and I pushed for a good hour. The doctors were starting to get concerned because your blood pressure and heart rate were going up. The doctor told me that she may need to do a vaccumm delivery. Your dad and I were a little worried because this was not something that they discussed in our birthing class. We trusted the doctors and believed they knew what they were doing.

We prayed many times for wisdom, for peace, and for God to keep you safe. We were reminded of Philipians 4:5-6 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to the Lord and the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. This gave us comfort.

We waited and believed that he would answer our prayer and he did. At 1:51 pm you entered the world. The moment we had waited 9 montsh for. Your dad got to cut your ambilical cord. I was so impressed he was such a champ. He encouraged me, prayed for us, and held you in his arms as his most prizzed possession. It was a beautiful moment. I felt like for a second, time stopped and everything just seemed to stand still. We both cried and looked into your sweet eyes and just melted. You were everything we had dreamed of and more.

You were ready to eat right away and did a great job nursing. Your daddy and I thanked God for you and spent some time alone with you dedicating you to the Lord before they wisked you away to be cleaned up and tested. Your grandparents waited patiently in the waiting room to meet you. They smiled from ear to ear when they saw your face. They couldn't believe they were now grandparents. I am sure it seemed like just yesterday that they were holding their now grown up babies in their arms.

Friends and family came from far and near to see you. It reminded me of how the wise men traveled to meet Jesus and to welcome his birth. We were blessed beyond imagination by the sweet visitors and overwhelmed by the way they cared for us. Our community group came, Cory, Cole, Scott, Shannon, Jessica and Michelle drove down from Oklahoma, friends stopped by from work and church and neighbors sent their best wishes. We loved showing you off.

The nurses fell in love with you especially a sweet little asian nurse. She would bring you in at night for your feedings and would say "she pooped, she peed, I clean her, she is beautiful." It warmed our hearts. The lactation nurse was a God send and so very helpful. The food was amazing and I wanted to order everything on the menu. I just had a baby and I thought that I deserved all the ice cream and pizza I wanted. I would pay for that later hahah. Your aunt Cory loved you so much and she spent the night with us at the hospital.

The next day we got ready to take you home. It was overcast outside and a storm was scheduled to blow through. I grabed a small container of cran-grape juice (my now new favorite drink after delivery), went to our baby care class, and got out of the hospital just as the storm hit. We put you in your little car seat that seemed to swallow you (you didn't like it one bit) and took you to your new home at 5020 Calloway Drive.

Our new adventure as parents had begun. We did not know what to expect or what to do but we knew that we would make it through with God's help and friends/family support just as many others had done before us. We knew that the love we had for you would be enough to sustain the unanswered questions and sleepless nights ahead. We were nieve and thankful. We were a family now made up of 3 instead of 2.

Here we are today 7 months later. Time flies by and I am reminded to slow down, stop, reflect, enjoy and just be. One thing is for sure, the world goes on, lives change, you will grow older. I commit to enjoy every moment with you for what it is, knowing that it is fleeting and I pray you will learn that same great truth. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. This is something I am constantly striving for. It is not easy and our culture makes it difficult but God desires it.

I love you my precious child. I pray for you each day. I can't wait to teach you all there is to know and to tell you about the one who formed you. I am praising God for you and looking forward to who you become!

Your mom