Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I know it's been since October, but I'll get to our family a little later...

As I'm sure anyone who isn't living under a rock knows, this week is Valentines day! A day beloved by about 98% of women, 90% of whose who secretly or not-so-secretly hate it. But, why...

I've, sporadically, been going through "The One Year Women of the Bible" devotional and today I decided to play a little catch up from Saturday. I started reading in Song of Solomon, Chapter 1... the wording is a bit much for me, so I used my handy dandy little footnotes to delve further into the verses.

For those who have never read it or haven't in a while, it's a book in the Bible about King Solomon and a Shulammite woman (don't ask me what a Shulammite is, I have no idea....I'll probably google that after this post.) Some people think it's mostly allegorical, and not a true account, but for sake of this post, let's go with 'it's true'. The Shu woman (let's call her that) begins in chapter one talking about how great Solomon is and how unworthy, essentially, she is to have his love. He comes back and says she's beautiful, like one of Pharaoh's mare. Which in 2013, would probably be considered an insult, but apparently Solomon was a horse-man (I Kings 4:26) so, it's quite the compliment! The book continues with beautiful language of love and passion; read it, if you haven't, it's fantastic!

But, as I was reading the commentary in my "One Year" devotional, the author said something that struck me deep.

She begins her devotional talking about a lady who is at a party and regretting she decided to come because she doesn't look good. She's not happy with her weight or her clothing, she didn't have time to put on more make up, etc., etc. (SOUND FAMILIAR!?) The author says, but her husband gazes at her from across the room and thinks she's radiant.

Honestly, I don't have enough appendages to count how many times I've had this internal conversation with myself (before or after being married). As women, regardless of our relationship status, we compare ourselves to other women. Unfortunately, our society hasn't made it much easier on us with the airbrushing and photoshopping of magazine covers. But, even so, in everyday life, the lady at the grocery store or the girl in your Art class or your neighbor are always so much prettier, thinner, smarter than YOU! Even the beautiful Shulammite woman, leading lady of one of the greatest love stories written, didn't see her beauty. (Cue One Direction's 'You Don't Know You're Beautiful'). In Song of Solomon 1:5, she begins her monologue of 'my skins too dark, I was busy taking care of my family's vineyard to take care of myself' and so on.... She compared herself to the other 'daughters of Jerusalem' and really couldn't grasp why Solomon wanted HER!

I have to say....this is me. Sure, sometimes I have a great hair day and stare at myself in the mirror a little to long, knowing the next one of these days will be many moons away. But, regularly knowing that I am 'fearfully and wonderfully made', knowing that I am God's 'beloved' or understanding that I am 'perfect' in His eyes....rarely.

But, this is what the author said that struck me....

"During those times, it helps to remember that there is Someone who looks past our stringy hair, acne, and extra weight. He sees us as worth DYING for just as we are--which is why he did! God gazes at his daughters with eyes of unconditional love, and we have no idea how beautiful we look to him!"

Song of Solomon 8:10 "When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees."

Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."

This Valentine's day, regardless of your relationship status, you are so deeply LOVED, more than any man could ever give to you on this earth! If you're in a horrible or an amazing marriage, remember that in good times and bad, we LOVE because Christ first loved us and died for us! Love your spouse as an outpour of your love for Jesus, even if you feel they don't deserve it in that moment. If you're single, know that God loves you and YOU ARE ENOUGH! If you have NO idea who Jesus is, He loves you and wants you to know His love and that it was so deep, He gave up His life to die a brutal death to save you from yourself! Just say, "Jesus, I want to know you...become my everything", then talk to someone (me, a friend, pastor, etc.) who knows who Jesus is!

Thanks for reading!

LaRae :)

p.s. Husbands/boyfriends---chocolates and/or flowers don't hurt, though! ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kids don't let you blog...

Well, that's pretty much the life lesson I've learned since having Harper--my 'spare time' should be renamed to sparse time! I do love 'mommyhood' and it's changed me and Cody in a way that I would never ask for (selfishly), but I am so grateful for, now! But, holy moly, it's been since MAY that I blogged---WHAT!?! That's just wrong!

Well, to catch you up from the last blog--Harper started solids, LOVED THEM, Harper cut her first teeth (bottom two), we went out of town for what seemed like the entire summer (Ohio, North Carolina, Ohio, Put-in-Bay, North Carolina), I stopped nursing (can I get a hallelujah!?!), Cody and I celebrated 4 years of marriage (hubba-hubba), Emily and her family came to visit, Harper cut her 2nd set of teeth (top two), Cody led worship at 2 summer camps and we celebrated Harper's 1/2 birthday, we had a great 4th of July with my family in NC, we found out our dear friends are having a BOY in January and our other sweet friends are pregnant again, went to Ohio for 2 weeks (Harper's first ferry ride and meeting her cousins), we had a belated anniversary getaway to Cleveland (just the hubs and I), we saw our fabulous west-coast dwelling friend,Sarah, VT started back and Northstar had an awesome 'welcome week' for the students, my dad went into the hospital, Harper started CRAWLING and PULLING UP, I began MOPS as a Discussion Group leader and then Northstar started 3 services!!! PHEW, I'm guessing you're tired just reading that ridiculous run-on sentance! :)

But, all in all, that about brings you up to speed since May! Ill poat somw pictures, but I'm not about to tackle all of them in this one past (I can hear a few people loudly exhale in relief). But, I'll try to hit some highlights!

As busy as the summer was, we had such an incredible time! It was so fun seeing family and friends, visiting new places and enjoying the few rares moments with just my love. But, now it's the fall and I cannot be more excited. This is absolutely my favorite time of year...scarves, hot drinks, the colors, the cooler weather, football....I mean, can it get any better!? Well, actually, yes....a birthday in the fall.....that's like euphoria! So, I guess on October 10th (mark it down, that's my birthday!!) I'll be having the best 'last' birthday, ever!! You know, since a woman is always celebrating her '29th...and holding' !!

5 Month photo shoot 

Harper's first time sitting in a high chair :)

Sitting up all by herself!

The Millage's came to visit!
6 month photos in Gma's garden
Daddy's father's day present :)

Our happy girl

Celebrating Harper's 6 month birthday!

Presents--loved the tissue paper more than what's inside!
Harper meeting her BFF, Boston.... He's liking what he sees!
Daddy's groupie

The boy's wives club (minus Dani) --my, how our friendships have grown!

Cody's first Father's Day!

Harper's first 4th of July

Silly times with Uncle Justin and cousin Jordan
Fancy family dinner
Nana and her girls
Put-in-Bay with Cody's side of the family! Golf carts, swimming and sunshine--what could be better??

Gpa and Harper bonding time

Stel, Cody, Harp and Gma at the pool

Date night in Cleveland--so delicious!

Grandma and Grandpa with their newests

The big, crazy family!

She loves her uncle matty and aunt maria

basking in the sun!

Cody officiating his cousin's wedding! Congrats Tyler & Sara Tokie!!

Meeting 'aunt Sarah' and enjoying Farm Basket, just like mommy!

look who's crawling and getting into the cabinets!

2 new teeth!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Starting solids and sunshine

Eating peas for the first time :)

Harper is now 5 months...where has the time gone? Last night Cody and I watched videos and looked at pictures from the past five months, as if she was graduating from high school!  It was such fun to already reminisce about our little family!

At Harper's 4-month appointment she was 13 lbs 15 oz and 25" long. The doctor and i discussed solids and we both felt she was ready. two days later, we started with rice cereal and never looked back! so far, she's tried peas, carrots, avocado, squash and now sweet potato! 

First Mother's Day!

She loves her daddy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring is here!

Today, after church we had a little picnic at a local park! The weather was perfection and we loved every second! Harper kept staring at the kids on the playground, i think she was jealous ;)

Hope you're enjoying the warmer weather!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mercy Triumphs

Carolyn, our pastor's wife, has started a bible study for ladies who are in ministry/married to minister's. We meet on Wednesday's from 8:30 to 10:30pm. I'll be honest, the moment I heard about this I wanted to have nothing to do with it. I had an almost one month old and I was barely hanging on during the day, never mind trying to have a theological conversation at 10pm! But, Carolyn persisted and today I'm so grateful she did.  Wednesday nights are my solace of rest and renewal. Thursdays are like a fresh start to what's ahead.

The study we are doing is James:Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. It's amazing--learning about James and how God's used him to stretch me and mold me these past 5 weeks have been incredible! I am such a mess and yet Christ has redeemed me from that mess. The hope and mercy God's shown me each week, especially after messing up time and time again, humbles me! His love for me is unfailing even when I fail him so often. His mercy for me is new each morning, even after forsaking him the day before. 

I have needed this study. I have needed a reminder that God still cares. Broadening my understanding of Christ and our Heavenly Father has given me new hope, new perspective and a new love for Him.

Then, God went and showed off by allowing my best friend, Emily, who lives in Florida, to be participating in this study at the same time, with her church small group in FL. It's been such a blessing to chat with her about what God's doing and how incredible He is! Jesus is incredible and so worth every ounce of sleep that I'm losing by going to this study--my life is so much better because He is my Savior. You need Him in your life, if you don't have Him!

p.s. Harper's doing great---I'm sure that's all you really care about, haha! So, here's a picture of her, too!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Harper's Birth Story

Well, I last left you hanging on the edge of your seats wondering I even had a baby! That week was quite a long, but great one. Cody and I reveled in the last few days of 'just us' and then our parents came into town and we loved every second they were all there! Tuesday night, before everyone came into town, I made a 'last supper' for just the two of us...I wanted to make it special :)
Then our families came into town and we started to get excited...but before that, we had to have Mexican for lunch on the day of my induction. My parents, us and the Noble's had a great 'last lunch' before Harper came!

Well, she didn't come on her own, so we proceeded with the induction at midnight on Thursday, December 15th. Here's a picture of us leaving the house to head to the hospital...we were so excited, nervous and freaked out! 

THe induction wasn't quite what we were expecting. Our doctor has said that if we come in at midnight, I could start with a natural gel to try and get the process going more naturally and still sleep that night....well, she was wrong! I'm not sure if most people sleep, but I surely didn't. Not to mention, I had horrible back labor so, about 30 minutes after they administered the gel, so my back was in intense pain up until I got an epidural the next day! But, I was stubborn (read: freaked out) of the epidural so the back labor was manageable until around noon. I think I had finally convinced myself that the pros were greater than the cons! 
During the labor process, before I got the epidural...the rocking chair was about the only thing that relieved some of the back labor...and my apple juice box :) ! I wish I had a picture of this, but one of the incredible 'perks' of our hospital is the massage therapist they have on staff. She came in around 9am and gave me an incredible back massage. It helped so much, I wanted to kiss the lady! haha
Around noon, I finally got an epidural and Cody was ready to go! 

After the epidural I was happy and pain-free....but sadly, bed-ridden until the next day. But, it was just what I needed to get a little bit of rest and try to get the ball rolling. A few hours later, I hadn't progressed much (I was at about 3 cm still) and so the doctor started me on Pitocin and broke my water. We were then back to the waiting game and already experiencing sleep-deprivation and HUNGER! The doctor came back at 7pm and checked me...I had only progressed 1 cm. She said she would be back at 9pm and would need me to have progressed at least 5 to 6 cm or we would have to start discussing a C-section. 

At this point, I would have performed the C-section myself just to get this over with! So, the next 2 hours I just talked to God and came to terms with me having a c-section. It's not that I was completely against the idea, i just knew it would be a little more difficult of a recovery process. BUt, I had such a peace that the Lord was in control and He would be with me the entire way! My prayer was, "Lord, please either have me progress to a 7 or nothing at all". I didn't want to have to make another 'waiting game' decision. But, around 8:30pm the nurse came in and said the baby's heart rate was dipping every time I had a contraction, so she needed to get the doctor to check me. Dr. Bradford came in and it was the moment of truth.....'you're nearly fully dilated!", she exclaimed! I was shocked, I said "like, 10 cm fully dilated?'...she laughed and said, 'yup and ill be back in about 30 minutes and we'll start having you push!" I was in utter shock, Ephesians 3:20 "...to the God who will do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or imagine'....God was faithful, once again. Well, long story short, I pushed for about 45 minutes and our little lady was here. Harper Gray Davenport was born on December 16, 2011 at 11:06pm weighing
6 lbs. and 13 oz, 21 inches long. Our hearts were overwhelmed with God's goodness, grace and love for us. We were now three. 

So happy

Right after delivery
Daughter, meet your daddy 

Our little peanut!