Friday, August 28, 2015

Baby Folsom #2!

I feel terrible that this is the first mention of being pregnant on this blog - we really are beyond thrilled!  I have been adding to a journal throughout this pregnancy, but haven't clued the blog in on our thoughts this round.

It was a longer road than planned to get pregnant with Cal, and we thought we better play it safe and start pretty early for our second.  Well, one month did the trick!  It was an absolute miracle.  We were so terrified the first trimester, but also extremely grateful.  

Since that has happened, we had a little scare.  I go into greater detail in my pregnancy journal, but a quick summary goes like this:

I started to leaking a pretty large amount of fluid at 18 weeks, quickly making my way to the ER.  Once there, it tested positive to be amniotic fluid so we were prepping for a miscarriage and early delivery, absolutely devastated by the news.  But, after no more leakage in the hospital and a second test done just in case, I was sent home on a modified bed rest to make sure I no longer was leaking.  They think it must have resealed itself, which again, is a miracle.

While we were at the hospital during that time, I still didn't know gender.  Ryan thought he caught a glimpse of a little girl on the ultrasound measuring fluid, but on my final ultrasound (when Ryan was at school) they asked if I knew gender - which I didn't know for sure, so they started the ultrasound and quickly saw that our little baby was a BOY!!  I couldn't have been more thrilled.  Ryan came back after taking his quiz, and he knew what we were having when he saw that I was grinning from ear to ear.  Secretly, and sometimes not quite so secretly, Ryan and I were so hoping for another little boy.  He and Cal will only be 19 months apart, and we hope they are the best of friends.

Since that scary time, things have been wonderful.  I have a good amount of energy, can lightly exercise, and feel confident that this pregnancy will continue as planned.  I am due December 10th, so our little family will most definitely be in Texas for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, which will be a first.  We are going to miss being surrounded by family, but look forward to being on our own and making it our own.

Anyway, we just wanted this baby to know we are excited to meet him when he looks back and reads this blog book one day.  We can't wait!! (and, we can't wait to decide on a name one day...this one has been hard for us!)

(his 18 week ultrasound)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A place for adventure

A week ago today, Cal got really sick.  He has had croup on and off since he was born, but this round was different.  Within 24 hours he went from being a happy little boy, to barely being able to breathe.  We sped over to the ER in the wee hours of the morning, and once hearing him they started Cal off with breathing treatments right away.

After a double dose, he was still struggling so they decided to give him a steroid shot as well.  (Before the shot, they tried putting in an IV.  I couldn't even watch as Ryan held him down while they searched for a good vein over and over, finally giving up.  I wanted to punch someone for making him do all that for nothing!)  It was nearing the end of the day, and Cal was mildly improving, well enough that they were confident he would just need a little more time to improve as the steroids kicked in.  They gave us one more dose to give Cal in the morning, and sent us on our way.

Cal was horribly coughy and a little lethargic all day Tuesday, and he woke up soon after we put him down that evening with horrible coughing fits.  So much so that he started throwing up over, and over, and over.  So again, we were scared and rushed him to the ER since this time he was struggling to exhale without throwing up and we were afraid he was going to aspirate it.  He calmed down after a few hours, and stopped throwing up, so we were back at home again.

We saw an ENT to follow up on his latest scope, we saw a pediatrician for a check-up, and we never left the house besides all of these doctors appointments!  So, needless to say we got a little stir crazy.  We decided to focus on a project to get through a long, sleepless week and we chose to tackle the room Cal will be moving into once our new little boy is born.

It was so fun working together, and this is the final product.  We love it!  Hopefully Cal loves it as much as we do!  We want it to be a place where adventure and imagination is encouraged, and we are so excited to make fun new memories in his new special room.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Modern Christianity

I've been thinking a lot about modern christianity. I know that is a broad term, but specifically nondenominational Christianity has piqued my interest.

For those of you who are stumbling across this blog for the first time, or fairly recently, you should know that Lauren and I are active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). I attended a few sessions of bible study organized by a group of guys from a local nondenominational church before my schedule conflicted with their meetings and now I no longer attend. The sessions I did attend were great and we had uplifting and edifying discussions about selected chapters/verses.

A friend of mine, who continues to attend this group and is also LDS, is a very active participant and sometimes leads the discussions and topics for the week. Recently, the Bible study go so large that they had to divide into smaller groups. When my friend prepared material to lead a discussion in this smaller group setting, he was pulled aside and asked to not lead discussions anymore. The folks in charge of the small groups explained that the reason for not letting him lead discussions was because he believed some things that were fundamentally different from what they believed. When he told me about this part that was hard for me was that I know my friend doesn't push an LDS agenda or insist on sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon or other LDS general leadership. He stuck with the Bible and gave insights about how the it has brought him closer to God and brought peace into his life. So why did they request he not lead discussions if he wasn't highlighting the differences, but the similarities between his and their beliefs? I'm still trying to figure that out. I know that the LDS church has taken a lot of flack because it contains beliefs that don't match that of "mainstream" Christianity, but to me this is an example of a man who wants to plug back into mainstream Christianity and show other Christians that we're on the same team, worshipping the same Jesus, and have the same basic goal of wanting to live with God again.

So I decided I should try and learn more about what other Christians believe, how they worship, and seek understanding so I can know firsthand where they are coming from and what their worshipping experience is like.

What I'm about to describe next isn't the norm for all Christian churches, but from discussions with other people who attend a wide variety of nondenominational churches this seems to be the basic method of worship.

I attended the Friday night service at the Faith Assembly of God in San Antonio. It was a nice meeting. I walked into their chapel and the band was playing some light worship music. It was a little different than the organ prelude I am used to, but I wanted to soak up this experience and try and do things their way. I was greeted by the lead pastor and hung out in the back until the band picked up and started in worship and praise. The band played a couple songs and the words to the songs were projected onto a screen above the band/stage so people could sing along. Afterward, the lead pastor got up and the band toned it back to a soft background music as the pastor said a few words and encouraged the congregation to really get into the praise and invite the Spirit of God into the chapel. Then the band picked up and the singing started. That seemed to be the pattern for about 70 minutes with some intermittent healings/anointings/interaction between the pastor and members who were worshipping.

All in all, it was a very unique experience. I'm glad I went. I didn't feel the same feelings I do in an LDS service, but maybe it was because everything was so new to me. As I sat in that chapel I kept thinking on 1 Kings 19: 11-12, where the Elijah learns that the Lord isn't in the great rushing wind or the fire or the earthquake, but in the "still small voice." The atmosphere felt like a concert and I know the rush that a concert can give people, but most of the time I felt like if the Lord was trying to get in touch with me during that time, I wouldn't have been able to hear Him. I really wanted to sit down with one of the members and talk about what was most important to members of that church. I wanted to have the pastor walk me through, in 30min or less, the key principles and teachings taught at that church. Maybe I'll attend their Bible study sometime and get a chance to have that discussion.

The whole reason behind all of this is because I'm searching for ways to present the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to Christians who are happy and satisfied with their church. I haven't heard of any first hand experiences of people who attended another christian church who were totally satisfied who then were introduced to the gospel and welcomed it with open arms. I'm sure there are hundreds of stories out there about this very scenario, but none that I've come across.

For any who stumble upon this entry that don't already know us, here are my personal reasons that I would encourage a content Christian to investigate the LDS church:

The restored gospel gives me clear understanding of who God and Christ are and what their purpose is. It also gives me a clear understanding of my relationship with them and why our eternal goal is to make it back to their presence. The gospel gives me clear purpose in life and explains a lot of the "whys" behind the commandments God has given us. The gospel has changed my mind and my heart so that I am becoming a Christ-like man. As I learn more about Jesus through the scriptures and teachings of modern prophets/apostles, I can better pattern my life after His and try to live as He did. In the LDS church, sacred ordinances/covenants allow us to make promises with God and demonstrate our commitment to follow Him. In turn, He promises to protect, bless, and consecrate our actions and enable us to be a tool in His hands to bring about His eternal goals. The happiest moments of my life are when I feel the Lord using me to answer another's prayer, bless my wife/family, or perform service in His kingdom. I know when these moments are happening because I feel an overwhelming sense of peace that is impressed upon me by the Spirit of God/Holy Ghost. God has given me a vision of what kind of life He wants me to live and what my eternal possibilities are if I follow Him. I know He wants me to be like Him and enjoy His kind of life. He gives us guides; prophets and apostles, holy men who have honed their ability to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Spirit and follow God's promptings. They teach us how to develop this skill of listening to and obeying the Spirit. Ultimately, I know that each individual, if he/she seeks with a humble and open heart, can come to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored to this earth by Jesus Christ through a prophet, Joseph Smith. I know God and Jesus Christ live and anxiously hope for our return to them.  Christ provides the way and gives clear direction about how we can live with Him again.

If you want to learn more about this, please comment or visit and click on the "Meet with Mormon missionaries" link.