Monday, December 9, 2013

Nally Advent 2013 - Week 2 - Hopeful Abiding

Scriptures: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12

All throughout the scriptures, there is a constant rhythm of Christ calling us unto Himself.  This call is a personal invitation for us to abide in Him and with Him.  It can no longer be the faith of our fathers and our grandfathers.  We must choose to abide in the hope and love that He offers for ourselves.  We choose to accept His sacrifice and His saving grace extended to the Gentiles and to all the nations of the world. Christ came as a babe to raise us as spiritual sons of Abraham. The root of Jesse was birthed from the defeated stump to bring life and stand as a beacon to the nations. Let us come once more in to awe and reverence of the Lord Christ's entry in to this world.

With this second candle, we light it in honor of the hope that burns bright in our hearts.  It is filled with visions of peace on earth and the lion and the bear living in harmony with the ox and lamb.  All is brought to complete justice and proper order.  This hope not only burns on this candle, but also in our hearts as we yearn to share this gift and salvation with others. 

Let us be bold in sharing the gift of hope and salvation to all those whom He loves.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nally Advent 2013 - Week 1 - Expectant Augmentation

Last year we started the tradition of celebrating the advent season in our home with the lighting of an advent wreath.  This year, we desire to grow that tradition and share it with you as we journey through this season of advent.  Each Sunday evening we will post our family's interpretations of our own advent liturgy based upon the Revised Common Lectionary readings for this year.  (A note from Jim: We're choosing to read the RCL in the spirit of dwelling in the same Word as millions of believers all over the world who follow this tradition. We'll all be sharing the same Word and awaiting the same King.) 

We read these words aloud as a family and sang the song below.  Please feel free to join us and share any thoughts you may have as we journey towards the manger together.


Scriptures: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44

The season of Advent is a time of preparation and remembrance. We come together to remember the birth and incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was with God and was God at Creation, His Birth, and His coming again. By remembering His birth and preparing for our celebration of it, we remember more than an event 2000 some years ago. We remember Christ’s coming return as King of a New Creation. The promise was foretold through the prophets before Him and in the songs of praise. We celebrate that the promises have been fulfilled in part through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, but also that even greater promises are still coming.

After Christ’s resurrection, He left with us His Spirit to light and guide our paths in and beyond our sacred times together. We remember and acknowledge His Spirit’s presence here by the lighting of the first candle. It is the candle of expectation, both of the expectation the ancient Israelites had for their coming messiah and the same expectation we have for His return. The flame reminds us that His Spirit assures us now, as it has through all history in all times and in all places, that we expect the fulfillment of God’s work in our lives and in this world. We eagerly anticipate and prepare for the coming King in our daily lives and the lives of our families. Our faith is not built on a far off dream or idyllic desire, but the expectation that, as God has moved, God is moving, and He will move again.

Let have the faith to expect God to heal, redeem, and restore our broken lives that we may serve and glorify Him forevermore. We know not the day nor the hour, but Christ is coming again!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Every Season

I have often said that I find God in the changing of the seasons.  I see the correlations between the seasons of our lives and the earthly seasons.  For this reason I am so glad to live in a place that has such beautiful season changes.
Today as I looked out on the final beautiful leaves that are lingering, I recognize that again with the seasons, the Nally family again is entering a new season.  We have lots going on that we haven’t shared with many just yet (And, no, I'm not pregnant :P) .  I will begin to share more in the coming days.  Today I will share the first bit of news with you...

I have accepted a new position and begin in two weeks on December 5th.  I am joining the team at the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (  Their main purpose is to improve health outcomes for mothers and infants in Tennessee.  They do this through bringing together Obstetricians, Neonatologists, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Pediatricians, Hospital Administration, and Parents all together to work towards this goal of improving health outcomes. 

Over the last 5 years, they have made great strides in lowering the infant mortality rate, decreasing infections in the NICU, instituting scans for congenital heart defects and so much more.

If you know anything about me at all, or have been reading the blog for any amount of time, you will know that this is SO in tune with where my heart is.  I CANNOT wait to start and be used in this field.

Final Fall Colors

Sunday, November 17, 2013

She is Love

Well hello! It's almost been 6 months since I posted! That is truly crazy. Our life has been one adventure after the next lately. Sarah really came into her toddler self after her birthday and we haven't stopped moving since.

She is now walking/running, talking (only a handful of words still), fascinated by all things, shows strong preferences and opinions and is so incredibly smart. She follows commands, knows what "Let's go change your diaper" means and "Are you hungry for breakfast?" She LOVES brushing her teeth and is getting more teeth every day! She's doing very well in school and is just a general joy to be around.

Sarah is around 20 lbs currently and has moved into the 18 month clothing sizes with just a couple 12 month items lingering in the wardrobe. I'm constantly amazed at how "normal" she seems, and no one asks why she's so tiny anymore. I don't have to explain that she was a preemie, because when I tell them she's 18 months old, it's believable. AHHH... I always HATED to answer the "how old?" question, because it always led to a much longer conversation than the asker was prepared for. Now we are thankfully past that. We definitely tell our story often and when appropriate, but not to every adoring grannie at Target. :)

Today is World Prematurity Day and we are wearing Purple today to show support for this great moment of awareness.  (Daddy would have worn purple, too, but he doesn't own any.)  Just yesterday, I was standing in line at a children's clothing store and there were three of us in a row who all had preemies. We all said the same thing.. before we had one, we had never heard of it happening - and now that we have preemies it seems like EVERYONE has one. I hope to bring awareness to those who have never had to sit and listen to the agonizing beeps and hums of the NICU while waiting for your 2lb baby to grow an ounce or two each day. I also hope to bring hope to those who are currently in the NICU and feeling like there is no end in sight. The NICU journey is a deeply personal and emotional time in a family's life and I hope that we can be a light for someone that has a similar story. So today, for these reasons our family wears purple in solidarity with those who are walking this battle for the first time, those who live it every day, those whose little miracles are in Heaven waiting for them, and for the medical professionals who are working to lengthen pregnancies and shorten NICU stays and help families have healthier and happier outcomes.

11/17/13 - World Prematurity Day 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One Year

My dear sweet, inquisitive Sarah,

A year ago, I was very sick and I didn't even know it.  When the doctor told me that I was going to have you that night I was very scared.  I was terrified that I would lose you.  I didn't get to meet you on your birthday, or even the day after.  Everything happened so very quickly and yet time stood still.  I thank God every day for the medical team that rallied around you and me to make sure we both were healthy and strong.  I often wish I could go and show you off to the nurses in the NICU and to the doctors who helped you.  You truly are a miracle baby.

We have had quite a year together as a family of three.  You are incredibly intelligent and inquisitive. Nothing gets by your watchful eye.  You must explore everything and are always happier when you are outside and on the move.  I must say, I think your daddy may have found a little camping and hiking buddy.

People tease me for taking so many photos of you - but I just can't help it.  You are really the most beautiful child I have ever known (even though I'm a little biased).  I pray that as you grow, I am wise in helping you balance your confidence in your inner and outer beauty that is evident, and not being hung up on what you may perceive to be flaws. 

As we continue to grow together, I also ask that you forgive me in my moments of failure and insufficency.  I pray that you forgive me when I lose my temper and get angry.  I pray that you learn forgiveness and grace.

You are my sweet little miracle and I thank God for your life.  Your daddy and I love you so very much and cannot wait to watch the wonderful, beautiful, intelligent young woman you develop into.


Sunday, February 3, 2013


Sickness has hit the Nally home.  Thursday I left work early to get a check up.  I was hoping it was just a sinus infection, and the doctor gave me a prescription of Tamiflu and told me to stay away from work until Monday.  Friday I stayed home and sent Sarah on to daycare.  She had a cold for almost two weeks, but it had been clearing up.  Friday night we were up all night with Sarah.  She was up about every hour or two.  She went almost 15 hours before she ate or drank anything had had a fever over 101.  The fever has since come down and subsided.  But she's still not eating regularly, still not accepting a paci, or really putting much of anything in her mouth.

She's taken quite a bit of pedialyte and kept it down, but anything to do with formula, she really doesn't want it.  I'm not sure if she's nauseous and the milk is upsetting it further or what.....  We are going to go to the doctor as soon as they can get her in tomorrow.  I am quite worried over her lack of nutrition this weekend and she's still oddly fussy and happy - she'll go from laughing to crying in an instant.

I am feeling much better, but the stress of an unhappy child is really driving me crazy.  I feel so helpless and uncertain of what to do.

In other news, we have decided to join the March of Dimes walk on April 20 at Centennial Park here in Nashville.  If you are interested in supporting us, you can either donate to our cause, or choose to walk with us.  I believe it will be a great celebration of everything we've been through over the last 8 months.  Click here to either join our team or make a donation in our name:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Here it Goes Again

Well we survived!  We got up with our alarms, got dressed before the baby got up.  Fed her, and all were out the door before 8am.  I know that may sound silly, but definitely not something we've been used to.  (I know... all of you that do this every day are welcome to groan now...)

Sarah seemed to adjust to daycare mostly well.  I didn't officially shed a tear (though a couple tried to escape), so hopefully it will continue to get easier.  Right now she is one of only two full time children at her day care and the other girl left quite a bit earlier than she did today.  The only thing I don't really like about the day care is that it's so much further from my job than I would like.

The only little issue we had was that she was being extra finicky eating.  She's normally not consistent in her eating, but was extra bad today.  She only had a couple of ounces at her morning feeding, but shortly after lunchtime, guzzled down a bottle and was screaming for more.  They weren't sure if they were able to feed her more or not.  After a couple more ounces she was a much happier baby.  I'm sure that after a few days they will get to know each other's patterns and rhythms and it won't be an issue.

Jim also started a new position.  He is working with Gannett, which owns The Tennessean among many, many other newspapers and other media outlets (such as the Courier-Journal for all my Louisville readers!).  He is currently in their digital advertising department.  He will be helping coordinate ads that will run on their major websites.

I, too, also "started" a new position today.  I use the term started loosely as I mainly just started settling into my new work space and not a ton of work was done.  We have moved desks and offices and work spaces around a lot since Nutcracker ended, and I'm thankful that this should be the last of the moving and settling.  I'm really hoping to be organized and ready to go when the Spring semester starts next week.  I will be working a normal work schedule coming in and opening up the building in the mornings and doing all my selling and promoting and registration of the school during the day and working with those that will be working the night shift and at our Brentwood campus.  I'm excited about the new things that I will get to have a big part of, like our Summer Intensive.  I am so looking forward to how we can continue to refine and better ourselves, our business, and our outreach.

I will post Sarah's 7 month stats here later this week.  I can't believe how fast she's developing and growing. She's really blossoming right before our eyes.

Much love to you all...

1/5/13: My bright and beautiful Sarah.  :)