Friday, August 29, 2008

What if we were celebrities?

I was going to save this for the next My Husband Rocks Friday, but I thought I'd go ahead and post it now. I can always come up with reasons for why he rocks and really just couldn't wait to share this, so here's how we stack up next to celebrities.

The one that you can't see on the right is Ron Livingston. I don't know why I couldn't get the whole thing to fit right; the other four are more impressive anyway.(Being that I once spent many summer mornings watching reruns of Dawson's Creek, I think my favorite one is the comparison to Joshua Jackson. Why couldn't that Pacey just get his life together?)

Carrie Underwood is cut off of this one. For mine, I don't have a favorite comparison. The first time I did it, I used a different picture, and one of my comparisons was with Jessica Alba. I thought that was pretty cool. I just can't find good pics of me on our computer. I don't know what the deal is. I think I need to go and have some professional ones done or something. I guess it could also have something to do with the fact that I'm usually the one behind the lens.

My Husband Rocks!

Three big reasons my honey rocks:

1. He is a genius with computers! He is a computer technician, even used to run his own computer repair company. I love that I don’t have to worry about anything that happens with our home computers. I can just say, “Honey, the computer is acting funny,” and he takes care of it. Gotta love that!
2. He is great at fixing other things around the house. He can build furniture, fix plumbing problems, put up light fixtures, do rewiring, and do all kinds of other stuff. That certainly saves us a lot of money!
3. Even though I’m not in as good of shape as I was when we started dating or when we married, he tells me every day that he thinks I’m beautiful and that he loves me. I am so blessed to have such a loving, sweet husband, and I thank God for him every day (many times over)!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Morning Drama and Harry Potter

After the drama of our early morning, I had to wonder what the rest of my day would bring. It, thankfully, was quite a tame day.

A bit after three this morning, I awoke to find Chris absent from our bed. He was standing in front the bathroom sink doctoring his hand, which had started throbbing and bleeding in his sleep. Yesterday, while at work, he accidentally cut his thumb along the side of his nail and also sustained a small cut on his forefinger. The thumb wound was a pretty bad cut but he rejected the idea of going to the doctor to have it examined. That all changed early this morning.

After stumbling back to the bed, he mumbled that he was feeling dizzy. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it. However, fifteen minutes later, he was still reeling and started dry heaving. He felt really clammy and drained of color. Not wanting to wake Willow Grace and take her to the ER with us, we called his parents around 4, and his dad, who was in such a jovial mood for so early in the morning, arrived about 30 minutes later. Chris ended up with nothing more than a tetanus shot and a poorly rewrapped wound (no stitches) from the doctor although he was told that he really should have gone to the doctor yesterday. It was a deep cut that caused a lot of pain and blood loss, which is why he had all those other symptoms this morning.

On a totally different note…
I have just finished reading Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger, which I borrowed from a friend but now must purchase for myself since I really want to reread it and mark notations. First I must say that I greatly enjoy reading the Potter books, and Chris and I often listen to them in the car. We particularly like hearing Jim Dale; I’m amazed at his range in character voices. Anyway, the book I just finished was absolutely fascinating and clearly outlines how the stories clearly parallel the story of redemption and also contain an astounding amount of Christian symbolism. I suppose that I really shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s well known that JK Rowling had a classical education and is also a self-proclaimed Presbyterian (the intellects of the Christian world). I attended a Presbyterian college, and I would definitely say that I encountered a fair number of Hermione-like characters there. For those of you who love Harry Potter and certainly for those of you who shun the books because of “moral issues” I highly recommend this book.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I find myself in a state of mixed sadness, anger, and confusion this morning. We have lost another person to suicide; my friend’s best friend took his life. I’m sure you can imagine the pain she is now experiencing. There was no warning, no reason given for this. I have about a thousand thoughts and feelings whipping around in my brain. I’m not going to go into all of that right now.

This is what I want you to know, what we all need to be reminded of:

You are loved. You are needed. Your life has purpose. Your life matters. We need you here. No matter what you are going through, no matter what you have done or what has been done to you, God has everything you need to cope with and overcome it, whether it’s strength, love, courage, comfort, understanding, forgiveness, patience, or whatever. Don’t suffer alone. Don’t try to fight alone. He put us here on this earth so that we could stand together. He gave us His Son and the Holy Spirit. We are not alone.

Please pray for me as I minister to my friend.

Sloth Revisited/A Blank Calendar

I just looked at my planner for this week. There’s nothing on it for the weekdays. It’s silly, but it makes me nervous. With nothing on the calendar, I feel that twinge of guilt. The thoughts whisper, “Perhaps I’m not being active enough with my life; I really should be doing more.” Things like my job and taking care of my family are not events that require separate notations in my planner. My days are full. I do not NEED to do more. And now I can hear my husband’s voice, “You need to relax. Just come sit down.”

Is my Savior calling me to do the same?

“Relax. Sit down with me. Let’s talk.” Hmmm, yes, I do believe that He is. If there’s one thing we know about the Christian life, it’s that He desires one on one time with us. Bible reading is not a chore; it’s an opportunity to get to know the Father better. I know for a lot of the people that’s a major paradigm shift. It’s interesting to me how much we long for one on one time –major “face time” – with the people in our lives. However, we don’t really consider the fact that that is also desired of us, and even more than that our Abba Father desires it of us.

Maybe instead of seeing a blank calendar as a lack of purpose in my life, I should see it as an opportunity to carve out more time to spend with God. Now that’s what I call purpose!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

I just couldn't resist. We've taken so many cute shots of Willow Grace sleeping lately. I had to post them.

Her daddy has such a soothing voice. She just conked right out in the middle of story time. I did take her and let him finish reading the story after this. I wanted to hear the rest of it!
She was in the middle of eating Cheerios and just decided that she'd had enough!
Couldn't resist a close-up. Too cute!
This was taken today. She was so tired, so we just laid her out in the cart while we bought her new carseat at Walmart. This is a few minutes later... her last ride in the infant seat. I can't believe my little girl is growing up so fast! (That's her favorite stuffed animal on her lap; his name is Ralph. She loves him!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Husband Rocks!

Yes, it's that time again -- My Husband Rocks Friday! I've been thinking all week about what I can brag on Chris about. Well, I just must tell you what a wonderful father he is. Last night when he arrived home from work, he immediately dropped everything and got down on the floor with Willow Grace. She was thrilled to have a playmate, especially her daddy! He loves spending time with her, and she just lights up like a little firefly when he walks in the room. He's more than happy to change her diaper, feed her dinner, and do just about anything it takes to make her laugh. I'm am so happy to be raising our daughter with such a great man, and I hope that someday we'll be able to add a couple more to our little family. A man who is so good with children should have a few of his own!

There's nothing sweeter than Daddy-Daughter time!
Just hanging out with Willow Grace!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

3 Reasons I Love Wednesday

Sometimes Wednesday gets a bad wrap. “It’s only ½ way through the week.” “If I can just get past Hump Day….” Well, being the optimist that I am, I try to find reasons to appreciate each day of the week, every season of the year, and just as much of life as possible. So, anyway, here’s to Wednesday!

1. We only get two newspapers a week at our house – Wednesday and Sunday. I get excited when I see that Wednesday paper lying on the sidewalk outside our door. I love looking through the paper on Wednesday for new recipes and other interesting tidbits.
2. Usually I drive my daughter to my mom’s house; however, on Wednesdays, my mother-in-law meets me @ work to pick up Willow Grace which means that I have extra time in the morning to spend with Chris and the baby. I can even stop by the Starbucks for a special treat on the way to work! Mmmm, caramel macchiato!
3. On Wednesday mornings I do the “Hips, Buns, and Thighs” workout from my Hip Hop Abs videos. It totally rocks! It really kicks my butt right now, but it’s so much fun! (I’m really enjoying my endorphins today!)

I hope that your Wednesday turns out wonderful!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Camera Drama

Thank God! We finally have a working camera. Last night we spent a bit of time trying to figure it all out. Very soon I’m sure that my posts will be full of pictures. I can’t wait. I feel like I’ve missed so much in the last several weeks. Babies change so much, sometimes in big ways from day to day. Also, I’ve realized that we really don’t have any recent (good) shots of Chris and me. We need to do something about that.

I must shout out a thank you or two here. First of all, I’m so thankful to my wonderful brother-in-law, Matt, who helped us to get a great deal on the camera. Yea, Matt! Also, thanks is due to my mother-in-law who very graciously gave us two disposable digital cameras to help us until we could get something more permanent. I would have missed some really sweet moments if not for those two little gifts.

Yesterday we were able to have lunch at Olive Garden with my sister, Eva, and the aforementioned brother-in-law. Since they live about an hour away, we don’t’ get to see them very often (a fact I hate). Strangely enough, we did not really enjoy the actual food, but at least the company was quite pleasant. It was so nice to sit and visit with them for a while and then run a couple errands with them afterwards, which included buying a new camera and picking up the portraits for Willow Grace’s 12 month pictures (some of which I’ve already posted here).

Here’s a few more little nuggets from that session.

This is the shot we choose for wallets.We're doing a collage of sorts with shots from her 3, 6, 9, and 12 month portraits. In each one she's wearing a dress, and they are done in sepia. This our choice for the 12 month session. I'll post all four of them together soon so you can see the progression.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Husband Rocks Friday

I love the idea of bragging on my husband every week. What a great idea! I'd heard about this from someone I can't now recall but found the origin for it here. (You can also find the link by clicking on the icon in the right column.) Check it out. It's so important to say positive things about our husbands and to fight for our marriages. So, I'm joining lots of other women who brag on their husbands every Friday. I'm going to try to do this every week.

I don't have a new picture of him on my computer. So, here we are on our wedding day... so in love.

Chris rocks because last night after I arrived home after a really long day at work, he offered, even though he had a headache, to watch Willow Grace for me so I could shut my eyes for a bit. I rarely take a nap, but I just could not keep my eyes open. I was able to rest for a bit and then tackle the rest of my night with renewed energy.

My husband rocks because every weekday morning he gets up, well before he needs to, in order to wake the baby, change her diaper, and take her out to the car for me. He definitely makes my morning go smoother and helps me to get out the door on time.

My husband rocks because when I woke the night before last due to a terrible nightmare, he didn't mind me waking him (was happy I did). He held me and prayed for me. If not for him I would have missed the rest of that night's sleep, but instead I drifted peacefully off.

I am so thankful for my husband!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Aspiration: To Be Super Woman

I’m a list person. Among those carefully constructed lists are ones for grocery, household chores, daily to-do, weekly to-do, and honey-do. I also have a special calendar by the bed where I write down what I wear each day. I know a lot of people think that’s very strange, but I don’t care; it’s come in very handy. One day, I will end my day with everything on my little daily to-do list checked off. I love the feeling I get when looking over a list full of tasks/chores, and every one has a neat little line through it. I just wish that would happen more often.

I have such a problem with sloth – not in myself but others. I hear about people who fritter away their days doing a whole lot of nothing, and it bothers me so much. I know that my feelings are rooted in a deep-seeded fear that others will see me as being a lazy person, and that stems from the desire to have significant purpose and meaning in my life as a whole. Since I married Chris three years ago, he’s been helping me to relax more. It’s not that I never relaxed before; I just often felt really guilty about it, especially when there was unfinished work. I worked so hard in high school and college so that I could have a good future. Well, that future is here. I’ve had (and still have) a successful career, and now I have a beautiful family. In addition, with the shift in my job and my new family, my purpose and meaning in life is shifting. More than ever, however, there is always work to be done, always enough to keep me busy. Working full time certainly limits my time for home duties. However, even if I’ve done all the cleaning and laundry and have attended to all my little family’s needs, there are a dozen little projects to be completed. I also have a queue of books lined up just waiting to be read, writing projects that I need my attention, and many other little tasks.

I’ve been trying to get used to my new schedule over the last week and a half since I’m back to work full time and have longer (and earlier) hours. I rise at 4:40 every morning in order to get my workout in, and I have to be in the car at 6:25 sharp in order to get Willow Grace to Mom and then take myself on to work. In the evening, by the time I make dinner, get everyone fed (sometimes including myself), clean up the kitchen, and go through Willow Grace’s bedtime ritual (bath, books, bottle, bed), I barely have enough energy left for much else. I try to tackle a few household chores like laundry and basic cleaning, but sometimes it’s all I can do to check off the tasks that I must do to in order to keep my morning free of that frantic rush I hate so much. I always repack her diaper bag, lay out my workout and work clothes, and clear the living room of toys so I have room to workout in the morning. Oh, and after I climb into bed each night, I’m trying really hard to read at least a chapter from a novel. Since I don’t always have the time and/or energy to attend to the other chores on my list, that guilty feeling creeps back in. I really want to be Super Woman, and I really believe that, in my own way, I can. I just need a little time to adjust to this schedule. I’m up to the challenge!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On my mind....

Chris and Willow Grace are both sleeping soundly, and I hope that they will remain so for at least another hour. I've been awake for quite a while and quite frequently through the night. Willow Grace hasn't been feeling very well, so every little moan she utters has sent a mini-shock wave through me abruptly waking me. I already have dinner in the slow cooker. I'm making my first pot roast and using my crock pot for the first time. We'll see how it turns out.

You know how people tell you that you need to let your children "cry it out" sometimes and that if you don't you'll spoil them. Here's my answer:
1. You can't spoil a baby.
2. When Willow Grace gets too upset she vomits... a lot.
I think it may have something to do with the fact that she seems to have a really sensitive gag reflex. This is the same reason that we've made a slow process with giving her table food. Late last night at the same time that the kitchen sink decided to spring a leak, Willow Grace awoke and was very upset; she has been suffering with a bad cold and couldn't breathe very well. I actually took her to the doctor earlier in the week b/c she wasn't eating or drinking much, but it seemed to be mostly due to the fact that she couldn't breathe well and is teething. Anyway, we were trying to take care of the sink and hoped that she would settle back down and go back to sleep. When it became apparent that wasn't going to happen, I continued clearing all of the items from under the sink and sent Chris up to check on her. A minute later I heard, "Uh, honey, we have a situation up here!" She had thrown up all over everything - her bed, the floor, the massive lady bug that sits on her floor, the ottoman to the rocking chair, Chris, and herself. Bless her heart(and Chris's)! While Chris cleaned up the mess in her room, I bathed her. She loves the bath; it really calms her down. We were finally able to get her back into bed with fresh pj's and sheets but still had to go a few times to calm her down when she would start crying. Every time she was sleep-crying. She didn't even wake up; she was just trying so hard to breathe through that little stopped-up nose!

So, we're going to be homebodies today and skip church. I can't put her in the nursery, and she's too active (and sneezing too much) for the sanctuary. We'll just camp out here and catch some good preachin' on the TV.

On Friday, I was so blessed to be able to take her to work with me. I had already completed all the tasks I needed to for the week but still had to be there, so I asked if she could come and hang out with me. Having been given the green light, Friday morning I strolled her into the school with my computer bag and purse on one arm, her computer bag and a large bag of toys on the other arm, and her diaper bag and my lunch in her stroller. My work computer doesn't play DVD's, so I had to bring another computer for her to be able to watch a Praise Baby video which she absolutely loves! (I highly recommend these videos; we have 4 different ones.) What an amazing day! I was overjoyed to be able to spend the day playing with her, watching her sleep in her stroller, showing her off to my coworkers, and just taking care of her. She loved exploring the lobby where my desk is and checking out other people's offices, and I will treasure my day of memories. I expect that there will be many moments when the memory of her toddling around my work space will make me smile and give me that little something extra to push me through my day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Our Anniversary in Review

We started our married life with a small, perfect wedding and a short honeymoon trip to Gatlinburg. Those few days of romantic tranquility were like the calm before the storm. It all started the day after our honeymoon when Chris lost his job. Talk about regrouping! The last three years have certainly been eventful. We started and closed down a business, each acquired new jobs, had a baby, and moved into a new home. We've lost loved ones and welcomed new family and friends.

I awoke with such anticipation on Tuesday. I don't remember feeling that same feeling on my two previous anniversaries. Our first anniversary was nice; we returned to Gatlinburg, where we had honeymooned. However, last year, we just about overlooked it. I was deep in recovery from the c-section, and we were both enamored with our new little sweetheart. On the day of the anniversary, I don't think we said anymore about it other than wishing each other a "Happy Anniversary." A couple weeks later we "celebrated" by going on our first after-baby date; we went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the IMAX, fun but not exactly romantic.

This year, however, we decided to actually do special; we settled on The Melting Pot. Have you been? While it is expensive, the experience and amazingly delicious food is well worth it. To make the deal a little sweeter, we had received a coupon in the mail and put it to good use.

We ordered the Big Night Out, a four course meal for two. We started with the mouth-watering spinach artichoke cheese. The server brings all of the ingredients to your table and cooks them in a pot in the middle of the table. There was an assortment of apples, breads, vegetables, and tortilla chips to dip in the cheese. After that, we had yummy salads: a Caesar for Chris and the California salad for me. For our entree we ordered the Fondue Feast. In addition to some vegetables and a summer squash ravioli, it comes with an assortment of cubed meats: filet mignon, jerk beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp. We cooked it in another pot in the middle of our table in a delicious Coq au Vin broth. After all of these tasty treats, we were, of course, stuffed. However, there was one more course to go: the dessert. We ordered the Yin and Yang, a mix of dark and white chocolate. With this we had strawberries, two kinds of marshmallows, small cubes of rice crispy treats and brownies, and cheesecake to dip into the chocolate. I cannot adequately describe for you how delectable and decadent this amazing dessert was, but somehow we made room for it. I would highly recommend this restaurant -- with or without the coupon.

Seated in a booth in an intimate little corner where we couldn't see any of the other patrons, we took our meal leisurely and had ample time to talk, really talk like we hadn't been able to do for a while about books and movies and random other little things we had on our minds. Sitting there with my best friend who also just happens to be my husband was absolutely wonderful. I really do enjoy spending time with him, and there is no one with whom I would rather spend an evening. It really was a great anniversary.

I love you, Chris!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Willow Grace @ 12 months

Here's a small sampling of the pictures that were taken today for Willow Grace's 12 month photos. I know that I'm quite biased, but I do think she is quite lovely. I decided to take quite a few items from home in order to make the picures more personal. I actually had a whole duffel bag full of stuff! I'm sure that I looked strange walking in Sears loaded down with everything, but I didn't care; I just wanted to make the pictures extra special.