Today is our 4th anniversary. I am happy. I love anniversaries. They are better than birthdays because they are about two people instead of one. I love celebrating marriage; it is a worthy reason to live-it-up a little. Our first two anniversaries we planned extravagant trips. The outtings were a disappointment, probably due to our high expectations.

The first anniversary we went to a place in Missouri called Big Cedar Lodge. We stayed in a deluxe suite for two nights. We had an unexplainable crappy time. We tried to hike, tried eating yummy food, tried playing games, tried taking pictures, tried everything... and just could not get into it. We were both in a weird funk and couldn't shake it.

The next year I planned an anniversary trip for us. We went to Kansas City and stayed in a hotel near the Plaza. I had been there several times before on research trips for my job. I wanted Chad to experience eating at The Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately it was the weekend before Christmas and we had to wait FOUR hours in order to eat there. The rest of the trip was centered around shopping, which I love. I had not thought things through very well though because Chad does NOT enjoy shopping. The premise of the trip was exhausting for him... people, shopping, waiting, concrete, traffic. Oops.

Last year for our third anniversary we decided not to go anywhere. Instead we simply went out to dinner, exchanged gifts & cards, and kept things lowkey. It was a success. Less is better sometimes. I dream of big anniversary celebrations for the big years of 5, 10, 20, etc. Someday I'd love to spend out anniversary in New York City. I hear it is an amazing place to visit at Christmas time. Of course if not careful that could turn into a bigger version of the Kansas City experience.

As for this year, Chad has some plans that I do not know about. I have a feeling we might be going somewhere nearby to spend the night away. My expectations are not high though -- I'm excited to simply relax and be together this weekend. I hope our Wonderful Saturday Trend continues. It is crazy to think that on our next anniversary we'll have an almost-one-year-old baby.


the state of ready

People keep asking me, "Are you ready?" There are several different types of "ready" they could be referring to. Is the house ready for the baby? Am I physically uncomfortable enough to want to go into labor? Is the nursery ready? Are the baby's clothes and bedding washed? Am I mentally prepared for contractions?

I am getting closer to all of these types of ready. Each night turning over in bed is more difficult. It borders on painful. I groan and lunge and pull the covers off Chad in the process. The baby's room is almost all together. The bedding and blankets are washed and sealed in large ziplock bags to keep them as dust free as possible. Tiny clothes are hanging in the closet. They are so small that they don't hang down more than 12 inches from the rod. I have a stash of diapers underneath the crib. Newborn. Size 1. Size 2. Tons of wipes also.

I guess the next step is becoming mentally prepared. Lately I find myself daydreaming of holding the baby immediately after she is born. I try to envision what it will be like to behold her for the first time. Her face, body, hands, feet, etc. Who will she look like? Will she make eye contact with me? Will she have a loud cry? I also daydream about the first days of taking care of her. Baths. Diapers. Feeding. Holding. Carrying. What will it be like? I am excited, but I don't know if I am ready. Some say you are never ready. This may be true, but I feel about as close to ready as I think I'm going to get.


wonderful saturdays

Chad and I have had two awesome Saturdays in a row. Last weekend we carved out time to spend the whole day together. We went out to breakfast and shared a large mocha with our egg sandwiches. Then we bought an eight foot Christmas tree. We set up the tree in the corner of the living room but ended up not decorating it because the branches needed to fall in order to hang lights and ornaments. The scent of pine filled the house as we misted the tree with water from a spray bottle. We spent the rest of the day playing games and taking it easy.

This past Saturday I woke up with a sore throat. Chad made me breakfast and hot tea with honey and lemon. Then we played Monopoly in front of the fireplace. He got the yellows by chance as well as three of the railroads. Because of this he would not make a deal with me; and he won! I think it was the first time he's beat me at Monopoly since we got married. He was pretty happy. We also played poker. Texas hold 'em, seven card stud, five card draw, deuces Wild. I had a few full houses. The trick was betting conservatively because Chad is fast to fold, being the cautious person that he is.

From time to time we'd talk about the baby and how soon she will arrive. We go for brisk walks in order to prepare my body for labor. Our neighborhood has quite a few Christmas lights. This is a fun time to be expecting a baby. I can't wait to hold her wrapped up in a soft fuzzy blanket.


letters and packages

I have a long time friend. We've known each other since junior high. We've been through close times and not-so-close times. With the exception of 3 months we've always lived in different states. I was a lonely 6th grader with no friends when her family moved to our town in Northern California. We met at church and hit it off immediately. Three short months later her family moved again... far away. Thus began a long friendship of letters.

We wrote to each other on a weekly basis. I saved a lot of the letters. It is fun to go through them all these years later. Our handwriting was bubbly back then. The stationary was bright florescent colors. I loved Lisa Frank stuff back them... purple, pink, stars, hearts, unicorns, kittens... very junior highish stuff.

As we got older we talked on the phone more. We talked about boys late into the night. I remember one conversation where we listed out the ten boys we wanted to kiss! I think we were in 16. (Neither of us had kissed anyone yet at that point.) We also continued writing letters during this time. We both wrote with the same amount of detail. This common hobby of writing is the thing that kept our friendship alive.

During college we were not as close. We drifted a little after she got married. I was busy with new friends while she was occupied figuring out marriage stuff. Letters were more sporatic and phone calls less frequent. After a few years I go married. We started corresponding more, which leads us to present day.

My friend is also pregnant. She is due two weeks after I am. For the past 8 months we've been emailing, writing, and chatting nonstop about our pregnancies and the future. We've been exchanging packages full of babies items. When one of us finds a clearance item or a steal at a garale sale, we think about the other and wonder if it is package-worthy. We know each other's tastes. She knows I love the Baby Gap. I know she dislikes the feel of micro-fleece.

I am thankful for our letter-writing and package-sending hobby. It's fun to have a friend who has the same delight in sharing silly details and baby trinkets.


feeling strange

I am starting to wonder how far away labor is. My body is doing weird things. I experience small contractions often, but not regularly. Usually they don't distract me from what I'm doing at the moment. I am trying not to get too excited. After all, I'm still 5 weeks away from the due date.

I'm still growing. I had to buy yet another pair of pants over the weekend. The ones that I thought were going to last me until the end are too tight to wear. The tight band made it impossible to bend over. One doesn't realize how often she bends over until her pants start to cut her in half! Simple tasks like tying one's shoes becomes a major feat. I was annoyed to have to buy another pair of pants when I'd rather spend the money on the baby. The new jeans are wonderful though. I actually feel kinda cute in them!


hot dish

Wednesday night was especially fun. Laura had us over for dinner. Beck recently decorated their duplex for Christmas. It is cozy and relaxing. I got comfy in the recliner with a homemade quilt while Laura and Neil finished making dinner. We had Hot Dish. I'd never heard of it before -- it's a midwestern thing I think. She layered ground beef, tomato soup, green beans, and mashed potatoes in a dish and baked it. It was a success. Chad renamed it "Tater Pie" which made us all laugh and be silly. Thankfully my laughter didn't turn into unexplainable tears this time.



I am having naming issues. When we found out we were going to have a baby I was excited to talk about names. Soon we had a short list of options. We decided on a boy name easily. Logan Hunter. We like Logan because it is unique, but not weird. I also like 5-letter names for some reason. Two syllable names are nice. We had a harder time with a girl name. Melody was on the list from the beginning. It was my favorite. After a few months we settled on it. A few weeks ago Chad said out of the blue, "Are you positive about the name Melody?" I had been wishy-washy as well so we began to reconsider. The problem is, no other names have jumped out at us. We are blank. We settled on Melody again.

I am still unsure though. Ellen and others love the names they've chosen and "know" they are right. I like the name Melody, but I don't love it. I wonder if she won't look like a Melody when she's born. Or will people mistake her for a Melanie her whole life? Maybe we'll have a surprise boy and the name thing won't be an issue. I thought about using Logan for a girl, but Chad feels strongly that it is a boy's name. I don't know what we'll do.



I am experiencing heartburn these days. The due date is less than six weeks away; the heartburn started about two weeks ago. I've never experienced anything like it. No wonder there is a whole aisle dedicated to antacids and over-the-counter drugs for sufferers of heartburn. It is horrible!!

It usually hits me in the afternoon and crescendos into full blown torture by the time I try to fall asleep at night. I've tried avoiding carbonation, walking, eating small meals, and drinking water. Sometimes these things seem to help and other times they make no difference. Every once in awhile I'll have a heartburn-free day and I cannot figure out the reason. I hope this pregnancy symptom goes away as soon as the baby is born!

If anyone know of tricks to calm the pressure in my upper chest, let me know! So far I've been using Tums every now and then. They help a little.



We had a good Thanksgiving trip. The first two days were spent with my mom's side of the family. Each year they rent a church camp. The females and babies get one of the bunk bed rooms and the men/boys get another. We each bring the makings for our favorite side dish and aunt Julie makes the turkey. There is an annual football game between cousins, uncles, and spouses. We also had a ping-pong tournament which Chad won.

My cousin Amy and I got along for the first time in our lives. She is four years older than me. In previous years there has always been tension between us. It was never addressed, but always present. This time we clicked and chatted amiably. She has two young kids. I think the fact that I'm about to become a mother is the reason we clicked. For the first time we have something in common. She shared well-received advice, funny stories, and mother wisdom. Our pleasant time together was a long time coming and I am happy about it. Grandma would be happy too.

The second half of the trip was spent with my Uncle Jerry; my dad's brother. Uncle Jerry has always been a family favorite. Everyone loves him. He is easy going, nonjudgemental, and lots of fun. Jerry, dad, brother, and Chad played lots of poker. We ate gobs of blue bell ice cream (cookies and cream), had large/late breakfasts, watched satelite television, and didn't leave the house for two full days. It was relaxing.

Uncle Jerry and I reminisced about the days when I was a little girl. He'd visit us in Fort Worth and give me a quarter. We'd walk to the corner 7-11 gas station so I could spent the money. He says it took me a long time to decide what to buy. He patiently waited while my little mind worked through the vast candy choices. Good ole Uncle Jerry.


that time of year

I've been in the mood to decorate for Christmas for the past week. I lugged 4 rubbermaid containers from the garage into the living room. They are full of lights, ornaments, candle holders, tree accessories, and trinkets. I arranged a group of white candles on our mantle. They are leftover from our wedding. (Which was four years ago!) Each evening I light them and enjoy the glowy light. I've started playing Christmas music and drinking hot tea with lots of honey.

Earlier in the pregnancy I didn't know if I'd be excited for the holidays this year. I thought it might be better to skip them. As the days got shorter and holiday baking items appeared on store shelves I found myself excited for the holiday season again. I love this time of year.

Part of me hopes little Melody is born this year. I want to put her in a soft red velvet stocking and take her picture!! I'm trying not to get my hopes up for her to arrive early though. Many first time pregnancies go past the due date. I don't want to flip out when January 9th comes and goes and I am lumbering around, as big as a house, putting away Christmas decorations.


all mixed up

We have seven weeks until the baby is due. I am a ball of excitement, stress, emotion, joy, stife, tears, laughter, on and on. A couple nights ago Chad and I were hanging out with three close friends. We were having a low-key happy time together. Something funny was said and I started laughing. Soon tears were filling my eyes and before I knew it I wasn't laughing anymore. Instead I was crying. Chad and our friends exchanged confused looks. I buried my face in a couch pillow and tried to regain my composure. It took awhile. I felt like a toddler who had missed her nap. Everything was simply too much for me. Soon after the emotional outburst, I assured my friends that I was okay and headed home to go to bed early. I wish I had made my exit thirty minutes before. Thankfully I have very cool friends and we will laugh about the incident in the future.


long awaited bowl

Over a year ago I posted an entry about a blue bowl. (See September 2003 posts.) I broke a favorite antique family bowl. Since the incident I've been scanning shelves at flea markets looking for a replacement. No luck. Today I arrived at work to find a wrapped gift sitting in front of the keyboard on my desk. The card said, "to Rebecca." This baffled me because my name is spelled "Rebekah." I assumed it was a baby gift, but could not figure out who would give me a gift yet not know the spelling of my name.

I opened the card and glanced at the name at the bottom of the note. It was from a girl that I barely know!!! She is a friend of a friend, a slight acquaintance. She's one of those people who I knew of, but I was not sure if she even knew who I was. I guess she knows me, too! Her note said that she reads my blog from time to time. She remembered my blue bowl story so when she found the small blue bowl at a flea market she bought it for me!!!!

I am a gift person. I love buying gifts for people. Rarely do I receive something so perfect as this morning -- this aquaintance must be made of the same gift/giving/receiving material of which I'm made. I felt a kindred spark as I read her note and tore the yellow pokka dot paper from the worn blue bowl. It was a wonderful way to start a Friday morning.

T H A N K Y O U H E I D I ! ! !


unexpected disappointment

I am truly happy about having a girl now. It took me a day or two to get to this point. After the ultrasound I was surprisingly baffled and sad. Chad and I went to a small town diner for breakfast after the appointment. As we waited for our food a family of three sat down at a nearby table. They had a 2 year old boy. My heart sank as I realized I wasn't having a boy. Later that evening my mom and I went shopping for baby clothes. As I sifted through the clearance rack I paused at each boy outfit with a sigh.

Two years ago my heart was set on having a girl. Then something happened and the idea of a baby boy became endearing. When I found out I was pregnant my instincts told me it was a boy. As an ENFP I trust my intuition a lot. It usually proves correct. I rationally understood that the baby might be a girl, but I purchased boy items and pictured a blue baby room. We settled on a boy name. (Logan Hunter.) When the ultrasound-lady told us it was most-likely a girl (she was 90% sure), I was surprised and numb.

I've gone through a mild process of grief to accept that this baby is not a boy. I am elated to have a girl, but also sad for the boy that will not be. I did not expect these feelings to be part of finding out the sex of the baby. I thought I'd be joyful just like I was the day I found out about the pregnancy. Instead I've had to process my feelings and thoughts to get to that excited place.

Now I'm ready to think GIRL. We've settled on the name Melody. For middles names we're thinking about Leah, Kate, and Raine. (Any opinions of these are welcome! I like hearing people's thoughts.) I've also been brainstorming about the nursery. I think we'll still do a blue & green theme with small doses of pink here and there. We'll paint the walls a pastel aqua color. I plan to paint large pokka dots on one wall with a gloss version of the same color. Another wall will get wide stripes.

It's been a weird week. I'm thankful we found out the sex of the baby now, rather than waiting; this way I feel more emotionally prepared than I would otherwise. Of course, there is still small chance it could be a boy... when I start thinking about that I get all weird again.



Chad and I went to our ultrasound appointment this morning. The nurse said there is a 90% chance we're having a girl!!!! We are very happy. We have no preference for a particular gender, but all along I had a feeling it was a boy. When the nurse said "girl" I was surprised. It took me all day to get used to the idea of a girl. I've shared the news with my coworkers and family. Everyone squeals and hugs with joy. It is wonderful to have support and excitement around me.

The nurse said the baby measured big so my due date might change to Christmas day instead of January 9th. I would feel better about that because I've already gained 20 pounds! I'm starting to get uncomfortable. I have shooting aches along one side of my back and hip. Sleeping is getting difficult. I was a monster this morning. The idea of being two week further along makes me feel a little better. I am beginning to get antsy about the approaching 3rd trimester. I am also feeling joy and anticipation that makes the hard stuff worthwhile.


general happiness

I'm enjoying life these days. Being at home is one of my new favorite things. I used to be very social. I would make plans with people for nearly every night of the week. The weekends were full of company, meals with others, and talking on the phone. These days I'm different. I'm content to be at home alone. Chad traveled to Chicago last weekend and I soaked up the solitude like never before. In days past I would have filled my days with people, people, people. Instead I shopped alone, ate out alone, cleaned house alone, watched chick-flicks alone, planted mums alone and enjoyed every second of it. I even went to church alone! Before I would have never done that because I hated going to church by myself. Maybe the change is due to the sqirming life inside of me. I feel the baby moving about every 30 minutes! Or maybe I'm cherishing this alone time because in 4 short months I will have a baby to care for with minimal breaks. All I know is that solitude is my new best friend.



I had another doctor appointment today. We did the usual. Weigh in. Pee in a cup. Blood pressure. Doppler (heartbeat). Any questions? It was a fast appointment. The baby's heartbeat is stronger than it was last time. It goes swoosh-swoosh-swoosh. Chad and I smiled at each other as we listened to our baby's heart beating.I tried hard not to laugh with glee as I listened to it. Laughing causes static which overruns the swooshing.

We'll have an ultrasound in two weeks. If the baby cooperates we'll find out if it's a boy or girl. I'm ready to know!


little legs kicking

I'm feeling the baby move everyday now. I read last night that it's legs are the size of an adult little finger. No wonder the kicks are faint and fast! The book also said the baby kicks an average of 1000 times in a twenty-four hour period. I wonder how they know that? I guess the baby is working hard in order to grow muscles. Go baby go!


a productive weekend

Chad and I had a productive weekend. The biggest accomplishment made was a 10 foot picket fence across the edge of our front porch. Now that it is finished, it looks like a simple project; but it took us an entire Sunday afternoon to do. Chad made sure all the edges were flush and square. He cut 45 degree angles at the top of each picket to make a more 'finished look.' I like his attention to detail. We are pleased with the result. I'm excited to paint it white this week. I envision some homemade flower boxes along the top of the fence with springtime tulips. Maybe red ones. Do tulips do well in flower boxes? I don't recall seeing them that way.

In other news, I felt the baby move yesterday for the first time!!! I was laying in bed after a nap. I was relaxed and on my side. All of the sudden I felt a strong, faint, quick, flick. I think it was a kick? I smiled broadly and continued to lay there for 20 more minutes hoping to feel another movement. It feels even more real now. We will find out in 5 weeks if it's a boy or girl. Last night I dreamed we had a girl. All my other instincts say it's a boy.


to buy or not to buy

I have a confession. I am in love the Baby Gap clothes. I can browse their store with no concept of time, thumbing through the adorable prints and soft items. I get squealy when I see the tiny cargo pockets on the boy things and the delicate feminine trim on the girl things. I have not purchased a lot of baby clothes yet. I have a 25% off voucher for the Baby Gap for this weekend. I'm ready to go buy the whole store! My question is, how much stuff does a newborn really need? How many onsies will I need each day? Any advice of experienced moms out there is welcome!


better again

Well, the roller coaster continues and today I'm feeling better again. I'm very thankful that the overwhelmed-freakout-days only last for 24 hours. I was able to sleep last night and I woke up feeling much lighter. Part of the solution was probably the fact that I worked my bootie off in kickboxing last night. I'm convinced my stress level increases when I don't exercise. Side kicks are getting very difficult now that my belly is bigger. My balance and flexibility are going down the drain fast. Soon I'll be on the back row with the old people in the class. One guy is in his 60s and has had a knee replacement surgery. He's endearingly cute with his large black boxing gloves and skinny old man legs. He kicks only 6 inches off the ground and cracks jokes the entire hour. As long as I keep doing something I figure I'm better off than just sitting on the couch.


overwhelmed again

This pregnancy thing has me second guessing myself every other day. One day I feel on top of the world. The next day I am anxious, scared and full of questions. Yesterday was one of the bad days and it is overlapping into today. I feel stressed out about how to have this baby. Pros and cons of a hospital birth vs a home birth swirl in my head. I never thought I'd consider doing a home birth with a midwife, but the more I learn, the better it sounds. And yet, what if something goes wrong? I'd never be able to forgive myself.

I'm also worried about work. I try to take things one day at a time, but inevitably there are days when I want to throw up my hands and give up. "This is too much!" I think to myself. Then the next day I have a great time and I say to myself, "Wow. I love my job."

I guess I'm on the pregnancy roller coaster everyone talks about.


weekend of progress

Chad and I had an unusual weekend. Usually we spend lots of time with other people. Sometimes we do things with our friends individually; many times we hang out with other couples or several people at a time. This past weekend we didn't do anything with anyone. We spend the entire weekend with just each other. We didn't plan it that way. It just happened.

Friday I had big aspirations to cook enchiladas for dinner. I went to a chiropartor (for the first time) after work. The treatment made me feel like jello and I lost my desire to cook. We ended up at Abuelos; a nice mexican place. We shared avacado enchiladas and a layered dip.

Saturday Chad woke up at 5:00am! He just couldn't sleep. We ended up at Krispy Kreme at 6:45. Whew. I was so tired. A fresh, warm, glazed donut right off the belt made me happy. I spend the rest of the day organizing and arranging piles of photos into new leather albums. We rented a James Bond movie that night, but couldn't stay awake long enough to finish it.

Sunday we went to the early service at church. Going to the 8:00am service isn't easy, but we're always glad for the way it makes the day longer. After church we headed to our favorite coffee house. It's called Common Grounds. (We used to smoke cigars there until a city ordiance against smoking in restuarants was passed. Err.) We ordered and shared eachother's food. I got eggs & potatoes; Chad got french toast. He likes sweet things for breakfast; I like protien and salt. After breakfast we went to the granola health food store. I bought pre-natal vitamins, Ester-C, MSM, flaxseed oil, protien powder, and bread. The total for our undersized brown bag of items was $104. We gulped and reminded each other that any doctor bill is easily that much and we only make it to the health food store once or twice a year.

Sunday afternoon we spend the whole day at home. It was unseasonably cool outside. It rained on and off. The dog was lazy and slept at my feet while I continued the picture project. Chad sat at the other end of the table and worked on house plans. Every few minutes he'd hold the drawing up for me to see and ask a question.

"Do the dormers look right?"
"How big should this window be?"
"Should that closet be bigger?"
"Which way do you want this door to swing?"

We've devised a house plan that is about 1450 square feet. It is two story, four bedrooms, with porches, open kitchen/dining/living room, and big closets. I am more excited than overwhelmed at this point. Progress feels so good!

I completed the photo task through 2002. I still have a mammoth stack of pictures from 2003 to deal with. 2003 was our year of traveling so there are tons of pictures. After doing 1995 through 2002 though, this one year will be a cinch. I cannot believe it, but we had accumulated over 1500 pictures! And we're always saying to each other -- "We never take enough pictures."

Yeah right.


sweet relief

Ahh, the joys of Friday. It has been a long week. Nothing remarkable happened; maybe that's why it dragged on and on. I'm looking forward to my regular dose of weekend napping. It has become a routine... work all week; crash on the weekends.

I also have the desire to do some "nesting." Namely, commence the massive project of putting photos into albums. About two months ago I bought five identical large leather photo albums at Target. They will hold a total of 1500 pictures! I don't think we have that many right now, but with the baby on the way I figured we use them soon enough. (I'm more of an album girl than a scrapbooker.) We have piles of envelopes full of pictures from college days, dating, engagment, wedding, honeymoon, birthdays, holidays, traveling, everyday life, pets, new house, etc. It is time to get them in order! We will see if this is the weekend I tackle the project or not...



Last night I had a freakout. I was intensely overwhelmed. The prospect of buying land & building a house is too much for me to fathom right now. I love the idea of being in the country, settled into a custom home, surrounded by trees and chirping birds. But the thought of moving in my 3rd trimester, or worse, with a newborn, absolutely freaks me out.

I'm also worried about the hospital at which I've chosen to have the baby. I feel great about the doctor, but stories about the nurses and facility make me second guess my decision. What is more important -- the staff or the doctor? Any opinions out there? I need them.

Work is also a lot these days. I'm in my 3rd week as a Gifts Designer. (I used to design Cards only; now I do candles, journals, gift bags, frames, and all kinds of other things.) I am happy in the new department. I made the right decision. BUT, the transition is difficult. I wake up most nights thinking about pressing projects, late dealines, and the unknown aspects of my job. Last night it all came crashing down on me. I decided to skip karate. I usually go for Chad's sake. Last night I wanted to think of only ME. :)

So I stayed home. I accidentally fell asleep on the counch at 7:20. Fourty minutes later I woke up in a panic. No! Now I won't be able to sleep, I thought. I grabbed the leash and took the dog for a long brisk walk. The humidity made it less than pleasant, but I wanted to tire myself out so I'd be able to sleep. After awhile we crossed the street to take a look at the cows in a field near our neighborhood. (This is Arkansas I'm talking about.) There were about 30 cows... half mamas and half babies. The babies were very interested in Montana. They walked right up to the fence to check him out. Any movement I made startled them, but the dog didn't bother them at all. We stood there a lot time. I talked to a litte dark brown calf; the cutest one.

Hanging out with the cows was good for me. They made me smile and momentarily forget about my adult worries. Maybe living in rural Arkansas isn't so bad after all.


sunday motorcycle ride

Yesterday afternoon Chad and I went for a motorcycle ride. It was the first time of the season for me to ride. I have been apprehensive about riding because of the pregnancy. I have a whole new set of anxieties and fears now. As we drove out of the neighborhood I wondered silently, "Should I be doing this?"

Chad is an overly cautious person. He knew I was nervous so he went extra slow. We drove to our favorite frozen custard place; 20 minutes from the house. We ordered a large mint-oreo contrete. Behind the drive-thru establishment was a small field of thick grass and trees. We sat in the shade and shared the custard slowly. Chad is a good sharer. We don't eat faster, faster, faster to get more. We go slow and give each other time. I've always liked this about us.

After we finished the custard he showed me how to wistle with grass between my thumbs. I put the grass to my mouth, blew, and shocked myself with the shrill sound that ensued. I was pleased because I typically can't figure things like that out. Then he showed me how to blow into my closed hands to imitate the sound of a whipper-will bird. (That is probably spelled wrong.) I felt like we were kids, playing on a summer afternoon.

On the drive home I was able to relax and enjoy the wind. Chad could tell I was more at ease and he gunned the accelerator on the straight parts of the road. I held on tight and smiled. Soon I'll be too big to fit comfortably behind him on the bike. I'm enjoying our last months of being married without kids.



I'm enjoying wearing overalls these days. They feel good because they have no waistband. This weekend I'll "turn" 15 weeks. It is fun to be almost four months pregnant. My body is already very different. I've gained about 10 pounds. I am thick in the middle. I've started wearing semi maternity clothes. Several girls have loaned/given me maternity items. I should not have to buy much. This makes me happy because I'd rather spend money on the baby!

While in Atlanta I bought several baby items. I have a feeling we'll have a boy so I purchased boy things as well as neutrals. My favorite is a Gap outfit. It's baby blue & white... a onsie, matching striped pants (with a drawstring) and a striped hat with a knot at the top. It is absolutely adorable. We'll have the unltrasound to see if it's a boy or girl in September. I will be shocked if it is a girl. Either one is perfect though. I am glad I don't have a preference.

I feel back to my normal self again. The past two weeks I've had energy! I still tire easily, but the icky stomach stuff is gone as well as the restless nights. I am sleeping better again. They say the second trimester is the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. So far that is true for me. Although I've been hugely happy every day since I found out; even when I felt icky.

I haven't taken any pictures of myself yet. I need to start as I look mildly pregnant now. I have low aspirations as far as scrapbooking goes. Many women excitedly ask, "Will you do a baby scrapbook?!" I just don't want to. Instead I'd rather do simple photo albums with blurbs of writing next to the pictures. Or I might opt for a Hallmark baby book. They have some beautiful ones.


swamped and happy to be home

I've been away for awhile. Part of this absence is due to travel. I went to Atlanta for six days. The first half of the trip was work-related. The second half was spent hanging out with friends and their toddlers. The idea of dealing with a toddler on a daily basis scares me. I'm super excited for the baby, but a toddler? I've never been a very patient person. I'm glad the toddler stage is on that comes later and not right away.

It is wonderful to be back home. I love traveling and I also love returning home. I missed Chad while I was away. By the time I saw him at the airport I was giddy with love and affection. It is fun to rekindle those junior high feelings of adoration every once in awhile.

Work is challenging right now. I have looming deadlines and I'm not sure how to get to the finish line. I have a lot to learn. I've been enjoying quiet time in the morning everyday. Time to sit outside, be quiet, pray, read, and think. The new job position has made me depend on God more than I've had to in the past few years. When life is easy and fun I don't go to Him much. It's the challenges and the hardships that remind me of my need for His presence and help. I'm glad He is always there ready and waiting.



The party went well. It was really nice. My coworkers served Bumble Bee Pie from a local diner; it's my favorite. They layed quilts on the floor and we ate picnic style. Their goal was to keep things low key. I appreciated this gesture a lot. People took turns saying nice things about me, but it didn't get too mushy or emotional. At the end they prayed for me and gave me a basket of cards from each of them. Surrounding the cards were two receiving blankets for the baby. (The first blankets I've gotten!) I have not read the notes yet. I'm waiting for a quiet time and place. They wished me well in my new job; I'm simply downstairs from them. I'm happy the party is behind me. Of course it wasn't anything to be anxious about, but that didn't stop me from fretting. I am worn out from a week of change, closure, and new things.

Happy Friday everyone!!

party nerves

This afternoon my old department is having a goodbye party for me. The company I work at is good at celebrating birthdays, babies, weddings, and goodbyes. The events usually involve lots of food, encouragement, and good things said about the person. I have been nervous about the party for two weeks. Usually I don't mind being the center of attention. For instance, my wedding day was super fun. Chad, on the other hand, hated having all those people looking at him. For some reason I'm apprehensive about this goodbye party. Hopefully my anxiety is unmerited. I will past again this afternoon to update on the outcome.


new office / sore bootie

I moved work areas yesterday. Instead of being in a secluded corner spot upstairs, I'm in a high traffic area downstairs. Also, I'm right by the exterior door everyone uses to enter and exit the building. My coworkers looked at me with sympathy when they heard where I was moving. The great thing is, I love the new area! There are a few reasons I'm not phased by the change. 1) Our whole department is moving to a new location soon, so this spot is temporary for me, and 2) I'm happy to FINALLY be doing my new job as a designer for Gift Products instead of Greeting Cards. The change is overdue and I'm elated to embrace it.

In order to move yesterday I had to lug outtles of magazines, books, trinkets, office junk, and personal item to my new spot. As I mentioned above, this move involved stairs. My bootie was already deathly sore from lunges in kickboxing on Monday. The 20+ trips up and down the stairs aggrivated the issue. I've been a maniac in kickboxing lately. I start thinking about Labor as we're doing round kick burns. I get energized. I kick harder and harder until the bag is almost falling over. I keep telling myself I'm preparing for a marathon. If I'm lucky maybe it'll end up being a sprint. Maybe...


back again

Well. I'm back again. I don't understand why I can't post regularly. Many things are happening in my life and I think about posting them everyday. Part of the reason is that I've been tired and sleepy lately. I am coming out of it though. I'm in my 11th week of pregnancy now. Two days ago the fog of sleepiness and ickiness lifted. I have newfound energy and I'm loving it.

I think we've decided on a boy's name. We both like Logan Hunter. (Hunter is a family name.) For a girl we're not quite decided. I like Melody. Chad likes Leah. Leah is nice enough, but I don't care for the circumstances surrounding her character in the bible. After all, who wants to be named after the girl who was second pick? I guess I've had enough days in my life of feeling like a wallflower; I want to spare my children of that as much as I can. Other girl names I like that Chad is not keen on are Lily & Rory.

We've started going to childbirth classes even though I'm still in my first trimester. The classes are The Bradley Method. It is a natural childbirth method. I'm apprehensive to tell people about this path we're on, for fear they will label me. Or saying something about medals. ("You won't get a medal for doing it without drugs.") I'm not sure why the idea of natural childbirth is appealing to me, but it is. I don't hesitate to take a tylenol if I have a headache, so the fact that I am contemplating doing labor without drugs is kind of odd, even to me. But there is something about it that appeals to me. We've found an instructor we're very comfortable with. She has 6 kids, her husband is a doctor, and she is really good at explaining things. I like the fact that she's not "anti-doctor" or "super-home-birth." We'll still use a regular doctor and have the baby in a hospital... I'm excited to learn about nutrition, exercise, breathing, and relaxation. It seems like stuff that will be useful for life; not merely pregnancy.

We're still in the process of buying land. The ball is in the seller's court right now. We're okay with that because we're saving money for a down payment anyway. After buying the land we'll start building a house as soon as possible. We've been looking at floor plans. I found one that is two story (about 1700 sq ft). It has two bedrooms downstairs and one upstairs as well as a loft. We may build something along these lines and only finish out the ground level for now. We could live in the two bedrooms and gradually finish the upstairs as we need the space. These decisions overwhelm me easily. Although it's a dream come true to own land, build a home, have a baby, etc.... it's a bit freaky to be experiencing it all in the same time frame.

I started my new job this week. I am officially in the Gifts Department. I am working on Christmas stickers right now. I love it! I love the new challenge and the new setup. My new work area isn't as nice -- no window -- but it's okay. I'll get a plant light bulb so my desk ivy doesn't suffer in the dark. If worst comes to worst I'll just take it home. The thought of a desk with no green life is sad though. I love my plants. They help counter the gray cubicle walls.

We got the new car a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it. I never thought I'd end up with such a "cool" car. For those of you who don't already know, it's a white Subaru Outback. We bought it from Chad's grandpa. The only lame thing about it is the tiny gas tank. It holds just 10 gallons which means I have to get gas every 4 or 5 days. Other than that it is perfect!

I hope to use my new 2nd trimester energy to post entries more often. Sorry for the lull... thanks for reading.


car stuff

My poor 1987 Honda Accord is finally showing it's age. In the 5 years that I've owned it, I have never had to put more than $250 into it at a time. Regular repairs like the timing belt and the radiator creeped up occasionally. The AC broke about two years ago. Other than that, the car has been a gem. Until this week. Now it tries to overheat at every intersection. The mechanic says it is some sort of an internal leak, meaning it could cost a pretty penny to fix. The neato thing is... we're getting a new car in 10 days! A few weeks ago Chad's grandpa announced he is ready to buy a new car. His plan was to trade in his current car. Instead he will sell it to us at the trade in value. We're getting a great deal. The car is a 1997 Subaru Outback. I've always liked station wagons; now I'll have one! It is white with black accents. I think it will make a great baby car, too. It is amazing how the timing worked out. In the meantime I will carpool and borrow vehicles.


a new look

Thanks to Brian, I have a new design for my blog. (Thanks Brian!) Blogger has many nice options for templates now! I'm impressed. It makes me want to learn html. It's one of those things that I have wanted to learn for a long time. The learning curve is intimidating so I keep putting it off. Someday. Maybe?

I am seven weeks pregnant now. The baby is the size of a raspberry. It's eyelids are forming. I feel pretty good. Reading makes me dizzy. I am more prone to motion sickness. My appetite is huge and looming. It never quite leaves me. Food tastes exceptionally good. I am tired all the time. By the end of the day it feels like I've pulled an all nighter. The other day I realized I haven't been this tired since college when I was sleep deprived on a regular basis. I'm sure all the moms out there are thinking, "Just wait. You think you're tired now. Just wait."

I'm getting good at waiting.


feeling fine

Despite paying close attention to my body, I feel pretty much the same as I did before I was pregnant. There are a few exceptions. I get tired easily. I get hungry faster. My emotions are a roller coaster. One day I am on cloud nine, smiling nonstop for the joy inside. The next day I am overwhelmed and questioning every decision I've made in the past 2 months. Now that I'm catching on to this trend the freak out days are less scary. I tell myself to hold on. Tomorrow will be better. And it is.

I am six weeks & two days along. Right now the baby is the size of a lentil. It's little heart beats over 100 times a minute. It's paddle-like hands and feet will start moving arond this week.

I never thought I'd be one of those women who got pregnant on accident. My mom had many of problems getting pregnant. For some reason I thought I'd follow that trend. I'm still in disbelief that this is happening. When I talk to friends about baby names, nursery ideas, and boy/girl preferences I feel like I'm talking about someone else. I wonder when it will fully sink in?


long pauses

When I don't blog for awhile it is because there are big things happening in my life that I am not sure how to communicate in a post. Well, here goes....

I'm pregnant!!

I found out about two weeks ago. I've been on cloud nine every since. I have taken home pregnany test many times before. They always turned out negative resulting in a depressing few hours of self pity. Until last Monday night. I realized I'd been feeling weird and began to wonder if it could be. By the time I got home from work it was all I could do but run to the bathroom to test. I was home alone and when both pink lines appeared I lost my breath. I fumbled to open the directions of the test to make sure two lines meant what I thought it did. Positive! I let out a joyful bubbly laugh as my brain spun with disbelief. Could it be???? Chad came home a few minutes later and I told him the news.


I nodded and he gave me a huge hug. The next 20 minutes we exclaimed and smiled and exchanged many "I love you's." Then we went to our favorite Italian place for dinner. As we ate I smiled each time I remembered why we were celebrating. Baby. Pregnant. Girl. Boy. Nursery. Stroller. Baby. Smile. Big smile.

We were planning on waiting two more years before we had a baby. God had other things in mind. I'm so glad!!! It's easier this way. Now we don't have to say, "Okay. We're ready. Let's start a family." I like the way God made the decision for us.

I am only 5.5 weeks along. The baby is the size of a sesame seed!!! It's heart is already beating. I can't believe I am in so love with something as tiny as a seed. Right now we have a due date of January 6th.

I'm so happy!!!!!


cat sadness

My cat, Zoie, died this morning. She loved being outside on sunny days. For some reason she jumped into the neighbor's back yard this morning. Their dog killed her. I am so sad. I loved her. She was a spunky, lovable, small, sweet, frisky, cuddly, chirpy, skinny cat. She had a tweaked tail and a saggy tummy even though she was young. She was especially affectionate in the mornings. Sometimes we'd let her sleep with us and she would purr all night long. Chad will bury her in the backyard. I will miss her; especially when I am sad. She always knew when to curl up beside me. She kept me warm when I was cold and made me smile through my tears. Today is a beautiful day. I am glad her last day was a pretty one.

long weekend & decisions

My three day weekend was absolutely wonderful. I ended up being super productive. I tackled projects that have been on my mind for months. I organized the kicthen! We moved into our house almost two years ago. On move-in day my superwoman mom-in-law unpacked the kicthen. I told her to put things anywhere. "I'll organize it later." I thought to myself. Yeah right. Twenty-two months later things were still in disarray. Batteries next to potato chips. (Probaby cancer-causing.) Holiday candles above the the fridge. You get the picture. I hung mugs under the cabinets in order to free up space. I also put everyday vitamins in a drawer instead of on the countertop. I enjoyed working while it rained outside. After the kicthen, I tackled the laundry room. I put unnecessary items in the garage and rearranged the cabinets. The room looks so good now that I actually want to do laundry!

It was wonderful to be home three days in a row. It was also great to return to work on Monday. The three days of semi solitude was the perfect break. I bounced into work Monday morning ready to see my friends and design cards. Monday went by like a charm. Tuesday came with some big news; I got a job offer! The gifts department wants to hire me as a concept designer. It was would a promotion. Instead of cards I would design journals, albums, candles, mugs, gift bags, etc. I am excited and jittery about the prospects but undecided about what to do. The new job would involve more travel, more money, and more variety as well as more responsibility and stress. I've been designing greeting cards for three years. I'm content and comfortable. The idea of a new challenge is both appealing and scary. Tough decision!

I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, what does everyone think I should do?


three day weekend ahead

Tomorrow is Good Friday. I will be home! I am super excited about a day off. Things I want to do are:

plant flowers
sit in the sun
prepare for a yard sale
make funky curtains
clean the porches
go to the library
go for a walk
feed the ducks

You can see there are lots of things I'd like to do. Most of them fall into one of three catagories: 1 - Relaxing. 2 - Accomplishing projects. 3 - Having fun. Hmm... what will it be? I'll let you know on Monday!!


rainy day

It is grey, wet, dim & still outside today. The birds are loud, chirping nonstop, asking the sun to come back. Tires make constant noise on the wet roads. I like being at work on days like this. Of course, being curled up on the couch in pj pants with the cat and a book would be better... but I am content. I like my desk window view on rainy days. Nothing is beckoning me to come outside. The empty fields and the pine trees are extra green on days like this. Also, the glare from my computer monitor isn't as strong as usual.

Last weekend I hosted a baby shower for two pregnant friends. They are both due in May. One is having a girl; the other a boy. I enjoyed preparing for the shower. I made cupcakes and frosted them pale pink and baby blue. Then I arranged them in a big square in the center of the table; in a checker-board pattern. Surrounding them was usual shower food. Spinach dip (Thanks to Ellen. It was my favorite!), crescent roll puffs, fancy crackers, fruit... you get the picture. Ellen and I bustled around while the girls opened their piles of gifts. Tissue paper mountains and ribbon tangles filled the room as choruses of "ohhhs!" and "ahhhs!" repeatedly sounded. Since most of the attendees work as artists, writers and designers, the wrapping jobs were fabulous. Pokka dots, stripes, patterns and storybook illustrations all in the best baby color palettes imaginable. Target has hit a "bulls eye" when it comes to The American Baby Consumer.

After the gathering the house felt empty. (Chad was long gone. The idea of 15+ women in the living room was enough to get him out of the house before 9:00 on Saturday. Poor man.) I sat down to rest and think. I soaked up the quiet and breathed deep. It felt good. I am happy these days. It feels so good to not be depressed. I know it will probably hit again sooner than later, but in the meantime I'm enjoying the simplicity of feeling stable and content.


yellow belter

Last night was our third karate belt test. The first two tests were for stripes to put on our white beginner belts. Last night we graduated to a yellow belt. Finally, a color! Next is orange, then blue, green, purple, brown, and of course black. It takes most people at least three years to get a black belt. Chad feels positive we will get that far. Ha! Not me. But we will see. I am enjoying it more. It is excited to work hard and acheive something. I feel like a kid again. Everyone watched me do my kada last night and then critiqued it. It was fun. I've always thrived on being critiqued. I loved my design classes in college for this reason. Some would dread it and cry in class. Not me. I am tough in that sense. Bring it on!


butter & tears

This morning my brain is full of vivid memories from childhood. I was a sensitive little girl. Too sensitive. I was also an only child until age 11. I was lonely and bored a lot of the time.

When I was about 7 we lived with some family friends for three months. The family had four girls, all of whom I loved. Two were older than me, two were younger. Although we got along well, I felt like the odd-ball with them. Their father was sweet and tender with them, but rather cold and abrasive with me. One evening we were all at the dinner table. I had been chastised in the past for taking too long with the butter. The dad said something like, "Rebekah, you're such an artist. Just take a glob and pass the butter." He said it loudly. I was embarrassed. Tears sprang to my eyes. I looked down, hoping to avoid crying. Instead gravity pulled the tears out of the eyes. I fought for composure and lost. Gross snot accompanied the tears. Everyone at the table was watching me. My embarrassment grew. I think I remember the dad rolling his eyes. (That could be my imagination. Either way, his attitude toward me was one of annoyance.)

I don't remember what happened after that. I wonder what my own parents were thinking. Were they annoyed with me? Sad for me? Sympathetic? I cannot remember their response. I wish they had stood up for me.

An interesting twist to this story is that I chose my career based on inspiration from the man who made me cry over butter. He was a commercial artist. He made signs. I watched with wonder and fascination as he painted bold, perfectly straight letters in the garage.

In fourth grade I declared, "I'm going to be a Commercial Artist like L." And here I am a graphic designer.



I had a good lunch with Shelley and Ellen today. Ellen and I got small McDonalds meals on the way to Shelley's house. Sadie was down for a nap the whole time we ate and chatted. Shelley's home felt crisp and comfy today. I was relaxed. We recounted the months following Sadie's arrival and how hard it was for Shelley. It seems she is "Finding Normal" after all this time.

My new Designer III position is kicking in. I've been given more assignments and responsibility lately. It's going pretty well, but I feel tired out. It's good though. I feel like I have purpose and recognition now. I'm happy about that. I found out today there are new decisions to make on the horizen regarding work. I could end up doing something entirely different soon. It is a scary, exciting, unsettling possibility. Just when I am finally happy with my job... things might change again. Maybe it'll be even better.

Sorry for all the sketchiness. I will elaborate more later.



Chad and I have been going to karate classes for several months. It is something he has wanted to do since he was five. I, on the other hand, have never enjoyed Kung Fu movies. I always laugh when Patrick Swayze or Tom Cruise are pictured in a field under a tree moving their muscled arms through the air with an intense expression on their face as they practice their martial art moves.

We decided to do karate/kickboxing together. I've enjoyed the kickboxing very much. I feel better and am starting to look better, too. The karate is a struggle though. I have this problem with left & right. I've always struggled when giving people directions. I pause and think to myself, "Do they turn left or right?" The harder I think about it, the more clueless I am. I use my wedding ring for left reference daily. One time when I was in 6th grade my dad and I went for a bike ride together. We were flying down a large hill and he was behind me. He yelled, "Passing on the right!!" and promptly crashed into me as I swirved the wrong direction in order to get out of his way. We tumbled down the asphalt road scraping up our elbows, knees, and hips. He must have been angry, but he did yell or anything. He was a good dad like that.

Back to karate; Mr. Sensei/Teacher Man is very patient and kind, but I can tell it grates on him when I repeated use the wrong hand or leg for a move. It is embarrassing. I've always been a tall, lanky, uncoordinated, non-athletic, embarrassed sort of sport. It takes intense mental concentration to learn the foreign motions and ideas. I am not very good at it.

At the same time I enjoy the things I've learned. The 10 basic breaks, sparring, and stick fighting are fun now that I have the hang of it. I am divided about whether to stick with it. Part of me wants to quit and take up a artsy painting or pottery class instead. The other part of me enjoys learning something new with Chad. I am torn about which path to take.


feeling anxious

Two people at my company had babies over the weekend. Both are boys. Both are healthy, perfect, and excitedly received into this world. There has been a joyful buzz around the office all day because of the news. I have mixed emotions inside. Part of me is happy happy happy. The other part is sad and anxious. When will it be my turn?

I try to enjoy these baby-free times. I know someday I'll be pulling my hair out while I remember the golden days of working, playing, and being free. But the tug on my heart is so strong. So deep and real.

Every task I do is connected to thoughts of family, children, and babies. I made my first beef stew on Saturday. It turned out wonderful. As I stirred the thick soup I daydreamed about making soups, cookies, breads & everything else for a housefull of kids. I dreamed of the kids not even realizing how yummy their mommy's food was until they went away to college.

Am I crazy?


orphans, singing, imagination

Saturday night I dreamed about the orphans in Africa. In the dream I brought a little girl home with me. I woke with vivid imagery of this child in my head. In church a couple hours later we sang a song I love. The chorus goes:

This is the One we have waited for.
This is the One we have waited for.
This is the One we have waited for.
This is our God.

It is talking about God, of course, but I sang it with different thoughts in mind. First I thought of the orphans singing it, regarding us adopting them. They were singing, "This is the family we have waited for." Then I thought of my own long-standing desire for a child. Someday I'll be able to say, "This is the one I have waited for." Tears streamed down my face as I had these thoughts about children, the future, and God. It was a sweet experience.


my thoughts on the american dream

The United States is an amazing and wonderful place to live. I know this after visiting South America and Africa. We have so much here. Roads. Schools. Libraries. Hospitals. National Parks. Public Transportation. Postal System. Drinkable water. Technology in general. The list goes on and on. The question remains: The why are Americans unhappy? Why are we discontent? To others in the world we have everything we could ever ask for. When l look around at my friends, coworkers, & acquaintaces I see everyone striving for The American Dream. But what is this ambiguous thing? Some say it's being rich. (Which is a relative concept in itself.) Others think it's living in the mountains with a pond and a pet. And to some it's reaching the top of the corporate latter.

Most Christians reading an paragraph like this have an easy answer. God. God is what satisfies. Chad's former youth pastor answers questions like these the same way every time: Pray. Read your bible. Go to church. But what is the answer for those who pray, read the bible, go to church, but are still unhappy, unfulfilled, and discontent? Anyone?


american dream

Tell me your definition of the "American Dream."


conversations all around

It is 8:45am.

There are three simotaneous conversations happening within 15 feet of my desk. I want to scream.

"Be quiet!"

"Wait until 10:00 to talk!"

"What's so funny?"

Sometimes I am the loud, happy one in the morning. Today I am tired. I worked all weekend; Saturday and Sunday. Today feels like a perpetual Thursday instead of a new Tuesday. I'm not happy. I'm not funny. I'm not silly. I'm irritable, sleepy, foggy-brained, annoyed and apathetic.

On a more positive note, my plants are doing well. The weather has warmed up and they are soaking up the sunlight from my office window. The sunlight is bouncing off the bright leaves of ivy. When I stare at the different colors of green, the surrounding conversations seem less abrasive. I will be looking at my plants a lot today.


the package is on it's way

I am a procrastinator. I dislike this fact but it is true.

In October (5 months ago) I went to Vancouver. I was there with two friends. One friend, Brian, accidently left one of his purchases in my backpack. He had bought two cool wooden stamps for his wife, Anna. Upon returning home he asked me to mail them to him. I said, "Sure!" And then I put it off. I'd think about it every few days and kick myself. But then I'd put it off again. And again. A couple months passed. Brian emailed me and nicely asked if I'd mailed them yet. I felt lame. I said no, but that I'd do it immediately. Then I put it off again. What is my deal?! I don't know. I finally mailed the blasted trinkets today. They are on their way to Alaska as I type.

Brian, I am incredibly sorry for my dumbness. I cannot explain the reason for my delayed action. I hope Anna loves the stamps. :) I have not used my yet. Are you surprised?


contentment = blessing

This morning I had a breakthrough with my continual displeasure of making less than my coworkers. (See previous post.) This afternoon I met with my manager and guess what? I got a promotion and a raise!! I think God's timing is really interesting. I've been wrestling with comparing myself to others. The day I finally let go, it was taken care of. I keep smiling because of the irony.

I feel like celebrating! Maybe we'll go out to dinner. Or maybe we'll skip karate class. (I've been struggling with karate lately. My husband, on the other hand, is loving every second of it. I'll save this topic for a different day.) It is mildly difficult to be so happy about something that I can't TELL everyone about.


What makes a person content?

I don't make as much money as a lot of my coworkers. I struggle with this on a regular basis. Yesterday I had a realization that money doens't make people content. This idea is everywhere, but it really hit me. I looked around at the people I work with and realized the ones who make more are not happier. Their lives aren't easier. They feel underpaid like I do. In a lot of cases they are MORE stressed out with their finances.

I want to defy this standard. I want to be content with what I have now. I feel motivated to tackle this obstacle whole-heartedly. How do I keep myself from sliding back down into the I-deserve-more-mode? Any suggestions?


friday 5:00

Ahhh... the joys of the weekend. It is the very beginning of mine. I am still at work, finally finished with a hectic assignment that has bombarded me with glitter glue, tiny beads, 12 gauge wire, black grommets, funky yarn, paper samples, and an array of other overseas greeting card items. Mockup after mockup resulted in an achy back, sore eyes, and sticky glue-covered fingers.

And now it is the weekend!
I am happy. :)
I hope everyone has a great one.


work is crazy

Things at work are nuts. My computer is down so I'm a nomad in the office, using a different computer each hour. I'm close to tears because of the stress and also thriving on the adrenaline. Weird combo, I know.

I annoyed with myself for writing about something as boring as work, but I'm here 40 hours a week, so it's a huge part of my life. Here are things I like about my job:

1. designing - I'm good at it.
2. friends - I have a handful of awesome girlfriends here.
3. conversing - I love bouncing questions off my coworkers.
4. food - There is always something yummy to eat.
5. prayer - If I'm in crisis I can ask someone to pray for me. (I work at a Christian company.)
6. laughing - Funny things happen often.
7. paycheck - It's not big, but it's something.
8. lunches out - It's usually McDonalds.
9. good bosses - They listen and care.
10.fridays - We have snacks and wear jeans.


land & trees

Chad and I are considering buying some land on the outskirts of town with the intent of building a little house and staying in this area longterm. The land is 11 acres of creek front property. It is wooded with two clear hill tops. There are huge trees all over: oak, cedar, pine, and eucalyptus. Two years ago we moved into our current home... a house in a newer cookie cutter neighborhood. There are NO trees. Since living in the treeless neighborhood I find myself coveting them. I think, "That tree would be perfect in our front yard." Funny how one misses what she doesn't have.

We don't know what buying land entails. We're checking it out this week. We have a nervous/excited feeling about the possibility. Could it really happen? I'll let you know! :)


uganda massacre

Last Saturday there was a massacre in northern Uganda. The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) attacked a village of 4000 people. Mud homes were burned. People either burned inside the homes or were shot as they fled. The event occurred 100 miles from where Chad and I visited last month. 200 people were killed. I do not understand the politics behind these events. Reading about it is confusing. I want to understand but I can only read articles for a short time before I get consumed with sickness, sadness, and anger. After reading for 20 minutes yesterday I went to the bathroom and sobbed for the people who were killed and hurt. It was different from the tears I shed for myself when I am depressed or emotional. These tears were full of questions and helplessness.

I knew our trip to Africa would change me. Before we left I had a hint of knowledge of the ongoing conflicts that have afflicted the continent for centuries. I embarked on our trip knowing my eyes would be opened. Now that it is happening I am not able to turn away. I want to know more. If nothing else, at least to be aware. It hurts me, but it feels right to learn about their struggles. Maybe somehow I will find a way to help just a little bit.


yes, i am still here

After weeks of not posting, I am back.
Many things have happened since the last entry.
It is hard to know how to catch up.
Where to begin?

Chad and I went to Africa!! We were away for 18 days. We traveled with two college friends, Dan and Jason. The first week was spent in Cairo, Eygpt. We ate kosheri, crossed the streets (a major feat in a city of 17 million with no crosswalks), saw the pyramids, experienced a night time boat ride on the Nile, and attempted to learn some Arabic.

The second week was spent in Uganda at an orphanage for Sudanese refugees. Before the trip I knew nothing of the civil war in Sudan. Meeting the refugees, hearing their songs, seeing their eyes, listening to their stories of war, seeing their faith in Jesus... it was an incredible learning experience. The children at the orphanage sang many songs for us. One song was about the war. They sang with all their hearts about their homeland being destroyed and their parents being killed.

One little girl peirced my heart. Tears streamed down her face as she sung about these things. She is eight years old, bald from malnutrition, the size of a 6 year old, with the most beautiful face I've ever seen. On our long trip home I thought about this child, my favorite. I thought about bringing her with us, back to the USA. I tried to think the way she would. New things to her eyes would include: paved road, toilet, airplane, elevator, Burger King, Toyota Tundra, garbage disposal, fish tank, dog food, fire place, mailbox, vitamins, carwash, computer, and on and on and on.


I've been home for six weeks. I'm still reconciling the things I experienced. Our path has changed. Before we were set to leave this country and live abroad as missionaries. Chad's desire was to build for others. To help them. Now we wonder if we're supposed to stay and continue to make money and support others with it. The cooks at the orphanage make $13 a month; think of how far our money could go!!

I also keep thinking about the kids. Adoption is a subject we've always considered. What would it be like to raise an African child in Arkansas? Yikes. I don't know.