Monday, October 31, 2005

Pillows, knitting, casseroles and pumpkins

More than nine years ago (and I was in college that long ago, eeks!), Ruthie was expecting her first baby. Through the years, I have remembered something she said, something quite invaluable. Well, okay, I don't remember the exact words, I just know she talked about how wonderful a body pillow is for a pregnant woman. So I decided, many years ago, that when the time came I would get my very own body pillow, and that time came yesterday! Body pillow and I (oh, and Casey) took our usual Sunday afternoon nap, and I think I fell asleep with a huge goofy smile plastered across my face as I hugged my new friend tight. It was like sleeping on a cloud (whatever that feels like), although the thing does take up quite a bit of room and will take some getting used to...but I'm determined to make it work.

here is a blast from the past. Remember last winter/spring when I was working on that incredible Northern Lights Wrap (scarf)? I mentioned that I was working on cross-stitch piece at the same time. Turns out the cross-stitch needed more attention (and all the way through to July), plus it was a gift for someone else, so the wrap was shelved for the time being. Besides, who wants to work on a big cuddly scarf all summer? Casey encouraged me to pick up my work on the NLW not long ago, and now I am determined to have it finished for this winter. I bought the final two skeins of the Moonlight Mohair yarn today, bringing the total to ten skeins/balls of yarn for this one scarf. No kidding. Yes, the next time I take on a scarf project, remind me to pick a pattern that calls for, oh, maybe just FIVE balls of yarn! All of that aside, I really do like this scarf, and I will make an effort to post a completed photo.

The other day I had a hankerin' for some hash brown casserole, so I rooted around for Casey's grandmother's recipe (copied it last Christmas) and discovered that we didn't have all the ingredients. We bought them yesterday when we were picking out my new friend Body Pillow, and tonight is the night for casserole! I'm sorry, but unless you've had these sudden cravings I don't know how to explain their intensity to you. I find that I'm not necessarily craving the same thing all the time, but rather I will -- out of the blue -- just have to have some kind of dish or specific food item. I called Casey's cell phone one night a couple of weeks ago while he was at the store to say, "I need something sour, get me something sour!". Last week I enjoyed two days of Big Mac meals, and let's just say that trend may not be over yet. The casserole was weighing heavily on my mind as I tried to go to sleep Saturday night, but I've still thought about it enough since then that it will be quite the welcome sight this evening...sad, isn't it?

I know everyone is concerned with how well my first pumpkin-carving went this weekend. Let me calm all of your fears and tell you that it went really well! The only thing I would have to say is that it is harder than I expected it to be. Casey laughed when I said that I pictured us having this wonderful, festive, pumpking-carving time, when in fact there I was, just hoping every second that I didn't injure myself with the very sharp knife. It turned out well, though, no injuries to report, and I even took pictures as I went through the process. I want to get another one of the pumpkin all aglow on the porch tonight, so maybe I'll get to post those soon.

Friday, October 28, 2005

More dreams plus pumpkin fun

In case anyone is keeping count, last night I had a dream about a baby boy. So, that's one dream that we're having a girl, and one that we're having a boy. In this dream, though, I had already had the baby -- and boy was he a cutie! It is hard to imagine that I could be having these dreams for thirty...more...weeks.

This weekend, Casey and I will be carving a pumpkin. Believe it or not, this is the first time I have ever carved a pumpkin. I don't even think I have picked out a pumpkin before, but we found a beauty! Seriously, it's picture-perfect. I printed out a stencil from a 'create-your-own pumpkin face' sort of thing, which was lots of fun, and when we're done we'll set it on the porch and probably set a candle inside on Monday evening. I think my family just didn't take part in all the usual American traditions when I was growing up -- either that or it was hard to find pumpkins in West Texas...hmm...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More dreams

Did I mention? I had another crazy dream last night. Who knows if this is related to baby stuff, but I was trying to bake a three-layer birthday cake for my father-in-law. Why, I have no idea, but every time I looked at the cake it was more and more miserable. I ended up (in my dream, mind you) going into a complete rage, hitting my fists on the counters and not feeling like I had enough air to breathe. Maybe my face was stuck in the pillow.

Pass the saltines, please...and fast!

I am slowly learning that being pregnant means learning what works for you in a given situation. Rather than having 'morning sickness' I have what we'll call 'mid-morning-to-late-night sickness' -- but it doesn't happen every day. In fact, it was better this week than last, and I got a little too comfortable with that. So comfortable, in fact, that when Casey was asking me what I might need snack-wise at work today I told him 'just a granola bar' and to 'take the crackers out of my purse' (yes, I was a bit short with him, and I apologized...I was brushing my teeth at the time and it's a semi-long story, but I'm not a happy camper when I'm brushing my teeth).

I got to work, feeling as though I had maybe slept an hour (when in fact it was more than eight), and as the first and second hours were creeping by I realized that I had made a big mistake: I needed the crackers! Not only that, but every time I even considered the granola bar it was just bad news for my stomach. Fortunately for me, I have the best husband in the world, and while lamenting the saltine-sadness to him over the phone, he offered to bring them to me...a bag of crackers...on his day off. Honestly, I don't know if I would have been so willing to do the same for him, but I'm sure hoping so.

A few minutes later, in walked my hero carrying a ziploc bag filled with dry, salty goodness. My thanks were muffled through the munching, and after five or six of the things I was feeling better. I am finding out more and more during these pregnant times what a great man I married -- he's even going to have lunch ready for me when I get home!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Is it sad that a 30-year-old woman would get giddy over receiving a box of imported British candy? Well, then label me sad, 'cause I was all giddiness today! The box arrived just before we got home for lunch, so it was perfect timing! Good thing I ordered lots of Crunchies, because Casey wanted to try half of one -- I am feeling a bit possessive over my candy...

I'm already having baby dreams. Last night it was one in which I found out we're having a girl. We really won't find out until probably just after the New Year, although I'm hoping we can find out just before Christmas. Maybe we won't even find out after all, who knows! It all really depends on the baby's cooperation, and I have known of some instances where parents were never able to find out and just had to wait. I don't think that way is so bad, either.

On another note, I absolutely love reading a blog called Holy Experience and thought I'd include a link to one of the posts. Click here.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Chewing on the Word

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. ~Matthew 6:3-4

This is hard to do, isn't it? When you do something good for someone else, it is so difficult not to seek praise for a good deed. We have all done it at one time or another, and Casey and I joke about it with each other. If I have spent time washing the dishes for him, I want him to see what I've done and tell me just how sweet I was to do that. This is a fun and funny thing that we do, but we try to be careful not to cross that fine boasting line. I know that I have had my boasting moments, ones that I am not proud of, but I am working on keeping myself in check. Maybe I am just wanting to, let's say, vent a little bit here about the times I have heard others going on and on about all the things they have done for so-and-so and somehow coating it in something else. You'll swallow that pill the first couple of times, but after a while you start thinking, "I know what you are really saying here," and the pill turns bitter. (I'm not talking about anyone you know.)

This is just another one of the things I am supposed to let God handle, because it doesn't do me any good to sit in the corner and think, "Well, I could say some things about what I've done, but I don't because it's not right..." and so on. Where does that kind of thinking get me? Just where the other person is, because I am seeking the praise of man, not God. When will I learn?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

In this post, I'm not even going to say the word 'pregnant' -- oops!

By now you've heard the news. I found out when Casey came into the bedroom last night not being exuberant (I went to bed nearly an hour earlier). It's between the Astros and the White Sox now, and I will officially be able to get more sleep without worrying if Yadier is going to make another crazy throw to first while lying on his back, or how many times 'Eck' is going to whirl that bat around before finally bringing it up to his shoulder. Needless to say, it would have been a really awesome comeback, but it is over for now.

What's on my mind lately, you ask? Oh, just a perfect little candy bar from the UK. You can order them in the States, at places like
this. My mouth has been watering lately for something called a Crunchie. We had them as kids in Rhodesia, but I remember them more from the times my grandmother would send a few over at Christmas. That was back in the old days, when you couldn't order stuff on a computer.

Anyway, I aim to order a few of these little things soon, possibly along with
some of these and some of these. Seriously, I can taste them already. I'm not calling it a craving, maybe just...okay, it's a craving. I think UKGoods will just call it 'money in their pocket.'

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Playoffs and pregnancy don't agree

Casey created a monster out of me last year when he started watching the Cardinals in the playoffs. Well, here we are once again, only this time I am almost nine weeks with child and my body is crying, "Sleep! Sleep!" before I even make it home from work.

So last night was Game 5 between the Cardinals and the Astros (in case you don't watch), and I found myself caught up in the action once again. Eventually, I had to break free to get ready for bed. I was really, really trying to get to bed at a semi-decent hour this time. By 10:20 or so, I was in bed with the little TV muted, as I could hear the TV going in the living room, where Casey was watching.

The excitement of the game won over sleep. Casey came into the bedroom to watch the final inning with me. The Cardinals were in a sad state -- the Astros were already ahead in the playoffs 3-1, and the score of the game was now 4-2. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Casey and I had very little hope left. My head was on the pillow, and I was ready to turn the television off as soon as David Eckstein was called out.

But he wasn't. That crazy guy got a single! I was up off the pillow, even though hope was still just a tiny glimmer. And then something super-crucial happened -- they walked Jim Edmonds. What?! Didn't they know who was on deck? Albert Pujols had been disappointing us all evening, so now was the time to redeem himself. We kept saying, "All he has to do is knock it out of there and they'll be ahead!"

Oh, what a sweet moment that was to watch the ball fly high and out, and to see good ol' Albert jogging around the bases. Casey and I hooted and hollered and high-fived, and then watched happily through three more outs. There will be a Game 6!

I don't know how many of my readers, if any, watch the playoffs or even cheer for the Cardinals. I really just wanted to share mine and Casey's excitement over the last-minute turnaround of the game. My only question now will I ever get any sleep if we make it to the World Series?

Friday's Feast

Believe me, I know it's not Friday, but I missed out on this one because of my yucky cold, so here it is. Click on the post title or the link in the sidebar to have a feast of your very own!

Feast Sixty-Six / Friday, October 14, 2005


Who is someone you would consider to be a calm person?

Without a doubt, it's Casey. When I first got to know him, I thought, "He never gets angry about anything." Well, of course I'm wrong -- who doesn't get mad now and then? But Casey, he deals with things very calmly, able to look at all sides and decide the best way to go.


What was your last "gut feeling" about? Were you right?

Ah, good timing on this one. I was sure that I had to be pregnant, mostly because of the hot flashes -- my goodness, the hot flashes. If you've ever experienced these every day for a couple of weeks, you have to know that something is going on, and was it ever!


List 3 words that you really don't like how they sound.

Clang. Sauerkraut. Transit. (This one was tough -- I haven't ever given this much thought, actually.)

Main Course

What kind of shampoo and conditioner do you use?

Pantene and Pantene. It smells too good!


If you found out that you definitely do have a guardian angel, what would you name it?


Monday, October 17, 2005

And know

The news is out! We have called, emailed, faxed, text-messaged, homing-pigeoned, and we have announced it in person -- Casey and I are having a baby!

And yes, this is part of the reason I've been more tired and not feeling so well lately. That, plus the Behcet's flared up a bit because of all the hormone changes my body has to adjust to these days. I am hoping, readers, that I don't get out of hand on the blog and go on endlessly about baby things, but I cannot promise you that it won't happen every now and then.

Casey and I feel greatly blessed in this tiny little person, and especially after we were able to see and hear the heartbeat a little over a week ago! It was joyful and amazing -- more amazing, really, than anything else. I am constantly reading about the growth that a baby makes in such a short time, and it is just incredible. How awesome is it that a human being, less than one ounce right now, could weigh up to eight pounds in just seven more months?

I want to add just one more thing: God is good. I have been struggling through some other issues for several weeks now, and he always brings me back to this joyous event. No matter my circumstances, I am blessed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sniffle while you work

I can't thank my family and friends enough for all of the e-cards, paper cards, phone calls, birthday wishes and gifts I received yesterday! My 30-year-old heart was full and even overflowing with so many blessings. I know that there were also many at last night's Bible study who passed messages (and hugs!) on to me through Casey. It was a letdown for me to be absent from fellowshipping with those awesome college students, but I know that you understand my need for rest. And unfortunately, I also woke up with the beginnings of a cold yesterday morning (don't my nose and throat know they're supposed to behave on my birthday?). Today it persists, and my body continues to beg for more rest. Where will I find it? I look to Jesus, and in his love I will find rest and comfort. I may continue to cough and sniffle throughout the next few days, but my heart will smile at the knowledge of so many blessings for which I continue to be thankful.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Because Lori asked...

I thought one of Lori's comments on the previous post was too cute: "Tell us some more about the wonderful Casey & how he won your heart." I don't think I can go into absolutely everything in one post, of course, but I can try and give you a little something.

There are just too many awesome things about Casey to even put into words, but I will say that his sense of humor is what connected us as friends from the very beginning. We were always spending time with the same great group of friends, usually on a Sunday or Wednesday after worship service. There would be a visit to Wendy's (oh, how I miss those Wendy days!) and maybe a few games of Nertz. I was not at my happiest back then, and those get-togethers were truly a bright spot in my usually dark world. Everyone in the group could make me laugh, but it was the way mine and Casey's senses of humor were so in tune that amazed me. Now, you may find that strange, but it really is tough to find a person who thinks almost exactly like you do when it comes to humor. Casey makes me laugh every day, and humor has helped us through some of our toughest times -- we were almost hysterical when I was admitted to the hospital less than two weeks before our wedding day! Really...the circumstances were too crazy not to laugh.

Even though laughter is what brought us together as friends, it was Casey's deep devotion to God and serving others that made him easily the best guy around. I had dated all the wrong guys and finally realized, "Hey, I need to find someone who will be my spiritual leader." When that clicked, I started praying, and everything else followed from there. Because Casey strives to be godly, he also wants me to be godly. He has helped me to mature in my spiritual walk in the past several years.

And so very important is this: Casey loves me so much. He adores me and treats me with respect and kindness. When I am hurting, emotionally or physically, he wants to do something for me. I feel so utterly spoiled and completely blessed in just one person, the one I am honored to call my own for the rest of my days.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My young husband


Five years ago today, we shared a birthday cake. I hardly knew you, and so it was a little strange to have my name on a cake with yours. But our names rhymed, and our birthdays were a day apart, and so Samantha and
Shellie naturally gave us one cake. We were barely acquaintances...and yet, one year later, we held hands for the first time. You've been holding my heart ever since.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday's Feast

Click on the post title or the link in the sidebar to have a feast of your very own!

Feast Sixty-Five / Friday, October 07, 2005


Name 3 qualities that are important to you in friendship.

Honesty, compassion, kindness


If you could dream about anything tonight, what would the subject matter be?

I would dream about having the house, inside and out, just the way I'd like it to be.


Do you usually make an effort to personally thank people who do favors for you?

Yes. I think when I was a teenager I was not as appreciative as I should have been, so I feel as though I am still trying to make up for that!

Main Course

If you had to go out of town for an extended period of time, who would you trust to take care of your home and belongings?

Oh, there are plenty of people. John and
Brandi live pretty close, though, so for now I'll choose them.


How do you react to practical jokes when they're played on you?

It's been a while since that's happened, but I think I do alright. However, I find it very difficult to do that to someone else, or to watch it being done to someone else. For some reason I just hate to see someone fall for a practical joke.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Looking up at the mountain

(Side note: Today is the 27th anniversary of my family's coming to the States. Read last year's entry on that subject by clicking here.)

My dad and I were talking on the phone the other day, and as I am going through some tough times at the moment he mentioned how life is all about the valleys and the mountains. I was in a valley for the past week, but God is slowly helping me out. We also discussed that, without the valleys, the mountains would not mean as much. Joy is sweeter when you've tasted the bitterness of pain. It is a sad but true part of life. Of course, when I am in the valley, I don't want to be in the valley -- isn't that always the way? But when I reach the top of that mountain (when, Lord?) I will look back down and smile, and I will give praise to God for helping me make the climb. Today's verse (at the right) is just perfect for today. "This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles." ~Psalm 34:6

Today I have a beautiful song in my head called Good to Me by Craig Musseau. We were singing at our weekly Prayer & Praise the other night, and it gave me so much peace:
I cry out for your hand of mercy to heal me
I am weak, and I need your love to free me
O Lord, my rock
My strength in weakness
Come rescue me, oh Lord

You are my hope
Your promise never fails me
And my desire is to follow you forever

For you are good
For you are good
For you are good to me
For you are good
For you are good
For you are good to me
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