Saturday, December 31, 2005

One more for the road (end-of-the-year post)

I thought I would go ahead and post one of our ultrasound photos that was taken at 17 weeks. And now I am already past 19 weeks, almost halfway through the pregnancy! In this photo, which was at the very beginning of the ultrasound, you can see the spine and head really nicely. It looked a bit like he didn't have much room in there, but I'm sure he's comfy enough. I have several other photos, but this one was the best for blog viewing.

Along with celebrating my 19-week mark this past Thursday, Casey and I also had what I would consider one of the best moments of the pregnancy by far. I asked Casey if he would like to try once again to feel the baby kicking. It was late at night, and if I lie still on my back the baby will usually begin his moving around. Just after Casey had pressed his hand on my stomach, I felt a jab right in the middle. I looked at Casey and asked, "Did you feel that?" and indeed he had. I was already emotional that evening, and so this beautiful little moment brought quick tears to my eyes and down my cheeks. I am finally getting to really share these moments with Casey, and Lord willing, many more to come.


Monday, December 26, 2005

The little kicks

I hope every0ne has had a wonderful break, and an opportunity to spend time with family. We've been having a really nice time, but of course there are always those we'd like to see but sometimes you just don't get to see everyone.

I know I mentioned before that I had started feeling the baby making those tiny little kicks, but let me tell you that it is getting more noticeable every day. Yesterday, Casey was saying a prayer during our Bible class, and our little guy must have recognized his daddy's voice because he started up and went almost the whole way through the prayer, jabbing and kicking at me! Then yesterday afternoon I was lying on my back for just a minute or two, and I tried putting my hand on my belly and I could actually feel the kicks from the outside! Of course, it was just barely, and probably easier for me because I can feel it on the inside as well, but still...I had a grin on my face. Last night I thought I would see if maybe Casey could feel what I was feeling, and before he even got his hand on my stomach I felt the biggest kick I have felt yet! It was like he put all of his might into that one moment, and I was like, "Whoa!" Sadly, Casey didn't feel a thing, but that time will come in a few weeks I'm sure.

My health seems to be doing better and better. I think this is the best I've felt since I got pregnant, so woohoo! for the second trimester (otherwise known as the 'honeymooon phase' of pregnancy). I'm excited for the months to come, and definitely most excited for the baby to be here, on the outside with the rest of us.

Make every day count...2006 is almost here!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Long overdue

I thought I would post a picture of the first pumpkin I carved on Halloween. Yes, a little late, but hey...I've been growing a baby so give me a break!

Hope everyone is doing well and getting some time off for the holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Is this what you've all been waiting for?

I had a feeling my comments box would be full by the time I got to this. Sheesh! Let me just remind you, dear readers, that I did say I had family coming into town -- parents, aunt and uncle. That does make it a little more difficult to sit down and blog (especially when you have dial-up). The blog went on the back burner, but I knew that I needed to let you know, since I'd been keeping you updated thus far.

I'll say first that the appointment went very well and that the baby is growing well and all of that. The very first thing that came up on the screen were these little legs kicking away like a frog, and I was already in awe. I think I could have sat and just watched any and all movements on that screen absolutely all day (okay, it was a little uncomfortable, but still). The technician decided to take all the measurements first, saying that by the time she did that, the baby probably would have moved around more to give her a better view of...what it was we were looking for. So that took a while, but it was just amazing the way she knew exactly where to go, just on my stomach, to find the top of the head, a cross-section of the abdomen, and so on. Those techs are awesome.

I barely had time to realize what was going on before she said, " looks like it's a..." and I was searching the screen, thinking, "What in the world is she seeing?!?" and trying to catch my breath and get myself prepared for a moment I wasn't prepared for. The tech was typing the words "It's a..." on the screen as she spoke, and her words seemed to just hang in the air before she finally typed just three little letters: "boy!"

I looked over at the daddy, who was grinning from ear to ear. Then the tech was getting another angle, one which made things much clearer to me. Ah, yes, now I could see that it was definitely a boy! We could also see that, although he had started out almost upside-down at the beginning of the ultrasound, he was now lying comfortably on his back. And when I say comfortably, I mean the kid actually had his ankles crossed and his arms back behind his head! We could see his profile -- his little nose and mouth, and I saw his mouth open and close! Then we heard the heart beating, going a very strong 160 bpm. We were handed seven or eight pictures to take with us, several which hold the proof that he is a boy.

Thanks for being excited with me. How fun is this? And another truly wonderful thing this week is that I have already started feeling some tiny, tiny kicks...just like a little bump. He keeps reminding me he's there, but I won't forget. Still...I don't mind him telling me every now and then.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." ~Psalm 139:13

Today, for me, is sort of like Christmas Eve. I have an excitement, a nervousness, a giddiness that can't be contained.

Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, we will get a chance to see our little boy or girl squirming and turning and waving and kicking all around. It's something I've thought about every single day since we made the appointment last time, and now that it is this close I find myself thinking about it non-stop. Whereas before it was all about finding out the baby's sex, now it is only about seeing a tiny miracle actually living in and depending on me. No matter how long women have been having babies, this is still something I find hard to wrap my mind around...another human being exists within the being that is ME! Yes, these are the thoughts that swirl around in my head constantly. But I like being in awe of God's work, don't you? I mean, wouldn't it be sad if we were never amazed at what he does? I'm sure that there are people that find it all sort of ho-hum, but I say that I don't want to be there. I want to hold onto that wide-eyed wonder for as long as I live, and I am sure that tomorrow's events will help to carry it on.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Apology and mini-makeover update

Just have to say I'm sooooo sorry if any of you saw an ad that was less than tasteful on my blog. I promise, I get to pick the exact things that I have in the ads, but somehow it has changed every now and then. So, to be safe, it's gone for now. Sorry again.

The guest bedroom is looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. It's very simple but tranquil, which is really what we were going for. And isn't simplicity a calming thing anyway? I got rid of (read: hid) the clutter as best I could, and now the only thing left is to finish a mirror (I'm hot-gluing shells around the edge...shells that I collected when I was about eight) and iron the curtains. I think that's about all that's left. There is one corner, on top of the bookcase, that I would like to do something different with, but I'm not sure what yet. I have some (fake) Gerber daisies in a basket, but that doesn't fit the theme, which is blues and whites and naturals -- and the ocean. I have six candles, called "Ocean" (seriously!), on two different circular candleholder plates. They are in a corner of the room. And oh my, do they smell heavenly! I go in the room just to smell them, but the scent has filled every corner, which is just wonderful! Our first guests (my parents and aunt and uncle) since the 'makeover' will be here tomorrow evening, so I'm excited to get their reaction. Hmm...maybe I could put one set of the candles on top of the bookcase? I'll have to try that just to see how it looks. That way they would be in two opposite corners. Oh, I also have a little basket which I threaded with a natural-colored ribbon. But what should I put in the basket? That's been plaguing me as well. I have thought of putting three of the candles in there (the ones that would go on the bookcase) because they wouldn't be in a place to light them anyway. Any ideas?

So far, I've had (on the blog) three guesses that we'll have a girl. Wow! I wonder what makes people think I'm having a girl or boy? I guess I've done that with my friends, but now that it's me I'm totally stumped. No 'feelings' or intuitions whatsoever have come over me. We're more set on some boys' names, so I guess if it is a girl we'll have to think a little more on it! People have asked if we have names picked out, but I'm just having to say that we have some we like, but we probably won't say until the baby is born. If I keep changing my mind every few months about which is my favorite, I just need to wait until I'm totally sure. That's my decision anyway. I think I should at least get that decision, don't you? I'm carrying the baby around for nine months!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday's Feast

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

Feast Seventy-Three / Friday, December 09, 2005


Name something you'll miss about 2005.

It was quite the milestone year for us: we bought our first house, we found out we were having our first baby, I turned 30! Those things won't ever happen again, and I suppose I'll be somewhat sentimental over that.


What is one thought that went through your mind today?

"How close can I get my hands to the space heater before it becomes too dangerous?" (Our offices are unusually cold 60 degrees or less.)


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how compassionate would you say you are?

I would say it's an 8 or 9. I think this has definitely changed over the years for me. After being in the hospital several times, and just dealing with chronic pain in general, I can definitely feel my heart hurting more for others when they are in pain. Casey hardly ever gets sick, but when he had a cold last week I just couldn't stand it! I just wanted him to feel better. But Casey still teaches me a lot in the compassion department. He once prayed for more compassion when it comes to my disease (which includes mouth ulcers as one of the symptoms), and then next thing he knew he had a large, painful mouth ulcer. He was like, "I am never praying for compassion again!"

Main Course

If you could invent something, what would it be?

Honestly, I have invented things in my head, only to go to the store and find out they already exist! This has happened on three occasions. People are stealing my ideas! I think I'm out for now.


Do you prefer salty snacks or sweet treats?

This changes constantly for me. I tend to dwell more on the sweet things in my mind, though. Chocolate is a great weakness of mine.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Andrea said she likes my ramblings, so here ya go!

When you buy your first house, some kind of home improvement bug has with us, at least. Casey has painted our guest bathroom and is now working on painting our bathroom! We have gone with some bolder colors (i.e., darker) and might even paint the dining room a whole new color too...nice thing about being pregnant is that I have a great excuse not to paint. Which is good, because he's better at it anyway.

Speaking of home improvement, I was mentioning my latest guest bedroom endeavors in my last post (guest bedroom,
Ruthie, not nursery!). Well, I believe I found everything I need at Walmart. I would love to do the Trading Spaces thing and spend $1,000 to fix up one room in my house, but there's a thrill that comes with finding all your little knick-knacks and accessories in one place for MUCH CHEAPER. I like a good bargain, and I like not having to go to more than one store. So, with the hubby's go-ahead, I am giving our guest bedroom a mini-makeover this weekend...and wouldn't you know? It will be just in time for a visit from my parents and aunt and uncle!

I like The Beatles. I was pretty well obsessed with them by the end of high school. Actually, I was pretty well obsessed with several things not a part of my decade by the end of high school (ask me about Martin & Lewis sometime). It has now been 25 years since John Lennon was shot and killed, and can you guess how much money he makes a year? Yes, you heard right -- he still makes money after 25 years. People, John Lennon rakes in $22 million a year! What in the world?!?

I don't know about you, and I hope I don't upset anyone here, but Casey and I are a little irritated that the Weaver Family is in the final three of The Amazing Race. It doesn't bug me so much when people are rude and annoying or whatever, because I expect there to be some amount of that on a reality show...but when you go out there and proclaim to be a Christian, why do you have to be just as rude as everyone else around you? Not only that, but they are practically condemning everyone else for that behavior, all the while doing the exact same thing and not even seeming to recognize it (unless they're watching it now and recognizing). It drives me batty. And yes, I believe that God wants good things for us, but I'm just not sure about his will being that we go on TV to win one million dollars. To paraphrase one of the Weaver daughters: "I think it's God's will that we are here in the final three!"

There are some things that are just very horribly sad, and yet still somehow have a hint of humor to them. A story came out today about an 18-year-old girl who allegedly hired a hitman to kill four men because when she was in their home last week, she saw what she assumed to be a huge block of cocaine -- and she was going to get that cocaine. Apparently there was an informant who let the police in on her schemes, and so when she hired the hitman, she was actually working with an undercover officer. She even told him that anyone found in the house who was old enough to testify would have to be killed as well. A search of the home was done, with the permission of the occupants, and no drugs were found. What was found, however, was a large block of queso fresco cheese. "Four men were going to lose their lives over some cheese," said Lt. Jeff Clark, who heads Project Safe Neighborhoods. (source:
Yahoo! News)

In case anyone is wondering, my pain is under better control these days. Whew! Let me tell you, days and days on end with any kind of pain is enough to really bring you down. I have had some low moments in the past few weeks, but I have to keep remembering that my pain has gone away in the past and so it will this time. We all have to deal with physical pain in our lives. I'm always needing to improve just how I 'deal' with it, because that is the most important part of it. I can be such a baby when it comes to pain, but I can also be very good about the same pain -- so really, it comes down to my attitude and my outlook. Always something new to learn!

Casey and I will hopefully know in less than a week if we are having a boy or a girl. I invite any and all to venture their guesses -- hey, you can even suggest a name! That doesn't mean we'll use it, but it will still be a fun thing to do, right?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Last Friday evening, Casey and I sold my little Mazda, the car I owned for more than ten years. I always knew it would be a sentimental thing for me, so thankfully I haven't really driven it much in the past year-and-a-half. Nevertheless, I took pictures of "The Egg" before it was driven away, and even thought I felt tears welling up. I certainly did feel a sad little place in my heart. The crazy thing is, we were driving by a public gym the very next day, and there it was! I was happy to see that my little car was okay. But then things got a little strange, because the following day, we were leaving church, and there it was...parked across the street...staring at us. I'm not joking! It was like the thing was watching us.

I thought I would wait long enough to make sure it was really true before I share this, but here it is, folks: the belly has made its appearance. I'm sure it's different for every single person, but for me it was a subtle thing until one day last week. Then it was like, " I am!" I'm not saying that I walk around looking obviously pregnant, but things do not fit like before, and I had enough of a belly for women at church to notice. I know all of this will feel more and more real each day, but even now it's still difficult to comprehend that an actual human being is growing inside my body. Just to type that out sounds...I don't know, unbelievable! But next week, Lord willing, we'll see our baby on the ultrasound monitor. We saw him or her when I was seven weeks pregnant, got to see and hear the heart beating, but when it's that tiny there's not really movement or a way to really discern what is what. This time, though, there will be a spine and legs and arms and hands and feet...and movement! I'm not sure I've recognized any movement yet -- that is probably still several weeks away -- so just getting to see arms and legs waving all around will fascinate me, I'm sure. Casey and I are both excited about it...and mostly because we do want to try and see if we're having a boy or girl. It's so hard to believe that we could know so soon!

I've mentioned before that my decorating skills are not quite up to par. I know plenty of people who just love to decorate, and will help their friends decorate...but I'm just not one of them. I think either you have it or you don't. For those of us who don't, there is an abundance of ideas floating around on the internet. But when Casey and I decided to buy our first house this year, it was Casey who wanted at least one of the guest bedrooms (soon we'll just have one because the other is designated for the nursery) to be a very peaceful, calming room. He went on an elders/ministers retreat last year and stayed in a room that I suppose inspired him. I was able to see the room, and stay in it myself, on a ladies' retreat earlier this year. He was was just so relaxing and calming in there, and why wouldn't we want our guests to feel this way when they visit? So, I've focused on a blue and white color theme, mostly because those colors plus greens and naturals are all suggested for a tranquil sort of theme. They are actually supposed to decrease blood pressure, how about that? And I'm trying to think back to my days of watching Trading Spaces -- you know, to the episodes where they would have one item and decorate the entire room around that. It's actually a good idea, and I can get into it, but I'm afraid of getting part of the way through and just throwing my hands in the air and giving up. I'm going to give it a whirl, though, and just try to have fun. The key is simple, blue and white, and peaceful. Oh, and fun.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Another plug for Holy Experience

I really can't get enough of Ann V.'s blog, Holy Experience. I am several posts behind at the moment, but today I read this post and it almost made me cry and long to hold my own baby and smell that baby smell. I admit that I lately seem to have more thoughts of fear and anxiety about all the changes that are going to take place in our lives next year, but the moments of longing and excitement fill my heart enough to push the fears right out!

Friday's Feast

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

Feast Seventy-Two / Friday, December 02, 2005


When was the last time you did something you would consider courteous, what was it, and who was it for?

Umm...I made pumpkin breads for our elders at church and the other three staff as well. But I get something out of it as well, really, because I make some for us. So, it's not a totally selfless thing. I love pumpkin bread!


If you were to have a painting done of you alone, what would you want the background to be?

Something in blue, not really a scene. Well, okay, a big tree would be nice, or a prairie-type setting. Obviously I 'm not very good at this kind of thing.


Describe your voice.

Not high-pitched, but not really low. I kind of get annoyed by it myself, at times. I'll hear these very soft voices and wish mine was like that, but it is what it is. I don't have a super-harsh voice, but it's not that soothing kind of voice that I like to hear.

Main Course

What is something you would like to do, but you're afraid of the risk(s)? brother has been doing it for years. He went on a tandem jump and was hooked. Now he's part of a free-fly team.


What was the last television show you watched?

The Apprentice last night. It's such a kick to listen to his reasoning for some things, and he didn't do it last night, but lately he's been banging on the table before he points and says, "You're fired!" Casey and I always get a good laugh at that.
Lori talked on her blog about her son Evan liking this too, and saying "Yes!" after every firing. I love it!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Well, me being me, I had to say just a couple more things to Mr. or Ms. Anonymous (from a comment deleted after my previous post today), seeing as he or she wanted some clarification:

First, you and I are obviously looking at this from completely different perspectives, mine being that of a Christian. There's going to be an inevitable clash there, especially when a subject like this comes up.

Second, if it seems as though I am opposed to the viewing of pornography and not just the addiction to it, it's because I am. By the way, how do you think the addiction comes about anyway?

Thirdly, and most honestly, it's really not me who denounces pornography, it's the Word of God -- and that needs no support:

'Everything is permissible for me' — but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me' — but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food — but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. ~ I Corinthians 6:12-13

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. ~ I Corinthians 6:18-20

Now, none of this is going to mean much to you if you don't view pornography to be any kind of immorality. To that I have to are only kidding yourself. Of course just about anything can become an addiction, but the subject I chose today was pornography, not alcohol or anything else. And no, I never made a statement claiming that pornography causes STD's. I believe I was talking about how sexual our society has become, how casual and accepted pornography has become, and thus sex itself is also very casual -- to a point where STD's are rampant. These things are all a part of the world of sexual immorality. Kirk Franklin himself tied his addiction to pornography to his promiscuity before marriage. He did not separate them. He also linked 'just looking' at pornography to adultery. Don't tell me that doesn't hurt a marriage.

I don't think I'm 'warning' anyone against pornography, Mr./Ms. Anonymous. I think I'm saying that there should be more talk about the struggles that are involved with it. And I'm afraid you are sorely wrong on the point where you stated that the source of the addiction does not come between people in a relationship. I can guarantee you that there are many people out there whose marriages would be and are tried because a spouse 'just looked' at pornography.

And the relationship it comes between more than any other is ours with God.

Sensitive (but important) subject

I don't know how many of you saw Oprah yesterday, but it dealt with something that I wish would be discussed more. Of course, I think it should be discussed more openly amongst Christians (especially young adults), not just on Oprah, but she's good at getting the word out, so I guess that's fine. The topic was pornography and its addictions, and mostly focused on Kirk Franklin, a very high-profile gospel singer (remember the song "Stomp"?), and one other 'regular' guy named Josh.

I could go on and on about what I wish they would have or would not have said, but there were still some good points made. For instance, Oprah asked Kirk Franklin, "But aren't you just looking at nude bodies?" to which he replied, "No, it's sex." (Read more about this particular show
here.) I think we need more people like this man to step out of the shadows and talk about how pornography is ruining marriages. I don't have a bunch of data and statistics to back that statement up, but it's what I believe. One of the statistics that Oprah shared was that 45% of those who took a poll came from Christian homes, and said that pornography was a major problem in their home. We are talking about a multi-billion dollar industry, and that is in the United States alone.

What bothers me so much is how casual people are about pornography. You hear about it more and more and more as it soaks every bit of our society, until nobody is even blinking an eye when Victoria's Secret airs a special on TV and calls it a "fashion show" you think that's what young men are tuning in for -- the fashion? Please. Now, I'm not saying Victoria's Secret = pornography. I'm just trying to illustrate how sexual our society has become, and how easy it is to slip from one thing to another, and then one day everyone is wondering why marriages are falling apart and how STD's became so rampant.

Pornography is not the source of every kind of bad thing that's going on -- Satan is. But the world isn't going to acknowledge that. Taking away the pornography doesn't take away Satan, but allowing God into your heart will protect you from him. To paraphrase a wise man, "Sin has its greatest power when it's in secret." How did Kirk Franklin overcome his addiction? The first thing he did was bring it out of the dark and tell his wife. I'm sure that was a very difficult thing to do, and I wish all of us would bring these kinds of things out in the open more often. It's an ugly, ugly world...we've got to shed some light somewhere!
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