I was tagged by Abby to list the 5th pic from my 5th folder. This is a picture that my bestie Jennifer took of my sweet furry babies (who I'm so mad at for waking the non-furry baby up all day yesterday) the month before I had Kya. The idea was that this would be my focal point during labor. HA! Nick kept telling me look at the puppies and I wanted to scratch my eyeballs out (or his). Still, it's a beautiful picture!
I was also tagged by Abby to share 7 random facts about ourselves that people may or may not know.
Here we go: 1. "Domestic Diva": I never thought these kinds of things were all that important, until I got older. Now, I absolutely LOVE cooking, gardening, sewing, and hosting. I am not all that great at any one of them, but I'm trying to get better with all. I get a serious high off a clean house, a day of yard work, an oven with a roast,a shirt stitched up, and friends on the way. I would have made an excellent 50's wife, no doubt.
2." Mission Field Wimp" I would love to be a missionary, in fact I know that God has called me to be on the mission field one day. I really in my heart of hearts would be happy the rest of my life feeding the hungry, holding the dying, educating the poor, etc. I want Kya to be raised with these core values and I want to live a life less ordinary. However, the three things that hold me back: My extended family, my dogs, and my insatiable love of hot showers.
3. "Freaky Phobic" I have a really weird phobia that only a few people know about. It's kind of hard to describe. Anything that is "embedded". It can be rocks stuck randomly in a cement wall, those frogs with the eggs on their back (oh my gosh, I'm losing it just talking about this). The only explanation I can think of (I didn't know about this until a year ago when my mom told me, I've had this phobia for years) is that when my mom was pregnant with me, she had a nightmare that she was covered in sesame seeds under her skin. It haunted her so bad, she wouldn't let my sister watch sesame street for months. Something about the thought and the word just makes me freaked out. Okay, I have to go throw up now.
4. "Rah, Rah, Rah" A lot of people know that I was a cheerleader from junior high through college (a couple years off here and there-I was a mascot a couple of times too). What some of you don't know is my love/hate relationship with cheerleading. I wanted to be a cheerleader from the time I can remember. They were superstars in my eyes, and I have no idea why. It was my dream in life. Something about the rhythmic nuances of chants and cheers, the jumping, dancing, being thrown through the air...it's exhilerating! I never quite fit in with the cheerleaders though, I was always kind of on my own (until Tamara in high school and a few girls in college). The hate part, there are some REALLY mean cheerleaders out there! I've seen them and been in their wrath (i.e., being told the wrong uniform on purpose). I even married a man who loathed cheerleaders. And seriously, who decided that these girls needed to be practically naked? I remember coming back from Samoa as a missionary in college (where you weren't allowed to show your shoulders or legs) and my coach handing my new and improved uniform top... that was missing the bottom 6 inches. Would I let my daughter be a cheerleader? I don't know, I doubt it. If they had a cheerleading squad for 30 + year olds, would I join? NO DOUBT!
5. "And the winner is...DORK!" So, I was a cheerleader, but an outcast of one. I have always been somewhat awkward in social situations and get intimidated by elitist. For some weird reason though, I was voted a class favorite every year in high school, and homecoming queen my senior year. Now, this may seem like I am boasting, but I really am not. You see, I am a HUGE dork! Like, the biggest! I think I went to ONE party in high school. I didn't hang out with the "popular kids", I wasn't in the "in" crowd. I just typically like everyone,unless they are mean. So, the lesson here: Being a nice person is more important than status. I hope I can teach Kya that. Poor thing will have to grow up with a goober of a mom.
6. "Do-Over" If I could go back to my senior year in high school (ah...good times) and know then what I know now, I would do the following: 1) Study a lot more and make better grades 2) Not be such an immature brat (a.k.a. treating really good people not so good) 3) Follow my dreams. What dreams, you say? I would absolutely love to do one of the following for a career: a) Be a National Geographic Photographer (I'm no good at pictures, but I'd love to learn how and travel the world doing it). b) Become a farmer (the dairy kind where no animals are hurt and I can ride a horse). c) Be a rockstar!
7. "WATCH OUT" Those who do know me, then you should know this little fact: I am a world class klutz! I run into walls, trip on my own feet, fall out of my chair. You name it, I've done it (and probably in the most socially embaressing moment possible). If I try to be sexy, it is laughable (my friend's favorite story of mine is when I tried to do that whole "dip your foot in the swimming pool move" in front a cute boy years ago and ended up slipping, straddling the the pool deck and the water and banging my head on the ground.) Yep, I gave up on sexy and smooth years ago.
I now tag: Adde, Jennifer, Becky, Mom, and anyone willing to share.
When I was pregnant, I was one of those really annoying women who boasted about how I didn't have stretch marks with a big irritating smile on my face. Well, the Lord continually humbles me and did so again after Kya was born. You see, the stretch marks came AFTER the stomach was stretched to capacity, then released. Much like a rubber balloon; after you blow them up...it's just never quite the same. I got stretch marks on my stomach....bad! It really looked as though the government had created a new torture technique; dropping a feral cat down one's shirt while spraying the feline with water. And I was the test dummmy in this experiment. Yes, I put lotion on nearly every day of my pregnancy and afterwards, you mean women who insist on that being the reason you didn't get called into the torture chamber. So, for my 30th birthday, I bought "Bio-Oil". I'd seen advertisements, so I thought "why not". Holy Crap! This stuff freakin' worked! In less than a month, my stretch marks were hardly detectable. Well, don't go sniffing my belly button or anything to look, but they are a far cry than before! I am still using it and hoping that the rest will fade into a complete oblivion. If you are a sufferer of stretch marks anywhere...try it. If not, I loath you! (ok, not really. I just hate that your genetics in this area are better than mine). I don't need "battle scars" to prove Kya's mine. I do however, want to possibly wear a bikini again...someday. p.s. The above picture is my best effort at being a spokes model. I am SO glad the good doctor gave me some reports, I seriously was having too much time on my hands!
So, being the broke bloke that I am, I have to use my creative capacities in all areas. Upon taking out the Christmas decorations this year, my faithful wreath my mom made 7 years ago was quite literally falling to bits in my hands. So, I knew I didn't have the money to buy a new one nor materials to spruce up this one (get it..spruce...spruce pine...oh, never mind). Rummaging through the dresser known as my arts and crafts mall, I found the following supplies: shredded bandanas (from making necklaces with my students), puffy balls, ribbon, hemp, and jingle bells. I used the original wreath (R.I.P.) and "TA-DA". It definitely fits my personality.
Okay, my last post was so serious I couldn't stand not lightning the mood a little. Confession: I decided to steal pretty flowers from a neighboring house while I was running and put them in my kitchen. Truth be told, every time I run by this house I take 3. I have just never seen hibiscus this color before and they last forever! So, I'm sure now when they see me coming they're thinking, "here's the crazy, flower-stealing jogger lady". Aww...aren't they so worth it?
I am being stretched, pulled, manipulated, and banged up all in the name of the Lord. At least I think. You see, resigning from my job was not ever an option for me. One morning I woke up and felt the Lord was putting it heavy on my heart to resign and teach piano. I prayed fervently about this decision and felt completely at peace with it, as did Nick. However, our finances now are saying something quite different. We haven't been this strapped since grad school. We are still tithing faithfully and without question. To non-tithers I know this sounds crazy to think of giving money away when you are the poor family who needs it, but it is God's money and it is an act of obedience and faithfulness (thanks Becky for the awesome book we've learned so much from). No, this is not financially strapped, like "oh darn...meager Christmas this year". It's the kind of "oh crap, I hope we don't foreclose on our house". With all the stuff going on with Nick's parents and the toll it's taking on him, it's any wonder he gets up in the morning. There is very minor drama in my family, fortunately it's all about reconciliation type things...that's a positive, just taxing. It has always been a habit of mine to think that if I am being obedient to the Lord in an area, He will automatically bless that area (i.e., tithing, purity, etc.), but that isn't how it works...the blessing is supposed to come from being obedient. OUCH! I have been crying out asking where God is in all of this, only to have it smack me upside the head yesterday that He is right here (duh!). If this is my "valley", then am I really complaining (this is nothing)! If I can't trust in the Lord during this time, how will I be able to when times are harder. It's so easy to love and praise Jesus when our lives are feeling blessed and full, how much more powerful and growing is it to do so when we are feeling stripped? This is an elementary concept, yet hard for me to keep in mind. I just got done sending Adde Jeremiah 29:11, when typing I realized how applicable it is to my own life right now. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This verse pulled me through the hardest thing we've been through (losing the first baby) and look at the blessing that came afterwards! So, in this season of growing and deepening of our faith, please pray for our attitudes towards Christ above all....and if you'd like you can pray we sell the boat or Ed McMahon shows up at our door.
We don't work on her ABC's or numbers. However, being the ever so diligent,mindful,thought-provoking mother that I am, it should come as no surprise that we do practice "taco tongue" at least 82 times a day. Wonder if the Ivy Leagues consider this a pre-requisite?
So, I was playing on itunes tonight and accidentally ran into a songwriter of a song that I love and have been wanting to download ("I'm Yours"). So, I started listening to Jason Mraz's music and was really impressed! He is our modern day Sinatra or something other great, jazzy icon. It doesn't hurt that he toured with Jewel,who just happens to be the greatest singer/songwriter of all time in my personal opinion. So, I told Nick, this Jason Mraz might be one of my new faves. Check him out and see if you like too (Look for him on my playlist at the bottom of the blog). (Oh yeah, did I mention he's slightly dreamy...I can say this considering my husband admitted tonight to never reading my blog.)
So the other day Jason said something along the lines of, "now you're a brunette". I have to say, it took me off guard. How dare he??? I'm a blonde, dang it! Then, I saw this picture of myself a day later and realized, he was right. My friend Micah recently told me that my long blonde hair was my "signature". I've lost my haircolor and my signature? Are you kidding me? It all started about six years ago when I first got married and we were both in grad school. We were so broke, buying groceries was a luxury, so things like salons/haircolor were out the window. So, after years of my dad telling me to go natural, I did. I liked it. My hair felt healthy and "real"for the first time in ten years. No more "roots" showing (as my mom liked to nag me about).
Growing up, I idealized the beauty of blondes. Weren't they always the "beautiful women" in videos and movies (i.e., Christie Brinkley and the chick from the "cherry pie" video). I had thought that was the epitome of beauty.
Now, I'm on the other side of the color spectrum trying to digest this new role for myself. Brunette. I guess it's better than "dirty blonde" or "dishwater blonde" (I always hated those terms! Um..GROSS). Does this mean I can now tell blonde jokes with no guilt? So, now I guess I need to look to Kelly Kapowski and the chic from "weird science" (Hey, who doesn't think of the 80's for beauty icons?). They were brunette and beautiful!
I seriously thought about dying my hair blonde again, but once again groceries are luxury (due to Ms. Kya and with me staying home), so I swallow my pride and accept the color God's graced me with. Gentleman may prefer blondes and blondes may have more fun, but.....okay I'm still trying to figure that out.
So, I gave Kya her first "real" bath by herself in the tub tonight (Yes, I am one of those weird moms that showers with her baby nightly. Dr.'s orders for bonding when breastfeeding became impossible). I first rinsed and washed the tub as best I could, then put a towel down so her precious, perfect, soft baby bottom does not have to touch the bottom of the tub (those of you who have bathed a child over the age of 6 months are laughing hysterically, I'm sure). During her bath, my mind was 75% enjoying her squeals of excitement and 25% on "oh my gosh, there is a mystery hair on the side of the tub 4 inches away from my baby". I purposely washed my bathing beauty in the guest bath, thinking it is used the least (by guests and the occasional surfer), but it still was not clean enough! I scrubbed my bathroom down last week, the kind of scrub where a toothbrush is involved and upon finishing you're on a disinfectant high. Yet, one week later all I can see is "dirty" way too close to where I'm trying my hardest to get clean. So, I bathed with my eyes half closed (not recommended during shaving). Granted, I live with a boy and that never helps the clean factor. However, all these years I thought my sister was the one with the OCD tendencies, not me (just ask my parents). Maybe that is part of the reason I bath Kya with me because I know she won't be touching ANY bathroom surface. I seriously should seek help about this, right after I clean my bathroom again.
So, I saw this Feedjit thing on my friend's blog and thought that was really cool, so I installed it. Now, every time I go to mine or Kya's blog I can't help but see it. I feel so guilty, like I'm spying on people looking at my blogs. It doesn't give exact names, just locations (unless you come from your own blog I think). This oogie feeling just comes over me every time I see it, yet I don't want to take it off, because it is kind of neat knowing somebody has seen your blog (even if it is only one person, thanks Adde)! Do I have insecurity issues or something? I don't need to know someone's looked. Yet, I don't have it in me to take it off. Sick...that's what I am. It all starts with blogger stalking, I'm sure.
Apparently, this is what happens when you are sitting a foot away from your nine-month old, updating her blog while she is left to her own accord to eat breakfast. I'm sorry munchkin. Okay, we're going to go play now.
I turned 30 in September and it well...SUCKED!!!! I have always loved birthdays and have never had a problem getting older, but this birthday was hard. I'm better now (hence, able to actually write about it), however I wasn't, and this is what I had to read that morning to get me out of bed (I was reminded when I sent it to a friend who turned 30): Written by Andy Rooney~ As I grow in age, I value women who are over 30 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:
A woman over 30 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.
If a woman over 30 doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.
A woman over 30 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom.
Few women past the age of 30 give a damn what you might think about her or what she’s doing.
Women over 30 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.
Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.
A woman over 30 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women.
Women over 30 couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 30. They always know.
A woman over 30 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 30 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
Yes, we praise women over 30 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 30+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.
So, I started this blog months ago. Thought I would need an outlet for my own thoughts, not just Ms. Kya's updates. I got inspired by Adde's interesting thoughts. I do have all these thoughts, however the time just wasn't there. Never posted a single thing. Saying this, I am now beginning my first post. Nothing in specific.
Today is voting day, I think I'll go vote. You're supposed to get a free Starbucks for doing so. Isn't that sad? That is what is inspiring me? When the choices seem bleak and you have a million thoughts in your head about political issues, it boils down to...free coffee (excuse the pun).
Kya is talking on her baby monitor because due to the time change, her body is saying it's 10:00 wake up time. I'm trying my hardest to will her back to sleep for an hour.
Know something cool I figured out today? We have been recycling for only about 3 months now. Nick was using our recycling bin as a garage trash can. After stealing it from the garage (and cleaning it, yuck), I began my recycling journey. I had no idea how addictive it could be. Everything is now, "is this recyclable? No? It should be?" What a great service this city provides and I have been missing it for four years. Well, last time we separated our bin out for them, those nice men actually put the bin right at my front door for me. I did it again this morning, let's see if it works. Anyway, what I figured out today was by recycling we have gone from putting the trash can on the curb for pick up twice a week (overloaded) to once a week (almost full). That's with adding another person (and all her dirty diapers). Isn't that amazing? I thought so.
I'm going to post my myspace blogs here:
Somewhere over the Rainbow.....my love Current mood: loved Category: Religion and Philosophy July 2006 Somewhere over the rainbow, there waits my love. I've come to the frightening conclusion that it's really not about me in life. I'd like to think that I always knew this, but to be honest...it's never been more real. When I was a little girl, I loved rainbows and the mythical thought that there really was something on the other side..pot of gold, leprechauns, I wasn't exactly sure. I just knew I wanted to get there someday. As we get older, fantasies become less imaginative and creative. Working with kids everyday, I'm reminded of play time and make believe and it brings me to a great place in the storage of my memories. This universe is vast, I am but a speck of wind. Yet, there is something...or rather someone on the other side of that rainbow waiting for me. He is...my love. My one true love, the one my heart hungers and my soul thirsts for. He is my savior and my friend. He is Jesus. It is far greater than a pot of gold or folklore, He is the "mystery" that I try to unravel with each pull of His holy yarn. I have always loved this man, for as far as I can remember, but never realized His immense love for me until recently. I stopped looking to others for my total fill, and reached for the one hand I know best. I want to honor Him, make Him smile and laugh, I want to please Him. Not because I am supposed to or because that's what a "good Christian" does, but because he is my master and I am made to love Him. I have always known the answer to the infamous televangelist question, "If you died tomorrow, would you go to heaven?" But what about now, what about my daily ins and outs? Here is what I've come to. I want to honor Him with:
My mouth - my tongue is my greatest tool, how I use it He tells me is what's important. Am I bringing up people or tearing them down? Do I kiss the lips of fools who bear nothing but hate and gossip? Does my mouth drip with love not only for Him, but for His people? Do I whisper sweet words of encouragment to my betrothed, words of wisdom to the young, and words of comfort to the hurting? Am I asking my lover to forgive me when I hurt Him? I want my voice to be that of angels whispering, singing, shouting the unconditional love our Father has to offer everyone.
My mind-I don't judge the homeless, homosexuals, or heathens. That's God's job, I tell myself and stay out of such arguments. I do, however, tend to judge the people I need most, my fellow believers. In a bit of irony, in their judgement of others. I need to embrace everyone with the arms of Christ. It is an amazing concept when you look at those around you and tell yourself, "God loves that person so much and they are His child." Does my mind stay pure and blameless? Would my husband, mother, or lover be proud if my thoughts were posted on a billboard?
My body- The body I worry about on a daily basis...will my butt get smaller, will I be able to bear children, will I ever be able to do something great physically? My body is for my lover and to the man He sent for me to be one with. I want to use every inch of these organs, tissue, and bones to glorify the One who made me wholly perfect. I want to take care of it, I want to push it to it's limits in a good way. I want to take it all over the earth to hold peple who are dying or unloved. I want to be choicest of morsels to my husband who is a co-owner of it. Yes, this pleases my love.
My soul-It is well...no matter what comes to pass, it is well. I want this to be my banner. It is well, my lover still loves me past all of my flaws, sins, and shames. When the world turns against me, will I be okay with just He and I? (wise question my mom asked me in high school). Do I not claim this lover of mine, only to forsake Him for the ways of the world? Is He not more worthy? Someone I knew once wrote, "who you are when no one else is around, is your character." My soul longs to be one-faced, shining in the light of my lover's soul. We are connected through the spirit, is there anything greater? My passion is to dive into the God-breathed words and never come up for air. It is well with my soul.
So, that is why somewhere over the rainbow, my lover is waiting. He is my fantasy and reality. He is waiting with open arms and a smile. How I long to run into His embrace and kiss His face. He is home....In the words of Simon and Garfunkel "Home where my love is waiting...for me."
The road to Babyhood Current mood: ecstatic Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes August 2007 If you are reading this, you have probably figured out that we are expecting a baby on Valentine's day! It has been a long, hard, disappointing, growing experience for us. It started about 3 years ago when we decided that it was "time" to expand our clan. I told the Doctor I wanted to have the baby during Spring Break to coincide with our teaching schedule. Knowing what I know now, I see why he laughed out loud. We had a hard time figuring out why it wasn't working so easy for us. I ended up having a surgery in May of 2005 to "clean shop" in hopes of making us more fertile. No luck. After almost two years we decided that this summer (Juneish) we'd start fertility treatments to help us along. Well, May 6th came around and I wasn't feeling myself. I took a test on the off chance I could be pregnant and Lo and Behold!!!! I WAS! I couldn't believe it. Nick and I were in shock! We went crazy getting every book at Barnes and Noble, planning out the next 20 years, and a nursery. Now, I know a lot of people find this "Taboo" to talk about which I can't understand. It happens to so many women and I just wanted someone to talk to who had been there. Only a couple of short days after finding out we were pregnant, I miscarried. It was AWFUL, tragic, and spiritually growing. I spent a lot of time crying, grieving, and surrendering. It was a huge self realization about how insignificant I am, and how GREAT God is! Instead of questioning Him, I embraced Him knowing only He was the everlasting arms that would bring true healing. Well, only a couple of short weeks later, we got pregnant AGAIN! I don't know how or why, but it is not for me to question. I am only just SO grateful that God thought us worthy enough to be parents. I am humbled, excited, nervous, and wordless! I have been SO sick all summer. I can count on one hand the number of days I didn't throw up this summer. It hasn't helped we've had mandatory water boil because e. coli and other nasties in our city water. Every time I get sick though, it is a reminder that the miracle of life is happening right here inside my tired, and unworthy body. It has been an amazing experience in our marriage as well. Nick has stepped up taking over all responsibilities and holding my hair back and bringing me crackers in bed. He's amazing! Please pray for us as we are embarking on a new journey that we do justice to this gift we're borrowing and that we are able to share a lot of love with others and with God through this child.
Woah baby! Current mood: fascinated Category: Life
Well, it's official...we're parents!!! We started the induction process last Wednesday evening. At first, not too bad. The next morning when the doctor broke my water, all ______ broke too! There are not words to describe the physical pain of labor! I went in thinking I was going to do childbirth the "natural" way. Well, there is nothing "natural" about wanting to claw your your eyeballs out and climb the walls. At this point, I was dialated to 6 cm. The nurse came in and said, "it's only going to get worse, do you want an epidural?" Was there any question....YES!!!!!! During the epidural, Nick almost passed out watching. The nurses had to get him juice and stick his head between his legs. It was SO cute! I'd gladly take a giant needle in my back a hundred times over a contraction. So, after 21 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing, our sweet baby Kya was born. She weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 21 inches long. However, during the labor I lost a lot of blood and had to have a DNC done right afterwards. The doctors wouldn't release me with my blood counts, then looking at Kya, realized she had severe jaundice and was dehydrated. I was exclusively breastfeeding and didn't realize my body was too busy making blood instead of milk. She had to go under the lights for 2 days straight and got more pin pricks and prods than we could stand. Saturday, we were told in that Kya wasn't getting better and that I had to have a blood transfusion. So, she spent all day Sunday in a "tanning bed" and I spent it getting blood. I cannot imagine people who have to see their babies go through so much worse, I don't think I could handle it! Monday morning, we got one piece of good news after another. Kya's jaundice numbers finally dropped, she could go home, my numbers went up, I could go home!!! My parents had cleaned and disinfected our whole house and made it so welcoming! So, now here we are...at home. More exhausted than I thought humanly possible. Struggling with breastfeeding and supplementing. Making sure this perfect being is breathing at all times and somehow trying to manage some sleep. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, sent loving thoughts our way, and came to meet her. We are VERY blessed! PRAISE GOD!!!