Friday, December 28, 2007

only when we drive

The last time we went to Chicagoland to visit my family, it poured snow (does snow "pour"??) on us the whole way home. Today, my fabulous, reliable friend, says it shall pour snow on us the whole way there. Apparently - we're only allowed to have a White Christmas-season - as Christmas itself was gray, and the next day it was 45 and rainy. Interesting.
But it's time for Christmas with my side of the family - so we will saddle up the horses and brave the journey across Northwest Indiana. Lookout, Lake Effect Snow. We're not afraid. (and I can only say that because my husband will be driving. Otherwise, I'd be shaking in my boots).
Christmas was lovely - we had dinner Christmas Eve with Mark's family at his mom's house (for her birthday), went to his dad's house to spend the night and observe how much food that man can make for 10 people who've already eaten dinner.... and then Christmas morning was spent at Mark's sister's home. It was relaxing and fun - except for the nasty little stomach bug that was waiting for me as soon as I opened my eyes on Christmas morning... but that bug has left the building, and I'm feeling pretty much totally normal now. Bless God for short-lived viruses.
All-in-all, Mark & I have been LOVING this vacation - we've slept in, visited with friends and family, watched movies, and just enjoyed not having to be at work. And the fact that more friends, family, and a few more days are still to come - that's just icing on the cake, baby.
So enjoy the rest of your holiday - we're off to brave the Great White expanse that exists between here and Chicago's suburbs.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

home for the holidays

Thursday was my last day of work for 2007 - hooray! It's strange to know that I only have the month of January at my job, and then I'll be at home full-time. I'm really excited, but it still seems awfully surreal.
Mark had (very minor) out-patient back surgery yesterday - he is up and about today, but we spent yesterday morning at the hospital - and then I ran errands and kept Mark company as he watched 3 movies (I'm a very willing-to-sacrifice-wife, what can I say??) It was a good day, but not SO much for being productive.
As a person who loves to plan ahead and be organized, it only makes sense that I am still trying to finish Christmas shopping (not as bad as it sounds - it's for family members I won't see until next weekend - I have 7 whole days!!). I have to clean up the house for visitors who will be coming next week, make my sister's Christmas present, and really start cracking down on the baby's room. I made some progress last night - lining the dresser drawers with Contact paper and putting some of the clothes & blankets "away." The crib is still overflowing with things that don't have a home yet, but I'm getting there.
My husband and I are watching the neighbor's boys for them as they're out of town for their anniversary (the boys are 13, 10 and 7) - and Luke (the youngest) spent some time getting to feel Baby B move and stretch this afternoon. It was really fun to watch his face as his little hands rested on my tummy - he got to feel quite a bit of wiggle-ment today!
I hope that the next few days are full of peace, laughter, and good times with family - it's so easy to be overwhelmed by our tasks - I pray that we are all able to sit and remember the true joy that comes with this season.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Tis the Season

Christmas has struck me differently this year than in the past. I've ALWAYS been a huge fan of the entire Christmas season (although I prefer to see the season start after Thanksgiving is over...) Even as a little girl - I loved the snow, the music, the lights, the scents, warm fires & mugs of cocoa... and most of all, the precious, indescribable feeling of something *awesome* that enveloped me at this time of year.
This year, on top of all those sensations, I've been struck more deeply than ever by the thought of a pregnant teenage girl, giving birth in some seriously scary conditions...
As my baby moves and twists inside me, I imagine what it would be like to know that your baby is God incarnate.
As I daydream about this Little One's childhood and adulthood, I wonder how it would feel to know that my baby would grow up and meet a horrific, torturous end... but in doing so, would save the world.
As I sit in awe of the responsibility God has placed upon Mark and I in raising this bebe up for His glory, I contemplate what it would be like to be chosen as the mother of God's one and only Son.
This year - Christmas is not only about the incredible gift the Lord gave us in His precious baby boy - but it is also about the humble & imperfect humans that He chose to help His plan unfold. How in the world can I ever hide behind claims of "unworthiness"? The Christmas story is one of the ultimate examples of God's power being made perfect in weakness.
Blessings to you this holiday season!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Public Enemy #1

Last week, I had a baking fit. I made 2 types of Christmas cookies (which really doesn't really sound like that many) - except that each batch produces more than 60 cookies.
And I wasn't smart enough to make cookies that I DON'T enjoy eating. Instead, I made some of toughest-for-me-to-resist cookies. And despite my best efforts at bringing them to work, sending them to work with Mark, and bringing some home to share with my family this past weekend... the cookies, they linger.
But not for long - at the rate I'm going. It seems as though (at least) 2 cookies are necessary every evening. Just to get into the Christmas spirit, of course.
I would call them Public Enemy #1. But I can't. I love them too much.
And today I have to go to the doctor and get weighed in. I'll just smile and blame it on the cookies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

creative Creator

Mark has been in Venice, CA since Saturday (he comes home tonight). When we talked on Monday, he told me it was sunny, but "a little chilly" (read: about 60 degrees) as he sat on the beach break wall and sipped his Chai Latte. (Yes, he IS aware that he leads a charmed life, and he is exceedingly grateful). This is a picture of a Venice sunset. Lovely, isn't it?

THIS is a picture outside my front door this morning. Well, no, not really. Actually - it's the Arctic. I'm embellishing for dramatic effect. Here in Michigan, there's really only a dusting of snow on the ground, and it's a fairly pleasant 25 degrees at 8:00am (we might hit 35 today!!) We did have a bit of an ice storm last night, but nowhere near as nasty as the weather-folks were predicting.

Isn't it incredible that God made a planet with so many intricacies? Really - how much easier would it have been to make everything pretty much uniform? I'm so glad to know the Lord of the universe - to see His love in HUGE things (the sacrifice of Christ on the cross) and in smaller ways (the beauty of His unfathomable imagination in creating our world). So, wherever you are this morning - I pray that you are able to find a piece of His love in some way - whether it be big or small.

Monday, December 10, 2007

honoring the request

A request was made from my friend Sarah for more pictures - I have no more pictures of Baby B, since we're only having the one ultrasound (and that was almost 3 months ago) - but here are some from my second baby shower this weekend. There were about 15 gals, lots of yummy food, and many moments of laughing-so-hard-it's-tough-to-breathe. (Although it's a little tough for me to breathe at all these days, as Baby B is compressing my lungs, but hey - I like the laughing). It was fantastic and fun, and I was so touched by the love that was shown (most of these gals are facing finals this week - they took a "study break" to celebrate with me on one of the most stressful weekends of the year!!)
So here goes - starting at the top:
* Kelsey (one of the shower hostesses, entirely responsible for the games and therefore, a lot of the laughter) and Laura (my neighbor, who has now graciously attended two of my showers).
* The table of tiny sandwiches, punch, brownies and lemon bars - all SO tasty!! (thanks, Dana!)
* My lovely friends Meredith, Shannon and Amanda
(And now for the pictures below):
* Meredith and Al are "pregnant" for one of the games - it was fun for a few minutes to not be the only one in the room with a massive belly :)
* Me & a present - it's not a great belly shot, but hey, this is my blog, and I'm just not sure I want to put up any of the other pictures that catalog my growth...
* Evidence of the Laughing Very Hard - Lauren, Jill, Katie, Dilyn, Al and Laura - playing Baby Taboo (just like the real game Taboo, but with baby-related words instead)

Friday, December 07, 2007

inane pregnancy questions

Every woman who has ever been pregnant has experienced this.
Some questions are rude, some are insulting, some are self-important... and some are just plain silly.
This is my new "favorite" Inane Pregnancy Question. Believe it or not - I get it All. The. Time.
"Are you excited??"
What in the world. Of COURSE I'm excited! And if, for some ridiculous and unknown reason, I was not excited - would I really answer that question honestly?
I feel so silly saying (with an indulgent smile), "Yes, we're very excited." And getting a silly smile in return.
Any other good ones out there?

(Don't get me wrong - I know everyone is just trying to make conversation, just trying to be nice. And I truly do appreciate that.
It just inspires me to make a mental note:
"Maybe it's a good idea to think for 3-5 seconds about the question I want to ask, and see if it really makes sense. If not - try to come up with a better one.")

Monday, December 03, 2007

"To Do" Lists

Those who know me (or have read this blog for a little while) know this. I love lists. It's a little (or a lot) weird, I know. But I love to make lists (preferably with bullets or stars or circles) of things I need to do, and then I *love* the pure joy that comes with crossing things off the list. It's a minor addiction.
Since my "To Do" list for the weekend was:
*Rest and get healthy
(which I have almost accomplished) - my list for this week is slightly longer. On Friday night, about 30-45 people will be eating dinner at our house (food to be provided by someone else, thankfully) - but the house still has to be ready to accommodate the food/preparation/serving/eating of a meal for 30-45 people. And right now, the house is, how shall I say it... NOT ready for that.
Sooo... I made a list!
This Saturday is a baby shower, hosted by some dear friends of mine - and while I don't have to do much to prepare, I DO need to finish writing the Thank You Notes from my last shower before adding another pile of notes to the stack.
Sooo... it went on the list!!
Also have some Christmas presents to buy/make. You guessed it - that's on the list too!!!
I'm feeling productive again - hopefully the end of this week will *look* productive too!