Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More About Eli

After making our name choice public to our families, we discovered some really neat connections with our families and the name Eli!

I said in the last post that Justin had an ancestor named Eli Tapp. Well, apparently I also have an ancestor on my dad's side whose name was Ely - different spelling, same pronunciation.

Even cooler than that, though, is what Justin's mom told him when she heard the news! She said that they had never told Justin this, but his middle name was almost Eli. They decided not to at the last minute because they didn't think Justin Eli sounded as good as they wanted, but they love the name and are thrilled with our choice.

I think those connections are so cool! And here we thought we were being so original with our choice... Of course, all of these connections are just plain Eli, so Elias is still quite original. Both traditional and unique - exactly what we wanted!!!

Justin also sent me this article from the New York Times about Eli Manning and his strong bond with his mother. While his older brothers Cooper and Peyton were with their dad at sporting events, Eli would go antiquing with his mom. Eli is 5 years younger than Peyton, so he had 5 years at home alone with his parents after Peyton moved out, and that gave him time to really bond with his mom when his dad was traveling for work. Read the article, it's nice. (Makes me want to root for him in the Super Bowl, even though I think he doesn't have a chance of winning...) So even though we're not naming our son after Eli Manning, I hope our Eli does take after him in this regard... Love your mama, boy!!!!!! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Big Announcement

We've decided on a name for our sweet boy!

His name will be…

Elias John Tapp

How we settled upon this name:

The Arabic/Turkic name for Elijah is Ilias (EE-lee-ahs), and Justin has liked this name for several years. However, we knew that most Americans seeing “Ilias” would not pronounce it correctly. Elias is a Greek variation of Elijah, and Elias (ee-LYE-us) is a common English rendering of this name, so we decided it would work well. So, if we ever live in a different culture, it will be no problem to pronounce it “Ilias.”

He will likely be called Eli for short. The name Eli has historical significance for the Tapp family. Justin is descended from Eli Tapp, who moved to Kentucky from North Carolina in 1833. He and his brothers were the first Tapps to settle in Hopkins County, where Justin still has many relatives.

Plus, Justin has always really liked the song by one of his favorite bands of all-time Three Dog Night called “Eli’s Coming,” and so that will be our new theme song for this pregnancy, and maybe his life (“Eli’s coming, hide your heart girl!”) Here’s a clip of the song performed by the band on a late 1960’s comedy show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChJzR5see1k

John is the name of Joni’s father, who is also her hero. Joni has always wanted to honor her father by naming her first son after him in some fashion. Therefore, it was such a blessing that Justin’s father is also named John, as was his father’s father. That way we could honor three men in our families all with the same name! John is, of course, a Biblical name and many great men in history are also named John.

We wanted to go ahead and get this news out before the Super Bowl, to make sure that everyone knew we were not naming our child after Eli Manning. (Eli Manning’s name is actually Elisha, so ours is clearly not the same, but we expect Eli will be a popular baby name this year.) Regardless of who wins the Super Bowl, our child will still be Elias.

Thanks to all for your suggestions for a baby name – We hope you like our choice!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Preggo Shoes?!

Justin and I went to Pigeon Forge today to the massive outlet centers because we both needed new shoes... Neither of us have gotten new tennis shoes since before we got married, and they were literally falling off our feet! So we hit the Nike Outlet first, and I discovered 2 things. 1) Pregnancy has made my shoe size go up 1/2 size... I had to buy a dadgum 10 1/2 shoe!!! And 2) Pregnancy has also made me a little crazy in my taste! At least I think I'll blame it on the pregnancy... Check out these shoes I bought today!Yes, I got shiny gold paisley Nikes. They're Air Max, and they are SOO comfy! Plus, the inside on the sole says "Dance Machine." And to top it all off, they were on clearance for $29.99. How could I not get these shoes?!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Huckabee for President

I've never known much about politics, but my world has broadened dramatically since being married to Justin! I actually have an opinion about most of the major issues, and I have a favorite candidate for the upcoming presidential elections... MIKE HUCKABEE! (Even stranger is the fact that he is not Justin's favorite - I decided this on my own!) I'm not going to talk about his politics, though, because I honestly don't think that's the most important thing when choosing a candidate. Most of the things the candidates are debating over are irrelevant because the president won't have power to change those things. For example, I love Huckabee's Fair Tax plan, but there is zero chance he could get that through Congress. However, there are many things a president makes Executive Orders on that he never talked about before being elected. So, in my opinion, it's more important to choose a candidate whose character you believe in and who you personally trust to make good decisions in office. So let me tell you about the reasons I like Mike Huckabee as a person:

- He is 52 years old, by far the youngest Republican candidate. I like that he's not an old fogy.
- He is a former Southern Baptist minister, and still confesses his faith publicly.
- He plays the bass guitar, and he's good at it too. His band has played at the House of Blues and 2 presidential inauguration balls, and has opened for the likes of Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band.- He believes in taking responsibility for your own health, and he made an example of himself by losing 110 pounds through healthy eating and exercise when he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003. This is what he looked like before:- He is a marathon runner.
- He is an outdoorsman - hunting and fishing.
- He loves his dogs, pictured here with Jet. On his Facebook page, there is actually a picture of Mike & Janet Huckabee with President & Mrs. Bush, and they photoshopped the dog into the picture. Now that is funny.- He has a sense of humor, evidenced by this commercial he made with Chuck Norris.

These are just the things I could think of off the top of my head, but I think it's a pretty good list! Part of the reason I like him so much is that you can add 2 years to his age, take out the bits about losing 110 pounds, hunting, his dog, and Chuck Norris, and you have a perfect description of my dad. How could I not support and trust a candidate who is practically the twin of my dad, who is my lifelong hero?!

Pictures from Mike's Facebook page, information from mikehuckabee.com.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gonna Be a Soccer Player!

I want to thank you all for all your awesome naming suggestions for Justin and I to consider!!! I was surprised at the response! We've pretty much settled on a middle name, but still working on the first name. We figure we have another 4 months before we HAVE to make a decision, so there's no need to rush it now. We'll let you know when we decide what his full name will be!

In the meantime, I am not kidding when I say I am SHOCKED at how much this child kicks me! It's like I'm his own personal practice dummy! Especially when I'm in bed at night trying to sleep. I call him "my little goober" when he's doing that and keeping me awake. I'm not sleeping well at night anyway, between getting up to pee every 4 hours, uncomfortable aching hips, and bizarre and vivid dreams. So I'm awake every hour or two anyways. Then last night every time I woke up, it was like he was having a Dance Dance Revolution party in there or something! So it would always take me a while to fall back asleep, since my little goober was scheming to keep me awake. :) It's also funny, though, how much joy there is in that. I LOVE waking up and feeling him alive in me, it's just such an encouraging knowledge and never ceases to make me smile. It's almost like he's communicating with me - "I'm here, Mom!"

He also really seems to like it when I eat sugar - or maybe it just gives him a sugar rush. I just finished a mug of Moose Tracks ice cream, so we'll see if it make him dance a bit in there. :)

My family is coming to visit us for the long weekend this weekend, and I am INCREDIBLY excited about that! They arrive tomorrow at lunch time, and I'm already counting the hours! (16 to go!) We're going to eat a lot of food, play some games, spend a day in Gatlinburg, and just have an all-around good time.

P.S. Yes, the Moose Tracks DID give him a sugar rush! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Name That Baby! Contest

Justin and I are kind of beating our heads against brick walls when it comes to trying to agree on a name for our little boy. I like traditional names, he wants something unique. So we decided to appeal to our blogging friends out there for some inspiration! We KNOW that there is a name out there we're both going to love, we just haven't thought of it yet! Can anybody offer us any suggestions? It would be awesome if you could suggest a first & middle name combo, and please think about whether it sounds good with our last name. It does not have to start with a J, but it can.

And if you suggest the name that we end up naming our baby, we'll give you... um... the satisfaction of knowing that you helped us name our son! :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Bump at 5 Months

Alrighty, here's my long-awaited first belly shot! Me and the bump at almost 5 months.This was taken just after we took the sweet boy to his first UK basketball game! He is definitely a future Wildcat fan, although he was pretty disappointed with the Wildcats' pathetic showing against Louisville on Saturday.This was also my first time wearing a maternity shirt. This one was a Christmas gift from my mom and dad - I LOVE IT! Maternity clothes are so comfortable! :)

After the game, we drove to Western Kentucky to spend a few days enjoying Justin's parents' lake house and visiting some family. We haven't seen some of this family since our wedding more than 2 years ago! So it was nice to catch up with these great people.

Being in Middle-of-Nowhere-ville, KY meant that we didn't have the ability to hook our computer up to the internet, which is why I'm not posting these pics until today. I'm sure you all somehow managed to survive the 4 day wait. We're back in Tennessee now, where I believe we will stay until we find out where we'll be moving to permanently! Any prayers you'd like to offer up for us on that subject would be greatly appreciated! :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Loot

Our little bean is yet 4+ months unborn, but he's already racking up some serious loot from the families! Look at what they got him for Christmas:Nana & Grand-Dad Tapp got him a sweet book called "Pat the Bunny."

Grandma & Grandpa Strimple got him a soft "My First Rattle," and Grandma embroidered the onesie for him that says "I'm a Moldovan Baby." There's a story behind this, because one day while we were still in Moldova, Justin found this onesie that for some random reason is being sold on Amazon. So we sent the link to our parents thinking it was cute. (Our baby, after all, WAS made in Moldova!) So Mom used her amazing embroidery machine skills to make him his own personalized one, complete with Moldova's new logo in the top corner.

Santa (aka Grandma) even got in on the action by filling him a stocking with a CD of lullabies, a cow-spotted rubber ducky that lets Mommy & Daddy know when his bathwater is too hot, a pair of adorable UK booties that he will inevitably wear home from the hospital, and a gift card for DQ since he has been craving a chicken strip basket for the past 5 months. It's HIM, not his mommy that needs the chicken strips. :)

I also included in the photo the "mommy-purse" that was a gift from Aunt Jessica (my sister). She said it's the perfect size for all the stuff mommies need to carry around with their babies - bigger than a purse but not as big as a diaper bag. Then Grandma and I designed the monogram to go on it, and she embroidered it for me. I LOVE IT!

So thank you to everyone for making our little bean's first Christmas so special!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy New Year, everybody! This promises to be an exciting year full of big changes for us, and I'm excited to get it started! An exciting development for us this week was that we passed 20 weeks, which puts us over the halfway mark! Apparently the little bean decided that this occasion meant he needed to start making my belly as big as possible. I feel like I've noticeably grown in just the past 4 days! In fact, he's already starting to press up on my stomach so that I get full faster. I'm kind of a slow learner these days, so I didn't do well with all the big holiday dinners. I didn't realize how full I was getting and thought that I could just eat as much as I wanted the way I always have in the past! That was bad news for me after the meals when I had made myself SO SICK from overeating! So moderation is the key for me, and thankfully all the big family holiday meals are done. Now I just need to concentrate on eating more often instead of eating big portions. My body is slowly recovering from the abuse I gave it with all that food, and I'm learning how to do this pregnancy thing. :)

We're going to be taking the little bean to his first UK basketball game this weekend, and I'll post pictures from that. I feel like my belly is finally big enough that I look pregnant and not just fat, so I'm not ashamed to post a pic anymore. Plus, I have some awesome new maternity clothes that I can't wait to show off! (Huge thanks to Mom, Jess, and Nicole!) So check back for that next week.

May your 2008 be blessed and filled with the joy and hope of the Lord!