Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can't Believe I'm Posting This

Yesterday, I had a totally surreal experience that not many people get to have in their lives. I got something in the mail that totally blew me away. I don't remember this at all, but apparently when I was a senior in high school, our youth minister had us write down our dreams or life goals, telling us he would send them to us 10 years later to see if we're still on track. Miraculously, he apparently managed to hang on to them for 10 years and then track us down and actually send them to us! (Shawn, you are unbelievable!)

Now, I don't remember doing this, nor do I remember what the situation was or how seriously he instructed us to take this. I dearly hope it wasn't meant to be a serious thing, because the vast majority of the "dreams" I wrote down are just idiotic. Or maybe I was just a major doofus when I was 17. Thankfully, most of you who will be reading this didn't know me then, so you can't get on here and post whether I really was a complete idiot back then or not.

I can't believe I'm actually going to post this, but for your entertainment, here is my list of life dreams from when I was 17 years old. I've included commentary/explanation in italics, and I've marked in red the ones I have achieved. I've marked in blue the ones that I still think it would be cool to do.

My Dreams:
1. Own a Plymouth Prowler. - I actually had to Google it to find out what a Plymouth Prowler is. (See picture at right.) I don't remember being obsessed with this car, but I do think it's cute. Now my dream car is a Toyota Camry... Wait! That IS what I drive!
2. Be happy with myself. - This is pretty deep compared to the rest of the things on this list. But I do consider myself happy now, and I remember not quite being so happy at that time in my life. Praise the Lord for carrying me from there to here!
3. Be a famous singer. - Uh, not so much.
4. Be a Disney character's voice. - This has actually been a dream of mine since The Little Mermaid came out. The lady who played Ariel was just a regular person, and her voice was AWESOME! So after that I decided it was something I could do too. I am doing absolutely nothing to try to make this dream a reality, and I doubt I ever will. But it would be pretty cool.
5. Publish a novel, or sell a painting or some other work of art. - I'm sure this one came from the fact that I was in an art class that I really loved my senior year, and I was doing some pretty good paintings and sculptures. I would still do it as a hobby if the supplies were free, but I'm pretty sure I don't have what it takes to make any money off of my art.
6. Own a house (with my husband and 2 kids) in Cape Cod. - What? I don't remember ever wanting to live in Cape Cod. I certainly don't now. This dream was probably more about having a husband and kids than living in Cape Cod...
7. Go into space. - I'll consider this unfulfilled, but looking at this list, it seems like I may already have been living there at the time...
8. Find my own constellation. - Huh?
9. Have a museum named after me. - Maybe the Museum of Huge Nerds...
10. Be a National Geographic photographer. - I've certainly always liked wildlife and nature documentaries, but I think I'll stick to watching them on TV instead of physically putting myself where the danger is.
11. Go to Ireland and sing "Danny Boy" in a cathedral. - This one would actually be really cool to do! "Danny Boy" has always been a song that has moved me emotionally, and it would be so neat to hear it in Ireland. Of course, I'd just like to go to Ireland even if I don't get to sing in a cathedral there.
12. Beat my dad at golf (or any sport, for that matter). - To my knowledge, the only sport I've ever beat my dad at even to this day is Wii bowling. But I'm totally counting that. I've ALMOST beat him at Wii golf, which I would count even more! But I totally blew it on the last hole... You WILL go down, Dad!
13. Graduate college with straight A's, or at least summa cum laude. - I did not make straight A's in college, but I did graduate summa cum laude.
14. Teach a student who goes on to become famous. - I have no idea where this came from. I've never wanted to be a teacher of any kind. Maybe I meant teaching Sunday School?! I have no idea.
15. Live for a couple years in a different country. - Hey! I've done this one!
16. Find out where my father's real family is from. - My dad is adopted, and apparently I felt like that was a great mystery when I was 17. When I was in college, though, my dad did find his birth mom, and I have met her and two of my half-aunts. There's not much mysterious about a birth-grandmother in Indiana, though... We did find out that dad has some Native American in him, which you can totally see in his face once you know. So that's cool.
17. Make a regular practice of using cheesy pick-up lines successfully. - How embarrassing that this was my last life dream. I have no idea what that's about.

I am so embarrassed.

So I've fulfilled 5 out of my 17 life dreams in 10 years. Not too shabby I guess. Of course, the majority of the dreams were completely asinine. So I hope that gives you all a deeper insight into who I am and how far I've come to be the person I am today...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bling My Crib

Now that we're less than 3 months away from Eli's expected arrival, we decided it's time to start getting the things we need for him! We've made some online registries because so many of our friends and family are too far away to be able to come to any showers for us. We are not trying to be presumptive at all, and we don't want anyone to feel any obligation to buy us anything!!!! But IF you would like to get something for our sweet boy, here are 2 ways to do it. The links should take you directly to our registry pages. Let me know if you have trouble.

Nurtured Family

We are planning on cloth diapering, so this is our registry for diapers and diapering accessories. From this site, you can choose to have things shipped directly to us if you'd like.


For all the rest of our things, we have registered at WalMart. We had originally planned on doing BabiesRUs too, but there was nothing at BRU that we couldn't get for cheaper at WalMart. So hopefully none of you are offended that WalMart is our only other option. This site has a neat feature where you can order an item online and pay for it online, but then have it shipped to a WalMart store for free. So you can just choose "Site to Store" as your shipping option, and then have it shipped to our nearest WalMart store (Oak Ridge, Tennessee), and we can go pick it up. Make sure to list either Justin or me as a person who can pick the item up, and then just let us know to go get it!

We are very blessed to have two sisters who (claim they) are both done having kids, and they are passing on a lot of their great baby stuff to us! So if you look at our registries and think there's something essential we didn't register for, we probably already have it thanks to our generous family. Feel free to ask me if there's something you think we just can't live without. :)

I'll put links to these registries in my side bar, too, for future reference. Thanks, everybody!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fun Times Travelin'

This week Justin and I took a whirlwind tour of Ohio and Kentucky! My parents are working on moving into a new house, so we went up and spent a couple days helping them get things clean and ready to move in. It's not ready yet, but we sure did make progress! And it was so much fun to get to see my parents, my sis, my brother-in-law, and my sweet nephews! Of course, being the doofus that I am, I did not take one picture the whole time I was there. There were some priceless photo moments, too, that will have to live only in my memory. Sorry to deprive the rest of you.

However, on the way back to Tennessee yesterday, we stopped through Louisville to visit my Waco friend, Kristy! She and her family are there on business, so although her husband had to work, we got to visit with Kristy and her baby, Price! When we left Waco, Price was still in Kristy's belly, so it was pretty weird to meet him as a 6-month-old now! He is ADORABLE, and I hope our Eli has his same temperament. Thankfully, Justin did remember to get a picture of this, so here we are yesterday!The last picture that Kristy and I took together was at a baby shower for her last June, so our roles were a little switched! This time, it's me with the belly, and she's got a baby!!! Whoa! Time marches on... Thanks for sharing tuna with us again, Kristy! Yay for good memories together. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

6 Months!!

We've reached our 6 month mark, and here's me and the bump!I've added a little bar on the side where I'll keep all my bump pictures so you can see the progress as I grow! I had intended to do all the pictures standing the same direction so it would be easier to tell the difference, but I seem to have already messed that one up! Oh well...

I'm all dressed up because sweet Justin surprised me with an early Valentine's dinner tonight. (Many thanks to my sis for the cute fancy preggo shirt!) We went out to Naples Italian Restaurant in Knoxville, this cute little place we found when we were out driving around the other day. It was such a neat atmosphere, very unique, and the food was delicious! Happy Valentine's Day, my sweetheart! I love you!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

This World

There was a phrase in a song at church last week that really got me thinking. I've been ruminating on it all week, and I'm still praying about where my heart should be on this, but I thought I'd post about it and see if anybody else had any thoughts.

I can't remember what the song was or what the rest of it was about, but the bridge section of the song kept repeating the phrase "This world has nothing for me." I couldn't sing it, and just the very thought of saying something like that made me want to cry. My first thought upon reading it was that it was the same thing as saying "My baby means nothing to me," or my husband or my family or friends. I even instinctively put my hands over my belly as if to protect my baby from the very thought that he meant nothing to me.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand the concept they're going for here.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. ~ Philippians 3:7-8
When compared to the value of knowing Christ, all things on this earth are of far less value. All my relationships and activities on earth ARE meaningless without Christ to give them value and purpose. Only Christ is eternal, and I need to do a much better job of keeping this perspective on things. I know that I place far too much value in the things and people that I love on this earth, and this is what I've been praying about all week.

However, I don't think it's right to go so far as to say that everything on this earth is nothing to me. I believe that our relationships and activities here on this earth are very important, and they do have eternal value. God doesn't want us to be so wrapped up in Christ that we dismiss everything and everyone else as unimportant. The vast majority of God's instructions to us as New Testament believers are about how we live on this earth, how we treat other people, how deeply we love, and how we represent Him to an unbelieving world.

So I feel like it's careless, even in a song at church, to say "This world has nothing for me." Acknowledging that the world to come is of far greater value, I'm still going to do all I can to make my life on this earth valuable too. Justin suggested that if I'm ever confronted with a song like this again, I could change the lyric to something like "Worldliness has nothing for me." That's something I can agree with.

Does anybody have any thoughts on this? I'd love to hear another perspective.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

More Good News!

I went to the doctor this morning for some routine blood tests, and they unexpectedly decided to go ahead and do my Glucose Tolerance Test too! I'm kinda glad to have it sprung on me, or else I probably would've been dreading it. This is the test where you drink the REALLY sweet drink, and then they test your blood sugar level an hour later to see how well your body absorbed the glucose. Well, I am thrilled to say that I passed with flying colors. (My blood sugar was 61 after the hour... Isn't that low?) But it sure wasn't easy! I've heard horror stories about how gross the drink is and how tough it is for the hour. Well, I actually enjoyed the orange-flavored drink... Tasted just like Orange Crush to me. Of course, it's been years since I've drunk Orange Crush, but that's how I remember it... But then the next hour wasn't all sunshine and daisies. About 45 minutes after I had drunk the stuff, I got really hot, started sweating, and even got a little dizzy like I was going to pass out! Thankfully, that only lasted about 5-10 minutes, but I'm sure the rest of the ladies in the waiting room thought I was seriously unhealthy... :) But I was fine by the time I went back for the finger prick, and my blood sugar was great! So I am very thrilled! Our little bean is going to be big enough on his own without having to worry about gestational diabetes!

I'm also very pleased that my blood pressure was great too. My hands have been pretty swollen, and that's one sign of preeclampsia, but thankfully that's not it yet! I guess gaining all this weight could be making my hands swell too! :) So although there isn't a medical problem making me swell, I've been kinda nervous about how tight my rings have been getting. I'd hate to be one of those ladies that has to have their rings cut off! At the same time, though, I can't stand the thought of not wearing a ring! So last night I broke down and bought a larger cheapo ring at WalMart. It was just $13 for sterling silver, and I think it's actually pretty cute. So now my real wedding rings are safely tucked away, and I'll be wearing this one until my hands return to their normal size.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another Ultrasound!

We went to the doctor today and got another ultrasound! These pictures aren't as good as the ones we got in Moldova, but it was a fun experience to get an American ultrasound. We got to see a lot more of the baby, and we could actually understand her explaining what we were looking at - his perfect little arms and legs and heart and belly... Awwwww! These are 2 of the pictures we got today. (Click to enlarge.) The first is his head, and the second is his little leg and foot captured in the act of kicking me in the gut (he's kicking upwards, toward the top of the picture). The third picture we got supposedly shows us more evidence that he's a boy, although we couldn't figure out what was what in the photo. Just in case someone else could tell, though, I didn't post the pic in order to maintain my son's privacy. :)

I asked about the due date, and she said that they don't change due dates based on how big the baby is measuring. So our due date is still May 17th. However, he's measuring about 2 weeks big right now, so he may be coming early! She said he weighs about 2 lbs. 3 oz. now! I am so excited about our precious, perfect little baby!

He is currently head down, which is why I'm feeling a lot of kicks in the upper part of my belly. In fact, I felt my first rib kick today while we were in the waiting room at the doctor! I can't believe he's already big enough to be kicking me in the ribs... That's going to HURT when he's 10+ weeks bigger and my ribs are still in the same place! But my precious boy is worth it!

I go back Wednesday morning for bloodwork and an "interview" with the nurse, whatever that means. I'm just glad to be getting the ball rolling with American health care! :)