Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Back: 2011

As a teacher, I live my life by school years more often than calendar years.  I'm always caught off-guard by student's jokes in December of "I'll see you next year," because I just can't get my brain to operate on the calendar year when I'm in the middle of school.  For me, the year runs from August to August, and I accept that.
Still, the coming of a new calendar year is something kind of special, isn't it?  New years, new days, new mornings.  New chances.  The closing of a calendar year gives us the opportunity to reflect on what was, and to dream of what comes next.

2011 proved me to be an unfaithful blogger and photographer, so I can't do one of those month-by-month, best posts or photos reviews, but I have picked out a few things to share as I reflect on 2011.

On Babies:

In April I shared my thoughts on Husband and I finally deciding that we were "ready" to have children - or to start trying.  Still, that "decision" brought very little chage in my life.
In August, Husband and I were in Lincoln, NE, for a wedding when we discovered that we were, in fact, pregnant.   After taking a couple of pregnancy tests over the course of a couple of days (which, yes, I have pictures of, but no, I will not post here), we sent/gave our parents these homemade mugs to share the news with them.

In October, we shared the news with the world.  The first non-family, non-close friends people to find out?  My Student Council.  They were so cute and excited for us!


I had my first and total meltdown about worrying if my baby was okay - I was sure the baby was dead and I just didn't know it.    I was a sniveling mess for a couple of days until I finally let my rational self and God take over.

In November, at our second ultrasound, we learned that not only was Baby C alive and healthy, but he was also a HE.  A boy.  A son.  Whoa!  I kind of knew it, I think.


In November, I gave in and finally bought maternity clothes (a tramautic experience at first, but I'm feeling more comfortable in my expanding body these days.... comfortable as in more accepting, not as in physically comfortable). 


Most excitingly, the end of November and December have brought amazing feeling movements and kicks that both Husband and I can feel, and the mushy mom-to-be side of me has finally started to come out.  I'm nervous, excited, and realizing, holy moly, I am going to be a mom.  Soon.

On God and Deeper Things:

At a few points throughout the year, I acknolwedged that I needed to dig deeper.  I pondered having Margin in life, God's faithfulness, and a need to spend more time with the One, but little came of it until November, when a friend finally kicked me in the butt and told me to just do it.
December brought nearly daily quiet times (some long, some short), where I've begun to learn more and more about faith, belief, and a new level of relationship.  The Advent season helped me to process that it's about that relationship. 

Photo Credit: My wonderful blog friend, Southern Gal.

I'm on a journey, but it's beautiful.  And hard.  Beautifully hard, but worth it, and I know I'm getting something I didn't get before. 

On Family, Friends, and Life in General:

January brought a visit from my friend Brooke for a weekend.  She's moving to Korea in a few weeks with her husband.  Brooke is the type of friend you know you can always count on.  I mentioned that I would be alone for the weekend and I was super upset about it, because Husband was going to be on the youth retreat, the first I had missed in years.  On a whim, she and her dog Charlie drove out to hang with Ginny and me. 


Husband and I just had the chance to spend another weekend with Brooke and her husband as they drove from Arizona to Michigan, phase one of their move to Korea.  I don't know when I'll get to see her again, but thank goodness for Skype, and for friends that you know are always going to be there and get you, no matter where they live.

Summer yielded two trips to Nebraska on my part and three for Husband (who loved it, since that's his hometown).  In June, we spent a long weekend at John's mom's and attended Husband's cousin's wedding.    There was an incident with a harmless snake in a park that resulted in my crying like an idiot, and Husband explaining to his sister that I am like Indiana Jones - able to conquer everything but snakes.  In July, Husband went back to Lincoln for his 10 year high school reunion, where he got to drive a Mustang and catch up with some old friends.  And in August, we went back again for Laura's (MIL's) birthday and went to another wedding.  (And found out about the Peanut.)  Sadly, I have no pictures of any of this - I was a terrible photographer.

In July, my grandpa turned 96 years old, we moved him from one retirement home to another, and we took him to Estes Park.  He's pretty much the coolest old man I know.  My sister and I had lunch with him yesterday at his place, and just laughed with him.  He's great.




My sister graduated from college in May and, in August, started her first year of teaching (1st Grade!).  She's doing an amazing job, from what I can tell.  She's also the Peanut's biggest fan, and has already bought him a couple of cute little outfits and is super excited to be an aunt.  Hanging out with her is always fun, even when I'm freezing to death at a football game.


I

 also have found that, more and more over the last year, I just absolutely love and respect my husband.  He's an amazing man, who continues to amaze me more every day.  He graduated from a 4 year schooling program with honors and took his Journeyman's license test and passed on the first try.  He tore out our rotting deck and put in the cutest little patio and yard in our teeny-tiny townhouse space.  He's been reading up on babies and is actively involved in this pregnancy, and is so excited to be a dad.  And he's grown, in lots of amazing ways, that I couldn't even begin to share here.  He's just wonderful, and I am blessed to be his wife.  I can't even begin to imagine what this next adventure we're about to go on together will be like, but I'm so excited to be on this road with him.






There are about a billion other things I could tell you about 2011, but as this post has already taken way longer than I thought, I'll be finished.  

Looking back, I am in awe.  I pondered.  I taught some great students.  I made some mistakes, but I tried to do right.  I spent time with people I love and who love me.  I learned to spend more time with my family, to create some margin, to leave work at school more often.  I'm growing in my faith, in my relationships, and, of course, in my belly.
I know that 2012 is going to be a year full of life I cannot even begin to imagine, and I am thrilled to begin looking forward.   I have some hopes for this blog, but more importantly, I have hopes for myself, for my husband, for my son. 

For my life.


Blessings, and I'll see you again next year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coming Soon to Like a Day Off

1. A hopefully fresh, simple blog design.  I can't actually afford to get someone to re-do my blog for me, and I don't really know how to do much on my own, so expect a simple template.  I want a few more days of Christmas blog (just like I want a few more days of Christmas house), and then I want simple and fresh.

2. A post on 30 before 30.  I started that list a bazillion years ago.  (Okay, like a year ago.)  Now, with less than a year to go before 30, I want to cross some things off my list.  Excited to share it with you - maybe they will actually happen.

3. A request for your most-important, non-annoying advice on how to prioritize what actually needs to get done before Baby C arrives.  With less than 15 weeks to go and the terrifying knowledge that I was born nearly 4 weeks early, I have a serious need to get my rear end in gear and figure out what's most important and what can wait.  Any words of advice from high school teachers who are over-committed to their students on how to do long-term sub plans will be appreciated.

4. Hopefully more regular posts that show a better balance of who I am as a person - teacher, wife, homemaker, mom-to-be, Jesus-follower, funny and serious woman.  I like a lot of my early blog posts, but feel like for the last year I was in a blog-rut.

5.   More pictures.  I just have to replace my camera first.  Remember how I lost it a while ago, and then found it?  Well, I tripped and dropped it the other day when I was about to document my epic fail at Spritz cookies, and it's broken.  Lame.  It barely bounced on the floor.    So.... let me save my Christmas gift cards and see if I can get a new camera soon.



Potentially I'll do a "looking back" post before the new year, but if I don't (I really enjoy not being on the computer on breaks), know I'm looking forward to spending 2012 and all it holds with you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Midweek Confessions

Excited to link up and share my Midweek Confessions!  I have given absolutely NO thought to what I'm about to write, but I was thinking about blogging today and decided this is the perfect "not too much thinking required since I'm on a break" post.


Here we go!

1. I really, really, really enjoy not being on the computer.  At school I check my email about a million times a day and, because I teach online, I'm on a lot at home, too.  I've been avoiding grading the last few things (including their final) for the online class, mostly because I haven't wanted to be bothered to log on.  In the last few days, I've been on Facebook for about 10 minutes, I've read maybe three blog posts, and I've responded to two emails.  That's it.  And I love it.

2. I don't think I'm a very good "pregnant person."  I am just not mushy.  And I just discovered that, at 25 weeks, I've gained nearly 20 pounds.  If I'm "supposed" to gain a pound a week or more for the rest of the time, I'm going to have gained 35 + pounds.  I realize that "that's okay," and that "all women are different," but for me, the thought of gaining 35+ pounds, even if it's "baby weight," is horrifying.  I mean, absolutely horrifying.  I've begun to notice my face getting rounder (which happened the last time I gained a lot of weight, although that time I had no "guilt free" excuse), and I don't like it.   It would help if I ate better and walked more often.

3. I don't eat well enough sometimes.  Since I haven't "had time" to grocery shop this week, I just finished a bag of Cheetos as my lunch.  Refer to #2.  I feel kind of gross, but I know if there were any more left, I'd be eating them.  I also need to drink way more water and less other stuff. 

4.  I might not be mushy, but I LOVE feeling the Peanut move.  I could probably sit here for hours and just feel my tummy and see if I can get him to wiggle or kick, even if it meant completely ignoring all the responsibilities I have.

5. My house is already a mess.  It was clean for Thanksgiving, and I had good intentions of keeping it that way.  Christmas presents exploded in the living room, and the bedroom is full of Space Bags full of clothes for "after baby" that have yet to be vaccuumed shut and put away and bags of "won't probably ever fit in this so here you go Goodwill" clothes.  They've been on the floor for two weeks.

6. I'm addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies.  I could watch them all day (I've watched at least 4 in the last two days) and my DVR is full because of them.

7. I really, really, really want a White Christmas.  It snowed on Monday while I was Christmas shopping (which I started on Monday, another confession, and mostly have finished now), and really felt like Christmas.  Because it's been cold, some of the snow is still on the ground, but I want fresh snow for Sunday.  I'm like a five year old, and I could never live somewhere where the possibility of a white Christmas didn't exist.  I always want Christmas to be just like I want it to be, but I'm learning to be less selfish about it.  But a fresh layer of snow would be just lovely.

8.  I bet I could write about a million more of these "confessions."  I'll have to join in again next week to "come clean."  As a last, silly one, I'm always jealous of Elizabeth (with whose blog I'm linking), because I think we seem like we could be pretty similar and maybe could be IRL friends if we actually knew each other, but her blog is way better and her posts more fun than mine. :) 

Stay tuned for more Midweek Confessions in the future, as well as (hopefully) some fun pictures over the next few days!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And Some More on Glory

Last Wednesday morning I headed downstairs at about 5:30, got my cup of coffee (a delicious half-caf blend that I add organic sugar, a little cream (okay, more than a little), and a dash of cinnamon and ginger), turned the twinkle lights on the tree, and opened up to where I'd left off a few days ago in Matthew.

Later, when Husband came downstairs, I couldn't wait to tell him what I'd read. 

"Guess what the first sentence in the passage was about this morning?"

"Umm... Glory?"

Yup.  Glory.  That word I have never really considered much, but am hearing loud and clear now.  It was just one of those "wow" moments, you know?  The very day before, on a whim, I'd opened to a Psalm instead of the normal routine, and pondered glory.  So to head back to Matthew and get more on it? 

Alright, God. 

Peter, John, and James headed up a mountain with Jesus and got to experience Glory.  Jesus was suddenly transformed - His face, his clothing, filled with light, shining brightly (way better than any Twilight vampire's sparkling).   And He was talking with Moses and Elijah.

At this point, I bet Peter, John, and James are in awe and probably a little freaked out, but they're still with it enough to think, "hey, we should build a memorial to remember this!"    But then they get to see more Glory

God shows up.   They're enveloped in a cloud of light and they HEAR God's voice claiming Jesus as His Son, in whom He delights.  All rational thought goes out the window here, and they fall on their faces.  I mean, who wouldn't?  I probably would have had an "accident," if you know what I mean.

These guys didn't just talk about Glory.  They got to see Jesus.  To really see Him.   (Like in Avatar, SEE Him.)  And they got to experience God. 

This Glory thing is real, and it's a big deal.

Well, I decided to keep reading, thinking that whatever came next would be good, but probably not as jaw-dropping as reading more about Glory.
Jesus' disciples had tried to cast out a demon, and failed.  "Why couldn't we do it?" they asked.

"Because you're not really getting it yet,"  Jesus replied.  "You still don't really know God.  If you really knew Him, a tiny bit of faith would move mountains."  (my paraphrase, obviously.  It's how God spoke to my heart.)

Again, with the connections.  They, like me, needed to know, to see, God.  To be in a real relationship with Him. 
I'm praying for belief, for faith, at a level deeper and more meaningful than I've ever had before.  And God's making the message loud and clear. 

The key is this relationship.  The more I invest, the more I'll get it.  The more I'll know Him.  The more I'll believe and have faith and understand Glory and be able to serve and love and obey.  Like a marriage that has lasted a lifetime and grown stronger and deeper and reached new levels of love, I'll learn to know and love Him.

Relationship

Clearly. 

The true meaning of this whole season.  Of Christmas. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Smile

With the entire couch to lay on, this is the pose my dog chose last night.



What a weirdo.  Her face was literally smushed.  Apparently smushed is comfortable.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Christmas House....

... is one of my most favoritest things in the whole world.  I love it enough to use words like favoritest, even though I know that isn't a word at all.

There's nothing like sitting in front of a twinkling Christmas tree.  As you can see by my holiday blog design, you know I'm obsessed with it.  It's really the best thing in the world, any time of day, although early in the morning or as the dusk falls is the best, because then the whole room glows with the twinkly, sparkly white light of the tree.  Growing up our tree was filled with antique ornaments, handmade ornaments, and a vertiable hodge podge of other ornaments.  There was no rhyme or reason, and it was beautiful. 

When I moved out and had to get my own tree, I got a few boxes of matching little ornaments, and then started collecting other pieces.  Marrying Husband brought in a whole set of his childhood ornaments and Santa Claus collection, and each year we've received more ornaments as gifts.  Now, although there are definitely repeat matching ornaments on my tree (thanks to my first year on my own), our tree is just what I like.... a blend of mismatched, twinkling lights. 


The perfect place to relax.

My next favorite thing is my mantle.  Over the last couple of years I've wored on adding height to my mantle decor.  I've played with having a lot on it, to having very little.  My pre-fall and Christmas mantle was back to pretty simple, with a few lovely pieces and some pops of color.  Fall added a bit more, with a leaf garland and some pumpkins.

This season led me to remove several things, but add many more.  It's definitely back to the "lots on it" stage, but I think it might be my favorite Christmas mantle yet.  The words on it inspire me to choose joy, to believe deeply, to find hope and love in my family, friends, and faith.  And it twinkles, too.





 

There are many other little areas in my house that are Christmas-y, because I love it so.  We have a Christmas quilt on our bed and little Christmas things in the kitchen, the dining room, on walls and endtables everywhere.  Each shelf on the built-ins in the living room has something different on it - candles, CDs, the Polar Express. 

There is one shelf, though, that stands out.  It's simple, it's not dressed in red and green and gold, and there are no twinkling lights. 

But it's beautiful.

Because, more than anything else in my whole house, no matter how much I love sitting in front of the twinkling lights or seeing the reds and golds or sleeping in a Christmas bed, this shelf matters.

This shelf reminds us of what we're really doing here.



Oh, I love a Christmas House. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

23 Weeks....

None of these pictures are great.  I tried and tried and tried, and made myself late to work the other morning, kicking off a frazzled day.  But you get the picture. (oh, punny!)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 23-ish Weeks

Size and Health of Baby: The Peanut is about 11 inches long, according to all the science, and as of Wednesday's doctor's visit, weights about 1 pound.  (Too bad I've gained lots more than 1 pound, ha!).  Apparently, that's the weight of a large mango.  Doctor said his little heartbeat sounded just awesome and that he's moving just the right amount (which I now feel more often, yeay!!!)

Maternity Clothes: Sigh.  I gave in, but mostly, I feel good about it now.  I definitely cried in the store while trying them on - I am not totally sure why it was so rough, but it was.  My sister and I were laughing yesterday about how we kicked her out of the store because she held up a pair of elastic jeans and started laughing.  Not the best timing. :)  But it's good now.  I have a few pairs of actual slacks that I can wear to work to be a little more professional, and they are SO comfy.  And I have several tops that I'm getting accustomed to wearing.  Let's face it - I'm not a huge fan of the belly, but it's growing on me. (ha!  again with the punny!)  

Gender: We now know that the Peanut is a little BOY, which is crazy!  Husband is pretty dang excited, as you can imagine.  I'm working on wrapping my head around that, still.  I check out all the baby boys and little boys I see and imagine what mine will be like.  We haven't figured out anything like decorating or nursery stuff for him, yet, but we're thinking a little.   Anything really fun and boy-y that you'd like to share with me?

Movement: My new favorite thing.  It almost makes me mushy, which is not the normal.  Sometimes he totally surprises me and I barely can contain myself from saying something or wiggling around myself.  Husband has been able to feel the Peanut move a little more.  It makes it more real for both of us.  It's not all the time, but more and more.   Between that and hearing his little heartbeat at the doctor, it might not be long before I'm a mess of mush, lol.

Sleep: Rough sometimes, but sometimes okay.  When my back hurts, I really like to sleep flat, but I'm trying to use the body pillow to help myself stay off of it more.  I don't know how I could sleep without that body pillow some nights, some nights I don't need it, and some nights, nothing is going to help.  For a while I could still pull off sleeping partly on my stomach (like half sideways), but that's out now.  Peanut kicks me for squishing him and won't stop until I roll over.  I don't blame him. 

Cravings and Eating: Still doing pretty well in this area.  Perhaps it's that I've always craved salty food that means I still do... but I'm actually exercising self-control most of the time.  I need to up my fruit and veggie intake, but a lot of veggies mess with my tummy.  I could stand to drink more water.  Worst things I eat (but that I've always loved, so I don't know that they count as cravings): Taco Bell.  Chips.  M&Ms.  Cheese.  I have my gestational diabetes test at my next doctor's appointment.  I'm really hoping it's a non-issue.

What I miss: Balance.  I've always been a klutz.  I'd hoped I would grow out of it as I matured, but no.  I've always been the person to trip, to drop things, to run into something that's always been there (like a wall).  But it's been worse recently.  I've broken two cups, a glass candle holder, a plate, and maybe something else in the last two weeks alone. 

I also miss being comfortable sometimes, which I know is going to just get worse.

Symptoms: The indigestion is much better, thank goodness, especially when I'm careful of what I eat.  (Thanksgiving, not so good.)  My belly is clearly expanding, if you want to call that a symptom.  I'm congested lots, but that's no big deal.  And.... if you really want to know... well, let's just say I've bought some nursing bra inserts.  Apparently that's a sign I'll make lots of milk, something I've NEVER thought about before in my life.  Ha.  How embarassing, but better than the alternative embarrasment!

Things People Say: "Enjoy this part.  It's all really hard after this."  That was my favorite "encouraging" comment EVER.  Gee, thanks.  "Mrs. C, I didn't realize that you were going to get that big."  Fantastic.   And I'm not even to the largest part yet.   "You are such a cute preggers!"  Nice, but I don't really want to be called a "preggers," thank you.

But, to be fair, lots of people say lots of really nice things and do really nice things.  Yesterday a woman who works in the office (and I was her TA when I was in high school) brought me a cute little blue stuffed owl she found at a craft fair.  Lots of moms have told me that they loved having little boys, and that their relationship is something special.  Several people have commiserated that being pregnant wasn't always their most favorite part, which is nice to hear so I don't feel like the abnormal non-mushy Scrooge of pregnant women.  And people are genuinely excited for us.

Best Moment(s) This Week: Hearing is little heartbeat on Wednesday and feeling him move.  It's reassuring, it's real, and it's simulatenously amazing and terrifying.

Linking up today with some Coffee Company friends.  Don't worry.  I definitely have my decaf Gingerbread Latte in hand.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This Is Not What I Started To Write

I am having one of those mornings. 

Slept in a little too late but still wanted to have a quiet time, needed to shower anyway, couldn't find my shoes anywhere, didn't want to wake Husband up since he's been working nights, tried to take a cute 23-weeks picture but couldn't get the camera to work well enough and wasted a ton of time doing that, was nearly late to my first class, had to rush around to get ready, class wasn't prepared for what they were supposed to be and were being obnoxious and off-task, have lots of meetings today and no free time, and my check engine light is still on and I realized I can't take the car in today even though I need to get the discount from the people goofing up yesterday when I took it in, called Husband to see if he could do it since he's not working today but it turns out he is, so no car in and little chance of him picking up the house mess.

Frazzled.  That's the word I started my quiet time off with as I began to pray, and it's how I've been feeling off an on all morning.

My plan, as foretold by the attempt to take a cute picture of myself, was to do a 23-Week update.  It's been a while, I think I look cute today, and I wanted to blog about baby stuff.  I had even already titled this post "23 Weeks" when I started typing a few minutes ago.

But I'm feeling this post going in a different direction - my heart is leading me to write other things, instead.

As I prayed that God would quiet my frazzled heart this morning, I asked that He would help me focus on the Big Picture, instead of the little bitty pieces I was worrying about.



Four words came to my mind as I prayed about the Big Picture.

Love.


Obey.


Serve.


Glory.

I opened to a Psalm instead of picking up where I left off in Matthew, and read a passage about all the angels and the earth singing

Glory! 


as God's thunder echoed through the world.  As God's awesomeness and power were reflected.

God will give strength to his people.  God will give peace to his people.

the passage concluded.

And I was struck that the word Glory, a word which I rarely think about and hardly ever use, showed up twice in a mere five minutes.

Glory (n): worshipful praise, honor and thanksgiving
Glory (v): to rejoice proudly
Glorify (v): to make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, or admiration
Glorious (adj): possessing or deserving glory

Instead of Jingle Bells (which is my go-to, autonomatic, whistle in my head song), I've been humming the Glorias of this song.



I'm not one hundred percent sure I know what Glory means, truthfully, despite the definitions above.  In my quiet times these last few weeks I have begun to realize that, at least right now, I don't quite get what it means to love God above all else, to be in relationship with Him, to desire nothing more than Him and His kingdom. 

Those are hard things to do with someone I can't physically talk to and see and hear.  And I'm learning that, while I believe, and I have faith, and this is real to me, I need to know Him more.  And as I get to know Him more, I know I'll start to get those things. 

Please hear me well.  I'm not saying I don't believe, or that my relationship with Him isn't personal and real.  I do believe.  It is personal, and very real.  There have been times I've felt the nearly tangible presence of God.  Times where I know I couldn't have made it through without Him.

But in these season of trying to put aside my own self-sufficiency, I am learning that there are a lot of things I need to learn. 

I've been pondering.   Being Still.  ListeningObedienceLoveServanthood.  And now, Glory.

I'm not completely positive where this is leading, or what God has in store, but I do know this:

Each day I have a quiet time, I think some more about these things.  I pray some more.  I read some more. 

And I get to know Him some more.


Gloria, Oh Gloria.

I think I'll get there.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Thankful Days: Day 30

This is the first time in at least a couple of weeks I've blogged two days in a row.   Most of my other 30 Days posts had multiple days worth of thankfulness in them.  But, seeing as today is the last day of November, I figured I should post today, and not tomorrow!

Join up with us at Dawn's Good Life.  It's encouraging.


Thankful Thing #30:
Movement and Butterflies.

Statement:  More and more I can feel the little Peanut moving!
Interpretation of my actual thoughts: He's alive, after all!

Seriously, though, the last few days have resulted in a significant increase of me feeling him moving around in there, which is exciting and extremely bizarre all at the same time.  I know now that, over the last several weeks, some of what I thought might be movement probably wasn't, and that some of it was actually him moving.

I mean, if this isn't him moving around a lot, then there is seriously something funky going on with me.  :)

What a bizzare feeling, a little baby moving, don't you think?  Butterflies doesn't quite explain it.  It's not quite bubbles either.  Or even poking or prodding.  It's just.... weird.

But so cool.

Husband has been trying really hard to feel it, but it's too unpredictable just yet.  Even when his hand is on my belly and I feel baby move, he can't.  He says it's because the Peanut loves me more already.  I'm pretty sure that it's just because Peanut really isn't that big yet, but it's happening to me, so I feel it.  But sometimes I tell Husband he's probably right.  I mean, who wouldn't love me more? :) 

(Lest you think I'm serious, I'm not.  Of course Husband is as equally loveable as I am.)

Speaking of hands on the belly, I just have one word.

NO.

This is private property, folks.  Perhaps, with permission, I might let someone touch the belly.  But don't dare just walk up and touch it, unless you're looking for some drama.  My sister-in-law told me that my belly was going to be public property within a few weeks.  Husband looked at her and said quite frankly, "well, then in a few weeks, Beth has free reign to start hitting people."  LOVE that man.  :)

Anyway, I'm thankful for movement.  It makes me feel funny and a little mushy, which is not my normal me.  It's been all I can do to not stop class and say "hang on, baby's moving!"  So far I've persevered and not made any movement announcements, lol, but I can make no promises for the future.

Here's to the Peanut! 

I'll probably do a pregnancy update this week, just for those of you who like to see the belly.  Strange people that you are. :)

And to many more reasons to be thankful, even though we may not blog about them as often.  And a special thanks to Dawn for hosting this thankful linky all month long.  Love you D!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 29

Linking up just two more times (providing I remember to do so tomorrow!) to celebrate thankfullness during the month of November.  Head over to Dawn's Good Life to join in!


Thankful Thing #28:
Making Time for Quiet Time


Last week I had the chance to spend time with one of my dearest friends, Liz, and share about our lives over a cup of coffee.  She and I have known each other for quite a while, and even lived together for a year before Husband and I got married.  We pretty much are able to share everything with each other, particularly all things spiritual.  Over coffee, I shared that I haven't been very spiritually disciplined recently, while Liz shared that she, on the other hand, had been getting up early (a huge deal for her!) and having a quiet time each morning.  As she told me slightly bluntly, if I wanted to be having quiet times, then I needed to do it.  As we've said before, "don't talk about it, be about it."

So last week I started having more regular quiet times.  I wasn't sure what would happen this week, with school back in session.  It's not easy to get up earlier than I do already.  But for the last two days, I've gotten up early and come downstairs for a quiet time.  They haven't been super long, but they've been good.  God's shown up, like He always does, and I'm learning to be still, something I realize I have never done.

Thankful Thing #2:
Making Time for Quiet Time While Sitting Here


Honestly, isn't a nice morning quiet time better when you're sitting in a semi-darkened room that glows with the twinkling lights of the Christmast tree?  It's quiet in the early morning, and restful.  And the twinkling lights create a soft and warm and welcoming environment.  A chance to bask, and be still, and listen, before the chaos of the day starts. 

I love my whole house when it's decorated for Christmas (and I'm sure I'll show pictures soon!), but the tree is my absolute favorite part.  It makes me happy.  And sitting here in the quiet morning, with the lights a-sparkling, is becoming my favorite favorite part of the day.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Thankful Days: Day 27

Coming into the last few days with Dawn at Dawn's Good Life, where we've been counting our way thankfully through the month of November.  Join us for the last few days!


Thankful Thing #26
A Clothes Dryer

Sometime at the beginning of the summer, our clothes dryer stopped working.  It would run and run and run, but never get hot.  We were busy, broke, and I didn't mind channeling my inner-Spaniard and line-drying all our clothes, so for whatever reason, we didn't look into fixing it.  We figured it would take more money to repair than would be worth it, so we would save for a new one. 

I washed everything in small-ish loads.  We hung things on the door, the furnace, the water heater, the clothes horse, and everywhere else possible in the laundry room.  I bought fabric softener (a first) to attempt to de-crunch our towels.  Laundry couldn't be done in a day, because I had to wait for things to air-dry before I washed the next load.  Thus, it usually took two or three days to finish, and then only if I were really diligent and washed the first load early in the morning and hung it right up.

I did this every week, all summer.  And didn't mind. 

Then school started.  And I started to mind, a little.  I was more busy, and it was more challenging to get the clothes done in a reasonable amount of time.    And then I started to mind a lot.

A few weeks ago, I declared I was finished.  I wanted a dryer, and I didn't care if we bought it for cheap off Craig's List.  Never mind brand new, just let me be able to do everything in a day.  Let the crunchiness of my clothes go away.  Let me be able to wash my quilts.

Husband started emailing people on Craig's List, and then suddenly he had a brilliant thought.  If it were just the heating element that were broken, he might be able to replace it himself.  On Wednesday, he drove the part down to an appliance repair store, where they confirmed it's brokenness.  He purchased a new one (for a fraction of the cost of a dryer!), installed it, and gave it a test run.  It worked!

But I didn't believe it until I tried it.....

And it works!  I've now washed and DRIED both the comforter that has been on our bed all fall AND the comforter that Ginny adopted as her "bed" a while ago.  Hers was REALLY dirty.  And now, it's fresh, clean, and DRY.

So excited to do laundry.

At least, for today.

Thankful Thing #27:
My Mom.

My mom is amazing.

Seriously, amazing.  I couldn't even begin to explain how amazing she is, and I'm not even really going to try today.  I'm just going to tell you about the way she helped me today.

We all agreed it's time I start to wear maternity clothes.  I'm getting quite the belly, and things are not starting to fit right.  Someone told me to go to Old Navy, because they have cute maternity clothes.  We went.  They don't anymore (not in stores).  I cried. 

Perhaps my tears were Mom's first clue that I'm a bit "crazy" about this whole what-I-look-like thing, so she decided we absolutely needed to get me clothes that I would feel good in, and we headed to JC Penney.  You know, thinking that it, as a large but reasonably priced department store, would have some cute maternity clothes, right?

Wrong

Their selection was slim.  Frumpy.  Not my style.  But she helped me pick out a few things and I went to try them on.

And I cried.  (Umm, yes, my hormones might have been being a bit out of sorts today).

I felt fat. And I have a confession.

I do not think pregnant women are cute. 

I mean, there are some that are more cute than others, but I still don't think they're cute. 

Thus, I'm not cute.

Cue confession #2.

I have some body image issues.  I usually do really well with them.  God and my mom helped me work through the worst of them during college, and I rarely think about them or have them affect me.  But now I'm pregnant, and gaining weight, and getting quite the belly. 

And something about trying on maternity clothes just made me feel fat.  And not cute.  And I cried.  (It was almost as bad as the time we went bathing suit shopping after eating at Outback.)

But Mom kept affirming me and telling me I needed to get some pieces that I could feel good in.  And so, even though she has tons to do to get ready for school this week (she's a choir teacher who has a concert on Friday), she took me to Target to find a few more things so I could have some mix-and-match outfits.  She scoured their also very small maternity section and kept bringing me pieces she thought I might like, kept affirming me, and kept telling me what worked and didn't.    I didn't cry at Target, but the tears were just there, lurking behind my eyes.

Several outfit combos later and a fair amount of money, we were done.  We have some things I think I actually like, and some things I think will grow on me (no pun intended, lol).  On our way out of the store, Mom bought me a Decaf Gingerbread Latte to take home with me, because she knew that I needed that, too.  A little bit of my always-happy drink makes things much better, and she wanted me to feel better.

And I do, a little.  I'm tired.  It's draining, feeling fat and ugly and crying in department store fitting rooms.

But I feel really glad, and extremely thankful, for a mom who gets me, gets what I need, and still, even after all this time, does what it takes to take care of me.

All I can say is, it's a good thing this little boy is going to have her for a grandma.  He's spoiled.


Note.  I am not even beginning to do justice to this post, to the emotion of the shopping trip, or to the absolute heart and amazingness of my mom, but I'm tired.  And emotional.   But I wanted to acknolwedge how much I love my mom and how thankful I am for her, so I'm writing anyway.

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 25

On this Friday, often called "Black," I take the opportunity to be thankful for all the things that are wonderful and worth pausing to remember.  Join me as I link up with my friend Dawn on the final stretch of 30 Thankful Days.

Pictures to be added when I get batteries for my camera or get pictures from my sister. :)

Thankful Thing #22:
A Week Where I Don't Have to Be on the Computer
This is the longest I haven't posted during these 30 Thankful Days, but it's because I haven't been on my computer.  During the regular school week, I'm online every day.  A lot of my lesson plans are on my computer, I get about a bazillion work emails a day, and when I come home, I have to do some work for online class.  So I'm on the computer often.  I check Facebook (I don't FB stalk much, though), I email some, and I read blogs or blog (in addition to all the other "real work" stuff I do on the computer).
But this week, I haven't turned on the computer at all.  Today, in fact, was the first day I did so.  Monday I did school work, but I graded physical papers.  Tuesday I cleaned the house.  Wednesday I hung out with a friend and helped my mom do some pre-cooking.  And yesterday we celebrated friends and family with delicious food.   And while I do have online work to do this weekend, there wasn't a routine that required me to get on the computer.

And I love it.  (Back to reality coming soon, sigh.)

Thankful Thing #23:
A Clean House.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE a clean and organized house.  My camera batteries are dead, and I have no others, or else I would show you how almost every room in my house was deep cleaned this week.  It's awesome.  I dusted on and around and under.  I cleaned tubs and toilets and mirrors.  I did the laundry AND put it all away.  I scrubbed and scraped and vacuumed everywhere.  I put all "the stuff" where it goes, instead of somewhere "convenient." 

It's lovely.

It brings me peace of mind, joy, happiness.  A place to feel comfortable, safe, and as if, indeed, it is my sanctuary.  I was just thinking the other day that it's been a while since I thought about home as a sanctuary, and I want to be mindful of that, especially as we think about bringing the peanut home in less than 5 months. 

I will soon (within a few days, if not today) be putting up my Christmas decorations, which I will surely post, because those make me happy happy happy.  Those PLUS a clean house - well, I may take next week off, too, just to bask in my delight at my home.

Thankful Thing # 24:
Traditions and Thanksgiving Itself.
I LOVE Thanksgiving.

Years ago I was laughed at by some friends when I said I consider Thanksgiving to be the beginning of Christmas.  I mean, isn't it?  It's a day marked be set aside for choosing thankfulness, and Christmas is the season for the same thing, to remember and choose thankfulness and joy as we celebrate the miracle of God's love for us. 
As long as I can remember, my grandparents came over and my mom and grandma would cook, while my grandpa, dad, sister and I would set up the tree and decorate.  I've started to help Mom do some of the cooking, and Sister has taken over the outside lights with Dad, but Sister, Husband, Grandpa, and I still do the tree.

This year we did the tree and decorations on Wednesday, since there were going to be 12 of us over for dinner on Thursday.  Husband has officially taken over as the tree man.  He set it up, did the lights, and "fluffed" the branches so well that our fake Christmas tree looks the absolute best it ever has.  I helped Mom a lot with the food ,and then Sister and I did the ornaments - Grandpa helped a bit.  He's old (96) - it's good for him to do a few ornaments, but we'd rather him not be reaching up high on the tree.

I spent half the morning at the house helping with the final details, and then our "famiy" all came over.    My immediate family - Husband, Mom, Dad, Sister, and Grandpa.  Husband's mom and mom's friend from Nebraska, Husband's sister.  Our close family friends Christina and her son Christian, and Christina's sister Bev.  They pretty much belong to us.

We ate.  Turkey.  Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Asparagus Casserole, Vegetable Casserole, two kind of Stuffing, Broccoli with yummy sauce, Cranberries.  Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Pie, Apple Pie.  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  There was Pumpkin Ale, Moscato, Pinot Noir, Coffee... (and water for me).  It was a delicous feast - we were belly-full and laughter-full.

And then we did my favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

Thankful Thing #25:
A Muppet Christmas Carol

If you haven't seen this movie, you should.  It's probably one of the best versions of the Christmas Carol out there, complete with the added bonus of Muppet humor.  Michael Caine as Scrooge is AMAZING.  We have every song memorized.  We know almost all the lines.  Husband has the uncanny ability to quote the Muppets and sound JUST like them. 
It makes us QUITE happy.  And it fits the sentiment of Thanksgiving and Christmas just perfectly, I think.

I'll leave you with the lyrics to my favorite song, sung by my favorite Ghost - the Ghost of Christmas Present.
With a thankful heart, with an endless joyWith a growing family, every girl and boy
Will be nephew and niece to me (Nephew and niece to me)
Will bring love, hope and peace to me (Love, hope and peace to me)
Yes and every night will end, and every day will start
With a greatful prayer and a thankful heart
With an open smile and with open doorsI will bid you welcome, what is mine is yours
With a glass raised to toast your health (With a glass raised to toast your health)
And a promise to share the wealth (Promise to share the wealth)
I will sail a friendly course, file a friendly chart
On A sea of love and a thankful heart
Life is like a jouney, who knows when it ends?
Yes and if you need to know the measure of a man
You simply count his friends
Stop and look around you, the glory that you see
Is born again each day, don't let is slip away
How precious life can be
With a thankful heart that is wide awake
I do make this promise, every breath I take
Will be used now to sing your praise (Used now to sing your praise)
And to beg you to share my days (Beg you to share my days)
With a loving guarantee that even if we part
I will hold you close in a thankful heart

I will hold you close in a thankful heart

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 21


Thankful Thing #19:

Husband passed his test!  He is now a licensed Journeyman Electrician!  It is so exciting to see him feeling a sense of accomplishment and being proud of himself - as he should be!

He called a few hours after I wrote my post Friday to tell me the news, and even though Student Council and I were hustling and bustling around on a big project (see Thing #20), I stopped to answer the phone and was so excited and proud of him I nearly cried.

While this license means a few more dollars an hour, it more importantly represents Husband's hard work, perseverance, and growth over the last few years.  I'm so proud to be the wife of a Journeyman.  :)

Thankful Thing #20:
A Student Council who Cares.

For the last month or so, Student Council has been working their behinds off planning the annual food drive we do the two weeks before Thanksgiving Break in conjunction with a city-wide food drive.

We've participated in Harvest of Love for as long as I have been at our school, and some years have been more successful than others.  A few years ago we had a Council that was determined to do it right, and because of their creativity and fresh ideas, we went from raising 8,000 lbs of food the previous year to 80,000.  It was amazing.  Since then, we've usually pulled in 30 - 40,000 lbs of food each year.  The economy has been hard.  Those Councils weren't as passionate.  We didn't come up with new ideas.  Whatever the reason, we hadn't been able to hit that 80,000 lbs again.

Until this year. 

I'm pretty passionate about this topic.  I'm wealthy, by all standards, but Husband and I sometimes eat cereal for dinner for a week to save money.  I haven't had to make the choices many families make - we've always paid our mortgage, our utilities, had food.  But many families have to choose.  And many, many kids in our city go without food often.   And that should never happen.

So I talked to my Executive Council (the five kids who pretty much run the Council).  We did this amazing activity together (http://playspent.org) to catch a glimpse of what the choices people face are.  We brainstormed.  And they agreed they that cared.  That they wanted to do this right. 

So they talked to Student Council.  We all did the activity.  We talked for a long time about WHY we would want to do this right.  We had a speaker from the food bank.  They understood that if they weren't passionate about it, then the rest of our school wouldn't be, either.  That if we are more excited and put more thought and preparation into Homecoming than into this, then we have our priorities seriously mixed up. 

And we planned.  We made videos, like this one. 



We went to each homeroom and we did the playspent activity with them.  We taught our students about why we were doing this.  We had a neon dance, a dodgeball tournament, a Senior Sibling Day, boys vs girls competitions, themed spirit days with matching dress up and food items, and more. 

And we raised about 80,000 lbs of food again.  Our goal was 70,000.  We didn't think we could double our normal, but we were wrong.  Because we cared, others cared.  Several of my students went above and beyond and did things on their own.   We saw and felt generosity that surpassed previous years.  One autistic boy went door to door in his neighborhood and got his neighbors to give him their change.  He collected $150. 

80,000 lbs of food.   According to the way the food bank can run things, that means that our school contributed to providing 560,000 meals.  560,000 people can eat because of my students. 

I am so proud of them.  And so excited to be a part of a group of teenagers who care.  I told you they did.

Thankful Thing #21:
Food.

And, with the people we fed in Thankful Thing #20 on my mind and heart, I am thankful for food.
Yes, sometimes we eat cereal for lunch and dinner for a few days.  But we have a pantry full of food.  We waste food sometimes.  We get take-out at least once a week.  We're rich with food.

I remember talking to my friend Brooke a while back about the idea that so often, we eat as if we're never going to eat again.  We stuff ourselves to the point of feeling sick, because we paid for it, it's on our plates, or for whatever other reason.  We don't enjoy, don't savor.  We just eat and keep eating.

What if I were to remember that, at this point in my life, I am fortunate enough to not have to worry about my next meal?  What if I were to only eat what I really need, and to savor each bite?  What if I were to be thankful, instead of wasteful?

Just thinking "out loud." 

I know I'm blessed.  I have lots of choices when it comes to what I eat.  I don't have to pick from whatever canned veggies people felt like donating.   On Thursday, I'll be eating all my Thanksgiving favorites, instead of scraping together a dinner with what I can find. 

I don't feel guilty.

But I do feel thankful.  And I want to try to remember that each and every time I eat something.

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 18

Here we are, over half way through the month, less than a week away from Thanksgiving.  (woohoo!)  Celebrate all that you have to be thankful about with my friend Dawn and others over at Dawn's Good Life


Thankful Thing #16:
Friday.

Okay, I know I posted that I was thankful for Fridays last Friday, but really, my thankfulness for Fridays is a renewable source each week.  And this Friday is different.  This Friday is special.

This Friday means we get a week off from school for Thanksgiving Break.  Hallelujiah, can I get an Amen?

We don't get many days off first semester.  We get Labor Day - but we were only in school for a few weeks at that point.  We get a day off in October - but we had to work the two previous evenings for parent-teacher conferences.  We get any snow days that might occur (one this year!).

And then finally the week of Thanksgiving comes around, and there is a whole week, just for us.  Afterwards, we have a mad rush to the end - two weeks of classes and one week of final exams - and then another break. 

But this break, this break is necessary.  We're all tired, we're a bit cranky, but more importantly, we're ready for a break.  We need that break.

And I'm excited - I LOVE Thanksgiving.  But I will tell you about that another day soon.

So thank you thank you thank you, Friday.

Thankful Things #17 & #18:
Opportunity and Husband's Perseverance.

Husband loves his Peppermint Mocha almost as much as I love the GBL... but not quite.

Today Husband takes the exam to receive his license as a Journeyman Electrician.  This has been a long road, and I'm praying that he passes today on the first shot.  He needs the boost, I think.  Husband has been in the field for 7 or 8 years, but is not licensed yet.  He started in Residential, took the Wireman's test a few times, but could never quite pass.  School was never easy for Husband - he just didn't learn how to learn or study, and we're pretty sure he has ADD and never learned the tools to work with that. 

A little over 4 years ago, the best thing ever happened to Husband - he got laid off from the residential job.  And then got hired at a commercial company, which immediately enrolled him into a four year trade school. 

Husband went to class once a week for four hours nearly every week for four years.  He's switched companies a couple of times due to lay-offs and economic struggles, but he stayed at that school, learned to study, learned to take tests, learned to be a student.  And in May, he graduated with Honors.  We were quite proud.

Today he takes the BIG test.  It's hard.  Full of code, calculations, and other stuff I don't understand.  He's been studying for weeks.  Taking practice exams online.  Working on the things he doesn't do as well.

Either way, this test marks an opportunity for us. 

A chance for Husband to see his hard work pay off (I hope!!), or a chance for him to learn that sometimes failure is a way to grow even more.  A chance for him to remember that he isn't doing this to get more money, to provide for his family, or to move up in the ranks (although those are all good things), but that for now, God has called him to be an electrician and serve Him in that way, and a license gives Husband more opportunity to do that, whenever he earns it.

I'm really proud of my husband.  If he fails today, I'm still going to be super proud, because the man I met more than 6 years ago would never have spent quiet, solitary hours in a room alone studying and practice tests for the last two weeks.  He's worked so hard.  He's persevered.  

And of course, if (when, he would say) he passes today, we're going to have a BIG celebration.  Nevermind budget concerns - this deserves a party! 

I'm thankful, truly thankful, for the opportunity this test brings to us, but mostly, I'm thankful for the man I married, for the ways he's grown and changed even in the last couple of years, and for his perseverance. 

He's amazing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 15

I'm going at about an every other day average here, with my 30 Thankful Days, but honestly, if you consider how often I blog, that's pretty darn fantastic!   Join in with Dawn and others to share what we're thankful for and learn from each other how to express our gratitude.


Thankful thing #14 and #15.
My Job.
and My Students.

I LOVE my job.  Truly love it.  I think I like it about 90% of the time, if not more.  No, I don't love getting up early since school starts at 7:20 am, but I do love being out by 3.  And no, I don't love grading, but it's a necessary evil if I want my students to learn. 

What I really love are my students.  They are amazing. 

Don't doubt this next generation, friends. 

Sure, there are more and more problems, and the world is a scary place, and many teens are entitled, selfish, self-centered, and un-aware.  But give them a chance.  Who are their role models?  Snookie?  "The Situation?"  Puh-lease.  Do you blame them for being entitled, selfish, and un-aware?  I don't. 

In fact, I've learned, that when given the chance, teens will almost always rise to the occasion.  They want to be somebody, to do something big and good, to make a difference.  They want to listen, but they need to be listened to first.  They want to help, but sometimes they have to be helped first.  They want to care, but they need to be cared about first.

And I love doing that.  I love listening, helping, caring.  I love teaching them that the world is bigger than they are (Spanish teacher and Leadership teacher), but that can truly make a difference in whatever ways they can dream.  I don't mind holding them accountable when they need to be held accountable - that's part of the job, too - and being a little "mean" sometimes.  But when you're strict but it's obvious it's because you care, they tend to get it... eventually.

Coming to work is almost never a drag to me.  I'm always behind because I always have students in my room, but I don't mind.  They learn from me, and I learn from them. 

And they're so funny.  They care about me, too.  About teachers, I mean.  If given the chance to care, they care.  I have a whole slew of high school boys and girls who are seriously invested in my life and my son.  They want to know everything.  They want to be involved.  They want to be a part of what I know.

Because, you see, they want to be a part of anything they can be, and they hope it's good.  They don't want to be left on the outside, looking in.  They want to be active, involved, together.  Sometimes the only people that will "take" them are the ones who encourage them down a path that might not be so good - but the need to be involved, to be a part of something, is great.  And so they go.  But give them the chance to go another way?  To be involved somewhere else?  To have people?  They'll get there, eventually. 

Somebody has to give them the chance first.  Somebody has to believe in them, to trust in them, to provide them with the opportunity.  But they want to be good, to do amazing things, to be important for good reasons. 

Don't doubt them, friends.

And so, I love my students.  Even the "bad" ones.

And I love my job.  Because getting to be with and interact with and teach and learn from these amazing young people is so worthwhile.  Because not a day goes by where I don't laugh and laugh and laugh at something that's been said.  Because watching students have a moment where they "click" with something - be it something we're learning in Spanish, be it a life lesson, be it a leadership strategy - makes every other piece - the grading, the meetings, the politics- all completely worth it.

I hope you like your job and the people with whom you work even half as much as I do.... because if you do, you're probably pretty content!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 13

This month I'm joining my friend Dawn for 30 Thankful Days.  Many I know have taken the challenge to be intentional about being thankful for 30 days, be it via a blog or via Facebook, and each time I read their posts or statuses, I am reminded of all for which there is to be thankful. 


It's interesting, though.  Right now I'm in my comfy's on the couch, doing some online work.  Husband and I stayed home today.  We did laundry and actually put it away, we cleaned a little, I got some grading done, he cleaned the horse pen out at my parents.  We relaxed, I actually cooked a meal.  I read a book, he played video games.  He's gone to youth group now, and I'll finish up with my online work.  And I thought, well, I didn't blog yesterday about my thankful thing, so I have two to do to catch up.

And suddenly I felt pressure.  Pressure to come up with something great to write about, worried that my post won't be as good as they could be, because I don't have any fun pictures to include or any inspiration at the moment.

And then I'm reminded.  That's not the point, now, is it?   What I am thankful for today doesn't have to be deep and meaningful, or funny and light-hearted, or accompanied by pictures. 

The point is to be intentional about choosing thankfulness, every day.  And not just for these 30 days, but every day, for always.

So here are my honest, normal, nothing-amazing-but-wonderful-to-me thankful things.

Thankful Thing #12:
Leggings.



And of course, that's clip art.  My belly looks nothing like that, clearly.

I now own three pairs of Danskin leggings, and I wear them all the time when I'm at home.  They are the most comfortable things on the planet, I think.  I never thought of myself as a legging person, but a few months ago I bought a pair and now I own three.  I don't suspect I'll be one of those pregnant women who wears leggings as pants in public, but I'm quite content to wear them as my comfy pants at home.  Like right now.  :)

Thankful Thing #13:
DVR.

Last year, Husband came home and announced he'd signed us up for Direct TV, which was funny/annoying, because we'd been talking about canceling our cable... not signing us up for something with a contract.  But what was done was done, and so, while it wasn't quite what I'd expected, I went with it.

And now, I'm so thankful.  Because Direct TV comes automatically with DVR, which we'd never had before, and I can record everything I want to and watch it on my own time, when I am free, when I need to be brainless, when I need background noise for grading.  It's lovely.  Particularly as the holiday season approaches, because I love love love watching silly holiday movies all about Christmas miracles and magic and love (which, by the way, drive Husband crazy).  DVR is my favorite.


So, as promised, nothing ground-breaking, exciting, or even all that interesting.

But as I'm currently wearing my Danskin leggings and watching a show I DVR-ed as I work, I'd say I'm pretty happy.

And thankful.

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Thankful Days - Day 11

Linking up with my friend Dawn and others at Dawn's Good Life to celebrate the things we are thankful for this month.  Head on over there to read and to share your own thoughts, too.


Wednesday and Thursday were both pretty fast-moving days with little to no time to blog, so today I'm going to be thankful for three things.

Thankful Thing #9:
Fridays.

I am particularly thankful that today is Friday.  This, for some reason, felt like a long and full week, even though it by far was not one of the busiest weeks I've had recently.  Granted, we are in the middle of our major food drive, and this year's StuCo is being AMAZING and working so hard to get things done, and we did have a massive dodgeball tournament last night, and today we have our Veteran's Day assembly.... but it really hasn't been that busy.  Still, I woke up very tired this morning, starting to feel a little like I'm getting a cold, and with a large pile of papers to grade that I neglected during the course of the week.  I'm so thankful for Friday, and so thankful that tonight I have some freedom in what I choose to do (stay home, go to the football game, whatever!) and that this weekend, minus a breakfast date tomorrow morning and something in the evening, the majority of the weekend is mine to rest, read, and get all those papers graded.  I'm not saying I had a bad or even a hugely busy week, but I'm tired. 

So thank the good Lord for Fridays.

Thankful Thing #10:
Where I live.

I just love living here.  It's beautiful and makes me happy.  This morning these were the views I was blessed to see on my drive to work- forgive the not great quality of the pictures - for some, I was pulled over in the parking lot at Starbucks (getting my Friday Gingerbread Latte!!!!!) and for some, I stopped in a turn lane while no one was behind me. 







Oh, lovely place I live.

Thankful Thing #11:
BGD Day.

Wednesday, you may have read, was BGD Day, or as I was calling it, Boy, Girl, or Dead Day.  Husband and I headed over to the doctor's office for the first appointment of the day and met with the ultrasound tech to have our "Fetal Anatomay Survey."   I was pretty nervous, because I am crazy, but Husband was calm and happy and just a faithful stable presence.

You may have guessed it, but Baby C was not dead.  Right away the tech showed me the heartbeat to allay my fears.  My sense of relief was intense, although almost immediately followed by "so what is wrong with him/her?"  We had a laugh about that, because the tech (who was so nice and friendly) was telling us just moments before that many women (including herself, when she was pregnant) go through those same emotions.  It was ironic how quickly I switched gears, but this fear was much less great than the previous. 

Baby C was facing my back most of the time, so we never got a great shot of the profile, but she was able to clearly tell two things from the very-detailed and thorough ultrasound:

Thing 1: Baby C, so far, looks wonderful, is growing in all the right ways in all the right places, and appears to be very healthy.  Yeay!  When the doctor looked at all the data afterword, she was very encouraging also. 


Thing 2:

Husband is very excited. I found this picture of him (it's actually when he climbed his 1st 14-er this summer) and thought it was just perfect. 

I'm excited, too.  I had decided on Tuesday that he was probably a boy, so I wasn't too surprised.  I have always sort of imagined me as having girls, since I just have one sister and my two closest cousins are also girls, but I think I'll figure the boy thing out.  Eventually.

I'm really thankful that my son (oh my goodness) is healthy, alive, and growing.  I'm thankful for a doctor who told me I can come in any time I want to listen to the heartbeat.  I'm thankful for a husband who supports me through all my crazy and loves me and our son (still weird!) more than most anything.

Oh, thankfulness abounds.
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