Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Killer Grilled Pizza

A few weeks ago, during my lunch break, I picked up the newspaper and read an article about how to make pizza that was actually pizza and not defrosted cardboard with tomato sauce and negligible amounts of meat.  The top tricks of the trade?  A slow-rising dough for the crust, fresh ingredients, and exceptionally high baking heat. 

So last night, in the cool darkness of the March evening, we made pizzas using Alton's Pizza Crust recipe, and Steve's wonderful Weber grill.  They were incredible, if we do say so ourselves.

Yep, these little guys were light years away from Pizza Hut, Papa John's, you-name-it.  Plus, you didn't feel like shooting yourself after eating them.  The Baby even liked this pizza.

And we spent the rest of our evening playing Wii Sports in which I was soundly beat in most everything except for bowling...and golf.  I actually won golf.  Just saying....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dreams, Sleeping frustrations, and Hibernation Day

My mom is known for having particularly bizarre dreams, as well as having the ability to remember each teeny-weeny aspect of them.  She likes to share them with us.  I have never experienced dreams to this extent, but lately my dreams have been really weird. One night my creepy next door neighbor was attacking me with a cheftoku knife in the McHenry mansion.  Last night I had a dream that Steve had died (bad, bad, bad), but when I went to the visitation, I discovered that it was really a dummy in the coffin.  It makes some sense to attribute this sleeptime insanity to my irregular sleep patterns of the past two weeks, yet I begin to wonder if this weird dream sabotage will be discontinued or if I'm going to turn into my mom.  (Not that I would mind turning into my mom in other areas of life...like having nice handwriting, being diligent in exercising every day, etc.)

Sleeping has been interesting for both of us these nights and days.  I think I'm going to have to get a sign for our door that says, "Daytime sleeper.  Do NOT disturb."  It was really irritating yesterday when our creepy neighbor (yes, the same one from my dream) came while I was at work, knocked on the door, woke the dog up, woke Steve up, and all she needed was a ride to do some totally unnecessary shopping downtown.  "I don't need a ride back," she said. "I can walk home."  It's five stinkin' blocks to the downtown from our house.  If she could walk home, why couldn't she walk down there?  This woman is completely out of her mind and yet somehow managed to get a ride all winter without bothering us.  Now that it's nice outside, she has to come up with illogical errands which require transportation.  Sheesh, I have enough trouble keeping my siblings and Steve's siblings from dropping in and causing a ruckus.  Now the creepy neighbor, too?  (Needless to say, the bulk of my dreams after falling back to sleep this morning involved trying to keep people from waking Steve up.  I don't think I really slept at all.)

One thing I don't mind waking up for is feeling the Baby kick around.  I never imagined that I could get so much pleasure from Someone pummeling my insides, but it's so hard not to smile and laugh at each jab - even at 4am.  Last night I was convinced that she (can I just call him/her a "she"?  I want him/her to be a Girl, so unless I find out otherwise [MONDAY!], I'm just going to go this route) was doing a cheerleading routine that involved sticking her arms and legs out at their full length and jumping.  It was hilarious. 

Speaking of babies, there was the best baby in Emily's yesterday.  She had dark wispy curls, the chubbiest little cheeks, and two adorable teeth.  If our Baby is as cute as that, I'm going to have a hard time not eating her up on a daily basis.

Anyway, the stress of this week is demanding that this Saturday be a Hibernation Day.  I'm going to clean up the wreck of a kitchen, work a bit on decluttering my sewing room, read a bunch, bake some bread, snuggle up with my sweet husband, and just generally Take It Easy.  If one can't escape small-town USA by running away, one can at least stay safely locked behind her door.

Two verses that stuck out to me last night:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  James 1:2
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:17-18

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It goes on and on

Do you ever have those days when it feels like the insanity won't quit?  It starts out being okay...

...because Steve was finally home and under the covers with me and I was finally able to sleep for more than two hours without waking up, checking my cellphone, going through the bathroom routine, and desperately trying to fall asleep again.  As soon as he walks in the door each morning it's like whoosh!  Instant relief, rest, and sense of peace.  I don't have to go alone for at least a little while.

Then it gets annoying...

...like when the silly Health and Human Services office calls me for the fifteenth time about needing more paperwork to complete my application for maternity care.  Seriously, I think that if a person wants to lose their mind entirely they should attempt to receive government benefits.  Eesh.

Then it gets infuriating...

...since I receive a phone call which reveals some of the truly illogical, maddening behavior of individuals which directly effects my family in a very negative way.  I wanted to wake Steve up and tell him that we were moving to a city of about 2 million people where no one knows me, but he was sleeping so hard that I just put on my shoes and walked to work.  In my seriously upset state, my usual 15 minute walk to work took only 4 minutes. 

Then everything gets compounded...

...with work drama, the fact that my car is still inoperable (despite the new $140 alternator), a virus causing our computer to completely wig out, and the dog going to the bathroom on the floor.  Add on miscommunication about transportation to club (I was only 15 minutes late), an hour of hollering at antsy children, and a relatively useless meeting in the evening and you've got my day.

The thing about these types of days is that when it really is awful and frustrating, God gives grace so obviously.  He gave me a husband who listens to me and talks reasonably about the difficulties, while helping me laugh at the absurdity of most of it.  He gives us the distractions of a friend to eat dinner with us.  He gives us the reminder that he causes everything to work together when things feel like they are falling apart.  He even gives funny shows on Netflix to help me find humor in something that is far removed from the things that are pressing down here.  If it weren't for this grace, I probably would have thrown up today - and morning sickness would have had nothing to do with it.

Pray for my family.  Things stink right now in so many ways (and I don't mean Adams'-Feedlot-In-The-Springtime).  Pray for patience and understanding so that we might respond to situations in ways that reflect Who we claim to follow.  Pray that Steve and I will find a way to deal maturely with his job situation.  I'm not going to gloss it over.  It's hard.  However, I believe that we can recognize the difficulty without launching into another round of melodramatics (as fun as that is sometimes).  Trusting God for daily joy in him is so greatly desired right now.

Good night, oh ridiculous, absurd, no-good-very-bad day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baby Talk III

It can't be the third trimester already...can it?  Eeps!  That's exciting and freaky and mostly exciting.  If pregnancies always go this quickly, no wonder people have more than one kid.  Okay, I'll probably feel differently in mid-June...but this is the end of March and I don't need to worry about that right now.

I normally would be having a monthly appointment today, but since there are five Tuesdays in March, it is scheduled for next week.  This is throwing the world off.  I have received two phone calls asking if he/she is a Boy or Girl (including one from my eleven-year-old sister), and have had several people ask me, "So, how did it go?"  They were met with a rather muddled up expression from me.  I also totally spaced off going to babysit at MOPS today because it usually happens the week of my appointments (being the fourth Tuesday of every month).  Brilliant, I tell you.

This Baby is busy, busy, busy.  Sometimes I'll be standing behind the soda fountain at work with a silly look on my face because it feels like something is jumping up and down on an internal trampoline.  When I went to the doctor's to see if my horrific sore throat was strep (it wasn't), the doctor had to chase the Baby around with the dopplar-thingie for 10 minutes before he/she would sit still long enough to detect a heartbeat.  Silly Baby.

People are starting to make comments like, "When are you due?"  "Are you getting excited?"  "When's the big day?"  "Is this your first kid?" and so on.  The best comment happened on Sunday at Runza.

Me: places order
Lady-Behind-Counter: When are you due?
Me: July.
Lady-Behind-Counter: Wow.  Are you having twins?
Me: I don't think so.

Anyways, there you go.  And so we will wait another week to discover what He/She actually is.  If he/she refuses to cooperate yet again, I'm just going to start making stuff.  Enough is enough.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finished Project

My dear friend, Alissa, gave me a bunch of crochet pattern books from the 1940s and 50s.  I didn't need another project, but this hand bag was just too cute to put in a "do later" category. 

During the gloominess of last Sunday afternoon, I started He Knew He Was Right on Netflix, pulled out some yarn, and whipped this fun little project out.

The bag consists of two round pieces attached to a 54" length of strap/gusset.  I had to modify the pattern slightly to make the round pieces lie flat - they were starting to look like two hats.
The bag has a crocheted button hole and a funky faux leather button.  I think I would like to attach a larger button at some point, but this will work for now.

As you can see, the round parts of the bag are lined with some nifty green and brown paisley fabric left over from another unfinished project.  I like how this gives the bag a finished look and keeps the crochet from stretching like crazy.  Since my other purse (purchased at a random Anaheim Target on our honeymoon) is falling apart (and is in desperate need of some quality time in the washing machine), I'm looking forward to using this bag.  

In other news, I'm supremely grateful for God's grace in helping me transition to this silly 12-hour night shift business.  I only cried once this morning...and that's saying something.  I don't know how Steve is faring since I don't see/talk to him much, but I know that it must be exhausting to make this reversal to normal sleeping habits.  Today is our 8th monthiversary, and he surprised me with some beautimous gerber daisies which make me smile each time I look at them.

 I also don't know what I would do without my mom who not only really listens to everything I say (be it positive or downright crabby) but also cleans my pigsty of a kitchen after a long hard day.  She knows how to make me feel better without offering any medication.

Speaking of medication, I'm thinking that I should go take some Emergen-C in an attempt to kick this beastly sore throat.  I hate, hate, hate being sick, but I think all of my stressing about Steve getting sick from lack of sleep contributed to my picking up a bug.  Oof.  Hopefully sleeping will go better tonight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Crockpot is my friend

In these days of people attempting to cook their way through various cookbooks ala Julie and Julia, I was surprised to discover that I have nearly cooked through a cookbook without even trying.  Over the past few months, we have become great friends with: Betty Crocker's Easy Slow Cooker Dinners and have tried and enjoyed many recipes.  In fact, I reach for this cookbook more than any other up in our cupboard.  Why?  The recipes are crazy-easy.  Seriously, each one requires less than 15 minutes of prep: land a few cans and away you go.  I can put the stuff on the low setting in the morning, check it when I get home from work and when Steve gets home at 7pm...bam, supper.  And Steve actually requests the leftovers for lunch the following day.  I call that success.

Get this cookbook.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Old Picture

I found this today and it made me smile.

Charlotte (2006)

And I can't get it out of my head

Mom shared this song with me the other night and said that I should make it my theme song.  Yep, totally.  Apparently I have made it my theme song since I have had it stuck in my head for the past 48 hours.  That's a good thing, though.

You can here a sample of it here.

Still, my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow.
Chorus: God, you are my God
And I will trust in you and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in you alone.

Still, my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto his ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations fleeting arrows.

Still, my soul be still
Do not forsake
The truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming.
Words and Music by Keith and Kristen Getty and Stuart Townend

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grace that is greater than all of me....

Spiritual dehydration seems to have eeked its way into our home.  Sure, I'm consistent in daily devotions, we pray and read Scripture together in the evenings, and there is usually at least one spiritually-related lecture ringing through the computer speakers during the day.  But the desire to do these things is just so not there.  I feel like a raisin, unable to truly delight in my absorption of the Word of God.  A panicked raisin.
 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
I know that God's grace is sufficient for my justification and I rest in that.  Why isn't it the same for my sanctification?  Why do I think that my zeal or lack of it will determine being made holy as he is holy?  Even when I preach to myself the truth that "he who began a good work in me will bring it to completion," it's easy to think that he's going to squeeze it all in at the last minute.  Phew, she made it. 
For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I found a copy of Bryan Chappell's Holiness by Grace on our new little living room bookshelf.  We received it when we visited Covenant Seminary a few months ago, but it has never been read.  A glance at the introduction revealed that this is the book that I need to read right now.  Chappell points out that believers cherish the truth that God sees Christ's righteousness instead of our sinfulness when we are saved.  But what robs believers of joy after that point is the "misunderstanding of how God continues to view us after we have received the grace that justifies us." 
What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
There is nothing but Christ: he is everything in justification and everything in sanctification.  None of my enthusiasm, efforts in ministry, or diligence in spiritual disciplines makes any difference whatsoever.  There is nothing but Christ alone.  Oh, that my heart and mind would grasp this.  But what about holiness and obedience?  Those fruits of grace are commanded just as often as the grace of God is extolled.  How do I pursue a desire for holiness without falling into achieving it through my own efforts?  Chappell says: "Resting on God's grace does not relieve us of our holy obligations; rather it should enable us to fulfill them.  As the assurance of God's love allows us to cease striving to please him for our own benefit, our good works will begin reflecting more of the selfless righteousness that is truly holy."
...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
God's grace is greater than my sin.  And it is far greater than me and my ideas of what a good Christian girl acts and thinks like.  May he continue to impress this on my heart in his lovingly persistent way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Major Thing

Two days before our wedding, something amazing happened.  Steve had been working 12 hour night shifts and, without explanation, he was transferred to working 12 hour day shifts, four days a week.  This was a huge blessing which we have been enjoying for the past eight months, despite the fact that the work is very tiring and often feels meaningless.

There was a problem with this situation, however.  Steve was hired through a temp agency under the assumption that his work would be reviewed at regular intervals and that on the basis of a good review he would be hired.  He had his reviews, passed them brilliantly and still for months there was no indication of permanent employment.  This created the issues of having to buy our own health insurance as well as being unable to get a loan to buy our house.  We have always had the intention of moving from Broken Bow so that we could pursue further ministry training and opportunities.  Since the job situation was going nowhere, we were praying that a chance to move on would materialize.  We realized that we weren't stuck in a job, we weren't tied to mortgage payments and that, aside from Baby happenings in July, we were in a good position to move.  God brought things together in amazing ways so that we are beginning to make definite plans to move in the late fall to the St. Louis area where we will be able to intern with the Georgeffs and Steve can attend classes at Covenant Seminary.

Phew.  Things were going somewhere and looking up.  Then Steve got a phone call from his work: his supervisor had permission to hire him as a permanent employee but he would have to move to a 12 hour night shift.  Oh well, we thought.  Steve just won't take the job and will continue as a temp until we move.  However, after a discussion with his supervisor, it became obvious that it was either this job or no job.  Yeeps.  Since good employment in this area is just as difficult to come by as most every place in the United States right now, Steve took the job.

I know that I'm an emotional wreck this week, but this felt like a punch in the gut.  It's already challenging to manage the 12 hour day shifts, but our routine has evolved in such a way that we can avoid insanity.  Now we get to re-think everything and get used to being apart all day and all night (since I can't see how my current work routine would do well with my staying up all night and sleeping all day).  He doesn't want it to be this way...I don't want it to be this way.  But it appears that this is what we have to do.

There are some positive things about the change that I'm trying to focus on:
  • A pay increase will mean that we can put more money into savings which may result in less financial stress when we move.
  • Having insurance will free up another $200 to put into savings.
  • We will be able to get the loan for our house which we believe will be a wise investment no matter when we move (the house is in great shape, is very reasonably priced, and has a fantastic rent or re-sale value).
  • Once Steve is permanent he can bid on other job openings, including office positions (which require a degree and he is one of the few people who has one around there).  
  • There is the potential that, due to internal changes within the company, Steve might be put on a less exhausting production line or even a swing shift.
  • There will still be about two days in which we can live on a normal daytime schedule.
  • It's not like this is going to last forever...maybe only a few months.  We can survive.
But I'm also concerned about some things based on our past experience with the 12 hour night shift:
  • Steve was exhausted and sick most of the time.  It wasn't too fun to be engaged to a sneezing/coughing zombie for a month.  I dread being on entirely different sleep schedules and the possibility of getting sick again.  We have been healthy for a long time (and I praise God for that!) and this means that we will have to be super diligent about sleeping, eating well, etc.  I do not want to get sick.  And I don't want Steve to get sick.
  • It's really hard to not spend time together.  We thrive on quality time and doing things together and for some reason, this situation sounds like a death knell to all of that.  Perhaps I'm over reacting.
  • I do. not. want to stay home by myself at night.
  • I wonder how all of this will effect our moving onward and upward plans...will it make things better?  More complicated?
  • Steve is already drained by this job as it is.  We tend to be easily depressed individuals and the combination of two increasingly depressed people is not something that I look forward to.  Wow.
All of that said, I know that we can do nothing in this life on our own strength.  Every good gift and every challenging situation comes from a sovereign God who loves us dearly and has his best in mind for me and for Steve and our baby and our dog and for whatever he has designed for his good pleasure.  I'm praying that whatever transition we have to make will be smooth and that we will seek the Lord in it instead of trying to make things work on our own efforts (which equals martyrdom for me and down-in-the-dumps for Steve). 

I guess we are learning to roll with the punches.  Or to try to roll better with the punches.

Little Things

There is a lot on the brain of Amelia right now.  I could write about it all in one post, but I think that since it is Saturday morning and I consequently have some time, I'll break it up into Little Things and a Major Thing.

The weather has been overcast and gloomy for close to two weeks.  When it isn't raining, there is a sloppy wet snow, or just dark grey clouds producing nothing at all.  While I generally like melancholy weather, the extension of this gloom is making me increasingly morose and majorly less energetic.  I really have been attempting to get through a day this week without crying, but it hasn't happened yet.  Would it be possible for us to live in England someday?  Or would we turn into the Brontes?

According to various and sundry bits of Baby-related literature, the Baby Rodgers is going to be on a weight-gain spurt for a while.  This is proven by the insatiable hunger that has been dominating my life for the past week.  I wake up: "Sorry, Steve, I've got to get up and eat something...now."  Steve comes home from work: "Hi, Steve, but I'm starving and we need to eat supper...now."  I eat about five meals in the morning, a normal-ish lunch, a substantial snack in the afternoon, a healthy helping of supper and a snack before bed.  And I'm never "stuffed."  Yesterday was a big kicker: a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, two eggs and an apple, and a Totino's Party Pizza.  All before 10am.  I know this won't go on forever, but it is amusing for a person who was rarely to never hungry before becoming great with child.  Steve says that now I know what a teenage boy feels like.  Wonderful.  It is comforting to realize that I'm never over-eating and that I am burning a ton of calories between being very active at work and around the house, in addition to doing rigorous exercise 3-5 times a week.

The living room is re-arranged.  Moving furniture and creating a different "look" for living spaces thrills me to to end (even when the furniture in unexpected places does scare me when I bumble around in the wee sma's).  It's definitely an improvement to sit on the couch and look at a lovely little bookshelf and out the window at the Catholics instead of the pile of laundry in the bedroom and the (sometimes) full sink of dishes.  Tee-hee.  Florianus, however, is not as impressed.  He thought that the furniture belonged to him and that he was entitled to sit upon it at will, jump on the backs and look out the windows and bark at the Catholics.  Now it is arranged so that he can do nothing of the territorial sort.  But we discovered this morning that when he sits on the back of the couch he is eye-level with the dining room table and can look longingly and pathetically at the plates of food.  I also discovered that when I leave the room for a moment, I will lose whatever is left of my french toast.  Drat that dog.

Okay.  Moving on to A Major Thing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Together Project

"I just want to DO things with you."  Such is a frequent comment made between Steve and myself.  With the craziness of inconsistent work schedules, various ministry responsibilities, and other out-of-the-house events, "doing things" is most often sitting on the couch staring at Our Mutual Computer.  We're rarely both energized enough to discover some great new project to do together (and my idea of a project usually involves fabric and a sewing machine...or silk flowers, or something).

But enter Wednesday afternoon.  We have been desperately needing a new printer since about September 2009 (when Mr. Wonderful was tired of kicking our other one into submission and finally threw it away), so we decided to venture out in the crummy weather to a place of civilization - also known as Best Buy or Office Max.  Best Buy ended up being Worst Buy, but Office Max pulled through and we emerged with a laser printer/copier/scanner, an L-shaped computer desk, a bookshelf and $120 in savings.  Hooray!  And we had a together project in the works to boot.

Then came Wednesday night and the unloading of the disassembled furniture.  After laying out all of the pieces for the desk we were shocked and slightly embarrassed to realise that due to budget cuts in Office Max's furniture production department, we had lots of pieces and absoballylutely no instructions.
"Oh well," said Steve. "Sometimes life is just like one big Lego project."  Away he went.  Pretty soon, we had the pieces identified, all of the hardware counted and most of it designated to a specific task.  It was a brilliant time of combining our brains and muscles (well, mostly Steve's brain and muscles, but I helped) to put it all together.

We didn't get mad at each other and I got to hammer.  Pretty swell.

Steve even figured out where the totally random bracket pieces were needed.  Brilliant, I tell you.

Now we have a marvelous desk for our computer and printer and random junk, and we had a grand time working together to make it happen.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Florianus the Hunter

This is Florianus:

He is a dachshund.  He thinks he is a badger hunter.

This is Florianus' Chicken-with-a-Squeaker.

Florianus thinks that the Chicken-with-a-Squeaker is a badger.  He spends most of his time throwing the Chicken, chasing the Chicken, and chewing on the Chicken viciously.

Yesterday, Florianus killed the Chicken-with-the-Squeaker:

Then he disemboweled it.  It has gone the way of the Lobster-which-used-to-have-a-Squeaker:

(And his innards.)

Florianus took the rest of the day off after this momentous victory.
Now he will have to find something new to hunt.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The disease is incurable....

"Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process; a new factor enters and takes over.  A trip, a safari, and exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys.  It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness.  A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.  We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.  Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip.  Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it.  Only then do the frustrations fall away.  In this a journey is like marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think that you control it."  John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: in search of America
Ooh, I want to go on a road trip so badly.  Maybe in April.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Looking Up

The long, long day gets longer.  Fear crowds out rationality, conversations are tinged with misunderstandings, and mud covers everything.

So tired and so weepy and so run down. Then...a glance up at the sparkling starry sky.
 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?  He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Isaiah 40:26
Because he is strong in power, not one of the millions of stars is missing.

And no Amelia is missing.  No Baby is missing.  No Steve is missing.  No family on road trip or heathens at home are missing.

No one in Haiti or Chile is missing.  No missionaries struggling to reach people with the gospel are missing.  No decisions and no past, present, or future are missing.

It's all by the greatness of his might.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baby Talk II

I had a freaky dream last night that I was in labor and I kept crying because I knew that we were only at 22 weeks and there was no way things would be okay.  Mom-in-my-dream said, "Oh, Amelia, the baby is really a lot bigger than you think it is.  The ultrasound is all wrong."  Steve-in-my-dream was trying to find the doctor's phone number and I was telling him that maybe everything would just stop and go away.  Then I woke up.  I like waking up from dreams about baby problems and jumping back into reality.  Phew.

So yes, here we are at 22 weeks and as fine as frog hair.  Apparently, the Baby is about as big as a papaya (about 10.5 inches) and can hear noises from the Outside.  Steve and I read so much out loud already that this kid should be well-acquainted not only with the Proverbs and with Isaiah, but also with John Steinbeck.  Yesterday I had the children's music station playing on Pandora while I was babysitting the heathens, so I also except the Baby to be ready to break out into Mr. Sun, or Here Sits a Monkey on a Chair, or Octopus' Garden.

In other news, I find it ironic that every time I have a slight concern about something (mostly from lack of information), one of my handy-dandy little "This Week with Your Baby" emails floats into my inbox and the problem is solved.  Case in point: the Baby's movements.  I had been feeling them off and on since week 18, but there was no consistency.  Some days the movements were definitely noticeable, and on other days I would feel them maybe once or twice.  Yesterday I learned that since the Baby is getting into regular sleep cycles, the movements will be felt often during the same time of the day.  Okay, check.  There is a definite punch in the gut at 6am, somersaults at 4pm and random dancing about before bed.  Also, the Baby may still be moving, but when I'm more active I won't feel things as much.  That makes sense as I spend the majority of my days being very active at work and the times I feel the baby are when I'm working on the computer, reading, or lying in bed.  And I counted the movements yesterday and we're getting ten definite movements in about 15 minutes, instead of ten in 2 hours.

I'm continuing to feel more energetic and less puke-y.  I still wake up feeling ravenously hungry, but I can't describe how wonderful it is not to have to eat all night long anymore.  We have been going to bed nice and early lately and the adequate amount of sleep does wonders.  And when I exercise and eat well (as in lots of healthy little meals and not stuffing myself at normal mealtimes...and not always getting french fries) that helps everything.  But doesn't it always, even when a person isn't pregnant?  (Okay, there's a rant to be had there, but that doesn't go with my overall theme of the post.  Shutting up.)

I started a registry on Amazon.com, mostly for books and music and such.  Steve has added some toys, but we really don't want a bunch of baby junk.  Just the happy little essentials.

All right.  Time to get this day going.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Silk Flowers, God's Timing, and Being Married to Mr. Wonderful

I did go to Hobby Lobby last Saturday and came home with silk flowers, stuff to make a Spring-themed wreath for the front door, and a bunch of nicely decorated wooden eggs.  I have never messed with silk flowers in any way that would make them look remotely attractive (okay, maybe I used some props in a play, but that's a different story), but I knew that nice things could be done with them because: a) I carried a beautiful silk flower bouquet as a bridesmaid in Melinda's wedding and b) I saw how cute and cheerful they were as decorations in the pharmacy.  I knew that I could arrange some silk gerber daisies in some vases to liven up the living room, but I wanted to do something for the bathroom.  Hobby Lobby offered a paper of free instructions on arranging silk hydrangea stems in a tall vase.  I love, love, love hydrangeas, so it looked like a great idea to me.  The trick for making them look less like tacky silk flowers?  Small river rocks in the bottom of the vase and fake water.  Yep, fake water.  Where will this craftiness go next?

(We won't discuss the part when I broke the tall vase bought specifically for the project.  Nor will we mention when the hydrangeas on the back of the toilet scared the dickens out of me while making a midnight jaunt into the bathroom.  Yeeps.)

Do you ever pray about something, and say that you trust that God will "make a way when there seems to be no way," etc, and then end up being totally floored when he does make an amazing way?  That happened to me this week.  We have been praying heartily for months for an opportunity for us to be in ministry and for Steve to pursue graduate studies at seminary.  I thought we had the perfect idea, but nothing seemed to be moving in that direction.  Then, early this week, Steve got an email that may result in both desires happening in ways that neither of us could have imagined even a few months ago.  I'll have to give more details when I know/can give more details, but needless to say, we are excited.

This has been a crazy ol' week, thanks to church ladies' meetings, random volunteering, and a super-quick overnight trip to Omaha to get Dave to the airport.  Then it's back to work for both of us.  Ho-hum. 

I am extraordinarily grateful to be married to someone who:
  • doesn't get grossed out by my throwing up
  • will drive out to Runza and pick up cinnamon rolls because I didn't have time to make them due to the first bullet point
  • sits and works on things at the soda fountain so that I don't get lonely when I'm working
  • does the budget stuff wholeheartedly
  • is excited about future possibilities and works hard to do his part in getting to those possibilities
  • likes spicy food
  • lets me sob convulsively for 45 minutes without getting freaked out
  • enthusiastically recreates sappy pictures in front of PF Chang's:

(This is when we knew that we were meant for each other but didn't say anything about it circa Thanksgiving 2008.)

(This is after we did something about the aforementioned conclusion circa March 2010.  Now we can touch each other.)