Friday, December 17, 2010

My Christmas (To-Do) List

Over the next couple of weeks, Jack and I have a "break." I put that in quotes because we have a mile-long list of things to do while we finally have several days in a row at home. One of which is cleaning out the "throw-it-in-there" room (soon to be nursery). It will be wonderful to have that room cleaned up, but I dread the process. We will also be registering over the next couple of weeks. All of this is in addition to our regular Christmas festivities, of course.

At 24 weeks, our little girl is about the size of an eggplant. While she does move at least a little each day, it's still inconsistent. I'm so thankful that she and I are doing well and we can really enjoy this Christmas anticipating all the wonderful changes for next year. Another item on the list for the next couple of weeks is our next doctor appointment and 4D ultra-sound. I'm excited about getting to see her again and hear her little heartbeat. I have a feeling after January, the ball will start rolling down the hill really quickly and April will be here before we know it. I'll feel better after we can get some of these important things accomplished before I start feeling more pressure.

On a slightly strange note, I did a little music shopping on iTunes and Pandora recently upon the suggestion of a friend to get some lullaby music that I can play now to get the baby used to the sound. The idea is that playing this music when she's here will comfort her since she will be used to the sound. Did you know that there are several lullaby albums that have taken rock artists and made their songs into instrumental "lullabies"? I think the strangest one for me was "Dream On" from Aerosmith's lullaby album. I remember turning up the speakers loud in my car anytime I would listen to that song in college and now it's a lullaby? I guess in some ways it's better than the lyrics to "Rock-A-Bye Baby." :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moving along (in more ways than one!)

I am now 22 weeks pregnant. It's hard to believe how fast this semester and this pregnancy has gone. I know soon I'll be saying, baby in arms, that this whole experience flew by. At 22 weeks, there are a few things I have learned and begun to experience.

1. Maternity clothes are heavenly, particularly at Thanksgiving. You can't get much more comfortable than elastic everything and never being self-conscious about your growing stomach because, after all, there's a baby in there!

2. Sleeping on your side isn't great, but it's manageable. I've always been a stomach-sleeper, back is second best, sides only when I have to. While my doctor has said that sleeping on my back some is ok, I am really supposed to keep it to sides if possible. I think now, after about 5 weeks of that I'm beginning to get used to it. Several pillows beside the bed that I can use and toss as needed also helps. Poor Jack, his bed is being taken over by a big pregnant lady and 5 of her pillows.

3. Feeling a baby move inside you is maybe the coolest thing ever. People keep telling me that I'll become tired of this and it will get annoying and maybe they're right, but right now I LOVE feeling her move around in there. I've been trying to pay attention to the times when she most often reminds me of her presence. So far I've noticed it most when I've been sitting and listening to student speeches or comprehensive exam defenses. Either she is a budding communication scholar or she's tired of hearing about communication and wants out of there! I haven't quite figured out which yet.

That's the news up to this point. I hope your December is going well and God has blessed you as He has Jack and I.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


As I spent time today making fruit salad and pumpkin pie for tomorrow, I couldn't help but spend time thinking about holidays. Every year about this time I reflect on the differences between this year and last as well as anticipate the future. It's been quite a year for us. Last Thanksgiving we never would have predicted that dad would be recovering from a stroke this year. He's doing really well, by the way, but still recovering. I also really didn't imagine that I would be pregnant this Thanksgiving. I'm sure I'll be nostalgic next year too, but next year I'll be thinking about the past and the future with our little girl in the kitchen watching me cook. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New to the Blog

For your enjoyment (and mine, too) I have added two tickers to this blog. One is the countdown until our little one makes his/her appearance. The other allows you to "shop" through the produce section with me as our sweet potato makes its way to watermelon. I hope you enjoy them like I will!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Really? A Watermelon?

Ok, so you know that I've been looking at websites that tell me the size of our little treasure. (This week is a sweet potato, by the way.) Well, today I was looking at and I noticed a produce list for the entire pregnancy. I was enjoying looking at it until I got down to the last few weeks...

Watermelon...this child will be the size of a watermelon by the time I deliver.

Granted, I've been doing a good job of being in denial about the whole delivery part of this, but at that moment it was hard to ignore what's coming. :S

Thursday, October 21, 2010

16 Weeks

Just to update you, I'm officially 16 weeks pregnant. I have several sources that I go to each day/week to learn more about my baby's changes and how he/she is growing. He/she is about the size of an avocado now and although he/she has been moving for about 8 weeks now, I should start to feel the movements within the next few weeks. I am very excited about that part.

While there are definite signs that I'm pregnant (like the fact that I really can't wear my normal clothes much anymore) sometimes it is still difficult to believe. That is one reason why I'm so excited to start feeling the movements. Like hearing the heartbeat at my doctor appointments, feeling him/her move will reconfirm for me how real all of this is and remind me that in a few short months, I'll be holding a little Fran and Jack combo in my arms.

In a couple of weeks or so we get to have what my doctor called "the big ultrasound." I am eager to see how much baby has changed since the 8 week pictures. Plus, if all goes well, we will learn the sex that day. Please continue to pray for us as we work to make decisions and prepare for the big changes to come.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Help! This kid needs a room...

Becoming pregnant leaves a couple with many more questions than answers. What is the sex? Do we find out the sex? Names? Preschool? Which college should he/she attend? Ok...maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself. (Although I have made the stipulation that the baby's name should sound good with "Dr." attached to it. Just planning for the future. Haha.)

Lately the big question on my mind (as well as the question I'm getting from others) is what is the nursery theme/colors going to be? Jack and I have made very few decisions so far in this process. What we do know is which room will be the baby's. Unfortunately it's the "throw it in there" room. Do you have one of those? Whenever company is coming over or you have some item that you need to put somewhere and there is no where it can go you "throw it in there." Currently, that room is a wreck for that exact reason. (If you are still following this blog, you'll remember that this is the one room not pictured in the House Remodel post.) Yeah. It was a mess then and it's still a mess now. With the door closed, it's out of sight and out of mind. So once we get it cleaned up and cleaned out, we need to choose a theme. Granted, we don't know the sex yet (although we do plan to find out) and that may have a impact on the theme. So here's my question...where do I go for inspiration or what are your favorite nursery themes/colors? I've seen a few things that I like and so has Jack. We probably won't make this decision completely until we know more and begin to get things cleaned up but I'm a little lost on this one right now. Any advice would be appreciated. [Be forewarned, posts asking for advice/help are likely to become more frequent.]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Latest

Back in July, Jack and I received some news. Much to our (and our parents') delight, we will be welcoming a baby into our lives in the spring. This was a bit of a surprise. It happened much faster than we expected. So it's taken a while for the reality to sink in. But as I move into my second trimester, it's becoming more and more clear that this is for real.

Other than some of the obvious signs, how do I know there is a life growing inside me? Well, for starters-- I'm EXHAUSTED! For the past several weeks, it's been all I can do to get through the absolute necessities of the day and go back to bed. In fact, my bed has become my favorite place. Thankfully we got a new mattress last month and it feels like a big hug every time I lay down. Another piece of evidence has begun to make itself clear every time I put on a pair of pants with buttons and/or clasps. I usually wear my clothes a little loose so it really hasn't been until the past week that I've realized that wearing my usual clothes is beginning to be uncomfortable. I have two pair of black pants that have a partial elastic waist and they are now in the running with my bed as some of my favorite things.

When we actually have time to think/talk about it, Jack and I are extremely excited about this news. It's going to be a big change for us. We've been married for 7 years and are satisfied and content in our life together. However, it seems clear that God has orchestrated this blessing for us and we pray that we can live up to His calling as parents. Please pray for us as we embark on this new challenge.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Alaska Vacation

This has been an extremely eventful few weeks for our family. Some of it has been good and some not so good. Please keep our family in your prayers. I'll try to post about everything eventually, but this post will be devoted to....our Alaska Vacation! That's right, we went on an official vacation and it was terrific!

A few weeks ago, we went on a cruise with my family to Alaska. Most of my family has never been on a cruise so this was a very special trip because not only was it a new place for us but a new type of trip! We visited Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, and Ketchican. Our cruise also stopped at Victoria, BC, Canada. We didn't actually get off the ship at Glacier Bay National Park. That park has many different glaciers and our ship was able to take us near 2 of them for close viewing. It was amazing! Jack and I highly recommend an Alaskan cruise to everyone! It's worth saving for and putting on your bucket list. Here are a few pictures from our trip:

This is the front of our ship. Imagine yourself saying, "I'm the king of the world!
We saw some wildlife. The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, AKWe rode a train in Skagway, AK through the mountains. It was BEAUTIFUL!Glacier Bay National Park

It was an amazing and beautiful trip!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Finals are over, the students are gone, and things are quiet around my office. I. love. it. The end of the semester always gets me thinking about change and this semester has me thinking about change even more than usual. As you have previously read, this semester has been unusually tough for my family. After losing the two friends I discussed in the previous post, three more people connected to us in some way died suddenly adding up to a strange and humbling 5 weeks this spring. I'm in prayer for those families every day, especially on days like last Sunday (Mother's Day). So, when the end of this semester came, I was particularly happy to see the change come. I'm not always a big fan of change. I HATE uncertainty. I'm a planner. I like to know what's going on, when it's happening, who will be there, and why. I like schedules, calendars, and school supplies. Not knowing kills me. However, there is another side of me that loves change. It's that side of me that drew me to being a professor and spending the rest of my life in a college-setting. It's that side of me that felt my soul dying when I was in my first job out of college and I realized at Christmas that I didn't get to move out of the cramped office I shared with the Fran Drescher-like person I worked with and have that change that college always provided at Christmas. It's that side of me that feels refreshed to live in a life scheduled by semesters- fall, spring, summer, fall, spring, summer. So, while some of me hates change, some of me craves it and is loving the fact that I feel a calming sense of peace for this spring being over and summer beginning. Happy summer. May God bless the change and stability in your life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

27 Days

Within a span of 27 days, two young, lively, caring people have departed this world. They never knew one another and were geographically separated by hundreds of miles, but they did have some common characteristics. They were both in their mid-thirties...young. Their deaths were untimely, but health-related. They brought joy to people around them and those who knew them were shocked speechless by the news of their death. Finally, they were both friends of mine and to some degree my life will not be the same without them.

When the first death occurred at the beginning of March, I considered posting then, but I didn't really know what to say. Jack and I were both close to this person and since he went to church with us and we both knew him for a long time, it has been a slow process of recovery as we think of him and his family often and are still in prayer for them. While he did not have a wife or children, he worked with the children at church for years and they loved him, as did many many other people.

My second friend died today. She was a friend from my graduate school days. I have found that my graduate school friendships are very special and unique. We went through a specific kind of experience together and although we don't talk to each other daily-- or sometimes for months-- we make plans to meet each year at our annual conference, look forward to seeing each other, and we always know that, each other will be there if we need one another. She has left behind a precious daughter and husband. My heart aches for them.

I've never understood the fragility of life like I have in the month of March 2010. Do not take your life for granted. It is so important for you to take care of your health, spend time with those you love, focus on what is valuable, and be read to be with God whenever he calls you. Remember, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:13-15

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Olympics

Ask anyone (especially Jack) and they will tell you, I'm not much of a sports-watcher. I wouldn't say I'm completely lacking in sports knowledge. Overhearing PTI while Jack gets his daily-dose does keep me vaguely informed and I usually fill out a March Madness bracket based on what I overhear. But, generally-speaking, I could care less about most sporting events unless I'm there- watching it live and in the middle of the action to enjoy the event in person.

So, I have to admit, I'm a little surprised to find myself glued to NBC every evening these days watching the Olympics. And I don't just mean the figure skating. In fact, that is not my favorite event this year (as it has been in years past). I have found the most excitement out of events like the speed skating, the snowboard halfpipe, and the ski moguls. My heart raced as I watched athletes like Apolo Ohno, Shaun White, and Hannah Kearney show strength and athleticism of unbelievable magnitude. It's been incredible. I've found myself going to class and telling my students, "You HAVE to watch the Olympics!" So, now, I say to you...from a regular non-sports HAVE to watch the Olympics! :) It really is an amazing event and one that can make you think about things like patience, endurance, strength, and tenacity.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Office Snuggie

I know, I know, I know...we are terrible bloggers. Here I am enjoying my Google Reader subscription-- checking it almost daily for updates from all of my wonderful friends and seeing their beautiful Christmas pictures, reading about their adorable children, and what do I (we) do? Nothing. Not a darn thing. Not even so much as a Merry Christmas to the one or two people left in our tiny readership. Oh well. Thanks, if you still check in from time to time. It's a new year. Maybe we'll be better to the blogging world.

It's really a very silly subject that encouraged me to blog today-- the Snuggie. If you know me at all you know that I am a very warm-natured person. Typically, I like cool air blowing on me in the car. I'd much rather be cold than hot. My philosophy is, you can always put more clothes on, but there's only so much you can take off. Plus, I hate to sweat. However, despite all this, someone gave me a Snuggie for Christmas. Actually, I like it. It's blue and since Jack and I like to try to save money on heat by keeping our house cool, the Snuggie comes in handy.

I'm thinking of relocating the Snuggie, though. Since cold weather hit, I've found myself shivering in my office most days. I work in an older building and I love my office, but the windows are old and not terribly energy-efficient. It's typically rather warm in the summer and cold in the winter. While I have a space heater, the person in the office next to me and I cannot run our space heaters at the same time because when we do, we flip the breaker and have to wait for someone from maintenance to come flip the switch and give us our electricity back. So most days we stay warm in shifts. To alleviate this problem, I have an office jacket, office scarf, and office gloves (complete with the fingertips cut out so I can still type). I've recently thought about bringing the Snuggie in. How convenient would it be to have the full-length blanket over me (with sleeves!) when I can't run my space heater? But I'm torn...I always thought the people on the Snuggie commercial looked like cult members. I try not to be caught up in what others think of my appearance, but I also need to keep a certain sense of professionalism and dignity, even if I am cold. I can quickly hide the gloves if someone comes into my office, but the Snuggie would be more difficult to remove quickly. What do you think? Warmth or dignity?