Monday, September 29, 2008

Celebrating 6 Years of Marriage

Today, marks our 6 year anniversary and the old adage has never been truer: time flies. We've been together for 11 years, actually, so our togetherness goes beyond the actual 6 of marriage and those 5 years prior were crucial in making our marriage what it is today...we walked through our share of turmoil pre-marriage together: struggles in our families, a season of spiritual darkness for Aron, which led to us breaking-up, and many a "dark night of the soul" for me as well. Yet, God showed Himself faithful and redeemed our relationship and we chose Psalm 126 for our wedding day. A few standout verses:

"When the Lord brought back the captive ones from Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with joyful shouting. And they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad...Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting."

While our marriage hasn't been without its ups and down like all marriages, we have tried to maintain healthy communication, date nights, staying in community and God's Word/prayer, and listening and sharing our lives with each other. We try to speak positively of marriage to those around us, yet still maintain transparency and honesty. We've remained close friends all these years.

God has seen fit to give me a husband who truly seeks my best.
I feel loved.
I feel known.

Aron makes me laugh, gives Maggie his undivided attention when he is home, is on the same page with me when it comes to training her heart and mind, and possess talents that blow my mind.

I love you, A.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

week 24 belly shot

I'm due for a new picture. And it's official...I'm huge! Yes, it's true, admit it. AND I still have 16 weeks to go...I *really* can't imagine what I'll look like at the end! At least it's mostly all belly, right?! :)

children's reading corner

We've been making weekly trips to the library, checking out 5 books at a time and enjoying them over the following days. My selection process at this point usually looks like this: keeping an eye on Maggie as she plays with toys or books and talks to other kiddos, while grabbing various books, flipping through them, looking at the number of sentences or words, the illustrations, and the general feel of the story. It takes about 7 minutes and I've selected my 5 for the week.
This one made it into our bag on Wednesday and it's *wonderful*! I love the illustrations, rhyme, and storyline creativity. Ever wonder why your snowman looks droppy the next morning? Read Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner to find out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

full of poop

Be warned.

This post will probably be considered "tmi" (too much information) for many of you, but it warrants telling (thus, I should write an apology up-front to those family members and friends who will be appalled that I am even sharing this...but, if you know me, I'm an open book...I'm pretty straight-forward, but many of you might not see it on my blog all that often). My friend Celeste posted a recent "tmi"story on her blog, so I was inspired to do the same. Plus, Aron is the one who suggested I blog what happened on Monday in the first place.

So. Here. We. Go...

For the last several days, I have been growing increasingly uncomfortable, pregnancy-wise. It's been hard to get up when sitting on the ground and I've just been feeling really huge...and uncomfortable.

Really, really uncomfortable.

Did I mention that yet?

On Monday afternoon, I was sharing with my also-pregnant friend, Kathryn, about how uncomfortable I was. Specifically, how tight my abdomen was and how it had been tight for *hours* and was not subsiding. The more I talked, the more I realized that it was becoming difficult to breathe...not asthma-wise, but rather felt like I had several sharp cramps in my when you go for a run and aren't breathing correctly. We wrapped up our conversation and about 2 hours later, after a nap, and not feeling any better (but worse), I started to freak out because nothing had changed. In fact, those breathing cramps were becoming sharper and sharper. I would say I was actually in pain. After doing some reading, and talking with a few friends, I didn't think I was in labor or having Braxton-Hicks or anything. I just knew what I was feeling couldn't be normal and heck, I am not even in the home stretch of pregnancy...I still have 16 weeks to go! No other symptoms were manifesting themselves and the bambino was moving a ton, so I decided to go to bed and call the OB first thing in the morning.

I dial the OB's number right at 8:30am when the office opens and for a full 10 minutes keep getting the answering service (how are our clocks not totally in sync!?). I *finally* get through to a nurse and she asks me a series of questions: symptoms? how long have you been feeling this way? and my FAVORITE: what level of pain are you experiencing (1-10)? REALLY? Who can categorize pain *numerically*?! I say I am a 5-6 because in my mind, anything prior to a 5 is just "uncomfortable," as in, "I'm tolerating this, I'm functioning, but I don't feel like myself." I'd say anything past a 5 pushes it up to, "I'm feeling some pain." She calls back, says there is probably nothing to worry about, but they still want me to come in for a sonogram.

I happily oblige.

The sonographer is excellent, says he looks great, checks all the vitals, the chambers of his heart, his cerebellum, renal glands, kidneys, bones, etc. All looks good. I am given a DVD and some fantastic pictures to boot.

Next, in comes the OB. He's not my regular OB, but that's OK. I like him instantly. He looks over everything once again and exclaims, "Your kid looks awesome."

I'm grinning from ear to ear.

Then...he proceeds to move the Doppler up higher on my abdomen and says, "Hmm...that explains alot!"

I ask him what we're looking at and he says, "That's your colon. See how it's moving up and down? It's doing the 'I'm-agitated-dance.'"

At this moment, I realize I am in actual physical pain as he is moving around the Doppler. Next, he moves it to my far left-side and I actually grimace and cry out in pain. He smiles again and says, "Yep, that's it! These are your intestines. See all the white spots?! (and there were A LOT) You are full of poop."

I about fell of the table. Are you kidding me?!?!

We laugh and he assures me he sees at least one pregnant woman a day with the same issue. I happily leave, knowing that my child is healthy and there IS something I can do about the incredible level of pain and discomfort I am experiencing.

The cure, you ask?

Metamucil: It's like 10,000 angels ministering to your digestive system.

wordless wednesday

Instead of Maggie, here's a sono pic of our sweet bambino! Yesterday, I had another sonogram...story to follow...

He definitely has the little McKay nose going for him and both Aron and I think he looks alot like Aron's brother's son, Ethan. In the first picture below, his foot is waving out in front of him.

The second picture is of his parts...yep, it's definitely a boy! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

mom corner

Help! I feel like I am need of some creative new foods for Maggie, espeically in the breakfast department. We do the old standbys: smoothies, eggs, Cheerios, tons of fruit, applesauce, oatmeal, frozen waffles, our weekly Saturday pancakes, yogurt. Ideas? I just feel that she is a bit bored with what we eat. But, that could just be me reading into one or two days of more picky eating.

on life

This week has started with a few ups and downs. We are still loving living on campus and have met several other wonderful families. One has 4 kiddos and they live directly below us. I've already talked with the mom, Jackie, and want to be her best friend. Seriously, they seem like such an amazing family. Yesterday, there was a mom's coffee downstairs, but before I went I had to call about our last energy bill to our apartment (it as over $1,200!). When given very little info to aid my broken heart, I bawled my eyes out on the phone to the poor customer service rep about how we could not possible pay such an astronomical amount...ever. Aron is going to call and see if he can negotiate it down (apparently the meter was read incorrectly, so we were re-billed). After this, I didn't want to go downstairs and meet other moms and let Maggie play with friends, but I cleaned myself up and went down and was glad I did so. I believe I am someone who makes friends easily; I just see the value in reaching out and being involved in community and getting plugged in right away, regardless of where one lives. I think I'm a connnector. But, there are days that this process can still seem so overwhelming and the idea of getting to know new people is exhausting. I had a moment of feeling down about this yesterday afternoon. I manage to maintain friendships with many girls who do not live in proximity to me and I have several good friends I want to remain connected with who live near our old home here in the area. Today, it all feels like alot to balance.

I have been purging email this week, and trying a few new recipes. I'm cleaning out my recipes, trying to cook those dishes I have wanted to try (and deciding if they will stay in the repertoire) or tossing them if I think I will just never make it. Last night, I cooked this delish Italian meatloaf; it's been ages since I have made it. Maggie was scooping it up by the handfuls!

Still praying through Aron' s job and when he should transition out; at this point, we are hoping he will stay with the company through the bambino's birth. Ideally, we'd like to be in a ministry position and go to school simultaneously. This makes the most logical sense in my mind.

Our anniversary is in less than 2 weeks and I am trying to figure out where we will go to dinner. Every year since we got married, we have gotten away for a weekend. I see the value in this, even if it's just for 1 night. This year, we don't really have this option for a variety of reasons, so we are going to stick with dinner out. Aron says we can go somewhere nice. I'm mulling on this one.

Fall, please come post haste! With the passing of Ike, a cold front has settled on Dallas and we awoke this morning to a delightful 55 degrees! My favorite season of the year is on it's way in, I just know it! I love all things fall: the weather, the smells, the pumpkins, the colors, the sweaters, the food.

Can you believe this? We actually aren't 100% certain of our bambino's name. A couple other standbys are being tossed about (and if you know them, don't share them!). Hmm...we shall see!

I'm gearing up for my annual girls' trip. These are girlfriends from Bible college and this year marks year 5. We will be in Atlanta at Laurie's new home: 5 friends, 2 newborn babies (4 months and 2 months respectively), a 10-month old, a one-year old, and 2 toddlers will be in the mix as well! Whew. It should be a blast though. I'm already thinking about what goodies I'll bring to share and a fun art project we can all do (we've done something every year). Aron will come out at a few days after the trip ends and we will be going to visit his brother and family, whom we haven't seen in 2 1/2 years (they have never met Maggie!). This will honestly probably be our last plane flight until who knows when. I'm amazed at how much travel we have accrued since Maggie's birth.

I've been reading like crazy for the past 2 months; not having cable has helped, I think: Where the River Ends, Meely LaBauve, Tunnels, Like Water for Elephants, Home to Holly Springs, Jacob Have I Loved, So Long at the Fair, Christine Falls, and a few others that don't come to mind at the moment.

Ok, off to get Mags up from her nap and run a few errands.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

moving in

We have arrived on campus at DTS! It's really an exciting time for us and we both already feel so at home here. On Saturday, when we moved in, several people stopped in to say hi and introduce themselves. We've already had 2 rounds of yummy cinnamon rolls from neighbors, too! I've gotten to know the family directly across from us and they are wonderful. Their names are Bethany and Tyce and they have two boys, Asher (3 years old) and Cadmon (8 months). We've already popped over on several occasions to hang out and let the kiddos play and last night, we propped our doors open and they came back and forth. It was awesome! Another neighbor just down the hall has a little girl, Avery, only 3 weeks younger than Maggie! How great is that?! We are planning to hang out tomorrow. I'm staring a Bible study with some moms on campus and already feel quite at home. The apartment is roomy with tons of storage and we are well insulated from any excess noise from neighbors--isn't that great?! We are mostly unpacked and just need to hang pictures and put away a few more items. I promise to post pics of our new place once it's done.

In wrapping up this post, I must say a huge thanks to Greg and Patti, Matt and Rachel, and Erin and Christian for their outstanding help in our move this weekend. We had the truck packed in about an hour, enjoyed a lesiurely lunch, then unloaded here on campus in about an hour. Hooray for good friends and hard workers! :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

wordless wednesday

This past Sunday, we watched the first Cowboy game of the season with our friends the Duckworths and the Maples. Here are the kiddos hanging out (I just love the arm hold Maggie has on Charlotte). Dealy is totally engrossed in the game. Thanks, Allison, for the cute pics! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

wordless wednesday

Post-bath, cozy-new-jammies, puzzle time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

craiglist ad

Thanks to Kathryn for sending this to me. You *HAVE* to read this ad in its entirety. I post it here because it's hilarious to me and I'm not trying to mock the actually more baffles my mind how specific their requirements are for their ideal nanny.

My favorite requirements include:
*Vegetarian friendly
*NOT letting the baby cry (I'm all for certain aspects of attachment parenting, but never letting a child cry?! I can't tell you how much I disagree with this)
*Having to change your hygiene habits
*No personal time (what?! even while the baby is sleeping?! this is CRAZY)

Bottom line: *Clearly* they are looking for the perfect fit and no one will do this better then, well, them! So they should just stay home with the infant. There, problem solved!

Read it here.