"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Three Little Preggies

So, I've mentioned before that two of my dearest friends are pregnant with me! We finally got around to taking a picture of the three of us at a Christmas party that I threw. 23 people + 3 babies came, I'll post pictures if I can get them from Elysha.

Disclaimer: I look horrible... yuck! I feel like my nose is getting bigger, and sho nuff, so are my cheeks!!! Please keep in mind that I had been running around all day to throw the party together, and then entertaining guest for a couple of hours. But try to ignore me, and focus on my adorable bump that holds my adorable baby :).

Also, that's my foyer... I painted the true blue to a lighter color. Do you like it?

Me @ 23 weeks with the Wannton, Elysha @ 31 weeks with Nathan, and Jessica @ 32 weeks with Avery!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Turn

"It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the ‘turn’ comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality."~ JRR Tolkien


My Turn books:

The Last Battle, The Chronicles of Narnia: "All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."


The Hobbit: "I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen. I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number. I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of bag, but no bag went over me. I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider."~ Bilbo Baggins

The Fellowship of the Ring: "This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the Great. Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it? Or, if they are wise, why should they expect to know it, until the hour has struck?"~ Elrond

Wuthering Heights: "Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy."~ Cathy

The Bluest Eye: "It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights-if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different."

A Doll's House: "Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. "~ Nora
Gone with the Wind: "You're so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett. You take their love and hold it over their heads like a whip."~ Rhett Butler

Anne of Green Gables: "For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement."

Dune: "And take the most special care that you locate Muad'Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place."~ Irulan

Little Women: "...and clung more closely to the dear human love, from which our Father never means us to be weaned, but through which He draws us closer to Himself. She could not say, 'I'm glad to go,' for life was very sweet for her. She could only sob out, 'I try to be willing,' while she held fast to Jo, as the first bitter wave of this great sorrow broke over them together."

I have waited years to be able to share those books with my children, and I am so thrilled that it is getting so, so, so, so close... Hopefully the baby will skip right out of the womb and into the classics, and I can share my friends with him or her. I love them, and they give me the greatest thrills and shivers whenever I read them. Some I love for their very fairy-ness, but others because they make me think and explore and understand people and concepts that I would never have encountered otherwise. They've taught me about goodness, ideals, and the importance of aspirations and ambitions and perseverance, and most importantly, they've given me a heart for children and an understanding of the need for an adored and well protected childhood. Every baby deserves that.

And I can't leave off my favorite book, The Good Book. It gives me The Turn everytime I read it, because its the best of all the fairy stories... and the only one that is really true!

The Holy Bible:
"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world."~John 1:29

Jesus replied, "I tell you, if they kept silent, the stones would cry out!"~Luke 19:40

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."~Revelation 21:1-5


Do you have any books that you love? That give you The Turn when you read them? Any favorite quotes?

Monday, December 7, 2009

22 Week Wannton

Here he/she is, a few days later than promised! Also, no bump picture... but you don't want to see me, do you? We had our 21 and 2 day ultrasound last Wednesday, and it was so wonderful! We did NOT find out the sex of the baby. When we were getting set up, I didn't say anything because I assumed she would ask when the time was right. Nick finally got tired of waiting for me to say something and told her that we did not want to know! He was afraid that in the moment, I would shout out "YES, TELL ME!" so he wanted to nip in in the bud before I could get caught up in the excitement.

We have a DVD of the experience, which I was going to post, but I am afraid of all of the armchair gender predictors analyzing it and spoiling our surprise ;). We're even afraid to watch it again. I've already had one friend tell me that she can totally make out a male appendage from the pictures below... but I don't see it, do you? All I see are some sweet curled up baby legs and the umbilical cord!

The baby weighs 14 oz in our picturea. Nick and I have also decided not to do a 4D ultrasound because we figure if we are going for mystery... we are going for mystery all the way! I do think that they are the coolest things in the world, so I will just have to live vicariously through Jessica and cutie pie Avery. You can already tell from the regular ultrasounds what a beauty she will be!

Head Shot, Spine and Stomach:

There really is something to be said for mother's instinct because when I show these to people, they have no idea what they are looking at! To me its so clear though, I can make out the head, and the nose, and the cheeks, and every little thing. Its so magical, and I incredibly thankful for my Wannton. I've had two people (Nick and Khadija) comment on the babies round cheeks! I have been praying and praying the baby wouldn't inherit those from me, but I fear they may be right. I take comfort in the fact that the baby has the absolute sweetest little chin and jawline! I can't wait to meet my baby.
Full Body, with legs curled... and no penis, Jessy. See the baby putting his/her sweet fingers in their mouth?:
I'm 22 weeks today, and I have been feeling the baby move for a few weeks now. Nick has also been able to feel the baby move many times, the first time of which was just during the 20th week! I sort of force him to keep his hand on my stomach whenever we are in bed or watching TV. I can't believe his hand isn't permanently glued to my stomach! He has been talking to my stomach a lot, which is off the charts cute. I love him so much.
As for me, I have gained 7 pounds and my thyroid is back to normal. I have a feeling the pounds are going to start piling on, especially with the Holidays! I haven't had any nausea since week 15, except for a couple of days last week. My energy is up a leeeetle bit, but now my back and tail bone have started killing me! I also have a raging cold :(. I am starting to really love being pregnant though. Its pretty magical, and I am so aware of the baby now that he/she has started moving. There is a list of approved medications that my Dr told me I could take that I took earlier in the pregnancy sparingly. But now I just can't bring myself too. It has suddenly become so real, and eventhough they say its safe... I will just tough these things out!
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Old Business:
The Gender Poll - The votes were fairly evenly split, with the odds slightly in favor of boy at 40%. Girl and No Idea came in at 30% each. Unofficial polling is pretty evenly split too! Both grandmothers think girl, both Nick and mine's sister think boy, one friend thinks girl, another boy... and its pretty even across the board. We plan to keep everyone guessing!



Monday, November 30, 2009

Making Memories of Us, Part 2

Ok, I so I know I came across as all “Woe is me” in my last post, but I am so blessed, and I have a lot of wonderful things. I am also feeling very bloggy/chatty, after this post I have another one that I want to do, and then one on Wednesday. What’s on Wednesday you ask? Well, Wednesday is my half-way ultrasound, and I plan to update you all on the Wannton with ultrasound pictures and bump pictures, and regale you with stories of all of the milestones I’ve hit! I bet you can’t wait, can you??? :)

So if you’ll recall my four Christmas decorations that I’ve wanted to get since I got married (I know its hard because its been so long between posts):
1. Lovely Nativity Set
2. A Tree Skirt
3. A Tree Topper, preferably an angel
4. And to start a Department 56 village

If you don’t know what a Department 56 village is, go check it out! It might not be for everyone, but its one of my favorite childhood Christmas memories. My mother had the Department 56 “Dicken’s” village, and every year she would add a piece or two. I just loved buying her pieces with my dad, and setting it up, and looking at all of the figures and tying them into which Dicken’s novels I had read. They just make me think of Christmas!

So, after I was done at Pottery Barn, I decided that this was also the year that I would start my village. Every year, I’ve tried to do it… but I couldn’t decide which one I wanted. First I was going to do the “O Little Town of Bethlehem” village, but the year I discovered it, they discontinued it. BOO! Then I thought the “North Pole” village because it colorful and whimsical, and anyone who knows me, knows I love a touch of whimsy! Then I thought maybe “Elfland” because, also anyone who knows me, knows I love all fairy creatures, especially the elvish kind that repair your shoes when your asleep!

***Side note, I do love the LOTR elves, but they are so tall and fair, that I can’t really relate to them. We all know I’m part hobbit!

The one I really didn’t want was the Dicken’s village because I didn’t want to copy my mom. However, after looking at all of the villages again… I decided to start their “Dicken’s A Christmas Carol” series anyway. It’s such a wonderful story of redemption, forgiveness and a changed heart. I am getting older, and I know myself better and better all the time, and the truth is, I am nothing if not a story lover.

So, I started with “Ebenezer Scrooge’s House” and “A Christmas Carol Visit” with Scrooge and the Three Christmas Ghosts. I can’t wait until they get in! I can just imagine reading “A Christmas Carol” to my babies every year and setting this up with them. I really, really want “Cratchit’s Corner” house and “Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim” and “The Big Prize Turkey” figurines, but part of the fun is pacing yourself and just buying a few pieces a year. We’ll just have to see how I do!

Making Memories of Us, Part 1

I love Christmas, I really do, but I am the worst about decorating for it. Nick and I have not had a Christmas tree since our first year of marriage (2005!). We are usually away from home at Christmas, so there rarely seems to be any point.

Also, I always want to buy Christmas decorations but there are so many cute ones out there, that again, I just get overwhelmed and don’t know what to buy. I find that spending money overwhelms me… I want to spend it on worthwhile things because I work so hard for it, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is worthwhile! So as a result, every year I have vowed to buy Christmas decorations, and every year I can’t figure out what to buy and get fed up and don’t buy anything! I also feel frivolous when so many people around the world have real needs.

This year I am getting serious about Christmas because we have a baby coming, and I want him or her to have many special memories. It’s the holiday where we celebrate the savior of the world, so it should be special and magical! I’ll still give away a lot, but I need to work on appreciating the blessings that God gives me and not feeling so guilty about them.

I have wanted four Christmas things since we got married:
1. A Lovely Nativity Set
2. A Tree Skirt
3. A Tree Topper, preferably an angel
4. And to start a Department 56 village

Yesterday, I decided to just bite the bullet and buy a tree skirt, I knew the exact one I wanted from Pottery Barn so I went onto the Pottery Barn website. Nothing was going to stop me; I was determined! But then, the one I really wanted was too expensive once I really looked at the price, so I picked the next one down, which was still nice. Then I started looking around for other people, and they had a lot of wonderful neat gifts that I can’t get into because those people read my blog. By the time I had added my tree skirt and gifts, my tally was so high that I felt bad about spending that much money… so what did I do? I took off the tree skirt and just bought for other people. Are you getting an inkling of what has happened the past few years?

Then I stopped myself, and I decided that NO, I need to get something decorative for Christmas for myself. This is why I have no Christmas decorations, so I really need to take baby steps. So I bought a lovely ornament with Nick and mine’s initials, and I’ll put pictures into it of us. I am excited... even if it isn’t the Tree Skirt I wanted. I think I’ll just have a look around Target, the poor man’s Pottery Barn, this week and see what I can find for my Tree Skirt!

Thanksgiving 2009!

I almost titled this post… A Wannderful Thanksgiving, but I thought I would spare y’all! It was a wonderful Thankgiving filled with Wanns since we drove to Dallas to spend it with Nick’s family.

The best part… getting to spend three days with my precious nephew Barrett! He is 8 months, going on 9 months, and Nick and I love him so much. He’s a very mellow baby, and I’m hoping his cousin takes after him. He smiles a lot, and he’s crawling and into everything! And everything then goes into his mouth! He adored his Uncle Nick, but then again most babies do.
Thanksgiving day there was a big crowd at Nick’s parents house. His mom and dad, BIL, Brady and sister, Tiffany, Baby Bear (of course!), his Mema and Papaw (Mom’s parents), his Granny (Dad’s mom), his Aunt Eva and Uncle Ron, and his cousin Colleen and her two cute little girls, Erin and Carmen. Oh and I can't forget the dogs, we brought Frodo and Tiffany and Brady brought Jazzy (Jasmine), their new collie, and Jim and Melody already had C.J.. They provided many hours of amusement! It was just a nice time and there was a ton of food, and in the evening everyone was in a food coma.
Then of course, the A&M/t.u. game. My stomach was all in knots before the game because I was sure it was going to be a pretty humiliating defeat, like Arkansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma… but we held our own and I was proud. I knew we would lose because we were not the better team this year, but we didn’t go down without a fight. I secretly wish that everyone could win because after all… its just football!

Friday everyone in Nick’s family got at 3:30 AM to hit the Black Friday deals, everyone except Mema and me! I am not fully Wann yet I guess, because I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do less. I changed my mind a million times about going, but finally I decided to just sleep. A pregnant girl needs her sleep, and I also am no big fan of crowds, cold or the possibility of getting tramped to death!

Later on that day I finally registered at Babies R Us. I took Tiffany, my SIL because I had no idea what to get. And can I just say… I really didn’t know what to get! I just basically followed her around and she told me what to register for. I need to get online and update it a bit because I scanned too many things, like I think I have 6 changing pad covers. I didn’t worry about it because I knew I could just go online and sort everything later. It’s a little overwhelming to go into the store and hope to get it perfect the first time.

The next day we just went shopping and had a great time, and then yesterday Nick and I drove all the way home. It was a great time with family and I am so blessed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Nick and I have just finished a bible study through our church on marriage called Love and Respect. I have always thought that Nick and I had a wonderful marriage, but this class was so eye opening. I have always had the highest opinion of my husband, I respect him and I think he's so wise. He is always full of good counsel, and infinitely patient with me and kind to me... eventhough I can still be the world's biggest cranky pants at times!

This class made me realize things about my husband and myself and the way that God created us to be. One of the principles that they teach wives on their husbands is "appreciating his desire to serve and to lead." I am realizing that God designed Nick's shoulders to be able to carry things that mine were just never designed to carry.

Like why does he never come home crying over things that have happened at work? And yet I frequently do, and he listens patiently and always offers good advice. (Before you judge me, even Margaret Thatcher used to cry to her husband over Parliament when she went home!) I used to wonder why Nick never minded not having a choice about working once we have kids, I couldn't stand the thought of not being able to choose whether to go back to work or stay home.

I asked him a few weeks ago... "how can you stand it? How can you stand how much the baby and I will need you? We'll need you to take care of us, to support us, to provide for us, and not just financially. We'll just need you - your leadership, wisdom, counsel, love, attention, affection." Nick just gave me a look that said "Why is my crazy wife asking me these questions?" What he said was "I don't know, I just can." LOL, that's Nick for you! But still, that's a lot of pressure on one man, the pressure that is on every good man!

But it is so clear to me now, that is just the way that God designed him, and all good men. That's why he can stand a pressure that would crush me. Recognizing and accepting this about my husband has been one of the most relief filled experiences of my life! Before, I was always content to let him lead, but I always felt guilty that unless I was doing everything he was doing, that I wasn't pulling my weight. That I wasn't contributing enough to our family. That I had to strive and struggle. Nick never made me feel that way, I made me feel that way, but I am not going to feel that way anymore! I don't have to project my feelings onto him or worry that he minds the responsibility. I have such a good husband and such a good God, whose word can always be trusted to lead to freedom and peace!
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"For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior... Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church." Ephesians 5:23, 25-29

Friday, November 13, 2009

They'll Give Anybody a Baby...

Haha, this is not the kind of candid shot that would inspire one to think that she will be a great mother! I have a lot to learn...

Elysha, however, has already mastered the art of ignoring the chaos!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

17 Weeks!

Well, I had my third Drs appointment today and I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time! Last time they couldn't find it, but it was ok... they let me have another ultrasound so it was all worth it.

So the heartbeat is 145 beats per minute... which according to some old wives tales indicates that its a girl, we'll just have to wait and see!

As for Mama, I have only gained 2 pounds! I was in disbelief because I feel like a chunky monkey. I didn't gain any weight between my first two appointments at all! Nick also registered a look of shock when I told him... he thought I had gained more too. I am not sure how I feel about that :). Actually though, the one thing that keeps coming up abnormal on my blood test is my thyroid, apparently its been a little hyperactive, which is probably why I haven't been gaining that much weight. I am not complaining about that, and the Doc says that as long as I am not losing weight that everything should be ok!

Here's a pic of me taken a few days ago... see I am a chunky monkey!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Infertility - How He Loves

This is a post that I have been wanting to make for a very long time, but I keep putting it off because its just too personal. Tonight though, I seem to have hit upon the right combination of pregnancy hormones, loneliness (my beloved is away all week and can barely even call or email), and also a desire to procrastinate from cleaning my floors that are filthy!

Most of my really close friends know that Nick and I tried for two years before we conceived. I know that I am pregnant now, but they define infertility as trying to a year and still not becoming pregnant. Anyone who has gone through this any length of time can tell you how emotionally draining it is, and I know that I didn't even have to struggle with it for as long as some people. Every month you have a very visible reminder of your failure.

I can remember days where I would feel desperately sad and frustrated, unable to concentrate on anything. There were days where I cried and cried for hours and howled in frustration and grief at My Lord. I couldn't understand why someone who was only 24, then 25, could have these problems? Wasn't I faithful? Didn't I love My Lord? Wouldn't I raise Godly children? There's no way I would be a worse mom than some of the people who I knew who were getting pregnant. Most of my friends I was so happy for, but its hard to be happy for a teenage single mother who drank during pregnancy.

My first comfort was my beloved Husband. How could I doubt the goodness of God when he gave me this man who I do not deserve? I do not deserve my husband and his unwavering patience with me and his unconditional, agape kind of love for me. He taught me the way that God loves and made it so clear to me that it wasn't a fighting kind of love, but a resting kind of love. I don't know any other way to say it. I loved to read the story of Hannah in Samuel 1, and the love that her husband had for her because I think Nick loves me that much. Its one of the clearest and most explicit examples in the bible on a husband loving his wife. "Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice... to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb... Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" I also liked that I didn't have to worry about my husband taking a second wife to gain children, ha!

Anyway, I can sure be long winded when I want to be! But the whole reason that I started this post was to share something that I found one day when I was particularly low and overwhelmed with misery. I was at work and I couldn't concentrate I was feeling so miserable, and I know its not right to cheat my workplace. I found this, read it many times, and it comforted me at a very low point. Maybe someday I will figure out blog brevity... but today is not that day!
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"Children. I want children. Not just a baby. Not just a child. I want children. Three of them. If I were younger, I might want more, but at thirty-four three seems like a good number. Marrying a little late and moving across the country a couple of times as well as a long-running struggle to pay the rent delayed the real trying for a while.

The trying has been going on for a long time now. Not as long a many of you, but much longer than most.To no avail. No children. Not one pregnancy. I have never experienced that wonder of knowing that there is a life inside of me. Instead, there is a longing that will not be filled, that will not be diminished, that will not end this side of heaven without children to fill it.Nothing else in my life has been as baffling to me as not being able to conceive a child. My emotions hide even from myself, spilling out in tears of sadness or anger at the most inopportune times. There have been no days of real clarity, no times when a light has come on to show the way—not even a little. But the mysterious and marvelous mercy of God has convinced me of one thing in all of this—it is dark because I am in that deep, hidden place under God’s wing.

Certainly, the inability to bear children to the glory of God is due to the sinfulness of sin and its effect on all of life. It is not that God punishes us by not allowing us to give birth to the offspring we most desperately desire. It is rather that we, along with all of creation, suffer the wretched consequences of the sin of our first mother and father, Adam and Eve, compounded by the sin of all the sinners who have come after them. And that, of course, is all of us.

Since this is so, I know that, as with all of life, I must not put my trust in anything other than God, even in the provision of a child. This does not necessarily mean that I may not use a medical intervention to try to conceive a child. It does not mean that adoption is not an option to pursue. Rather, I trust that God in His mercy has given us these means as part of His redemption from the effects of the Fall.

At times the knowledge that God has given His covenant of grace to believers and their children makes not being able to have a child even more difficult to understand and bear. God has rescued me from such a desperate place and has given me such a glorious glimpse of Himself that I want, with all that is within me, to see this passed on to the next generation of my family, my children.

My heart cries out, “Why, O God, will You not answer this prayer? Why will You not do this simple thing for me and for Your own name’s sake? You do it for so many so easily. Your marvelous grace. Why not to me?” With thoughts like these, it is easy to fall into deep despair, and at times I certainly do. When this happens, God in His time and His various graceful ways, comes to me to remind me that I am not alone. He does not, as so many do, tell me that “my time will come.” He does not say that if I will just relax and not try so hard, everything will be okay. He does not say, “If you adopt a baby, you’ll get pregnant.” He does say that He is with me. He weeps with me as Jesus wept for Lazarus. He reminds me that He is good and that He can be trusted with my heart. Any doubt of that was wiped away at the Cross.

He has given His best to me, His own beautiful, beloved Child. Will He withhold any good thing from me? No, never. Is Jesus enough to make up for this aching void in my soul? I do not always feel that it is so. But it is. Jesus loves me—this I know."

-Debbie Trickett, from The True Woman by Susan Hunt

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Spoiled Little Wannton

I'm beginning to think that all my mom does is sit around and shop for and/or make things for our little Wannton. Not that I'm complaining, I love that my sweet baby is so loved already. She's done a few really special things, and so far my favorite is that she completely refurbished my old rocking horse!!! She restained it, redid the eyes and ears, the leather harness, and the hair, and now what do you think of the end result?



As of tomorrow, I will be 16 weeks already! Can you believe it? I can hardly believe that it is passing by so quickly. My little countdown clock is already down to 168 days, and I remember when I couldn't wait for it to get down to below 200.

One of the reasons why I have been kind of MIA from the blog scene is that last week I was very sick with a virus. Thankfully it wasn't the flu or strep, but I still had to take an entire week of off work because your immune system is very weak when you are pregnant, and then this week has been so busy as I tried to play catch up at work! Then I had a class to take for work that went through today (Sunday) and its back to work tomorrow, so needless to say, I am pooped.

When I was sick, I thought that the Doctors would try to limit the medication, but oh my, they DID NOT! It was crazy. They told me to alternate Advil and Tylenol every 4 hours, then they reduced it to 3 hours. Then they prescribed me a Z-Pack. Then they told me to alternate Sudafed and Claritan every four hours. Then they told me to take Robitussin for my cough on top of all of that! I didn't really end up taking it all because I can handle a stuffy nose and a cough. I did keep taking Advil and Tylenol because its really important to keep your temperature down, but I only took the other stuff occasionally to help with sleep.

And tomorrow, its back to the old grindstone... I need to take it easy or else I'll make myself sick all over again! Why haven't all Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations ceased for my pregnancy? :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Do I Know of Holy?

The most beautiful song...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6J5TzSE_18

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were might to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

(CHORUS 2)
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life it's name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?

What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy? What do I know of Holy?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Regressing Musical Tastes

Ok, the great thing about a blog is that its yours and you can post WHATEVER you want. So I'm going to post something because I hope that someone responds and tells me that I am not alone.

I have recently begun bebopping my head to the new Miley Cyrus song, "Party in the USA" whenever I find it on the radio. I tried so hard to resist, but she's like the borg... resistance is futile! Please tell me I'm not the only 26 year old that likes a Miley song?

And Taylor Swift, she is soooo the kind of musician I would have made fun of, but secretly loved in high school a la Celine Dion. Well now I am an open Taylor Swift fan, in spite of the fact that one time, this girl - who I shall not name - scoffed at me and told me that she (Taylor Swift) was soooo high school. WHAT-EVER! She is super talented, and I LOVE her "Love Story" song. Remember when love used to be like that? Simple, boy and girl fall in love, decide they are right for one another and get married? That's how it was for Nick and I, it takes me back to an easier times.

Now its, boy and girl meet, have sex, decide that they are in love, decide to shack up, go back and forth about maybe staying together if they can get into a grad school in the same city, have a few kids together, and decide, ok, we'll get married now because I guess we are compatible enough after all we have been through. I mean... where's the romance? Seriously.

But this post is about music. I mean, in high school, I listened to the Offspring, Nirvana, Metallica, I did NOT listen to Britney or Christina, the old Mileys. Just yesterday, I had to change the channel when "Nothing Else Matters" came on the radio; I just couldn't take it! Most of Metallica's stuff sounds like noise to me now, as does all of the old Alternative/Punk/Rock groups I used to love. Anyone my age tried listening to "Strawberry" lately? Jeezums, I'm getting so old.

I've also started to really love Christian music, which even many years into becoming a Christian, I just couldn't take because I found it soooo cheesy. Do you want to know how far I've fallen? Just listen to "More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz, I love that song, it makes me cry every single time I hear it, and it might as well be slathered in Velveeta.

How have everyone elses' musical tastes changed since they were in high school? Is it just me? Would my cool meter raise slightly if I said that I love the Black Eyed Peas? :) JK, I feel pretty cool most of the time, except, of course, when "Party in the USA" comes on.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Lovely Lady BUMP!

Please excuse my late bedtime hair...


13 Weeks Today!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Results Are In!

Wannton it is! Thank you for all of your help. An intermediate name is a very important thing when you are not going to find out the sex of a baby.

The Results:
Little Wann - 1 Vote (9%)
Wannder Baby - 0 Votes
Wannton - 8 Votes (72%)
Snickadee - 0 Votes
WannaBee - 4 Votes (36%)

11 Votes Total

I'm no mathmagician, but something about those totals and and percentages don't look quite right to me... also at one point, I'm pretty sure that there was at least 1 voter for Wannder Baby. This poll was a little ghetto, but I don't think we need a recount because I am completely excited about Wannton :)

Other Cute Intermediate Names I've Heard:
Tiffany and Brady - Tibby
The Vanns - MiniVann
The Gribnaus - Griblet

So fun!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Bill Bergen of Baby Guessing

I'm so excited! I actually have two friends that are pregnant with me, and they are due February 10th and 16th, my friend Jessica and my friend Elysha! Jessica found out on Monday that she is having a girl, and we were all convinced that she was having a boy. Elysha found out today that she was having a boy, and we were all convinced that she was having a girl. Our three babies are going to have so much fun on their playdates!

As for Nick and my baby, we've decided not to find out the sex. I will say that I am so glad that no matter what I can't be the odd girl out in our trio! I was secretly hoping that we would all have one sex or another so that they could all play, but I figured that there was only a 12.5% chance of that happening. They can still play of course, but they will want to be doing very different things before too long.

As for guessing on the sex of our baby, I give up, I am never guessing the sex of a baby again... I am always wrong. Let's review my sad, sad history of guessing gender in the unborn:

Lacey - Boy, RIGHT! The ONE AND ONLY TIME.
Emily - Girl, WRONG
Angie - Boy, WRONG
Staci - Girl, WRONG
Jessica - Girl, WRONG
Elysha - Boy, WRONG
Tiffany - Boy, WRONG
Ryan - Boy, WRONG
Kacy - Boy, WRONG
Shella - Boy, WRONG

There are others, I just can't think of them. So I've officially retired because there's a 0.01% chance that someone could be wrong about this 9 times in a row, but somehow I've managed to pull it off.

I do however, love to hear everyone else's guess about the Wannton! :)

Well, we've had breakfast yes, but...

I think being pregnant may be turning me into a Hobbit. I've always felt as though I have lot in common with those little creatures. From the soles of my leathery feet to my diminutive height, I've always felt a kinship with them.

Well, my eating habits now seem to be slowly evolving into those of a hobbit as well.

Hobbit meals:

*breakfast
*second breakfast
elevenses
*luncheon
*afternoon tea
*dinner
supper

*The meals I eat.

And I've even been know to occasionally have supper after dinner!
Oh dear, by the time I'm 9 months, I will have worked my way up to all SEVEN meals!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There is a season.

I wanted to share this from my friend Jessica's blog:

http://www.biblesociety.ca/free_scriptures/escriptures/ecclesiastes3/ecclesiastes3.html

In this life, we will have many seasons, sometimes we are in a difficult season, but sometimes we have a joyful season. Don't forget, that no matter how bad of a season you are in, this too shall pass.

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bargain Betty Strikes Again!

I am just on a roll! Nick and I bought the crib and changing table today. We hadn't planned on buying a crib for a few months, but my mom called and she had been poking around on Craigslist in Houston, and found a GREAT DEAL! The crib and changing table were solid wood and only $375. It also comes with a mattress that has only ever had a plastic covering on it.

I had been having a hard time deciding on the color... do I want white, expresso, honey??? I just couldn't decide. This is pretty neutral, but I want my nursery to be soothing, and its so cheap, I won't feel bad if I decide to paint it a fun color. I have always wanted to do that!

I do, however, plan to splurge on the glider! I want to get a really comfy one since I'll be spending so much time in it. We've decided against using a bassinett in our bedroom, so I want one that is really comfy for all of the many late night feedings.

I am so happy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lift Up Your Eyes

I want to lift up this family in prayer tonight, and ask anyone who finds this to do the same. This family the Sullivans have been married for 5 years, and while they were pregnant with their first baby, the wife Sara was diagnosed with breast cancer. A few weeks after giving birth to their daughter Chloe, Sara has several seizures that left her brain dead and she went to be with our Lord yesterday.

http://bandssullivan.blogspot.com/

This has had me brokenhearted all day because I can only imagine how hard it was for her to leave her husband and baby, and for the father to be left to care for his newborn. Its so hard not to feel despair and sadness when something like this happens, and to wonder why God did not perform a miracle for his faithful this time.

I keep thinking of the line from "How He Loves" by the David Crowder Band, "We are His portion and He is our prize."

One of my favorite verses is from Psalm 84:10 -
"Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked."

God is our prize, He is our reward. You know, I sometimes wonder what my job in heaven will be. I know that I will probably never be a spiritual giant, I am too broken, too selfish, I lack self control, I lack even a modicum of grace for democratic politicians. If he who is last shall be first in the kingdom of heaven, then I will probably have a pretty menial job. But even that will be enough just for the chance to sit at his feet and worship, even just for one day.

Haha, Nick just said I can cry for 5 more minutes, but then I need to go ahead and stop :).

But anyway, right now Sara has received her prize, and once the sadness passes and the tears stop, we can rejoice.

Hey, I think there's another bible verse there, Psalm 30:5 -
"Weeping may endure for night, but joy comes with the morning."

Have a blessed night!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pregnancy and Random Movie Stuff

Pregnancy

I have been so sad because I haven't been able to go to church in a few weeks. I miss it. I do ok with the pregnancy sickness during the week because I think I force myself to be functional for work, but then on the weekends, everything just let's loose! I woke up yesterday morning with the right side of my face numb, which can only mean one thing... MIGRAINE! So on top of the worst pregnancy nausea and vomiting so far, I had a migraine that carried over into this morning. Nick was very sweet and took good care of me, but also couldn't help lamenting "Why couldn't you have gotten sick when your mom was here?" :).

I was supposed to have met two girlfriends for a Saturday night church date and dinner and maybe movie last night... didn't happen. Then we were supposed to go watch the Saints game at some friends' house today... didn't happen. Oh well, I think a baby is an exchange well worth it! :)

Also, I had some phone calls of concern this week, asking if I was ok because I didn't sound so good on my blog. I am great! I am so happy over the pregnancy, but I am just not enjoying the pregnancy right now. Does that make any sense? All of my symptoms are perfectly normal according to the baby books, so I don't worry about them. They are what they are. I only have two weeks to go before I am done with my first trimester, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that after those magic 13 weeks are up, I'll have energy and won't be sick anymore. In the mean time, I cry out of happiness (and horomones) over the baby all the time. I LOVE THIS BABY!

My mom's visit was awesome. I only had to worry about getting to work, and working out in the evenings. She took care of everything else! Nick and I did not want her to go. We are currently welcoming any other guests that would like to come and cook, clean and organize for us :).

Random Movie Stuff

Last night I started feeling a little bit better, so we decided to put in a movie that I had netflixed, and I think it may be a new favorite of mine, Chariots of Fire. Everyone has heard of it and most people have seen it, but I hadn't. Its a great story of a man of faith, Eric Liddle, who ran for the glory of God and even refused to run in the 1924 Olympic games on the Sabbath. I was so happy that the moviemakers didn't play down his faith and belief in God. I also really enjoyed the story of Harold Abrahams, a scrappy Jewish man with something to prove to the entire English establishment. I highly recommend this movie to anyone!

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." ~Eric Liddle Also, I finally watch All About Eve... it was very good, but creepy, very creepy. It was not what I expected. I also finally just saw Slingblade, which was very good, but a little dark. I think during these days of my pregnancy I need to stick to lighter fair!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are you ready to be revved down?

These always crack me up, and in my case anyway... they are almost always so true!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mama's Comin'!

No, not me. This is not about the baby, as promised, but I am so excited because my mom is coming tomorrow! Its very last minute, and soooo not like her to be spontaneous, but she called me today and said that she wanted to come and visit this week. So she'll be in tomorrow, and she'll be leaving Thursday or Friday.

I'm so happy because, well call me pathetic, but being sick, tired and pregnant, with a chaotically messy house right now, and a 12+ hour workday... I've been wanting my mommy! She'll be here to help me clean and organize and cook for me... and maybe baby me a little bit :). Nick does a pretty good job, but nothing has prepared him for the pregnancy horomones. I'm not mean, but I keep crying over nothing and I've been feeling so overwhelmed lately.

So WHOOP! I can't wait until she gets here. Tomorrow cannot come fast enough! That's her on the right with my sister (middle) and my cousin Jody (left).

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Baby Things

So, I promise that not all posts will be about the baby... promise, promise, promise, but since we just started telling people, that's all people have been asking about so its all that we have been thinking about!

But I wanted to post about a few things I have for the baby. I actually cheated. I already have the bedding! I bought it when it was on clearance. My mom was in on it, and she bought a few of the accessories that you could only buy in the store, and I bought what I could online. So, I actually already have the nursery bedding, even though its really early! Don't worry though Mother-In-Law, there's still A LOT for you to help with if you want to! I love it, and even though I occasionally see something that I think I like more, every time I look at this, I love it more and more and I'm glad that I bought it when I had the chance. Its a neutral set, which works since we don't want to find out the sex ofAdd Image the baby, and its called the "Stork" set. It works pretty well, I think its funny because at least one of my blog reading friends may remember my nickname in Junior High was "Storky"... because I was Stori and I was dorky. I'm still pretty dorky!

Here it is... do you guys like it?




The second thing Nick and I bought right after we found out we were pregnant. There's a baby consignment shop in Covington that has a lot of great baby things and most of them are gently used. This vibrating chair was only $18 and is just like new! Its still available at Target, and I think its less than $30 there, but I still like saving money. It also has little owls, along with other animals, and I have been obsessed with owls lately. I definitely plan on returning to see what else I find there.

These last items my mom bought for me. She was visiting College Station this weekend, and I asked her to pick up some newborn baby Aggie gear. I would just like to say that I am soooo glad that my husband is an Aggie, and that I don't have to compromise and put the baby in Red and Black (sorry Jessica, you know I love you!) or Burnt Orange and White (sorry Adrienne, you know I love you too!). It will only be Maroon and White for this little one, and even though I'm going to try to not be "that" parent... it would break my heart if my baby didn't want to go to A&M, I'll try my best to hide it though! I love it there, its where Nick and I met and fell in love, its where my parents met and fell in love, and its one of my favorite places. I plan to bring the baby home in a A&M outfit, just like I was! So my sweet Aunt Debbie bought this little cap and socks, and I will work on an outfit later.



This last outfit is really cute one that my mom bought out of excitement! It has a stork on it, so the baby will perfectly coordinate with the nursery. :)

That's it... what do you think?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh I Wannder!

Haha, getting tired of the Wann puns yet? I have quite a few more where that came from, and I mean to use them all!

Having a baby is so exciting and we are so happy, but its also a little scary. I have all of these concerns like:

What if I don't lose the baby weight? I had lost 8 pounds before I got pregnant, although I'm pretty sure that I've gained it back already :(. I hope its not too hard, I want to always be beautiful to Nick.

Is my head going to get huge during the pregnancy? I hope not, I already feel like its disproportionately large. And my chubby cheeks... even at my thinnest they are so round. What if at 9 months I'm all cheeks in my pictures?

How will the baby affect Nick and mines relationship?

Will I be able to keep my house clean and cook dinner and take care of a baby?

What if the baby has colic? What if the baby won't eat or sleep through the night?

How do you take care of a baby anyway? Will I do something permanently screw up my child?

What if my baby doesn't love Jesus and decides not to accept Christ? I don't want to give life to a child, only for them to find death. Morbid, I know, but I've always thought that the one thing I would want for my children would be for them to "love their God with all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength." My faith in the Lord did not come easily, and I had always hoped that my children wouldn't have to struggle they way I did. It would be crushing if I could not pass that legacy onto my decedents.

Haha, I just realized that if these were listed as the most important thing first, then I would seriously need to reevaluate my priorities.

Ultimately, I hope that a deeper faith and dependency on God comes from this. The best advice I ever received on raising children was from my mother-in-law, when I asked her how she raised such a wonderful son. Her advice, "I just let God raise my children." :)

"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved..."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Little Wannders

Nick and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting our first baby on April 12, 2009! We feel so blessed. We went in for the first ultrasound this morning and the baby is perfectly healthy and was dancing on the screen for us!

If you look, the baby's head is on the left and you can make out its little arm buds and body. In some of the picture, you can even make out its little legs. Its like the baby is laying on its side and looking straight at you.


How I'm doing:

I am currently 9 weeks and 2 days, and I feel really great. I had some nausea, but it hasn't been as bad as other people I've heard, and the past week its been minimal so hopefully its over. Its been exciting telling everyone this past week because its made it seem more real, although it was a nice secret between Nick and I. Also, I am very glad the baby has lost its tail this week :).

What the baby is doing:

Our baby is nearly an inch long — about the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. She's starting to look more and more human. Her essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: The baby's heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form — as do her tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. The baby's organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. Her eyes are fully formed, but her eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. She has tiny earlobes, and her mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The placenta is developed enough now to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones. Now that the baby's basic physiology is in place, she's poised for rapid weight gain.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August in our Garden

Today was such a beautiful day! Definitely not like a day in the South in the middle of August. It was in the 80s with low humidity and breezy. In short the perfect day to spend in my garden with Nick! We didn't actually do any gardening, but we spent a lot of time relaxing out on the adirondack that Nick built.

Its also hard to believe that when we moved in in January of '08 that the backyard was bare except for one tiny tree and a really ugly, useless, uncovered deck that was on the west side of the house. Not only that, but the yard had serious drainage problems and the entire North side of the yard was soupy most of the time.

A year a half later, and the yard is so pretty! Nick fixed the drainage problems and we've put in our pergola, gardening beds, and several trees and bushes.

This is a view facing North. You can see the Ashe tree we planted on the left, along with the azalea bushes that we transplanted from the front yard. The tree in the middle was the solitary tree that was already in the yard. I kind of wanted to take it down, but it had shot up from another tree that was knocked down during Katrina and so it already had a strong root system. You can kind of see our Willow tree just to the right of our Katrina tree and our garden beds in the back.
Here's a close up of the Willow tree and our garden beds. We have currently planted Peas and Pumpkins. Our first crop of vegetables did not really turn out.
Here is the lovely completed pergola, along with the swing and adirondack that Nick made. Now we can sit outside at any time of the day and enjoy the view. Its Nick's favorite place in the house. Our Ruellia bush is on the left.

This is a close up of the Ruellia bush. I made the mistake of waiting until the end of the day to take a picture when the beautiful bluish purple flowers have all closed or fallen off, but during the day, its so pretty! At some point I'd like to put in a Butterfly garden right here.
And here's a close up (taken from the pergola) of our little Katrina tree. That's the widest angle my camera can handle :).
That's it for my garden tour, but it looked so pretty today that I had to share. I know I'm not a very good photographer, but I still hope you enjoyed it!

What are we doing...

So, I am so excited because in a couple of weeks we are flying to California to visit two of our dearest friends, Jessamyn and John Kirkwood! Usually, we hang out in the SF Bay Area when we visit them, but this time we are flying into Sacramento and driving to the Sierras to stay in a log cabin for four days... nature and I don't usually mix, so this could be interesting. Jessy assures that I will do fine, as long as I'm ok with fish for breakfast. She should be so confident, she was born in a cabin in the mountains from true California hippies, so she'll be in her natural habitat :). Anyway, I don't know all of the details of what we will be up to as Jessy is planning all of the details. Its only 45 minutes from beautiful Lake Tahoe, so I am hoping that we will make a stopover there!

Here is a picture of the area (found on Google images):

Here is a pictures of Lovely Lake Tahoe:

This is a picture of our rustic little cabin... I am already beginning to regret this:

No, I am actually really excited to spend time with two of our favorite people, and Nick is just over the moon because he likes being outdoorsy and he may even get some mountain biking in.

Here are Jessy and John at their wedding, aren't they cute? I was the Maid of Honor at their wedding, and only for Jessy would I wear a burnt orange bridesmaid's dress (she swears they were cinnamon)!


And I just like this one because she's so goofy:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hoggy Warty Houses

Nick and I have been reading all of the Harry Potter books together for the past few months. Right now we're on book number 5, The Order of the Phoenix, and desperately trying to get through it so that we can go see the new movie that's out and based on book 6, The Half Blood Prince.
I've always wondered which house I would have been sorted into, and I've always secretly hoped for Gryffindor, although most readers probably hope for that! I also thought maybe Ravenclaw since I loved to read and learn things. Today just for fun, I googled "Sorting Hat" and I found a couple of quizzes online and I took them, and I was sorted into Gryffindor!

Characteristics for Gryffindors:
  • courage
  • bravery
  • daring
  • nerve
  • chivalry
I'm trying to get Nick to take it, but I am pretty sure that he would be sorted into Hufflepuff. Now I just need to get him to take the quiz to see if I'm right.

Characteristics for Hufflepuff:
  • hard work
  • loyalty
  • tolerance
  • fair play
Take the quiz and see where you are sorted! I don't think that I have single friend that would be sorted in Slytherin.
Here:
or
****UPDATE
Nick just took the test, and sure enough... he's a badger! That's about what I would expect from someone as steadfast and kind as him.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's up?

Ok,

Just an update about Nick and I. There is NOTHING NEW going on with us. We have been very, very lazy and have not worked on our house or gone anywhere or done anything worth blogging about in a while, other than the 4th of July. This has also given me more time to read Townhall, which may be a bad thing for anyone who reads this! Doing nothing has been really nice actually, but it makes for a boring blog... not that we're that interesting to begin with.

Here's one thing I can leave you with, a riddle...

A thousand blankets absorbing the storm. What am i?

Oh ho,
Stori

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tres chic!

So we're in TX visiting my mom and dad! Yesterday we had a girls' trip with me, my mom, and my sweet niece Kendall, out to the Woodlands just to do some grocery shopping. That was the original intent anyway... but for some reason, we stopped at Kids Gap, I think to pick up some leggings for Kendall.

Well, all that I will say is that if Nick and I ever have girls, he is going to be in for a surprise! I don't think that there is anything more fun than shopping for clothes for little girls, and if we ever have one, she is going to be dressed to the nines :).

I walked in not planning to buy anything, but I saw a dress that was the cutest thing I have ever seen and before I knew it... I had spent over $100!

So when we got home, we did what any American girls would do, we put on a fashion show! So, ladies and gents, for your viewing pleasure, I now present...

Miss Kendall Annette Thistlethwaite!



Isn't she just the most beautiful child? Ok, I know I'm biased, but I do love this baby so much. To me, she is the living reminder that God will give us "a crown of beauty instead of ashes."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Filipino Inmates Pay Tribue to Jackson Again

This is AWESOME! Where did they get all of those flags... in a prison?

Famous for their rendition of "Thriller" in 2007, the prisoners at the Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the central Philippines have once again choreographed a tribute to Michael Jackson.

Filipino Inmates Pay Tribue to Jackson Again

Shared via AddThis

ENOUGH

I realized something about myself yesterday... I am an abuser. An abuser of commas. Its a common problem (or a comma problem), it can affect anyone. It can be carried out by anyone. Sometimes by adults, sometimes by children, and sometimes even the English are guilty of it.

"What?!" You're thinking. "I'm not like YOU! I don't do that!" Be willing to be honest with yourself, have you ever done anyone any of the following:

1. Used a comma to separate the subject from the verb.
2. Put a comma between the two verbs or verb phrases in a compound predicate.
3. Put a comma between the two nouns, noun phrases, or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object.
4. Put a comma after the main clause when a dependent (subordinate) clause follows it (except for cases of extreme contrast).

Still feeling high and mighty? Do everyone a favor, make the world a better place by following these simple rules for preventing comma abuse:

1. Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.
2. Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause.
3. Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Use one comma before to indicate the beginning of the pause and one at the end to indicate the end of the pause.
4. Do not use commas to set off essential elements of the sentence, such as clauses beginning with that (relative clauses). That clauses after nouns are always essential. That clauses following a verb expressing mental action are always essential.
5. Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a series.
6. Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun. Be sure never to add an extra comma between the final adjective and the noun itself or to use commas with non-coordinate adjectives.
7. Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift.
8. Use commas to set off phrases at the end of the sentence that refer back to the beginning or middle of the sentence. Such phrases are free modifiers that can be placed anywhere in the sentence without causing confusion. (If the placement of the modifier causes confusion, then it is not "free" and must remain "bound" to the word it modifies.)
9. Use commas to set off all geographical names, items in dates (except the month and day), addresses (except the street number and name), and titles in names.
10. Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation.
11. Use commas wherever necessary to prevent possible confusion or misreading.

For more information and examples on how you can help stop this pandemic, please visit the following site to get help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/02/.

Because its never to late to have a better tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Take This Heart of Stone and Make it Yours

"God will comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
and the oil of gladness instead of mourning."
~Isaiah 61

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Jonah Day turned into Dee Dah Day!

Well, Nick is in Houston right now, and when he's gone... strange things start to happen in the Wann household. For starters, the battery in our fire alarm in our bedroom is low and every minute or so it makes a loud, obnoxious beep! I can't get the ladder in to take it down without him, plus even if I could get to it, I wouldn't know what to do - that's his job! So I guess I will just have to bunker down on the opposite side of the house and try to sleep through it tonight.

Secondly, I get the urge to blog! It might have something to with the fact that according to major studies, I have 30,000 words a day that, like all women, I need to get out of me daily! Men apparently only use 15,000 words a day which is certainly true for Nick. Sometimes when we get home I feel like little Pigwidgeon in Harry Potter, fluttering around, making nonsense syllables at him. Sometimes I sense he's overwhelmed by all that I have to pour out, so I joke that I am giving him the gift of my silence and then I shut up and try to let him get some mental rest after a long day at work! He's usually a pretty good listener, but I know that no one wants to hear me talk 24/7.

Nick and I have a running joke, when we have hard days - we called them Jonah days. Nick says that its because we feel like we are getting swallowed. Today actually wasn't a complete Jonah day, there were some high points! But there were also a few sad, bittersweet moments.

Lately I have been seeking out scripture on waiting on the Lord. I mean, we all have things that we are waiting for. Some of us are waiting for our babies to come, a big change in our marriage, for a husband or a boyfriend, for a big move, a new job, to buy a house, or a new semester at school... something. It can be so frustrating and scary, even when its exciting. I wanted to share a devotional on waiting on the Lord with any one who wants to read it. Its from a book by the pastor at my old church in California, Menlo Park Presbyterian. His name is John Ortberg, and the book is called, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat.

I'm not very good at introducing these things, but its just one way of working for a God, who works so hard for me! The inspiration for the reading is Isaiah 40:31:

Those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Its a wonderful reminder, that no matter how difficult our struggles, we have a God who has already overcome the world!

An unbelievable price was paid to gain a toehold, a few feet of Omaha Beach in Normandy. It was paid in blood. At the end of D-Day, in one sense not much had changed. The vast majority of the continent of Europe was still , as it had been the day before, under the power of the swastika. There was just this one plot of ground, a few feet of sand on an obscure stretch of beach in one lonely country that was not under the dominion of the enemy. But that one tiny stretch of land was enough.

The truth is, by the end of that one day, everything had changed. Now there was an opening. It was just a tiny crack, but it would get a little larger every day. The Allied forces would get a little stronger every day. There would still be a lot of fighting, a lot of suffering, a lot of dying. But now it was just a matter of time.

Between the initial landing on Omaha Beach and the final firing of the final shot there was a long gap. But the truth is that victory was sealed on D-Day. After D-Day, Victory in Europe day was just a matter of time.

I think sometimes in Jesus' life, as when he was on the Mount of Transfiguration or when he called his friend Lazarus out of the tomb, Jesus soared.

At other times, as when he wept over the defiance of Jerusalem, when he was frustrated with the slowness of his disciples, when he faced the opposition of the religious leaders, life was tougher. Yet he kept running. He did not turn aside from the course even when it ran uphill. He could run a long way.

But when it came time to take the road to Calvary, he wasn't soaring. When the cross was placed on his bruised and bleeding back, he wasn't running. He walked. He was a young man, but he stumbled and fell that day. All he could do was get back up and walk some more.

Sometimes walking is all we can do. But in those times, walking is enough. Maybe its when life is the hardest, when we want so badly to quit, but we say to God, "I won't quit. I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'll take up my cross. I'll follow Jesus even on this road." Maybe God prizes our walking even more than our soaring or running.

In any case, at a cost that none of us will ever fully understand, Jesus walked to Calvary. He took upon himself, on the cross, all the brokenness of the human race.

After the Sabbath day, before Jesus' friends went to care for his body, the stone was dislocated, moved. In one sense nothing had changed. Pilate and the chief priests were still in charge; Ceasar still reigned and didn't even know the name of this obscure Messiah in a remote country.

Nobody knew at first, except a couple of women, but that was D-Day. Now there was an opening. Tiny at first, no bigger than the entrance of a tomb.

Every time you "wait on the Lord", every time, that opening gets a little larger. The darkness gets pushed back a little more. The light gets a little stronger.

And one day liberation will come. Make no mistake; There will still be a lot of fighting, a lot of suffering, a lot of dying. But D-Day has already happened, when hardly anyone was looking. At the end of that day, everything had changed. So you keep walking, because what we wait for is not more important than what happens to us while we are waiting.

Now its just a matter of time.

Ode to Ian "the Owl" Davidson

One of two of my beloved bosses from Houston is retiring at the end of this month. The old team in Houston had a good bye lunch for him today that I couldn't attend, but I got to send a note. This is my farewell note to him, I'd say I'm going to miss him, but I know I'll see him again, and I would go to work for him again in a heartbeat!


My Farewell Note:


This is my cookie jar that I named after Ian for two reasons:

1) I miss his histrionics every time he saw a pastry; he would go on and on about how unhealthy it was, but he always found it in him to eat it anyway.
And the second, nicer reason:
2) He has the rare ability to recognize wisdom when he hears it and to put into action.

That's why I always call him "Ian the Owl", just to myself of course, but I think most people would agree.

Even though I liked to "gently" poke fun at him so often that he often lamented out loud whether or not I had any respect for him at all, Ian is actually one of the people in this world that I most like and admire. I always called him a charmer too because he has a way of making people like him... maybe that's why I always felt the need to pull him down a peg or two. I don't know, but I adored working for him. He always kept things lively and he had so many colorful Scottish expressions. My personal favorite: "Happier than a pig in shit." That's more French than Scottish, I guess but only Ian could get away with making it sound charming and harmless.

I've recently begun to understand what makes a person love their job, and working in the WMS team was the best working experience I have ever had. Its not what you're doing, even if its something you've always dreamed about doing. Its not the people you work with, although that helps and there were wonderful people on our team. Its the leadership - its having bosses or managers, that inspire you, that get you excited about your job... in spite of the countless setbacks you encounter trying to get a project (ahem, Grosmont) off the ground. Its leaders who encourage you to grow in your position and are always ready with helpful advice. Ian was always that kind of boss, and the reason that we had a such a close, successful team.

I know that Ian will do great things wherever he goes for the reasons I already said, and since I'm an engineer and I love bulleted lists and summaries, let's state them one more time...

IAN DAVIDSON:
- wisdom
- charm
- charisma
- leadership
- great boss

And I could get even more sentimental, but I know I'll see Ian again, so I'll just say good bye for now!

Stori

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chick Flicks Galore

I found this on another blog, and I thought I would fill it out. Who doesn't love thinking about their favorite movies? Also, I am running out of things to Netflix, and I was hoping if I tagged a few people, say Adrienne, Jessica, Hannah, Emily and Krista (and Lauren, though I know your blog is sacred to cooking), they might list their favorite movies and give me a few ideas.

The topic: Your 10 Favorite Chick Flicks, mine are in no particular order... I also threw in my favorite quotes since that's why I love them so much.

1. Nottinghill
"I'm just a girl, standing in front of boy, asking him to love her."

2. Legally Blonde
"Whoever said orange was the new pink, was seriously disturbed."
and
"The rules of haircare are simple and finite, every Cosmo girls knows."

3. Pride and Prejudice
"You have bewitched me, body and soul."

4. Bringing Up Baby!
"'He's three years old, gentle as a kitten, and likes dogs.' I wonder whether Mark means that he eats dogs or is fond of them?"

5. Breakfast at Tiffany's
"Two drifters, off to see the world, there's such a lot of world to see... We're after the same rainbow's end, waitin' round the bend, my huckleberry friend... moon river and me."

6. Funny Face
"I love your funny face... your sunny, funny face."
and
"I would never tell a woman, what woman's got to think, but tell her if she's got think darling, then THINK PINK!"

7. Bridget Jone's Diary
"No, I like you very much. Just as you are."
and
I also love, "As I happen to have a very high regard for your wobbly bits!" from the sequel.

8. Steel Magnolias
"In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight."
and
"Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face."
There's so many good ones from Steel Magnolias, even my husband loves this movie!

9. French Kiss
"The key to French waiters: If you're nice to them, they treat you like shit. Treat them like shit, they love you."
Pardon my french there...

10. Funny Girl
"Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein... what a beautiful name!"

Honorable Mentions - Pretty Woman, Any Disney Fairytale

Call Your Mama

So I just got an email from my mom stating the following:

Stori, was reading an article about Insulin Resistance (IR)ada metabolic syndrome, you might want to pull it up on the Internet. here are some symptoms, I am going to try the chromium myself. Let me know what you think. Love you lots mom

Powerful carb and sugar cravings
Depression/moodiness/irritability
Difficulty concentrating/poor memory
Bloat and gas
Borderline or high blood pressure or cholesterol
Hirusutism (excess hairiness)
Severe PMS

What can help

Berries
dark leafy greens
healthy fats: avocados, nuts seeds
mega 3 enriched eggs

Supplementing daily with 200-600 mcg of chromium


So this explains the Thistlethwaite love of sweets, and also why all the women have beards, haha. Its nice to know that your never to old to have your mother inquire about your gastrointestinal issues.

I had to confirm with Nick on the moodiness/PMS, but I think already know the answer. Did not our wedding song have the line "You put up well with this beast that I am in a cell..."?

Well Mama would be proud to know that just today I have eaten:
  • A smoothie made from Blueberries (Banana and Milk) for breakfast.
  • 20 Almonds for a mid morning snack.
  • And I am currently snacking on a Spinach Salad for lunch!
This makes me seem more virtuous than I am... its really just to make up for the 5 cookies 2 giant spoonfuls of cookie dough that I ate yesterday. Yummm... carbs...

But although this sweet inquiry into my health was much appreciated, I have been to the Dr and been told that my blood sugar whatever is at perfect levels.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Songs About Texas

"I sing songs about Texas,
I sing them often as if she was some old lover... I used to know,
I wish I could follow them back to the homeland everytime,
I hear one on my radio..."



If you know this song (gosh I love this song!) then you know where I was this past weekend. Yep, that's right, I went to old San Antone for the most wonderful weekend that I've had in a really long time.



The reason I couldn't say where I was meeting up with Nick is that one of the main purposes of the weekend was to throw my dad a surprise retirement party. I don't think he reads my blog, but I didn't want to say anything and ruin for him!

I flew in Thursday night and my dear friend Lacey picked me up. I got to spend most of the next day with her and her 2 year old son, Kye, who I had never met. It was such a wonderful time! Lacey and I became friends before she found the Lord, and one of the biggest blessings of my life has been getting to see her "sanctification process" and watch her passion for God and his word grow. She's one of the few people that I can talk to about all of the concerns of my heart and know that she has been there too and will not judge me. I had the best time catching up with her and talking to her, and I can't wait to see her again! She's one of my dad's favorites of my friends, so she came along for most of the Retirement festivities. That's her little boy, isn't he just precious? She is one of the best mom's I have ever seen, and I'm so grateful that I have such a wonderful role model for when I become a mom one day.


Friday night was the big surprise party! Classic Thistle - he walks in and says "How many of these things am I going to have?" Haha. He was happy though, and he really liked the BBQ pit that we all chipped in to buy him. We mostly just hung out by the pool. This is my cousins, Landon and Braelynn, with my neice Kendall. How goofy is this kid? She loves hanging with the big girls, especially "Yandon".

Saturday we all tubed the Comal river as a family! We had so much fun, even my 73 year old granny did the tube shoot, and we managed to stay together as a family. Saturday night was more of the same, except that we busted out the Kareoke machine. I emceed that night (ie hogged the stage), but we all had fun. You should have seen my cousin Alli try to invent dance moves, according to the names that we gave her (Alli, do the cheese whiz!). She's such a ham!

Sunday it was time to go home and we headed over to our friends, Tim and Chelsea's house. They have a really cute, historic house, and I love the way they decorated. I'm also coveting a painting of two little green owls that they have on their mantle! Tim is Nick's childhood best friend since they were 6 and 4, and also the best man at our wedding. I'm so glad that my husband got to spend time with him. I love his wife, Chelsea too! She's one of the nicest people I know, and we have a lot in common. Aren't I a lucky girl to have such wonderful friends?

Ok, I feel a bit like Pollyanna, but I am a very "fo-tunate" girl, and this weekend was one of the best ever!


"So sing me one more song about those dusty plains,
them honky tonk angels, and their lonely beehive pain,
wish I was stowed away on some fast moving train going home...,
yeah I'm going home."

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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