baby bump: 31 weeks

dear baby,

look at us, flying through this pregnancy together. only 9 more weeks! i'm getting more anxious to have things ready for you, slightly worried you'll decide, "well, today seems like a good day…" and i won't even have a carseat to put you in. your nana assures me though that if you surprise us, she can get everything you and i need in one trip…and i believe her because she knows what she is doing.

your hiccups are much more frequent. your dad can even feel them sometimes and you usually get them 5-6 times a day now! i sometimes have to push you around to get a little more breathing room or keep you out of my ribs. you usually cooperate though since you still have a little wiggle room in there. we'll see what it's like in another couple weeks though!

our first baby shower is being planned and i'm really excited. there are already so many people who love you and can't wait to meet you.

i'm still dreaming of what our days together will look like; dreaming of what it will be like to actually be a mother. i picture mornings in the bathroom doing our hair together. or finishing up supper in the kitchen while you set the table and we talk about the day. obviously these things are down the road a bit, but i also picture laying you down on a blanket and talking to you while you coo and learn to giggle. i picture our late night snuggles, though half asleep, whispering my love to you in the wee hours. i picture your dad, being so proud to tote you around and show you off.

oh sweet little girl, i'm looking forward to the next 9 weeks and beyond!

love, mom


blogWORLD: i got tagged

Fun fact: I had a nice long blog post written up and it didn't save/didn't publish it when I tried to publish it. Here is the condensed version.

For those of you that don't know, the blog world is vast...I mean, we're talking IMMENSE. The fact that there is even the word "blogosphere" in our lexicon should prove this fact. I like to read blogs of people I know, and occasionally creep on others of people I don't know. One of my favorite things is knowing who reads this here blog. Which means, if you are a frequent/semi-frequent reader you should go over to the right hand side and become a "follower". This will 1) let me know who is actually reading this 2) make it easier for you to know when I update and 3) not sign you in as "anonymous" when you leave comments [Mom and Dad!]. So you should do that for me, please...even if I don't know you!

So that being said, one thing that occasionally happens in the blog world is being "tagged" by other bloggers. For those of you not hip with social media lingo, this is a fancy form of the 'ole chain letters essentially. Well my friend from the Louisville area, Hannah @ cheery bees, "tagged" me on her blog in this little game. I miss her, and my husband misses her 'let's-hang-out-whilst-doing-something-active' husband. And now you guys get to learn some stuff about me...which may or may not be loads of fun. We'll see.

Apparently, before I'm allowed to begin, I'm supposed to share the rules:
1) I have to post these rules
2) I must post 11 things about myself on my blog
3) I have to answer the questions the tagger [i.e. Hannah] set for me in her post, and then create 11 new questions for the people I tag to answer
4) I have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post
5) Then I have to go to their page and tell them I linked them [I started to do this and then stopped. We'll see if the ones I tagged actually look at my blog].

whew! AND remember, I've already done ALL of this once. My answers may not be as good this time around. But without further adieu:

1. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
[I knew I liked Hannah: Starting it off right with a food question] PASTA PASTA PASTA! Any shape, any sauce...plop that on my plate or in my bowl, heck, even directly into my mouth, and I'm a happy girl
2. If you had to choose between never brushing your hair again or never washing your face again, which would you choose?
[My college roommates are not allowed to comment on this one] I would choose never brushing my hair again. My hair is naturally curly, which means that it tends to POOF quite easily when it comes in contact with a brush. Don't believe me? Ask to see pictures from my childhood when my mom was in charge of the hair brush. I actually don't even own one now. Just a hair pick. And only that when it's wet. So if you're coming over to visit, make sure you pack your brush because I won't be able to help you!
3. If you had to live in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?
I'm going to cheat and be vague and say anywhere that allows me to invest in the community around me and a community that invests in me and my family. [Which means I am quite content right where I am]
4. If you had the choice, and had to live in a different time period/era, which time period/era would you choose?
This is another great question but it makes me laugh because I sort of grew up in a different time period because of my dad. See HERE and HERE if you don't know what I'm talking about. That being said, I wouldn't choose the 1700s/revolutionary war time period. I would either choose the Victorian era, in which ladies dressed oh-so-smashingly in beautiful dresses and hats and poetry was booming, OR the late 1800s/early 1900s. I think there were a lot of exciting things happening at that time and I think it would be fantastic to teach in a one room school house [or at least give it a whirl!]
5. What do you wish you could have the will power to do that you just can't bring yourself to do now?
Wake up in the morning. Preferably early. And I'm not asking for anything crazy like 5. Just 6:30. To be able to get my dead and lethargic butt out of bed and not be miserable about it would be wonderful. And yes, I do realize this will have to change in roughly 2 months.
6. What super power would you like to have?
Quite honestly, I think waking up in the morning is a super power, but since I already used that one I will say fly. Which is cliche, but it would be pretty awesome. OR the super power of being able to merely TOUCH my students' assignments and automatically know what grade to write on the top. OR better yet, I'll take both because with the latter I would have much more available flying time.
7. Say you lost your hands and the only thing that could replace them were paws or hooves, which would you choose?
Hannah, do you teach 8th graders or something? I'm going to have to say hooves because I've always loved the way they sound on hard surfaces. So I'd have to rip up all my carpet...but definitely hooves.
8. You could only receive text messages or letters/cards (you know, the kind that come in the mail that the mail man brings to your house) for the
rest of your life, which would you choose?
This one is easy for me: LETTERS. Hands down. LETTERS. As a lover of words, you just don't get the beauty of the written language in a text message. They are convenient, yes, but I would much rather open up a real letter [I'd even take a post card!]. Brent and I, though we emailed one another daily while in college, still wrote letters to one another. And I'm so glad we did. And here is a weird little fact: Literally while I was typing this a new email popped up from my friend. He had sent me a link to here: http://boingboing.net/2012/01/24/mary-robinette-kowal-challenge.html and said, "Saw this and though of you…" It is about taking a challenge for the month of February to MAIL something everyday. :-) Clearly, I'm a letter person. And it takes a dern long time to text when you feel the need to insert commas and apostrophes correctly :)
9. If you could only wear one thing/outfit every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
THis one is tough. My first thought would be: sweats and tshirt. But this wouldn't allow for my vast array of shoes. SO on second thought: jeans and a black tshirt. I could dress up with proper bling and shoes, or dress down. Perfect.
10. Guilty pleasure?
You would ask me this while I'm pregnant [although, if I'm being honest, the answer wouldn't change]. Option 1: DOUBLE Stuf Oreos with WHOLE milk OR Option 2: [I've been doing this one since high school] melt together cheddar cheese and some sour cream in a bowl. Sometimes I dip chips in it, and sometimes…well…just pass me a spoon, please. :)
11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Since I was about three I always said a teacher and a mom [and a grocery store worker, but we'll pretend I didn't say that]. Living the dream.

And this is where I make up 11 questions and tag some other people. Here we go.

1. If you could learn to do anything, what would you learn and why?
2. If you could paint a picture of a landscape/something from your memory perfectly, what would you choose and why?

And here I must interject: I am a teacher and therefore I am used to adding "and why" to the end of questions so my students learn to justify their answers. From here on, just assume the "and why" is added to the end of the question. :)

3. What is one career/occupation that you would NOT want to do/ or would not be suited for you?
4. What is something you keep extras of on hand at nearly all times in your home?
5. If you could BE a fictional character and live their story, who would it be?
6. What is the story that your family always tells about you?
7. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be?
8. What is your morning routine?
9. What were you doing the last time you had a really good laugh?
10. If you could make all of one kind of thing go away, what would it be?
11. What is one thing you think all High School students should be taught before they graduate? [This does not have to be related to a "core" subject]

And now for the tagging portion of this game. Please do not feel obligated to participate, I just thought it may be fun. OR shorten it down and only answer the 11 things but don't tag others [it will take less time]. If you are not "tagged" below but still want to be linked here, please just leave me a comment and I will add you to the list.

2. my sis, Kali @ Diary of an Oreo Lover
3. Meagan @ MWPhoto
7. Jared & Renae @ J & R's Journey
9. Amanda @ Teasingly Diverse
11. Trish @ Grand Central Sandbulte [I'm gonna get you bloggin' again, lady! :)]

Like I said, if you aren't linked and want to participate, just leave me a comment. :) Happy linking!

baby bump: week 30

dear baby,

ten more weeks! where has the time gone?! just yesterday, it seems, i was walking around carrying this secret little peanut inside of me. we had another good doctor's appointment this week. i got to hear your heart beat again and, as always, it sounds like the color of beauty to me. my doctor also told me i've gained about 23 pounds since you came along last july. you're about 3 pounds now so... don't do that math :)

and the big news this week is that we got your crib set up! grandma ann and grandpa aj worked so hard and lovingly to revamp my old crib, and it looks like new. i hope you sleep better than i did in that thing when i was a wee one. grandma ann made some really beautiful bedding, and we all think you'll look like a dream laying in there.

your hiccups are more frequent now, and this has given me the hint that your head is in my lower left section. this means that your feet have been the culprits of the jabs in my rib cage on my upper right. you're so big! just last night your dad and i were discussing this... and then we both realized that you are most likely going to DOUBLE in size over the next two months. but i've always been a fan of things when they're doubled: like double-stuffed oreos, double bacon cheeseburgers, double cheese on pizza... :) so i think i will like you just fine doubled up too!

i wonder if you get sick of hearing me talk ALLdayLONG, because i know my students are tired of my voice after an hour. i also wonder if you're really comfortable in there, or if you are starting to feel smooshed. i wonder about a lot of things these days. i feel like 10 weeks is a good amount of time for me to process things before you make your big debut. however, i know it will go quickly. but i'm okay with that too because i'm ready to meet your little self.

love, mom


our Story: Part XII

For those of you still hanging with me on this, may the good Lord bless you. Seriously, I started this two years ago. I don't want to just whip out an entry, so it's taking me a little time. I think that, including this one, there will be three more entries. The end is in sight!

If you've missed any of the previous installments, forgotten what's happening because it's been so long ago that you read one, or you're just joining in click HERE to read from the beginning.


I carry the eight hours from Orange City to Joplin with me everywhere I go. In the cafeteria as I meet new faces it weighs heavy on my shoulders. As I travel from class to class, I wish I could remove it from my backpack as easily as a book. Not only am I trying to figure out this new college thing, but I'm trying to figure out how to be me, be involved, be HERE, without Brent. I try by reminding myself that I am only 18 years old. I have so much life before me. I try to remind myself that I'm no good to him if I don't know who I am first.

But the ache and the distance seems insurmountable. Four more years of this? Are we kidding ourselves to think that we are capable.

I grab my friend's cell phone, since she has free nights starting at seven instead of nine, and dial Ozark's number from memory. "You have reached the residence directory of Ozark Christian College," the recorded, yet chipper voice informs me. "If you know the four digit num…." I hit the keys quickly and Brent picks up on the first ring.

"Hey there beautiful, I've been waiting by the phone." Since he doesn't have a cell phone, we pre-plan all of our phone calls so I don't call an empty room. "How are you doing today?"

I burst into tears. It hasn't been a good day and the sound of his voice is simply too much. I suck back tears and snot, and though he isn't looking at me I'm sure he can tell it's not a pretty sight. "It's been…tough…Brent…I miss you…."

And so our conversation goes. I suggest, again, the possibility of transferring to Ozark, and getting a joint teaching degree through the other local college. He assures me we just need to give it some more time.

Time. I hate time right now.

* * *
As I make my bottom bunk for my sophomore year, I think back to 12 months earlier. Saying goodbye this time was certainly no easier, but understanding the cyclical nature of my grieving helps. I know I will feel the ache physically for nearly two weeks, craving to be back with him. The next weeks I will begin to feel like I can handle it, for however long the Lord calls us to do this; I can handle the distance because Brent is worth it. Then the next week or two will bring with them more discomfort and anxiousness as I count down to the next time we'll see one another. Understanding this helps a little, but knowing I am in the beginning stages of this cycle leave me feeling sorry for myself.

I crawl into my yellow sheets and pull the lime green comforter around my shoulders. I now carry with me his "I love you" that he finally relinquished to me last fall. He had been at my school visiting and after a movie we sat laughing and talking and then he got quiet. I, like all teenage girls, instinctively asked what he was thinking. Almost before I was ready for it he said, "Oh, thinking about a lot of stuff. Like how ridiculous that movie was, how much I like laughing with you… and how I love you."

I've returned his sentiments many times over now, never doubting his sincerity in response. But now I think of beginning another year of this-- of this constant departure, of this constant aching, of this constant pull of wanting to be somewhere else yet knowing I'm where I'm supposed to be-- and the tears spill from behind my eye lids as I try to fall asleep before another new year of classes begins.
* * *

As I make my way back from class, trudging through the freshly fallen snow, my mind wanders to another campus hours away. What would it be like to walk across campus with him? To share the same groups of friends with him? To talk about professors we both have? I plop my bag on the loveseat in the corner of my little dorm room and flip on my computer.

New email from m0nkey21. The sensation I feel is still the same as when I first started getting these emails 4 years before. I click open the new message and can't help but smile. This message is written in a poem format:

you make me smile every day
for your heart i'll aways pray
your more beautiful than i could dream
your so hot that you almost steam.

i like writing you these dudes
escpecially when im in a "i love kelsey" mood...'s
your probably like awww, my boyfriends the best
and im like yeah, i aced this test.

i better keep rolling, man this is good
i wonder what i would be like living in the hood
i need to do laundry i have few cloths left
if i go any longer ill probably commit theft

your so nice your cute when your upset
i've never disliked you since we've met
you even like me when i cant read
or spell or mess up a deed

ok i love you so much, and i hope you like the
poem, you have to cuz your my girlfriend. ok i love you ill talk to you
later. by smoochums :)


Sigh. Yes, I can do this. I can wait for man who makes me laugh, and giggle, and feel cherished. Yes, the ache due to distance is worth this.

* * *
I scribble in my notebook as Prof Carl informs our class on the importance of having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish with each lesson. I look around at the faces of other students in my "Teaching Literature to Adolescents" class. Do they realize that most of us only have 3 semesters of college left after this? Do they even realize that I refer to this as "the downhill"? We get our journal assignment for next Thursday and bundle up before barreling across campus again.

While my nose suffers from the frigid air, my mind wanders to the letters I have been saving and accumulating since my sophomore year of high school five years ago. I still allow myself the giddy excitement of scrawling "to my future husband" across the tops of letters before stuffing them into the box.

When I get back to my room, I slowly remove the layers of clothing and the stress of the morning. I don't have a roommate this semester, as I'm a resident assistant, so I breathe in the quietness of my little corner of the world. I curl up on the love seat and grab the nearest notebook:

"My love, I am currently working on a unit of lessons for my someday students: a descriptive essay describing one of their favorite places. So I wanted to share a few of mine-- at my old house there were two spots outside that I loved, and both involved lilac bushes. One was by itself at the edge of our front yard. It was almost hollow in the center and so I would crawl through the branches and sit in there and read. I eventually found an old seat cushion…"

I continued to let my hand dance across the page. Though Brent and I had discussed marriage, I still tried to keep my mind open to the possibility that I was writing someone else.

"… An old wicker basket worked as a makeshift mailbox, hanging from the handle of the propane take. Eventually I found a broken road reflector and used it as a welcome sign. Many hours were spent in this 'house', the smell of lilacs constantly wafting over my body and bursting through my senses. Over the years I outgrew the small space, but it will always remain tucked away in my memory. Maybe someday I could take you there…"

How many more of these letters will I write before I know exactly, without a doubt who I am writing to, I wonder as stretch my fingers.

"… Right now in my life, God is challenging me to be fully faithful and fully present in all that I do. Like Job, God is showing me to put my hand over my mouth and be still before the Creator of everything. I love you, and I can't wait for the day I get to give you this, and every other, letter."

I sign my name in the orange pen and carefully crease the paper, folding it into a neat square. I lay it in the box and look down at my left hand. It's been nearly three years since Brent and I started dating. Three years of conversations and dates and laughter and tears. Three years of growing with one another, enduring the distance for one another, and learning about and how to love one another. Three years worth of knowing that this is the man I want to give these letters to.

But I still look at my left ring finger and wonder when it will no longer be empty.
The actual box of letters:


a peek into the nursery

Just a few sneak looks at some of the nursery's progress. And no, there are no hints here regarding her name. :-)


moments in my classroom

Oh the things that happen behind the closed door of my classroom!

Although that sounds dangerous, I'm only referring to those moments that make me laugh; moments that make me keep coming back for more of this job I adore. Here are a few examples from recent days:

-- I was reviewing with one of my Junior classes about the events at the end of the chapter we had just read in "The Great Gatsby." Here is what unfolded [my comments in bold]:

"Okay so George finds the dog leash and figures out what?"
"His wife is having an affair."
"Right. So he freaks out."
"And what is the deal with the billboard?"
"Ohhh…good question…what is the deal with the billboard? Who can answer that…"
and so our conversation continues until…
"And then he snaps and….???"
"Really? No one? Here's a hint: pow, pow…"
laughter…."He shoots Gatsby!" … laughter
"It's a good thing I'm having a girl because I can't do sound effects at all."
"Try doing a car noise"
[insert my pathetic attempt here]
and so they continue to shout out "noises" that I should try to make just so they can laugh at me. And of course I humor them, because they are awesome.

-- We were playing a review game today in which the students have to pass back a challenge full of questions. Each student can only answer the one question that lands on them. When it gets to the back of the row the student has to run the paper forward for me to check before they can move on to the next challenge and the team that finishes all the challenges correctly first wins. Well, they always like this game but today…holy smokes… I thought I was going to have to strap them down they were so amped up/competitive while playing it. At one point I literally almost got tackled when the two guys in the back RAN their papers up to me to check and it was neck and neck. Of course I make lame comments the whole time just to make them laugh like, "Alright folks, we're getting down to the brass tacks now…stay focused." Things that don't even make sense really. I just love these times, although they are exhausting and take a lot from me, when I get to see my students laugh while still being engaged in what we're doing. We all have fun.

-- I got a new student in one of my classes recently. He came in on a day that the other students were finishing a test, so I had him reading a book. Once everyone was settled in and working I went over to his desk to talk to him a bit and introduce myself. At the end of our conversation I said, "Oh, and I'm not just fat, I'm pregnant." Of course the other 20 students heard this because they were quietly working and they all let out a laugh and rolled their eyes at me.

-- By the way, I'm typing this while Brent is watching the Heat vs Lakers game. There was just a little interview with Kobe Bryant and he said "af-leticism". Really? Why is that okay?

-- Last week during one of my junior classes I had finished up the lesson, and my students were in groups working on some questions about the theme of the book. It was a fairly difficult assignment but they were all diligently working and so I returned to my desk and was able to begin grading a few other assignments. This rarely happens as I'm usually very busy while I have a class…and all of a sudden I got really sentimental. I looked up and said, "Okay you guys, I'm sorry to interrupt because you are all working so well, but I was just sitting here thinking about how awesome you guys are so I thought I should tell you. I mean really…I'm so lucky to have gotten to spend two years in a row with you all…I'm going to miss this class when you leave next year… thanks for being awesome…for real…" and I proceeded to just kind of ramble these things at them. The guys were just staring at me like, "What the heck is wrong with this crazy woman?!" But some of the girls said, "Aww, we're gonna miss you too." And the rest of them just laughed because, since they've been in my class two years, they have come to expect this random-ness from me.

-- Last story for now: I was going over the Writers Notebook Invitation with one of my classes and giving them suggestions for some things they could write about and apparently, [they claimed this pretty adamantly], I said "have roden" [combining 'have ridden' and 'rode']. I was like, "What? You're all hearing things." They assured me I had, so of course then I had to respond with, "Whatever, I'm pregnant."

We do get a lot done in my class, but we sure have fun doing it. I love my job.


baby bump: 29 weeks

week 18 bump
week 29 bump
hello, belly!
week 18 bump
dear baby,
boy have we come a long way together! just look at how you've made me grow and stretch…which means you are turning into quite the little human. you love to roll around; actually, i think you roll more than you kick. i'm starting to feel you on both sides of my belly, and in those moments i am just amazed at how big you are! i don't even know what i'll think when you're born and i get to hold POUNDS of you in my arms.

this sunday during the opening prayer at church i felt what i know for sure were your little hiccups. i couldn't help but smiling right there in the pew, as it just made you even more real to me.

i'm starting to have a few more "discomforts" that just come with the territory of being pregnant, but i still love it. i mean that, baby girl, i LOVE carrying you around with me. even if it means a slight waddle. even if it means i lost my very flat abs. even if it means spending much of my day in the bathroom. i LOVE it. all of it. because it means YOU.

i'm very ready to meet you, but i think i'll miss having you so close to me all the time.

love, mom



This blog may come as a shock to some.

I don't have an iphone. Or an ipad.

We do have an ipod, but only because our nephew didn't need it anymore and Brent wanted it for running. I have yet to add songs to it or really figure it out. I did play that little 'move-the-wooden-blocks' game on it though, so that has to count for something?! And Brent did buy me an itunes gift card for Christmas, so I'll figure it out soon enough.

We also have a macbook. And I LOVE my macbook.

However, I am so torn with the iphone revolution that is happening/ has happened. Yes, I think it has happened.

Here are my thoughts:

I'm sure the phones are great. I'm sure it is UH-mazing to be able to get on the web, to take great pictures from a phone wherever you go. I'm sure it is nice to have constant GPS. I even think that it is probably fairly fantastic to carry your music with you too.

However, I do not like what iphones have done to our society. I know that some of the things have been good. Some people can "face-time" their friends and family that live hundreds of miles, states, or countries away. That is a beautiful thing that technology has done for us. But, and I think this is a pretty big but, I think they have destroyed personal communication, intentionality with one another, and how we interact in society around us.

Come on, admit it, even if you ARE an iphone advocate there has probably been a time that you have been out in public and thought, if even for a fleeting moment, "What ever happened to people looking at each other as they walked by? What ever happened to actually talking to the cashier who is checking you out instead of messing with your iphone? What ever happened driving like a normal person because you aren't on your phone all the time?!"

I see my students, so much a part of this iphone generation, and most do not know how to just sit, to just be, to just remain with their thoughts. They are so plugged in all of the time, so "connected", that they have essentially become disconnected to the things around them.

I noticed this in college. Between my freshman year to my senior year texting became an actual thing people did. ipods became a necessity. And the iphone was invented. And you may think I'm being a bit dramatic…but I experienced a shift in how people on campus interacted with one another [facebook was also invented during this time, but I'll save that rant for another post entirely :)]. My freshman year when walking to class I could, at any moment, be stopped on the sidewalk and spoken to. Actually engaged in conversation. People looked each other in the eye. When we sat down in class, we talked to the person sitting next to us because most of us had left our cell phone in our dorm rooms. We didn't need it at all times, and some people didn't even have a cell phone. When we would go to the cafeteria to eat together, we did just that-- we ate TOGETHER. We didn't just eat near one another, plugging away at our phones. By my senior year much of this had changed. Walking to class was a solitary event because everyone was plugged in in one way or another. When you got to class you didn't strike up conversation with the strange person next you, instead you whipped out your phone to avoid eye contact.

I don't know. I think it is silly to try to stand against the tidal wave of technology. I really do. But there is a part of me that hates the iphone. I hate what it has done to society. I hate that I've had many moments with friends in which I am sitting staring at the wall while they are on their iphone. I hate that it has connected us to the internet at all times, everywhere we go. I hate that it has brought us further and further away from nature. I hate that it has brought us further and further away from each other.

But… I kind of want one. But I'm scared. I'm scared I'll become "that iphone person." I'm scared I'll become a part of everything I've been so adamantly against.

What are you thoughts about iphones? Do you have one? If not, why not? If you do, how do you "make peace" with what it has done to our society? How do you NOT become "that iphone person"?


baby bump: 28 weeks

dear baby,
i think that your mama looks extremely tired in the above picture. that's because it is a lot of work for my body to make you, but i also am daily amazed at the process God has chosen for you and me to go through together. besides looking tired though, i love the picture. i received a sweet card from a previous coworker that had a drawing of a pregnant woman with the saying, "she had never considered herself exactly perfect until right now." and in so many ways, sweet daughter, that is exactly how i feel when i look at these pictures. someday you will understand. [and besides, i think the black is very slimming for you and me].

your dad has rolled over several times in the morning and, without waking me because he knows better than that silliness [you'll learn], has placed his hand on my belly. you always-always-respond with a kick or punch or squirm, as if you know he's checking on you. man you're a smart cookie.

speaking of cookies…we passed our glucose test! i was a little worried because i had to go back for the second round, but we're fine. to celebrate the good results we had some oreo cookies, your favorite!

one final thing you should know this week: your great grandma ann and i went to the fabric store and picked out everything we/she needs to make your bedding and curtains. you're gonna be stylin', girl! your great grandma is one talented woman.

stay perky in there, little one. i love you.

love, mom


"Stats" post #2

I thought it was high time I write another little update on my pregnancy via a stats post. [Also, any linguists out there who know where the phrase "high time" originated? For some reason that just struck me as interesting and I would like to know...] Okay...stats....

Click HERE for the first one I wrote back in October to see how things have changed.

cravings: again, I haven't been craving too much or anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes my eye is bigger than my stomach [but don't we all have this problem]. I have noticed that I have to eat my meals a bit slower than normal, because otherwise I get heartburn more easily or I have that uncomfortable "stuffed" feeling much easier than normal. I have noticed I get hungry before lunch and before supper, but a little snack usually helps :)

weight gain:
Don't expect me to tell you about this after this is all said and done. I've actually gained more weight than I wanted to at this point, but to be honest, I haven't done anything that would make me NOT gain weight. At my last appointment I was just under having gained 20 pounds. My doctor said that is still really good and puts me on track for gaining around 30-35 total. I wanted to gain about 25-30 total, but ya live ya learn! Speaking of weight, I'm starting to think about an ideal weight I would like my daughter to be when she is born. I've decided about 6 lbs 5 ounces would be healthy yet little :-). And I have control over that, right?

My students provide excellent stuff for this section. Just yesterday this was a conversation in one of my classes when I walked in by three different MALE students, who were clearly sucking up: "Mrs. I, you look dashing today." [Yes, he really said "dashing"]. Student 2 chimed in, "Yeah...I mean, I can't even tell you're pregnant." Student three, "WHAT?! You're pregnant. Noooo way." I rolled my eyes and we all laughed. Other than that, some people are saying, "You finally look pregnant!" [Others have informed me I look larger in person than I do in the pictures I post on here]. Yet some, I don't know if they're just being kind, tell me I still look small for 29 weeks.

I guess I haven't written anything about this yet: I failed my first glucose screening [where they test for blood sugar to determine gestational diabetes]. This meant I had to return for a second, more intensive test. My doctor informed me that only 15% of women that come back for the second test actually have it. However, I had to fast for 8 hours, drink MORE of the wonderful, sugary drink [which does NOT sit well on an empty stomach if you're wondering] and then have my blood taken every hour. I was stuck a total of 4 times, 5 if you count the finger prick. I am still waiting on the results, and should know Thursday sometime. I really do not want to have gestational diabetes...obviously... but I have come to the realization that if I do then I need to know so I can do what is best for baby and me. It is something that goes away when the pregnancy is over also, and I know I can do anything for 2 1/2 months. So, right now that is the biggest thing I am concerned about. I also have been thinking worst-case-scenario about things with Brent. Let me explain: He played in an alumni tournament last weekend and I was concerned that he would have a major injury that caused him permanent amnesia and he wouldn't know who I was and therefore wouldn't know he was about to be a father. I also make up wild scenarios about car wrecks etc. Irrational scenarios really. But mainly the diabetes thing.

general mood:
I feel pretty great. I, so far, have loved being pregnant. I love carrying around my little babe everywhere I go. I love the excitement others share with me. I love letting this experience show me how big our God really is. So...yeah...overall...pretty great. Unless I'm tired...then I get a bit crab-tastic.

things i have been surprised by:
I am still surprised by how interested my students have been. I've also been surprised that I haven't gotten stretch marks. I've been surprised that I haven't craved anything. I also am surprised that I haven't freaked out about not having the nursery completely ready yet...as in not really ready at all. But I know it will all get done. I haven't been surprised by the support everyone has shown me though. We are truly surrounded by wonderful people.

things i'm most looking forward to:
I don't really think this has changed since my first post in October, but the longings have become even more intense to fall in love and get to know this little girl. I am really looking forward to seeing what she looks like and getting to know her personality. And I am REALLY looking forward to watching Brent get to know her too.

what i think is really cool and crazy:
Her kicks are incredible. I had thought about what they would feel like at this point, but it is really incredible to know that that is MY daughter moving around in there. I also think that how my body is changing is cool...and crazy. That women are capable of doing this incredible thing is AMAZING.

things i'm doing to prepare right now:
I finished our registry at Target and Amazon.com. Kali helped me a lot with that over Christmas. I also was finally able to go pick out fabric for the bedding and curtains that my very talented Grandma is going to make. I'm starting to call pediatricians and Brent and I are signing up for birthing classes. I'm talking to other moms about what they did to prepare for actual delivery. I am continue to journal and write through the process. And continuing to pray for our daughter.

There you have it...an update! 11 weeks left. Crazy.


check it

For some reason my Year in Review post posted AFTER my week 27 baby bump. So scroll down and enjoy.

Oh, and did you notice on the fruit ticker I am now carrying a little squash?! Crazy. [Week 28 is coming soon...I promise].


baby bump: 27 weeks

[Last week's bump]

dear baby,

hey sister! i think you're liking it in there because you are making yourself quite comfortable. i am starting to be able to feel what i think are certain parts of you, which is really neat.

we celebrated new years this week in style…okay, not really--mama was wearing sweats and lounged on the couch all night, but we were with some really great people. you also got to meet your dad's whole side of the family and they are already pretty nuts about you. you even kicked around so most of them had a chance to meet you.

your aunt kali helped me finish up your baby registry. she is already a great mom and knows just what you and i will need…but don't worry, i put some fun stuff on there too for you to play with. i'm hoping to really get started on your room soon, but like i said, i'm hoping you're pretty content in there for a couple more months!

i still can't help dreaming of what our days will be like together in less than 13 weeks. will you be a snuggler? a cryer? a feisty one? an explosive pooper? :) only time will tell. you're still making your mama tired, but it is worth it all to know you're growing and developing.

love, mom


okay fine...2011: A Review

I was informed by my husband [who shall remain nameless] that my annual "year in review" was sorely missed. I may be doing this just for him, but since he does so much for me I figure it's only fair. However, if you were one of the few who reads this blog AND missed my review as well [which is narrowing the playing field considerably, I understand], then this is for you too: Enjoy! [And if you want to peek back, here is 2010 and 2009].

January: This was an interesting time for us. You see, we got a dog. Her name was Margo.
She was a super cute boxer. I realized after 3 days that I am still deathly afraid of dogs. Good bye, Margo. We still think this was a good decision. It was also a crazy time for me as I was coaching girls basketball. CRAZY. I was incredibly busy and though we were winning games I was E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D. Kali also came to visit us with sweet Caroline and we learned that another little peanut was in the making. Oh happy day.

February: This month came in like a lion. Holy smokes. We had a big, old fashioned blizzard. It was fantastic. I think snow is beautiful, and it gave me a week home from school to finish our countertops that Brent had started. This was a big project for us, but we were so happy with the results.

Also, I got a new sink in this process...thank you Beck and Brent. It has changed my life. [Okay, that may be a bit drastic but...yes, it has changed my life. Love it. every day I use it. I love it.] However, a part popped off one day after it was installed. I was home [due to blizzard] and we had a minor flood, a major breakdown, and a dead cellphone. Oh my. It was an interesting 15 minutes of my life. Other than that...basketball continued [one week I had FIVE games in a row!!!]. By the end of this month I had worn myself out and got sick. Bummer.

March: I finally got back into writing "Our Story" a bit more [which I still am kicking myself to finish...it will get done...I think I can, I think I can...]. I had a moment where I thought I was pregnant and freaked out thinking I would have a December baby [why? my rationale breaks down so I'll spare you the details]. I bought my new DYSON VACUUM. And if I thought my sink had changed my life...well...as Atticus Finch would say, "I had another think coming." You know when a home appliance [is that what a vacuum is considered?] makes your "Year in Review" that it has significantly impacted you in someway. I got to teach my students poetry this month...which I ADORE, and we had a lot of fun. Also...my basketball girls won DISTRICT CHAMPS for the first time since 1986. Wowsa! It was a fun fun time.

April: Brent and I took a little trip to Wisconsin to visit my college roomie, Renae, her husband, Jared, and their little pumpkin of a child, Jaden.
We loved it and, as always when spending quality time with good friends, wished they lived next door...or in our spare bedroom. Brent also ran his first HALF MARATHON [13.1 miles, folks!]. This was a huge accomplishment and I was so proud of him.
It definitely put a bug in him to keep running... I must have had a vaccine against that bug when I was little. I dreamed up "teaching grammar with chalk" and again had fun with my students. [Oh and I turned 25 and Brent threw a little "surprise" taco dinner at our place. He's a good one that guy...I should have his children...oh....wait...stick around...]

May: Paige Elizabeth graduated [if you don't know who this is it is difficult to try to describe but basically: my mom babysat Paige and her sister, Torri, since they were 6 weeks until they went to school. We became, essentially, family...]. Kali and crew came back for the graduation!!

Caroline even got to reconnect with her buddy, Scout [my parent's dog]. Little did she know this would be the last time she would see Scout, as Scout had a tendency...scratch that...as Scout ran away every chance possible. She always came back, was brought back, ended up at my house, or my parent's tracked her down, but needless to say "animal loving" is not exactly our family's forte [did you read about January?!], and they thought someone else may...umm, appreciate...Scout more. So Scout went away. I also hosted a big "mother's day extravaganza!" at my house and had my parents, Brent's parents, and all our grandparents over. It was quite fun. I finished my 3rd year of teaching, and still found that I love what I do. Unfortunately at the end of this month the devastating F5 tornado hit Joplin, MO. Brent lived there for four years while in college, so knows a ton of people and places there [including his sister, bro in law, and Henry!]. It was a sobering time.

June: I began relishing in summer vacation and raided our closets [I LOVE doing this!], and I read books, and we took our summer vacation to Nashville/Louisville/Florence Ya'll. We got to visit many wonderful and beloved and deeply missed people.

July: I continued to plug away at "Our Story"...oh wait...that is still happening. I hit 400 posts on this here blog. Oh and I found out I was PREGNANT!! Hooray. Unlike the March scare, this one was prayed for, and Brent and I shared our little secret only with one another for awhile. At the end of this month I got to go on an Alaskan cruise!
Something that would have never happened without my dear friend, Micah. We soaked in the sun...oh...I mean, we bundled up and looked at Glaciers, went Kayaking, and ate like queens.
And I slept and slept and slept because I was creating a baby in my womb. [And yes, Micah had suspicions and I lied].
August: I began my fourth year of teaching...man, I'm getting old! I was excited because I had half of my crew from the year before, and I loved them! I jumped right in with Softball again and the heat proved to be a bit much and suspicion number two came from Coach B. But shhh...we still weren't telling. Brent and I also got to welcome our 2nd niece on my side, Elizabeth "Ellie" Kate! Precious.

September: Brent and I made a very quick trip to Nashville over Labor Day to meet, squeeze, and love on Ellie. We broke the news for the first time to Kali and Dan, as we wanted to tell them in person. Squeals and excitement. I continued with teaching Softball, Brent continued at the bank. We went to games and enjoyed the last beautiful summer/fall days. We told our parents and family we were going to have a baby...more squeals and excitement. And then after hearing the heartbeat we let the whole world know.

October: I began writing letters to my sweet baby. We carved pumpkins with Avree and Rylee [Riley? Oh no... drawing a blank! Yikes].

Brent ran ANOTHER HALF marathon and improved his time even more. This time he decided, "Yep, I'm gonna run a full marathon next." What?!
We celebrated Joan's birthday with family and Henry :). I fell in love...became obsessed...with Olive Garden again. Softball season ended, which is always bitter sweet.

November: Brent turned a whopping 26 years old. Basketball season began WITHOUT me, as I had decided that it wasn't for me after last season. We still went to all the games. We found out the GENDER of our sweet baby GIRL and were super excited.
We prayed and decided on the four characteristics we hope she embodies [Joyfulness, Compassion, Hospitality, Modesty]. I got to begin teaching my favorite book, "To Kill a Mockingbird", again. AND over Thanksgiving 2 of our favorite people, our lifers, Meagan and Shane made the long trek to stay with us for a few days. It was a glorious time. We all hoped that time would stand still… but it didn't and they had to leave. We again begged them to move, but they drove away anyway. Bummer.

December: I continued writing letters to our sweet daughter who began to show herself more and more. We finished working on our laundry room [a project that began in the summer].
And then we geared up for lots and lots of family at Christmas time.

Here's to another great year! I have a feeling that this will be a year of many changes for us… and we're ready to see what all it holds!!