Wednesday, December 31, 2008

not much to say

I don't have much to say but it has been awhile. I am now 21 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty good. I have a few bad days a month that seem to coincide with when my bad days were before pregnancy. It could be in my head but I just don't know. I am quite round these days. People tell me that I'm still small for being almost through with my fifth month but I have no way of really knowing how I'm doing. I am still diggin' mint chocolate chip ice cream. The holidays have been fun because I have enjoyed the food in ways that I haven't in a long time. Oh, the ham, the veggies, the rolls...everything was wonderful. I enjoyed more than my fair share of desserts (You could say that I was quite naughty in that area). Just today, David got to feel Bubba move. I know that he was pleased--it was written all over his face. I am really glad that we are at that stage.

This coming semester I am only teaching two classes instead of three. It is great because I no longer have to travel to Raymond (about an hour away). I also hope that this will mean I can focus on getting the nursery ready among a zillion other projects I have in my head (like finally putting pictures on our walls). I can't believe we are headed toward spring already. I've been really blessed this winter season and I am so so so thankful.

I just mailed out our christmas cards so I am so sorry that they are late.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

catching up pt.2



this was the crazy "blizzard" we experienced last week.

i'm catching up on picture posting





Here are pics of when david and i told my parents that we were pregnant (when I was 7wks). The card says "30" because we pretended to give them a card for their 30th anniversary that was coming up. On the inside was a poem announcing our news. Both parents cried and were quite overwhelmed (in a happy way).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

not a creature was stirring....

actually, there is something stirring in our attic right this very minute. It sounds huge like a raccoon. But it is probably a squirrel or rat that has made our toasty attic a home. I would be fine coexisting with this creature if I could be assured that it wasn't diseased or ruining the insulation. I hate to kick it out into the cold and I definitely hate the idea of killing it. Afterall, it is just trying to survive. It thought it hit the jackpot with our attic--do I really want to disappoint the poor creature. I know my inlaws would be shaking their heads going, "Kill the thing already". I am not wired that way. I also was brought up in an animal friendly home (though we did not coexist with rodents). I remember watching ants when I was about 7 yrs old and I picked one and smooshed it. Immediately I felt horrible and cried for this little ant. How could I kill it with no just cause--it was a random murder. Yes, this is how sensitive I am to lesser creatures.

winter wonderland...really

I was in complete disbelief when I woke up this morning to see not only the ground white but snow falling full blast from the white sky. I got dressed in all my winter goodies (long underwear, boots, hat) to go record Cora's first experience with snow. Before I did that however, I should say that I called David three times to find out why he wasn't home from school and when he would be. Prep didn't let them go early (so far) and I was really sad that I could be with him on such a pretty winter day. So, since he could be hear I recorded Cora's first experience with real snow. She loved it!! Then I came in to make a fire. Usually that is David's arena but I couldn't stand to go through such a wintry day without a fire in my fireplace. I tried to take a picture of that but my camera's batteries became "exhausted". My camera always acts like it is in its first trimester of pregnancy--quite annoying. So, when it is "rested" I will get that picture and put up those of Cora. Merry Christmas everyone!

Oh, another weird/funny thing. When I saw the snow it took me to the Christmas of 2004 where it snowed on Christmas day in New Orleans. Truly a miracle--but what happened the next fall was Hurricane Katrina. I thought about that and when I called my parents I said, "I hope that doesn't mean we'll have another hurricane." Dad told me that Mom said the same thing--funny. I must get my paranoia from her. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

18 weeks and a peek at the future

Yesterday, as some of you already know, we found out that this growing object in my body is actually a boy. His sonogram pictures were beautiful. You can see them on David's blog at www.davidhogue.wordpress.com I was so absorbed in girldom (even made a little girl's dress and a pattern for another) that I was somewhat taken aback as I thought through being a mom of a little boy. It doesn't scare me but it is just an adjustment in my perspective. Everything was healthy so far. We opted not to have further chromosomal tests done, thinking that there are many false positives and that I would have to wait out the rest of the pregnancy fearing the worst.

My present symptoms are:
-my clothes don't fit
-my feet hurt pretty bad if I'm on my feet a lot during the day
-feeling pretty normal emotionally and that must be those great pregnancy hormones everyone has been telling me about
-my nose is always producing mucus and it usually leads to coughing

My present fears are:
-lack of sleep along with postpartum or loss of nice hormones will make me insane (not using hyperbole). I am hearing stories like these from a couple of people.
-the only reason i'm feeling good these days is because of hormones and not because I've been feeling better overall in winter months. (though, don't worry, i'll enjoy it as long as I can).

Friday, December 5, 2008

friday night lights

I'm sitting in bed listening to my parents, my aunt and uncle, and david talk about jehovah's witness "church". I left the "discussion" because of the "high volume talking" that was going on. I have a small tolerance for these arguments now. I remember being charged and raring to go in such instances but now I find myself wanting to retreat to my room and read or watch something relaxing. Besides that, I ate more than my share of fajitas tonight which left me uncomfortable. Today was such a long day with teaching in the morning, running errands frantically to get the house ready for our guests, and then preparing for our traditional belhaven singing christmas tree. (For those who don't know, this is a yearly festivity that Belhaven college puts on where they have a live chorus in the shape of Christmas tree sing carols and hymns). So, as I am hoping to relax into sleepy time, a huge argument over cults was not what I wanted. I just want to watch a funny sitcom and go to bed. Which I will do right now. Good night.

pregnancy is the only logical explanation

I never liked minty flavored things and especially disliked mint chocolate chip ice cream. It seemed too medicinal to be enjoyable. But lately I have wanted it and when I got it I loved it. So weird...

Friday, November 21, 2008

friday afternoon

It is Friday afternoon on a very cold but beautiful day. I've made myself a cozy spot on our bed with the computer, my favorite red blanket, and a darling pup is sleeping nearby in the sunlight that is shining through our bedroom window. It is quite cozy and comfortable. I have pondered about this post this morning--imagining what I would write and how. Yesterday I was in fine form as at about 5pm I was feeling irritable. There wasn't any irritant to speak of but try telling that to a pregnant woman. I, being the sensible, rational woman I am, looked for something to be angry at. I didn't have to look far. (This is the part where you think or say aloud, "Poor David"). He is trying to hang with me but I think that he is knocked sideways everytime a moodswing occurs. What is funny about a mood swing is that it doesn't identify itself. It looks, feels, smells, and tastes as real as a true emotion...but maybe on steroids? Something upset me and I felt really angry about it last night and I think that if I had a hairy back that hair would stand on end. I could feel my blood boiling, blood pressure rising, and my skin turning a strange shade of green (oh wait, that's the hulk but truly, "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry"). As cute as David finds my fiesty parts I think there are times that my temper sets him ill at ease. Now, in these foul moods, I definitely have parts whispering to me that I'm not being fair but every other part feels like a steam train thats too late to stop from crashing. I can't reason myself out of that emotion (most people can't, by the way--that's why "get over it" is not a very valuable solution). So, it is not until the mood passes that I can look back and go, "phew, that was doozy" as I try to scrape david off the ceiling or screw his head back on his shoulders. I am realizing that the true way to tell a real emotion from a moodswing is that when I'm in a moodswing there isn't anything that can be said or done that will change the mood--it just is! So, that means that the therapist who is trained to work through conflict says, "Let's just drop it". Seems unhealthy but really there is no point of wading through the emotions that will only serve to stir up more anger rather than lead it to pass. It is just the endure until over strategy. If David can see the signs he would do this--but again, it is really hard to tell. Thankfully, this is not a daily issue but probably bimonthly or so...for now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

thankfulness

I realize that being thankful is a practice rather than a natural state of mind. Therefore, I have decided to devote a post(s?) to what I'm thankful. 'Tis the season, afterall.

What I'm thankful about my country:
(1) Our country was founded by a lot of godly men.
(2) We have such a wonderful infrastructure (just travel to a war-torn country and see what I mean). We can count on the garbage man, postman, police, firemen--that is no small blessing.
(3) freedom: freedom of speech, mainly but we have so much freedom here to be unique.

What I'm thankful about my extended family:
(1) They are so diverse and wonderfully complex with their different parents and backgrounds and experiences. I could know them my whole life (and my half, I have) and never know all of them.
(2) They like to have fun (but do have different definitions of that from time to time).
(3) Everyone loves to laugh.
(4) They are so numerous--i'll never run out of relatives to chat with.
(5) They such a wonderful source of support: emotional, physical, financial. The Lord places the lonely in families, He said and I see why.

What I'm thankful about my new home:
(1) It's bigger than our old place. We have another bedroom and a potential bonus room.
(2) We have a yard that is beautiful and private. Cora, our lab, has a nice backyard that she loves.
(3) We have recessed lighting and ample light in all rooms. Ultra important to a girl who isn't fond of the dark.
(4) It looks like a cottage and those are my favorite type of houses.
(5) It is close to everything we need: walmart, kroger, fastfood joints, book stores, interstate.
(6) We have a fireplace that we've enjoyed.
(7) We have 2!! bathrooms and ours has a big tub!
(8) We've had lots of guests without feeling cramped at all--we love having folks over.
(9) It is a great neighborhood.
(10) We have a pecan tree and many others that drop pecans into our yard.
(11) The house is great as is but it also has so much potential for improvement too.

What I'm thankful about my dog, Cora:
(1) She is so darn cute!
(2) She is very healthy and strong.
(3) She is bright and has the ability to learn (we just have to teach her)
(4) She has never been aggressive with others.
(5) She is so sweet when we are sick. She'll just sit by us without demanding walks or extra attention. But believe me, she knows when you are faking (see #3)

What I'm thankful about my husband David:
(1) He is very easy to be around.
(2) We enjoy a lot of the same low-key activities.
(3) He is very willing to help with housework.
(4) He treats me like a princess a lot.
(5) He walks Cora (she is too strong for me)
(6) He works very hard and doesn't complain.
(7) He loves physical affection
(8) He is a gentle giant.
(9) He has endless amounts of patience (ok, not endless but way way more than me).
(10) I love that he enjoys the simple things in life (ie. a glass of wine, some chocolate, milk shakes, a great tv show, a good book)

What I'm thankful about my Lord:
(1) He has been more faithful than I ever gave Him credit for. In my darkest times, He has walked with me and brought glimpses of hope when I felt hopeless--it kept me going. I persevered because of Him and all the people He used to encourage me.
(2) He plans perfectly. Anyone who knows David and my background in relationships would know that our meeting and love grew under our Lord's good will and purpose for us. The timing was perfect for us.
(3) The Lord teaches me everyday through His Word (Living Word) and through my experiences. He never stops; never gives up on my stubbornness or lack of insight. Through Him I learn what true love is, how people change and grow, and where to keep my eyes (on Him).
(4) He shows me what love and patience is through David and dear friends.
(5) He shows me what generosity is through my parents.
(6) He shows me what true beauty is through those who sacrifice and humble themselves before the Lord and others.
(7) He has prepared a wonderful place for me in His kingdom after I have fought the good fight where I get to enjoy His presence and the presence of my brothers and sisters in Christ. This place will be free of all that keeps the world in bondage and will be full to the brim (overflowing, really) with joy and love.

Monday, November 17, 2008

15 weeks and counting

I've entered the relative calm of pregnancy. No crazy symptoms other than the occasional pain in my abdomen, promising that I will show eventually. Stories get to me more than they used to. Students would tell me stories in class that pertained to the topic we were discussing (i.e. post traumatic stress disorder, child abuse, etc) and these stories bring tears to my eyes that would not have a few months ago. I'm more sensitive to stories of children being hurt at the hands of their parents. I'm still not allowing myself to think too far ahead (i.e. life after baby is born) especially when I'm alone. If I am not bouncing my thoughts off of someone else they (my thoughts) tend to take on a scary life of their own. I want to concentrate on the joys of babydom without forgetting that it will be hard (so that I don't get blindsided).

We find out the sex of the baby on December 9th, Lord willing. We are excited about this as well as seeing the ultrasound for the first time. We haven't thought through names too much because there are so many other things that occupy our thoughts without having to plow through names for a sex that we may not have. To celebrate our first ultrasound we will purchase our first piece of sex-specific clothing for baby. I think that we have decided not to share the name until the baby is born. I recently decided I liked the idea of seeing the baby before naming him/her. It seems natural right now to see this child before bestowing a name with meaning. (I strongly believe in names with meaning.) I never liked that idea before (seemed to impractical) but for some unknown reason this seems right. David isn't too keen on it but he agreed to have a list of names we like and then decide on one when we meet "lil bit".

I've taken a short break from thinking about the nursery but recently picked up that project again. All this looks like is me browsing online at different bedding and such while reading up on bargains. (I highly recommend Baby Bargains--for new moms it is extremely helpful and insightful). I've not made any commitments to anything for maternity or for the nursery and look forward to when those decisions are made.

I can't think of anything else to tell but ask if you have any questions. I'm pretty open.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

what i'm doing

Nothing special to report or talk about right now. I just wanted to write something. I'm sitting on our couch waiting for a plumber to come and check out a leak we've noticed outside our house. Not sure how he's going to notice it since it is as wet as the atlantic out there. I want him to come and go so I can go to Hancock's fabric to get some supplies to make something. I'm hoping to go sew with Paula La (La Fam blog linked to the right) this week and I need something to work on. I know if I don't continue to work on sewing I will forget how. Also, since my guest room headboard came out well I need to get more supplies to make one for our own bedroom. It really could not be easier to make. After Hancock's I'm going next door to Fads n' Frames to check out their prices for christmas decor. I've been trying to find affordable wreaths and garland and I'm learning that classic christmas decor is NOT cheap. This seems like the perfect weather for these tasks because it is so wintry looking outside. Oh, here's the plumber. Gotta go.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

13 weeks and counting

Well, as you know (if you are a consistent reader of Growing Hope) that I have felt a surge of energy just shy of my 2nd trimester. Today, however, I felt so tired, unmotivated and sleepy. I woke up at 8:15am and not two hours later needed another nap. This is the beginning of my 2nd trimester so my expectations are that I will be bouncing off the walls with energy. Also, I thought I would walk around like a ravenous wolf all the time. Neither has been true so far. Though, it seemed like I had surges of energy it hasn't seemed consistent. And as far as hunger, I'm not hungry much. Sometimes, food has no appeal at all and I only eat because I have to. I'm not sure what it is about but I'm not generally concerned--it is just isn't what I expected. Also, I'm not showing a bit. I realize that I'm long-waisted and also that this is my first pregnancy which tends to take longer to stretch out and grow but hardly a bump is what I feel. I'm the only one who sees or feels it. I can tell that when I sit down in jeans that there are times I have to unbutton my top button--not a usual occurrence. So, I feel pressure where there is supposed to be our baby but that's all. I am hoping to be blossoming by Christmas if only to have a great Christmas card picture and so that my extended family won't be too disappointed when they see my flat (but not for long) tummy. It always seems like my students and faculty at David's work are always searching my midsection for any sign of a baby. I know there will time enough for looking like a whale but I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

harvest time

One of the greatest joys of this fall has been going outside about once or twice a week to collect the pecans that have fallen on our front and back lawn. At first I was picking about 5-10 pecans per trip but today I went out and filled up two baskets. I wish I had my camera to show you but my parents borrowed it for a trip. As I pick those pecans I realize that gardening might be so good for my soul. I'm not sure how well I will be at planting and cultivating but I would be overjoyed at harvesting. I feel so close to the way the Lord initially provided for us. So close to nature. It is definitely a miraculous event that happens every season, every year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

working theory

Yesterday, I decided to burn all this anxious and restless energy by running several errands that were put on hold. I also extended my workout to an hour. It helped. I did the same today too. Now, it may be true that I am just feeling more energy and it needed to be used. It is nice to have energy--I'm far more productive. I got to pick up some supplies to make a headboard I've been planning for months. David and I got some bedding for our guest room (on sale since linens n' things is going out of business). I've gone grocery shopping, baby shower shopping (for 3 friends who had or are having babies). I emptied 3 boxes that were in our 2nd bedroom (which I will now refer to as the nursery even though it looks nowhere near one at this point). This is really different than a week ago. A week ago I was pooped to just walk to the kitchen to get a drink of water. So, things appear to be better for now. Thought I would update you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

am i doomed?

Over the past two years I have come to hate winter due to the associations I've made with being anxious. As that time nears I find myself in conflict. As much as the past two winters have been hard I still seem to have some hope that it will be better. I loved the holiday season before but there was a serious damper when I felt I couldn't enjoy the food or fully relax. I am hoping and praying that this winter will hold something different for me, if for any reason that I'm pregnant. The last few days have been rather icky. In the afternoons or evenings I've felt more uneasy and anxious. I wonder actually if this is coming because I am starting to get some energy back. Sometimes that can translate into restlessness for me lately. I hope, whatever it is, that it is temporary. It won't be the first time to deal with this and I am more equipped to handle it through experience. I am claiming victory over this area of my life and realizing that victory may not look like complete recovery but like not letting it get in the way of my calling and purpose. Their is still JOY and HOPE and LOVE to be had. AND! I can look forward to a day when this life with all of its wonderful and terrible experiences will be validated in Jesus. Compared to the eternity of bliss with Him, life is pretty short. And therefore, my afternoon or few days or even winter of anxiety and unease is but a miniscule shadow--I think I can persevere.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

11 weeks and counting

I somehow anticipate that with each week that gets me closer to my second trimester will find me with more energy. I had a small list of things I wanted to accomplish today (saturday the 18th) but that was not to be. My energy level has not changed even though my expectations for them have--which leaves me more frustrated. It is ridiculous how much I did today--I gathered a few pecans from our yard, I cut a few pieces of paper for scrapbooking and then I pooped out. I sat on the couch the rest of the afternoon. I even took a nap even though I had slept about 10 hours the night before. Most might say, "enjoy it while you can!" but I am not enjoying it on days like this, where it is pretty outside and there are a zillion things to do. This is where I am for now. My energy is going toward better things than organizing rooms, scrapbooking, and housework. I just need to remember that. Oh, did anyone else have to turn into a mouth-breather in pregnancy? Sometimes, I can't get enough air through my nose. I get enough to think that I should be fine but then I realize that I'm not getting air.

Some good news reached me yesterday when Marti Witherow, old RTS classmate and friend, called and announced that she had her baby girl--Johanna ("Yo-hanna") Marta Witherow. She was over 7lbs and with dark hair. She was born 3 weeks early so her shower is still next week. Get this--her labor began because of the full moon. I thought that was an old wives tale until she said that all sorts of women showed up on tuesday at the hospital to have babies when it was empty on the monday night. Apparently it is pretty typical. Wild. I'm THRILLED for her. If anyone doesn't know, Marti and Neil had been trying for a baby for years and began in vitro. The first time they tried it had not succeeded and the babies were miscarried. It has been a trying journey for them as they trusted the Lord through barren times. Yet, they persevered and the Lord blessed them. I love seeing how the has worked in their lives and I look forward to getting to know little Johanna (which means "God is gracious").

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

kickin' up my heels

I was so nervous last night and this morning but happily, and on the first try, we heard the marvelous, music-to-my-ears heartbeat. It sounded like (hoosh, eesh, hoosh, eesh). She said everything sounded and looked great and that I'm considered a low risk pregnancy. Yeehaw! I think I love my obgyn just because she is associated with all of this good news. I am so thankful!! David was laughing at me because I honestly couldn't wipe the grin off my face as we were walking out of the office. Thank ya'll for your prayers!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

taking advantage

Since pregnancy began I've had very little energy. This Saturday morning however started with a bang. I woke up with a lightbulb over my head! This epiphany was of how to decorate the nursery (that I'm not going to decorate until after I hear a heartbeat--but it is so fun to think about). I woke up David (a grumbly David) to tell him. I was hyper and tried to get him out of bed by tickling and singing my rendition of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from the Oklahoma musical. Nothing doing. So, since I had some energy to burn I looked up some recipes online, put on some music and began making a feast. I woke up David an hour later to announce (to his great surprise) that I made french toast (never made that, by the way). He was appreciative and I was glad to be able do that for him (and for me, since I had a hankering for french toast--actually beignets but I thought anything with powdered sugar would do). After a time of prayer with David we set about cleaning. David covered the dishes (which I love that he does so willingly since I HATE doing dishes), and putting loads of laundry in the wash. I began sweeping and mopping the kitchen and dining room (all the while Cora was bringing in more mud from outside--for awhile there it seemed like a losing battle). After this chore I needed a break so here I am writing into blogosphere. I am about to fold clothes and clean the bathrooms and later will change the sheets on our guest bed. After that, who knows...I will accomplish as much as my energy stores will allow me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a scare with a happy ending

Last night I listened to voice mail from my obgyn's office saying, "We would like to talk to you about the results of your blood work". I heard that and could feel instant anxiety and panic run through me. It just sounded like bad news from the start. I told David about the message and he said, "That's scary". I did my best to distract myself until today since there wasn't a thing I could do. I fought the fears that plagued me of the worst-case scenarios. I called first thing in the morning and had to leave a message. I was worried that I would have to wait all day for a reply but about 30 minutes later they called back and apologized for the worry they caused with their message. They said that nothing was wrong except they found some bacteria that could eventually lead to a bladder infection that they typically treat right away for pregnant women. So, they wanted to know which pharmacy to send the prescription to. PHEW!! I was so relieved and called David and left a message immediately. Even after this was over, I still had anxious feelings. I am not sure why but maybe I just need some time to recover from the scare.

I hope they made a note on my file that said this patient wants more information on their voicemail if a message is left.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh, forgot to list that I want candied apples or caramel apples. crazy, right?

today

This morning I have not been feeling fatigued or sleepy. Also, I have not been feeling nauseous. I'm not sure why I haven't been feeling these things since I have been feeling them for the past month but I will choose not to worry about it until we go to the doctor again next tuesday. I know some women stopped having symptoms and then had a miscarriage but also other women stated that they've had their symptoms stop and then start again due to the hormones coming in waves. So, really I have nothing to go on. I'm still asking for prayers for the baby and thanks to all of ya'll who have.

I've had more cravings. I made a running list in my mind last night of things we "needed" from the grocery store. Everything I craved, we did not have.

1. smoothies
2. cottage cheese
3. pickles (typical, right?)
4. hot tamales (candy)
5. strawberry twizzlers (although last night I wanted them more than I do right now)
6. watermelon

Things that are sweet and cold are wonderful (except ice cream), like applesauce, smoothies, watermelon, real fruit popsicles.

Doughnuts and cake are really attractive to me too, but i haven't allowed myself much access to those things...yet.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

does this remind you of....


the wolf in Neverending Story?

likes and dislikes

Thought I would share my cravings and repulsions.

Can't eat/drink enough:
-tabouli
-oranges
-fruit juices
-wheat saltine crackers
-any kind of salad
-applesauce
-chicken nuggets
-french fries
-pizza

Have no desire to eat/drink:
-coffee
-chocolate
-ice cream


Really, my cravings depend on the day and hour but these are the ones that seem to stick.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

bummer

I'm bummed because we went to our first "doctor's" appointment today in hopes of having a sonogram and hearing the baby's heartbeat. That did not happen. It was really anti-climactic as they drew blood and then had us meet with an obstetrician expert (she took a med., family history, and went over lots of little goodies that she gave us i.e. pamphlets). We are set to have our first sonogram in two more weeks (Oct. 14th). I can't believe I have to wait that long. It is going to feel like forever (esp. since I am so tired and sluggish).

I'm pretty useless these days as my energy is waning. I try to do stuff when I have energy but it is so short-lived. Sweet David has been ultra helpful around the house that barely can get cleaned. I spend a lot of time being thankful for cable t.v. since that is what I watch most of the day. I do manage to teach my classes but try to sit while I do that as much as possible. Also, I am going to the gym to sit on a "relaxed" bike for 30 minutes. I can move while sitting and it gets anxious and restless energy out of me. I tried to walk on the treadmill and it made me feel nauseous and like I had feet of lead. Thanks for all of your prayers.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

not a moment too soon

A couple of weeks ago we found out that I was pregnant by 5 weeks. We were going to keep it on the down low until our 1st dr's appt but decided we could not wait that long. Besides, I wanted people praying for that appt with us. So, now I am waiting for the 30th when we find out if everything is ok so far. I will feel like it is real then when we hear a heartbeat. As the days go by, more of the shock and denial wear off and excitement comes to take its place. I can't wait to have more energy to accomplish all the things I would like to get done before May. May! What a great month to have a baby. David and I will be finished or finishing our semesters teaching and will have 2 and half summer months to get used to the new addition. A week before I found out I was pregnant I met with the doctor we will use. I was hoping to find someone who was laid back and not prone to freaking out or freaking patients out. She is just that. A laid back Christian woman who was kind and understanding and also willing to listen to what plans we were hoping to implement (within reason, of course). I love how the Lord just planned this all at the right time. As seen in the post below, we have just gotten a house...and not a moment too soon.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

two weeks later...

My head is spinning with all that has happened in the past couple of weeks. First, we moved and did our best to rest, get boxes unpacked in our living areas and clean our last apartment. We were both exhausted and David began to get sick. We had our garage sale the next Saturday (Aug 30th) and it went well. My parents came into town just in time to help us with unpacking, sorting furniture in the two other bedrooms and minor repairs. Then I had my parents and uncle Joseph, aunt Hannah, and cousin Fadi come over to avoid Gustav. I was a bit freaked that Katrina would happen all over again. I was so worried to see my parents have to go through what they already had. Anyway, I decided not to obsess over the news and it helped. They left yesterday to find electricity, no flooding, and very slight damage (Praise the Lord). When they left my friends Rachael and Jamie and their two kids came for a night on their way home from northern Arkansas--also fleeing the hurricane. Today, I'm home and have no motivation or energy to do anything. I am getting over a nasty cold (that David denies passing to me :) ) and am looking forward to a relaxing weekend. we'll see...

Coming soon: pics of our new house (I need to find the wire that I use to connect the computer to the camera--sigh).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

we've gone country (she said with a twang)

We've moved this weekend and we are so glad to be winding down in this process. Packing up was stressful because we were moving towards chaos in our apartment and in our routine. Now, it is much more satisfying to unpack because 1) we have so much more room to hold the boxes that cramped our style (literally) in our old place and 2) we are moving towards order and routine (two things that I have come to greatly appreciate).

We had a lot of happy helpers on saturday and we have been endlessly thankful for making something that could be so hard so much easier. It was hard to move on saturday and have a sunday of rest while looking at all the things that needed to be done. Nonetheless, we rested. Good thing too, because we have been working almost every second we are at home to restore order.

We are so thankful to the Lord for answering prayers and providing us with a home that we feel is too good for us. We are so thankful for our parents who the Lord used in providing for us. Last but not least, we are so thankful for the support (physical or emotional) that our friends and family have given. It means a lot to see other's enthusiasm. Also, we are really glad to have had our first visitor, my dear friend, Elizabeth Scaife.

I want to post pictures of our house (I got some great ones) but won't be able to post them until we get our internet service transferred.

I think it is funny that we now live in Brandon. It is such a different subculture than Belhaven. I have often commented to David that Belhaven neighborhood is overrated and that there is this air of intelligentsia. Belhaven is so proud of itself and that bugs me, even as a resident. So, I like that this is absent in Brandon. But in its place is something kind of foreign to me. I haven't figured out how to describe it yet.

Come see us!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

some memories from our apartment

rest

Today it is a lazy Sunday afternoon where the lamps inside are on and outside everything is gray. The rain is even lazy in that it falls lightly. If you aren't outside it would seem like it was January. We just finished our "stroll" with Cora and have enjoyed a nice cup of coffee. Mmmmm. So nice. On this day of rest that we were mercifully given I am working (ironic choice of words) on giving my mind rest as well as my body. I am purposefully trying not to think about our new house, moving, work, or anything of the like. Which means that when we go to Barnes and Noble tonight I will not pick up one decorator/landscaping/remodeling book while there. Strictly "light" stuff. My mental exercises on our new house and moving have become nearly an obsession. My planning will keep me awake at night. Not because I am anxious but because all the possibilities and potential excites me. It can be so fun to plan but it is getting a bit tired, hence the brain hiatus. I even refuse to plan the week because the list will get longer and my brain will take that information and work on it furiously until I have a plan that will get it all done. I will do that but it will wait until tomorrow morning. Just thought I would let you know.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

moving

As I pack up our stuff I think back on when we first moved into this apartment of ours. I remember David and I (engaged to be married in a month) painted the rooms. Overwhelmed (a feeling that grew to be quite familiar in the months to come), I sat on our stairs, lost in thoughts (more like fears) about what the future would bring. Would we be happy? Would I be a godly wife? Would David be what he promises to be? Will I be good enough? Will David love me? Will I love David? Will we make it financially? Will one of us die young? Will one of us have an affair? Will one of our children die young? Will we even be able to have children? There were no guarantees, no assurances. No amount of time would have helped those feelings of fear and mistrust subside. I just had to make the leap of faith that is marriage. And I did. (It was a good decision, in case you were wondering). We are moving into a new house and a new chapter. We will, once again, paint our walls. I fear those same overwhelming emotions that took over over two years ago will resurface. I keep telling myself that this is different. It's the truth. I am married and quite comfortable with my groom. Moving into a house is far less scary than marrying a man I knew for 8 months. Anyway, I just thought I would let people know where I am emotionally on this move. I am very ready to have the space of our new home. We both love the house and got a nicer house than we thought we could. But with all the positive, I have a remnant of hesitation (as I have with any decision of magnitude).

Definitely more exciting than scary, though. By the way, anyone want to make some money painting our walls? Seriously, let me know.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

what's goin on

Since we are now legitimate owners of internet service I hope to be more active on my blog. I have had a lot to say but I made some arbitrary rule for myself that I had to finish my musical scrapbook before I wrote anything else. I am purposely breaking this rule of mine to tell you that we have signed a contract on a house. We really like this house and the neighborhood that we are going to live in (Lord willing) and can't believe how much space we are going to have. We probably have more storage than we know what to do with. We are supposed to close on August 15th (though it could be earlier if both parties agree to it). It is a 3 bdrm, 2 bath house with a good size front and back yard. We would be living in a covenantal subdivision called Pecan Ridge, so therefore it will have standards to keep the neighborhood beautiful. It has a laundry room. This is such a big deal because right now our washer and dryer serve as counter space in our more-tiny-than-you-can-imagine kitchen. We would have 2! bathrooms and neither of them are upstairs because there isn't an upstairs! It is a red brick, european style house with a two car garage and an adult pecan tree in the front yard. Our neighbors are mostly older women and couples with the exception of a fireman next door (not a bad person to have around). Our neighbors have dogs and that is great since most dog owners have patience with other dogs and their owners (it is a dog-lovers code--which we learned about in our current neighborhood of belhaven). Over the years we live there we hope to change the flooring, update the kitchen/appliances, do some landscaping, and perhaps turn the space above the garage into a bonus room (I personally love the idea that we can expand if we should outgrow the house). We will work on lighting in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as paint before we move in (which could be anytime between aug 15th and 31st).

I am excited but also a bit nervous. Buying a house requires almost as much commitment as does a marriage. It can be nerve-racking. However, the more I see this place the more excited I feel and the less nervous. When I have pics I will definitely post. I think I will also post on where we live now, just to have it commemorated as our newlywed cottage of two years.

Monday, July 7, 2008

i'm a believer...

in the quality music of the Monkees. I watched the shows (and own a season on dvd), I listened to the record (still have it and can see where I used a pen to trace around Davy Jones' face), and it was the first cassette tape I ever owned. I also have to mention that my first crushes were on Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones. Oh so cute! I had to remind myself that they were a few decades older than me but so what?! They are timeless.

I know there are many naysayers out there who snobbishly toss aside their work because they were a band put together by television producers. In their defense, look at all the shows whose goals are to put together a star, or a band (i.e. Making the Band or American Idol, anyone?). So, the Monkees were just ahead of their time. A few favorites of theirs were "Sweet Young Thing", "I Wanna Be Free", "You Just Might Be the One", "Saturday's Child", "Take A Giant Step".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

the beginning

Way back when, we lived in covington, la. While in a quaint, "just-our-size" house, when getting ready for the day, mom and dad had music playing on the 8-track. Yes, I kid you not, the 8-track. My future kids are going to be saying "a what track?!" I only remember two that they owned at the time. I remember somebody-anderson (a country crooner) and kenny rogers. It was a black 8-track and had a picture of him on the cover. I used to listen to it over and over. I loved the sound of kenny's voice as he sang "Ruby", "Coward of the County", "Reuben James", and "She Believes in Me". I still love those songs and have a tape (its old, ok) in my car to prove it. I want to give you taste of that voice that I find hard to describe while making it sound pleasant. It is "grumbly" but not gutteral. It is a lazy sounding voice.


Friday, May 16, 2008

my soundtrack

I am feeling inspired to walk down memory lane by showing you all the music I treasured in my short *ahem* history. As David toils away on making out his exams, I toured Youtube.com and found the videos I breathed and lived during my adolescent years. I don't have the hormones raging like I once did but I sure remember what it was like and I could not feel more sentimental about these songs and artists. I thought about me putting them up as rather selfish since it isn't entertaining the masses, necessarily, but sharing my musical biography. But I can't help but do this for my own sake. I hope you are not infinitely bored and if you are, I will do my best not to take it personally. These songs are very much a part of me. Some people can love a song and not be insulted when others don't--i am not like those people. If someone drags U2 through the mud, I am personally offended. Also, once I love a song and is "part of me" it is never ever ever not a part of me. It is there forever. So, though I would not choose to love a certain song in my present self, I still respect the song out of where I was when I did choose it. Does that make any sense? Music has crazy importance to me. If someone wants to know me they should listen to the music I love. When David and I were dating he found out that I loved U2. He asked me what my favorite album was. Soon after, he bought that album to listen to (and listen to, he did). That was big to me. To me, it was as good as a personal interview to listen to that album. It meant so much to me. I wish I could explain this tie more clearly--but I have often wished my life had a soundtrack because in my head it does.

Monday, May 12, 2008

happy birthday, cora godiva hogue!!!



One year ago today (May 13th) this 3lb fur ball was born and a month later walked right up to David's feet and chose us to take care of it. I am certain that the Lord whispered in this little critter's ear to come to us. We haven't regretted that decision yet. Our hearts are full of love for our rascal. She is part rascal, though, and part gentle depending on the hour. She is a wonderful part of our small family and we enjoy doting on her. I'm so glad the Lord gave us Cora because I think in some ways it is preparing us for a baby. We hope she has many more birthdays after this and we hope that truly all dogs go to heaven.



A couple of days ago I looked up the meaning of Godiva and found that it means "gift from God". How appropriate!!!

new york times bestseller


This past weekend we were at the Hogue house in Newellton and I began reading a book that my sister-in-law, Esther, brought home. I'm sure many of you have heard of this book that is called My 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. I read it in a couple of days and that is a pretty good measure of how interesting it was (for me, anyway). I haven't done that with a book since the last installment of the Harry Potter series. And before that it was with the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (and that was years ago). I was that riveted, is what I am trying to explain. I loved the book and it encouraged me on so many levels.

First of all, I was so emotional as he described his time in heaven. It was truly truly beautiful. I wouldn't say that the author was a person that got really emotional or that he was good at being descriptive but then again (as Esther said) how could he be? It really took away fear of death, and it took away mourning for lost loved ones as I imagined them there worshipping in full joy-ahhhhh!

Secondly, I was moved by this man's struggle with pain and despair on his return to earth. My own struggles have been no where near this man's but I could relate to his emotional despair and that hopelessness that I have felt at points in my life. It is a dark place but to know that you are not alone does wonders for encouragement.

Thirdly, I closed that book with new resolve to run the race set before me. It was so clear that our time on earth is but a faint whisper in eternity. And that the sufferings we have will be nothing compared to the glory of heaven. I look forward to it. I have less fear because of it.

I have a list of books that I like giving to folks or recommending. To give you a few: Boundaries, Changes that Heal, Loving Obedience, Francine Rivers trilogy (Voice in the Wind, Echo in the Darkness, and Sureness of the Dawn) along with the given Tolkien and Lewis books. I think this book is going to make the list. In fact, I have a running list of people who should read this book. It may be you.....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

running,



riding!


bible time minus 1

Everyone gathered after Sunday lunch for a daily bible time. This one was especially in honor of Mr. Hogue, the one who started this tradition. Stories were told, tears were shed, and comfort given. It was a sweet time.





Monday, May 5, 2008

dust is settling

It has been almost two weeks since Mr. Hogue passed away. For some unknown reason, it feels as though it happened years ago. All the children have gone back home (except for one who is leaving tomorrow). Despite the sorrow of losing my father-in-law so suddenly and unexpectedly, I was overjoyed to be with the family in its entirety. It was wonderful to have all the kids running around and all the sisters-in-law to chat with. I know David felt supported by his siblings and I definitely felt a part of something special with the Hogue wives and Hogue sisters. I loved it! I came home to Jackson and felt the emptiness of our house all the more. It was more quiet and sullen. I missed everyone. We've been back this past weekend and will be going again this weekend and I'm glad for it. I get to be around friends who are family--what a blessing! This definitely helps the argument of large families.

I have some great pictures to share but once again I'm not on my home computer. I'll post them soon, hopefully.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

grieving

We received news yesterday that David's father died in a car accident. Mr. John Walter Hogue Jr. was 77 years old. There is an autopsy being performed to determine whether he may have had a heart attack and lost control of the car. The shock of the news was reeling. Since the news, I've witnessed my sweet husband crumble on the floor, weep, and groan. My heart is broken for him and his family. It looks like death is never something we can completely prepare for. Mr. Hogue was a hardy and strong 77 year old. If he passed away, we assumed it would be a slow decline. This sudden and unexpected death always leaves unanswered questions. I've listened as David expressed regrets--regrets of lost opportunities with his dad. I don't think we can watch someone leave this life without feeling wronged. We can't say good-bye, we can't make absolutely certain that they know we love him, respect, him and admire him. I remember feeling as though I had unfinished business with my cousin Tony when our family lost him to cancer last fall. I had to give it over to the Lord who timed these deaths long before the world was created. I also have to believe that in Heaven, in the presence of sweet Jesus, all is made right or will be when we join them one fine day.

Your prayers are appreciated as the family makes plans for the funeral and the logistics of getting such a huge family a place to stay (11 siblings, 34 grandkids, 3 aunts/uncles). Pray for Mrs. Hogue who is getting used to life without her husband of almost 48 years. Thank ya'll so much for the love, support, phone calls, offers of help, and prayers that we've received. It has been heartwarming and touching.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

cora's fun weekend (written from the perspective of cora)

I was scared mommy and daddy were going to leave me on friday when I saw them packing the car but I actually got to go with them. Yippee. It was raining outside the whole drive to gramma and grampa's house so i had to keep arguing with my parents to open the windows. I don't get why they don't love to get wet--its awesome. At one point, daddy let me out at a place called "starbucks" (they are always drinking some weird water in there) and I ran and ran in the rain (I really had to go poopy). Daddy wasn't too happy.

I love gramma and granpa's house. I get all sorts of attention. They have this fuzzy stuff on the floor called carpet and it really scratches my back good.
They also have windows that I can see out of. I saw a man on a "lawnmower". I barked and barked but he never turned around or went away. Hmph!
And mommy called me a sitting duck because I found a big puddle and sat in it up to my neck. They laughed. Daddy was a little bit upset because I was gonna be all wet for the drive home.
Lucky for me, it wasn't raining so my parents opened the window for me. I dried off pretty quick on the way back home.

Monday, April 21, 2008

where are the girls?

I have come from an environment at RTS where there was so much camaraderie that I would find my cup overflowing with fellowship. A closet introvert, I would need to schedule time to be alone during that season. I was hardly in want of a friendship where I could feel loved, accepted, heard, and understood. I still have a lot of those friends but they have moved or have gotten busy with life (including myself). I feel a bit of a hole in that place now because I don't get to see these friends regularly. I miss the conversation. I miss the security of knowing that these folks know exactly where I am coming from. I talked to my friend, Jenny, the other day and she expressed a similar sentiment--that friendships that started after RTS and the marriage and family therapy program are not the same as the mft buddies we've made. I'm sure that's life--transitioning into different relationships--but there is a quality in these "old" friendships that I want to recreate, though I don't know how to pinpoint what it is or how to muster it up. Maybe it is that these folks being trained and particularly gifted in handling people carefully are safer to me, or that we are bonded and joined by the same information we've learned about communication, people, and the rampant effects of sin.

Also, I've noticed that marriage doesn't really lend itself to girl time. Or maybe that my girlfriends and I haven't planned any. I have my prayer group and though that is time well spent sharing one another's joys and trials it isn't "fun". Is it possible? I think so. Maybe just less frequent than it should be in an ideal world. No husband can substitute the hearty goodness of a bunch of girls hanging out. I miss it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

commitment phobia

I feel weird saying this but I think I am a commitment phobe. I never ever really thought I was. I always recognized it in other folks and really couldn't stand it. I had to wait for some people to figure out what their options were for a Friday night before they would commit to hanging out with me. Sad, right? So, I think I took some pride in my letting my "yes be yes, and my no be no". However, I think I wait a long time before I make a "yes" or "no" commitment. I think back to my fears of marriage and it was scary to think that I was committing my life to someone else and vice versa. I didn't know the fine print...in other words, what was going to happen down the road that may or may not have me wishing I never committed. I also think about children and that by having them you are in a way signing a commitment or taking a vow to take care of this little one. I can't get out of it. I can't go back if I don't like it or if it doesn't suit me or if I can't hack it (biggest fear). It is terrifying but what is more terrifying is that I will be pregnant one of these days and be terrified and panic because a baby is coming whether I can handle it or not. A total basket case moment that I deem miserable (most of them are). I don't think that I have enough hardiness to handle a difficult pregnancy or a difficult time afterward. Then again, I say all of this without any experience of it. I feel better just writing these things down. Thanks for listening/reading.

birthday loot

Here are some photos of the great gifts David got me. He knows me so well. I couldn't get some of them right side up but I figure most of you know and can tilt your head to the left.

This is a Baby Blues comic strip book. I love the baby blues comics and now I can read it when I need to escape for a little while.

This is a Brain Age game for my nintendo ds lite. It helps your brain functioning by making you practice certain skills like reading and math. Right now, my brain age is 68. Which is pretty bad since ideally your supposed to be 20. Cora also wanted to pose for the picture.

David (so cute) gave be sewing lessons. He put a thimble in a ring box. I thought he bought me jewelry at first and was relieved to see how creative and cute he presented what I really wanted.



Wednesday, April 9, 2008

fleeting moments

I never seem to have motivation at the right times of day. It can be about 10pm and I'm wanting to tackle some decorating task in our home but I know that I need to sleep. The next day I have time and yet I have no inclination to decorate (or clean) anything. Why does that happen? I love it when the moons align, my personal mood rights and the time is right to be super-productive in my home. It does happen but not always when I want it to. Do I force it? Do I wait it out? If it were David, he would probably do his chores anyway. I admire that yet don't have that much willpower. So my struggle with laziness or lack of intrinsic motivation continues.

On another note, I had a dream last night that Cora, our lab, was lost and that David and I were being chased by bears. Oh my.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

and we decided (drumroll please)...

We're staying in Jackson!! David will pursue his Masters and maybe eventually his PhD through the distance ed program at the University of Florida.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

for the love of cream cheese




...a long time ago in a little house on a little street, a little girl creeped into the fridge and dug her little finger in the cream cheese that her father told her not to dig into. She put huge gobs of it into her mouth and enjoyed the wondrous taste of this remarkable condiment.


years later...


a big girl begs her husband to go downstairs to get some crackers and cream cheese. The crackers run out but that doesn't stop her from taking her big finger and digging into it and putting smaller gobs into her mouth to enjoy the wondrous taste of this remarkable condiment.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

decisions

Some of you know the limbo that David and I have been in for the past 2 or 3 months. We are looking into what is going to happen next fall. David applied to Tulane University in New Orleans for a MA in classical studies or latin. He was accepted and received a full scholarship. I am so proud of him! Well, I went through the process of preparing myself for moving to new orleans. It would have worked well in that I have family and some friends nearby, I have lived there before so I am familiar with the area (I don't have to start completely over), and my parents can give us a great deal on one of their apartments, which meant affordable rent. The downside was that we didn't have an income. We were hoping that there would be a teaching assistant position available so we could have a stipend but there wasn't one available.

The plot gets thicker...

David wanted to check other options. He talked to his department head who encouraged him to talk to the headmaster of Prep (where he works). He found out that in efforts to keep him at Prep they would be pay for his graduate studies as long as he stayed for another year. And they gave him a nice raise. I then got excited about the idea of staying in Jackson and being to truly settle in for at least a few more years.

even thicker....

Then we found out that neither Tulane or Ole Miss or any other nearby university has a summer graduate program. I became sad and disappointed especially since I had to get used to the idea of new orleans all over again.

the thickening continues....

Last night David and I couldn't sleep so I took advantage of the those random wireless rays that float around in our bedroom to do my own research on classical graduate programs and stumbled across the University of Florida. It offers Masters and PhD programs through distance learning with minimal trips to Gainsville (where the university is located) . Which means that if Prep is willing, we could stay in Jackson and have them pay for our tuition for David to work toward his graduate studies here. We both got excited last night thinking about it but were also admitting that neither of us wanted to get invested in it until we know something for sure. I told him last night that the Lord is sending me on the crazy ride where I think he is taking me toward a certain goal (or location) and then right before takes a hard right or left and I end up facing a new goal or locale over and over. What has been wonderful about this journey is that each new mission is better than the last one we were anticipating. I am liking the "magic carpet ride" he has taken us on and I am exercising my trust in Him.

what this means now...

David is going to talk to the headmaster after gathering more info about the University of Florida program. What is funny is that one of the profs at ole miss told David about this program in Florida but David didn't pay much attention to it. So, we are praying that this works out the way it should. Our desire, in spite of our efforts to not get invested, is to stay in Jackson with David continuing to be the primary breadwinner. We hope to invest in property and people (babies!!!) once we know this is where we'll be for awhile.

So, now you are caught up in all of our goings on.

yoga and pilates

Since November I have been regularly doing yoga and pilates classes at the downtown YMCA. I really enjoy it but what has been really fun lately is that I have some serious arm muscle that is quite toned. I am so proud of it. I always admire women's arm muscle (though not the scary kind of professional body builders- yuck). This was an unexpected benefit. David pointed out that we are often in poses where are arms are supporting a lot of our body weight so it makes sense that my arms would be getting more cut. I just thought I would get more flexible. That has been true but has been a slower process than expected. The whole reason I started this yoga class was for stress relief. It provides breathing techniques that really help slows heart rate, blood pressure, and pent-up anxiety. I use these tricks throughout the day.

I was a little bit concerned about whether the instructors would start talking about their false gods but no such occurrence. It is strictly an exercise class that is based on a practice that has been effective for thousands of years. I also thought I would be bored. Times that I have tried yoga in the past I felt restless about the slowness of it all. But it is actually a welcomed time for me.

Pilates is a little different than yoga in that it requires a lot more strength and flexibility. In other words, its excruciating. But as painful as it is, it really does work. I walk away feeling exhausted but stronger. I've looked forward to my Monday night classes.

i finally did it!!


It took blood, sweat, and tears but I finally accomplished a long-anticipated goal: I beat Bowser in Super Mario World. ahhh, the smell of success.




Tuesday, March 18, 2008

tis the season

I was enjoying the wonderful sunshine in the park as mentioned below and had some thoughts about seasons in weather and in life. The seasons are such a testament to redemption and resurrection. Everything begins to die, we have no leaves on the trees, the grass becomes a grayish-beige "blah" color and then, amazingly, everything comes to life again. The grass is greener, the flowers bloom in vivid colors, and leaves sprout overnight, it seems, on the trees. And this mighty miracle HAPPENS EVERY YEAR! Analogies drawn about our lives that go through winters and springs have been done but it is ever so clear to me how true it is. In whatever winter, there will always be spring. Whatever parts of me that may die or experience loss, I, as a whole, will experience life and gain. I can count on these things like I can count on each season. There is comfort in these truths for me. I have had a few "wintrous" seasons and wondered if spring would ever come...and it did! Hallelujah! Here's to spring! Again.

a great day



Saturday was a spectacular and full day. David and I went to the St. Paddy's day parade at 11 or so and enjoyed the sights. We weren't sure what to expect but the feel was very much a small town mardi gras. We walked around enjoying the sunshine (i got sunkissed on the nose and forehead) and watched people kill each other for beads. After having a polish sausage, we headed home and decided to go to the park with Cora. We were so pleased that we could hang out there without having her on a leash AND without having her "love" people so much ("love" is another word for jump on, lick, follow, and pester). She loved them but she didn't jump--I couldn't be more proud. We hung out there until it was time to get ready for dinner. We joined up with David's parents and a family friend at Que Sera's and then went to the Ballet Magnificat performance of The Scarlet Cord. I have a picture of us at the restaurant but I don't have it with me. I load it next chance I get.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

hope SPRINGS eternal

I am so thrilled that it is March already. It was a bitter winter and I say goodbye to it without regret! I love the promises of spring--the new growth, the comforting warm winds, and longer hours of blissful daylight! The pear tree in front of our neighbor's yard has already started sprouting tiny leaves and I couldn't be more excited. I think it might always be spring in Heaven, though I can't say for sure. It isn't written anywhere but I think spring is as close to perfect as we can see here on this terrestrial ball.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

to my Valentine, my Beloved

In honor of this day devoted to romance, I wanted sing the praises of my sweet husband. Last year, David worked really hard and handcrafted this really big heart (seen below) with seven little heart-pockets. Within the pockets were clues to different activities we did that night. One of them was a pedicure, another was dinner and dessert. It was so fun. I still have it and not sure where to put such a large token of affection. Some of you may not realize how crafty David could get.

So, I want to make a list of SOME of the reasons why David is the cupcake to my sprinkles. I'll also use Roman numerals in honor of his thorough knowledge of ancient Rome and Greece.

I. David is the most patient man I have ever, EVER met. I know I can be difficult (had I not known that than I could hardly acknowledge how patient he is) but he shows so much patience, even in his anger. He can diffuse an argument because he will calmly address me. He has a very long fuse and even if the spark reaches its home, there would be no reason to run.

II. He is so physically affectionate. He loves to hug and hold hands. If I am in his vicinity, his lips will be somewhere on my face. And though part of our repetoire is for him to pursue and me to back away and pretend I don't want his attention, I secretly love it. There--my secret is out. I love the way his feet will always wander to mind in bed, too. And I couldn't live without the cuddling.

III. He is such a good teacher. I don't mean with his students (even though he is there, too) but with me. He is so much further along than me as far as knowledge of scripture. I don't know so many Bible stories that he and his family know cold. Sometimes I ask him to tell me a story and he will. He will have my attention. I love it!! I think he is gifted in this area and would love to see him use it--with sunday school or just with our future kids.

IV. I love how manly his beard is. The man can grow the facial hair, I tell ya. I think it is pretty hot. And while we are on the topic, he has a great set of muscular legs...but I'll stop there....let's keep this PG.

V. We both love a good book, a good movie, a good hot tub, and a good sleep. I was never sure that I would find a guy that loved lazing about as much a me. It is so nice to be bestfriends with your husband.

VI. He is never critical. He is such an example for me because I so often struggle with this.

VII. He always is willing to get me something from the kitchen--even if we are upstairs. Now that's love and devotion, isn't it folks?!

VIII. He has a sensitive spirit. He is swift to ask forgiveness and to forgive in turn. If he feels he has hurt someone, he will feel it deeply and move quickly to make it right. His humility is also such a great example for me.

IX. He'll let me choose the movie we watch more often than is fair.

X. He works hard at everything he does including loving me in whatever way is needed.

David, I love you so much. I can't imagine these last couple of years without you. The Lord was good to me to give me you. I want so many great things for you. Thank you for learning how to love me so well. You honestly amaze me. I see why you were named David for indeed you are "beloved".

Monday, February 11, 2008

You're it!!

oh yeah, i tag paula la, caroline kimbrough, david hogue, and nathan benson.

7 random things about me

So, there is this epidemic going around where people are writing 7 random things about themselves and then "tagging" others to do the same. It is interesting that I'm doing this since anytime I got anything like that on email I would read, laugh, and then take no part. I'm a nonconformist that way. ;)

#1 I don't like to bathe, shower or do anything hygiene wise. So, that means that I manage to do this as little as possible. For those out there who can't go a day without showering--you would freak out to know how long I can go without the soap. That's a dousy of a fact, isn't it?! I will take long hot baths to read and warm up on a cold day, though. That's recreational, however. Another tidbit, is that this is something that I like about myself. I find it kind of "cool" of me. Like I'm not high-maintenance or something. Also, there are good reasons to bathe less like conserving water and keeping all that good bacteria on me.

#2 I don't like it when I call people and leave a long, exhaustive, and informative message on their voicemail and then they call and ask me to repeat it because they didn't listen to it. Oh, and on top of that--I really dislike phone conversations especially with people I haven't talked to in awhile. Not because I don't love them (because I really really do) but because I find it so much more satisfying to catch up in person. Phone calls always leave something to be desired. I do it, of course, only because I would live under a rock if I didn't.

#3 I enjoy People magazine. It is a complete guilty pleasure. I refuse to buy it however because I don't want to support the media/paparazzi frenzy. So, I always hang out at bookstores and catch up on the latest news and fashion.

#4 I'm a really good belcher. I'm not necessarily bragging because many of my friends find this habit sincerely gross. Though I do have others that won't blink an eyelash and will even rate me from 1 to 10. I'll only do this with you if I am completely comfortable and secure around you.

#5 I can bellydance. My family always had dancing at big family gatherings and I learned by watching. No matter what size you are belly dancing looks good. The first time people saw me belly dance was in graduate school. Before that it would be behind closed doors.

#6 I have a soft, soft red blanket that I have had since I was very small. It is such a comforting item that when I was young I often thought that if there was a fire that the blanket and my pictures would be the things that I grab. I have many memories of this blanket. Dad covered me with it on Saturday mornings so I could watch cartoons. I used to lay it on the ground and play with hot wheel cars through the hills and crevices. I love it! Thanks to Aunt Guitta who gave it to me so long ago. I can't wait to cover my kids with it.

#7 I love to drive. I always have been drawn to driving. Back in the day with hotwheel cars (how many girls do you know played with hotwheels?) I would look forward to driving. Dad started me early by allowing me to steer the wheel, or later drive (without a permit, even) with him in the passenger seat. By the time I had my license it was old hat. When I learned to drive a stick shift (something I was immensely proud of) I did so with gusto. I miss having a stick shift. I also love long cartrips. :)

That was fun. Hope you learned something.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

digital nose-job

I took an old photo I'd found and decided to try and see what I would look like if I had the nose that I used to always dream of. So, the 1st pic is the real nose. The second one is my "new" one. What do you think?
David said he didn't like the "new" nose. I don't see anything wrong with it, but nonetheless I'm glad he likes the old nose. The chances that I would actually get a nose-job is slim to none. I'm allergic to pain, scared of risks, and don't have $10,000 or so to spend.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

this is for you skeptics out there

There are those out there that didn't believe me when I talked about how tiny our kitchen is. I don't talk about it that much because the rest of our apartment is quite spacious. However, what we gain in space in other rooms we definitely lose in this space. Yes, that is our washer/dryer on the left (top picture) and the only counterspace is on the right.


Now, in the picture below (from the other end of the kitchen) is Cora. Notice that it would be nearly impossible for she and I to walk side-by-side in our kitchen. So there, to all you naysayers. I may be in the habit of hyperbole, but in this case the truth is stranger than fiction.

destruction in her wake

Why is there trash all over the floor? Old styrofoam cups, old magazines, old lotion and grocery bags. Why is it scattered all over our upstairs landing and spilling over into our bedroom? Because Cora, the tireless fighter of cleanliness, has won the day.



Friday, February 1, 2008

truck for sale

I was just minding my business inside my home when I hear this huge crash with metal crunching. I look out my window to see a HUGE tree has fallen on our neighbor's truck. I immediately ran out to see what was going on. I thought to myself, "surely that was purposeful" but then thought, "if it were purposeful, wouldn't they avoid the truck?"

Well, the tree fell without any help. It randomly toppled over into the area that Cora (our dog) and I frequently walk. I'm thankful we weren't there--I don't know if I would have thought fast enough to get us out of the way.
I have never known trees to fall without the help of a tornado, hurricane, or at least storm. It's a beautiful day with no wind. Weird, weird, weird. Below is a picture of the root of the tree.

Friday, January 25, 2008

if this doesn't hit close to home

We all know or aspire to be this family. I thought this was a great way to make fun of our little subculture. I got the video from another blog (Thanks, Lydia).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

what this blog is about

You know, when I started this blog it was going to really dwell on all things that bring hope in a world that will give either none or false hope. Our hope cannot, I mean really cannot, be placed on anything in the world. Not our friends, our spouses, ourselves. Not our income, our insurance, our car. Not our energy, our health, our stability. So what's left? Nothing. There is nothing here that will not fail us (sorry for the double negative). Often I find myself wanting to place my hope in something or someone tangible. And over and over I learn that people will fail eventually, plans will fail eventually because they are people and they are our plans. It isn't an easy lesson but a good one. I can either despair that there is nothing in the world that is entirely, and totally dependable or I can find the One who is. And to be honest, I don't always look for Jesus. Sometimes I get angry and yell out to him (mostly in my mind) that we should have more security and guarantees. He is much bigger than me and He can listen to my modern psalm and know that it is but a tantrum of a child who doesn't belong in this world. I am glad He can handle my anger, my cries, and sometimes my despair. I am glad He knows what we suffer on a personal level--afterall, he experienced so much more. He doesn't just put up with my tantrum as parents would but has compassion. Compassion that could melt the heart and could warm the fires of hope that threatened to be quenched. Praise the Lord that He loves me so. Praise the Lord that He conquered this world. Praise the Lord that He has promised not to leave me or forsake me.

playing hard to get


As a wonderful surprise for me, David told me that he is buying me a Nintendo DS lite. He already bought me a game (SuperMario for nintendo 64) and that is how he told me. I was excited. It seems like that is the best way to go as far game systems go because its light (as the name advertises) and doesn't take a lot of room. It seems perfect. Except for one thing, we can't find it anywhere. Before David told me he was buying it for me, he spent about 3 weeks looks for it with no avail. It is forever sold out and for some reason the Nintendo company only delivers a few at a time to all the stores. The only reason I can come up with for this is that Nintendo wants to keep this gadget a hot, in-demand, item. So, it might be a month or two before we actually get it.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

pictures of ski trip




This is Main St. in Breckenridge. This was our first night there after a great meal with Julia and Jocie. We walked the streets and were amazed by the winter wonderland. Christmas lights were on and there were areas where new snow was untouched (so naturally I touched it--see next picture).


The next pictures are of our first day skiing. It was a great day except for the very end. I did green (easiest) slopes all day and was doing pretty well (so David and Julia said). David was encouraging me to try a blue (less easy-steeper slopes, higher altitude) slope and so I did. BAD IDEA! I was tired and the sun was going down so the mountain was pretty deserted and I had a couple of really jolting hard falls. So, naturally I start crying and can't stop and I just want to get off the mountain NOW. David went ahead and alerted the rescue snow mobile (not a bad way to get down a scary mountain). Since this experience was so traumatic to me I didn't go skiing the rest of the trip. Julia joined us for the morning (she was a snow boarder).


Skiing was, fortunately, a lot like rollerblading. So I have to thank Tony for getting me into that sport. It came in handy. I enjoyed the experience of seeing that much snow and wearing the gear but I don't think I could live in that kind of climate. It is quite cumbersome to wear all those layers. I'm more of a light packer so I am glad for the Louisiana heat.