Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby on the brain

So, I am about 3-4 weeks from welcoming our 2nd child, Chase William Hollar...can I just say I am so EXCITED to see my son's face for the first just makes me giddy!

With that in mind, I definitely have baby on the brain- trying to take these last few weeks to get ready for Chase's arrival...thought I'd share some of things I am doing to get ready.

First thing, I am trying to read up on labor, baby schedules, breastfeeding, what to expect those first few days home and even a book on the ministry of being a mother...this may sound silly since this is my 2nd time around having a newborn, but it is funny how much you forget-especially when you are sleep deprived in those first few weeks...

The books that have been the most helpful have been:
-Babywise (to get on a routine)- this book really helped me to get my daughter on a routine that really worked for us
-What to expect the first year (gives development timelines)- this book has been a helpful quick tip resource
-The Ministry of Motherhood (to fill my heart up and remind me of God's design for mothering)- this book has challenged me to see the great job I have beyond just caring for the physical needs of my children, but being sure to instill spiritual truths in my children and look for those teaching moments each day
-Happiest Baby on the Block- this book has just given me an overall perspective on children's sleep and how important it is to teach your children how to have healthy sleep habits
-Husband Coached Childbirth- the Bradley Method- I'm not sure how labor is going to work out this time (my first child was a 30 hour labor,and then a c-section after all of that work), but just in case, I want to be ready to practice the laboring skills I learned in my Bradley classes with my first child if things go a different way and I can actually deliver Chase by a natural birth- we shall see?

Another thing, I have been getting all my cloth diapers ready for 2 children to be using them. I use an All-in-one diaper called Bumgenius- they are fabulous! I have been using these on my daughter since she was 1 month old, and the velcro on them have taken a beating- so my mom and I worked one Saturday to remove and replace the velcro on the diapers- so they will be ready for another couple of years of use. I get a lot of crazy looks when people hear I am using cloth diapers, but they are easy to use and it saves us a ton of money and with us being a one income family- anything helps!

Clutter control- I have been trying to work on little pockets of clutter in different spots of the house. It seems like they are everywhere...but I have tried to pick one thing each day to organize.

Also, I am just trying to take in each moment with my sweet Allie- knowing that in just a few weeks it will never be just her. I am ecstatic about our son's arrival, but I also want to really take the time to cherish these last days of having just one child and the dynamic that brings to our family.

There are many other things I have been doing to "get ready", but these were on my brain tonight...if you have any ideas or tips to add- please, do tell...I love hearing what others are doing or have done...

Blessings- Staci

Monday, April 26, 2010

Funny Christian Top Ten Lists

"The Top 10 Things People Think About While Singing a Hymn"

10. The pot roast.
9. What does pastor wear under robes?
8. Will the person behind me ever hit the right note?
7. 90 minutes till kickoff.
6. Did I turn off the curling iron?
5. The likelihood of the ceiling fan falling and hitting me on the head.
4. How many people have lost more hair than I have?
3. How would the hymn sound if Metallica played it?
2. Are there doughnuts at fellowship?
1. How many more verses?

"Noah's Top 10"

10. Strange! We haven't seen another boat for weeks.
9. If only I'd brought along more rhino litter!
8. How many times around this place makes a mile?
7. I never want to sleep in a waterbed again.
6. I wonder what my friends are doing right now.
5. An outboard motor would have made this more exciting!
4. Fish for supper--again?
3. Does anyone have more Dramamine?
2. What? You don't have film to photograph the rainbow?
1. I should have killed those darn mosquitoes when I had the chance!

"Top Ten Reasons for Joining the Choir"

10. Your running out of clean clothes and the choir robes save on laundry.
9. You've just been selected for jury duty and want to get used to sitting with a group of people.
8. Your church is so full you want to ensure that you always have a seat.
7. The collection plate is never passed to the choir.
6. There's a clock at the back of the sanctuary and you want to be the first to know when it's 12:00.
5. The preacher is new and you want to be close by in case he says something heretical.
4. For years you've wanted to know who sits in the back pews but were always afraid to turn around.
3. You've been known to nod off during the service and don't want the preacher to catch you.
2. The chairs in the choir are the most comfortable in the sanctuary.
1. Your favorite movie is Sister Act!

"Top Ten Gifts Given the First Christmas That Aren't Mentioned in the Bible"

10. "I Luv Bethlehem" bumper sticker.
9. Subscription to "Better Homes and Stables."
8. Rain Check at the Bethlehem Holiday Inn.
7. A tube of "Deep Heat" (from the shepherds who were "sore afraid").
6. Lifetime membership to the "Good Shepherd Society".
5. McNally's Guide to Egypt.
4. Movie passes to "Star Trek: Journey to THE King."
3. Book: "All You Wanted to Know About Being Human But Were Afraid To Ask!"
2. A T-Shirt (infant size) with "My Dad's Out of This World!," written on it.
1. SON glasses.

"Top Ten Reasons You Should Tithe"

10. Your church started a new stewardship drive -- every time you give, your chances of winning increase!
9. The choir has started wearing their bathrobes during the service.
8. The last few Sunday's the Treasurer has gotten up half way through the service and turned the heat off.
7. The Preacher has worn the same suit every Sunday for the past three years.
6. The Deacons are starting to drool and growl as they collect the offering!
5. The offering plates have been sold and replaced with ice cream buckets.
4. The Treasurer has started wearing sackcloth and ashes!
3. You tried to call the Church Office last week but found that the phone's been disconnected!
2. Parking meters had to be installed in the church parking lot.
1. As a Christian you understand the privilege it is to have a partnership in the Gospel!

Top Ten Ways You Know You're In a Bad Church

10.The church bus has gun racks.
9. The church staff consists of Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor and Socio-pastor.
8. The Bible they use is the "Dr. Seuss Version."
7. There's an ATM in the lobby.
6. Choir wears leather robes.
5. Worship services are B.Y.O.S. -- "Bring Your Own Snake."
4. No cover charge, but communion is a two-drink minimum.
3. Karaoke Worship Time.
2. Ushers ask, "Smoking or Non-smoking?"
1. The only song the organist knows is "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

7 Stages of My New Butt

So my mom, Jackson and I went on a road trip this past weekend to Lubbock to visit family and show off my little man. We had a fun drive there even with the threat of bad weather and ended up seeing a gorgeous rainbow on the other side of a storm. This rainbow was huge and you could see from one end to the other! We made all the important visits while we were in town, including Shoe Carnival - I always have to go to Shoe Carnival when I go to Lubbock. God was smiling down on us because we got there in time for a great deal they were 1 pair and get 1 half off with the purchase of a package of socks. My mom and I whipped through the store super-fast because we only had 15 minutes to take advantage of the deal and we left with some great shoes. During the drive home yesterday I came across this article in my Parents magazine and just had to share. It seriously made me laugh and I hope it does the same for you.

7 Stages of My New Butt (whether you are pregnant, been pregnant, or have kept on that "Freshman 15 (or 20, or 30)" for the past 10 years...this is for you.

Stage 1 - Denial: This isn't a new butt. It's the same awesome butt you had the day you got married.

Stage 2 - Shock: Well, it's technically the same butt, but for some reason it doesn't fit into the pants you wore last year (makes me think about my awesome red pants) - before you got pregnant (or gained a little weight). But there's no way your butt could be so drastically altered by having a baby. Could it? OMG!

Stage 3 - Anger: Fine. It's not the same butt. It has curves and divots and new places that sweat. It follows you wherever you go. Stupid, annoying butt and its stupid, annoying cellulite! is it possible to get a restraining order to prevent it from stalking you?

Stage 4 - Depression: No dice. It turns out you can't get a restraining order against your own body. And if you inquire about it people laugh at you. And that makes you cry. As do the elastic-waist pants you just bought, even though you are nine months postpartum. Those lying liars who said "nine months on, nine months off" must have gotten to keep their original cute butt.

Stage 5 - Guilt: Your are a grown woman. You have a degree. You know that women should be - and are - more than just hot bodies. You know objectification is cruel. You've read the magazine articles that tell you how awesome you are. You created life. And yet....this butt. IT WON'T GO AWAY.

Stage 6 - Fear: You probably have Flesh Expanding Butt Disease. It's very rare, but if you do get FEBD your butt will eventually consume your entire body, preventing you from leading a normal life. There is no cure for this horrible ailment. Best to just go buy a bunch of sweatpants.

Stage 7 - Acceptance: Right. So it isn't that bad, really. Your new butt does come with some nice features. It's easier to close the car door now. Your kids have something to hang on when you're at the grocery store. And your husband likes it. A lot. In fact, your new butt is kind of growing on you.

(Parents magazine - April 2010)

One of these days my butt will be able to fit into my red pants again!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feeling saucy...

I have started to notice how at different food places I require certain sauces/condiments to go with my meal and certain amounts of that sauce too, in order to complete my, I thought I would share a little of my sauciness...

-Chikfila- exactly 4 BBQ sauces (I dip nuggets and fries with BBQ sauce)
-Chili's- 2 ramekins of Honey Mustard for my fries and a little for my chicken sandwich
-McDonald's- 2 Sweet and Sour sauces- just for my fries
-When I do use Ketchup - it must always have tons of pepper in it- like the same ratio of pepper to the amount of looks gross, but it's so good!
-Taco Bueno- 1 little plastic cup full of jalapenos to stuff in my party bean burrito(I always get at least one), a little cup of queso to dip my burrito in(this is a less frequent treat, b/c it costs extra to get it), and 1-2 cups full of the salsa, and 1 cup full of pico de gallo
-Pizza- any pizza place- I always have to have Ranch dressing to dip my pizza in...yummy! Of course, if it's Papa John's- I have to have the garlic butter too...fabulous!

Okay- all this food talk has got this preggie girl hungry...what is your level of sauciness?
Do tell...

Also, I tried another ALDI product called Lovin fresh bread- it is their version of the Pepperidge Farm frozen garlic bread...about a buck cheaper, though...I will have to say it was pretty darn good! I would recommend this hubby and I ate the entire loaf within a few days with dinner.

See you next week...Staci

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Left Lane for Passing Only

I've been on the road today, so the only thing fresh on my brain is WHY do people not move out of the fast lane when they're not going fast???  This has always bugged me a bit, but it has really bugged me since I married someone who thinks he needs to teach driving lessons to everyone in the good ol' USA.  Also, why do people talk on the phone when it causes them to lose complete control over their pressure on the gas pedal.  Seriously.  Some people speed up.  Some people slow waaaaay down.  Some people slow down until you decide to pass them.  Then they speed WAY up like they just realized they were about to get passed.  It's annoying.  Cruise control, people.  And there's my rant.  Sorry I don't have anything more interesting for you today!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It’s late, so this will be a quick one…

When Adam and I moved into our first (and only) house, it was sparkly clean and spotless. The sellers had actually hired cleaners to come in and give the place a good once-over. It was lovely. And, as is typical with any new, special thing, we promised to try to keep it that way. Now, Adam and I aren’t total slobs, but we’re not exactly winning any housekeeping contests, either. Our homes look lived in (because they are), sometimes a little too much so, but never outrageously, alarmingly filthy or anything like that. You know, average. In hopes of staying a little bit more on top of things, especially those things that tend to go unnoticed or neglected until it’s a MAJOR ordeal, I proposed the idea of a housekeeping schedule. I’ll let you guess how that went over with my hubby. He felt more confident than I did that we would just naturally be more conscientious with the house than we had with our apartments. Without him on board, I knew the schedule was pretty pointless, and the subject was dropped.

Fast forward three years and one baby later, and boy, if I thought getting housework done was hard before, I had another think coming! OF COURSE, we fell back into old habits, letting things slide a little at a time and then having to work doubly hard to fix everything up. And now that Asher is crawling all over the place, he’s showing us all kinds of areas that are in need of a little extra attention! Realizing that our current system (or lack thereof) wasn't working, and being the list-making scheduler that I am, my mind went back to the housekeeping schedule as a solution to solve the issue of what needs to get done vs. time available to do it. Ever so carefully and cautiously, I re-introduced the idea to my other half. This time, I think he’s seen the light. A cheerfully color-coded schedule is now stuck to the fridge; we’re still working out some kinks, but I think it’s going to be a good thing. If only we could still get an allowance for this stuff, right?!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crazy, Jacked up world

So I have been in Texas for almost two weeks now and have visited the church we attended when we lived here the past two Sundays. Pastor John Meador has been doing a sermon series called Forbidden. It has been a really good sermon series thus far. Talking about lust. That adultery doesn't start with the act, it starts with the eyes. Eyes wondering and in your mind putting yourself in a situation with a person of the opposite sex that is not your spouse. He talked about restaurants that have been popping up (Hooters, Bone Daddy's, Tilt a Kilt, Twin Peaks) that promote lust and put men(and some women) in situations to go down a path that is hard to return from. Our culture is all about sex and it is getting worse. This message has really made me fearful for my little girl. What kind of world is she going to grow up in? How do I shelter from all this mess, how do I keep her from being subjected to the evils of this world?

Here are some alarming statistics I found on the internet:


25% of total search engine requests are porn-related
8% of total emails are porn-related
12% of total websites are pornographic


100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography
Child pornography generates $3 billion annually
90% of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online (most while doing homework)
Average age of first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old
Largest consumer of internet pornography 12-17 age group
One in five children ages 10–17 has received a sexual solicitation over the Internet.

20% of men admit accessing pornography at work
13% of women admit accessing pornography at work
53% of Promise Keeper men viewed pornography the previous week in one study
22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
70 percent of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses' extramarital activity.
22 percent of men and 14 percent of women admitted to having sexual relations outside their marriage sometime in their past.
90 percent of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong.
61 percent of Americans thought adultery should not be a crime in the United states; 35 percent thought it should; 4 percent had no opinion.
17 percent of divorces in the United States are caused by infidelity.
Only 46% of men believe that online affairs are adultery.
80% think it's Ok to talk with a stranger identified as the opposite sex. 75% thinks it's ok to visit an adult site.
About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage

All I know is to trust my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that He is in control and ask for a hedge of protection for my child! To teach her to love, honor and obey Christ and for John and I be an example to her. And that privacy will not be a word allowed for my child (except for bathroom purposes). No computer or tv in her room and I will always monitor what she is watching and researching on the internet and if she has a diary, you bet I will be reading it! God did not give me the responsibility of raising a child to be her best friend. Although I want to be that best friend, it is my job to parent her. To teach her right from wrong and it instill morals in her. And most importantly to lead her to have a relationship with Jesus.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

R&R Rescue

+That's what I'm in need of...some rest and relaxation...but that's not the reason for this blog. I was reading in Babytalk and came across this article on cost-saving tips for your first family vacation, so I thought I would share.

1. Use privileges you already have. Look in your may have a few discounts inside and you didn't even know it. A Bank of America ATM, credit or debit card is good for free admission to about 120 zoos, science centers, botanical gardens and museums across the United States on the first weekend of every month (Museums on Us). If you're a AAA member, you can save up to 20% on Hertz car rentals and up to 40% on tickets to several theme parks, including Sesame Place, Six Flags and Busch Gardens (

2. Pack the apps. For $2, road-trippers can download the "Lowest Gas Prices Finder" app onto an iPhone to find the cheapest gas prices.

3. Consider cruising. Reduce dining expenses and the stress of planning activities with an all-inclusive cruise. Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's largest and newest ship, offers play groups, craft workshops and sea-friendly science experiments in its Youth Zone, dedicated to kids 6 months and older. Babysitting is available for kids ages 1 and up (

4. Teach and save. Full-time teachers and faculty at accredited institutions can sign up for the International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC), which is good for reduced airfare on major airlines, discounts on hotel accommodations and car rentals, and basic insurance in case of sickness or accident (

So, with summer fastly approaching, maybe you can use any one of these suggestions. I sure would like to go on a cruise!! And, if you happen to have any fabulous money-saving suggestions for this summer, please feel free to share.


P.S. My son projectile-pooped today...thankfully it didn't get on me! I've been peed on a few times already though.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Doubly Regrettable

Last week I wrote about regrets and covered the first of two nagging little things that I’ve never quite swept off my shoulders.  Well this second one is a little different because it happened about 16 years ago.  Half a life ago, if you will. 

It all began when I was in my sophomore year of high school.  I had gone on a youth group trip to Georgia with my church over Christmas.  We did this a few years in a row, and one year, I just happened to meet a boy from Tennessee.  We kept in touch and wrote letters, and racked up some astronomical long distance bills back in the day when we weren’t all using cell phones.  Eventually, he became my “official” boyfriend.  He would send me stuffed animals, flowers, and my favorite – mix tapes that he made at the local radio station where he worked.  He would record his voice dedicating songs to me across the radio waves, and I would swoon.  I vividly remember sitting in Amelia’s room opening one of those packages with a GINORMOUS bear (the postage must have been outrageous) and listening to the latest tape together giggling and feeling like the most special girl in the world.  Oh to be 16 again! 

So what’s the big regret you ask?  Well, fast forward to the next Christmas.  Our church was going back to Georgia, and we were going to see each other for the first time in a year.  I was unbelievably nervous – I had literally only seen this guy in person for a week, and I’d been carrying on a giddy teenaged long distance romance with him for a year.  I was pretty shy back in the day, and that combined with the nerves produced the following scene:  My girlfriends and I piled off the bus, walked into the main building bubbling with excitement and chatter, and almost immediately I spotted him standing with a group of his friends, waiting for me.  What happened next still makes me cringe.  I looked away and walked…right…past him.  WHAT THE HECK?  I don’t know, I just froze.  And out of the corner of my eye, I saw his face just fall.  Stupid 16 year old girls.  Can you imagine?  He’s told all his friends about his girlfriend in Texas, and they’re all standing there waiting for the big reunion, and I completely ignore him.  Oh, how I wish I could knock 16 year old me upside the head.  All the nervousness and the pressure of all the people watching just paralyzed me.  I don’t think I have ever in my life done anything that horrible to someone.  Needless to say, that was pretty much the end of a year long relationship.  I was so embarrassed by my behavior.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I honestly don’t remember us ever talking again after that.  There may have been one awkward conversation where I tried to explain myself, but the damage was done.

A year or so later my conscience was still killing me, and I wrote him a long letter of apology, but it came back to me.  He had moved.  I know he was planning on joining the National Guard.  He was older than I was, and could have been gone by that time.  I googled him a few years later, and tried to find an address or an email, but never had any luck.  I remember something about him changing his name, but I don’t remember why, or to what.  He sometimes went by his middle name, which also confused the issue.  I’m a googling pro, and still, no dice on finding the right guy.  So this is my last shot at absolution.  Randall Scott Lebouef who once lived in Carthage, Tennesse, if you ever google your own name, I hope you find this page and forgive me.  I was a silly, insecure girl, and I’m sorry for being such a jerk.

There.  That feels better.  It seems like such a silly thing to hang on to, I know.  But I just can’t stand hurting people.  Knowing that there’s someone out there who I caused embarrassment or pain, and never made it right...well it still stings, even more than a decade later.  I’ve issued my public apology, and just maybe, one day, he’ll stumble across it.  So let’s call this chapter closed, shall we?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Everyone was someone's baby...

My neighbor just a few houses down died in his home just a few weeks ago. His name was Wes, he was a pretty strange guy- he suffered from bi-polar disease and had many health problems which made our (Randy and I's) interactions with him kind of strange and confusing. Plus, he seemed to have some trouble with the police from time to time- and his his son was in and out of prison- and when his son was out of prison he was staying at Wes' fact, Randy had asked me not to answer the door if Wes knocked unless Randy was home.
So, when we heard Wes had died, I was thinking about his life and how strange things must have been for him and I was wondering what his life must have meant overall??
We'll that night, when I was rocking my child right before bedtime, I was looking at her face and praying for her little life and just thinking about all the possibilities God has for her- and then I immediately started thinking about Wes- and just thought, I bet his mother sat at night and rocked him and hoped and wondered the same things for her son when he was just a baby- or maybe she rubbed her belly as he kicked in her womb hoping the best things for his life. So, it took my thoughts to apply that principle to other people that may drive me crazy or I don't understand- that their mom thought enough of them to give birth to them and thought they were pretty special...and of course, God made him- and that means God loves them like crazy...anyways, I have thought about this several times over the last few weeks and it challenged me to see people(especially challenging people) with more compassionate eyes...

On a side note, each week I am going to be comparing a name brand item with a cheaper comparable brand from the ALDI stores and give a brief comparison of the, this week I tried the comparable brand to the rockin' Velveeta shells and cheese. It is called Cheese Club Shells and Cheese...we'll it was the same texture and look of the name brand, but the taste was very strange. It took several bites to figure out what it was that was so different and what I could come up with is that it tasted like a cheesy butternut squash was added to the mix(yucky), my overall assessment was that it was not good and I will be placing that on my my "do NOT buy again list" costs me an extra buck to get the Velveeta name brand, but it is well worth it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beautiful Baby Bumps

We've all got babies on the brain lately, because baby Chase is on the way (Staci's), and baby Jackson (Cassandra's) made his debut a couple of weeks ago.  I had the honor of taking some keepsake photos for my gal pals, and I wanted to share a few of them with you.  This funny face photo was taken by my five-year-old.  He was begging to take a picture with my camera, so I let him take a couple.  Not bad!  Staci was trying to make him laugh.  Doesn't she look cute?

For Cassandra's pictures, we headed out to the lake at sunset, which I've been wanting to do for a while.  It's tricky shooting into the sun like that, but I think the one of her and Scott turned out pretty neato.

I am so happy for my friends, and I look forward to getting to know their sweet babies!  Speaking of them.... here's one final pic of baby Jax that I got to take this past weekend.  He's really, really cute.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


After starting the “how I met my mate” blog-fest a few weeks ago, I figure it’s only fair for me to follow Amelia’s lead and share my engagement story.

Adam and I started discussing the possibility of marriage fairly early in our relationship, like within the first 6 months or so. As you may remember from my previous post, Adam was a junior in college when we met and still had a year to go after I graduated, so even though we talked occasionally about getting married, we both knew that it would be a while before the time was right. We dated for about two years. It seemed much longer because I knew Adam was “the one”, but in hindsight I see that God used that time to help us both mature and grow in many ways, not the least of which was spiritually. God’s timing was, as usual, just perfect.

Like Amelia, I had always envisioned a surprise proposal, so when Adam started bringing up rings, I tried to make it very clear that I didn’t think my input was necessary. I told him I had complete faith in his taste and judgment and promised that I was sure I’d be 100% thrilled with whatever he chose. That didn’t work. He told me he wouldn’t settle for less than “perfect” and he couldn’t (and wouldn’t) choose it without me. I agreed to help him on one condition – after I picked it everything else would be a surprise and there would be no further discussion with me about the proposal. He accepted my terms. Adam’s maternal grandmother generously provided us with a beautiful diamond from some of her family jewelry, so we started searching for a setting, but nothing caught my eye at the jewelry stores. We eventually decided to design a custom piece, which was a little stressful for a perfectionist like me, but also really fun. After all the decisions were made, I handed the reigns over to Adam and reminded him that I was now out of the loop. There was one minor snafu with that part of the plan when the jeweler called me to confirm the design (meaning that I knew it was being made and approximately when it would be completed), but I continued to try to put the whole thing out of my mind. I didn’t want to be anticipating a proposal every time we hung out!

On Tuesday, February 11, 2002, Adam called me at work and asked if I wanted to go the park later to throw the frisbee. I said yes. After work I went home and threw on some grubby clothes; Adam picked me up and we headed to the park. To get to the park from my apartment we had to traverse a two-lane bridge over the lake, and for some reason on that night there was a lot of traffic, so by the time we actually got to the park it was already getting really dark and REALLY COLD. We threw the frisbee for a little while, but before long I couldn’t really see it anymore and, quite frankly, I was freezing. Adam suggested we walk down to the water’s edge to sit for a while, but I said I was too cold and asked if he would mind if we just went back to the car. He started insisting, even going so far as to offer me his sweatshirt, saying that he wasn’t cold and would be fine in just his t-shirt. I, being stubborn (and a wuss about cold weather), insisted even more strongly that I would still be uncomfortably cold even with an extra sweatshirt and could we please just go back to the car? He finally agreed and, because I guess I had too successfully put any thoughts of proposals out of my mind, I couldn’t figure out why he was so exasperated about the whole thing. He knows I'm not a fan of the cold! We got into the car and I put on my seatbelt, but Adam didn’t start the engine. He just sat there. Totally silent. I think I asked him why we weren’t leaving and he made up some excuse that didn’t really make sense. More silence. So I started making small talk about what we should eat for dinner. I got a few monosyllabic responses, but mostly silence. So I asked if he had thought about making any plans for Valentine’s Day. “I don’t know,” he said. Silence. I was getting perplexed. Something was very weird and off. Was he about to dump me or something? My mind was racing. I now know that his mind was racing too, trying to come up with a Plan B after I had trampled all over Plan A. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of tense, uncomfortable silence, Adam got out of the car, walked around, and opened the passenger door. I said something like, “What are you doing? I already told you it’s too cold out there!” He asked me very nicely and politely to PLEASE just get out of the car for a minute. I was still so confused and clueless. I stepped out of the car and Adam gave me a big hug, then he started saying some wonderfully sweet things about me and our relationship, and BAM! FINALLY I got it! DUH! He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and I said yes! Later, I had to apologize for being so difficult. Adam had a special proposal planned on the bench where we had officially become a couple two years before, and instead he had to get down on one knee in the parking lot next to his dad’s car. Geez. But you know what? It’s still perfect to me, though I admit I never expected to get engaged smelling all sweaty and outdoorsy and wearing a pullover with macaroni & cheese stains on it.

We went back to my apartment, ordered a pizza, and spent the next hour or so calling friends and family to share our exciting news. My dad later told me that when we spoke on the phone, I was "ebullient." Definitely one of the best and happiest nights of my life!

Monday, April 12, 2010

new baby niece

I was planning on posting something on a different topic, but I will wait til next week due to a lack of time.

I am in Texas!! Reagan and I flew in last Wednesday for the birth of my niece. My sister had her second girl this past Friday. Allyson Colleen is her name. She was born at 7:13am weighing 7lbs 8oz and 19 1/4 inches long. She has a full head of dark brown hair (unlike her sister who was born with blonde fuzz, but more like her cousin Reagan). She is just beautiful and I am pretty darn proud aunt! Here are some pics of my sweet new niece!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And Baby Makes Three

(Actually, baby makes five when you count our two dogs, Beckham and Maverick.)

Jackson Scott was born March 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm. He weighed 8lb 12oz and was 20 3/4in long. Yes, he is a big boy and absolutely precious. Here's my labor story:

My contractions started at 3:00 am on March 25th and unlike anything I had ever felt, to that point. They were anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes apart but not really consistent. I started keeping track with this cool application on my husband's iPhone called the Contraction Master. It was so easy to use, which I think is important under the circumstances. Anyways, so I was pretty much uncomfortable and could not sleep at all. I woke Scott up at some point to let him know what was going on but since my contractions were all over the place he went back to sleep and eventually went into work. I called my mom to let her know what was going on as well and she came over. By that point my contractions were a lot closer together...enough to warrant a phone call to the labor and delivery area at the hospital (because apparently my OB's office doesn't take phone calls until 9:00am). I was told to come to the hospital, so my mom and I gathered a few more things for my bag, called Scott, and one he got home we headed to the hospital. I didn't even get to take a shower (or shave)! I had always thought that I would get to shower and put on makeup and look all cute in the "after" pictures...yeah right! I barely could brush my teeth and put on clothes that morning. So, we got to the hospital and even though I was already pre-registered I still had to answer some questions and sign all these forms. The last thing I wanted to do was sign a bunch of forms at that point. They put me in triage and monitored me for a while and eventually I was placed in my own room. I don't even know what time it was that I finally got into a room but holy goodness, my contractions were seriously getting stronger. Thank God for my mom who was there to help me breathe through them all! Remember my last post about drugs or no drugs? Well this girl chose the drugs as soon as they were offered. I must say I am very proud of myself for going as long as did, almost 12 hours before I got an epidural. I feel I got the "best" of both experiences. I think I mentioned this before in a post but I had been put on bed rest for my high blood pressure and that was a big concern during my labor, so I was given magnesium so that I wouldn't have any seizures. I was also given oxygen because my sweet boy was under a lot of stress, so much so that things started to move very quickly. There were people in and out of the room getting ready and my doctor was explaining that we needed to get him out right away...and then she used the nasty word, vacuum extractor, before I even started pushing. For someone who has worked med mal in a law firm before, I knew I did not want them to use the vacuum extractor. I realize that sometimes it has to be used, but I did not want that to happen at all. So it came time to start the pushing...kind of weird to push when you can't feel much below (thank you epidural). I think I pushed about 3 times and then the doctor said, "okay, this is going to have to be it or we're going to have to use the vacuum extractor." My next push was all it took and out came my little boy. The doctor and nurse were very impressed with that push even! I do what I can to get my boy out. He was immediately taken to the side and checked out by 3 nurses...I immediately fell back on the pillows. What an amazing experience. I was finally able to hold little Jackson Scott and it was such a surreal moment...I waited 10 months for this very moment and it was finally here. God is so good. I stayed in the L&D area for 24 hours because I had to remain on the magnesium and be closely monitored. I was finally moved to the post-partum side but they still kept an eye on me. My blood pressure would occasionally get really high, so we had to limit my visitors and finally had to have no visitors at all. The nurses were just watching out for me and didn't want me having any seizures. I also had to stay in the hospital an extra day. We finally were discharged on Sunday afternoon and were glad to get home. These last two weeks we've been adjusting to having this little one in our house and part of our lives. I am absolutely in love with Jackson and thank God for him! Scott and I couldn't be more proud. And that is my labor story.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I've never been a big fan of the concept of regrets.  That's not to say that I don't have some pretty big things that I wish I had done, or not done, in life.  You can't make it 32 years and not have a few "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" on your list, but I don't really see those as regrets, per se.  Regretting involves dwelling on unresolved issues and continuing to beat yourself up for them.  Most things can be resolved within yourself over time in one way or another.  Sometimes that takes a lot of hard work, and letting yourself off the hook…but still, it’s possible.  You can come to peace with yourself over decisions made, or not made, as you move further away from them.  Because I believe things happen for a reason - even the worst of things - regretting seems like a waste of time.  You are where you are today because this is where God intended you to be today...maybe you didn't take the ideal route to getting here, maybe it was harder than it had to be for you, but hopefully it made you a better person, and nonetheless - here you are.  And it's really just a stopping place along the way.  The opportunity for change is always at your fingertips in one way or another.

See how I made it all sound so neat and tidy?  All of that will sound a little hypocritical when I get to my point here.  I have a regret that's been bugging me.  Actually, I have two.  I call them regrets because they were never resolved with the other party involved, so it's a door that never closes in my mind.  I never made them right.  And every once in a while, they’ll creep up when I least expect it and leave me feeling…well…kind of like a jerk.  Unsettled, to say the least.

The first of these, I have attempted to resolve with the other person and I just never really got a response.  I could be more direct, and maybe that would elicit a response…but a lot of time has passed (we’re talking years here), and that just doesn’t seem like a good plan.  She was a friend I met in my late twenties, and we hit it off right away.  It was like we had known each other for years.  The older I get, the rarer it becomes to just instantly make a friend like that.  But somewhere along the way, something happened.  I can’t even really put a finger on it, but we lost touch.  I saw what was happening and felt like maybe I hadn’t been a good enough friend, maybe it was my fault.  So I sent some emails, made some calls…and…nothing.  No response.  Bewildered, I eventually gave up.  A few months back, she sent me a friend request on Facebook and I thought maybe we were okay after all.  Maybe I just had a vivid imagination, when in reality there were no hard feelings.   Maybe time had healed old wounds.  So I accepted the request, sent a message saying how excited I was to hear from her, asking about her life…and…nothing.  So I’m at an impasse on that one.  Four years after our friendship ended, is it really worth it to send some big “what the heck happened” email?  Or is it just better to let it lie?  If I’m not going to do anything about it, it’s way past time to get over it.
I got a little long-winded on this one, so I’ll save my second regret for next Friday’s post.  But in the meantime, if you have any thoughts on this one, I’d love to hear them.  Have you ever had a similar situation?  I’d love to hear how you handled it, and how it all eventually turned out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

But That's Not My Name

So I wrote a few weeks back about how my hunka hunka burnin' love and I first met and all.  As I promised in that blog, here is the story of our engagement.

I was living with DKS friends Mary and Cassandra at the time.  Chris had asked earlier that week or the week before if I wanted to go to the Bass Hall to see Saturday Night Fever with Drew and Denise that Friday night.  He said Denise had gotten a discount on the tickets through her work.  Apparently, that was just enough to make me not question a thing.  After asking Chris what Denise was going to be wearing that night, Mary and I went shopping and picked out an outfit.  She knew what was on the down low, and surprisingly, she kept it that way.  :)  I only say that because I can usually read her like a book.... a children's book.  So after work that day, I went home and started getting ready, all the while having no clue what was on the horizon.  Chris picks me up and tells me he has a gift for me, but that I couldn't open it there.  So we left and headed to the canal in Las Colinas.  It's a pretty little spot where we had hung out many times.  So when we get out of the car, he brought a gift bag with him.  What?!  I thought that was really random, because I'm pretty sure he had never wrapped a gift for me before that... or any time since, for that matter.  So my wheels are turning trying to figure out what in the world is in there.  I thought maybe it was a Bible Study to do together or something like that, because I think he had mentioned earlier that week that he was at Lifeway or somewhere like that.  We had come down to the canal several times to do our quiet times or Bible studies, so that's the only thing I could think of.  Well, we go sit on these steps, and he tells me I can open it.  It's a Bible.  A beautiful Bible with soft calfskin leather, and then I notice the name:  Amelia Joyce Dement.  And I immediately said, "But that's not my name!"  And of course, I look up and he's getting down on his knee with a little box in hand.  I was surprised and so very excited.  I had known for a while that he was "the one" for me, but I didn't want to have a clue about the day this would actually happen.  I didn't want to look at rings with him, and I would barely even tell him what shapes I liked.  I just wanted to be surprised, and I was!  I love my Bible, and it has such special meaning to me.  So then we headed back toward the parking lot, because I still think we're meeting up with Drew and Denise.  When we get up to where we can see the car, I notice that a big, black limousine is waiting for us.  Surprise again!  And inside is a big bunch of long-stem roses and a bottle of champagne.  Chris informs me that we aren't actually meeting Drew and Denise, but that we are going to eat at the Riata in Sundance Square and then going to the Bass Hall by ourselves.  We had a lovely dinner and a great time watching Saturday Night Fever.  I'm pretty sure I never stopped smiling.  After that, we went to my parents' house to have a toast with them.  My dad stayed up extra late for this, so you know it was a big deal!  Everything was absolutely perfect, and we were both on cloud nine that entire evening.  I am so proud of my husband for coming up with such a sweet and meaningful surprise.  Care to share your story?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Distractible Baby

From "Latch on, suck a moment, pull off...latch on, suck a moment, pull off. Nurse a minute, pull away to smile at mom. Nurse a minute, pull away to see who just walked in the room. Nurse a minute, pull away to listen to the TV. Nurse a moment, pull away because the dog wagged his tail. When baby first becomes aware of the rest of the world, he will have a hard time concentrating on nursing. In effect, he will be unable to ‘walk and chew gum at the same time.’ Distractibility is common around 8-10 months, and can lead mom to think that her baby is trying to wean. If your baby is younger than a year, it's highly unlikely that this temporary disinterest is self-weaning."

What you have just read has been the story of my nursing life for a while now. Asher is almost 9½ months old (?!?!?! I’ve attached a recent picture!) and since about month 7 I’ve had to get increasingly more creative to facilitate effective nursing for my busy little guy. At first it just meant muting the TV and asking Adam to be quiet until Ash got settled in, but it wasn’t long before we had to go to a different room, and soon we had to shut the door; even then sometimes the smallest noise from outside the room would be enough to lure Asher’s interest away from the task at hand. Basically we had to make the setting as un-stimulating as possible! It’s been somewhat inconvenient at times, not to mention painful (he often forgets to let go before turning his head – ouch! He also enjoyed testing out his new teeth on me for a while).

Things really reached a critical point about 2 weeks ago when I went to nurse Asher before bed, as usual, and he started crying and pushing away from me, absolutely refusing to have any part of it. I figured he just wasn’t hungry yet and didn’t push the issue. After his bath I tried again and there was no problem. But then I got the same reaction the next day when I got home from work, and again several more times throughout the week. I always look forward to the weekends because I get to take a break from pumping (pumping is NOT my favorite), but that weekend, not so much. Half the time he would nurse as usual, and the other half he would flat out REFUSE. Lack of hunger certainly wasn’t the issue, as he would suck down an 8 ounce bottle of expressed milk in record time. I couldn’t understand it! I became increasingly disconcerted and upset, even battling feelings of rejection. I confided in my mom, my closest friends, and Asher’s pediatrician, and of course got many varying opinions about what might be going on. I also turned to my trusted resources, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, the La Leche League website and for any insight or advice I could get. After reading extensively about nursing strikes, self-weaning, and distractibility, and deciding that I was definitely not ready to stop nursing, I determined to press on. I prayerfully started utilizing some of the tips and suggestions I had read and have been absolutely OVERJOYED and thankful at the outcome. Within just a few days, the crying and resisting stopped almost entirely. In fact, he seems almost eager to nurse again – it’s great! I think we just needed to hit the "reset button" on our process. I also think his recent milestone (crawling was achieved just this past Saturday!) was throwing things off. Of course, I know the day will come when he will truly be ready to stop for good; after this unexpected hitch I can see that I really need to start mentally and emotionally preparing for that day! In the meantime, this experience has given me a renewed sense of gratitude and appreciation for the special, quiet moments I get to spend with my sweet boy; I won’t take them for granted anymore!

I did want to mention that in my search for solutions and suggestions, I ran across a really great website called This is an independent company run by a busy mom, and I was really impressed by what I saw. She uses extra-strong cording with a breakaway closure (so if baby pulls on it too hard, it will pop apart, not break and cause little beads to scatter everywhere), the acrylic beads are tested for both lead and phthalates to meet (and exceed) the CPSIA regulations (because the necklace will of course end up in baby’s mouth at some point), and the beads are sourced from within the USA! I had been considering making my own nursing necklace, but when I read about these I realized I definitely couldn’t do it better. The really cool thing is that these aren’t just nursing necklaces – yes, they help keep baby occupied and interested while nursing, but they look like regular, cute jewelry. Regular, cute jewelry that your kids can mess with and you don’t have to worry about breakage or toxicity. I bought the Simply Snazzy design (pic attached), which is definitely the least "stylish"; however, it’s the most colorful and seemed like the best choice to keep Asher’s interest. So far, so good! He likes to twiddle with it – it’s even staved off a few diaper-change-related meltdowns. I’m all about supporting fellow moms in their creative endeavors, so there’s my plug for a cool, useful product!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

He is!

After a great Easter celebrating the risen Savior I thought I would post the lyrics to this song that describes who God is in each book of the Bible. I just love this song!

In Genesis, He's the breath of life
In Exodus, the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He's our High Priest
Numbers, The fire by night
Deuteronomy, He's Moses' voice
In Joshua, He is salvation's choice
Judges, law giver
In Ruth, the kinsmen-redeemer
First and second Samuel, our trusted prophet
In Kings and Chronicles, He's sovereign

Ezra, true and faithful scribe
Nehemiah, He's the rebuilder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He's Mordecai's courage
In Job, the timeless redeemer
In Psalms, He is our morning song

In Proverbs, wisdom's cry
Ecclesiastes, the time and season
In the Song of Solomon, He is the lover's dream

He is, He is, HE IS!

In Isaiah, He's Prince of Peace
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
In Lamentations, the cry for Israel
Ezekiel, He's the call from sin
In Daniel, the stranger in the fire

In Hosea, He is forever faithful
In Joel, He's the Spirits power
In Amos, the arms that carry us
In Obadiah, He's the Lord our Savior
In Jonah, He's the great missionary

In Micah, the promise of peace
In Nahum, He is our strength and our shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He's pleading for revival
In Haggai, He restores a lost heritage
In Zechariah, our fountain

In Malachi, He is the son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings

He is, He is, HE IS!
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He is God, Man, Messiah
In the book of Acts, He is fire from heaven
In Romans, He's the grace of God
In Corinthians, the power of love
In Galatians, He is freedom from the curse of sin

Ephesians, our glorious treasure
Philippians, the servants heart
In Colossians, He's the Godhead Trinity
Thessalonians, our coming King
In Timothy, Titus, Philemon He's our mediator and our faithful Pastor

In Hebrews, the everlasting covenant
In James, the one who heals the sick.
In First and Second Peter, he is our Shepherd
In John and in Jude, He is the lover coming for His bride
In the Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords

He is, He is, HE IS!

The prince of peace
The Son of man
The Lamb of God
The great I AM
He's the alpha and omega
Our God and our Savior
He is Jesus Christ the Lord
and when time is no more
He is, HE IS!

If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you need to put your trust in Him! Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and make Him Lord of your life! Trust me, you will never be the same again!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A new store in town...


So today was my first visit to the new grocery store ALDI. It was fabulous!
Such great deals on is the breakdown of my savings...

10 lb bag of potatoes for $1.29
4 lb bag of oranges for $2.29
1 lb of salmon for $3.29
3 zucchini for $1.49
1 lb Strawberries for $1.49
8 Roma tomatoes for $1.49
1 Pineapple for $.99 each
Avacadoes for $.39 each (I bought 3)
1 Gallon Milk $1.79

So it was definitely worth my trip, because we eat so much fresh produce and it usually takes up a big chunk of my grocery bill...I didn't really shop an any other areas of the store, so maybe that will be another blog post...I do want to warn you that if you decide to go, either bring your own grocery bags or be prepared to purchase your bags there for $.06 a piece, and the grocery carts are $.25 to use, but you get your quarter back if you walk it back to the front of the store...

Another tip, is that is you don't want to go several grocery stores to get good deals- you can always take the sales flyer from ALDI (or any store, that is) and use it to price match items at Walmart.

Happy Shopping!