Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Fun

I love Christmas. Who doesn't? And thanks to Kandice, here are some fun little things about my Christmas traditions and memories. Interestingly enough, the day Kandice posted this on her blog, I got this same set of questions via email. So I guess Kandice is right, and the Christmas quizzes are making there rounds. Feel free to read if you want, or just skip on to the next item in your Google Reader list. Merry Christmas!

1. Do you use wrapping paper or gift bags? I almost always use paper. It's so pretty. I love pretty paper and I love pretty bows. Thanks to my friend Sue, I can make a killer Christmas bow.

2. Real tree or Artificial? See previous blog post about my Christmas tree. I love real trees the best, but due to Billy's allergies, we have an artificial one.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, however, we got ours up much later than I had hoped.

4. When do you take the tree down? It will be sometime around Epiphany (January 6).

5. Do you like eggnog? I actually just tried it for the first time this week. I did not love it, but I also did not hate it as much as I thought I would.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? When I was 5 or 6, I received an EZ-Bake Oven. I loved it. And I loved every single brownie or cake I made with that little light bulb oven...

7. Hardest person to buy for? My brother is usually pretty hard to buy for. Not because he is hard to please-- but because he just doesn't need or want much. This year, he and I decided we would not buy gifts for each other, but would buy gifts for each other's kids. I like this arrangement.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. I have one from my mom, one from Billy's mom, and Eisley got her very own Little People Nativity set this year. I love all three nativities that are in our house.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? This is a sad one for me. I LOVE to mail real Christmas cards. I especially love photo Christmas cards. This year, however, I am afraid I have run out of time to get them done. I cannot believe it! I have a kid to show off and everything. But I guess there's always next year... or the possibility of a Happy New Year card? I don't know. I am so disappointed in myself!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Oh, gosh. I don't know. I think probably the year that I got a $50 gift card to Applebee's from my mom. My mom was actually trying to do a nice thing for me-- I was in college and she knew it would be fun for me to get to have money to go out to eat with. However, when I told her that the only restaurant I did NOT like was Applebee's, she had somehow heard that that was one of my FAVORITE restaurants. It was an honest mistake. But that still didn't change the fact that I hate Applebees and then had $50 to spend there.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Charlie Brown Christmas.

13. When do you start shopping? Much too late.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sadly, yes. But only once.

15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Pittsburg Hot Links, fudge, frosted sugar cookies, almond toffee, and my grandmother used to make the most delicious divinity candy. Sadly, I have not had any that is as good since she passed away in 1996.

16. Multi-Color or White Lights on the Christmas Tree? White lights!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, The First Noel, O Come O Come Emmanuel

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We are traveling to Texas!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yep. I sure can.

20. A star on top of the tree, or an angel? Growing up, we had an angel that someone had made for us. On our tree, we have a star. My aunt Mary has a little Santa hat, and it's pretty cute, too.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We go to several different Christmas celebrations. So there are some presents opened on Christmas Eve and some opened on Christmas Day.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Definitely the traffic.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Our ornaments are pretty traditional-- mostly reds and greens and silver and gold. I wouldn't mind a more modern tree, however-- with pinks and blues and browns.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Pittsburg Hot Links are my favorite Christmas Eve tradition.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Umm... I really can't think of a thing I need. I am sincerely most excited about getting to see our family and spending our first Christmas together as a little family of three.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The tree is finally up!

Well... FINALLY, on December 8th, our Christmas tree is finally up & decorated. This is WAY late for me... usually, my tree goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving. I've been known to put up my tree ON Thanksgiving day before. But this year was hectic, and by the time we finally got to Lowe's to pick out the perfect tree, it was December 1st. We got it loaded up and brought home, and here's a picture of Eisley scoping it out (this is before we undid the netting around it, so that's why it is oddly shaped):


Well... we didn't decorate it right away, and after about 2 days of having it in our home, we figured out that not only was Billy allergic to it (he was just going to put up with it), but we began to suspect that Eisley was allergic to it, too. I asked her doctor if that would be possible, and she said that it is pretty unlikely that she would be showing an allergy at this early an age, so maybe she was just getting a cold. Whether it was a cold or an allergy, we decided to get rid of the tree just in case. Plus, it's not REALLY fair to have Billy miserable in his own home through the Christmas season. So out went the tree. I was really sad about it because I love real Christmas trees, and I wondered how long it would be before we acquired a replacement. I didn't know that we would.

Finally, on Sunday night, we went out to get a replacement. We ended up getting a sad little 6 and a half foot tree, that is pretty sparse. But I have really grown to love it. It just seemed so silly to pay a lot of money for a fancy fake tree so close to Christmas. So we paid $35 for our tree, and intend to go look for a better tree after Christmas when the trees will probably be on sale. But maybe not. Like I said, I like my little tree. We have a pretty small house (that has been taken over by baby stuff!), so it really is the perfect size for us.

Here are a couple of pictures from our tree-trimming festivities last night-

Here is Eisley helping hang the ornaments (and by hang, I mean "eat"):


Though she looks slightly angry in this photo, she was actually laughing:


Here it is all done, complete with Eisley's Little People Nativity underneath:


And finally... here is my precious Eisley this morning, relaxing under the tree-- she is the best gift we have received in 2008:


When do you all take down your trees? We got ours up way later than usual, but I suppose we will take it down around the same time we always do. I like to leave mine up at least through Epiphany (January 6).

You may have noticed that there is a new poll posted on my page-- do you have a real tree? Do you have a Fake one? Do you not have a tree at all? Be sure to vote! I need to know how many people's real trees to be envious of. Ha.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Highlight Reel

On Monday, our Eisley will be 4 months old. I am not quite sure why time seems to zoom by now that Eisley has arrived, but it does. Oddly, it seems like ages ago that we were headed to the hospital to have her. Maybe it's because it is hard to remember what life was like without her. Yet, each day she changes and grows. So it also seems somehow that time is zooming by. I have already filled a box of clothes that she no longer fits into, and moved them to the attic, to be used again if someday we have another daughter. It was 2 days after Thanksgiving last year that we found out we were expecting her. Little did we know just how wonderful she would be.

Here are some of my favorite photos from this past month with Eisley:

 

This is the day we got the Bumbo. Doesn't she look so cute in it?


 

I love this one because I love that little hoodie on her and her tennis shoes.

 

This is the day we went to Build-A-Bear to make a special friend for Eisley. Here they are together.

 

We named Eisley's friend Lexi. We chose the name Lexi, because Eisley was born in Lexington, and we wanted to do something to remember our time here in Kentucky. Here they are at home.


I love this smile.


I think she looks so beautiful here.


I like this one because there has always been something irresistible to me about Billy's eyes. He'll peer at me from behind a book or a magazine or a pillow, and all I can see are his eyes. It melts my heart. Eisley has Billy's eyes and I love them! So I love this picture because all I can see are her eyes.


I love storytime with Eisley. She is now really interested in her books and likes to touch the pages. This particular night, we snuggled together and just kept reading. We read 4 books that night.


I love the face she is making here!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why the heck not?

Thanks to my friend Kandice, you get to learn 7 interesting (or, not-so-interesting) facts about me. Here goes:

The Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 RANDOM/WEIRD FACTS ABOUT ME


1. I love peaches. My grandparents and aunt & uncle have a peach farm in Northeast Texas, and have since the late 1970s. To me, there is nothing better than a fresh, just-picked, juicy peach. I cannot stomach peaches from the grocery store. They just aren't juicy enough! You can hardly even call them peaches. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of summers at the peach farm. Itchy peach fuzz in the air and all.

2. I hate to fold towels. They fit best in our linen closet when folded a specific way. And since I am part Collins (that's my mom's family), I have been cursed with very short arms. Folding towels with my short arms just isn't any fun, so I usually just make Billy fold them. He does not like folding towels either, mostly because he now has to fold all of them, and thinks it's ridiculous that I won't do it!

3. The average amount of time I keep a cell phone is 6 months. It's very wasteful. And it's not that I buy new ones because I get bored with them, or have to have the latest thing that's on the market. It's because I am really hard on my phones. I drop them, I break them, I lose them. So I stopped buying nice phones a long time ago.

4. The best part of my day is first thing in the morning. Sometimes I grumble about having to get up so early every morning, in order to stick with Eisley's routine/schedule. But first thing in the morning, when I lean over Eisley's crib as she is waking up, she greets me with me the biggest smile she'll smile all day. I don't even have to say anything to her or make any faces at her. Just seeing each other for the first time makes us both grin from ear to ear. How can I complain about getting up at 6:30 every day, when I get to start my day like that?

5. I don't like mushrooms, though I have tried really hard to like them. It's a huge texture issue for me, people.

6. I love to spell. My day isn't complete until I have played at least one game of Scrabble online. I happened to have married one of the world's worst spellers (It is okay for me to say that. He will admit it, too). Because of this, I have learned to not be so compulsive about correcting everyone else's misspelled words. And yes, I make spelling mistakes from time to time, too.

7. My favorite punctuation mark is the comma. I use it way more often than the rules of grammar dictate. Don't judge me.

I will not tag anyone specifically to do this. I don't like that sort of thing. Just do it if you want. And let me know you did. I like learning fun new things about my friends.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are you out there?

I am curious as to who reads this blog on a regular basis. I often run into people who will randomly say to me, "I read your blog!" and I am delighted to discover someone else who reads my blog.

However, it seems that there are just a few of you who leave comments, and I know there are more people that read than actually comment. So to all you non-commenters out there-- here's your chance to comment! Let me know who you are! Let me know you're out there.

Hopefully one day I'll have more interesting things to blog about. I've got a list going of things I'd like to blog about-- just haven't quite found the time to delve into them more deeply though.

Stay tuned. One day I WILL be back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A good word

Saw this on my google reader this morning, from the God's Politics blog. It's a good word and worth sharing:

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.


- Abigail Adams
to her husband, John Adams, in Letters of Mrs. Adams.


I'm not quite sure why these words struck me so, but they did. I'm stewing on them this morning--

I am stewing on these words and thinking about them in the context of my faith. It seems that everywhere I turn, Christians (myself included) are talking about things like social justice. We're talking a lot about helping the poor and taking care of the environment and living communally and doing something. We're no longer equating Christianity just with Republican politics and we're questioning policy. We're talking about social justice issues worldwide, and we're talking seriously about loving our enemies. We are questioning the ideal of American consumerism, and we are even talking about how we do church and wondering if we should be doing it differently.

I pray that these are not just things that we talk about because it's what's trendy to talk about in Christian circles right now. That seems to happen a lot. To be involved in a cause because it's trendy exploits the vulnerable and uses them to make us feel good about what we're doing.

I pray, however, that there is sincere action behind these conversations we are having. I pray that they propel us into doing something real and living like Jesus would have us live. Love in action.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Yep.

Just a follow-up post to the previous one, regarding Eisley's hip.

Eisley's ultrasound on Wednesday went very well. It's a fairly lengthy process (at least for a 3 month old!) because they have to take images from just about every angle possible-- of both hips. Even though the left one is the one with the potential issues, they have to have images of the right one in order to have something to compare the left hip to. Anyway, it took about 35 minutes to get the images they needed. And Eisley was a perfect angel! She didn't fuss or cry, and even smiled a bit at the ultrasound technician, and talked to her, too. I was very proud of her!

Anyway, the images looked great! Both hips have made a lot of improvement since her last ultrasound, and her doctors at Shriner's were very pleased with what they saw. They want to see her again when she is 8 months old to see how she has continued to progress. Until then... Eisley gets to just be Eisley and we don't have any cause for continued concern.

We are thrilled with the news!

Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray!

Well, that's what we hope to be saying at the end of this week. A few days after Eisley was born, I posted about some concerns the doctors had about Eisley's left hip, and there being some potential problems because she was breeched while she was in the womb. You can read the original post by clicking here.

A couple of visits to Shriner's Hospital, one ultrasound, and many many prayers later, I gave an update that said that it appeared that Eisley's hip was healing properly, and that we would be going back in a couple of months for another ultrasound to check on her progress. You can read THAT post by clicking here.

Those couple of months have passed, and we go this Wednesday for another ultrasound. Now, I must tell you. Our little girl LOVES to "stand up". She's not nearly as happy laying down or sitting, as she is when we are holding her by her arms and she is standing, bearing her weight on her legs. Billy and I joke about how so many people have been praying for her healing, that our little girl now has superhero-strength legs as a result.

On Wednesday, the ultrasound will tell us if her pelvic bone has continued to cup around Eisley's femur bone like it is supposed to, creating her hip joint. We will take her to see her doctor at Shriner's on Thursday morning, where they will give us the results of the ultrasound. If the hip has continued to heal properly, we will not have to have any more ultrasounds or any more visits to Shriner's.

If the ultrasound tells us that there is a problem, our little girl will be fitted for a harness that she will wear, to hold the pelvic bone & femur bone in place, so that the joint can be formed properly. I have to admit that this lingers in the back of my mind as a very real possibility. In the end, it would be no biggie. But it's still not something I would look forward to.

However, we have no real reason to think that everything won't look normal at our appointments this week. Eisley got a good report at her 2 month check-up a couple of weeks ago, and her pediatrician played around with her hip, and didn't hear it clicking or anything.

We appreciate your continued prayers for Eisley. We'll let you know what we find out!

I'll leave you with this adorable picture of Eisley from the other day. I just love this little face and the expression she was making!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Strong, Healthy Girl

Here's a brief Eisley update for you... today we took Eisley for her 2 month check-up. That's right. TWO months. We got a good report, and it was totally fun to get her new weight and measurements. When she was born, she was 20 and 3/4 inches long and weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces. Here's a picture of our tiny little girl when she was 2 days old:



Today, she is 22 and 3/4 inches, and weighs 10 pounds and 6 ounces. That puts her in the 53rd percentile for height and 28th percentile for weight. Here's a photo of my 2 cuties from Eisley's visit to the doctor today:



The doctor wanted to see all of Eisley's "tricks", and she of course did great. Eisley was very talkative today for the doctor and showed Dr. Bennett how strong she is when she "stands" on her legs. Dr. Bennett also put Eisley on her tummy, and Eisley held her head up strong and proud. Dr. Bennett even said, "Wow! She's VERY strong for just two months old!" This of course, made Eisley's mom and dad swell with pride.

Eisley also got her 2 month immunizations today, which was not fun for any of us, but we all of course survived. Eisley calmed down pretty quickly, and now all is well at the Lawson household. I'll leave you with the "before the shots" shot, and the "after the shots" shot. Enjoy!


Before



After

Monday, September 29, 2008

Community Helpers

One of my favorite things I get to do every week is hang out with kids that live in one of the government housing communities in the town where I work. Many of the kids are dirty, smell bad, wear clothes that don't fit them, and I never know when they've last had a bath. But they never cease to melt my heart. I love these precious angels.

On Sundays, we go to the community building in their community and hang out with them for a thing called Kids' Club. We love on them, play games with them, give them a snack, and tell them about Jesus and his big love for them. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we gather together for Homework Helpers and invite the kids to get help with their homework. We've been doing Homework Helpers for just over 2 years now. And it's amazing the work that God is doing-- I've been around this community for almost 3 years now-- 3 years ago, almost none of the kids were in the grade they were supposed to be in. They were getting held back, were in remedial classes, and were just struggling in school. Sure, some of the kids are still struggling in school. But last year, not one of the kids that comes to Homework Helpers was held back in school. I cannot even tell you how exciting that really is for me. For them. For their families.

One of the things we've been doing lately on Sundays is being intentional to challenge the kids to serve others-- to serve those in their own neighborhood. So one Sunday per month is dedicated to doing a service activity together. We've made cards for the shut-ins in the neighborhood-- and had the kids hand-deliver them. We sold lemonade to raise money to provide homes to homeless families in Kentucky.

Yesterday, we picked up trash in the neighborhood. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of trash that litters the streets and sidewalks of this community-- cigarette packs and beer bottles are everywhere. Coke cans litter many of the front yards. I almost dreaded telling the kids what their project was for the day. Who would be excited to pick up trash?! We gathered the kids together and explained to them what we would be doing. We reminded them that when we serve others, we are serving God. We reminded them that we have a responsibility to take care of the earth God created, and picking up trash was one way we could do that. We shared with them some other things, and off we went.

I've never seen a group of people so EXCITED to pick up trash. They were having the BEST time with it. They were smiling, and practically stumbling over one another to be the one to pick up each piece of trash. It was great. And as we marched through the neighborhood, there were residents sitting out on their front porches-- drinking sodas and throwing the empty cans down on the ground. The kids raced up into their yards to pick up the trash that had just been thrown down. All while exclaiming with glee, "I'm a community helper! I'm taking care of God's earth!"

There were other kids outside playing as we walked around cleaning up. They looked at us with curiosity-- I mean, we were REALLY having fun! One little boy practically fell off his bike when he saw us coming, wondering what it was we were doing.

I definitely saw Christ in those kids yesterday. And I wanted to share it with you.

Blessings!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's cheap, but...

Okay. Maybe it's cheap to just use cute pictures of my kid as the entire substance of my blog. Maybe it's not. At any rate, I'm drowning a bit with work and school and life in general, so I haven't found time to write lately. I'm hoping to get a handle on the routine soon so that I can wow you all with my wit and humor. Ha. But until then, I'll just show off my Eisley-girl. She's a delight and I love her so. She's 7 and a half weeks old already. This parenthood thing really flies by, doesn't it?


(Photo by the fabulous Carissa Martin)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back at Work

Hi there. As the title of this post says, I am back at work. This past Sunday was our first Sunday in 6 weeks to worship at Versailles UMC, where I work as the Children's Pastor. Monday was my first full day in the office. 8 whole hours. Wednesday I put in another 8 hours.

While Billy and I are at work, Eisley stays with our friend Jen (who we actually knew when we lived in Lubbock-- they moved here to Wilmore over the summer), and her two daughters, Ellie (4) and Mollie (1). Jen has quite the full house! Jen is wonderful. Monday was Eisley's first day with Jen, and while I was gone, Jen sent me text messages of the "play by play" of what they were doing. I really appreciated the updates. I couldn't do much but think about Eisley anyway. At the end of the day, as I turned on to Jen's street, I realized I was grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of being reunited with Eisley. When I got to Jen's house, Jen informed me that she had taken pictures to document the whole day. I thought that was possibly the sweetest thing she could have done.

Now. This wasn't my first time away from Eisley-- while I am in class on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, our friend Amy keeps Eisley for me. And she also does a wonderful job! She is incredibly patient with Eisley, who is still learning to get used to eating from a bottle. She's easygoing and I know she can handle anything! Amy actually used to care for TRIPLET babies. She must be Wonder Woman. Amy walks Eisley over to campus in the stroller to meet me before chapel each day. It is good to know that my kiddo is in such good hands! BUT. Monday was my first FULL day away from Eisley. Amy has her for about 3 hours in the mornings-- which has been a great way to transition me into being away from her for longer periods of time.

Anyway, it was a good day on Monday. It was good to be back in the office, together again with my little staff family. I had no emotional meltdowns, for I knew my little one would be taken very good care of.

I have hit the ground running. There is much to be done at work-- there were lots of projects waiting for me. It makes me a little tired to think about, but mostly I'm excited.

Last night was my first Wednesday back with the kids. Who are incredibly sweet and wonderful. I felt like many of them were as excited to see me as I was to see them. We worked on a little project last night together-- making centerpieces for our church Thanksgiving dinner that will happen in November. They made these little trees-- and on each leaf, they wrote one thing they were thankful for. As I looked around the room, and was reading what they had written on the leaves, I noticed that several of them had written my name on their leaves! And not only my name, but Eisley's name as well. Is that not the sweetest thing ever?

So. Life is good. I am still trying to figure out the balance between mommyhood, marriage, school, and work. But I'm getting there. And maybe one day I'll have something a little more interesting to blog about!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things: Amended

* My friend Kandice challenged me to list 100 things I love. 100 things? That's a lot. But it turns out, it was really easy. I had already begun this list a few days ago. But today I have added a few things. There are 100 things there. Count 'em if you want.

(In no particular order)

- Nacho Cheese Doritos
- Rainy Days
- M & Ms (Peanut and Plain are my favorite)
- Game Shows
- Scrabble
- My family
- Hot Apple Cider when it's cold outside
- Fall Weather
- The smell of the air right before it snows
- Blue Bell Ice Cream
- The smell of vanilla
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Butterscotch cookies
- Sassy shoes (However, I prefer going barefoot most of the time)
- My husband
- My daughter (!)
- Saturdays that come without a long to-do list
- The Food Network
- Dallas Mavericks Basketball
- College Football (go Texas Tech!)
- Fun stationery
- Writing thank-you notes
- Pittsburg, TX
- Ale 8
- Watching The Office on DVD
- Sweet Tea
- Hydrangeas
- The Schrutes
- Good neighbors
- Sitting outside on a cool morning (thank you Lawsons, for our new chairs!)
- Thunderstorms & Lightingstorms
- Gorgeous Sunsets (I really miss West Texas sometimes!)
- Honeysuckles
- Dogs/Puppies
- School
- Learning new things
- Great discussions with friends
- Lame jokes
- Hot showers
- Chapel services at school
- A good, juicy steak
- Bacon
- My new backpack
- Letters in the mail
- The Triune God
- Mellow Mushroom Pizza
- New Ink Pens
- Raisin Bran Crunch
- Playing Guitar Hero
- Sudoku with Dana
- Marathons of America's Next Top Model (don't judge me!)
- Wandering around Target
- Giving Eisley a Bath
- My dog Riley. She's the best dog. Ever.
- Sleep (We're not getting much these days)
- Efurd Peaches
- Good Mexican Food
- Reruns of "Friends"
- Classic Rock
- Swimming Pools
- Pedicures
- Brushing my teeth
- Chips and salsa from Mi Cocina
- Friday night Date Night
- Being a Texan
- Hebrew (yes, I am a nerd)
- Hot Tamales
- Reruns of "Gilmore Girls"
- Reading friends' blogs
- My wedding ring
- My incredible friends
- Vacations
- Naps
- Taking pictures & being in pictures (call me vain)
- My ridiculously awesome family
- New notebooks & folders for each new semester (so what if I primarily use a laptop?)
- Mafia queso from Orlando's in Lubbock
- Trivia
- Cash Cab
- Reading
- Honey pepper bacon
- A glowing fireplace
- Campfires
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- New York, NY
- Payday (like, actually getting paid. Not the candy bar.)
- Cable TV, baby!
- Throwing baby showers for friends
- Going on walks with Billy
- Good coffee (what a treat!)
- Christmas trees
- Thanksgiving Feasts (with family and/or friends!)
- Laughing
- Crawfish at Pappadeaux
- Birthdays
- Journals (particularly of the Moleskine variety)
- The Olympic Games
- Playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater on PS2 with Billy
- Old Houses
- Azaleas
- Low lighting (I'm not a fan of harsh overhead lighting)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

That's a Mommy & she has a purse!

Today was a big day. Billy, Eisley, & I woke up early, had breakfast with friends (I never knew how delicious pancakes with peanut butter are!), and then went out on the town. What would an all-day errand-running adventure be like with our one month-old (Happy 1 month birthday, little one!)? Yes, we've gone out and about with Eisley PLENTY before today, but this was a hot August day, filled with LOTS of errand-running.

First stop? Kohl's. I had a gift card to spend, and needed a new backpack for the first day of school (tomorrow). I found a fabulous pink and brown one that I am totally stoked about. No more boring, worn-out, tan backpack. I am trying to find little things to get me excited about the fact that tomorrow I will leave my daughter in someone else's (very capable) care for a couple of hours, while I try to pay attention in class and return to the world of academia.

Side note: The nights with Eisley have mostly been good, but the other night, we were up with her from 1:30 until 5:30 a.m. It was a bizarre night, that not one of us was thrilled about. All I kept thinking was, "Wow, I'm tired. What if I were trying to write a paper for class right now AND having to deal with an unhappy baby in the middle of the night?". Needless to say-- not sure I'm ready for the semester ahead, but I'm sure going to give it a try.

Next stop? The mall! As we walked through the mall, pushing the stroller, I realized, "Wow. We're the stroller people now. We're a part of THAT group of shoppers"-- Awkwardly pushing the stroller through crowds of people and through tiny aisles in the stores. It was tangible evidence that we really HAVE officially moved into a completely different phase of our lives. You know, besides the fact that there's a baby living in our house. But this was us as parents out in the real world, and somehow it felt different. I am doing a terrible job of explaining the feeling, so I apologize. But it was strange.

I completely regret stepping foot into Baby Gap today-- looking at all of the adorable clothes that we should not be spending our money on. Eisley already has a closet full of clothes, given to her by many generous people. For that we are grateful. But it didn't make me want to buy things for her any less! Cute argyle sweaters and dresses. Adorable corduroy in autumn colors. I walked out of the store empty-handed. It was hard to do, people!

Billy, on the other hand, had a Gap gift card to spend, leftover from Christmas! I'm telling you, he holds on to his money for a long time, wanting to spend it on JUST the right thing. He found some things to buy, and as we were standing in line to pay, a cute little boy (4 or 5 years old) was talking to his mom, pointing at us, talking with glee. He said, "Look! That's a mommy! That's a mommy, and she has a purse!" He said, "Look! That's a mommy and that's her baby. And that (pointing at Billy) must be the daddy! The mommy is a girl and the daddy is a boy."

Again. Welcome to the new phase of our lives. It's fun. And I must admit, I am a little anxious about school tomorrow. And I'm even more anxious about returning to work in 2 weeks-- not because I don't love my job. But because I am realizing just how many different worlds I'll find myself in-- motherhood, school, AND work. I'm tired just thinking about it! I long to return to my school life, and engage in adult conversation about important and challenging things. But I don't want to be away from Eisley and miss out on any wonderfully cute thing she does. I don't want to be one of those people that can only seem to talk about their kid-- but let's face it, our kiddo is pretty cute, and I find myself wanting to talk about her constantly! Of course, my world has revolved around her and only her this past month, so part of the reason I have nothing else to talk about is because I haven't actually DONE anything lately besides be with her. So. Bring it on. My life is about to become one big balancing act.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Eisley's Hip Update

We are praising God today for many things-- especially for the news we received yesterday regarding Eisley's hip! Here's the scoop:

Thank you for your prayers on behalf of our little girl and her hip. Yesterday was a very big day for us, so I wanted to pass this update along to all of you. Yesterday, we went and had an ultrasound done on Eisley's hip—she was a perfect angel throughout the whole process! She just laid there and cooperated perfectly—without making a peep!

We then met with Dr. Walker at Shriner’s Hospital, who read her ultrasound report and examined Eisley again. She said that it appears that Eisley’s hip has begun to heal normally and that the pelvic bone has begun to cup around the femur bone like it is supposed to!! She said that no action is needed right now—and that it should continue to heal. Today she was looking to see if at least 50% of the femur bone was being covered by the pelvic bone. And it was! However, it is still a little shallow, so we are scheduled to do another ultrasound in 2 months to make sure it has continued to cup around the bone. So… no harness or brace is needed now. We can proceed with Eisley as though everything is normal. The only adjustment in our day-to-day routine that we have to make is that we can no longer swaddle her with her legs out straight-- kind of a bummer because newborns like to be swaddled! But the doctors want to give her as great a chance as possible for the hip to continue to heal, and it just isn't good for her legs to be out straight for extended periods of time. Other than that, everything stays the same.


Please continue to pray—we are so grateful to each of you. We are praising God today for this good news, for our daughter, and for each of you who have joined with us in prayer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hip to Be Cool



First of all, is that not the cutest face ever?! That's my daughter. I am so proud to be her mom. She's fabulous. Each day, I fall more and more in love with her and I can't believe that God has entrusted her to our care. She's wonderful.

Now for an Eisley update. It's hard to keep everyone informed, and it's hard to keep track of who knows what. You will probably remember that Eisley was born via c-section because she was breeched. It is very common for breeched babies, particularly girls, to have hip issues. While we were in the hospital, her pediatrician determined that her left hip was in fact, loose. Her doctor was able to hear it clicking as he moved her legs around, and could tell that her hip plate was not properly in line with the ball that the plate is supposed to cup around, as she continues to develop. If it were to not be treated while she is still young and developing, she would have some pretty major hip issues throughout her life.

Eisley's pediatrician referred us to Shriner's Hospital in Lexington, to see a specialist there. As I said, this is fairly common issue in breeched babies, and is absolutely correctable. Everyone has reassured us of that all along. However, they wanted us to go to Shriner's right away, so that we could begin correcting the issue as soon as possible.

This morning we had our appointment at Shriner's. We got acquainted with how things work at Shriner's, and we were very impressed with everyone we met there, including Eisley's doctor, Dr. Walker. Both the Physician's Assistant and Dr. Walker did an examination of Eisley and tried to get her hip joint to pop in and out of place, like her pediatrician had been able to do when she was born. However, neither one of them was able to actually make her hip pop/click—- which means one of two things:

Over the course of the past 2 weeks since her birth, Eisley’s hip has stabilized on its own and there is no longer a problem...

OR

her hip has been moved completely out of place, and the reason they were unable to pop it in and out, is because it is already out of place.

So. We basically got no new information today, which was a slightly disappointing. We go to Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington on Tuesday afternoon (the 19th of August) for the ultrasound and then back to Shriner’s that afternoon to meet with Dr. Walker again to see what she thinks about Eisley’s hip based on the ultrasound. If she does in fact have hip displacia (where her hip is not properly aligned), then Eisley will be fitted for a harness that she will wear in order to hold her hip plate in place, until the joint forms properly. She could wear this harness anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months or longer, depending on the kind of progress she makes. This is a harness she would wear around the clock-- not something we can take on and off. This would no doubt mean a readjustment in some of our day to day things-- dressing her, changing diapers, etc.

We know that everything will work out just fine. But of course I have had some very emotional moments! As her mom, I don't want anything to be wrong with our little girl. But we feel great about the treatment she will receive, and know that in the long run, a few inconveniences now will mean a happier and healthier future for Eisley. We know of several people who have dealt with this same exact thing, and everything has worked out great for them. We don't have any reason to believe we will be any different!

Please keep us in your prayers-- we have been praying for healing for her, and would not at all be surprised if we went to her ultrasound and were told that nothing is wrong with her hip. But we know that may not be the case, and we will just continue in the journey, one day at a time.

Blessings, all. We will let you know what we find out on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Communication Overkill

Over the course of the past few days, I've had conversations with our friend Jeremiah and others about the fact that there is an insane number of ways to communicate with people-- social networking websites, text messaging, blogs, phone calls, emails, etc. It's a bit much to keep up with! I've sent out emails about Eisley's arrival, I've posted photo albums on facebook, and we've sent pictures via camera phone to some. And birth announcements will be sent out in a few days via snail mail, too!

But in CASE there are some of you out there who read this blog, that I have somehow missed through one of these other forms of communication, I've posted some pictures of our little family below, taken yesterday by our fantastically talented friend Carissa.

Our first 2 days of parenthood have been great. We are in awe of our precious little girl and though I really didn't think it was possible, it seems she keeps getting cuter and cuter! We love her little face, and I think my favorite time of the day so far happens post-feeding. Billy takes her then and props her little body up to burp her... and she makes the funniest faces because she's incredibly put out that someone keeps patting her on her back. And she looks so SMALL in Billy's great big hands. It's precious.

Yes, I know we are biased. But we have a REALLY cute kid! Don't you agree?








Friday, August 1, 2008

She's here!

And she's awesome!!

Announcing Sandra Eisley Lawson's arrival into this big beautiful world! She was born today at 8:05 a.m., weighing 6 pounds and 15 ounces. She is 20 and 3/4 inches long... and every last bit of her is magnificent! She arrived via c-section this morning and all went smoothly! It was kind of a weird experience, as I was awake the whole time-- but I'm feeling great and couldn't have been more pleased with the whole process.

Here are a few quick snapshots from this morning, after she first arrived. There have been MANY more photos taken since then, and we'll get them uploaded as soon as possible.









She's already had several visitors today! The Martins were the first to wish Eisley a happy birthday-- and were gracious to bring Billy a yummy lunch. And then the Ajas & The Beasley Browns came-- complete with birthday cupcakes and candles to celebrate Eisley's very first birth-day party!

We are so blessed... soon all of the family will arrive from Texas, and we are thrilled to show her off!

We just met with her pediatrician, and he was fabulous-- said he has no concerns about our little one and that she looks just GREAT! She is a VERY alert baby-- and has been wide awake pretty much all day, with the exception of about 2 hours.

More later. I am going to try to squeeze in a short nap while Eisley is sleeping... for now!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So.

Tomorrow is the big day.

If you happen to be awake at 7:30 a.m. (that's 6:30 a.m. for all of you Texans out there!) tomorrow morning, say a prayer for us. Say a prayer for Dr. Butler and his team that will be performing the c-section. Say a prayer for little Eisley and her big entrance into the world. And say a prayer for her parents-- who are about to figure out just what an adventure parenthood is sure to be.

We will try to post pictures as soon as we possibly can. But give us a little time to get settled into our room and get the pictures onto the computer and uploaded.

Whee!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Billy for President

I like Billy. Billy and I have known each other for more than 8 years now. We have been married for 4 and a half of those years. Sometimes I have trouble remembering life before Billy. Other times, it feels like I'm still getting to know him, and I wonder if I'll ever figure him out. He's pretty fabulous, you know.

This week is our last week of life as just the two of us. On Friday, there will be 3 in our little family. 4 if you count Riley the dog. Yes, let's say 4. Riley is a very important part of our lives and we are both possibly too much in love with our sweet dog. I mean, how could you NOT love this sweet face?



Back to Billy. This week, we've tried to have a little fun and relax and spend time together before our lives are forever changed. "Date week" has been very fun. Here are some things I like most about my husband. We'll start with the obvious:

He is hilarious
. I have to admit, that sometimes his "hilarity" is the thing that makes me insane. Much of the time, I don't get his jokes. Or I think they are ill-timed or just plain inappropriate. But I can't help but laugh on the inside anyway. I may roll my eyes about Billy's humor in the presence of our friends. But really? Without Billy's indescribable humor, he just wouldn't be Billy. He's VERY funny. And one of a kind. I quite honestly can't think of another person that has the same sense of humor as Billy. Or even close. I'm glad Billy is one of a kind.

He doesn't check his email... ever. I check my email obsessively. In fact, since I've been writing this particular post, I've checked my inbox a couple of times already. Billy checked HIS email last night (he had 72 messages in his inbox), which means he probably won't check it again for another couple of weeks. And when he checks his email, he doesn't usually even reply to the messages. That used to drive me crazy. But now, it's just a funny little thing I like about Billy. He doesn't keep up with his facebook, he only text messages people when they text him first. And he isn't at all interested in my new obsession-- Twitter. Billy instead prefers to have real conversations with people and prefers phone conversations to text messaging. This is a very good thing, and I appreciate that about him.

He's a great housemate! He cleans the house-- and not only is he very good at it, but he actually enjoys it. Usually, in the mornings before he goes to work, he likes to get at least one chore done. In fact, he could probably sleep 30 minutes longer every morning if he wanted to-- but he sticks to this schedule so that he has time to work in at least one household chore. I REALLY appreciate this, because I'm SO not a good housekeeper. I create more messes than I should, and though Billy sometimes complains about that, he just keeps on cleaning up after me anyway.

He's SUPER excited about becoming a dad. He's been beside himself with excitement for weeks/months now. It's delightful to watch him get so excited about the baby stuff. He had a great time putting together the baby furniture-- he finished that little project around 11:30 one night. And when he found out that I'd be putting the baby bedding on the crib that night, he refused to go to bed. He wanted to stay up and help me with it because he couldn't wait until the morning to see what it would look like. He can't wait to meet our little girl and find out what she will look like.

He's incredibly patient. Sure, he has his impatient, cranky moments. But seriously. He deserves an award for living with me. I never put things back where they belong-- at least not right away. I hardly ever know where my keys are. I forget to tell him things all of the time-- like, the fact that people are coming over for dinner or that I've made plans for us to go out with friends. I'm ridiculous. Billy is GREAT at just going with the flow!

He asks good questions. I can't really explain what that means. But he just asks good questions-- about political matters, theological issues, environmental issues, you name it. Things I would never think of asking. And they're always questions I can't answer. Which drives me crazy because he always wants to talk through them, and when I get to a point where I have no more answers, I want to end the conversation. Billy doesn't do that. He keeps wanting to talk about them, and though it's frustrating at the time, it's actually pretty darn good for me.

He often exclaims, "Oh, honey. I love you so much!" -- Yes. It's nice to hear that I am loved. And there's never a day when we don't say "I love you" to one another. But when Billy makes this particular exclamation, it's because he's just discovered to himself a new reason to love me. As though he's been reminded that life with me isn't boring, and I know that at that moment, he thinks I'm pretty fabulous.

Those are just a few of my favorite things about Billy. There are certainly more. But right now, I need to get back to work. It's my last day in the office for six whole weeks. I should probably try to accomplish a thing or two.

Later.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My brain has turned to Jell-O

Think back to the first day of school. Any grade. Any year. It seems there was always ONE teacher who made the comment, "Your brains must have all turned to Jell-O over the summer!"

I really like Jell-O (I like squishing it between my teeth). But I don't like it when my brain turns into it. And that is just what has happened to my brain this summer.

During the school year, the world of Academia keeps me sharp. But because I work as a Children's Pastor, and my summers are filled with Vacation Bible School, Children's Musicals, getting kids off to camp, etc., I don't do summer school. And this summer in particular, I've been so stinkin' tired (I'm blaming it on the fact that I've been growing a person), I haven't done any reading, other than a (very) small handful of pregnancy books.

So my brain? It's mush. I've had absolutely no profound thought lately. No original thought. No great realizations. Nothing exciting to write about, think about, ponder.

I'm bummed.

Yes, the baby is exciting. Yes, I think about the baby a lot!

But I feel like I'm completely asleep in all other areas of my life. I'm ready to wake up.

Not sure how that will all work out once this baby is born (9 days and counting!) and I'm physically exhausted. But I'm betting that somehow through the lessons I will learn through her, I'll come back to life.

And then there's always school in September. The best time of the year.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby Lawson Update

Sorry I haven't done much blogging lately. I really just don't have much to say, I suppose. No profound realizations have been made lately, and I just haven't had much I've felt like sharing.

But there have been a few new developments on the baby front, so I'll go ahead and get you caught up.

Last Thursday, I went to my regular doctor's appointment. Everything looked great with little baby's health. However, we discovered that our stubborn little princess is breeched-- she's butt-down instead of head-down, like she should be at this point. Because of her size and my size, there's just not much room in there, so the doctors aren't very hopeful that she'll flip on her own. She COULD flip on her own somehow, but I'm told there's only about a 15% chance of that happening.

Bummer. They told us we have two options-- we could go in for a procedure, called a version, where they would give me uterine-relaxing drugs, and they would try to flip her manually from the outside. Or we could go straight for a scheduled c-section delivery, assuming she doesn't flip on her own before then.

We met with the doctor that would do the version, should we go that route. On first pregnancies, the success rate for this procedure is only about 50%. There are also some (rare) risks involved, that could lead to an emergency c-section anyway, as a result of the procedure. Versions are typically much more successful with 2nd or 3rd pregnancies because there's usually a little more room to work with.

So... after much talk, prayer, deliberation, more prayer, and more talking... Billy and I have decided to opt out of doing the version, and to just go for the scheduled c-section. We were a little disappointed at first, but now we feel quite good about everything, and we are confident this is the best decision for our family and our little girl's entrance into the world.

So. Where does that leave us? Next week I go to the doctor again, where they'll do one last ultrasound to make sure she hasn't somehow miraculously turned around (as I type this, I can feel her little head up by my ribs), and if she hasn't, we'll proceed ahead with the c-section.

We tentatively have the delivery scheduled for Friday, August 1st (2 weeks from today) but we set that date before we were 100% certain of my doctor's availability. Obviously, if it turns out he isn't available that day, we'll have to pick a different day. But as I was leaving yesterday, my doc's nurse was taking my chart and going straight to put our little girls' birth on the books. I'll find out next week when I go back if she was able to secure that date (Yes, the waiting is killing me!).

So that's that. 2 weeks from today I could be a mom! And our little girl, who we have waited in great anticipation to meet, could finally be here. We are beside ourselves with excitement!

We appreciate your prayers these last 2 weeks of waiting and preparation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eisley's Room

I'm a little frustrated because my camera is a little older, and therefore lacking in the megapixel department-- so you can't see this as clearly as I'd like. But here's Eisley's crib-- all in place and dolled up. :) We are getting excited about her arrival, and the nursery is slowly coming together... the cute little nameplate was made by a long-time family friend of the Lawsons, Cheryl. We think it looks great in her room!



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nowhere Near Finished...

We are nowhere near finished with the nursery, but we are off to a great start. It's been painted, and the furniture has been put together. So, as promised, here are some pictures. Note: the furniture is currently just stuck in the middle of the room, and the room itself has yet to be arranged. That'll happen once we get the glider (this week) and have all the pieces we'll be working with. But here, you can get the general idea of the wall color and the direction we're headed...



Monday, July 7, 2008

Update on Life

Um...the creative juices are not flowing these days. I've really got nothing interesting to blog about. So I guess I'll give you guys back home a regular ol' update on the Lawsons.

Of course the big thing for us right now is the baby. We're one month and 1 day away (but who is counting?) from the due date. And folks, we know that August 8th is the latest possible date she'll arrive. Because of my gestational diabetes, my doctor won't let me go even one day past the due date (potential complications become a big factor in ges. diabetes patients once you hit the 40 week mark), so yes-- 1 month and 1 day at MOST is how much longer we have before our baby girl enters the world. I get butterflies in my stomach everytime I think about it. Please pray that she comes on her own before then-- a non-induced labor is generally a lot better than an induced labor. Either way, I know everything will be fine! I'd just rather her come on her own than to have to force her out!

So yes. One month away and we're both getting very anxious. And kind of tired of waiting! Many of our good friends have their babies now, and we're one of the very few couples we know that are still waiting. We babysat our little friend Evelyn last night (who is an adorable 10 week old) and Billy kept wanting to try out all of our baby stuff on Evelyn-- he put her in our swing, wanted to get out the boppy, and was certain that she needed to test out the plethora of other baby goodies that have overtaken our house. Billy LOVES all of the baby things we've accumulated and is excited to put them to use!

This week we painted the nursery (a beautiful shade of green) and tomorrow the crib and dresser arrive-- I can't wait! Because once THAT is in place, we can REALLY start putting her room together-- the bedding can go on the crib and things can be hung on the wall. And then you'll probably find me standing at the door of the room for hours on end, dreaming about its newest little occupant.

Here's a picture of the furniture we settled on. Obviously, this not what our nursery will look like (I wish!), but once we get the furniture set up in our house, I'll post pictures.



We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Texas-- and I mean, it was a whirlwind! I think we were actually on the road to and from Texas for a longer amount of time than we were actually IN the Lone Star State, but it was a good trip nonetheless-- it was great to see so many of you (though the visits with everyone were FAR too short. Yuck. I hate that). I got to attend my Uncle Steve's surprise 50th birthday party and see the Efurd clan in Tyler on Friday when we arrived. I got to spend Friday night hanging out with my mom and sister... while Billy, unfortunately, was knocked out by an awful stomach flu he contracted on Day 2 of our trip (That made for a fun drive). We were blessed with a WONDERFUL baby shower in Dallas on Saturday morning (great fun with so many people I love all in one place!) and a great family lunch after the shower with a lot of the Collins clan. We got to go to our friend Heather's wedding on Saturday night and dine at the reception with some wonderful old friends of ours. Sunday we got to attend Sunday School and church at our home church, which was too wonderful for words. For lunch, we got to see Jacob & Kristin and meet their brand new son, Henry. He's an absolute cutie. We spent Sunday afternoon with my brother, sister-in-law, and our fabulous niece and nephew. There's nothing sweeter than hearing 3 year-old Kayla say, "Aunt Kelly? I love you!" Billy picked up his new kayak, and Sunday night we hung with my dad and stepmom. Monday we stopped at the Efurd peach farm for a while, and had Pittsburg Hot Links for lunch (our favorite Texas treat). We stopped in Mt. Pleasant and hung out with my grandmother and sister for a couple of hours before hitting the road to Memphis (kayak on top of the car!) and then on to Kentucky on Tuesday. So much fun.

It sure was a bummer for us to have had so much fun in Texas and have to go straight to work on Wednesday! It's a good thing I actually like my job. Otherwise, it would have been torture.

While we were gone, our Riley-girl stayed with the Martins and hung out with her friend Bobby. Bobby and Riley are big buds and love each other quite a bit. I just have to share this beautiful picture that Carissa took of the dogs:



Aren't they cute?

As you know, this Friday was the 4th of July. We woke up to a heavy downpour of rain-- MAJOR bummer. But it turned out to be a great day after all. The rain meant that we would not be attending the Wilmore Parade (major bummer because this parade and the festivities that follow are my favorite things about Wilmore, KY). But the day turned out to be just splendid! We have such a wonderful family of friends here in Wilmore-- we spent the day with some of those friends. We had breakfast together, saw WALL-E (a GREAT movie!), went to a party/cookout, shot fireworks, and Billy got a lesson in how to use our sewing machine. And somewhere in there, I squeezed in a 2 hour nap. So the rain was a disappointment, but the day certainly wasn't.

I noticed a few days ago how many diabetes commercials there are on TV. I never noticed these commercials until I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Seriously. It's absurd. It seems that every other commercial on TV is for a blood glucose meter or other testing supplies or a once-daily pill that can help you manage your diabetes. There's the commercial about juvenile diabetes and how the One Touch Ultra Mini helps these kids have normal lives. And then there's the talking glucose meter. And of course there's the Liberty Medical Commercials. Out of control, people.

I've now gotten tot he "rambling" point in this post, so I'll go ahead and wrap it up. If someday I think of something profound to say, I'll be sure to let you know. Otherwise, check back for baby updates and pictures (soon to come!) of the nursery.

Blessings...
K

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Advice for Baby: Part II

In keeping with the theme of the previous post, I've decided to share with you MORE advice I've received for our baby girl. This time-- from kids of all ages, from the ministry we do in the government housing community of the town where I work. These kids are absolutely precious, and this is what they had to say...

- Feed her well
- Love your baby!
- Take care of your baby
- Don't let the baby sit on the toilet by herself
- Don't sit on your baby
- Don't leave your baby at home
- Never leave her in the cold winter or hot sun
- Take your baby to Six Flags
- Burp your baby with her mouth away from you
- Sing everyday to the baby
- Wear the same clothes as your baby-- including onesies
- Change your baby's diapers when they need it
- Feed your baby
- Take care of your baby every winter

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Advice for Baby

Yesterday was the last day of Vacation Bible School (see previous post-- it's been an awesome week!) and as a surprise "thank you" for me, the 3rd & 4th grade class wrote some letters to me, with their best advice for my soon-to-be-born baby girl. I wanted to share these with you (spelled exactly as the kids spelled everything) in hopes that, like me, you will laugh, smile, and be blessed!

"My advice for your baby":

- When she crys, give her a bottle. Or change her diaper.
- Get it a stuffed animal or a blankeet that it loves.
- have plenty of diapers
- give her good baby food. And fead her a lot of ice cream.
- You can keep a bottle of milk ready in the frige. Stay at the most 2 rooms away from the baby!
- Feed the baby veggies. Change its diper. If it's a girl, name it Sally Kaley.
- Only get it baby toys, get baby food, get a baby crib, get it a hi-chair
- You will need clothes, baby bed, baby room, dipers, and a stroller. Take your baby lots of places. Love your baby. Feed baby food.
- You should have it at Saint Joseph East. Over 1,000 wimen go there to have their baby. That's my advice. (Coincidentally, this IS where we'll be having the baby-- I thought it was very interesting that this child would be offering advice on a certain hospital!)
- Feed it candy!
- Don't shake the baby
- Eat your vechtables
- Tech it how to read.
- Take your babby to see grandma and grandpa. Burp it lots of times. Treat your babby very nice.
- Teach her how to roller skate and tell her about God.
- Allways burp it after feeding
- Teach her how to sing the ABCs and how to count to 10.
- Let her play out of a playpen so she can learn to crawl.
- Teach her how to skip rocks (I would do this, if I myself knew how!!)
- Hold her whenever she wants
- Bottle, crib, and pink pink pink!
- Teach her how to walk.
- Teich your baby to be nice.

Some good advice, here. :) All of these sweet mementos from VBS 2008 will definitely be finding their way into little girl's baby book!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vacation Bible School



In my job as a Children's Pastor, there are some weeks and seasons of the year that are busier than others. The absolute busiest week of the entire year is Vacation Bible School week. This week. This week I've been on a journey with more than 100 kids, learning about and discovering Jesus' miraculous power. We've been in the "Power Lab"-- learning that Jesus gives us the power to be thankful, brave, to serve others, to live forever, and to tell other people about God. It's been a great week.

The kids delight me. They are precious and fun and cute. They ask wonderful questions, and they offer great insights about Jesus. I love to worship with them each morning (with GREAT energy, I might add!) and I love to see them jumping and dancing around doing all of the silly motions to the songs. It is a joy and a challenge to share the gospel with kids in new and fresh ways. For some of them, I'll never know if our "efforts" this week have made an impact. But I am trusting the Holy Spirit to dwell among them and around them and continue to work in their lives.

It's wild to think about being here, on the eve of our last day of yet another VBS. This is my third VBS as the Children's Pastor of this church. The other day, I was thinking back to my first VBS experience here-- I was SO nervous. On Day 1, I was a nervous wreck! I was worried about all of the things that could go wrong and all of the things that would go wrong. I would call my mother-in-law every evening and discuss the bible story for the next day and talk about how to best present it.

This year, I still have had a certain nervousness each day... but of a different kind. Not really nervousness, but just an overwhelming awareness of the responsibility I have as the shepherd to this flock of children-- it's a big deal to tell others about Jesus. It's a big deal to represent him well. It's a big deal-- the words I share with these precious children of His.

It's been a super week! I'm grateful for another successful VBS experience. I must have given out and received 300 hugs this week. I'm sure at least 75 of the kids have patted my belly and asked if they can hold my baby girl when she gets here. And hopefully all of the kids have grown somehow in their thirst for more of God.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Classic Rock: Not so Classy

I have 1,000 other things I should be doing right now besides blogging. VBS work is in very full swing right now as it actually kicks off Monday morning. I've been at the church for some VERY long days this week in preparation and the weekend will offer no rest, either. But alas, when I'm busy, it's therapeutic to write. So here I am.

I don't like the radio. I hardly EVER listen to it. I don't like the commercials, and I can't stand most of the music that's out there right now. And then there's the DJs. Morning radio is the worst, as I get incredibly irritated by the mindless chatter offered by the morning hosts. I usually have the iPod plugged into the car, and that way, I am in control of what I listen to on my 25 minute drive to work or my (yikes) 30 minute drive to the doctors' office. The fact that I am going broke because of the amount of gasoline I am using up right now is a different blog for a different day.

Back to the topic at-hand.

Yesterday, the batteries died on the iPod mid-jam session. I don't have a car charger for it yet, so I had to go all day yesterday without it. And last night I forgot to charge it, so I am iPod-less today as well. Which forced me to listen to the radio. Yuck. Now, when I DO listen to the radio, I always tune in to a classic rock station. I love classic rock. Great tunes. And great guitar solos.

But what IS it about classic rock radio stations? There's just something offensive about the words the come out of the DJs mouths-- and the assumptions they make (and stereotypes they perpetuate) about the particular demographic they try to reach. I've been bothered by this before, but today I was especially bothered. I've never listened to a classic rock station without noticing the (not at all hidden) overtones of the objectification of women. There are countless ads for "ladies night" at the bars. And bikini contests... and I quote, "Ladies, you don't have to bare it all. You just have to wear it WELL!" This same ad to which I refer was for 1/2 price admission for men in the "service industries" to come and see. Oh, and of course there are the wet t-shirt contests.

Today I heard one of these classy radio guys say this (and I came into this mid-conversation, so I don't know what led up to this statement): I don't need the naked women I oogle to have a face. In fact, I prefer to just look at their body anyway. Who cares about their face?"

Well... that was enough for me. I changed the radio to the OTHER local classic rock station in town and jammed out to some Kansas. Until, of course, THEIR ads for "ladies night" came on and I just had to turn the whole thing off altogether.

Since when I listen to the radio, classic rock stations are all I tune in to, I may be making an unfair assumption about this genre of station. Do the other radio stations do this, too? CONSTANTLY, as it seems these classic rock stations do? I've just noticed that classic rock radio and lusting after a particular type of woman (who is most assuredly naked or scantily-clad) often seem to go hand-in-hand.

Sure. There are other issues to be discussed here, that I have not addressed. For example, what about the women who choose to be a part of such a culture? Or, what about the lyrics of music played on these radio stations? It's all sending the same message. I actually happen to disagree. Not all the songs getting radio play objectify women. Or what about the culture and time during which these songs were written? Maybe they're just playing into that. Maybe so. Maybe there are other things I'm not seeing here.

But I do know one thing-- I'm pretty sure I won't forget to charge my iPod anymore.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I take it back!

In my previous post, where I wrote lovingly about the cicadas that have invaded our yard, I might have made a mistake. I wrote one tiny sentence that I wish I could take back.

I was talking about how the cicadas have taken over the tree in our front yard. And then I said this about our tree: I wish it would get struck by lightning.

Well, our tree did not get struck by lightning. But last night, in a terrible storm, our pretty little tree snapped. Blew over. It's gone. It is a sad day for us here at home. There apparently used to be TWO trees in our front yard, but the other one DID get struck by lightning some time before we moved in. And now, our one and only source of shade at our house is gone. It really was a lovely tree-- you know, when it wasn't infested with cicadas.

Here are a couple of pictures of what we woke to this morning.



Saturday, June 7, 2008

I'm Scared for My Life

Here in Kentucky, it is cicada season. Think of those plagues of locusts that you've read about in the Old Testament. The Year of the Cicada here in Wilmore is an actual representation of what I've often pictured the plagues of locusts being like.

This morning I left my house and had to make a mad dash for my car so that they wouldn't attach themselves to me. Seriously. One cicada literally CHASED me to my car. I think Alfred Hitchcock could have made a great movie about this. Forget about birds. "The Cicadas" would have made for a much better film. They're gross. They're in large numbers. They literally fall from the sky. And they scream. Right now I'm all closed up in my house with the TV on. I can hear the cicadas screaming in my front yard. It's insane.

My friend Lindsay did some research on these little creatures. Their story is below. But before you get to the story, I'll include a photo of these critters so that you can picture them as you read about them.



These cicadas do not emerge every year, apparently. They emerge in 13 to 17 year cycles- When they do emerge, it is in huge numbers. They are sometimes called "17 Year Locusts". Although, they are not related to locusts.

While the Cicada life span may be as long as 17 years, they spend almost all of their lives underground. Cicada nymphs emerge from the ground in periodic cycles. They climb up trees and quickly shed their skins(molt). An adult, flying cicada emerges. The adult Cicadas' entire purpose in life is to mate and produce offspring. You can hear the males' mating "song" from early morning to nightfall. In heavily infested areas, the noise can be quite disturbing. About five to ten days after mating, the female lands on twigs of deciduous trees, cuts slits in them, and lays her eggs in the slit.

Adults do not eat. Rather, damage to trees is caused by the adult female as she cuts slices into twigs to lay her eggs. Shortly after mating, the male Cicada dies.

The eggs hatch, producing tiny nymphs that fall to the ground. These nymphs burrow into the soil and feast on underground roots. They remain there for years, slowly growing, until their periodic cycle calls them to emerge again as adults.

Gross, right? Well, apparently, we have the perfect cicada tree in our front yard. I wish it would get struck by lightning. Here is a photo that Billy just took of the trunk of the tree in our front yard. If you don't see me for a few days, or notice that I haven't emerged from my house, you now know why. I'm in hiding. Until every last cicada is gone. 17 years from now, I won't be living in Kentucky. So I figure if I survive this summer, we're in good shape.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baby Update

Well, my world is consumed with thoughts of all things "baby" right now. So I apologize for the lack of posts on other topics lately. But here's another update...

I'm almost 31 weeks-- so we've got 9 or so weeks left! I can hardly believe we are in the single-digit countdown mode.

I went last Wednesday to meet with the dietitian and diabetes consultant to get a diet plan for my gestational diabetes and to learn how to check my blood sugar, etc. So I've had one week of checking my blood sugar several times a day. It hasn't been a good week. My blood sugar levels have been all over the place, even though I've been very closely following my suggested diet and I've really been counting my carbohydrate intake. But alas, there are more factors that contribute to my blood sugar levels besides carbs-- stress level, activity level, pregnancy hormones, etc. And some things that are just beyond my control.

I went to the doctor yesterday and showed him the logbook I have been keeping. He was extremely encouraging. Though my levels have not been great, he was just very affirming and ended up giving me a prescription of a once-daily pill that should help tighten up the numbers some. It's not insulin-- insulin would be the next step, should this pill not help. As I sat in the exam room, crying and feeling frustrated, my doctor and his nurse were just GREAT. It made me feel very good about the choice I have made in choosing this particular doctor. He's personable, friendly, and very open about his Christian faith. He has some good things to say.

After my appointment yesterday, I met Billy for dinner (he couldn't come to the appointment because of his work schedule, but my friend Carissa actually went with me, and we also ran into Jeremiah & Lindsay there, who had an appointment at the same time).

After dinner, Billy and I went to our first childbirth class at the hospital! It was a little overwhelming, but certainly informative and actually kind of fun. We met several other expecting couples that were young and friendly and fun. And we got to go on a tour of the maternity wing of the hospital-- I was very impressed with the facility. I don't have many labor halls to compare this to, as I have only visited friends and family in other hospitals just a few times. But our hospital is very nice-- the delivery rooms seem very homey and comfortable and spacious. The postpartum rooms (where we'll stay for however long we are in the hospital) are also homey feeling and equipped with wireless internet-- so no worries-- we'll be able to post pictures of our baby girl as soon as she arrives.

And while we wait for her arrival-- there are many things yet to be done. We've got to paint the nursery and get furniture. We've got a baby shower at our church on June 22nd and one in Texas on the 28th of June. And one here in Wilmore in July. We have already been incredibly blessed with so many wonderful gifts. We are overwhelmed and blessed by how many people are taking part in the excitement of our little girl's coming arrival into the world and into our family. I know these weeks are sure to fly by-- I'll try to keep you all posted.

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thought for the Day

On a regular basis, I read the God's Politics blog (link can be found to the right). I especially appreciated one of the recent "Word for the Day" thoughts posted there. I wanted to share it with you.

To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of creation. When we do it knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, destructively, it is a desecration.

- Wendell Berry
The Gift of Good Land

Wendell Berry was a very smart guy. If you haven't read any of his works, you should. I've read very little myself, but he's at the top of my list of people to read.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm all metered up!

Well. I went today to meet with the diabetes consultant and with the nutritionist. I have got some very specific guidelines for what I can and cannot eat. And I've got my oh-so-cool meter and test strips for all those times I'll be pricking my finger and testing my glucose levels throughout the day.

This is going to be fun. Okay, not fun. But it WILL be an adventure.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but this whole thing seems completely doable. It'll just take some getting used to.

In other news, I have discovered three new loves over the weekend:

1. The movie Iron Man. I did NOT want to see this movie, but Billy and a friend both really wanted to see it, so I figured, "Why not. Maybe it'll be entertaining." Turns out, it was more than mildly entertaining. It was GREAT! Robert Downey, Jr was excellent and unlike many superhero movies, the script/dialogue wasn't overly cheesy.

2. Disc Golf. I have played before, but Billy and I played twice over the weekend. I'm completely awful at this game, but it is fun, nonetheless. The game became MORE fun once we actually purchased regulation disc golf discs instead of trying to play with regular frisbees. There's a great 9-hole course in Wilmore, and Riley likes to tag along with us. There are some other parks nearby we may be headed to soon.

3. The TV show Veronica Mars. Our college friend James was in town visiting for the weekend, and he along with our friends the Merrifields convince Billy and me that we really needed to watch this show. The show ran on the WB I think, and only aired for 3 seasons. This is unfortunate. Because it is GREAT! The Merrifields loaned us Season 1 on Friday. In just 2 days we have watched half of the season. And were we at home more or if we didn't have jobs to go to during the day, I am CERTAIN we would have already finished Season 1 by now.

Later, friends!