Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Relief, and Reflections on 2008

Before I get to my year-end recap, I wanted to offer a hallelujah for a MUCH better afternoon on Tuesday.

Behold, the evidence:

Entertaining himself:
A tidy pantry:

I even had half a second to make cookies:

And just think? I get to do it all over again today! (I'm only being a little sarcastic, I promise.)
And now, back to my already-written reflection on 2008:

What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? moved away from home, for reasons other than going to college

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did not make any for 2008, but there are some on the docket for 2009.

Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Kristen, Nikki, Mandie, Stacy, Stephanie...and all the rest of my SAL gals, too.

Did anyone close to you die? My Grandpa Beamer. He was a GOOD man, in the truest sense of the word.

What countries did you visit? Stayed planted here on American soil.

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A healthy pregnancy.

What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? June 29, when we learned of Daina's successful IVF; August 22, when my dear friend Daniel was married; October 19, the knowledge and loss of our twins; November 7, closing on our TN home; December 14, Seth's first birthday and first real steps; and December 15, my last day of work.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Nursing Seth for 9 months, 1 week, and 5 days.

What was your biggest failure? Failure is such a harsh word...I didn't lose all of the weight that I wanted to after my miscarriage in October.

Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes.

What was the best thing you bought? Is it pathetic that I'm really happy about my $3 decor pumpkins from Target? But seriously, the best thing is our new home in Tennessee.

Whose behavior merited celebration? I really proud of how well Jim handles and orchestrated our move to TN. He has done so well in making the transition as smooth for me as possible, even though I was left behind in OH with Seth for so long.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I'll go with a not-so-personal response to this one, and choose the media frenzy over Caylee Anthony's disappearance.

Where did most of your money go? Let's see...we had a baby, bought a car, built a deck, and bought a house. I'm not sure which of those trumps the others.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Our vacations to California and Florida, spending time with Daina, and finally moving as a WHOLE family into our new home in TN.

What song will always remind you of 2008? International Harvester by Craig Morgan. It was in the Top 20 Country Countdown in the weeks following Seth's birth, and every Saturday morning, Jim would dance and sing along to this music video with Seth.

Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? a) neither happier nor sadder, but I'm definitely more awake!; b) thinner, considering I was 2 weeks postpartum this time last year; and c) richer, no thanks to our investments, though

What do you wish you’d done more of? spent more time corresponding with friends

What do you wish you’d done less of? emotional eating

How did you spend Christmas? St. Augustine with lots of family. It was a full house with Andrew home from NC, Grandma up from Nakomis with Tucker, Adam and Taylor, Mom and Greg and Bailey, and Jim, Seth, and I. And a partridge in a pear tree. ;)

Did you fall in love in 2008? Only more so with my husband.

What was your favorite TV program? One Tree Hill. Love. It. Can't wait til it's back on January 5.

What was the best book you read? I think that the only book I read was Jodi Picoult's Second Glance, which was really enjoyable.

What was your favorite film this year? The Dark Knight was the only movie I saw in the theater; considering I saw it twice, I say it gets my "favorite" vote.

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? nothing exciting this year, though big changes were on the horizon. I turned 28.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? NOT losing our twins in October

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? transitional -- from pregnant to not; and from working mom to not.

What kept you sane? friends, the blog world, my mother-in-law, and my boys.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? ehhh...Elmo? my heroes are real people like Sara.

What political issue stirred you the most? I won't go as far to pick on specific issue, but seeing Obama behind the "Office of the President Elect" podium stirred up some pretty powerful emotions.

Who did you miss? I missed having my paternal grandmother around to get to know Seth.

Who was the best new person you met? Oh, this is hard. "Met" as in "met in person," then Diana, hands down. But "met" as in "made the acquaintance of," then it's a tie between Stacy and Sarah.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. I really CAN do what I put my mind to; if I can push through 10 months of exclusive pumping, I can do anything.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "I'm a little bit of chicken fried..." This song by the Zac Brown band describes the kind of family life I want to have with my boys.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I've actually been auto posting for the last week or so, with the exception of our day after Christmas traveling recap, but so many of you are inquiring via comments, Facebook, and email about how we are doing with the move, unpacking, etc., I thought I'd update you.

I was determined to put forth a smiley, all-is-well attitude no matter what. Not so much out of pride, but because I knew some rough days were ahead and that when they passed, I didn't want to look back on a bunch of whiny blog posts.

But, honesty prevails. This is hard.

I want to snap my fingers ala Mary Poppins and have my staples fly into the pantry and clothes fly onto hangers with the ease that Jane and Michael's bedroom straightened itself. But I can't; I have to do it the old fashioned way. Which would be fine, if I didn't have a tearful 20 lbs. clinging to my jeans (my new jeans, I might add, that I ripped the fabric of already. Boo.). Seth is not adjusting well to the new house. I'm not sure if it's because it looks like a tornado when through it, and the world's newest walker is fed up with traversing around boxes. Maybe he hates the Picnic green on his nursery walls. Maybe he misses Sara. (I sure do.) Maybe it's those darn one year molars that need to just break through already. So, as he clings and cries and, heaven help me, bites his way through the day, I pray for patience and choke back my own tears. Bedtime always comes.

Speaking of bedtime....Jim is doing year-end warehouse inventory this week, which means he is waking up at 5:15 am, and is gone until 6:30 pm. Which would be okay, expect that makes him exhausted, and he is asleep on the couch at 8, 8:30. =( I don't begrudge him the rest; I know he needs it. But during these first days of welcome-to-Tennessee, stay-at-home, and finally-together-againness, it would be nice to have some us time.

I know that Wednesday night will come, and inventory will be over, and we'll have a four day weekend; Seth's teeth will cut, he'll grow accustomed to his paint, and he'll learn to move around the boxes; and my pasta and chicken broth and Oxfords and hoodies will find way to their proper places, and all will be right with the world and well with my soul.

But for right now...honest blogging prevails: this is hard.

BlissDom '09

Merry Christmas to me!

get-your-bliss-on Badges

My father gifted me with early registration to BlissDom '09. I can't begin to describe how excited I am about this. Just as I felt back in the spring of 2008 that big changes were on the horizon for Jim and me (that we saw come to fruition with our move to Nashville), I am again feeling that there are great things in store for me that accompany this new chapter of my life as wife, mother, and homemaker.

I have read some of the most godly, talented, witty women in the blogosphere, and I'm so excited that I'm going to hear many of them as keynote speakers. I'm even more excited that I'm going to meet some of the other bloggers that I've been reading.

So, no doubt that you'll be hearing more about BlissDom '09 as February approaches, and after the conference, too.

Thanks, Dad. You get it, more than most, how much these Internet "connections" mean, and I love you for supporting BOTH of my dreams -- writing and relations.

Monday, December 29, 2008


If I think about it, I can remember feeling irritated with friends who moved away from me and seemingly disappeared from planet earth the second I was out of the rear view mirror.

Now I get it.

I would have sworn up and down that this wouldn't happen to me, but it has. Somewhere in the transfer from one chapter of life to the next, my attention and focus has shifted. Already, all the things that I have "meant to do" haven't happened, and frankly, I don't know if they will.

So, while I'm thinking of it:

Melissa, congrats on the new house. I hope you enjoy making your new home for Mike and Brody as much as I plan to enjoy making one for Jim and Seth.

Sara, I can't even think about how much I miss seeing you each day. You were my greatest gift in 2008.

Kim, if and when the time comes to find the AIG umbrella policy, I think I gave it to Chris at some point before I left. If she doesn't have it, I'm sorry, it's lost. No, really. It's lost. I don't know where it is. Shh. Don't tell Kyle, just order another copy from Dave.

Kristen, I'm so bummed I never got to see your new house.

Steph, I'm really bummed I'm not going to be around to watch Aaron grow up. Get the web page up and running.

Sara and, and babies, and life notwithstanding, shame on us for not making more time for each other when we lived in the same ZIP code. (Okay, not technically, but you know what I mean.)

Abby, wanna do lunch next week? One-way tickets to Nashville are in the $60 range right now. ;)

Heidi and Wendy...what is there even to say? Only a miracle will make walking into our new church home, wherever that will end up being, as sweet as walking into Westgate and handing over Seth to you.

I could go on all day, listing the people I'm already missing, but my point was mostly to let any and all of you know that even if I fall "out of touch" in the coming weeks and months as we focus on getting acclimated to Tennessee, you are never far from my mind and always in my heart.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh, sweet heavens!

My dear friend Sara uses this phrase often, and it's one of the things about her I find most endearing. That, and the fact that she's a fantastic cook and the supermom of three wild childs. (I know, it's children. It didn't rhyme as well.)

Anyways. "Oh, sweet heavens!" should have been the phrase running through my head on Friday as Jim, Seth and I tried to get home from Jacksonville to Toledo. It wasn't. I don't think there are words to describe the nightmare that was air travel on December 26. At least if you were trying to fly through Atlanta.

After having our 11:30 am flight delayed 90 minutes, we boarded the plane, only to sit on the tarmac for a sweet forever once our pilot was informed all outbound and inbound Atlanta flights were grounded due to fog. We didn't even pull away from the gate until almost 3:00 pm (well after when our flight out of Atlanta was supposed to have left). By the time we were airborne, Seth had peed through all but 2 diapers I had in the diaper bag. Uh oh.

We landed in Atlanta at 4:02, and were delighted see that we'd been rebooked to Detroit at ... 4:30. So, we ran, literally, stroller on the escalator and all, from gate B18 to A04 (which, if you are familiar with the Atlanta airport, you know isn't a quick jaunt). We made it, but keep in mind that left no time for a diaper change and no time for dinner. Ugh.

Oh yeah. The other little detail? Jim was SICK. Sick like have-to-clean-up-the-wall-behind-the-toilet sick, since 5 pm Christmas Eve until.....well, he had a salad for lunch on Saturday. So, I was pretty much flying solo with Seth, and stroller, and a sick hubby in tow.

Needless to say, when we landed in Detroit, and were told there was a plane at our gate, and that we -- you guessed it -- were going to sit on the tarmac, again, for an indeterminate amount of time, again, I just cried right along with Seth.

But about 7:30 (miraculously, only 3 hours after we were originally scheduled to land), we made it to Detroit baggage claim, where -- hallelujah! -- we actually found our luggage. We were home and in bed by 10:00.

I have to say, after we make the 7 hour drive to Nashville tomorrow, I'm going to stand in my living room, click my heels three times, murmur "there's no place like home," and stay put for a very, very long time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

I wanna talk about me

If you're familiar with country music, you probably got the gist of my post title; if you're not, you just think I'm shallow now. ;)
I was all set to have a bunch of witty, informative, thought-provoking posts drafted to auto post while I was on vacation.
Yeah. Not gonna happen.
So, sorry, guys. Those of you still faithfully reading, your stuck with a meme. I'll try to post at least once from Florida to spare you from looking at this for the nest week and a half. But no promises.
50 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now? the sweater I kept on the back of my chair at work; extra paper plates for Seth's party; an umbrella stroller; personnel files from work; and a car set base

2. What's your favorite curse word?I don't curse, but sometimes words I don't use creep into my head.

3. Name 3 people who made you smile today? Seth, my mother-in-law, and my grandpa

4. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? getting off the turnpike on the way to my grandparents house.

5. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? dropping my car off at the body shop. Had a little fender bender with the back of Dad's Edge; he wasn't all that used to me being in the driveway behind him. Oops.

6. What will you be doing 3 hours from now? sleeping

7. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope

8. What is the last thing you said aloud? "good night"

9. What is the best ice cream flavor? Chocolate Raspberry Truffle from Handel's

10. What was the last thing you had to drink? Hazelnut decaf coffee with sugar and French Vanilla creamer. Mmm.

11. What are you wearing right now? funky aqua pajama bottoms and a tank top

12. What was the last thing you ate? A peanut butter buckeye

13. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? Not for me, but I bought some tee shirts for Seth

14. When was the last time you ran? Holy cow...I have no idea.

15. What's the last sporting event you watched? Steelers vs. Cowboys, last Sunday

16. Who is the last person you emailed? my (sniff, sniff) former supervisor, Kim

17. Ever go camping? Yep, last time was in California in 2004; I can't wait to do it as a family soon

18. Do you have a tan? No, it's December. But maybe I'll work on that in Florida.

19. Do you drink your soda from a straw? Only at fast food places; otherwise I have no objections to a can.

20 What did your last IM say? It was probably a Facebook instant message with Jerry about....well, whatever it was we were talking about after he said, "I didn't know you could IM on Facebook."

21. Are you someone's best friend? Yes.

22. Flying to Florida with Seth. Lord, help me!

23. Where is your mom right now? I'm guessing she's asleep.

24. Look to your left, what do you see? my bathroom floor with the rug flipped up from Seth's bath

25. What color is your watch? Sterling sliver, or black leather, depending on the day

26. What do you think of when you think of Australia? Nicole Kidman and Russel Crowe.

27. Would you consider plastic surgery? Nah

28. What is your birthstone? sapphire

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive-thru? usually in

30. How many kids do you want?4

31. Do you have a dog? not yet; waiting for the right time to get a Boston terrier

32. Last person you talked to on the phone? Jim

33. Have you met anyone famous? No one I think other people would consider famous

34. Any plans today? Waiting to transfer clothes from the washer to dryer and need to pick out jewelry to take on vacation. Exciting stuff, I know; you can hardly contain yourself!

35. How many states have you lived in? Three: Ohio, Florida, Tennessee.

36. Ever go to college? Yep; undergrad and graduate school.

37. Where are you right now? on the floor outside my bedroom at my parents house

38. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? post miscarriage weight that seems to be multiplying daily. Seriously, I'm tempted to ask Dr. G is he is SURE he got everything out. =(

39. Last song listened to? It was something Steven Curtis Chapman on Dad's satellite radio

40. Are you allergic to anything? shellfish, sulfa drugs, and Imitrex

41. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? black boots

42. Are you jealous of anyone? of course; isn't everyone? Seriously? If we were being honest? Doesn't everyone battle envy? Okay, maybe it's just me; but the answer is still yes.

43. Is anyone jealous of you? I doubt it!

44. What time is it? 10:33 PM I thought this meme was supposed to be about ME?

45. Do any of your friends have children? yes, most of them at this point.

46. Do you eat healthy? Not healthy enough. That's a major goal for 2009.

47. What do you usually do during the day? well, up until earlier this week, it was insurance related; as of next week, it's mommy-ing full time. I'm not sure what that really entails yet!

48. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? If not "hello," then "hi," or "hey."

49. How did you get your scars? Rusty tire cover on a bike (left hand); hernia surgery; chicken pox (forehead); slipping and sliding under a dishwasher (ankle); mole removal (shoulder and hip), and C-section.

50. How old will you be turning on your next birthday? 29. No, really. 29. =)

originally written on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Claus has come to our town

And Seth actually like him.

Here are a few pictures my sister-in-law was able to get while we prepped him for his "professional" shots.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Planes and poop

Breakfast is about to be on (sausage and blueberry pancakes -- yum!), so I have just a minute, but, if you've had just a minute to pop over here, I've got two things to share and ask you to join me in prayer over.

One, Seth has been having a hard time adjusting to Florida. Teething appears to be the culprit, but it's making him whiny, clingy, and poopy. His dirty diaper ratio is up about 300% (that's a LOT of stinkyness, people), and he's starting to get dehydrated. So please pray that he plateaus soon and gets back to normal.

And two, Jim is scheduled to fly out of Detroit tonight at 7. I haven't been keeping super close tabs on the weather in Ohio/Michigan, but I know it's not great. I just want him to travel safely and be able to join us soon.

So, Kendra and all the rest of you faithful prayer warrior/readers, please lift up these two things. It is, after all, the season of miracles. ;)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Survivor: DTW - ATL - JAX

The trip went better than I could ever expected.

Well, except for sitting on the tarmac in Detroit for over an hour while they deiced the plane.

Or for getting to Atlanta in the heat of the lunch hour.

Or for the fact that I was wearing fleece when we landed in 81-degree Jacksonville.

Except for all that, it was a breeze.

Oh, I kid. I mean, all those things are true, but I was just trying to sound dramatic. Really, the trip made for a long day, but so many things happened along the way to make my life easier.

The lines for Delta air were a fraction of the length of the Northwest lines, so check in wasn't a hassle. Even though they had to search my bag and ask a gazillion questions about the inner workings of Dr. Brown's bottle, they were really nice about the whole process. And on both of my flights, I had an older, grandmotherly women next to me who was more than happy to hold and play with and entertain Seth.

And once we finally arrived in St. Augustine, we were greeted with love and hugs that had been stored up for 6+ months.

And after a good night's sleep (through the night, in a new place - yea!), we are up, fed, and ready to enjoy the day.

Hope you are all enjoying the company of those you love today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leavin' on a jet plane

Hey, interpeeps!

As you read this, I'm most likely on a plane or in an airport. Yea! Seth and I are headed to St. Augustine Thursday morning to spend the holidays with Nonna and Grandpa, Uncle Adam and Aunt Taylor, Uncle Andrew and Preston, GiGi Beamer, Tucker, Callie, Bailey...and a partridge in a pear tree!

Jim will join us late Sunday night, after he watches (live!) the Steelers whomp on the Titans...or visa versa, I guess. It should be a good game. Go Pittsburgh!

So, the bags are checked, Seth has been Benadryl-ed (so sue me -- the poor thing is teething; of course I knocked him out!), and I'm ready to hit the beaches. Seriously, weather reports are calling for temps in the high 70's while were in Florida! (I'm not complaining, but I will say that the news of heat threw a monkey wrench into my packing plans! Like I had anything summer clothes on hand for Seth!)

I've set some things to auto-post while I'm on vacation, so please don't stop stopping by! We're back in Ohio on the 26-27, and then home-sweet-Tennessee-home for good on the 28th. (Then, yes, Michele, I'll post pics of the house! Patience, patience!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still partyin'

With our dear friends Doug and Sara and their three.
Micah, oh, Micah, it's a good thing I love put the balloons down!
All little boys love balloons, apparently:
Ooh, cake!
This is all mine, right?

Santa Baby.


Winding down

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chapter Closed

Today is the last day of my insurance career.


How am I feeling about that? don't know.

I'm excited about finally being with my husband -- in the same house, same city, same time zone. I'm eager to flex my muscle at being home with Seth. For either of those things to happen, I have to give up my 9-5 (or rather, 8-4:30).

But, I have a little bit of nostalgia pulling on the heartstrings right now. I wasn't sure what to expect when I took this position in April of '04. But, it turns out, I'm was really good at what I did. I gained the respect of my coworkers and clients; I earned company awards; I was at the top of my game. And it was a great place to be. So to walk away from that does sting, just a little.

Not to mention that I've gone through some pretty major life changes while I've held this position. My corporate login will always contain my maiden name, because I was still single when I started the job.

Actually, that reminds me of a funny (albeit unprofessional) memory from my first day on the job. Allow me to digress for a moment:

I was newly engaged to Jim when I took this position. I was still in that I-don't-want-anything-to-get-on-my-shiny-new-ring stage. (Huh, what's that? I don't hardly remember...let me wipe the diaper cream off my wedding band to see if it jogs my memory...) Anyway, I was so concerned about looking the part for my first day that I forgot to put my ring back on after I finished styling my hair. I was almost to the office when I realized this. So... Ahem. I hate to admit this....But I called my dad, and asked if he'd retrieve my ring from the bathroom counter and bring it to my downtown office.

So, as I'm sitting in my VP's office about 8:30, getting my introductory paperwork completed, here he comes, strolling in. (I suppose I should explain this little detail -- my dad is an executive for one of my company's clients, so he kind of had an "in." He doesn't make a habit out of strolling into isurance agencies like he owns the place.) So, I introduced him to my supervisor and VP, and he gave me my ring, and we all got back to business. Looking back, I can't believe I had the gall to do that....but it makes me smile!

So, as I was saying. (I know, I know, you're like, "is she still talking?")

Stages. Single; newlywed; newlywed with unemployed husband; promotion; first home; promotion; miscarriage; high risk pregnancy; motherhood 101; promotion; miscarriage; and relocation to Tennessee. Wow! What a journey these last 4 years have been!

So maybe that gives a little credence to why I'm a little bit hesitant to walk away from this...not because I LOVE my job that much (though 95% of the time, I really do enjoy it), but because it's been a big part of my "adult" life, and it is blissfully familiar. Oh, how I do love to cling to all that is comfortable and familiar!!

But it's time to move on. I know that, and I'll embrace it.

So, starting tomorrow, I don't have to be anywhere at 8:00. I do have to be somewhere at noon: the day spa. Here's to the classic 180! Don't worry, this won't be the norm -- though I'd be the first to trade meeting with an underwriter for a mani-pedi. But alas, this is a one-time deal; I'm merely using up an expiring gift certificate (which, fittingly enough, was a baby shower gift from my coworkers!).

Hey -- if I am going to start a brand new chapter of my life, I may as well do it with a great haircut and tidy eyebrows!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

366 - A year plus with our son

Dear Seth,

When Daddy and I were married, and began dreaming of the children we would be blessed with, never could we have imagined a blessing such as you.

You are independent.

From the eve of your birth, you let us all know you would like to do things your way, and that you would also exercise your right to change your mind.

But, as the clock rolled from 6:05 to 6:06 pm, and Dr. Gibbs pulled you from my womb, your independence was eternally forged with ours, and we became a family of three.

You are a legacy.

We chose your name, Seth, so that you would know always that you are a boy already touched by God. Seth was the name that Adam and Eve gave to their third son after their son Cain killed their son Abel (we'll go over that story in Sunday School). Seth was the son God gave them to restore their family after years of sadness and sin.

Our family, on all sides, has seen its share of both of these things. And I'm sure our family (you, Daddy, and me), will, too. But we have an advantage that the generations before you did not -- we know a heavenly Father who is with us every step of the way. And we trust that as you begin a new generation, you will grow into an upstanding man who will create a true legacy of greatness.

You are joyful.

You were smiling at Auntie Heidi in this picture, and you were just 11 weeks old. From very early on, you showed everyone who met you a sweet, gentle, happy, content spirit. As you grew, we learned to act quickly when you became fussy or upset -- it was so very rare, we knew your tears meant something was really wrong.

I pray you always stay so sweet, Seth. Life can be tough, little one. But is so much easier to swallow with a spoonful of "sugar," and it seems like you've got plenty, with some to spare.

You are content.

I know, I know. Mothers everywhere loathe me for this one reason: you are an exceptional sleeper. By the time I had to return to work when you were only eight weeks old, you were sleeping, for the most part, through the night. You don't realize -- and being a boy, you may never -- how big of a deal this is, and how much easier you have made our lives because of your ability to rest well.

May you always have a peace in your heart that allows you to pillow your head at night and sleep sweet dreams.

You are a friend.

This is you and Brady-boy, your first BFF. You two are a riot! You love Brady...and, really, you love pretty much everyone you meet. You are neither a mama's boy, nor a daddy's boy; you'll go to almost anyone who smiles at you, and I love that.

May you always be a sweet spirit who sees the best in everyone and loves to make others smile. I pray that you are a friend to the friend-less, and a loyal companion to all who choose to journey life's road with you.

You are unique.

When Uncle Daniel saw this picture of you, he said "This is my kinda boy. That's how we do it! I hope he's always unique and inspiring and creative in his approach." May you always have that je ne sais quoi about you that makes people take notice -- not so that they applaud you, sweet boy, but so that you can point them to the One who made you so great!

You are beautiful.

Let's just call a spade a spade, dude. You're a stud muffin. You are the best blend of your mommy and daddy (though I'm still waiting for you to get Daddy's curls!), and you are going to be a heart-breaker someday.

You are active.

Diaper changing isn't the easiest thing to do, when you won't hold still long enough to fasten the diaper tabs. You roll, you crawl, you bounce, you do whatever it takes to get where you want to go. We love that! We love that you are so determined and driven to go places. You are going to go to BIG places as you, grow, Seth! Keep on keepin' on!

You are all-out.

Oh my. You and the stairs. There was not an ounce of hesitation on your part the day you decided to conquer the stairs. And it wasn't just one. From the get go, you were all or nothing, going all the way to the top (in search of your bath, I know!). And you are the same way coming down. Even though your small-in-stature size makes it hard for you to scoot back down blindly, you are confident in the placement of your feet.

I trust that you will seek the wisdom and guidance of your Father as you make decisions as you grow, but that you will always have this boldness to you as you march through life. Go get 'em, buddy!

You are musical.

You sing in the shower, you sing in the tub, you sing in the just love your music. You have always bebopped to the beat, no matter in the living room or in church. As soon as a melody or a beat catches your attention -- you bust out a move. Get down with your bad self, dude!

I hope that this love of music continues. Whether you learn to play the piano like mommy or the trumpet like daddy...or whether you decide to move to the beat of an entirely different drum altogether, we'll sing your tune.

You are brave.

You didn't like the pumpkin patch at first. I'm not sure if it was the cold air, the wind, or being surrounded by things you'd never seen before, but you didn't throw a fit. You just held onto mommy and looked around until you had a handle on things.

And then you had a blast! I love that even at 9 months, you knew to trust that we wouldn't knowingly put you in a not-so-hot situation and that we only want the best for you. We promise, Seth, we'll always try to make the decisions that are in your best interest.

You are fun.

Enough said. You make us laugh and bring so much joy to our home. You are really starting to get a distinctive personality, and you are a riot! I hope that you always feel that it's better to smile than frown, to laugh than to whine. A smile looks so good on you! Keep us laughing, baby boy!

You are ONE.

Happy birthday, little one. We love you, and we are so blessed to be your mommy and daddy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I recently shared my heart on an anonymous Beth Moore survey about self esteem. One of the things that really chips away at my self-esteem is my relationship with women. Specifically, girlfriends. Thankfully, I now have photographs like these to keep things in perspective for me:

At my shower, November 2007.

At Seth's party, December 2008

But, all those gals in those two pictures? They live in Ohio. And in a week, I will live in Tennessee. And I'm all for long-distance relationships, thanks to Blogger, AOL, and FaceBook.

Still, I have been praying HARD for a special friend to be put in my path as we move to Tennessee. And I started to get my hopes up as I realized just how many Nashville bloggers were out there. But the more I read, the more I began to see that the majority of Nashville bloggers (that I read) live south of the city...and we are north. And to live on opposite sides of the city may as well put you on opposite sides of the state, for all the practicality that offers a friendship.

So, when Christy at Between Here and Home visited my blog recently, and mentioned that her sister, also a blogger, lived in Nashville, I didn't think much of it. But then I actually went to visit her sister's blog, and found something interesting.

Sarah? At Nesting in Pleasant View? She's a NORTH Nashville blogger, y'all. A north Nashville blogger who lives pretty darn close to our new home.

Now, I know proximity means nothing if you don't like each other or have anything in common. But, so far, so good. Sarah and I have been emailing, and like each other's cyber-personalities, and the list of things we have in common is uncanny.

The least of which is this:
This ornament is on Sarah's Christmas tree. She said, "This Partridge in a Pear Tree ornament has hung on our tree since I was a baby. I think my parents got it when I turned one. It has survived everything from basement floods to moving."

This picture? Is NOT the same one, I promise. I took this picture today. Of the partridge in a pear tree ornament that is hanging on MY parents' Christmas tree. That has "hung on our tree since I was a baby."

It's minor. But to me, it's huge. It's a huge answer to prayer that God has already given me Sarah. Maybe we won't be best friends. Maybe we'll find out that the things we already know we have in common will be the ONLY things we'll ever have in common. But for now, it's enough. God is faithful, and He has answered my prayer for a special friend in Tennessee.

Sarah, I can't wait to meet you and Mike!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sprucing Up

Just a little change up, to keep me in the holiday spirit, since I wasn't able to deck our new halls (or walls or tree or table, for that matter) this year.

What do you all think of the new (albeit temporary) blog look?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Garland Is(n't) Showing

This post is a total ripoff, from the title to the picture.

Here are my excuses:
  1. The Nester is hosting a huge party, and I want to play.

  2. I was leaving comments right and left, but thought, "what if someone pops over here, and I don't have even a holiday post up, let alone a garland picture!?"

  3. I don't have a garland, because I don't have a mantle. At least not at the moment. If you're a regular reader you'll know that we are in the middle of an Ohio-to-Tennessee move, so no festivities for me this year. (Don't worry, we are celebrating the season; we'll just be doing it from the living room of our Florida family next week!)

So, no pictures of garland. No pictures of my tree. Or my wreaths. Or my decorations.

But. I was able to swipe a generic picture of my anything-but-generic nativity that USUALLY sits on my mantle.

There. Now I feel like I (sorta, kind of pathetically) participated. Happy garland-viewing, to all of you who ended up here via The Nester!

Housekeeping "101"

So, as I'm making my way around the blogging world, I'm finding site after site that I want to keep handy in my sidebar.... but it was getting crowded. What to do?

I'm sure it (the sidebars) will need some more tweaking, but for now, the first thing to get the ax is my 101 list. But I wanted to keep it, so it's getting it's own post. Aw!

Here we go:

101 things in 1001 days
5/1/08 - 1/26/11
(In no particular order.)

Orange = completed.
Strikethrough = cancelled for one reason or another

Assemble Seth's scrapbook
Appoint guardians for Seth =(
Attend National Rally
Buy a spring form pan (thanks, Sara!)
Clean out closet at Mom and Dad's
Clean out Jim's closet
Clean out my closet

Compile a brand new 101 list
Convert cassettes to CD
Cook or bake 25 NEW recipes (7/18)
Coordinate keepsake boxes
Create a will
Dine at Rockwell's
Dine at Stella's
Fill at least one journal each year
Finish Harry Potter series
Finish wedding albums
Get a massage
Get a pedicure
Get DVR/TiVo
Go camping. In our tent
Hang curtains in guest room
Hang curtains in kitchen
Have a "girls' weekend"
Have a $500 show
Have a $750 show
Have a $1,000 show
Have another baby
Highlight my hair
Hold a garage sale
Host Christmas cookie bake-off
Install new garage shelving
Issue passport
Landscape around front porch
Landscape backyard
Learn how to sew. Again.
Learn how to use our camera
Learn Photoshop
Learn manual transmission
Learn to use Jim's calculator
Line linen closet shelves/drawers
Lose 10 lbs.
Lose another 10 lbs.
Mat and frame living room photos
Master a soufflé
Meet 5 "internet friends" (6/-)
Memorize a piano piece
Nurse Seth until...
Organize spice cabinet
Organize home office...and pack it up
Organize linen closet
Paint kitchen
Paint guest room
Paint master bedroom
Photograph Seth at 6 months
Photograph Seth at 9 months
Photograph Seth at 12 months
Plant a garden
Post 100+ blog entries
Purchase entertainment center...this may get nixed if we mount a flat screen...hmm
Purchase leather furniture
Purchase new master bedding
Purchase outdoor "flooring"
Purchase Toledo recycling bins
Put in new front walkway
Read 20 "non-Mommy" books (1/19)
Read my laptop manual
Read the entire Bible
Record story time for Seth
Replace shower doors
Remodel upstairs bathroom
Remove basketball goal
Reorganize kitchen cabinets
Replace all bed pillows
Replace calendar w/ dry erase
Repot Gordon (my oldest plant)
Reserve 3 boxes of GS cookies
Revisit Nashville, IN
See a dermatologist
Sing a duet with Heidi
Sing a duet with Steve or Shawn
Sing a solo
Streamline cooking magazines
Streamline parenting magazines
Submit writing for publication
Subscribe to Real Simple
Take down pool
Teach Seth 25 signs (ASL)
Throw Seth's first birthday party
Transfer files from old laptop
Use wedding quilt once a year
Vacation: California
Vacation: St. Augustine
Vacation with W's, B's, and P's
Visit Cedar Creek
Visit Daina and Jeff
Visit Daniel and Margie
Visit pumpkin patch

I won, I won, I won!!!

I won my first bloggy giveaway!!!! And I'm SO excited about it because I won something I'm not going to even keep.

I know that sounds an awful lot like re-gifting, but I promise, it's not. I entered the giveaway with the intent of giving the loot away if I won, which I was sure I wouldn't, because, well, I never win anything.

But I did! So, Daina, guess what? This week, apparently, is still all about you!

I entered this giveaway at this site so YOU are going to get a book (I'm not sure which one) by Susan Helm, creator of this site, so you can get all ready to mommy those twin boys of yours to the best of your ability!

Yea! I'm so excited for us! And maybe, just maybe, you'll be handing it back over to me some day...? Only time will tell!

Thank you, Carolina Mama. I'll be in touch with Daina's address for you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I have been remiss in emailing my dear friend Daina in the last few weeks since the implosion of The Plan.

But because today is a BIG DEAL for her, I'm going to write this post if it's the last thing I do. I have been attempting to write it for hours, but, well....LIFE....but it matters, so here we go.

Daina, in honor of reaching 27 weeks/your third trimester, here are 27 reasons why I love you and that I'm glad we're friends (the list is in no way comprehensive and in NO particular order, lest you get a complex!):

  1. You're a redhead.
  2. You spent $3,000 on your wedding dress.
  3. You have amazing scrapbooks.
  4. You're brave enough to paint ridiculously bold (and I mean that in a good way) colors in your home.
  5. You don't swear often or "too" badly, but you can deliver the perfectly-timed curse when the situation warrants.
  6. You can relate, in ways I would never have imagined, to the drama-with-a-capital-D in my family.
  7. You know who Margaret George is.
  8. You actually have read one of her books!
  9. You are a Starbucks fan.
  10. You are a miscarriage SURVIVOR. (Between the two of us, we've lost 7 babies in 24 months.)
  11. You like the same movies I like.
  12. You're crafty.
  13. You are a fabulous hostess.
  14. You are honest.
  15. You are loyal.
  16. You let me do a LOT of talking.
  17. You cried for my babies as much as anyone.
  18. You faithfully read my blog.
  19. You love Cameron.
  20. You're a mom-of-a-boy (well, two), too!
  21. You are a ballerina.
  22. You have been to Europe.
  23. You will go back.
  24. You have so many interesting "chapters" to your first 30 years.
  25. You stand up for yourself.
  26. You are healthy.
  27. You saw something in me on the MC board, and said, "hey, let's be friends."

And we are (friends), and I love you for it. Happy 27, my dear. Home stretch!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fourth photo, Fourth Folder...say that four times fast!

Thanks, Sara.

I was instructed (tagged) to get the fourth photo out of my fourth photo folder and post it for the world to see. I'm limited, since I'm doing this on my lunch hour, and I don't have a ton on my computer at work but, here ya go:

It doesn't even look like him! This was on Superbowl Sunday, so that puts him at...7 weeks? (Don't exactly remember when the Superbowl was!)

Alright, I haven't tagged anyone in over a year. So, get to it Mandie. I know you have to have some good ones!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Testing, 1...2...3...?

If this works, enjoy. And be prepared, because if I can FINALLY upload videos, a whole bunch are coming!

If it doesn't...sorry if you got a dud posting in your feeder.

Happy Sunday, y'all. I'm in Nashville, getting my home set up. Well, working at it. And I've got some great blog fodder in the pipeline. Stay tuned!

Okay, just a note...let's just say Seth makes it REALLY easy for us to know when he needs diaper change (he's my potty training comment.) There's better videos of the dishwasher dancing, but this is the one that cracks us up the most.

Friday, December 5, 2008

French Vanilla or Caffe Mocha?

I'm a coffee drinker, but never would I say that I'm a coffee connoisseur. I like regular ol' Folgers with cream and sugar; I like a Starbucks Frappuccino; and I like everything in between.

But, sad as it is to admit for fear that you will consider my palate unrefined, I must confess that my true "coffee" bliss comes from gas station cappuccino.

And I've decided that one day, I'm going to own my own. (Cappuccino machine, not gas station.) So much cheaper than the "real" froo-froo coffee drinks I've been known to pick up on my way to work. And how easy -- that it wouldn't be the actual grinding of beans and steaming of milk and all that. It would simply be having bulk powder mix from Sam's or Costco on hand, and the push of a button...

So, yes, consider me "unrefined" if you will. But I think that this indulgence is topping my lifetime wish list right about now.

What can I say? I'm a girl with simple (SIMPLE) taste(buds).

Happy Friday!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Califonia remembered

This was going to be such a great post -- all about our adventures in California from our August trip, that I just didn't have time, then, to write about.


Apparently, I still don't have time to write about it. But I uploaded some pictures. Maybe I'll just link back to this post for visual effect when, if ever, I get around to the actual prose part.

But for now:

One of the best things about our trip was getting to introduce Jim to and spend time with these people (my surrogate "parents" when I lived in Pensacola):

At the wedding of this guy (their son, and my dearest friend):

To this beautiful gal:

And just to prove I was really there:

Okay. You can go back to bouncing around the blogosphere where people actually, you know, write stuff. I'll get back to being witty and clever soon, I promise.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, y'all!

Now that I have the USB cable, I've got some "catch up"blogging to do, but for now...

Thanksgiving night at the Gaylord Opyland hotel!

I HATE this picture of me, but check out Seth's face...he was NOT impressed with these horses. In fact, he was downright terrified.

Yep, pretty much the perfect picture.

Walking, walking, walking away...

Tired of walking....this is WAY better.

Oh, but wait...I can do THESE!

I'm comin' as fast as I can!

Hope you all had as nice a Thanksgiving as we did!