Saturday, March 15, 2008

Photo Op

Our photographer came down from Portland today to take Jeffrey’s pictures. Murphy’s Law.... My sweet, giggly, incessantly happy boy was cranky and fussy almost the whole time! Sheesh! We got some great shots, but he just pooped out right when we were taking the last family photos, so we didn’t get any of those. Kind of a bummer. Cindy is so patient...

We got some fun pics of his little bottom and him peeking over his shoulder. Oh my gosh, his chubby little tushy is so cute!!!! She’ll send us the slide show in about 2 1/2 weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing how they turned out.
He just tuckered out when Cindy left. I think he slept for over an hour. We should have called Gramma over. He always gets giggly when she’s around. (We’re actually at Gramma’s as I type this. And, true to form, they are all playing in the other room. Music to my ears!)

My friend ate catfood by accident the other day. (You know who you are!) She wrote, "p.s. can i just tell you that i accidentally ate cat food this morning? well, you know how when you’re pregnant, food starts to catch on your belly a lot? Well, this morning, I was eating oatmeal, and it was kinda dark, and I thought oatmeal fell on my belly. So, not really thinking twice about it, I picked it up with my finger and put it right back in my mouth (i can’t let food go to waste!) and as it was on my tongue I realized, this is CAT FOOD!!! I ran to the sink and started spitting, rinsing my mouth, hoping it wouldn’t reach my taste buds. Well, that pretty much ruined my appetite for food and I got instant gag reflex. Then, I couldn’t stop smelling cat food. I rinsed my shirt, that didn’t work. I used the tide pen, and I thought that helped. But as I’m driving to work, I start to smell it again, and lo and behold, my shirt STILL smells like cat food. So, I’ve pretty much tried to wash my entire shirt without taking it off, but the smell is forever in my nose now. And that’s how my morning has begun. In Jesus name, Amen."

Friggen hilarious. I wrote her back, "I completely sympathize. That’s like that time I was sneaking into the bedroom on my hands and knees in the hopes of scaring Scott, but he saw me, so I was trying to act like I was doing something else. There was a little rock (pebble size) on the carpet, so I got real close and smelled it. It wasn’t a rock. It was poo. It must have fallen off the cat’s paw as one of them jumped out of the cat box. Gross!!!!! I just looked up at Scott, who was amused at the fact that I would even smell something on the carpet, and said, ’I think that’s poo.’ Which then got huge laughter. And I’ve been made fun of ever since. God said it was good. And it was so."

And so goes my life. Funny stuff happens to me all the time.

I’m so full I’m about to ass-plode. (Gotta love Outback.) After Cindy left, we were watching Throwndown with Bobby Flay. That was the wrong thing to watch after you haven’t eaten since breakfast. BBQ ribs and Jerk Steak. Mmmmm. So... you can see the natural progression. Thus, Outback. ("Mum, mum, mum.... Mum’s the word and so the word is mum, mum. She will forever be your mum, mum...")

Everything’s great... everything’s groovy. It’s a great day....

I think I have steak coming out of my ears.

Hyacinth smells awesome. I have two plants on my dining table, along with a cute hurricane (candle holder) filled with Easter candy.

And can I just say that I LOVE my new dining table? It’s huge. I have to keep both leaves out in order to fit nicely in my current dining room, but it extends (2 leaves) to 8 feet. It can easily seat 10. Perfect! My dream table, really. It’s just beautiful, too. It took us over 2 years to find it. I feel all grown up now. (Especially after having toted around a hand-me-down table from my old boss in Billings, MT. That table was older than me. We gave it to Scott’s mom. A lot of Speed Uno rounds will be remembered.)

It would be great to move.... We tried selling the house a year ago, but after the lending fell through for the folks that wanted to buy our home, we pulled it from the market. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. I didn’t want to move when I was 9 months... or with a brand new baby. We’re getting ready to put it back on the market - hopefully this summer. It’d be nice to have more room. Our cozy home seems awfully small with a baby, and hopefully one on the way (soon, not yet).

The picklebean calls me. He loves his mama.

Peace out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Father to the Fatherless...

Yesterday my heart broke a little. Logan (one of my coworkers) came to our staff meeting with the news that a friend of his (Dan) was diagnosed with a heart aneurysm. This is bad. This means that any amount of stress could kill him. What do you do with that?? He’s about 22, maybe 23, years old, with an 8-month old baby at home. Dan is a big, burly biker dude and tattoos all over, driven to tears by fear of what might come. Logan prayed for him over the phone that morning. We prayed for him at our prayer tables after staff coffee.

I was so touched. I couldn’t help but think of that sweet little baby and the possibility of not ever knowing her daddy. My heart just broke for her. I started to pray, and I was overwhelmed by tears - out of nowhere. I could hardly speak. I prayed for God to intervene. I prayed that God wouldn’t take her daddy from her. Coming from experience, I know how hard it is to go through life without a father. (I lost mine to cancer when I was 8 years old.)

And I got to thinking about Jeffrey. He’s 8 months old. The same age. What would it be like if something happened to Scott? How would I teach Jeffrey who his father is? How would I explain just how much his daddy loved him? Would he ever really know?

After staff coffee, I went to visit the PickleBean. I just hugged him and told him I loved him. I needed that moment. And it was as if he knew I needed it. Scott took him to give him a hug and Jeffrey just reached for me. He hardly ever does that. (He loves to be in his daddy’s arms.)

I’m so grateful for my life and for my family. I’m grateful for our health. I’m grateful for the time that we’ve been given to enjoy each other. But most of all, I’m grateful for a God who is our Father when we don’t have a father. What an amazing gift.

Life is so fleeting. You never know when something might pop up, or when your time here is over. I never take this for granted. I hope you don’t either.

If you think about it, please pray for Dan, his family, and for his little baby.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Cat is Stalking Me

You would think that for someone who rarely gets more than 5 hours of sleep at night (see, God created nursing babies for working moms) that I would covet those nights when the baby is sleeping like a ... well... baby. I’ve been awake for over an hour. It’s three in the morning. God isn’t even awake at this time of day... night... morning... whatever...

I move and my cat watches me. It’s a little nerve wracking. I’m typing in the dark and I can hear her licking herself in the corner.

The Post Office came out with Disney stamps. Super cute. I’m planning a baby shower for a friend (2 girls already, but a boy on the way - finally some testosterone in that family!). I dragged Scott on some errands yesterday, one of which was standing in the longest line ever at the Post Office just to get the Disney stamps. He said, "They have a machine...." Yes, they do have a machine, but they were only selling the "Forever" stamps with the Liberty Bell on them. So not cute. So I chose to stand in line. Scott said, "Really? Just for stamps?" I replied, "Yes, because that is the kind of friend I am." He asked, "What kind of friend is that?" I answered, "A dedicated, loyal, serving, willing-to-stand-in-super-long-lines-at-the-Post-Office kind of friend." He just smiled and said, "Oh." The line went pretty quick. There was a guy from our church who came in about 12 people behind us. Apparently, he’s a video game addict. It’s causing all kinds of domestic problems. I think there is a STEPs group for that.

I taught Jeffrey how to clap. It was a little slow going, but he loves the sound, so I made up a little song for him, which I would love to sing for you right now. It just goes, "We clap when we’re happy..." (It isn’t nearly as melodic as Scott’s song "A wiggle bean does what a wiggle bean does".) Back to clapping. Jeffrey claps ALL the time now. It is SO cute. His little chubby hands coming together makes the cutest little sound. It doesn’t sound quite like a clap yet, but it brings joy to my heart and I’m quite certain that Heaven’s angels rejoice when they hear it, too.

I chopped all my hair off. Jeffrey likes to pull it just keeps getting shorter until there is nothing left to pull. I LOVE it. Shaved about 20 minutes off morning prep (primp) time. It’s sassy and a bit sexy. Scott says, "See? This is how it starts..." He’s afraid that I will never grow it long again. We’ll see.

All I see is the silhouette of my cat staring at me in the corner. Not even her eyes are glowing. Seriously. It’s freaking me out.

Cindy ( is coming to photograph Jeffrey on Saturday. Can I just say that, objectively, he is a damn cute baby? He looks just like Scott, but I think he inherited the "cute factor" from me. He had to. Have you see Scott??? (haha, just jokes Love. You’re pretty cute, too, when you’re not too busy being a poophead.)

"A Nameless Person" told me she might have a new man in her life. She is being very strategic. It’s cracking me up. "Oh... I really don’t have a clue about the [something that must remain nameless]. Could you come over and pre-inspect for me?" Damsel in distress. Good tactic. (Kudos and high five to "Nameless Person"!)

"One word, five letters" I was told. B-O-O-N-S. I was thinking, gee... shouldn’t that be one word, six letters? B-O-O-N-E-S. I was wrong. And why? Because I have P-T-S-D. I spent way too much time in Portland. (Lower Boones Ferry Road. Not Boons as in Friday night beers.) Damn my psychological disorder! I love beer. I hate Portland. There ya go.

I’m going to Chicago for an HR conference in June. We’re making a vacation out of it. And dragging my mother in law with us. There was a snafu with the hotel reservations. She has been waffling, so I just reserved my own hotel room (for Scott and the baby and me). She waited too long to tell us, and the hotel rooms that were booked for the event have ALL been filled. That’s like over 3000 rooms. No joke. So... we decided that we’d just change our reservation for a room with two beds. Done. No big deal. I don’t mind sharing my room for 6 nights. Well.... I went to the hotel’s website (Chicago City Center) and their doubles are literally that; two doubles. As in two double beds. As in not much bigger than a twin. As in Santa Fe flashback. (Suddenly, I smell burning poo....) So, I guess we’ll have to venture out and find a room outside of the blocked rooms. Which means we’ll be paying about twice as much. Damn. Oh well. The church was paying for my room (since my time there is work related), so we’ll just pay the difference. It’s all good.

Speaking of which, it will be nice to be in Chicago again. This time, it will be summer and perhaps, maybe just maybe, I’ll actually get to see Chicago without being plummeted by rain. And perhaps we will visit our homeless friend who falls asleep in his riblets. That would be a treat.

I’m looking forward to visiting Scott’s dad - Richard, aka Dick. (There’s a really funny story about who knows Dick, but... it’s a family thing and I just don’t have the time to explain.) It will be the first time the PickleBean gets to meet his one and only grandpa! We’re thrilled!

So it sucks that the dollar is worth less than the Canadian dollar. So much for cheap trips to Whistler. Silly Americans.

I love jelly beans.

Anyone want a cat? (She finally left... I hear her in the kitchen crunching on her food...)

My nostril is whistling. That’s hilarious.

I’m a little nervous about this week’s weigh-in. (Damn... The cat is back. Now she wants attention. She is sitting at my feet meowing and purring.) The good news is that 2 weeks ago (when I weighed in for the first time since August) I was 10 pounds lighter than before I got pregnant with the PickleBean. I didn’t try much that week.... Change is difficult right now. But somehow by the grace of God, I lost 3.2 pounds the first week. Weird. (I chalk it up to loss of water, and/or serious fiber intake. I pooed a LOT that week.) We’ll see how this week goes. (Whoa! The cat just jumped in my lap.) Speaking of poo... I’ll be right back.

Ah. Clarity of thought.

Ya know, it’s never good when a sentence starts, "I’m no proctologist, but...."

Do you watch The Soup on E? I love the segment "Oprah’s vajay-jay." "Vajay-jay" has crept into our daily lives. I can’t even go to Jamba Juice without cracking a smile. (We actually call that Va-jamba Juice.) Oh, the humanity!
Great. Now the other cat is in here, too. Can I not have some peace in this place?

St. Patty’s Day is Monday. I love that day. All people everywhere should celebrate by getting schnockered. Yea, beer!
I was praying tonight (last night... this morning)... It’s hard to explain what all that entailed, but I’ve been pondering where something came from. What does it mean when you pray that you want to be a different kind of person - other than what you are? The oddity to me is that I work in a church. I’m not built for ministry the way, say, a pastor is built for ministry. My ministry is the health of the staff - the people doing the ministry. I think recently I’ve been comparing myself to the calling of others, and how that plays out for them in their prayer life - their reading, their contemplation of the things of God, etc. It’s weird because I’m totally content with my gifts and the way God has formed me (and continues to form me... I don’t want to sound as though I’m stagnant). But I think coming from a corporate environment, I’ve been slightly tainted by secular things. I wish I were more prayerful and disciplined. I can tell that many things have already been changing. (I’m much more introspective, slow to anger, slow to speak.... Stop laughing, it’s true.) But I think I compare myself to others who get to abide in God’s word all day, every day. I mean, 75% of our staff are preparing sermons and biblical lessons, so they are spending a great deal of time in Scripture. Much more time that I could possibly spend. So I really don’t know what I wish for that, other than to say that I long to know God more. I love being with Him. I love listening to Him. I love to imagine being next to Jesus as I go through my day.

The weekend that Jeffrey got dedicated, Steve delivered a powerful sermon. (It was about "Talking Taxi".) My mom (who is so totally not saved) cried through the whole thing (I’m told - she was sitting behind me, so I didn’t see her). Something got her. My prayer for her since long ago has been that God would not allow her to die until she accepted Jesus into her heart. Well... I cannot even count the ways that God has revealed Himself to her, or how many times He has intervened. I know the Holy Spirit is working on her. She may very well be the most callused person I know. (Honestly, I think fear is driving her. I think in her heart of hearts she knows that she is going to hell, but she is so afraid of trusting (i.e., faith) that she is willing to wager eternity.) I would have loved to have been in her head that night while she was alone in bed. I can only imagine the thoughts she was wrestling with. I continue to pray for her salvation (and everyone in my family) and hope that she falls before the throne of God on this world before it’s too late.
I planted hyacinth by the door. That smells loverly every day when I get home from work.

I’m so grateful for my life. I have an amazing, devoted husband, a gorgeous baby boy, and a peaceful home to live in. I’ve been given a wonderful job, working with such spectacular, Godly people. I have a "Willage" of friends (yes, that’s a "w", folks - think Asian accent), who really are an extension of family. And Jesus loves me for no other reason than just because. I don’t get it, but I’m humbled and grateful.

And I’ll end with this.... I really am grateful for my friends. I was thinking about how different and similar life has been here in Salem compared to Billings. I have some wonderful friends back in Montana. The only bummer is that few were Christians (and I can tell that over time, those friendships are fading because we find little in common. They live for the world. I live for Jesus.). Here, we have a growing web of comrades - people willing to battle with us. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s beautiful to share in the joys and suffering of life together. (We had a game night the night Jeffrey was dedicated, and pretty much all of our willage came... Imagine that! The Willage all squeezed into our tiny little home that just 3 years ago we dedicated to God’s work. We were missing Jeff and Kara (new Willage family), but the Willage was in full force that night.) I was nursing Jeffrey in his room, listening to our friends chatting and playing Cranium in the other room. It was music to my soul. Except for the part where Trina and Logan had adverse reactions to cat hair. Logan broke out in hives. So their spouses had to rescue them.

See??? It all comes back to the cats.

Thank you and good morning.