Friday, July 30, 2010

this calls for ice cream

We had another Baby Deuce appointment this morning, and the big news is.....

not much has changed.

I'm dilated now to a "2" and "halfway thinned" (whatever that means. 50% effaced, maybe?).

On the one hand, it's nice to know that we'll have a little more time and can actually make plans for the next week or so. On the other hand, it's discouraging.

I hurt. And I ache. And I'm sore. Constantly.

I don't know if you're aware, but the cure for frustrating contractions is soft serve ice cream. And a trip to the mall with my family where I can walk around in air conditioning and browse for the perfect handbag to buy as my present to myself after I give birth.

At least that's what I'm telling Shawn the cure is.

Soft serve and purse shopping. Oh yeah, and not being pregnant.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

contractions and teeth brushing

Shawn mentioned on Sunday that he thinks we've passed the threshold, and I do believe he's correct. We've both noticed a slight look of judgement after people ask if we've had the baby and our answer is, "no." I can't assume to know what they're thinking, but I can't help but wonder if they're thinking something along the lines of, "Seriously? You guys have been talking about contractions and acting like it's going to happen any day now for two weeks. Does Jen even know what a real contraction feels like?"

We haven't had Baby Deuce yet, and are staying consistent in our position that it could be any day now - or it could be another three weeks. We really have no idea. If this were our first baby, I'd say it's entirely possible that I'm a pansy and think the contractions I'm having are more serious than they are. Jude's birth is still recent enough in my memory that I do remember the difference between the "ugh, here go contractions again," and the "holy cow! that really hurts. i need to sit down and keep an eye on these." And then of course, there's the, "$%^#@ GET THIS KID OUT OF ME!" contractions, but I'm hopeful we'll make it to the hospital before I experience those.

So I am still having quite a bit of contractions and have almost made the call to head into the hospital a couple of times. I'm a little bit anxious about the timing of getting to the hospital with this kiddo. My doctors are telling me that labor will likely be faster this time around. My labor with Jude was a whopping six hours from start to finish, so....we're not looking at a lot of time to spare here. On top of that, we have our sweet Judeabug to be concerned about this time around - whether that's calling someone to stay at the house in the middle of the night, or dropping him off somewhere on our way to the hospital. I'm faced with trying to find the perfect timing of not heading to the hospital too soon and making sure Shawn and I have enough time to get everything ready on the home front.

I've honestly been praying that my water will break at the beginning of labor (as it did with Jude), so I won't have to second guess if what I'm feeling is early labor or not. In the meantime, I'm trying to remember that I also felt a ridiculous amount of contractions in the weeks before Jude was born, too. I guess it's that pesky irritable uterus of mine again. Simmer down, old girl.

And then because no blog post would be complete without some Jude cuteness, here's a video of Jude using a big boy toothbrush for the first time. We'd previously used a baby toothbrush that you put on your finger to use, but decided that Jude was ready for real toothbrushing. He's always laughed at Shawn and I when we brush our teeth, and especially loves when we spit in the sink, but we were surprised that he knew right away what to do!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

cookin' and freezin'

In the weeks after Jude's birth, Shawn and I ate a lot of take out food and frozen pizza. We have an amazing church family who dropped by and brought us dinners for several days, and when our parents were staying they were awesome about cooking dinner while we snuggled with our newborn or grabbed a shower or nap. But once we were left to fend for ourselves...our eating (and spending) habits were not very pretty.

We'll obviously have less time to prepare meals with a newborn and a toddler, and we have less expendable money to eat out this time around, so I wanted to make sure we had some meals that we could just pop in the oven once our families head home and we're on our own. I've been doing some reading about an idea called Once A Month Cooking - or batch cooking on crack. You basically take one day a month and cook up to thirty meals to freeze. The concept is a good one, in the long run you save time to get all your cooking done at once, and you save money because you can plan many meals using the same ingredients and buy in bulk. But I can't lie - cooking thirty meals at once seems thoroughly intimidating to me.

So I aimed to make a total of nine meals - dividing it up into two days of cooking (separated by a couple of weeks so as to stick to our grocery budget). Firstly, I made four casseroles while Jude napped one afternoon (from start to finish, it took me a total of two hours). A couple of weeks later, I made another five meals while Jude ran around under foot (taking significantly more breaks to care for or amuse Jude). I'm definitely not ready to cook thirty meals at once, but I was surprised by how easy batch cooking could be. Once my hormones and our schedule are a little more stable, I'd love to cook and freeze a handful of meals every couple of weeks.

One of my favorite things about batch cooking is that I could throw some spinach and carrots into the food processor to add to each meal. Eating healthfully postpartum is not an easy task - I remember forgetting to eat until I was famished, and then craving carbs or sugar for energy. I'm thrilled to be able to add an extra servings of veggies to each meal since I doubt I'll be clamoring for some carrot sticks in my spare time!

The spinach did manage to add a yummy green hue to each dish, but that thankfully doesn't weird out Shawn:

Cooking up ground turkey for two of the dishes, chicken for one of the dishes, and boiling water for pasta for the last dish:

Thanks to our fancy schmancy new-to-us chest freezer, I do hope to eventually make batch cooking a habit. I'm really looking forward to being able to feed Shawn, Jude, and I food that is homemade and healthy with no more effort than thawing and throwing it in the oven!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

do you mind a little whining?

Overall, I'm actually very grateful for how this pregnancy is going. I haven't gained a ton of weight, I haven't had to worry about a full time job in the latter half of this pregnancy, God has provided for us when we weren't sure how things were going to work, and most impressive to me - I'm not on bed rest. The pregnancy has been thoroughly uneventful, and for that I'm incredibly grateful. Let's just get that out of the way from the gate.

But there are just one or two things that I haven't whined about, and I feel the need to let loose. Firstly, it's hot. I've never loved North Carolina summers, but this particular summer makes me want to cuss. It's been in the high 90s lately, even up to 100 degrees with a heat index of around 110 degrees. Did you know that when you're pregnant your body gains about ten degrees of temperature? So if it feels like 110 degrees to most people, it feels like it's 120 degrees to a pregnant person. I'm sweating just thinking about it.

So I really have two options. The first one is to stay inside/where it's cool the majority of the time and that has been my strategy. It's not been a terrible strategy and has served me well through most of the pregnancy, but the monotonous days of staying inside are getting to both Jude and I. While I'm mostly content to work inside on laundry, dishes, organizing, etc., there are only so many days in a row that Jude can handle being cooped up.

The other option is to suck it up and go outside for the fifteen minutes Jude and I can handle the heat. I end up drenched in sweat and what I call "heat-cranky," meaning I'm cranky because I'm so uncomfortably hot.

So there you have it. I was actually planning on whining about how difficult it's getting to move - to squat, sit indian style, get out of the bed, etc. As I'm writing this though, I'm feeling a little convicted.

I mean...I have air conditioning, and we can afford to keep it at a comfortable temperature for me. I have the ability to drink plenty of clean water, and dehydration isn't something that even crosses my mind. We have a home for me to feel cooped up in - a home filled with things that many across the world can't even imagine. I have a husband who demands that I get off my feet when he gets home and takes Jude outside for a minute - drenching himself in sweat - because I can't. I have a bed to struggle getting out of, and a sweet, rambunctious toddler to complain about chasing after.

And on a larger scale, we have a sanitary hospital nearby to deliver our baby. Infant mortality isn't something about which we worry. Heck, we have a car to take us to that hospital, which makes us among the richest 10% in the world.

I'm just imagining a pregnant woman in Africa - or heck, in the American projects - reading this post about me feeling cooped up in my air conditioned house with its never ending supply of clean water and luxuries like a comfy bed, cable, internet, and a shower.

I guess instead of whining about how rough I have it, I need to focus on the many, many, many blessings I daily take for granted. I don't know - suddenly the heat doesn't seem so bad.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

this and that

Seeing as how my full grown belly is kind of getting in the way of typing, it's safe to assume that we are still pregnant and haven't been able to meet Baby Deuce yet. I'm still contracting, but they have slowed slightly. If you put any stock into the full moon theory (women are more likely to go into labor around a full moon), the next full moon is Tuesday, so...there you go. I'm not necessarily growing impatient to have this baby yet, but I am just excited to meet him. However, there's no end of things we want to do to prepare, so every day that goes by means that we're one day better prepared for a newborn!

This past Tuesday was my very-amazing baby shower! I didn't take any photos, but I promise to post the photos that other took once I have a chance! I know I'm a bit biased, but it was seriously the most fun shower I've ever attended. I kind of forgot about the fact that you get presents at a shower - I was too wrapped up in the excitement of seeing and talking to good friends. It was nice to have uninterrupted conversations, and to talk about things like childbirth and breastfeeding without censoring for the fellas! Spending that time with friends did my heart good and made me realize how much God has blessed us. Finding good friends as a minister's wife (and truthfully, probably as any Christian woman) who encourage you and challenge you to be better is not an easy task. As I was driving home Tuesday night, I was remembering all the tears I cried our first year in ministry at not being able find Godly women with whom I clicked. I was taken back to realize that - without realizing it - God has surrounded me with friends I genuinely love and respect. I'm a blessed woman, indeed.

In other, less exciting news, we've recently acquired a chest freezer (Awesome condition from Craigslist. It was originally $120, and I talked them down to $75. Muah ha ha!). Thanks to Shawn and our good friend Mike, it is now chilling nicely in our garage and holding my post-baby-and-family-visiting casseroles and other things we've overbought recently (so that we'll hopefully be able to hold off on grocery shopping for a bit after the baby arrives). Shawn is excited that our kitchen freezer won't need to be the storage space for frozen breast milk. I can't blame him - it was a little awkward for guests when they went to grab ice from our freezer.

While I'm being a little random, I dug up a video I'd watched when I was pregnant for Jude about an awesome way to store breastmilk. If you're a nursing Mom, know a nursing Mom, or may be a nursing Mom in the future, this "storage system" saved us a lot of money and space!

And with that, I'll leave you to have a Happy Saturday!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

animal sounds

Jude's first bath after his haircut. I finally caught his super cute animals noises on camera:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

another baby deuce update

Baby Deuce is still snug as a bug in there! Our appointment today consisted of being tested for Group B (we'll find out the results at our next appointment), and finding out that I'm dilated to a "loose one." My blood pressure was a little higher than usual at our last appointment, so I was glad to see that it was back to being its normal low (I'd been having a lot of contractions before our last appointment, and I was having a hard time being in pain and taking care of Jude. I think feeling some stress from that is why my blood pressure was up). I haven't gained or lost any weight in awhile now, and everything else looked great.

Our OB provides childcare in the mornings, and I think perhaps my favorite part of the appointment was when I went to pick up Jude. I asked him if he was ready to go home, and he flung himself on the floor and said pathetically, "noooo!" No, that wasn't my favorite part. One of the workers told me that Jude played extremely well with the other children. "He must be in daycare," she asserted. She was surprised when I told her that I actually stayed home with Jude, and continued to tell me how well he shared, played, and listened to instruction. Some of the downfalls of staying home about which I'm leery are raising children who don't share well, who don't listen to other authority figures well, and who aren't prepared for the school setting in kindergarten. It's always such a huge compliment when someone tells me how well Jude shares and interacts with other children! I try to take opportunities for Jude to be around and need to share with other kiddos, I try to make it clear to our families and close friends that they're welcome to discipline Jude, and Shawn and I are already thinking about what kind of pre-school setting will be best for Jude in the year before he enters kindergarten.

I'm certainly not a perfect Mom, and truthfully had several less than patient moments just yesterday. But it's nice to hear that we're apparently doing something well.

I'm still having contractions, and while they're getting stronger, they're not happening terribly often. I wish I could tell you if I felt like this baby was going to come sooner or later, but I've given up trying to guess. I can definitely tell my body is preparing for labor, but that really isn't helpful information this late in the game. :)

Because of all the labor signs we were seeing, Shawn opted to stay home this week instead of helping lead a student ministry missions trip to Cincinnati. This trip was originally planned before we even knew I was pregnant, and the goal was that I would be able to tag along on this trip - driving Jude and I in our car, staying with my parents, and helping/hanging out with the kids as I could. I was severely disappointed when I realized I'd be too far along to join, but until a couple of weeks ago we both planned on Shawn still going. I know it was the right decision for Shawn to stay home this weekend, but we're both very, very sad to not be joining the kids in ministry this week. It's strange to know they're working to impact a city that is dear to my heart and where I have a lifetime of memories (and where almost all of my family members reside). One of the staff members sent me a picture of Frisch's (a.k.a. "Big Boy" to those members of the family who would be wrong), and my heart filled up knowing exactly where they were. It was the area where I bought my prom dress, my wedding dress, and where I first discovered Old Navy (they were at Tri-County for my Cincinnati folk). The kids visited Newport on the Levee, which is also a place that holds many fond memories for me.

I don't know that I'd ever want to move back to Cincinnati, but the city and its spiritual health hold a special place in my heart. It's a city with many quirks that holds people who are at the same time tenacious and stubborn, and I do believe that God can do mighty things there. I'm excited about students spending a week to impact a city I love so dearly!

I just hope they can take a break from their work to try Skyline chili, visit King's Island, watch the Reds lose, and maybe get some goetta!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

old school sunday

I think I was somewhere between 31 and 34 weeks pregnant with Jude here. We were so high strung about Jude arriving pretty much any day, so it was such a relief to finally get the crib up and ready!

Friday, July 16, 2010

baby deuce update

In the last two weeks I've had two friends ask me if "Deuce" is really what we're naming our second child. It's funny to watch them try to be polite and not let the fact that they're weirded out show on their faces. So for the record - Baby Deuce is a nickname! We can be very strange...but not that strange.

We're still keeping the baby's actual name a secret, but I'll give you a couple of hints: 1-The name is not in any way affiliated with or related to The Beatles. 2-The name isn't a common name, but it's also not totally out in left field. You've probably heard of it, but most likely don't know anyone with the name.

I'm now 36 weeks and some change, and we were supposed to have our 36 week appointment this morning. I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with contractions ranging from 3 -15 minutes apart, but they started picking up in intensity on Thursday. Shawn was scheduled to take students to an overnight conference tonight, so we thought we ought to visit the doctor to see if labor was impending. Things look just fine, but I'm still only dilated to a one. The news was at once a relief and a frustration. On one hand, it's defeating to realize that I was experiencing pain with no productivity. On the other hand, it was a relief to know we have at least a little more time to get things done.

Since our appointment, the contractions have lessened, and I'm enjoying being relatively pain free again. Shawn left this afternoon for his trip, and I'm currently watching a movie and putting my feet up in an effort to unswell them. I'm looking at the next few weeks with both extreme excitement and incredible trepidation.

For someone who hates not having control, I can't help but be in awe while God gives me no choice but to submit to Him and His timing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

big boy haircut

We've been talking about buzzing Jude's hair for a couple of months now, and decided to just go ahead and take the plunge this past Saturday. I had been trying for a week to trim Jude's mane, and was having little success. Shawn and I decided that the heat combined with pregnancy/newborn was reason enough to just shave it off!

First of all, we put Jude in our bath tub and I cut as many chunks as I could - to allow the shaving to go more smoothly.

He didn't really let me get a lot...
I don't have any photos of the actual process because it was all hands on deck. We put Sid the Science Kid on Shawn's computer and I held on tightly to Jude while Shawn did the shaving. He got tickled and wiggled when Shawn was shaving the back of his neck, but other than that Jude was mostly patient! Then it was time for a bath since he had a ridiculous amount of hair all over him. The newly bald Jude:

As a bonus, having less hair makes his cheeks extra kissable:

I am surprisingly non-emotional about Jude's first drastic haircut. He looks quite a bit older, but it's SO much easier to clean and keep looking nice. We don't have to brush out the rat's nest at the back, and I'm sure he doesn't have to worry about getting hot so easily. However, Shawn and I do miss his shaggy blonde hair. I think we'll keep it short through the end of the summer and while Baby Deuce is still tiny, but we'll probably grow it out in the fall.

Until then, he'll just have to deal with being the cutest buzz cut toddler in the world as opposed to the cutest shaggy haired kiddo in the world!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

bon bons and soap operas

I need to preface this post by saying that I got a total of three hours of non-consecutive sleep last night. As such, I may doze off in the middle or get irrationally cranky. Don't mind me, I just seem to have a ridiculous amount of contractions that I can't sleep through once or twice a week.

So enough whining... A lot of friends and family have been asking me what I think about being a stay at home lately, and I've realized that I've not really addressed it on the blog beyond my first week. I was waiting until it had been a few weeks so avoid gushing on with an inaccurate picture during the honeymoon period that occurs with any change. Now that I've been a stay at home Mom for six weeks, I think I can safely say that it's pretty much what I thought it'd be - and I love it.

Even eight months (or are you considered nine months at 36 weeks?) pregnant, our home runs so much more smoothly. Our laundry is always caught up (along with Jude's laundry and his diapers), the dishes are always caught up, and the house is always as straightened up as it can be with a toddler. Our discipline and schedule with Jude are consistent, and we're seeing some great dividends from that (mainly that he dropped his second nap and is now sleeping from 8:00pm to 8:15am - as opposed to his previous 6:45am and he's stopped hitting us almost entirely). I'm significantly less stressed about this pregnancy and have confidence knowing that I've been able to work ahead to make things go more smoothly after the baby arrives. I love that I'm better able to keep track of our finances and have time to research ways for us to save even more money.

In short, I have peace that I'm doing well what I was created to do, and that peace seems to be overflowing into my home, my husband, and my child(ren). One of the surprising outcomes of me staying home is that I'm a much more social person. I think having less stress and spending my days with a toddler have caused me to have more energy and excitement to entertain and pour into people. I don't sit still very well, and while I have many, MANY flaws, laziness is not one of them. As such, I'm really grateful to have Serwa Chic - something I can call "my own," and into which I can pour creativity. But...

Not everyday is blissful peace, I have to admit. Some days I feel cooped up in the house with no car to go anywhere and no money to spend if I did have a car. Some days I'd be thrilled if Jude went to bed for the night at 4:30 and am unsure of how I'm going to maintain my patience with him for an entire day. Some days I get worn out and tired of doing things - like laundry, dishes, budget, making the bed, and cleaning the toilets - that will almost immediately be un-done and will have to be re-done in less than 24 hours.

None of these things come as a surprise to me though, and were issues I expected to be frustrations. I've been thinking a lot this week about my life in the work force. I was remembering what preparing for maternity leave was like over a year and a half ago as opposed to now, and I was thinking about my stress level and general demeanor before I stayed home. I haven't regretted our decision for me to stay home for one moment. I don't miss an office and I feel privileged to be charged with the task of running our home well.

We made a lot of sacrifices for me to stay home, and are continuing to realize those on a day to day basis, but genuinely - I wouldn't change it for the world. For this season of my life, this is to what God has called me. I'm called to create a peaceful and stable home for Shawn and our kiddos, and I love it. Even on days that I'm exhausted, frustrated, and burnt out - I love it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

post number 8,000

I knew if I were just stubborn enough, I could get the rest of our 4th of July videos into one post! I kept trying to get SOME kind of reaction from Jude about the fireworks, and he continued to be - as Patrice calls him - Jude the Unimpressed. He was content as could be to sit in his Daddy's arms and just watch.

Monday, July 12, 2010

fireworks - Part Two

Oh geez. This may be the never ending saga of our 4th of July. Blogger won't let me upload more than one video it would appear, so it looks like you'll only get to see one of the eight thousand videos I took. Can you handle eight thousand individual blot posts about the 4th of July? Yeah, me neither. Hopefully it'll let me upload more than one tomorrow.

Robyn and Logan were EXTREMELY excited for the fireworks...
They even had a "Go, Fireworks, Go!" cheer that they did:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fireworks - Part One

So Jude witnessed his very first fireworks extravaganza last Sunday. Shawn and I don't typically watch the fireworks ourselves, but because Shawn's week of camp always falls on the week of the 4th, this would be the only chance Shawn would be able to enjoy the fireworks with Jude and I until Jude is 6 years old. Even though it meant keeping Jude up a few hours past his bedtime, I decided it was worth it. I took several vidoes and a couple of photos, but I'm struggling to get just this one uploaded today! A few fire trucks came screaming by, which I thought was to announce the beginning of the fireworks - hence why I took a video. It turns out that they were actually on their way to take care of an emergency, but in the meantime they scared the heck out of sweet Jude!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

baby deuce update

35 weeks and the countdown has begun! Our sweet boy is now about six pounds and is all nice and tightly squished in his temporary home. Our last appointment was Tuesday, where we got to hear the heartbeat and were told that my belly is measuring on target (and found out that I've lost 2 lbs...guess it's all the running around after Jude I'm doing). I've also dilated to a one, which isn't really terribly indicative of anything.

I have had a distinct pick up of contractions in the past three days that range from uncomfortable to painful. They were strong enough to wake me up last night around 4:15 where they continued to get stronger and more consistent. I kept trying to go back to sleep and was praying that if I really were in labor my water would break. I didn't want to wake Shawn up and call someone to stay with Jude in the middle of the night if it wasn't the real deal. I got out of bed around 5:30 and thought I'd start washing Jude's cloth diapers and check my email.

To be honest, I was really thinking that we were going to end up in the hospital and was trying to wait until a decent hour to call someone for Jude. After about an hour the contractions tapered off and I was able to get a short nap on the couch until Shawn and Jude woke up, and I haven't had anything of significance since.

Despite my tendency to automatically panic over anything not going according to plan, I'm surprisingly nonchalant about perhaps going into labor soon. I'm at a point in my pregnancy that the baby would be okay if he were born today, and we have almost everything ready to go. The things still undone or not bought are things we can easily grab or do. My biggest concerns about Baby Deuce arriving unexpectedly are 1)I was planning on making and freezing a few meals this weekend, and then a couple more each week until I deliver and 2)Shawn was planning on using the next 4-5 weeks to plan towards covering worship and events when I go into labor and enabling himself to work from home. Both are definitely things we can work on, but neither are enough to make me panic at contractions.

I suppose to summarize my update on Baby Deuce, I would say: It's looking like it could be possible for me to go into labor early.

Or I could not go into labor anytime soon.

Or I could even go over my due date.

Who knows.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

final camp video

For memory's sake, I wanted to make sure I put up all three of the videos I took while we were visiting Shawn at camp. If I don't put them on this blog, they'll get lost in the depths of my documents and won't ever been seen again!

For those of you from Pinedale who haven't had a chance to see the renovated worship center, this video lets you see some of the improvements they've made inside the building. Also, Jude has a super cute little run right now that I finally managed to capture. And also, I apparently have more of a southern accent than I think as evidenced when I say, "no buddy" to Jude. Next thing you know, I'll start telling people he's "wide open," and is "showing out" while sipping on my sweet tea and eating BBQ. Shooo-eee, ya'll.

Monday, July 5, 2010

shattering your illusions

I realize that I come across as the epitome of cool. I very often intimidate people with the essence of my coolness, and I can't really blame them. I do reek of extreme and utter coolness - as obviously evidenced by my ability to use a form of the word "cool" three times in this blog post already. Yet under my exterior of cool-iosity, I hide a deep, deep secret. I apologize for shattering your illusions in such a way, but it turns out that I am....

a nerd.

Especially when it comes to the library. My favorite gift from Shawn for our first married Christmas was a library card. I have a long list of classic books that I am determined to read through before I die, and I may or may not get giddy at the smell of a library.

So you can imagine my excitement about taking Jude to our local library for his very first visit. I wanted to see if they had a summer reading program for pre-readers, and finally had the chance to stop by last Thursday. It turns out that our library does have a summer reading program in which you can read to your child and get "credit" for each half hour until you've read for a total of eight hours. I LOVE summer reading programs. It was one of my favorite parts of summer growing up (that and our subdivision-wide hide and seek games), and I'd been known to read through the entire reading list in a week. Ahem...I mean...I spent my summers doing uber cool things like...getting manicures, shopping at the mall, and flirting with boys.

So after Jude and I made our way to the kids' section, I gasped and said, "Jude! Look at allllll these books. Do you see all of them? Did you know that alllll these books are here for you to read and learn? You can learn about so many different worlds, and people, and animals, and other things through these books, kiddo! Are you excited?" To my delight, Jude mimicked my gasp when I set him down and looked around in awe at the sheer volume of worlds now open to him through the world of reading.

I let Jude choose three books completely on his own, and he chose one book about an African-American family traveling north to escape segregation, one book about families and inherited physical traits, and one book about a bear who didn't want to go to bed.

Once the books were chosen, we played with some puzzles and hung out for a bit longer, and then it was time to go home. I gave Jude one of the books to read on his way home, and he was delighted. He boisterously laughed with joy each time he turned a page (these pictures were taken a stop light, when he was fascinated by one particular page):

I think I may be in danger of passing along my library-nerdy-ness to my children. I have to admit though, I'm pretty much okay with that.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

old school sunday

My dear friend Samantha and I at her wedding rehearsal in May of 2006. Samantha and I have been good friends since high school when her Dad became the Senior Minister of my home church.

She and I began our friendship at a crucial point in my life - right as my parents separated and eventually divorced. Because of so much chaos at home, I spent a LOT of time at her house and learned quite a bit from her family. I didn't realize it at the time, but seeing some of the "inside guts" of a minister's family prepared me more than I knew to be a minister's wife. She's one of the few friends I have with whom I ministered a lot. We spent several weeks of camp together, taught VBS together for several years, and eventually ending up spending a summer in college at a Children's Home internship (that we both applied to before we had any idea the other was applying. Totally God).

Samantha and I are the kind of friends who now only have a chance to catch up every few months - but we just pick right up where we left off. She and I are now both minister's wives (and our husbands both pull double duty as Student Ministers/Worship Ministers), and she's proven to be a wise and encouraging sounding board. It's crazy to believe, but we're going on thirteen years of friendship.

I think she's a keeper. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

camp, part two

I'm sorry for my brevity in my last post- I had a difficult time uploading the video and once I did I just wanted to get it posted. Shawn came back from camp yesterday evening, and Jude and I have been enjoying his company since. Of all the times Shawn has had to be out of town this week was by far the most smooth. Even eight months pregnant, I genuinely enjoyed my time with Jude and our friends. I did my best to plan "outings" each day to keep both Jude and I too busy to 1)miss Shawn too much, and 2)drive each other batty. My planned worked pretty dang well! I really feel as though a big reason this week was so pleasant is because I'm staying home and didn't have to worry about shuttling Jude to childcare and taking care of work responsibilities on top of everything else. My friend Rhonda also graciously kept Jude for me for several hours on Tuesday, which allowed me both the chance to sew and the chance to stop being "Mom" for a bit. Except for being Mom to Baby Deuce of course - couldn't quite figure out how find a sitter for him.

We took Wednesday and drove up to visit Daddy at camp, which was so much fun. Jude's getting old enough to notice when Shawn is gone, and I could tell it did his heart good to see his Daddy again. And I can't lie - it did my heart a world of good, too. We arrived at camp right in time for worship planning and practice, so Jude and I spent some time just playing and hanging out while Shawn worked (in the newly air conditioned worship center. air conditioning at camp?! geesh. kids these days).

We played with cars....

Rearranged some chairs...
Hung out with Gray...
Kicked the baseball...
And ran around having a ball...

The trip to camp is just about an hour and a half, and Jude did phenomenally well both ways! Shawn was able to sneak away and go to Chick Fil A with Jude and I for some much needed quality time, which meant the world to me. I miss going to camp, I miss being Shawn's partner in ministry at camp, I miss camp food, and I miss witnessing the baptisms and lives changed throughout the week. Still, I have to say that I did thoroughly enjoy my own bed and not sweating through three layers of clothes! Most importantly though, I'm grateful that Shawn's home safe and sound and I'm grateful that I didn't go into labor while he was gone. I'd say it was a successful week all around!

Thursday, July 1, 2010