Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So maybe I won’t make bold proclamations

So much for a baby post a day.  I had lofty goals, you know.  I was going to take a picture of the carseat, the stroller, and the carseat on the stroller, so you could see the magic of the Joovy Scooter.  Then we ran out of coffee (which might be against the law of marriage…especially since I still didn’t buy any), I had a long day in which I didn’t care for anyone under the age of 18, and the temperature dropped 46 degrees in a 24 hour span leaving my throat feeling like what I imagine Ma on Ma’s Roadhouse must feel like (no…I’ve never actually seen the show, just the clips that my dear friend Joel McHale makes fun of on the The Soup)

WARNING: This clip is definitely PG13.  Fo sho.


All that to say….I’d sure like to take those pictures tonight, but we’ll see. 

Instead, I have for you a quick story about how our standards have fallen over the past few months.

Laundry has been an ongoing battle in our marriage.  I’m not good at tasks that give me some “off” time.  I generally forget that I put something in the washer or dryer, and leave it.  Andy is very specific about how everything should be done….especially the laundry.  He would often get irritated at my forgetting, to the point that at the start of the school year, I passed the task off.  I told him I couldn’t do it, and I needed him to do it.  He quickly began doing exactly what I had been doing all along.  He would forget laundry and leave it in the washer or dryer.  He would do maybe a load a weekend and try to figure out why he was running out of clothes midweek.  Everything I had done that made him crazy, he was doing.  It made me laugh….a lot.

Recently, we’ve just started splitting the job.  Whoever has more time/energy just does it…even if it’s just a load at a time.  He had started a load sometime last week and left it.  I found it and fixed it.  Then this weekend when  I was left home alone again, I started the rest.  I put the last load in the washer on Monday, and forgot it.  Last night, Andy looked over and saw a load in the washer….and panicked.  He thought it was the load he started a week ago.

Now here’s the best part of the whole story for me—when we found out it wasn’t his week old load, just one I had put in a day before, he responded, “Oh, that’s okay.”

And that’s how I knew that our standards had fallen. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby Registry

I’m thinking about making this an unofficial baby week..I have a few things I wanted to write about, and it just makes sense to do it all at once than to spread it out.  Because if I spread stuff out, I forget.  Seriously.  It’s a disease.  So here’s the first in my baby week posts.

I’d like to go out on a limb here and say that registering for baby stuff is so much more fun than registering for wedding stuff.  And I have a few reasons to support my hypothesis.

1.  There is less pressure to pick the “perfect” item.  When we got married, those gifts were going to last a long time.  The dishes, the pots, the pans, the decorations, the towels—all of the things you register for when you get married are things that last.  I can walk into the kitchen or home of any woman who has been married for any amount of time and be shown the items that were wedding gifts.  That’s a lot of pressure on a spoon or a plate or whatever.  If I’m going to use a piece of silverware for the next whatever number of years, I have to like the way it feels in my hand.  Will I still like the style of these dishes six years from now?  Is this something we both enjoy or is it really more about me.  With baby stuff, that pressure doesn’t exist.  The towels, the bottles, the gear, all of that will be used for a season and then we’ll move on.  There’s no sense of permanency with baby stuff.   I don’t have to worry about liking it and using it for years and years. 

2. The whole process is simpler.  You’re in one area of a store instead of all over.  At Target, we were in one very small department that was packed with everything we needed.  It wasn’t like wedding registering where you go from one section to the next.  I guess if we had gone to Babies R Us, this wouldn’t have applied.  We would have still had to trek the whole store there…but that place stresses me out and I don’t want to go there, so there was no way we were registering there.

3. Target gives you a pretty bag with coupons and samples.  Fun times.

4. Andy and I know a little more about each other now…and our registering styles.  I know that he can’t be left alone or he’ll scan everything in sight, and he knows that I take  a crazy long time to make a decision.  We’re good with that.  He spins circles in the aisle (kidding…I don’t honestly know what he was doing) while I make a decision…then he scans it for me.

5. We didn’t need that much stuff.  When we got married, we had next to nothing.  We needed a lot of things to make a lot of rooms work…bedding, dishes, towels, utensils, and a whole lot of other stuff.  Here we are just getting ready for one little guy who will have one little room.  We didn’t need nearly the volume of stuff we did last time, so the whole process was so much simpler.

6.  We registered at Target and online on Amazon.  So we only had one store we went inside.  So simple, so easy, so nice. We made our whole in store trip in one night and in less than one hour.  I have a few little things to add, but it will be less than twenty minutes for all that.  I did the Amazon registry from the comfort of our sofa while Oliver tried to drop a toy on the keyboard.  Couldn’t have been easier (unless Oliver had left me alone….that would have been the easiest).

And those are my reasons for loving baby registries more than wedding registries (though I will admit—I’m super excited to NEVER have to do this again :)).

Monday, February 14, 2011

My funny Valentine

I think everyone likes to think that they have the best love story.  And you know what?  I think they do.  Every single person….has the best story.  Because our God is a might God, a wonderful God, and a creative God.  He can make all love stories the best love story.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my relationship with Andy, and on the relationships of my sweet friends.  I feel like there are common themes that run through them—stories of funny things, of not so random happenings, and stories of healing and hope.  I think that might be what makes a love story the best story—there really is a happy ending.  I want our kids and grandkids to know our story—to know how we came to be.  So I want to record it here.


He was supposed to be a pilot.  It’s all he ever dreamed of.  He wanted to join the military and fly planes.  College would come eventually for him, but not right after high school.

Until a skull fracture in the sixth grade ended that.  The words, “You can do anything you want, except fly a plane.” I’m sure it was a crushing feeling for that sweet boy.  Even then, the military dream lived on.  He switched high schools to join the JROTC program, spent his high school days working out and preparing. 

Until the once and short lived epilepsy diagnosis ended that.  His dreams changed, his plans changed. God had different plans for him.  He ended up at Purdue, living in the midst of an incredible group of men who were living  life sold out for God.  And he began to change.

His heart changed, his life changed.  He was bold.  He was loud.  Those probably weren’t new things. But he was bold and loud for the Lord.  And he declared loudly to all who would listen that he would be a BTR—a bachelor to the rapture.


She was going to go to college anywhere but Purdue, and become anything but a teacher.  The obstinate words spoken by a snotty teenager who thought that being like her parents would a bad thing.  No Purdue because that’s where her dad had gone.  Not a teacher because her mom was one. 

Until her senior year of high school.  When she realized that she wanted to teach English.  And a visit to Purdue for the weekend left her with the incredible sense of belonging—that Purdue’s campus was THE campus for her.

So she was going to Purdue, but she was leaving for college with her own set of plans.  She was going to do her own thing.  She was prepared to give up on God and the church and all that went with it.  The taste in her mouth was a bad one.  One filled with rules and the constant reminder to “just be nice to everyone” and you’ll be a good Christian.  She had seen plenty of un-nice people claiming to be Christians and she didn’t want anything to do with it.  It had turned her into a bit of a self-righteous snot.  She really wasn’t very sweet.

Until she arrived on campus.  In some stroke of genius, she was placed on the eighth floor of McCutcheon hall on the boys side.  Now, her floor was all girls, but the other seven on that side were all boys.  It was anything but a pleasant experience.  The boys elevators break more…smell worse…and living on the boy’s side is just a general nightmare.  She hated it.  Until one night, a pair of girls invited her to a Bible study on the other side.  She was so desperate to get off her side of the building that she jumped at the chance.  She dug around until she found a Bible she had packed and dusted it off.  At that moment, it didn’t matter that she didn’t care for churchy things…she was leaving her floor for an hour.

Because of that night, her heart changed.  Her life changed.  She saw people truly living for God for the first time in her life.  She saw the gospel being lived out, and she understood that her earlier experiences were not with the God of the Bible.


He was being a Bachelor to the Rapture.  She was learning what it meant to really follow God, and dating a boy from back home.
Until one fateful Thursday evening, and a prayer walk outside Elliot Hall of Music.  She was there, a scared freshman totally out of her element because a friend pestered her into it.  He was there, totally in his element—doing ministry like it was his life.  Because it was.  He climbed a tree and cut her finger.  It’s the first thing she remembers about him.  But they didn’t really meet that night.

The following Monday, they met for real.  He thought she was older.  And cute.  She thought he was intense.  He asked her if she wanted to help him take down a sign, and let her use a hammer.  He hugged her when they said good-bye and she thought that was a little weird.  The following weekend, she realized how incredibly kind and wonderful he was.  It was Fall Retreat 2003, and he went out of his way to make her feel welcome.  She could not get over how nice he was. 

Over the next few months, he decided that she was the girl he would marry.  She slowly came to realize that she cared for him.  She tried to deny it for a long time (remember the boy back home?  Yeah.).

Until finally.  Things worked out.  God opened both their eyes and hearts, and brought them to the same place. 

Eventually, late that December, their stories combined.  They began dating.  And neither one has looked back ever since

Stay tuned for Part II—coming Valentines Day 2012 (if I remember).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dear Old Navy

Old Navy,

I love you.  I really do.  Your inexpensive but still nice and fashionable goods have long been a staple in my closet.  But I’m a little miffed this morning.  See, I feel like if I’m going to wake up with an ad for maternity clothes in the morning, the girls in the ad should at least LOOK pregnant.  These girls, not so much.  And it really messes with a hormonal girl’s feelings in the morning.  See?


That’s all.

Okay, not quite.  With that said, I’ll still give you my money this weekend.  I need some new pants.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Letter to Liam

Sweet Liam,

Your dad and I are so excited to meet you—but not for a few more months.  You still have a lot of growing to do, and to be honest, so do we.  Sweet boy, I want you to have this letter when you are older so you can understand why we are the we are.  This is something you probably won’t understand until college (and you WILL be going to Purdue college), but I want it to be something you know.

Liam, your dad and I aren’t perfect.  But we’re the parents you were given.  And we love you.  And we absolutely want the best for you.  First and foremost, your dad and I want you to live passionately for God.  We want you to know Jesus as your Savior and to live a life sold out for him.  We will do our very best to teach you about Him, and to model Christ in our lives.  I know some days we will fail, but we know that God is faithful, even in the midst of our failures.  Sweet boy, cling to Jesus.  Cling to your Savior.  Know Him, love Him, and seek after Him wholeheartedly.  If you learn nothing else from us, I will consider that a success in parenting.

With that said, I do hope there are a lot of things you can learn from us.  I hope you can sing and play guitar like your dad.  I would love for you to be funny like him.  I don’t know what I want you to do like me.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  Liam, I want you to be able to experience life.  I want you to have a wide variety of experiences, to know the world around you.  I want you to see and experience creation, to recognize that God has given us a wide world and created people differently for a reason.  I have a real passion for creating memories, creating traditions, and for enjoying and experiencing life.  Right now, we live in a small town.  I teach high school English, and it’s been a really eye-opening experience for me.  I have realized how many kids grow up in homes where they aren’t introduced to the world around them.  Many of my students don’t have family traditions, and don’t do things with their families.  They don’t have memories of going to festivals or fairs or vacationing with their families.  Those are all things that I thought everyone did because your grandma and granddad did them with Aunt Lauren and I.  Even this week, I asked a class to draw a picture of a menu from a restaurant, and one student had only ever seen a menuboard at a fast food restaurant.  It broke my heart.  And made me want better for him.  And definitely want better for you.

I want you to know that the world is a big place.  I want you to know that being  a citizen, being a person is more than just existing.  I remember talking to your dad last summer (he really is as wise and wonderful and he is funny and goofy) and telling him why I liked doing things like going to farmer’s markets and picking fruit and he said that it’s the experiences we have in life that make it really living.  Your great-grandpa, Robert Cook, whose name you have inherited as your own middle name, hit the nail on the head.  Before he passed away this winter, he told the doctor that there is a difference between living and existing, and when you are just existing, it’s not worth it.  And my sweet boy, life is worth it.  It’s a gift.  One that I want you to enjoy, and one I want you to be thankful for.  As many opportunities as your dad and I hope to provide for you, as many memories and experiences we want to give you, I hope above all else that you see them as blessings from God and that you do not take them for granted.  It’s easy to do.  It’s a trap I fall into often.  I hope that you grow up with a thankful and loving spirit, one that is attuned to the blessings in your life.

Liam, I just want you to know, that whatever your dad and I do or have done, it was done with love.  We want to seek God’s will in our lives and in yours, and the things we do and see with you (or that we don’t do and see) are done because we love you and we truly want what is best for you.  I love you, my boy.  I’m so excited to meet you and know you. 



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Andy and Target

I think my love for Target is well-documented.  What you may not know, though, is that Andy loves it just as much as I do.  It's kind of our happy place, right up there with Lowe's and any place selling sushi.
A prime example of my husband's love for Target--last night we went to Target to start our baby registry (which was sort of a blast, by the way--a lot more fun and less stressful than wedding registering..more on this later) and get some new toys for Oliver (more about this later too).  Andy walked into the Target, and breathed in deeply.  He looked over at me, and said, "I love the smell of Target.  It's comforting.  I feel like I could be somewhere foreign or new, and walk inside a Target, and feel like I'm at home, or at least know my surroundings."
Can I even tell you how happy that made me?  Because I kind of feel the same way.

Monday, February 7, 2011

26. And 25 weeks pregnant.

So today is my birthday.  26.  Which just seems grown up.  Not really cool, but kind of adult.  The morning started nicely—Andy got up and made the coffee and got Ollie around (bathroom, food, water) so I could sleep in a little.  Then they both came back to bed and we all hung out for a bit.  It was nice.  I was a fan.

Then I went to work.  And I’d like to forget about the part of today that took place between the hours of 8 and 3.

So now Ollie and I are hanging out, waiting for Andy to come home.  I don’t really know what we’re doing tonight, but Andy did tell me not to worry about making dinner, so that’s hopeful :)  It’s crazy to think that at this time next year, we’ll have a 9 month old.  That feels foreign to me.

This whole pregnancy thing seems to be kicking in recently.  Like I’m realizing what a big transition is happening in 15 more weeks.  Liam is moving a whole lot, and his kicks are getting stronger.  His room is starting to come together (we got furniture moved to the appropriate room yesterday—now we just need to buy a dresser).  We’re starting to think about registering for stuff.  I ordered a car seat last week (the one I need to go with our stroller was on sale at, so I went for it).  Things are coming together slowly and surely.  Slowly has a lot to do with some of the physical pain I’m in.  I guess most people experience round ligament pain as a sporadic sharp pain, but I tend to just have a constant harrowing ache.  Usually after I’ve been sitting or standing or doing anything for any amount of time, I end up in a crazy amount of pain.  I’m trying to walk normally, but it hurts sometimes.  It’s kind of rough.  Sometimes it will hit at weird moments, and I shout out.  Yesterday I was trying to pick up something and I had a really sharp pain….I started crying it was so painful.  It’s okay, though.  In the end, it will be worth it.  There are a lot of good things….the pain is just a side effect.  I can handle it.    I’m just super thankful for the seat warmers in Andy’s car every time I ride in it :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Random Bits

--I’m glad it’s finally February.  January took way too long.  And was way too just bleh.

--My brain isn’t working right.  It’s just not.  I forget dumb things.  I do stupid stuff.  I’m not myself right now.

--I think we are in the one part of the country that isn’t being pelted with snow right now.  In fact, here’s the doppler radar for our house RIGHT now as the rest of the state and known world is covered in ice and snow (go north of Louisville following I-65, then go a little to the right and that’s us….in the part that’s just about to get the green):


And it’s not even cold enough to freeze it.  So we just have rain.  But that didn’t stop being from acting like loons at Kroger yesterday.  I’d like to find some of the people I saw there and ask them how they feel about their behavior now.  Seriously.  And I wasn’t even at Wal-Mart.  I can’t imagine the crazy going on up in there.

-You might think that since I teach English, I would refrain from using phrases like crazy going on up in there, since I can tell that they are grammatically incorrect.  You would be incorrect.  I don’t refrain from saying much of anything.

-Also, I ended up teaching a girl in my class why boys can’t have periods and what a uter*s, ov*ries, and fall*pian tubes were yesterday.  Because I guess she didn’t know.  Because she thought if a boy took birth control, it would cause him to have a period, since girls don’t have periods on birth control.  We covered that too.  No worries.  And then another girl asked if babies grow inside your ov*ries, so we had to cover that one too.  Can’t say I ever imagined this would be in my job description.  Next time, I’m calling the school nurse. 

-And that’s seriously it.  I don’t think anything interesting is happening here.