Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sappy Sentimentalist

Yep, that’s me. I’ll admit it freely. It doesn’t take much at all to send me reeling down memory lane or dreaming about the future- both of which usually come with tears. I’m not talking the sobbing kind of tears, just the kind of lump in your throat, eyes welling up, catch your breath kind of moments. I cry over songs on the radio (especially those about growing old, having babies, losing loved ones), I’ve even been known to cry at the end of races I run, or cry watching other people I love finish races. I cry when I drive over the bridge across the state line to Tennessee and again when we drive over it to leave. I cry at baptisms, even people I do not know, and I always cry at weddings. One of the places that always stirs-up these kinds of moments for me is being on the campus of my alma-mater in the beautiful town of Abilene. I always catch my breath as we drive into town and you get that first glimpse of the campus skyline over the hill. WHAT A DORK!

As a very precious gift from my husband, I spent three days there this last week during lectureships. He kept KJ at home and sent me off on the road-trip alone. I can’t remember when I’ve had that much time to myself. It was much needed and VERY much appreciated. I have not been able to thank him enough for being so understanding and for being the kind of Dad that I did not think twice about leaving KJ with him for a few days. I didn’t even have to leave any written instructions. He just took care of everything. He really is amazing.

This trip was such a different experience than I’ve had in Abilene in a long time. Usually when we go at Homecoming and/or Sing Song we pack our agenda full and run from place to place and friend to friend. It is so much fun, but far from relaxing and leaves no time for sentimental introspection. This week I did not really tell anyone I was coming, felt no obligation to keep any commitments and spent all my time leisurely eating at my favorite places, getting a pedicure, taking classes, walking around campus and staying up late talking to the friends I stayed with. It was perfect.

Here are a few things that stuck out to me about the trip, some sappy some just funny:

1) On Sunday night I went to the library to see the reconstruction and just to sit and read for a little while (I told you, I’m a dork). As I walked out of the library, with my backpack on my shoulders the bells started ringing on the hour. I cried. Too many memories.

2) I love to hear Dr. J. Willis teach the Bible. When he teaches about the Bible, you learn the Bible. No fluff, just the Bible. If he says the text is over Micah (as it was), you come away feeling like you have a better insight into the book of Micah. What an amazing gift!

3) I love zucchini bread from Hickory Street. Including the two pieces I ate at the restaurant and all that I’ve eaten of what I brought home “for RRL” I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed an entire loaf in the last 3 days.

4) Professor Brooks has an amazing gift for using her experiences to encourage others and share the gospel. She does it humbly, with grace, and prepares in a way that obviously allows the Lord to work on her and speak clearly through her. By the way, her class was so full people had to sit on the floor.

5) Men doing your pedicure, who never speak a word, and only shove your feet in and out of the water, can make a delightful experience very awkward.

6) At lectureships I was kind of an odd-duck. There were other people my age, but most people fit into two categories…1)obviously older than me; 2) students. I had to laugh in several situations as people I met tried to tactfully fit me into one of those categories. This was made especially difficult by the conflicting large bump of baby on my front and the backpack I was carrying. More that one sweet lady commented that I “looked young enough to be a student” and acted surprised later in conversation when I told them I was expecting. As if it was not obvious! I tried to keep my wedding ring apparent to avoid awkwardness.

7) I am very jealous that within walking distance of campus there is now a Cracker Barrel, SuperWalmart, and Chilis.

8) Staying in the apartment of college girls sure made me miss life in our little UP apartment. The girls I stayed with even had a Beta fish. Here’s to you, Mr. Fluffy.

As much as I loved my time in Abilene, as rested as I felt from my little get-away, and as thankful as I am for my experiences there, nothing about those three days could top the feeling I got as I drove into my own driveway and walked in our little house to my husband and my son. KJ’s huge grin and sweet kisses, RRL’s strong arms waiting for me- there really is no place I would rather be. No two people who can make me sappier. It is nice to get away sometimes, just to remember that.

You should have known that with a title about being sentimental this post was sure to get long! Next time I’ll just post what you really want- pictures of KJ.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

KJ has a new word

One of the fun parts about the stage KJ is in right now is all of his new words. He tries to repeat everything we say and has a growing list of words that he uses without prompting on a regular basis. I liked Wendy's idea of documenting this (thanks for letting me copy you) and I've actually been adding to it throughout today as I remember more words he knows. They all require some interpretation still, but he uses these consistently so rrl and I at least know what he is saying. So far he says:

Maaaah- mee (Mommy)
Daaahhhh-dee (Daddy)
Pea (please)
Dat-doo (Thank you)
wahk (walk)
Bi (bite)
Pah-Pah (pat pat, while banging on any object)
Bah-Ball (basketball)
Bot-Ball (football)
Pea-Boo (peek-a-boo)
Bibah (Bible)
May-man (amen)
Yeah (Yes)
Wah (water)
Bah-bee (Baby-but he pats his own tummy instead of mine)
No (with hands raised and shoulders shrugged- "i don't know)
No (when pointing to nose- nose)
Nah-No (no no- usually while waving a finger)
Dat (that...usually while pointing to say "I want that")
Nah-None (all gone or all done...when waving hands)
soo (shoe)

And yesterday we started teaching him a new word...BROTHER. That's right, we found out yesterday that KJ is going to have a little brother. We had a terrific sonogram. I love that our Doctor actually does the sonograms herself. She was so detailed in her explanations to us of what we were seeing. It was so cool that you can see so many things like the heart chambers and valves, the fingers and toes, spine, ribs, tiny bones, stomach, etc on a little person that weighs less than 1 pound. I loved seeing our little boy in this way and knowing that he is healthy and growing all at the hand of our good Maker. What a miracle!

One funny part about yesterday- During the earliest part of the sonogram, the doctor thought we were having a girl. She showed us on the screen even what she was looking at. Apparently our little guy was just being really shy and had his legs crossed just right. At the end of the sonogram the doctor went back to just check again and said "Hello, where was THAT hiding before". I think I said something to the effect of "Is that your professional opinion?" We all had a good laugh and I realized we had just been moments away from preparing for a little girl, only to get quite a SHOCK in January.

We are so thrilled about having a brother for KJ. Literally, I've been bouncing off the walls with joy! They are going to be the best of friends (we pray).

Thanks for your continued prayers as we prepare to welcome Baby Boy #2 (still unnamed).


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Baby He or Baby She

We will find out on Monday whether KJ will be welcoming a baby brother or sister. Here is your chance to say "I knew all along". Go to the comments section at the bottom of this post, sign in and cast your vote!

We'll post the exciting news on Monday...Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'll just walk


From this point forward in my life, you will never see me turn-up my nose at those who walk for exercise, you will never hear me refer to walking as an "old-lady" sport, and you will never again hear me utter the words "I'll JUST walk" as if there is any JUST about it.

Nearly 2 months ago, rrl and some of our running buddies decided to start training for another 1/2 marathon. I certainly did not want to be left out of the early Saturday am adventures and especially the chick-fil-a breakfast celebrations that follow, but I really did not feel like BL2 would appreciate running that much. That is why I uttered those famous last words "I'll just walk". Sure, a half-marathon is 13 miles, sure I'll be more than 6 months pregnant at the time of the race, but how hard could walking be. I've run two 1/2s already, so if anything the walking might bore me to death... I'm still laughing at my naivety. Oh how wrong I was.

This last weekend was our 8 mile workout. There are a couple of other walkers in our group, but they weren't there this week. So, I loaded KJ in the stroller, got some tunes, gummy bears, water, banana for KJ (the essentials) and headed off alone in the dark. Roughly 2 hours later KJ and I made it home (he was fast asleep), and we plan to keep going with the training. The point of this post is not to make you feel sorry for me, I'm really enjoying this work-out. I just needed to go on record now as saying that JUST walking 8 miles pushing a stroller and keeping a good pace while being nearly 5 months pregnant is not easy in the least- in some ways maybe even harder than my running days. In fact, I did take a few "run" breaks to make the time go faster and to give my legs a rest. (funny, i used to take walk breaks).

Hope this post might save some of you avid runners the mistake of saying you'll "just walk" someday.