What does that mean, anyway? "In a nutshell"? I'll need more than a nutshell size of piece of paper to recap our November and I certainly hope that anytime you spend reading this will not equate to the part of the nut that you throw on the floor. Anyway, here are some updates from our whirlwind month. Any one of these items could make for an entire post, so be prepared for a long read...
1) MARATHONS- While "marathon" would be a pretty accurate metaphor for November at our house, there were a couple of literal ones this month, too. I finally achieved my pregnancy goal of walking 13.1 miles. Technically I power-walked 10 miles and strolled the last few; out of 2000 people in the race about 12 finished after me. Still, I count it as mission accomplished. The best part was that a childhood friend came to walk with me. We had nearly 4 hours of one-on-one catch up time and that was a huge blessing to me. RRL RAN a marathon a couple of weeks later with some of our favorite running buddies. I was so proud of their stellar time, despite being one of the hardest courses I've ever seen and I cried as they crossed the finish line (shocker). Here is a photo of the whole 1/2 marathon & 5K crew in Tyler.
2) RENEWAL- I had the joy of organizing an event for the women of our church during the 2nd week of Nov (with a LOT of help from some amazing volunteers). I have been hesitant to post about it, since I was in charge, but I just need to say publicly how blessed the event was. It was not blessed by my talents, efforts or wisdom; it was blessed by the Lord who provided so abundantly for it. Seriously, I was under prepared for the magnitude of the event and I have zero experience with dealing with that many women. If left to myself, my patience would have been zapped by questions about cloth vs paper napkin, people arriving 45 minutes early and whether the decorating theme should be fall decor (not even sure what that actually means). If it had been up to me, there would have been zero chance that 300 women would be willing to step outside their comfort zones and sit at tables with women they did not know. Instead, those details just fell in place, people came who have not been to women's events for a long time and there was a peace on the place as we dealt with some uncomfortable "laundry" that was among us. I was once again amazed at how the Lord uses me to accomplish HIS plans, despite my efforts to accomplish a personal agenda. Eventually, I will quit fighting and just surrender to his purpose. Why is that so hard?
3) HOME SWEET HOME- RRL, KJ and I drove to my parents house for Thanksgiving. We got to spend one whole glorious week with Momma and Daddy and visited a host of other relatives and friends. You are never too old to be renewed by sleeping in your childhood bed, having meals prepared for you and getting hugs and kisses from your parents everyday. At least I hope I never get too old! I love that RRL, KJ, BL2 and I are making a home here that is a place I cherish and long to return to, but I can still have that home, too. I just love Thanksgiving. Our family has so much to be thankful for and I pray we can be more mindful of that all year. Here are a couple of pictures of our trip:
4) DREAMS- When I was pregnant with KJ I remember having weird dreams. They were mostly far-fetched sort of sci-fi kind of dreams about childbirth. The dreams have started again, but are so different this time. This time they are so real and vivid that I wake up able to remember every detail and I often get the dreams confused with reality. It is such a funny feeling to be in the middle of my day and not be able to remember if so-and-so is really angry with me or if that just happened in my dream, did I forget to send KJ's lunch or was that in my dream. Crazy. One of the funniest dreams I have had, though, was one I like to call "Michael Scott and I save Dunder Mifflin". Seriously, I had a very intense dream about how MS and I met with the owner of Dunder Mifflin to remind him to have more fun at work. This would help people want to continue working there. I had a whole power-point presentation that I wish I could recreate. The dream started as just any ordinary day at my real office, but some how went down this very different path. Do you think I watch too much TV?
5) TRICKS AND ENTERTAINMENT- KJ is full of tricks these days and I often I find myself just sitting and watching him. He is so funny. One of my favorite things that he does right now is sing the ABC's. We have a Leap*frog letters magnet on the fridge that he sings along with. He only does a few of the letters, but always yells "Z" at the end. I love it. He also loves any kind of ball and some of his favorite words are catch, pass, dribble, shoot and miss. A recent favorite is a Christmas book that sings "Away in a Manger". He loves to pat the baby in the pictures and call him Jesus...be still my heart! I could go on and on, I'm just so proud. If you run into us expect a show while I encourage my child to show-off. I'm definitely one of "those" moms.
6) COUNTDOWN- BL2' s expected arrival is less than 8 weeks away. He is definitely growing and so am I...WOWzers. I seriously love being pregnant, though. I do not love people that have negative things to say about my size, the way I am carrying the baby or about how full my hands are going to be with two young boys. No JOKE, I know, thanks for the input...all things (and a few I've censored out) that I would love to say to such people. I'm thinking of wearing a sign that says "encouraging words only, please...may bite". On that note...no, we don't have room ready for the baby; and no, we don't have a name picked out. The list of names is constantly changing. Current front-runner is Hudson Clark (funny, I don't even think that name was even on the list last time I posted about this). Despite the lack of planning, I am not stressed. I know he will be welcomed with joy into a family that will love him and teach him about Jesus, who cares what color his room is. We just can't wait to meet our littlest man.
7) PRAYERS FOR THE TRAVELERS- My parents are about 1/2 way through their trip to Paraguay right now to visit my brother. They went with 278 lbs of luggage, a small corner of which was reserved for their clothes and the rest was gifts (including components of a swingset) to take to the people they have never met, but that they love because my brother has come to love them. I love that my parents (and mother-in-law, too) have the desire and ability to travel to all parts of the globe to see their children and experience their lives. I hope I can pass that kind of love on to my boys, it is the only way I know to let my parents see how much it means to us!
Hope that explains a little bit of why I have not posted in a month. It was such a fun month that really wanted to document it, even if it was long. I did not even get into all of the normal youth group activities, going to work 3 days a week, having house-guests, etc. Like I said, this was just the "nutshell".