Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nicholas Franks, BTh

After what was way too much waiting for me we finally have news. Nick was out at a sort of "interview" dinner for an apprenticeship position for next year and the pastor was praying for him. Nick's cell phone rang and the pastor stopped for a moment and said 'Go ahead. Answer it.' and he kept on praying.

Nick talked with one of the ladies looking after Graduation. The talks had been had. Nick is going to get to walk the stage. When he does so he will be given an empty folder in which everyone else will get their diploma. In the program there will be an asterick next to Nick's name indicating that he will be "graduating pending requirements". Several other people will have this next to their name as well, it is not specific to Nick.

For Nick, "pending requirements" means that he has to take a class approved by the school within the next year to boost his GPA. Since we have been actively pursuing a lead for next year that is looking quite promising, they will try and arrange it so he can do it in a festival, (one week or weekend of class then you do the homework on your own time), or an online course.
So it's good that he will be graduating. It still breaks my heart that he had to go through this pain though. Wondering if he is just graduating on people's mercy or if he really deserves it. Feeling like he isn't good enough. He has been through a lot of emotions this week, but has come to rest on God's compassion and Graduation will be a joyous event for us.

Nick is happy. I'm sad he had to go through what he had to go through, but encouraged by the outcome. Other people who have been to the school and dealt with the school think it's ridiculous, (when I graded in 2002 I hadn't paid for my final tuition in full. When I grabbed my folder on my way across the stage it did not hold my diploma, it held a balance sheet of what I owed them). That's the kind of stuff the school is notorious with their students for.

So, ladies and gentlemen although the ceremony isn't until Saturday I'd like to introduce you to my husband, Nick Franks BTh.

Are you as geeky as me?

So just in case you're checking back here all afternoon to see how the saga with Nick plays out, (like you don't have lives of your own!), here is an update anyway.

Nick got D's in both of his classes which are passes. However since they're just D's his GPA has slipped to 1.99, and he may not graduate. It is now in the hands of the faculty head of the Bachelor of Theology program whether he feels Nick deserves to graduate or not. This person is in a board meeting until 5:00 today and so we might not know until tomorrow. The graduation banquet is at 6:00 tomorrow, and we'll have to leave at about 4:30 to make it across town the location, so hopefully they call us by 4:00 tomorrow so I can shower.


So I still haven't heard from Nick or anyone official if grad will be taking place. Nick went down to the school to see if he could find his glasses, (he left them in the exam room), and to see if he can get an answer on the situation. The grad rehearsal starts in the next half an hour, so hopefully we'll know by then. How crazy if he went to rehearsal and everything and then got a call late tonight saying "sorry dude". Crazy.

My stomach is in knots and every time the phone rings I nearly puke. Our home is usually very quiet but today the phone is ringing off the hook. Crazy.

Well the best thing to do in times of stress is laugh. On road trips Nick and I used to get copies of 17 so we could read and laugh at the stories people write in there. Now that we're more mature we pick up copies of Today's Parents and Parenting so we can laugh at the kids. Here is a little laughter to ease any stress in your life!

"My husband shaves his head. One day our 4 year old Brodie was getting his hair cut and told the stylist, 'my daddy doesn't grow hair on his head just his back.'"
"My 3 year old Kaitlin and I were at a friend's house and someone asked my daughter if her daddy was a good cook. She said 'Yes he cooks pasta'. Then Kaitlin was asked how daddy makes his pasta and she said 'He puts on the water and waits for mommy to get home'."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

So, Nick wrote his Greek test today and his Philosophy test last Friday. After Philosophy he felt like he did a good job, after Greek he wasn't sure. Today we found out that he did not do well in Philosophy. He will be finishing the class with a D it sounds like. I couldn't care less if it was a D or an A. But, the registrar will. Not only do you have to pass all of your classes, you have to maintain a 2.0 GPA to graduate. Nick just barely had a 2.0. I love him to death, but he's not academic. So here we are at home, with his parents who have come from Ontario and mine en route from Saskatchewan and the grad gown hanging in our closet, the last minute hair cut planned, the grad photos anxiously waiting to be framed, and graduation might not happen. He has worked so hard. He has jumped through every fricken hoop in the academic world, and he might not be considered "smart" enough to graduate. I'm bawling. He's a mess. To not graduate would ruin us. Now you may think, it's okay take some fly courses next year, up the GPA and grad in 2007. Sadly it's completely out of the question.

Nick's degree ceases to exist at the end of this year. When the school moved from Regina to Calgary and began the process of becoming a university instead of a college they had to revamp their degrees. If Nick doesn't grad this year he has to do more classes to complete a new degree. Classes cost about $800 per credit. We're gearing up to live on one income. You get the picture. If grad does not happen this weekend, it wont.

And just the thought of it is devestating.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Long Road to the Ideal.

*Postscript: This is not a pity party post and I think it's come out more melodramatic and sad then I wanted it to. It's just a thought I've been pondering and curious on the outlook of others.

I have been wondering about my ideal life lately. Is the ideal all I make it out to be or does it just seem so good cuz it's not what I have right now? I have been wondering about ideals lately. I've been wondering if they're worth the pursuit.

When I daydream I see an ideal life for me. I know how many kids I'd like to have, the type of house and the plot of land I'd like it on, the sort of city and the daily things I would do. I see people's faces from my past and present that amalgomate in my daydreams into my ideal life even though I know that for sure that part of ideal will not happen.

Somedays I just daydream about this life, and some days I sit at my computer researching how to get there. But recently I was faced with the reality of having to let my daydreams go. I have to be open to not living what I consider ideal. I know that I could spout a bunch of lip service about how as long as I'm in God's will my life will be perfect for me regardless of how much it looks like my ideals, but I'm not into lip service. The truth is I'm fairly attached to my ideal.

The last two years have been a rollar coaster that have left us in a bit of a low. Now I would tell you how low, but it involves money and no one talks for real about money, so I'll just leave you to wonder how low that low is. It's also a real physical and emotional low. Not because we're sad and unhappy and miserable in our life, but because grad does not symbolize the end of the road for us, it's just a turn to another longer road and we're tired from the first trek! It's hard to get up your gumption for the turn when you're still exhausted from the last leg. I know for a fact I would not make it as a triathelete.

Last month we paid off one of Nick's student loans. I have no idea how much it was to begin with as he's been paying it off since before we were married and sucks at keeping important papers, but we received that glorious letter where the line reading "balance owing" is $0.00. We put it on our bulletin board and looked at it every now and then dream of paying a mortgage and not rent, of owning a car instead of leasing it, of having a house full of the family we dream of.

And for a moment the road looks a bit shorter and we keep on going. But then you see how long it really is and you start to wonder, is the road worth traveling? Is the ideal all I make it out to be or does it just seem so good cuz it's not what I have right now? I have been wondering about ideals lately. I've been wondering if they're worth the pursuit.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Last night I was awoken a few times by the hungry cries of the little baby boy who came home from the hospital yesterday and lives above us. Right about 3:00 those cries could be heard in our apartment from above. I woke up and listened hoping for that new mom that things were going smoothly and she could get back to sleep. Nick slept on. Now I remember what I have to look forward to, "what honey the baby cried last night? I didn't hear."

Yesterday evening we also went to Derek Selinger's show and his sister was there with her 3 week old daughter Makayla. She was so tiny and easy to cuddle with. True, she wasn't exactly cuddling back but I remembered what I have to look forward to there. The new baby smell, the tiny weight of such a fragile being.

And other friends of ours had their baby as well. The husband was once Nick's room mate and I lived with the wife in dorms. We haven't seen them in a long while and are closer with their younger siblings, but I still felt that surge of overwhelming excitement to hear it was a girl and then rolling her name around on my tongue like a new ice cream, knowing I will like it but having to get used to saying it. "Aria Grace" I kept saying over and over. And I remembered the excitement of the unveiling of my child. Of God's precious creation that I get to show case to the world. All the fun of home made baby announcements that I can send in the mail and spend hours making. The phone calls to close friends. The overly emotional first days where tears roll down your cheeks just because they've arrived.

I like all of these reminders, but now 5 months seems so long to wait!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Breathing a little easier.

So I had my pre-natal appointment today. I was so nervous. Last night I could not sleep. I was gearing myself up and talking myself into "nothing is the end of the world", but all I could see when I closed my eyes was the doctor pulling out that awesome machine that hears the heartbeat and she would say "um, I'm sorry...."

But all of that gearing up was in vain because there was totally a heartbeat! Yay. A sweet sounding 150 beats a minute, which I do believe is in the healthy range. No high blood pressure, measuring right on with the 16 weeks I am. Good Good. I am however not putting on any weight and have been ordered to eat-A LOT in the next four weeks before I go back. You think that would be welcome advice, but I have zero appetite for some reason. I am just not hungry until about 9:00pm. How does that happen? So I'll be trying to eat more these weeks and probably starting a food log or something to see what I really am eating. Chips, check. Smarties check. Coke check. That's going to need some work.

Our first ultrasound is set for May 10 at 8:00 in the morning. I'm not even usually conscious at 8:00am but I'll be bouncing that day for sure. Hopefully it will put the rest of my fears to rest, or at the very least give a name to my fears and I can deal with anything I need to then. But, Nick keeps on telling me how great God is and that there is nothing wrong with our little bean, he's just growing that amazing love in us that we'll know before we even meet this little one that we would die for them. And that blows me away.

So it was a good update, and just one heartbeat, (I was secretly hoping for twins, but there's not any in my family lineage. I'll have to be pregnant and give birth four times to get all the kids I want, no shortcuts for me!).

Hope you guys are having a great day as well and that you got some news that made you smile!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Long stories.

I've noticed that quite a few of my last posts have been long. So here's a short one.
I find this very ironic.
Katie Holmes's parents are devout Catholics. Katie Holmes's dad is a divorce lawyer.
Maybe it's just me.

The Paper.

So I talked about the last paper Nick and I wrote this weekend and it's still sticking with me. This paper was based on a new thought to me, and I'm still trying to sort through it. I know what I think, but I'm not sure I have developed it enough to debate it in an intellectual setting. It is definitely an evolving idea- evolving in the sense that it's not complete, not in the sense that I will scrap it and go to the other side. I know what I believe in this, I am just not sure how to be firm in it.

And that may not sound like a huge deal. You know what you believe, so stand firm. But we're looking at living a life ministering to teens so I better know what I believe and be able to explain it cuz teens ask a lot of awesome questions.

So, the paper was on determinism vs indeterminism. We read a lot of philosophy books and I got lost in a lot of gobbeldy gook but the best way I can think to explain the difference is this. Determinists would say that if you grew up the child of a serial killer you are destined to become a serial killer. Indeterminists would say that if you grew up the child of a serial killer and become a serial killer it was because you chose of your free will to become a serial killer. (and for anyone more philosophical than me-if there's a more finessed way to explain the difference I am open).

I didn't know this was an area of debate in the Christian world, I did not know a debate existed over whether or not humans have free will. It came up in our Bible Study last semester and I found that many of the members are determinists. They do not believe we have free will. They believe that although it looks like we're making choices were not because God has already made the plans for our lives and choices are illusions because we're going to do what he has set out for us to do the way he set out for us to do it.

I know what I think and whether I am a determinist or an indeterminist. I'm wondering what others think and the reasons they have chosen which they are. In reading the Bible I found verses to support both sides, and I believe we can live in harmony as Christians with different ideas on this. I'm just looking to talk to others and get my thoughts in order enough to talk to teens about it, should they ever ask.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Fam on Easter

I think I'll join the world of sharing about Easter. We didn't do anything. We got up and went to church, we picked up some groceries, we came home and began working on Nick's final philosophy paper. We ate dinner, we put Belle to bed, we did some chores, we finished Nick's philosophy paper, we watched Crossing Jordan, we went to bed. That was that. But we did take a family picture for a project my mom is working on, so here's Easter 2006:

A new approach.

I recently learned how much of a rut I am stuck in in virtually all areas of life. Nick and I decided to spontaneously buy groceries the other day-no list, no calculator, no coupons. We just walked into the grocery store and bought everything we thought we needed. I got to the check out and ended up spending the same amount I spend when I have a list and all of the "usuals" were on the conveyor belt. How boring is that. I also went to pick an outfit for graduation and had the hardest time trying to make myself buy something that wasn't blue. I am not sure why but about 80% of my wardrobe is blue. I like the color true, but I like lots of colors. It's a rut I tell ya.

The rut I am attempting to break out of currently is one in the most precious area to me. The rut of scrapbooking. I have always been more of a spontaneous scrapbooker. I have a free hour or two I'll pick an event and just go about those pages not worrying about what comes before or after. But I met a lady, and her name is Mrs. Jones and she has the most wonderful scrapbooks ever. I've seen her often at the scrapbooking workshops I go to and often she is sitting there with her steno notebook and shoeboxes of photos just writing things down and reminiscing about old memories. It wasn't until my last visit to the workshop that I actually saw her work and I was blown away.

All of her albums are planned from beginning to end before she even cuts her first photo. And they aren't boring! She knows how many pages there will be for each event, the focus photo of each page, the main colors of the pages. It's amazing. I have recently put in an order for Belle's first album, (well I mean the first album I will be doing for Belle). I know I want it to last from when we were expecting her to at least Christmas of 2006. I'm going to try and plan it all out have a common element on the pages, know what I want to have where. It's going to be a challenge, an awesome, scary, organizational challenge.

The next workshop I'm going to is on May 27th and so I have about a month to plan at least enough to do a few pages that day. I don't even know where to begin! Is anyone else out there a scrapbook planner?

Or if you're not but you do scrapbook, share your inspirations, what you do to get your creative juices flowing, your favorite technique, your favorite product line. Share, share it all. I promise this is only the first of many a scrapbooking posts!

Friday, April 14, 2006


In my younger days I used to love gold star charts. Getting stars for reading books in school or finishing my math homework. I used to make my own gold star charts for doing my chores. Somewhere along the way though gold stars were no longer enough. It doesn't make me feel like I have been rewarded for my accomplishments anymore to simply put a sticker on a piece of poster board.

I wonder what the grown up equivalent to a gold star chart is. I imagine everyone has their own way of "rewarding" themselves for doing the hum-drum things of everyday life. I need to find something that will work for me because my discipline has gone out the window!

As a grown up it seems that "rewards" are double edge swords. You did great on your diet this month so you "reward" yourself by having an extra piece of cake at that birthday party. Good idea right, until the next day when you push yourself extra hard in your workout to burn off those calories. You have curbed your shopping habit, haven't bought anything in months. Treat yourself to a new outfit for that wedding you're attending. Great treat right? Until it comes to the end of the month and you realize that you probably spent a little more than you should have. You've gotten all today's chores done so you treat yourself to a bubble bath. Great treat right? Until you go into the living room and your husband has that puppy dog face because you didn't spend your free time with him. Is there a good "reward" in "grown up land"?

I think that lots of other people give us good rewards. It feels so nice when someone compliments you, or when you get an unexpected letter or email. When someone calls just because they were thinking of you. All those things are great treats, but we don't give them to ourselves. And if we did would we believe them as much coming from our mouths instead of someone elses?

I sure need some motivation to do those hum-drum things, but I don' think resurrecting the gold star chart is going to cut it. I wonder what will and what does for other people.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Last night Nick has his final hockey game of the year. It was originally scheduled for Wednesday but the other team could not make it and said "switch to Tuesday or else you can have the gold medal because we'll forfeit". No one likes to win a season of hockey by forfeit and so the switch was made. The other team knew they could not win against our guys and they played dirty. One of our players got ejected because a guy on the other team managed to make his helmet come off while drawing the penalty. Not cool, but we won! Nick was very excited by this and literally bounced to the bleachers afterwards to give Belle his medal for safe keeping while he changed and celebrated in the dressing room. I am so thankful they won, but even more thankful that Nick will now lose his playoff beard, oh how I loathe the beard.

We also got that update we've been waiting for from the church where Nick hopes to do his apprenticeship. It was basically a "talked to the elders board, they are praying" update, but Nick also has to call the pastor and work the big picture down into details. Here's hoping it all works out!

It's a bit sad, but mostly glad that hockey is over, we're one step closer to NEVER BEING STUDENTS AGAIN!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The girl upstairs is still pregnant.
I have not had an ultrasound.
But I did spend an hour shaving my legs from ankle to knee, (baby steps people, this will take baby steps). And I am pleased to confirm that I am indeed a girl.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Get in my Belly.

Today at work someone made a comment that you can "see that little bean", and so I thought I would put up those requested belly pics. Sadly I did not lose any of my pregnancy weight from the first time around, correction- I lost it twice, I put it back on three times, and ended up weighing the same as I did at nine months preggers when I got pregnant again at ten months post-preggers. So none of these pics are of the bare belly as I think it's mostly flab, but if you like you can imagine it's mostly baby. I was sitting down when I thought to do this, so the sitting bump:

Standing with no props to try and make it look bigger than it actually is.

And me using my hands to try and make it look like there's a baby in there at 14 weeks 5 days preggo.

My first and long awaited pre-natal appointment is on April 20th, an agonizing 10 days away but I shall update then on the heartbeat and hopefully all will be good. Then the ultrasound should be soon after and we'll know what we're dealing with, hm, should I write that post now or later......stay tuned for more thoughts from the preggo procrastinator!

PS: My boobs have not grown at all, although I think my butt has started too. Why can't we all be blessed with outrageous hooters when pregnant, I mean who really wants a ghetto booty? WHO?

The Chewbacca Factor

How is this for the irony of life. I hate having hairy legs. When I was in college I got up each morning extra early so I could shave every day. Since I became a mom I can't remember the last time I shaved. In fact these are my legs, not my arms, not my husband's legs-mine. I'm not sure if you can see the hair, wait who am I kidding? It's dark brown and AS LONG AS MY PINKY.

I blame this on what I like to refer to as "The Chewbacca Factor". The fact that while you are pregnant your hair grows at warp speed, especially where it is not wanted. Today I went to Canadian Tire to buy hedge clippers and have cleared my schedule for the ENTIRE evening so as to take care of this issue so I can wear a skirt or some capris to Nick's grad in two weeks. I am sure it will take multiple visits to the water closet to tame these beasts.

Which brings me to my nemesis.

Yes, I do know that sometimes my eyebrows meet in the middle. You can usually tell how good life is or isn't going by how close together my eyebrows are. When things are bad they spread from ear to ear, (literally), when things are okay they do not meet in the middle but stick out way to close to my ears. When things are good, they are good.

The irony of life again here. Things are good, I just don't have the time to pluck these into submission and at home waxing is not my forte.

I guess I better clear tomorrow night's schedule too.

I should be insatiable more often.

Yesterday was my "insatiable" day, and while trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I got all the laundry done, played with Belle, made a real dinner, caught up on 9 hours of work, read a little, hung out with Nick, helped him write some papers and fell asleep tired enough that I slept soundly until my alarm rang. However, today when I am ready to go and motivated all I've done is a little of this and a little of that. Bizarre.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


This weekend has been quite a weird one. I cannot for the life of me figure out what I want in any arena of life. I am starving, but everything I try to eat is not the right thing thus leaving me just as hungry as when I began eating it. I have a zillion things to do but everything on that list is not what I want to do. Although, truth be told, I have no idea what I want to be doing either. None of my clothes feel comfortable. I just feel like wandering, pacing back and forth in my tiny apartment, hoping for some divine inspiration of what I want. Very bizarre.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Driven to Distraction

About a month ago now Nick emailed a church with the details of his apprenticeship program. He laid out his reasons for approaching this particular church and asked them if they would consider him and his proposal. The very next day we got an email back saying how honored this church was to be considered and that they woud talk to the pastoral staff and elders and of course pray about it and they would get back to us the next week. Now we didn't expect to get an answer that week, just perhaps a little update like, "talked to elders, we are praying".

We did not get that update. Nor have we heard anything in the month following. Nick has felt led to only approach one church at a time to follow each lead completely through without compromising integrity, which I agree with 100%. We've also felt called to pray for patience and wait on God's time instead of hounding the said church.

Each morning I get up and pray "Lord let me wait for your time, help me be patient." But by lunch time I'm praying "Lord, please can today be your time?". I check the email at least 20 times a day. Waiting has driven me to distraction.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Great Expectations.

This weekend we got new neighbors. We live in a fourplex and the boys who lived about us moved out. We are very greatful for that as they had a lot of parties and we actually had to call the police as one was beating up his girlfriend. In their place a young couple has moved in. I say young becuase I am not a good judge of age, and because they aren't married I'm going to stay they're still young. They are expecting their first baby any minute now. In fact it's been quiet up there all day, I wonder if they're at the hospital!

The young lady came down to introduce herself, (her name is Marilyn), and she was just glowing. You could see the nervous excitement on her face. It brought me back to March 2005 when we were moving into this apartment, me a week overdue already, just longing to meet the little one but a bit scared of the labor and delivery part. Nervous excitement.

I can't imagine feeling that way again. Which is odd because I already should be feeling that way! I have to confess that I am having a hard time connecting with the fact that I am pregnant. I feel more like I have the bird flu! My puking got so intense I begged for a prescription of doxylamine and once I had it I began to feel the constant fear that I was harming my child. For some reason this has caused me to not connect with the little on inside me. The puking subsided, but started again on Monday and I feel awful again. I actually cried today and told my husband with certainty I cannot do this for six more months! I jokingly told a friend or two that I had lost 10 pounds from all the puking, I just wanted to express how much I had been puking. But after it stopped I stepped on the scale and to my horror found that I had lost 8 pounds! I had always thought that pregnancy got less stressful each time around, but I have come to the conclusion that since each child is as precious, every pregnancy should be just as stressful! What a huge gift and responsibility that is growing inside.

I have my first pre-natal appointment on April 20th. I will be 17 weeks by then. I saw my family doctor a few times in hopes he can ease my sickness, but the guy is a tool. I can't wait to be in the hands of competant doctors. I can't wait to hear that precious heartbeat. I can't wait to see that ultrasound scan.

I know there are many praying for our unborn child, and I have no reason to think there is something wrong, as many would say "a sick mom is a healthy baby". I have already begun to feel the little flutters of movement, which is awesome. Not often, but in those quiet moments when I'm being still and I know that God knows how full of fear my heart is, He gets that little baby to shake it.

I think I might leave our apartment door open today, just in case a new baby enters the building. Although I'm sure we'll hear the crying when they do get home! So much excitement, so much nervousness. How exciting for the couple upstairs, and for us.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I don't wanna work.

Yesterday I did a good thing and took a day off. I called into the office and let them know I would not be coming in and released myself of having to work. I slept all day. It was nice. But today I have to catch up, and man is there a lot of work to do!

Perhaps I'll go tackle the dishes instead, or maybe the laundry, or maybe I actually NEED to watch Oprah today........

I don't wanna work, I just wanna bang on the drum all day!!

Only six more months!

Monday, April 03, 2006

My return.

"You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song.
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song.
You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song.
I will sing again. "-Third Day-
My return is earlier than I had expected. But I truly do believe that I am ready. It didn't happen the way I thought it would, but I feel refreshed. I feel complete. I feel content to be me. Not much has changed in life, but my perspective has been corrected. I am glad to be rejoining the blogging world. I look forward to sharing myself again and to getting to know you all a little more.
The template may have changed, (and I still do need to tweak it), but I'm still the same blogger. More honest that I need to be, still full of more questions than answers. I guess there will be some small changes. You can expect to hear more about what I think about God and my faith. Well, you'll probably hear more of my questions and thoughts, not necessarily knowledge. And this is not because I have become some super spiritual being, but I find this a good forum for expressing what's on my mind, and in the past I had not been expressing that huge part of me. Please always offer what you think, I learn best through discussion!
I don't want to dwell in the past with a tonne of "update" posts or "this is what I learned", so I will leave you with the rest of the lines of the Third Day song that sum up my journey.
"You are my Father in Heaven.
You are the Spirit inside me.
You are my Jesus who loves me.
I will sing again." -Third Day-