Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Doldrums

Today has been one of those days. I got a lot accomplished, I met a few small goals, I'm going out to Bible Study tonight sans kid and you would think I'd be feeling happy. Or at least be feeling something. But I just have those doldrums. When no matter what the day brings you still can't wait for it to end and another one to begin. They strike me as odd, the doldrums. I wonder if life ever just has that content feeling on days like these, I just wonder what it is that is missing when the doldrums come. And the obvious answer is nothing is missing at all, the doldrums have just taken over. But I do suppose that without doldrum days there wouldn't be any exciting ones!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Let it Slip

For a long time now I've had an idea. An idea that I would like to make a reality, but I have been afraid to share it. For some reason as long as it's in my head it's fine that it's just an idea but as soon as I say it aloud I have a responsibility to make it happen, or so I feel. I have mentioned it in passing to a few people, but while scrappin this weekend I put it out there to see what others might think. The response was all positive, but now I am trembling at the idea of making it happen.

See, here's the thing. I love working. I love having something that is mine, that I'm in charge of, that I push myself to do. Something I can tell Nick and my kids about and no one is going "yes Amanda I was there.". But I despise going to work. Just the getting up at the same time everyday and doing the same routine day in and day out, and all the office politics, I can't stand it. Plus I am worth way more than any job I've ever had has paid me, I just do not know how to get those high paying jobs, self marketing is not my strong point.

So I have an idea for a home based business. I started thinking about this in 2004 and took a course to get my diploma as I would need it. Not in business, but in...........Wedding Planning. Yup, I technically am educated to plan weddings. My idea has been to have a home based wedding/special event planning business and to supplement it with becoming a scrapbooking rep. I just think the two go so well together.

For example say you got married in July and then you return to life. By October you're wondering where the magic you felt while planning that wedding went and all you want is something exciting again. Then in the mail you receive an invitation from me, the lady who helped pull of your special day, to plan another party. It's a much smaller event, perhaps for you and your wedding party and your mom and mom-in-law. We plan the kinds of snacks and how the evening will go, and oh the focus of the evening- YOU. We'll be getting together to make memorable scrapbooking pages or shadow boxes that capture your wedding. Wouldn't that be fun?

Or say you planned Great Grandma Helga's 95th birthday in December and it was a blast. But shortly into the new year she passed away. After some time had passed and life was back to normal you begin to feel like no one is going to remember Helga and that makes you sad. But wait, what's this? An invite to celebrate Helga's life by gathering some of her friends and family to create a Heritage Album that documents her life! What a splendid idea. A page done here by you, one done by your 4 year old niece, another done by Helga's best friend. What a keepsake that would be passed on for generations. Helga would be remembered always.

And who doesn't love planning their wedding? Okay, truth be told at some point everyone wants out. After you've talked to the 45th florist and still feel like you're getting ripped off, would you rather someone else did the leg work and brought you the options and then you just pick the right one? I would love to do the leg work. I watched so many weddings the year I worked in the Travelodge Banquet Department and I saw some awesome unique ideas. I know it's something I would look forward to doing, even though it would be complicated by my children and my husband in the ministry.

But it feels like such a leap to go from idea to reality. I haven't the foggiest idea even where to start. But I am taking my mat leave this year, and so I have some time to think and plan. It's exciting and yet incredibly scary to think that I could accomplish this dream. But, now it's out there. And with more people knowing about it, I think that might just be the motivation I need to try and make it happen. I guess only time will tell.

Ofcourse, I'm open to hear from anyone who has taken an idea to reality. I'd love to know what could be in store for me!

The Fruits of my Labor.

I love scrapbooking. And I love taking my time to do it. I love that I was at a workshop for 8 hours and only got two pages mostly done. I am not one to find out how to do more quickly or cut my scrapbooking time in half, that's for sure. I was at a Creative Memories place I guess you could say this weekend. My friend Angela, her mom Dorothy is a Creative Memories Rep. She lives on a farm and there they have a building that used to be a barn. They renovated it so that half of it is a freezer, (her dad sells meat), and the other half is a guest house. It has a small bedroom, a great room, a bathroom, a kitchenette and a fireplace. Currently the guest house is used for scrappin. Dorothy sets up tables in the great room area and her office is in the bedroom. I love going there. She plays music quietly in the background, and all of her inventory is out for you to see to chose what you want to buy. She doesn't do any demos unless you ask and she doesn't push product on you. I love that too. If you purchase a paper set from Creative Memories you pay about $10 for 12-15 pages. But sometimes all you want is one page, the same with the sticker sets. Well Dorothy also sells individual pages and stickers, so you can pay the $0.50 for a page that you'll use. I like it there a lot.

Here are the fruits of my labor this weekend. I am finally starting Belle's baby album. They are done on a natural page, which is a light brown color, and the strips of border are actually red. These photos are not doing these pages justice!

The little booklet at the top there opens up to show all the journalling. I wrote about finding out I was pregnant, the birth experience and naming Isabella.

I also did the last page of the album, because that was all I had ideas for. This one isn't finished, but it's started. I am just blown away by how much a person can change in a year!

Weekend Update with....

This weekend we went away. We went to Edmonton for me to scrapbook and to meet Declan, the newest kid on the block. It was a good time. We decided to splurge a little bit and stayed in a hotel. It was a nice hotel with a pool. We drove up Friday afternoon. The ride never feels long to me, although it's almost 4 hours. We got to try out our new portable DVD player which we bought for the drive to Ontario. Belle loved it. She was only cranky for the last 45 minutes and that's when we turned it on. The drive was nice. Then we headed to the West Edmonton Mall and had dinner at The Spaghetti Factory, again Belle was an angel. And finally we headed back to the hotel. We had a little swim and got Belle good and tired. Then we put her to bed and the crying started. She knew we were there, although we positioned her so she couldn't see us and she wanted to play! I think this was the first time I've ever been thankful for her crying though as the people staying next to us decided to have some "not so quiet" sex. We only had to hear a few bits and pieces when Belle started to unwind and fall asleep. Luckily she was in la la land about the same time they quit! Amen for babies! Then we ordered a movie and watched it and went to bed.
These are the gals in Edmonton that I go to see. It was fun to see them and to realize that so much has changed and yet so much is the same. Once again three of the four of us are pregnant, and we all love to scrapbook. I just love being around these gals. They make me want to be a better person. Elaine is so full of personal power and Hayley is always laughing and playing games and Angela is one of those kindred spirits you meet in your life. I will be forever thankful for having met them, and forever sad that this was our last get together.

Even though they make me want to go higher and deeper and do more than I've ever done before, this week has not gotten off to a good start. I have two jobs currently and they both have deadlines at the end of the week that I cannot meet if I don't get my butt in gear. And I slept until 1:00 today. We all did. Nick and I didn't get any sleep this weekend. The hotel was great, (and the couple next door only woke us up a few times), but the pillows were way toooo soft and we didn't catch any z's. Belle was tired out from all the activity I think. But we slept way too long, we should have gotten up and now the week will be one of playing catch up, and all I want to do is sit in my jammies and watch movies!

But, I'm thankful for weeknds that rejuvenate the soul even if they exhaust the body. It really was a nice time.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

By George I've got it.

Thanks to your help Angella and Karen!

The recipe blog is now up and running. Look for it to explode in the next few days!

Here's the link:

Someone's in the Kitchen

I also updated my links for easier access to the blogs I read each day. I hope that's okay with everyone!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

They're Here! They're Here!

A while ago you may recall me raving about these paint cans. A lady I met in town here is starting her own business, Kustom Kreations, and I got my order today! I ordered four of these fabulous beauties. This one is for Cory and Angela's baby boy Declan that we're going to meet on Saturday! His nursery is done in a farm theme, hence the choice of decor.

I think they're just awesome. (Perhaps you have to see them in person to get the full effect, in which case those of you who are going to meet Baby Brown are in luck!). But it might come across in the picture. I LOVE everything crafty and LOVE supporting small business ventures so this was a double win for me. But I was certainly shocked when I showed them to Nick and he said, "wow these are cool". I had described them to him after I met the lady and he rolled his eyes and gave me the "you're wasting money we can spend on electronics" look. I'm glad he was proved wrong.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Recipe thing.

Hey Karen and Angella. I read your comments about how to get the index going, and I viewed the html sourcing on your page, but I'm still a bit lost. Do you save your recipes elsewhere on the web, or as html pages on your comp and then just cut and paste the links like that? It's what it looked like to me, but I wasn't sure. I can't seem to find any defining code that separates one recipe from the other when I just enter them in as blog posts, so I'm thinking you link from your computer, am I even close?
On last night's Exteme Makeover Home Edition, I heard one of the best quotes ever.

"There's nothing like the sound of kids laughing and playing. It's the sound of life, it's the sound of happiness." -Ty Pennington-

A hand?

So, since the move is on we have now begun the downsizing process. One thing that has been getting in the way is my recipe collection. Belle loves to pull all the recipes off the shelf beneath the microwave a zillion times each day. It annoys me. With two sets of hands it will drive me ballistic. So I've decided to start a recipe blog to store my loose recipes of which I have A LOT. I'm wondering though, I've seen a lot of the recipe ones with index's along the sides. How do I go about doing that? I would like to stick with blogger as I'm not interested in paying for a blog, but it wont really be helpful if all my recipes are in there haphazardly. Can anyone show me the light?

The Davinci Code

Last night Nick and I went to see the DaVinci Code and we loved it. I had read the book a while ago, before all the hub-bub and Nick is in the middle of it right now. I have to say that the movie definitely does the book justice, and that all the characters were well played and the actors chosen to play them were perfect for the role. I know that a lot of critics had been bashing it after the Cannes Film Festival, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I have a lot on my mind to say about how the Christian community is reacting to the Davinci Code, the same lot I had on my mind after certain influential Christians claimed Hurricane Katrina was God's way of wiping the sin out of New Orleans, but I'm not going to get on my soap box. All the hullaballo has me thinking how incredible it would have been for Christ if the Christian community had said NOTHING. Many people may say it slanders our faith and we have to retaliate, but I'm not sure we're doing any good with the words we're saying. Since Christ first was born there have been people who believed things that were not in Scripture and we handle it the same way every time. Sure, our crusades no longer spill the same amount of blood, but I think someone famous once said that the tonque is mightier than the sword.

The thing that sums it all up for me was in the movie, near the end, when the person who is the supposed blood heir of Christ and Tom Hanks' character (Robert Langdon) are having a discussion about whether or not she will reveal herself and who she is claimed to be. Tom Hanks says, it all depends on what you believe. Would the blood heir of Christ destroy faith or renew it? I choose to believe that this book calls us to renew our faith. To read our Bibles and know what it says as well as what history says about Jesus Christ. It calls us not necessarily to stand up and dispute the claims the book has made, but to do our research and be ready that should someone ask us what we think we can intelligently answer.

I think Dan Brown's book makes a strong point. Are you secure enough in your faith and what you know about your faith? I do not believe that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, nor do I believe that they conceived a child. But if someone came to me and said that they believed that I would say "So what? What is the real issue that brings about for you?". The last time I checked marriage and the conception of children within marriage are not sins. Therefore claiming that does not question the divinity of Jesus, because he still has not commited a sin. And the ULTIMATE truth of Christianity, (that Jesus is God's son, the sacrifice for our sins and the only way to heaven and right relationship with God), has not been questioned or tarnished. So what's the real issue? Does it make Christ too human for you? Does it make the church shady because they're hiding it?

What an awesome opportunity this book is to share the Scriptures and what the Bible says. Too bad no one's going to ask us because the Jack Vin Impes of the world are calling down fire and brimstone on Dan Brown and Ron Howard, telling them to "prepare to stand accountable for their sins when they meet their maker".

I guess I did get on a soapbox a bit. But it just makes me so sad when we have an opportunity to be "in the world but not of the world" and instead of being radical for Christ, we play right into the Devil's hand.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Answers.

After my post about 10 Questions, a few repliers have asked me to answer them as well. And I could have just left a comment, but in case you haven't noticed I'm long winded. LOL. Here are my answers.

1. No. From the day before my wedding I was already remarking that although "today is not my dream day it's the day my dreams came true on'. And I do believe that. But it is a struggle for me not to feel shafted that I didn't get the fairy tale day I wanted.

2. We both wanted kids pretty much from the get go. We listened to everyone tell us that you have to be financially secure before you have kids and all the money related reasons to not have an on purpose honeymoon baby. However, just before we started trying neither one of us wanted to get out of bed or go through the motions of life, we did, but we wanted to be alive for a better daily purpose than paying the bills. It's so much easier to get up each day knowing what we're doing is for the good of a little person. We still have a lot of tough days, but we come home and Belle laughs and life is perfect.

3. When I move in and out of a home, or when someone I want to impress comes over. It rarely gets cleaned otherwise. Although we do rinse out the tub before Isabella has her bath.

4. This is the one I don't really have an answer for. We both want 4 kids, (that is after I convinced Nick we could not adopt 14 Peurto Rican's and create a MLB team). We also want them close together, 18 months between is ideal for us, so we'll be done having these children before I'm 30. However, the last two years have been a downhill slope in the financial area and we're not sure we can responsibly have 4 children. Although who knows how quickly we can climb out of this hole now that we're not saving for yearly tuition. So it's up in the air. I'm still pretty decided on having all 4, but all kinds of people are very adamant about advising me not to live "beyond my means" so I'm not sure. This next year will help decide. When we are done having kids, I'll be the one getting a hysterectomy or my tubes tied.

5. I wont dye my hair the colors I like. I really like being a red head or doing a blue color that is very black until the light is on it right. Nick wants me to go blonde if I dye, and that would look funny on me, and so I shall not dye.

6. I get more heated when someone offers their opinion and claims to be "open minded" but spends the whole time voicing their opinion in such a way that says "you're wrong if you don't agree". For some reason I can't take advice from family.

7. Definitely. Nick and I have been very open about our struggles with people, and we are committed to living a vulnerable life before the youth we serve, which means we have to be willing to do the same with our own kids. We can't be one person in public and another at home.

8. I do. I have another life that I think about alot. One that in my mind would take away the stresses I currently deal with. But it would mean having never met Nick and not having had Isabella or this baby that's on the way. So, I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to meld the two.

9. I feel totally frazzled about myself. But I don't even feel like I gave 110% to anyone. I just feel kinda lacking in most areas these days.

10. I think my life is more like the canvas than in highschool. I didn't grow up being told I could do whatever I wanted to do or be whatever I wanted to be. That was a new idea to me after college. So I do feel like I'm going to do great things with my life, I just have the complication of figuring in three other lives while I do it.

Hm. That was kinda fun. I think I shall post more questions posts.

Half Baked

Well I had hoped to be able to post an ultrasound picture on here, but I cannot figure out how to scan these silly x-ray images! It's so frustrating. Not because I can't scan them, but because they aren't going to look good in a scrapbook either! Augh.

Anyway. I'm 20 weeks this week. Halfway done being pregnant. Isn't that nuts? It still feels like yesterday that I was holding this secret in waiting for the perfect opportunity to tell Nick. As you can see I have not been blessed with a blossoming bossom, but I think I'm starting to look pregnant and not just fat! I have officially put back on all the weight I lost from the morning sickness!! I heard the heart beat again today which is such a miraculous sound to me. But I still do have an unshakable fear that something not right is going to be happening during the course of this pregnancy or delivery, or that something wont be quite right with the baby. I'm not sure why I feel that. It's beginning to dissapate from an obsessive sureness to an every now and then fleeting thought, so that's nice for my emotions.

Before I know it October is going to be here! How crazy is that! Here's hoping for another healthy 20 weeks.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

10 Questions I would ask every mother,

If I had the right. I am not good at surface relationships. I hate asking someone how they are when I know they'll say "fine" regardless and so there are many times when I don't ask. I really don't care "how the weather is where you are", although I'll use that to ease into the beginning of a conversation. I love the meat and bones of life, and am a totally open book although I'm not sure what pages people want to read. But I do know that not everyone deserves to know how "you're really doing". That is the stuff you share with your real friends, people that you trust with the good and the bad. If I knew every mother that well, I would ask them these questions:

1. Was your wedding day REALLY the day of your dreams?
2. How long after the honeymoon until you started ploying to get your husband to agree to having kids as soon as possible?
3. How often does your bathroom really get cleaned?
4. Did you decide to have a certain number of kids and when you had those, snip snip, or did you decide but are open to "surprises", or do you think you'll just know when you know you're done?
5. What is the one thing you do simply because you're husband likes it?
6. How heated do you get when someone offers you advice?
7. Would you be able, not willing but able, to tell your kids of mistakes you've made in your life, even if you felt you made some with them?
8. Do you daydream of another life? Not one that would be better, but a different one that you think you could be just as happy in?
9. At the end of most days when you're unwinding to fall asleep, do you feel you got enough of yourself that day or did it go to everyone else and leave you feeling lost?
10. Does your life feel more or less like that "empty canvas" or "unwritten book" than it did the day you graduated from highschool?

I'd just like to know. I'm not even sure why I'd like to know those particular things, and I'm sure my list will ebb and grow as I live, but right now for some reason I would ask those questions if I had the right. And if you'd like to you could answer them, or you could ask your own of me, or you could do both. For now I'll just float them in cyberspace so I can free up those few neurons to decide what to make for supper.


If moving were a profession, I would be in the highest pay bracket! I moved about 9 times as a child/teenager, all of my possessions into dorms at the beginning of the school year and back home at the end, and am gearing up for fifth move of my marriage, (we have been married for three years and 9 months). I know how to move. We have moved ourselves all of these occassions. For our province switch moves Nick has driven the Uhaul and I have followed in the car. We pack up, we unload we do it all. On our second last move we only had one friend to help us unload the truck and I was pregnant which meant no lifting. It took Nick and Anthony 45 minutes to move all of our stuff from the truck to the house.

Because we move so often we live lightly. When some people move they are constantly on the look out for more boxes. I have a personal goal of using less boxes each move. Currently we can get everything we own into Rubbermaid containers we bought on sale and all our books go into Xerox paper boxes as it keeps them light enough to carry. I have a system. I can pack our two bedroom apartment in 6 hours.

Now we always downsize a bit with each move. For example Nick is now done college so he'll be purging his t-shirt collection and the search will be on for affordable office attire after we move. Belle really does not need 400 teddy bears. Some of our "furniture" has been beaten up and we're not taking it, and I collect articles on things I'm interested in from interior design to recipes to scrapbooking to baby care. I'll be going through those for sure.

This time around it's a bit different, or so we thought. At first we decided to have Nick drive the U-Haul and tow the car, and me and Belle would fly. Then we decided to just bite the bullet and have a moving company move our stuff and the car and we would all fly. Then we started getting estimates. I think we have now both recovered from our heart attacks. The estimates ranged from $3,000 to $6,500.

But we got one estimate from a company that seems reputable. It isn't an independant but it's not a name I've heard others using. The price, very reasonable $1,700 to move our stuff. Wow. And Nick, who is better at guessing weight and measurements than me, thinks the estimate is a bit high. He thinks we have maybe 2500 lbs of stuff and not 3000 lbs. So that's great. We then decided to have them move us and we would drive. Making a vacation out of it and going through the US stopping at the Mall of America and other places of interest we decide on.

So we decided to get in touch with the "reputable" moving companies to see, well I'm not sure what we were looking to see. But we got in touch with them. One lady came to the house to do the walk around estimate which she would have to me "that day". I still have not heard and that was a week ago. Some other companies are sending reps next week.

But I talked with a man and he crunched a rough estimate for me. To go with this reputable company, it would cost around $3,500 to $4,000 and we would have to pack up our house on July 17th in order to ensure delivery of our stuff for sometime between July 31 and August 5. Yikes. That is a long time for a toddler to be without her stuff, okay who am I kidding. That's a long time for a preggo who will be in the "nesting" stage to not have a home! And for my husband to not have a tv!!

There are so many things to consider. It's one of those times when you wish you could fast forward to the other end and see which scenrio is best. Does a higher dollar value really mean better service? And with both the cheap and the expensive the insurance only covers theft or damage caused by collision. It doesn't cover the cost of anything broken in any box we pack. So there's not more peace of mind of everything arriving in one piece. It's so crazy to know that I am going to have to make a phone call and book a truck and plan a move and if it goes haywire that's on my shoulders. Growing up is heavy.
I don't know how a face this cute is going to be attracted to so many disgusting things, but she sure is. I thought I had a poop story, and I was ashamed to share it, until Jen shared hers and I realized this happens to a lot of us.

Earlier this week Belle had a nap and she was so quiet the whole time. Usually I put her down and she chats to her teddy bear for an hour and then falls asleep for an hour. I thought to myself, 'what did I do to tire her out and how do I do it again every day?'. It turns out her quietness was just her being mischevious.

She was wearing a sleeper on which the buttons pop open a lot, and this time she decided to wiggle her little legs out of the cuffs and remove her diaper. I guess she was tired of being poppy and for some reason didn't feel telling me she was dirty would get a change. She put the poopy diaper in the corner and then I think she fell asleep. At some point she then peed. All over the bed because her diaper sure did not re-attach itself to her bottom.

Gross. So then I removed the "mattress" she sleeps on. See, Belle sleeps in a Graco Pack and Playyard and has since she was born. It does not have a mattress with sheets and such. The "mattress" is a sheet of MDF with a bit of padding and covered in the patterened cloth. You cannot remove the MDF without ruining this set up and so you cannot throw it in the washing machine or take it to a drycleaner. All you can do is get out the liquid soap and a cloth and scrub the surface. That's fine, except for all that pee that has soaked itself into the padding!

Now I have an aunt who sews a lot. And when we move to Ontario I will be taking it to her and we will problem solve, (probably along with our husbands and 90 other relatives) how to get the MDF out, replace the padding and put it back together, but until then Belle is sleeping on a once soiled "mattress".

This made me feel like an awful mother. All I can think is that my child is breathing in pee every time she sleeps! And so it was decided that Baby #2 will have a crib and thanks to AS IS this has become a reality. But it got me thinking of the other things I will be taking to Once Upon A Child (our local consignment shop for children's furniture and accessories), and the way my thinking on parenting has changed.

For example. We have a baby carrier. But Belle was a tiny baby, and we may very well always have tiny babies as I'm a smaller person, and we felt she was going to fall out of it everytime we used it. That will be taken in and replaced. And our monitor, why did we even buy one? Because the baby books said to. But we live in about 500 square feet of living space, maybe, and a crying baby does NOT need a microphone. Then there's the annoying toys you would have never bought your own children but people without children have "blessed" you with, and the breastpump I bought will be going to waste as well, and is a whole nother post in itself.

I so wish I had the personal power to say "screw you" to all the baby experts and just do it my way. I mean yes, Belle peed in her bed, but I cleaned it with a good soap and hot water. I even turned the mattress around so her feet are usually near where the pee was spilt, but all I wonder about is who is judging me? And why do I feel they have the right to? I am a good mother. I really am. I hope that getting over that is a lesson I can learn as I prepare for Baby #2 and now I need to go find a vinyl crib mattress.

As Is strikes again.

I think I have been blessed with a small bargain gene. I am good at finding deals, patient to wait until what I want is on sale and only end up getting buyers remorse when I buy on a whim. I wrote a while ago, I think in my previous blog, about finding the coffee table and tv stand we wanted from IKEA at half price. Well, we did it again!

Last night we headed out to IKEA to check out the bedroom event. We are slowly amalgomating the things for Belle's big girl room, deciding to buy the big pieces here where there is only one tax. We walked through and found a few small treasures. A lamp set for the price of one of the lamps, a frame that will actually fit some puzzles Nick built a while ago, and some curtains for ambience in Belle's room that were so cheap I could not say no.

Then we decided to walk through AS IS. We read every single box on every single shelf looking for things for Belle's room and the new baby's room. Nothing. Then we went to the side that holds the cupboard doors and table tops. There I found two shelves I had been wanting at half price! Sweet. That got my heart beating fast, finally I will have a shelf to prominantly display my idea of Advent in my home during Christmas time. I was set. Let's head to the check out.

But there at the end of the aisle, near the sofas and chairs sat one of their dollies that you load the boxes onto to take to your car. And there, without a box, with all the pieces shining in their glory was a crib. Not just any crib. THE CRIB. The one I have been daydreaming about putting a child to bed in since before I even daydreamed about having kids. We looked it over and yeah, the legs are scratched up, but with a good sanding and coat of finish no one will know. And the price tag, yup, once again HALF PRICE! We took it home with us. Nick put it together last night and all the pieces are there. Then he took it apart and wrapped it in blankets and plastic, (I am so thankful he used to work at the BRICK, our stuff will be moved so securely!).

So excited I am. I am already planning the decor of both the nursery and Belle's room. Now all we need is a new home!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Get your groove on.

Last weekend on Saturday I spent about an hour on the phone which led to our whirlwind week. I received a call from Georgetown Alliance Church. This is Nick's home church and he approached them about doing the apprenticeship he is required to do before becoming an accredited Alliance worker. They got back to us last weekend.

The youth pastor, Tim, took four scenarios to the Board of Elders for consideration. One was to simply say 'Hasta la Vista' and one was to have us move there and the board release Tim to mentor Nick on the side. Both of these scenarios were tossed. The other two involve Nick being on staff to some degree, thus having interaction with youth and being mentored, and Nick would be compensated money wise for the time he put in at the church. We have no idea what "compensated" actually means, and we don't know how much time Nick will be at the church.

The only "for sures" that this phone call brought about were: Yes the church supports this idea, and Yes move here let's say sometime mid July to August 1. Other than that everything else is still theory. A very good theory as we were ready to move to Georgetown and learn from the godly men and women there even if it was just in their spare time.

So we began planning a move, sort of. We're not sure the dates to be there for, we're not sure what kind of salary we have to play with as far as budgetting for rent etc, we don't know anything beyond this is where we're going next. But we are planning for arriving August 1 and things are moving full steam ahead.

Then came all the stuff you do to plan a move, which you all will be lucky enough to hear about! Ah my faithful blog buddies, how I love to rollar coaster with you all!

Happy Mothers Day!

I often wonder what all the Mother's Days will bring throughout my life. I imagine the first time my children bring me their plaster handprint from kindergarten, and the zillions of crafts that will follow.

Last year for Mother's Day I went to St. Albert, well Cardiff actually, for National Scrapbooking Day followed by a baby shower for Belle with the people I had met in Edmonton/St. Albert the previous year. It was a stressful day for me because Belle was with me the whole time, and cried practically the whole day which did not lend itself to scrapbooking. She had been so docile up until then I thought it would be no problem, but I learned my lesson: newborn does not equal scrapbooking time. The shower was fun too despite her constant howls, and I'll always look with fondness on the fact that every other gift was a bathing suit, (no one thought anyone else would buy a bathing suit, lol).

This year we had hoped to kill two birds with one stone. We promised Isabella a trip to the zoo for her birthday gift, but the weather has been too yucky to go yet. We thought that would be a great day. However, I completely underestimated the sheer size of the Calgary Zoo. It's going to be an all day adventure, and we hadn't carved out that much time. So we're going to do that another day.

I settled myself in for a nothing Mother's day, but Nick kept on looking for adventure and last night we went to the Circus! It was a one ring circus and featured a lot of human talents, six horses, poodles and an elephant. Belle loved the first half and promptly fell asleep during the second half which she then spent curled up on my lap until we went home. It was a wonderful, wonderful excursion.

I like that we give experiences instead of gifts for special occassions, but I have no idea how I'm going to beat the circus!


I am not an emotional person. I didn't cry when I got married, I didn't weep the first time I held Isabella. I just don't cry at the sentimental moments that most normal people weep at. However, some things do make me cry. Ususally they are silly, like Extreme Home Makeover, but this week I wept out of pure joy.

My friends Cory and Angela had their first baby on May 6. We met them the year we lived in St. Albert and joined a small group. That group became very close, it was Nick & I and three other couples. The other three couples all got pregnant and were due within 6 weeks of each other. Nick I were not pregnant, but shortly after that we did start trying. Just after we started trying Cory and Angella tragically lost their baby in a molar pregnancy. As a group we cried, we yelled at God, we were sad and we did our best to comfort them. Cory and Angela began to heal miraculously fast and it amazed me the pure joy they had when they held our children for the first time.

When Cory and Angela lost their baby Nick wanted to stop trying, and to never try again. He didn't know if the possibility of experiencing that pain was worth it. I listened to his concerns, but I stood my ground and shortly after we were expecting Belle. After we welcomed her to our family we knew that the possibility of pain is worth the risk. We began to pray everyday that Cory and Angela would soon have joy greater than the pain they were experiencing.

And now they do. A little over a year and a half later they are three. I haven't met the little guy yet, and I haven't heard the labor and delivery story, but I've gotten emails from both mom and grandmom gushing about how beautiful their boy is and what an awesome gift from God. I wept this week because God truly is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


That's about how life has been this week, hence no blogging. I am running at about 3 kagillion miles an hour so while I do have many things to blog about I cannot even find time to pee, no jokes. (I have been peeing, I have just had a few too many close calls for comfort). So I will write much, soon, but until then I'll just let you know that the ultrasound looked great. The tech said that while ultrasounds don't show everything, everything they look for they saw and the doctor who reads the report said that she was pleased with everything and how everything was progressing so Little Franks is due to join us on October 4, 2006 and I'm already praying I'm not two weeks overdue again!

More to come!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Shopaholics Unite!

I am on the hunt for a product that I am not sure exists. I know you can get a lot of baby monitors with two receivers, meaning you can put the receptor in the baby's room and both mommy and daddy can have a listening device. I think those are great. But what I want is one with one listening device, and two receptors so we can put one in Belle's room and one in the new baby's room. Has anyone seen one? I thought that perhaps you could get "add ons" to sets but haven't had any luck finding those either. Granted, I haven't done much research, there is sooooooo much going on here, but I thought that if someone knows of a product I could just mooch off of your wisdom!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Toot! Toot!

Another blogger that I read on a regular basis recently posted some pictures of her scrapbooking pages. I had been wanting to put this page into cyberspace for a long time, and I'm so glad to be sharing my favorite page. I have been on a bit of a "scrapbooking fast" since our living expenses and tuition have gone up so this page was done a while ago and as I'm trying to get back into my creative groove it is truly my muse.

I use Creative Memories products mostly but also pick up whatever fits my fancy at Michaels or my fave scrapbooking store AddictedtoScrapbooking.com. These pages are a variety of all my favorite materials. I took a page for a Creative Memories 12x12 album and used it as the base, then I took two other pages and cut them in half. I blew up a wedding picture on my photoshop and printed it in Sepia which is hard to see here. Then I attached the two half pages to the back full page with adhesive.

Then I used the program from the ceremony as an extra anchor to hold my two "flaps" onto the back page.

And this last picture is what it looks like all opened up. I definitely enjoyed making it, but now all my previous pages seem to fade in the new abilities I've gathered. Hopefully this wont be my favorite page for long, I can't wait to be creating again!

I just ordered the supplies for Belle's first album and am going to the Wiens Farmhouse on May 27 which is where I do my best creating. It's one of my favorite places on earth, and will be the subject of another post after my next trip there as it will be my last!

Happy creating! I'd love to see what you guys are making.

Just can't shake it.

It all started a few weeks ago while watching Extreme Home Makeover I was introduced to the Craft Family. I will never meet them but after hearing their story and about living life with a daugther who has Alobas Holoprosencephaly, a serious brain malformation, I have not been able to shake the feeling that there is something "not right" about this baby I am carrying. I have no reason to think there is something wrong, I have heard a healthy heartbeat, I have gained two pounds, I have felt on and off flutters for the last month, and my apetite is slowly returning. But I just can't shake it.

I watched this family on tv and heard about their constant struggles in everything even bathing their daughter. She cannot hold her head upright or move any of her limbs, she cannot do anything for herself. And she is one of four children. The others are all healthy. This family also suffered losing a baby hours after it was born. To say that their life has been hard would be an understatement.

I was of course crying like I do every week when I watch the show and I saw this handicapped child who was not pleasant to look at, I saw three other children in need of the same amount of love as their sister, I saw a husband who had to shoulder all financial responsibility, share his wife with four other people and I marveled at them. All of the children were quite confident and secure, they all smiled all the time. The mom and dad still acting like teenagers, to hear the difference they somehow found the time to make in the lives of others despite their daily trials. I am in awe of families such as these.

And when I have a quiet moment and this thought plagues my mind I wonder if I could be such a family. I wonder if I could have the strength to get up each day and put my child's life in God's hands in a much more literal sense than I do now, if I would be able to devote as much time and energy to my non-handicapped children, if I would even have a relationship with my husband should such a stress be put in my life. I truly wonder.

I know a lot of people say they could, that you love a child regardless. And I don't doubt that I would love the child, but could I go through the every day of it? I think to say yes would be lip service. I don't feel I have the energy for it. I don't feel I have enough peace within to deal with such a hardship and that makes me sigh.

So I don't know if this feeling I can't shake is just the fear of the unknown, or if it's God preparing me for what we'll see on our ultrasound on Wednesday, or if it's God stirring up questions inside helping me to define me and carve out of life what I want and need to be the person I long to be. I don't know which of these things it is, but I just can't shake this feeling. So don't be surprised if Wednesday's ultrasound update is a bit sad, I have a feeling it might be.

A Silly Confession.

It seems that all of the pregnant women I know are very open with the weird things that plague them while pregnant. Their crazy cravings, their weird dreams. So I think I'll confess mine.

I can confess this here because my husband thinks blogging is stupid and therefore will never read my blog! Which is a good thing because if he did he would discover that I dream of other men when I'm pregnant. It's true. So true I'm blushing. When I'm not pregnant I do not remember my dreams at all, but through my first pregnancy and so far my second I find myself having vivid dreams of a few guys from my past. Now I say they are "from my past" in that I knew them in the past and have no contact with them now thus making it impossible for them to be part of my present. I don't have a history with any of these guys. It's bizarre how real the dreams are to me. They aren't dirty or x-rated or anything. Just a reliving of moments we had and what could have possibly happened afterwards. The funny thing to me is that the guy who makes his way into my dreams most often probably wouldn't even remember me now!

But so intriqued was I when I woke up the other day that I wanted to know what this guy was doing. And, I googled him. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?), he has the same name as a famous musician and so finding info on him was not easy. But I just can't shake my curiousity.

I think it has to be the weirdest thing I've ever done.

My new favorite thing.

Isabella has started walking now. She is a bit unsteady, especially when she's tired so we have yet to go for a free romp outside, but in the house she is so into walking that she paces back and forth just moving things from place to place. My favorite thing about her walking is that when she wants to play with me she now comes up to me and grabs my hand and walks me to her bedroom where we play together. I love that we can communicate like that and even though I may be lost as to what she wants me to do once we're in her room, she still takes me there and I have no doubt I'm in the right place.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I'd like to play.

I've seen a lot of blogs with the "six reasons I'm weird" tag and I wanted to reply right away, but it seems I'm boringly normal as I'm having trouble thinking of things! But I want to play so I'll give it a go.

1. I dip my chicken nuggets in plain honey. I know I'm not the only one as it's a sauce option at Mickey D's, but everytime I do it I get a laugh from someone.

2. I am such a night hawk that ideally I would be awake between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00am if life could be lived in those hours that is.

3. Of the TV shows that I follow faithfully, I actually feel connected to the characters, like we're actually friends, (or enemies), and sometimes catch myself telling Nick a story about a tv show like it was my life.

4. I wear my clothes until they're embarassing because I hate clothes shopping. No matter what I always end up feeling fat and gross after clothes shopping. Currently I'm wearing a zip-up hoodie from my third year of college that is so torn and faded it actually looks like I picked it out of a garbage can.

5. I can be air-tickled. If I am in a giggly mood all you have to do is wiggle your fingers at me and I explod into laughter while writhing and screaming to be left alone. On a very giggly day there are certain people who just have to say "1,2" and I do the same thing. I have no idea why.

6. I would like to have all my children grown until they're in the third grade and then magically freeze them at that age as it's my favorite. Old enough to imagine and play with some skill, but young enough to think they're parents are cool.

So, if you're reading this and think you're too boring to be weird, you're still being TAGGED. Don't leave me hanging.

Just Breathe

I am an introverted-extrovert. It took me years to learn this about myself as I thought you had to be one or the other. I love being with people and actually get my energy from things like being in a full mall or grocery store, being in a room of people I know and I love meeting new people, (as long as I'm with someone I know or having a good day). But I need my alone time. I need to be able to just sit down and soak up the silence. I have been labelled an extrovert by a lot of people, and most personality tests tell me the same, but it wasn't until I discovered that you can in fact be an introverted extrovert that I was able to stop burning out. While I do love people, I am truly a homebody and nothing calms, centers and rejuvenates me like the refuge of my home.

When I get busy I forget to take the time to be alone. Instead I am on the go constantly surrounded by people until one day I wake up feeling like the crazed and I have a Homer Simpson moment and remember I haven't been alone in a long time. It's still a lesson I'm learning, to take time for me and make me a priority.

But then there are times when you just can't be alone. For example, the last week when we had house guests. At some point I got that crazed feeling and there was no where to go! There was no refuge, no sanctuary of silence.

Today however, our house is quiet and empty. Belle is down for a nap and I'm spending the day recentering. It feels nice to do. And even nicer to know why I have to do it. I think I like the balance of being an introverted-extrovert.