Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Busy Christmas Week!

Because of our baby due in less than six weeks, John and I had decided this fall that we would stay home for Christmas. We thought this would make the Christmas season less busy and more restful:) Well, we did stay in town, but instead made our Christmas week really busy:

On the Tuesday before Christmas, we closed on a house! The above picture is our first meal in our new house. The house is in great shape and was move-in-ready. The former owners had made everything clean and neat and ready for us. They even left curtains for us - so everything was ready for new occupants. This was a really good thing, because our first night there on Wednesday would find not only us, but 11 members of our family in the house!On Wednesday, with the help of many friends from church and my family who had arrived the night before, we moved everything out of our apartment and into our new house!
We had worked up an appetite by lunch time and had our first big meal with friends in our new house.
By evening, most of the boxes were unpacked, our new table and chairs had been assembled and we were feeling comfortably settled in the house. We enjoyed chili and cornbread for supper and had a nice evening with my family. John's family arrived later that night, so we had a lot of fun Christmas eve with both sides of the family playing our favorite game this year Ticket to Ride (Both US and German on different tables - the German version is even more fun as it has additional ways to earn points!)

After many games, we were ready for some exercise and so headed outside where my sisters had made snow people to represent me and John and our future children! I somehow doubt though that we'll have 15 midget children!

We paused for a group picture before the walk. Some neighbors seeing us all assembled probably wondered how many people had moved into that house!

The walk didn't remain calm for long! Soon almost everyone was involved with a snow ball fight. There was just enough snow along the road to refuel occasionally.

The walk felt really nice!

We sang some Christmas songs that evening and opened our gifts before bed.

Christmas day brought more good food as everyone pitched in to make a wonderful turkey dinner.

On Saturday, my brother Luke and his family arrived to bring even more energy and fun to our gathering. We enjoyed some Indian food prepared by John and his dad for lunch!

Our nieces and nephews are growing up fast so it was great to see them once again!

So, that was our week of Christmas! It was definitely a bit of a whirlwind week. My family had to leave early on Sunday and we spent a lot of time Sunday and Monday sleeping and relaxing. Now, John is back to work and we're enjoying spending a few more days with his family before they have to go back home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pregnancy Update!

All is going well right now with me and the baby. As you can see, this baby must have been doing a lot of growing in the last month or so! I'm suddenly to the point where random strangers in stores are asking me when my baby is due :)

I'm officially in my third trimester already. It's really amazing to think that in 12 weeks, we could be holding our own baby in our hands. What a change that will be! Right now our baby is making him/herself known through plenty of kicking, flipping and punching, but soon we'll be hearing, smelling and seeing our baby!

In life news, I will officially be changing my job from full time design engineer to full time home engineer :) December 11th is my last day at work. I'm looking forward to having time to prepare our home and life for a baby. So far, we really haven't done a lot to get ready. I'll also be getting ready for having my family visit for Christmas. We didn't want to travel this year and are so excited that my family is going to be able to come to see us!

John and I have also had some fun in the last month looking at houses. We're renting right now, but are keeping our eyes open for a good house to buy at some point. It's been fun to see some houses and start to mentally clarify what's most important to us about such a huge purchase.

Life and time are quickly passing. Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving? We're going to visit John's family over Thanksgiving and just can't wait!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Binder Clip Suspenders

In fashion news, there has been a breakthrough in the maternity clothing segment! If you are one of those people who can't fit your regular slacks, but have trouble keeping your maternity slacks up, there is hope! It's as close as your desk drawer. . .
Take two medium sized binder clips and clip your undershirt to your pants! It works wonders!
In other news, camping is just around the corner. . . I hope to see many of you at our fall camping trip tomorrow!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Blog News!

It's now time for this fun news to go public! I finally told my office the news today, so it's time for the "blog world" to know. John and I are expecting our first child in early February! Our "official" due date is February 4th, but we'll just have to wait and see when our little one decides to be born. We're not intending to find out our baby's gender, so are just going to have to wait and see.
We're now at 21 weeks, so more than half of this pregnancy has already passed. It's been a lot of fun to feel our active baby move in the last few weeks. Sometimes I'm convinced that this baby is doing flips inside of me! Pregnancy has not been too terrible, but it actually has been harder than I imagined. I feel as though I slept through this summer. I was so tired during the first trimester, that I did little but work and sleep each day. Somewhat regular (mostly evening) vomiting and a uncomfortable stomach also kept us from enjoying food during that time. Thankfully, I now feel much more like myself and have been able to keep food down without problems.

We started a Bradley class nearby a couple weeks ago, and are enjoying learning more about what is to come. With the required tracking of my diet to ensure adequate amounts of protein, I'm eating more and gaining steady weight. We hope to give this baby plenty of nutritution during this time!
It's quite odd to now have such a big belly. I know that what I have is nothing yet, but even so, it's really strange to see it prodruding from my body! I just started wearing maternity clothes and have found them so comfortable. It doesn't look too big yet under my shirt, but it feels big! My friend Barb and my sister-in-law Michele gave and let me borrow a huge amount of clothes! I think I have more options to wear during my pregnancy than I do when I'm not pregnant! What a blessing they have been!
So, now those of you who didn't know thru some other means have a good idea of part of my reasons for not blogging much in the last months!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

One Year Ago Today. . .

One year ago today, John and I exchanged wedding vows in Alabama. To celebrate that wonderful event, we decided to come back to Alabama to visit. Last year, I drove to Alabama a week early and then John flew in a couple days before our wedding. This year, we cooked up a fun surprise. We drove down together, but didn't tell anyone in town that we were coming. What fun we had in surprising everyone and seeing family and friends again!

This year has been so very good. Some of the reading we did before marriage warned of how difficult the first year can be. It almost made me afraid to marry - but not quite! But this year has been good in so many ways. Having John as my husband this past year has been wonderful! To come home from work and have a constant friend to eat with and spend time with each evening is great. Having shared goals, struggles and joys is wonderful. John has been very kind, loving, sensitive and supportive to me. He is way more than I could ever have imagined or deserved. I'm so thankful that God brought us together!

We've done a lot of traveling this past year. Visiting Washington, British Columbia, Illinois, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania has kept us busy and more in touch with friends and family than I imagined would be possible. Spending weekends at home relaxing or getting to know friends we've made here has been fun as well. We look forward to the many changes that God will bring us in the next year of marriage!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baby Faces

Hello everyone!

This last weekend my wife and I spent the weekend with her brother's family. Their youngest child, less than a month of completing the first year of life, is quite an attraction. I enjoyed the first real opportunity to use my new Canon 40d to photograph a stunning subject other than my wife :)

So, here are a few pics below. They were taken in a very short period of time. Enjoy....

The mind of a one-year old in pictures.

Hi up there, it is hard to look at you. It is kind of bright out here.

Oh!! That is soooo sad! It is sooo terrible!!!

Hey you all! A major, and I mean major crisis is going on here! Are you even noticing?! Come here! Pay attention to me!! I have something to tell all of you!!!

I am not getting the attention I deserve. Oh well! I guess I am a bit tired, after all.

But hey! What is this? Something interesting is going on here! I must see what it is!

Hmm. That is really interesting.

So that is how that works!

I'll observe that one more time! I am watching closely!

Ahh! I got it! Now, I'll download this memory to my permanent hard-drive of memories. This knowledge might be important for a future occasion.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun Date with John!

On Friday evening, John and I met at Mohican Adventures for a date-night! It's a convenient 30 minute drive from Mount Vernon and on my way home from work. The weather was comfortable - lower 80's I think. After a busy work week, taking time to have fun is great!
John is a good consistent golfer (and very handsome too!). He was ahead of me most of the game. I would barely catch up just to have him pass me once again. It was a bit perturbing to see how he so exactly could aim for the right place and usually hit is mark!
Though I'm also and engineer and should be just as exacting, I tend to be a pit more impetuous. Thankfully, I also had a bit of luck and ended up with two holes in one! We took this picture after the first one. I posed with one thumb up just like Grandma and little Elijah did in Arkansas when he was about 1 or 2 and they both got a hole in one on the same hole!
Well, it ended up that I got my second hole in one on the very last hole! That hole in one tied our scores so we ended the game with a tie! As we're tied in marriage, we figured that was perfect!

The golf was fun, the weather was perfect and the company was great! We capped off our evening with a great dinner at a local pizza place. Going on dates with your spouse is awesome!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What Makes us Tick?

Get Rich Slowly, one of the financial blogs that I have been enjoying, had a post today linking to this humorous video about the stock market. John and I enjoyed watching it and I hope you do too.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Women like to talk

Hey Everyone,

View this video to find out how soon women become so talkative.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Trip to South Carolina - Part 1

This is a first part in a series of posts about our recent trip to South Carolina. For me (John is writing), this was a bit of a homecoming. When I first met Miriam on eHarmony, I was set to leave the Greenville area, where I had lived for 2 years and 9 months. Indeed Greenville became my "second home." Of course, Illinois is my "first home" because it is my home state.

I was a bit disappointed to be leaving Greenville as I met Miriam, because I had made some very good friends there and was quite eager to introduce Miriam to them. However, the most important people to introduce Miriam to at that time was my family in Illinois. Hence my friends in Greenville have not had much time to meet Miriam.

I was actually hoping to meet a nice girl in Greenville area as it is an area with a good Christian influence, especially with Bob Jones University being in the area. But it was not to be, and the Good Lord led me by faith to get to know Miriam. So it was a victorious feeling being married to Miriam this time for my trip there.

It is my hope that for those of you reading this and looking at these pictures, that you will realize that I was pretty much in the same situation, with good church and friends, as Miriam was in Alabama when I first got to know her.

The trip along the way was very nice. We started after work on Thursday, stayed halfway in Kentucky that night, and arrived in Greenville on Friday. We took US23 from Columbus, which is four lanes all the way into Tennessee, where it joins Interstate 26, which heads directly towards Greenville. The above picture is Norton, Virginia, where we stopped for lunch at a Japanese place. I love accents, and the Southern accent does not disappoint. I loved the way my waitress pronounced Pepsi (Pee-ip-si).
As we crossed into North Carolina (30 miles above Asheville), we stopped at a rest place to take in these nice views.
Flowers and Mountains, my favorite scenery.
We arrived in Greenville and then drove up along with Odell and his wife and son to the camp site. Miriam and Odell work to set up the tent.
Dinner at camp. It was nice to finally sit down and have some food to eat. Odell's wife, Beth, did a great job of preparing the food.
Miriam and Josh Summer made friends instantly. Miriam delighted Josh with the glow sticks, making caps out of them. Soon it was time for bed.
We got up the next day and had some breakfast. Then we headed to Table Rock State Park, for a hike 7.2 mile round trip hike up the mountain and back.
We finally got up to the top. The pathway really climbs the whole way up. At the top, you are standing above 3000 ft. This is the grand view you get.
Half way down the mountain, one will walk over the surface of this huge rock that is part of the mountain.
I really liked the views. Lydia, this is only 1.5 hours east of Toccoa Falls.
Another view.
Walking and hiking is an activity that I really enjoy doing with Miriam. Believe it or not, I am actually and outdoors person in the heart. I just haven't done as much "outdoorsy" things. Miriam is the perfect person to enjoy the outdoors with.
Don't get to close to the edge of that rock.
For those of you who attended our wedding, you may remember one of my groomsmen, Odell Summer. He became my closest friend while I was living in Greenville. I spent a lot of time with Odell and his son Josh. Odell came from an unsettled background. After landing a short time in jail for repeat speeding violations, he gave his heart to the Lord. He came to Greenville to study the Bible at the Evangelical Institute of Greenville. Shortly after I met Miriam on eHarmony, Odell was encouraged to try eHarmony as well. He met Beth shortly thereafter. I never recognized this, but apparently Beth was matched to me as well. However, it is clear that Beth is perfect for Odell. Once you met Odell, there is no question that you are around someone who desires to serve the Lord with a whole heart. They are going to The Master's Mission in North Carolina this fall.
Odell, showing off his romantic side with Beth. Their dog, Lady, takes in the scent of the flowers.
Below, Miriam and Josh. Miriam's energy and enthusiam for children certainly wins over kids like Josh.
Josh loves to make friends and then have a friendly fight.
Josh being a character.
These type of flowers were the predominant flower of the area. They are white like this when they are not exposed to sunlight. The flowers below are exposed to sunlight, hence their pinkish color.
Other wonderful scenery. :-)
We finally finished our hike. Lady was tired.
There is no such thing as camping without a camp fire.