Monday, January 28, 2008

Looming Thirty

I'm going to be turning thirty in a little less then two weeks. I hadn't really been thinking about it that much, it was just there, one more birthday. I have been feeling older, but I think that's partially related to being pregnant and having no energy. I try not to think about the fact that in two weeks my metabolism will bomb and it will be even harder to lose weight. :) Then I was on my way to work a few weeks ago and was listening to NPR. Weekend America was on and they did a little spot about turning thirty. They mentioned that for a lot of people turning thirty brings a lot of pressure, pressure to get a job, get married and start a family. They also mentioned that in 1960 70% of thirty year olds had done those things. In 2000 it was less then 40%. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which is, some of those aren't such popular goals anymore, and there is less urgency to do them. The spot went on to interview a girl who felt she had accomplished the goals she set for thirty by the time she was twenty-eight. So, for the last year of her twenties she decided she would do something new every day. Most of them were small things, but she seemed to be having fun with it. So, I started to think about turning thirty a little more. I never really thought specifically about setting goals to accomplish by thirty, and yet, I have accomplished the "typical" landmarks. I'm married, have started a family, and even have a "career". I am happy to have those things and I think thirty would be more depressing for me if I didn't, but...I kinda wish I had done something more personal to commemorate the last year. Now there is less then two weeks left and no time or energy to do anything spectacular. However, I'm not going to give up that easily. I thought about it and decided to take a picture of something every day that I am thankful for, that impacts my life, or just makes me happy. So, here is the first one:

It's a little silly, but I love snow. It's so pretty and peaceful looking. It takes the ordinary, everyday and completely changes your point of view. It's really easy to appreciate when we don't get very much of it! :) (Sorry, I couldn't choose between the two pictures.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snow Day

This past week has been gorgeous and cold. It was clear and sunny every day, a really nice break from the winter rain. Then to top it off, it snowed on Thursday. I'd say we got about an inch of snow. However, it didn't start snowing until about 5:00pm. We had a meeting at our house at 6:30pm. So, between that and dinner Emily didn't get a chance to go outside. At about 9:00pm when everyone had left I was presented with the question, "Can I go play in the snow?" I don't know if this makes me a horrible mother, or an awesome one, but I had to say yes. It was supposed to be in the 40's the next day, there was the possibility of school in the morning, and it was the most snow we had gotten all year. I just couldn't say no. And you know what, we had a blast! It was so funny to see her bundled in her pajamas and tromping around the front yard. All around us was dark and quiet, with just an occasional car driving by. It felt so fun and mischievous to be out so late in our still neighborhood. Kind of like me and Emily were breaking all the rules together. School ended up being canceled the next day, and there was some snow left, so Katrina got to play in it too. Then we came in and drank hot chocolate. It wasn't much snow, but we milked it for all it was worth!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

All Around Me

As most of you know, the new job I started back in February came with a built in commute. I decided that since I would only be there 4-6 times a month I could deal with having to drive an hour each way. Although I don't enjoy this drive at 11:30pm when I'm tired from working 8 hours, at 1:30pm it is generally pleasant. Unlike my commute when we lived in southern California, it's not an hour because I'm driving 12 miles in traffic, it's an hour because I drive 50 miles on a two lane highway. I get to look at green fields, farmhouses, trees, sheep, an occasional stream, and once even a deer leaping through a field. It's pretty peaceful and it gives me time to think.

On my most recent drive to work I was listening to my new Margaret Becker CD (Thank you, honey for the great Christmas gift) Just Come In. I have been a Margaret Becker fan since I first heard her music when I was 15. There are several reasons she is one of my favorite artists. I enjoy her music style and I love acoustic guitar. I like her throaty voice and most of her songs are in the perfect key for me to sing along and feel like it sounds halfway decent. Most importantly I think she has great lyrics. Her songs spoke to me when I was a teenager, and they still do today as a wife and mother. I think that says a lot. I'm the kind of person who the lyrics are almost more important then the music. If the words are lame, I lose patience with the song real quick.

So, I was driving to work, enjoying the sunshine and the beauty around me, listening to great music and the song Feel It All came on. It says:

"I think I heard your voice floating on the evening wind/ And felt you near in the touch of a friend/ This is life as it should be this is life complete/ Cracking the surface of every breath and finding you there/ In the center of it/ In the beauty of the morning in the rhythm of the rain/ In the symphony of laughter as it plays across a face/ In the colors of creation painting sunsets in the fall/ I want to feel it all"

I consider myself to be a sensory person. Sound, feel, sight are all important and make experiences much more meaningful to me. Listening to this song made me appreciate even more the beauty on my drive to work. It was also a good reminder not to take things for granted, and to remember to appreciate God's presence in the things around me. Here are a few places that have stood out to me lately...

* Emily's shining eyes as she shares a new epiphany
* Katrina's tight, spontaneous hugs
* Hearing and seeing the geese flying back north
* Drinking a hot cup of tea and watching the rain
* Smelling the roses my husband brought me

I don't know if it's appreciating the small things or seeing God's work in everything around me. Either way I find myself more grateful and more aware. I hope you feel God's presence all around you!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Results Are In

Yesterday was the big day. Well, not THE big day, but a big day. It was a long day, full of work and meetings and shopping, plus lack of sleep from working the night before, but squeezed in there was my 20 week ultrasound. Obviously, we like seeing the baby move and making sure it's healthy and growing well. However, I think the biggest question on our (and everyone else's apparently) mind was, boy or girl? We found out what Emily was right away, but Katrina was shy and it wasn't until a later ultrasound that she made the big reveal. This baby was fairly co-operative and gave us a nice clear view to show, it's a boy! We are excited and happy, although not without some trepidation. After all we know what to expect with girls. :) Quite honestly, I think my trepidation is over the thought of having three kids, no matter what sex! Emily is excited, it is after all what she was wishing for! He seemed like a pretty feisty little guy, wiggling around the entire time. My favorite was a profile shot when he lifted both hands and pushed, flat palmed against the side of my uterus. Little does he know it's going to get a lot more crowded in there! Next on the list is changing Katrina's very pink room to something a little more masculine. ;)

Friday, January 11, 2008


Well, it's a new year and I've been itching to get back to blogging. At the same time I have so many other things to do and don't really want to do anything but sleep. We had a snow day on Mon, so I took advantage and finally took our Christmas tree down. Before I launch into talking about things in this new year, I feel I should acknowledge the year that just ended. I confess I'm pretty much copying friend's ideas. I like both Amy and Sara's blog posts, so I'm kinda combining the two. Thanks ladies for the inspiration! Here's a list of my favorite things about the past year, in no particular order:

1. Moving to a new job that challenges my nursing skills.
2. Christoph getting a new job so I can work less hours.
3. Hearing Katrina say "I love you" for the first time.
4. Laughing when she turns it into a game and says it over and over and over.
5. Seeing Emily make a big decision (ears pierced) and not turn back, even when it involved pain.
6. Celebrating Emily's 4th and Katrina's 1st Birthday with a all-day family day.
7. Learning I can fly internationally by myself with two small girls.
8. Watching my daughters experience the sights, smells, and tastes of my childhood.
9. Seeing Katrina grow from a baby to a full-fledged toddler.
10. Seeing Emily's turn into a lanky kid before my eyes.
11. Celebrating seven years of marriage.
12. Getting a new car.
13. Traveling.
14. Strengthening friendships.
15. Getting a new sister-in-law.
16. Having a healthy pregnancy.
17. Going through Emily's first bout with the stomach flu and finding it less horrible then I had imagined.
18. Slowly (very) organizing my house.
19. Being able to go to Ladies night more consistently.
20. Seeing my parents several times.
21. Participating in Water Babies with Katrina.
22. Seeing Emily dance ballet.
23. Watching Christoph excel in his new job.
24. Having a wonderful husband who appreciates the little things.
25. Seeing Emily write her name for the first time.
26. Having Katrina spontaneously say "thank you".
27. Enjoying Emily's first knock-knock joke.
28. Exercising consistently for three months.
29. Using the rain as an excuse to stop.
30. Having a reason to take naps.
31. Discovering Snapfish and making a photo album of each of the girls first year.
32. Rediscovering the joy of being home in the evenings.
33. Watching the Amazing Race.
34. Seeing grass in my backyard.
35. Going away for the weekend with my hubby.
36. Finding out Emily can be brave when the situation demands it (stitches).
37. Watching Katrina's sense of humor develop.
38. Watching my husband hang out with my Dad and brothers and enjoy it.
39. Seeing my girls play with each other.
40. Snuggling with my girls, even as they outgrow my lap.
41. Hearing Katrina's sweet mispronunciations.
42. Being able to communicate with Katrina.
43. Having Emily love Bible stories.
44. Playing new Nintendo DS games
45. Finding time to read.
46. Taking moments just to drink a cup of tea and watch the world around me.
47. Trying new recipes and finding them good.
48. Splurging on a new stroller.
49. Getting my dream diaper bag for a fraction of the cost on Ebay.
50. Having my family love me, loving them back, and telling each other everyday.

It's been a year full of new experiences and growth. I'm having fun watching my girls growing up and hopefully helping them learn and develop. this year promises even more growth and change, as well as new challenges, I'm sure. Ready or not, here we go!