"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the waiting...

Upon seeking council from a very good friend, she gave me some wonderful advice. Her own experience in her journey to becoming a mother had some bumps along the way. She and her husband had planned out the "perfect" time to start their family, but things didn't work out as they had hoped. She told me that while they were waiting for God to bless them with the child they desired, she decided to use the time she was given (even though it was against her plan and desire) to prepare herself for becoming pregnant and being a mother. Instead of being sad or discouraged about "be[ing] still and wait[ing]" (Psalm 37:7), she made the most of her time by preparing to receive God's blessing.

I decided to follow this wise council for myself. Matt and I have been trying to lose weight and get in shape for a while now. So I felt good about already being on my way. I have a walking partner that I try and meet up with several times a week, and I've decided to start adding in some weight training activities at home.

We have fallen into a rut with our dinner menu. I find that we eat the same few staple meals over and over again. I'm trying to find creative ways to incorporate more "color variation" in our diet, specifically more green veggies. Matt is much pickier about his green veggies than I am, so this one is difficult! I have to sneak some spinach into the quesadillas and hope he doesn't notice!

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this on the blog, but I'm an addict. I have fully embraced the fact that I'm addicted to coffee, and not just coffee, the caffeine in coffee. I LOVE COFFEE, and rather enjoy my addiction to it. If I don't have my morning cup of leaded joe, by 3pm I don't want to live my head hurts so bad. I've always said that if I make it through life and coffee is my worst vice, I've done fairly well.

Well, as of this past weekend I'm slowly giving up my love. I figured weaning myself off of caffeine now would be much easier than quitting cold turkey once I get pregnant (removing caffeine withdrawal from all the usual early pregnancy physical ailments). This way Matt won't have the desire to smother me in my sleep and put us both out of misery from the demon that takes over during my withdrawals. I've quit caffeine before, it AINT pretty. And the withdrawals can last a week or more. UGH.

So, in order to avoid the VERY unpleasant withdrawals from my dear love, I've started by drinking 1/2 caff and 1/2 decaf. With each week I will add a little less caff beans and a little more decaf beans to the grinder until I'm brewing all decaf (otherwise known as USELESS) coffee. So I'm still a little bitter about giving it up, sue me! Hopefully, when the time arrives, I will be caffeine free and feeling fine. :)

I also want to start preparing spiritually by doing a new individual study book of some kind. I haven't visited the book store yet, or put out feelers to acquire advice from knowledgeable friends. Any suggestions are appreciated. My search begins soon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I've decided...

to stop pouting, complaining, obsessing over the things that are not going my way right now. Because I have MUCH to be grateful for. Mainly, this guy.

Easter Sunday 2010

He's awesome. He is so loving and understanding and patient with me this crazy wife. And I love him lots. We are blessed beyond measure and THAT is what I am keeping close to my heart.

This turn in events was, in no small way, facilitated by MDH saying that HE is going to stop focusing on the house we haven't sold and that HE is moving on mentally from it. Hey, someone had to go first.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Feels like I'm cheating... AGAIN!!

If you want a YUMMY 20 minute dinner that's diet friendly and sure to impress, this is it! BBQ Salmon, brown rice and sugar snap peas.

Here's the WW point breakdown:
Salmon fillets = 3 pts
BBQ Sauce = 1 pt
Sugar snap peas = 0 pts
1/3 cup dry brown rice = 4 pts
Dinner total per serving = 8 pts

If you forget to thaw your salmon overnight in the fridge, soak in cold water for 15 minutes. While gathering your supplies, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Your rice takes the longest to cook, so throw it in the water and turn it up to boil. Spray a baking dish with Pam and arrange salmon fillets in the dish. Brush BBQ sauce to cover tops, and the excess on the bottom of fillets. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. Lastly, throw the "steamable" frozen sugar snap peas into the microwave for 4 minutes.

Enjoy your super easy dinner, that is good for you and tastes like you worked hard for it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Baby Names!!!

I know this seems like a crazy (or torturous) post after yesterday's depressing one, but I've always (like my girl Adair) been obsessive about baby names. So I wanted to participate, even if it is a day late, in Kelly's Korner's blog carousel!!!

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I have lots of "name rules" that I'm a stickler for (in no particular order):

1. The name that they "go by" can't be too common. With every name we consider, I check the social security rankings. I'm not kidding people! It cannot be in the top 20 for that gender, preferably not in the top 50. My "given" name was Amanda Jill. I was an Amanda born in 1979. There were 4 Amandas in my Kindergarten class of 20 kids. That's 20% of the class!!!! I got sick of being Amanda M., so I decided in the 1st grade that I wanted to go by Jill. I love it, it fits me, but I don't want this to happen to my child.

2. I'm traditional and Southern, so I want at least one of their names (first or middle) to be from our family.

3. The entire name, first middle and last, has to sound good together. To achieve this, the following guidelines must be followed:
  • The name they go by has to sound good with our last name.
  • The last letter of the first name and the first letter of the middle (or last) name cannot be the same letter or sound. We could never have a Jacob Brooks Black, for example.
  • The first, middle and last names together must have an odd number of syllables, because it's just more pleasing to the ear. If you don't believe this one, try it. It's true.
4. The name has to sound right for an adult. With every name I think, "Could s/he become a CEO, an engineer, a doctor or an attorney with this name and be taken seriously?"

5. No ridiculous spellings of traditional names. Don't ruin a perfectly good name like Caleb by spelling it Kaleb. It just makes you look like you can't spell!

I can't help it! I'm OCD! Don't judge me! Now, on to the names.

Ever since I was a young girl, I've heard stories about my great-grandmother (my mom's maternal grandmother), Grammie. By the time I came along, she lived in a nursing home and had severe Alzheimer's. She was struck with this horrible disease, that also took my Meme (her daughter), at the age of 55. You read that correctly, she was 55 years old when she began to show signs of early dementia that eventually developed into Alzheimer's. She was an AMAZING, TOUGH, Southern woman. She divorced Poppa after her children were grown, because he was mean-as-a-snake, back when it was not common at all. And she supported herself by turning sheet metal on an assembly line in an aluminum plant next to some of the roughest men around. When I say she was a tough lady, I mean it. She was a woman that most certainly passed on her strength and determination to the women in our family (we get the crazy from her ex-husband!). And for that reason, if we are blessed with a daughter some day, she will carry on the legacy of my Grammie with her name.

Clara

It's classic, beautiful, not too common and I LOVE IT! We still have not decided on a middle name. This topic of conversation even came up at dinner last night with no resolution. Since she will have one family name (which I'm very insistent upon with our children), I don't mind if we just pick something we like. We will probably use Matt's middle name, Lindsey, which is much prettier for a girl than a boy! There is also Matt's mom's middle name, Erin, that we like. I also like Faith, just because. But Faith would break my "odd number of syllables" rule, so I don't know if I could. We'll cross that bridge someday, I hope!

For a boy's name, we are still somewhat undecided.

I had it all worked out when it was just me (you forget that you have to agree with someone else as a teenager). My Papaw was my-most-favorite-very-special-person. He was the man who stepped up to be my father, when my own was nowhere to be found. He was the first "love" of my life really. Words cannot express how special this man was to me, and he was taken from me much too soon. I was 14 when he died from bone cancer. I always thought I would name my son for him, and still might. ;) My Papaw's name was J.T. He, like Adair's grandfather, named himself. It was common back then for people just to name their boys initials only, which is what my great-grandparents did. When Papaw went to register for the draft for WWII, they asked him his name. He told them J.T. was his name. They insisted that those were initials, not a name, and asked him what they stood for. So he told them the first thing he could think of, James Thomas. My cousin Jennifer, whose father's name is also Thomas, used that for her son's middle name. I always thought I would use James with Grammie's maiden name, Durham. But we can't have ALL the names come from my family. :)

Right after we got married, I fell IN LOVE with a boy's name. It's not a family name. It has no particular meaning for us, other than I love old Hebrew boy names from the Old Testament. Think about it, Elijah, Ephraim, Abraham, Asher, Canaan (I still love this one, and is in contention for a second boy's name as far as I'm concerned), Jacob, Caleb, Matthias (which I think is an awesome take on Matt's name, Matthew), Joshua, and the list goes on. It took Matt a while to come around to the name I fell in love with, but he loves it too now. If we are blessed with a son, his name will be

Levi

Like Clara, it's traditional yet not too common. Besides, Levi Black sounds like a jazz musician's name to me. Since our family is full of engineers who play the trumpet and are not particularly athletic, I think it fits. :) As for his first or middle name (he will be called Levi either way), that is still up for debate. Matt is sold on a VERY non-traditional first name, which breaks my rule of at least one family name. However it would give him the same initials as Matt (MLB), which he feels is sufficient for the family name tradition. It's a name that I kind of like, but it will get strong reactions either positive or (but mostly) negative from our family and friends. Matt wants to name our son Memphis Levi Black.

Being a child that chose to go by her middle name, I know full well that our child may choose to do the same thing. I want to LOVE both names that we give our children. I also want to ensure that we follow rule #4, which I'm not sure Memphis does. The only Memphis I've ever heard of is Memphis Raines from "Gone in 60 Seconds" and he's a car thief. This is not a legacy I want to pass to our child. But remember, parents have to AGREE on a name, and I have to let Matt have an opinion, right? So I'll save my veto for when I'm actually pregnant. ;)

Other family names in the running to be paired with Levi, as a first or middle name, include: James (after my Papaw, Matt's grandmother's brother and Matt's aunt Jamie), Victor (Matt's GP and uncle), William (Matt's stepdad), Wesley (Matt's cousin, MDH has not signed off on it's candidacy but I love the name and this is my blog!), and Mitchell (Matt's uncle, who has two sons that may want to use the name so we will probably defer this one, but it's a great name).

So there you have it! Still much to be negotiated when the time finally arrives, but the names that we will call our children are pretty much set. Now if Clara or Levi happen to have a sibling of the same sex, Lord help us because we have no idea!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

"You take it on faith, you take it to the heart.
The waiting is the hardest part."

I feel like this is my theme song (by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers). So here goes. I did not clear this blog post with MDH, and he rarely reads it, so don't mention it ok? We are waiting on a lot of things, and it SUCKS. We are waiting for this house to sell so that we can move on with our lives.

Let's face it, I'm approaching 31 and I can't just assume that I have all the time in the world to have children. All I've EVER wanted to be is a mom. Anyone who knows me IRL (that's blog speak for in real life) knows that I am, and always have been, a very maternal person. Motherhood is the deepest desire of my heart, and I will take it in whatever form it comes, but I have a real and deep longing to be pregnant. It's normal, age appropriate, biological, and I'm not going to pretend it's not there anymore, because it is.

I've also been plagued by the fear that I wouldn't be able to have a baby. Infertility is a real problem that many of my friends have faced, and it is a very real fear for me. There is no medical reason that has surfaced to support this fear, but it's real just the same. The thing about fertility is that you don't know whether you can or can't have a baby until you start trying. And we can't start trying until the house sells.

HOUSE = BABY

We can't afford childcare as long as we are paying two mortgages. And we can't afford two mortgages if I'm not working (at home with a baby, eliminating the need for child care).

So we wait. We wait for the house to sell. Because there is nothing else we can do. We wait, and wonder, will we be able to have the family we desire when we are done waiting? Only God knows. In the mean time, we wait. And it sucks.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Graduation!!!

I'm so incredibly proud




of my husband



for getting his Master of Science in Engineering




and his cousin Alex, on his way to being a CPA


(after passing a few tests) ;-)


Happy Graduation!!!!