Thursday, June 26, 2008

Waiting in Excitement...and a little Frustration

Here we are! Waiting!!...

...And not in control!

(If you want to see more of the little ones, go to the next post)

Yup, that's right! Even though the pictures are not of me :), it's the way I feel. I'm waiting for that time when I'll be with Matt again, but I'm not in control of when that will be! (Annabeth is figuring out that tongue and those hands) It is looking like sometime between 2 and 3 weeks, Matt will be stateside again!!! I am just...ecstatic and antsy and unproductive! haha Sometimes it is difficult not knowing and not being in control, but we know Who is! Just this morning, I read a wonderful post about waiting in the Lord, "When Waiting is Hard." You can find it over at Seven Matters. She words it very well, and I relate!

I am keeping myself busy, packing away but gladly distracted by any little ones who come around this way. Sunday I leave for our family reunion, and am so excited! I'm riding down with Megan, my cousin Matt's wife, and my cousin Bethany. It's sure to be a fun ride...yes, with country music too Matt (Don't you wish you could enjoy that?)! That will be out in Michigan with as many family members as can come. Dad's one of 10 kids...that means lots of cousins, lots of laughing, and lots of fun! Here are most of the cousins 2 years ago, minus a few unable to be there and at least one not born yet, and minus all spouses of cousins and now their children:

I love my family so much. We always have a great time together, and us girl cousins are like sisters!

Bethany and Chrissy on top, Sarah and I below...they were all bridesmaids in our wedding...and sooo special to me! Of course, my other cousins, and their spouses are special too!

Then I will be spending more time with Chrissy, her husband, Nathan, and Sarah and the rest of Uncle Paul's family out in Indiana. There, I will have some more welcomed distraction, while I wait to hear when Matt is leaving, so I can book my ticket last minute and welcome him home! (That's the plan make it in time to welcome him.)

Packing is proving to be ...interesting. I need things for camping at the reunion that I don't need in California and vice versa (not a fan of that term either). And if you know me, you know I'm not a light packer! What can I say? My mom trained me well! Anytime I left the house, and it was like 95 degrees, I was told to bring a sweatshirt because it may get cool. So, I pack for every possible situation rain or shine, snow or desert drought..hehe...though it seems when situations arrive, I still am not quite as prepared as maybe I could've been.

Yes, that does mean blogging will have to take a vacation too. I'm sure many pictures and funny stories will come....and then....I'LL BE WITH MY HUSBAND! That might be when the real break begins, but you never know. I will have lots of free time while he's working. SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!! Now, if I could just know when to book a ticket before the prices get even more outrageous!

*I love you Man! I'll be seeing you soon! :)


Ok, so I guess you're looking for more pictures of that sweet, new baby girl, rather than pictures of a girl wearing running shoes with her wedding dress and her dad on a rocking horse. I get it! I think she agrees!

I'd gladly claim any of my nieces and nephews as my own...but alas, they are my brothers' and their wives' children. I am just a proud Aunt. Here are a few more of Annabeth and some of the other cuties!

3 Beautiful Nieces! Abby, Annabeth, & Hannah...the day Annabeth came home

And all-boy, nephew, Jacob! He has been so cute with the "baby"

Nathanael and Annabeth

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Dad

It's Dad's birthday today, and I'm on my way to find his gift. Yes, that probably sounds like a trend, last minute shopping, but I really did look before today, and I even have an idea. The stores just didn't have any.

Yeah, I'm dad's favorite daughter! Even though I asked and asked for a sister, I remained the only daughter.

Yes, dad made this rocking horse for our wedding day. It was a surprise. I had no idea what he was working on in the basement, and I couldn't ask any questions. When I was little, I would ride my spring horse like no tomorrow while my dad sang and played his guitar. Dad would ask for requests, and I always said, "Play the skates song dad!" Don't you know that one? Oh, well, the skates song, is I Will Enter His Gates. So, to provide a final ride (or to thoroughly embarrass me) dad made me a giant rocking horse, brought it out at the reception, and played the skates song.

He's been a wonderfully involved dad in my life. Growing up, we had our spring horse rides, bucking bronco rides on his back (trying to hang on as long as we could), trips to the church where Pete and I would preach and play the piano to "Preach to the Lord!!" (little minds a bit confused but imitating Dad), lunches of spaghettios while watching I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith, sit up competitions (a battle to see how many we could do in a minute...made me a champ during those gym physical fitness tests), and running...lots of running (he coached me from 8th grade on and even through most of college). Then he appropriately cleaned his shot gun when Matt asked his permission to court me, wore shorts and barn boots when Matt asked to marry me, walked me down the aisle (no gun or barn boots), officiated our wedding with Matt's dad, and has been involved during this time with Matt away. Happy Birthday to a wonderful dad and Godly example!


Is this a good thing or a bad thing?


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I just like to take those kind of silly tests. You know, on facebook, I'm the one who found out what Disney Princess I am, what Jane Austen character I am, how I rate on Dr. Phil's scale...etc, and my true age is 12. I'm a curious girl! How come they don't have a 2000's scale? Unfortunately, it might not have the best of traits to work towards. I'm not even sure on the 30's scale if some traits were viewed by the creator as good or bad. Maybe the husband should take it for the wife and the wife for the husband...hehe.

So, I decided to do just that! Here are his results! He pretty much doubled my score! I guess I have some work to do!


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

He's a good man...and 1930's husband! :) He's been a great husband since 2006.

I found a few quite funny: "fails to bathe or change socks frequently enough." This was funny too: "Picks teeth, nose, or sucks on teeth when in public." I think Matt didn't do so well on the shaving on Sunday and wearing pressed, neat clothes...that's probably my fault according to the chart...I'm supposed to iron them! He just would rather not worry about that stuff (when he doesn't have to...when he's Matt and not Sgt.), and that's ok with me.

*I love you! You are a very superior husband!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A day in the life of...

Ridiculous Aunt Becky!

Yes, that's right, another clutsy story about me, and the lengths I go to make things special for a new little girl. If you haven't read about her yet, scroll down to the last few posts.

I woke up a little later Friday morning, a hem... trying to catch up on some more sleep. I got ready and set out to get some special things to make a welcoming homecoming for the new parents and baby. I wanted to get a couple balloons to attach to their mailbox saying, "It's a girl!"...etc. I went to the dollar store, and they only had ugly Father's Day ones. A Father's Day balloon would be appropriate, but like I said, the ones they had were ugly, and they didn't have any cute baby ones to go with it. So, I continued on to Walmart. I grabbed a few groceries, a pack of diapers for the baby, and popsicles for Daddy. The whole time in the hospital, Pete was craving a popsicle. Unfortunately, they were only available to the ladies in labor, and I think for once in Pete's life, he wished, for just a few minutes, he was a woman in labor. I decided I would surprise him with some twin pops...the ones he loves, for when they came home. I also tried to get some balloons from Walmart, but they had like 3 that were deflating in the party section, and they were Pirates of the Caribbean and other balloons not quite fitting for a new baby. I checked out, got in the super hot car and drove to Tops on the way home. Surely, Tops will have balloons! Meanwhile, I'm getting a little flustered. It is well after 11:30, and they were supposed to check out at 11. They might even be back home already. So, I tried to hurry through the store. I found balloons but no workers. I finally tracked down someone to help fill some super cute baby girl balloons. She even gave me a free plain pink balloon because somebody didn't want it. Great!...except, she was taking forever. By the time I pull out of Tops, it is after 12pm.

I have melting popsicles in the car and no air conditioning. So, anyone who doesn't have air conditioning, rolls down their windows right?? I was so smart. I decided to just roll down the front windows so the balloons wouldn't fly out. They were hanging out in the back of my outback..hehe, back of my outback. They also had these cool clippy things that weighed them down. No problem! I pull out of the parking lot and hit a red light. Then green means go! I was in a hurry, pedal to the medal Becky! In probably 1.75 seconds, the balloons had not only made their way to the front of the car but out the front passenger window! No Way!! You have got to be kidding me! I see them flying behind me in my side mirror. Nooooooo! At this point, I am soo hot, soo annoyed...and sooo late! I pull over as soon as I can and turn around. Maybe, they won't be run over, maybe? Thankfully, they had blown onto the grass on the right side of the road. There were office buildings next to that wide strip of grass, so I was able to park in their parking lot. I get out of my car and am leaping through the tall grass. What's lurking at the bottom of that tall grass? Inches of swampy water!! The balloons are in my sight, cars are zooming by....what is that girl doing? Oh, just chasing after expensive balloons in the swamp, that's all. You don't need to stop and stare, really. These things happen all the time! In the process I out-leap my right flip flop and continue sinking...running...through the marsh. (Where else is Annabeth going to learn that American Gladiator grit? Ok, maybe from the gladiators or from her mom. Hopefully, she won't learn the clutsy-ness from me. She can skip that trait.) I grab the balloons, not at all harmed in this adventure, dig my flip flop out of the sludge, and get back in the car. I laughed hysterically...and angrily at myself for being so RIDICULOUS. I roll up my windows (of course I had to now, I was NOT going swamping again!). Then it hits me!! The most horrendous frog smell, stuffy, hot, nasty frog smell. I've got swamp up to my knees and stray grass and wet mud stuck to my feet and legs. Gross! At this point, I am soooo late, but these balloons are going to be displayed!! (I had my camera with me the whole time too...hoping to take pictures of them blowing gracefully through the air on the mailbox...and I was so distracted, I never took a picture of them sinking in the swamp...would've been great for the baby book. Oh well.)

I made it to Pete and Laurel's half dead from the heat and lack of clean oxygen, swimming in a pool of popsicle juice. Don't you know, they weren't even there yet? I ring the doorbell, that apparently doesn't exist (it's broken off), but I ring it just to be sure. I'm sure they could hear me pressing a non-existent doorbell right? So, I run to the car, grab 2 balloons and let them air out...I mean, I attached them to the mailbox. I ran the diapers, wipes, and a card with the final (cutest) balloon to the top of their stairs to welcome them home. I then took the sad popsicles home to a freezer for the next time I was able to see them. (I exaggerated a bit. They were not totally melted, surprisingly, and I was not swimming in a pool of popsicle juice..but one can imagine.) Then, I took a nap.

But, all was worth it for this little girl, Annabeth Helen.

That's right, she has a middle name! After changing her name 3 times (the poor lady who does the birth certificates had to do all the paperwork over and over), they settled on Annabeth Helen. I guess Helen is after me, (if I can be so proud as to say that), which is my middle name, and Annabeth has another aunt, Aunt Helene, Laurel's sister, who was able to make it up from Virginia the day she was born. So, she is graced with God's bountiful shining light! That's what her name means all put together. And, her last name means as she's graced with God's bountiful shining light, she farms? Just kidding, ...we don't think about that part!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some Pictures of Sweet Pea

Scroll down to the last 2 posts if you're not caught up to speed!

Where do I even begin?

Laurel's water broke at 4am on Tuesday morning, and I heard her cheery voice on the phone around 9am saying they were headed out to do some walking and pick up some things from the store. Then they would be on their way to the hospital. We hadn't heard much in the line of progression, so around lunchtime, I drove over to my Mom and Dad's to ride with them to the hospital. We got there around 2 and were able to spend quite a bit of time with Pete and Laurel in their room. Mom and Dad left for Bible Study, and I stuck around to play some Uno and Skip Bo. Laurel wanted to do quite a bit of walking to get her contractions moving. We walked the halls...and....we think at least 60 flights of stairs! (Those seemed to help her the most.) Of course, I was wearing flip flops, and my calves are rocks today and sore as all-get-out!

Sometime during the evening, Laurel asked me if I would stay for everything, including the delivery. It was such an honor, and I agreed. Though I wanted her to be sure anytime she wanted me just say the word. Pete hoped I would stay too. I just can't believe they not only didn't mind me being there but wanted me there! I am completely humbled. I can't say that I would be quite that comfortable if it were me, but we'll see.

Of course, we all hoped the baby would be born in the evening, but she seemed to be pretty content in her water bed. The night went on, and we all get as much rest as we could. Laurel was uncomfortable for obvious reasons, Pete was on the pull out chair that sort of collapsed instead of pulled out (...couldn't quite figure it out till very late at night or early morning), and I stretched out on the windowsill/register. I probably still have lines running down my back from the register slats...:) It definitely wasn't the most comfortable thing for me, so I slept there for part of the night, then tried sleeping in a table chair, but headed back to the register. I probably could've asked for something...maybe?, but I didn't want to be in the way or add stress. I did have a pillow and some hospital blankets and my dad's fleece sweatshirt as a cushion. Pete and I checked in on Laurel whenever she was moving if she didn't have enough checks with monitoring every hour for most of the evening. I wouldn't have traded the night for anything though. Tonight, however, I will gladly sleep in my own bed!

Around 6am, the nurse came in and did some checks. She told her to get some breakfast and take a shower if she'd like. Around 7 they wanted to induce her, since it had been over 27 hours since her water broke. Literally, about 10 minutes before 7, Laurel wasn't feeling well and some heavy contractions set in. By 8, they were even stronger. Pete and I just rubbed her back and got the nurse. She came in and said, "oh the doctor will be coming in any minute and then she'll check you." Out she left! I'm thinking, that's it??? I'm no doctor, but I knew she was ready to have this baby right then and there. Thankfully, a few minutes later the doctor came in. She told Laurel, also very laid back, "ohh, we're just going to check how you're doing." Don't you know, little Annabeth had already started on her way out!! She had a full head of black hair and the doctor asked if Laurel had any barretts ready! The next few minutes happened quickly. They were franctically getting things set up telling Laurel to wait till they were ready. Hmm, seems a little backwards don't you think?? Within 20 minutes or so, Annabeth was here!!

Pete was praying over their baby girl and thanking the Lord...and she was just looking right up at him! ...Made me all teary!

Laurel did such an amazing job. She was so focused and so strong, not that there were doubts she wouldn't be :) I can't even put into words the incredibleness of a new life being born. I was shaking as Laurel was closer and closer to finishing her labor and delivering that little one. Of course, I was a little emotional. I tried telling her what an awesome job she was doing and to keep it up, and I don't know if she even heard me, my voice was so shaky, so...completely overjoyed and in awe. I cannot describe it after she was born. She was so beautiful and Laurel just beamed. Pete had an exhausted smile on his face. I became the clumsy photographer trying to take some pictures of that newborn little sweet pea. I took one or two and almost forgot...but then I remembered, so through a few tears I pushed out, "What's her name?" That's when they told me, Annabeth Kara...though later they said it may be Annabeth Helen...they still aren't even sure. Mommy held her for awhile, then it was proud Daddy's turn. Then Pete gave me the privilege of calling Mom and Dad and our siblings. He was getting tired and wanted to give some more attention back to the baby's momma, so I got to hold the precious little girl for a long time and just love her! Her little eyes focused right into faces, and she made some silly faces of her own.

Momma and baby are both doing beautifully! Great job Pete and Laurel! Thank you for that precious experience and memory! I'll cherish the memory and that little girl forever!

To top it off, I was able to finish the day with a nice, cold chocolate milkshake from McDonald's. What a perfect day! :)

*Hey Bubbs! I can't wait for you to meet and hold your new little niece! I love you so much!!

She's Here!!!

This morning at 8:35:

Annabeth _________ (they haven't completely decided on the middle name yet) G***** came into the world!!

She's 6 pounds 7 ounces and 19.5 inches of beautiful baby girl with a full head of black hair! I was blessed beyond belief as I was able to witness her birth. I am totally amazed! Laurel did a wonderful job....truly amazing, and Pete is making a great dad too! All I can say is, "Wow!" and then I tear up.

I'll share more later with pictures. Right now, I need to get some sleep! It was an experience I wouldn't have traded for the world, but the sleeping accomodations and excitement did not provide the best rest for any of us. I'm also in need of a shower as you can see in some pictures to come. Phew, I'm exhausted, and I was not even the one who had the baby! So, more to come later when my words might make better sense!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Niece #3 is a comin'

So, it looks like today will be an exciting day. Laurel, my brother Pete's wife, well, her water broke early this morning! I'm taking a little credit for the timing because they were over last night watching American Gladiators with me. All of the jousting must've gotten things going. There also must be something about me that the little girl already loves and she just can't wait to meet me ....or something. Laurel found out she was pregnant over at our place and she spent probably her last pregnant evening here too. Ok, so maybe it isn't "little sweet pea's" goal to meet me, but she must have a hunch she'll be spoiled. She has her cousins, Hannah, Abby, Jacob, and Nathanael to meet too. I already know her middle name, I guessed it, but I could NOT figure out that first name. I like to research and guess about things, (right Matt?), so they gave me the meanings of both her first and middle name, so I could try my hardest to figure it out. The only obvious possibility I can come up with is dearly loved Earlene....the feminine form of Earl? They say that's not it, but I know they are just trying to keep it a surprise since I guessed it right! Ok, so I'm about 100% positive that's not right, but it's a bit of a tradition in our family to give unpleasant/silly nicknames to the babies before they are born, so we can enjoy the beautifully perfect names picked by their parents after. Hopefully, we'll know soon!

Here's the dad in his younger years, and yes, the chubby cheeks are mine.

I don't have any little Laurel pictures, so here's one of us during Cross Country at Roberts. I figured I might as well have pictures of the parents and I since I've had such a role in all this.....just kidding!

Ok, one of the 2 on their wedding day almost 2 years ago! Also, with Laurel's sisters, Elizabeth, Helene, and Amber.

Ahhh, I need more/better pictures on here! This is what I have right now, and I can't make it any bigger. It will have to do. I hope to post pictures of the 3 soon!

Hooray for a shorter post, huh!?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

So, We're Goofy

No super interesting updates here. Just some gag me lovey dovey stuff and some moments that might seem a little more... realistic?

This morning I was talking with Matt on the IM'er. I pause and smile. There was a lull in our conversation, and I was starting to get hungry. I told him I was going to pop an english muffin in the toaster (these are right up there with chocolate milkshakes for me. I love the things!). Of course, I got in the way of that. I am so easily distracted sometimes, it's outrageous. I was commenting to Matt right after I told him I was leaving to grab some breakfast about how I needed to shave my legs. I'm sure he was thrilled to hear about that (and happy he isn't home to see them? Nooo, he loves me, hairy legs or not, right Matt?) Because of course, sometimes my mind thinks childlike with a million thoughts a second and I was wearing pajama capris, so naturally, I noticed my o'natural legs (they weren't that bad though, really). Oh, maybe I should share about those capris. I warned you I have thoughts coming at me a mile an hour. (Edited to say: Yeah, thanks Matt for pointing out my thoughts hardly ever make sense, even in writing....a mile a something...Apparently, I was thinking slowly at the moment :) ). When Matt and I were first married, I sometimes wore his green P.T. sweatpants to bed. They were very large on me (too small for him) but sooo comfy. To make them even more comfortable, I cut them into capris. They're kind of like pirate pants on me because they're big. Matt doesn't recommend I wear them in public, especially around the military...I guess it looks disrespectful, go figure. They just need someone to design their clothes with a little pizazz right?

Ok, so where was I going with this English muffin story? Oh yes. I got distracted (ha!) and told him about my need to shave. Well, then my hunger took over and, I typed a real quick, "ok muffin!" because I needed to get that muffin. So, naturally he asked if he could call me bagel? Ha-ha, Matt. No thank you. I liked that better than his next name, "or maybe my poppyseed bun?" That sounds very flattering, Matt.

I guess if you think about our nicknames, they aren't particularly flattering. Like our Bubba names. He is Bubba to me, and I am Bubba to him sometimes. Why? I happen to have an answer, sort of. One night, early on in our marriage, I told him I didn't like or want to be called, "Baby." It's just not a favorite of mine. He never called me that, to my knowledge, but I wanted to make it clear anyway. :) So, he jokingly called me Bubba once (I guess he thought it was a good replacement). I think of a very large man without the greatest hygeine when I hear Bubba, but oh well. It actually means Brother I guess. Anyway, somehow I got used to it, and it stuck. It popped out of my mouth one time for him, and all is history (though now it's usually Bubbs or Bubb). We're goofy, hopelessly goofy!

Another goofy moment in our history. Matt and I don't argue very much or "fight," which I am very thankful about. We try to make it a point to talk respectfully and work things out whether we agree or disagree on some things. We're both kind of laid back, but we have our moments sometimes. Like this one. Matt got me a bike for Christmas. It being winter, we didn't have much time to try it out. Then summer came, and we were busy, and thinking about his recall date fast approaching, we didn't go much over the summer either. Right before he left, early in October, Matt wanted to go out for a run. I wanted to go with him, but he wanted to go faster than I could, so I decided to ride my bike. There, that solves it. Matt was a little stressed about the upcoming changes in a few days, and the weather wasn't so great, and he just wanted to go do his thing. It turned out to be a situation almost like a kid brother or sister tagging along. As soon as we start out, it begins to rain, very hard. For some reason, I can't keep up with him running and me on my BIKE. Umm, either he's a little upset and running really hard, or I'm really out of shape and something's wrong with this bike. Not even 5 minutes into the run/bike ride, one of my pedals just falls of my bike. I was laughing hysterically, unable to move, and trying to yell out to Matt a mile ahead of me. He called a frustrated, "what?" and had to back track to me. I am still laughing because I find it so random that my pedal just falls completely off my bike. Matt tries to get it back on, but it's pouring, and he can't get it on without some tools, and he just wants to run!! Poor guy. I let him run, and I walked my bike up the hill back home. In the pouring rain. Next to the college classrooms. I'm sure they were wondering why I was walking my bike in the pouring rain. I tried to make my broken pedal visible. Would that help? Oh man. I guess this is one of those times you all had to be there. My husband is wonderful. He came home in a much better mood and fixed my bike later. No permanent damage was done ;)