Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moving...and a Couple Lighter Notes

I'll be moving to another address soon. I'm trying to figure out the best way to help you find it...hopefully, I'll just be able to give you a link from this page. I can't tell you what it is yet because I haven't completely decided, and I don't want to give you an address and then have it be unavailable by the time I make the switch.

I don't have tons to update around here. I'm 7 months (well, on Friday) and ready to meet this little one!! I think I have just barely been able to hear the heartbeat with a stethoscope, which is pretty exciting for me. The baby has also been experiencing hiccups, and he/she kicks or tries to grab the stethoscope...that makes it a little hard for this Momma to hear the heart, but I'll listen to those too! Apparently, the baby has the ability to dream at this stage. I have no idea how they figure these things out. They must be pretty boring dreams though. No wonder the baby wants to grab that stethoscope. He/She's ready for something to play with...ready for some kind of action. Oh, and I see some people have found my little poll. Keep those votes coming...and feel free to share with me what you voted for! I wish I could see who voted boy or girl. I am really itching to at least let out the initials for the baby names, so we'll have to find some sort of substitute for the time being.

We had a fun dinner with Matt and Megan last week, complete with delicious chicken parm and a rousing game of The Office. My Matt's favorite part of the game are the "physical" or "secretarial" challenges. He's kind to let me start standing (since it takes this lady a few minutes and a forklift to get up these days), but his kindness usually gets whomped by his competitive secretarial spirit to race for the 3 business cards first, knocking this pregnant lady out of his way. Oh yes, even tackling this lady to snatch the pen out of her hand to label five things in the room. Ok, so maybe you have to know the game to understand. (Note: It is all in good fun, and as of yet, no one has significant injury to report.) I end up laughing so hard, I just plain give up trying. I figure oxygen becomes more important than winning the game. Being in the company of another's home, I just moved out of the way and watched most of the action take place. Who am I kidding?...I'm not going to "race" around someone else's home without a clue as to where they hide their scotch tape! (The one challenge I always want to do is Kevin's skittles many skittles can you get in your mouth at one time?...but they don't seem to have that one as an option.) Megan ended up with a pretty good "tape facelift," and cousin Matt ended up winning the game. Go Stanley!

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Year Later...with a Full Heart

It has been one year today since I started this blog. I'm in the works of changing up the address so be on the look out for that. It has been quite a year. My cousin-in-law (is that even a word?), Megan, got my feet wet to the blog world a few months before I actually began my own last February. I was reading hers and those she linked and who they linked...and so on. I just became one of those lurkers, I mean readers, who rarely commented. I decided to start my own since I had been journaling less frequently and had a lot of thoughts running through my head through Matt's deployment. (I even created a separate blog just for Matt and I to write to each other and send videos, pictures, and encouragement while he was gone.) That's when I realized I could connect with other Christian Military wives also. I cannot begin to describe the blessing that was for me to receive such encouragement from godly women walking in similar shoes. I developed some friendships I craved being so far removed from military bases (thank you Heather!) and received support just by reading other's blogs. "Civilian" wives and mothers have also given me "Proverbs 31 women" to look up to as well. Now, as I transition from wife to wife and mother, I appreciate these women even more and hope to emulate the love, guidiance, care, and training they give to their children while being the help meet they were created to be for their husbands. I know, they aren't perfect, no one is (but maybe they're pretty close...hehe, just kidding), but I know they are seeking the Lord as they live each day. So, in short, I find it absoultely amazing God will even use simple blogs to reach people, as we attempt to glorify His name. There is such a ripple effect...people won't even know the lives they are affecting until we meet in heaven (because I know there are lots out there like me who don't always comment!). Feel free to visit the links I have on the right side of my page!

So with the blessings of old and new found friends my heart is full of joy and heartache as we go through this thing called life. There are wonderful things happening, people coming to know Christ or coming closer to Him, young couples getting married, military families being reunited, babies developing and coming into the world, the joys of young children doing young children things, and on and on. However, in the midst of these times, for others there are trials and heartaches.

When I began posting, my heart ached being separated from my Matt. This time last year was one of those difficult instances where communication was slim and I hadn't heard his voice in a while. There are certainly countless wives and children missing their husbands and fathers while they continue to serve our country. Their are some who have lost those dear men and women in their service. With the joy of babies being born, others are experiencing loss through miscarriage, still births, complications, cancers, and unknowns. Some are marrying, some are finding their loved ones to have left the household. We live in a broken and imperfect world, a world tainted by sin. How we wish and long for the calm during the storms. How blessed we are to have a Creator and Savior Who is the calm during the storm, Who is the peace that passes all understanding, Who is the arms that pick us up and surround us....He tells us we will have trouble in this world, but though we have trouble, we have Him. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (1 John 16:33). Because of His great love for us, this life is not the end. Our lives here on this earth are only a tiny, yes important, fragment of time. This does not mean our hurts and sorrows are insignificant, nor are our joys insignificant. My heart aches as I read about the losses, the trials, and the absolutely anguishing times dear ones are going through and my prayers are with them. Oh, how much more our Lord cares for us. And, this is not the end. He came to rescue us from our sins and death and despair, so that we may have life eternally...with Him! This is our hope...He is our hope.

I know this is not coming out as eloquently and maybe even as accurately? as I'd like. Thoughts are still churning. Often times my posts are a reflection of the silliness of the day or just "quick" (or maybe not so quick) updates from the M&B house. I think I needed this post for myself. It's been awhile since you may have heard from my heart. We have been discussing hope in the hard times during our Young Adult Bible Study, and there seems to be so much happening around us (evil, sin, the Devil) trying to muddle up that hope or strip it right from us. But, we know Who has overcome the world. To hear more about the hope we have, or can have, in a more direct, comprehensible (as much as can be), inspiring way, I recommend looking up Louis Giglio. We've been hearing a lot from him at Young Adults. Anyway, I'm sure there's more to come...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Photo Tag

Here are the rules-
1. Choose the fourth folder you store your pictures in on your computer

2. Select the fourth picture in the folder

3. Explain the picture

4. Tag four people to do the same

Ok, so here's what I found in my 4th folder, 4th picture:

Sorry to disappoint...certainly not a belly photo. Pretty weird, pretty awkward. This was taken after a wedding last May...I was sending a picture to Matt (he was deployed at the time) to show him that $12 black dress from Target (you remember, the one made out of crepe paper?). Can we say I never know what to do with myself during a picture?

Since I have 2 different places for photos (cheater!), here's another one. This one's much cuter!!

This is our nephew taken around Thanksgiving 2007 (I think). We will be bringing him his first, first cousin!

I'm going to mess up the rules again and tag no one in particular.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's a Chicken Pot Pie Day

Or, maybe you'd understand better if I said it's a meatloaf day....Just one of those downer days and even foods don't have great appeal for me. (Where are you cravings??) You see, when I was younger, every time my brothers or I had a bummer day at school, we'd come home to meatloaf night. I don't think it's a favorite for any of us, and that just seemed to top it off. The only fun part about meatloaf night was our family tradition of unwrapping the tin foil off our baked potatoes, rolling it in a ball, and shooting it into a predetermined "basket" somewhere in the kitchen. Well, I didn't have meatloaf in our apartment...I certainly haven't made it since we've been married, but I did have frozen chicken pot pies in the freezer, so I popped one of those in the microwave. I'm sure Matt will be shocked about this. Afterall, I'm not a fan of chicken pot pie. Hmm, you're probably finding out I'm sort of particular about food from my posts. Anyway, I just wanted something warm that wouldn't take long and nothing sounded good so that's what I had. *Just in case you're wondering, I'd have to say even worse than meatloaf or chicken pot pie is hamloaf. If you've never had it, stay away! I also hear there is such a thing called salmonloaf. What are these people thinking?? Let's just eat our meat and ham and not make it into a loaf! The salmon I will avoid anyway. I'm not a seafood person at all (just a little tunafish on my sandwich every once and awhile).

Why is today a downer or a meatloaf/chicken pot pie/hamloaf day? I'm not really sure. I feel like I'm working around our apartment, but there is not much to show for it. I was having a good time with our paper shredder for awhile today (we have lots of old papers we needed to get rid of) until it jammed. Currently, I am typing this post with the lights off and the heat a little below 55. Yes, we're back to bundling ourselves up. Would you like to hear our last bill? I'm sure you do! You see, 2 months ago, we were keeping our heat at like 50, like now, and turning it up a bit in the evening while Matt and I were both home. We still had an outrageous bill. This last month, we tested a theory presented by friends to set the heat a little higher, more in the normal range, say 65 during the day and about 60 at night so the heater wouldn't have to work as hard to get up warmer when we turned it on in the evening. Well, wait for it, wait for it, this was our electric bill for the month: $347. Yes, that was only our electric. You read it right. Our heat is electric. Our gas bill was $75. We have a decent size 2 bedroom apartment, but people, we do not live in a million square foot house! Our gas is only used for our hotwater. We like to each shower once a day (I'm sure others prefer that too), and we use the hot water for our dishes. Ummm, wow. Somebody help us! What are we doing? We left our last apartment due to gas/electric bills (among the other things my couple of faithful readers are very familiar with). The common factor we come up with is,! Yes, I have the computer on during a good chunk of the day if I'm home. I have the light on in the room I'm in when it's dark. We even have the swirly energy efficient light bulbs, and we're still waiting to see the savings. We've only had the shredder a week, and as much fun as it is, I don't think I'm using it all day every day and it's using that much electricity. Yes, we do watch tv sometimes, but still...this is ridiculous. I seriously contemplated making a peanut butter sandwich instead of using the microwave for my pot pie today, but I really wanted something warm! Ok, so I'm venting, and I am thankful we do have heat when it's below freezing outside, but if you have any pointers, we will take them!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

As Requested

Ok, so I guess it's been a long time coming. Here are the long awaited (fuzzy) pictures of my bump. I had no idea what to do with my arms and yes, I felt ridiculous. Maybe I'll get the hang of this one of these days. I also was not wearing a maternity top (just a larger shirt that I am apparently outgrowing). Next time I'll have to put my hand just below my belly so you can see how high I'm carrying...much higher than my mom ever she says. Maybe it will be that much more fun to notice when the baby drops. Oh, this was 24 weeks.

I happened to come across a picture of me at 17 weeks and remembered feeling like I was showing and it was obvious. Ha! Things are beginning to get a little putting on shoes or socks or laying on my right side. Why is that? Matt thinks maybe it has to do with where the baby is sitting. I get that round ligament pain on my right side (you know, the muscles all across that end of my stomach and side are tearing feeling?), and I'm fine on my left (which I know is the "better" side anyway), but I can't sleep on my left side!

Today is my 6 month appointment. Oh, at the ultrasound, the tech said our baby is/was 1 pound and 5 ounces! I realized this week that you can see the kicks through my maybe if it isn't gross or inappropriate, I can put them to some tunes on here. Maybe, if it's a boy, we'll name him Billy Blanks.