Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Schedule

My work hours change today...I'm excited!

Now, instead of working 8:30-5:30, I'll be working 7:30-4.   Getting up and leaving the house by 7am may become a challenge, but I think the perks of getting home way earlier in the afternoon will outweigh it.  Plus, since the miserable days of morning sickness began, I've woken up every morning at 6 anyway.  Sooo happy that's over!

Anyway, I have high hopes for my new schedule.  Since I'll be home every day by 4:30, I'm hoping to:

♥put more time and effort into homemade meals (instead of getting home at 6 and saying "I'm starving!  What will be ready in 5 minutes?)

♥get this blog back on the road again.  It's embarrassing how neglected it's been lately, and I think that since I'll be getting home before Jesse now, I'll be able to spend some time on it in the afternoons instead of feeling like I'm neglecting my husband when he's home.

Two small goals to start with, but with as busy as things are these days, that's about all that I can handle.

See you tomorrow!

Fellowshipping with Colter

Our friend Colter returned to the States last week to see family and go around to different churches speaking about God's work in Kazakhstan.  It was so good to see him!

Jesse arranged for Colter to come speak to our church, and we were looking forward to it for months.

Colter is an old friend from our college days.

(Jesse and I are on the far left in this 2008 pic, and Colter is the one Jesse is supporting on his shoulder)

We hadn't seen him since graduation, and haven't had much communication with him since he's been teaching English in Kazakhstan and sharing God's Word with the people there.

It was great to have him come to our church and speak to the members there.  So many exciting stories to hear and new things to pray for.


After Colter's presentation, Jesse and I took him to our favorite 50s diner on Route 66.  We sat there til nearly 11pm catching up on life and enjoying old friendship.

Colter spent the night with us that night, and the next morning, Jesse took him to another school in the area to speak with the students there.  I don't know when we'll see him again, but I'm thankful for the time we got to spend with him last week.

God be with you til we meet again, Colter!

Monday, May 30, 2011


I spent a good amount of time this morning poring through my old diaries looking for an entry that I had written after talking with my Papa Chuck about his experiences in WWII.  I thought it would be an appropriate way to commemorate Memorial Day.

I found lots of old treasures amongst the pages I wrote from age 8 through my college days, but I didn't find the entry I was looking for.

I did find this one, however, and thought I'd share it with you:
Saturday night, March 29th, 2003 [that puts me at 14 years old]

I burnt the carpet on Thursday trying to iron my overalls.  (I'm not entirely stupid, really!)  It's just that I was in a hurry because we were leaving for Papa and Ami's house soon, and I figured that since the overalls only needed about a 30-second press at the bib to keep the seam down, I didn't need to pull out our big ironing board.  I think I pressed about 30 seconds too long, though---and now there's a crusty brown spot on our living room carpet to help me remember never---ever--to do that again!  (Did you know that carpet actually melts?)

We had a very nice time at Ami and Papa's.  It was their 53rd wedding anniversary.  I gave them the heart blanket I just finished, because I thought a golden yellow heart afghan suited the celebration of a third Golden Anniversary perfectly.

Just before we left, Papa pulled out a small black leather suitcase that he said contained his life's treasures.

As he sat in his chair and opened it, we all circled round him to see what was inside: school diplomas, pictures of his parents, pins and badges he had earned during WWII, letters, and things he had kept after his father and mother had died.  Each thing had a story.  He showed us his father's first electric razor, a washcloth his mother had crocheted.  He showed us a dog-tag that had belonged to his best friend, and one of his own.  They were necklaces that they had to wear everywhere they went during the war.  His friend's was filled out: his name, date of birth, where he had been born, and where he had died;  Papa's dogtag had remained incomplete.

There was a piece of metal that Papa told us was called "shrapnel."  It was part of a plan that had burst through the side of the plane Papa had been in--the other plane was hit by the Japanese and had exploded.

Papa showed us his "Soldier's Record of Payment."  It was just a little brown book with records of what Papa's payment had been each month:  $20.00.

He handed me a small box that had been a watch box.  Inside were golden buttons.  Papa told me that they were the buttons off of his uniform.  I asked him where the coat was, and he said that he had thrown it away after the way.  "I wasn't a brave warrior," He answered when I asked why, "I didn't want to keep anything that would remind me of what I had seen."  I wonder what made him tear the buttons of that suit before he threw it away...

There was a pile of letters at the bottom of the suitcase that intrigued me very much.  It was a parcel of notes that had been sent to my great-grandparents' house in Cincinatti through the years.  Papa had taken them after his parents died.  He had written some of the letters, so had my Ami, and Uncle Todd, and there was even a postcard that my daddy had sent to them when he was twelve years old.

That black suitcase was such a wonderful window into the past that I was sorry when Papa closed the lid and locked it again.  But I'm so glad he shared it with us!


I'm so thankful for the sacrifices so many men and women have made throughout the years to guarantee us our freedom.  Today, I'm praying for God's peace to the families members of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice---their lives---and also for His blessings to those who serve our nation daily.

Fly those flags!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The End of an Era

For the last two years, I've had two siblings attending colleges within 25 minutes of my house.

Jesse and I have loved having Jon and Kate both this close to us, and have cherished the ability to drop by and bring them needed items,  see their theatrical performances and gallery openings, hang out at local coffee shops, and answer random phone calls asking, "Can I spend the night with you guys tonight?"

For the last two weeks, it's been slowly ending.

I've been dreading this.

(Before you start wondering----"Wow, two college grads in the same year?  Are they twins?" ----The answer is no.  Jon and Kate are two years apart, but while Jon took a year off of school to do mission work in the Czech Republic and travel around Europe, Kate nearly killed herself taking summer courses and doing everything she could to be finished with school as quickly as possible.  That's how I have a 22 year old brother and a 20 year old sister both graduating from college this year)



Kate's graduation was the first.

She graduated with honors from the Fine Arts program and has received impressive reviews of her work.


We are so, so proud of her!



Jon was part of a special honors institute, so he had two graduations this weekend.  Jesse and I attended the smaller honors graduation on Friday, and watched him graduate with 1000 classmates online yesterday.

Jon's beautiful girlfriend, Megan, is behind him in this pic.  We love her as if she were our sister already!

Part of the ceremony involved a "vigorous tapping" of God's Holy Word so that they would keep it in their hearts and minds forever.


Signing their names in the book


Proudly wearing the blue stole and Honors Institute ring each graduate is given



(No, this wasn't part of the ceremony!)


So proud of both of them!


And just to prove that we did see the big ceremony too...

God bless instant video streaming!

Taking a "Day Off"

Today has been wonderful.  Jesse and I have spent the entire day in our pajamas, mostly in bed, sniffling, sneezing, getting each other steaming cups of tea, snoozing, and watching movies.

Not that it's a blast to be sick, or anything, but it's sooo refreshing to be able to rest!

Life has just been crazy lately (maybe you've already put that together from my lack of posting this month...)

Laundry has piled up sky high, there's so much to do around this house as far as packing and preparing to move (where to? no idea!  God be with us!) and being that it's the first Saturday in forever that we've had nowhere that we need to be, we could be tackling those things.  But our bodies demanded rest, so rest we are taking.

I had to leave work at lunchtime on Wednesday with a migraine so intense that my body was threatening to throw up from the pain.  I've always had migraines, but when there's nothing I can take for them or do about it, it makes them 10,000x worse.  Jesse came home from work early on Thursday with a bad cold.  What a week!

My migraine has mostly subsided, but I'm still dealing with the constant sinus pressure that really has plagued me for the majority of my pregnancy.  It's no fun to be sick when you can't take anything to help you get over it!

But today, I'm thankful for rest, I'm thankful to cuddle next to my handsome guy and commiserate, I'm thankful for organic lavender chamomile tea, thankful for honey, thankful for Kleenex, and thankful for a day that I can push responsibilities aside and simply be sick.

It's a pretty good day, in my book!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Day with the Stuarts

(I have a week of things to catch up on, so these pictures aren't from this past weekend, but the one before that)

My cousin Lucas' wedding was on April 30th down in Escondido, so Jesse and I took advantage of the opportunity to spend Friday night in San Diego with my childhood friend, Em, and her husband Arlen.

We had a wonderful time!  We didn't get to their house until around 9 or 10 that night, since we had to wait until I got off work to make the drive.  Here we are the next morning, enjoying one of Em's lovely spreads:

I love our precious friends!

We spent our morning at Coronado Beach.  It was wonderful to have my toes back in the ocean!

Emily and I grew up just over a mile from the sea.  We spent our entire childhoods playing mermaids among the rocks and building sand castles with our siblings.  Her adult life led her to San Diego, where she is still just a short walk from the water, and mine led me inland.  Everyone knows that I hate being away from the coast, and I take every opportunity that I can to sink my toes in wet sand again.

You can take a girl away from the beach, but you can't take the beach away from the girl!

We enjoyed the beautiful view of Hotel del Coronado--built in 1887!

As we walked along the shoreline, Jesse and Arlen kept commenting about how much "seaweed" there was in the sand.

Em and I thought it was hilarious how impressed our INLAND BOYS were to discover that there were shellfish beneath those seaweed-like hairs in the sand.  lol!

We hadn't even thought to mention it, because we took it for granted that they would have known :-)

Laughing at our silly boys--priceless!

(apparently we need to take them to the ocean more often?)

It was a wonderful day with dear friends!

Monday, May 2, 2011

19 Weeks

My doctor almost gave me a heart attack last week.

On Thursday after work, I checked my voicemail and heard, "Hi Bethany, this is Dr. Rose.  I want to talk with you about your test results.  I'll be in the office until 5, so please call when you can."

Test results?!?  We never heard back after our Nuchal Translucency Screening, so assumed that no news was good news.  And I had had a blood test earlier that week, but didn't really know what they'd get from a blood test.  Anyway, I was alarmed.  Was something wrong?  What did she want to talk with me about?

Of course, I didn't get the message until after 5pm, so I had to wait until my lunch break on Friday to call the office.

I spent 15 minutes on hold, and then when the receptionist finally picked up, I explained who I was.  "Oh, yes, Bethany," She said, "I know she wanted to talk with you personally.  Let me see if I can page her."

My heart stopped.  What's going on?

10 minutes later, Dr. Rose answered the phone.  "Bethany!  I went over your test results," She paused.  My heart stopped.  "I wanted to let you know that you're anemic."


That's IT?!?

Lol, I've been anemic my entire life!  That's no news to me, although apparently it's more critical when you're pregnant.  She talked with me about upping my iron intake, and then told me to have a nice weekend.

As thankful and relieved as I was that it was nothing major, I still felt annoyed.

I spent a sleepless night worrying about test results, only to find out it's something I've known forever.  Lol!  Next time, Dr. Rose, save me hours of panic and leave a no-brainer announcement like that on my voicemail!



In other news, life is great.  I'm feeling wonderful, eating everything in sight, and showing more and more every day.  I still don't really look "pregnant," but for people who know me well, the change is very noticeable!

Only FOUR more days until we find out whether we're having a boy or a girl!  I'm soooo excited!

What do you think we're having?

Have you voted yet?  Don't forget to go to www.letterstoourlittleone.blogspot.com and vote in the top right-hand corner!

(and please, tell me in a comment so that I know what you think!  The silly poll is anonymous)

♥   ♥   ♥


I'm still alive, I promise.

What a crazy year 2011 has been, so far!

In January, we found out that we were expecting a baby in September.

In February, I really wasn't feeling great.  Then I caught the flu from Jesse, and from there, I had miserable morning sickness for 12 weeks.  Not fun!

In March, we found out that my husband's job would probably be going to part-time in September (BABY DUE IN SEPTEMBER--major freakouts happened...)  This, by the way, is not the case any more.  Praise the Lord!  However, when I stop working in September to be a Stay At Home Mommy, his reduced salary will not cut it for us, so we're really praying about what to do.

In April, we found out that our landlords need to sell the beloved home we have lived in for nearly three years.  They will be listing it in a few weeks, and are just as heartbroken about having to say goodbye to it as we are.

These are a lot of changes, and while we know the Lord will see us through, the not-knowing in-between time is difficult right now.

The good news is that morning sickness finally hit the road.  I'm so thankful!  I'm no longer having to start my day with Saltines and 7Up just so that I can stomach my anti-nausea prescription, and haven't worried about getting sick in the trashcan in my classroom for weeks.  I'm back to cooking, cleaning (don't worry, no chemicals!) and getting life back in order.  3 months is a long time to be sicker than a dog!  The perfectionist homemaker in me really took a hit this year.  I had to learn how to let people help me, how to love friends (and myself) enough to let them see my house with dishes in the sink and laundry scattered everywhere.  I had to learn that it was ok to let things be a mess since I didn't have the energy to clean tidy up, and I learned what a gem I married.  My Handsome Man may not have a "neat freak" bone in his body, but he sure knows how to take care of me.  For three months, he climbed gingerly into bed so that I wouldn't clamber over the edge of the mattress like a seasick inlander on a sailboat; he called me every day on his way home from work to see if anything sounded good to me that he could pick up; he held my hair for me when I got sick, and brought me 7Up and Saltines to help settle my stomach.

My Handsome Man has done such a wonderful job of taking care of his little family!  How do I know he's going to be an amazing daddy?  He already is.  The living proof is that he was able to keep me and our little one alive during those rough times!

On top of everything that has been going on, our house has been undergoing many renovations in the past few months.  Our landlords have completely remodeled one of our bathrooms (which left us without a shower for a whole month), put new flooring in the kitchen, and added carpet to the spare room.  Poor spare room!  Jesse and I had been so excited about turning it into our hobby room.  It's all painted now, and the new carpet is wonderful.  But knowing that we'll be moving out soon kind of takes away the fun of planning a sewing/recreation room.  Oh well!  Someday...

Because of the renovations, all of my crafts have been packed away for months.  I didn't want dust/asbestos to be getting all over the yarns that I love to work with, or the projects that I have completed.  What crazy times!  Life just hasn't been normal lately.

Of course, our view of "normal" is drastically changing...

Please pray for us as we consider the next steps we are supposed to take.  Please pray that God reveals His will to us soon!

Anyways, these are my 'scuses for why I've been so MIA, lately.  But enough about me, what's up with you?  :-)