BOY!!! We’re having a little boy! I’m still pinching myself, for Doug and I both thought we might be having another girl. We are soooo very excited and grateful to welcome Charles Spencer into our little family! (He’ll go by Spencer, my maiden name–I think I’ve said that before!) :)
I’ll be hoping and praying even more now that I will NOT develop preeclampsia this time. Did you know that caucasian males have the hardest time fighting for their precious lives when they arrive really early? I learned this in the NICU after Elisabeth was born–all the nurses call them their little “whimpies.”
Also, we (FINALLY) secured a place to live! We found a perfect little place on Wednesday, and our references/applications were approved yesterday afternoon! I cannot tell you how relieved I feel knowing we are not moving to Little Rock to live on the STREETS. :) We’ll go to LR again on Saturday for a few things, one of those being to sign the lease (and to take measurements/photos!)…and another to possibly register at Babies ‘R Us! i’m so excited to look at little boy things. :)
as most of you know, we are moving to little rock! after months of thinking and talking about it, we’re finally DOING it. the bottom line is that we really need more income…and getting that in this town is close to impossible. also, doug still really wants to be a missionary in india someday soon–to reach that “goal,” we have several bills that need to be paid first.
i’m starting to get PRETTY nervous since it’s, oh JUNE NINTH, and we don’t have a place to live yet. (we’re moving there the weekend of the 27th, by the way, for me to start my new job as medical transcriptionist at Youth Home on the 30th.)
not to mention? we’re still waiting for a job for doug, too…
not to mention? we don’t know what we’ll do about childcare–at least, temporarily. (my parents, unbelievably, are almost positive they’re moving to LR, too!! and want to continue to take care of Elisabeth. AH-MAY-ZING.)
the past few months have been really tough–trying to sort out everything, fighting with the Lord on whether or not I can trust Him (WHAT is my deal?!)…i’m so grateful for this time, though, because this test of faith/trust has caused me to seek Him more than i have in a long time.
we find out on wednesday if Elisabeth will have a baby brother or sister. i’m very excited! we have a name for a boy (Charles Spencer–go by Spencer, my maiden name)…but if she’s a girl, we’ve got some thinking to do! i really hope to find a name that means faith or trust. perhaps a middle name of Faith, but i’m not sure.
we’re going to get to look at three more houses for rent on wednesday, so perhaps at least ONE of those will work!!…
i’ll update later this week with all our happy news! :)
what a weekend!
- 8:30 help with commencement preparations (time for another graduation ALREADY?!)
- 10:00 E and i leave for Little Rock (two words: PAPER SALE! $1 per pound/paper!!!)
- 1:00 Jennie (yay!), E and i get in line after a thorough examination of the paper, plates/napkins (i couldn’t have shopped without sweet Jennie’s help–E was quite the fuss-budget with no nap!!)
- 1:10 spend a whopping $22.67 (!!!) on a HAUL of cute, cute, cute paper, cards/envelopes, plates/napkins
- 1:30 go to sam’s for the “cheap” gas (pathetic that cheap gas=$3.55/gal) and search for an at&t store to buy a car charger…really need my cell phone for the rest of the day and battery is very d-e-a-d.
- 2:15 finally get to rachel & harry’s and see my beautiful 3 1/2 week old niece, AnnMarie
- 2:45 spontaneous photo shoot of the cousins! PERFECT to frame for Mother’s Day gift for Mom the next day! (well, after cropping out the horrendous, blaring yellow date.) :)
i can’t believe how beautiful and precious AnnMarie is–it even looks like she’s smiling here! E is being awfully greedy with the stuffed animals. :)
AnnMarie was getting really bored with the photo shoot & Elisabeth’s kisses. :)
by far, my favourite out of the 15 photos we snapped. AnnMarie was actually crying, but it looks like she is laughing with her cousin here! :) i love it. i love THEM. together.
- 4:00 arrive at sarah’s apartment
- 5:00 FINALLY leave LR after loading poor Quigley, Sarah’s dog, into the very back-end of my van (not to mention all of sarah’s belongings for her ten ONE night visit to arkadelphia)
- 6:00 drop off sarah at mom & dad’s and head home. once again, FINALLY.
- 7:15 start to try to get E to sleep (after a day of no naps–well, hardly–you would think it would be a breeze, right?!)
- 9:00 WRONG. E finally goes to sleep. oh.my.WORD. nightmare city.
- 10:00 collapse. :)
- 6:30 or 7:00 wake up to sweet doug’s mother’s day gifts AND anniversary presents (yes, they were on the same day!) my favourite part? Elisabeth bringing me “her” card. :)
- 9:00 getting ready…doug for WORK (BAH!!) :( and me & E for church.
- 10:00 work/church
- 11:30 leave with mom, dad, sarah, E, once again the quigster in the back…for another little rock trip.
- 12:30 meet rachel, harry and annmarie at mimi’s cafe–LOVED IT! (wait was 2 hours, though. we only had to wait 1 hour b/c we were driving for part of that time, but WOW.)
- 4:00ish after dropping off sarah and the pooch, leave for arkadelphia
- 5:00 get home
- 5:45 doug and i leave for little rock (NO, I AM NOT KIDDING) to go on an anniversary date. :) felt terrible for “dumping” E on my mom/dad (it was still mother’s day, after all!)…but they sweetly insisted. i’m glad. 6 years, after all, is a big deal! :) 6 is my fav. number, so i’m guessing that means this year will be AMAZING. :) although, technically, we’re now on our 7th year. which is just as nice, i suppose. :)
- 7:00 see made of honor. loved it. really, really, really cute. :)
- 9:30 we’re old geezers and too tired to do anything else. GO HOME. :)
did anyone make it through this entire (mostly boring?!) play-by-play of my weekend? my goodness.
since i haven’t written in over two months, i thought i would write a few words. (and, i am in london right now, after all. when will i have the chance to write from london again?)
london. what to say? full of life, all things busy and fast, more things to do and see than there would ever be time to complete. samuel johnson once said, ‘when you are tired of london, you are tired of life.’ well spoken. doug and i have really crammed quite a bit into this week: mary poppins and spamalot, tons of pubs and cafes and yummy street stands, bookstores and other stores (including the all-famous ridiculously unbelievable harrods), buckingham palace and today kensington palace, portobello road market, high tea this afternoon and evensong tonight at westminster abbey, the tower of london, tower bridge, a cruise on the thames, st. paul’s, the london aquarium…there’s really too much to name in the 2 minutes remaining i have on this computer.
i love london. i do. i fell in love with it instanteously when i came two years ago.
but home does call. ARKANSAS calls. did i ever think i would feel this way? definitely no. but arkansas is home. my family and friends are there. most importantly, my BABY is there. i–we–have missed her tremendously. i got to talk to her on the phone yesterday for the first time.
oops. time’s up.
well, i’ve been quite a little blogging hermit lately, haven’t i? other than work, what have i been doing for the last two months instead of blogging?
- Celebrating the first birthday of Elisabeth Grace
not having devoted a huge post to this causes me guilt–DAILY. i will soon–better late than never? i don’t know, you tell me.
- Turning 30
perhaps because i had “dreaded” the big 3-0 all year, turning 30 was really not a huge deal, emotionally. i had a very nice birthday and felt extremely happy and loved. for what more could i have asked?
- Trying to lose weight…
…and doing it! this is my ninth week doing weight watchers online, and in my first 8 weeks i’ve lost 21.4 lbs. (hey, every tenth of a pound counts, doesn’t it?!) :) i’m really happy with the results so far and will renew my online membership after the initial 3 months deal ends. my weight has ALWAYS been the most shameful and embarrassing topic for me…and i have always, in the past, done everything to avoid discussing it. well, not anymore! i have already found that in telling others–even here in the open on my blog, for heaven’s sake!–i feel so much more freedom and am prompted to continue trying to improve myself and my health.
going along with that…
- Walking with Elisabeth
i bought E a fancy schmancy new stroller–the Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller, to be exact. yes, i realise i purchased a jogging stroller…and maybe i’ll work into doing that! for now, though, it is working just fine as a walking stroller. i LOVE it–it even has a thing called “music on the move.” simply hook up your ipod or player of choice and enjoy the tunes coming out of the speakers! i think E is okay with my “on the go” playlist, but am i a horrible mom for making her listen to eminem, weezer, inxs, the clash, gnr, green day and the like?…oh well :)
- Daydreaming about London
yeah, i am getting PRETTY pumped about our trip in January. last week i reserved our room!! i’ve spent months poring over website after website trying to find a good deal. my requirements were not all that picky: i wanted a place that is clean, includes breakfast, has a good location & is close enough to public transport stops. well…finding a place that has all that WITH a low price tag attached (as we are definitely “budget travelers”) has been quite an ordeal. i definitely did NOT want to stay in a hostel–doug, on the other hand, had been picturing a place where the bed comes down from the wall and the room’s only light is from a lone dangling light bulb. he just really wanted that “experience.” seeing as it is his graduation present, i guess the right thing would have been to give into his wishes, but i didn’t do the right thing. well, i compromised. kind of. :) the place we’re staying is called the london house hotel and is a budget hotel/hostel. here’s the kicker: it was recently remodeled, and if you visit the site, you’ll see that the “super” rooms (where we’ll be) look really nice. a flat-screen plasma and an ensuite room WITH floor space?!?! all for 54 pounds a night?!…unheard of in central london!!! I STRUCK GOLD! :) now i can’t wait to daydream some more and plan out our days…
- Embossing. LOVE it.
i’m in love with paper source, and so imagine my delight when i received a gift certificate from j & jeb for my birthday! i bought some new stamps and tons of embossing powder…fun fun!! thanks so much, again, my friends! :) also, dear dougley took me on a shopping spree to hobby lobby!! i got an embossing heat tool (i had previously been using a candle or lighter!!) and more stamps and some stamp cleaner. i wish i could have my own stationery shop/business–what a dream!
- Devouring Harry Potter
i have seen the first four movies, but i’ve never had a desire to read the books. my husband, on the other hand, has read each one about three times! so on the sunday after the big release date for the last book, when doug asked me to read aloud to him while he drove, I.WAS.HOOKED. “that’s it!” i said. “i have to read them now.” and so that afternoon, i picked up harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone, and i have gone full speed ahead through each of them since then. i am merely pages from completing harry potter and the deathly hallows, and the thought of finishing the story…oh, there are too many emotions to name! let me just say that i now completely understand the madness behind all the hp fans out there. completely.
so. what have you been up to? :)
- how has 2 1/2 weeks passed without one single post? for shame, for shame.
- my youngest sister is getting married in THREE DAYS. i’m so afraid i’ve been holding in a lot of emotion and that it’s all going to come blubbering out soon–hopefully AFTER the wedding day. (is that possible, PLEASE?!)
- doug has been in India for ten days now, and he’s doing really well! although i cannot imagine the heat (125 degrees, anyone?), he loves it there…so much so that he has been writing things like, “i just wish you were here, because i never want to leave” and “you and E would do just fine here.” um…
- still haven’t decided on a birthday theme for little E’s first birthday. it’s one month away! i’m so excited about her turning one year old, but i still cannot believe how fast the time has passed.
- my sister, Kellie (and this should be #1), and my nephew, Daniel, are here from Australia!! they have been with us in Arkansas for one week now, and the time with them has been so great. i wish all of you could meet them–or at least just hear them talking. :)
- going along with #2, rachel’s bachelorette party is tomorrow night, and there is much left to be done! tonight i have to figure out what type of dessert we’re going to have in the hotel suite after dinner, make/buy it, figure out party favors and make/buy those, gather up cds and dvds…the list goes on and on. this is no run-of-the-mill bach. party, either: we’re having dinner at some la-la restaurant called SO and then staying in a two-story atrium suite at The Peabody. wow. it should be a LOT of fun, though!! i’m excited about everything, but, like everyone else involved in planning for the wedding, being able to breathe again will be nice, too. :)
- i booked our plane tickets for london–we’re really going! since our house lease ends in december, i don’t even know where we’ll be LIVING come January, but hey!–we’re going to london!
- i’m going to get a spray tan after work today. a little nervous? yep. hope i don’t end up being the orange one in all the wedding photos. :)
- don’t ever put your phone number in anything you fill out “on a whim” online. just for kicks, i clicked on a yahoo link a few weeks ago re: online masters degrees. why oh WHY did i put in my personal info. including my phone number?? but i did, and within MINUTES my phone was ringing. i’ve gotten probably at least one call a day from admissions counselors at all these random schools. i answered the phone once and talked with someone, but i was too embarrassed to have to keep saying i am not genuinely interested…so i recently changed my voice mail message, addressing the counselors at the end. yes, i seriously did that. immature? yes. a relief? definitely. no more calls since then. :)
- Rachel asked me to sing at her rehearsal dinner, and i heard the song for the first time on sunday–beautiful!! do you know “mended” by watermark? here’s a snippet. :)
- finished music & lyrics–loved it from beginning to end. very, very cute!! and the songs…they are definitely stuck-in-your-head kind of tunes! :)
- embarrassing confession: i’m at least FIFTEEN minutes late to work almost every day. what is WRONG with me??? i am amazed that i still have my job.
- i cannot believe Doug is going to India for three weeks. he leaves in twelve days! i’m really going to miss him–and so will Elisabeth and Anabelle! i guess i’ll get a taste of how he felt when i was gone last summer. i got him a camera for our anniversary, and i’m already excited as i imagine all the amazing photos he will take! (he’s an EXCELLENT photographer!)
- did you watch the american idol finale last night? i thought it was pretty anti-climactic and that the winning song from the songwriting contest was LACK.ING. oh well. although i love blake, annoying jordin so fits the ai image & will almost surely win. i’m kind of glad–that way, maybe blake won’t have to be the producers’ puppet.
- can you believe memorial day weekend is only a few days away?? (i say this in almost every post, but WHERE does all the time go?!) Doug’s family will be coming on friday and spend the whole following week at their time share in hot springs. i’m so excited to go splash in the pool…with sweet baby in her little bikini!! :) when i was online shopping for her bather (as they are called in Australia), i kept thinking i would get her a one-piece–i’ve got to teach her modesty, you know! HA HA J/K but seriously, she’s got the cutest little outie belly button you’ve ever seen, and i decided it simply had to be revealed! :) here’s a picture of her itsy bitsy teeny weeny flowered polka dot bikini (those polka dots seem to be a recurring them, hmm??)…oh DRATS–i just went to the website so i could swipe the photo, and of COURSE it’s half-off now!! oh well. :)
· obviously, i’m stuck in a rut doing these little bullet posts.
· do you ever forget to put on deodorant? yuck—i did today. how could i be in SUCH a hurry that i could forget such a crucial thing??
· we got home last night from a whirlwind one night trip to memphis…to find that my precious Mother had washed ALL of Elisabeth’s laundry. (and there was QUITE a bit—three loads worth!!) she is more wonderful than i could ever express.
· i’ve been living with a shadow overhead…have you seen music & lyrics? i started watching it last night after getting E to sleep, and i LLLLOVE it. that sweet little song has been in my head all morning. i can’t wait to finish the movie tonight!
· my sister, Rachel, is unbelievably hilarious sometimes. she called me at work this morning, and here’s a snippet of the beginning of our conversation (she starts):
“hiiiiii! i tried to call you ALL weekend!”
“oh really? it never showed up on my phone!”
“well, that’s because i didn’t have your number.”
· thanks SO MUCH for the first birthday party ideas. i’m really thinking about those polka dots! (i actually had previously considered that as a theme!!) although…you know, the lizard theme—or even the polka dot lizards—is really tempting, Rix!! ha ha. believe it or not, speaking of funny Rachel, she actually called Elisabeth “lizard breath” one time—no joke. (i didn’t find it funny at the time, but now—especially after your comment—it’s a knee-slapper.)
· besides party themes running through my head, i’ve got London on my mind! (what else is new.) i think it’s really going to happen! although January is the coldest (and rainiest, i believe) month of the year there, that is when we’re planning to go. ANY LONDON TIPS??
- one month from today, my youngest sister will be getting married. WHAT?!
- Julie, you will already be married!!
- did you hear last week about the boy with the spiders in his ears? i’ve thought of this EVERY night before going to sleep since then…earplugs, anyone?
- for girls only: commando. do you ever go? i had to yesterday due to the MOUNDS of dirty clothes yet to be washed–and it wasn’t as bad as i thought. no, it wasn’t my first time, but it had just been a long time. (unlike one unnamed sister, whom i think does this pretty regularly?? can’t imagine.)
- i wish i could hire some “helpers” for my parents. because their days are filled with everything Elisabeth, they simply do not have the time to clean their home and unpack boxes that are yes, still sitting untouched. the space they’re in is SO much smaller than their previous home, and so there’s literally not room for everything. this is such a burden for them–especially my Mom–and so it’s a burden for me, too. if i had vacation time, i would be there in a flash. could i please, like Evie, just stop time for a while?
- Elisabeth is ten months old today. how is THAT possible? :)
- a year ago, i was enjoying a night’s layover in London on my way to Finland. (again, how is that possible? that it’s been a YEAR?)
- i had my first official Mother’s Day on Sunday. so surreal. and precious and wonderful.
- doug finished SO WELL this semester!!! i could not be any more proud of him! after his trip to India this summer (mission trip, simultaneously earning 6 credit hours), he’ll only have ONE–count ’em, ONE!!!–more semester to go. -big sigh-
- i’m in the process of planning his huge graduation present we’ve been dreaming of for years…A TRIP TO EUROPE!! (just London, we think. and maybe a chunnel visit to PARIS!!) :)
thanks for all the recent sweet comments about my header photos! :)
i went a little cropping crazy recently, and i have tons of photos lined up for display–not only for variety and to keep rebeekah a shade above boring, but also so i can have some writing material! i commonly suffer from blogger’s block, and i thought this would be a good way for me to keep going.
the first photo i chose is of my beautiful sister, Sarah, taken by me while we were in London together last summer.
London, O, London, i love you so. i fell in love with you during our short affair last year, lasting sadly only four tiny days, and i have painstakingly longed for you since.
i had always wanted to go to London. i was bitten by the irrepressible travel bug at a young age, being blessed with international travel experiences thanks to my dad’s job as a chemical engineer and his accepting of a position in Western Australia. many of you may already know, but on our way back to the States after living in Australia for almost six years, we had what i’ve always called a “mini-world tour.” i got to see Singapore, Cairo, Rome, Athens, Jericho and Jerusalem, and the memories have stayed with me for over twenty years now.
since that trip, i’ve traveled overseas a few times–twice back to Australia, once in college on a singing tour to France, Germany and Austria, and then on a mission trip to Honduras 6 1/2 years ago. one of the reasons, i’ll admit, i decided to go on the rotary trip to Finland last year was because i had not traveled since going to Honduras. and those of you who love to travel can imagine the burning and the almost physically present NEED to travel! :)
because Finland was such a blur of uniforms, packed (often unpleasant) itineraries, and keeping on of the diplomatic, professional mask to various host families and rotary members, many days during those 4 1/2 weeks all i could think of was the extended weekend in London i had planned with my sister to cap off my stay in Europe. she was coming over to stay for a while in France, anyway, so she decided to come a little early and meet me in London after i was done in Finland.
backing up a bit–prior to reaching Finland, my team and i had decided to do a one-night layover in London. i remember sitting on the tube for the first time; although incredibly exhausted and jetlagged, as we passed (above ground) through communities and i took in the beautiful, old cobblestone buildings and roads and all that was, in fact, London, i couldn’t help but weep. i was in London. after years of wishing, i was finally there. and perhaps i was a bit emotionally unstable due to the jetlag and the trip to Finland that lay before me (and perhaps due to being five months pregnant), but i was overwhelmed by a sense of completion, of longing fulfilled, of a feeling that perhaps i was arriving some place i was meant to be all along.
i don’t know if i could make it living there. i like to imagine i could, but who knows, really? but isn’t that the mystery and attraction of travel? you go, you fall in love with the place, you subsequently picture yourself there in a daily routine…you may never return and thus always have this magical affair–and i say magical because it more than likely is just that and not realistic, as it would be if you were to actually go again, let alone live there as you dream–and love for this golden place that you still find yourself talking and daydreaming about months and years later to anyone who will listen, including unsuspecting blogging friends.