100 joys (47-49)

I only have time for a few quick joys before I get my booty to bed.  Someone (me) was a bit of a hot mess after over-doing it this weekend (um… girlfriend needs her naps and didn’t get ANY!):

joy #47:

The young lad on the right is my brother, Andy.  Andy, as I have mentioned previously, is awesome.  Because he is awesome, he could not settle for a roommate that did not live up to his awesomeness expectations.  It’s a good thing he found Ben (gentleman on the left) to share a bachelor pad with because Ben is also awesome.  Ben willingly attends various family-centric events, and even seems to enjoy himself.  And Ben reads my blog.  Which is more than he can say about Andy’s blog.  I guess when you live it once, you don’t need to re-read it.  Thanks for being awesome, Ben.

 

joy #48:

Our twins are now 24 weeks along!  They each gained about 4 oz last week and are now over a foot-long each.  (“$5… $5… $5 Foot Loooong!” ahem.  Thank you, Subway, for ruining “foot-long” for me…).  So yeah, 14 weeks to go.  Or, said another way, 3 months remaining.  Do you hear that, self?  You have 3 months to get your life together!  Let’s get on this.

 

joy #49:

Oh, Kardashian sisters – why are you so entertaining??  For some reason I get some weird joy out of watching them interact… perhaps because some of their antics remind me of my own sisters…

You know, without having to completely expose our lives on TV.  But, that’s not to say we wouldn’t consider a TV deal.  I’m just saying.

 

100 joys (37-46)

I have lots of joys to share from this weekend, so without any further ado (and in no particular order):

joy #37:

Tea!  I went with my sisters-in-law, mother-in-law and niece to a wonderful tea at the Drake.  It was really a lot of fun!  I always enjoy going to tea there and it is such a treat.

joy #38:

Before anyone gets worried that I’m outside ice skating in my “condition”, I would like to first say, I am NOT ice-skating.  However, work hosted a free ice-skating event this weekend and it went great!  It was a lot of fun to see all the kids out ice-skating and throwing their bodies around the ice like weapons.  So many kids went down HARD on the ice, but after looking around with dazed looks on their faces, most of them got back up and kept skating.

joys #39-44:

Some of my favorite joys stopped by the ice-skating event to say hello. Since I don’t want to short-change anyone, I figured I’d make them all joys.  Here they are (in no particular order, lest I hear about it later):

Joy 39: Sarah – my baby sister – is always a little bundle of joy.  She’s the smallest of us kids, but she makes up for it in the amount of energy and noise she can generate.  She’s a doll!

Joy 40: My cousin Meghan is a genius.  No, seriously, she is.  Sometimes I think I can get a contact-smart off of her if I sit by her long enough.  She scored a perfect on her ACT in 2nd grade.  Ok, maybe it was 3rd grade.  Whatevs.  Meghan rocks and she flew in from DC to be here.  For Christmas.  It just worked out that she also came to the ice-skating event.

Joy 41: My amazing sister Caitlin.  She rocks.  She’s taller than me, which makes me happy.  She’s also the only one of my family members who will read this and think, “Really?  Why THIS picture of me??”  Hey, it’s my joys.  This picture is from our awesome vacation to Marco Island in 2009.  Happy times, indeed!  She came out to our ice-skating adventure as well because she’s fabulous.

Joys 42 & 43: Frank (the taller fella and my dear husband) and Andy (the smaller fella and my brother).  I picked this picture from our wedding because, well, I can.  So there.  Frank and Andy are really long lost brothers.  Both of them have had to deal with two older sisters growing up (although Andy had the added bonus of a younger sister, too).  Both of them are easy-going, smart, funny and charming gentlemen.  They both made the trip out to the ice-skating event and, as usual, made me smile.  Way to go, guys!

Joy 44: My cousin Dave.  Also a genius (like his previously-mentioned sister Meghan), Dave is studying to be a lawyer.  Dave made the trip out to see our fun winter festivities.  Dave is awesome.  Dave, thanks for being awesome.  Oh, and Dave?  We need to work on a few legal matters.  You give a hefty discount for family, right??

joy #45:


I’m not entirely sure what is going on in my uterus, but whatever it is, it sure involves a lot of kicking, punching and flopping – and I love it!  It’s great to feel the babies moving around.  I can actually see them moving, too.  This morning while I was still sleeping, Frank put his hand on my belly and Baby B was kicking him.  Such a sweet joy!

joy #46:

It’s official – we have fewer than 100 days until we meet our babies!  Tomorrow (12/20/10), the babies will be 24 weeks along and will be considered “viable” with a 90% survival rate (with medical intervention, of course).  Hurrah!  Way to go, babies!  Praise God!

100 joys (32-36)

What a long week!  I feel like it was a marathon of activity and I cannot wait to nap.  So here are a few things that brought me joy today (and then I am going to bed!!):

joy #32

Frank and I discovered a fantastic website called Cozi that allows us to share calendars, journal our menu for the week and create to-do lists. Love it.

 

joy #33

OMG.  Have you seen this show?  You should watch the first season, but don’t expect much until you get to the end of the first season.  Sorry, it just wasn’t their best.  But something magical happened towards the end of the first season and we’ve been hooked ever since.  It appeals to both of us – I love time travel/universe swapping sci-fi angles and Frank loves love stories.  Hrm.  No.  I got that wrong.  I love time travel/universe swapping sci-fi angles and Frank loves Peter Bishop (played by Joshua Jackson).  Hrm. Well, whatever the reasons we like to watch the show, you should be watching it too.  You’d be much happier if you did.

 

joy #34

Since I’ve started down the path of shows we like to watch, I may as well be 100% honest with myself (and those of you reading this blog), we watch a lot of TV shows.  This is largely due to the technological wizardry known as the DVR.  Love it.  This means on Friday, after a long week, Frank and I can park ourselves on the couch and catch up with some of our favorite shows while only moving minimally and grunting occasionally when whomever has the remote control forgets to fast forward through the commercials.  So, that being said, we are LOVING Modern Family. Perhaps it’s because we identify with the characters so well.  Specifically, it seems we have the most in common with Cam and Mitchell. What can I say, I have the flare for the dramatic like Cam and Frank is emotionally… ahem… reserved – like Mitchell.

 

joy #35

We’ve loved Chuck for a long time.  Chuck is witty, smart, geeky and fun.  It’s everything that we enjoy, but recently I’ve found Frank’s TV affections are wandering.  I still love Chuck, but Frank has proclaimed that he is “over” Chuck and is on the market for a new show.  Whatever.  I still love Chuck, even if we’re reliving the same plot lines again and again.

 

joy #36

Every day I have at least one of these.  I love them.  They are delicious.  They make me smile.  Yum.

 

 

100 joys (18-31)

OK people, you know the drill!  Working on 100 joys STAT!  Had to take some time off – late night yesterday and the hubz needed some attention. Only 83 joys left to go!

joy #18

I love milk.  I love it in cereal.  I love it ice cold with Oreo cookies.  I love it alone, I love it with dinner, and I loooove it in hot cocoa.  Love. It.  I especially loooove Oberweis milk. It just tastes better.  No growth hormones, no other funny business – just 100% straight-from-the-cow deliciousness.  Yum.  When I drink milk, I am in my happy place.

 

joy #19

Computers make me happy.  Can you believe that there was a time when people had to TYPE letters on a TYPEwriter??  It blows my mind.  I’ve asked people who worked in offices before computers about what they did without computers and their eyes glaze over as though they are remembering a time that even their brain doesn’t want to recall.  “You know, we just, um, got stuff done.  I don’t know.”  Did people work before computers??

 

joy #20

Where do I begin?  Voicemail, email, text messaging, pictures, video, applications… what did we do without smart phones??  How, heavens to Betsy, did we stand in line at the grocery store without something to fiddle with so that we don’t have to talk to other annoying people standing in line?  But even more importantly, how developed are our brains that we can use just our thumbs with the skill and precision to get to level 22 in Brick Breaker?  I mean, we as the human species have really come a long way!  And just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, I got a new work phone and it has SODUKO on it!!!!!  JOY TO THE WORLD!!!

 

joy #21

Chocolate chips.  Yeah, you think I’m going to wax poetic about all the things you can do with chocolate chips, specifically Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate chips (cookies, flourless chocolate cake, peanut butter spoons topped with chocolate chips, chocolate covered Oreo cookies…).  But no, I’m not going there.  In our house, chocolate chips are certainly for cooking and baking and the spreading of happiness – but chocolate chippies are quick, sweet smooches.  Ahhh… joy!

 

joys #22-31

Sweet friends (from our Bible Study Cookie Exchange):

#22 – The sweet Miss Rosie-licious!

#23 – Ms. Tammy, always in action!

#24 & #25 – Baby Gianna and mama Dorothy

#26 – the always fabulous Toni!

 

Those were all the wonderful ladies that were able to make it tonight to our cookie exchange.  And they are a joy!  With our combined ADD, it’s hard for us to stay on track in conversations, but someone always remembers enough to help us find our way back to what we were originally talking about.  Not pictured were joys #27 (Allison), #28 (Kim), #29 (Nikki), #30 (Jackie) and #31 (Caroline).  They are such blessings and joys to me!

100 joys (13-17)

The great thing about doing this project is that every day I find myself excited to look for all the joys in my life!  The not-so-great thing is that this has been a particularly busy week and so it has been difficult to find time to document all of the joys.

That’s ok!  It’s a good problem to have 🙂

Joy #13

My shampoo and conditioner.  If you recall from yesterday, I find my Mary Kay skin care to be a joy because it takes care of some dry skin issues I’ve had in the past.  Unfortunately, this dry skin shenanigans is not limited to my face and has, at times, invaded my scalp.  Ugh.  There is nothing worse than not being able to put your hair in a pony tail on a hot summer day because of how dry your skin is!  (Ok, there are plenty of things worse, but stay with me)  I tried lots of things over the years – expensive shampoos and conditioners, scalp oil, etc.  The expensive (ahem, Aveda) scalp shampoo only dried out my hair and didn’t greatly improve my scalp situation.  Then one day, in a fit of frustration, I used Herbal Essences.  Instantly, my hair was shiny and soft again and my scalp was much healthier!  Every day that I wash my hair, I am delighted that my finicky head craves the cheap grocery store brand of shampoo instead of the super-expensive variety.  Love it!

Joy #14

AirplaneI know, Frank makes the list nearly every day in some form or another, but seriously – this guy is fabulous.  A lot of snow had blown onto our driveway in the past couple of days and when I came home from work tonight, Frank had completely tidied up the driveway.  He’d also taken care of several other chores around the house, which is such a treat!  He makes the bed every day and I love coming upstairs to see the made bed.  Frank is the source of a lot of little joys!

Joy #15

Note: This is not our dishwasher, but it looks close enough.  After having experienced life without a dishwasher, it is such a joy to load up the dishwasher, turn it on and… walk away!  Take that, sink full of dishes!

Joy #16

I had a visit with the doctor today and got to hear the babies’ heartbeats!  I love hearing them – it is such a sweet reassurance.  Baby A’s heart rate was around 140 and Baby B’s heart rate was around 150.  Plus, the babies have both been quite active today – another big blessing and joy! Because we are having twins, we are now going to have appointments every two weeks.  Yay!

Joy #17

Not exactly the best picture of my parent’s living room, but this is a glimpse into what my parents’ house looks like at Christmas.  They set up one lonnng table to seat about 20 people and Mom makes an amazing prime rib with all of the fixings.  SO GOOD!  And such a great time with family.  It is a joy that I am looking forward to!

100 joys (8-12)

Continuing with what I started yesterday, here are a few of my joys today:

Joy #8

People who smile.  Not just smile on their face, but smile with their attitude.  It’s so hard to find people like that!  Today I  ran across a few well timed genuinely smiling people and it made all of the difference.

 

Joy #9


I made spicy pulled pork today for my coworkers as a holiday treat today.  Ahh… joy.  Isn’t food wonderful?

 

Joy #10

This guy!  He is SUCH a joy!  He was gone last night and came home today and just seeing him when I walked in the door made my whole day all better!  (that’s Frank, by the way – he’s doing something very serious… I like when he’s doing serious things because then I can distract him… he loves when I distract him while he’s intently working on something… )

 

Joy #11

Yeah, yeah – I know.  I’m a consultant.  I’m supposed to love this stuff.  But I have to say, about three years ago I dreaded the winter because I had dry patches of skin along my nose, my eyebrows and the side of my face.  I washed my face, I tried to moisturize, but to no avail.  I switched to Mary Kay and I haven’t had this problem since!  I love that I don’t worry about my face any more – it gives me lots more time to worry about other things… ahhh… joy!

 

Joy #12

This is our theme for our nursery – lambs! (disregard the already embroidered name on the quilt – it’s not even close to any of the baby names we’re considering)  It makes me smile because lambs are such sweet looking animals and totally gender neutral.  Although, I’m sure I’ll find out that lambs are really very unfriendly beasts that attack small domesticated animals.  But whatever.  They make me happy and bring me joy.  Yay for lambs!

100 joys

One of my favorite Bloggers, Slightly Cosmopolitan, started working on 100 Joys which she found out about from Sarah Markley’s blog.  My friend Allison also saw a similar idea and is inviting our small group to participate via email.  It’s such a wonderful idea, I thought I would participate both on my blog and via email.

So here we go…

Joy #1

This little gold ornament was hand-decorated by my sweet husband when he was a little boy.  This ornament has hung on countless trees in his parents’ home when he was growing up and now hangs on our Christmas tree.  It’s hard to read in the picture, but the ornament just says “Frank” in glitter. It makes me smile!

 

Joy #2

The newest ornament on our tree this year was a gift from a dear friend, Meg.  She found this ornament while shopping with her fiance and they couldn’t resist.  It is a happy reminder of things to come in 2011.

 

Joy #3

Following in the theme of ornaments, this one is from one of my dear friends Erin.  She gave this to me when we were in college and somehow, between moving home, getting married and moving 4 times, we’ve managed to hang on to this ornament.  It makes my heart happy because not only does it remind me of Erin, but it also reminds me of all of the wonderful friends that I have made throughout the years!

 

Joy #4

What may not be clear in the above picture is that I am showing off my elastic waistband.  Elastic is one of my smaller, but still important, joys of the season.  I simply do not know what I would do without elastic considering my expanding waistline.  I love you, elastic!

 

Joy #5

We love the Chicago Blackhawks.  Love them.  Frank has been going to see them since he was a young boy.  We’ve been seeing the Hawks together for 8 years.  We’ve seen good years, bad years and awesome years.  We are not just-on-the-band-wagon fans, but rather long-term, committed fans.  I love seeing the Hawks play – win or lose.  I especially like it when the gloves come off and there is a great fight… especially when both players are trying to hold each other up while punching each other (cuz if they go horizontal, the fight is over…).  Nice.

 

Joy #6

There was a fantastic speaker at church a few months ago who talked about peace not being the absence of conflict, but rather, wholeness with God. I loved this concept and this season of the year reminds me of this all the time.  We live in a fallen world where there will always be conflict of one variety or another.  But we can have peace.  That gives me great joy!

 

Joy #7

Fundraisers where the kiddos sell cookie dough.  Talk about saving some time!  If that isn’t joy, I don’t know what is!

 

… Too be continued…

the things I just don’t forget

Since we are having twins, our doctor wanted us to do the birth classes at our hospital early.  So at just 22 weeks, we are in a four week birth class at our hospital.

Our hospital is a large, sprawling campus.  It is the hospital that I was born at, that my great-grandmother (and namesake) died at, where they took my dad when he had his stroke, where one of my close friend’s mom passed away and where we went for the D & C when we lost Lily earlier this year.  There are so many entrances to this hospital and they are constantly expanding the hospital and building new wings and towers.  It’s easy to go there and not enter in the same doors twice.

On our second night in class, Frank and I ventured around the south side of the campus to see the new maternity wing.  Our adventure took us past the blue awning of the “Day Surgery” center.  The same blue awning that I came out of after our D & C.  Frank and I both looked at this awning at the same time.  I could hear the air going out of both of our chests as we looked at that sad, sad spot.  It was like walking past a grave for us.

I don’t remember what we said to each other, but it was just a gentle acknowledgement of that door.  That time in our lives when our hearts were both simultaneously broken.

If Lily had been a healthy little baby, she would’ve been born in late September, likely.  We would be getting her ready for her first Christmas.  I’d be going back to work in January after my maternity leave.

But Lily was not a healthy little baby.  Frank and I have discussed this – not extensively – but in brief conversations about her since March.  Things just seemed to be going so slow with her.  The doctors were always pushing the due dates back – she always measured small.  In a family where we’ve always measured well past the bell curve, this seemed strange – foreign – to us. She was a fighter, though – and she tried really hard.  But in the end, she just couldn’t do it.  And that’s ok.  It’s hard for us to have to wait so long to meet her, but we have peace that she’s with God in heaven.

All we have from losing Lily are a few early ultrasound pictures and a doily they gave us after the D & C to help us remember her by.  I put all of these items in a folder and I put them in a filing cabinet in the basement.  I’ve looked at that doily and the pictures since then, but only quickly and only to put them in a new location.

But driving by the blue awning of the “Day Surgery” center was a fresh reminder for us of the sweet baby we lost.  And in some ways, of the struggles we went through over 18 months in order to get pregnant.

I don’t take anything about this miraculous twin pregnancy for granted.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in an out-of-body experience – I see myself looking at baby furniture or picking out a nursery theme – and I can’t believe that it’s me.  I can’t believe it because in the either-or experience – either I’m pregnant or I’m not, either the baby is healthy or it’s not, either I’m ovulating or I’m not – I’ve been on the “or not” side with great frequency.  I have not had the experience of easily getting and staying pregnant.  I have not had the sense that “of course I am pregnant, why wouldn’t I be?”  Instead, I feel very frequently how delicate life is.

I read a blog called Moosh in Indy. Casey, the blog author, struggled with infertility for FIVE years.  She battled serious depression and tried a lot of medical procedures to resolve her infertility.

And then one day… she was pregnant.  Of course, there was so much rejoicing and so much happiness, but as she writes so poignantly about infertility in this blog post – “I can never forget where I came from that got me to this point.”

I also cannot forget all of my friends who are still waiting, hoping and praying to start or expand their family.  The notion that because we are pregnant, we can then forget the heartache of losing Lily and struggling with infertility is entirely wrong.

Life is precious.

To all of my friends who are struggling with various forms of loss and infertility, my prayers are constantly with you.  I have not forgotten.

life

I was reminded this week of the story of Ruth in the Bible.  I like the story of Ruth.  I like Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother-in-law, even after her husband passes away.  I like her guts – traveling to a foreign country to start over.  I like how she wasn’t afraid to just work hard – she spent hours each day picking up the left-overs during harvest time so that she and her mother-in-law could have enough to eat.  And I love that how she maintained her dignity and integrity through it all.

I admire Ruth because she had strength of character and commitment even when it would be easily understood if she just simply walked away.  The story of Ruth, to me, is a story of how God works in tragedy and in the small everyday-type things for good.  Yes, it was terrible that Ruth lost her husband and her mother-in-law Naomi lost her husband.  It was probably incredibly hard for Ruth to move to a new country and start over.  And I’m sure there were days when she was picking up scraps of food in the fields that she thought, “man, this is NOT how I pictured my life turning out.” But in doing the seemingly small things – working hard, staying loyal to Naomi and focusing on the task at hand, Ruth was greatly rewarded.  God ultimately blessed her with a new, godly husband and stability.

Sometimes it is SO hard to stay focused on the small, everyday things.  For example, I am not a fan of cleaning our toilets.  I don’t even think that there is a godly reward for cleaning our toilet, except that it’s not embarrassing to have people over; I don’t have to tell guests, “Never you mind that brown ring in the toilet – it was a stain from the previous owner!”

But I think that staying focused on the small things is what builds the mental muscle to stay focused on the big things.  I am terrible at this – anyone who knows me well knows that a flashing light in Colorado can become a fascinating distraction for me and completely derail my train of thought.  ::blink, blink, blink::

I digress.

Which I suppose was the point.

It’s hard to stay on task daily.  It’s hard to not get distracted by other, more interesting (yet less rewarding) things.

Some of you know that I had a recent addiction to the game Bejeweled Blitz.  I may, or may not, have mentioned said addiction on this very blog.  This addiction resulted in me sort of mentally checking out to play this game on a very regular basis.  I could easily pass an hour on this game while watching horrid TV (I love you, Kendra!) or talking on the phone.

So I decided to cut out the game and instead fold some laundry, put away some dishes and sort through mail while I chatted on the phone or watched TV.  I also got back into regularly checking my favorite blogs.

It also freed up time to read, prepare some things for the baby and get my life more organized.  I was able to flex my mundane-stuff muscle, which is good, because I’m getting more and more convinced that if I can develop that into a stronger muscle, I’ll be better able to appreciate and enjoy the less mundane blessings in life.

the bump (19 weeks)

OK, it’s taken me a while to post a belly picture, but more because I’ve been busy with other things (the usual culprits: work, the holidays, sleeping…).  This picture is already out of date, but I figured it would be good to give some context.  The below picture is from 19 weeks: