100 joys (88-90)

Another day, another chance to rack up a few more joys before the end of the year!

joy #88

Frank’s enchiladas!  Oh, sweet heavens to Betsy – they are SO good!!  And tonight were Frank’s best enchilada’s yet!  Now, I must confess, the above is not a picture of his actual enchiladas.  I lack the skill and self discipline to 1) take an appetizing food picture and 2) stop myself from diving in so that I can find the camera and snap a picture.  Just trust me, his enchiladas are outstanding and I could eat them all day long.  And since there are leftovers, I just might…

 

joy #89

Godiva.  Heaven on earth.  Especially when you belong to their club where you get a free truffle once a month.  Holy cow.  We had a dinner guest this evening who brought a box of chocolates from Godiva.  Frank and I tore through that box like we’d never seen chocolate before – it was SO good!  It’s like having an adult Disney World in your mouth – so much fun, you can hardly stand it!

 

joy #90

Listening to NPR brings me joy.  Seriously, it does.  I don’t know what it is about NPR’s microphones, but all of the reporters sound the same.  A subtle lisp on the “s” sound and a slow, steady, deliberate way of speaking that says, “What I am saying is LIFE changing.  Listen carefully.  Once you hear about Joe the donkey in Brazil that carries cocoa beans, you will NEVER be the same.”  Listening to NPR makes me feel the same way I do when I pick up a leather bound book in a mahogany librarythe distinct feeling that I am being enriched and improved.  But just to be sure, I try to balance my NPR time with a little bit of conservative talk radio.  You can never be too careful!  I remember in one day, I heard a report on conservative radio about a study that was done regarding teenagers and how biased and horrible the study was, and then I flipped to NPR and heard a vastly different type of report on the same study.  I don’t know who is wrong or who is right – I didn’t care enough to research it – but let’s just say, I listen to both channels with the same level of cynicism.  Gotta be fair and balanced and all that jazz.

 

100 joys (81-88)

Oh yeah, just two more days left in 2010 and I have 20 joys left to document…. Where do I begin?  Oh, yes, the only logical place to begin: Birthing Class.

joys #81

You might be saying to yourself, “Did Emily just post a baby doll with an umbilical cord and placenta (aka Joy #81)?”  And I would have to say, “Yes, yes I did.”  So on Monday, my dear friend Allison was all like, ” Emily, let’s have dinner this week and do something fun and girly!” (Allison is just fun and girly like that.)  I looked at my calendar and I said, “Sure, Allison – let’s get dinner on Tuesday… oh, and you can come with me to my birthing class.” I mean, what could be more girly than babies?  So Allison, always up to the challenge, said, “Sure!”  I think she might have agreed out of morbid curiousity.  And oh, how my class did not disappoint.

I knew going into the night that we would get to watch the 1979 classic, “We’re having a baby on film!” starring Daddy Mullet and Mama “Farrah Fawcett” Hair (aka Joy #82).  However, what not even I was  prepared for, was the instructor’s VIVID recreation of the birthing process in a monologue called, “Me pretending to have a baby in front of the class complete with grunting, breathing and commentary (aka Joy #83).”  Just for those of you trying to imagine this scene, picture a 65 year old woman wearing bright pink lipstick, a dark pink top and black slacks, sitting on a chair in front of the room with the above pictured doll + placenta on her lap as she tries to “push” them out.  Her re-enactment was so vivid that at one point I wanted to encourage her, “Keep going!  I can see the baby’s head between your knees!  You’re almost there!”

I could barely look at Allison’s face (which was a combination between mildly horrified and moderately amused) for fear that I might laugh out loud.

Which leads me to Joy #84 that unfortunately came at someone else’s expense.  See, since I’m having twins, I get to take the class early (hey, I’m a ticking time bomb!  Who knows when these kids are going to explode out of my body!) So while I’m only 25 weeks, some of these women are just days away from delivering.  Sally (not her real name) across the room from us was 34 weeks along and, it appears, just realizing that this baby she’s been carrying around is going to come out and it’s not going to be an altogether attractive experience.  While watching the movie, I’d look across the room and watch Sally’s as shock, disbelief, disgust and horror flashed across her face in a series of expressions that were priceless!  Ask me how I feel about all of this in 10 weeks, though…

 

Joy #85

I found a new favorite blog (I have a lot of favorite blogs… how can you pick just one???).  This woman is HILARIOUS!  I love reading her posts about her twin pregnancy (she’s delivering tomorrow at 32 weeks – if you can, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers) and I love how she words things.  I want to be her friend.  We could go shopping and she could say funny things and I would laugh.  It would be amazing.  But I think that it would be weird to be like, “Hi, I like your blog, be my friend.”  So instead, I’ll just lurk.  And you should lurk, too.  You will laugh until you cry, I promise!

 

Joy #86

Now that it is officially winter in Chicago, I have found joy in the fact that it will be another year before it will be winter again!  And, the days are getting longer, too.  Anyone else ever wonder why the shortest day is not also the coldest day?  And, vice versa, the longest day is not the hottest day?  Think about it – December 21st is usually frosty, but it’s not until mid-to-late January that it is painfully cold…  And likewise, you can still have some pretty cold days in June, but during July and August in Chicago you can cook an egg on the sidewalk (I wouldn’t eat them, though – I draw the line there).  It’s called thermal inertia!  The earth is still cooling down in December, but after a few months of shorter days, we get to our coolest.  It takes a while before the days get long enough to affect the temperature.  I think it’s pretty cool!

 

Joy #87


Ah, the cell phone.  My marriage would not be the amazing marriage that it is today if it weren’t for God and cell phones.  See, God teaches us both about grace, forgiveness and love while cell phones help us communicate those principles to each other.  With Frank gone as frequently as he sometimes is, sometimes our only contact with each other is via our phones.  Thank goodness for roll over minutes and unlimited nights/weekends!

 

Joy #88

So I believe I may have mentioned before our love-affair with Oberweis milk.  We love it.  YUM!  But tonight my joy is less about Oberweis and more about not having to cry over spilled milk.  Specifically, after purchasing my milk today, I picked it up from the counter and the bottles clanged together and then one BROKE.  Shattered.  Milk started spraying out of the bottom of the bag, all over the floor.  I stared at the bag in stunned silence.  Woopsie!  The check-out lady couldn’t have been nicer and went and got me a new bottle and sent me on my way.  Such a joy!

100 joys (#71-80)

What a wonderful Christmas we had!  I’m still recovering, so please forgive me for the lack of pictures.  I will also post a 25 week babies update tomorrow and, if I get my stuff together, there may also be a belly pic included, too.  Consider yourself warned: the belly is on the verge of epic (although, not quite legendary).

joy #71:

Frank was home for Christmas!  It was a little bit touch-and-go, but Frank was never called up to fly and so we were able to spend the entire holiday together.  It was such a wonderful blessing!  In the morning we went to my parents’ house to open gifts, then off the Frank’s parents’ home for lunch, and then back to my parents’ house for dinner.  It was so much fun to be able to do all of these things with Frank and it just made the whole holiday all the brighter.

joy #72:

Frank’s good friend from high school, Garrick, and Garrick’s girlfriend Kelly (sweetest girl ever), stopped by Frank’s parents’ house and gave us gifts for the twins.  They gave us a Dr. Suess book, movie and then “Thing1” and “Thing 2” tees for the babies.  It was such a perfect gift – Frank had been calling the twins exactly that for a while and we are excited for them to wear these shirts in a few months!

 

joy #73:

Every year, Dr. K (Frank’s Dad) dresses up as Santa.  I think the older kids might be on to him, but it was cute to see my youngest nephew look at him with terror amazement this year.

 

joy #74:

Yes, we had a white Christmas this year!  It was really a nice treat, especially since the roads were pretty dry and clear.

 

joy #75:

My mom made 20 lbs of prime rib this year – as per usual.  And it was soooo delicious.  The above photo is not her prime rib – I forgot to snap a picture.  Does it matter, though??  It was delicious, amazing, heavenly prime rib.  Nothing says, “Happy Birthday Jesus!” like a ton of red meat.  And twice baked potatoes.  And warm dinner rolls.  And mayonnaise salad.  Yeah, you might be judging me a little bit for loving mayonnaise salad, but I don’t care.  The only thing less healthy than mayonnaise salad is just eating the mayonnaise straight from the jar.  Thank goodness for lettuce leaves, right?

 

joy #76:

Yeah, that’s right, we did it.  We went to the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale today.  Frank was in desperate need of shoes for work (read: he no longer had tread left on his other shoes!), so we ventured out to The Mall with the rest of The World.  And I must say, it wasn’t half bad.  And, combined with the sale and coupons, we saved about 80% on a pair of shoes for him.  Victory was had.  Joy to the world, indeed.

 

joy #77:

So, as someone who has been CRAVING Papa John’s pizza, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like Domino’s Pizza tonight.  I mean, I have been eating Papa John’s about once a week – that’s how bad it has been.  But since I had a gift card for Domino’s Pizza, we figured we’d buck the trend and try it.  OMG.  I knew that Domino’s was re-working their pizza recipe (apparently they realized their pizza sucked) and their new pizza is FABULOUS!  Forget you, Papa John’s!  I’m loving me some Domino’s Pizza!  Even Frank was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the pizza, too.

 

joy #78:

To celebrate Boxing Day, we boxed up all of our Christmas decorations and put them away.  Yes, that’s right, we are sitting in a Christmas-free zone right now, folks!  And I love it!  Christmas, and all of its trimmings, are wonderful up until 11:59 p.m. on December 25th.  As soon as the last carol has been sung, the last pound of prime rib eaten and the last present opened, Christmas feels instantly stale to me.  Instead of merry Christmas decorations, it feels more like clutter.  For the last 7+ years of our marriage, Frank thought I liked having the decorations up until New Year’s Day.  Truth is, I’d start taking them down Christmas night if it didn’t feel like I was violating some sort of sacred holiday law.  When I told Frank last night that I would love nothing more than to take down the decorations, his eyes grew wide and a smile spread from ear-to-ear.  So happily today we put everything away and it feels like we are living in a new house.  I love it.  Bringing in the new year in a fresh house is a delight, and dare I say, a joy!

 

joy #79:

Yeah, that’s right.  I’ll admit it.  Not only do I LIKE naps, but I LOVE them.  I need them.  There is no shame in my game.  These kids (and the holidays) darn near wore me out.  I took a strategic Christmas night nap from about 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., allowing me to be a descent human being to the rest of my family for a few more hours than normal.  I took another strategic 2 1/2 hour nap between shopping and taking down decorations so that I would, again, be a descent human being to my hubz.  I have NO idea how I am going to make it through the work week, considering how important these naps are seeming to become.  I am sure that I will survive, though.

 

joy #80:

I love reading people’s Facebook statuses.

I love the mundane updates: “Just ate dinner. Yum. “

I also love the vague updates: “Thank God that’s over!”  What’s over?   What happened??  Usually three or four people comment asking for specifics.  Their inquiries are often unrewarded.  The people who post updates like that WANT you to wonder.  So whenever you see that kind of vague update, they are probably referring to a herpes outbreak.  I mean, what else could they possibly be talking about?

Last, but not least, I love the social commentary status updates.  Like this one: “How low can reality TV go? Bridalplasty. Yep.”  It makes me feel good that I am friends with people who recognize the bottom of the reality TV food chain.  It is because of people like this that I think, “Hum, I should probably turn this TV show off because it is not socially acceptable to watch this…”  Who said Facebook couldn’t be an integral part of my moral compass??

 

100 joys (#62-70)

OK, this is going to be my epic joy post.  Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket – it’s all joy, all the time!

joy #62:

Last night, as I mentioned before, we went to church for the Christmas service.  It is one of our most FAVORITE Christmas traditions in the K-Fam.  Because our church has 12 Christmas Eve services over the course of 8 days, Frank and I are always able to find a service we can attend, no matter what Frank’s schedule looks like.  At the last minute, we were able to include Al, Rose and Rose’s sister, Sara.  Seated way up in the 3rd balcony at Willow Creek, I was a little bit concerned that we wouldn’t get a good view of the service.  It turns out, being seated way up high was the BEST view of the service.  It was awesome!  The service included a drama that was the modern telling of the story of Jesus’ birth.  It was absolutely amazing.  When the Angel was telling Mary that she found favor with God and would be giving birth to Jesus, the song in the above video played.  It was absolutely magical!  The whole story was told with the underlying theme of “Don’t be afraid.”  What a joy to go to that service!

joy #63:

After church, we went to Steak ‘n Shake.  Now, I have to say, if I owned a restaurant within a 5-10 mile radius of Willow Creek, I’d definitely find out when big events were happening and then get prepared!  Unfortunately, that was not the case at our friendly neighborhood Steak ‘n Shake and they were just a bit overwhelmed by the crowd that came through their doors last night.  After waiting a while to be seated, and then waiting even longer for someone to come to our table to get drink orders, etc., Frank jokingly told our waitress that it was free shake night at Steak ‘n Shake if you had to wait more than 5 minutes for your server.  She laughed and then said, “Really? OK.  Free shakes and drinks then.”  And the shakes WERE free!  It was a Christmas Miracle!

joys #64-70:

Oh, how my family does bring me joy!

Familial joy #64 was my sweet niece singing tonight at the Christmas Eve service at the church that Frank and I were married at.  With her white-blond hair and cherubic smile, she melts everyone’s hearts.  And of course #65 was my nephew who gets taller and cuter every time I see him.  He’s my first-ever nephew and has a special place in my heart.

#66 and #67 are my sister-in-law Kathryn (or K2; K1 is her sister Karen) and her husband Dave.  As the parents of my dear niece and nephew, of course they are a joy!

After church, we moved on to my Uncle Steve (#68) and Aunt Judy’s (#69) home for some delicious homemade corn chowder and general merriment.  My cousins Meghan (previously mentioned as joy #40) and David (#44) were also there, along with my siblings (Caitlin, Andy & Sarah – also previously mentioned joys in a variety of places).  While we were there, nearly everyone got to feel the babies kicking, which I would like to call joy #70.  It’s one thing for me to feel the babies moving around, but it’s such a delight when others get to experience it, too!

100 joys (54-57)

I’m such a joy-slacker.  I totally thought I’d have more time to document joys today, but instead took a 3 hour nap… Which, really, probably counts as a joy… I just don’t have a picture of it!

joy #54:

Big time joy today – it’s the first game we’ve gone to this season where the Hawks brought in a W!  We were both very happy with the final score of 4-1 over the Predators.  I would’ve been happier if there had been a really good fight on the ice.  You know, the kind where gloves come off and the players hold each other up while beating each other senseless (because if you go down, the refs can break it up).  Even if the ice girls (wannabe figure skaters who shovel excess ice shavings during breaks while wearing nearly nothing) decided to rumble, that would’ve counted.  Oh well.  There’s always next year!

Go Hawks!

joys #55 & 56:

Meghan and Mark.  Mark and Meghan.  They are both truly joys for us.  We both love hanging out with them and having “drinky-poos” (although, my “drinky-poos” have been non-existent for the past 6 months or so…).  They are a fabulous couple and are getting married in March 2011.  Frank and I are honored to be a part of their bridal party and we hope that the babies do not decide to make an appearance AT their wedding.  Some things (water breaking, woman in labor) are not really meant to be a part of a wedding album…

joy #57:

Yeah, so my hubz is one of my biggest joys most of the time – it sort of goes without saying.  He’s just awesome!  Today we did our K-fam tradition of having a nice dinner downtown and seeing a Hawks game (GO HAWKS!).  We went to Carnivale for dinner beforehand and really enjoyed ourselves.  We talked a lot about how the twins will be here in only three months… maybe less… I think it’s really sinking in!

100 joys (50-53)

It seems like the days just get busier and busier as we get closer to the holidays – but that’s OK!  That is part of the hustle and bustle.  That, and 14 phone calls tonight from my brother regarding various Christmas present purchases that he is working on making.  Love it!

joy #50:

This is our nativity set.  I love our nativity set.  My mom gave it to us when we were first married and for our first three Christmases, it was the only Christmas decoration that we could fit into our small apartments.  I love it because of its sentimental value, but I also love it because of the story that it represents.  I love that it represents one brief moment of time where all of the people involved knew they were on the cusp of something important, but none of them could really imagine how it would all turn out.

 

joy #51:

I love this video.  It makes me smile and cry.  Holy hormones, Batman.

 

joy #52:

Tonight we received some sad news that a friend’s dad passed away.  In the era of the social media frenzy, her Facebook page was instantaneously bombarded with friends and family members consoling her, offering their sympathies and asking if they could do anything.  One friend wrote, “I am carrying you in my heart.”  I thought it was the most perfect way to express friendship in a time of trial because all too often, as a friend reaching out to another, it does feel like our friends are in our hearts.  And what a beautiful picture that creates – all of us carrying our family and our friends in our hearts, wherever we go.  That is such precious cargo!

 

joy #53:

Imagine a picture of something that says

“30 degrees fahrenheit”

right HERE.

I’ll try to find something that says that.  But I can’t right now and it’s super late and I NEED to go to bed.  I want to say, though, that today it was 30 degrees Fahrenheit and it was AMAZING.  I felt like I was in a sauna.

 

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.