Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Kids

We had a mellow Christmas here in Moose Lake, as the big snow storm kept us from traveling. We celebrated with snow removal, an attempt at skiing down on Sand lake through the blizzard and getting my folks hooked on The Wire. The following day my sisters and their kiddos descended upon us, and things became quite lively.

A bit too much light in the background here, but a sweet moment nonetheless with grandma and grand kids looking at digital photos

Avery, the youngest of the grand kids, cuddling with Josh after she had a bad puking episode (note Josh's classy Rebels garb, borrowed from the stash of old Warp t-shirts).

A brighter moment

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Snowy North

We completed our first semester of work at Western Kentucky and loaded up the car to head north to Minnesota. The 13-hour drive did not seem so long, and we made it to my relative Nancy's house in St. Paul late evening, just in time to catch her wrapping up a game of bridge with friends. The following morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at a nearby cafe and then headed out to buy Josh underwear and socks, and to search for pants and shirts at Goodwill, as we (notice the "we") forgot his bag of clothes in Bowling Green. Later that evening I saw good friends for dinner, and much of the conversation was focused on being pregnant with two pregnant people in the room.
We have now hunkered down in Moose Lake, preparing for the big winter storm that is headed this way. We've already received around 5 inches, and another foot or two is projected. Josh and I couldn't be happier. In the mean time, we've enjoyed the few inches of white stuff on Sand Lake with our skate skis, and yesterday we zoomed around the whole lake with Winnie, my folks' dog (hence the video taken by Josh above).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The other day one of our new friends in town called to see if we were interested in having their crib. And now, there it sits outside our bedroom, half-assembled and awaiting its move into baby headquarters at the other end of the hall. I woke up last night on my regular 3 am trip to the bathroom and gave it a double-take, wondering where the thing came from. Reality is also sinking in to my waist and bust line. One by one, sometimes two by two, more items in my closet are becoming too snug. Today I sadly realized my favorite belt from México no longer fits. And I leaned over to tie my shoes and nearly popped the button off my pants. Apparently the babe is now the size of an avocado, and in a few weeks I might actually feel it jiggling around. I would post a photo of the belly status, but my photographer husband has frowned upon this. I am still awaiting his permission to release his new blog address.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good Tidings

The other day we received a package from our eighty-something-year-old friend Edna back in Roanoke. She sent us elaborately decorated cookies, and each one was wrapped in a napkin and placed inside a plastic bag. She also sent her famous "stained glass window" bars, made with colored marshmallows and chocolate. I became a little teary as I unwrapped one of the cookies and thought of how much time she put into decorating each one. Josh met Edna on an assignment for the Roanoke Times a number of years ago, and ever since she has been baking for us for each of the holidays. Edna lost her husband to cancer many years ago, and never remarried and has no children. She lives on her own outside of Fincastle, a few miles down the highway from the dairy farm she and her husband owned (which is now divided by that highway). She is just one of many who are aging and facing the inevitable fact that she may reach a point where she can no longer live alone in her home. But she is embracing the time she has, and we feel fortunate that we are a few of the many whom she has touched with kindness.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mazel Tov

We just returned from a trip to Josh's hometown of Athens, Georgia where his sister Emily was married. We had such a wonderful time. Emily and Alan were married in a huge brick building, which used to be part of Kenny Rogers' ranch outside of Athens. It was a traditional Jewish ceremony where the couple was wed by a rabbi beneath a chuppah (symbolizing the new home the couple will create) with their parents standing close by. Emily circled Alan seven times (an interpretation of this is that circling represents the creation of a new family unit separate from each of their own parents'), and at the end of the ceremony Alan stomped on a glass (representing the fragility of marriage). The party afterward began with everyone dancing the Hora, where the guests circled around the couple over and over, and the couple and their parents were hoisted up in the air on chairs. The band then switched over to Latin music and there was more dancing, eating and drinking. My in-laws Angela and Richard worked hard along with Emily and Alan to ensure it was going to be a terrific celebration, and indeed it was.

Unfortunately I took very few photos!

I met some of Josh's relatives that I had not met before, including his only cousins Matt and Andy. We caught up with them, and Josh's aunt and uncle, and vowed to head up to Toronto and Montreal to visit them some day soon.

Matt and his girlfriend Georgina.

Andy and his parents (Josh's aunt and uncle) Dale and Bob

Josh's great uncle and aunt, Johnny and Carol

Instead of invading Josh's folks' house, we stayed in a beautiful, new, LEED-certified hotel downtown. Josh and I had a chance to head over to the University of Georgia campus to go swimming, and visited a favorite Athens restaurant called The Grit. We also bought our first official item of baby clothing at a craft market: a tiny sweatshirt with a hand-sewn moose on the front. We had so much fun over the weekend that I was beginning to believe that I was on the mend from all of the nausea I've been experiencing. But then I had another episode last night, and sadly marked it up to week 11 of puking. On top of that, it rained very heavily all day today, and I could not stop thinking that it would have been snow if we lived further north. And I tried not to think about Emily and Alan enjoying the warm Caribbean waters in Aruba. But enough feeling sorry for myself, and another big "mazel tov" to my sister-in-law and her new husband!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

165 Beats Per Minute

I can't think of many more exhilarating moments than what happened today in the doctor's office. As my doctor ran a sensor over my lower stomach, the unmistakable sound of a quick chugging heartbeat rang loud and clear through a speaker. Josh stood by my side recording, and Dr. Lyons proclaimed, "It doesn't get any better than that."
Through that heartbeat, it is reassuring to know that our now peach-size babe is working so hard at growing bigger. It made my episode of upchucking my lunch an hour previous to that fade into distant memory.
I am afraid that Josh is soon to trump me, as he works on creating a blog with images and sounds from the pregnancy. Once he has that up and running, I will surely provide a link so that you are provided the whole multimedia experience.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This Time of the Year

Josh and I celebrated Thanksgiving on our own for the first time in our 11.5 years together. It was quite momentous, as we determined how we wanted to cook the birds (Cornish hen and a regular old chicken) and whether to go with traditional fixings. We ended up with apricot-glazed chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans and cranberries. And custard to end. All very wholesome, and all made from scratch. As Josh can attest, I crashed on the sofa soon after the meal's completion, and have an even deeper appreciation for the ladies that have cooked this meal for me/us in the past.

I also turned a year older a few days ago, hence the photo above, which was taken [ahem] 29 years ago. I am surrounded by my neighbor friends (all boys. Tiffany Manty had not yet moved to the neighborhood). And there's Sarah, with red hair. She was one of my best friends for years, and I believe she taught me how to tie my own shoes not long before that fifth birthday. This year we had a few friends over too. I decided against the silver crown, but a cake was present, along with the birthday theme music and a wish after the candles were blown out.