Wednesday, July 28, 2010

about me list

  1. A friend of mine, Sarah, did an 'about me' post of sorts... a list of 110 things, and I thought I'd follow suit.
  2. I'm currently eating my second bowl of this incredibly delicious white chili with a mexican flair. I'm not eating because I'm hungry, or because I'm bored, but because it taste that good to me.
  3. If you would've asked me 5 years ago what I'd be doing in 5 years, I'm pretty sure my answer wouldn't have involved being a homemaker and 3 children. It wouldn't have included ANY children (yet), actually, but something like a college degree and a career. Funny how life changes- and man, am I thankful.
  4. My dishwasher is currently broken, thus making me the dishwasher. There are roles I like more in my life.
  5. Two rooms in my house are painted a turquoisey-tealish-tiffany's blue color. And they're my favorite rooms in my house.
  6. One of those two rooms is my living room, and I painted it as an act of desperation in the middle of the longest winter of my life... I needed something bright and happy.
  7. My hair is getting really really long, and mostly unmanageable with this crazy humidity. I'm about to give up on brushing it- after cutting out knots TWICE this week!
  8. My husband is a youth pastor + Bible teacher (at a school) + assistant camp director which = really busy. But there's not a more fitting job for him on the planet.
  9. I think it will take me the rest of my life to learn how to be a ministry wife. I say this, because I imagine I'll be trying to learn to be un-selfish the rest of my life as well.
  10. I love timex ironman running watches. You'll rarely to never see me without one. I've had one since my frehsman year of high school.
  11. When i began running, I couldn't complete the half mile loop that circled our neighborhood pond. 
  12. My longest run ever is 13.1 miles - which was a mini-marathon that I didn't train for and found absolutely miserable. My second longest run was a 13 miler, which I did my junior year of high school and breezed through.
  13. I have a ridiculous amount of clothes. Most were purchased super clearanced or second hand, though.
  14. I'm a fairly regular clothes purger, however.
  15. My computer desk is a little wooden corner piece that I bought off of craigslist, and I love it.
  16. I gained 42 pounds while pregnant with Cate.
  17. I only gained 27 with Corban.
  18. I had hoped to have a spring or fall baby next time, but God had other plans, and I'm completely okay with that.
  19. I love to bake!
  20. I had never taken a picture with an SLR camera of any sort prior to purchasing one in November of last year. I fell fast in love.
  21. This is harder than I anticipated. I'm a pretty boring person.
  22. Cate slept on my chest for the first time in a really really really long time today. I let the water boil over in the kitchen just to savor the moment.
  23. Which spelling do you prefer: Nora -or Norah? No real reason, just asking... (ha!)
  24. I really enjoy John Mark McMillan's new album. You should check it out.
  25. I woke up too many times trying to lay on my left side or raise my arm above my head last night.
  26. My cardiac surgeon told my family that I would feel 'like I worked out really hard' referring to the pain I would have in my left pectoral muscle after surgery. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's never had a big metal box placed underneath a muscle that was stretched out in order to remove the old box. Just guessin'.
  27. Jordan and I used to write three to four page letters to eachother every night while in middle school. I still have a few.
  28. He informed me of his feeling for me (way back in 1999) via email, saying, "I really super like you."
  29. I really hope that after this baby I can get into some sort of competitive running condition. I miss it more than you could ever imagine. Recreational running just doesn't do it for me.
  30. I cannot wait to drink a pumpkin spice latte when they return this fall. I think I have a mental block, though, as I can't remember the flavor... and I'm afraid of the rush of emotions that will come with one sip.
  31. Our air condition doesn't work upstairs. It's hot.
  32. We're secretly (okay, not so secretly) praying that we'll soon be informed that they want to bulldoze or house. 
  33. I have a LOT of tomatoes in my garden that should soon be red, and I can't wait!
  34. I battled an eating disorder throughout the latter part of my high school days, and attribute overcoming it only to prayer and God working in my heart... and a lot of baby steps. 
  35. I misspelled 'engineer' in the 5th grade spelling bee which kept me from being the winner for my grade.
  36. I was a major tom-boy my elementary school years.
  37. I don't really like to watch TV or movies. I usually fall asleep doing so.
  38. I played softball for 13 years. I was almost always a first baseman, and did some pitching also.
  39. My most favorite food ever is probably avocado egg rolls from the cheesecake factory.
  40. I was pretending to be scared of my growling-like-a-dinosaur daughter today, and my son told me to 'be strong and courageous'! He melts my heart.
  41. The weather outside today could best be defined as oppressive. Or miserable.
  42. I have 20/40 vision in my right eye, and 20/200 vision in my left eye. 
  43. I have really loved turning our old junky 1970's house into a place I love and very easily call home. I'm really proud of the work we've done. Does that seem to contradict a prior number on this list?! ha
  44. My first non-babysitting job was in an icecream shop.
  45. I never imagined that I wouldn't finish college- but I'm content with where I'm at right now. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back... most things I would like to pursue, I can do without a college degree. But at the same time, I would love to finish what I started.
  46. I would love to write a book about the life and journey and impact of my little brother. 
  47. I've had a blog since 2004.
  48. When Jordan and I first married, we lived in a house with a ton of other people, were both full time students, and both working- I at Panera Bread, and he at Starbucks. We survived, and were probably blind to how difficult our situation was because of that newly wedded bliss.
  49. One time, we drove straight from Indianapolis to Moses Lake, Washington. 33 hours in the car. Beautiful drive. Amazing vacation.
  50. There aren't any good boy names left out there, I'm convinced of it!
  51. Did you know they make cookies and cream hershey kisses? I'll tell you right now... hide the bag after you buy them, or you'll have to share. And you'll be sorry.
  52. I really really really love newborn babies. I wish the newborn stage lasted wayyyy longer. 
  53. I am not what one would consider an animal person. I have no desire to own a pet of any sort. I don't mind a big outside dog, but I'm not interested in one to keep in my house. 
  54. I need to buy a ladle. I don't have one. And I like soup.
  55. My husband is home from youth group now, and downstairs waiting on me to finish. I think 55 is a good number to stop at.
I may pick it back up in the near future... I wanted to try and make it to 100.
Did you learn anything? Wonder about anything? You should do it, too!

my birthday boy

At some point... my baby boy grew up, and I'm now the mother of a three year old...
the most joy-filled, life-loving little boy I've ever met...
tender-hearted, intense, extreme, loves with his whole heart..

my sweet little boy.
This past year was a rough one, but you, my Corban Gabriel, brought laughter and smiles, love and joy to this heart... You did more for your Mama than you could ever know. I'm thankful every single day that your my little boy, that I have a chance to watch you learn and grow, to see how passionately you love, to watch you adore your daddy, to see you try anything and everything. I love your intensity, that curiosity, your passion.
You're a giver and an encourager. You notice every little detail, remember every little thing. You're so quick to pray. I love those things about you...
What a gift you are.
Love you, my sweet, sweet son.
Happy 3rd Birthday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

everything you ever wanted to know about my heart

Well, tomorrow brings the long awaited (and truthfully- dreaded) day.
I'm really incredibly thankful for this little device I have implanted inside of me, thankful for a doctor who was proactive, thankful for modern medicine and the amazing technology available to keep people like me kickin'.
For those of you who don't know (or maybe you do, but don't know exactly why or what..), I have a condition called Long QT Syndrome.
Actually, let me back up a little first.
When I was 13, I started randomly passing out. For some (very odd) reason, I thought it was normal and never told anyone. Then, when I was 16, my alarm went off one morning, I got out of bed and hit sleep, laid back down and had one of the scariest moments of my own life. My heart was beating so quickly and hard that I literally thought it was exploding. I tried yelling for my mom, but could make no noise. I tried hitting my arms on the wall, but couldn't move. I eventually passed out, and awoke frightened and covered in urine. I went downstairs to tell mom about it (and thought the urine was sweat- it hadn't occurred to me that a 16 yo could lose control of her bladder...) and was pretty scared. I got into the doctor that same day who miraculously recognized the unusual pattern on my EKG and diagnosed me with Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, and referred me to the cardiologist, whom I was able to see that same day.
They started me on medicine and then scheduled surgery for a few weeks later. The short explanation of WPW according to my unprofessional self is that I was born with an extra little pathway on my heart which would basically cause my heart to short circuit and contract and contract and contract. The surgery shocked and killed this pathway and that was supposed to be the end of my heart trouble.
Unfortunately, I continued to pass out. We went back to my same cardiologist once, who told me that I was predisposed to passing out, and that sometimes teenage girls just do. Hmmmm... fishy, huh? Needless to say, he no longer is my doctor, nor does he practice medicine.
Anyway, the summer of 2005 was downright chaos. I was working 48 hour weeks in a factory, fighting continually with my parents about my upcoming wedding, and worrying endlessly about the tumor in my little brothers' brain. JD had just his first two surgeries, nearly back to back. I woke up one morning to the sound of my alarm, which sent my heart racing. I watched the room tunnel out, nearly completely back, and then things returned to normal. Nothing different than what had happened many times, but for some reason, this time it really worried me. I was convinced something wasn't right.
Long story short, we go back to the doctor who sends us back to the cardiologist (a different one). We were informed that I 'might' have Long QT Syndrome, but they were consulting with a specialist first. I go home and google it (of course), and am nearly positive that that's the case. We wait a few days and finally my mom receives a phone call. Let me preface this conversation first with reminding you that she, within the last two months, has been told her 9 year old has a brain tumor, and then watched him undergo two invasive brain surgeries. So the doctor calls...
"Ma'am. Your daughter definitely has Long QT Syndrome, and her condition is lethal. The only difference between what her last attack was and what her next one could be is that she woke up. We usually treat with medicine, but because of the severity of her condition, we think surgery is necessary..."
Mom relays the message to me, and I keep it together while talking to her, then call Jordan, tell him, hyperventilate and pass out. Seriously. :) We schedule surgery, it ends up being postponed until 4 days before our scheduled wedding, so we postpone the wedding and all is well. Phew.
  This is the equipment I have inside of me. It was implanted underneath my left pectoral muscle, and has wires that run from the box into my heart. It's basically a little computer that is always running and checking and rechecking an EKG. When my heart goes outside of certain parameters, it charges up and rechecks. Normally my heart corrects itself on its own, but last April my defibrillator probably saved my life.
Now, the batteries are about dead , so tomorrow they will open me back up, take the box out, pop the batteries out, put new ones in, stitch me back up.
I'm a little nervous. It was incredibly painful last time... I'm hoping that since the muscle is already accustomed to the equipment being there that it won't be so bad, but we'll see.
That's probably way more than you ever wanted to know, but oh well. One other neat tidbit- my electrophysiologist can find no recorded cases of anyone else having both conditions. He says it's like being struck by lightning twice. Aren't I a lucky one?! ha. It is amazing though, that with all my sports and miles and miles of running that I never had any trouble with my heart doing those thing. God has protected me, of that I'm certain.
Anyway, I've got to go do some cleaning to prepare for the next few days in the bed. I'll check back in once I'm feeling good... which I'm praying will be soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I just have a moment... but my heart is so overwhelmed with gratefulness right now, I just want to take a minute and capture this moment with words.
It's just been a wonderful day- spent time with girlfriends I love greatly while our kiddos ran around enjoying eachother. Spent time researching and preparing and getting things in order to really make this photography thing a business. Made a delicious dinner and laughed as we ate as a family. Had time to shower and clean the kitchen relatively distraction free. And then spent an hour or two with my dear Kallie, as we walked and talked at the park.
We came home and got the kids ready for bed, and... I just want to savor these moments. I carried Cate cradled up the stairs to her room and then sat indian-style with her in my arms on her floor. The moment I sat down, "Pway, Mama. Pway," my girl said as she squinted her beautiful blue eyes and held my hands, and I did. I thanked God, praised God for the many, many things we have to be thankful for, my heart overflowing with gratitude at this moment. I love the way her paci-filled mouth says so matter of factly "A-men" at the conclusion of a prayer. I love how she reaches for my hands after I lay her down, and says 'Mama' so sweet, so full of love.
And then I left her room, and just sat, listening to my boys giggle from Corban's bed. I love eavesdropping on their time, their moments like Cate and I share each night. I listened as Jordan fabricated stories of a boy who loved squash and blueberries and baseball (a change of pace from the Eric the Red stories it's been as of late). I listened to Corban tell daddy to sing the 'play more baseball' song, which Jordan (obviously) didn't know... and so Corban taught Jordan it, chanting 'Let's play more play baseball' and then making up other silly lyrics to go along with it. As it came time to settle down and pray, Corban said that tonight he wanted to pray for Tessa and Audri, and so they did. I love the sweet, "Goodnight, Daddy" that comes from my little boys' lips, the way he asks for his blankets to be a particular way, always making sure Spongebob is nearby to snuggle with.
Moments I wouldn't trade for the world, wouldn't want to miss for anything...

Now it's time for ice cream and brownies as I read day 9 of my 'through the Bible in 90 days'... a perfect conclusion to a wonderful day.
Happy Tuesday evening! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

yep, a hodge podge

I'm sitting here indulging in my pregnancy-induced chicken nugget addiction, but today, not because I want nuggets... but because I had to have something to dip in my hot buffalo sauce. My mouth is on fire and it is glorious. I just wish I could find something else to finish off the pile of sauce remaining on my plate...
It's been a darn good morning. Had a fantastic walk with my dear friend Katie, let the kids play at the park, visited a fruit stand, and now, sitting and relaxing while my kiddos sleep.
Can you believe it's mid-July? Already? I wish I could become unaware of the calendar the next few months. We're living in the days that a year ago marked the beginning of JD's rapid decline, that mark the beginning of our heartache. "I will rise" by Chris Tomlin came on the radio on my way home just now, and today marks the first time I've listened to it without a flood of tears. But yesterday I saw a picture from when he was sick but still at school, and reality hit like a ton of bricks, and the tears wouldn't stop. Funny the way grief is, huh? All of that to say- I never would've dreamed last year at this time that this year at this time we'd be nearly 10 months without JD. I didn't know that my heart could hurt, ache in such a way. I was so aware of how much I loved my little brother, but never knew how tremendous the hole his absence would bring. Still, I miss him every single day. We talk about him so often, relive stories, joke, cry. Corban has his own memories, and for that I'm so grateful.
I dreamed of him last week, and it'd never been so good to hear a voice in all my life. I don't know what he said, what we talked about, but I remember waking up with a lightness in my heart, and then a deep sadness at the realization of it only being a dream, that being all I get for the remainder of my life on earth. Oh, I miss him...
On a lighter note, the end of this week marks 16 weeks of pregnancy. That's 4 months, people! Holy moly, I'm a soon-to-be mother of three. THREE! If we were finding out the gender this time, I could find out at my appointment on Wednesday. How crazy is that?! I think it's going to be really REALLY hard to wait to find out, but it'll be worth it. At least that's what I keep telling myself. :)
Okie doke, I better go finish folding some clothes (story of my life) and mop the kitchen floor while the munchkins are out.
Off to clean!
Wait- I'm back! I forgot something!
Do any of you use the envelope system for cash? What have been the pros/cons in doing so? Have you noticed an increase in money saved or sticking to your budget? I've been debating and think it'll be a positive thing for us... but I'm probably just lazy and undisciplined, if you want to know the truth.

And... has anyone potty trained a young toddler? Like an 18 month old little girl? I'm really considering it. Any advice? Cate is definitely interested, and it would sure be nice to just have one in diapers come January.

Lastly, my little boy is sitting on my lap and informed me that he likes the color blue.
That is all.
Good day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

just one...

of the many reasons I have to smile.
How can you look at that and not smile?
Hope your day is fantastic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

picture post/random

You know, because it's been awhile. :)

We have had the most amazing week of weather that Indiana has to offer- and we've taken full advantage of it. We went to a local state park yesterday before Jordan went to work- the sky was SO blue and there wasn't a cloud in sight... not to mention it was 75 and sunny with no humidity. Glorious. All of the pictures are straight out of the camera, no editing or saturation- those are the colors we were seeing...Beautiful! I'd take this all summer long, for sure. Unfortunately, the 90s + humidity will be returning in a few days. But, it was nice while it lasted.

I'll leave you with a 14 week belly shot. I was going to compare to my other two pregnancies, but my kids are getting into anything and everything that they're not supposed to (the computer is in my bedroom), and we're all about to go crazy.  Anyway, here it is:
We're off to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law who now live just 40 minutes from us!!! (A tremendous improvement on the 6 hours we had separating us the last 3 years. They moved away for Holly to attend med school the week that Corban was born.) We are SO glad they are back home!
For real now, must leave this room.