Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tempe Town Lake

Wanting something different to do on Friday night, we headed to Tempe Town Lake and enjoyed riding the pedal boats. The timing of our boat ride was perfect - just as the sun was setting. We enjoyed some beautiful views of the lake, the sunset, and the downtown lights of Tempe. Afterward we ventured down Mill Avenue for a Cold Stone ice cream treat. Yum!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Micah!

This weekend we celebrated Micah's 29th birthday! I keep this picture of Micah in a frame, and was looking at it today thinking about how quickly life goes by. I would guess that Micah was probably about Eli's age, maybe slightly older, when this picture was taken... and it's amazing how much they look alike!

Yesterday we started the birthday celebration by relaxing at a movie while Eli stayed with Micah's parents. We then all went out for a yummy dinner together at BJ's. The best part of the evening was of course the chocolate chip pazooki's!!

Today we continued the celebrating by having a relaxing day at home, and eating some marble fudge birthday cake. Eli repeatedly wished daddy a happy birthday, and then would tell us that it's his birthday too. I think he was worried that it needed to be your birthday in order to get to eat some of the cake :)

There are so many great reasons to celebrate Micah's life today, but here are just a few things I am especially thankful for at the moment...

1. Micah is an amazing dad. There aren't many dads who could survive staying home with their child (alone) on their days off while their wife goes to work. Micah and I share the parenting responsibilities pretty equally since we both work, and I just truly appreciate that he has a great attitude about this and values his time at home with Eli. He is just as skilled at changing diapers, making "toddler" meals, playing, bathing, rocking, reading stories, and putting Eli to bed as Mommy is! I know that's not the case in many households, and I'm truly blessed.

2. By nature, Micah doesn't care much about the tidiness or orderliness of the house. But, for my sake he steps in and helps out with the household chores. I am thankful that he always takes care of the yardwork, so that I don't have to go outside and sweat :) I also know that sometimes he'll make the extra effort to pick things up around the house, unload the dishwasher, or whatever, just because he knows those things are meaningful to me.

3. Micah has a "way" with people. He is a tender hearted guy, and gets along with everyone. People tend to be drawn to want to hang out with him just because he is one of those all-around nice guys, and he truly does care about others. This is what makes him an awesome youth pastor... he loves the teens and the volunteers who work with them. It's not just a job to him, the people he serves are always first and foremost on his heart.

4. It may seem small, but I love to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Most of the time, Micah willingly gets up with Eli the early bird, and lets me sleep a couple extra hours. I love that!!

5. I appreciate that Micah is a "techie." There is nothing I hate more than when technology doesn't work. It's especially frustrating when you are someone that doesn't know how to fix those things. Micah always has answers for how to fix my problems that come up with the computer, internet, phones, ipod, or any other gadgets that we deal with :)

6. Lately I have had to deal with a lot of medical issues. This has led to times of sadness, frustration, fear, sickness, and pain. Micah has been so understanding of me during this time, and is there to assist me whether I just need to cry... or puke! I know, gross huh? I have an awesome husband.

Well, the list could go on and on, but we'll just stop here and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICAH!! Eli and I love you so much and are grateful that the Lord brought you into this world 29 years ago, and that you are a part of our lives today. You are a wonderful husband and daddy, and we love you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Guitar Hero

Although I am sure that playing the "Wii" is not a highly recommended activity for two-year-olds, Eli certainly loves it. He often asks his daddy to play "tars" (Guitar Hero) and while daddy actually plays the game, Eli rocks out on his Wiggles guitar. At the end of each song Eli always says, "Wet's Twy Agin!" Even if allowing our toddler to play video games won't win us the "Parents of the Year" award, we're okay with that :) The boys enjoy their bonding time, and it usually brings a lot of laughs!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thank God for Good Drugs :)

So you may remember from a few posts back that I had to have a colonoscopy. This procedure has been added to my list of "things I thank God there are good drugs for," ranked right up there with giving birth and having the beautiful epidural. I had that wonderful procedure this morning and fortunately don't remember any aspect of it! I do remember going through the awful prep yesterday, but this doctor gave me a different prep kit to use than what I had used during my last procedure and I handled it a lot better. I was not as sick, and actually able to get some sleep last night.

I was pretty nervous this morning, but everyone at the doctor's office was so nice and went over with me exactly what would happen during the procedure. When they finally wheeled me into the room where the procedure would occur, I talked with the nurse for awhile and then she said, "Okay I'm going to put the medicine in your IV now so you'll be falling asleep soon." After that I remember feeling really weird and tingly, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery area. They don't completely put you under for colonoscopies, but they make you "consciously sedated." That means basically you're asleep but you control your own breathing, reflexes, etc. I was somewhat sick in the recovery room just because my body doesn't always handle anesthesia well (same thing happened with the epidural when I had Eli), but I was in such a daze at that point I don't even remember it very well. The doctor also came and met with Micah and I during that time to review the findings, and I guess I was awake for that part but have ZERO recollection of even talking to the man. Micah was showing me some pictures he reviewed with us (of my colon - EW!) and some other paperwork, and I don't remember it at all. I guess that's why the force you to bring a driver with you. Ha! Can you imagine all these drugged up people being let loose to drive home?

Anyway, I pretty much slept the whole ride home and ALL DAY today. I don't think I have slept that well since pre-pregnancy days. I am considering going back and asking the doctor for more of those wonderful meds to use in the future!! :) As for the findings, the doctor said things looked good for the most part but he did biopsy some tissue. So now we wait once again for results... something I am getting quite used to.

For anyone who has to have a colonoscopy in the future - it's nothing to worry about. The prep isn't fun, but the actual procedure is a breeze and you won't remember it anyway. If you ever need to catch up on your sleep, you might want to schedule one of these just for that purpose :)

Thanks again for your prayers and emails!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A New Robe

Thank you to Eli's Great Grandma Lorton for making him this cute new robe covered in cars and animals - two of his favorite things! As you can see, he loved showing it off for the camera tonight :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

I remember September 11, 2001. I was student teaching at Squaw Peak Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ. I left for work a little bit after 6am (fighting rush hour), and remember turning on my car radio to find that every station I had in "memory" was playing the news. I didn't start paying attention until the 4th or 5th button I hit, realizing that something was going on. I began listening to the reporters talking about planes flying into the World Trade Center, and I was utterly confused. It was as if I were listening to "War of the Worlds" and wondering if this was some kind of joke. I called a friend of mine, woke her up, and asked her to turn on the TV to tell me what she saw. Her silence and gasp on the other end confirmed that this was not a joke. The next bit of news indicated that another plane had flown into the Pentagon. By the time I reached my school parking lot it was close to 7:00AM and the South tower collapsed as I was still sitting in my car. The reporters voice was shaking, there was screaming in the background, and the utter chaos of the situation could be felt through the radio waves.

The sixth grade teaching team gathered together in one classroom as we arrived at school and watched the horror of the events that had occurred on television. Just prior to the time we needed to open our classroom doors for our students to come in, the second tower collapsed. We were all horrified and everyone in the room was thinking the same thing... how were we going to pull ourselves together to respond to the questions of 12-year-olds who would be entering the door in a few moments having seen these images in their homes right before coming to school. Looking back, I'm not sure how we did it, but teachers do that all the time. Teaching is a job where no matter what happens in your personal life, no matter what danger is going on around you, your job is to push that aside and put the kids first. I honestly have no idea what I taught that day, but I am sure it centered more around life lessons than textbook lessons.

Today Eli and I went down to Tempe Town Lake to see the 3000 flag memorial. Tied to each flag pole was a card that contained a picture and information about each person who died on 9/11. It was sobering to see many stuffed animals tied to flag poles as well - those were the flags symbolizing every child that died. Eli hugged some of the animals and I showed him the picture of the little 2-year-old girl whom you can see on the left. Although he has no idea what any of this means, his response to her picture was "it's wike (like) Eli." So true, Eli, so true... it could have been any of us.

May we always take time to remember...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Visit to the Museum

Today we took a family outing to the Arizona Museum of Natural History in downtown Mesa. They had a cool dinosaur exhibit on display, which Eli absolutely loved. Although he had a short attention span and only stopped to look at each thing for about 1.5 seconds, we all still had a great time :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Edible Arrangement

I had a nice surprise at work today as my colleagues and employees presented me with a beautiful (and yummy) "edible arrangement." I had heard of these before, but never actually received one. I had to use a picture from the internet to show you what mine looked like (although mine was even larger!) because Micah, Eli and I had already half-eaten it by the time I thought of getting out the camera! It was very yummy and definitely cheered me up from the events of the past week. The chocolate-dipped strawberries and apples were my favorite :) Eli enjoyed the "duh-duh-doo" (honeydew). I am so blessed to have such a great support system where I work. Thanks gals!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Random Thoughts to Share

As I type I am listening to my poor son relentlessly screaming from his bedroom because he does not want to go to bed. A few posts back I mentioned how leaving the door open had seemed to alleviate this problem... well that was short lived :( The past few nights he has slept with his room light on (not just night light mind you, but the room light). Even keeping the light on isn't working tonight! Nap times are not a problem at all, as he willingly goes down for naps without so much as a complaint, and sometimes even puts himself to bed for naps! This used to be the same thing with bedtime, but for whatever reason that all changed within the last few weeks and bedtime has brought with it a raging resistance. We try to follow the same bedtime routine each night (bath, stories, songs, prayers) but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. So... we are now at the cry-it-out phase and tonight we are approaching 31 minutes... really not that bad, but for those of you who have tried this method you know every minute of screaming seems like an eternity. One thought that we have is to start limiting the length of his naps during the day, sometimes he sleeps more than two hours and we are thinking maybe he just isn't tired by the time bedtime rolls around? Or maybe that has absolutely nothing to do with it? Sometimes parenting feels like a guessing game. If anyone has any advice to offer, I'll happily listen to your suggestions!

On another topic... I think McCain made a great choice in Sarah Palin for VP. I enjoyed listening to her speech tonight during the Republican National Convention. It's great to see a MOM up there!! I loved the fact that when her youngest daughter was holding their infant son she licked her hand in order to press his hair down - all caught on national television! How perfect! Kids will be kids, even if their mom is running for VP and giving the most important speech of her career to date. :)

The final thing on my mind tonight is the fact that my doctor called today with the results of my last not-so-fun-but-I-survived procedure and they weren't exactly what I had hoped for. So what does that mean? That I get to undergo yet another not-so-fun procedure... a colonoscopy. Ugh. My brother was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a few years back, and the results of my procedure show that I may have the early stages of this disease as well. This has been especially tough for us since we were right on the verge of submitting our application to adopt from Ethiopia when my symptoms started showing up. In order to adopt internationally, both parents really need to have a clean bill of health. There are situations where medical conditions are approved depending upon the severity and prognosis, but it just puts up more red tape. This has really been a trying time for us since we felt so sure that God wanted us to adopt and we were so excited to finally be at a place to begin the process. It's very confusing as to why these health problems for me suddenly came up, when I have never had any kind of serious health problems prior. But, I keep remind myself that God doesn't make mistakes and none of this is an accident. I am an impatient person and have such a hard time waiting... right now I'm doing a lot of waiting... waiting for medical procedures, waiting for results, repeating the process (twice), waiting to submit an adoption application, waiting, waiting, waiting. I was encouraged by Psalm 27:14 which reminds me to "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." I think that down the road we will be able to see how God's hand was working even during this trying time, but it's always much harder to be encouraged when you're in the midst of it. Anyway, I would appreciate everybody's continued prayers in this matter... especially for comfort and peace of mind. Oh yeah, and patience :)

By the way... Micah just went into Eli's room to do our repeated "I love you but you still have to go to bed" visit and Eli announced to him that he wanted his light OFF. (What?!?) So Micah turned off his light, the child rolled over, and went to sleep. Silence.... I don't think there's answers sometimes, kids just have their own way about them and by the time you think you've got it figured out they have moved on to another stage with something new for you to figure out. Oh well, at least we can all get some sleep now. Knock on wood right?