Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So, is it weird that I'm planning my upcoming (in June) trip route to the Great North based on where Chipotle is? There are locations near my parents & grandparents, so maybe we'll have to make a trip...

If you live near one and have never been, seriously. Go now. You won't regret it. You will never want Taco Bell again (What? Did I just say that? Now you KNOW it's serious...)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

As of today...

I am officially at my pre-pregnancy weight!

As I say this, quite coincidentally, I'm eating a warm chocolate chip cookie with RediWhip. Hm...

I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments on my "rings" post- the ones in the comment section and the ones emailed to me. If you haven't replied yet, please do! It is so interesting to me to see how different people have such varied perspectives on rings and what they mean.

Anyway- have a cookie today, on me! :-)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A question..

I have a question for all y'all married folk...

Do you keep your wedding ring on ALL the time? (Or, if the answer is "Of course I do- it won't come off!"- DID you keep it on all the time in your former years?)

Here's why I ask: Jon doesn't.

Which doesn't bother me, because, well, I don't either.

Neither of us leaves the house without them, but we take them off when we get home, or at least before going to bed. Many times, one or both of us is running out the door, late, and can't find our ring...

I never really thought much of it, until yesterday when I was reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I was helping Jon prepare for some classes he's teaching by making PowerPoint presentations for a couple of the chapters (who ever said I wouldn't use my church secretarial skills...)

If you're not familiar with the premise, Chapman maintains that there are 5 basic love "languages"- Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

Jon and I are both Words people, with QT being our second. It works out well.

But, by far, both of our LEAST felt languages is Gifts.

Which leads me to why I ask this question- Chapman mentions that, for people for whom Receiving Gifts is their primary Love Language, the visual symbol of keeping the ring on every waking and sleeping moment- and having their spouse do the same- is of utmost importance. For people who don't value gifts as much (obviously this doesn't mean you don't ENJOY gifts- but this is just not how you feel most loved), things like rings- while a nice symbol and something to be treasured- aren't absolutely necessary.

Do you find this to be true? Do you wear your ring all the time? Expect your spouse to wear his/hers? Where do you think Gifts would fall in your Languages?

Just curious...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Movin' on Up

How about some GOOD news?

We sold the house! We thought we had an offer last week, but they backed out before they signed the contract. My Realtor told me about it on Thursday afternoon, and between Thursday evening and Saturday morning it showed five times... by Monday, we had two offers!

That means my life is ramping up now! I spent all day Tuesday driving around Savannah looking for "For Rent" signs and am going to look at a few tomorrow. We have it narrowed down to 2... we'll see...

I think the best news about this whole thing is that, in the Army, they actually hire professional packers & movers! Ohmygoodness... I can't imagine having to do all that work without Jon here... but, I don't have to! Barring any hiccups, I will be moving in about two weeks...

You know, I'm actually getting really excited to move. I'm sure not having to do it myself factors in. I'm equally as sure being less than 10 minutes away from Target for the first time in my life has something to do with it...

If you're not familiar with the area, where we live now (in Hinesville) has a Walmart and a Lowes... and the next closest ANYTHING is said Target, 50 minutes from here... we are, however, moving to the heart of Savannah, which has everything you could imagine. I'm not much of a city girl, but I have to admit I'm looking forward to having Thai places nearby...

There is a part of me that is sad to leave this house. I haven't really dwelt on it too much, but I'm sure it will come. That said, talking with Jon about how we'll arrange the new house and such is exciting! I suppose I need to get used to leaving houses- this is certainly not the last I'll leave...

But, enough sadness for now... we're moving! :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

thinking through it...

So, it's been a while since I posted.

The last week has been... well... up and down...

A couple things have happened that I'll write about in separate posts.

Jon & I have been reading a book together while he's deployed. It helps us have something to talk about other than just "catching up." When this book was published, I only heard bad things about it; it's funny- now that I'm actually reading it for myself, I realize how much it had been misconstrued. Weird how that happens. I have to wonder how many people I heard criticize it- or criticize the author himself- ever took the time to read it. I think they would be amazed, as was I, how much they actually agree with. I keep finding phrases and ideas that I remember being quite controversial... and, when taken out of context, they sound heretical- but, when you look at the whole, it actually makes a lot of sense. Oddly, the author exhorts readers to approach Scripture the same way- in its entirety.

It has really stretched me. Though, I will admit, it's hard- it's hard for someone like me to admit that maybe, just maybe, I don't have all the answers... or that someone else's answers might, just might, be true.

I have realized, more than anything, that spirituality is a journey. It's a process. It's not like learning addition, where mastery is possible, let alone simple. Where is my journey leading? Not sure yet. I do know that I have the Bible, and Spirit-led wisdom. I also know that there are a lot of people with that same Bible and that same Spirit-led wisdom who are in an entirely different place than me. And that's ok.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Sophie!

I got a full-fledged belly laugh today! I often have the camera within reach so I can capture these moments for Jon- I thought I'd share this with you!

Also, I have to give rave reviews for this Bright Starts rattle- all of her other rattles are too heavy for her to maneuver, and they are too big around for her to keep a hold of- I bought this one yesterday, and it's great! The handles are smaller, and with the way they are wound, her hand gets tangled up in them, making it harder to drop! :-) I would definitely recommend it for babies her age!

Monday, April 14, 2008


First of all, thanks for your comments on yesterday's post. I actually emailed the pastor, sharing with him my experience- he wrote back, apologizing for how it was handled, but defending their strict enforcement of this policy. He mentioned several people left the church when they implemented it... wonder why... Part of me wants to argue the issue with him, but it's fruitless. My emotion is better spent on other things.


On a happier note, Sophie met more cousins! My sister's family and some of their friends stopped in on their way to Florida for Spring Break. While they were taking these pictures, at one point Iris (9) was holding Sophie, and somehow Andrea and Lila (5) both stepped on the air mattress at the same time, causing Iris- and Sophie- to tumble backwards. Sophie didn't cry, or really even react- Lila said, in an encouraging mothering tone, "Oh, you're such a brave little baby..." It was cute. It was really great to see all of them, albeit only for a few hours!

We really need to work on saying "cheese" with Sophie...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

It has happened.

I have entered a world previously unknown to me.

The world where kid-friendliness matters. Suddenly, I am annoyed when public restrooms don't have baby changing stations, stores don't have enough room to maneuver strollers, and schedules do not allow for proper bed-times.

Today, I had a first in this world-

my first bad church nursery experience.

You see, with us planning on moving to Savannah, we had begun looking for a local church before Jon left. We found one we really love, but I'm not sure the schedule will work with the Post Chapel. There was one other we were quite interested in, so I gave it a chance.

I could go on and on about my experience. The music was great, the style I enjoyed. However, no one said hi to me. Not one person. And it was only about a church of 50 or so, so it's not like I blended in...

I had Sophie with me, as I usually do in church. If she gets fussy (that's a big IF- I have a very well-mannered little girl), I am prompt to take her out- either to the nursery or to the foyer.

Until today.

I was told I HAD to leave her in the nursery. No option. A man came up to me after the music, and said (no "Hello! Glad you could join us!") - simply- "Ma'am, we have a nursery." Despite his stern tone, I smiled and said, "Oh, I know- she'll need to eat soon so I'll take her back then." The pastor was getting up to preach, so I turned back toward the front of the auditorium. "Ma'am, she needs to be in there before the teaching begins."

I was appalled.

She needed to eat, and I was in shock, so I didn't say anything (well, other than an "uuuuh....okkkkk..." muttered under my breath...) . I quickly grabbed our things and went back to the nursery. No. "Went" is the wrong word. Try more "was escorted by two men."

I felt like I was wearing a big scarlet "M" for "Mother" on my chest.

I was led into the nursery, where the two workers barely acknowledged my existence. Quite literally. They didn't even look at me until I had been in there probably 2 or 3 minutes, and even then, they said "hi" and went back to their conversation.

When Sophie was done eating, I had a quandary... I sat there contemplating it while they chatted. Finally, having convinced myself there is one renegade deacon whose life purpose it is to rid the auditorium of minors, I said, "Um... I prefer to keep her with me, but I was, uh, 'strongly encouraged' to bring her back here..."

They informed me in no uncertain terms that I was not to bring my child into the auditorium.

So, with 40 minutes left to the service, I left.

I understand nurseries- but I do not leave my daughter with people I just met. I don't know the church's child care policy, if they do background checks, what training the workers have- and I'm not about to leave my daughter with someone I'm not confident in (though I'm sure these women were great- it wasn't personal).

So, my options were to stay in the nursery and continue to be ignored, or leave.

When I got back out to the car, I cried.

I second-guessed my decision- maybe I should have just gone back into the service with her- they could deal with it. But honestly, at that point I had no desire to be in that building.

I still am in utter disbelief that that happened. Seriously? They told me, a first-time visitor, what I can and cannot do with my child? I mean, I have mixed feelings about kids in the church service- I believe strongly in both age-appropriate teaching AND in teaching kids how to sit quietly in church and the liturgy of my tradition. Either way, that is OUR decision as parents- not yours as someone I've never met. (I do wonder how the situation might have gone down differently had Jon been standing next to me...) Does this church really value family so little that they make visitors feel unwelcome to make sure kids don't disrupt their perfect little service?

I understand some kids are distracting in church. I really do. That's why I take mine out when she just starts getting fidgety and before she ever cries. But again, that decision is up to me.

Suffice it to say I'm not going back.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Per Aunt Amy's request...

You know, her hair looks redder in pictures than it does in real life... maybe that's a sign for the future! :-)

I'll have to scan some of Jon's baby pics sometime so you all can see how much they look alike- she is definitely her daddy's girl!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On this, our third...

It has been a great three years.

Well, to be honest, the first year, not so much.

The last two, the best of my life.

Three years ago, I barely knew my husband.

Today, he is my best friend.

I have a friend (are you allowed to say that about someone you've never met?) who celebrates their anniversary as the "family birthday"- it gives you something to celebrate even when your spouse isn't around. The holiday isn't so much for the couple exclusively as it is a way to commemorate the birth of their new family. I think we're going to start doing that. Unfortunately, Sophie isn't much into parties at this stage in life... I think we'll just celebrate tonight by getting a double-chocolate cake from Ruby Tuesday and bringing it home to eat while watching The Office.

Chocolate cake and The Office are fun.

It would be much more fun if Jon were here.

Our first anniversary we were apart, but he was to come home a few weeks after it.

Last year we were together.

We are now apart again.

I remember at the CHOBC (Chaplain School) Spouses' Seminar, the school's commandant's wife was talking about how they spent about half their anniversaries together. At the time, I don't think I believed her- well, I didn't believe that would happen to ME, anyway. Of course, I was mere days away from my wedding at that point, and truth be told, was probably living in some distorted dream-world.

I have a friend who has spent exactly 0 of 13 anniversaries with her husband.

I can't complain.

Jon & I were talking yesterday about how, three years ago yesterday, our families met for the first time. Jon's dad, my parents, Jon, & I met for lunch. I had never met his dad, and he had only met my parents once. Our family really went out on a limb in trusting us through all that. I'm sure most people thought we were making a bad decision, and they just loved us through it. Thank you. Sometimes Jon & I look back at that day, shake our heads, and laugh. What else can you do? Beth & I watched parts of my wedding video last week (not the ceremony itself- we had people record messages to us in a separate room). It reminded me of the awkward moments of that day... oh, to be a fly on the wall in some of those car rides home... wait, never mind- I don't think I want to know...

We now have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful marriage.

Every year is better and better.

I love you, Jonathan. I love you, I love you, I love you...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My week... and a half...

You may have noticed I've been missing- I had a good friend in town last week and was too busy to blog! Here is part of what has happened since my last post...

~ 1st Brigade came home!!! Beth and I went to 3 welcome home ceremonies (they arrived on 14 different flights). What an exciting thing to be a part of! It is held at a parade field. You can just feel the excitement, suspense, anxiousness, and joy in the air! People start gathering about an hour before the anticipated arrival, and there are several short videos showing on a huge screen (you know, entertaining things like Army Safety and 5 Years of War...) The soldiers fly in to Hunter Army Airfield (about an hour from here- this is actually where Jon is stationed out of now) then are bussed over to Ft. Stewart. The announcer periodically announces how far away they are, followed by cheering. (well, except for the time that he announced "They're 30 minutes away!" 10 minutes AFTER announcing "They're 25 minutes away!")

When the busses come through the back gate, the announcer tells everyone to stand up and look to the right... and just about then, you can see several big white busses coming down the road! There is much cheering, clapping, and waving while they go by.

The next 5 minutes seem to take FOREVER- and I wasn't even waiting for my husband! The soldiers pile off the busses, get in formation, and FINALLY walk through a line of trees! There is a short ceremony (the National Anthem plays, the Garrison Commander talks for like a minute- literally- then we all sing the 3ID song and the Army song)- then, the GC says, "Audience- go congratulate your soldier!" or some such thing- I think once it was "greet your soldier" and once it was "attack your soldier"...

At that point, the crowd rushes out to the field. It was interesting for Beth and I to stay in the stands at that point, and just observe. Dads who were meeting their babies for the first time. Others who said good-bye to newborns and are coming home to toddlers (15 months is a long time...) Some wives literally ran and jumped into their husbands' arms, while others just stared at each other from a few feet away before embracing. It was quite moving.

~ Having Beth here was WONDERFUL! We met in the beginning of 6th grade- we were both in Student Leadership Council and met in the hall on the way to the first meeting. We have been friends ever since. It's funny to think that I have been friends with Beth for well over half my life. I'll admit, I was afraid having her come for a whole week that we would run out of things to talk about or get on each others' nerves... but neither happened. I'm trying to get her to fly down in June and drive back up with me... or marry a soldier... maybe both...

~ I went to our Hunter Spouses Club luncheon on Tuesday, and met several new people. One is Jon's roommate's wife- it was really great to meet her. Another is a new wife- been married 8 months, is expecting in 6 weeks, and her husband deployed last Saturday. I am so glad that she came out to the luncheon- as I've said before, the best way to meet people is to get yourself out there! It is so easy to be miserable and have a pity-party... the best way to combat that is to enjoy the good things about the Army.

~ Sophie started giggling! She doesn't do it really often- every couple days or so- but it is GREAT! She seems to laugh the most either while or right after eating... I think she takes after me in that... I love this picture- "What are you talking about? I'm not eating my hands..."

~ The house has been showing about twice a week... now we just need someone to want to buy it! :-)

~ Classes are going well. After I got over syllabus shock, I don't think it will be too bad. Midterms are next week already... gotta love 8 week terms...

~ I took over keeping track of our Chaplains' Spouses Roster- the lady who was doing it is PCSing. Not a huge task, but it will be great because I can get to know the new ladies as soon as they move in, hopefully getting them plugged in to the group. I look forward to that.

For now, I am working on trying to not feel like an 8th grader as I work on my science vocab terms...