Wednesday, December 22, 2010

christmas collage

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merry christmas, blog


dear blog,
I know it’s been a sad few months while I’ve been busy babying, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I tend to think of things I want to tell you while in the middle of sanitizing endless bottles, replacing the diaper pail bag, or during a go-to-sleep intervention. All of those are important situations, and not the time for writing to you, Blog. I’m sure you understand. My baby is doing very well, thank you. She’s sleeping 11+ hours at night and doing okay with her daytime naps. She is just a joy to be around, and since you like to listen, I will probably tell you all about her.
All. The. Time.
We did her Christmas pictures last week, and I have to say, she’s pretty special. You agree? I’m sure you do. I have yet to post a picture of her with you, so today’s the day. We’re headed home to PA today, and we’re excited to have this special time with the babe and the family. I’ll be back soon, I promise. Just know that I was thinking about you at this special time of year, Blog. You’re a good listener.
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rae at 12 weeks

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Family – (what exactly is that on a Chinese menu?!)

Oh dear. Oh dear, dear. We are SORELY in need of an update, as I look at pictures of the nursery for the then-unnamed baby from my last post. How much has changed and become better in the time since, in every area of our lives! We have Raegan around now, and she’s truly the delight of our existence. We’re such a happy family.

I’m back to work, my first week back, and it’s been rough. I’m trying to gain approval for some extra work from home time, but so far have met with opposition. I get to stay home on Thursdays. We have a nanny, Dana, taking great care of Raegan during the day, and then Phil gets to spend a full day at home with her on Fridays.

Our weekends are our favorites: we make a big family breakfast (for the adults, anyway) watch college football, work on the house, and just enjoy being together. We’re really seeing personality come through for Rae; she is smiling and making cute noises and likes to stick her tongue out at us. She’s 8 and a half weeks old now.

Her whole birth and the subsequent weeks I wrote and noted in a journal for her sake and mine. We had quite a time getting her to sleep, so up until 5 weeks, we just survived day by day. Thankfully, she is a good baby, and really went with the flow, even if she is the most alert baby in the entire universe. We started Babywise with her then, and since we’ve steadily gotten better with routines and sleep. She’s slept through the night a few times, and generally does really well with her nighttime sleep. It’s the daily naps that she doesn’t like!

This week is a wonder week, where her little system is growing and developing by leaps and bounds. She is even less inclined to sleep right now, so her poor daddy is trying all he can to keep her happy while they’re home together today. It’s just a phase, so hopefully next week will be a new leaf. She’s due for her two month check up on Monday, so we’ll keep notes on how much she’s grown! She’s a tall little thing, already.
I promise to keep this source updated much more frequently!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

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what do you think?

How about taking a poll of when everyone thinks the baby will come?

Leave your comments below stating your guess of date, time, weight, height, hair color, whether she'll have hair, if it's really a girl, initial of her first name.... anything!

have fun, let's hear what you're thinking!


we're ready!


Thursday, August 19, 2010



I have always been a list-maker. I have lists of lists. I find it very soothing and visually organized to cross things off my lists, making that requirement obsolete and no long worthy of my remembrance. It is a relief to me to get things on my list, done. I have lists of ideas, lists of chores, things to buy, and all kinds of different accomplishments. However, they are not the orderly, clean lines that you would expect; they’re mainly so I don’t forget something, and they’re everywhere. I currently am working on a list for Target, Joanne’s, SAM’s, baby gift thank yous, the grocery store, Lowe’s, Ikea, and the list of things we still need before the baby gets there. That last list is the nerve-wracking one.
There are a few important things we still need to get before we’re “ready” for the baby to arrive. Last night, I asked Phil if I were making the belief that “women in their last month before giving birth are grumpy and sassy” true. His reaction was not to the thought that I’ve been difficult (or not difficult, he never said), it was: “that’s all the time we have left?”

Um, yes.
4 weeks.
30 days.
1 month from yesterday, until my due date.

I had to have my maternity leave paperwork signed at work, and surprised my boss with the proximity of the date. Yes, it’s not that far off!
I’m off to make another list of things we still need to do before she arrives. OH my.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Abigail Douglass, homeowner.


It’s been all of about 100 hours now, but things are in full swing at the new abode. I have to say that I’m SO tired, but every minute is a fulfillment of something deep inside me that’s been waiting in the wings for years now. I’ve scrubbed, swept, unscrewed, wiped, carried, folded, packed, watched, helped, picked up, stretched, envisioned, and generally just got in the way for every task you could imagine. We’re slowly getting into shape. I like to tell people that the best thing so far has been that we started at zero, not in the negatives, so everything we do is an improvement. The new paint job in the Master bedroom, the cleaned carpets, the wiped down bathroom and cloroxed kitchen are infinitely better than they were just those 100 hours previously. The appliances that were never cleaned (not once) are now shining and sparkling their presence in our roomy kitchen. Progress is sweet. We have one more load of mismatched furniture lingering at the one-bedroom apartment to pick up, and then we’re completely moved in. Surrounded by things in boxes and bags, but moved. It’s a dream!


The upstairs is coming along really well, now that the carpets are all cleaned, and the rooms are just waiting for their coat of paint. The laundry room is almost complete, too, with the washer fully operational and the new Kelly Ripa dryer just about hooked up! The next step is to continue unpacking and finding places for our things, and to get all this painting done! Phil’s main objective after today is to rip out a large section of drywall in the basement and replace it with new so that we can start using the storage in our basement as well. We have room to put things!! The baby’s been most helpful in keeping me motivated to get this stuff done. I’ve been really impressed with my own stamina and am pretty pleased that we’ve managed a lot of this alone. Shoutouts to Ken, Jenn, Nate, Tim, Chris, and Kylee—who were our big helpers.


So, for a rundown:
Nights slept in new house: 2
Trips to Home Depot: 4
Pieces of real mail at new address: 1 (thanks, Callie!)
Buckets of bleach used: 11
Rooms painted: 2
Carpets cleaned: 4
Pieces of furniture actually unpacked: 3 (bed, dresser, armoire)
Hours slept: 30 in five days. Definitely not enough.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Sometimes God makes me want to fist-pump.

Not your New Jersey fist-pump, let me clarify.

And not your angry-road-rage fist-pump.

A victory fist-pump, even though nothing tangible is sitting in front of you to get really excited about. No big change, just a few words on a page.

It’s His Word, His perfect Word, that in due timing He gives to you to encourage, strengthen, chastise, convict, renew, and enlighten.

He sent me just what I needed to see today.

Mind you, you’re reading this and you may or may not be aware of what’s going on in my life, but trust me, it’s big. And I needed this reminder from my gracious, loving King today.

Celebrate with me?



if it's difficult to read:
Instead of their shame [abi & phil] will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.
Isaiah 61:7

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

fights with old ladies

So, I got in a fight with Anne*.

She’s 65.

[I’ve always loved working with older generations, and have always gotten along with them great! Until this one. I have no idea what made “this one” different, but it is a starruggle to get along with her. Plus I LOVE my grandmas.]

I’ve been working my tail off on a huge public meeting at the Sheraton Hotel for one of our clients, and we’ve done all sorts of support stuff, including getting printing done offsite and purchasing office supplies, contracting A/V, etc, and the Hotel. So, I’ve had to do some financial stuff at work.

Last week, the print job was being set up, and when I called to see what form of payment they required, they said a Purchase Request and some other stuff I didn’t understand. I asked Anne to talk to them on the phone, to make sure I understood correctly. They then told her it would be fine to use the credit card. So that’s exactly what we did, because Anne said that it would be easier on the CC. The next day, my boss was asking about the total on the credit card, and SHE THREW ME UNDER THE BUS because she said that I had taken the card and put thousands of dollars on it for this meeting, so whatever the boss needed couldn’t be paid for. !!

Anyway, I don’t think she knew I was at my desk, listening to what she told him. I went in to him privately later (I was too mad earlier, lol) and said that it was with her full awareness and permission (and his original idea) that I used the card.

Anyway, fast forward to the Hotel and A/V charges, and it took forever for me to find out that I just needed to do a Purchase Request for them. On Friday, late afternoon (I wanted to leave for the Fourth of July weekend) my boss told me to do one (I’ve never done one) and so I just found it on the work Portal and gosh darn it, I did it on my own. Anne was there and knew that I needed to do the PR, then after I struggled through the process and finally got it sent off to Procurement, she had all sorts of things listed that I did wrong on the PR. LOL, I wasn’t too worried (I thought it would come back if it were that bad).
Good news is that it went through fine, and it’s been assigned a buyer, etc. However, then I needed to send in a separate PR for the A/V services, so I was working on that today, with what I “learned” from last week. After processing it, getting the boss to sign it, copying it for Anne, printing her out a copy of the original quote, she had other things that were wrong with the PR, and she was mad because she couldn’t “log it” correctly because I had to send it to another manager on the chain of command. She got all lippy and mad at me right in her office! I had to do the “calm down, this is the process I’m following” “take it easy” thing, and she was all sorts of mad. Not even sure why!

Oh well. She’s nuts. I think she has a crush on the boss.

*name changed to protect her identity, lol.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


My blood pressure today was 104/62.

“Pretty good, right?” I asked the nurse.
“Yes, that’s great”, she replied, entering the data into my health records on the computer.

That blood pressure screening always makes me so relieved because of the stress on me and Phil right now; I’m concerned for the baby.

However, I was having a great morning: I woke up early, got to work early, it’s a quiet Thursday morning, the best day of my work week. England and the USA had won yesterday, Phil was coming home tonight, and I was in a happy mood, despite the [house] difficulties that we have going on in our lives.

I opened my email and saw that the fare for a flight from Atlanta was on sale. SO, I bought my ticket to go to Callie’s baby shower! (and bought a few things on Etsy for said baby shower)

It was going to be a good morning.

I had my bi-monthly doctor’s checkup later this morning. It went great, we’ve not gained any weight in the last two weeks (we’re healthy!) and her heartbeat sounds loud and strong.

Then, miracle of miracles, as I’m driving back to work from the doctor’s, Phil calls to tell me that the one bedroom apartment we’re hoping to rent will only be needed for one month.

Because we got approval on the house.

Praise God, through Whom we have all things! We’re so relieved and happy and excited!

We’ll move in sometime in July, after closing goes through.

Give God some praise!


Friday, June 18, 2010

squats in the bathroom

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Since starting my posh corner-office job, I’ve been doing a lot of one very mundane thing: sitting. Now, maybe I don’t have a posh-corner office job, but I do have a pretty good one with a cubicle in the front row. The location of said cubicle is paramount to my needing to get up and walk around a few times a day; to exit from too-loud conversations that happen right at my window more times than should be normal. I have my back to the loud people usually, too, so I can never tell what they’re doing: looking at me, my screen, my plant, or just looking at each other and talking loudly. So, I take a walk, just to get out from the maybe-or-maybe-not intrusive stares.

Going to the bathroom is an 8-minute adventure for me. If it’s empty, lucky me. If it isn’t, and the occupant seems like she’ll likely be more than 18 seconds, I politely blow my nose and leave, acting as if that’s the reason I went in there in the first place. I just like to be alone. I will usually walk around the halls a bit, and hope they’re gone when I try again. In the farthest bathroom from my workplace, it’s usually empty, freeing me from the whole nose-blowing bit. After rearranging bella-bands, long-sleeved cardigans for the freezing temperatures at work and otherwise getting this pregnant belly appropriately covered, I do squats. I did them from day one I started at work. My theory is that while sitting on my bum all day, I should be doing something to combat the atrophy, right? So, right there on the tiles of the floor, I make an X and—high heels and all—do 20 squats. Then I yoga-pose to the side bend for 15 seconds, Namaste, and then the other side, back to Namaste. Then I crack my back. And it’s back to the loud talkers at my cube. But now I have Namaste and glutes of steel so that preoccupies my thoughts and I can’t tell you how much better I feel.
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this is what "I" would look like, sans blonde ponytail and beach background:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have a few pieces of favorite clothing items: things that the second I put them on, I feel poised and confident. Comfort clothing, and I don’t mean sweats, although those work at times, too. I have a lovely purple dress from Proenza Schouler that is one of those pieces. If I’m feeling kind of hefty or just need a pick-me-up, that dress does it for me. I pair it with purple heels and a breezy Proenza Schouler shirt underneath and I’m ready to take on the world.

Today was the day of choice to wear the dress. I shaved my legs, slathered on some pomegranate body butter, put on the blouse, let the silk slip over my head, and asked Phil to zip me up.

It wouldn’t zip.

I seriously contemplated crying for a few minutes. I stood there with my dress half on, just waiting for the joke to end.

Over the weekend, I had removed items from my closet that had numbered days, and put in some summer favorites that were destined to be my stand-bys for the months to come.
This lovely, empire-waisted number was one I was counting on!

It is not my belly.

Let’s suffice it to say, I will not be wearing my favorite dress for quite a few months because some other, ahem, areas have grown exponentially, and of my 10 pounds of weight gain, half of it is in my bra.

I’m crying inside.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'd be...

If I were a season, I’d be fall.

If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be an armoire.

If I were a country, I’d be England.

If I were a food, I’d be fresh bread. Or Gaufres de Liege.

If I were a day, I’d be Wednesday.

If I were a color, I’d be turquoise.

If I were a letter I’d be the letter a.

If I were a book, I’d be The Little White Horse.

If I were a political leader, I’d be shaking things up.

If I were a drink, I’d be fresh ginger ale.

If I were a man, I’d be my daddy.

If I could know the future, I’d want to know my children love Jesus.

If I were you, what would I be and why?

{{List from Bianca}}

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


She’s on her way. It’s official, the newest baby Douglass is a girl. To most, that is old news, but to her daddy and I, we’re slowly digesting this. We had such a great weekend, and every bit of the planning and figuring out how to make the babycake happen was worth it. I have to thank my mom and mother-in-law and sister-in-law for making quite an effort to make the event so much fun! Everyone contributed an item reflecting what gender they guessed. We got some adorable things, and even the boy items will just wait (alongside a few other things) in the Armoire Drawer. The “girl guessers” were right, though.

The instant we cut the cake (complete with wedding-cake-united-hand-pose) the entire collective audience “leaned in” because at first the icing looked white! (can we say "pregnant pause"?) The pale pink was enough though and somebody said “GIRL!”

Such a great moment. Me and the daddy had to hold each other for just a minute because it was precious and so real now.

There’s a “she” in my belly and it’s been really fun to be able to talk about her. Out of the six of us due in September, five of us are having girls (and one is having boy/girl twins). It was the best thing to all be pregnant at the same time, but now to be having girls all together, well, that’s just phenomenal. It makes me really happy. (the only downside is that none of our kids can marry each other, though *wink*)

Many happy pink thoughts! I reiterate:

Friday, May 7, 2010

the best name

A good friend of mine is pregnant and due about two weeks after me. It was super exciting to find out that they will be undertaking the same journey we are. It’s not quite “misery loves company” but new parents will love someone close by going through the same thing… Anyway, we both are finding out the gender of our respective babies this weekend and next week, but she mentioned that they’re having issues agreeing on names. Her husband is deployed in Iraq (thank you, Sal!) but they are going through baby name books and copious phone calls to figure out what they’re going to call their little bean. (As previously mentioned, we have ours picked out—since last year. It only took 6 years.) Well, she mentioned to me that Sal likes the name Abigail. And one of his boy names was Philip. After they laughed and laughed at the idea of naming their child after their friends, they really did have good reason—family ties, name meanings and the like.

I must add that I think they’re perfectly great names.

So, in honor of Kristin and Sal, I have a list of my favorite Abigails in blogland and elsewhere.

a gorgeous photographer and all around sweet person...
Abi Q photography

an amazing woman with crazy similarities to another Abi we know...
Through Abby’s Lens

the fabulous editor of Style Me Pretty...
Abby Larson

a fantastic designer...
Abbey Goes Design Scouting

one of the coolest women in ancient history...
Abigail from the Bible

and of course, the Abigail I'm named for...
Abigail Adams

photo credits to: Abi Q Photography, Stacy Reeves, and Cunningham Photo Artists

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Phil found a spider in our bed last night.

Yes, our bed.

And yes, it was a good-sized spider.

He tried to make me feel better by saying it was a mosquito, but I saw it.

And you know this is how I feel about spiders. [please be advised, while funny and accurate, there are some f-bombs in that link]

I didn’t sleep well, to put it mildly.

HOW did it get there? Well, scuttling obviously, or whatever it is that spiders do.

WHY was it there? Well, the good thing was that the two significant spiders we’ve now come across in the house were both found by my strong, brave BA husband—who can diffuse bombs with his bare hands. I kid you not. Like spiders even have a chance.

Friday, April 30, 2010

ode to feathers

I have a pillow that I’ve had since I was little.

It’s filled with down feathers and its white and blue ticking has seen better days. I used to come home to visit and spend a while searching the house to find “my” pillow to sleep on. At one point, it was gifted to my brother while he was living on his own, and I traced it back to him and bought him two new pillows to finally call the pillow my property for good.
I’ve slept on it ever since. Because it’s an antique, it’s only filled with down that pokes you if you’re not careful to make sure it’s aligned in the case properly. The whole thing must weigh three pounds, and it’s delightfully malleable to fit any position I choose.

My pillow delight has come to a bitter end.

My husband has threatened to “remove” my pillow for a while now, citing dust, stains, old-gross-ness, etc. and I always answered back with a “fine, then I’m throwing out your shoes.” (He has an abominable pair of cheap caramel loafers that have no traction and look awful, but he likes them for some reason).

Last night, the gloves came off.

He busted out the iPhone as we were lying down to sleep, looking up the stats and facts on old pillows. His findings were less than savory. According to a British doctor, a pillow over six years old is more than 1/3 complied of dead skin, dead mites, mite dung and other atrocities.

My pillow has to be more than three times that age.

I cried. (like every other self-respecting pregnant woman would do at 11pm).

I cried and cried and found a new pillow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

alone in the night

Phil’s headed into Philadelphia, leaving me at home alone. Now, this as most of you know, would be old, old news for a chronic left-at-home wife like me.

Not so, mon frère, anymore!

I have separation anxiety, and it may be from all those cuddle-less nights, but seriously, it’s serious. I have to find ways to entertain myself so I forget that I’m alone, even for a minute. Tonight’s line-up: Target—for some special treats, Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model—about 11 episodes. (I’m not allowed to watch it with him, so I have lots of catching up to do). I’ll eat cereal for dinner, and go to bed at 10-ish because I can sleep through anything and it’s definitely my comfort. I’ll be blissfully unaware that my neighboring pillow is empty. Then, I’ll wake up in the morning, get ready and drive the 45 minutes to work, but knowing that he’ll be back at the end of that work day will make it all worth it.

So now, I’ve made it through. I did fine last night although there were a few moments in the night that were atypical for my REM cycle. I woke up at 4:44 because the door to our bedroom mysteriously opened when the heat came on and would. Not. Close. For anything. But that’s okay, I just left it open. See, I’m brave! [with all the lights on].

Anyway, you’re probably thinking “why in the world would this girl that had her husband deployed three times, TDY countless times, and just “gone” for one reason or another for limitless days have a problem being alone? She lived in a foreign country for 6 months by herself!” And I choose to explain that for some reason, it’s the apartment. I am convinced that no one would ever bother me way out here, in the woods, near the water, in a strange community, unless they had intent to harm. That’s all.

Glad I made it through! And now, if you’ll forgive me, I need a hot carb.

Friday, April 23, 2010

pure bliss

Inspired by this site, I wanted to write a quick thought on what makes me blissful. There was plenty of it today, so sharing is no difficult feat.

1. I love this chair
I have a very deep love for all things British, from Beckham to buttered scones.

2. I love this wedding idea

It makes me want to get married all over again; I even proposed to my sweet husband on Facebook today. Isn’t that nice?

3. I love that my haircut is being redeemed. See this link

4. I love, love, love my family.

5. I love the funny little pokes I’m feeling in the belly region and I love the names we’ve picked out. And no. We’re not telling. Anyone. Don’t even bother asking. :)

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day. Psalm 139.16

What’s your bliss today?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I’m having a dilemma.

We decided to do a baby gender cake way back when to find out “all together” what we’re having. This is a great idea and could be potentially a great moment in our family history, however I find myself with a case of the snobby-tastebud.

Unsure as to what that is?

Well, call us—the man and me—food snobs. Blame it on the fact that we both had moms who were and are ridiculous cooks and bakers. (It even goes back further to other generations!) The pressure was on when we got married, and I’m happy to say that I’m not too shabby in the kitchen now.
However, because of our over-developed palate, we know a good cake versus a bad one. This ordering business is creating quite a problem. I feel the need to sample every bakery’s offerings before deeming it worthy to create something as important as my baby’s gender-revealing cake (I mean that in a strictly platonic way, certainly not literal. In that case, it would be a diaper—wait, that’s a funny idea.)

In any case, I really just want our traditional family chocolate cake with a line of blue or pink icing in the center. However, nobody can know (i.e. make the cake!) within the realm of the family, and family is who makes the best cakes! Such a to-do.
All searches have so far turned up the underqualified (i.e. grocery) the overpriced (philadelphia area custom cakes) and the unknown (the corner bakery, named for someone who may or may not own the shop…)

Any suggestions? I’m begging for crumbs!

photo credit to the Tillman baby cake unveiling!

Update: we've got a solution and a third party cake decorator to fix all of this for us. So, thanks to some creative finagling by Grandma Gaunt and Mom, we're set for the baby cake!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

for love of a bike

Bicycles have a special place in our family. At one point, I’m pretty sure my dad’s and brother’s bikes outnumbered our family members. You’ve got to have one for everything. Mountain bikes, road bikes, time trial bikes, fixed-gear bikes for track, everyday bikes, special racing bikes, even wheels that get their moment of glory for an event or two. I loved growing up and attending races to cheer for my dad and brother, their teammates, anyone wearing the color pink…

Bike races are a whirl of color and so much fun. Even to the local who knows nothing about the “chess match on wheels”—as my dad puts it—enjoys watching and cheering on the efforts. I’ve been in feeding zones, matched with an oversized golf umbrella with big, colorful flowers so my dad could “aim” for us to pick up his grub; I’ve cheered in the rain and sun and it never got old. We watched some of the Paris-Roubais this weekend (a race in France that is often preparation for the upcoming Tour de France—also the toughest one day race purportedly) and it winds its way through narrow streets, tiny roads, and over cobbles to the finish in the French countryside. People line the streets and roads to cheer for the athletes: they watch the race’s progress on the telly then run outside to catch the brief glimpse they have of the race itself on their street, then head back inside to watch the finish in the amber light of their local pub. It’s a sport enjoyed the world around. (like soccer—or football—my fave!)

Check out any local races you might have, and you’ll be sure to enjoy the excitement and swirl of color and speed.

While I was raised in a family of racers, riders, and those-who-do-it-just-for-the-exercise, I was never a bike rider. I occasionally got myself onto a two-wheeled contraption, but for the life of me, I still can’t understand how they deal with how uncomfortable it is!

I remember dad taking off my training wheels and just letting go. That was all I needed: a secure grip and a gentle slope and I was golden.

I’m happy to announce my bike riding days are going to be revived. I’m confident that “it’s like learning to ride a bike” and I’ll be good to go; a few trips on some wide-wheeled-wonders on beach vacations made me certain of that.

Speaking of wide-wheeled-wonders, check out this beauty I’ve got my heart (and my triumphant return) set on.

Many happy trails! Are you going to check out a bike race in your area? It’ll be fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

the girl and the geek

As I tell the hundredandeleventieth person “thanks” about their comments on my new haircut, the thought struck that the poor geek living in the cubicle next to me probably wants to pull out his own hair.

I come to this conclusion since this particular guy and I have a passing co-worker relationship, but not so much as to say hello in the morning or goodbye in the evening, even though we breathe pretty much the same air.

Let me explain the haircut issue, and why it probably does nothing to endear me to him, or him to me. I wrote a post awhile back specifically about this guy, then deleted the entire thing, because I discovered that my pregnant-angst (a VERY real thing) was driving my irritation with his penchant for crazy anime on his computer screens, screechy Japanese pop music he likes to play, his condescension when we actually talk because I lived in Japan, and I didn’t learn the language…but I digress.

Every time I see a new person who hasn’t seen my [drastic] new haircut, they have to stop at my desk and say something, and every time I start with: “they cut off a lot more than I thought” or “it looks nothing like the picture I had!” This has happened a dozen times or more in the week+ I’ve been “chopped”. While I hope my cubicle neighbor tunes out my broken record, he probably doesn’t because he’s a bit of a suck-up with the powers that be, and probably has his enviable position by my desk to “watch” me. As does the new guy who moved into the cube behind me. I’m sure they’re all spies. That might be paranoia or just my overactive imagination, or my habit of writing and blogging new posts at my desk. Hem, hem.

I’m sure he could recite my hair story verbatim by now:
“Too much got cut off”
“Not sure if I like it”
“Oh, thanks! You really think it’s alright?”
“I wanted a change for spring”
“It’s fun”
Anyway, I bear his strangeness and he has to bear my girlyness. OH, here he comes, the SPY, I must run.

Here's us at Ben and Heidi's last weekend. Note the hair.
Have a great weekend! We’re 17 weeks today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Mom did Easter baskets for us this weekend, just like she’s done every Easter since I can remember. I love when my mom buys me presents. She puts a lot of thought into each one, thinking “would she like that?” or “would she wear it?” And every time she presents us with our gifts, she has to disclaim it, saying “if you don’t like it, or won’t wear it, I don’t mind”. She even leaves the price tags right on there if she isn’t sure we’ll love it. We all laugh because our sense of style and our opinions may vary, but ultimately we all got them from the same place—her.
Let me just say it’s a huge bummer that her shoes are 3 sizes too small for me.

She’s the sweetest thing, buying me baby gifts for the last 7 years we’ve been married. I have a collection I mentioned before in the Armoire Drawer—err, well, right now it’s in a suitcase. Every Christmas she overdoes it and we end up with a mountain of gifts to give and to get, and it’s so exciting! I might be 26, but I’m never too old to love getting presents from mom. Dad lovingly tolerates her holiday mayhem, and we all absorb every bit of it. We all went searching for our respective baskets on Sunday; then she had two egg hunts for us.
Yes, we’re all the ages of 13, 20, 23, and 26, but don’t hate.

She got me a ring the size of a pecan, green like my eyes, and from Israel because she knew I’d love it. I’ve worn it ever since. The funniest thing was that when she picked it out, she knew it was totally me, but had to “make sure” by asking my opinion on it in the catalogue, what I thought about the one she picked for Kylee, and so on and so forth. She second-guesses her fabulous intuition probably because there were a few ungrateful teen incidences, but for those we take full credit. We’re better off for it, “no-thank-you-helpings” = case in point (more on that in another post).

I know she’s just been waiting for a grandbaby for a long time, so she can spoil him or her. We’ve decided to go with “Gigi” for the abbreviated “Grandma Gaunt” since that one’s already taken! She isn’t the typical grandma type, so something different and spunky suits her best, anyway.
I’m pretty sure the baby just poked me in agreement, or maybe it’s just because he or she really likes malted milk Robin’s Eggs, like me. And like Gigi.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I think it’s cupcake story day.

I don’t have a great spring cleaning tale or anything exciting happening, since we’ve just moved out, and have had one heck of a week doing so.
Sprinkle in some late nights with friends, scrubbing a year’s worth of gunk from my stove/fridge/dishwasher/microwave and kitchen cupboards, working 8 to 5, a cat that hasn’t stopped crying because I won’t let him outside at the new apartment and you’ve got the week I’ve had.
It was one to remember, er, maybe actually to forget. All I can say is that I’m glad we’re at a stopping point, and yet I can’t wait to do it again to move into our new place.

Anyway, back to the cupcake. We’ve been thinking about the spaz children both of us were/are, and how it’s going to translate to our own kids, in the not-too-distant future.

One of Phil’s favorite stories of me as a little girl is one about a picnic and a cupcake.
As you know (or can assume), I love food. Always have, always will. It’s a “well-earned comfort” (now I just need a pipe and some hobbits to teach me how to blow smoke circles). please excuse, for Kylee.

We were at Chip and Ginny Derr’s awesome log cabin in the woods in the spring when I was probably eight years old. They had this smorgasbord of food out on their front porch, tables streaming full of food, and most importantly, chocolate cupcakes for dessert. It was a pretty big group, and when my turn to go through the line came, I made sure to get one of those cupcakes right away. My dad said:
Now, Abby, you’ve had one cupcake, and you may only have one. That’s enough.”
Um, so I plunked my eight-year-old bottom on their stairs and ate my plate of deliciousness, and ate that cupcake last. IT was SO glorious.

My perch in reference to the food table was just a few feet—out the front door to the porch—and all the adults were in conversation somewhere else; I couldn’t even SEE my dad. How would he know if I had just one tiny one more?

So, I had another one. I thought I was super spy and sneaked out the door and coolly helped myself to another cupcake. I ate it quickly though, just in case. I didn’t see anyone and I thought I was golden.


Spanking the next day, because SOMEHOW my dad knew. To this day, I don’t know how he knew I couldn’t resist the cupcake’s siren call.
It’s so not me. *

*actually, it is me. I would do a lot for a special treat. Phil knows. That’s why this story is his favorite. Goose flag story to come. xoxo.

Friday, March 26, 2010

rants and raves

I waited and waited all week to see if I would get into an “upbeat and positive mood, one conducive to writing a fun and perky post” but, alas, that is not the case! I’m going to indulge a moment, and give a list of rants and—to be fair—a list of raves to force a balanced outlook. Bear with me! (my mom blames my hormones every time I talk to her, I seriously doubt the validity of that statement;)


1. I hate the smell of rice!
Ugggg. Not a usual thing for me, at all, especially since we ate some of the most delectable rice ever when we were in Japan, all the time! It’s the only thing yet this pregnancy that has changed or developed as a “quirk”. Someone’s eating some. Right. Now.

2. We can’t seem to find a good church! Frustrating! We’ve been here over a year and have been to—count them—FIVE churches. None of which do we like or feel called to. Anyway, I have one more hope on the horizon, another church in the same area the “hopefully” new house is.

3. I cut off all my hair!
I asked for it, I did it, I sat there and said:
oh no, it’ll be fine
when she asked if I had ever experimented with a wig in case this went south. A WIG! Whose hairdresser says that?!
Anyway, if you squint your eyes, this could [not] be me and it’s about the same hair.

4. My lovey, tiny, little kitty cries all night since we moved into the temp apartment. He gets nervous about new places (who could blame him when we’ve been guilty of dragging him around the world?!) but still we need some sleep around here!


1. We went to an amazing restaurant in NYC this week. It was quite a trip getting up there and back in the same night, but the food was Ah. Maz. Zing. Try it out, if you’re in the area.

2. Target
I am so going there over lunch. It’s been awhile and the siren song is calling to me. I think it’s just what a rainy Friday when everyone but me gets off early needs. Oops, this is a rave, not a vent. Sorry.

3. My Parentals
I love my parents, seriously a lot. My mom has great advice and plus she just so darn cute that it’s a pleasure to be “getting more like my mom” as I get older. My dad is also the cutest thing, and it’s good to talk to him when he’s online at work sometimes. Technology + Parents=so sweet. My father-in-law is also a rave. I love how he likes to talk to me and actually listens to what I have to say. I have great in-laws, one of which can bake like there’s no tomorrow.

4. My clothes still fit. I can’t say how happy I am for each week that goes by (we’re 15 weeks today) that all of my clothes still fit and look fine. I am SO grateful.

There we have it: a breakdown of some strange, yet emotional things for me right now, I guess. I’m trying not to make emotional a part of my vocabulary, but I guess it’s there for now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Expectantly Waiting

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. 2 Chronicles 20:12 & 13

The pastor at the church we visited this weekend used Scripture from 2 Chronicles to illustrate the need for us to pray for our nation and to seek God for direction on the healthcare issue. While I may be shortsighted, this verse leapt out and grabbed me, for me.

“But our eyes are on You” is exactly the attitude and feeling I have.

Peace. [Yoga breath: deeply through pursed lips]

Then Monday morning, I opened my daily Bible verse from Sunday’s emails and:
bLAM! How about 2 Chronicles, Jehoshaphat seeking the Lord?!
The call was quite clear and we’re praying and fasting today.

I know that there will be an answer on the house; how could it be any different when so many people are praying, fasting, and hoping on it?

But, first and foremost, “our eyes are on You”. And in that, I find rest.

We’re moved out of our apartment, nearly completely, and on to the next phase.

It’s shown me some interesting aspects of my character—the need for a “home” and a secure place to live. While I thought I was up for the adventure of living on the fly, it’s harder than I thought, especially since I feel like I need to be painting something, or refinishing things I need for the new baby, and becoming acquainted with our new home!

Being grounded and reminded that the Lord is meeting our needs through those tangible attention-grabbers really was perfect timing.

It always is. Expectantly waiting.

What are you waiting for? Are your eyes on Him?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It started as a bummer of a week; gutted being the word of choice I'd use to describe it.

I remember a Far Side Cartoon I saw at my grandparents' house when I was little: the animation was of two deer, standing next to each other and the one said to the other: “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal”. “Hal” had a red, target bullseye on his belly: perfect aim for the attentive hunter.

Yep, a bummer.

I was seriously gutted when my favorite soccer player, David Beckham, tore his Achilles tendon this week, effectively ruling him out of competing in his fourth World Cup later this year. I love that family—a post for another day—but I was honestly gutted. Love how that applies.

It would have been the perfect week—if I think I know more than God—to find out that we finally, finally got the house we’re waiting for.

But, thankfully, I am not God. I do have a plug, though, for which I’m grateful, but the timing is still “not yet”.

Bummers are things that happen just because they can. They don’t change your life in a tangible or unretractable way, but they hurt nonetheless.

They are the mechanic bill to fix a problem that’s supposedly been fixed three times.

They’re the disappointment of missing an Irish dinner on Saint Patty’s Day because you weren’t on the list at the restaurant because you didn't know.

They’re being in transition and not having all your utensils available to make cupcakes because you already packed them.

They’re missing being home with beloved siblings visiting over spring break.

They’re seeing the last vestiges of life slip out of your pants because your waistline is getting too big to fit anymore.

Wait—that’s not a bummer—

Especially when it’s due to the fact that it means your baby is growing. . .

Then the Lord sent me this in my email inbox. “When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work -- this is a gift of God.” Eccl. 5:19.

Yes, He said, this has been a bummer week, but you’ve almost gotten through it! And it’s 70 degrees out! And you did make cupcakes! And you have an amazing family and friends who all really like you! It’s only money, time, and convenience that you’re sad over, and all those things belong to Me anyway.

I was really thankful for that reminder. I wasn’t bummed at all that He got me on that one.
To really push the point home, He sent this for me to read. Be warned, you will cry: once again, I was gutted. The pictures say 1000 words and the writing is divinely inspired. I’m not bummed; I’m thankful.

What are you thankful or grateful for this week?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My friend Katie has two gorgeous little kids. She is getting ready to celebrate the birth of her first, a little spitfire girl whom I adore. She told me today that she’s carrying on a tradition her mom started with her and her siblings. They would wake up on their birthday morn to a bouquet of balloons tied to the bed! I think that’s a great, fun way to start a celebration day especially for the five year old I know is getting them tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, Aviel!

Anyway, I was inspired to start a list of some of my favorite traditions that I have from my own childhood (and adulthood…)

My mom is super awesome, there’s just no getting around that. Everyone who knows her will agree. She’s super creative, bursting with energy, hilarious, and just so much fun!

Here’s a few of my favorites:
We used to have a “you are special today” plate that we ate our birthday meal on.

We got special Valentine’s Day gifts on a red-themed breakfast table in February.

She made us treasure hunts on Easter to find our bursting-at-the-seams Easter baskets.

We went to the beach every year since we can remember, and she invented “grab bags” that we were able to pull one treat out of every hour, on the hour to make the trip go faster.

At Thanksgiving, we had to share the things we were most thankful for around the table. She usually dragged us for a hike sometime during the day, too :)

Christmas Eve: we were “put to bed” with a candle and a prayer with both mom and dad. Even now that I’m married, they still light our candle and pray with us before we walk (ourselves) to bed. *chuckle*

Christmas was the best: we made a plethora of cookies, and the house was decorated differently in every room, every year. We have huge stockings that she always filled too full so they couldn’t even hang up when we saw them Christmas morning. We listened to Daddy read the Christmas story before any of the festivities. Christmas breakfast was the most delicious one of the year and to this day we always have ham and egg casserole. It smells like Christmas to me :)

I know I’ve forgotten really good ones, but in a nutshell, these are truly some of the most important things I will pass along to my own children. It’s awesome to have a family, even more divine to have one that’s as great as mine.

(OH! And one of the best ones, hardly a tradition, but a signature move of my mom’s was the hold-each-other-until-you-smile ploy she would use when we were sibling-fighting. I can firmly attest that this trick will be used in my house :) It’s hilarious.

What are your favorite traditions?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I’ve always had success in writing things down to help me dissect my feelings and emotional currents. Right now, as can be expected, I’m feeling overwhelmed.


We waited for a good, long time to do this, so the “timing would be right” and so we could accomplish all sorts of wonderful, fun things on our own. So, now the timing is right and I will be the first to affirm that. For sure :)

However, I can’t help but admit that I feel way in over my head. It’s cool that we’ve become part of a slew of pregnancies that have overtaken nearly everyone we know, but at the same time, I feel very unprepared and kind of out of it. I don’t know anything! I can’t even remember having a tiny Haylynn around when I was 13! (where was I that I can’t remember that?)
ps. thanks for the random text answers, though, Meg. You always come through:)

You know me. I’m the sort that has to map out the directions, plan where to park, figure out what I’m wearing, etc, just for a first doctor’s appointment. Therefore, naturally, this is going to be a big to-do.

So, what have I done to address my unpreparedness? Instead of making myself feel further deficient in this department, what are YOUR best pieces of advice, books you think I need to read, birthing stories, anything that you think I should know?

You have my sincere appreciation in advance! <3

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Armoire Drawer

We did a major, overhaul cleaning yesterday since we’re getting ready to leave the apartment in Tuckerton. Not really sad, only a bit, since we’re so used to moving around. We’re just on the fringe of understanding what having a “place of our own” will be like. We did clean out a lot of stuff though. I threw out old clothes, paraphernalia, and lots of sentimental items that didn’t turn out to be so sentimental. The ones that got saved though were a card for my wedding from my Grandma and Grandpa Peake, newspaper clippings on the Olympics from my Grandma Gaunt, letters from Phil in bootcamp, pictures Haylynn drew for me when she was little, and invitations to every niece’s birthday party. I love to look through things that have had time to be “dated.” It’s really neat to see the stack of cards from your wedding, and while you may not be able to keep them all, it’s a reassuring pile of love and affirmation.
One of my favorite things I went through yesterday was the bottom drawer of my armoire. This little space has been saving the important baby-related items I have had and hoarded for quite a while. There’s a pair of star-covered shoes that I bought for $3.97 from Gap when I was about 13. There’s a few bird-related onesies that I HAD to have when Old Navy had a sale. There’s an Ed Hardy onesie that is Phil’s favorite. My mom and family have been giving me “incentive” gifts for the future grandbaby/niece/nephew for years! Looking through that drawer as we were organizing our place to pack up was really exciting. That little onesie will have a tiny pair of biscuits in it in a few months! It’s amazing how things all really do have a time and a season.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baby Wellies

And this is what she'll be wearing :)
You must have known that I would find a way to incorporate wellies into something to make this baby more British!
However, if you disagree with me on boy vs. girl, vote for what you think at the bottom of the page!!

Hot Carbs

So I told Elliot the other day that this blog wasn’t going to turn into a baby-gushing blog because that’s just annoying. Ha ha, however, he told me that he needed somewhere to get updates on the “little guy”. Apparently, the men of the family are rooting for another, but I can’t blame them. I honestly don’t care either way, but if pressed, I would have to say that it’s a girl. ONLY because I have a desire to eat HOT CARBS all the time. Oh mac and cheese, noodles of any kind, potatoes, BAGELS. I’m trying to be reasonable, like opting for a multigrain bagel from the superior bagel shop only a floor below my desk, but at the same time, carbs have always been my favorite. Meat, not so much, unless it’s Kobe beef from Yoshino’s or my mother-in-law’s roast beef, my mom's grilled chicken or my husband’s grilled salmon, or my chicken salad…well. Safe to say, I still like it. But what I would do for a New York bagel! Oh well, I guess I’ll have to wait until we go up there tomorrow. NEARLY instant gratification. Yes, I’m a brat.

Updates on the pregnancy: we are officially 12 weeks (3 months!) today. First trimester over. Now I start to get chubby (ier). :) Ultrasound in the next 2 weeks, our first! Really looking forward to seeing the little “guy-irl”.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

made the switch

Well, I've been "blogging" or not blogging for a while now. I dabbled in a few posts on and wordpress, but both are in the past. lol. "blogger don't fail me now!" I guess I've been pursuing blogging because I feel like I need to have some sort of "internet presence"...whatever that means. Digging deeper, I think it stems from the inspiration of a few really great writer-ladies I've come across and my daily, must-read list of bloggers. So, here I am, hopefully to stay, as long as I can figure out how to make this look cute, connect with friends and family, and really just let me talk! ha ha, hope you're with me!