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 thebump.com 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!