Random

A Bird Named Moxy

Even though Will has already blogged about this, I feel the need to do a post of my own on this topic.  Over the past week, we had noticed a bird that appeared determined to build a nest in my rose trellis adjacent to our porch.  I initially wanted to let the poor bird be, but Will convinced me that we should tear the nest down before the bird finishes it.  This was primarily for two reasons: 1) Will reminded me that we have many lizards that patrol the trellis and could endanger the bird eggs, and 2) As we try to sell our house, it may not be beneficial to have bird droppings and a mama bird dive-bombing potential buyers.  Both solid arguments (although the first one was enough for me).  So, I agree to knocking out the nest.

The next day, we noticed that the bird has begun to rebuild.  I verbalize that perhaps we should just let him be, but once again, am persuaded that it is in his own best interest to stop the construction project.  Down it goes.  A few hours later, the nest is back in process.

The following morning, Will informs me that not only did he knock it down, but he placed a Samurai Spongebob figure where the bird was attempting to build the nest so that perhaps that would be enough to prevent the nest from being rebuilt.  At this point, I don’t think the lizards are going to be that big of a threat and I am really feeling badly for this bird and his poor bird-wife, so I request that Will PLEASE go remove Spongebob and leave the bird be.   Despite disagreeing with me, being the good husband that he is, Will goes outside to remove Spongebob.  He is gone for a few minutes, then returns to announce that SPONGEBOB IS MISSING!  

He looked everywhere, but the sponge is nowhere to be found.  Not on the porch, not caught in the trellis, not in the driveway, not in the front yard.  He had vanished.  Will came to the conclusion that he had been kidnapped, and that the bird planned to kill Mr. Squarepants.

I cracked up and began to admire this bird even more, deciding that he had quite a bit of moxy.

Then, when we thought it was all over and had surrendered a portion of the trellis for the purpose of nest-building, Spongebob reappeared on our porch!  I discovered him later in the day and told Will he must have overlooked it, but he insisted up one side and down the other that he had search the porch very carefully.  So it appears the bird returned Samurai Spongebob.  I think it is a peace offering.

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Faith, Family

A little chaos never hurt anybody…right?

I have come to a conclusion over the past couple of weeks.  It shouldn’t have taken so long to arrive at this conclusion and many of you will probably not be surprised.  

Here it is…Will and I are crazy.  Yes, crazy.  Perhaps not certifiably, perhaps not in the way of seeing bright purple spots everywhere or having detailed discussions about Lake Tahoe with elephants, but crazy nonetheless.  I know this because we are a) having another child within two years of our first and b) we are attempting to put our house on the market and move at the same time.  

Now, these two things separately are not so nutty, but add them together, and you have an equation that rivals the insanity of Homeland Security stating that pro-lifers and war veterans are terrorists.  Okay, so that comparison is obviously an exaggeration, as few things rival the audacity of Homeland Security and our current government, but anyway…you get my point.  

I would like to chalk it up to pregnancy hormones (my poor husband), but I can’t help but wonder what we are doing trying to manage all of this right now.  I have been fighting the feeling of being overwhelmed and have been struggling with feeling peaceful in the midst of so much change.  

As I write, however, I realize I should win the melodramatic award, because really, so many people manage much more than we are currently. Think back to the birth of Christ- there’s Mary, young, very very pregnant, traveling with her husband to Bethlehem, not in the luxuriousness of an air-conditioned moving van, but on the back of a donkey.  Across rough terrain.  In the heat.  ON A DONKEY.  Now, for those of you that have been pregnant, the ninth month of pregnancy is certainly not a time I want to be getting jostled on the back of ANYTHING.  Not with all the jostling going on on the inside.  For those of you that have not been pregnant, please take my word for it.  

Now granted, I do not pretend to compare myself with Mary- I know in many ways she was “just” a girl but I do think that she must have had an extraordinarily pure heart and I hunger for the faith she demonstrated in her life.  God chose her to raise His son for a reason.  But it keeps things in perspective.

All that said, despite the stress of change and unknowns, I am slowly getting more excited about the current craziness and future chaos that awaits us.  Even though I know that having two children under the age of 2 is going to be a challenge, and even though I don’t look forward to the sleep deprivation, the breastfeeding every two hours, and the general loss of both freedom and sanity in those early months, I know we are so blessed to have the opportunity to bring another little one into the world.  Friends of ours recently discovered that they had lost their little one in the first couple of months into the pregnancy, and my heart breaks for them.  Talk about keeping things in perspective- I am already in awe of the faith they are showing during this time in their lives.  I pray that I never have to experience what they are experiencing, but should something tragic ever occur in my life, I pray that I would respond with strong faith and trust in my Lord to hold me in His hands as they are doing.  

Of course, whether it is a tragic event or a little chaos of the blessed kind, doesn’t God expect us to do just that?  That is, to respond with strong faith and trust Him to hold us in His hands.

I initially intended this post to be a light-hearted, amazingly witty commentary on what I am experiencing right now.  As I continued to type however, I realized that all of my fears are so small compared to my God, and compared to those situations others are facing.  For me, with writing has always come perspective.  For that I am grateful.

I thank you Lord for the blessing of our new little one and of a possible new home.  Please forgive my complaints, my fears, and my struggle to find my peace in you.  Thank you for giving us challenges that remind us that You are in control.  Thank you for being the One that keeps things in perspective- if I focus on you, I can be assured that my perspective is as it should be.  I pray for my friends and their loss, and thank you that their little one is with you now and experiencing the indescribable joy that must come with being in your presence.  I pray you would comfort my friends and allow me to be a comfort as well.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Family, Random

A Change I Can Believe In

No, this does not involve Obama (and to make myself clear, I do not support Obama in any way, shape, or form, other than the fact that I pray for his salvation and that God will use Him according to His plan).

This post is, however, about change.  I shared our new baby news, and that is certainly a BIG change.  In addition to our new addition, however, we are now seriously considering moving.  As in, we have found a house we like, in an area we like, and are currently discussing the fine points of the offer we plan to make.  Whew.  Talk about a lot going on!

But I am excited.  The house we are hoping to own gives us an extra room so my beloved husband does not have to lose his office (as a church planter/pastor, he does need a space of his own); it also gives us more land, beautiful trees, and nice privacy.  With the market in such disarray, the price works to our advantage and the seller (the builder) is quite motivated.  Will and I believe God is guiding us in the direction of moving into this home but will continue to pray about it until we make an offer or feel that the Holy Spirit is counseling us that we are not supposed to do so.

I do get slightly overwhelmed thinking about getting our house ready to sell and keeping it that way as we show it to others.  Don’t get me wrong- our house is quite nice and we have done a lot in the four years we have lived here to improve it (including finally putting in a privacy fence…and really, not to get off on a tangent, but why oh why do I finally get my fence only to consider moving before it is completely up?)  Anyway…we hope to do a For Sale By Owner to avoid agent commission fees and plan to price our 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house (with double garage, laminate flooring, huge walk-in closet in master bedroom, wainscoting in kitchen, and newly added privacy fence) very fairly, especially for the North Chase area.

So, that said, if you know anyone who is looking to buy a pretty home in a nice neighborhood for a competitive price, please let me know.

Family

Here we go again!

I am excited to announce that on Wednesday, March 25, we found out that Eila Grace is going to be a big sister!  I had been wondering why I felt nauseated the week leading up to that day, and thought pregnancy could be the culprit, but since I was never nauseated with Eila, I wasn’t really sure.  After some dizziness, amongst other indications, I went and bought the test, and voila, was notified that Baby A is on his/her way!

This was not a surprise necessarily- Will and I decided after Eila turned 1 that we would “see what happens”, and had been praying that we would conceive again in God’s timing.  The surprise was simply at how quickly it happened.   Of course, as my mother often says, “God is never late and seldom early”, so in other words, His timing is perfect.

When we found out that we were pregnant with Eila, we were so eager to share our news that we just called our parents and blurted it out.  This time, however, we decided to be slightly more creative (though we still coudn’t resist sharing the news in the same day).  So, how did we share the news?  See below…

photo

After taking this picture, we sent it via email and cell phone to the grandparents.  Needless to say, it didn’t take long for our phones to ring with the reactions (which, in case you were wondering, were positive).  🙂

Of course, Eila looks less than thrilled, but she typically looks this way when she stares at a camera due to her contemplative nature.  Only eight more months will tell how she really feels.  I, for one, think she is going to be an incredible big sister.

Random

Good fences make…

…Happy Home Owners!  I have been wanting a fence since we first moved into our house.  And now, four years later, we have one.

I am so happy that I decided to write a “post” (ok, I didn’t mean to make a bad pun there, but yes, I’m leaving it!) about it.  Also, while I have serious stuff on my mind, I am not in the mood to write about it, so you, my unlucky reader, get to read about fencing. Or, you can stop reading now…

If you are still with me, the reason for this ode to fencing is primarily two-fold.  First, we own a dog.  Annabelle, our bearded collie, is four years old but she still thinks she is a puppy (case in point, she is currently holding one of my socks hostage and if I make the slightest movement, the game is on).  Annie is a medium sized dog, and we have a nice home, but it is not large enough for a medium sized dog to get her sole exercise indoors.  It will be LOVELY to be able to let Annabelle out into the backyard, and not have to stand there holding the leash, especially in the rain or the cold.  She will be happier too.

Secondly, now that Eila is officially a toddler, we do not want her toddling out the back door and into the pond behind our house.

As an added bonus, we no longer will have to worry about our neighbors seeing everything we do, or laughing at us when we go outside to let the crazy Ann do her business and are wearing penguin pajama pants, fuzzy brown slippers and are jumping around because of the cold.

So hooray for Craigslist, because we are getting used fencing and are proud of it!  And not just any used fence…it is a six foot privacy fence, complete with scalloped tops, with two gates.  My husband and my dad are going to put it up, but since each section is already built, it won’t be too hard on them either.

Ah yes.  This weekend, the fence will be up.  And I will be a happy girl.

Culture, Faith

Reality TV

On Monday night, I cooked dinner for my family and said goodbye to my husband, as he had to go back into work to work on the server.  Normally we would spend the evening with our little girl and after putting her to bed, get ready to watch 24.  I love 24, it is one of my favorite tv shows, and I enjoy watching it with Will.  With Will having to go back in to work, normally I would be bummed.

This past Monday was different, however, as I looked forward to having some “me” time.  And the reason I looked forward to that “me” time, you see, was because there was a part of me that felt conflicted…at the same time that 24 would be on, the Bachelor finale was due to air.  And I am ashamed to admit it, but I wanted to watch The Bachelor.   Without Will home, I had the perfect excuse to my dilemma…of course I couldn’t watch 24 without him, so alas, I would sacrifice and watch it with him on the Internet, leaving me to watch the Bachelor with slightly less shame.

So I tuned in, admittedly eager to see whether or not it would be Molly or Melissa that Jason chose.  After two hours of drawn out, melodramatic moments, it was finally revealed–Jason proposed to Melissa.  Being the romantic that I am, I found the moment quite sweet, and being the romantic that I am, I let myself become hooked into the program and hoped the best for them.

Well, after the two hours of drama, my husband was STILL at work and I thought, hmmm, now they are going to air the “After the final rose” special…might as well watch that one too.

And then, I became literally sick to my stomach.  I watch Jason end his engagement to Melissa on national television and then proceed to ask Molly to give him another chance within a 30 minute time span.  Molly initially looks shocked and I held out hope that she would have some sense and at least state that she would need some time to think about it, but within another fifteen minutes, they were holding hands and kissing.

I would imagine I must sound like some shallow female since I am blogging about The Bachelor.  But I have a reason for it.  In all seriousness, how sad is it that our society has sunk to such a program, that not only glorifies and encourages physical/sexual intimacy prior to marriage, but does so between 25 women and one man, in a fantasy type world (because really, what average American can afford to do tours of cities by helicopter or travel to New Zealand with three women?), and plays up every tear, every argument, every private moment for the world to see?  And you know what is worse?  That I wasted time watching it.  I knew what the show was like.  I know it does not glorify God, and that as a Christian, I should probably not be watching it.  I knew this because I was ashamed to admit I watched parts of it, especially to other Christians.

I was able to tolerate what I knew the show was (which shows I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do some more work in me)…but what I could not tolerate is the after show in which it was so blatantly arranged that this man would dump his fiance in front of the world and begin physical intimacy with another woman after the commercial break.  I praise God here, for it was the literal sense of nausea that came upon me that reassured me that despite my weakness in watching such a program, I wasn’t so desensitized that I could stomach the utter depravity that became apparent.

I hope it does not seem like I am being overdramatic.  Reality tv has become a huge market, and I do love my Dancing with the Stars.  Yet, what does it say about our society that so many of us, myself included, would tune in to a program such as the Bachelor?  Are we so eager to escape our lives, are we so hungry for love that we accept the world’s version of it offered up in the fantasy of this program?  Shame on me for spending an evening watching a program that treats the desire for a spouse so trivially, and marriage so carelessly.  I pray that I would be wiser in my future television choices, and that God will continue to use the Holy Spirit to convict me when I choose poorly.

Culture

Akin to Acquisition

As a Facebook addict fan, I tend to check my account throughout the day and update my status, which is somewhat presumptuous because I am assuming people care (ahem, much like blogging..).  I like keeping up with people that I otherwise wouldn’t have contact with, and I enjoy catching glimpses into people’s lives through pictures, their comments to others, etc. Despite my enjoyment of Facebook, I have come to realize that there are a few things that irk me about it.  Number 1) the superpoke application.  Now, I have to admit that there are certain circumstances where throwing a sheep at someone may be humorous, and there are times I have even participated in this application.  But most days, it does seem somewhat silly.  Far more irritating is Number 2) the “lil green patch” application.  Send virtual plants/flowers and fight global warming.  Enough said.

But it is Number 3 that gets me…friend acquisition.  Now, before I go any further, I feel the need to admit, that yes, the competitive part of me sometimes likes to note the number of friends I have on Facebook and compare that number with the numbers of others.  I really don’t like to admit that, but there it is.  However, I made a rule for myself that I would not invite people to be my friend just because we went to the same high school, had a conversation once, or to round up from friend count number 129 because 130 just fits the OCD part of me better…I try to link to others because I know we will actually communicate with each other.  If someone asks me to be their friend, well then sure, I accept, even if it is someone I will probably not communicate with much.  But when it comes to me doing the asking, I hold to my rule.

So why on earth am I even taking the time to write about this ridiculous topic?  I guess it comes back to friendship.  Friends shouldn’t be akin to acquisition.  Friendship is not a commodity, it’s not a popularity contest (aside from middle school), and it shouldn’t be cheapened by the crazy competitive streaks in people like me.  I suppose I am one of those people that has always leaned more towards quality, not quantity when it comes to my friends, even when the insecure part of me whispers “but look at how so-and-so has such a large group of friends…people just don’t like you as much” (I have gotten much better about ignoring those insecurities).  The friendships I have are so precious to me and I hope I don’t take them for granted.  I love having intimate friendships where I feel like my friends understand me– I wish I had more of those, and I often mourn for those that would have developed further but were interrupted by distance, life circumstances, etc.

So despite my Facebook annoyances, I am grateful for the chance to reconnect and build upon my friendships.  Now I will sign off and go update my status for those of you that are interested…and for those of you who aren’t, well, I throw a sheep at you.