Monday, May 26, 2008

Over and Out

I am too tired to write much tonight... It has been a busy week, and we are leaving tomorrow (or today, rather -- it is after midnight) for our survey trip!

I am hopeful that we will be able to blog some while we are in Angola. Of course, that is dependent on two things -- having electricity and having a reliable Internet connection. So, we will do our best, but we may have to wait to post pictures until we return to the States.

Please cover us in prayer as we travel. Pray for our health and safety, especially little Alex! Pray that our "surveying" will be productive. And pray that we can be an effective witness for Christ during our time in Angola.

Friday, May 23, 2008

More Fun in the HUGSR Courtyard

How we keep cool on a hot afternoon in Memphis.

I know I have been posting a lot lately. This is mostly to make up for the fact that I probably won't be able to post as frequently while we are in Angola next month. So, enjoy it for now!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fun in the HUGSR Courtyard

One of the items on my never-ending "To Do" list: download all vidoes from our camcorder so the hard-drive is empty for all the footage we are sure to shoot on our survey trip. I did that last week and finally got this video up on YouTube last night. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Better Late Than Never: Two-Year-Old Pics

Pictures by Rhonda Gray Photography. (Memphians, you need to check her out! She does wonderful work, and if you have a connection to the grad school, she'll give you an awesome discount!)

Please email me if you would like to see the entire gallery, and I will send you the link.

(Family, never fear... we will order copies to send to you; it's just not going to happen before our trip to Africa.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Suspense is Killing Me!

Okay, so I just watched last night's episode of "LOST" on the ABC website. Awesome, awesome episode, by the way. (And if you don't watch "LOST," you will have no idea what I'm talking about, so you can skip to the next paragraph.) Loved seeing the reunion of the Oceanic Six with their families, especially Sayid and Nadia. Loved how Sun told off her father. Loved that Jack finally found out that Claire is his half-sister and Aaron is his nephew. And Hurley's mom got the best line of the night: "Jesus Christ is NOT a weapon." Loved it!

So, after I watched it, I found out that the next episode is the 2-hour season finale. But it's not going to air for another two weeks. In two weeks, I will be out of the country. This means I will have to wait until July to watch the season finale, to find out exactly how the Oceanic Six make it off the island, what happens to everyone else, whether or not Jin, Desmond, and Michael get blown to smithereens, and who is in that dang coffin!!!

I just don't think I can stand it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mother's Day

I had every intention of posting this on Sunday. In fact, I had every intention of actually sending my mom her Mother's Day card on time this year. But alas, when Sunday afternoon rolled around, there sat the card, at the bottom of a pile of papers I was filing. I don't know where my brain has been lately. Oh, I remember now -- it's been turned to mush by the myriad details surrounding our impending survey trip. My "to do" list is about a mile long and I add items to it every day, so it is looking very doubtful that I will get everything done before we leave. Anyone want to come clean my house?

Well, I had a very nice Mother's Day again this year. I am so grateful that my husband is not one of those clods (I know they are out there) that think they don't need to do anything for their wives on Mother's Day. He has made it a very special day for me in the three years since I became a mom. This year, we celebrated a day early since Rusty had to work on Sunday. It was a nice way to beat the crowds. We had some yummy Mexican food followed by sundaes at Baskin Robbins. He and Alex gave me sweet cards as well as the special edition DVD of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (the first movie we went to see after Alex was born).

Someone forwarded me the following poem several months ago, and I thought it would be the perfect thing to share on Mother's Day. My life has certainly changed a great deal since I became a mom, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It is, without a doubt, the best job in the world!

Before I Was a Mom

Before I was a Mom
I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot the words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom
I had never been puked on
Pooped on
Spit on
Chewed on
Peed on
Or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom
I had complete control of my mind
My thoughts
My body
And I slept all night and got plenty of rest.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child
So that doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
When I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew what love at first sight really meant.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
Every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth
The joy
The love
The heartache
The wonderment.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much
Before I was a Mom.

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

And There Was Much Rejoicing

Well, another semester is at last behind us. Rusty took his finals last week, turned in his last paper on Tuesday afternoon, and now we wait, with bated breath, for grades to be posted.

This has been a frustrating semester for several reasons, which I will not delve into here. Suffice it to say that Rusty is weary of school and hoop-jumping, and I am weary of being the wife of a stressed-out graduate student. We have both been stretched very thin over the past several months with the multiple hats we each wear. The light at the end of the tunnel is visible, though -- Rusty is just a few hours away from his master's degree. One class this summer and one class this fall and he will be finished. And then, there will really be rejoicing!

So, for now, we put aside school and turn our attention to other things -- namely, our survey trip to Angola this summer. We leave the country two weeks from this coming Monday. Yikes! Lots still to do and a good bit of money still to raise... Thank you to all who have given to our cause so far -- you have no idea how much each contribution, no matter how large or small, encourages our hearts. Please pray with us that God will provide the funds we need and that we will continue to have faith in him.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Chime In: Chores

For several weeks now, Alex has been "helping" me with the dishes almost every day. What this means is that he stands on a chair next to me and plays with plastic spoons and bowls in the rinse water. Sometimes, he will even help to stack the dishes on the dish drainer. He thinks it is great fun and will ask several times a day if it's time to "do da dishes."

I want to do what I can to foster this attitude of helpfulness (because I am not naive enough to think that it will continue forever). So, I'm curious -- if you have children, what chores do you require of them on a daily basis, and at what age did they start? I am surprised at how much a two-year old can really do (with assistance and supervision, of course -- nobody go calling CPS!). In addition to helping with the dishes, Alex likes to help me sweep, dust, and sort the laundry, and he is very good at throwing things in the trash. He also puts his dishes in the sink after meals, his dirty clothes in the hamper after bath time, and picks up his toys every night before bed.

Feel free to chime in by leaving a comment below!