Monday, March 30, 2009


My mom sent me this hilarious pregnancy tracker website.  The writers update the pregnant mother on week-by-week baby development, but do so in a clever yet medically sound way.  My 28-week update included this line:

"You may have given a passing thought to what the new member of the household will be like (and by "passing thought" we mean obsessive rumination)."

I hope I haven't been obsessive about it, but I really do love to wonder what little James will be like.  Will he have the dark, massive hair that I'm expecting or will it be lighter, even red (there's a chance for that!)?  Will he be openly expressive or more introverted?  Will he have Jim's startling blue-green eyes, or my dark brown?  Will he love music and rhythm like his Daddy?  Just how long will his fingers and toes BE?  What about his nose - will it be a Longenecker or a Stack nose?  These are just a few questions that roll around in my little noggin as the days pass.  

It's like knowing and loving someone intimately and then forgetting what they look like.  Your brain desperately tries to knit together the proportions and measures of their face and then right before it is finished, it quickly dissipates.  I already have such a deep love for this little person, and it seems so bizarre to not even know what he looks like!

After reading Psalm 139, our worship pastor mused on Sunday how, "...wonderful that we won't have to be introduced to God when we see Him on that glorious day.  He will already know us inside and out and love us perfectly."  He doesn't have to wonder what we look like.  He knows every hair on our head and has known our thoughts from afar.  

James' Maker will not be surprised at the thickness of his hair or the curve of his chin.  He won't be surprised because it will be exactly as He fashioned.        

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fred Winters' Widow

This shouldn't make sense.  I hope you are as moved as I was by the grace and poignancy that God has given her.   

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rock-a-bye Sweet Baby James

Found this on Craig's List for $35!  Can't wait to rock and roll with our Sweet Baby James.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

***WARNING: Potty language forthcoming***

I can't wait to see sweet baby James in these.
Jim and I have done some research and the new cloth diapers are just too good to pass up.  Not only are they better for the environment (we'll waste water to wash them instead of dumping plastic diapers in the landfills), but they're so darn cute.  

Where does the poop go when I wash them, you ask?  To start, supposedly breast milk-baby-poop is a cinch for washers to take care of, so no problem at the beginning.  Then, after solid food enters the scene, the directions read, "simply plop solids into the toilet, flush, and wash diaper as usual".  I'm sure there will be times when its not that simple, but I still think the cost will be worth it.

By the time he's out of diapers, we will have saved over $2000.  To begin cloth diapering from scratch, it costs about $300-500.  Total.  Plus, we can reuse them for future babies AND they're one size fits all.  See the adjustable snaps?  The ones pictured are about $25 per diaper (I know - I balked, too) but when you think of not having to throw away 65 diapers a day.....  

Lest you think I've completely lost my mind, we're still going to have disposables on hand for traveling, emergencies, and sleepless nights at the beginning.  I've heard that if you can get into a washing routine, these diapers are spectacular.   

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Successful Substitution!

In continuation of the Tuna Saga (see below), I thought I'd relay the details of my lunch experience today.  

During my grocery trip this morning, I stood before the canned meat section for a solid 6 minutes in utter frustration.  What would satisfy my longing for tuna!?  The taste is so specific.  So distinct.  Canned chicken, albacore, sardines, and potted beef (ugh) were staring me down.  Even herring filets caught my attention for a few contemplative seconds.  I thought, though, of how Jim may react to its lovely odor and quickly decided against it. 

I ended up choosing a 3-pack of canned chicken and a can of pink salmon.  I had never had canned salmon and since it was a little pricey, decided to just try one can.

I prepared my salmon exactly the same way:  just real mayo and sweet relish.  As I mixed it together, I felt a bit of resentment toward my beloved tuna.  "Oh, tuna!  Why did you have to be so darn high in mercury!  You have ruined my lunch routine!  Now I'm stuck with this pasty, flavorless canned salmon!"  

I reluctantly spread it on whole grain toast... coupled with yogurt covered pretzels, an apple, and V8 fruit juice - it was DELICIOUS!  Definitely a more subtle taste, but nonetheless satisfying and fulfilling.  I ate it on our back porch, listening to the bees hum.  

Salmon, you're alright.  I think we're gonna be okay.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Whoops on the Tuna...

So after I expounded on my love of tuna (see below) I was told that, due to it's high levels of mercury, it should be avoided during pregnancy.  I looked it up and sure enough, even the chunk light tuna has levels of mercury that call for moderation in consumption.  

Well, by this time any damage is probably already done (remember, pretty much EVERY lunch!).  But I'm still going to switch to chicken...

I'll letcha know if James comes out lookin' like the mercury-based T-1000 from the Terminator...  

Friday Words

EMOTIONS:  Are running rampant.  Last night I cried/whimpered myself to sleep.  It was instigated by some random, current drama in my little life, but was relentlessly stoked and kept fresh by my lack of solid, scheduled sleep.  Jim was, of course, an immediate source of comfort and compassion.  Which brings me now to...  

SLEEP:  Which will not come.  Good sleep, anyway.  My belly isn't particularly uncomfortable.  It's the temperature fluctuations.  Toss.  Turn.  Throw blanket off.  Put blanket on.  Turn.  Throw blanket off.  Toss.  Cover just legs.  Kick.  Cover just head.  Turn.  Sit straight up at 4:13 a.m. and go "Ugh!".

TUNA:  My lunch every day.  I can't get enough of it.  I mix one can with a little mayo and sweet relish.  Then I top off saltines with my tuna (about 1/2 sleeve).  Chased with an apple or an orange, and of course a cookie or something to appease the raging sweet tooth monster.  Mmm...

JOY:  Should be mine.  I just re-read my first two Friday words and felt a little disheartened about how whiney they are.  I have everything in the world to be thankful for.  Not for one second should my joy be wasted on silly things like "hor-motions" (Jim's word) or lack of sleep.  I know that's not exactly reality, but I should at least strive for it.  Meh.            

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Cleaning Commences!

Here is how I spent my morning in the glorious 68 degree weather:
The front corner bed BEFORE:

And AFTER!  Not perfect, but definitely better.  The azalea bushes are gorgeous in bloom but pretty scraggly lookin' otherwise.  Also, check out that poor little border grass patch that just won't grow!

Our side bed BEFORE:


It was nice to be out in the sunshine, working in our little yard.  I can't wait for James to get here and run around like a wild cowboy outside.      

Monday, March 16, 2009

I love him because he...

  • makes me giggle even when I'm upset
  • tenderly wakes me up in the morning
  • talks to our son through my belly
  • prays for us
  • makes money so we can eat and stay warm
  • loves music and its intricacies
  • always sings and whistles
  • is slow to anger
  • wears the same things all the time 
  • reads and studies perpetually 
  • doesn't care much about material things
  • bounces when he walks
  • is consistently passionate for the true God 
  • loves my family and friends
  • is angered at injustice
  • and is really darn handsome. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

NILD Conference

I just got home from the National Institute for Learning Development's winter conference in Orlando.  NILD created the program of educational therapy that my center uses.  Every time I'm able to attend these conferences, I'm consistently revived and rejuvenated in what I do.  I truly feel called to these amazing students. 

What's more, NILD's foundations are Christ-centered.  The program began in Norfolk, Virginia's Christian schools.  I felt so blessed and encouraged to open the conference by singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and to close with "Oh, For 1,000 Tongues to Sing" in a cappella voices.  Click here to learn more about the NILD's educational therapy.  It's truly an amazing intervention for students that struggle every day in school.   

(That's the Crowne Plaza where I lived for a few days :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Anti-Almanac

"April and May will be warmer than normal, on average, with a wet April, followed by a dry May.  Summer will be cooler than normal, on average, despite a warm June.  The hottest periods of the summer will be early and mid-June and early July.  Rainfall will be well above normal in the south."

If you'll notice the bold selections from the Farmer's Almanac above, you'll see that the weather will be conveniently BLAZING when I'm in the last weeks of my pregnancy (due date is June 22).  Jim and I have already had a serious discussion of how I behave when I'm hot.  It's not pretty.  Every crabby, whiney, and cranky shred of Sara surfaces almost uncontrollably when I get hot and sticky.  I'm not proud of it.

I'm pretty sure we're going to need to invest in a three-foot blow up pool in order to avoid unnecessary marriage counseling. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sara, Weight Gain Extraordinaire

Everything looked pretty good at my prenatal appointment yesterday.  James' heart rate was about the same, nice and strong.  He kept kicking/karate chopping the doppler wand so we would hear, "Heartbeat, heartbeat, heartbeat, KAPOW!, heartbeat, KAPOW!..."  Jim likes to think he was appreciating the rhythmic and percussive qualities that it created.

My blood pressure was up a little bit, but nothing to be alarmed about, they said.  I've also gained about 14 pounds from the beginning until now.  6 lbs. between the first two visits and 8 this last time.  I never thought I'd hear this, but the nurse ACTUALLY said, "Now, your weight is just fine and healthy, especially since you started our thin... but let's not make 8 pounds per visit a habit".  

Ex-squeeze me??  Did you just tell me to watch my weight??  Since my teenage years doctors have always told me to, "put on a few pounds if I can...".  She has no idea, but it completely made my life.  

Dr. Stafford also gave my the orange-flavored glucose ick to drink an hour before my next visit.  It's currently in the refrigerator chilling and looking oh-so-much like a Sunkist calling my name.  Can't wait for that little treat...

My face has also currently EXPLODED into a beautiful rosacea hue, dappled with some lovely zit-ious maximus that make me feel like I'm in seventh grade again.  Such bliss :)  

p.s.  that's not a picture of me... just some Google lady 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happily Married People Look Like This...

I heard this on the radio the other day and thought it was pretty interesting.  It was more than just the broad, "cultivate intimacy, have a sense of humor, etc."  

These are some daily behaviors that were observed in couples that had been happily married for 25 years or more:
  • Kissed (pecks count) at least 4x day
  • Hugged at least 2x day
  • Said "I love you" at least 2x day
  • Sat within a foot of one another for longer than 5 minutes (watching TV, reading, etc.) each day
  • Were intimate at least 3x week
I feel like these behaviors are more results of good communication, forgiveness, transparency, and daily prayer for each other.  But by the same token, just doing them feels pretty good too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pregnacy Update!

I am no stranger to heartburn.  But, wow.  In the last two days it's been "radiating from my knee caps".  I've been drinking lots of water and *trying* to avoid all those lovely, delicious foods that tend to cause it.  But, as I told my friend Sarah last night, "I think my stomach is starting to lose the battle for room in there."  Not a lot you can do about that.

James is also moving so much.  Yesterday some part of him slid entirely from one side of my belly to the other.  It stopped me in my tracks and actually sort of frightened me.  It's one thing to feel little flutters, but this was so other-worldly and so clearly separate from my own body... I couldn't help but be floored.  

Jim and I are almost halfway through our 12 Bradley Method birth classes.  We have both been so pleased and with each class I feel a little more confident and even excited about labor and delivery.  Not unrealistic, mind you, but I just feel more and more educated about the whole process.  I would definitely recommend this method to anyone that wants to go for a natural birth.  It's so in depth, yet still simple, straight forward, and logical.  

If you didn't know how to swim and someone told you that in 9 months you would be thrown into deep water, you would want to prepare, right?  While nothing besides actually learning to swim in water could get you ready, you would want to do something to prepare.  That's what I feel like this class is.  We learn the how, the why, the mechanics and "normal" processes of birth so that we can be as in control as possible when the event actually takes place.  Nothing can truly and completely prepare us, but darn it if I'm just going to sit back and pretend like it's going to be a breeze.  

Anyway, that's pretty much what's going on in this little life-o-mine.