Sunday, August 31, 2008

Audrey Nicole

Two years ago on August 29th, my little Audrey was born. Her due date was the 17th, and as you can imagine, I was anxiously awaiting her arrival. I had acupuncture I think three days in a row that week because I was already past my due date, and Colorado midwives can only deliver at home up till 14 days past the due date. If I had had to head to the hospital, because of my previous c-section I probably would have been forced into another c-section. Finally I went into labor, after seriously 5 weeks of contractions which were often 7 minutes apart.

By 10pm the 28th, I knew I was in labor and the midwife sent her apprentice to monitor me and time contractions. I got a little panicky, realizing how intense this was going to be. At one point I had a mini panic attack, laying on the floor, feeling like I couldn't breathe, even between contractions. It took me a while to wrap my head around labor. Eventually I got it together. By 4 am things were pretty intense, but I managed to eat a few bites of the chicken soup I had prepared for myself - I knew I might need some protein for energy. Then Nick and I actually went to bed and slept between contractions. At 5:30am my water broke and I threw up, signaling transition, but I still had a tiny lip of cervix. I kneeled on the floor at this point, making a whole lot of noise. We were just waiting for the urge to push. That went on for 2 hours. I kept saying I couldn't do it anymore and I kept doing it anyway. Finally the midwife checked me again and I was fully dialated but without the urge to push. She thought that was super weird, but showed me what to do. I never did feel any urge to push, even while she was crowning. 30 minutes later, my little Audrey was born. 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 22 inches long.

She nursed beautifully, right away, and was in terrific shape. I had one tiny tear that didn't even require stitches. I was too wiped out to bathe right away, so about an hour later, Audrey and I slept for 4 hours. We were in our own house, in my own bed, on our own timetable, with no nurses poking at us. It was wonderful. After our nap, my parents brought Hannah to see us. She was only 16 months old, but she was fascinated. I don't remember ever having any jealousy issues between them until Audrey started walking a year later.

Our little Audrey is growing into a beautiful little girl with a great sense of humor. She is kind and affectionate. She LOVES to color. She loves to play with Toby the dog. She has the cutest facial expressions and comments to make. She refuses to eat red meat or bananas. Her laugh is contagious. Happy Birthday, precious baby girl!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for Jon Hutchison, Jr. He is in his early 20's and has had a reoccurring brain tumor for the past two long years. After experiencing more symptoms this week, he had an emergency MRI that showed multiple tumors in his brain and lower spine, including one on his brain stem. He has been declared terminal. His older sister Melody is a great friend of Nick and mine from ORU days. Please pray for miraculous healing, as well as peace and comfort for him and his family.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


In the past couple weeks, I have quit updating my status on Facebook, and using Twitter. I also haven't said much on my blog. We went to lunch with my family on Sunday, and my mom told me she was downright scared because of how little I was talking. Apparently I have never kept my thoughts to my entire life. (I know you're all shocked)

Here's the thing I'm wrestling with: how much of what I think about is worthy to be shared with other people? There is a place for being honest with people, and accurately portraying myself to other people so that I don't look like I'm trying to be superwoman, but there's also a place for keeping my negative thoughts and feelings to myself so they don't become contagious. Or if I have to vent, at least sharing one-on-one with my husband or a trusted friend rather than the entire Facebook world. I feel like people reading my once-frequent updates on Facebook might get the feeling they know me and understand what my life is like, when in reality, they only know the tiny part I have chosen in the spur of the moment to put in the little box. I might think the status I post sounds clever or that it would attract sympathy or excitement. It's not really a true representation of my life, necessarily.

None of you who are regulars here fall into this category, but I think we all know people who become internet _____ (use your word of choice here), and display their every emotion, their every thought, and air all their dirty laundry on their blog or networking site of choice. Ew. Not attractive. Not helpful. Not the point.

Our friend Pastor Ross Parsley has a talk he gives about secrets. He says good secrets are a large part of what makes our relationship with God an intimate one. He says there is no such thing as a secret, that everything eventually comes out in the open, but there is a such thing as temporarily concealed acts. (He usually gets a laugh at that one) This concealed time where we allow God to work deeply in our hearts through His Word and His Spirit, and change us without input from the outside world can make us into the people God wants us to be. I want that kind of relationship with God. I want to respond to God in a way that overflows to my interaction with people - where God's truth and life just flow from my heart because of the "secrets" I have with God. I don't want it to feel or be contrived in any way. I want that to become the real me - not that I'm hiding anything, that's just who I am.

In order to settle some things in my own heart, I've grown quiet recently. But it's a good quiet. It's not a bitter quiet, or a depressed quiet. It's a fairly peaceful quiet. At some point I'll have things to say again. And if you're in the right place at the right time, I may have things to say even now. :)

Alright. Off to go work towards nap time already. We didn't sleep much around here last night. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Headlines

Hi People.

1. I'm sending out three, yes, three sketches for gowns today, along with a fourth that the bride wanted to edit a bit. Wow. I mean, I hoped we would get busy with Maeve, but there's just no way to tell until you get there. We have two fittings this week too. Now...anyone want to intern with us to learn to be a part time, flexible hours, sales associate? Once you can take over the responsibilities, there will be pay involved. :)

2. I love my doggy. That's all. He's a nice guy. Even if he does growl and snort and whimper in his sleep. All night.

3. We have mosquitoes. I know in many parts of the country this is not a big deal. We are essentially in the high desert, and that makes mosquitoes unusual...and super annoying. Not that they're not annoying when you're used to them. Plus, on me, the bites swell up to an inch and a half or more across and turn bright red. Good times. You might also be surprised how many insect repellents have soybean oil and/or grain alcohol in them. I'm totally going to make my own. Any tips? I hear tea tree oil, cedar oil, and some others in a carrier oil works well.

4. The sourdough starter seems to be working! It doesn't double in size after feedings yet like it's supposed to, but it is bubbly and smells wonderfully sourdough-y. Once I get this figured out I will post with all the details. :)

5. I have a new student starting this week, and will probably start a couple more in the next few weeks, with the beginning of the school year and the School of Worship in particular. This makes for busy Mondays!

6. New reading this week: The Search for Significance. Oh boy. If you have ever felt trapped by perfectionism, a need to please people, or a judgmental attitude, read this book. And prepare to have God put His finger on something that makes you squirm. In a good way.

7. I got a ticket on Saturday. Apparently when we refinanced our Jetta the dealer did some paperwork wrong, and our car wasn't even registered anymore. Like, they could have given away our plate number and there could have been two cars with the same plates. Not bueno. But, the ticket was $43 because the officer was nice and I honestly didn't have a clue it was expired, even though she could have made it nearly $100. Could have been worse! We're all legal-like now.

8. Bekah taught me and a handful of people how to crochet on Saturday. Good times! I am not convinced I am cut out to be a crochet-er, seeing as how when I got to the end of my first row, she said, "do you want to count and check it?" and I said, "NO!" But, it's a fun thing to know how to do. Maybe on those cold, snowy winter nights...or maybe for just a few minutes at a time. We'll see. :) Details have never been my forte... I'm so glad there are people who like to pay attention to detail and I can usually just work on the big picture.

9. Nick's parents are coming to visit this weekend. It's been about a year since they were able to come. Hopefully the weather will be nice and the mosquitoes will DIE between now and then. (Does that sound a bit violent? Sorry. I think I'm in rare form this morning)

10. Audrey's birthday is Friday. I can't believe my baby is turning 2! I think I want to get the girls sleeping bags for her birthday, but I have no other ideas. Any suggestions?

OK, time to go do something more productive.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sourdough Starter

I know, I know, like I need another project. But this one has an interesting purpose. How would you go about finding a gluten free, dairy free, soy free, yeast free, egg free bread? Yeah, I have no idea either. Well, there is one brand carried by one health food store in town that works.

I was talking to my mom about bread yesterday, and told her about that one brand of bread, and how I thought it was weird that they could do it without yeast. She said it's probably sourdough. So, I did a bit of research. According to this site, sourdough uses yeast, but it's the naturally occurring yeast that already exists on grain. Store-bought packaged yeast is processed on corn or...something else that I can't remember, but since I'm also allergic to corn, I would guess I respond to yeast because of the corn, not necessarily because of the yeast.

A poster on this message board says you can start a sourdough starter with just white rice flour and water, and there is a plethora of gluten free sourdough recipes once you have the starter. Most starter recipes say to use store-bought yeast to start them, and that won't work here. So, here goes nothing. I'm taking an informal poll - do we think this will work? And will it NOT make us sick?

Monday Headlines

I'm feeling kind of quiet this morning... What to write?

1. I woke up this morning, and Nick had done all the dishes, taken out the trash, and filled up the water bottle on the counter. Considering the MESS we left it in last night, that definitely made me smile.

2. Definitely need to quit staying up till midnight watching the Olympics on DVR.

3. Making a roast in the crockpot for dinner. Yummy

4. We have two consultations this week! One's wedding is in December, and one is next June. I also interviewed another seamstress on Friday that looks like a great match. Gotta get enough help in place before our bridal fair Oct 5th!

5. We had a great time Friday night at Robby and Joanna's house, celebrating Kadence's 2nd birthday. I even got to hold tiny Keaton again. So fun. :)

6. On Saturday I'm going to Bekah's house - she's teaching a whole group of us to crochet. :) I've always wanted to learn this kind of thing and just never had the chance. I'm really looking forward to it!

That's about it. Scrubbing the bathtub, teaching an hour of lessons, and getting ready for our consultation tonight are the order of the day! Maybe I'll get in some yoga too?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random thoughts

It has been drizzling rain since I woke up this morning. Usually I love the rain, but I can't help being sad that summer's already over! We seriously had 2 weeks of 90's out here and that's it. Now we go back into 10 months of cold. Sigh.

My beautiful friends brought me flowers and plants at my last mom's group yesterday, prompted by Joanna. :) So sweet. Thanks, guys.

I have been playing the piano again this week. It probably sounds weird because I teach every week, but I have not played consistently since I moved home from school 4 1/2 years ago. I think God is waking that up in me again, and I'm so excited.

Alright. Gotta go make myself actually do some work today...

A quote from Audrey

I was talking to the girls about lunch today, and Hannah, always wanting to be helpful, asked Audrey if she wanted some turkey for lunch. I could not help laughing out loud at Audrey's response:

"No, Hannah! Don't talkin' to me about turkey!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flexible Meal Planning

This system works so much better in my head than traditional "on Monday we'll have (meat) and (veggie) and (grain), on Tuesday, we'll have...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I know lots of people who suffer from migraines, some frequently! This article gets into the reasons they happen, as well as some suggestions to make them stop. I haven't read them all, but many times there are also brilliant suggestions in the comments below the article, so check this out if you are a migraine sufferer.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Headlines

Oh, my goodness, where to start?

1. We had a fun weekend Sunday. Yesterday we went to the early service, came home, ate lunch and took naps. Then we went to the pet store in the evening and got Toby a leash and chain collar (because he weighs over 100 pounds, I figure I better be able to control him!), and a Huge tennis ball on a strap that means you can throw it without touching the slime on the ball itself. Everyone was happy, nobody fought, we got enough rest...good times.

2. Audrey twisted her ankle on Saturday. She's walking on it okay, but if somebody bumps it, she cries and you can tell it really hurts. Poor baby. On an unrelated note - she keeps clinching her teeth with her lower front teeth in front of her upper front teeth, and talking like that. It's so weird.

3. We had a traumatic experience last Tuesday that I still don't want to blog about. Our neighbors 3 pit bulls, (yes, the ones I've griped about before) actually attacked Toby. They came running out their front door while we were taking a walk, and went right for him. He had about half a dozen puncture wounds from the bites, and the neighbor came running with a flat shovel to hit the pits until they let go. Nobody could do anything. I had almost given my dog up for dead and grabbed my kids and run. He didn't need any stitches though, just a pain med and antibiotic. The biggest thing is my kids were safe. On Friday I read Psalm 124. Thank You God! We called the county sheriff, but did not press charges, and the dogs are gone now. Our neighbors even paid the vet bill. It was very terrifying, but everybody is okay, the dogs are gone, and I'm so thankful.

4. We had another consult Saturday. This one was super fun, because the bride is really creating her own gown. Money does not seem to be an object for her - she's talking about having hand embroidery done. (Anyone know someone who loves to do embroidery and does excellent work that we can pay to do it for us?) Anyway, just waiting on the sketch and I bet we get a deposit really soon. We also have two others wanting to schedule consults - one is getting married in December so we gotta get moving!

5. On Saturday we also met with a young girl who wants to produce one-of-a-kind shirts and dresses for boutique shops. If you're interested I'll have to tell you the story in person. She is designing her own handbag line that is being produced in Italy. She showed us her very cute and very unique designs and Holly's working on a pattern for one shirt and one dress. It'll turn out fantastic. She also showed us her handmade debutante gown. It was fun and...surreal.

6. We get a date night this week! It's been too long again. I'm excited.

7. Baby Keaton is here! I got to hold him at one day old. SO amazing. I can't believe people start out that small... And Hannah was even smaller!

8. I'm teaching in the evening this week so that Nick can be home with the girls - a challenge at times. I am moving away from classical lessons and toward teaching only people interested in worship improv. I like it so much better! Classical lessons are fun when people are motivated, but the years of work with young kids are just not my thing. Too tedious. It also gives me a chance to refine my curriculum. We're actually working on design layout for my curriculum now. Probably won't release it till next school year though...

9. I postponed my last mom's group meeting last week, after the dog attack, so that happens Thursday. Still sad about it being over on some level, but I know it's the right thing to do. I can still go and hang out!

10. We have had so much rain out here in the past week. Driving home last night there was fog in every valley. With the trees and the fog and the drizzling rain - so gorgeous! Now we just have to dry out the front seat of the jetta - it got left open yesterday. Oops!

11. My Gramma Himes sent me a $25 Target gift card for my birthday, and I just got around to using it last night. I got two new shirts. I haven't been able to buy clothes for myself in a while, so I'm very thankful for just that little amount! And what I got is super cute. :)

OK, I'm sure I could think of more, but I need to go do dishes and get ready for the day. How was your week?

Friday, August 8, 2008

On "The Shack"

Glenn posted a blog that perfectly expresses my feelings about this book, even down to his hesitation to say anything. This is a book I will be skipping. I value too deeply the Holiness of God, the Biblical portrayal of the Trinity, the Church, Biblical submission, and many other ideas, to read something that may confuse those in my own mind, just for a book that makes me "feel" close to God. It's not about how close to God I feel!

I think it's terribly important that we keep our beliefs straight in our own minds, and allow God to teach us things directly from His Word. I hope this doesn't come across too harsh, but especially if you aren't reading your Bible every day, you have no business gleaning theology or comfort from a novel.

So there ya go. Done with the soapbox.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I gotta say...

Maybe I shouldn't be laughing, but the whole John McCain/Paris Hilton ad war is hysterical.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Meet Toby

Here's Toby - our new 5 year old chocolate lab. His family didn't have the time to spend with him anymore. His coat was in pretty bad shape, and he's a little overweight, but he's shaping up very quickly with a bath, a good brushing, and LOTS of fetch in the backyard. :) He is SO mellow. Audrey already climbs on him, and lays her head on him. He just seems to love it. He and Moses have a shaky truce at this point - Moses actually chased Toby around the house the first night! He drools quite a bit. We have a drool towel in the kitchen. Heh. He makes me smile. He's just easy going and happy, and glad to be with us. :)
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More Obama Satire

This one reads like C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. Whew.

Monday Headlines

1. We got a dog. I still can't believe we did that so fast. :) I'll post about him later, after I get a good picture of him outside. Haven't gotten any good ones yet.

2. Finances. Ugh. The first of the month is so hard right now. It'll get better, but wow.

3. Still trying to get well from my wisdom teeth stuff. I went in for a checkup on Friday though, and they laughed the whole time at how well I was doing. Apparently "older" (meaning over 18) patients don't usually do too well. What they don't know, is I'm not even taking the antibiotic they wanted me to take. I'm using colloidal silver, Vit C, and tea tree mouthwash to prevent infection, arnica homeopathic remedy almost completely prevented any bruising, and bromelain helped with the swelling and pain - I only needed Advil for pain relief. I still have two holes in the back of my mouth, which I guess is normal since they said it all looked great. Gross. As long as I don't get too tired I don't need Advil. And it's done, finally. I'm glad.

4. We have two meetings for Maeve this week - a consult with a bride, and we had to reschedule with the fashion designer that needs someone to reproduce her designs for her. Not sure if we can make any money at the remains to be seen. We will also have a second fitting with Safiya in the next week or two. Anna's pics are now up on our facebook page and our blog.

5. Gluten... Sigh. Hannah's Sunday School class was playing with playdough when we dropped her off yesterday. For those who aren't GF, playdough basically coats every surface with poison, for a GF person. We could have chosen not to leave her, but she would have been heartbroken. I have no idea what to do about this one. I emailed the children's dept, asking for suggestions. At such a big church, you'd think there would be several kids with that issue. Maybe they could create a classroom for kids with food allergies?

Going on about this - I'm trying to figure out how to keep the dog from getting gluten all over the house all the time. His food has gluten in it, even the high-quality food we bought him. So, anything he licks could have gluten on it. With little kids who put their hands in their mouths all the time... I'm probably way over-thinking this. Anyone have any experience with this? Shelly, perhaps?

6. I made homemade fish sticks for dinner last night. Um, oh, my goodness. Delicious. Fish sticks are comfort food for me anyway, but FOR REAL! I made them with brown rice flour instead of the almond flour she uses (too expensive), and Ener-G egg replacer, and they turned out crunchy, tender, and perfect. They have frozen cod fillets at the health food store for relatively cheap. The whole dinner (with salad) was under $10. And, yum. The kids even gobbled them up and we all fought over the last one. :)

7. Mom's Group at my house this week - my last one. As of next week, I'm stepping out of leadership of the group. It's been a great 2 1/2 years, but after praying about it, I've decided it's time for me to move into a different season. Joanna will be taking leadership of the group as soon as she recovers from having her baby (still waiting on him as of this morning), and I'm excited to see where she takes it! The group has been such a blessing to me in so many ways. I'm so grateful for everyone who has come, and for the friendships we developed. I hope the friendships will continue for many many years!

8. My dad came over to hang out last night. My mom and youngest siblings are in So Cal until Thursday night, so he's been on his own. My dad is very extroverted, so I would expect him to be lonely, but he created so many projects for himself while they were gone, that he's kept himself busy. Our girls just love him, and the dog let Dad use him as a footstool the whole time he was here. We made homemade chocolate ice cream, and chatted while the girls ran around like nuts. Good times.

Alright. Lotsa work to do today, and we need to play outside too. Have a great day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pneumonia Vaccine

Wanted to pass along this link today. As I said a couple weeks ago, I would never try to tell someone what choices to make for their children. But, if you are accepting everything your doctor tells you for your children without doing research of your own, you may be surprised what you're missing!