Thursday, July 30, 2009

The only titles I could think of were terrible cliches

It's gloomy today and has me feeling all nostalgic (or perhaps it's because I'm home again after being away)

The radio is playing the same songs we listened to when we first moved to Nashville (why don't Christian stations have more songs?), so I keep thinking about that little apartment we were in and we didn't have kids and I was looking forward to starting my first full time job.

The weather is cooler, and cloudy, and reminds me of fall and going back to school. I keep thinking about those First Day of School days.

I stand in my backyard with my pregnant belly and keep thinking about standing in that same spot with a pregnant belly two years ago (is Z really almost TWO??).

Why do we get sad about time passing? Why do we look back and long for "the way things were"? There's so much ahead to look forward to! For us, it's the end of DH's graduate journey: he will receive his doctorate on August 7. We will be leaving Nashville, as there are no job prospects here for him but plenty in other places. Though sad, we're excited about moving to a new city. And we have a new little one on the way, who is going to change our lives as completely as Z did when he arrived. So why do I keep dwelling on the past? I'm letting the lack of sunshine get to me. (This is why moving to the northwest would be so difficult for me).

Well, Z is awake and loud, so I better get him out before he destroys something or hurts himself. I bet he'll help pull me out of this funk :)

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Monday, July 27, 2009

I gots me some internet

I'm at my aunt and uncle's house right now because they have high speed internet and I need to check in to my flight 24 hours before the flight so I can get good seats (Southwest doesn't have assigned seating). So I'm sitting here, waiting for the minutes to count down, and I feel like I SHOULD write a blog post. Because I've been completely disconnected from the internet for almost an entire week and I have internet right now, so shouldn't I be taking full advantage of it?? So I sat here for a few minutes, trying to think of a topic, and nothing occurs to me! So you're reading a blog post about nothing. I won't blame you if you don't comment. Z and I fly home tomorrow evening (we get home close to 1 in the morning). I should have some more interesting blog posts for you after we get back in the routine.

In the meantime, you'll be glad to know that I got A seating, position 37 for my flight (that will make sense to fellow Southwest fliers) and it's a direct flight, though we do have a stop along the way. (So all that means is that we don't change planes, unlike our flight out here.)

Okay! That's all I've got! Talk to you later!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't I know not to talk to strangers??

Last Sunday in church, an older gentlemen I had never met before came up to me after the service and said, "If you give me your name and address, I'll send you a written invitation." He had just been speaking with DH who walked away, so I assumed this guy had said something to him about asking me this. I asked him what the invitation was for and he handed me folded up wadded stack of about 3 sheets stapled together. I flipped through it and it looked like a handout/worksheet with questions that had not been filled out. I asked again what it was and he said, "Toastmasters." I told him I wasn't familiar with what that was, what is it? And he said, "Public speaking."

Now, although I had never met him before, I figured he was one of the older folks in our church - there are several I've never met or only met once. And he had just been talking to DH, so I thought HE was clued in on what was going on. For some reason, I assumed this guy had told DH he wanted my address and DH had agreed. Which is why he walked away. All was well. So I gave the guy my address. After all, we're in church, that should be a pretty safe place, right? (do you like my foreshadowing, btw?)

After I finished writing my address, I stood there holding his pen (trying to give it back) as he explained that he would be at Golden Corral (an eating/entertainment type place) on Tuesday evening at such-and-such time. Then he abruptly turned away and began speaking with two gentlemen (who I know are in our church). I stood there a moment, wondering if he was going to come back, thinking it might be rude of me to just walk away. But DH was on the other side of the sanctuary, gesturing for me to come so we could go get LB and get some lunch. So I walked away.

DH and I discussed the guy as we were walking out and it turned out that DH did NOT know he wanted my address. As a matter of fact, the guy wouldn't have spoken to DH at all had DH not said hello to him first! Upon seeing him walking down the aisle after the service, DH thought the same thing I had: an older gentleman in our church whom we hadn't met. So he said hello. The guy stopped and asked DH, "Do you know me? How do you know me?" The conversation didn't last long and then DH walked away. He had no idea that this guy apparently had a purpose in talking to me. I was rather upset. Looking back on it, I felt preyed upon. This guy had obviously come in from the outside, saw me on stage (remember I'm part of the worship team), and decided to ask for my personal information. And like the naive girl that I try not to be, I gave it to him. I felt DH should have been there to protect me. So I prayed that the guy wouldn't use my address in any strange way. (Can you imagine him showing up at my door while DH is at work and it's just LB and me at home? THAT'S why we have a peephole! They're not installed by the builder, but we paid a guy to put one in. Custom placed for my height too.)

Then yesterday an envelope arrived in the mail with this letter inside (click to enlarge):

So the guy wasn't completely off his rocker: there really IS some program going on at Golden Corral next Tuesday. But look at that handwriting. It looks like it was written by either a 10-year old or a 90-year old (or someone who had suffered a stroke perhaps). And the envelope had two stamps on it. Two stamps of 28 cents each. With no return address. I'm a little comforted that he told me the truth when he asked for my address. I'm a little disconcerted by the binder paper. But he did put quite a bit of effort into it! Even gave me HIS address. (We looked it up: within walking distance of the church). Yes, I blacked his address out. Just because I'M silly enough to give my address to strange men doesn't mean I should post HIS address on the internet for ALL the weirdos. (See how I flatter myself that I should worry about weirdos visiting my blog!)

So I think this story ends well. Nothing horrific happened. I figured out later what I SHOULD have said. As soon as he asked for my address I should have ignored the question and said something like, "I don't believe we've met. Are you a member or been attending here long?" And then if he continued to press for the address I should have gracefully declined. But at the time, I was operating under false assumptions (namely, that DH knew what was going on.) In the future I'll be prepared! And no, I'm not going to the "program". We looked up Toastmasters online. It does exist and it IS public speaking. But the list of events does not show anything at the Golden Corral next Tuesday at 6pm (perhaps he's senile and is inviting me to some event that USED to take place). Besides that, I'll be out of town, having flown out that morning for CA!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

It's called a "sticky"

That "post" at the top? Isn't really a post, it's called a "sticky", like a sticky note. But I figured it was the best way (besides calling and emailing, you know, those touchy-feely communication methods) to keep family and friends updated. I'm not entirely sure how many of our family and friends regularly visit my blog, but the info is here for whomever happens to stumble this way. And having it passively available is a really easy to alleviate my guilt for not calling/emailing ;)

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Friday, July 10, 2009


It's early evening the day before Fourth of July. The house is full of family who've gathered to celebrate the holiday together the following evening. Several conversations are going on, despite frequent distractions caused by the youngest family member, Zachary, who is not yet two. From his point of view, everyone is there to play with him, and he has very little concern for any conversation they may be trying to have. Grandpa Mark, on the other hand, is excited for dusk when the fireflies appear. He reminds everyone, every couple minutes or so, that the fireflies will be out soon.

It's finally getting to be twilight, and we move outside. We can see fireflies blinking in the bushes. Zachary thoroughly enjoys the freedom he's allowed in the backyard. Auntie Beth and Cameron emerge from the house with plastic containers for catching the fireflies. Grandpa Mark is content to simply watch the fireflies. He wonders aloud why there aren't any fireflies in his homestate of California. "Perhaps someone should smuggle a couple in and see if they'll make it," he suggests, not for the first time. But no one offers to lead the experiment.
The plastic containers now have some inhabitants, and Auntie Beth and Cameron are eager to show them to Zachary. "Here Zachary! Look! See inside? Here, hold out your hand. Open your hand. Now hold still. Hold still. There, see? Oh, don't touch! That's a firefly. Can you say 'firefly'? Oh there he goes! Did you see him glow? He flew away, didn't he?"

The toddler doesn't respond, but his eyes are full of delight and wonder. He stands there a minute, looking around. Spotting Auntie Beth again, he trots over to her with his hand out.
"Do you want another one? Okay, I'll catch another one for you." It doesn't take long for her to find one and put it on the outstretched hand. The little boy is mesmerized.

The evening continues in this way - Zachary finding joy and delight in watching and holding fireflies, the rest of us finding joy and delight in watching Zachary - until the darkness is thick upon us. We finally move back inside and say our goodnights, anticipating an exciting Fourth filled with food, family, and fireworks.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It's been a while since my last post! Although we had internet access at my sister-in-law's house, I didn't take much computer time. We didn't keep our schedule too busy, which was nice, and I got lots of help playing with and taking care of LB! Poor DH, however, found himself spending most of the week finishing up his dissertation. We all wished that it could have been finished before the week started, but that didn't work out. The good news is that his dissertation is DONE and has been submitted to his committee!!! (If you're not familiar with the Ph.D. world, I'll just say that this is the BEGINNING OF THE END, which is an excellent thing!) So here's the timetable for his degree:
  • Dissertation has been submitted to the committee.
  • They have until July 20th (technically July 19th? not sure) to make any changes/recommendations/complaints/etc.
  • On July 20th DH give his DEFENSE. This means a 45 minutes presentation followed by a question and answer session that can last as long as his committee wants to grill him.
  • Following the defense, the committee will deliberate and then inform DH of the outcome: pass or not. Unlike with the proposal, however, it's highly unlikely that he would have been allowed to get this far and not pass, so we're not too worried.
  • Then the paperwork gets all turned in, I get to explain to DH's advisor that we have a son, and then DH will get his diploma in August.

So with the clock ticking down on DH's time at Vanderbilt, he's been searching for and applying for jobs. So far he's submitted applications to Google and Microsoft in WA and CA and some military contracting companies in AL and while we were visiting family in PA he applied for a positing with St. Jude Medical in Southern CA. One of the Google positins and the St. Jude position came with recommendations from friends, and so far the St. Jude possibility is the only one to respond. DH spoke with an HR representation yesterday, and will be setting up a phone interview in the next couple days. It's very exciting! First of all, we're excited simply that he's gotten a "call back". (You know, you put yourself out there and you're never really sure whether anyone will notice!). It's also very exciting because the work would require the knowledge and experience he has from BOTH of his fields (he has degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science). Finally, it's really exciting because of the location. Although CA IS more expensive in terms on cost of living, it's SO CLOSE to family. Let me help you visualize it (because I'm a visual person).
My parents and his parents are in So. CA, about 3 hours away from each other. The path between them is an L shape (to go from mine to his, you go south, then east). The job opportunity is right at the corner of the L. I'm not kidding. It's as close to halfway between them as you can get! It's more than coincidence, I'm sure.
So we're trying not to get TOO excited, because it still may not work out, but we're definitely excited.

I'm also excited for Friday morning. We have our 2nd trimester ultrasound, and hopefully we'll be able to determine the gender! I hope the baby cooperates :) It's kind of silly, but I feel like so many things hinge on knowing whether it's a girl or boy! Knowing the gender will help us pick a name, decide on whether we're sticking with Classic Pooh or switching to a more pink theme, and we need to know if LB's clothes will work or if we need to ask for girls' clothes!

Speaking of LB, that boy is getting so tall, we need to get him a new car seat! The shoulder straps are too low - they're behind his shoulders instead of above them. We were in Walmart last night and stopped in the baby section to look at the car seats. LB was noisy and pointing and full of saying "please" (in sign language) until we finally figured out what he wanted: he wanted to get in the car seats that were on display! Which turned out to be good, because then we could see if the shoulder strap slots were tall enough. We probably won't get a new one though, not on our budget! So I've found a couple on Craigslist that might work. I'm waiting for the measurement from the seat (where the child sits) to the top strap slot. We decided we need to get one before we move since we'll probably be driving across country and LB needs to have a properly fitting car seat.

So driving across country. It's kinda fun. DH and I have done it twice: from New Orleans to So. CA after we graduated from Tulane (just the two of us) and then from So. CA to here (with DH's folks and brother). This time, however, we would be traveling not only with a toddler, but two cats as well! We haven't spent much time working out all the details yet, since we don't know where we're going yet, but we do know that shipping the cats could costs as much as $1,000. It'd be nice to ship the cats and have movers come in, pack up our house and drive the truck, but we may have to do more of it ourselves, depending on what kind of help DH's new company can give us. So we'll see.

Well, back to unpacking, washing diapers, and other such things.

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