Friday, October 30, 2009

Just That Kind of Friend

Tonight Chris and I had some of our good friends (Becca and Jarod) over for dinner and a movie. Before the evening festivities, Becca and I had a good heart to heart conversation (via text) about our friendship...

Becca: "FYI, I am not dressing up, I hope you are not ashamed to be my friend."

Ginny: "FYI, my house is dirty, hope you are not ashamed to be my friend. Oh, and I have paint in my hair that I'm not going to wash out."

Becca: "Thank you, I hate trying to have pretenses of perfection in friendship."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Construction Cones & Hotdogs

I almost didn't write tonight. Sometimes I want to blog about something, but I can't type as fast as I think, and I get frustrated at this predicament, so I would just assume not... but I decided to overcome this issue tonight, even though by the time you're done reading this, you may either 1) start to reconsider our friendship, or, 2) have me committed.

Friday morning approximately 4:40 in the Ante Meridiem, Chris comes in the room and says he has to take my car to work*, because his isn't starting. [*Hawker Beech has Chris' line on overtime; 10 hours days M-F + 8hr Saturdays, which means he leaves the house at about 4:20a]. As I'm trying to wake from my blissful sleep into the real world, I suggest that I take him to work so I'm not stuck at home all day. In my groggy state, I attempt to get presentable, trying to figure out which pieces of clothing are non-negotiables when leaving the house, and deciding to leave the bird and her nest in my hair... and off we go. The ride there was pretty uneventful, but on the way back I concluded that there are 3 reasons why I should not be awake and/or functioning before the sun is up.

Reason #1 - for some strange reason my stomach gets cranky when I wake it up too early. Not raging mad, but it just says "hey, you woke me up too early, and I'm not real happy 'bout that, so I'm just going to make you feel weird and icky". This is something that has always happened... and I don't know what to do to fix this issue.

Reason #2 - construction zones do not mix well with a "got woke up too early" Ginny and dark streets. Around Central and Hillside there is road construction and you merge from 4 lane traffic to 2-lane (if you're going west, you merge left into the center lane of the east-bounders... this is making perfect sense right? good). I didn't really notice this merge so I continue on into the (what I now know to be) "construction" part of the road... the whole time there were mental "red flags" that I didn't really pick up on. Case in point. There were two random construction cones kind of off to the right, and I though "oh, I need to go in between those, because that's what you do in construction zones, you go in between the cones", so I did. Then I saw another two kind of in the middle, so I go between those. I do this about four times, and drive over two heaping piles of black top before I realize that I'm probably not where I should be. At about this time, I see where I'm suppose to be on the road and get safely over. No construction cones were harmed in the making of this fool.

Reason #3 - the one and only thing I could think of on the way home (besides hoping that no one noticed my off-roading adventure) was how delicious a hot dog sounded. I wanted one. Bad. Real bad. I could feel the fluffy bun in my mouth and could taste the warm cow (or is it pig?), and I was salivating. I'm not one who usually goes for hot dogs, but this morning if you were to have put a prime rib, a big bowl of ice cream, and a hot dog in front of me... well... I think you can assume the outcome.

In the end I remedied all of these problems by coming home and sleeping for another three hours, woke up with a happy stomach, and no desire whatsoever for a hot dog.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Are You Kidding Me?!"

Last Thursday and Friday I got to watch the two cutest nieces in the world :) Megan had to work a seminar-thingy, so her parents dropped Ava and Ellie at our house around 7:30, the girls went to bed about 8:30, so we didn't have time to start any adventures besides making a fort. Fort-making is my all-time favorite thing to do, and I'm pretty sure Ava didn't really care about the building process, but she liked getting in after construction was complete :) I slept with one eye open, waking every once in a while thinking "was that Ellie making noise?" I guess a small glimpse of motherhood? :) Friday, when the girls woke up, we all got in my bed and watched some cartoons and played for a bit before I went in to start some pancakes (Mickey Mouse style).
I guess I waited a little long because the bottomless pit we like to call Ellie was literally shaking she was so excited about the food. And I'm pretty sure she ate more than Ava and me put together... talk about the perfect metabolism to bottle and sell! My wonderful mom came over so I could shower. I kind of felt like a failure since I didn't get up before the girls and get ready for the day, but mom reminded me that I didn't grow into having two kids over 3 years, and that's why they arrive immobile and (usually) one at a time. Moving right along... the number one phrase I heard all day from Miss A was "are you KIDDING me!?", I die everytime she says that :) We went to Sedgwick County Park, and when we arrived, Ava in her most ecstatic voice says "oh my goodness! you made it to the park!! You're going to get a sticker when you get back to my house."
Here are a few thing I was reminded of throughout the day:
1. one-year olds will put ANYthing in their mouth
2. one-year olds are quick... and will eat dogfood if you take your eyes off them for 1.7 seconds
3. chocolate animal cookies might be the greatest snack ever
4. you can get a three year old excited about anything if you use the word "special"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brasses, Strings, Woodwinds, & Percussion

This morning at Staff Prayer (I am blessed to work in a place that meets every Wednesday morning to pray together), I started thinking about the magnificent way that God orchestrates every single detail in my life. Nothing happens that is not part of His perfect composition. And He never messes up. Never accidentally cues the trombones when it's time for cellos.

Eight months ago when I was asked to cut my hours at work and solely work on the WISH side (where we do STD testing), and not on the PCC side anymore (pregnancy tests, sonos, etc), a few thoughts came to mind. Anxious about the smaller paycheck, but grateful for more hours to keep dog hair off the floor and milk in the fridge. Six months ago I found out I was pregnant with our first child. We were ecstatic. Five months ago I miscarried.

Thinking about myself working on the PCC side through everything that has happened, I'm not sure if I would still be in one piece (or have a job for that matter). Explanation. Every. single. day. a woman walks through the doors at the PCC suspecting pregnancy, positive that if she is, the only option is to "fix the problem" by ending the life of her child. This is unfathomable to me. I know that life is hard, and I know I'm blessed with a support system of family and friends that are there for me no matter how fast or hard I fall. But when someone is blessed with the gift of life but chooses to end their child's life on purpose... well... I'm not confident that I would have had the compassion that Christ asks of me.

So as I sit and think about my Sonata-for-a-life, I am incredibly thankful that I'm not the conductor. Peace washes over me as I rest in His sovereignty, knowing that there is no possible way in the whole world that I could mess up His masterpiece.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recap of Summer 2009

Has it really been three months since I've posted? Is summer really over?? Usually I'm excited for fall and all that comes with it (leaves changing, fall decorations around the house, spice candles burning), but for some reason I wish summer could hang around a few more weeks.
We had such a great summer filled with trips to the lake, working on house projects, concerts, and family time :) I could go in great detail, but I think pictures are more fun :)

my "little" brother graduated from the police academy in June! :)  I'll never have to pay for a ticket if I get one! Kind of makes me want to speed just to get one... oh wait, never mind, I'm chicken.

Chris and Ginny at the Keith Urban / Jason Aldean concert in July :)
hello you talented guitar player also known as Keith Urban!

girls weekend at the lake! :) love these women!!

a few pics from my California trip...
sing with me "re-u-ni-ted and it fEEls so GOOD!"
beautiful wedding in CA!

Chris' mom's side of the family does a vacation at Grand Lake every other year; this year he and I went up a day early and stayed in this adorable little cabin :)

kind of forgot to take lots of pictures with the fam :/ this is the view from our lodge on Grand

On to house projects...
this is nothing special, but it used to be a "junk" shelf where tools and misc stuff would get tossed.  I finally cleared it off, painted it, and made it look presentable (it IS in our dining room for heaven's sake!)

half-bath when we bought the house...
 aaand complete!
another project checked off the list! :)  ...although I still need a black curtain of some sort; details, details :)

A quick update on Chris' status with the Police Dept... They aren't scheduling interviews with the Police Chief until October. At that interview they either give you a conditional offer, pending passing the academy, or they don't offer you the job. So Chris is pretty anxious for that step! They originally said September, but have pushed it back a month, and have also said they are not sure when they will start another academy. BUT! We are so thankful that he still has a job at Hawker, so it's not a "financially pressing" matter, just a "personally pressing" one for him ;)

Over the summer, I (Ginny) took a Music Appreciation class. As I said in a previous post, it was the only class that was standing between me and an Associates Degree. I went ahead and took it, passed, and got the piece of paper :) Now it sits so nicely on the storage shelves in the basement ;)

Whew! :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Clearing of the Mind

I have so many random thoughts running through my head right now I just need to let them out, so this post is really for my own sanity as opposed to keeping you updated on our life :)

I feel as though I had a really productive day: had surprise birthday breakfast for the most awesome boss ever, took the dogs to Sg Co Park for a walk, cleaned up the yard, painted the (outside of the) back french doors, fresh coat of black spray paint on the iron railing, watched the Redwings dominate in game 1...

I'm really enjoying my glass of crystal light raspberry lemonade

I'm in the mood to bake something... or am I in the mood to eat something baked?  I'm not sure, so I am on the couch until I figure it out.

I don't think it was a compliment that some guy guessed that I played softball in high school (i didn't)...

I am itching to get on the water and wakeskate...

I'm a lot sad that Chris has to work tomorrow.  I kind of want to go to church, but I don't like going without him.

I'm excited to hang out with my fam tomorrow

I've decided I want to bake just to bake... so, bye.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

April Showers Bring May... Showers

I can't believe May is almost over! I have to get out my calendar to remember what we've done the last few weeks, 'cause I KNOW we've been busy, but we have nothing to show for it :) Okay, I take that back, we had a garage sale the first weekend in May, and now I have an organized, de-cluttered basement to show for it! My mom and I manned (womanned??) the sale and sold almost everything! Success!!

May 5th Chris took the Wichita Police Department test and passed!! What a huge boost :) His first contact interview is next Tuesday (the 26th). I think this is just to make sure all of the neccessary paperwork is filled out. But as I've said, it's small step, but a step forward! :)

The first River Fest weekend (7th-10th) Chris played in the hockey tournament. Even though they lost all three games, he had a great time playing, and it just confirmed how much he wants to play in the Fall League at the Wichita Ice Center.

Oh spring... We may not be able to rely on you for wonderful sunny, spring-like weather, but without a doubt you will bring church league softball :) Chris is playing for the 28th year in a row. But he's only 27? Oh. Well it seems like he's been playing forever :) We both enjoy it though, and even though I'm not "officially" playing this year, I'm always available if they need a fill in.  And if I'm not filling in, I love keeping score because it gives me something to do while I watch :)

One of the many reasons May is my favorite month is because my birthday (and 95% of my friends birthdays :) fall in May! This year I asked for giftcards to Bed Bath and Beyond so I could get a new set of dishes. The dishes Chris and I have used the last 3 years are Big Lots $1 per piece specials. They fufilled their purpose but I was ready for something new. I sold that set in the garage sale but forgot to tell Chris until he opened the cabinet to get a bowl... Oops :)  No worries though, I have a small set I got for HS graduation, so he was able to eat his cereal :) All of that to say, I was able to get an 8-piece setting: dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl (had to buy them individually) thanks to generous gift-card-givers, and wonderful family/friends who gave me their BB&B coupons (I used 10 and saved $50!!). Now I'm wondering if I should get a few more and make it 12 settings? We'll see :) I also bought some salad plates in the same line but solid brown and solid light blue (we use small plates a lot :)
My new dishes just make me really happy :) I love making pretty food to put on a pretty plate!

Last week I went and talked to an advisor at Buter CCC.  I've been thinking that surely my 65+ credits have got me CLOSE to some sort of piece of paper! :)  And I was correct!  I just need a Music (or Art or Theater) Appreciation class and I'll have an Associates in Science Fine Arts.   Now this is nothing to most people, but I feel good that all of my "I don't know what I want to major in" classes have amounted to something!  I'm looking in to taking a summer class (especially since it's about 5 weeks and the Fall class is 3ish months), but we'll see if that all works out.

As I look ahead on the calendar it looks like we'll have a busy, but not crazy summer :)  So as an ode to summer, here is a small compilation of why I love summer :)

Top Ten Reasons Ginny Love Summer:
1.  sunburns that turn into tans
2.  bodies of water (it can be the kiddie pool in the back for all I care)
3.  driving with the windows down and the AC on with country music blaring (no, not economical, but it feels great)
4.  going barefoot
5.  wakeskating
6.  sunflower seeds (I just can't get into sunflower seeds while I'm bundled up in layers, it just ain't natural)
7.  lightning bugs
8.  one word. tornados.
9. the sound of secadas (ONLY if they stay away from me.  the one and only bug that would confine me to my house if it were on my porch)
10.  going to "the lake" (which is what we call the cabin my grandparents have on a small private lake) with the family.  it's been in the family for 27 years :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cafe Holy Cow

I'm not really sure what happened with the girl-talent ratio in my family... My sister has the most amazing physique, she's an amazing hair cutter/colorer/styler...  Aaand, her artwork just blows me away.  This is one of her school projects.  She had it finished around Christmas time, but it had to stay displayed at Butler CCC for a while.  She also informed me that she was giving it to me for my birthday... and my jaw proceeded to fall to the ground.  Cafe Terrace at Night is my absolute favorite VanGogh.

I may not have the looks like she does, but she doesn't have a sister like my sister :)

(yes, that is a chair next to the painting, it's a 4'x6'! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009


This last Friday, we went over to my parent's house for some grilled out hamburgers (seriously, are there many things that top that? I think not) with Bryan and Jessica. We taught them the card game GOLF, and got all caught up on life happenings :) While Bryan (who's in the police academy) and Jessica (who's finishing up nursing school) were catching us up, Chris leaned over to me and whispered "Wow, we are really boring", to which I "uh-huh"-ed...

Lately I've been thinking about medical school again. Since I was probably a Sophomore in HS, I have loved the idea of being a doctor, but I could never get used to the idea of 17 years in school (or is it 8? whatever :) My heart's desire is to have a ton of kids and stay at home with them (that's obviously not working for me at the moment), but that was my reasoning for not continuing school. A very close second is to be doctor. I have to catch myself before I travel to the land of "If Only"... If only I would have stayed in school I would almost be done with med school right now. But when I look back on my life I see so clearly where God has led me to where I am today, and I can't argue with Him. But that leaves me with today. What choices will I make today? Should I go back to school? When I was pregnant, I saw a light at the end of the "work" tunnel. In November I was going to quit (I put work in quotations, because I know motherhood is more "work" that I can imagine, but I'm talkin' about the 9 to 5 business) and stay at home with my kid. Now everything has changed. Is this an open door for me to continue in another dream? I know He has led me thus far and won't leave me now, but sometimes I find it hard to decipher if my own thoughts are overpowering His voice...  We shall see... One day at a time.

On to my better half... Chris didn't pass the sheriff's dept test, but he went straight home to apply for the police department. I thought he had soley wanted to do sheriff's, but when I asked him he said "I just want to be in law enforcement".  I think he would be amazing at either.  He has such a big heart for people (I mean c'mon, he voluteered with the youth from the time he graduated high school until about a year ago, now that takes a special kind of heart, I think). He takes the police test on May 5th.  We are so grateful that with all of the layoffs he is still employed.  Once again thought, one day at a time :)

We both know that God leads us, our prayer is that we would listen and follow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Nitty Gritty on Chris and Ginny (well it kind of rhymes :)

I (Ginny) figured that since this blog is titled "The Story of Us", it might be fun for a little "Get to know the Shields".
My friend, Sarah, did this a while ago, and I think it's fun to read about other married couples :) And if you don't, might as well just close this page on up ;)

♥ What are your middle names? Lee & Elizabeth
♥ How long have you been together? since July '04
♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating? long story... We met in HS, but went our separate ways (since he wasn't interested :) Met up again in '04 and started dating in oh, about 2 weeks :)
♥ Who asked who out? he initiated the first date
♥ How old are each of you? almost 27 and almost 25 (him and I respectively)
♥ Whose siblings do/did you see the most? probably mine
♥ Do you have any children together? not yet
♥ What about pets? 2 dogs
♥ Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? I don't think one takes precedence over another... life is hard, and a good foundational marriage takes work :)
♥ Did you go to the same school? No, he went to South, I was homeschooled.
♥ Are you from the same home town? Yes (which makes holidays a lot easier... or harder ;)
♥ Who is the smartest? He has more street smarts, and random facts smart (I'm still waiting for him to win us a million dollars on some game show), I'd say I'm more book smart.
♥ Who is the most sensitive? Depends. Sometimes I cry at the drop of the hat, but I also tell him to suck it up sometimes :)
♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple? Hmm... we like to try different local joints.
♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Does a cruise count? If so, the Carribean.
♥ Who has the worst temper? I don't think we really have bad tempers...
♥ Who does the cooking? Mostly Ginny, but he is king of the grill, and he'll randomly cook us up something if I'm working late
♥ Who is more social? Him :) I'd probably be a hermit curled up with a book and my dog if I didn't marry him
♥Who is the neat freak? GINNY!
♥ Who is the more stubborn? GINNY!
♥ Who hogs the bed? the bed is too big to hog, but Chris hogs the covers in his sleep.
♥ Who wakes up earlier? Chris
♥ Where was your first date? Starbucks, then sat down by the river and talked all night
♥ Who has the bigger family? Ginny
♥ Do you get flowers often? No (Chris doesn't either ;)
♥ How do you spend the holidays? dividing up time between the families (my least favorite thing about being married)
♥ Who is more jealous? Ginny; Chris is so laid back I'm suprised he doesn't fall over backwards.
♥ How long did it take to get serious? not too long :) Ginny knew within the first few dates that we were gonna get married, took Chris a little bit longer, but not much. Got engaged November '05.
♥ Who does/ did the laundry? Mostly Ginny, but Chris is always willing to help if I ask.
♥ Who’s better with the computer? Chris is better with the Mac, Ginny is on a PC at work all day
♥ Who drives when you are together? Chris (I submit to his, uh, questionable driving because I refuse to be one of those women who chaperones her man... It's a submission thing for me). Once in a blue moon, Chris just doesn't feel like driving, but mostly he does :)

Monday, April 13, 2009


*heads up: this blog is long, and hardly any detail is spared, read at your own risk ;)

I'm sure most of you know by now, but last Wednesday (the 8th) while I was at work I started to bleed. My wonderful "motherly" coworkers sent me home immediately to rest and get a call in to my OB. At first it was very light, but as the evening progressed, so did the bleeding. My doctor said it is normal in early pregnancy, but if it got to be a lot and with cramping to go to the ER. On Thursday morning the nurse at my work gave me a sono to confirm there was no heartbeat. She measured a 6wk baby, so it was obvious since 3 weeks ago she measured a 5 1/2 week baby with a heartbeat. On my way home I text Chris to let him know (even though Wednesday evening we were pretty sure, but still hung to a small piece of hope), and he was immediately on his way home. So many thanks to his boss, Jim... Chris doesn't have any time that he can take off except vacation which you have to schedule in advance, (it's basically like a prison/grade school out there: you can't leave, and if you do, you get infractions, and so many infractions will get you in big trouble). But when he went and explained the situation to his boss, Jim immediately said "go home". So Thursday consisted of letting family and friends know (through texting), and numerous phone calls to my doctor (actually her nurse), which I will vent about in a bit :) Thursday night was the hardest for me inbetween 1-2am. Everything was quiet, no distractions, and plenty of time for my mind (and heart) to really grasp the concept that my baby was dead. I asked my sister-in-law (Megan) who miscarried a year and a half ago if she felt like there was a huge red stamp on her forehead that says "failure" and "miscarried", and she confirmed that my feelings were completely natural. I know in my head that there was nothing that I could have done differently to change the outcome, and I think that has been a huge factor in me handling this loss relatively well. But still, I feel as though I will always have a scarlet letter...
A quick intermission about a nurse with no compassion: I called my doctor on Thursday to let her know what the sono at work had shown, so she tells me to go to the ER and have my blood drawn, then have them fax the results to her, then come into the office Friday and have blood drawn again (to make sure my hormone levels were going down). Well I have no idea, so I ask Megan if that's what she had to do, and she said "absolutely not". I did think it was weird that the nurse told me to go to the ER, but I've never experienced this so what did I know? So by about the 3rd phone call to the nurse she finally said "well you can come into the office here and have your blood drawn". Well gee thanks, because right now I don't really feel like sitting in the ER for 3 hours... Bad experience #1. On Friday, I called the doctor again asking if they could just do a D&C and get it over with. The nurse told me no since they had to compare my blood levels, but to go to Wesley and have a sonogram there, and have those results faxed to the office. So when I went to get my blood drawn, and I asked to speak to the nurse. I asked her if this sono was going to speed up the process, and she basically said "Well it's just to ease your mind", "So it's basically pointless because you won't do anything until Monday?" "Yeah". It's a good thing I wasn't thinking too clearly, cause I thought of a LOT of things to tell her after I had left... None of them nice. Bad experience #2. Enough said about the nurse.
Saturday evening: Chris went to go play hockey at 7:30, about 8pm the bleeding started to get pretty heavy, Chris had a feeling he should quit early, so I get a call about 9pm saying he's on his way home. I tell him that we should probably go to the ER since the doctor said to (and the PA from my work suggested the same thing). We arrive at Wesley around 10pm, and what a blessing, my other sister-in-law, Jessica is a nurse there, and she had just gotten off work an hour earlier, but her and my brother came back to the hospital and hung out with us for a while. It was nice to have someone there that knew what was going on :) They did a pelvic, drew blood, did a sono which confirmed that I had passed almost everything, so in a way it was good that everything happened naturally. We (I) were (was) discharged at 2:30am, and headed home to a soft pillow, warm bed, and my dogs :) The bleeding and cramps had gone down significantly at that time, so I knew the worst was over. The ER told me to go ahead and keep my doctor's appointment on Monday (which was suppose to be my initial OB visit). So yesterday, Chris met me there, and we met the doctor finally. It's unfortunate that her nurse and I didn't see eye to eye, because I liked the doctor. But doctor/nurse is a combo, and I can't really have one without the other, so I'll more than likely be changing doctors next time around. She did apologize for the way the nurse handled everything, so that was a little bit of redemption. I had more bloodwork and she did an exam to check things out. Everything was fine, and she said it's best to wait at least one cycle to start trying again, but if it happens before, then there's nothing to worry about. Today, I got a call today from the nurse saying my blood levels have dropped to 900 (from 7500 and 6700 Thursday and Friday), which is a good indicator that everything has completely passed. Physically and emotionally I think I am doing quite well. I feel exausted when I wake up, but I think it's just my hormones going crazy :) My personality is that of, I found out, I grieved, and now I'm ready to move on. Not in a harsh, cold-hearted way, but this part of my life is over, I'm not going to dwell in it. I'm going to grow and move on.

So that was our Easter weekend. We did go to dinner with Chris' parents Saturday evening, then to my parent's house Sunday afternoon and had family time :) I couldn't ask for a better family (immediate and extended :)

I can't thank you enough for all the prayers that you have flooded our way. I know that is a big part of the reason that we have handled this so well. We couldn't ask for better friends either :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Catching Up

The last couple of weeks, nothing "exciting" has really happened that I thought was interesting enough to blog about.  But as I was emptying the camera this evening, I thought maybe the tiny events that have happened lately might make up a semi-interesting, decent length blog :)

Just a reminder, did you send your Red Envelopes to the President?? There's still time if you haven't :)

If you remember the blog about when we first found out we were pregnant, you might remember I was ecstatic to receive a bouquet of flowers because honestly, it just doesn't happen that often ;)  But about a week after that, I received another bouquet, this time it was the chocolate covered strawberry kind :)  Oh yes, the hubs scored big on the Fresh Fruit Bouquet!
The week/weekend of March 18th, my uncle (Vern), cousin (Renee), her husband (Nick) and two kids (Cory and Madison) came to visit from Texas.  The weekend was packed with a trip to the Zoo, Exploration Place, family dinner, and family breakfast the morning they left.  The last time we all were together was Chris and I's wedding (3 years ago!), so it was great to spend some time with them :)  Here are a couple pictures from the zoo :)
Not the greatest picture of the little ones, but wrangling 6 children 
under the age of 6 is not exactly in the "easy" category!  

Ava (my niece) being all "cowgirl up" :)

If only they each played with their own toy (I think this picture was staged :)
but in true sibling manner, they always want whichever one they don't have at the moment

A few snapshots from the snow day we had a week ago.  All of the "kids" (my siblings and their significant others), met up at Mom and Dad's house.  Since they live on a street that dead ends to the river, we have our own personal sledding hill.  We don't have the danger of highway traffic (for those crazies who sled off the highway banks), but we do have the river at the bottom of the hill.  Surprisingly, in 20 years we've only had one incident that involved the neighbor kid and the river :)  This afternoon, Bryan got pretty close to going in, the sled did, but he was able to retrieve it :)

picture doesn't show it well, but he's flying off the "ramp" :)

true surfer at heart

I think Megan got the raw end of this deal :)

Now for my favorite part... The part I like to call "Design on No Dime".  Lately I've wanted to change things up in the house, curtains, bedding, rearrange furniture, etc.  I've just gotten bored with everything.  But redecorating the whole house isn't really in the budget right now, so I decided to just swap things around.  The bedroom curtains are now in the living room, and vice-versa.  I switched pictures and wall art all around, so at least for now, it's satisfied the bug :)  Here are a couple of "after" photos.  If you look at my very first blog, you can see that the "after" pictures for that blog are now my "before" pictures.  Can I confuse you more??  How about I just post the pictures :)
ahh, soothing blue tones for a relaxing bedroom

can I just say how much I love my church pew??

Well judging from my camera, I think that's about all that's happened around here :)  Maybe something "exciting" will happen in the next few weeks............

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Email to Make a Day

About a month ago, Chris applied to the Sheriff's Department.  For the last couple years he has said that he feels called to help people, although he couldn't really put his finger on exactly what that meant.  When he found out the SD was hiring, he prayed about it a while, and just felt a strong desire to apply.  Well a long time has gone by, but today he got an e-mail with a date to come in and start the testing process.  So April 18th he'll be doing a basic math and reading comprehension test, and if he passes that, he will be invited to stay for the agility testing, fingerprinting, and first contact interview.  To say he's excited would be an understatement.  So we'll see what God has in store for us in the next few weeks!  Prayers tossed our way welcomed :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not The Sharpest Tool in the Shed

I kid you not, this is word for word a phone call I got yesterday… I feel like I’m pretty sensitive on the phone, especially the nature of where I work (STD testing), but some people just really irk me. Case in point:

Caller: “So how do you test for all that and stuff?”
Me: “It’s a pelvic exam”
“What does that mean?”
“Have you ever had a PAP?”
”What’s a PAP?”
”A PAP Smear”
“Well I might have but it was a long time ago. Do I have to, like, open my legs, and stuff?”
“Um, yes, they’ll swab you”
"Swab? Like inside me?"
“Like how far do they go in?”
"I’m not exactly sure”
“Well can I talk to someone who knows what they do, ‘cause I’m a patient and I have the right to know” (I’m dead serious, she said that)
“Ma’am, I know what they do” (I wanted to say “let me go interrupt the doctor and ask her how many inches precisely she sticks the swab in you, give or take a ¼ inch” Seriously.)
“Well I just want to know what they do”
“Ma’am (I have to say ma’am for fear of calling her something else) I’m trying to explain it to you… Yes you’ll have to spread your legs, and they take a swab of your inside” (feeling like I’m talking to a 2nd grader, how else do you explain that?? I thought I was being pretty self explanatory)

So that was the bulk of the first call. She calls back in a matter of minutes

“So is it okay if I have food and water before the test?” (we’re doing a pelvic here woman, not a colonoscopy)
“Yes that’s fine”
“Okay, yeah, so if heaven forbid something does come back positive, how does that work?”
“We have some medicine here, and if we don’t have it, the doctor will write you a prescription”
“Okay, well I have SRS insurance, if I take it to them, will they pay for it?” (She really thinks I’m suppose to know if her insurance pays for a certain Rx?)
“I’m not sure, that would be a question for your insurance provider”

For this reason, I'm petitioning to put a sound proof room here at the office so my coworkers and I can let off steam conveniently :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There's Something In There??

...Well that's what they tell us! :)

Wednesday the 18th, Sharon, the nurse at the PCC (where I work) so kindly stayed after closing and gave us our first sono. I was too early to see anything on the abdominal sono, so she had to do a vaginal (Sharon and I are just that much closer now ;) The sono showed that I was 5 1/2 weeks, so as I'm writing this, we are now 6 wks, with a due date of November 15th. Yea! It will be done and over with before the holidays! Since I love, love, LOVE the holidays and get completely absorbed in Christmas, starting the day after Thanksgiving, I was praying that if we did get pregnant, baby would be born either before or after the holidays :) Thanks, Jesus, for listening to my "little" requests :) During the sono, it was Chris who pointed out the heartbeat first (so impressive!). The whole little speck was pulsating, and then we got to hear it. Pretty crazy that someone could argue that it's not a baby. It felt really great to have that visual too. Yes, the test was a "visual", but there was something in my head that confirmed that it was "really real" when we saw it on the screen :)

So far no crazy cravings, no morning sickness... Feelings of "blah", or in the words of my boss, "urpy", come and go (kind of like when you feel like you are starting to get the flu), but nothing quite to nauseous, and no upchucking :) My mom never really had morning sickness, so I'm banking on some good genes in that department. Of course she didn't give me her mile high legs or great bod, so I guess I'll settle for "good pregnancy" :) I have been so incredibly tired. I'll come home from work and take a nap, then have no problems going to bed at 9pm :) Funny story, a co-worker told me that when she was pregnant, she would just come home and lie on the couch for the afternoon. Her husband came home one day and said kind of annoyed, "What are you doing??" she said "I'm making a baby, leave me alone!" Hehe, I'll have to remember that one ;)

In non-baby news, last Thursday Chris and his dad planted grass in our backyard! Wohoo!! I'm SO excited to #1: not have a pond when it rains (since we hauled in 15 tons of dirt to fill the sloping yard) and #2: to have GRASS (not mud)! Real, green, plush grass! It's those little things in life that make it worth living :) I'm sure the dogs are also excited, since they can't be in the back to run around, and they have been garage bound for the last few days while we are at work. Marley has destroyed one too many things, so they don't get to roam about the house anymore during the day.

I could write more, but I'm going to wrap it up for now :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Alright, so I have no problem admitting that I'm no computer whiz, but honestly I thought I could manage changing things on this blog (I mean, c'mon I changed to blog skin! That's an accomplishment for me!) But for the life of me I can't change the font color of my blogs (since now my text colors don't match the new skin :) If you'll look at my previous post, it changed part of the post, but not all of it... Seriously? Am I missing something? I go to "Edit Blog", highlight the text, and go to the little color box thing, pick my color, but it's not changing to color! For the love of Pete... Any suggestions? :(

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Ever-Growing Family

My last couple of posts were about Chris and I's "kids" since we don't have kids yet... Well that'll be changing in about 8 months :) We found out last Wednesday (the 4th) that I'm pregnant! (I made the mistake of telling my brother that "we're pregnant" and that conversation went like this: "We're pregnant" "We're pregnant, or you're pregnant?" "Okay, I'm pregnant" "Well good, cause if you both were pregnant, that would be a little weird, and I don't think you guys could handle 2 babies at once" ahaha). We haven't been preventing, but Chris also wasn't coming home on his lunch hour when I was ovulating, if ya know what I mean ;) I kept telling myself it wouldn't happen for a while... So it was kind of a surprise, but, not really... clear as mud? :)

So we'll start from the beginning... Wait, how about 2-ish weeks after beginning ;) Wednesday I woke up as Chris was getting ready for work in a strangely good mood. After kissing him goodbye, I decided I'd take a test just for fun. I didn't really have any reason to, but it was the last test I had in my purse (the nice thing about working at a Pregnancy Crisis Center, I always have one handy :) I have taken several in the past and one line has always popped up (if you can see on the picture, there is a "C" (control) and a "T" (test), therefore, two lines is positive), and every time I've always wondered "what will I do when there IS two lines?" Well after I had done the test, and was finishing up in the bathroom, I glanced over and thought I saw 2 lines, "Doth my eyes deceive me??" That would be a negative Ghost Rider. I just kept looking at it and smiling, walking away, coming back, giggle, and so on :) I texted Chris, and that conversation went a little like this:
"Is there any way you could come home and go in a bit late?"
"Not really, why?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, why what's up?"
"I just need you to come home"
"Babe, is it something I NEED to come home for?"
"I would really really like you to, but it's not a matter of life and death"
"What is it?" (He said later he really had NO idea what was going on, but then I asked if I had ever asked him to come home from work before... umm, no :)
"I'll just talk to you later"
I proceed to get in the shower, and not a minute later, my phone rings...
"What's going on?"
"Nothing, I'll just talk to you later"
"Tell me!"
"No, I don't want to tell you over the phone"
"Babe, just tell me!" (if you remember, he coaxed the ski vacation surprise out of me too, stinker)
"I'm pregnant"
"What? REALLY?! Wow!"
"I'll be home in a bit"

Well he came home, we hugged, and he so sweetly said "I feel like I need to do something..." I said "Well you've done your part, now you just hafta wait" :)

So anyway, we both went on to work a while later, agreeing to keep mum. We had already planned a family dinner with my side on Friday, and I'm a strong believer in telling family the news before any other person in the world :)

I get home from work, and sitting on the table was a beautiful bouquet of flowers :) Which is huge, because I rarely get flowers (not that I'm complaining, it just makes those times that I do get them that much more special :)
So we had it all planned out, we'd tell my family Friday evening (and his family later that evening) when they all come (except my older brother and sister-in-law and nieces, hence the conversation at the top of this post), we would make sure that my mom didn't have any food in her mouth, (didn't want to chance having to do the heimlich on the happy day :) then break the news.

Well things haven't exactly worked out like I had it all planned in my head (starting with telling Chris over the phone instead of in person :) Friday morning I was laying in bed, stretched really big, and my rib muscle that has been giving me so much grief since snowboarding, popped again, and it was the worst yet. I couldn't move any part of my body without awful pain (and of course, I was laying right in the middle of the King size bed, how inconvenient!). I finally get to my phone on the night stand and text Chris, he doesn't know what to tell me, so I call my mom, tell her about it and she says "Well the only thing a doctor is going to do is maybe do an x-ray and give you some pain meds" and I'm thinking in my head "Nuh-uh" :) So she asks my dad (who has broken his ribs TWICE, yowchie!) he basically says the same thing, so she's all like "Yeah, x-rays and some pain med." So at that point all logical thinking has left my brain, and for some reason I'm worried that maybe this "stress" might be doing something to the baby, so I bust out (tears and all) with "Mom, they aren't going to do an x-ray, cause I'm pregnant!" *sob, sob, sob* "Oh reALLY??" (with a smile in her voice)... So [keeping this a short story and not a 3 book series], after about 20 minutes I'm able to roll myself out of bed, and shower, all the while crying my eyes out because that's just not the way I envisioned telling my mom. I later redeemed myself (in my head of course, cause Mom didn't care how I told her) by going over and "telling" her in person :) That was followed by a Walmart and Target run; we did have groceries to buy, but the baby section was not passed over while there :)

That evening the only people left to tell were Bryan (my younger brother) and Jessica (sis-in-law), so we caught them off-guard. As they walked in, the usual hug, "Hi, how are you?" "Pregnant" then a look of shock following congratulations and excitement :)

After dinner we headed to Chris' family. We said we had brought something back from Colorado (and the sono on Wednesday may say that this is actually true :) We got "I Love Grandma" and "I Love Grandpa" bibs, and another bib that I ironed on "I Love My Aunt Tera"... They all opened them simultaneously; Mom jumped up and down, and Dad sat there with a huge grin on his face saying "I'm gonna be a grandpa... I'm gonna be a grandpa" :)

Well that's the story in a nutshell (I know, I know, a very large nutshell).

We would ask for prayers for these next 40-ish weeks... So many changes, but also so many fears that run through my head. I have to keep foremost in my thoughts that God is sovereign, and nothing I do or don't do, nothing I think or don't think is going to change that. The only thing we can do is give all of our anxieties (and joy) to Him, the Giver of all good and perfect gifts! :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kid #2


The 411
Breed: Yellow Lab
Age: 1
Fur Color: umm, yellow :)
Fur Type: the kind that doesn't like to stay on her body :)
Eye Color: brown
Size: 65-ish lbs
What's your favorite thing about your dog?  She's still a puppy, so she loves to play... And she looks you straight in the eye when she wants to get your attention or if you're talking to her. 
What's your least favorite thing about your dog?  Since she IS still a puppy, she continues to chew on everything!  
(she still sleeps like this)
Where did you get her? A family on the East side of town had a litter.  It actually took a while to find a yellow female that wasn't hundreds and hundreds of dollars :)
Runt of the litter? not really sure, there weren't many options
Any Special Details? she has what we like to call a "broken ear", her right ear lays funny sometimes... And when she sits, she won't sit on both of her haunches, she likes to lounge on one leg (kind of hard to explain), she just sits funny :)
Where's the mother? I'm guessing still at the house where we got her
Spay/Neutered?  Yeah, we decided that we wouldn't breed her...

Does she bite? only in play, and if she does accidentally get ya too hard and you say "ouch!" she stops and looks like she's really sorry :)
Jump up on people? No, but she does get extremely excited when people come over and kind of loses control of herself and she definitely would jump if given the opportunity, but Mom and Dad are always there to make sure that doesn't happen :)
House broken?  I don't think I could own a dog that was not housebroken. no thank you.
Chewed up anything special? Umm, YES!  Let's see... My favorite blanket has a couple holes in it, our living room rug has the "fray" look now, one of our arm chairs is gnawed on, we've gone through several dog beds... 
Does she bark? Sometimes...
Fetch? I think she likes chasing Chelsea playing fetch better than actually playing fetch herself :)  But she will if Chelsea isn't around.
Did she go to obedience school? The Shields' School for Obedient Dogs :)
Play nice with others?  Oh yes!  I think she would be a robber's best friend :)  When she gets a little older and more laid back, I want to have her go through training to be a therapy dog so I can take her to the cancer ward at the hospitals. 
Has she ever humped your leg?  No, but we caught her starting to do the hibidy dibity on Chelsea! Guess you learn from your older siblings
Any special tricks?  Just the basics

Where's her favorite place to sleep? her bed, if Chelsea isn't on it :(
Favorite food? Anything given to her!  Okay, so since she chews on everything, we got this bitter spray stuff to try, so Chris sprays some on his hand and lets Marley smell it, but instead she laps it off his hand... it's hopeless 
Favorite toy? tug-o-war
Favorite place to run around: back yard
Favorite owner: Chris likes to think it's him, so we'll say him ;)

Calm or hyper? hyyyyyper :)
Explorer of couch potato?  she hasn't had much opportunity to explore, but she LOVES walking :)
Does she learn quickly? Everything except the whole chewing thing
Stubborn?  Not at all
Like to swim?  LOVES IT!  But similar to chasing Chelsea while Chelsea is playing fetch, if we throw a toy into the lake, Chelsea will go after it, and Marley will go after Chelsea, and if we don't have a long leash on her, she will try and climb on top of Chelsea (yes, in the water), and play just likes she plays on land
Is she a cuddler?  Both dogs are really too big to cuddle unless we lay on the floor with them, but they really just want to be around us :)  And Marley will lay ON your feet if you let her :)
(this one should have been on Chelsea's info...)
with their Kongs (the only toy Marley has yet to destroy)