Saturday, December 29, 2007

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Christmas in NJ was wonderful. Our trip started out a little rough- Tess got loose as Gregg was loading up the car and took off, putting us about an hour behind schedule. I found her not too far away running around a neighbor's yard, completely oblivious to the fact that we had a four hour drive ahead of us. I called her over, knelt down and grabbed her by the collar, then waited for Gregg to drive by since he had gone looking for her.

Since she had also decided to go roll around in cow poo, Gregg had to give her a bath. He didn't bother drying her off because we were so late by that time, so we just threw her in the back of the car and started on our way. About an hour and a half into the trip, she then got car sick. That was fun. Barring that snafu, we proceeded to have a very nice holiday. It was really good to spend time with family, celebrating Christmas, stuffing our faces full of yummy goodies and exchanging presents, except I wasn't quite feeling like normal myself.

The night of the Christmas concert at church, I started feeling really weird. Like I was all hopped up on caffeine or something. I just brushed it off, thinking I was overtired. The next morning when I got in the shower, I felt really dizzy and just a tad nauseous so I decided to work from home that day. By the afternoon, I was feeling a lot better so I went into the office to meet with a couple clients I was scheduled to see. That night I had Bible study and that dizzy feeling came over me again, stronger than it had been in the morning. By this point, things were starting to add up: feeling dizzy, queasy, sore boobs, and AF was nowhere in sight.

The next day I mentioned to Gregg that I was five days late, which is really unusual for me. I asked if I should perhaps test and he said to wait a while. That evening, though, his curiosity got the better of him, and over dinner he told me to go ahead. We needed to go to Walmart for a few odds and ends anyway, so while we were there we bought a digital pregnancy test. When we got home, Gregg took the dog out and I went straight upstairs to the bathroom. I did the "procedure", laid the stick down on the counter and went into our bedroom to wait for the results, my heart pounding. A few minutes later, Gregg came upstairs with a questioning look on his face and I told him I hadn't looked yet. We went into the bathroom together, and I picked up the test. There was no mistaking it; it was positive! I couldn't believe it. Gregg smiled and said, "Cool. I knew you were." Still in somewhat of a daze, we decided to go online to calculate my due date.

First thing the next morning I called our primary care physician because I knew he'd see us right away and we wanted to be certain the test was indeed accurate before going ahead and telling our parents over Christmas. I was given an appointment for the following day. The nurse saw me right away, took my weight and blood pressure, then had me do the obligatory pee in a cup routine. I waited with Gregg in the exam room for her to come back with the results. My heart started pounding again as I heard the timer go off. The nurse walked towards us and simply smiled and nodded her head as she closed the door behind her.

About five minutes later, Dr. Peterson came in to congratulate us. He gave us an estimated due date, which is the same one we had calculated ourselves. He then talked with us about ways to have a healthy pregnancy and wrote out a prescription for prenatal vitamins. We went straight downstairs to the pharmacy to have it filled and also pick up a bottle of Omega-3 Fish Oil supplements he recommended. As we were heading out of the medical center, we ran into our friends, Ryan and Anita, who are due in January. Ryan looked suspiciously at the white bag in Gregg's hands and said, "Going to pick up some drugs this morning, are we?" We played it off, but the gig was pretty much up, so they were the first ones to know.

We told both sets of parents over Christmas by making up a phony backorder notice for a gift that hadn't arrived yet. The card read: "One precious package is still in processing. It is due for delivery approximately August 21, 2008. To track the status of this package, please visit the manufacturers' website", and we included a link to a webpage that we designed to fill them in on the details of the next eight months. They were ecstatic. My father, however, was just speechless. He was so choked up, he could barely get words out and wouldn't let me go! He is very much looking forward to being a grandpa.

So we are very excited! I'm six weeks and two days along today, and feel good for the most part. I get queasy at different times throughout the day, but no morning sickness yet. And boy, am I tired! I'm also hypersensitive to what goes into my body now. I've started reading up on foods to stay to away from and ones to eat more of. I've had to forgo my favorite Diet Dr. Pepper because of the caffeine & sugar substitutes, and replaced it with water and fruit juices. A small price to pay for a healthy, full term baby!

Our first OB appointment is on January 11, our anniversary! I'm hoping the doctor will do an ultrasound, but from what I've been reading it's likely it will only be an informational visit, plus a very invasive and oh so fun pelvic exam. I'm really looking forward to the next several months, seeing how this baby develops and how I change too. I can't wait to welcome our new son or daughter into the world this August!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

2 More Sleeps Until Christmas

So Christmas is just around the corner, and I've had my fill of baking, shopping and wrapping to last me until next year. The counter is loaded with plates of cookies, the gifts are wrapped and stashed in the closet, waiting to be taken with us to NJ.

It's been a good, but busy, week filled with Christmas festivities. I went and saw the church's musical on Sunday afternoon, which was pretty good. I stayed afterwards for the dinner that was provided for the cast and choir, then went home for a few hours. I came back around 10 to pick up Gregg. I was so glad the long week of rehearsals and lonely nights was finally over, and we could actually see each other for more than an hour each night.

Now I'm looking forward to spending time with family for a few days. I've got about five loads of laundry going so that we have clean clothes to go away with. Tomorrow I'm packing, attending the 8 o'clock Christmas Eve service, then we'll probably go out to eat at Denny's which will be the only place open at that time, and we're loading up the car the next morning with presents, cookies and Tess. I'm so ready to slow down and just enjoy Christmas.

Have a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones this season and a happy & healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Confessions of a Ministry Widow, Part II

Shortly after nine last night, Gregg called me to come pick him up. It had just started to pour down big, thick icy rain drops so it took me almost half an hour to get to the church when normally it takes under ten minutes. I had to wait for windshield to defrost and then I drove 20 miles an hour so as not to send the car into a tail spin. My wheels locked up a few times as I was making turns, but I made it safely. By the time I got to King Street, everyone had gone home and there was Gregg standing outside looking small and cold. I let him drive back home, of course. He said that the show was very successful, standing room only.

This morning at 7:00 when I went to walk the dog, there was a sheet of ice over everything. It looked as though the Ice Man had touched everything with his cold, bony fingers and turned the neighborhood into one giant ice skating rink. I decided to skip church. Gregg was not as fortunate. They didn't cancel services, so he still had to go in. As far as I know, the two productions of the Christmas play are still on for today. The weather is calling for a mix of rain and snow with wind gusts of up to 40 mph. Yay.

I've been thinking about just how much work goes into these stupid productions. Okay, so they're not stupid. But it's hard to fully appreciate them when you hardly get to see your hubby because he's working morning, noon and night for them. All those people who come to simply enjoy the musical for two hours, then get to go home afterwards, I kind of envy them. They have no idea all the time that goes into one of these things.

Sorry for the rant. I've been PMSing like crazy all week and Aunt Flo is taking her sweet time getting here. Like I said before, I can't wait for this weekend to be over!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Confessions of a Ministry Widow

'Tis the season when church sees more of my husband than I do. Gregg was setting up tech equipment and running sound at rehearsals for the Christmas musical/concert/play during most of last week. That meant a lot of nights of fast food and me sitting home alone with cable tv and the dog. The actual production is tonight and tomorrow. I'm planning on going to the 3 o'clock show Sunday. We both can't wait until this week is over.

It hasn't been all bad, though. We did get to spend some time together. Last Friday night, we went to dinner at TGIFriday's and stopped downtown afterwards to look at everything all lit up. There were carolers, a brass band and the stores were even open past 5! Chambersburg doesn't exactly have the most happening night life, if you couldn't tell. It was very festive and Christmas-y, but really really cold so after ducking into a store or two to get warm, we headed home.

Sunday we hung out with another couple from church, Ryan & Anita, at their house. I've nicknamed Gregg and Ryan the "tech twins". We watched the Steelers game and had chili and hamburgers. Then on Monday night, we rushed off to meet our small group for dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and went to Starbucks afterwards. Mmmm, a dreamy dish of parmesan chicken and pasta, topped off with a Peppermint Mocha. I'm seriously going to put on ten pounds by the end of this month.

Today after straigthening up the house and doing laundry, I entertained myself by elfing different members of my family. It was hysterical! The first one I did one of my sister Val and her fiance Bill was especially hilarious because Bill's head was way too big for the little elf hat. If you want a good laugh, go to

This morning, we stopped at Walmart for a few things before Gregg went over to the church. It was a madhouse. Lines out the wazoo, crowded aisles, people playing bumper carts. Everyone was in the holiday spirit, too, of course. Yeah. There's nothing like last minute shopping the week before Christmas.

I'm happy to say that our tree is now complete. Yesterday, Gregg's parents stopped through on their way down to North Carolina to visit the grandkids and dropped off a small gift bag. He waited until I got home to open it- inside were our annual engraved ornaments. Tess even got her very own one too, an adorable little doggie with her name and the year on it.

So my big plans this evening pretty much include eating dinner alone and watching cheesy Christmas movies on ABC Family. One more day until I get my husband back. There was one day last week where I only saw him for about two hours. Two hours. I mean, I get that this is the holidays and all, but the madness needs to end!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Google Image Meme

I saw this on a few other people's blogs and just had to do it! Here's how it works- you type the answer to each question into a Google image search and then pick an image from the first page of results:

1. Age at next birthday

2. Place I'd like to travel

3. Favorite place

4. Favorite object

5. Favorite food

6. Favorite animal

7. Favorite color

8. My nickname

9. Town I was born in

10. Bad habit I have

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Day!

As I type, snow is swirling about, covering the ground, trees and rooftops with a blanket of white powder. It's been falling since sometime this morning, adding to the light dusting that had already fallen the previous day. Since Wednesday is Gregg's day off and I didn't have to be at the agency by any particular time, we stayed in bed until 8:30 and snuggled. I didn't make it into work until 10:00 and went home at 2:30. I cancelled the home visit I had this afternoon and rescheduled for tomorrow because the roads were bad. A lot of people chose not to come in, so the girls in my office and I played Christmas music obnoxiously loud.

Tess wasn't sure at first what to make of the snow. She didn't know if she was allowed to go potty on it or not. It was pretty funny as she took her first steps onto the white, powdery substance she never saw in Florida.

I love how peaceful it gets after it's been snowing all day and the night sky doesn't go completely dark. You feel like you're in a magical winter wonderland. It makes me want to wrap myself up in a fleece blanket with a steaming cup of hot cocoa.

In other news, we received a letter from the auto insurance company of the guy who hit me back in August. They have agreed to pay 90% of the repairs on the X-Terra, so now all we have to pay out of pocket is about $160 instead of our $500 deductible. We got an estimate from two different auto body centers a while ago that were pretty close to each other. We decided we may leave the car to be fixed during our trip to NJ for Christmas and take a rental. I was so surprised. I had resigned myself to the fact that we'd just have GEICO pay for the damages. Talk about an unexpected Christmas blessing!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas, Part 2

Everywhere I look, there are signs of Christmas. Lights and decorations adorning houses, crowded shopping malls, Christmas music 24-7 on radio stations. And oh yeah, it's now officially cold enough to freeze your winnebago here in PA. They're forecasting snow tomorrow (yay!) and Tuesday.

Yes, the Christmas season is in full swing. Yesterday at Sam's Club, Gregg and I loaded up on ingredients to make Christmas cookies. We're planning on baking three different kinds and sharing the wealth with family, friends and co-workers.

Christmas gifts are beginning to pile up in the coat closet. We're about 3/4 of the way done with our shopping. That's one of the best things about Christmas- scowering the stores (or internet) for just the right present for that special somebody and then giving it to them on December 25. Of course, receiving gifts is always nice too.

We attended our first Christmas party already this afternoon. My work threw a little shinding at a nearby church's fellowship hall. Management staff whipped up a sizeable feast for us clinicians and the foster parents, as well as the kids. I got to visit with a few of my clients (all teenage girls) and chat with co-workers outside of work which was fun. As we were driving home, Gregg told me "You work with some really nice people". It helps that a good number of them also go to King Street Church. I am very blessed to work where I do. I'm valued and I have a good time doing my job.

This is also the busiest time of year for Gregg professionally. Rehearsals have begun for the Christmas musical at church. It will be an off-beat production of the Christmas story. Think the Gospels meet Rent. There are three services on Christmas Eve which Gregg needs to work, a 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00. Fun. I am so glad we are both taking off the rest of that week. We're going to spend time visiting with family in NJ and enjoying a little R&R.

I love Christmastime- there's just nothing like it. The hauntingly beautiful hymns about Christ's birth and redeeming love, gatherings with family & friends, celebrating traditions, eating yummy foods, exchanging gifts. Yup, life is good.