Friday, October 31, 2008

28 Weeks

I am now 28 weeks along, which theoretically should be 7 months, but is really just 6, because pregnancy is really 10 months, but they like to force it into a 9-month framework (???) Anyway, I have less than three months to go, now.

We start going to the doctor every two weeks now, and before long, it will be every week! I am measuring normally--my "uterus height" is 27.5 cm, and it's supposed to correspond to your number of weeks, so I'm just half a centimeter off, but that was Wednesday, before I officially reached 28 weeks today. Some people are telling me I look small, but I just haven't gained much weight, and my doctor says since I am tall and "have a deep pelvis," I'm just not going to stick out as far as some people. Baby Kate has plenty of room, in other words! Hooray for our little sweet pea!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Matryoshka

This is my (Jessica's) favorite of the 3D ultrasound pics. You can see Kate's precious little profile, and those legs that blocked her face during much of the ultrasound. (She's essentially sucking her knees in this pic, and those are her feet on the right edge of the image.) For those of you who've asked, yes, it is "definitely" a girl. I hesitate to say that without the quotes because I still fear we'll get thrown a curveball (or two :0) at birth, but two ultrasounds have now shown the telltale "three lines" that indicate girl parts, and the technicians were quite confident.

Baby Kate is about fifteen inches long now, weighs around two pounds, and recently has begun keeping her foot (or elbow, or something) up under my bottom rib. Our little girl has been kicking like crazy, doing somersaults in my belly, and I have to say it's the most amazing feeling ever. I can't believe I have a little person inside of me! What's even more amazing is that she has a million little proto-people inside her too, as she has more eggs now than she will ever have in her whole life! Microscopic halves of our grandchildren are already there, inside our daughter, before she has even been born. Generation upon generation are nested inside one another.


I have long loved all things Russian, and have a modest collection of matryoshkas--nesting dolls. Matt even proposed to me by putting the ring inside one of the innermost layers of a matryoshka. That one was painted with the story of the Ugly Duckling, and nowadays you see them decorated with faces of Communist leaders, U.S. presidents, Hollywood stars, or any number of other things, but the traditional design has each doll painted to look like a babushka (Russian grandmother) or other woman in traditional Eastern-European dress. The word matryoshka, in fact, is derived from the word for mother (mat). So here I am, less than three months from becoming a mother, and I am a matryoshka of sorts, nesting within me my child and even her children and beyond.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ultrasound Comparison


  
We just had an ultrasound courtesy of the folks at Focused Imaging in Nashville. According to my (Matt) mother, the image of baby Kate's face looks like me as a newborn. I'm still hoping Kate looks like her mother, though.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14 - Our Anniversary

Today is our second wedding anniversary. We had Roundtable Pulpit tonight, so we didn't get to go out to dinner or anything, but have celebrated in little ways--exchanging cards, getting up early to enjoy waffles before work, and watching our wedding video while we ate a quick dinner at home. We reminisced about what a wonderful day it was, from the beautiful flowers, to our first dance, to our lovely suite at the Brown Hotel. To reminisce a bit more about that happy, happy day, I'm including a few of our favorite wedding pics below...

Below, you see Bishop Pennel performing our ceremony, and I want to reflect a little here on his homily, as it honestly means more now than when he originally delivered it. One of the scriptures for the service (and we did take care to make it a worship service, complete with hymns and eucharist) was Joshua 24:15, "Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We asked Bishop Pennel to preach on what it means to serve God as a household (presuming that it means something different from serving God as individuals).

He said that serving God as a household means loving one another well. That sounds lovely, but I remember thinking that was a cop-out. Shouldn't it mean working as a couple for the betterment of society? Helping one another grow as disciples?

Through the ups and downs of the first couple years of marriage, though, I've come to see that he was right. Loving one another well is a prerequisite for any other good we can do in the world. Why is that? Because unhappiness breeds self-centeredness. When the relationship is struggling and one or both parties is unhappy, we cannot get outside ourselves enough to focus on others and the service to which God calls us. That's my experience, at least. While loving those closest to us is often harder than loving complete strangers, the health of that primary relationship provides a platform from which to love and serve God and neighbor.

This last one is a favorite of ours because, to us, it symbolizes how FUN our wedding was. All those empty chairs, everybody out on the dance floor, it was awesome! We had a great start, Baby, and the best is yet to come!

World's Worst Pastor

No, not my husband. He's awesome. I mean me. If there is one thing I have learned in the last year or two, it is that I would literally be the world's worst pastor.

I was reminded of this reading Kem Meyer's blog today. She started out with this quote:

"If you believe that people hate change and that it is your job to change them, they will hate it. If you believe that people thrive on change and that your job is to unleash it, you will tap into a limitless source of ingenuity, energy and drive that will allow you to take your big ideas into big results."
- Michael T. Kanazawa

I have a very "this is the way things should be, and anyone who doesn't see that is totally clueless" personality. I know that's terrible, and I don't really believe it, but I often have that attitude about a lot of things in the church. If I were a pastor, I would be run out on a rail for imposing changes without getting appropriate buy-in. I would scream, "It's not 1957 anymore!" and people would look at me like I was crazy. I would be branded as anti-social and uncaring because I much prefer being home with hubby or in a small group setting than mingling with crowds at fellowship gatherings or making endless visits. I could go on, but I don't want to make myself look even worse than I already have.

Luckily for the church, Matt is very conscientious about getting buy-in, helping key people feel ownership over desicions. He makes a concerted effort to meet people "where they are," rather than expecting them to automatically see things his way. He's awesome. And I know when to keep my mouth shut.

(On another "yay for hubby" note, it's our anniversary today, but I'm going to write that post this evening, because the wedding pix are on my home computer, and because I need to get back to work now.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quintessentially Nashville

Well, Clarksville to be precise, but it comforts me a little to think of C'ville as just a far-out suburb of Nashville. Anyway, my point is, here we are making our country music debut!

The Trace Adkins video that was shot at our church is now playing on CMT! Matt embedded the video and included some of his photos of the shoot on his blog, here.

Even if you're not a country music fan, it's fun to watch the video. Amazing how Stephen Baldwin seems to be overacting, even when he's just walking down a road... Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Registry Woes

I just gave this post that title so you might think it has to do with baby registries and be more inclined to check it out. (Baby-happy ladies, at least. Some people, of course, would think that and run the other direction.)

Anyway, no. What I really want to gripe about today is the concept of websites hosting contests for things and demanding that people register--provide their personal contact info--before voting. Four times in the last couple weeks, friends have e-mailed or blogged about some fun contest they've entered--best blog, cutest pet halloween costume, or best gospel song rendition. Each time, I happily click on the link to go vote for my friend, look at other contestants, and see what the website is all about. Three of those times, though (to Southwest Airlines' credit, they are the exception, not making me register to vote for their new "blog-o-spondent") I have been required to register with the site before voting. Sadly, I just "X" out of the site immediately, irritated that I can't join in the fun unless I sign up for the site's presumably endless marketing communiques.

Marketing minds, are you with me here? I understand that in most cases, the reason the site hosts the contest to begin with is to attract new customers. However, surely there is a benefit to just raising consumer awareness about your company, and improving your reputation by making people think of you as a fun and engaging. Forcing people to divulge too much before they know anything about you and what you offer seems more of a turn-off than a brand-boosting move.

Do you agree, or should I just pony up the info and click the opt-out button?

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