Tuesday, February 24

that time again

It has occurred to me that there are several of you out there. 
Stalking, if you will.
In secret.

Well, stop it.
There is no need for that.
Let's be friends.

If your blog is not listed on the blog list in the right column, please leave us a comment so we can find you and be friends! Life is more fun with friends. 

Thanks, and happy Monday, er, Tuesday!

Friday, February 20

soup explosion

Well, it's time for another post, and one with pictures is way overdue. First, the important stuff:
1. still no court date
2. still no info from CIS
3. God is still in charge

So, every Tuesday night, a "small group" of ladies come to my house for some dinner and time with one another and Jesus. This week, I decided to use my new giant crock pot and make a very large batch of soup. Mmm, Pasta e Fagioli. All went fine. I made the soup and some cookies and some bread. Yes, I even made bread. Mmmm, homemade bread. And cookies.

I decided to move the soup in the crock so it would be easier to get the buffet line going. I grabbed hold of the built-in handles on the crock and guess what. 
I know! I lifted, but the bottom of the crock just stayed put. 

And the soup flooded the stovetop. The countertops. The bread. The oven front. The oven drawer. The floor. The cabinets. (Have I mentioned yet that our stove slides in to the cabinet base, so the soupy mess had seeped between the cabinets and the stove? I had to pull out the stove and clean the cabinets, wall, and floor!)

We did some serious laughing. And slipping and sliding in the soupy mess. And boy, what a mess! But what fun, too.  We called Double Daves and had some pizza delivered.  After that, we decided that two dessert pizzas were in order. I'm so glad my friends think silly things like this are as funny as I do! 

From top to bottom on the left, Lindsay and Jen. 
From top to bottom on the right, Jenny, AC, and Rebecca. 
My silly soupy friends. 

Our lesson that night was about JOY, and boy, did we experience some of that!! 

Tuesday, February 10

referral part three -- face to face

Our referral happened on a Thursday, which is Refuge night. I drive to church and try really hard to wipe the smirk off my face. I think it only kinda worked. My friend, Jen, said she knew right away something was up. We went through the normal Refuge stuff. But at the end, the leader asked if there was anyone who wanted to testify ... and I ran to the front as soon as I could. I spoke about how special it was that our entire group had prayed for the formula crisis in Ethiopia and for our future child. I mentioned how thankful I was that God answers prayer. Then I spilled the beans. I wanted to share with the group my praise to God for answering that prayer -- yes! -- but mostly for just being a God who is ABLE to move mountains; a God who is INTERESTED in the deepest desires of our heart; a God who is KIND enough to bless us in seeing His will accomplished here on earth. A God who doesn't need our help by any means,  but who ENJOYS giving us a role and working His masterpiece around us. I spoke about being so glad to serve a God who LOVES us and is WORTHY of all praise, of all our WORSHIP, and who deserves to be RECOGNIZED because it is HE who works all things to GOOD in our lives. How extremely blessed am I to serve THAT God, to be loved by THAT God, and to be saved by THAT God. I can't wait to teach our son all about THAT God and His amazing plan for each of us. 

Those moments were so profound in our referral day. I was surrounded by friends. The girls in my small group rushed me with screams and squeals of congratulations and big big bear hugs. I will treasure those moments forever. 

It was nearing 9:30pm, and Misty -- as well as the others -- would be heading to my home soon. I drove home and straightened up a bit. After all, my mother in law was coming over! : ) Christina made it to my house before Misty, so I made her park at the neighbors and hide in the hallway right after we stopped jumping up and down and laughing. And more crying. 

Christina runs to hide in the hallway.
I open the door and let Misty in. 
me: Hey, how was your day.
M: Good, how was yours? 
(I can tell she is confused...hehehe, I'm smirking on the inside!)
me: I love your hair!! blah blah blah  What did you do today?
M: well, I went to work and then hung out with my family. It's pizza night. Blah blah. What about you?
me: Well, you know, I had a son today. 
M: WHAT?! (crying starts now) OH MY GOSH! (crying really going now) I can't believe it! I KNEW it! I told Joey before I left that something was up! I KNEW it! (Christina runs from the hallway and now we're all three jumping and screaming and crying) When I got here I thought to myself, "hey, where are all the cars? what's going on...?" But I knew something was up!

I was so proud of myself. I had totally forgotten to remove the nametag from Refuge that said, "Mommy". But she didn't even notice. She immediately started calling more people to tell them. I'm pretty sure she talks about our baby more than we do. 

Other family and friends start to pour in. I think we had about 15 family and friends around. Justin was home before I knew it...but we had to wait on his Dad for nearly 20 more minutes and that was torture for everyone. We were all so ready! When everyone finally showed up, Justin and I sat at the head of the table and looked at all our pictures first. We oohed and ahhhed and giggled at some of his expressions. Justin said, "there are a lot of naked ones" and I said, "well, that's how babies come!". We finished and someone (I think it might have been MeeMaw, Justin's mom) said, "Hey! Let us see now!" So we did. Everyone else oohed and ahhed and commented on his expressions. It was so sweet to watch their expressions as they gazed at our boy. So precious. Misty and Christina were crying. We had celebratory cake (thanks Christina!) and looked at him over and over picking our favorites. 

The night was settling down when my friend & neighbor came home and Christina and Misty ran outside to invite her in. She came in and thought we were just hanging out for cake. I randomly asked her if she'd like to see pictures of my son, and she stood really still, eyes bulging, and screamed! It was so fun to do that over and over again! 

I think everyone was about gone around midnight. It was such a perfect day and night. I couldn't have come up with something better if I had planned it. I mean, I wish I could have told more people in person, but there just isn't enough time in the day! I've run into several people since then who hadn't heard yet and the first words out of my mouth are not hi or hello, but instead, "We have a son!!!!" It still gets good reactions. I'm going to use this up as long as possible. 

We have a son!! 

Oh, and p.s. Happy One Month Birthday, Little One! - Love Mommy and Daddy.

Wednesday, February 4

referral part two -- sharing the news

First I tried to stop crying. Seriously. Then I'd giggle. Then the tears would come again.

I called Justin first. 
J: Hello. 
me: Guess what.
J: What?
me: We have a son.
J: What? Wait, a referral?
me: Yes!
J: Today? They called today?
me: y-- (interrupted)
J: (sirens blaring) I have to go. (hang up.)

Ok. So I sit and wait. Because I can't call anyone else until the Dad knows. Right?

me: Hello?
J: Hey, sorry. Code one. 
me: It's ok. We have a son!
J: Wow. 
me: I know! He's three weeks old and--(interrupted)
J: ( sirens blaring) Crap, gotta go! I'll call you back.
me: Wait! Can I tell others yet!?
J: Yes. Bye. 

Well, he said I could. So I did. 

A little background: The previous Sunday my BF Christina had said she guessed we'd get a call on Thursday. For no reason, she just thought Thursday would be a good day. Thursday morning I emailed her to remind her that she had placed that bet and that if she was wrong, I was going to call her and laugh at her. 

So I called her. 
C: Hello.
me: Hi there. What are you doing tonight? Like, what's your Thursday activity?
C: Just kickball (yes, that's right. she's in a kickball league.) ... Why? Am I a psychic? (Inside joke: for Christmas I gave her a pamphlet on the "10 Easy Steps to Becoming a Psychic")
me: Well, I don't know since you only had ten steps...but I do have a son today.
C: WHAT! Oh my goodness oh my goodnessohmygoodness!!! (She starts crying. And giggling.) Oh! I can't believe it! Congratulations! (I hear this noise.) Oh, and I just want you to know that my secretary is clapping. Oh my gosh! I'll be there tonight. As soon as I can. 

Hm, this calling people is fun. Let's do another one. How about...Justin's mom. Yes, let's do that one next. I call her office and her sister answers the phone.

DL: Hello. Any news yet. (Gotta love caller ID.)
me: Ha. Well, I was really just calling to ask JK a question.
DL: Allllright. 
JK: Hello?
me: Hiya. How are you today?... blah blah blah... So, what are you doing tonight? Do you have any plans?
JK: Uh, well, no I don't think so. I mean, dinner. But no, no plans.
me: Well, good. Because you need to come to my house to see pictures of your grandson.
JK: Oh, ok. (pause) WAIT! Did you say? Did you get the call! 
(in the background I hear this: -- DL: She lied! She didn't tell me anything! JK: Well, who do you think she's going to tell first! Me! The grandmother! Not you!) 

This game is so fun! But I started to run out of people to call. I knew I was going to see some people later on...so I wanted to start saving some for face-to-face. I mean, if it was this fun to tell people over the phone, then how fun would it be to see them?! One last call...

Misty: Hello?
me: Hey. Can we meet for coffee tonight after church? I know it's kinda late, but I just need some hangout time. Is that cool?
Misty: Coffee?! Of course! 
me: Good. Can we just hang out at my house instead? We'll make some coffee and just hang out and not get kicked out. 
Misty: (sounding suspicious) Uh, suurrre. 

I know that she is already suspicious, so I start on a plan to throw her off the scent. I love surprises. And being sneaky. 

Stay tuned. The next post is telling people in person. It's really good. 

Sunday, February 1

details and "the call"

Ok, an apology first because I know you've all been waiting. So here goes. All the info you've been on the edge of your seat for. 

We have a son. 
His birth day was January 8, 2009.
As of today, he is three weeks and two days old. 
He weighed 6 lbs and 6 oz at one week, and was 18.8 inches long.
And yes, he's absolutely adorable. 

"The Call":
It was Thursday, and after a quiet morning, I was headed to the other side of town to visit with my grandparents at the nursing home. I'd been there around an hour when the phone rang. I tend to ignore most phone calls when I'm with them, but I checked it anyway. 

A friend. I'd call her back. 

We continue to visit and the phone rings again.

I see that it is Julie from All God's Children. 

I smile. 

I know what's coming. 

I answer.

me: Hi Julie...
J: Hi Nell Ann. How are you today?
me: Good, I'm visiting with my family. How are you today?
J: Oh, I'm good. Do you have a few minutes to talk?
me: Of course I do! (And I immediately start looking for a pen and paper.)
J: Well, good because there is a little boy that I wanted to talk with you about.

Commence the tears. 

I'm sitting very close to my grandmother's bed and whisper, "It's a boy - I have a son."
She smiles, and I can see the joy in her face as she shares this precious moment with me. I write down everything Julie says -- on the only paper I can find -- the Moving Up (used car) section of the Houston Chronicle. She pats my hand and shoulder as she smiles. My grandfather, who had been sitting on the other side of the room, looks up and realizes I am crying. "What's wrong", he asks, "What's the matter? Why is she crying?" He's kinda deaf and doesn't pay attention sometimes, so he had no clue what was happening. I hang up the phone and try to hold back the tears. (I then called Justin, but will save that for another post.)

I am convinced that I would have squealed and jumped up and down had I been anywhere else when I got the call, but this story is great. I told them all about my son, and that Julie would be sending pictures soon. Justin and I had planned to invite our families over for a big unveiling, but I knew my grandmother couldn't be there, so I waited for the email. Then, I very carefully opened it on my phone, and scrolled to the bottom of the text, showing my grandfather how to do it. I sat down in the corner of the room and watched their faces as my grandmother and grandfather looked through the pictures of their great-grandson. It was such a precious and sweet moment for me; to know that they could see him and already start to love him even if I couldn't yet. 

There's a lot more to tell about that day -- we're only at like 3:30 pm and the story goes until midnight. I'll post that later because I'm out of time for tonight. Enjoy this and more will come!!!

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