Monday, July 27, 2009

A little catch up

As promised yesterday, here, in short, is a catch up of our lives, since last Saturday.

Sunday, we woke up and went to church. Carl wasn't feeling very well from his pen-making and grass cutting so he stayed home. Later that evening, my Aunt called and said that my cousins were moving on Monday. We were already planning on going to Richmond on Monday to try and get everything worked out at EKU as well as to move the couch. So, instead, we packed up and Carl and I went down on Sunday night.

We got up bright and early on Monday morning and headed to EKU. They still hadn't received his transcripts, but said they would call us if they did. So, we then headed to my cousins. I hung out there until Mom headed up with the couch, then she picked me up from a store. Funnily enough... I left the apartment keys with Carl, which meant Mom and I had to wander Richmond until Carl was done moving. Once he got back, he called two of his friends to help him move the beast that is our sofa sleeper into the apartment. I started going through boxes, and by the time Mom left that evening, a good majority of the boxes had disappeared! I went through all the book boxes and seperated them into "staying" and "going" boxes.

Monday night we ate out (Carl at Rally's, me at Fazzoli's) and then watched a movie (Batman Begins if you must know). We never heard anything from EKU, and since Carl was supposed to do orientation there on Tuesday, we decided to get up and call in the morning. So, we did. And all the admissions counselors were busy. The Receptionist told Carl that they had made a decision, but that she couldn't tell him what it was. So, the waiting game began. We got up, ate breakfast, got ready to meet my sister in Lexington to see Harry Potter 6... finally, Carl gave up waiting and called again. He was informed that his GPA was to low to get into EKU, but that they would hold his scholarship until last semester, and if he raised his GPA then he would be accepted for the spring semester. So, that's what we're trying. We go this Friday to register him at Southeast Community and Technical College in some online classes. So, Tuesday, we went and saw HP6 (which was good!!) and then we went and visited with my sister at her house. She and I cooked some authentic Italian pasta and pasta sauce (she went to Italy last month) and she presented us with Keevie's first pair of shoes, from Italy! My child is so spoiled!

After we had eaten and hung out, Carl and I went and got him a hair cut and a shave, as he was looking very mountain manly... Yeah, we could tell we were in Lexington and not Jackson... it cost $18! But he looked much less scruffy afterwards! We drove back to Richmond, and got some ice cream (Hagan Daz Simply 5 Coffee is SO GOOD!) because I could have breathed fire from the heartburn I was feeling... Then we watch "The Dark Knight" and went to bed!

Wednesday and Thursday were both filled with Carl putting in applications for full time work. I cooked dinner on Wednesday, and played "lets see what Shaina can make out of her cupboard..." it wasn't the best, but it was edible! We headed back to Jackson Thursday night.

We haven't heard anything from any of the places Carl has applied, so we're planning on going to Richmond on Wednesday and putting in a few more applications. Wednesday evening we'll be heading to his parents, and coming home again on Friday night.

Right now we're just praying for a paycheck. My parents are still paying all our bills (although we managed to pay for our stay in Richmond). We also need Carl to get some medical insurance, because as of Saturday, he has none. Please keep these issues in your prayers!

Also, PLEASE pray for sweet baby Stellan. I've mentioned him several times on here before, but this is the most urgent. He's been in constant SVT for 3 days, and is being airlifted to Boston sometime soon. He was so bad this morning that they called in the family. Please lift them all up in your prayers if you would! You can read more from MckMama here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One year

Kelly's Korner blog does a weekly "Show us where you live" blog-hop. I've never participated because well, we're moving... and there are still boxes everywhere... BUT this week she's doing a "show us your life" and this weeks is wedding dresses!

WELL, this came at a very opportune time... as today is my one year anniversary.

So, the story behind my dress. We got engaged on November 26th, 2007. We contemplated getting married the next January (not the 2008 one, the 2009 one)... or possibly in the summer. However, when David's Bridal had their sale in January, my Mom, Aunt, friend Sarah and I traveled to "look".

I think I tried on over 15 dresses. I'm not sure of the exact number. I found one I LOVED but it was $800 and something ON SALE... and I knew my Momma couldn't afford that... plus, I thought it was rather ridiculous for something I would wear once. So, I kept trying. Finally the little assistant we had gave up, and I slipped on a t-shirt over my bra and slip and started walking around the store myself. Mom and I grabbed anything in my size and brought it to the dressing room. Including the dress I despised. The dress I had despised since I had seen it in bridal magazines. I despised it on mannequins. I didn't want to try it on... but, like many other times in my life, Mom talked me into it.

And, as they zipped it up, and I stepped out on the pedestal, I went "Oh... I like it..." Yeah. That was my dress.

It was very simple. Satin sleeveless, with a gathered skirt. I bought a red ribbon to match my wedding colors (red, white and black). My wedding was entirely homemade. We did the decorations, the cake, the invitations, the flowers... everything but the dress!

Here's a picture of the back and the bow my Momma tied... it shows the simplicity of the dress.

Here it is from the side view... which shows the skirt. I went barefoot because I'm so freaking tall and it would have been too short if I'd worn shoes... plus, I'm clumsy enough without adding shows to the mix!

And finally, one to show the simplicity of it again. I chose a short veil... just cuz I wanted it. No other real reason. I wore a pearl necklace my Mom got me in 2007 and pearl earrings I found at a craft festival. Plus pearl hair thingies and a bracelet I got from David's Bridal. My veil came from Michael's craft store... and I paid $4 for it! It was a "communion" veil, I think.

I can't believe it's been a year! I'll be 26 weeks pregnant tomorrow with our second pregnancy. CRAZY!!! Even though we are poorer than dirt (I swear, I will update on your last week tomorrow) and have some huge uncertainities in our future... I'm very thankful that I have him, and that I have this beautiful baby girl that we get to meet very soon! I am so BLESSED!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I feel like such a horrible poster. I used to be much better at updating this thing. Carl is constantly telling me "you haven't updated in a while!" to which I agree.

Life is crazy. Maybe once August rolls around, I'll be able to write more often. I really hope so! This is my release, my therapy. Not that I have much that I need therapy for mind you, but its still cleansing. Plus, I think I would be a more disciplined writer all together if I would blog on a daily basis. I really, truly want to have a book published some day!

So how is my life crazy? Well, I'm in the middle (but nearing the end!) of my summer online independent study Introduction to Philosophy class. In fact, I only have 3 more assignments. One of which is due on Wednesday. This doesn't take up a great deal of my time, but it does block out complete days sometimes. It's very aggrevating.

Last weekend, my Mom, Dad, Hubby and I traveled to Louisville to go to my annual family reunion. We had turned in all of our resignations the day before, so it was kind of a get-away for all of us as well. It was a wonderful time of relaxation and laughter, although the 3 hour trip each way was more than a little tiring on my poor pregnant body. We only stayed overnight, so we traveled home on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning we got up and Carl, Mom and I went to a new church. Some of Carl's family goes there, one of my surrogate mothers goes there, and the preacher was Carl's preacher several years ago. It's also approximately 2 minutes from my house, which makes it a little nicer than the 10-15 it used to take to get to church. Selfish, I know. It's not perfect, but its so relaxing to merely sit in the audience and not have to worry about anything behind the scenes.

Then, around 2ish on Sunday, Carl and I went into town, picked up two girls from his former youth group, and began the hour and a half trek to take them to camp. When we dropped them off we got to visit with a few of our friends that were working that week, then we went on into the "big" city and got some Sonic before heading back home. It was some nice couple's time that we'd been lacking.

Monday was a semi day of rest. I was pooped, and there was a lot of organization that had to take place. Carl also cut a lot of grass and did some other maitence around my parents farm.

Tuesday morning we got up bright and early and left out of our house at 8. My appointment was at Central Baptist at 10. We got there just in time, although I didn't go back until around 10:40. They weighed me, and I had gained a whopping 5 pounds in 4 weeks (I was very excited!) and then did the blood pressure stuff. I have white coat syndrome, as my bp tested a little high for me (120/74). The midwife wasn't concerned though. They measured my fundus, which was right on track at 25 cm (I should have been anywhere between 22-26). However, my fundus is about two cm's away from my sternum. ALREADY. I'm going to rapidly start getting big I fear!

After the midwife appointment, we did a little bit of shopping, then headed to the apartment. Mom and I were able to tackle the mountain that IS baby clothes, and get everything organized by months. Dad told Carl to just go ahead and buy some straw and spread it around in a circle. I didn't think it was that funny personally. We also rearranged our bedroom furniture and I am much happier with it. It's set up like it was right before I moved out before. It really opened up floor space and wall space for storage, because storage is going to be a BIG issue in this apartment!

We continued working Wednesday, then Wednesday evening we headed home. Thursday I was running a low grade fever (I'd had a weird blister in my throat on Wednesday, who knows), so I didn't trek back to camp like I wanted, but I did relax and cook dinner for my Dad when he got home (Mom and Carl did make the trek).

Friday we had the girls (from Carl's old youth group) as they ended up coming home early from Camp and their Mom didn't have a babysitter, then today I made a trip to town with my Dad for a frosty and fry craving fix, and am getting ready to go back to town for a Wal-mart run for my Mom.

And yet I wonder why I never have time for work or homework. I've made approximately $30 quilting with Mom, but have hit a rut since then.

Tomorrow we plan on going back to church, then Carl is supposed to take some little girls fishing. Monday we may be heading down to the apartment again (Carl has to go for registration and orientation anyway) to trade out the washer and dryer (no hookups!) for the couch. This will officially make the apartment livable. There are still a lot of boxes I have to go through and organize. But, the majority of stuff is good... it's mostly just books and magazines and office stuff, and a TON of bathroom stuff (I went from 2 bathrooms to 1). I just need to continue downsizing it all.

I guess this was just mainly a catch up post... but it worked! I need to finish The Lake House and then head to Wally-World!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I can finally be honest. Funny that I just got an Honesty award from my sweet blogger friend Abbie, but today, I can finally be honest about what I have been asking prayer for for the past month.

Today my husband turned in his letter of resignation to the Church Board. For those of you who know is in real life, you probably already knew that Carl has been working for the past two years at my home church as the youth minister. It has been a struggle from the start (isn't all ministry?) with some very bright spots, and some very low moments. We struggled for the first year with combating our full-time minister. Once he quit/was fired, we thought that things would get better, and for a time, they did.

For the past 9+ months, Carl has not been working with teenagers as he did in the first year of his ministry. The teenagers had left the church. The simple truth is this - our church was dying. Carl and I were the youngest people who attended, with an occasional few youth group girls who were younger than us. No one in our church has young or teenage children (or if they do have teenage children, then the children no longer attend our church for various reasons). So Carl was starting this youth group from scratch. He started with what he had, and what he had was 5-10 year old girls.

When he started working with these girls, he was completely at a loss. He was used to working with high school and college age kids, and counseling them. He wasn't used to Hannah Montana and Barbie references. But he quickly fell in love with him, and the youth group was steadily, slowly growing. Some Sundays we would have 1-2 girls, some Sundays we would have 10. It really just depended on what school activities were taking place and what family activities were happening as well. But this Summer we had began to see an increase in numbers. Carl would take the girls to McDonalds to play on the playplace, or to the park. We all made a trip to a local indoor pool, and movie trips were in the making. The girls LOVED it.

Then, because our church is dying, a scapegoat had to be found. That scapegoat was Carl.

Suddenly, the young kids youth group that we had wasn't enough. Why wasn't any teenagers coming? Why wasn't Carl working with teenagers? Nevermind the fact that all the teenagers Carl knew had long since graduated, and that we had no starter teens in the church to build on. If we had a teenage youth group, our church would flourish by leaps and bounds! Families would come POURING in! Even though our elders had stated, time and time again, that they didn't know "how to work with kids" it didn't matter - Carl was obviously doing something wrong.

My Mom was the only support Carl had. She was the youth sponsor who would Go with Carl to youth group so that nothing could be said about Carl being there with little girls. She has worked with the youth group since I was about 5 years old, and for many years she kept it afloat all by herself, when the 5 or so youth we had wasn't enough to warrant a youth minister.

In the past 2 months, the youth group has slowly been taken away from my Mom and from Carl, and given to another member of my family. This would be fine, we wouldn't have cared to have had help, we would have welcomed it! But it was all done behind the scenes. Secret meetings took place, talking happened behind the backs. In essence, we suffered the same back-stabbing and politics that most churches go through.

My Mom has been going to this church since she was in the second grade. I have went there since I was born. This was our family, but sadly, that family is slowly leaving or dying off.

In the past month, my parents were asked to come to a meeting, and then ambushed and treated like criminals by an elder of our board and our interim pastor when they attended said meeting. In that same month, another teenager and my aunt organized a teenage youth group to take place, completely without my mom or my husbands knowledge. The girl is not a baptized believer, and neither are actual members of our church. When my husband confronted the board about it, he found they didn't know about it either (which we aren't sure is true)and that they whole heartedly supported it, but that they wanted Carl to stay out of it. They believe he was "tainted" by our past minister. They also set down a list of rules that Carl would have to follow, or be fired. The list was things like Carl was not allowed to touch the children (i.e. hugs and ruffling their hair), he was to put all trips through the Board, and most trips would, from here on out, be canceled because they are "useless", he was to have my uncle come downstairs every Sunday to teach the kids how to sing, so that they can form a children's choir, and he was told that the kids that are in our youth group right now "do not matter" because their parents already go to church somewhere else.

How do you not touch a child when a 6 year old comes running at you for a hug? My Mom, who was the youth sponsor, and who by a previous board mandate, was the one suggesting the trips for the kids. With this board mandate, she was completely pushed aside and discredited. The youth group money was not being used in ANY of the trips I mentioned. My Mom would put out her own money to buy ice cream for the kids, or to get one into the movie when they didn't have enough, never the church's money. And finally, my Uncle, who is not in any way, shape or form a trained choral leader or really, a musician, was to teach kids who didn't want to learn how to sing, how to sing, when my husband has been in choir for 8 years, private voice lessons for 3+ and is going to college TO BE A CHOIR DIRECTOR... that's just... I can't even think of a word that describes it.

So, today my Mother turned in her resignation as youth sponsor and co-treasurer, my Dad turned in his resignation for Deacon on the board and co-treasurer, and my husband turned in his resignation as youth minister. We are officially done.

We really feel a great deal of peace at this decision. We felt a bit of sorrow and trepidedtion, until we received an email from our former pastor last night, thanking us as a church for financially supporting his daughter as she was youth sponsor for our youth group at KCU's SITS (a week long program for high school students). A) My mom and Carl were completely oblivious to the fact that we had even SENT kids to SITS. No mention was made. B) The daughter that he is talking about is in no way, shape or form eligible to represent our church as a youth sponsor. C) That means our church, or individual members of our church, probably had to cough up over $700 for these three to go to SITS. D) This just prooves that the board, and other members of the church really want my husband and mom to have nothing to do with the church anymore.

So, we now feel totally at peace with the situation. This does leave Carl completely jobless, and us without an income. I'm able to work with my Mom in her quilt shop some, but I'm also attempting to finish up my last college class online, and I'm 5 months pregnant. Thankfully my parents are secure enough financially that they are able to help us cover our rent and bills until Carl can locate another job. We pray that this happens quickly.

So there it is, honest and to the point. We ask for your prayers that Carl is able to find a job quickly, so we don't have to be a burden to my parents for long. We ask that you pray that we continue to be peaceful about this decision, although I don't think that's going to be a problem!

Thank y'all, for listening.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Book Recommendations

I admit it. I'm a Christian who doesn't read Christian fiction. At all. Or, hardly ever. In fact, in my life, the only true Christian fiction that I have read, and enjoyed, is Christy by Catherine Marshall, Frank Peretti's Children's series, the Flabbergasted series by Ray Blackston, and... um... The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis. That's about it. Oh!! And when I was younger, the Mandie Series by Lois Gladys Leppard.

That being said, that is, by far, not the amount I read. I read a LOT. I gobble up books like they're going out of style. I got books out of the library on Wednesday, and had finished the first one by Thursday. There are a ton of authors that I love reading. A lot of them aren't Christian, nor do they have very many Christian beliefs that show up in their writing. This is all sort of a disclaimer to set up for something I'd like to start on my blog. Book recommendations. So, if you're a die hard Christian who doesn't read anything but Christian fiction and non-fiction, I don't really recommend picking up any of these books unless I say their "safe".

So, for my first recommendation, I recommend an author, but namely 2 of her books (or, okay, really three).

Jane Green. She started off as purely "chick-lit". And BRITISH chick lit at that! I think I started out by reading Jemima J, and then... well, I don't remember. I do know I have read every one of her books but 2. I did NOT care for Mr. Maybe, and I just haven't gotten around to reading Switching Lives. But, none of those books are books that I am recommending today.

The first book I'm recommending is To Have and To Hold, or Spellbound (the American and British titles for the same book). I actually own both.

Anyway, Spellbound is a wonderful book about a woman who was married to a high-profile banker, and then settled in the country while he commuted from NYC. She discovers that he is quite a cheater, and...well, I'm giving away the book. Very good book, and it has characters that are in the 3rd book that I'm recommending.

The Beach House: I have to admit that after trying to read Mr. Maybe recently, I was disheartened with Jane Green's writing style. Also, I had been reading a LOT of chick lit recently, and getting tired of the whole genre... so, after probably six months of no chick lit, I was in the library, trying to find something else to read since the 15th book in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series wasn't in our library yet. I saw two new books by Jane Green and thought, "Why not? It's a library... I can bring them back if I don't like them." So, I checked them out.

That night, I began reading The Beach House
. For the first few chapters, I couldn't decide if I truly liked it or not. It was a complimation of several different stories, and I didn't see how they fit together, and was pretty confused about them in general. But, there was something about the writing style that kept me going. Suddenly, it was slowly beginning to make sense, it was slowly fitting together, then there was a plot twist I didn't see coming, and before I knew it I had finished the book and was begging for more. It was very, very good, and very, very different from Jane Green's normal writing style. I loved it. I didn't agree with some of the morals of the plot-lines (there's a gay man and his escapades in one part, and a TON of casual divorce) and, to be truly honest, it was probably written for an age group that is older than me. But still, it was a very good read, and one I highly recommend.

Finally, I recommend Dune Road.

Now, I haven't finished this one yet. I'm actually at a point where I don't want to finish it because then it will be over and I don't want it to be over because I want to continue in the lives of these characters. But so far it is wonderful. I think I have the majority of the plot lines figured out, but she threw a shocker in there last time, so I wouldn't be surprised if she did it again. This story is set in the same town as Spellbound, and has a new set of characters, except for some minor characters. It's about a famous author, his assistant, and her group of friends. Sounds boring, I know, but it deals with life after divorce, financial crisis, abusive boyfriends, and friendship. So far it's wonderful, and I'm upset that I'll probably finish it by tomorrow!

So, there you have it. My two cents on books. Hopefully I'll write more. I really need to delve back into movie reviews, as Netflix has become a good source of entertainment. As it is, right now I should be working on an overdue homework assignment that I got confused!

Pray for my friend S. She's being induced today! Also, continue praying for my husband and I. A decision was made today, but I can't blog about it until later this week. I will though, I promise.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hello, Heaven

I have been on the search for Maternity shorts since the beginning of may. I do NOT like "under the belly" bands - they don't work well with my body shape or how I'm carrying this baby. With my first pregnancy, I had bought one pair of shorts at Old Navy back in November for a dollar something, but when I put them on yesterday, we were not friends. They went below my belly and they just wouldn't stay up.

So, Mom and I went on the "Great Maternity Short Search" yesterday. I tried Target, and all of theirs was under the belly. I tried Old Navy, and was told their maternity was only sold online now (WTF?), then we went to Kohls. Oh, Kohls... I have never been a fan of your high prices, but yesterday we became bosom buddies.

I'm up to about a size 16-18 when not pregnant, and the majority of this is in my thighs and hips (and arms), so shorts are usually not an option, but when the thermometer outside reads 90 and the heat index is 104, my nasty legs are going to be shown. Quake in fear from their whiteness.

These secret fit belly things are a gift from GOD. They are seriously the most comfortable shorts I have ever tried. I know that they have the secret fit with the jeans and stuff too, and many of you have already commented on them, but I just had to share my two cents about their wonderfulness.

Here is a picture of their beautifulness. I got a pair in black, and a pair in khaki.

The next great search? A nursing bra. Can we discuss how this pregnancy has caused me to shoot up 2-4 inches in my chest AND AN ENTIRE CUP SIZE? I've only gained 1 pound people, it's not cuz I'm packing on the carbs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My dinner, in courses

So, tonight for dinner... I ate in courses.

This wasn't a conscious decision, it was merely out of hunger. While my Mom was still cooking, I was starving, so for my first course, I had baby carrots and ranch dressing.

For my second course? Macaroni with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic.

My third course, a pork chop and yeast roll.

My fourth course, corn on the cob.

My fifth course, the dessert course, fresh strawberries and chocolate pudding.

Ah, it was good.

Now, if I just FELT better, it would be more rewarding. I have a sinus infection/allergyness that is driving me up a wall. Constant headache, low grade fever, dry sinuses, sore throat, achy muscles, itchy/burning eyes... Oh, and this fun cough that's making my abs hurt and my back hurt worse.

Pregnancy is going really well though! I don't have many symptoms right now, except for mood swings. We're having some issues, that I can't really write about here for another few weeks, but its pretty stressful. Because of that, I have cried like 7 times in the past 2 days. Enough to slowly drive me crazy.

Pray for my sanity (haha!) and pray for a job that we applied for for Carl with UPS. If he managed to get it, it would be the biggest Godsend ever. It sounds perfect (at least on paper!).