Thursday, April 29, 2010

About An Eight

I read just a few blogs in my spare time-- spare time = nap times when I am not napping myself or finishing up some paperwork for work.  Why does that paperwork never do itself?  Anyway, one blog that I really enjoy is Debra's.  Awhile back she challenged her blog readers to answer some questions about themselves.  And with no creepy messages, funny walks, or baby drama to report on-- I am taking her up on the challenge.  If you are reading this, and blogging along, too-- I hope you will post the questions for yourself and let me know.  (Feel free to post your answers in the comments if you don't have a blog!)

When do you feel happiest?

When the entire family is around the dinner table.  I love sharing a meal on the deck with Dave.  I love sitting down to family meal with my folks, my brothers family (or all of us, heaven-- which I took for granted for too long), with Dave's parents and his sisters and their families.  Even when there are NINE grandkids together under the age of six at the Rowe family dinners-- I love it.  Well, I am not used to the noise to be honest.  But I am learning to love it-- I love the sound of cousins talking and playing and being healthy, active kids.  I can't wait until Dekker is old enough to run around with my brothers kids and Dave's sister's kids.   I consider my small group family, too.  So I love sharing a meal with them, too.

How do you take care of yourself?

I eat.  hahahaha.  And I walk.  And they honestly cancel one another out, which means that I walk a lot and can't lose a gosh darn pound.  I also love to talk on the phone.  When I was a Freshman in college, I had 40 cell phone minutes a MONTH + free nights and weekends after 8PM.  I had them all gone on the 1st.  Honestly.  One time my dad called, rightfully upset about the outrageous cell phone bill, and I told him to add up all the "overage" minutes (not nights and weekends) that I was talking to Mom and then I would pay the difference. He never called back :)  I am also pretty self-aware when I need a break and I'm pretty good about asking for help.

Are you internally (by yourself) or externally (by others) motivated?

Externally.  And I wish I could find a little more internal motivation for a few things.

What do you do for fun?

I read blogs, like Becky's and Kara's.  I also love to read books about various topics-- some Beth Moore stuff, some ridiculous stuff, Readers Digest, on-line material, books about kid stuff like sleep and food.  I love to spend time with my friends.  I like to shop, travel, and go to yoga where I am expected to be quiet for an hour.  And I love, love, love to eat out-- like the incredible sushi happy hour that keeps me up way too late.

What intimidates you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well Hello To You Too, Sir

Oddly enough my phone was blowing up over the weekend with Craigslisters.  I have some interested company in the POND, which is fantastic since we would love to use that money to help pay for the landscaping guy, if he ever makes it to my house (go away rain).  Last night the oddest couple came over to look at the garden pavers.  They wanted to stand out in the cold and chat about colored concrete and they didn't buy anything.  I tried to be polite but finally I started heading to the door and told them to drive safe.  Again, I love people who shop off Craigslist.  Such a fun sociology experiment.

Anyway, we were at church Sunday night (after a fab weekend at our friends cabin) and my phone has a message.  I assume it is from Craigslist so I tell my friends to wait so they can hear this message-- because for some reason I think everyone thinks this is as interesting as I do-- "Hey, I'm calling about the turtle that has water coming out of it's mouth..."  Anyway, we were all in for a surprise.  This is what I got instead...

"Hey my baby beautiful darling.  Just wanted to call and see if your Sunday was going wonderfully and if it is I hope it continues to go that way, Sweetie.  I love you.  (changes to a very low, serious tone) I'm so in love with you.  (back to normal tone) Call me if you get a chance."

Here is what was going on in my head as I listened.  My thoughts are in red.

"Hey my baby beautiful whoa wait a minute, this is not a Craigslist call.  What number was that?  I did not recognize that number... darling daughter?  Is this a joke?  Maybe this is my dad calling from Colorado-- he would call me a beautiful daughter.  This is too much.  I can't believe I'm standing in church with everyone waiting while I listen to this.  Just wanted to call and see if your Sunday was going wonderfully for sure not my dad.  This is borderline creepy...and if it is I hope it continues to go that way sweetie did he not listen to my voice mail?  Hello, this is Stef's phone... hello, this is a 402 number.  Is this actually for me?  Do I recognize this voice at all?  No I don't.  This has got to be a wrong number, right?!?.  I love you oh boy.  (changes to a very low, serious tone) I'm so in love with you I say out loud "Dave, you have got to listen to this."  I don't want to even appear to be hiding this from him-- no secrets, I promise.  Call me if you get a chance." Don't automatically hit delete, don't hit delete, don't hit delete.

In case you are wondering I did delete today after I listened to it approximately five times so I could transcribe it here.  While it was not my husband (though he does leave me yummy messages from time to time), it did warm my heart to know that two people out there are so in love and that my voice mail picked up a little of the love.

Awkward, but lovely.

On the journey,


Friday, April 23, 2010

WW Update

4 ice cream sandwiches + lots of Lean Cuisine and fresh fruit + 12 miles with the stroller and dog + friends who take great care of me when Dave is out of town (Cheeseburger and Paradise one night, Cheesecake Factory the next) = down .5.  As I type all that out I am amazed that I lost anything.

Here's to next week.  My goal is to keep up the exercise and watch my intake a lot more.

Have a great weekend, anyone.



Thursday, April 22, 2010


I was reminded of this story tonight so thought to write it down before I forget:

I started my college career at Nebraska Christian College when it was in Norfolk in the fall of 2000/2001 school year.  I honestly really liked it, and the people there, but I knew that I would be happier with a bigger school.  And I had kinda changed up my major to more "counseling" than "family ministry."  And a week before I went to college I had a counseling session in McCook and the counselor, whom I still greatly respect, told me all about her Family Life Science degree from UNL.  I was intrigued.  Still, I think God brought this information to me when He did because He knew how much I would get out of my time at NCC, not to mention the people I met, friends I love, and network I still count on.

I had two special friends at NCC-- Lora and Aimee.  Time has taken its toll on our friendship but I still love and cherish them in my heart, even if we don't get to talk very often at all.  It was awful to leave them.  Girls, I will never forget the special meal you made me on one of my last nights there.

So off to UNL I went, and the three of us decided to stay in touch and even to volunteer that summer at some type of camp.  I did some research and found out about an organization called "SKIP" that needed summer camp volunteers fairly badly.  I talked to the girls, we applied and were accepted.  SKIP stands for: Support for Kids of Incarcerated Parents.

Unfortunately, I thought Incarcerated meant that someone had lost a limb.  I think I had it confused with incapacitated-- which actually means disabled or "laid up" (and not having lost a limb).  Or maybe I had it confused with decapitated-- which means the head is separated from the body.  So I don't know where I got this limb business but I was pretty sure of myself.

One night at our UNL Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) meeting I stayed late and was talking to some friends and just hanging out.  We get to talking about my upcoming week at SKIP Camp.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Enough Said...

Ever since Pastor Mark asked me to offer the Mother's Day sermon I have not been able to sleep.  Frankly, it's awful.  So I had no clients today and I decided this would be the day I would get thoughts out of my mind and onto paper.  It has got to help.  And I still have three weeks.  I promised a copy to a few staffers at Stonebridge by the end of this week-- and the deadline is fantastic.  I am at the place where I need a break from it.  What better way to fill my time then post a few pictures for you all!

This is why I can't lose any weight.  Enough Said.

This is why I want to lose weight.  Enough said.

This is why nothing gets done around here.  Enough Said.

This is why I have a love/hate relationship with painting-- I hate cleaning the brushes.  Enough Said.

This is my drooling little boy.  He is getting his molars.  Enough Said!

This is the sweet boy up on the night of his birthday.  I am usually not this chipper at night.  Enough Said!

Happy Tuesday to you all.  See you again for Thursday's post!

On the journey,


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Total Biff

So yesterday I had it all together.  I laid Dekker down for his morning nap and took a shower and blew dry my hair.  When he got up I put him in the bath and we played.  Then I let him play while I put on make-up and straightened my hair.  This was a good was great.  I even put on eye make-up.  Super big deal.  I put on a new shirt and sweater thing that I had gotten Tuesday at Ann Taylor Loft 40% off clearance.  And I put on my favorite Big Star jeans and the cute wedge sandals I got last year for my birthday in November (also on clearance).  I found two necklaces (one short and one long) and matching earrings.

I went downstairs and said to Dave, "I feel good today.  I feel like I am wearing clothes that fit and flatter my (new) body. "  I went on to say how happy I was that my pediatrician would see me in something other than my pajamas after being up all night.  Thankfully, I wasn't tearful, exhausted, etc.  This was a new look for me and sweet Dr. Walters.

Anyway, the appt was good, lunch was good, nap was good.  I decided to stretch the limits on the day and take a quick trip to Kohls to exchange some birthday gifts.  Dekker was super fussy, and after getting shots I wasn't totally surprised.  So I was quick about things.

On the way out of the store, I grabbed my adorable little BOY in one arm and my purse and bag in the other and strutted out the door in all my feeling good-ness-- jewelry and eye make-up and all.  I didn't see the faded orange markings that warned me of the shifting sidewalk, and I was on the ground!  I felt myself falling... I actually thought I was going to break my ankle because I felt my foot turn under the shoe and I knew a lot of weight was getting put on it, but there was little I could do to help myself because I was worried about sending Dekker across the pavement.  I kinda stumbled twice, then hit the ground.  Some man saw the whole thing.  He comes running over and asks if I'm okay.  As he tries to help me up I realized that my jeans had totally ripped in the knee.  (I mean I wear them so much they were pretty thin.)  AND, my knee was super scraped and bleeding.  So the man sticks out his hand and I say "My jeans are ripped."  Hahaha.  Priorities!  I was more embarrassed than anything.

Here is a picture of my knee.  Dave made fun of me for taking a picture.  He was harassing me and I was like, "Dave, the 9 people who read my blog will want to see this."

We made it to the car, I got Dekker strapped in, and I just kinda sat there.  I called Dave.  I was actually pretty sore.  I am sore.  But I will survive.  I contemplated saving the jeans-- a patch maybe? capri's maybe? But they are gone.  I am thinking I might go buy a new pair, I loved them that much.

Do you see them in the trash can?  So sad.  Also got harassed about taking this photo, if you can imagine! (Nothing like a good Fresca and banana.)

Have a safe day!

On the journey,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hello, Wednesday

Today is a good day.  After all, Psalm 118:24 reminds me that, "This is the day which the Lord has made; we will be full of joy and delight in it."  I am reminded today that (Psalm 30) joy comes in the morning, (Nehemiah 8:10) the joy of the Lord is my strength.  We've got joy, people!  And I have a few Wednesday ramblings for you.

Rambling #1: We sold the alligator off of Craigslist.  So long little buddy-- he was a pond accessory and water actually shot out of his mouth-- kinda cool (just kinda).  Aside from the cash and de-cluttering the back yard, one of my favorite things about Craigslist is the PEOPLE.  I love the type of people who buy off Craigslist.  I am one of them.  I just can not get enough of people-- they fascinate me.  Last night this super nice man from Council Bluffs drove all the way to our house to hand us $40 for this beast.  And then told us a rather lengthy story about his turtle collection (it's live) all while the sweet neighbor boys tried to talk to all of us through the fence.  Then, he called my son a girl and repeatedly referred to him as "her."  I tried to correct him passively, by saying things like, "Yep, HE'LL have more grass to play in..." but it didn't work.

Rambling #2: My SON's hair may or may not need a cut.  Aside from nice-Craigslist-man, the nurse at our One Year well baby appointment told me today to "lay her right here."  I laughed.  I said, "He's a boy.  He might need a haircut."  She talked like a nervous person talked but finally did say that she should have known with a name like... Dekker.

Rambling #3: I love Chinese food.  My sweet husband took time off to go to the appointment with me today and then we went for lunch.  I love having lunch with Dave far more than Chinese food any day.  The server asked if we needed a highchair... "for him? her?"  Okay... I get it. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ode to Aunt God Love

... I can not get enough of posting today-- maybe it's the weather.  But I just had to get out of my head and onto this blog a few observations from my walk today.  I call this an ode to Aunt God Love because I had an Aunt Inez, who I never met but love her name, who apparently said "God Love" to everything.  So...

* God Love the grandma and her grandson who I see everyday as I walk past them in the park.  God love that we both go there at approximately 11:00AM.  Are you sneaking in the gorgeous weather in between morning nap and lunch, too?  God love that you park your Radio Flyer right in the sidewalk and I have to take my huge stroller and dog around it in the grass everyday.  We don't mind.  God love your matching track outfits today.  I think God really does love spandex pants or he wouldn't have made them...

* God love the 4 hills on my 4 mile route.  God love Dekker, who didn't cry until the last one.  It takes Mommy awhile to go 4 miles these days.

* God love Josie.  You are a hunting dog by nature.  You hunt anything, from squirrels to rabbits to weeds blowing in the distance.  I learn a lot from you and I love you.  God love you, that you are still my faithful companion even when I tug on your leash so hard that I secretly pray no one is filming it and turning it into the humane society.  God love you, you have heard more curse words out of my mouth than any other living thing.

* God love the creepy white van.  I'm sure you are simply trying to find an address as you creep down the street I am walking, but it's creepy.  I look you right in the eye like Oprah says so you know I can identify you.  God love all the traffic who hates you as you creep down the middle of the road.  These people only have 60 minutes for lunch, including commute time.  Try to pick a side.  They will gladly pass you.

* God love the grown son and elderly woman sitting on the porch.  Or maybe you are a repair man who stayed for lemonade.  I made up stories about you for a good mile.

And one more from a text I just got:
* God love my sister-in-law who just texted me a worry I forgot to add to my previous blog entry.  I am always worried that I am pregnant b/c I simply can not comprehend HOW the Nuva-Ring can possibly keep me from reproducing.

That's all for now.
God's love to you all!


PS I think I'll start counting points TOMORROW :)

Do Not Worry...

I would say that of all things that I struggle with, worry is at the top of my list.  Now, I am a counselor.  And I understand that some of you struggle with clinical anxiety.  This is the same, but different.  And we won't go into all the details, but I am pretty sure that my chemicals and hormones are at appropriate levels at THIS point in my life (it has not always been that way) and that my worry is actually a lack of faith.  I feel like I CAN control my worry, I just make other ridiculous decisions instead and let my mind unwind into a world where I feel totally out of control and, honestly, half insane.

Here are a few things I am worrying about:
* The crack on our front step.  I am worried that it's going to keep separating until it's a huge abiss I have to leap over and may eventually find a child fallen into.
* That the weird dry skin spots on my son really aren't dry skin, and that all the medical professionals telling me that are really thinking in the back of their head "this is really unfortunate.  We need to keep an eye on this one, it could be really bad but I don't want to scare this already anxious mom until I'm sure."
* That my dog, who suddenly likes walking on a leash and obeys on walks, is doing so because she is sick, weak and going to die.  I can't imagine life without Josie.
* I'm afraid that even though I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight that I am actually far from my pre-pregnancy shape and that no one has the guts to tell me (and please don't start now).
* The same fears that probably every mom and wife has-- that something is going to happen to Dave or Dekker or even myself.  I can't imagine Dekker growing up without me or Dave.  Or growing old without Dave.  Ug... tears.
* That something is going to happen to my parents, our siblings, etc.  I in a large part must fear death.  Though I know in my heart it is not to be feared, I just fear being left behind when other people die.
* I am in a constant battle to pay off all our debt and save because I worry one of us will lose our jobs, or that I will only have three clients one week (wait, that already happened) or that I will have six cancellations the first nice week of spring (oh wait, that already happened too).
* I worry that Dekker will rebel.  From his parents and the church.
* That all the crap I have on Craigslist is not going to sell and that it will junk out my backyard all summer, even after I pay the landscaping man good money.
* That I will royally embarrass myself when I "preach" on Mother's Day at Stonebridge.

And here's the deal.  I know people where all these things have happened.  And it was AWFUL at the moment.  And some of it is still AWFUL.  But I have learned a lot by watching people somehow SURVIVE all of this, with great friends, family and faith.

I once heard a speaker, Dean Trune, suggest that worry is a form of atheism.  Pretty strong language.  However, there is something to be said that when I really BELIEVE GOD that I don't have to worry.  I remember that I have a God who loves me, who wants what's best for me (even if best does not equal easy),who hurts when I hurt, and who promises that he's going to take care of me.  If I can honestly allow myself to REST in this than I don't have to worry.  Isn't worry the opposite of rest?  Worry makes me exhausted!  I feel that when I get to the point that I say "I can't do this anymore" that God says "Good.  Put me in.  You could have put me in a long time ago, and saved yourself days of worry and nights of sleeplessness, but I'm still ready now."  Ah, this has happened to me so many times that I think I am finally starting to learn my lesson.

Oh, and I am back on the WW train.  I have once again proved to myself that I can not "watch what I eat" with much success.  I just watch the food go right in.  Next weigh in: Friday AM.

On the journey,


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Little Man

I was encouraged to write my "birth story" (I actually find that phrase kinda creepy) down right after we had Dekker.  It sounded like another chore on no sleep.  But THANKFULLY I sent this in an e-mail format to my dad and his family, many of whom I had seen weeks earlier at my Grandma's funeral.  I found this, and decided to share it with the world wide web (or at least the seven of you who read this blog!) in honor of Dekker's first birthday.  The birth story follows, I added my comments now, a year later, in red:

First, I went to see my doctor on Wed, April 1st.  She told me that I have a "long ways to go" and that I would FOR SURE have a few more weekends to get things done around the house, etc.  She was so sure that I wasn't having that baby anytime soon that she didn't even schedule another appt for me for TWO weeks as she was out of town.  She thought there was "no need to see a partner" at the office when I'm not having this baby anyway.

Please note that I love Dr. Simmons at Lakeside OB-GYN.  I would recommend her to anyone.  At my follow up appointment she simply said, "Well, sometimes God laughs at our plans, doesn't He?"  She was honestly super surprised that I went from nothing to baby so quick... something she said we will keep in mind "next time."

So the following Friday I cleaned.  I joked that if this was considered "nesting" and a "burst of energy" that I am in trouble.  And folks, I was in trouble.  Let's be honest here, my house was a little bit of a pit and the nursery was in shambles! We had a great weekend, I got a massage, we did some work at the church (I hosted), and I helped host a bridal shower.  But I was MUCH more tired than I had been and I had decided that carrying around 25 extra lbs just does that to you after awhile!  Erin, I love you, but I was quite miserable at that shower.  Here is a picture from it:

Monday morning the 6th I went to the HR Service Center for our work-- thankfully just down the road and not across town like the hospital where I spend most of my days.  Since I work in a hospital, I have to be CPR Certified, and this was my annual CPR Re-certification.  This class was only from 8-10 and I had already rescheduled it several times due to my
trips to Colorado (remember, Grandma had been sick and I had been out of work).  Boy, I was SO HAPPY to get it done before maternity leave :)  The lady signing me in said "If you weren't so high and tight I'd be worried you were having a baby today."  I'd like to go back and punch that lady. Famous Last Words. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Almost One...

... last night was the NCAA College Men's Finals.  One year ago I watched that game from Labor and Delivery.  I have been thinking a lot about my baby turning one and this is where I am today... "It's okay."  I am so thankful and so proud of myself that during this last year I really have arranged my life to spend a lot of time with Dekker.  I told myself often "he's only going to be six months once"  etc, etc, and it really helped me keep perspective as I switched jobs, saw very few clients in a week, etc.  I don't have many regrets and I think that is a great feeling to have.

Not to mention the fact that I just enjoy the heck out of him.  There are things about the next year that I just can't wait for-- like words, and parks, and the pool, and food and no more formula.  He is such a buddy to me, and I just can't wait to spend more time with him.  I am also reminded that my goal as a parent is to help him grow up.  What a shame if he never did.  So it's sad, in a way, but so exciting in another way.

Perhaps the most significant part of this week is the way God has changed me.  Being a mother has changed me, for the better, forever. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Eve Eve

Well, tonight is the eve of Easter eve.  It's Friday night and I know that with the excitement of the party and company on Saturday night that I won't get on this blog.  Anyway, a few thoughts here...

Easter has always been my favorite holiday.  I love the promise of eternal life that Easter represents.  I think of Easter nearly every time I take communion and every time I go to a funeral.  But I also love the promise of New Life that Easter represents for the today.  If our culture would allow it, I think I would switch how I celebrate Easter with Christmas... with lavish dinners, presents and celebrations, getting together with family, lots of parties, etc.  I do love Christmas, but I love Easter, too.  So anyway, I hope to make this fantastic holiday, Easter, a BIG DEAL at our house.

There have been two times in my life that I felt an incredible sense of victory in Jesus.  One was when the twins were born. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

All Natural

All Natural-- that is how my nails will be at Dekker's birthday party this Saturday.  I have not gotten to the magic "Lifetime Weight" and therefore not getting the fake nails.  So deal with it-- I am.  Actually, I considered a therapy friendly move in going ahead and getting them in spite of not reaching my goal-- because I "deserve" it anyway-- but I honestly didn't have time.  I did get on the scale this week and I am happy to say that I have maintained my weight loss almost exactly.  I still have 4-5 lbs to go, and I am loving this weather, my stroller, strawberries and grapes.  I honestly feel super confident that I will, in fact, reach the magic weight.  And I will be the same person then that I am now, still vowing to love my body for all the wonderfulness it has been to me (including, but not solely, Dekker).

My friend Beth hit the nail on the head tonight when she said that "productive comes in streaks."  Seriously, for weeks I sat around and did nothing.  When we got home from Vegas and suffered through the time change, I napped EVERY time Dekker did.  That's an hour in the AM and 2 in the afternoon my friends.  It was HEAVEN.  But, my house was honestly falling apart at the seams-- not to mention that my husband, who works from home, started commenting on the "bed sores" I was going to get from laying in bed so much.  It's addictive.  Anyway, all of the sudden it got nice out, and I started drinking Starbucks with caffeine again, and I got a fire under me.  So instead of being reasonable and picking a few things to get started on, I picked everything I had been procrastinating for the last, oh 18 months, plus stuff that is timely enough it can't wait... and what's left is me in a mess.  Here's some "irons" on the "fire":