Tuesday, August 26, 2008


You are a wonderful friend and I am blessed to have you as a sister-in-law!

If you have a moment go visit Angela's blog and leave her some birthday lovin'!

Typhoid Trip

Vacation *cough cough* was SO *cough* GREAT *cough cough cough* except for one *cough* small *cough* detail... *cough cough cough*


Margaret in Minnesota recently wrote about having a "summer cold", and I read that thinking "well that stinks. Must be a Minnesota thing; I have never had such before." And God smiled, and gave me another chance to grow in virtue and humility. I failed miserably.

See, right before we left for the beach my sweet little Bella started coughing. With rhinorrhea. (Isn't that a great word? It means a runny nose.) And not sleeping, which of course means that neither of us were sleeping. So for the entire duration of our Outer Banks Vacation with the Stanley Clan the 2 of us sounded like we had tuberculosis. Yup, popularity at it's best!

We're back home now, not-so-patiently waiting for this #%*&$! virus to run its course so we can resume life as normal. Patrick has strict instructions NOT to contract the illness, as we need his superhuman non-sick help right now! I promise to get around to posting pics from the beach soon, as it WAS a very fun time in spite of sickness; there are several stories to share and captured cuteness!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lakehouse Weekend Getaway

We just spent a lovely weekend in southern Virginia with our good friends (since college) Christine and her Good Company. The trip started with me driving to meet Patrick at work - a little too close to DC for my usual driving enjoyment, but survivable nonetheless. Then we were rewarded for our choice of driving route, as heading through western VA is beautiful! It was such a gorgeous day, and the scenic landscape was a sight to behold. The serene view and the sounds of Les Miserables made the rest of the drive a perfect beginning to a weekend away.

The lake house is situated on a small inlet to Smith Mountain Lake, and with it's wooded setting and screened-in porch one can't help but immediately switch into "relax mode" despite the 3 kids running around! Bella loved having Clare and Gregory around, some new little people for her to follow... and learn a few lessons about being the smallest one around!

Bella's first boat ride left something to be desired, unfortunately. My little girl, who otherwise LOVES the bumps and wind and water and great outdoors, was strapped into a life-vest that was too big for her! She did not approve, but her ever safety-conscious (as I type this I remember a particular cliff-diving event and the resulting bruise of last year's visit) and law-abiding parents kept it on while the boat was in motion. The brief time it was off while we were trolling an inlet she was very happy. I see her enjoying the boat more as she grows into a properly-fitting vest. And learns to swim.

It was so nice to have time to relax. It's amazing that even with kids and resulting chaos, not having your own house chores with which to deal for a whole weekend does wonders for the mind and soul. Moments of silence on the boat, thanks to the wind drowning out all other sound. Sitting on the screened-porch reading with the accompaniment of the birds sweet song and the gentle breeze. Sharing the cooking and clean-up with another Mom with great conversation. We watched some of the Olympics (AMAZING Men's 400 relay!) and discussed human rights concerns.

By the time we were on our way home Monday evening I felt like I had been blessed with a little recharge, and I didn't even have to leave my family behind in order achieve it! Rather it was because of the "Good Company" of friends and our little family that I felt so peaceful and renewed. Besides, it was just plain fun.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

5 Month Belly

No, no pictures from which to shield your sensitive eyes, but rather some insight from the fried half-brain of a pregnant Mom.
I have to say that I actually like pregnancy most of the time. I Love rubbing my growing belly, talking to the Little One causing the expansion. I Love feeling the little kicks and bumps that I can finally feel, even though they happen mostly at night when I am ready for sleep. I love it when my husband walks by and gently pats his second Child, even if it does cause jigglage. I Love talking about names, even if we had to decide that picking a name shared by our 5-year-old next-door neighbor simply could not happen.

The second pregnancy doesn't stand a chance of comparison with the first because, simply, Life is different. When pregnant with Isabella I spent my whole day thinking about her; now I just can't afford to split my brainpower during the day. I'm thankful every day for God's design for pregnancy, that He takes care of the growing and developing and the only thing for which we second (and subsequent) time Moms are responsible is trying to take generally good care of ourselves. Remembering my Multi-vitamin and Calcium is about all I can handle above the Child I already have on the outside, so it's a good thing God's the One working on Baby.

On another note, we had out 22 week anatomy ultrasound yesterday, and Kiddo looks pretty good! A little shy, as he/she was turned facing directly backward, and not too interested in getting his/her picture taken. The tech spent a lot of time chatting about what she was seeing, and explaining a lot which was really cool. I LOVE watching the little movements, the measurements, and especially the beating heart. To watch those 4 itty-bitty chambers working furiously at 163 beats per minute (average 140-170 for this age) is absolutely MIRACULOUS. There is no other way to describe it. I am thankful for a chance to see our little Miracle movin' and groovin' and doing what she(he) should.