Tuesday, February 26, 2008

American Idol

So, if you are anything like me, and apparently 90% of America, you get caught up in the drama of reality television at least a little bit every now and then. I don’t really watch that much TV, so when I do, it’s shows I really find interesting and entertaining. More recently I have been watching American Idol and the fan base that seems to flock to it. It’s quite remarkable that our public is enamored by these kids who can sing…and spend nearly 6 hours a week (during the weeks narrowing down to the final 12) watching them so intently we know what shoes they wore. I, myself, am one of these addicted. Yes, sad, I know. Part of it for me, maybe most of it, is the music that draws me in. I love hearing what they choose, how they arrange it, seeing whether they play an instrument or not, etc. The other 30% is the contestants – their stories, their lives, their road to Idol, their personalities, etc. All in all it’s a very people-oriented show with lots of entertainment value. My point…what is my point, really? I don’t know that I really have one, other than that it amazes me we can be drawn in, sucked in, to a television show about teens who are trying to make it in the music industry and waste so many hours of our “busy” weeks instead of spending time with the ONE who created those individuals and gave them the voices they have.

I guess in all this maybe I was a bit convicted for 1) not using my own gifts as often as I should and 2) wasting time not seeking Him and instead watching these kids (who yes, are entertaining, but who do not add any value to my life other than a few moments of entertainment). Regardless, I do have favorites, and I’ll continue to watch the show, but I’m committing to DVR it rather than spend 2 straight hours a night sitting there watching it pass by. At least I have convinced myself it will save a few minutes of my time for me to spend elsewhere…perhaps writing this. But I hope it makes me think a little bit more about how I can use my gifts, explore the talents God has placed in me, and a little less about how much less I am compared to so and so who can sing like a dream. I wonder what will be uncovered in my own life. I don’t know, but I’m anxious to find out.

And after all this…what contestant do you think will win? I have my favorites, and I have my not so favorites. It will be interesting to see the dynamic unfold.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's kind of odd thinking this is going to be our last Valentine's Day as a childless married couple. This time next year, we'll be having to worry about leaving some 18-year old high school youth how his but a child himself and who charges too much for babysitting with our seven-month old baby. What if they don't do the right thing with them? What if the baby cries all night and the babysitter gets frustrated and calls us and we have to come home in the middle of dinner (or whatever it is we have sneaked out of the house to do)? Am I even going to be able to wear normal clothes by then? These are the things that keep me up at night. 

But that's next year. 
Today is this year. 
Today is today, and I'm living in it. 

Luckily, work was rather slow for me today (which is a very much appreciated break from the normal course of the past few weeks), so I decided to tag along with Nate to one of his business meetings in Nashville. I had a nice relaxing morning walking around the mall window shopping, looking at overpriced baby clothes, and trying to get ideas for Nate's b-day which is right around the corner. It was a nice morning. 

I headed back to pick him up and off we went to lunch at Panera - one of our favorites - where we just sat and talked about all things non-work that were going on in our lives. Something we often don't get a chance to do being that we work at home and often that portion of our lives consumes our conversation. Then next door to get my toes and nails done - something I don't do for myself as often as I would like...but always such a nice treat, especially as my feet start to expand along with this belly of mine. Quite a nice afternoon. 

While work was slow, it was not non-existent, so we headed home to do some quick work only to find I arrived to the most incredible pair of house shoes I've ever encountered. Yes, you're right if you're thinking, "She got Ugg house slippers." And seriously, they are the best thing that has ever happened to my purple feet with bad circulation. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Here's my new found love...if you have cold feet or if you just like walking on pillows go buy them now!

After the mild afternoon, and a lovely flower arrangement from my boss, we were off to the movies - another thing I love and don't do enough of. Fool's Gold was the flick of choice by the best husband ever... and surprisingly it wasn't as predictable as I would have anticipated from the previews. It was filmed in Australia and when exiting the theater to 35 degree weather, I knew we had to get to the beach as soon as possible. Before we have to find a babysitter for that, too! 

I did get the boy some gifts, too, don't you worry. He was well taken care of with White Chocolate Crunch, lots of his favorite chocolates, some clothing, and humorous books on his impending fatherhood...of course his gifts to me were way better, which is why I  spent the time to spill. All in all it was a great day. Full of love, laughter, and good solid memories. These next few months will fly by and I have set in my mind to enjoy every minute of it while I can as I know it will change forever before I know it.  I'll take a day of love to a day of ordinary any day of the week. 

Friday, February 8, 2008

So, now that we know the sex of the baby, we're posed with the challenge of telling people what it is. To be specific, my in-laws. My dad doesn't want to know, and neither does my brother...why, I ask? I don't have the slightest clue, but that's their perrogative, not mine. So anyway, I wanted to come up with a creative way to tell Nate's family what we were having...and what better way to do it than with food? :)

Thanks to my awesome friend Beth, who is creative and artistic, I decided to mimic her idea of telling her parents the baby's sex with cupcakes. Since only my mom wanted to know in my family, I just told her and showed her pictures. Boring, yes, but she's my mom and would love the baby no matter what. So this week I made my cupcakes and decorated them in the lovely tell-tale colors...they'll be delivered today and I'm looking forward to the expressions. Probably more so for the awesome cupcakes than for the message they bear, but still. I had fun. I think I ate more icing than I used and I found a new love for using the "writing tool" full of icing. I actually had to go to Williams-Sonoma to get one since I've always just used my Mom's! Here's to more icing! 
Here's the cupcakes in their delivery box...ready to go!

And Cecelia with her treats. I think she was surprised...as we all were and we wish the whole family could have been there to share in the joy, but it was still fun. She does look like a very happy Grandma-to-be! 

So I spent some time in the kitchen this week...baking cupcakes. And baking always lends me time in the kitchen to ponder the going's on in my life and gives me the time to be as analytical about it as I want. It's been a rough week. Just a series of difficult events one after the other and it feels like it's going to last forever. I took a clue from my sweet hubby Nate who had been spending a lot of time in Hebrews lately (which I love). I stumbled upon a favorite passage in Hebrews 10 that reminded me of how for some of us, when we first become believers we endure a lot of hardship and persecution for what we believe...and as we grow into our faith, for whatever reason, we forget the real reason behind enduring it. We lose heart. I guess that's what happened to me amidst all this pain and struggle I've been facing. I know the way I should feel about it, I know the confidence I should have that Christ is the victor and He's going to get me out of it in His timing and methodology, and I know that the reason I am suffering is because I love Him...so why don't I remember that in the face of persecution?

I love how the writer says, "Do not throw away your confidence...you need to persevere...for in JUST A VERY LITTLE WHILE, He who is coming will come and will not delay."(v. 35-37) That little phrase appears in various places all throughout scripture, and no matter how many times I read it, it strikes me how different our view of time is than His view of time is. How perfect his timing is and how imperfect mine is. These things I am suffering (we all are suffering) are just so temporary, and they will be RICHLY REWARDED (v. 35) if we will just hold on for just a very little while.

Last but not least, the end of this passage lends this incredible encouragement...reminder to us of who we are and what we are capable of. "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."(v.39) Wow. So all those things I know to be true when I am not going through hard times, I just need to convert to I believe in the middle of hard times. Hard? Yes. Impossible? No. Even though it feels that way when I find myself stuck in a jungle of weeds that seem to perpetually get wrapped around my neck, I am of those who BELIEVE and are saved. Now if I can only get that to stick! The confidence will return and that confidence will cut through any "impossible" thing I'm facing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

It's a...

Please note: If you do not want to know the sex of Baby Tabler, it is suggested that you skip this blog entry and come back another day. The sex will be revealed...there will be pictures, though, so if you ever change your mind the blog will still be here.


Surprise of all surprises...

We went to the doctor today for the 18-week visit and ultrasound and were able to take a nice sneak peak at this child I'm growing inside my belly. After a nice 15-minute journey around the baby's body, inspecting all the ins and outs, we were able to catch a nice (and rather obvious) glimpse at the tell-tale sign of our child's gender. It is definitely a boy! Which is really funny because just about everyone in our world has told us that it's a girl in one way or another...be it the OB/GYN who could tell from my crazy skin and the baby's wild heartbeat that it was going to be a girl, or the guessers who just knew it was going to be a girl, to the genie-like friends who'd rub my belly (what belly there is to rub) and noted it would be a girl. So I guess they were all wrong. Not that we care...I think once we saw the baby in there...the four valves of the heart, the two chambers of the brain, two legs, two arms, 10 fingers, and 10 toes, we didn't really care one way or the other what it was. But I will say it's kind of nice to put a gender with the "it" that he has been for the past few months.

I have a video of the ultrasound and some pictures that I'll upload later...but I'm in Charlotte and can't upload the video or scan the pics quite yet.

Now comes the fun part - the names. At least our choices are narrowed down. And we have a good jump start on this list, it's just a matter of getting down to the last few and picking one that will be the fun. Any ideas are most welcome.