Thursday, March 27, 2008

Don't you wish sometimes you could just "feel" the day someone else is experiencing? Yesterday was one of the days I wished everyone could feel. No amount of descriptive words or fairy tale writing could describe the beauty that it was here today. It was that perfect mix of sun and shade, breeze and was warm, there was not a drop of humidity, and everything about it just exuded God's presence.

I actually stepped outside not having a clue what it felt like in an effort to make my way to the gym. But after about 5 steps outside, I decided to go for a run and enjoy the amazing afternoon instead. I'm really glad I did. It was on my run I wished I could let someone else feel this day I was experiencing, rather than just tell them, "It is awesome here today." After too many cold days here (in my opinion), it was a welcome reprieve to have a day like today. And in continuing that thought, I wish I could feel the days others get to have sometimes, too. Like this island my sister-in-law Jessica just went to...after seeing the pictures and hearing her retell the story of her weekend trip, I wish I could have just felt one day of what she was able to absorb.

It's amazing we all have such different paths of weather - from Texas where it's already hot, to Portland, where it's still raining, to New York where the chill still lingers, to the beaches where it's just perfect. And that's only in the U.S. Anyway, I was thankful for today, for the beauty that reminded me today is bigger than me and my worries. They will pass and a little bit of sun helped ease a whole lot of sad.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Easter

I love the spring. Mostly because it signifies the end of winter, but also because it means a blossoming of flowers, green leaves on the trees, lush green grass in my lawn, and beautiful sunny days that are actually warm enough to enjoy. So far, our spring has been beautiful and I can't wait as we dive deeper in. 

This weekend my parents came to visit us for Easter. They are the first of our family who have come to visit us in Nashville and see our home, life, friends, and enjoy it with us. Friday afternoon, they arrived after an early morning departure from Charlotte. We went to Mellow Mushroom to eat some good pizza and then walked around downtown Franklin for the remainder of the day. We came back and prepared a few things for brunch on Sunday and then headed out to a light dinner at Calypso Cafe (yummy!), a Nashville treat.

On Saturday we went to the infamous Babies 'R Us to finalize my registry and then ran WAY too many errands for the rest of the day. It was gorgeous and we took a detour on the Natchez Trace Parkway, so that was nice. We had a low-key dinner, then came back to finish preparing the items for Easter Brunch. 

Sunday morning we went to church then came back to the house to set up the brunch for the rest of the guests. It was fun and the food was great! If I do say so myself.  Mom and Dad left early early Monday morning (like, 3 a.m. early!) and we were sad to see them go. BUT, we had a great time and are already waiting for them to come back again.

The cute Easter table and the feast for the crew.

For more pictures of their trip and Easter weekend, click here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Along the same lines of my blog entry from a few weeks ago, I was recently asked to think about what it is that truly disturbs me - in my life, in this world, in something that surrounds me, whatever. So again, I find myself in a quandary because I truly don't know what it is that disturbs me. Not to the point of just, "Oh, that's really terrible," but to the point that I am passionate in talking about the reality of "it." I think these two things are related - what I'm hungry for and what disturbs me. Though they might not be one in the same thing, I have a feeling they connect in a polar opposite and interrelated sort of way - where one eventually gets me back to the other. How? I'm not quite sure. But it's just one of those things. 

So, what disturbs you? Some of you might say the AIDS epidemic, for some it might be world hunger, for others it might be child abuse/molestation, it could be the way politics have come to exist in our country, or the state of the church. Whatever it is, there's usually something in each of us that truly disturbs us to the point of an aching feeling in our soul. Anyway, I didn't feel anything the first time I thought about it and just thought maybe I needed some time. For the past few days I've spent really trying to seek out what it is that disturbs me in what surrounds my life. And how frustrating it is to not really know of anything that disturbs me to the point of effortless passion, overwhelming conviction, and the desire to do something about it.  

The only thing I could come up with is our judicial system. I know, it kind of seems odd. I know this isn't the only thing, but it's just something that seems to be prevalent in our lives lately.  For those of you who know what's been going on in our lives, you might understand my vehement hatred for the political environment and the lack of real justice in our system. It's been quite an eye-opening ride to see that we, as Americans, truly are  guilty until proven innocent and that no matter what "evidence" there is, the media and their other lovers have more power over you than even the strongest of cases. I think I could passionately rant and rave about this topic for a good hour, at least, leading me to believe it is something that disturbs me. But does it disturb me only because I have been impacted by it? Or would I have been as disturbed if I'd heard someone else's story like mine? I think I would venture to guess the former is true as opposed to the latter. So maybe I'm only disturbed because it involves me and in the end that just seems selfish. The other part of this is knowing that I'm not really all that hungry for "justice" in our system (at least to the point of spending my life's work fighting it) mostly because I know it won't really change. Hence, another reason this is probably not the one true thing I am disturbed about.

I guess that leaves me left to ponder it some more. Maybe when I figure out the answer to this question, I'll have some more insight on what I'm hungry for. Until then, my patience will continue to be tested as I spend this time in waiting for what's in store. 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby Kicks

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged, making it a few weeks I’ve blogged about Baby Tabler (affectionately known in the family circle as “BT” until we have determined a name). Anyway, BT has been quite active these days and I’m beginning to think a more accurate name is Monkey. He seriously goes on these rampages – especially late at night or early in the morning – and his feet, hands, head, whatever it is, just come popping right out of my skin. You can see this little foot poking through my belly skin and it’s both the most amazing thing and the most freaky thing in the world when it happens. Well, maybe the first few times, but now it’s a regular occurrence, so I’m quite used to it. Nathan on the other hand, is not so used it to it and it still tends to freak him out from time to time.

The odd thing about his activity inside me is that as crazy as it seems, I know I am going to miss it once he’s outside of my body. I can’t describe the connection I feel to him, not only just because he’s there inside, but especially when I feel him kicking, moving, hiccupping, whatever. It’s one of those things that only lasts from like week 15 until the time he comes out. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones that was able to feel him early on in my pregnancy. My doctor says it is because I’m small and he has less places to move around since I’m smaller. I don’t really care why, I’m just glad I can feel him. I wish there was a way for me to describe this accurately. At first it felt like butterflies in my tummy. Then it went to feeling like bubbles popping. Now it feels like true kicks, pops, bumps. I can only imagine what it will feel like a few weeks down the road as my belly, and BT, continues to grow.

All the movement lately has been crazy! I can’t believe he’s so active. I guess that’s a good thing. But one thing it really has spurred in me is to give him his name. Not just so he has it when he comes out, but so he can hear it every day as I walk or run with him, pray for him, talk to him, ask him questions, read to him, play him music. I love to wake up first thing in the morning and feel his little growing body moving all around in there. You have to wonder what in the world he's doing...what he thinks about the movements I make, what he thinks about the food I eat, amongst other things. He's growing quite well from what the doctor says, so as the months pass by towards his arrival, I'm sure we'll only feel more of his anxiousness in getting out of there.

Our parents have been pretty crazy about the name thing (amongst other things), and it has kind of been driving me nuts because he’ll have a name when he has a name and no one really needs to worry about it other than Nathan and me. But I don’t say that, I just continue to play the game and in turn we’ll find a name (one of these days). I’m open to suggestions…just don’t get offended if we don’t choose your name!

My profile at 23 weeks - he was kicking in there as we took this weekly shot.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This weekend was Nathan's 30th birthday. Such a milestone 30 is for us as twenty-somethings...and though it's only a number, something about it seems scary and OLD! :) But putting it all in perspective, I remember being 9 and feeling like 30 was ancient. Now that we're here, and most of us are entering this time in life, it doesn't feel so old anymore. It just feels like the next step in an onwardly upward sequence of events.

One of the most frustrating things about the timing of our move was the fact that we had begun planning Nathan a birthday party in Charlotte. It was going to be grand. Great food, great party, great friends, and an overall huge celebration to welcome him into this new era. However, due to the move in the middle of peak planning dates, it just wasn't going to work. It was hard being in a new city and maneuvering the catering world, restaurant world, and attempting to get family and friends here from out of town at late notice. So out the window that plan had to go. In with the new plan.

New plan was to gather as many names and addresses (email or snail mail) and get the word out that Nate-dog was turning 30. I asked for cards, letters, pictures, collages, videos, whatever it was people wanted to send to commemorate their friendship and love of "the Nate." An overwhelming response was recieved and I compiled everything into a really awesome memory book for him to have and hold for the next 30 years. It served as a great reminder of the friendships he has across the years, places, and life experiences he has lived and I think he really enjoyed the gift.

Since his birthday was on a Monday, I had to try and find some activities for the weekend that would make it last as long as I could. Luckily, I convinced his best buddy Phillip and his wife Fran to come up to Nashville and surprise him on the Saturday before his big day. As we cleaned house Saturday morning, the knock on the door almost literally knocked him off his feet when he saw it was Phillip and Fran on the other side. We had pulled it off! :) So we spent the day bumming around Franklin, touring the Natchez Trace Parkway, and then headed out for a great dinner and fun that night. We ate at Bricktops with the two of them, the two of us, and our friends Nathan and Ben. Then off we went to Cadillac Ranch for some good old fashioned bull riding (one of the things on his list to accomplish before he turned 30). We had brunch the next morning and then Phillip and Fran headed back to Birmingham. What a great trip!

Phillip & Nate on the Natchez Trace Bridge

Lovin' that belly!

Cadillac Ranch - the only mechanical bull in Nashville - and he still has it!

Friends, fun, and CAKE! (German Chocolate...yummy!)

Monday was the big day, so we had brunch leftovers, then I surprised him with a couple's massage downtown at a great little spa. I'm telling you, it was great and if you haven't ever had one, you should definately do that thing! The only not so great part was that I had to have a "pre-natal" massage and couldn't turn on my belly or back, so it was all sides for me. But still a great treat. We had a good mexican dinner that night and then he opened his gifts - memory book included. Overall, a memorable 30th. As for the party? I'm just going to have to save that for some random birthday down the road to make up for it. Thanks to everyone who contributed...he loved everything about it and the memories he'll cherish for years to come. For more pictures of his birthday weekend, click here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This question was posed to me today and despite the fact that I’m pregnant and I deal with this question every day, it was posed in the direction of life itself. Take it any way you like – personal, mental, emotional, spiritual…it really doesn’t matter. It all ends up the same place when we’re talking about our lives, well depending on what you build your life around. So, for me, I can take it two routes: 1) What am I hungry for in the literal sense, and 2) What am I hungry for in the spiritual/life directional sense (this is also literal, but you know what I mean…it’s more related to forethought rather than immediate gratification).

The most frustrating thing is that no matter which of the two ways I choose to take this question, it is still very difficult for me to answer definitively. I am one of the most indecisive people about what I want to eat. Unless, of course, you happen to catch me in a moment of ultimate decisiveness...and then it's usually followed by, "but I really don't care." But do I really care and just choose not to say so or do I really not care? I think most of the time it's the latter, mostly because I can find somethign to eat no matter where we end up going and I'm pretty much fine with it. What I will do, and what I think is quite helpful, is if I really DON'T feel like something, I'll at least say that. And I think that's really the best I can do in this area! :)

Now if I take it the other way, being not so literal, but more philosophical, I end up going round and round in circles, wondering what in the world I'm "hungry" for. What I'm desparate for, what I ache to have, or be a part of, or see, or do, or accomplish. I jsut end up with a big fat question mark in my head. So what do I do with that. Thus far, I've really struggled with it -what does it mean that I don't have an inkling or thought about what I hunger for in my own life (besides the obvious things of every day: love, relationship, community, Jesus, knowing him, making him known, you know what I mean).

A lot of it has to do with our move to Nashville. Though it has been so apparent in so many aspects of our lives that this was the right move to make, and to see God honoring our steps of faith in incredible ways, we both still have this desire to know why we are here. Yes, God called us to move, but why? What is our purpose to be here in Nashville? It doesn't make sense in some areas - take for example the fact we've moved away from our families and then found out we were pregnant. So now we're 7 hours away from family and don't have a friend base to lean on in a time in life when neither of us have a clue about what to do next as far as this game of parenting a child is concerned at least. Not that I doubt we were to be here becuase of that, but it's one of the few things that really doesn't make sense about our move. I know know know that it will all be clear soon enough, and I will look back on this period of my life and say, "OH, so that's what we were doing that for!" As if entering a light bulb moment. But in the meantime, it still begs the answer to the question, "Why are we here?" and "What am I hungry for?"

Maybe the answer to the question isn't supposed to be answered quite yet. Our timing is often so immediate and God's is so eternal. As with everything, I am confident his purpose for me will unfold - in only a matter of time. Until then, I will keep asking the question, seeking the answer, and anxiously awaiting to see what it is I discover along the way.

As for right now, I'm hungry for ice cream. Then again, what's so new about that? Go ahead, have a bowl, and listen while you might be hungier for more than you think.