Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Change of scenary

We've updated the blog, and are now at:

We wanted something that allowed for more links to be visible (99 balloons org, etc.)
Thanks for following us. Sorry if we have made it hard.

Also, if you had subscribed to the feed it will no longer be working, I will be working on a putting one on the new blog.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

We're calling him Anders

It's a boy

-who decided he was ready to come into the world yesterday, early morning (12:40 am). Thus far, he is quite a gentle soul, and we are cherishing the opportunity to get to know him. Ginny is currently doing great, and all details about delivery will come (or not) from her.

Of course, as all parents do, we have enjoyed seeing similarities & differences between him & his siblings already. We think he’s pretty great.

We’re still at the hospital with a winter storm beginning to take shape outside; should be able to head home tomorrow, but the weathermen are predicting icy armageddon, so we’ll see.

Thanks for all of the visits, prayers, and notes.


thanks Brooke for the pics...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the hazel post

37.5 weeks. it has been a unique pregnancy. a long pregnancy. a new life & new memories are quickly approaching and I can’t wait! the time & affections & attention that I now spend solely on hazel will drastically change. while I can’t begin to imagine how & I fight the “whoa!” overwhelmed feeling, I really can’t wait to meet him or her & begin this new mom journey.

the other day i was telling a friend who hasn’t seen hazel in a long time about her & i found it was good for my soul. so good in fact, that I’m doing it again here. I’m very aware that this is the sort of post that matt, myself & our parents will find fascinating & probably no one else…I’m fine with that. I know without this, I may forget what is going on in this season of her 1 year old life just like how right now I can’t possibly remember what summer feels like or it was like to not be pregnant.

in the delivery room, hazel’s first breath was quickly followed by her first scream. she had these phenomenal lungs. healthy and robust & loud. the first few days of her life we didn’t know if she would do anything but scream. and while we are quick to confess that we had no idea what to do about it, we loved that scream & those lungs. the first night she was at home with us, we tried to get her to sleep in our bed & in the bassinet in our room, but the only place where she actually fell asleep was in her own crib in her own room. i was just trying whatever worked & didn’t see then the independent spirit that was there from the start. her first little “fit” was around 8 months. she was crawling & decided that being still for a diaper change was no longer acceptable. she kicked those rolly polly thighs spastically back and forth in disgust & disapproval of the diaper change. more often than not, this trend continues & she really can’t stand diaper changes & clothes changes. we laugh & sigh & struggle to teach her a different way of dealing & although we don’t know what to do with the hard-headedness she inherited from both of us, we just love it. this independence has been a big part of her whole first year & I always find myself daydreaming about if & how it will play out in the rest of her life. like maybe when that cocky junior high boy goes to grab her hand, she’ll look at him with that same look she gives people who try to get in her face and make her laugh…“seriously? am I really supposed to be impressed with this?”

she’s never been much of a snuggler due to the fact that she just has too much to explore & sitting or hugging would only slow the exploration process down…but lately she’s actually given us the occasional hug or prolonged moment. in light of the previous lack of this attention, matt & I can be found in puddles on the ground when these incredible moments take place. she smiles & laughs, but not all the time because most of the time she’s just too busy contemplating & discovering & laughing at your attempt to get her attention only slows all the discovering down. she does give kisses with that awesome 1 year old interpretation of a kiss that is an open mouth leaning into the subject to be kissed. but don’t get me wrong she doesn’t give you a kiss when you want one, only when she does.

a while back she started barking back at our dog. it’s more of an “oooh, ooooh” sound than a “ruff, ruff” and then instead of just for dogs it became the official noise for all animals. now, she’s added some variety & there are a number of fun animal noises…a cow “moos”, a turkey “begob-begob-begobs”, sheep “baa”, monkeys “aaah-aaah”, lions “ruuuuh”, tigers “guuuuuh”. she loves books & lately will actually let me read them to her. she loves unpacking things from drawers or taking everything out of a wallet or just taking all the toys out of a bin & putting them back in so she can take them out again. it took her 9 months to finally sleep & now she is a great sleeper at night, but is not so fond of the nap. older kids are always a win & when she waves at them from across wal-mart, saying “hiiiiii” & they don’t respond, she looks at me as if to say “what’s their problem?” she talks & jabbers a ton lately. one day she woke up & it’s as if she learned Chinese in her sleep. the words she can really pronounce & say the way an adult says them…she whispers these words…for no apparent reason.

like every kiddo, she is ever-changing & always keeping us guessing & is such a blast to get to know. we love her & count it a gift & honor that God has let us be her parents.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Interview with Tony Dungy

Here's a link to some video of my time in Tampa. Quite an honor and opportunity to be associated with such a great group of folks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the stranger on the couch...

Our prayers are with those in Haiti.
These links have helped me know the story, as well as how I can help: world vision, aaron ivey, big picture.


Thankfully, Ginny has arrived at 36 weeks (due feb 7); thus, weekly Dr. visits began this week. All looks good. We should have a date by next week that we will not be allowed to go beyond. Ginny is feeling quite pregnant- there is something about confinement to the couch for months at a time that has not made these last few weeks the most enjoyable. However, in light of all that this baby has already brought, we really have nothing to lament, and she-as always- is taking it in stride and smiling along the way.

Lately, we have been reminding one another that a human being is about to plant itself squarely into our lives and possibly even want us to feed it. It is amazing how the thought patterns in preparation for #3 have been vastly different than they were with both Eliot & Hazel's arrival. Survival of bed rest & daily Hazel chase have left little time for discussion or preparation. I guess this is good. I guess this is a more normal way of welcoming children after #1. But it is new to us, and seems like we're being rude to the tike to come.

Of course, there is ever present in the recesses of our minds, and more so, our hearts, the feeling that, eventually, something is going to go wrong. It is the nagging guest that will not leave- the one on the couch that you wish wasn't there, and you had hoped that if you did not acknowledge his presence, he would just go away.

But he doesn't.

And I'm sure there are some who would write this off as a lack of faith or pessimism, and it is quite possible that there was a time when I could be counted among their fold. Although, I am ever certain my faith needs work, I am just as sure that this is not the entirety of the issue.

It is just that experience can never be discounted. What one has walked through with his own two feet will always be a louder voice than the preacher or the self-help book or the bumper sticker. Because once you have walked through it, you know. And until then, you can only look to those who have.

The only statistic that matters to us, is the one whereby I have one child in bed tonight and one no longer on this earth.

I know loss. I know it happens. I know we are not safe. We do not deserve everything to be fine this go around, nor can you assure us it will be. I have walked in suffering, and it was a teacher I cannot mute.

With such disposition, we stand waiting on this baby.

And yet there is more.
Because this harsh reality ushered more lessons of experience as well.
He is good no matter what comes.

One is in bed, but for two He was faithful.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Update & Best of 2009

Update: Ginny is officially off of bedrest- after 109 days (but who's counting? me). It is great news on all fronts. She is now at 35 weeks pregnant. All looks great, and we are thankful for all of the prayers & well-wishes.

It has lately become common practice to randomly look at each other and ask, "are we ready for what is coming?" Of course we are & of course not. There's an idea- till now, unspoken, as not to jinx it- that we both harbor, a thought that this baby cannot be a worse sleeper than the first 8 months with our resident ankle biter. However, this line of thinking never helps, so we're just trying to gear up for what comes. And we cannot wait to meet the one who is coming.

BEST OF 2009

It's that time- our second annual "Best of" list. Remember, something only needs to be new to us in this last calendar year to make eligible to appear below. Also, we would love for you to add anything that made your highlight reel for the year, it's a good way to be aware of things we may have missed.

Disclaimer: It must be said, that we typically pride ourselves in exploring areas not inhabited by everyone else; however, this year- somewhere between lack of sleep with a baby Hazel & bed rest- we had less time to explore- or read or think.

Drops Like Stars (Rob Bell)
This book stole thoughts from my head on the subjects of pain & creativity, and, in the process, said them better than I could. Warning, it's a big picture-book type of book & quite awkward to pull out at the coffee shop. But well worth pushing through the embarrassment.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Donald Miller)
Donald Miller sees life as story, and helps you do the same. I enjoyed the opportunity to go see him talk about the book in Little Rock, and was encouraged to live a story worth telling.

Manhood for Amateurs (Michael Chabon)
The Pulitzer-prize winning novelist takes on being a father, son, and husband. If you're looking for something found at a Christian bookstor
e, keep looking. Manhood contains superb prose from a guy taking the time to convey the weight and wonder of being a man.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Shaffer & Barrows)
A historical novel set on an island in the English Channel.
Ginny enjoyed this detour from her normal buffet of books.

Currently Reading (M):
Free (Chris Anderson)
The Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion)


Ginny serves as the musical gateway for our household. The bands and musicians below seemed to join the mainstays, making their way into the rotation that serves as the soundtrack to our

Owl City. Ocean Eyes: With lyrics as deep as a kiddie pool, these guys seem to prove that fun music can go a long way.

Kings of Leon. Only by the Night: Radio has managed to wear them out, but I think I liked it at one time.

Mat Kearney. City of Black & White:
I kind of miss the rapping,but another great cd from a guy who managed to spell Matt wrong.

Aaron Ivey. Between the Beauty & Chaos: Changing the world, and singing about it.

The Swell Season. Strict
Joy (+ Once soundtrack) The duo that won an oscar for the Once soundtrack has a new offering.

TV/ Film:

Foyle's War: Some friends introduced us to this crime-solving series set in 194o's Britain. We've been waiting on Netflix to send us the next one every since.

500 Days of Summer: Well done movie about getting over a girl.

Once: Older movie we had never seen. Enjoyed the music more than the movie, but both are good.


Flip Camera: A Christmas gift I can't wait to enjoy. I'm sure I'll be passing on some footage.

Google: You may have heard of it. But this year I went google for calendar, docs, contacts, and more. It allowed me to sync all content on the Iphone and various computers in ways that others promised but never delivered.

Words with Friends: Iphone app that we have enjoyed over the holidays. Basically, Scrabble on your phone playing against people you know. Makes you feel really smart & then really stupid two minutes later.

Skype Video: This has proven useful in various business endeavors as well as allowing us to see our new nephew for the first time. And it's free.

Twitter: We like it, and it forces brevity.

Whrrl: Tell a story using pictures and various other means for text. I hope to actually use this one a little more in the year ahead, but I like the concept.


EQ3: After 5 months without a couch due to multiple debacles, probably our bar is set pretty low. But we have enjoyed our couch and rocking chair from here.


Due to months of bed-rest, we are up on the periodicals, and Ginny is capable and available for being your lifeline for all things magazine related.

Dwell: Modern furnishings, great photos and architectural gems.

Atomic Ranch: Mid-century modern interiors and exteriors.

Relevant: Always eager to flip through the only magazine to which I have a subscription.

Ready Made: A do it yourself mag for hipsters, granolas, and posers.

Oxford American: Great southern writing, music, and topics. All from the campus of my alma mater.

Hazel's List:

Moo, Baa, La La La. Sandra Boynton
any ball


This list- in pieces- is quite shallow, but taken as a whole the collage of the above, as well as various new memories, come together to represent quite a year.

We bought a house. Watched Hazel grow (and grow). Traveled to NYC & Petoskey, MI (among others). Found out we were pregnant with our third. Survived spending a quarter of the year with mom on bed-rest. And leave it looking forward to another.

An amazing year, indeed.