Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a... girl??? Help us think of a middle name.

After all the anticipation building up to the climax of yesterday's sonogram, the experience was anti-climactic to say the least! Apparently our little person was hanging out in the womb a little backwards or upside down, or the opposite of however the tech needed her to be to see her private parts. She's modest already, I'll take it!

She checked her brain, heart, kidneys and all her perfect little organs for a LONG time before saying, "I don't see anything dangling, I'm pretty sure it's a girl." What do you mean PRETTY SURE?! She said, "well if it was me I'd go out and buy pink. Just save your receipts." Um, okay... The OB confirmed that opinion, but said you can never be 100% sure until the baby comes out; which I didn't know. Our OB said that while she was in Med. School at Georgetown, the head of the dept. did her sonogram and told her that she was having a girl, when in fact it was a boy. So if he could make a mistake, anyone can... And apparently parents (who've spent $20G+ on decorating nurseries) have SUED hospitals before for wrongful determination... intense. So that's why they can't always give you a 100% positive answer.

But she said from our photos it was close to positive that we're having a girl, and they wrote girl in our chart, so that's what we're going with, unless surprised in June! We both really wanted a girl, so we're excited. Some of my reasons were vain (e.g. girls have cuter clothes) but others (girls can stay closer to their parents when they get married) had more validity. We know she'll be super strong-willed, tall and athletic, a natural leader; and we can't wait to meet the person that will change our lives forever. Or as Los' best friend said, "your heart is about to be ripped out." Just 4 more months! Now that we saw her for 1/2 an hour yesterday, it is starting to become more real to me, and for the first time in this pregnancy, I am beginning to get excited. I can't tell from looking in a mirror, but she's 10 inches long and looks like a real person! They sent us home with a DVD of her moving around inside me. Crazy.

We both love the name Claire, so that's what we'll name her, with the obvious nickname Clairebear already rolling off our tongues quite naturally. Wanting her to be multi-lingual out of the womb, we're already starting to talk to her in Spanish and other languages, so she can come out mastering them by elementary school:) Just kidding. Kind of.

Anyway, so there's our big news:) We're currently accepting all suggestions for middle names. We're not so sure what goes with Claire Evans:) Los wants her middle name to officially be Bear. But I'm not so keen on that, go figure:)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Driscoll in NY Times on Calvinism

I was surprised to open up NY Times.com as I do daily, and see Mark Driscoll's face on the front page. Read this interesting article if you have time, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. I was somewhat on board with the article (rare for me with him) until I read the piece about how he handled his church elders. One of the reasons I'm grateful to be a Presbyterian is the dissemination of power, so that the group of elected leaders makes decisions, not any authoritarian figures. Also I thought it was funny that me submitting to my husband MEANS preaching, as Los prayed that into existence (rather than abstaining from it- as the article says to.)

It was interesting to read the author's portrayal of Calvinism, not that I'm surprised by it, as it's in an international newspaper that isn't exactly known for it's theological accuracy; but it was amusing nonetheless. As a "New Year's Resolution"/theological growth opportunity, I've committed with thousands of others to reading through Calvin's Institutes in this year, 500 years after his birth. Along with Martin Luther and some other contemporaries, Calvin had a huge impact on protestant Christianity being established apart from Roman Catholicism this past millennia. For better or worse, he's a major player in our faith history worth getting to know. It should be doable in small chunks, as Princeton has divided it? Maybe I'll read it to our baby? Who knows where this journey will take me? But it will be nice to hear him speak for himself, rather than zealous or misled people who've come after him. It's funny how we can come to conclusions on people (authors) without ever even reading them for ourselves- I am guilty of that for sure.

As I stumble through my reading this year and ponder, I'll be posting up quotes from time to time on the blog, for your perusal as well. And if you have any interest in reading along with me, let me know! I have a couple friends around the country doing it so far, and I'm sure I'd benefit from processing it together.

A Time to be Born and a Time to Die

January 10th is a day we won't soon forget. Our dear friends Cara and Joel welcomed their baby Ingrid into the world this morning. We could not be more thrilled. We rejoice in her life and pray for all the power and beauty that it will entail as she grows up with her amazing parents. We can't wait for the Flory and Evans next generation to learn God's heart for adventure together.

And simultaneously, Carin and Jeff say goodbye to their baby Ben at his funeral this afternoon. We could not be more devastated for the grief they feel, we hoped this day wouldn't come. Ben's 3 year old body is free of cancer, he is at peace; but those who he left behind will be reeling for years, with questions and pangs of longing and fleeting moments of joy when they think on his life.

We are mourning and grieving with those who mourn, and laughing and rejoicing with those who feel joy this day.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our impromptu "Baby-moon"

Who buys plane tickets for less than 24 hours from then and randomly goes skiing in CO?  Apparently we do.

Before baby E enters into our lives for good, Los and I wanted to take a last hurrah trip of sorts.  As excited as we'll be to have a family, we'll also miss our own spontaneous vacations.  So when he came home last Monday and said he had the next 6 days off, we got to thinking...  It is almost New Year's Eve, we have no plans...  it's hot, it's flat, and yet, it's December...  where would we like to go?  SNOW.

So on no notice, we cashed in some frequent flyer miles and up and flew to Denver.  About two hours before leaving for the airport, on some good intel from friends, we booked a ski-in/ski-out at Crested Butte , one of the most beautiful places we've ever skied.  Such great powder, and the most charming of towns beneath the expansive mountains...  Since we were so late in getting our flights, we even flew first-class (which makes me never want to fly coach again, dangit), and then got a Highlander (one of the cars we're thinking of buying); it seemed too good to be true.

Of course it wasn't all peaches and cream- getting there took twice as long as we thought it would, due to road conditions and over-turned cars.  I was the lucky recipient of a week-long cold, so I spent the week doing the Neti Pot (quite the experience, though I'm now a HUGE fan) and sucking down whatever meds were okay for preggo ladies.  I also puked once just for good measure.  If I didn't have the expectation that morning sickness would've taken a hike months ago, I wouldn't be as annoyed that I still puked in week 18.  Oh well.

Skiing as a pregnant lady presented it's own set of anxiety.  I hadn't gone last season, and now there's a person inside of me to protect...  with a congested head... at 11,000 feet altitude.  I was a little nervous until I saw the mountain doc who told me his wife skied all three of her pregnancies until 8 months!  Crazy.  At 41/2 months myself, with a body and joints that haven't changed yet, I felt fairly competent.  Also, we chose CB, as opposed to the Vail resorts, which had 20,000 skiers/boarders over the holiday, b/c it is more remote and challenging, scaring away the average Joe/Jane...  Only 3,000 people and mostly good skiers.  After getting the green light from the doc, Los and I had two awesome days on the mountain, covering as much terrain as possible, and only scaring myself on 2 or 3 runs.  I never fell (amen for that), and only had my breath taken away by a couple of steep pitches.  Skiing was so fun, the hardest part, TRULY, was walking to and from the ski valet with all my stuff on at the base of the mountain.  That and Los had to buckle my boots for me:)  What a guy.

The nights were fun too.  NYE, while everyone was out and partying, we got a pizza, and chilled in our suite, watching Alias on the laptop.  After our first ski day, we got luxurious massages, which were a treat.  Living the high-class dream, we had Top Ramen for dinner that night:)  Friday, my friend Katie (one of the pastors at FPC Colorado Springs) came over to join us for the day.  She and I graduated from Fuller together this summer, and she's very encouraging to be around.  After a snowy caravan together Saturday, we had a meal with her in the downtown of the Springs.  We went to her church Sunday, which was so great; and then had brunch with another couple I know and love, Lynsey and Joe, before heading back to Denver and "home" to TX.

Maybe some day TX will feel like home?  But for now, our hearts are filled up with the beauty of the snowy mountains that we took in this past week; the perfect picture of what winter should be like in my mind.  The fact that I got to wear my North Face and puffy, a wool sweater and scarves+ beanies galore for at least one week, will get me through the 70+ degree days that we've returned to.  Happy New Year indeed.

Preach Preacher!!!

Soooooo...  I just got asked to lead worship and preach for the first time here in Corpus Christi.  It is going to be at 11 CST this Sunday.  Pray for me when you think about it.  I'm really excited about this opportunity, and the practice I'll get here in different congregations for the next three years.  It should be comical, at a church smaller than I've ever been to before, like a big small group, really.  Though I've heard that speaking to a group of 30 can be scarier than 3,000, so we'll see:)