Sunday night blues!

Well, after a fun, busy long weekend, it's back to school/work for the Taylors! Most of you who keep up with the news know the LBO of HCA last week was complete, so this week and until the end of the year should be interesting to see what (if any) changes are implemented. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous as we all should be no matter where we work. None of us are irreplaceable. I just know whatever happens will be fine. Eventually.

We have had beautiful weather in Nashville this weekend. Each day has been into the 60-70's. Somehow we managed to fill our time off and not get ANY Christmas decorating done until today. We did church, then came home, got a very few things done, then lunch with my dad and Bertie. Back home and had about 90 minutes of daylight so got a few more outside decorations up. Not sure when we'll get the other stuff up. This starts our super-busy time of year. Next weekend, we have Jenna's ballet recital. It's at church (Brentwood Baptist) in the deaf chapel at 11am if you are interested in seeing it. Everyone is invited! So, we have that, then I have a co-worker's party that night. In between, I have to cook about 7 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange on Sunday afternoon. At some point in there I need to get the laundry done and our Christmas decorations up. I haven't decided whether to go for a real or fake tree this year. Last couple years we've done real, but it's almost as easy to do the fake...speaking of decorations, let me tell you what we did today...

So, yesterday we went out and bought a bunch of new outside decorations etc. Today, while we are pulling it all out of the garage, I come across these brand new ornaments and I'm thinking, "Hmmm...where did those come from?"...then another box and another...and then strings of new lights and lawn decorations. Then it hit me...I went out after Christmas last year and bought a bunch of stuff for like 1/2 price, packed it up with all the other Christmas decorations and completely forgot about it until this year! YEEHAW! I was so excited to find that stuff. How smart was I last year?!?! Just like my MOM!

Well, today is the first day of Advent and Jenna brought home an Advent wreath and chain so we are about to go down and do that before we put her down for the night. I think I'll work on my online scrapbook tonight while Steve watches TV.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I just sat down from finishing up my part of the Taylor Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone should be here about 3pm, so I'm way ahead of the game! I love entertaining like this. I don't want to do it every week, but once a year and it's really fun. Plus, I do so enjoy having the Taylors over. It's the most normal thing about my family. I just love being around them all. I wish we got together more often.

Not much to update...Steve was unofficially offered a nighttime manager position at the new company. The guy actually asked him in an EMAIL if he was interested. And the email was just a reply to another question Steve had asked. How unprofessional! Steve hasn't responded, but he doesn't want to work nights, he doesn't want to work THERE and he doesn't want to be their sloppy second choice. We are still investigating schooling for a rad tech, but that wouldn't be complete until 2 years or so, so we still have to find something in the interim.

As for me, just plugging along. The LBO of my company was complete last week and already things are starting to feel stressful. Not so much the job, but the feeling that the axe is about to fall any minute. Not sure if that's my own paranoia or if it's that premonition of something bad about to happen. I'm hoping it's just paranoia. Right now, I'm not sure we could handle anything else on our plates.

Well, I'm off to relax a bit before getting ready for the rest of the day. I have much to be thankful for today.


Sneak Peak...

Here you have a sneak peak of what our Christmas pictures are going to look like this year. I absolutely love some of these photos. We have tons to choose from and Jenna picked these out to post.

As far as us, we haven't made a firm decision about Thailand. I want to put some time between myself and the information I received so I can be sure it's what God's leading me to do.

No word on Steve's job situation yet. He's supposedly employed through the end of the year. We'll see. We have career counseling Monday and we're hoping that will provide some direction...


Summer Vacation???

Mood: Content

So, in the middle of November, you're probably wondering why the heck my blog is titled Summer Vacation...well...

Last Sunday evening, I went to take Jenna Grace to preschool choir at the church. Normally, for this hour I sit around and read in the library or talk to other parents who have no where to be. But this particular night, there was an informational meeting going on regarding a mission trip that the church was doing to Thailand in June 2007. I had nothing better to do so I figured I'd go listen to what they were talking about. Turns out every year there's this big conference of sorts for all the international missionaries. It's kind of like their continuing ed program...they are mostly US citizens who are stationed as missionaries in all parts of the world. They come to this conference every year, bring their kids who do VBS and field trips all day while their parents are in conference and just have a good ole time speaking nothing but English all day! Anwyay, this year, the conference is in Thailand and BBC has been asked to host. Which means our senior pastor and choir director will go to lead the worship portion of the conference. It also means BBC needs 100+ volunteers to go to run the children's VBS and field trips. Pretty cool for a mission trip, huh? But you know, I'm not interested in mission trips. I did my fill of those things in the youth. I've never felt called to go on anything like this.

Until now.


I have to tell you, I was on the edge of my seat during this meeting and I mean, come on, it was an informational meeting, it wasn't like it was big entertainment value, but I couldn't quit taking notes and listening intently. What the heck? What's gotten into me? Who knows...but, I am seriously considering going. Some won't understand that and that's fine, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, I think I will go. Depending on Steve's job situation (which is still up in the air), we may both go and take Jenna Grace with us. Talk about an awesome teaching opportunity for her...wow. Nothing is decided yet. We are both praying about it and asking God to lead us in the right direction and I know He will.

Now, for the update on Steve...he has 130 interviews tomorrow. Yep, you heard right...130 interviews. Not really interviews, but the church has a group of Christian executives, business owners and CEOs that meet for devotional every Friday morning. One of the guys in our Sunday School class invited Steve to come as his guest this Friday. He'll introduce Steve, give a quick run down of what's happened and then give Steve a minute to say a few sentences about what he'd like to do. Steve's taking about 15 resumes with him and hanging around after the meeting giving these fellas time to chat with him. Talk about some kind of networking! Nothing may come of it, but having 130+ business leaders in the community with your resume and keeping their ear to the ground for you HAS to be a good thing right?

Also, this weekend, I've been invited to go to Monterey, TN for a training retreat with the church. It was kind of last minute, but it's all expenses paid and of course a weekend targeted just for training to be a PLACE counselor and Connection Coach, so I think it will be a very good thing for me. It's at a quaint bed and breakfast about 30 minutes past Lebanon/Watertown, and we have some free time, so I'm taking way more books and magazines than I'd ever have time to read. Sure will miss my hubby and baby girl though!

OK, enough...you'll have a break from me for a weekend. I'll be back Sunday night or Monday to let you know I survived!


Ultrasound Pictures

Well, here it is...it's definitely a boy! Micah is so excited because she really wanted a boy. She's now starting to think toward names. She is considering using the name Stephen/Steven as the first name because of Steve, her boyfriend and Chase all having that in their names. She's hoping to bring Stephen to Thanksgiving and Christmas which will be nice. We haven't seen her in so long that I'm sure her belly is growing like crazy. As of yet, she hasn't felt the baby move, but I bet the next week or two and she will. I can't wait for her to get really big so I can feel the baby moving myself! She'll probably start registering for baby stuff soon also. I think she's going to register at Babies R Us...more on that to come.


It's a.....


Micah just called and it's a boy! Everything else went well and the baby loooks good and is right on target. Micah and Stephen are really excited. I will post pictures of the ultrasound as soon as I get them, but wanted you all to know! I'll be sending out emails too.


We find out tomorrow...

Mood: Anxious

Well, tomorrow is the day...Micah finds out the gender of her baby. I am pretty excited to know because I won't be going to the ultrasound. Her mom is going and probably her boyfriend, so I feel like I should stay away. I wish I'd been more a part of her life during this time, but she hasn't really asked for me to be and seeing that I'm "just" a stepmom, I don't force myself on her. I don't think she mind, in fact, she'd probably be appeciative for me to go, but I don't want to intrude. It's ironic actually...I remember her having the same feeling with me back when I was pregnant with Jenna. My how the tables have turned!

Like me back then, I fear she has no idea what she's in for. Of course, do any of us really know what we are in for when we have our first child? I think not. But perhaps this will be the turning point for her to find herself, give herself completely to someone other than herself. We can only hope!

I know many of you that are ready are family, so you are as anxious to know as I am. I will post as soon as I hear something and of course email everyone too. My guess is a girl, although I think Micah kind of wants a boy because she heard they were easier. Any moms of boys want to object!? I have heard the opposite...but then ultimately, like all the other moms, she really doesn't care what it is just as long as it's healthy. So...we wait.

More to come...


Sneak Preview

I took this today while we were getting ready for our professional Christmas pictures to be taken. Isn't she beautiful?


Everything's updated!

Current Mood: Tired

Well, I finally got all of my blogs from my MySpace profile here to our new blog site. It took a while, but I finally got it done. I will try to post at least once a week.

Speaking of week...this has been an eventful one. Steve got his severance agreement, we had it reviewed by a couple of trusted professionals and it's been signed and is a "done deal" as they say. Today, we signed the rest of the paperwork. Can't say much more than that because we are bound by a confidentiality agreement. Let's just say, he has the potential to stay employed until 12/31/2006.

Tomorrow we are having our Christmas card pictures taken at Ellington Agricultural Center. For those non-locals, if you don't know, it's a beautiful park area and right now, the trees are beautiful! I can't wait to see how they turn out. Of course, all of "you" will get one of the cards whenever I get them ordered.

That's it for now...trust me when I say there will be more exciting things to come...just hang in there with me and as soon as I can, I'll let you know what they are. :)

I thought you might enjoy seeing what those of us in Williamson County saw on Halloween...this is so rare and for me to have my camera is a miracle in itself. I literally took the picture out my van window while sitting in traffic on Interstate 65S. And it's hard to look at something like this and not think all about God's promises!

Update...Wednesday, November 1, 2006 (archive)

Current mood: content

So, I've got a few minutes before work and thought I'd update you all. ("you all"? Who all is there that actually comes to my blog???)

Anyway, Steve and I are still working through many things with the whole job issue. Being a psych major, I knew the steps to go through mentally but odd as it was, I was much slower in working through the process than Steve was. I KNEW what I had to do (you know, denial, anger, bargaining...). I somehow started with anger and I'm still working through bits and pieces even after 2 1/2 weeks. I never knew I could be as angry as I was. But I was. And I am. A little. It's getting better.

You wouldn't believe the support that we've received mostly from church members. Everything from emails that we're being prayed for to cards of business men that think they might be able to help Steve find a job. It's amazing. God has blessed us with a church family that equals none other.

Then there is the new company (this is where some of my anger still comes into play)...when Steve *thought* he had a job there, he had convinced himself that it would be a pretty decent place to work. But day after day, we continue to hear things that make us think he'd never have been happy there. And every SINGLE day there is another comment or story or lie that comes out and we've said time and again, perhaps God was saving us from a very unhappy situation. We still don't know why they did what they did to Steve. We've heard 3 different excuses but the fact is the beginning of *that* week his supervisors were told he was going to be put on X press. 2 days later, they said they weren't taking him at all. And we may never know the truth, but something happened in those 2 days. I choose to think it was the touch of the Father that made them decide otherwise and it was Him watching out for us all the time. And I had the nerve to get mad at Him and blame Him for what was happening to us. It's a wonder He didn't zap me where I sat!

We do finally have a severance agreement, albeit not yet signed. There are a few things to be cleaned up with it and soon as they are, we are set. The severance will start after his last day at the current place. The last we heard, the "formal" move will be complete in about 2 weeks, but the current employer was told, at their request, they could keep Steve on as long as they needed him. If the 2 weeks is accurate, my guess is things there will be wrapped up by year end.

Friday Steve had an interview with another local printing company that went well. It was with the owner of the company and was very short, but they'd just had an opening come available and hadn't gotten their bearings yet when Steve's resume crossed their desk (thanks to a close family member). They just wanted to know if he was interested...and of course at this point, we aren't turning anything down. They said they'd figure out where they were and what they were doing and call him in for a more formal interview "next week", which is the week we are currently in. No call as of yet, but trust me, we aren't getting our hopes up.

I think the severance is a decent one and should get us through until he finds another job. If he can go straight to another job instead of having down time, the money would help make up for the pay cut he's most likely going to have to take (about $10,000 per year) and then some. But I know the Lord will take care of us somehow. I've already started trimming the fat as they say in anticipation of hard times. We may not encounter them, but there were places where we were spending frivolously because we had it and so I cut back in some areas already. It's maybe $100-150 extra a month, but that will help.

Well, I gotta go get Jenna out of bed...time to get ready for school. More to come...

Family & other stuff...Sunday, October 22, 2006 (archive)

Current mood: sad

OK, I might be losing my mind. With everything that's going on in my life right now, I think I'm becoming paranoid about things that AREN'T happening.

I'm not sure if you've ever found yourself in this situation, but I'm there right now. And it's all about my family. I wish I could write everything I'm thinking and feeling, but some things are just too personal to write for everyone to read.

Just to give those lurkers a little background about me, I have 3 half sisters and 2 half brothers. My brothers and I share the same mother and my sisters and I share the same father. I'm a little like the outcast because I am the ONLY child of my mom and my dad. The others have each other, and I have no one. Now, that's not as bad as it sounds...I know it sounds pitiful, but I don't mean for it to be. When my mom died when I was 18, I was left with no mother figure. My one brother (the oldest of the two) disappeared shortly after our mother's death. I haven't seen or heard from him in years. As time went on, my remaining brother and I because extremely close. His wife (who was also very close to my mom), because like my second mother. But now, for some reason, I feel so isolated from everyone. Not just my brother and sister in law, but my other 3 sisters.

I wonder if there is any truth to my feelings or if I have now begun to imagine an isolation that really isn't there. Seriously, I sat tonight and thought I might actually be losing it. I love my family and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual (at least on some level). Then why all of a sudden do I feel like everyone is upset with me? Obviously, there is much more behind this story than what I am willing to type here...

I just don't understand why it is that families just can't be normal. I guess ultimately, I just have to make the effort to make family a priority with me so that the paranoia doesn't take hold when it shouldn't.

Today for the most part, was a good day. Church was wonderful. It was as if every part of the service was planned just for me. For us. For what we are going through. Every scripture verse, every song, hymn, prayer...all for us. All to give us hope and remind us that God is in control if we will just LET HIM BE. There are so many church friends who have been through this and have seen how God can work for the best in these situations. And those stories have brought so much comfort and hope to Steve and I. Sometimes I don't know how those without a church family make it through those hard times. I don't know what I'd do without my church family.
As for the future, I am certainly looking forward to better days ahead. Our immediate concern is getting the severance offer on paper and having our attorney review it. Once it's signed and we know where we stand, we can start moving in some direction.

Psalm 25:1-4 "To you O Lord, I lift up my soul. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow."

4-Letter Words...Saturday, October 21, 2006

Current mood: hopeful


Not what you expected to see is it? Me either. During the last 36 hours, I have thought many 4 letter words, and most of them would make my dear mother turn in her grave. But hope was not one of them...until today.

I was hoping that I would wake up this morning to find all my anger turned into action. I'd get up, think of all the opportunities this turn of events would give us and get motivated to think of and plan for the future. You know, deal with the "what-ifs". But the first thoughts running through my mind when consciousness came was what I would say to the current owner of M. Lee Smith Publishers if I had the opportunity. And then I realized, I wasn't NOT angry. I woke up mad all over again.

Then I got up, read my emails only to find that we have a "low balance" warning in our checking account. And I thought, "how much more can I possibly take?" We both have good jobs now and STILL have to deal with not enough money at the end of the month! So, to channel my anger, not only toward the owners that did this to Steve, but also to God by this point, I started cleaning out our linen closet. Do you realize how much frustration you can release by throwing stuff in the trash can? It's cleansing.

Anyway, Steve was at a deacon's meeting at church so he was gone. When he came in, he flashed a card at me. No words, just the card. It was the card of a fellow deacon who works at a staffing agency. When the time came for prayer requests, Steve first mentioned his mom who is in the hospital, then went right into the events of yesterday. The fellow deacon interrupted before he even finished and said these 4 words..."I can help you". After that, almost every deacon in his team relayed stories similar to what we are going through.

Hence my new 4-letter word...HOPE. After Steve told me this story, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. And it was the return of hope. I had not recognized my feelings as the lack of hope, but when you are socked in the gut like we were yesterday, all hope goes out the window. And I didn't realize until that moment that I'd lost hope. And while this man may not be able to work a miracle for Steve, he will be able to help some. Even if it's just to restore Steve's hope. The thought has certainly restored mine. And it's just what the doctor ordered. I can actually see the light now. It's dim and small, but I do see it.

It's like I told Steve, the Lord has been good to us over the past years, so why now, when He is the only thing we have to lean on, we doubt His provision for us.

So today is a better day. The sun is out, figuratively and literally and I've managed to not only clean out the linen closet, but the medicine cabinet, and Jenna's closets.

I cleanse the anger through cleaning and then welcome back the hope.

Remember that blog??? Friday, October 20, 2006 (archive)

Current mood: distressed

A couple of blogs ago actually. And there were two...one on friends and one on Steve's job. Well, I have more thoughts on both.

First, in regards to Steve's job...while we thought all was done and taken care of, this morning, the new owners of the company told Steve that they just didn't have a place for him. Needless to say we were and still are in shock. We thought they'd made it clear that he'd be employed when they said, "We have positions on 2, 4, and 6 color presses. Which would you feel more comfortable on?" that he had plenty of positions to choose from. Today he was told 3 different excuses of why they "didn't have a position"...one was that he interviewed badly. Well, after working in the same company for 23 years, perhaps he is a little rusty on the interview skills, ya think? And do most companies judge by interview skills only? Apparently this one does. The second reason was the original "we don't have a position for you". OK, I could buy that except for the small fact that everyone ELSE in the company they found a position for. Hmmm...and the third reason was that they didn't think it was fair to cut his salary so he could stay on the 2 color press he wanted. OK, but a) shouldn't you have let HIM make the decision on a paycut or a bigger press and b) they never mentioned to get his current salary he'd have to run something bigger than a 2 color. Perhaps if they'd mentioned that little fact, he would have said he would be happy to operate a bigger press. He's certainly capable of doing that. But conveniently for them, they left that little detail out.

And out of their generosity, they have offered him 13 weeks severance which is the equivalent to 1 week's pay to every 2 YEARS of work with the company. Sweet. All this to say, be loyal to a company, pour your heart and soul into it, have stellar work ethic and then get crapped on when the chips are down. That's business for you. Makes me proud to be an American.

OK, so I'm bitter. Angry. Furious actually. Scared. Really scared. I know that most people in this world have gone through these job/career transitions and have gone on to be perfectly normal, happy folks, but this is new to us. And Steve's 47. A career change at this point in his life is more difficult than one would think. So...all this to say, we are not sure how long he'll be employed, but we should know soon. And this weekend, we are taking time to work out our emotions. As soon as Steve told me, I immediately got angry. I mean, really, really angry. The cursing-everyone-and-everything angry. Then I cried. I cried most of the morning at work. Each time I received an email of support or reminding me that the Lord will bring us through this, I cried more. Now, the shock is wearing off and the anger is at the ebb and flow stage. When we talk about it, we are angry all over again. I am starting to slip into the worry/panic mode. This is the part I hate. The part I don't want to deal with at all. I have so many thoughts running through my mind that I can hardly channel them all. I wonder about whether we'll be able to afford to keep Jenna in Christian school. Nothing against public school, it's just we feel very strongly that Christian/private is where Jenna needs to be. Of course, I'm not going to get started on all the things that I'm worrying about because we'd be here all night. On to the other blog I was going to mention...

That whole long email about "best friends"...well, I have discovered today that I have at least 35 "best friends". As soon as we found out the news, I immediately sent an email to my Sunday School class as well as a personal email to friends in my personal address book. All day long, I had emails pouring in from friends pledging their prayer, support and friendship. And each brought with them comfort and peace to my freshly shattered world. Just to mention a few who really stood out today...my good friend at work, *Allison, who actually stood in my cube and literally cried with me. Seriously, as I cried, she grabbed her own Kleenex and cried right along with me and then offered to take me to lunch. I mean, what's a true friend if it's not one that will literally shed tears right along side of you and then offer you comfort food?!? Then there was *Nancy who also stood in my cube in righteous indignation as I explained the situation. And then periodically, would check on me during the day to find out if there was more news...Not to mention *Karen H. who emailed immediately to express her shock and support. And then offered to also take me to lunch next week, her treat. *Farrah who didn't know what to say, but kindly forwarded me names and numbers of outplacement agencies for our own personal use...Then *Danette who not only called my work phone to tell me I was in her thoughts but also called my cell phone to try and reach me. *Kylene who took my sobbing phone call at 7:30am and even though she was probably trying to get things together to leave to go out of town, she listened patiently and also expressed her shock. Ah, how many phone calls poor Ky has endured of me sobbing or screaming at some injustice I was going through. Then of course there was my sweet dear stepdaughter, *Micah, who I actually called myself to tell her about the news so she didn't hear from anyone else. Micah, who understands better than most, what it's like to be blindsided with the news of your own termination. And her anger at the unfairness of it all. To sit and list the names of every email author or phone caller would take all night. But through this, I have realized that all this time, I had many "best friends" right under my nose if I'd only taken time to recognize them as such. Thank you all, my friends...my BEST friends. You will never know what your friendship, support and prayers mean to me and Steve.

As for us, we will get through this. I don't know how right now, but we will. And yes, it will be "fine", eventually. God brought us to this point to take us further into the future with Him. We simply have to believe that He is in control. I say "simply", but even though we have watched time and time again as He brings us through the storm, we forget His goodness, mercy...grace. I feel strongly that even now we are right where God wants us to be even though it's not a pleasant place at the moment. All I have to do is call out to Him and He will come to my side and not just walk through this with us, but carry us through...

And to you, my friends, I'll keep you posted...

Now we know...Wednesday, October 18, 2006 (archive)

Now we know...
Current mood: relieved

Well, we finally took Jenna to the doctor today. After a weekend of up and down temperatures (normal to as high as 104.4), tentative diagnoses of cold, strep and hand-foot-mouth disease, we have the "final answer". And I feel like a moron for not guessing it sooner...SINUS INFECTION. DUH!

Anyone who knows me and my family history knows that sinus infections are a way of life with the Jett family. So it's a wonder that I didn't recognize it sooner, however, besides the fever the only other symptom she had was headache, which I erroneously attributed to the fever. She had none of the symptoms such as stuffy nose, croupy cough or congestion in her chest. The doctor (my hero...Dr. Keown) said her headaches probably weren't a result of the fever, but a symptom of the infection. At any rate, we are on antibiotics (Amoxycillan) and we should be good in about a week! :)

And so it goes...at least we have an answer...and a "fix". And Jenna has been feeling better since yesterday too. She was a little tired tonight, but she didn't get a nap due to the midday doctor's appointment, so she was due.

Thanks for all your concerns...I am so thankful she's feeling better. One of the worst things to deal with as a parent is the worry that accompanies a sick child. I'm glad it's over. Now I can concentrate on more important things...

Things I despise Sunday, October 15, 2006 (archive)

Current mood: worried

Of all the things in this world I despise, the top one is when my child or husband is sick. Much like a man, when it comes to them and their illnesses, I just want to "fix" it. Your knee is scraped? Fine. Antiseptic wash, neosporin, a Hello Kitty band-aid and a kiss and it's all good. You have a headache? Here's two Tylenol. This I can handle. Pain from a kidney stone (that Tylenol could NEVER touch) or high fevers/flu are things I can't "fix" and I despise when they rear their ugly faces with my loved ones.

What brings all this on? Well, after a relaxing (somewhat) weekend with my girl friends from church at a Mom-Time Getaway, I come home to a happy, boisterous 5 year old and relieved husband! Last night, I happened to touch Jenna and she's burning up. I thought it was from playing hard, but a few minutes of sitting down and she's still hot. And it's dry hot, not like sweaty hot. I took her temp...102.5. Geez. We started pumping in the Tylenol every four hours, but by morning the fever is still hanging on. It did get down to about 100.3, but it's spiked to 103.3 and now is just at 102.7.

The doctor on call says keep doing what we are doing, but it doesn't feel like enough. I need to "fix" it. But all I can do is make sure she's comfortable, keep tabs on her temp and watch the clock for the next time to take Tylenol/Advil.

Tomorrow is her last day of Fall Break and I'm sure we'll spend it in the doctor's office as opposed to the park or with our friends Kylene and Mady as planned. :( Hopefully the night will be peaceful and morning will bring a healthier Jenna...

Congratulations & other baby news...Wednesday, October 11, 2006 (archive)

Congrats to my good friend, Stacey G! "Pumpkin" (yet to be named) arrived this morning at 8:15am via c-section weighing in at 6lbs, 11.8oz and 19 1/2 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing fine (albeit a little tired). Congrats to the new family of FOUR!

In related news...I had something happen to me today that I thought I would share. At lunch, I wanted to eat at SATCO (San Antonion Taco Company for my non-local friends). My friend and I had no transportation to get there (as my van's in the shop) so her husband came to pick us up and take us. Of course he insisted on paying even as I shoved the money in the SATCO cashier's face. Jokingly I said to Mr. SATCO Cashier, "OK, so you are clearly ignoring the money I'm shoving in your face." And he says to me, "Well, I figured I shouldn't argue since you're pregnant." (silence). Uh, NEWSFLASH, I'M NOT PREGNANT! Geez...of course, knowing it would humiliate him, I just nodded and said nothing.

Back at work (2 tacos, some tortillas and cheese dip later), I was telling my co-workers the story. They too were mortified for this poor schmuck who obviously has no woman in his life to tell him you NEVER assume a woman is pregnant unless she's actually in labor when you are in her presence! Anyway, as I'm relaying the story, I am enumerating every time someone has ever mistaken me for pregnant since I had Jenna. So for, the number is up to 6. Yep, that's 6 innocent people who actually thought I was pregnant I was so fat. I thought I had gotten rid of all my make-me-look-pregnant dresses...turned them in for black make-me-look-skinnier-pants (with the elastic waist!). Apparently, the pants stopped working because now I look pregnant in them too! Pretty soon, I'll have to come to work in my PJs because that will be the ONLY things that I wear that don't make me look pregnant!

Now, I know all of you that know me will say, "You don't look pregnant!" (I've heard that multiple times today), and to you I probably don't. You KNOW me and know that I'm NOT pregnant so to you I don't look it. But to someone like the cashier or person on the street, I might indeed look pregnant at first glance. And you know, pregnancy is a wonderful thing so they mean it in a happy way I'm sure...it's not malicious...

I try not to take it too seriously. It was an honest mistake, but clearly it's time to do something about my weight. I don't think I eat bad food, just too much of it, not enough water and too many sweets. And. I don't exercise. (screaming and gnashing of teeth here). I know, I know. I just can't seem to get motivated and when I do, I can't stay that way. Remember, I'm married to a man that has to eat TONS of sweets and drink tons of Coke just to stay at the 140 pounds he is. It's sickening. Moreso, it's hard. It's tough to fix food and buy groceries for someone who is trying to maintain weight while you are trying to lose it. I think I need a kick-a** personal trainer that will come drag me away every day to work out. I don't know, sometimes I think plastic surgery is my last option. I'm going to do baby-steps though. I always thought plastic surgery for weight loss was for lazy people who didn't want to exercise. And now, it seems, I've turned into one of them.

The good thing is that if I ever did get pregnant again, I could probably go 5 months before having to get into maternity clothes!

Stay tuned...

Good News...Bad News...Monday, October 9, 2006 (archive)

Good news...bad news...First of all, don't you hate it when you spend like 30 minutes typing a blog and then hit cancel instead of post and lose the whole thing. Yeah, been there done that.

So what I was TRYING to say was that today Steve interviewed with the new company that bought out his old one. The good news is that he is being retained by his new company and he'll be working a DAY shift! YAY! The downside is that there are no supervisory positions available, so he will go back to running a press. Running a press isn't so terrible...I mean, Steve's a good pressman, one of the best in my opinion, but it's a very labor intensive job. And through the years, his body just isn't up for that sort of intensity. But it is a smaller press to which he's been assigned, so it will be less hard on his body than a 4 or even 6 color press. Ah, the silver lining...

Also, the worst part about this is his new hours...6am to 7pm 3 days a week. Doesn't sound so bad but when's the last time you worked a 13 hour day??? It's a freaking long time to be on your feet! Alternating months he'll work M-T-W and then the next Tr-F-S. No Sundays thankfully, but that means alternating months, we'll be Daddy-less on Saturday. Of course, alternating months he'll have 2-3 weekdays off which is pretty cool I guess. It's just going to take some time to get used to. Not sure when this new schedule goes into effect. Hoping 1/1/07.

Jenna will unfortunately have to go to aftercare which is something I very dearly wanted to avoid. But we don't have much choice in the matter and in my previous blog, I said I knew it wouldn't last forever. I just thought it would last past Jenna's Kindergarten year! Jenna's gymnastics class will have to be rescheduled to a time after which I can pick her up and get her there (currently I'm working until 5pm), and ballet will have to stop after the new schedule, but that's OK with Jenna because I don't think she was going to be interested in going past Christmas anyway.

So, there are lots of things to get used to coming up, but my feeling is change is inevitable. It's not always enjoyable and sometimes it hurts, but it's to our benefit not to buck change because it just makes it harder when it comes...because it WILL come no matter how hard we try and prevent it. But we'll make it. Just give us a few months and we'll have a new schedule down.

That's all...at least for now. Thank God.

Life Changes Tuesday, September 26, 2006 (archive)

Life Changes... Well, there was bad news all around yesterday. First, Steve called and said his company, more specifically, HIS AREA of the company, had been sold to a local printing company to turn MLSP into simply a publishing business (no printing). Thanks alot.

After 23 years with MLSP, the company is being split and Steve's portion is going to (thankfully!) a local printing company. The bad news is that obviously, all the jobs are up in the air now. With Steve being a pressroom supervisor, most likely the new place already has their own in place. He most likely will be put back to a press operator (though they are promising no pay cuts) for 12-13 hour days and possible night shift. None of those options sound particularly encouraging to either of us, because right now, he's allowed to work 6am to 2:30pm which gives him the ability to pick Jenna up from school by 3:00 preventing her from having to go to after-care which was a big deal to me. I don't want her in aftercare. I want her home with a parent in the afternoons. Just a personal preference...but a strong one none the less. Unfortunately, I'm pretty certain my job doesn't have that kind of flexibility and even if it did, if he's working at 6am and I am too, then who is going to get Jenna to school? It's a lose/lose situation here.
And speaking of my job, there are most certainly layoffs in our future as well. Just something else to worry about.

Honestly, I knew the 6-2:30 thing wouldn't work forever. I mean, things change...LIFE changes. And with it, we too have to change, right? Otherwise, we'd never learn to grow and adapt. And I can rest assured that Jenna will be watching us to see how we react to these life changes and we have to be sure that we show her how a Christian, one who truly believes God is in control, reacts.

I don't know exactly what our future holds, but I am certain of Who holds our future. And whatever He decides is best, will happen and we have the choice to accept it, ask for His peace to give us comfort or buck it all the way probably making life harder for us than it is now.

Don't think we haven't wondered what will happen if he's not retained with the new company and is out of job (at age 47 and after 23 years with the company)...and the answer is...We don't know. I don't know what will happen...perhaps he will be a part time stay at home dad. We'd certainly have to really tighten our belts here...there would be no more luxuries like DVRs and 150,000 cable channels! It would be rough because honestly, we do enjoy our luxuries! And we might not be able to afford that, but we'll figure it out. We are looking to the Father for the guideance we don't have. Looking for Him to lead us in the right direction...He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future. (caps mine).

We'll keep you posted!

What happened to Best Friends??Sunday, September 17, 2006 (archive)

What happened to Best Friends?

So, I've been thinking...about friends...best friends in particular. This week, I read the blog of a lifetime friend of mine which was all about her best friend and how long they'd been friends etc. I was thinking and realized (not for the first time) that I'm not sure I have a "best friend"...you know, as defined in terms of high schoolers. Remember back in high school, you had that "best friend" that you wrote notes to all day and then called the minute you walked in the door at home and talked to all night long until you were threatened with grounding? The one with whom you laughed your head off over pretty much nothing? Or maybe it was college...your first roommate who you stayed up until all hours of the night cramming, crying over some guy or just laughing about silly stuff. So, it's that best friend I'm referring to.

Well, what I realized is, while I have really dear (and some lifetime) friends, I don't have what I would consider a "best friend". I hope this doesn't offend any of my friends that read my blogs, but I think they would agree that I'm not their best friend either. My question is...have "best friends" become a disappearing concept??? (doesn't that sound like something Carrie would write on Sex and the City?!)

I have friends, some closer than others, that I talk to on a frequent basis. But I don't have that one friend that I can tell everything to. I tried to think back to when others met their "best friends" and it was of course in high school (some earlier than that) or college. So, with that in mind, I searched the files of my brain to figure out where I had gone wrong. I remember having a very close knit group of girls in high school that I considered each and every one a best friend. OK, then what happened???

Ah yes, what happens to many high school best friends, we all scattered to different colleges and universities. Life got in the way, as it tends to do and we drifted. But I wasn't satisfied with that easy answer...so I did a little deeper soul searching and what I found shocked and saddened me. I realized during those years where you really seal those friendships...I was losing my best friend.

In the spring of 1992 (the year I graduated high school), my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They called it "terminal carcinoma of an unknown origin", basically meaning that the deadly cancer was in many places, but they were unable to trace exactly where it originated from. Therefore it wasn't colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer etc. It was just...cancer. I began college, Belmont University (a local college) to be exact, in the fall of 1992 and by November, my first semester of college, my mother passed away.

During that time, I had two "best friends" who literally carried me through this horrendous experience. I remember laughing more than I thought possible and thinking people must think I'm going crazy to be laughing during such a serious time. But it was what I needed for that time in my life. Oddly enough, those two best friends are still in my life but they serve a drastically different purpose to me now.

Anyway, so, while my "best friends" from high school were acclimating to being on their own and enjoying the freedom of adulthood, my life as a full fledged adult came to a grinding halt. At 18, I buried my mother and best friend. And then became my dad's caretaker...doing the laundry, cleaning house, cooking dinner etc. I continued college and graduated in 1996, but never lived on campus, but at home to help dad with day to day activities. It makes sense to me now why I was attracted to and married a man much older, with two kids (who became my step children) at age 21.

I'm pretty sure many of my friends wondered why I would tie myself down in such at way at just 21 years old...but now looking back, it was the only thing I knew. And I've never regretted it for a second. That man and those children gave me back a life I left behind when my mother died. But that also explains the leap from carefree high school/college student to wife, stepmother and then mother.

I have searched for a "best friend" since my mom died and no one ever seems to live up to my battery of tests...I have discovered that I'm awfully hard on my potential best friend prospects...I expect them to be to me everything my mom would be now if she were still alive. And there's no one on earth that can do that. I've finally stopped looking. And I've tried to appreciate each friend I do have for what she brings to my life now. No one will replace my mother. And I have to quit expecting them to.

So, to all my friends, high school, church, work and otherwise, thank you...for what you've contributed to my life.


Well, here's our new blog home. I have several blogs already on another site and I'm going to do a little research to see if I can bring them over here...until then, hang tight and we'll be back with an update soon!