August 28, 2008

Those Cheeks!

Meet Ava, she is 8 months old and the daughter of a former co-worker of mine. She has to have the biggest cheeks in all the land! I love that they take over all the space from her eyes to her neck!

Last time I saw Ava, she was only three months old! Look how much she has grown.

Book Review

A few weeks ago my friend Alison recommended that I read "Quiet Strength" by Tony Dungy. I purchased the book at the airport in Denver on my way home and finished it last night. I have now passed it on to Marcus to read.

It is a wonderful book that weaves football, family, leadership and faith all together. You can relive some football moments (like the 2007 Super Bowl) and hear the words Tony prayed before, during and after the game. He also does a wonderful job of quoting scripture and giving it real world application.

Many of the lessons he taught I know I can use as a manager in my job. He talks about showing respect, giving your employees value, allowing family life to a part of not seperate from your office environment, and how to lead by example.

I am not a Colts fan, but I am now a Tony Dungy fan. I recommend this book as a great read for anyone or especially as a gift for your Dad or husband for Christmas. I think everyone can learn from Tony.

August 26, 2008

First Day of School

Kyleigh and Cohen started a new school yesterday. They are both enrolled in a new private school in San Marcos and it requires uniforms. This greatly displeases Kyleigh and her inner fashion diva.

I hear her first day was awesome, so I hope the extra activities, nice kids and advanced learning outweigh the lack of choice in clothing. This is also Cohen's first school experience. I wonder how long it will take before his body launches into a mid-afternoon nap on his desk.

I can't wait until I can experience new school supplies and back to school clothes with our child. It makes me sad to not have that rush of excitement every year. I need a "Traffic is Going to Suck Again" outfit and some new pens to write my "Sorry I am Late, Traffic Sucked" excuses with.

She has a Name!

Marcus and I were talking last night and we keep calling her Abby Lu, so I guess the name has stuck. I don't even think of her as Amelia anymore. I love monogrammed things and am guessing that many of you know that based upon the requests to finalize her name. So, Abigayle Lucille it is! We'll likely call her Abby Lu most of the time. Either Abigayle or Abby Lu would be wonderful as a monogram.
After falling in love with Lolo Jones during the Olympics, I have also called her Lulu on ocassion. I don't think Marcus likes that one as much. :)

August 25, 2008

Week 23: Our Sweet Little Mango

Today we are 23 weeks pregnant! I feel like the exciting parts of pregnancy are still ahead of us- nursery decorations, birthing classes, finalizing her name, and of course baby showers. I appreciate everyone's thoughts on the hospital gown. I think my Mom is going to make me a gown for labor and delivery and then I'll purchase a nursing gown and robe set for afterward.

We have the paint chosen for her room and need to pick a weekend for Marcus to paint. We are hoping he'll do the base coat in September and our detailed painting will come in October. So much to do in 17 weeks! I can't wait!

from Baby Center:
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well
developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11
inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large
), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood
vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds
that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into
the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog
barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she
hears them outside the womb.


I took the advice of my girlfriend Judy and the Moms of a couple of different blogs and bought these smart Quick Zip Sheets. The top part (that will get yucky) unzips from the rest of the sheet and can then be washed.

It allows the remaining part (along with your expertly tied bumper) to stay on the bed during a midnight sheet changing emergency. Plus, the zipper is hidden under the fabric so it will not hurt your baby's soft skin.

I ordered 2 bases and 4 total top sheets. Let's hope she doesn't go through more than that in between washes!

As Candice Olsen would say, "How divine!"

He Felt It...

At exactly 23 weeks pregnant, Marcus felt our sweet girl kick me! It was early this morning and Marcus was getting ready for work. I yelled at him to come to the bedroom because I had felt her kick hard and I knew exactly where it was. She performed on command and he got to feel it!

Meet Mr. Ivan

Check out the hairline on 7 day old Ivan. He is just like a little man crossing his fingers and parting his hair. Besides his brother James, I have never seen a child born with this much hair!

Birthday Girls

Last night we celebrated two brithdays-

Happy 60th Birthday Mom! Tiffany and I treated Mom to dinner at Cheesecake Factory last night. It has to be our first kid free dinner in many many years. It was nice!

After dinner, I stopped by Jessica's house to join Marcus and wish her a happy birthday. Jess' party was equipped with a yummy birthday cake for all to enjoy.

August 23, 2008

Tailgate '08

It is officially football season. Today was the day of the second annual GHBC tailgate party. The set up was same as before...bring your gear to support your school, and come out to have some fun.....
We started in the morning this know, because of that 45 days of +100 degree heat thing.
The obstacle course this year was a partner event. Wheelbarrowing was an obstacle.
As was body surfing....
Mitch defended his 2nd obstacle course victory. This time, with help from Travis.Once again, there was the punt, pass, and kick events.....
Pastor came out to show his support for the burnt orange....I guess the Georgia Bulldog jersey was dirty...
Anna and Natalie showing the Raider spirit.... The family of Aggies

Fun all around!


August 22, 2008

Am I Crazy?

The thought of a thin well worn hospital gown creeps me out. You can see right threw them and the hospital name is often haphazardly stamped on them.

I found a site that sells hospital gowns made of pretty fabrics and ribbons and I think I need one of them. It seems like it will cover things a little better and look much prettier in photos.

I ran this idea by a couple of girlfriends who told me I was crazy- the gown will likely be nasty and I will appreciate handing it over to the hospital staff to wash.

So, I want your thoughts. Is this a complete waste or will I appreciate later when I look back?

Landry and Harmony

I saw Miss Landry last night who had a birthday this week. I found a new purple old school Care Bear for her that came with a video.

When we played the video, the adults were excited- it was the classic 1986 Care Bears cartoon. I don't think the kids found it entertaining enough. The music was cheesy and the characters didn't have much depth. My how times have changed!

Happy 3rd birthday sweet girl!

August 19, 2008

I Need your Help!

Does anyone have a home remedy to prevent bloody noses? I have had 3 in the past month and never had them before now. I understand when pregnant your membranes can thin out and cause bloody noses, but I'd really like to prevent them. They come at random times and I'm not always so prepared!

August 17, 2008

Week 22: Don't Squash Me

This week we are 22 weeks pregnant and our baby girl is about the size of spaghetti squash. I feel her moving often and am only in maternity clothes at this point. I am happy to have only gained 4 pounds and my shoe size is holding on at 8.5. I am using my fancy stretch mark cream daily and hope it is working as I feel my body stretching. I can't see my feet unless I lean forward!

from Baby Center:

At 11 inches and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. Her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and she's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath her gums. Her eyes have formed, but her irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers her body and the deep wrinkles on her skin, which she'll sport until she adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside her belly, her pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

Mini Cheesecakes

I have not baked in weeks, likely 22 weeks to be exact! Pregnanct has zapped my desire to do much, including cooking! But last night we had dinner with some friends and I tried out a new recipe for mini cheesecakes. It was easy and yummy!


24 vanilla wafer cookies
2 packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Toppings of your choice

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.
1. Line muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
2. Place a vanilla wafer inside the bottom of each liner.
3. Mix together all other ingredients and fill the 24 liners.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Chill for 2-24 hours.

Top with your favorite cheesecake toppings. I made 12 turtle cheesecakes with chocolate chips, caramel sauce and chopped pecans and 12 with cherry pie filling. Both were yummy!

Babies R Us

Meet Elizabeth Eleanor, she was born on Thursday. Her mother Kathy and I have done many a bible/book study together. Elizabeth was greeted by a loving family including two excited big sisters Alexis and Kayla. She looks forward to a life of love, baby dolls and lots of matching outfits with her sisters.

A few months ago I mentioned that I knew 15 pregnant women and after this week, I know a lot less. I do however, know a lot of cute new babies.

Welcome Aiden, Anna, Elizabeth, Ivan and Asher. All of these kiddos were born this past week to my girlfriends. Starting names with vowels was popular this week!

Congrats to all!

August 15, 2008

An epiphany....

So I was driving to work today and had one of those existential moments where I began to wonder if some kind of instinctive skill kicks in once you have kids. I mean, I'm sure there is something like that, but I really am hoping I get the Platinum edition of innate child rearing. Mainly because, I got a few absent minded professor moments in my recent past that could be bad.

Seriously..It was a short while back that I locked my keys in the car. While running. For about two hours.

I'm also the guy that repeatedly sets the cup of coffee or coke on the back tailgate, forgets it, and takes off. About 2 minutes into the drive I hear the THUMP and look around in befuddlement. "Oh look, there's an Einstein Bros. coffee mug in the street that is just like mine.......wait.....Where is my.....OH MAN...."

And of course, I forget to even get the packages out of the backseat. Nothing like waking up the next morning going...."ooh..the left over chicken chow mein....that would be in the car still...."
I guess I have on the plus side that I still know all the words to the Spongebob themesong, all the Xmen characters, and all the videogames that are cool.
Girls are into that stuff right?

Baby Names?

I have received lots of questions and requests to know our baby girl's name. I thought I had it, but now Marcus and I are not so sure. Here are the current front runners.....
Amelia Kate- Amelia (nickname Millie) has been with us for a couple of years. I like that it is sweet and classic. It reminds me of a grandmother- soft skin, warm blankets, good food. Kate is the classic stylish name that I like to plug in as a middle name. The Hebrew meaning for Amelia is work of the Lord.
Abigayle Lucille- Miss Abby Lou as we call her, is all family. Both my middle name and my father's middle name is Gayle. My Dad's side of the family all call him Gayle and I am a Daddy's girl myself. Lucille is Marcus' grandmother who passed away shortly after we were married. While we love this name, Abby is very popular and we hoped to find something not as common. However, she would likely love the ability to find her name in the Disney gift shops! The name Abigayle means father in rejoicing or the joy of the Father.
I welcome your thoughts- is having a popular name better than an uncommon one? Will she hate us for the odd spelling of Abigayle? Is Millie too old fashioned? Can you think of cheesy nicknames she may get on the playground?
PS- Thank you Erica for my new all girl baby button!

August 14, 2008

Baby Anna

The Lord said "go forth and multiply" and my Sunday school class listened.

Meet Anna Adeline who is the 5th baby born to my Sunday school class in the last 2 weeks. We have 2 more ladies due this week.


August 11, 2008

Shopping at Pottery Barn Kids

I have waited a long time to make a big purchase at Pottery Barn Kids and today was my day. I walked in and out with confidence, having scoured their website for many months and their store for years! I knew exactly what girl nursery I had to have.
We are planning to pair this with some green gingham and red and pink accessories. Now, I need to commit to a crib, such a tough decision!

It is confirmed....

So we had the 'official' Dr. appt today, and we are confirmed....that we have a baby girl on the way! There are some very good pictures that we got that confirm this, but that's just not the kind of thing you publish on the web! She is also healthy, no issues from the doc.

So we spent the day registering and buying some starter stuff, including baby. KIDS NEED A LOT OF STUFF! Actually, it was Anna registering the things she had been looking at for 18 months, and me using the scanner gun. Glad I had a role in this process.

So at least the hard part is OVER, and the most expensive stuff is all done. whew!

With all the comedy and 'getting started work' over...

I now have a couple of quiet moments to just really think about what the past four days have brought me. A super cool trip to that is top of the of a healthy baby girl...its that kind of overwhelming that leaves you happily exhausted.

The Hawaii trip is awesome....and for having doing nothing more than what I consider doing my job this year....I know there are people that do their jobs well for decades and never get this kind of is truly a blessing, and I see it as that. Heck, I'm willing to suck up 10 hours on a plane to get this. I HATE PLANES. I REALLY DO. is such a muted joy that I feel compared to the overshadowing news that my baby girl is going to be healthy and here. While I let my mind imagine what that week in October is going to be like, it ends with the same thing...back in Austin, trip over. When I let it wonder about having this daughter...I see, first steps....a girl running to the bed after a bad dream, first day of school, first date (and yes, I will be inviting all my buddies over for gun cleaning night when the boys come to pick up my daughter. I will be like Martin Lawerence in Bad Boys II). I see also being asked to walk her down the aisle.....etc etc.....

While this trip is amazing, blessed thing, I just get overwhelmed with what a new daughter means. As Anna blogged before, I have believed that this would work the first time, it would be one, and it would be a girl. We got that...and healthy....its amazing. I have to be reminded that all this great stuff is such an honor....and while this isnt exactly getting into the Football hall of fame stuff, I am reminded that it is His glory that got us all this. I cannot forget that, or begin to take this for granted, any of it.

Reading back on this, if this is the kind of gush that I be doing with this kid, I have got some trouble ahead of me. The phrase Daddy's girl comes to mind.


August 09, 2008

You Decided....

... and I had it done! We used a portable sonogram machine that was not super clear, so the physician is not 100% positive either way. We'll have to confirm his guess on Monday. If he is right, Marcus has been right all along. He felt confident IVF would work, there would only be one and it would be a GIRL!

August 08, 2008

Which One?

Which shirt should Marcus wear when we get off the plane IN HAWAII? Yes, that is right, we are going TO HAWAII.

This is not just any trip, this is a free all inclusive trip TO HAWAII! Free for both of us. Free golf and spa appointments. Free meals. A free opening dinner concert with Styx! I know, funny!

We didn't even have to purcahse a condo to win the trip!

This afternoon Marcus was chosen to join the Avnet (his company)President's Club. He was awarded this title and trip as the salesman with the most profitable growth in the entire company.

We are awaiting all of the details, but do know that it is in early October, when I am still allowed to travel. More details to come soon!

To Know or Not To Know ??

Okay faithful blog readers, I have a dilemma and I will let you all decide.
My sonogram with my OB is on Monday. Today, I am in Denver for work. Our speaker is a physician trained in OB ultrasound and we have a sonogram machine on site. He has agreed to do an ultrasound for me. In essence, I could find out today/ get a free second opinion on what I am having.
Marcus is not in Denver with me, but said it is fine if he can be on speaker phone with me and we find out together.
Would you do it?

August 07, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

Tonight is the big So You Think You Can Dance finale and I am sad to not be watching it in usual style with Heather and Jay. Jay always claims he doesn't watch it much, but he does know each dancer and their best moves!

This year I am watching it from Denver with my co-worker Lindsay. We are having banquets make us a feast fit for a queen and enjoying the show.

Heather and I have booked tickets to see the Top 10 when they are in Austin in October. I wonder how young we can look as I am sure we will be the oldest ones there. Maybe we can latch on to a group of teenagers and pretend to be their chaperones!

Only in Medical Education...

This is the view inside my event today.... an attendee laying on a table for the others to mark her knees with injection sites and since we didn't have a pillow, she just grabbed a foam foot from the model to use.


August 06, 2008


I realized I had not ever posted that the baby is officially a kicker! While I thought I felt a kick back in week 17, I don't think it was real. I think it was first felt at 18 1/2 weeks.
Now, I feel that famous fluttering feeling often. It happens most of the time at night when I am getting ready to go to sleep and typically if I am laying on my back. It tickles more than anything.
The next step is Marcus feeling the kicks!

August 05, 2008

The Road to A Friend's Blog is Never Far!

I love reading blogs each day and thank you all for keeping your lives open to me! I have numerous friends that have started blogs recently or that I have recently "subscribed" to and wanted to share them with you. They are all on the blogroll on the right. Kill some time getting to know them!

Mary Sallee- Mary and I worked together at Keller Williams. She is now living her dream in Switzerland with her handsome boyfriend. She spends her days learning French and exploring the town.

Bring the Rain- I have blogged about this one before.... I don't really know Angie, but I love reading about her relationship with her daughters and her God. She is very inspirational about how to endure struggles and still be faithful to God.

Holly Hilderbrand- Holly works with the children at our church and is a fellow scrapbooker with a room!

Little Patrick Liam- Patrick's Mom Ellen worked with Marcus and then with me many years ago. She is now a fabulous stay-at-home suburban wife and Mom.

Texas Newmans- Mrs. Newman and I worked together as well. She has a cute little boy, a beautiful new home and a brand new baby girl. Her hands are full!

Tiny Greek Goddess- The tiny Greek goddess is Cora who was born in June. Her parents are friends of Marcus and I through church. It'll be fun to watch her grow up and learn from new Mom Melissa.

Have fun scrolling over and checking out these fun blogs!

August 04, 2008

Anna Has A Banana!

Ladies and Gentleman, we have a bump! I am now halfway through the pregnancy and think I am really showing now. I had a couple of doctors (at my program in Denver) comment on my baby, so I think it is pretty clear. One doctor even offered to name her- he is certain it is a girl. I asked him for a good Southern name and he recommended Abilene Abigail. What a sweet man!

Since the baby is the size of a banana and we had bananas on the break today, I snuck into a meeting room to get a picture and give us all perspective on the baby's size. Just one more week until we know if it is a he or she and get confirmation of a healthy pregnancy and a strong baby growing correctly. We plan to have fun after that appointment and sign up for birthing classes, visit Babies R Us and then purchase the nursery furniture. I can't wait to know more and begin shopping for the baby.

from Baby Center:
Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

August 03, 2008

Art Monk's Hall of Fame Speech

I am such a sucker for a good sports story and last night watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies ( yes, I am that football fan) left me teary-eyed. Normally, it is the story of the guy who overcomes great odds to make it to the league and gives back to his community or buys his Mom a house. This time it was seeing a professional athlete given the ultimate glory and watching him give it all to the Lord. I wish I had been an Art Monk fan earlier.
To read his full speech, click here. Or, here are a couple of highlights that touched me.
"... in all due respect, that as great as this honor is, it's not what really defines who I am or the things that I've been able to accomplish in my life."
"... the one thing I want to make very clear is that my identity and my security is found in the Lord. And what defines me and my validation comes in having accepted his son Jesus Christ as my personal savior. And what defines me is the word of God and it's the word of God that will continue to shape and mold me into the person that I know he's called me to be. So I've learned a long time ago never to put my faith or trust in man, for man will always fail you. Man will always disappoint you. But the word of God says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. And he will never fail you."
"But I understand and I know that I'm here not by in and of my own strength but it's by the grace and the power of God upon my life who I know gave me favor along the way and who provided opportunity and room for me to use my gifts. So I am very grateful to receive this honor, and I can stand here before you and say, hey, look at me, look what I did. But if I'm going to boast, I'm going to boast today in the Lord, for it's because of him that I'm here and I give him thanks and glory and honor for all that he has done for me."

Fun with Butter

I am spending my 10 work days in Denver at the JW Marriott in the Cherry Creek area. This is one of the nicest areas in Denver- for Austinites, I am staying at a hotel connected to a very large Domain-like shopping center. I am working long days and doing dinner in my room more than at the mall.

I have spent many a nights in hotels and worked with many different staff members that service my meetings. Our banquet captain Bianca is by far the best staff member I have ever encountered.

Bianca recognizes that my staff member and I are "trapped" in the hotel and room service can get old quickly. She has had the kitchen staff make us whatever we want for lunch each day. We had yummy grilled cheese sandwiches and salad and chicken stir fry yesterday complete with rice and an egg roll. Plus, this is a courtesy of the hotel and she will not bill me for it. How amazing is that! So much for keeping my weight gain low!

In addition, the entire staff is friendly, attentive and predicts our needs before we have predicted them. Five star service for sure!

With our lunch each day, we have been given rolls and butter. Look at the amount of butter! Goodness, two rolls do not need two pounds of butter, but just in case, I am prepared!


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