Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Someone Else's Ultrasound

Blame it on the hormones or the fact that I didn't sleep well last nite or fact that cutting back to one Coke a day has REALLY impacted my disposition (just ask Jeremy), but this video, sent to me by my friend Leslie, had me bawling. It also had me wondering "how do people say that there is no God?!" I am honestly dumbstruck that really intelligent people with really wonderful hearts can look at the human body - the most complicated "machine" known to man - and truly believe that it was formed by chance.

In his tongue-in-cheek "Big Mistake," David Wilcox expresses this shock way better than I ever could:

They taught us kids in school, between the recess breaks,
that the universe just sorta fell together like a Big Mistake.
It started with a bang that set the pieces flying.
Then it cooled and twirled into dinosaurs and dandelions.

It was a big mistake to have eyes that see,
to have love like this inside of me,
to have lips that smile, as I swim your kiss,
to have minds that will forever every part of this.
Ah, the moonlight shrouded in the clouds above,
and the autumn leaves and the falling love,
the still reflection in the moonlight lake,
All, they said, it was a Big Mistake! It was a BIG Mistake!

"Mistake"? Hardly. A "mistake" is expecting me to be able to cook, just because I have all of the utensils. Or hoping the laundry will fold itself if I just leave it in the dryer long enough (it doesn't; trust me - I've tried). The creation and formation of new life is no mistake, and it can only be wrought through the work of the only wise God, to Whom belongs all "glory, majesty, dominion, and authority." The only "mistake" is believing otherwise.

Don't believe me?  See for yourself.

"I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ..."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bye, Bye, Babies: Ten Days Without the Four I Adore

As the family addage goes, here the kids are "prayed up,
packed up, ready to go ..." on their second visit to Poland.
I don't know who my sister thinks she is.

Yesterday, she and my brother-in-law left for a mission trip to Poland, which, in and of itself, isn't even slightly offensive. But here's the catch.  She took every single one of the Four I Adore with her.


After dropping them off at the airport, I discussed the subject with my friend Leslie.  "Shouldn't she at least leave one ... as collateral?!" I asked. "Plus, it just makes fiscal sense. One less child times three meals a day times ten days in Poland equals buying a whole lot more of that Turon gingerbread they've been bragging about since their last trip!"

Camera-shy Camden didn't get
out of the frame fast enough
on this one!  Caught ya', Doodlebug!
I had Payton and Lila convinced. Turns out, if you promise an aspiring filmmaker you'll take him to Hollywood, he'll follow you to the moon and back again (Lila just made me promise we'd watch her new "Little Miss Sunshine" DVD.  Can do, Kiddo!). Sissy, on the other hand, was harder to persuade, so that leaves me ten days without a single squeeze from the four most precious people in the world.

Thank God for SKYPE!

And thank God for their safe travels.

And thank God for videos like this to tide me over, until my boys and girls get back home where they belong.

If you think of the Nunnerys over the next several days, please do pray for their safety, health, and for their undelayed return to the U S of A, where Aunta will be waiting, as always, with "candy in one hand and a camera in the other!"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"It's a ..." BOOOOYYYYY! That's not what I expected!

15 weeks along on the happy day
when Biscuit first really showed himself -
I say it's a "happy day" for several reasons
but mostly because now people will know
I'm not just wearing muumuus and stretch
pants, because I've skipped the gym
on too many consecutive mornings!
This post is probably not politically correct.

In fact, before he left for work this morning, I asked Jeremy, "I'm thinking about blogging what I journaled yesterday; what do you think?"

As usual, he gave me a very supportive green light, and in that spirit, here I go.

Yesterday, as you may or may not know, Jeremy and I were able to get a glance at the Biscuit's gender. We aren't completely positive, but both my sister-in-law-the-midwife AND an ultrasound technician think he's a boy. Too soon to say for sure? At fifteen weeks, that may be the case, but both Jeremy and I agree that these sweet ladies wouldn't have even ventured a guess if they weren't pretty certain.

This is where the "politically incorrect" part begins.

To be honest, and to my great surprise, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me when I heard the words "It's a Boy!" I tried to act unaffected. I returned Jeremy's celebratory kiss, as if I were as pumped as Mr. Pressley, but the truth was, it stung. Apparently, I was more set than I thought I was on the idea of a daughter - who, I was certain, would love Dorothy Fields as much as her mama does.

This very menacing profile (?) was
the best picture we could get at
yesterday's ultrasound. I'll tell you
this: he looks nothing like the name
we've picked out for him. Judging
by this pic, he should be called Hulk
or Slayer or Hulk the Slayer.
Anybody know where I can get some
spike-encrusted diaper covers?
I KNEW I'd very quickly get used to the idea of a son instead. In fact, not quite two hours later, I already had, but delaying (or giving up) my Mayme's namesake, smocked dresses, and an already-planned, perfectly-themed nursery decor was way harder than I thought it'd be.

The very friendly medical staff, of course, showered us with congratulations. I feigned elation, hoping the palpable dip in my spirits was wholly unnoticeable to anyone other than myself. Jeremy, ever perceptive, did notice. As we walked away from the check-out desk (and several times after), he said, "I'm sorry you're disappointed."

I admitted the truth to the man who knows me best, adding, as we drove home, how silly I was being. Though, judging by the picture to the right, he's got a horrifying resemblance to Skeletor from "He-Man," our sweet baby has two arms, two legs, both hemispheres of his brain, a strong heart, and his daddy's long, bony fingers. Plus, my blood pressure is perfect, and my weight gain is well within the parameters I'd hoped to stay in for the early part of my pregnancy. Biscuit's got two (ginormous) eye sockets, a backbone - all he needs to grow big and strong. How silly - no, STUPID - of me to make an idol of a baby girl's name that my heart's been set on, since I was twelve years old.

"It's just that I wanted my baby ..." I started telling myself. It's like God stopped me before I could even complete the thought, though.

"No, Kristin," He whispered. "He's not your baby; He's MY baby."

Instantly, my attitude shifted when confronted by God's truth. Our mighty Creator is crafting this beloved boy to serve His purposes, not to give me a baby doll to dress up or a progeny to propagate my passion for the American musical. Baby Biscuit is being knit together to advance the Kingdom of the One Who has already planned his days.

What an incredible gift - and a humbling challenge - to be the one entrusted with his care!

It's no coincidence, I see now, that recently I've been reading about the mighty men of God in my devotions. Abraham. Joseph. Moses. Joshua. Caleb. Gideon. As I've read the accounts of each of these lives, I've been struck by the amazing things God accomplished through their willingness (or not) to be used, through their strength to go against the grain of mainstream thought. I suddenly began to think of my son in terms of these men and felt so excited that God might raise up the little man-a-tee in me to be a leader who strongly and courageously stands, a Man of Valor in a land of cowards.

As we continued our drive back to Canton, I also thought of Hannah. She surrendered the son for whom she had prayed, to the service of the One Who granted her request. In the same way, Jeremy and I want to give our son to God, to fulfill the role He's made for him rather than to be the extension of some self-serving agenda we've set for ourselves.

Sweet, sweet, sorta-scary-looking Jones, I love you so much. 
I am so thankful and humbled that God would choose me and your daddy

"Father, God, thank You for my baby boy. Lord, continue to give him good health, and prepare Jeremy and me even now to show him how to be a super strong man of God. Lord in Heaven, we give him already right back to You with the humble request that You would equip us to train him, to teach him diligently to be the man that You made him to be. Be gracious to him that he may walk in Your ways all the days of his life. Hem him in when he would be tempted to go astray. Thank You, God, for entrusting us with Your son. Empower us now to be faithful to the call You've given us.
We love you. In Jesus's name, Amen."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jeremy has an announcement to make ...

In other words ...
Jeremy & his parents
Jeremy & his nephews

three of the Four I Adore, including Lila, who asked
if I had my baby yet.  Not quite, Huntybun. Not quite.
Naturally, I have lots of thoughts about today's revelation, not the least of which is pride. When I told Camden his baby cousin would be named Jones, he immediately responded, "After (UK basketball player) Terrence?"

Not exactly, Kiddo, but I like where your head is.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to post where MY head is. In the meantime, suffice it to say somebody better call Coach Cal.
There's a new little recruit in North Carolina!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Sing Alleluia!"

One of the hardest parts of moving away from Greenville last fall was leaving my church.

This morning, though, I got to get a little taste of the place I love so much. Visiting Mom for Mother's Day serendipitously corresponded with the Four I Adore singing in an ensemble of several young Hampton Park-ers.

I may be biased, but I think they're absolutely, without a doubt, undeniably the most perfect people on the planet.

I defy you to watch this and disagree with me.

"Sing alleluia! Sing to the Lord of love!
Sing and be joyful. Rejoice in God above.
Alleluia, praise! Alleluia, praise His name,
Who came to Earth by human birth
to be my Guide and Friend.

I will tell the world the wonder that I know.
God's love watches over me wherever I may go.
Oh, praise! Alleluia! Praise, rejoice, and sing, 
for God gives us everything. 

 Sing alleluia! Sing to the Lord of love!
Sing and be joyful. Rejoice in God above.
Alleluia, praise! Alleluia, praise His name,
Who came to Earth by human birth
to be my Guide,
walking by my side,
to be my Guide and Friend."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Soapbox and Then Some

I really do want to blog more.

Much as I love my Cats, there are about 6,000 things I'd
rather my child wear to her first UK game then a blue and
white tutu - a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist jersey comes to mind
or, maybe, a hand-knitted Anthony Davis unibrow cap.
What I don't want is to blog too much.  Apparently, with children comes the temptation to put up a post every time your child, say, wears a new hairbow or FINALLY makes it home from Chick-Fil-A without having a total meltdown, or, maybe, when you just wants to show off the (tacky-looking) collegiate-colored tutu you scored on Zulilly last week.

PLEASE NOTE: I'm diplomatically resisting the urge to include links to posts like these (bless my heart), but suffice it to say that none of these blogs belong to any friends of mine.  That to say, if you start to wonder if I'm talking about you, I'm NOT.  No one that I know personally does this.  I'm talking about the type of blog written, for the most part, by well-intentioned women who inexplicably have time to write multiple entries each day about the crippling minutae of life with toddlers who would, I'm betting, be exponentially better behaved if Mama would break free from Blogger to do a little disciplining.  But, then again, if Baby were behaved, what would Mama blog about - besides, of course, hairbows and tutus.

Now THAT'S something to
blog about!
To these women - who shall remain nameless but whose inane posts have gotten the better of me on more than one occasion - I say what Neal Page said to Del Griffith:

"Here's a good idea: HAVE A POINT. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!"

Now that I'm off my soapbox, I can get to the point of today's post. Trust me, it isn't to brag about Biscuit's hairbows. Today, I want to boast on the God Who, even now, is knitting her (or, for my husband's sake, him) together in my womb.

Perhaps the most amazing part of pregnancy so far has been experiencing Psalm 139 in a whole new way. Parts of the passage have always been some of my favorites in the Bible - God wrote my days and knows my thoughts and hems me in? "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me ...!"

Other parts of it didn't really make sense, though, until I read them in light of this video. In case you can't tell - and trust me, I couldn't, either, had my sister-in-law-the-midwife not explained it - it's Biscuit, at 10 weeks in utero, practicing what I hope are the steps to the South Carolina Shag. To me, s/he looks like a toad / chipmunk / manatee who's about to walk on the moon.

See for yourself.

As I watched this clip for the 3,000th time, though, I thought about another part of Psalm 139:

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance."

"That's what that is!" I shouted in the midst of my "Eureka!" moment. What looks like an essentially shapeless blob of baby is what the psalmist called "unformed substance." However "unformed" it may look, though, the great Creator is molding and shaping and crafting my child into precisely the person He means His Biscuit to be. "My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth," David writes.  

What incredible knowledge to know that the God Who works in me is, already, at work in my child and that the child who is hidden from the rest of the world is completely seen and fully known by the God Who is making him (or, for my sake, her).


Now, I know it's not a picture of her first hairbow, but still. Raise your hand, if you'd like to hear Biscuit's heartbeat.

Me, too. 

Here it is - our baby's mighty ticker at 8 weeks old.

"I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well." 

Oh, and while we're talking baby headgear - there's a chance we'll know next Wednesday whether we'll be buying hairbows of ballcaps. Cross your fingers that Biscuit lets us get a clean look!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Much to Celebrate

Today, I turn 35.



... as in, the age my mother was when I was 9.

... as in, the age when NBA players - the lucky ones whose careers aren't cut short - RETIRE.

... as in, halfway to 70 and a whole lot closer to 40 than I ever imagined I'd be.

The funny thing is, though, I don't feel a day over 16. In fact, I fully expect half my high school to show up later tonite for a Sam's Club sheet cake and a rousing round of Bigger or Better.

Flag football, it turns out, is made all the
more exhilerating when the "field" is
full of groundhog-style holes. Just ask
my brother-in-law!
If they're coming though, they really should've been here Saturday nite.  That's when the party was. Jeremy invited his family, my family, and my friend Leslie over for a bash that included three flavors of homemade ice cream, a pick-up flag football game, and, in honor of Derby Day, some non-alcoholic Mint Juleps that tasted WAY better than the real thing.

Does this picture make
anyone else think:
"Cinderelly, Cinderelly,
Night and day,
it's Cinderelly..."?
The evening also included floors, freshly mopped by my industrious niece, Lizzie Gray. She spent the nite Friday and was, apparently, ashamed at the state of my mop-able surfaces, which is not surprising, because so was I. I knew she was bothered, though, when, halfway through her first Pop-Tart on Saturday, she was begging me to turn off Zeke & Luther and let her mop those floors.

Her wish is my command.

Huntybun knows what
her Aunta likes!
I'll stop right here and say this for my sister: I don't know what she's feeding those children of hers, but I sure wish she'd bottle it up.

Anyway, while Lizzie Gray whitewashed every piece of tile and slab of linoleum in the house, Jeremy was tending to the grill. He made the barbecue; our mothers cooked the sides; sisters came through with other odds and ends, and Lila, as you can see, brought the centerpiece. All I had to do was show up and celebrate, and that's exactly what I did.

I celebrated a husband thoughtful enough to not only plan the event but to also spend hours prepping food and pulling weeds before the big day came. I celebrated a family wonderful enough to spend a nite hanging out at my house, and I celebrated a knowledge that, at "Thirty.FIVE," I can finally say that there's not a thing about my life that I would change. 

"I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me."


"Change" is actually a great way to describe going ons at the Pressleys' place - birthdays, too, now that I think of it. Come sometime around November 5th, Jeremy and I will be experiencing the birth day of our first baby, and man, will things change then!

As you can see by this picture,
Jeremy and I are just a few months away
from becoming the proud parents of
what appears to be a manatee.
Since finding out about the baby several weeks ago, we've been referring to him / her as "Biscuit," my thinking being that, if I'm gonna have anything "in the oven," I'd WAY rather it be a Biscuit than a "Bun." That to say, don't be confused if you start reading here about a "Biscuit."

Whether it's a boy or a girl, names have been picked; nursery decors have been decided, and, most importantly, a first Disney trip has been added to the family travel plan.

Between now and then, I'm just gonna show up and celebrate.

"... my cup overflows." - Psalm 23:5c

Friday Nite Drive

This past Friday nite, my family and I went to see the Greenville Drive take on the Lexington Legends.

Now, you might think we saw Greenville play Lexington out of some sort of allegiance to Bluegrass ball clubs. While we surely have that - reference most every other entry ever posted on this blog - I assure you that it had nothing to do with our scheduling. That the Legends were playing was a happy coincidence of the random Wednesday afternoon when Daddy took a notion to take the family to the ball yard.

To be honest, I don't remember much about the game. Both horribly bored by baseball, Lila and I sat in the stands and painted toenails for the first four innings, while Lizzie Gray occupied herself by stalking the cotton candy man, until he-FINALLY!-brought her a big, blue, sugary balloon. I do, however, have the pictures to prove that it was a beautiful nite.

I guess the pictures also prove that Lila's got some kinda style ... and that Camden, bless his heart, has entered the "flat-billed" phase of early adolescence. Our only hope it that it ends before progressing into the "baggy-britches" rite of pre-teen passage.

Cross your fingers, Y'all.