Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Been Monday...All Day Long

Have I told you that my obgyn is the same doctor who delivered me when I was born?
I met with him today.
He looked at my chart, looked at me, looked back at my chart, and then said, 'Which one are you?'
What he wanted to know was my birth order.  "I'm the third," I said.
He turned to his nurse and said, "Nurse, meet Noelle, of the Ed and Val triplets."
I smiled and said to the nurse, "Like that's supposed to mean something to you."
"It does," she said.  "Your family is legendary here."
What do you know...I'm famous.
Kind of.
By default because my mom is my mom.
I'll take it.

Remember how Kate was going to do something magical with my hair?
Trust me, she did.
It was so magical that when I got home Jason took one look at me and said, "You are hot.  No, you're smokin'."
It was so magical that when my 8 year old niece saw me she squealed and said, "I love your hair!"
But here's the deal...I can't post a picture.
Kate told me that unless I could make it look as good as she did, I was not allowed to post pictures.
Bad advertising or something.
I tried Kate.  Believe me I tried.
I went out and bought a round brush, exactly like the one Kate showed me.
I used the spray she told me was mandatory before flat-ironing.
I did exactly what she told me to: 70% dry and then use the round brush.
I. Can. Not. Use. A. Round. Brush.
To. Save. My. Life.

I'm going to get round brush lessons from my sister.
Maybe that will help.
One of these days, when I think Kate might not read my blog that day, I'll post a picture.
Or as soon as I get over the fact that I do not like getting my picture taken.
...whichever comes first.

Jason informed me last night that whip cream from a can is evidence that there is a God.
So...in case you were wondering...

Oh fine...here's a picture...or three.
You can thank Baby Sister for being the photographer.



This is my 'I don't want my picture taken' look.


This is my plug for hand sanitizer...
...and a small glimpse of my baby bump...


And this is the 'oh for the love...I give up...' picture.
Kate may never let me back into her salon.


That's enough for one day...
Way more than enough...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Girl Has Nothing To Say



The girl thought of a story.
But the telling of the story required something the girl can't find.
She spent 30 minutes looking for it.
And by the time 30 minutes had passed, the girl was tired.
And ready to crawl into bed.

HOWEVER...
In the process of looking for the something, the girl found something else.
The girl realizes that it might not mean much to anyone but herself...
...she'll post it anyway.

The girl has an uncle.
An uncle who has given her many nicknames throughout her life.

-Nicole
-The Evil and Blubberous Narwall of the Great Deep
(the girl was not such a fan)
-Wonder Pony
-Nurse Ernwell

...to name a few...

One day - during the girl's Wonder Pony phase, she found this note from her uncle:



The girl has kept this note on the inside of her journal.
Somehow, in some way, it's incredibly inspiring to the girl...
...and when the girl needs a lift she reads this note.

The girl is grateful to the people in her life who give her 'lifts' whenever she needs them.
And that includes all of you.
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Update

Our little baby was jumping all over the screen...
That's what we saw when we went to the hospital for another ultrasound today.
And the heartbeat was strong and steady.
As for the bleeding?
They don't know.
They can't see a reason for it.
"Your baby looks good and you're a week farther along than we thought you were.  Just rest and try not to worry."
I took their advice and have spent the afternoon on my bed.
And as an added precaution, I let the boss know that I won't be climbing any more 20' ladders.

My sister-in-law just called.  It was she who suggested I update the blog now ... 'there are people in Asia who need to know the results,' she said.  I'll bet she knew India is a part of Asia.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and kind words.  The baby and I will be on the bed if you need us.

The State of our Union

Jason just asked what I had on my face.
"It's a zit," I told him.
"But it's big and red," he said.
"That's because I just picked at it."
And then for added measure I reminded him, "You are married to me.  You have to love me even with big red zits on my face."
He said that he did.
Phew...disaster avoided.

We're having a little bit of drama here.  Maybe it's trauma.
Trauma because I'm worried that I might be miscarrying.
The baby and I have had a long talk about how it's a bad idea...
And I've suggested the same thing to God...
But for now I'm just hanging out in bed waiting for the doctor to call me back.
It's probably nothing serious...
Maybe I'm just bleeding to bleed.  (Is that too much information?)
But until we know for sure, perhaps if you think about it, you might say your own little prayer for the little one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's In A Name

This is Allie:


She's nine.
She's the oldest of all of my nieces and nephews.
She'll be a famous pianist one day...if she can remember to cut her fingernails.

One day last week while I was painting, she rode past me on her scooter.
She stopped long enough to say, "Allyssa."
"Allyssa?" I asked.
"That's what you should name your baby if it's a girl."
"Allie, I need boy names.  If the baby is a girl her name will be Emily Lynn."
"Emily?" Allie asked.
"Yes Emily.  I need boy names."

I suggested she list five boys from her class at school.

-Wesley
-Matthew
-Horacio
-Sergio
-Ignacio

"I can't name him Wesley because Jason has a nephew named Wesley."
"I like Matthew, but Jason doesn't."
"And Allie, do you see a problem with the other three names?"
Allie thought about it and said, "No."
"Allie, my baby isn't going to be born in Mexico."
That little Allie...she cracked up.
"I guess you're right.  Those boys are from Mexico."
And as she rode off on her scooter she promised she would make me a list.

Yesterday she brought her list to dinner.


She suggested that Jason and I take turns crossing off the names we don't like.
And when we're left with just one...well, that will be the name we go with.
I studied those names...and there will be no need to eliminate names one at a time.
#38. Niblet
That's the name I'm going with.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Girl Will Be Back Next Friday

I'm taking a break from painting to tell you something.
But before I tell you that something, I want to tell you this something.
The building we're painting...it's large.
With a lot of walls.
And very high ceilings.
And every time I climb up a ladder I think, "Please don't fall, please don't fall."
Oh...and there is no heat...and my hands are ice cubes.
That's the other reason I'm taking a break.

But this is the real something I wanted to tell you.
I love my husband.
Really.  Truly.  Forever.
The other night right before I fell asleep I looked over at him.
He had his phone open to the picture he took of our baby's ultrasound.
And he was studying that picture.
"I can almost see a chin," he said.
"And maybe those are ears."
And many minutes later, when he finally put the phone away, he said,
"I think it's a boy.  It looks like a boy."
And at the end of the day, when we're both finally at home, he puts his hand on my belly and asks,
"How's our baby today?"
I love my husband.
Really. Truly. Forever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

On Why I Don't Eat Goat

One sunny afternoon I set out to meet my friends.
They had promised an evening full of fun at the county fair.
I walked down a dirt road, crossed a busy highway, endured the whistles of the men working at the local mechanic shop, stopped at a corner market to buy some bottled water, and then walked down one more road - this one cobblestone, to reach my destination.
My friends were veterinarian interns, and had come from all over Mexico to the tiny town of Irapuato.
Their boss, my surrogate father, was well known throughout Mexico, and my friends knew they were lucky to be working with him.

I pushed open the heavy wood door that was the entrance to their home, and found my friends sitting around a table.  I had walked in on the middle of a meeting.
"Hola Guera," my surrogate father said.  "Your friends can't leave until we solve this problem.  Pull up a chair.  It may be a while."
It didn't take me long to realize what the 'problem' was, and I was at once nauseated and disgusted.
All over the kitchen/living area were buckets and wheelbarrows full of baby goats.  Dead baby goats.
I opened the fridge to put my water inside, and found it full of the body parts of dead baby goats.
Something was killing the goats, and my friends, the veterinarian interns, were trying to figure out what it was.


Even I could tell, with my limited Spanish, that they knew not what they were talking about.
But being the good friend that I am, I moved a bucket-o-goat off of a chair, pulled the chair up to the table, and said, "Let's get to work."  They laughed and then continued their very serious conversation.

Every few minutes I would pipe up with a suggestion.  "Maybe they got sick because of the water.  I get sick because of the water."  "Maybe they ate one too many meals of beans and tortillas."  "Maybe they have failure to thrive because they don't like where they are living."  "I think they died from the stench coming from the animal pound."

My 'dad' didn't think I was very helpful and after several of my suggestions, he let me know as much.
With love of course.
I put my head down on the table and took a little nap.
I woke up from my nap and whined, "...but today is the last day of the county fair.  You don't want me to leave Mexico without experiencing it do you?"
Juan, the boss, came up with a plan.  "Guera, you can leave as soon as dinner is done, and you've all eaten."
It was then I noticed a big pot simmering on the stove.
"What's for dinner?" I asked.
"Goat stew," Juan replied.
I waited for the smile, for the laugh that would indicate he was joking.
There was no laugh.  No smile.  It was not a joke.

I sputtered and stammered and said, "You can't be serious.  You have a room full of dead goats, dead by a cause you can't determine, and you expect me to eat one of them now?"
"Guera don't be dramatic.  The goat we used for the stew was not sick."
"How do you know that?  You don't know that!  And you can't make me eat that stew."
We argued, Juan and I, for as long as it took my friends to dish up and eat their own bowl of goat stew.
"Guera, I'm going to tell your dad you are a difficult child," Juan threatened.
"And I'm going to tell my dad that you are CRAZY!" I threatened right back.
He laughed and pulled me in for a hug.  "You don't have to eat the stew.  Go to the fair and have fun."
I rolled my eyes and told him that I loved him even if he was crazy.

As it turns out...I would have probably been better off eating the stew.
What I thought would be a nice tram ride turned out to be a ride from you know where.
And now that I think about it, I'll bet that's where my vertigo issues began.
I was so sick.  So, so sick.  And my friends thought it would help to feed me the worst tasting cotton candy I've ever had.
When I finally dragged my poor body into the house later that night, Juan was there in the kitchen.
He took one look at me and laughed.
And laughed some more.
"Guera, I can't let you go anywhere."
And at that moment, I was only too happy to be grounded for the rest of my stay.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Look At My Life

5:00-9:00 pm

leave work
maybe go to the gym with Becca...if I'm willing to be sick the rest of the night...
drive home
hug Jason
sit on couch
take a nap
wake up
ask Jason what he wants for dinner
watch as Jason heats something up in the microwave
eat (but usually not the same thing as Jason)
watch TV with Jason
leave Jason to his sports
climb into bed
fall asleep to Grey's Anatomy

11:00pm-12:00am

Jason comes up to bed
Jason starts to talk
eat soda crackers or a granola bar
fall asleep while Jason is talking

1:00am

wake up and go to bathroom

2:00am

wake up and go to bathroom

2:00-3:00am

the noise starts in my ear
the noise that sounds like a wood pecker
or a jackhammer
the noise that prevents me from getting sleep

3:00am-6:00am

move head around
try to unplug ear
go to the bathroom more than once
toss and turn

somewhere around 7:00am

noise in ear stops
finally fall asleep
sleep soundly

9:00am-10:00am

wake up due to extreme hunger
eat breakfast
get ready for work in slow motion
hug Jason
drive to work

12:00pm

eat lunch to avoid starving to death

2:00pm-5:00pm

fall asleep while sitting at desk
do some work
wonder at what point I might get fired

and then the cycle repeats itself...

*I'm due August 12th...which means I have two weeks left of my first trimester...I have HIGH hopes that my energy might make an appearance once the first trimester is over...

**I've been doing some painting at work.  Now now, before you get ready to lecture, it's water based paint and the area we're painting is very well-ventilated.  We're making some big changes here at work, and those changes are requiring that most of my family spend long hours knocking out walls, running new electrical wires, mudding, painting, etc. 

The kiddies are in heaven.  They bring their bikes and scooters to work every day after school and pretty much have free reign of the building we're remodeling.  A few days ago Trouble decided that she wanted to help me paint.

I wish I had taken pictures.  I was 'cutting in' (look at me...all smart with painting terms) around the baseboards and Trouble stood next to me.  Every few strokes she would say, 'My turn.'  I would put more paint on the brush and she would go to town on the wall.  And with every stroke she would say, "I hope my daddy likes this.  I hope my mommy likes this." 

At one point, during my turn with the brush, I dripped paint on the carpet.  "Lovely.  Jared is going to kill me," I mentioned to Trouble. 

With Trouble's next turn she said, "I hope my daddy likes this.  I hope my mommy likes this.  I hope Jared doesn't kill me."

I could not stop laughing. 

Also, Trouble told me that I was her 'very best favorite rock ever.'  Yes, rock.  She's into rocks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's A Baby!

One baby...
One heartbeat...
One happy daddy...
One happy mommy...



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tums...I Need Tums...

(the title of this post has nothing to do with this post...it's just what was in my mind)

Jason and I are eating mint chocolate chip ice cream from Baskin Robins.
Except not together.
He's downstairs and I'm upstairs.
I go to the top of the stairs and check in once in a while.
I can't quite figure it out but Jason doesn't like watching Grey's Anatomy.
He watches his 'Who Done It' shows, and I watch Grey's Anatmoy.
And at some point he comes to bed and I turn the TV off.
It works for us.

That little Trouble?
My niece?

She was sitting on my lap tonight playing with my stomach.

"Well...You got a baby in your tummy?"
"Yes I do Sami."
"Why?"
"Because I wanted a little girl just like you."
"But Well I don't got a baby in my tummy."
"Well...Can I see your baby?"
"When it's born you can come to the hospital and see it."
"Well I hope you have a girl."

And then she jumped off of my lap and ran to her grandma.  "Grandma!  My favorite Well has a baby in her tummy!"

I love that Trouble.

Speaking of that baby in my tummy...Jason and I are going in for an ultra sound on Tuesday.
Just thought you should know...

Remember when my blog got a new look?
My friend Kristin who blogs at Betty Crocker Wannabe designed it for me.
She just started a new design company called Simply Klassic Design.
If you're thinking about a new blog look you should check her out!
She's doing a giveaway here for a free blog make over!

And one more bit of news...
Girls who don't wear makeup look silly...
As per Trouble's big sister Gabi who is 6...or maybe 5.
She told me this when I showed up at her house on Saturday sans makeup.
Thank you Gabi.
I'll keep that in mind.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Warning

Dear People I Come In Contact With On A Daily Basis,

I thought it only fair that I warn you about something.
I'm pregnant.
And somehow, as a result of said pregnancy, the filter between my head and my mouth is broken.
I try really hard to not speak when I'm annoyed, but on occasion words are going to slip out.
I might apologize for those words, but I might not.

Let me give you an example of something you might not want to say to me.
If I call you to find out why my insurance didn't cover even 10% of my last trip to the ER, and you tell me it's because my insurance only has coverage in Utah, unless my condition is life-threatening, I'll say a few choice words about insurance in general, but I'll pay the bill. 
I'll pay the bill because I did go to the ER in Colorado.
And although, in my humble opinion, throwing up a million times a day can be life-threatening, you will never agree with me.
However...when what you say next to me is this:

"...have you checked into options to help with the vertigo at your doctors office or clinic? I know that this would be a less expensive option for you when you are in town."


You can probably be guaranteed that I'm not going to keep my mouth shut.
I will use words like 'patronizing' and 'do you really think I'm that stupid?' and other words too. 
I will use many words to let you know that the ER is never my first choice, but it if is my only choice, I will take it...even if I inconveniently get sick outside of Utah.
And then I will end the conversation...because I'll be all worked up...and that's not good for the baby.

Consider yourself fairly warned...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Living With A Man

Before I got married I owned two remote controls. 
One for the TV and one for the DVD player.
It took me months to figure out how to use each of the remotes.
To say I'm technologically challenged would be an understatement.

Enter Jason.
And his affinity for all things electronic.
Within months my TV was upgraded to a 55" flat screen.
My $30 DVD player was upgraded to the finest Blue ray player money can buy.
My normal TV channels were no longer enough.  If it's not in HD it's not worth watching.
Redbox became a thing of the past with Netflix and AppleTV.
And with all of this I was surrounded by remote controls.

We've been married for 10 months now.
And just last week I realized that I had finally figured out how to use all 6 remote controls.
It was such a happy day.

Enter Jason.
And his new and improved remote control.
"Noelle, I programmed all of the other remotes to this one control!  Your life will be so much easier now!"
"Push this button to turn everything on.  Push this button and then this one to turn the volume up.  Push this button to go to this screen, and then push this button to get to that screen, chant these words 7 times, and then push this button and you'll be able to get to the shows you've recorded.  It's so easy!"

Easy my ......
Jason was gone the other night.  I pushed the button that said 'All On.'  Amazingly the TV came on.  It took me 3 minutes to access the DVR.  I never did find the volume button. 
I searched the living room for 5 minutes looking for the 6 remotes I knew how to use.
I couldn't find them.

This morning while we were both waking up I asked Jason, "Where did you put the remote controls?"
"Why?  You don't need them," was his response.
"Just tell me where you put them," I said.
"I'm going to hide them so that you will be forced to learn how to use the new remote control."
And then he spent the next 5 minutes telling me this:
Just push this button for ....
And that button for...
And then the other button for...

Becca, can I come to your house to watch TV?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm Ready For Temperatures To Be Above Freezing

Have you seen the new look? 
My blog got a makeover.
A beautiful makeover, and I think you should click over to see it...and grab my button while you're there.
I have a button!
One of my blog BFFs did it for me.
I think she took pity on me.
As soon as she has her new business blog up and running I'll send you her way.
But in the meantime, isn't it lovely?

We have friends who owned a beautiful tree farm in Northern Idaho.
They spent the spring and summer months at the farm and they spent the winter months on their sail boat.
They sailed to Greece once or twice.
Just Ernie, Pauline, and a few crew members.
We had lunch once on their sail boat.
Ernie is completely deaf.
But he learned Spanish and can speak it fluently.
He amazes me.
Pauline has beautiful, long, silver hair.
When I was young I used to say, 'When I get old I want my hair to look like Pauline's.'
I'm guessing that by the time I'm 42 my hair will look exactly like Pauline's.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I want to tell you something.
But by telling you something I risk my life.
Perhaps my brother will take pity on me because of the baby.
We'll see what happens.

Yesterday my brother came into my office and said, 'You know how when we were young Mom wouldn't let us watch The Golden Girls?"
I laughed and said, "That and a hundred other shows."
"Well, one day when I was home sick from school I was watching The Golden Girls.  One of the women said something about her 'over the shoulder boulder holder' and I had no idea what she was talking about.  Mom heard it and yelled 'Turn that show off right now!'"
Ben said it was a long time before he knew what that phrase meant.
"But here's the thing," he said.  "It's been years since I saw that show.  Years.  And yet today, I still can't type the words 'Boulder Blue Fescue' without thinking of an over the shoulder boulder holder."
And then he laughed and left my office.

I am a better person for coming to work.

The furnace in my office is still not working.
And now...NOW...my lovely niece Ruthie, who just turned three, locked the bathroom door and my big tough brothers/cousin have yet to figure out how to unlock it.
As Ruthie was walking out of the office to go home she said, "I sorry about the potty."
I just shook my head and said, "But Ruthie...I'm pregnant."
I don't think it phased her.

The other night I had a migraine and there was nothing I could take for it.
I laid down on the couch, put my feet in Jason's lap, handed him a bottle of lotion, and closed my eyes.
He obliged and I feel asleep to him rubbing my feet.
I'm not sure what I did do deserve such a man, but I'm grateful.
I hope he knows that...even when I'm ornery.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Glimpse Into Where My Heart Resides

I apologize to those of you who have heard some of these stories before.

A few weeks before our 16th birthday Dad came home with a video.
(I say our because in case you didn't know, I'm a triplet.)
My brother, sister, and I sat down with Dad and our uncle to watch the video.
The video told the story of a group of people who had traveled to Mexico to do humanitarian work.
The video documented the week this group spent working alongside a tribe of native Indians from Mexico.
Some of the group members were interviewed and asked this question:
"Who benefited the most from this experience?  You or the villagers?"
Every single person answered the same way, "I benefited the most."
When the video was over Dad looked at us and said, "This is what you are getting for your birthday.
A trip to Mexico to do humanitarian work."


That week,  spent on the side of an extinct volcano, working with those people, changed me.
It wasn't a temporary change.  It was forever.
Dad and I went back the next year, to the same village, and spent another week plowing fields and teaching the people how to plant potatoes.



And then Dad spent the next 10 or so years, traveling with groups to Mexico...giving them the same experience I had had.
And when each of my siblings turned 16, Dad took them with him.
I lived my life:  I graduated from high school, I went to college, I went to NYC as a missionary for my church, I went back to college, I studied Spanish...and all the while I had thoughts of Mexico in my mind.
I had such a desire to go back.
I had such a need to go back.
One night I was talking to Dad and I said, "Dad, we are going to Mexico after Christmas.  And I need you to help me pay for it."
Amazingly, he agreed.

That trip inspired a change in the plan I had laid out for my life.
Instead of going to graduate school I moved to Mexico and spent three months living with a family and helping with humanitarian efforts.



I'm not going to lie.
It was a hard three months.
I was sick most of the time I was there, and speaking Spanish 24 hours a day gave me constant headaches.
But I wouldn't have changed that time in my life for anything.

For the next several years I went back to Mexico at least once a year.
Every time I went it was with the same humanitarian organization.
I took groups of people from the United States to different villages and in each village we did a different project.




After having gone to Mexico 9 or 10 times I had the opportunity to take groups to Guatemala twice.
The scenery was entirely different, and the people spoke a dialect I couldn't understand.
But the experience was the same: life-changing.




These experiences, the people I've met along the way, the opportunities I've had...
They've made me the person I am today.
It was in Mexico that I fell in love for the first time.
It was in Mexico that I fell in love for the second time.
It was in Mexico that I got my heart broken.
It was in Mexico that I broke someones heart.
It was in Mexico that I learned how tough I really was.
It was in Guatemala where I met the person who would hurt me the most in my life.
But it was that same person who prepared me for Jason.
It was in Guatemala where I made the most amazing friendships ever, and then lost those same friends in a horrible plane crash.
And it was in both countries that I learned to love...and to give my whole heart...to people I may never see again in this life.

It's been two years since my last trip out of the country.
It's been two years since things with the humanitarian organization changed, and my opportunities for service within that organization were no longer available.
I mourned the lost opportunity.
And I've missed my family ... the one in Mexico.

This morning I booked plane tickets for Jason and I to go to Mexico in February.
Plane tickets that will take me back to my home away from home.
We won't be going with the purpose of doing humanitarian work.
Not this time.
But if things work out, we will go to the villages where I've spent so much time, and Jason will be able to see the place that holds a part of my heart.
And for now, that's all I can ask for.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Too Many Thoughts...Not Many Words

I'm not feeling very chatty.
Maybe it's because I'm tired.
 Maybe it's because Jason has been out of town and I miss him more than usual.
Or maybe it's because life isn't my favorite thing today.
Whatever the reason...
It will be gone by tomorrow and I'm sure I'll have a great story to tell you.

In the meantime...
Here's a picture for you.


That's what tomorrow will be...
The post in which I tell you why this picture means so much to me.
(Minus my shiny forehead...that part doesn't mean so much to me.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Girl Came Back



Story Time

I'm an ice cube.
And my fingers are blue.
I've decided that if someone can't figure out a way to get the furnace fixed I'm taking a semi-permanent leave of absence from work.
Ben?  That's a hint.

Thank you for your comments yesterday.
I've learned something about all of you...something good...
And as a result I promise you I will never say the word fat again.
Ever.
But just between you and me, I was way more worried about having MS than that other word.

Today is Epiphany day in Canada.
What do you suppose that means?

I'm going to tell you a story.  It's a personal story...one I wouldn't normally share with the entire world.
But as far as I know, there is not a single person in Asia who reads my blog, so I won't be sharing with the entire world anyway.
(I honestly can't remember if I've told this story before.)

When I was 12 or 13 my mom took me with her to do some Christmas shopping.
We were in a clothing store and she was looking for something for my dad.
I passed by the coat section and saw a coat that I loved.
Loved. Loved. Loved.
It was black, and had yellow fleece lining.
I tried the coat on and wore it the whole time my mom did her shopping.

I knew Mom wouldn't buy me the coat.
In fact, up until that point in my life, I'm not sure if I had ever had a brand new coat.
Usually we wore hand-me-downs.
I put the coat back on the hanger when it was time to go.
And I sighed a big sigh.

A few weeks later, on Christmas morning, I opened my present and found the coat tucked lovingly inside the wrapping paper.
I was the world's happiest girl.

One night several weeks after Christmas we went to an activity at the church.
I hung the coat on the coat rack and ran off with my friends.
A couple of hours later, when it was time to leave, I went for my coat but couldn't find it anywhere.
After a very thorough search of the entire church building, I came to the conclusion that my coat was gone.
Oh...the tears I cried...
And cried.
That night when I went to bed I said a very tearful and heartfelt prayer: "Please Heavenly Father, help me get my coat back.'
I repeated that prayer many times over the next few days.
Whenever my mom suggested that we needed to get me a new coat I would tell her no.
I knew that I would find my coat.

One night as I was just crawling into bed I said one final prayer.  "Heavenly Father, I KNOW that You know where my coat is.  I have faith that You will help me."
I fell asleep and had a dream.
In my dream I saw a boy from my band class.
The boy was wearing my coat.
The next morning I told my mom, 'I know who has my coat.  I think I'll get it back today.'
And then I told her about the dream.

I went to school, but the boy did not come to band class.
I didn't see him the entire day.
That afternoon, Mom and I were going to the grocery store.
As we pulled into the parking lot I saw the boy from band class, walking across the parking lot.
He was wearing my coat.
"Mom, there's that boy!  And he has my coat!"
Mom was a bit skeptical.  "How can you be sure it's your coat?  Maybe he has one just like it."
"Mom, I know that is my coat."
After much pleading, Mom confronted the boy and said, "You have my daughter's coat."
He denied it.  He said it was his coat.
Mom looked at me and said, "Noelle, it's probably not your coat."
I could prove it and told Mom as much.
Inside one of the sleeves was a string that had come loose.
And I had tied that string into tiny little knots.
Mom asked the boy to take the coat off, and after a close inspection, she found the string, with the tiny little knots.

We took the coat home and washed it to try and get the smell of smoke out of it.
(Because the boy smoked.)
The smoke smell never faded completely and I didn't like wearing the coat after that.
BUT...
I had learned an incredible lesson.
I knew that God heard and answered prayers.
And for a long time, there was nothing that could shake my faith.

Maybe I needed this reminder today.
Maybe that's why the story came to my mind.
God still hears and answers my prayers.
Those prayers are more complex now...and I'm required to have a lot more faith to believe that somehow God will work everything out...
But He will work it out.
In His own way and His own time.
And that's enough for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Woe Is Me

I've noticed that I've become paranoid.
And I wish that people would stop saying things that make me freak out.
Let me give you some examples.

My friend texted me yesterday to see how I was feeling, and to find out when my doctor's appointment is.
I told her that for the most part I was just hungry and nauseated at the same time.
And I told her that I go in on the 18th for a sonogram and again on the 31st to meet with the doctor.
I'm going in for the sonogram for my own peace of mind.
I've been spotting off and on throughout my pregnancy and although it's probably perfectly normal, I'd like a professional to tell me that it's perfectly normal.
My friend texted me back and said, 'I spotted during both of my pregnancies.  I'm sure it's fine.'
An innocent conversation no?
No.
Because as soon as I hung up I had these thoughts going through my mind:
'Kim spotted during both of her pregnancies.  Both of her little boys are autistic.  Does spotting indicate a higher risk for autism?  Is my baby going to be autistic?  Can I take care of an autistic child?  I'm not sure that I could be as good a mom as Kim is.'
And so it went for many many many minutes...until I told my brain to stop.  And then I had to force it to think about other things.  And sing lots of songs.

Here's another example:

A few weeks ago I got an email from a girl I know.  It was an email written out of love and concern.  She felt like she should tell me that all of the symptoms I've been dealing with for the last year (vertigo, etc.) are also symptoms of multiple sclerosis and that I should probably get tested, either with an MRI or a spinal tap.

Her mom told my mom the same thing several months ago: 'Noelle's symptoms sound exactly like MS.'
(Minus any muscle weakness, which according to Google, is also a very prevalent symptom.)
Here's the thing:  I've had an MRI.  It came back clean.  Perfectly clean.
And doctors have reassured me on more than one occasion that my vertigo is the result of a problem with my inner ear.

And yet...
I lay in bed at night and feel a muscle twitch and think, 'It's MS.'
My back hurts during the day and I think 'I guess we should look into buying a wheelchair.' 
I start coughing and I think 'it's probably progressing really fast...I'll call and schedule a spinal tap this week.'

I wasn't like this before I got pregnant.

The other day I was reading the Pregnancy Bible...otherwise known as 'What To Expect When You're Expecting'.
I read something that went like this: 'If your husband is turned off by your growing belly, here are some ways you can cope with feelings of rejection...'

Just try to imagine what my mind did then...

'Jason thinks I'm fat.'
'Jason is going to stop loving me.'
'Jason isn't even going to want to sleep in the same bed with me.'
'Jason isn't attracted to me any more.'

Last night my sister and I walked around the track at our local rec center while Jason played basketball below.
Becca looked at me and said, "You're really showing."
And as she said that, Jason looked up and waved.
After we got home last night Jason said, "I looked up at you as you were walking around the track and well, you're definitely pregnant.'
And then he told me that while he normally isn't attracted to pregnant women, he is still attracted to me.
Poor Jason.
He had to spend the next seven hours trying to convince me that he would still love me in 6 months from now.

It's only going to get worse isn't it?
What should I do?
Solitary confinement?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just Because

It's possible the whole world has seen this, but on the chance a few of you haven't...
Your comic relief for the day.