Saturday, March 29, 2008

Colorado Baby Shower

A couple weekends ago Susie and I were able go to Colorado for the weekend. It was a lot of fun to get to spend time with family and friends. My buddy Matt Hall and his wife Moya are due within a week of Susie, so it was great to see them and compare pregnancy notes. We got a couple of pregnant tummy pictures, which are becoming more and more fun as the tummies get bigger and bigger.
But the real reason we went is because of the baby shower that was being held for Susie. I was completely blown away by the generosity and selflessness of the women that held this shower for Susie. I not sure but I think it’s been since I was in elementary school (or pretty much as long as I can remember); my mom has been meeting with a prayer group made up of other moms. Most of these women were moms of my friends and other kids that went to my school. These women are the most diligent prayers I know. One of these ladies (Kathy Hall, Matt’s mom, on the left), along with another lady (Jan Hogan) whose family has been a friend of ours as long as I can remember decided they wanted to throw Susie a baby shower.

When I heard that I thought it was a pretty cool idea. A lot of them have been like family to me for a long time, but I was still a little surprised, since a lot of these women don’t really know Susie personally that well. But a lot of these ladies do have a close connection with her because of their prayers for me (for a wife) and then their prayers for her since we’ve been married and through all of our adventures together.

I knew these women were generous and thoughtful and caring and happy for us as an expectant couple, but I was completely unprepared for what they had in store for Susie. Baby showers are about the coolest things for expectant dads, because we completely rake in the goods and we don’t even have to show up. I went snowboarding at Eldora with my dad that day and had a great father/son time (I can’t wait to share times like this with my son) (and I had some time to myself to take pictures of the scenery as my dad was off the run somewhere to the right watering a tree). But, like I said, I had no clue how much raking in Susie and I were going to be doing that day.

These women treated Susie like a daughter and went completely over the top in generosity with their gifts. We are truly blessed to have friends like that. When you look in the newspaper or just listen to conversations during everyday life, you tend to mostly hear stories about bad things happening and people doing bad things in the world around us. A deed like this isn’t going to make any newspaper front page, but it deserves to be recognized for what it is: a selfless act by a group of selfless women that will be remembered for a lifetime. These ladies spent days preparing a party for Susie with absolutely nothing in it for them. They gave of themselves without expecting anything in return. So a BIG THANK YOU to Kathy and Jan, and all the other women that made have made Susie a part of your family through your prayers, support and selflessness. People like you are too few and far between. You are the kind of person that I try to be.

PS - My sister Amy and her husband Paul got us the onesie with no right arm hole I had requested so our son can learn to be a lefty. Haha. Now we just have to work on that curveball.

Stall Seat

I’m sorry, I have to share this picture with you (thank everything holy for camera phones). Here’s the setting: I’m in Nashville and I’ve got a little time to kill before I meet up with some friends to see Mike Doughty play at the Exit/In. So I head to the Whole Foods at the Hill Center, which is an upscale shopping area in southwest Nashville (Susie and I really miss having a Whole Foods/Wild Oats-type grocery store to go to on a regular basis). This Whole Foods is huge, it’s two stories and has a grill, a cooking school, and a coffee bar with free Wi-Fi (which I still can’t seem to connect to); it’s like a Six Flags over Organic Foods.

So upon arrival I go to relieve myself. I don’t know if I noticed this because with Susie being pregnant I’m noticing kid and baby things more often, or if I noticed this because it was so over the top. I look at the side of the stall and there’s a car seat bolted to the wall. Now, I can see this being useful if you have to actually tie your kid down to keep them from running off – we had a dog named Coco once that was like that. But can you imagine being the poor kid in that seat? “Here you go little Johnny, now just sit here and watch your dad drop a deuce.” Crazy. Does anyone else find this extremely funny/weird/scary/etc? That poor kid is suddenly thinking, “Man, if I’d only agreed to stand quietly by myself outside the stall instead of making Dad chase me through the store, especially after he had that big burrito for lunch.”

Monday, March 10, 2008

I am not my own

I’ve been feeling very weak and vulnerable for the last few days. I’ve had a fever with a cough, nausea, aches, congestion and sleeplessness since Friday; I haven’t set foot outside our house since I got home from work Friday afternoon. I hate being sick. I like to think I can set my own schedule based on my own priorities and when I’m laid up for a few days it’s humbling. As the clouds start to lift it feels like I’ve just stepped out of a painful and foggy time warp that I entered about Friday at lunchtime. I feel like a wimp and a hypocrite for taking Theraflu and Tylenol after going well over three years without any prescription or OTC medications. I’m sick of lying around and feeling worthless to the world. There were a number of things I didn’t get to do last weekend that I wanted to do. I didn’t get to go to the doctor with Susie today. Susie’s mom and dad were in town this weekend helping out around the house and I didn’t pay them any attention or give them any appreciation for their help. I guess that’s a whole paragraph to say that I’ve been spending too much time focusing on myself and feeling sorry for myself.

And this afternoon as I was thinking about this, I kept coming back to these verses in my mind: I Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” We’re doing a study about sex, dating, and relationships on Wednesday nights with our youth. This is a verse that I’ve been bringing up week after week. But how much have I been taking it to heart as I wallow in my self-pity? I am not my own. That means giving up control, which is hard to do, which is what I’ve been wrestling with this weekend. It’s also hard to do as Susie and I look forward to the birth of our son.

This last Wednesday night we had an outstanding guest speaker at youth named Kaleb Carter. One point he made that kept sticking with me (at least the one that relates to my post) is that Susie is not mine. Susie is God’s; I just get the most enviable job of taking care of her and loving her the best I can while we’re on this earth together. If someone lends me their Ferrari, I’m not going to trash it and return it to them all crashed up and scarred. How much better than a Ferrari is Susie, and how much more worth does she hold to me and to God? And this only makes sense: if I myself am not my own, how can I call Susie my own?

So if I’m not my own, and Susie is not my own, then the child inside of her is definitely not my own. What a commission that last sentence holds for Susie and I! I can’t wait to see what this baby looks like; what features it takes from me and what features it takes from mom. But I understand the stark responsibility in front of me, which I guess is why my nervousness comes into play at times, and why I fear for the safety and well being of this child. It was hard not going to the doctor’s office today. I couldn’t wait to hear the report from Susie and was absolutely relieved to hear that the doctor is very pleased with both her and the baby’s progress.

But more than fear of something going wrong with the baby’s health, I’m fearful of my selfishness getting in the way of my responsibility to our (God’s) child. I don’t see any worse way to fail as a father, and a weekend like this has brought me face to face with that selfishness that I need to root out. So for that I’m thankful, and as the clouds start to lift and I start thinking about moving back toward life’s everyday tasks, I ask God that I would be worthy of the child He’s giving us to care for. I am not my own.

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's a........

Well, I haven't been posting a lot lately, and it's mostly been pictures. The substance hasn't been there, and I'll get back to that as soon as I can; there's still a lot swirling around upstairs. I want to post more right now, but we're headed out the door to play at a church tonight; I just wanted to get some pictures up and share the great news.

We showed up and the technician plopped the Doppler down into the dollop of jelly on Susie's tummy. I wasn't even five seconds later that she froze the screen and there, plain as could be, was the evidence. "It's a boy!" There was no way to debate that fact. The next 20 minutes or so were exhilarating and emotional, getting to see his little heart beat through all four chambers, watching him move his arms and legs around, and just being amazed at the wonderful design of our Creator. I was amazed at the clarity and resolution of the pictures, and I've posted them below (except for the evidence of gender, this IS a family blog). :)