Saturday, August 25, 2012


Our babygirl is safely here.  We are smitten.  We're just home today and there will be much to share in the coming days, but in the interest in keeping a timely announcement in this place, I wanted to post at least a couple photos.

Clara Beth
9 lb 13 oz
21 perfect inches long
(she feels tiny, by the way. don't let her birth size fool you.)

We have much to learn about her, but so far I can tell you that she's sweet and snuggly and spirited.  Thankfully, she is very easy to calm because she will not hesitate to tell you how she's feeling.  I feel calm and prepared and am insanely thankful to God above who gave her to us.  We're happy to be home and starting the rest of our lives with Clara.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Babygirl: Pre-Delivery

I am now two days away from delivering my baby girl into this world.  It's a crazy, emotional place to be after a crazy and emotional process.  I was telling Cory last night that as real as she is to me -- I can feel her limbs! -- its still all surreal somehow. 

Her life hasn't begun.  She hasn't seen me; and I haven't seen her, as well as we know each other.  She hasn't taken a single breath of air, even though she's practicing like crazy in utero.  She's squirmy and squished, but doesn't know happiness or otherwise.  But in that moment, when they hand her to us, when she breathes, or cries, or wails...that's the moment I most look forward to.  In that second, it's all worth it.  The angels hand her over with their best wishes for a lifetime of love and family.  It's all pretty spectacular.

I won't miss these numb hands.  I won't miss my swollen feet.  I won't miss the heartburn, and the fatigue, and the lack of patience.  I will love to have my body back to myself, sleep on my stomach and walk without waddling. 

I am thankful for my friend Jill, who has lovingly supplied me with this product.  I have taken almost daily baths in these soaking salts the entire pregnancy. 

I am thankful for the captain, who has lovingly massaged my tired legs and my low back.  Who is an amazing father, and an even better husband.  For all the times he cleaned up so I didn't have to and took care of the rugrats and gave me a break.  Nothing would be as good without wonderfully (and undeservedly) blessed I've been.

So now, 48 hours before her birth, I count my blessings.  And ask for your love and prayers as I take a step into the next chapter of my life's journey. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Election 2012: Paul Ryan

Is the only way to measure success the bottom line?

You will never hear me say that the budget doesn't matter.  That we don't have to be careful in our spending.  That we can keep increasing debt with no consequence.  I do not idealogically believe that.

But a nation cannot be run like a corporation.  We don't measure success only by whether or not we have debt.  What good is a balanced budget if are sick?  If our children are not properly educated?  If our streets and infrastructure is in serious disrepair?  What good is a balanced military budget if our soldiers are not cared for when they get home?  How will we continue to recruit men and women to serve us?  How will we compete globally with children who cannot get a world-class education? 

The Tea Party movement in this country is led on the idea that government spending is out of control, and I'm not going to outright disagree.  But we have to be careful where we make cuts.

This past spring, Paul Ryan proposed a dramatic budget plan which he calls the Plan to Prosperity.  It balances the 2040.  It includes very dramatic cuts to many social programs, including Medicare.  It suggests that we should eliminate or drastically reduce funding for federal programs like pell grants, the department of education, veterans benefits, the FDA, FAA, and FBI.  I wonder if people can imagine what our world without those would look like?  Or is the hesitation just me?

Additionally, the Ryan Budget proposes eliminating Medicare and giving seniors a voucher to purchase private insurance.  I cannot imagine the nightmare of this situation.  We must care for our elderly, especially since they've been contributing to this program for all of their working life.

Luckily for the wealthy, the Path to Prosperity continues to provide large tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.  So that's good.  *eyeroll*

So, as we enter this election season officially, I encourage you to really get to know Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan will stand out because BELIEVES in his plan, and there is something to be said for conviction.  (Romney, on the other hand, has little.  He has had many positions on many issues over the years and will happily point you to some of them if you're interested.)

For Shannon.  Man, he's hot.

So I'll happily discuss whether or not he's handsome.  What kind of hair product he uses, or if there are shirtless photos of him somewhere on the world wide web.  But I'll also ask you understand his positions.  There is alot at stake here, and we're all smart enough to know that substance matters.  And that the bottom line really might not be the only way to measure success.

Oh.  And a gift for you:  the link to the Ryan budget.  Enjoy.